Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Adult that Bed-wets!

 
By Emmanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu 





I have always wondered
how mothers willingly contain the frequent cleaning-up of children’s waste
discharges. But then their toleration of that drudgery is mainly dependent on
the age of the child. It would be unpardonable for a grown child to urinate
while asleep, let alone an adult. An adult’s urine is sheer nasal torture, especially
given his complex biology and food habits. We would not forgive the adult that
bed-wets, for two reasons. First, the sheer acidity of his product is
unsettling; and secondly we would feel disappointed at his treacherous bladder. In the
case to be discussed, it is not just one adult but a swarm of them, each
contributing a quota towards the formation of a huge, embarrassing  compost of odour.


The foregoing  is a mere analogy to depict a situation in
which someone you know had some education, exposure and sophistication begins
to exhibit a totally despicable primitive attitude, letting out a kind of
orientation that places him in the same constituency as the unlettered among us. His outbursts belie
his learning yet his appearance and profile assert membership to civilisation. He
brandishes a university degree; shows an awareness of trends in fashion,
politics and social life;  he probably  has a plum corporate
job, travels overseas, and has all the trappings of a modern being, including
ownership of smartphones and other state-of-the-art gadgetry  –  devices
that should ordinarily enhance his access to knowledge. And with his obsessive
blackberry phone, this creature, a fellow youth,  sends you  broadcasts, warning  you of killer apples, oranges and suya that have been supposedly poisoned by the hands of Boko Haram, that faceless entity that makes a hobby of dispatching  innocents. No, he is not done, this informant, you must also not wear a particular colour of dress today or tomorrow: the occult among us have concluded plans with Death to pluck away people wearing certain colours. And then "switch off your phones tonight" he says, some radiation from Mars of all places is on its way to haunt humanity. Did he not also warn you of killer telephone numbers sometime ago? He cares, that's why he's obsessed with your safety! He continues to send you similar ridiculous messages bearing the same evidence in
foolery, grapevine productions he could not employ his overrated brain to
scrutinize. In his communications, you see two individuals in one: a learned
fellow on the one hand and a garnished illiterate on the other.


This matter is not as
frivolous as it sounds, for it reveals a hollowness in cerebral engagement and
a symptom of intellectual anemia in the average Nigerian youth. The indictment
goes further to embarrass our education sector, a system that tends to develop,
even unsatisfactorily, only  the social
and academic departments in the youth, leaving his intellect and thought-power
totally fallow. Today’s youth is a mere spectator of intellectual discourse, if
not a hater of it, but a robotic consumer of social products, a fun addict, and
a fan of materialism. His civilization begins with the Internet and
show-business  and ends with high-end
fashion and trendy telephones, while his inner being – his intellect – is left
pathetically crude so that superstition and blind religion can have a field
day.





Meanwhile, one can
easily forgive the uneducated individual for hawking a rumour as primordial as
death by telephony and dress colour – just as mothers would tolerate bed-wetting by relatively
young kids. On the other hand, it is tantamount to adult bed-wetting  for a fellow who had invested a large part of
his life in educational refinement to spew baseless and brazen rumours – and we
would not so easily forgive that. For, in the latter, we mourn not only a
costly waste of time in the classroom but also the fact that an individual who
is properly equipped by the circumstance of higher education to disabuse other
minds of misconceptions, and torpedo the propagation of a silly falsehood, is
actually a willing courier of rumour. This has a wider implication.

One of such
implications is that his complicity further authenticates the rumour, as the less-knowing would not bother to put up some skepticism. ‘If it comes from him then it must be true’. And then the network
of rumour swells, giving rise to a more pervasive climate of fear.


