Our Motherland: My life’ is the title of the new book by Kojo Yankah launched September 30, 2017, in the United States (US) at the Ghana Embassy in Washington D.C., the book which is the author’s 9th work is also an autobiography.
The welcome address at the book launch was by Mr. Ernest Asare-Asiedu, Consular-General at the embassy represented the Ambassador — Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah. The event was also sponsored by Erratic Truth Foundation. Prince K. Mensah was MC for the occasion.
Kojo Yankah said during the launch that this book is “my favorite among my other works as it encapsulates a slice of what I have been able to do for myself, my country and the continent of Africa”, going on to admit that Africans do not write as much he would have wished for and indicating this work was a contribution to reverse the latter.
Mr. Yankah hoped that through his new book, Africans on and off the continent are going to be propelled to learn more about each other and the continent to stop the problem of alienating themselves from what uniquely distinguishes them as Africans. The author praised today’s technology which has brought a lot of revelation about Africa and Africans to the forefront but lamented the use of today’s new media to destroy and divide the legacy of Africa by decrying corruption and wars on the continent.
Why Kojo Yankah wrote the book
He said another reason for writing the book was because he wanted to make “a contribution towards the creation of knowledge that we need as a people to inspire our youth”, and that it was time for Africa to stop working as rivals but work together with one voice towards a United States of Africa in an allusion to the saying by Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah that: “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent.”
The author criticized the stereotyping of Africans by the Western media, intimated to the audience in attendance during the launch that he hoped the book instills nationalism and a keen interest in the history of African by Africans as peoples of the continent join hands with Africans all over to work at lifting Africa to its intended glorious state.
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African Union (AU) Ambassador to the US, Her Excellency (HE) Arikana Chihombori-Quao who was a special guest in her remarks thanked the author for his works which sought to remind Africans of who they are, she also highlighted the legacy of Ghana’s first President and what it reminds and does for not only Ghanaians but Africans as well as people of color across the globe.
HE Chihombori-Quao in her remarks shed some light on the formation of the AU spurred by the coming together of Pan Africanists in 1963 in an effort to undo the unfortunate work done in Africa by colonialists that the latter begun with the infamous ‘Berlin Conference of 1885’. She used the occasion to remind Africans to ponder on the famous Dr. Kwame Nkrumah quote that establishes the fact that “we are not Africans because we were born in Africa, [but rather] we are Africans because Africa is born in us.”
Decolonizing the mind
Although colonialism has ended on the continent, Africans continue to allow colonialists to win because of the lack of unity, the presence of divide-and-conquer as a subtle technique used to keep Africa divided and the absence of a united voice among Africans everywhere. The AU Ambassador suggested the remedy to this might be “for Africans to decolonize their minds”, a thing she felt ‘Our Motherland: My life‘, was going to help ignite in addition to the force of change that was slowly but surely gathering momentum among Africans.
Dr. Joseph Silver Sr., CEO of Silver and Associates who wrote the foreword to the 234-page book published by Ayebia Publishing in the UK in his opinion about the book said the influence of Mr. Yankah’s parents and those of great PanAfricanists’ “Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. WEB Du Bois ring loud in the pages of this book. This influence is undergirded by a deep spiritual grounding.”
Legendary Ghanaian Master Drummer and Percussionist OkyeremaAsante who received the first copy of the book at the occasion was on hand to provide thought-provoking African drumming and spoken word storytelling. Later the first book was auctioned off at $500, the rest got sold out in a space of about an hour, Dr. Dolores Opon, an Accra-based consultant in Ghana afterward gave the vote of thanks and urged all to buy the book and be encouraged by its content.
Kojo Yankah founded the African University College of Communications and is also a former editor of the Daily Graphic; the widest circulation newspaper in Ghana. He was supported at the book launch by his wife Nana Nyarkoah Yankah, his children, friends, members of the Ghanaian community in the Washington D.C. area and the general public.
Written by Oral Ofori of TheAfricanDream.net