Two new books have been launched in Accra to enhance the local literature on Ghana’s culture and tourism. Written by two-time CNN African Journalist Award Winner Kofi Akpabli, ‘Romancing Ghanaland- the Beauty of 10 Regions’ and ‘Harmattan-a Cultural Profile of Northern Ghana’ were unveiled at an impressive ceremony at the British Council. The literary night saw the coming together of personalities in the media, arts and tourism scenes.
“Through your eyes we are able to know our country better, we are able to see Ghana in a refreshing light,” Dzifa Gomashie the Guest of Honour told the author in her launch address. Madam Gomashie, who is also the Deputy Minister of Tourism and the Creative Industries, explained that the fields of tourism and culture require writers who are endowed to express themselves with flair as well as precision. ‘’Our work involves selling Ghana and the nation needs travel writers who can paint pictures with words.”
‘Romancing Ghanaland’ is a travel book that celebrates the cultural and natural beauty of Ghana. With a foreword by Prof. Esi Sutherland, the work engages people and places while exposing the public face as well as the ‘private parts’ of Ghana’s attractions. It also brings to Ghanaian readers a beautiful testament of their nation and shows the rest of the world why Ghana remains God’s own country.
The second book, ‘Harmattan,’ explores the landscapes and lifestyles of Ghana’s three northern regions. Madam Melanie Kasise of the Sirigu Women’s Organisation for Pottery and Arts (SWOPA), provided the preface to a work that focuses on how the various communities engage their culture and environment. Harmattan is about the wind of change that can happen to a place. This publication ‘re-brands the North in a positively refreshing light.’
The Head of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Centre for Traditional Leadership at UPSA, Lepowura Alhaji M.N.D. Jawula was Chairman for the occasion. Lepowura Jawula, who is a traditional Chief, and a former Chairman of the Ghana Football Association, stated that the contents of the two books serve as impetus to stimulate national integration.
The President of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Nana Anim lauded the writer for pursuing a path that markets the country’s culture and tourism. Nana Anim, whose federation is the umbrella body of Ghana’s tourism trade associations, challenged the media to take up reportage in the area more seriously as politics and sports are not the only aspects of Ghanaian life.
The book review was by Ms. Kinna Likimani, daughter of famous Ghanaian playwright, Ama Atta Aidoo. In an almost extempore presentation, the reviewer highlighted the travel adventures and culinary experiences of the author. Ms. Likimani declared that the writer’s penchant for carrying his readers with him on his journeys makes him a must-read within the African literary landscape.
Also, at the event were Ken Ashigbey, the CEO of Graphic Communication Group Limited, Dr. Agambila Vice President of the Ghana Association of Writers and Ms Abigail Tagoe, Marketing Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority.
In his own remarks, the author, Kofi Akpabli said it was such a delight to tour the length and breadth of Ghana to gather materials for the two books.
‘‘Though challenging, it is also my passion and I can say one never gets tired of seeing the many different faces of this place we call Ghana.’’ The writer, who is a Faculty Member of Central University is a columnist of the Mirror and Business and Financial Times. Books he has also authored are ‘’Tickling the Ghanaian- Encounters with Contemporary Culture’’ and ‘’A Sense of Savannah- Tales of a Friendly Walk through Northern Ghana.’’
In an auction sale, the Graphic Group Communication Group bought the first auctioned copies. The event was enlivened by performances from the National Dance Ensemble, Nana Asaase and Chief Moomen, a spoken-word artiste who brought the house down with his romantic ballad ‘Savannah Love.’
‘Romancing Ghanaland- the Beauty of 10 Regions’ and ‘Harmattan-a Cultural Profile of Northern Ghana’ were published by TREC. The glossy, full-colour books will soon be available at all major bookshops in the country.
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