The DAkpabli National Readathon is proud to announce renowned romance writer, Empi Baryeh, as its Guest Reader. The author of five novels is the newest celebrity to join the road show public reading project, which has brought book reading closer to a cross-section of Ghanaians.
During her tenure, Empi, who is a former Miss Ghana Finalist, is expected to feature along the main Readathon stars, Kofi Akpabli and Nana Awere Damoah, in their reading campaign for the next three months.
The DAkpabli Readathon is an initiative which seeks to promote book reading for pleasure across Ghana, as well as local authorship. Since its inception five years ago, it has served patrons in seven cities across the southern half of Ghana with plans to extend the campaign to the rest of the regions.
“I am excited to be back on the Readathon train with Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli. I have followed this campaign and I am amazed by how it has grown since I was last on it. I think I was the first unofficial guest reader. Yeah, I am sure. Anyway, the next few months will be awesome as we make reading hip again. I can’t wait!” says Empi who describes herself as a multi-racial writer.
By this announcement, Empi is the first guest author to make a return to the campaign. Her first appearance was in 2015 at a Valentine’s Day reading held at Coconut Regency Hotel. Other Ghanaian authors who have made appearances on the Readathon train include Golda Naa Adaku Addo, Boakyewaa Glover, Martin Egblewogbe, Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng, Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, Ruby Goka and Alba K. Sumprim. They all left their marks on the Readathon train.
Empi Baryeh has five novels to her credit: Most Eligible Bachelor (2012), Chancing Faith (2012) and Forest Girl (2018), His Inherited Princess (2018) and Expecting Ty’s Baby (2019). Her debut novel, Most Eligible Bachelor won Book of the Year in the 2017 Ufere Awards. She is a member of the Ghana Association of Writers, as well as Romance Writers of West Africa, an organisation that supports romance writers of West African origin and/or writers who write romantic fiction set in Africa.
Empi was born in Harper, Liberia, to Ghanaian parents and considers herself an honorary citizen of her country of birth. She spent the first thirteen years of her life living in various African countries, including Liberia, Nigeria, and Cameroon. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Botswana and an MBA from Clark University in Massachusetts, USA. After her Master’s, she spent six years working in Public Relations and Advertising in Ghana and Sierra Leone, before branching off into Higher Education Administration, where she started off in Research/Grant Administration for seven years. She is currently an Assistant Registrar at the Academic Affairs Unit of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana. She lives in Accra, Ghana, with her husband and their two children.
“It is exciting to have Empi back for the campaign. She brings with her awesome memories from the past and, even better, she has great content in new books to share with our readers. Empi is one of the best romance writers from Africa and we believe her experience and her attractiveness will thrill our patrons,” said Kofi Akpabli of the Readathon Project.
The date and venue for the next reading will be announced later.
Two years ago yesterday, I officially left my expatriate job, returned to Ghana and decided to take the path of entrepreneurship.
DAkpabli & Associates was born. Booknook.store was born.
Two years down the line, there have been downs, tears, failures and doubts.
Two years down the line, there have been highs, successes, new grounds and breakthroughs.
It is a journey whose destination is not really the focus. The focus is on the journey: learning, experimenting, failing, retooling, reviewing and improving.
I am grateful for grace and the friends and family who continue to support and encourage.
And customers, clients and partners who ensure that what we offer from the two businesses bring meaningful results back to us.
We thank God!
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*Tracker data from May 2018 to December 2018. Data Source: Book sales information from www.Booknook.store
I have known Ace since I was a teenager. And he was a person many of us as young people looked up to, literally – he was so tall. But we also looked up to him in that he challenged us on many fronts as a leader. More on that someday. Not today.
Today I want to touch on the making of The Rants.
My friend and partner Kofi Akpabli had been dabbling in writing and publishing for years. My first book came out in 2008 and Kofi released his first two books in 2011. From 2011, we started collaborating on book signings and then book readings. We had people approaching us individually to work on developing content, edit, advise on publishing or help get books published. With time, this aspect of our lives was growing and we found ourselves collaborating on publishing too, either on our own works or for others. But it still remained a side job, something we squeezed time for.
