A 63-page novella, “New Currency”, which chronicles events of the infamous 1979 demonetisation of the cedi was launched in Accra yesterday.
Authored by distinguished media personality and novelist, Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, the book uses fiction to present the realities of the historic exercise while reviving a sense of Ghanaian cultural values among its readers.
Serving as a reminder to adults who lived through the turbulence of the time, the book, provides insight to present and future generations of the happenings then.
In a keynote address read on his behalf, veteran journalist, Mr Cameron Duodu, praised the path of fiction chosen by the author to present aspects of Ghana’s historical facts which he believed was largely lost on the present generation.
“Fiction is one of the most rewarding pursuits the human mind can engage in”, he said, recounting many of such tales he read growing up, which helped shape his life course.
“Well over seventy years after I read the books I have mentioned, I have not needed to look up any of their titles before venturing to reveal my opinions about them. Can I say the same about the books in our schools today? The answer is a firm No,”
Mr Duodu while encouraging Ghanaian novelist’s to use more fictional methods to excite reading among the populace, implored successive government to tread cautiously in implementing major policies of the kind in the “New Currency.”
“Like the demonetisation of the cedi, an otherwise good policy which rather put the populace in difficulties, governments should draw lessons from the book to tread carefully whenever they are contemplating taking actions that affect a lot of people,” he added.
In a review of the book, Dr Anthony K. BonnahKoomson,a media consultant and former Editor of the Catholic Standard, said despite the time of the theme of the story it was relevant to awaken a sense of history and cultural renaissance in present-day.
“The book is worth commending for celebrating Akan social norms and values, particularly, the wonderful feeling of togetherness, communal living uniquely associated with the extended family system,” he said.
Dr Koomson lauded MsYeboah-Afari for her great writing skills which he said compelled self-introspection adding; “she is without doubt a writer and journalist of high esteem; passionate as a writer and inquisitive as a journalist.”
The president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Albert Dwumfour eulogized the author for her outstanding contributions towards press freedom and literature across the country.
In view of that, he hinted of plans to name the new GJA library after the author to promote research work among professionals.
Ms Yeboah-Afari called on the University of Ghana to re-institute a training course on creative writing, of which she was a beneficiary in 1973, to hone the skills of budding writers.
The first copy of the novella, launched by the General Manager of the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, was auctioned at GHc 10,000.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH