On Saturday, 3rd September, I attended for the very first time, a book reading session organized by two well-known Ghanaian authors, Nana Awere Damoah and his best buddy, Kofi Akpabli.
They were joined by a guest author, Alba K. Sumprim, the author of ‘The Imported Ghanaian’.
The trio made my evening extremely awesome. In a previous post on Facebook by Nana Awere about the venue, he explained that JamRock means Jamaica in the Patois language and the owners chose the name because they wanted to share the concept of food and culture.
The owners had felt that the Jamaican culture is very similar to Ghanaian culture. For them it is all about the culture and yea, food!!! And by the way, if you didn’t know, Ghanaians don’t joke when it comes to their culture and, well, their Waakye Joints.
I laughed out loud when I heard the MC, Mr Kojo Akoto Boateng, refer to himself as the Headmaster or Principal of Fufu. He is a presenter on Citi FM and he definitely doesn’t play with his fufu.
At this point, I remembered my friend Nobert, at Ashesi University, who introduced me to Waakye and Garri. I’m now craving some of it as I write this! JamRock Restaurant gives you that feeling of wanting to share food, share a joke, share a Coke or Club or just chill taking selfies or better enough, listen to authors reading excerpts from their books.
This book reading initiative is unique in that the authors are not just doing it to just get their books purchased; their vision is to make reading hip again. Reading is not everyone’s favorite hobby.
However, reading is very vital and, apart from it being a source of knowledge, it helps the individual to think broadly.
Nana Awere says that Rome was not built in a day but every day and this implies that if we start by taking baby steps, we could achieve great things.
This campaign is to make reading a pleasurable activity not just in Ghana but on the entire continent. It is meant to oppose the opinion that ‘the only way to hide something from an African is to put it in a book’.
As the authors read excerpts from their books, starting with Kofi Akpabli with his book ‘Romancing Ghanaland‘,people kept streaming in. By the time the reading was starting at 4.30pm, only a handful had arrived but after some time (I mean, the African time), the place was full to capacity. I think the next discovery that scientists need to focus on is how to synchronize the African clocks.
Our clocks are always about 1 hour behind. Anyway, Nana Damoah followed and read a chapter from his book ‘I Speak of Ghana’ and so on and so forth. Some of the chapters read were very hilarious while others were thought-provoking; others created some kind of nostalgic feeling about good old days…especially for those who graduated from College years ago. For me, the session was very informative and entertaining as well. I’ve learnt a lot about Ghanaian culture just from reading these books and interacting with Ghanaians as well.
When Alba was reading from her book ‘The Imported Ghanaian’, especially the part about the popular ‘you are invited’ phrase, I remembered my first few days when I came to Ghana, around September 2012. She reminded me of the journey of adapting to Ghanaian culture and being able to pass stuff around using my right hand or even replying to greetings with “by God’s grace”. Nana Awere made me laugh when he read from his book ‘I Speak of Ghana’.
My personal favorites were:
*You know you are in Ghana when the police cars with siren blaring are full of people going to a wedding
*You know you are in Ghana when a four year old asks: “Who put off the lights? President Mahama?”
*You know you are in Ghana when a census enumerator asks you, “Your wife, is she married?”
Nana Awere ended by saying that it is only in Ghana where you can never have a dull day. And I think this is true to a great extent. I used to wonder why Ghana is a very peaceful country compared to many other countries until I realized that most Ghanaians always want to be happy.
Ghanaians love their music, they love their Azonto, they love their Waakye, they love their trotros, they love God, they love their country and that is all that matters. This is something that other African countries need to emulate. We should be proud of our cultures, our food, etc.
The one thing that Ghanaians really hate most is Dumsor…especially when Barcelona and Real Madrid are playing. (Haha, the last bit is a little exaggerated but true) To sum up, I really had fun at the Ticklin’ Di Sebiticals book reading event. I met like-minded people and made friends as well.
If you are reading this and you’ve never attended a session like this, make it a point to attend one. If you live in Kumasi and you missed the JamRock edition, or even the previous one at Osu, don’t be sad…the authors will be in Kumasi on 24th September at Kumapley Auditorium, KNUST.
Tell a friend to tell a friend and let us support these great authors in their mission of making reading hip again!
Some of the books written by these three authors include the following: Sebitically Speaking, I Speak of Ghana, Tickling the Ghanaian, Romancing Ghanaland, The Imported Ghanaian, A Place of Beautiful Nonsense among others. You can purchase the books on major online vendors such as Amazon or major bookshops in Ghana. Let us support the made-in-Ghana books!