We will be streaming the book launch tomorrow live on YouTube.
Please bookmark the link
Not just a book launch…it’s a family gathering.
Nana Awere Damoah’s Sebitically Speaking to me, is an ice breaker if ice is sluggishness and breaking is salvation. The book takes us into a journey of advice through satires and threads many paths from personal to political. Once we all have breath and live in the same world, everyone is likely to see a part of himself in the book and hear the call of change, the power behind the writer’s voice.
That said, Sebitically Speaking will be launched on December 4, 2015 at Teachers’ Hall, Accra from 6-8pm.
Here is an excerpt of Nana Awere Damoah’s Sebitically Speaking:
“Sebitically Speaking: The Legend of Kapokyikyi
This week, I have been thinking of my ancestors a lot. Of Kwame Bassanyin the first and second; of Nana Ntiako; of Premang Ntow the second; of Bombay; of Somiah; of Egyabima and Abakoma. Of those who have gone ahead to prepare the way for the rest of us who will surely traverse the road which doesn’t lack pilgrims, willing and unwilling. I thought of Kapokyikyi. I bring you greetings from all these names, as I reflected on the memories of their lives and times.
The spirits of my ancestors keep me company as I prepare to go to my village to see the Old Man off on his journey to join his forebears. I go to Wasa to bury my uncle Kasapreko Nana Kwame Bassanyin III, the nephew of my grandfather Nana Premang Ntow II (known in private life as Nana Kwabena Damoah). I go to the village to say goodbye to the man who bears the same name as my dad Bombay and my son.
And I think of Kapokyikyi. It is now time to tell you about Kapokyikyi. You see, Kapokyikyi is not a fictional character. Kapokyikyi was my dad’s brother; you would say a half-brother as his mum was not my maternal grandmother, Efua Abakoma. But in my language, there is no word for ‘half-brother’; nor is there a word for ‘cousin’. That word is alien to my tongue and that is why Kasapreko is my Wofa. Kapokyikyi’s mother was one of the fourteen wives of Nana Premang Ntow; go to Wasa Akropong (the big city) and ask of Africa Woman, Nana Asieduwaa, and she will proudly tell you that she was the youngest wife of my grandfather. She is alive and still goes to her farm. I don’t know her age; I doubt that she does. Nana Asieduwaa, it was, who asked me once when I visited with the Wasalets:
“Nana Awere, when are you having your fourth child?”
“Nana, we are done”, I replied.
“Nonsense,” she blurted, “if your mother had stopped at three, would you have come into this world?”
Nana Asieduwaa, the Africa Woman.
Kapokyikyi lived in the old palace, which was the traditional family house and the residence of Kasapreko before the new palace atop the hill near the Ehyira River was built. I don’t remember Kapokyikyi being married. So he ate in the house of his sisters and slept in Kasapreko’s palace.
Kapokyikyi contributed no chop money. The little money he had, he spent it at Liberty Base, where the ‘hot stuff’ was sold. The stuff that Kofi Akpabli says no one ever drank and smiled.
VC 10. Kumepreko. Anferewoase. Efie Nipa. Akpet.
My uncle, Kapokyikyi, was hardly ever sober.
But his mind was sharpest when he was not sober.
And he certainly spoke his mind.
Mostly to Kasapreko. He who was reputed to speak once and definitely.
So one day, Kapokyikyi was said to have confronted Kasapreko on an issue and asked him, “Nana, wo gyimi a, wonnhu?” meaning, “Nana, don’t you realise it yourself when you are being stupid?”
I said it o! I did! That what a man says when drunk, he thought about whilst sober.
Kapokyikyi would exercise his sharp tongue even on his sisters who fed him, at the risk of losing his next meal. Ka na wu (speak your mind and damn death), he would say.
This week, I say I am thinking of my ancestors oo. Of Bassanyin. Of Ntiako. Of Kwame Atta. Of Yorke. Of Premang Ntow. Of Kapokyikyi.
I am thinking of the founding fathers of our nation, Ghana. I think of the courage of the ex-servicemen, the veterans of World War II, who stood up to the colonial powers. I think of Nii Kwabena Bonne III. I think of Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey. I think of the vocal activists who shouted themselves hoarse and spoke out to get us our independence.
And I ask, what has got our tongue as a people?
I read the articles of the late writer and lecturer, Professor PAV Ansah, in these reflective moments; I juxtapose them against the current times and I ask, what has made us so silent as a people in the face of issues that demand that we speak out and straighten the crooked paths our leaders are traversing in open view?
Did the culture of silence in the eighties produce citizens of silence?
Where from this culture where we speak from our stomachs instead of from our minds? Where political patronage defines the exercise of our speech and the fear of being tagged restrains us from expressing our views on national issues?
Unless we all speak out about our speedy spiral into the valley of national ineptitude, no-development and directionless-ness without fear of being branded, there will be no hope of a turnaround. That ka na wu attitude.
I think of Kapokyikyi. I think of my own dad, Bombay, who called a spade a spade. ‘Old solider never dies’, he would say. Friendly but firm. Brother and close friend of Kapokyikyi. Kapokyikyi who would tell Kasapreko to consider his own folly, sɛbi sɛbi.
Every leader needs a Kapokyikyi. Okay, those who are biblically inclined would say a Nathan, but one definitely infused with the spirit, whether brewed or unseen.”