This piece was provoked
as much  by the denigration of education through the involvement of educated individuals in this grapevine
circular, as by the  staggering population
of the converted. Scores and scores of fellow educated youths – and ‘educated’
here is used in a rather cynical sense – blared forth warning messages that lack the least content of cogency. Recognition however,
must be given to the fact that the youth’s harassment by superstition merely
reflects a society’s belief pattern, an anomaly that could have been upturned
by a robust intellectual culture that would subject all contentious  phenomena to the dialectics of reason and
tests of validity. This societal belief in superstition had also catalyzed a fear-induced
pentecostal spirituality in the Christian faith, for instance.


Now before I am termed
a blind idealist, let me make it clear that I do not doubt the possibility of
witchcraft. Much as I  do not have
knowledge of spiritual laws, I do not believe that witchcraft or black magic
has the power to affect us in the manner stated, otherwise we could concede to
it the power to do everything, even the power to alter the entire contents of
this piece and replace same with an entirely different version that is a  tribute to diabolism, before you get to read it. Our society
has ceded so much space to magic and superstition, leaving no more than a mere
foot-space for men – and that little space is yet animated by fear.


Just like similar
rumours of evil magic in the past, these ones have fizzled, but mind you the fact that commentaries like this rained to debunk the falsity of these concoctions does not mean that your informant has now been properly educated, no. Expect another soon. The whole wave of superstitious rumour-mongering comes as episodes  in one huge, endless soap-opera. We had heard of okada passengers disappearing the moment
they attempted to wear so-called bewitched helmets. Sometimes one suspects that
these rumours are actually intended as comic reliefs to a people tossed dizzily
about by a myriad of national woes. But this must stop. The comedy is too
costly in a society where superstition is a living culture. Let every educated
Nigerian who pressed a button to propagate any of such messages bury his head in
shame: he is an adult that bed-wets.







Emmanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu is a young Nigerian intellectual who is very keen about the written word. His articles have appeared in several national dailies and blogs. His first literary work is due for publication soon. Emma lives in Lagos. See Emma's blog Here



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Monday, 27 August 2012

Movie Review: Desmond Elliots In The Cupboard



 By Cynthia Ugbe


 Watching Desmond Elliot's movie In The Cupboard reminded me of John Grisham's novel  The Testament. The stinkingly rich Desouza family is archetypal of the Troyfelan  family in The Testament. Both families have issues. Issues that find their way back to childhood. In both stories, the siblings never grew up together. Growing up in the family was simply a formality. The real life existed out there. All they needed was wait, wait till they came of age and phew! Off they went to different parts of the world, only to return when the old man died. You know the drill with stories like this? Home coming aint exactly like family reunion!  Why? Old wounds are reopened, egos clash, conflict of interests ensue, greed, secrets... the list could stretch on! Shades of the typical spoilt rich kid syndrome. Talking on the title of the movie, Director Desmond Elliot says it could have been Skeletons in the cupboard! Changed it on second thought.. now, in the cupboard is cool but Skeletons in the cupboard? You're right! Desmond Elliot got lucky on that one!
 Okay. To the scoop of the movie. The six  Desouza siblings  are gathered with their mother, the elegant Veronica 'Ronnie’ Desouza ( Biola
Williams) after the death of their father to hear the old man's will. They have come back from different parts of the world. There is a lot of salivating going on. Of course you can't see it but it's in their eyes when they look at each other and at the envelope containing the will. They all want a share of the old mans booty!

The will is a bag of secrets.


It hits every one like a bullet!


First is the startling revelation that Tega the second son is not a Desouza! Imagine having to find out that your family is not your real family! All hell is let loose when this secret is revealed! But it is just the beginning! More skeletons abound in the cupboard. What follows is a twisting and thickening plot that gets deeper and deeper until all members of the Desouza family are swimming neck deep in it... including their lawyer! The Desouza fortune had become a looming cloud over them.. threatening to tear the family apart!
 Biolla Williams plays the role of their matriarchal mother Caroline Ronnie Desouza who holds the answers to most of the questions, but she too must tread veeery very carefully. The over ambitious first son is Uti Nwachukwu. He is sly and dangerous but he does not know about the lawyers sizzling affair with his homosexual sister. She too has her eyes on the booty and the lawyer is her ace card... her one way ticket to the kingdom of wealth!

