Sam Jonah (4th from right) being assisted by Victoria Yankah to launch the book. With them are Kwesi Yankah (3rd from left), Kofi Larbi (left), the publisher, and Rev. John Ntim Fordjour (3rd from right), Deputy Minister of Education; Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng (2nd from left)  and some other officials
Sam Jonah (4th from right) being assisted by Victoria Yankah to launch the book. With them are Kwesi Yankah (3rd from left), Kofi Larbi (left), the publisher, and Rev. John Ntim Fordjour (3rd from right), Deputy Minister of Education; Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng (2nd from left) and some other officials

Prof. Kwesi Yankah launches memoir

A former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon, and former Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, has authored a book titled: The Pen at Risk, Spilling My Little Beans. 

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The 515-page memoir provides a historical account of the author’s personal life through a non-fiction narrative.

The book was reviewed by a former Chairman of the Media Commission, Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng; a senior lecturer at University of Ghana, Dr Collins Badu Agyeman; a broadcaster at the Multimedia Group, Araba Koomson; Editor-in-Chief, The Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure Awuni, and a scholar, author and journalist, Kofi Akpabli.

Prof. Yankah is the author of two award-winning books,  Speaking for the Chief, which won the Gold Book Award by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, and  The Proverb in the Context of Akan Rhetoric, which also won the Ghana Book Award.

In 2021, the author presented his intellectual biography through “Beyond the Political Spider: Critical issues in African Humanities”.

Present at the launch in Accra yesterday included the first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu; the Chief Executive of Agona East District Assembly, Janet O. Paintsil; Business mogul and statesman, Sir Sam Esson Jonah; the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo; the Inspector-General of Police, George Akuffo Dampare, and some police commissioners.

Commendation

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, commended Prof. Yankah for his dedication, commitment and contribution to the development of the country.

In a speech read on his behalf, Dr Bawumia added that the author had contributed immensely to shaping knowledge, research and governance in the country.

“I will like you to know that all the sacrifices that you have made towards the development of the country have been helpful,” he said in the speech delivered by a Deputy Minister of Education, John Ntim Fordjour, at the launch of a new book authored by Prof. Yankah.

He further described Prof. Yankah as a unique author who had a special way of consistently narrating historical accounts of issues or happenings in the country.

“Those that are yet to read the book, I must warn that when you do it in the midst of a different nationality rather than Ghanaian, please tell them that the book was written by a Fanti man because you will laugh out loud at every paragraph,” the Vice-President said.

Sir Jonah, who chaired the event, also said that Prof. Yankah was not only a writer or an author, but a major contributor in the nation’s growth.

“His new book offers readers opportunity into the life of a man who has journeyed through the various stages of the country’s development process,” he added.

About the book

Prof. Yankah said that the book took the reader back to his child and adulthood incidences, adding that “the book captures objects, localities and incidents that impacted my life”.

“Our heights as parents was normal to play basketball in the 90s, until we entered the 21st Century to be told our heights qualify us to be chess game players or cheer leaders for Cape Coast Mysterious Ebusua Dwarfs, a Ghanaian professional football club based in Cape Coast,” he said.

Prof. Yankah’s doctoral thesis earned him the Esther Kinsley Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation at Indiana University in the US.

He spent most of his working life in academia and lectured at the University of Ghana where he held several positions, including being the Dean of Students, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Head of the Linguistics Department.

Prof. Yankah retired from the university as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Affairs). 

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