Leticia Enos: “From my personal experience, Africans in America are generally in first place when it comes to representing their country and proclaiming in anyway possible where they are from. Other foreigners are also proud of their home countries yes, but i’d be damned if it’s not Africans who’s “about me ” on instagram and twitter always contain their native country , who’s car mirrors are always adorned with those tiny tasseled flags,and who’s personal identity seems to be first and foremost: The country they are from. Now there’s nothing wrong with that (every “naija Gal” bio brings a smile to my face). My question is Why. why do you love your country so much ? is it because of it’s achievements or history? It’s soccer team? or just by virtue that that is where you are from? Where does that fierce, unyielding love stem from? share your thoughts!”
Pharez Kwesi Monney is my name. Literature has been part of me since my infancy, to this day I remember as a child,the manner in which my mother read to me The Enchanted Savannah, not only did it leave an indelible love of our local folktales and folklore but it made see them in a very different way and with a bit of deeper understanding which I have carried with me. My family is a reading family and my childhood was filled with the various genres of books from novels, memoirs, short stories. Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was introduced to me in the fourth grade and this made me go on a quest to read lots of books by African authors. It was the beginning of a wonderful journey into literature from and of the African continent. I am Ghanaian born in Accra, had my basic education in Ghana, finished high school in Norway and is now in the U.S for College. I am multilocal and I love creative writing. Give me a good book and foresee a good conversation afterwards.
I grew up Maryland by way of Ibadan, Nigeria. As an incessant nomad, the question of where I am ‘from’ is always responded to with clumsily with qualifications and summaries of all the elsewheres I have lived recently. I can’t say I’ve always considered myself a reader, or that I even do now. But I have always been an artist, and now I where the hats of educator, poet, designer, and visual artist/scholar this is where my love for books come from. The ability to trave somehwere in the past or into a land that has been created drives my love for books. Some of my all time favorite novels are the Alchemist, Things Fall Apart, Notes of a Native Son, and The Famished Road. As a designer and scholar, and now as a reader, I am most interested in speculative literature. I believe deeply in the expansion of possibility through imagination, my favorite books do that. I love finding texts that seem to fill in the gaps of my own self knowledge, that give voice to my own sense of hybridity, naïveté, and journey
I am a child of the Diaspora, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raised somewhere between urban city lights and bonfires in the middle of the cornfield.
When I hear people say they don’t like reading I’m like, “how?!!?” There is so much we can read about. If biographies’ aren’t your thing—pick up historical fiction. If long novels bore you—read short stories, read comics. If you don’t like things with a beginning, middle and end—read poetry. The options really are limitless. Words are all around us; we cannot deny the need to read. Reading has always been a key for developing my knowledge. Historically people were denied the freedom to read because it was (and still is) seen as a strong tool for rebellion. Reading can be a defense against those who try to hold you back. I think to myself, how can I defend myself if I don’t know? And so I read. A lot. To be in the know about history, current events and the things that may affect the future. I don’t read only as a tool for a fight though—I have always loved reading simply for the enjoyment of it. That is how it started. I read to become older, or live in the mind of a child again; to feel the pain of a life I hope never to live; to learn from characters I meet on the pages; to see realities and fantasies played out all at once. I read to feed my imagination, to feel, to ground myself, and sometimes simply to escape. Reading is about being aware. It’s something that you can’t help but be conscious while doing. It challenges the mind but can also relieve the mind of life stresses. It’s one of those things that allow us to not only learn but also recreate ourselves. “…Reading our stories is necessary to understanding our history, our people and preparing for our future… As Africans around the world, we should create the environment needed to protect our stories.”
Hello, I am Afia Owusu Obeng. Reading is an escape for me. I pick up books and I try to fully submit to the literary devices used. I read for encouragement, for hope and for insights. After completing, All God’s Children Need Dancing Shoes by Maya Angelou, I was left in an empowered state, reaching for dreams far buried within me. Simply put, I am both fascinated by stories conveyed and synergies between them and my life. I tend to read a lot more post-colonial African authors regardless of the genre, though I also enjoy auto/biographies and novels. By joining Narrate Africa, I hope to learn from the wisdom of this group and engage in the discussions. I am quite excited for this season’s book choice.