The Folks Place of the National Theatre last Saturday came alive with the launch of three books authored by a senior lecturer at the English Department of the University of Ghana, Dr Mawuli Adzei.
The books, Bakudi's Ghost, (a novel), Filaments (collection of poems) and Guilty as Charged (collection of essays) were launched alongside a plethora of performances from the works of Dr Adzei that kept the audience laughing and clapping throughout the afternoon.
Praised by reviewers as must reads, the three books add to four others in the author’s anthology since 2012.
The 352-page Bakudi’s Ghost tells the story of Yusif Bakudi whose dream of playing professional football was shattered when the agent who took him to the United Kingdom abandoned him to his fate when he was 20.
With his dreams out of reach, he was confronted with a dilemma — he either joins an international Jihadist group as a martyr or go back home.
But an encounter with enigmatic Haddad in a friend’s house changed the plot.
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The work is an epic tale of one man’s midlife struggle with himself, society and the ghost of his father.
Filaments is a 154-page, a compendium of five parts, collection of musings woven into a tapestry of poetic cadences deeply rooted in history, politics, oral tradition, culture and morality.
In the 136-page Guilty as Charged, the author offers some brutal commentary on issues of national concern, disguised as short stories.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Executive Director of the Ghana Book Development Council, Mrs Ernestina Lartey Asinura, said it was regrettable that the reading culture in Ghana was declining at a rapid rate.
She said although the number of authors was increasing, readership was going down and urged parents to encourage their children to read their books rather than spend time on mobile phones.
She described the books as the work of a very creative person, as the work catalogued intriguing and interesting tales.
Mrs Asinura said the book design and quality of print met the standard benchmarks the council recommended for all publishers.
Dr Adzei said over the years he had come under immense pressure to launch his books, which he had to yield to.
“A writer has a social contract. You write because you have a story to tell and you want to share that story with your people.
“As a writer, I don’t play by convention or rules because creativity is not supposed to be confined to a prison to conform to rules and regulations of political correctness or whatsoever. I write the way I feel and I tell my stories in the way I want to tell them.
“Above all, I tell stories people are afraid to tell. Sometimes, we must be bold enough to tell our stories, however unpalatable they may be,” he said.
He said the books encompass a spectrum of social, economic and political issues that bedeviled the country, adding that some of the stories would jolt and irritate readers as he was not a writer who massaged reality.
Copy right law
A veteran poet and academic, Professor Kofi Anyidoho, for his part, said the books were highly recommended because of the intricate plots that induced laughter and tears in turns.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ziblim Barri Iddi, praised the contribution of writers to the country’s development, adding that every country must celebrate its writers or face cultural extinction.
The speech, read by the Director of the National Theatre, Ms Amy Frimpong, said the ministry would strengthen the country’s copy right regime to protect the work of writers.
A set of the three books was auctioned for GH¢5,000.