DAkpabli Readathon Outdoors Martin Egblewogbe 

For immediate release  

Accra, October 10, 2017 

                                       

Radio show host and author, Dr. Martin Egblewogbe, of Writers Project fame, has been announced as the latest guest reader for the National Book Reading Campaign. Dubbed the DAkpabli Readathon, the initiative seeks to promote book reading for pleasure across Ghana as well as local authorship. 
“I have been observing the progress of the Readathon train and I am happy to have been offered a place on it” said an excited Martin who holds a PhD in Physics. The author is the sixth guest in the programme and he joins Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng, Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, Ruby Goka, Alba K. Sumprim and Empi Baryeh, who have all left their marks on the Readathon train. 
During his guest-tenure, Martin is expected to feature along the main Readathon stars, Kofi Akpabli and Nana Awere Damoah in their public reading activities for the next three months across the country. 
“We look forward to the dynamics of an all-male reading team again. Martin is solid on Ghana’s literary scene and our fans will be thrilled to have him,” said Damoah who is co-founder of DAkpabli. 
Martin is the author of the collection of short stories “Mr. Happy and The Hammer of God and other Stories”. His writing has appeared in a number of collections, such as the 2014 Caine Prize Anthology, PEN America’s “Passages Africa” (2015), the collection of short stories “All The Good Things Around Us”, and “Litro #162: Literary Highlife”. Several others of his stories have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and online.
Martin also co-edited the anthologies of poetry “Look Where You Have Gone To Sit” and “According To Sources”. He is a co-founder and director of the Writers Project of Ghana. Martin brings onboard the Readathon train deep insights and knowledge about the literary scene and passion for literature, which will be particularly beneficial during the interactive sessions of the Readathon.
Photo credit: Jane Akomea-Agyin

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Liberia Meets Ghana Cultural Exchange 

BOOK READING IN MONROVIA

In 2015, two Ghanaian writers Kofi Akpabli and Nana Awere Damoah gave themselves two targets: to do quarterly public book readings and to extend the activity beyond Accra. The aim is to promote reading and writing especially, among the youth of Africa. They dubbed it DAkpabli Readathon. 
To date, not only have the duo done several readings in Accra, they have extended their literary event to Tema, Kumasi, Ho and Takoradi. Actually, they have also pushed the frontiers beyond the country’s shores. In April this year, Nana and Kofi read to a delighted group of Ghanaian professionals in Lagos.
The DAkpabli Readathon team has been invited by Forte Publishing, which organises MONROVIA READS, for a mini-fest of reading, literary workshop and culture in Monrovia on 18 and 19 August 2017. They are also going to hold a mentor’s session for young Liberian writers. 

Our visit is also a cultural exchange event which will promote the neighbourly relationship between Ghana and Liberia, as well as taking reading and literacy advocacy across the continent. 

Author Profiles
Kofi Akpabli is a writer and a teacher whose latest work has been published in a new Commonwealth Non-Fiction Anthology launched in the UK in May 2016.  He is a two-time winner of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist for Arts and Culture. Kofi has also won GJA and National awards in Culture and Tourism. He writes a travel column Going Places in The Mirror newspaper, published weekly in Accra.
Amongst his books are: Harmattan – a Cultural Profile of Northern Ghana, Romancing Ghanaland: the Beauty of Ten Regions, A Sense of Savannah – Tales of a Friendly Walk through Northern Ghana, and Tickling the Ghanaian – Encounters with Contemporary Culture. Kofi’s latest work Made In Nima has won a place in an African anthology featuring writers from 14 countries which was published by the Commonwealth in London. 
Nana Awere Damoah is a writer and a technical services consultant. A British Council Chevening alumnus, Nana started writing in 1997, when he won first prize in the Step Magazine National Writing Competition. He is the author of seven books: Quotes by NAD, Nsempiisms, Sebitically Speaking, I Speak of Ghana, Tales from Different Tails, Through the Gates of Thought, and Excursions in my Mind. His seventh book, Quotes by NAD, has just recently been published as an ebook and paperback on Amazon.

Award-winning author Elizabeth-Irene Baitie Joins DAkpabli Readathon Train!

The DAkpabli team is excited to announce the Guest Author for the first quarter of 2017!
elizabeth-irene
Elizabeth-Irene Baitie is a Medical Laboratory Director and a multi-award winning writer of contemporary children’s and Young Adult (YA) fiction.
 
Her first book, A Saint in Brown Sandals, was published by Macmillan in 2006 for junior readers and was awarded the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa that year.
 
Her YA novels – The Twelfth Heart, The Dorm Challenge and Rattling in the Closet – have all been awarded the Burt Award for African Literature.
 
