Indubitably speaking, I am hardly a premonist; nevertheless as I instinctively predicted, Ho Sebitically Speaking was both lit and super califragalistexpeialidocious at best.
Scheduled for Saturday 19th, 2016, sundry scores of fans of Nana Awere Damoah, Kofi Akpabli and Ruby Yayra Goka , literary savvy folks including students of Mawuko Girls Senior High School, newly rebranded Ho Technical University students and DAkpabli Readathon Team from Accra convoked on the Ho Poly SRC JCR take part in the literary program.
Commencement was slated on 19:00 hours GMT but as we all know, things of this sort rarely happen on schedule and more so at this part of the globe. But in striking contrast to the done thing, the event started right on the stipulated time. That, I was given to understand ‘cos I was personally in absentia before it begun.
For the avoidance of doubt, Sebitically Speaking is an occassional Book Reading Session instigated by Kofi Akpbli and Nana A. Damoah who label themselves affectionately as ‘Intellectual Entertainers’
Since 2015, the duo continue to organize Sebically Speaking in various places across the country to stir up reading and writing proclivity in the nation’s reading habit and in the process take it to a level of pop culture and now inevitably the trail hits Volta Region, Ho to be precised.
The duo often feature a guest author at every event, this time the onus fell on the on the pulchritudinous dentist, Dr Ruby Yayra Goka the ‘Gem’
At the terminus ad quem of the event, audience were given the succinct prelude of what to expect during the course of the program. The plan was to give the audience four hot rounds of reading excerpts from various books of the 3 authors. Following each round, the audience will be given the opportunity to engage the authors in intimate verbal intercourse in a bid to make the event ‘romantic’
The authors carefully selected excerpts from their various books based on the caliber of all the attendants and fastidiously interspersed them with the story & inspiration behind each story or poem.
From the get-go, everything was unfolding as envisaged until somewhere mid of the program just when we thought we could not get any luckier, along she came. Beautiful, smart, articulate and all the other similar & attendant adjectives. She is just a complete package.
Oh apologies, I am talking about the ever prepossessing deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Honourable Dzifa Gomashie. She became the splendor of the day instantaneously.
She swiftly utilized the momentum to put on record her perspective on the Sebitically Speaking Initiative, its relevance to both individuals and the nation at large. She also encouraged everyone to do their possible best in promoting the interest of reading and writing in Ghana. And the reading continued not long when a bottle each of Norte Sobolo was served to each and everyone to neutralize the latent heat generated as a result of the exhilaration.
So, Romancing Ho Sebitically proceeded and became so interesting that both the readers and audience practically lost sense of time. Before any of us could realize, we were far behind the stated time for closing but eventually and reluctantly, it came to a memorable end. That notwithstanding, we were denied the icing on the cake. Will dwell on that later.
One word I would use to describe the Readathon is ‘awesome’
It was awesome that we literally lived the experiences and visited the places described in the stories and poems. In addition, we were also at the receiving end of some calibrated and intermittent dose of humour that made the reading more interesting so trust me when I say there was never a dull moment.
During the discussion sessions, the audiences’ participation was very massive. A lot of thought-provoking literary-wise concerns cropped up and almost all of them dwelled heavily on how we can rekindle and promote reading and writing culture among Ghanaians.
Many feasible prescriptions were given by the authors and some implicates parents the most. They are charged with the responsibility of bringing up their children in ways to appreciate the habit of reading including buying them literary books on their birthdays and in festive seasons but not always sweets & gifts.
Reconciling the issue of people who ‘claim’ they keep busy schedule, Mr. Akpabli puts it as thus; ”there is always a free time to read and write”
In the short span of time you sit in line to see the doctor, in the ‘troski’ from point A to B, in a queue to buy that hot Waakye or Koko in the morning et al. ”A lot can be done in every little time you have to spare” he concluded.
The authors and patrons later expressed many bundles of thanks to the sponsors including Wear Ghana for the costume, Shekinah Glory Hotel for the accommodation, Special Norte for the Sobolo, Sasa Clothing for the Polo shirts, Kobby Blay for the photography, Unicorn Car Rentals for the transport and ThreeSixty GH for event reportage.
Fast forward to the organizers’ perspectives on the event, they described the Ho version of the event as the best yet and will define Readathon in many years to come as evidenced by the participation today and the remarks that trailed the program. According to Mr. Nana Awere Damoah, with astronomical growth in patronage and sponsorship, the Team is more resolute in stead fasting their commitment to the course.
Now back to that ‘icing on the cake’ I promised to tell you about.
At the terminus ad quo, Hon. Dzifa mounted the stage for the second time. This time around, to also do her own version of reading. She performed craftily her poem titled ‘Who is a Woman’. A great piece it was. I wonder why she still hasn’t put Nana Asaase and others out of business by now. Subsequent to that, she gave a very obvious and important advice to the SHS students in attendance.
”Men will always lie to you that you are very beautiful even when you have grown to become a grandma, all in their attempt to get ‘one thing’. But do not be swayed by the lies of any man but rather strife hard for your goals”, she summed up.
But before she resumed her seat, the 3 authors humbly requested her help in presenting their freshly autographed books to the present Mawuko School Girls, Head of Department and their Headmistress.
Obviously and to the perspective of many, Romancing Ho Sebitically seemed a normal book reading affair to go listen to celebrated authors read to their fans, have a good laugh, get a few shots with the authors, possibly get some freshly autographed books, make new acquaintances and eventually return home but to me, it was an event I never thought could ever happen in my life. I never expect I can get the opportunity to actually meet these living legends in person and be read at. Indeed, the best things in life are never expected. At a point, I was actually asking myself, ”self, is this what you been missing all this while”?
Aside that, I hold special admiration for the Mawuko SHS students who contributed so very well to the discussions on the day which dwelled heavily on the total absence or little interest in literary engagements in recent times.
I mean intelligent is one thing but to also contribute meaningfully to such a pressing topic with that level of confidence simply blew me off. I personally never had neither of the foregone qualities so I please bare with me when I say I know what I am talking about.
Finally, my hope is that, all of us who were fortunate to be beneficiaries of the program will also help propagate the good news about reading, writing and DAkpabli Readathon Campain which is expressly the intentions of the later.
Worried about more visuals of how the event played? See worry removed. Mr. Kobby, one of DAkpabli Readathon Team members has got the entire happening in the exclusives below.
I am Felix G and with a propitious heart, I humbly submit.
A Felix G Fate Korku submission @ December 2016