Ace Ankomah’s book wins Ghana Association of Writers award

Entertainment of Sunday, 25 November 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2018-11-25

The award is named The Kofi Awonoor Creative Non-Fiction

Social critic and legal practitioner Ace Ankomah has won the Ghana Association of Writers award for Creative Non-Fiction for his book ‘Is there not a cause to rant?’.

The 319-page book released in 2017 is a culmination of the writer’s critical opinions, speeches delivered to graduating students.

Mr. Ankomah is the Managing Partner at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah (“BELA”), a leading corporate and commercial law firm in Ghana.

The lawyer with 23 years professional experience is also the Head of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice group at the firm.

Ace Ankomah is known more publicly as a leading member of OccupyGhana, a pressure group formed July 1, 2014.

Three years after sustained public engagement, some of the socio-political issues of Ghana’s day has found expression in Ace Ankomah’s book.

The award is named The Kofi Awonoor Creative Non-Fiction.

In a post on Facebook after winning the award, Ace Ankomah thanked God that as an ‘ugly duckling’, he did not turn out too bad. He also thanked Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli for challenging him to come out with the book.

READ FACEBOOK POST

#Rants

DEDICATION

Dedicated to the memory of my parents James and Patience Ankomah who taught me to, first, think and then give voice and flesh to those thoughts.

Acknowledgements

My thanks to God for the gift of life, the liberty of thought and the luxury of impatience. Thanks to You, this ‘ugly duckling’ didn’t turn out too badly, methinks, maybe, hopefully…

Grateful to my family – Akosua Adjubi-My-Wife, Niakoaa, Pappa and Ohemaa – for simply being there for me and allowing me to be just me. It can’t be easy, I know.

Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli of DAkpabli, I am grateful for the challenge that birthed this.

Ginero (aka Dr. Nana Dadzie Ghansah), thanks for being a true and rare friend and for urging me on to write my thoughts. Wachichi (aka Dr. Nana Kofi Akyeampong), thanks for everything.

My triumvirate of private editors and beloved critics who have never met and yet say the same things, Maame Aba, Aba, and Ama, meda mo ase.

Acknowledgements

My thanks to God for the gift of life, the liberty of thought and the luxury of impatience. Thanks to You, this ‘ugly duckling’ didn’t turn out too badly, methinks, maybe, hopefully…

Grateful to my family – Akosua-My-Wife, Niakoaa, Pappa and Ohemaa – for simply being there for me and allowing me to be just me. It can’t be easy, I know.

Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli of Dakpabli, I am grateful for the challenge that birthed this.

Ginero (aka Dr. Nana Dadzie Ghansah), thanks for being a true and rare friend and for urging me on to write my thoughts. Wachichi (aka Dr. Nana Kofi Akyeampong), thanks for everything.

My triumvirate of private editors and beloved critics who have never met and yet say the same things, Maame Aba, Aba and Ama, meda mo ase.

Facebook post: The Making of the Rants by Nana Awere Damoah

I have known Ace since I was a teenager. And he was a person many of us as young people looked up to, literally – he was so tall. But we also looked up to him in that he challenged us on many fronts as a leader. More on that someday. Not today.

Today I want to touch on the making of The Rants.

My friend and partner Kofi Akpabli had been dabbling in writing and publishing for years. My first book came out in 2008 and Kofi released his first two books in 2011. From 2011, we started collaborating on book signings and then book readings. We had people approaching us individually to work on developing content, edit, advise on publishing or help get books published. With time, this aspect of our lives was growing and we found ourselves collaborating on publishing too, either on our own works or for others. But it still remained a side job, something we squeezed time for.

In 2017, after half a decade’s sojourn in Alata, I decided to return to Sikaman. In returning, I make a decision to take some time off from my full-time factory job and give some focus on what I considered a pure hobby and passion, to see if it can grow into something significant.

There were a number of people we had listed as candidates for our initial foray into publishing – mainly people who have shared a lot of their thoughts on the socio-political happenings in Sikaman, mainly on blogs and on social media.

I had been chasing and pestering Ace to publish, since 2016. He always threw me off his back, with the quip, “Who would want to read what I write? And buy what – my book?” Vintage Ace, the man who says “gellaway!” when we thank him for his kindness or support, which he gave aplenty. By the way, he launched my first book in 2008, auctioned it and wrote the first long review. And gave me a fat cheque too! Ah, I digress again.

So, he kept dodging me. Then, when I returned home in April 2017, I renewed my chase. In July 2017, I attended the launch of Manasseh Awuni Azure’s first book at the Christ the King Hall in Accra. After the launch, I hitched a ride home with Ace. We drove on the Spintex Road and on the stretch towards the Coca Cola Roundabout, after Ace had asked me what I was doing since I had been home, I told again about the need to get him published and pitched that he should allow us to publish him. Typically, he only laughed and said “gellaway!”

Early the next morning (you all know this man isn’t weak so he doesn’t sleep, right? Sleep is for the weak, he says!), he sent me a message on Whatsapp. “Let’s do it”, the message read.

He was turning 50 in a few months and was already working on a collection of his songs, for his first album which came out as My Yadah. So, he asked that we did a book as well and give both out as gifts on his 50th birthday in November 2017.

Kofi and I were ecstatic! A big vote of confidence! I was to lead on the job. I did the first compilation of Ace’s writings, mostly from his blog, mainly articles on legal issues, written as commentaries on the law and events in Sikaman from the legal angle. It came to over 170,000 words. He says “No, I don’t want my first book to be on the law. Collect my rants on Facebook and let’s see.”

That was the beginning of a rigorous 4-months, compiling the rants, getting his speeches, his poems, editing by Kofi and I and Ace and then more editing. The man teaches editing in the Law School and so we got educated some more about attention to detail.

Deciding on the final book title is a story in itself. I will leave Ace to tell it himself.

Then came the book cover design. I remember being on a bus to Cape Coast for my niece’s graduation late October 2017 and Ace, Kofi, John Benjamin Yanney the book designer (of multiPIXEL) and I, with Coby Asmah (of TYPE Company, who were to print the books) working on the cover design on WhatsApp and going back and forth on the options, as Ace brought feedback also from his family platform.

Then came the typesetting. We were running for time now as 20th November was fast approaching. I spent one night, a Sunday night, with John Yanney in his office as we worked on the final typeset. Ace was on a plane from London and he was proofreading the initial page proofs and scanning his handwritten edits and sending to John and I in real time. And Kofi was reviewing. On Monday morning the lights in John’s office went off so we relocated to his house and worked till 5pm. We printed the dummy of the book, and I drove straight to Ace’s house to leave it for his final review. Tuesday evening it was ready and it had more edits and more rewrites! John told me, “Tell the man to stop writing!”

We finished the final typeset with a week to go for the party, which had moved to 25th November. The files were sent to Type Company, and Uncle Coby and his team worked on the printing.

We picked up the fresh copies of Is There Not A Cause…to Rant on 24th November 2017 from the Type office, in time for the wrapping for the birthday party the following day, where each guest was given a copy of the book and CD.

Yesterday, Is There Not A Cause…to Rant was adjudged the best non-fiction book at the 2018 Ghana Association of Writers Awards, winning 1st Prize in the Kofi Awoonor Creative Non-Fiction category. It was exactly a year of the book being in print.

Today is exactly a year after the book was outdoored.

Congrats Ace Kojo Anan Ankomah and thanks for making Dakpabli part of this project.

Isn’t it time to start work on the second book?

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