MEMOIRS FROM THE HILLTOP
Foreword – Mrs. Justice Georgina Theodora Wood
Published by DigiBooks
Reviewed by KojoYankah
Call it “Memoirs”; read it as “Testimonies”; refer to them as “Stories”.
It could have been titled “A Journey with God”.
The name Kofi AduOtutuLabi is grounded in traditional Akuapem royal settings, a tribute to Kofi’s father and mother and their ancestors who preceded him. They did not pick a biblical name for this offspring from the Presbyterian hilltop who got ‘born again’ in his early school days for reasons he does not elaborate in the book; but he himself carves a strictly Christian life on his 70 year journey which fills the book.
Kofi AduLabi makes some assumptions in his 383-page book, such as “My parents hailed from Abiriw, the town on the Akuapem Ridge that my readers have become familiar with….” hoping that everybody has read his previous nine books. There are a couple more such assumptions; they make you want to search for his earlier writings, but these do not in any way detract from the trend of his story.
He was that ‘’enfant terrible” who won a lot of quiz contests and prizes when he was a student, and it shows in the remarkable way he remembers details; “Our house number was D10, and we shared a wall with the OseiBonsufamily”, as if it was only yesterday, but this was in 1956 when Kofi was only five years old. Or details like:
“After the graduation, we returned to Dover, Delaware, by road with Kwaku and Theodora Osseo-Asare…The drive from Nashville to Dover was very long and tiring, even for me as a passenger. I had a glimpse of how huge a country the United States of America is. We saw the Appalachian Mountains as we drove, passed through North Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland before finally arriving in Dover.”
Kofi was an avid reader from childhood, having learnt the skill from his mother, a teacher and partly from his father, also a teacher, and that explains a lot of the skills he displays in narrating vivid details of his life journey from the hilltop to the rest of the world.
In one of his books, entitled Wisdom, Faith & a Song, the author chronicles some of his favourite songs that prepare you to understand the rest of his life:
O Sing praises, O Sing Praises,
O Sing Praises to God most high!
For His goodness and compassion
He bestoweth on His children…..”
Kofi AduLabi loved (and he still loves) singing, and what this does in his book is to reinforce his messages which he conveys in his writing. He entered University of Ghana, studied Law, worked in various places including the Bank of Ghana, under whose wings he travelled to other parts of the world including Brazil and the United Kingdom, and he enjoyed work and personal satisfaction in all the associations he found himself.
There are a number of memorable events and incidents in the life of Kofi AduLabi that he shares with his readers with a sense of fulfilment and praises quite characteristic of his personality as a born-again Christian. For example, when he had the rare opportunity to be among an invited company of guests at Buckingham palace to greet the Queen of England, he goes on his knees in his hotel room later and praises God for the honour done him. “I had never expected in my life that I would meet the Queen face to face and have a conversation with her. I wept for joy”.
Kofi AduLabi has impacted a number of lives in the same way other prominent people have impacted his.
The memorable experiences of Kofi OtutuAduLabi are many, and he writes vividly about a few in this book with the eyes of a sage, the pen of a storyteller, the joy of a born-again Christian, and the heart of a teacher and a preacher.
Laced with hymns and songs, and published at a time most youths are looking for direction, “Memoirs from the Hilltop” could be a veritable dose of moral respite.
By Kofi OtutuAduLabi