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Three reviewed books win GAW Awards

Three reviewed books win GAW Awards

Three books reviewed on this page to encourage you to buy and read them, because they were must-reads, all won first prizes at the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) Literary Awards, held last Saturday, January 21, 2023, at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Omanye Aba Hall, in Accra.

The books, “Even When Your Voice Shakes”; by Ruby Yayra Goka, won first prize in the “Children’s Story Book Category; “Steps for the Progress of the Black Race”, by Lt Col R. D. Nimako, won first prize in the “Creative Non-Fiction Category and “The Adventures of Hurricane and Tornado”, by Godfred Edusei-Derkyi, won first prize in the Maths and Science Special Award Category.

When we review a book here, the objective is to give you an idea of what the book is about, the author’s reason for writing it, and what others such as those who write the foreword, blurbs and the review think about the book. We go further to provide you our dear readers with the price and distribution points, etc., to enable you to get a copy for your enjoyment.

For the benefit of those who did not read my reviews of the award-winning books on this page, we provide you with summaries of the reviews for your information to “compel” you to get copies for yourselves, especially the ones for children.

First Book

Ruby Yayra Goka is a dentist and an award-winning writer with six of her young adult books winning awards in the Burt Award Competition for African Literature in Ghana. Ruby is committed to ensuring that African children know that their stories matter and so write books that tell their stories.

Her advice to them is, “You are not a mistake. You are special and unique and were put on this earth for a purpose. Discover your talents and dazzle us with your gifts.” This indeed is sound advice to any young person, to endeavour to shine no matter the circumstance.

In this book, Ruby tells the story of Amerley the oldest of four girls living with their mother, in a compound house in a poor neighbourhood in Accra. It’s a sizzling narrative of how Amerley, among many difficulties, was raped and with the support of a lawyer friend, brought the rapist to book.

In contrast to what happens in the poor communities, Ruby paints the picture of what happens in the affluent neighbourhoods and what goes on in some of those families. To do this seamlessly, Amerley was moved from the poor community to the rich one.

For example, while in the poor community, a family stays in one room divided by a curtain behind, which the parents sleep with the children in front on mattresses, enabling the children to hear whatever happens behind the curtain; in the rich communities, children have their individual well-furnished rooms.

Her highlights on reading, the love of Amerley for animals and her determination to survive, are positives that readers, especially young ones, would find useful. The glossary at the end is also important as it brings out the meanings to non-speakers of the vernacular.

Ruby Goka told Amerley’s story beautifully and you should get one for yourself and a few copies for the library of your alma mater.

Second Book

How many times have we not heard this rather derogatory cliché “Black man, black sense,” here in Ghana, which means in effect that the Black man does not conform to laid down norms and or mores and has his own set of ideas and ideals when it comes to business, discipline, marriage or whatever?

This and many other things, including colonisation and domination by others for centuries, have kept the Blackman and his race in the background, preventing them from asserting themselves as they should and showing the rest of the world what made them the purveyors of civilisation.

The Black race has been known to be very vibrant and led in the civilisation of the world and, therefore, the author, Richard Danso Nimako gives us a book, which he has titled “Steps for the Progress of the Black Race”, (Guides for Black Man’s Redemption) in which he attempts adroitly to awaken the sleeping Black man.

Richard Danso Nimako also suggested solutions that he believed should make Blacks progress, such as breaking the neck of ethnicity, putting national interest first, prioritising agriculture, Blacks staying in their countries to develop them, encouraging intra-African trade, uniting for progress, encouraging self-promotion and ceasing the Dependency Syndrome etc., and above all, respect for fellow Blacks.

Author Danso Nimako packed his book with a wealth of information, especially on the Black race and His Lordship Justice Alexander Osei Tutu has the following to say about the book. “In fact, the book is a must-read for all, especially Black people who have lost hope in regaining their identity.

Third Book

Bringing the Water Home (Episode Two)

In the above story, the author takes us to Kataba, where Hurricane and Tornado travel to spend their long vacation with their cousins Amina and Ayigsi. Kataba is a village in the East Gonja Municipality of the Northern Region and life at Kataba has many challenges, especially with potable water, even though Kataba sits on the banks of the White Volta River.

Hurricane and Tornado quickly immersed themselves into life at Kataba and learned many new things. True to their nature, they began to explore ways to make life in the village more comfortable for the village folk. This time it is to bring water home to Kataba by opening access to clean water and improved sanitation for the community.

Once again, Edusei Derkyi, through the use of simple, but beautiful descriptive language for easy assimilation by children, used the 53-page book to tell another story with lessons intended to teach them to use scientific methods to achieve simple tasks. Before the two girls delved into the processes of designing and constructing their water purification system, which they called the Community Water Processing System (COWAPS), the author takes readers on a tour of some of the tourist attractions on the way from the south to their final destination, Kataba.

Guess the vehicle they used for their trip. It was none other than the Kantanka Omama (4x4) a locally produced vehicle by Apostle Safo Kantanka.

The author also provides a number of diagrams constituting the designs for the water purification project in detail. There are also pictures of the tourist sites and the components of the designs. An easy and interesting read for young people.

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