Other siblings are not left out in the Saga. They too are hatching their own plans, manipulating, creeping, hacking their way into the Desouza treasure chest! The last child Tara finds solace in her camera.. she is recording everything. Admist all the chaos, one thing still holds them together. They are family. So they must fight, and find that love that once held them together. The movie is set in the modern city of lagos.
          Desmond Elliot
In The Cupboard is an intriguing family saga that aims to highlight the Importance of families sticking together says Director Desmond Elliot.  "These days it is so disheartening to see
brothers and sisters at each other's throats over
issues of land, property and other things. This
movie just goes to show family are meant to stick
together". The movie was co produced by Caroline Danjuma and stared the likes of  Ini Edo, Uti Nwachukwu,
Lydia Forson, Morris Sesay and Biola Williams. In The Cupboard is currently showing in cinemas nationwide. 
 



Cynthia Ugbe is a banker and a Theater Arts graduate of  The University of Nigeria Nsukka. She is also a model, Aspiring  film producer and Movies Editor of  TER. Cynthia writes from lagos.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: Nolly wood takes off on The Last Flight To Abuja













 Award winning director Obi Emelonye must be a very happy man right now. .. Do you you remember The Mirror Boy? Winner of Break through Artiste Monaco film festival 2011, winner Best young actor African Movie Academy Awards 2011, Two prestigous Screen nation awards 2011. Well, this is the guy behind  the movie and he’s done it again!

The memories from the huge success of his latest movie last Flight to Abuja must be like golden pearls right now! That’s no exagerration.. here’s the gist. The movie was premeired last Friday at The Palms Shopping Mall with huge media presence, talk about celebrities! Corporate Nigeria was present too.. big names like Diamond bank.. blah blah blah. Ok lets cut to the chase. I wasn’t watching the movie with the eye of a critic. I left my critic lenses at home but this is what I have to say.

As the saying goes; a good story alone doesn’t make a good movie, there are other elements too. This movie had them. With realistic acting and compelling dialogue, the likes of Jim Iyke, Omotala Jalade, Hakeem K Kazeem, Ali Nuhu and Jide Kosoko boldly brought the directors concept to light; fluid movements and all. The movie is a portrayal of loopholes in the aviation industry.  I have been wondering if it is a coincidence that this movie is coming at a time that the aviation industry in Nigeria just suffered a fatal blow. You know what I am talking about rite? Of course! The dana plana crash! God bless our souls. Now, its no gainsaying when we say that Nollywood has taken off.. Maybe you are still stuck with the likes of those movies we used to watch when we were kids.. Nneka The Pretty Serpent and Living In Bondage .. What of  Isakaba? Don’t want to go into the hilarious antics they dished out to us in the name of effects rite now,no disrespect to old Nollywood but new Nollywood has gone past that level, at least today we can listen to intresting dailogue, enjoy an intrigiung plot and even spare our selves the horror of predicting the next sequel of events, the next scene, even the next lines! You did that with the old Nollywood movies rite? Well, everythings changed now. 

The movie is about this company that  records huge profit in business so it decides to give the members of the board of directors a treat - An all expense paid flight to Abuja, can you dig that? With all the arrangements made, the duo and other passengers board the Flamingo flight to Abuja on their all expense paid trip.. well, all expense paid trip turned out to be the trip they all wished they never made. Sadly the plane crash landed somewhere in Ibadan. Why? - technical issues. The same technical issues we’ve been battling all our lives! Go watch the movie for more gist. The acting was good, camera actions and movements where also commendable, good plot, good storyline just that they could have done better with the quality of the camera as the movie appeared blurred on the gaint cinema screen. The camera also failed to project colour in the movie. Asides that, every other thing was commendable - The crashing  plane appeared real to some extent, it surpassed the normal Nollywood fake crashes! lol. View pics below. Thanks to Bella Naija!


