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Opinions of Friday, 1 March 2013

Columnist: Frimpong, Yaw

Woes of a Ghanaian Writer

There are not one but many times when I have asked myself ''Why many Ghanaian literature don't make it to the international level." I had this belief that Ghanaian literature did not get to the international level because people were just not willing to take up the task. Perhaps, I was wrong.

With so much hopes of changing the status quo, I decided to publish an electronic poetry book called ''A BOOK THAT NEVER DIES." I must admit, this book would have died prematurely if I didn't have the fighting spirit. After compiling, editing and giving out the book for typesetting, that is when the realities began to dawn on me.

I was told that the only agency that gives ISBN was George Padmore Library which is located in Accra. Now here is the ridiculous aspect of it, I heard that the ISBN cost 15 cedis but unfortunately, I was not living in Accra so I had to journey all the way from Kumasi to Accra. I nearly gave up because of the dangerous roads and also the huge travelling and lodging expenses.I mastered courage and went to the library that was supposed help me live in dreams.

After getting to Accra, I was redirected to the Padmore Library and I was shocked at what I saw. The place was a mistake for a Library, if I should be honest. The furniture was bad, the building itself was needed help. To my dismay, I realized that the actual price of the ISBN was GHC 5.00 but can you believe that my travelling and other expenses cost me a whooping GHC130?

The adventure gets more interesting. After going through the hustle and bustle in Accra, the book finally comes out and now I need support to brand and sell the book that I have put on amazon. I made enquiries about these poetry foundation with the aid of getting some help and I realized that in fact, they actually need more help than I do. I then began to realize that, it's definitely no one's fault that Ghanaian literature can not even get on our neighbours market, there is just absolutely no one to help you even if you have the passion and talent. Being good is not good enough, what is best enough is; having connections and having loads of money to pave your way through the hard systems that kills dreams. If you are poor and you want to be like Dickens or Shakespeare in Ghana, I'd personally advise you to think twice because if not by divine mercy and interventions, help will not come from anyway.

That's not all, even with A BOOK THAT NEVER DIES being on amazon, I now have to worry about Ghana's porous cash system. There were people that actually wanted to genuinely buy the book, after seriously convincing them but they didn't have a masterCard or a VisaCard to buy it from amazon. It really cut me like a knife but here I am sitting down and waiting for manna to fall from the sky. After going through all these hard times, I am quizzing why the book that I named ''A BOOK THAT NEVER DIES'' die even after I had given it all the best that I could? Well, it will definitely not die if you visit the amazon page and have a copy for yourself.


Twitter handle: @frimpong4u