In a fair world, some marvelously talented contemporary Ghanaian writers ought to be at the top of the bestseller list not only in Africa, but across the globe. Africa’s literary scene is evolving as newer voices are finding and creating their niche besides already established writers like Soyinka, Armah, Head, Nwapa and Aidoo, to name only but a few.
Gird Center brings you a list of ten contemporary Ghanaian writers whose works you should have read by now. Are you looking for memorable stories and books to read? You can find them by Ghanaian authors who write with untold brilliance and vibrancy. The one thing you cannot do is to repeat the cliché that there aren’t enough Ghanaian writers, or books. We hope you find something you like from the writers listed below.
Martin Egblewogble: Martin Egblewogble is one of the finest of Ghana’s new generation of writers. He is the author a collection of short stories, “Mr. Happy and The Hammer of God”. Martin also is the co-founder and a Director of the Writers Project of Ghana. “The stories in Martin Egblewogbe’s Mr Happy And The Hammer Of God are sly and ingenious. Readers will discover a fresh and new voice in this powerful collection of stories,” says Laban Carrick Hill, the 2004 US National Book Award Finalist and author of HARLEM STOMP! In The Gonjon Pin, the titular story for The Caine Prize Anthology for African Writing 2014, Martin captures the reader’s attention with his way with words and excellent sense of humour. Martin is able get into reader’s mind. His exploration of the psyche and the self will cause you to doubt all you ever believed, and to believe all you ever doubted.
Yaa Gyasi– Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel, “Homegoing”, sold for at least $1 million; it was informed by her own journey as a Ghanaian-American. In July 2016, “Homegoing” made the list for the 2016 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Here are a few quotes from reviews of Yaa Gyasi’s “Homegoing”.
“Homegoing will break your heart over and over…and leave you optimistic and in awe,” Nichole Solga McCown in the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next List.
“Finished Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing yesterday. Thought it was a monster when I started. Felt it was a monster when I was done.” Ta-Nehisi Coates National Book Award-winner on race in the U.S., “Between the World and Me,”
Now who wouldn’t want to read a book that is capable of breaking one’s heart?
Franka Maria Andoh– Franka is a multifaceted artist; she is an entrepreneur, editor, writer and the owner of a popular coffee shop, Cuppa Cappuccino in Accra. Though her name isn’t as well-known as it deserves, Franka has gained quite a recognition for her work. She was selected to partake in the British Council’s Crossing Borders program for African writers. Additionally, her short story “Mansa” has been published in the Caine Prize for African Writing 2009 edition. In 2011, her two children’s stories “Koku the Cockerel” and “Dokono the Donkey” were well received both locally and abroad. Franka’s collection of short stories, “I Have Time and Other Stories” was published 2014. Franka is the founder and Editor in Chief of an annual magazine for women entrepreneurs called AWE.
Mamle Kabu– Mamle Kabu is a Ghanaian writer of German descent. Her stories have been published in several anthologies and magazines. In 2009, her short story “The End of Skill” was shortlisted for the 2009 Caine Prize. Her other works “Human Mathematics” and “Story of Faith” have been anthologized across Africa, the U.S. and the UK. She is an associate director of the Writers Project of Ghana. Mamle is the author of the young adult novel “The Kaya-Girl” (2012); she is currently working on her first novel.
Mawuli Adjei- Mawuli Adjei is a British Chevening Fellow. Currently, he is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English, University of Ghana, Legon, where he teaches African Literature, Creative Writing, and other courses. Mawuli has four publications to his credit: the novels “The Jewel of Kabibi”, “The Witch Of Lagbati” “Taboo” and the poetry collection Testament of the Seasons. He is currently working on a third novel, “Unchained”.
Nana Nyarko Boateng– Nana Nyarko Boateng is a Writer, a Poet and an Editor. She is also a hermit extraordinaire who hates to talk about her work. Yet, Nana is madly passionate about the cause of literature and the arts. She set up Gird Center, a Writing, Editorial, and Training Services Company based in Accra to support writing and writers. In 2012, her short story “Small Poles” appeared in “Summoning The Rain,” a Femrite Anthology. You can also read her short story “Swallowing Ice” in the 2015 Caine prize for African Writing anthology, Lukaska Punk. Nana’s unique ability to discomfort the reader in the realities she unveils in fiction is gripping.
Elizabeth Irene Baitie– Elizabeth Irene Baitie is a true definition of an award-winning writer. Elizabeth has won the Burt Award twice; in 2009 for her novel “The Twelfth Heart” and in 2012 for The “Dorm Challenge.” In 2002, her novel, “Lea’s Christma”, was short-listed for the Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa (Senior readers). Four years later, her story, “A Saint in Brown Sandals”, won the Macmillan Prize for Africa (Junior readers). She is a clinical biochemist and runs a medical laboratory practice in Adabraka, Accra.
Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond– Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of “Powder Necklace”, which Publishers Weekly called “a winning debut”. She was shortlisted for a 2014 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship. She has contributed commentary on everything from Michelle Obama’s role in the US President’s campaign to Nelson Mandela’s legacy on various Media Outlets. She is currently at work on her next novel. Keep up with Nana Brew-Hammond on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Sharlene Apples-Ghanaian-born, Sharlene Apples is an energy consultant, social-political commentator, makeup artist and writer who lives in London. Sharlene, author of “TOWGA-The One Who Got Away” in her debut erotica novel, tells a story the Ghanaian society would like to deny and pretend doesn’t exist. The protagonist of TOWGA is unafraid of her sexuality and proudly identifies as bi-sexual. We love Sharlene, if not for anything, for her bravery.
Christine Botchway – Christine Botchway is of Ghanaian and West Indian ancestry. A dentist by profession, Christine writes poetry, plays and songs in her spare time. Her first novel, Spears Down, one of the finest yet widely unknown African novels, was published by Macmillan Pacesetters in 1988. Other books by Christine Botchway are “Where Children Play”, “The African Teapot”, “The Dream Called September”, “The Jasmine Candle”and “Friends Of The Forest”.