In 2017, after half a decade’s sojourn in Alata, I decided to return to Sikaman. In returning, I make a decision to take some time off from my full-time factory job and give some focus on what I considered a pure hobby and passion, to see if it can grow into something significant.
There were a number of people we had listed as candidates for our initial foray into publishing – mainly people who have shared a lot of their thoughts on the socio-political happenings in Sikaman, mainly on blogs and on social media.
I had been chasing and pestering Ace to publish, since 2016. He always threw me off his back, with the quip, “Who would want to read what I write? And buy what – my book?” Vintage Ace, the man who says “gellaway!” when we thank him for his kindness or support, which he gave aplenty. By the way, he launched my first book in 2008, auctioned it and wrote the first long review. And gave me a fat cheque too! Ah, I digress again.
So, he kept dodging me. Then, when I returned home in April 2017, I renewed my chase. In July 2017, I attended the launch of Manasseh Awuni Azure’s first book at the Christ the King Hall in Accra. After the launch, I hitched a ride home with Ace. We drove on the Spintex Road and on the stretch towards the Coca Cola Roundabout, after Ace had asked me what I was doing since I had been home, I told again about the need to get him published and pitched that he should allow us to publish him. Typically, he only laughed and said “gellaway!”
Early the next morning (you all know this man isn’t weak so he doesn’t sleep, right? Sleep is for the weak, he says!), he sent me a message on Whatsapp. “Let’s do it”, the message read.
He was turning 50 in a few months and was already working on a collection of his songs, for his first album which came out as My Yadah. So, he asked that we did a book as well and give both out as gifts on his 50th birthday in November 2017.
Kofi and I were ecstatic! A big vote of confidence! I was to lead on the job. I did the first compilation of Ace’s writings, mostly from his blog, mainly articles on legal issues, written as commentaries on the law and events in Sikaman from the legal angle. It came to over 170,000 words. He says “No, I don’t want my first book to be on the law. Collect my rants on Facebook and let’s see.”
That was the beginning of a rigorous 4-months, compiling the rants, getting his speeches, his poems, editing by Kofi and I and Ace and then more editing. The man teaches editing in the Law School and so we got educated some more about attention to detail.
Deciding on the final book title is a story in itself. I will leave Ace to tell it himself.
Then came the book cover design. I remember being on a bus to Cape Coast for my niece’s graduation late October 2017 and Ace, Kofi, John Benjamin Yanney the book designer (of multiPIXEL) and I, with Coby Asmah (of Type Company, who were to print the books) working on the cover design on WhatsApp and going back and forth on the options, as Ace brought feedback also from his family platform.
Then came the typesetting. We were running for time now as 20th November was fast approaching. I spent one night, a Sunday night, with John Yanney in his office as we worked on the final typeset. Ace was on a plane from London and he was proofreading the initial page proofs and scanning his handwritten edits and sending to John and I in real time. And Kofi was reviewing. On Monday morning the lights in John’s office went off so we relocated to his house and worked till 5pm. We printed the dummy of the book, and I drove straight to Ace’s house to leave it for his final review. Tuesday evening it was ready and it had more edits and more rewrites! John told me, “Tell the man to stop writing!”
We finished the final typeset with a week to go for the party, which had moved to 25th November. The files were sent to Type Company, and Uncle Coby and his team worked on the printing.
We picked up the fresh copies of Is There Not A Cause…to Rant on 24th November 2017 from the Type office, in time for the wrapping for the birthday party the following day, where each guest was given a copy of the book and CD.
Yesterday, Is There Not A Cause…to Rant was adjudged the best non-fiction book at the 2018 Ghana Association of Writers Awards, winning 1st Prize in the Kofi Awoonor Creative Non-Fiction category.
It was exactly a year of the book being in print.
Congrats Ace Kojo Anan Ankomah and thanks for making DAkpabli part of this project.
Isn’t it time to start work on the second book?
One person just donated GHS 450 so have covered 2 more libraries! We have covered 11 libraries now, with 77 books!
7 libraries to go and GHS 1,330 to cover 7 more libraries!
My dearest friend of over 30 years and Providence Preparatory classmate Michael Ohene-Effah has also donated 120 copies of his book to the #ReadingSpots libraries!
Thanks so much, Mike!
Ghana will read again.