                                                             

                                                                     Obi Emelonye                                  
                                                           
                                                       
                                                                   Halima Abubakar                



                                                                   Uti Nwachuckwu



                                                                Damilola Adegbite


                                                                         Nice



                                                                   Mabel Makun


                                                                           Adams


                                                 Captain Matthew & Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde



                                                                   Yaw and AY


                                                               Mabel & AY Makun





                                                                Jeffery Daniels



                                                                 Anthony Monjaro


 Piece written by Cynthia Ugbe




                                                                 






 Cynthia Ugbe is a Banker and a Graduate of Theater arts from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. She is also a Model, aspiring Movie Director and Movies Editor of TER. Cynthia writes from Lagos.










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                                                                Contact us
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Monday, 23 July 2012

Little victories, A chat with South African author Judy Croome

Judy Croome is a South African writer of spiritual fiction and poetry. She is the author of Dancing In The Shadows Of Love and A Lamp At Midday – a collection of poetry. Judy’s story reminds us that we all have something special within us, a gift, with which we can bless the world. We may not recognize it, we may not believe in it, but it's always there and only when we finally find the wisdom or courage to embrace it do we truly begin to live. She inspires us to celebrate our little victories. Judy is our 100th follower on twitter!
 


 To start with, do tell us who you are,where you come from and what you do.

Although I now live in Johannesburg, the economic powerhouse of Africa, my childhood was played out in the Zimbabwean bush. Born in a little village called Zvishavane, I’ve spent most of my life in South Africa. My diverse career path has had me working as a waitress,a bartender in an English pub (to earn money to pay for a hot air balloon ride for my Mom and myself!) and as an accountant, which was my career for many years. 

Always fascinated by astrology, I resigned as Chief Financial Officer for an internationally linked accountancy firm when I got married, and spent the next decade practising evolutionary astrology and dabbling in writing novels. I loved helping people through crisis times in their lives but, eventually, I was so drained from all the emotional counselling, I decided it was time to follow my own destiny and concentrate on my dream of writing fiction. So…here I am! 


How did you learn about us?

A writing friend, bestselling romance author KiruTaye,retweeted one of your tweets and I thought, “Hmmm, that looks like an interesting blog!”

How did you feel when you received the congratulatory message that you are our 100th follower on twitter?

I felt…squeeeeeeee! It’s so exciting! And I hope TheEmergeReview will soon be celebrating your 1000th  Twitter follower.

Lol, Thanks!
Tell us about your books.

I’ve had short stories and poems published in various magazines and anthologies. One story, “The Place of the Doves” was shortlisted for the AfricanWriting Flash Fiction 2011 competition. Acollection of poetry “a Lamp at Midday” (covering a variety of themes such as loss, faith and love) released in June 2012 and my debut novel “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” (about overcoming prejudice) in 2011. 

 

How did writing start for you?

My Mom said I could read before I could talk. One day I woke up and decided I hated being an accountant. I asked myself what I loved and the answer was…words. I started writing romances, discovered I’m a terrible romance writer, and moved onto spiritual fiction and poetry, both of which I love writing.

Who were your influences?

Louise Erdrich, the award winning Native American novelist and WitiIhimaera, the Moari novelist from New Zealand.

What's your definition of a good story?

Any story, whatever the genre, which engages both the reader’s heart and mind, is a good story.

Your top vacation spots in SA?

Injisuthi, in the Drakensberg – no cell phones, no TV, no radio – sheer heaven! Second favourite place, is Sirheni in the Kruger National Park, no quite as remote as Injisuthi, but still a little piece of Eden.

How do you relax?

I meditate a lot.  And I read…a lot!

Your five favourite books of all times?

