Do make a date.
I will be honoured to have you.
Sytris Cafe is opposite Papaye on Oxford Street, Osu, Accra.
Many of you have been waiting for the hard copy.
I am happy to report that it is now available on Amazon in US, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, France, Italy and India!
Printing in Ghana is starting this week too!
Do grab a copy or two and share the news!
Thanks for all the support and prayers!
Nana A Damoah
“…Again, he captures the imperative paradigm of our time of the need for a new generation of THINKERS who will transform this ‘parched’ land called Ghana from the perennial quagmire of poverty and under-development to one in which opportunities exist for all regardless of one’s creed, tribe or party affiliation. This Nana eloquently sums in the following statement: “our generation is the game-changing generation for our country and continent. We cannot join in the chant of our predecessors; we cannot THINK at the same level, we cannot go at the same pace. We are the generation with the greatest exposure to what better conditions can be like – let’s replicate it here.”
I Speak of Ghana carries a powerful message: that of the rallying call for change across our societal strata in Ghana and Africa. It beautifully and humorously tells the Ghanaian story and as well captures our hopes, dreams and aspirations of nationhood for the next half century.”
Read the full review at: http://theoacheampong.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/book-review-i-speak-of-ghana-by-nana.html
Theo Acheampong is a Petroleum Economist, now reading for his PhD in Economics at the University of Aberdeen, UK.
I Speak of Ghana will be launched in Accra on 6 December 2013, at 6pm at Sytris Cafe (Mark Cofie house, Osu, opposite Papaye and in same building with Compu-Ghana).
Have you tried to look into the mirror to understand who you are as a Ghanaian? What image did you see? I looked into the mirror and it threw back #ispeakofghana in my face!
Are you out there wanting to understand the mind-set of the Ghanaian? Is the Ghanaian that different from any other African? What’s the difference or similarity of the Lagos traffic jam and that of Accra, Johannesburg or Nairobi? How noisy is Ghanaian “lights off” (power cut) compared to the silent din by generators crying and begging for mercy in Abuja? Do the problems of the everyday Ghanaian speak louder than any “Gbeshie” (politically intoxicated) politician on a platform gunning for votes?
To say Nana Awere Damoah has told the history of our time is an understatement. His new book yet to be launched in hard copy throws back nostalgic memories for those who have lived, are living and those who yearn to experience Ghana. For those who yearn to experience Ghana, perhaps your guidebook in simple ABC without much questions. And yet again if you are living in Ghana and want to wake up your conscience, slap yourself in the face, face some hard truth about the people we were, where we stand and perhaps where are heading this is your book.
It is the kind of book you read in hiding as a Ghanaian hoping the next person sitting next to you in that “trotro”, tram, bus, train or class won’t get to know what secrets you were hiding in reading. Shamefully telling of the Ghanaian and Ghana!
How many times do we read books about us without all the fanciful permutations, economic figures, unnecessary politicking, finger pointing and big English confusing everyone? This could pass for one written by your average market seller: hard truth, plain simple language, succinct and talking to the issues.
What language do you speak when you speak of Ghana? I Speak Of Ghana by Nana Awere Damoah is speaking to you, do you have the ears to listen?
Abubakar Ibrahim is a communications professional.
I left Ghana, the land of my birth, 20 years ago when I was only a teenager. But sometimes it feels as though I never left. The culture, the people, the sounds, and even the smells of my homeland are forever present in my life.
In the last decade, I have made certain to stay abreast of the social, cultural, political and economic changes redefining the country I call home. It is important for me to do so. Ghana is changing, and every visit reminds me of this fact. It is no longer my father’s Ghana. And it is hardly the Ghana I knew in my salad days.
Indeed, when I picked up my copy of Nana Awere Damoah’s ‘I Speak of Ghana,’ I did so not because I was compelled by the chorus of exaltation the book has received from friends and admirers of the author. I did, not because, by most account, Damoah is the finest of gentlemen, and a book of art, they say, is a self-portrait of its author.
No, I was motivated to read ‘I Speak of Ghana’ by the same consistent force that compels me to tune in to Ghanaian radio stations, read its press, and listen to its popular music. The subject is intimately familiar, and familiarity breeds interest. Anyone who speaks of Ghana speaks a language I understand.