Elizabeth-Irene lives in Accra and is married to Rami. They have three children.
 
Join us welcome Elizabeth-Irene onto the reading train and do catch her at an event near you soon!
 
#GHReads #ReadGhana #DAkpabliReadathon

Ho was Hot!

Collage of pics_Ho.jpg

Behind every DAkpabli reading is a great team. 11 team members left from Accra to join the Ho planning team for #RomancingHoSebitically.

Kofi Akpabli, Ruby Goka and I wish to thank the team:

Oscar Azameti
Fianu Clara
Abena Agyeiwaa Frimpong
Alexander Kwaku Adu-Lartey
Kwame Nyamekye (who came down from Kumasi purposely for the Ho event and returned right after)
Nana Elikem 
Kobby Blay
Elizabeth Johnson

Thanks again to the indefatigable Ho team:

Lambert Coffie Atsivor
Odadee Kingnobert
Richard Billy Hanyabui
Walter (Hope FM)
Kofi Gbedemah
Kwadwo Duodu
Fafali Klu

We are indebted to our sponsors and partners: WearGhana, Sasa Clothing, Norte Special Sobolo, MTN, Fali’s Fruit Bay, AJ’s Housekeeping Services, threesixty Gh, Citi FM, the various FM stations in and around Ho who interviewed us, the Ho Technical University SRC, Unicorn Car Rentals who provided a comfortable bus to take us to and from Ho, and Shekinah Glory Hotel, Sogakope, which provided free accommodation to the entire team of 12, including the chauffeur.

A special appreciation to the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creatives Arts, Mamaga Abla Dzifa Gomashie, who continues to give us vim. She made time out of her busy schedule to attend the reading, stayed till the end, spoke to the students (interacted after the event as well) and even read a poem of hers!

To all of you who continue to spur us on from far and near, Akpe!

To the over 70 book enthusiasts who came to HTU SRC JCR to listen to us and ask those deep questions, to the students and staff of the schools that attended (including the Headmistress of Mawuko Girls who attended in person), you are the reason why we will plod on to get Ghana reading again.

You can find pictures of the event here: https://www.facebook.com/ndamoah/media_set?set=a.10154749991381202.570051201&type=3

DAkpabli Readathon: enjoying the sound of the written word.

Dr. Ruby Goka Joins Readathon Campaign

Next Stop: Horuby-goka  

Accra. November 2nd 2016. While still basking in rave reviews for its impressive Kumasi outing, the National Readathon Campaign heads off to the Volta Region to delight book lovers. Slated for November 19, 2016 at Ho Polytechnic, the event is dubbed, ‘’Romancing Ho Sebitically’’. At this much-expected session, the literati are expected to be entertained to a lively evening of literary pleasure and though-provoking discussions on Ghanaian contemporary life.

A highlight of the Ho Road Show will be the presentation of Ghanaian dentist and award-winning author Dr. Ruby Yayra Goka as the Readathon Guest Reader of the last quarter of 2016.

“I feel much honoured to be part of this movement. Indeed, this initiative is a great honour to every Ghanaian writer’’, said Ruby, who just won the Burt Award for African Literature for 2015, and is the author of 10 books which include The Step-Monster, Plain Yellow, The Mystery of the Haunted House and In the Middle of Nowhere. Six of her books for young adults have won prizes in CODE’s Burt Award for African Literature completion in Ghana.

Project partners Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli have since 2013 worked together to promote reading for pleasure among Ghanaians. Their DAkpabli initiative also provides technical support for book writing and publications. Over the months the campaign has received a boost with the coming on board of sponsors, the latest being Unicorn Car Rentals which will provide transportation for the DAkpabli team on its regional book reading tours. Other sponsoring companies are MTN, THREADEX, WearGhana, Norte Sobolo, Sasa Clothing, Fali’s Fruit Bay and  AJ’s Housekeeping Services.

“We are delighted that an army of sponsors is gradually coalescing around our dream to make reading hip among our people,’’ said Nana Awere Damoah who is also a chemical engineer.

So far Damoah and Akpabli have produced public reading events at Coconut Grove Hotel, Vidya Bookshop, SyTris Bookshop, PaJohn’s, Jamrock Restaurant, and KNUST campus.

The duo, who refer to themselves as ‘’intellectual entertainers’’, have consistently thrilled patrons with excerpts from their books such as Romancing Ghanaland, Tickling the Ghanaian Sebitically Speaking and I Speak of Ghana.

With 11 books between them, the two writers continue on their mission to make reading hip again, and to take writing and reading to the level of pop culture. They believe that reading should be done for pleasure as well, and not only for exams and industry. According to both writers, the event also aims to diversify the social offerings currently available on the entertainment scene.