Only five? More like five hundred! Off the top of my head, in no particular order:

Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe), Freedom from the Known (Krishnamurti), The Last Report of Miracles at Little No Horse (Louise Erdrich), The Whale Rider (WitiIhimaera),  Hamlet (Shakespeare), Venetia (Georgette Heyer), the English translation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Pierre Choderlos de Laclos , translated by Ernest Dowson) and …

But that’s already more than five and if I don’t stop now, I never will!

 

Your favourite sport?

Sport? Uh, does opening the fridge door for a snack count as exercise?

We have a little surprise for you … Can you guess?

I can’t! And I’m bursting with curiosity!!!

lol,Its for your ears alone!

Where can we find you on-line?

I mostly hang out atGoodreadsor onTwitter, but you can also find me onmy blog, Facebook, LibraryThingor onLinkedIn.

You have a surprise for our readers?

I do! I’m offering two paperback copies of “a Lamp at Midday” OR “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” to two blog readers. All they have to do to enter the draw is tweet this interview. It’s important that they include my tweet handle (@judy_croome) so I can pick up how many times they’ll be entered into the draw.  Each tweet is another entry.  If they’re not on Twitter, they can share the interview anywhere, as long as they leave a comment here with the link. The draw will close two weeks from the date of this blog post.


Ok guys, you heard it! So go ahead and hit those share buttons for facebook and twitter and keep the comments coming in! who knows? You just might be the lucky winner! Dont forget to celebrate your Little victories!

Thanks Judy for coming!

Thank you!


Saturday, 30 June 2012

THE MAN THAT CLAIMED HER

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He was finally putting his life back together after the tumults of the last seven months. He was emerging, as a butterfly would, from the cocoons of his past. A past that shaped him into the man he now was. He'd fought through it valiantly, he'd lost some things, but he'd also gained from the lessons learned. They were now the pillars of his new found self confidence. He'd visited the church that day not because he was in search of salvation. He'd found salvation, what he needed now was the companionship of fellow believers. The worship was rapturous, the sermon was uplifting. It put fire under his feet, and strengthened his resolve to live life to the fullest. When it was time for first timers to be acknowledged, he didn’t hesitate, like he would have done seven months ago. He was a new man now. He stood up, towering above the congregation, a smile on his lips, a sparkle in his eyes. He shook their hands enthusiastically as they welcomed him into the fold. The choir sang a song.
  
You are somebody
You are special
You are welcome
We love you..
  
It was an emotional moment for him, he'd never felt such warmth.

She was the social butterfly kind of girl, the kind that hugs every one after service. She had the most charming smile, the most endearing eyes. Angela was so full of life; she was the darling of the church, the angel of the choir. She was every where, giving a pat there, a hug there, or a word of encouragement to someone needing such. She was a beautiful soul, a transcendent beauty that shone through her eyes and lit up her face. There seemed always to be an aura of light around her as she floated around the church, performing her Angelic duty.

When she came to shake his hands, she'd beamed her whole soul at him, it poured through her eyes, through her smile, she hid nothing, held back nothing. His smile met her smile and she smiled some more.

"You are welcome" she said, "my name is Angela, what's your name?"
"I'm Gini" he replied.
He hesitated, still holding her hand and looking into her eyes, then he added "And I'm pleased to meet you."

