Thursday 19th Janaury 2012 will remain for me a memorable day. And it was for a number of select Ghanaians as well. Including some heavy weights of African literature like Profs Kofi Anyidoho, Ama Ata Aidoo, Esi Sutherland, Mohammed Ben-Abdallah and Atukwei Okai. In this mix were legends like Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Alhaji Harruna Attah, Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, Amma Darko and Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng.
Mingling with this august list were two young writers: Kofi Akpabli and Nana Awere Damoah.
The occasion was a special afternoon of literature with the Vice President, and to welcome his Bloomsburg editor, Ms. Nancy Miller as well as introducing her to the literature and authors of Ghana. There were readings by Meri and Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng and a hilarious reading by his Excellency the Vice President John Dramani Mahama from his upcoming book, MY FIRST COUP D’ETAT And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa, which will be published by Bloomsbury in July 2012.
What a wonderful afternoon it was!
The Vice President has taken the lead in answering the ever-present request that our statesmen leave us memoirs. May more follow this example.
“My First Coup d’Etat and Other True Stories From the Lost Decades of Africa, which already received critical acclaim from the legendary Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Commonwealth Prize winner Aminatta Forna, and US National Book Andrew Solomon.”(http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2011/07/republic-of-ghana-vice-president-john.html)
The information below is culled from the Bloomsbury catalogue: http://www.bloomsburyusa.com/books/catalog/my_first_coup_detat_hc_597
My First Coup d’Etat
And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa
By John Dramani Mahama
An important literary debut from the Vice President of Ghana, a fable-like memoir that offers a shimmering microcosm of post-colonial Africa.
My First Coup D’Etat chronicles the coming-of-age of John Dramani Mahama in Ghana during the dismal post-independence “lost decades” of Africa. He was seven years old when rumors of a coup reached his boarding school in Accra. His father, a minister of state, was suddenly missing, then imprisoned for more than a year.
My First Coup D’Etat offers a look at the country that has long been considered Africa’s success story. This is a one-of-a-kind book: Mahama’s is a rare literary voice from a political leader, and his stories work on many levels–as fables, as history, as cultural and political analysis, and, of course, as the memoir of a young man who, unbeknownst to him or anyone else, would grow up to be vice president of his nation. Though non-fiction, these are stories that rise above their specific settings and transport the reader–much like the fiction of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Nadine Gordimer–into a world all their own, one which straddles a time lost and explores the universal human emotions of love, fear, faith, despair, loss, longing, and hope despite all else.