“Romancing Ho Sebitically” runs between 5.30pm and 8pm, and involves four rounds of readings from the works of the three accomplished Ghanaian authors.

About the Authors

 

Kofi Akpabli is a media consultant and travel writer whose latest work has been published in a new Commonwealth Non-Fiction Anthology launched in the UK in May 2016.  He is a two-time winner of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist for Arts and Culture. Kofi has also won GJA and National awards in Culture and Tourism. He writes a travel column Going Places in The Mirror newspaper, published weekly in Accra.
Amongst his books are: Harmattan – a Cultural Profile of Northern GhanaRomancing Ghanaland: the Beauty of Ten RegionsA Sense of Savannah – Tales of a Friendly Walk through Northern Ghana, and Tickling the Ghanaian – Encounters with Contemporary Culture. Kofi is a member of Faculty, Central University. His scholarly interests include the research and dissemination of key values of African culture. Kofi Akpabli lives at a village near Accra with his wife and children.

 

Nana Awere Damoah holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). A British Council Chevening alumnus, Nana works in Nigeria as a Technical Manager.
In 1997, Nana won first prize in the Step Magazine National Writing Competition. He is the author of six books: Nsempiisms, Sebitically Speaking, I Speak of Ghana, Tales from Different Tails, Through the Gates of Thought, and Excursions in my Mind. His sixth book, Nsempiisms, was just released on Amazon globally in October 2016. Nana Awere Damoah is married with three children. He divides his time between Lagos and Tema.

 

Dr Ruby Yayra Goka is a dentist by profession. She is also a six-time Burt Award for African Literature winner for her educative young adult books. When she isn’t holding conversations with imaginary people in her head, she will be found either reading, gardening, travelling or spending time with her two dogs and turtle.

On the Sebitical Stool: KeniKodjoMeetUp and A Reading to Children

18 September 2016

Two events happened this weekend that brought me immense joy and satisfaction. Over the past couple of years, my friend Kofi Akpabli and I have been contributing our bits to the rejuvenation of a reading culture in Ghana, augmenting the efforts of organizations such as the Writers Project of Ghana (WPG holds a book reading at the Goethe Institute on the last Wednesday of every month) and Ghana Association of Writers who hold a fortnightly GAW Sunday event of book reading and poetry plus events on special days such as the upcoming GAWBOFEST which will be holding on 21st September, a holiday. In recent times, I have heard about other initiatives such as the one by Read Ghana, which is focused on providing Community Lead Read Literacy Services for Children in under-served areas in public primary schools, with other children in the community benefit as well. This effort is spearheaded by two amazing ladies – Klenam and Mary – and they have their next reading clinic slated for 21 September at Madina and Kwabenya. As I love to say, more vim to all the persons involved in these initiatives, which require our support.

Maukeni Padiki Kodjo is a blogger, writer and law student. She is the reigning Blogger of the Year, as awarded by Blogging Ghana, which is the key platform that organizes and provides an avenue for bloggers and persons who use social media to disseminate contents to connect and improve. Keni, as her admirers and followers call her, has been sharing her short stories in series on her popular blog kenikodjo.com. Some of the titles that she has churned out recently include Know Thy Man and Capital High. These stories are engaging and have huge following, who interact with the writer and offer creative suggestions for how the stories should unfold! What more can a writer wish for, eh? I see these stories quickly transiting onto screen soon, but we will discuss that some day.

This intense engagement should be part of the reasons why, after wrapping up on the latest series Know Thy Man, Keni decided to organize what, to me, is a first in Ghana: a meet-up for the fans of a blog to interact with the writer, her stories and characters, and to generally fraternize. According to Keni, the agenda included:

* Ask me anything’, an interactive Q and A

* Trivia quizzes

* ‘What would you have done?’ based on the #KnowThyMan series

* Photo shoots with some of the Kenikodjo characters

* Lots of networking and nibbles

* FUN!

And fun it was! I was unable to attend due to flight difficulties which meant I was able to get to Accra on the morning of 18th September, instead of the afternoon of the previous day as I had intended. However, again a mark of ingenuity on the part of Keni and her team, the meet-up was telecast live on Facebook, so I could follow live for a brief period but spent my evening watching the close to three hours video. In the words of Keni, “it was lit”! Young people gathering to discuss stories, characters, plots and literature. I was particularly impressed with the knowledge of the characters in the stories and quotes from the various series that the audience displayed during the trivia quiz session. Kudos to Keni! This column will be bringing you an interview with this amazing writer some time soon.