She'd patted him on the shoulders and said "see you around" before drifting into the crowd; she slid through it, a peck there, a hug there. He watched her. She reminded him of a movie star he'd had a crush on as a kid. There was something about her that went out to him, drawing him in, irresistibly. His chest tightened beneath his shirt, whatever air he had in his lungs was gone. She'd taken his breath away in those few moments. He recognized the feeling, one he wasn’t sure he was ready for. He knew it wouldn’t be long before she took over his entire being, thought, fiber and sinew. He'd gone home that day feeling light, the week crawled slowly as ever and thoughts of Angela lingered somewhere in his mind, tempting, persisting, refusing to go away. He nudged them gently back, like a shy little boy, but they floated around, seeking to permeate the sacred regions of his consciousness. He did yield to them occasionally, in those moments before sleep. They seemed to have a therapeutic effect on him. He was no believer in Telepathy, but he'd played with the idea that Angela could hear his thoughts, that she'd followed them into his room on those nights and floated over his bed, an invisible angel pacifying his sleep. Sunday came and he went to church early. He managed to stay focused through the service but his eyes strayed one or twice to the choir section, where Angela sat as magnificent as ever, leading hundreds of voices in awesome worship. Their eyes met once during the service and a knowing smile passed between them, he gave her a slight bow, one of nobility. He raised his rich baritone to meet her soprano; another beautiful music had been born. No one could hear it, only Gini. Hundreds of voices were singing the same song, but all he could hear was their own song, her soprano ringing in the skies, his baritone shepherding it, accompanying it, heaven bound. She came to him after service again. This time she hugged him and enquired about his week. They exchanged numbers and talked some more. He got to know she lived on the street next to the church and she got know he worked in advertising.

Angela lay on her bed trying to decide whether to make the call. She wanted to hear that deep baritone again, it soothed her, comforted her. There was a nobility about him, a gentleness that appealed to her. She could remember that first day; she’d been struck by his height. He was six foot plus, dark, extremely handsome, with an aristocratic head that rested on a slender neck supported by very broad shoulders. He was slim. She'd noticed his long arms when she shook him. There was a softness about his palm that had her wondering if he'd ever handled a broom. His eyes were a dull brown and had an intelligent disconcerting look in them. They'd drilled into her soul from their sockets, unearthing her vulnerability. They were eyes that said much, eyes that held much experience in them, experience well beyond his age. They were eyes she knew she could trust. So she did not look away, she held his gaze and let him see through her.

She made the call.

"Hello" said the voice on the other side. "My God!”, Thought Angela, “He even sounded better on phone!"

"Hello good evening Gini" she managed to say.
"Good evening Angela, what's up?"
"I'm fine and you?"
"Great"
"I just wanted to say hi"
"O that's so kind of you, what are you doing at the moment?"
"Nothing, just lazying"

"seriously?"

They both broke into laughter. Their voices mingled over the phone, their worlds merged in those few moments. A new chapter had begun in their lives, they both knew it. There was now a blank page before them and they had to fill it.
Angela replaced the receiver and lay back on the bed.  It was going to be a long week. Sleep came quickly; it carried with it a soothing message, a soothing dream.

 To be continued….

 C.U


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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Meet The Ashanti Queen, Empi Baryeh!


Hi guys!
Sorry we are a little late this week. We had to go all the way to Ghana to visit sensational Empi Baryeh for this interview, and Oh what a great time we had! I would have loved to do a little introduction but I have an agreement with Empi not to interfere! its her show!

We’re at the Legon Botanical Gardens, nestled right in the city but a great getaway – at least for a few hours. We’re at the restaurant, a lovely dark-wood structure that’s both exotic and rustic. It provides a great view of the vegetation in the gardens.


 

Hi my name is Empi Baryeh. I'm an author of sweet and sensual African romance. Welcome to Ghana. Ghana is a land known for various things: gold, beautiful women, kente cloth, the largest man-made lake in the world, friendly people, great weather…need I go on? As with any other country, it’s not always fun and games here, and one very negative thing about Ghana is that we don’t seem to appreciate our beaches or make the best use of them. We don’t have much of it and I wish to see the restoration (in some cases preservation) of the little that we have.

 Ghana has so many beautiful places but here are Five exotic places I'd like to show you : )

Cape Coast: when I used to live in Cape Coast, in the Central Region (which isn’t actually in the centre of the country) our house was a five to ten minute walk to the beach. It was an undeveloped/untouched part of the coastline, and I used to enjoy going to sit in the sand and feel the breeze on my face. I plucked this little piece of Cape Coast and planted it in Accra for a scene in my novel Most Eligible Bachelor. I just had to. Aside from that, Cape Coast is one of Ghana’s most popular tourist destinations.