Raised enough so far to cover 42 assorted copies of my books. 6 sets of 7 books. Dispatching to Reading Spots this week.
6 libraries covered.
12 more to go.
GHS 2,520 left to go to cover 12 more libraries.
Inbox if you wish to contribute. Check comment link below for initial post:
Contact me in comments section if you wish to support.
Ghana will read again.
Three people just donated 720 so have covered 2 more libraries!
9 libraries to go and GHS 1,780 to cover 9 more libraries!
Ghana will read again.
I came back from the Reading Spots Conference at Techiman really inspired! This charity which is dedicated to building and running libraries across Ghana, with 18 live projects running, spread from Tema through Tamale to Bolga, brought down 63 young and old volunteers for the conference.
I was touched by stories from Tease where two brothers, artisans, donated their services as carpenter and mason, to build a community library with so little money you would be ashamed to hear. The co-founder, Francis Yeboah, is a driver and he mentioned his salary to me in confidence. Some use that amount for a trip to Accra Mall. He told me, ‘Nana, as little as it is, I take GHS 100 every month to buy books and to support the Reading Spots.’ The charity is supported by funds raised by children in the UK who sell eggs and put their allowances aside to help children they would never see read.
I want to support them with my widow’s mite. I wish to donate a set of my books to each of the 18 libraries. Each costs GHS 40 and I have 7 books. I am donating GHS10 off each of the books. So instead of GHS5,040, the total cost will be GHS3,780. I am putting GHS1,260 of my profit into Reading Spots.
If you wish to help me with the balance of GHS3800 to buy them books, reach out in my inbox.
Any extra money will be used to get them some children’s books.
We can all help to create a Reading Nation.
Check out Reading Spots via their FB page and their website – https://www.facebook.com/readingspots/
Accra turned out in style and strength to support Prof Collins, Anansesem and DAkpabli to launch Highlife Time 3. What an amazing time together to honour the illustrious man called Collins! What a gathering of greats! What a celebration of Highlife through the ages!
The main band Hewale Sounds got every feet tapping, Koo Nimo got every head nodding, Prof and son Kojo got every face smiling, veteran and new musicians who got pulled up stage got everyone reminiscing, Chieff Moomen and Fapempong Acheampong got every mind mesmerised…and on and on the acts got every heart melting.
Our host – +233 Jazz Club – was simply amazing.
Whitney Boakye-Mensah: Your decor was just mwuah! You gave colour to the entire venue and event!
James Anquandah our dependable editor and proofreader on this project – yedaase!
Our courier partner Veritas, you were je, ensuring all tickets and associated drops were delivered on time, in full!
Biggles Media, Multipixels and Type Company: you designed the book, got it printed and designed and printed all the promo materials and banners used for the launch. Ayekoo!
Our sponsors – Margins Group, Joy FM, Citi FM, Joy Prime, Citi TV, WearGhana, THREADEX…you supported us to deliver!
Our MCs Mamavi Owusu-Aboagye and Kojo Akoto Boateng and auctioneer par excellence Kafui Dey, you deserve your accolades – dues paid in full, worldwide!
Diana Seade (D.S. Seade): coordinator extraordinaire!
To the entire team of officiants and DAkpabli/Anansesem protocol – Anny Kareem-Abdi Osabutey, Frank, Sekyi-Brown Reginald, Nana Elikem, Gilbert Poku and so many more…bless you!
Highlife Time forever!
For the book lover in Ghana, main issues mitigating against satisfying book cravings are as follow:
– Availability of titles
– Finding the right one-stop bookshops where they can get the books they crave and
– With the increase in traffic in cities, the inconvenience and frustration of hopping from bookshop to bookshop, and the associated stress.
For book lovers outside the capital, especially, these issues are compounded by lack of access to well-stocked outlets for books.
BookNook.store, a fast-growing online bookstore operating out of Ghana, is here to meet both the needs of authors and book lovers alike. BookNook is the bridge between author/publisher and reader.
Check out our brand new website at http://www.booknook.store and browse your heart out! New titles are being added everyday so do keep refreshing and browsing!!
And do not keep this great news to yourself – share with fellow bibliophiles!
Booknook.store: Satisfying your book cravings!