I have been part of a couples fellowship for about 14 years. This is a group of about ten couples who meet regularly to pray, study scriptures, discuss our marriages, relationships, children and other related concerns. And also to create a platform as friends to share our challenges for mutual support. And we do have fun too!

A couple of months ago, one of our members suggested that I should also make time to read to our children during one of our meetings. A bit like learning to bring charity home, since she is supposed to begin at home! After one postponement, we planned and held it on 18 September. 

Frankly, even though Akpabli and I had been reading to audiences over the past three years, this was the first time I would be reading to such a young audience. However, as my friend Jonathan Agyeman mentioned to a mutual friend who asked whether she could bring 13-year olds to our upcoming book reading in Kumasi on 24 September, I have been taking my children to most of my book readings; my eldest is only 10 years. And my kids love the book readings and will usually repeat to me their favourite portions heard. So I appreciated the fact that the children within our fellowship would enjoy the readings. My main challenge was the selections to read to them and how to space out the readings.

I worried for nothing! This was one of my most enjoyable sessions ever! I started with a reading of Akpabli’s fufu and soup articles, and then moved on to a reading from “How to Be a Nigerian” by Peter Enahoro. The kids giggled throughout. After the first two readings, I invited them to ask questions. Questions ranged from the differences between soups in Ghana and Nigeria to how to drink soup. When I took my book I Speak of Ghana to read for the second round, Kwaku Ofori-Atta, one of the kids, exclaimed that he loved the book and can he read his favourite chapter, please?

I handed over the book to him and he read the chapter “You know you are in Ghana when…”. We asked him questions after his reading which he fielded remarkably. From then on, the kids took over the reading! Each child wanted to read their portions of the various books! 
We had readings from Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (which was done by Papa Yaw), The Imported Ghanaian by Alba K Sumprim (my son NK read the chapter “You Are Invited”, which is his favourite chapter after hearing Alba read it at the JamRock event), Excursions in my Mind (my son NY read the chapter “Books and Knowledge”), Ladybird Favourite Stories for Boys (my 6-year old daughter and Papa Yaw read two stories from this book) and the Wimpy Kid collection (reading done by Papa Roberts). Each of the readers answered questions. The children asked for the meanings of the new words, with David Mankattah the most active, for which he won a prize: I vowed (he asked us to explain what the word “vowed” meant) to get him an favourite book of his choice from anywhere in the world. They also asked me about how they can also write books. Little Papa Yaw asked me if I can help him write his own book! Another vow was made!

The parents discussed the various, practical ways we can encourage reading amongst our children. My son NK contributed to this aspect of the discussion by encouraging the parents to get their kids adventure books. He showed one such book he had borrowed from the community library. 

Feedback after the reading event was really positive. Some of the parents confessed that this was their first such event, experiencing book reading in such a manner. Ato said he had listened to book discussions on BBC a number of times which usually focused on one book and the author’s experiences and views; but the format we used, where we just read from multiple books and enjoyed the sound of the written word, was unique and refreshing. The children indicated that they enjoyed it too, learnt new words and expressions. The parents remarked on the confidence exhibited by our children in stepping up voluntarily to read, for which we were proud. Some of the children answered, when asked if they had reading sessions in their schools and time set apart for library sessions, that these were not mainstream.

A good literary weekend it was for me, both from afar and near. In the words of the hymn writer, we thank God for such and humbly ask for more.

All Set for 3 Sept Reading!

​Update from Eliza Olympio of JamRock Restaurant & Grill:
Ticklin’ Di Sebiticalis

Book Reading with 

Nana Awere Damoah 

Kofi Akpabli

Alba K Sumprim
Jamrock Restaurant & Grill will offer complimentary servings of 

Mannish Water, 

Jerk Chicken, 

Festival 

Stamp ‘n’ Go
GraceKennedy will set up a free tasting table of the refreshing Grace Aloe drink for all guests to sample at the event. That’s not all….the irresistible offer to buy 1 and get 1 free is also in the offing.
Special Norte Sobolo will set up free tasting table of sobolo (sorrel) in amazing flavors
AJ Housekeeping will feature her services on the day and has graciously offered to keep Jamrock clean on the day.
THREADEX is suiting up our authors in swanky costumes
MTN “everywhere you go” 

Courtesy MTN 4G, book reading will be streaming live!
Official Photographer- Kobby Blay (yes! I tagged him 😇 he’s my friend now)
Saturday 4.30pm – 7pm
Our Live Reggae Band will thrill us to instrumental interludes between readings.
#ReadingForAndWithPleasure

#ReadingWithSwag

#Read #Eat #Dance #Drink #JamRockGh