 


Kakum Park: this is a bit of a cheat, since it is also in the Central Region. As I mentioned above, Cape Coast (and its environs) are a definite must-visit and Kakum National Park is one such place. You’ll be confronted with nature like never before with a guided tour of the forest reserve, and if you’re daring, you can try out the canopy walk. It’s like walking on top of the world!

 


Aburi: if you’ve read my novel, Chancing Faith, then you know why I’d pick Aburi, a little town in the mountains with perfect weather and a great view of Accra in the distance. It’s a great place to connect with nature and clear your head. While there, you can get yourself some tasty palm wine to go some fufu and light soup by the Aburi Botanic Gardens. LOL 

 

Kintampo falls: Now, who doesn’t like waterfalls? I’ve been here just once but it was a great experience, and I hope to make that trip again soon. You may have noticed by now that I’m partial to nature, which is why I enjoyed visiting the falls. It’s undeveloped, tourism-wise, but still a definite must-see. But put on your hiking shoes, cos it’s a long trek down a hill to the waterfall – a great reminder to us all to lead active lifestyles. You’ve been warned. If you’re not up for that hike, there’s a smaller one that’s equally great and provides great photo ops.

Kumasi: Called the Garden City, it’s the seat of the Asantehene (king of the Ashanti people) – and that’s a whole cultural heritage you’d want to experience. There’s a certain laidback je ne sais quoi about Kumasi (in comparison with Accra) that makes it special to me. Plus it’s only some 40 minutes drive to my village :-)

 

Growing up in Ghana ...
I grew up all over the place, to be honest. Until I turned thirteen, I hadn’t lived in Ghana more than a couple of years put together. I’ve been to fifteen countries around the world and I speak French and a little Spanish. I can also say "I love you" in fifteen languages (which is yet to come in handy, but I have hope).

What I love most about Ghana is that it’s relatively peaceful here, and peace allows us to explore the softer things in life: like romance and poetry and music …

Speaking of music, I’m a little old-fashioned in my tastes. I like country, ballads, oldies, soft rock, some reggae (ok maybe not so old-fashioned). On the Ghanaian scene,
my 2 favourite musicians are Kojo Antwi (Mr Music Man) and Daddy Lumba. They have very distinct styles and I love both. Everything else is on a case by case basis. I love the works of some of the newer artistes – Richie, Becca and Sarkodie come to mind.

My favourite Ghanaian authors...
Kwasi Koranteng is worth mentioning, even though I’ve read only one book of his. It was titled “The President’s Son”, my first ever Pacesetter novel. In a sense, he introduced me to Ghanaian fiction. Before then, it had been Enid Blyton and the like…

I love Christine Botchway as well. Her novels have strong romantic elements, and I remember enjoying her books at a time when relationships and marriage were definitely not thought of in romantic terms in Ghana – at least not in popular culture.

Ghana Literature is evolving. There was a time when you could only find educational books and fiction that addressed highly political issues. Today, there’s a variety of fiction available that deal with everyday issues that the ordinary Ghanaian can easily identify with. We also have a lot more writers with more diverse backgrounds and experiences, which only makes for more diversity in Ghanaian literature and better stories.

In Ghana if a young man wants to marry a young girl, he'd say, “will you allow me to marry you?” and not “will you marry me?” (same difference, if you ask me)

I love you in Twi is: Me dɔ wo.

The traditional wedding rites in Ghana are more of a gift-giving ceremony; there are variations depending on the tribe. The most important thing is a bottle of Schnapps for the engagement (which is called the aponoakyebɔ - literally “knocking at the door”) as well as the traditional wedding. In the simplest sense, the man’s family presents gifts to the woman’s family at the wedding. Nowadays, the woman is asked if she wants her family to accept the gifts (in the past the woman didn’t have much of a say if her family wanted the marriage). If she does, then the family accepts the gifts and basically seals the deal. Like I said, that’s saying it in simple terms. In reality, there’s a whole lot of pomp and pageantry surrounding the gift-giving and the gifts are specific items, rather any random thing the man chooses.


