Nana Awere Damoah, Ghanaian contributor to African Roar:
He has been asked many times why he still continues to think about oils and fats, soaps and pastes, powders and creams. And why he is passionate about the reaction that can occur when words, mere words, are brought together in the presence of an active catalyst – a thinking mind. As a practising Chemical Engineer, one would have thought that he would be more at home with figures than with alphabets. But Nana is quick to respond that his analytical skill which is germane in his work as an Engineer with Unilever is also relevant, indeed very instrumental, in his ability to weave words. An Engineer in the world of literature. A wordsmith, pun intended. Ah, yes, he used to work in a palm oil refinery as well – perhaps that explains his love for blending words, styles and forms.
Nana Awere Damoah was born in Accra, Ghana in 1975. He holds a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham, UK, a first degree in Chemical Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, and spent all his Secondary school years at Ghana National College, Cape Coast, Ghana. He speaks fondly of growing up in Kotobabi, and studying at the local Providence Preparatory School.
A British Council Chevening alumnus, Nana works with Unilever Ghana, presently as the Research & Development Technical Manager. He is an associate of Joyful Way Incorporated, a Christian Music ministry in Ghana, and was its National President from 2002 to 2004.
Nana started writing seriously in 1993 when he was in the sixth form and has had a number of his short stories published in the Mirror and the Spectator. In 1997, he won the first prize in the Step Magazine National Story Writing Competition. In KNUST, he was part of the Literary Wing of the Inter-hall Christian Fellowship, where he acted and wrote poems. His poems were published in magazines on the KNUST campus. He is the author of two non-fiction books – Excursions in my Mind (Athena Press, 2008) and Through the Gates of Thought (Athena Press, 2010). He is a contributing author in the StoryTime ezine, which is dedicated to publishing African writers of fiction. African Roar’s stories were initially selected from the best of StoryTime 2007-2009 and then edited by Emmanuel Sigauke and Ivor W. Hartmann.
Nana’s contribution to African Roar is the story Truth Floats, which he originally wrote and entered in for a writing competition organised by Joy FM (Accra, Ghana) on a representation of the Ghanaian folklore character Ananse (spider) in contemporary times, Nana weaves a web of Ananse’s sly moves from his days on campus to his working days, the antagonist being Ananse’s bosom friend Akoto. In the midst of this tango is the pretty Adoma. When two friends woo one woman, Nana reminds us in this new-old story, they are bound to descend the valley into enmity. The judicious use of traditional sayings and proverbs, in the manner of the by-the-fireside storytelling style of the Akans of Ghana, makes Truth Floats an easy, enjoyable, yet educative yarn from Nana’s loom. In the end, as with the Ananse stories of yore, good triumphs over evil and like a calabash that cannot sink in water, the truth floats to the surface, where it is evident for all to behold.
By Ivor W. Hartmann, creator, anthologist, co-publisher, and co-editor African Roar:
There is no doubt that the internet, together with digital publishing, has changed – and is still changing – the world of published literature. In the case of Africa and the African Diaspora, I certainly believe it has been for the better. Never before have so many African writers been visibly active and prolific. There is a revolution going on in the world of African literature, an African Roar that is beginning to echo around the world.
When I first started StoryTime in 2007, it was because I saw there was a need to provide more independent global online platforms for new and established African writers, a platform where all fiction genres were accepted and the only requirement was a good story well told. From the very beginning I had a dream of utilising StoryTime to build up a body of work from all over Africa and the African Diaspora, from which eventually a book anthology might be drawn. At last that dream has been realised, and could not have been possible without the enthusiasm and support of all the StoryTime authors. One of the authors, Emmanuel Sigauke, offered to co-edit African Roar with me back when it was still just a dream.
African Roar is to be the first in an annual anthology series that will continue to select the very best of what has been published in the StoryTime ezine throughout the preceding year. The story selections were made through a process of a public voting by the StoryTime readers and then a final editors’ selection. Each story then went through a rigorous editing process to ensure its highest potential.
What we have arrayed in this first anthology is an outstanding body of fiction from some of the finest emerging African writers today. With authors from all over Africa and in the African Diaspora, African Roar is now and promises to be a true cross-section of African literature.
African Roar is available to buy at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.co.uk.
For full article, see http://www.myweku.com/2010/06/african-roar-an-eclectic-anthology-of-african-authors/.