In this Part you will meet In this section you will meet two young Ghanaians. One is a pioneer of afrocyberpunk and a professional VR film maker. The other, Kadi Yao Tay, is probably Africa’s greatest expert on its huge comics industry.
You’ll also meet a Christian spiritual realist; a working physicist who writes everything from literary to science fiction; and a promising young writer who sold a story to Asimov’s
You can read through the whole chapter by following the “next” links at the end of each interview, or jump to a specific interview by using the links below. You can always return to this chapter index by clicking on the “100 African Writers of SF—Part Fifteen” link at the top of each interview, and return to the overall project index by clicking on the 100 African category, or clicking here
Great writers who are Ghanaian include Ama Ata Aidoo, Ayi Kwei Armah, and B Kojo Laing. An Accra journalist and teacher called Geosi organizes regular visits by writers to a local school (he had me and Jonathan Dotse together), in addition to interviewing African writers.
“Because people still follow that way of worship, and it still works for those who believe. For instance we have here in this region a town called Antoa and the river is called Antoa Nyama. That river is worshipped not only by the people there, but by people from other areas. It is believed that the river is feminine and very aggressive.”
The landing was at night. I could see the lights of the city. It was unbelievable to me at the time because I did not imagine that Accra was so, like, sprawling, a sea of light. I was in awe. Just in terms of seeing from an aerial view what was happening. I doubt it was the same view when I left. It was much more impressive. In that moment I began to realize that I could find a story here.
According to my mum, they started me off on English. I don’t find that hard to believe because in Ghana it’s strictly forbidden to speak local languages at school. And so most of the time I speak English. It sucks, yeah.
I’ve read brilliant books about people and communities, economics and governments; and that’s just fine; but I’m more interested in ‘What if?’ The world we see and live in is a lot less interesting than the world of What If. And if I can make you see the world of What If for just ten minutes as a possibility, if you read my story and you walk away asking what if that happened, then, you know...
The roadblock I see is that a Ghanaian writer is having to pitch his story at the West all the time. When you think about it, why should an American reader be interested in your story? Americans are churning out their own stories anyway. So I think that growing a local readership is to me the biggest barrier.”