If I were to rewrite Ghana's history, the part I'd rewrite is where Yaa Asantewaa loses the war against the British Empire and gets captured.

Something in Ghana's culture that a foreigner will find romantically appealing...if I tell you, I’d be giving away the plot of my next novel, so…sorry :-)



My novel, Chancing Faith, Chancing Faith is an interracial romance about an American ad exec, Thane Aleksander, who travels to Ghana on business and finds love. My heroine, Naaki Tabika, is a woman who’s prepared to give up love for career. When they meet, neither of them expects to fall in love, but they learn soon enough that love comes without warning.
Here’s a blurb:
He didn’t do short-term relationships…
American ad exec, Thane Aleksander, doesn’t date co-workers either—until business takes him to Ghana,West Africa, and he meets Naaki. Now he’s at risk of breaking all the rules. Can he stop this headlong fall before it’s too late?
Until he met her!
Naaki Tabika has a burning need to prove, to herself and others, that she’s more than wife and mother material. To do so, she’s prepared to give up everything for her job. Meeting Thane, however, makes her want to get personal. But falling for her boss could destroy her career. Will she be willing to risk it all for the one thing that can make her truly happy?
Two divergent cultures, two different races, two career-driven professionals, only one chance at true love—will they find the faith to take it, or will their hearts be sacrificed on the altar of financial success?
***
The story started with a scene involving a kiss (that incidentally never made it into the story), but set the tone and premise for the story. My usual signature is to give a little twist on a familiar theme – in this case an interracial story that wasn’t about colour.

It took me years to complete Chancing Faith, because there were long breaks in writing while in grad school. But that also means I got to know my characters over a long period and the story became very personal, which I think is a strong point for the story.

A scene that really connects with me in the story is one where Thane and Naaki are in his hotel room and he has his fingers in her hair and you know he’s already fallen for her. It’s such a romantic scene, because it’s so innocent – and you really get to see into his mind to how he feels about her.

If it were in pre-colonial Ghana, Naaki would probably be a timid young nurse and Thane would be a missionary doctor, in this setting. Their first kiss is likely to happen after a very trying surgery. It would be emotional and spontaneous. (If you want an actual scene, you’ll have to give me a little more time)
The major conflict in their relationship would be similar to what it is now – i.e. the possible inappropriateness of their relationship vis-à-vis their working relationship, the fact that he’s only visiting etc.
Inter-racial romance is more about culture than colour so, I made it a point to showcase that instead of spending half of the book trying to justify why a white man was falling in love with a black woman.  

The meanest thing I've ever done to a character in my book is kill him. Even now, I’m struggling with it as I love this character very much. The book is unpublished, so I can un-kill him, but the story is so much better this way, so, unfortunately, he needs to take one for the team.

My other book (as mentioned earlier) is titled Most Eligible Bachelor, and it's
a contemporary romance about a magazine columnist who’s been burnt by love and is afraid to risk her heart again. She meets the hero, a reputed playboy, on Valentine’s Day, and despite her best efforts, she can’t help falling for him. The story is set in Accra, Ghana, which I think gives it a unique flavour.

 

You can find my books on the internet at as follows:

CHANCING FAITH
·         Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145750

MOST ELIGIBLE BACHELOR:
·         Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/most-eligible-bachelor

Aside from writing I love reading, music, puzzles, browsing the internet and driving. (I know, I’m just such a fun person)

The best food I've ever eaten in my life is (surprisingly) a bowl of mussel and a glass of wine in Paris (ooh la la).

And on that note, I want to thank you Chidi, for hosting me on your blog. And thank you, readers and fans, for joining me today for this chat. If you have any questions I haven’t already answered, please go ahead and ask them.

Have a wonderful day!

Empi