But, hold on! Imagine a native Californian, who has never stepped foot on Ghanaian soil, attempting to make sense of what ‘Sikaman,’ ‘kotimen,’ or ‘KVIP’ means or what the author refers to as ‘Vanderpuije’s Accra’ or ‘ecomini.’ Either Damoah assumes everyone who reads his book knows the story behind the late president John Atta Mills’ public mispronunciation of the word “economy,” or that he simply doesn’t care whether the reader knows. I suspect it’s the latter.
In any case, while I maneuver the early chapters of Damoah’s essays, such as Fearful Things and Ghanaman Prose with great ease, the over-usage of local jargon is certain to confound any foreigner unfamiliar with those terrains, and especially since the author makes a haphazard effort to explain them. Clearly, the early chapters in ‘I Speak of Ghana’ are sermons narrowly tailored for the choir, the Ghanaman, with complete disregard for an inquisitive outsider.
That seems intentional. It has to be. Of the 26 essays—including a poem – in the book, nearly all are devoted to pointing out the deeply flawed habits and thinking of the Ghanaman. A few, such as ‘Are We Really Ready for the Oil,’ ‘Brown Leaves Fall, Green Leaves Fall Too,’ and ‘The Future Started Yesterday and We are Already Late,’ double as advice columns, designed to motivate the Ghanaman and their leaders to change their ways.
One essay, though, appears to have wandered into the book by mistake. Perhaps, it lost its bearings in the Volta Region, a part of Ghana that Damoah and his family toured. Sure, that adventure makes for an interesting travel story, but ‘I Speak of Ghana’ should have never been its destination. To say it is misplaced is being too generous – and that also goes for the order in which the essays are presented.
Still, if you can look past the untidiness of the essays, Damoah manages to do some special things in this book. His patriotic fervor is particularly infectious. I love how much he loves Ghana.
But here’s my biggest take-away from the I Speak of Ghana: It’s a message I have never heard any Ghanaian leader espouse. It is the urgent message Damoah sends to young men and women who, he writes, “are causing wealth loss to their generation [by] sitting on inert ideas, bottled-up potential energy and scratching the ground.” He writes that young people in Ghana “are so disillusioned they live life without any urgency.”
Damoah’s message reminds me of an article I read recently by an economist – It was an open letter to everyone under the age of 30. The author starts by narrating an old story about a guy taking a smoke break with a non-smoking colleague.
“How long have you been smoking for?” the colleague asks.
“Thirty years,” says the smoker.
“Thirty years!” marveled the co-worker. “That costs so much money. At a pack a day, you’re spending $1,900 a year. Had you instead invested that money at an 8% return for the last 30 years, you’d have $250,000 in the bank today. That’s enough to buy a Ferrari.”
The smoker looked puzzled. “Do you smoke?” he asked his co-worker.
“So where is your Ferrari?”
The lesson from this exchange, which is identical to Damoah’s message to Ghana’s people, is that time is one of the greatest assets a person owns. The economist -author said it’s the biggest financial asset that most people are not even aware they own.
What you do today will determine whether you are able to turn cigarettes into Ferraris and Damoah’s ‘Sikaman’ into the land of opportunities.
David Dankwa is a Ghanaian-born financial news journalist in the United States and currently editor of The Africonomist, an online busines newsletter focused on Africa.
I Speak of Ghana is an honest journey of deft oration replete with the sounds (from the harmonious to the cacophonic), smells (including the pleasant and unpleasant), sights (from the eye-catching to the embarrassing), frustrations, triumphs and the mundane – everything that makes the Ghanaian experience finds its way into this book.
Unlike the typical ranting about Ghanaian situations, Nana performs an insightful examination of the heart of the matter. Dissimilar to empty praise, Nana thoroughly embraces the issues that give us hope as people connected to Ghana.
Kwabena Opoku-Agyeman is a PhD Student in Literature, West Virginia University, USA
I have read I Speak of Ghana. Yes I have. I put down my tab, and go back to read and cringe. I can’t even sing Ghana my happy home again. You could not have a written a better book! Yet again, Nana, I honestly think you are in the minority o, the people who are truly proud as Ghanaians. Why? Because you are one of the few who look beyond party colours, except when it is football.
You have written a book that points out the things that should make us proud, but as well as being frank about the numerous things we do as Ghanaians that take us back. The Ghanaman police will always be my favourite, one actually screamed at me for speaking too much English!
Kudos to you for having pride in our country and giving us hope, if not for ourselves, for the future generation.
Akosua Steele-Dadzie is an educationist based in Ghana and UK.