Entertainment of Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Source: Kobina Ansah
The DAkpabli Readathon gathers momentum as Ghanaian author Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, joins the national reading campaign. Coming on as guest author, Baitie is expected to feature along the main stars Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli in their book reading and public engagements during the first quarter of this year.
Elizabeth-Irene Baitie is a Medical Laboratory Director as well as a writer of contemporary children’s and Young Adult fiction. She lives in Accra with husband Rami and their three children.
Her first book, A Saint in Brown Sandals, was published by Macmillan in 2006 for junior readers and received the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa that year. Her other novels – The Twelfth Heart, The Dorm Challenge and Rattling in the Closet – have all been awarded the Burt Award for African Literature.
“Getting that phone call to come on board was such a thrill. It’s a fine opportunity, joining a laudable initiative to bring reading and writing closer to our people. I just can’t wait to start working with the team.’’
Baitie will be out-doored at the next Dakpabli Readathon reading event to be held in Accra on March 25. During her guest reader tenure, the team is expected to undertake at least one road show outside the Greater Accra region.
She becomes the third guest reader in the row, having taken over from Dr. Ruby Goka, a celebrated author and dentist. The first DAkpabli guest was Alba Sumprim, author and film producer.
Asked why the campaign has so far featured an all-females guest list, Nana Awere Damoah pointed out that though that seemed to be the pattern, it is not at all the plan. He assured fans that an illustrious male guest reader is in the offing. ‘’Just keep supporting us and we shall keep exciting you,’’ said Damoah.
Between them, the two Ghanaian authors have published 12 books. Nana Damoah has recently been voted ‘Author of the Month’ by KWEE, a Liberian Literary magazine, while Kofi Akpabli’s latest work ‘Made In Nima’ has won a place in an African anthology featuring writers from 14 countries which was published by the Commonwealth in London.
Besides holding public reading events within Accra, the team has also gone to Kumasi, Ho and Tema. The Readathon campaign by the two authors has received local and international press coverage with ChinAfrican magazine doing a special feature on them in their January edition for 2017.
In their readings so far, the two have received sponsorship from THREADEX, Aky3de3, MTN, Unicorn Rentals, WearGhana, Norte Sobolo, Lincar, Sasa Clothing, Fali’s Fruit Bay and AJ’s Housekeeping Services.
“We are excited by the way this movement is growing a life of its own’’, said Akpabli. “Irene is going to connect wonderfully with our younger fans. We’re glad to have her.’’