Once Upon a Time in Ghana wins ‘Best Book 2014 for older readers’ award

How did we do it?
In October 2013 the Ghana edition of ‘Once upon a time in Ghana’ was published in Accra by Afram Publishers.
Afram then submitted the book to Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association in the USA for selection as an Award Winner in the Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA).  These CABA awards were established in 1991 to encourage the publication or republication and use of accurate, balanced materials on Africa available in the USA as part of a drive to inform the public about quality books on Africa for children and young adults.
So it was that on the eve of Anna’s departure for her annual visit to Ghana in March 2014, she received an email telling her that ‘Once upon a time in Ghana’ had indeed been chosen as one of two books receiving the award for ‘Best Book 2014 for older readers’.
What happens next?
The award will be presented on November 8th at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC.
For Anna, this is a real triumph for Ghana and a vindication of her commitment to rescuing and then promoting and validating the traditional oral literature.
Further information about Africa Access and its work is to be found on the web;
We will post photos of the ceremony on the site later in the year.

About the project…
Anna Cottrell went to Ghana early in 2006 as a volunteer within the Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) programme. From the outset she was very clear in her mind that she wanted to know more about that which the indigenous people do well. What is it that they have to offer and about which we know, at best, very little or even choose to overlook?

So it was that she was introduced to Agbotadua Kumassah (hereafter referred to as Togbi), a chief and local resident born and bred in SE Ghana or Eweland as it is sometimes called rather than the official ‘Volta Region’.

Togbi has a deeply held belief in the importance of storytelling both as a way of bringing a community together on a regular basis and as a link from generation to generation as people share their common inheritance of tales which embody ideas about social structure, about human emotions, about shared values and so on. Let us also not forget the unifying effect of shared entertainment.

Since that first visit to Ghana many positive things have happened, not least of which has been the publication of a book based upon the original recordings of stories told by the villagers in their own language, Ewe and subsequently retold in English.


Entitled Once Upon a Time in Ghana the book is published by Troubador. Price £6.99

All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the storytellers and their communities in the form of self-managed projects (see The Book for more information)

One response to “Info

  1. Thanks for bringing this collaboration to Ghana Keta What other avenues are there for the youth.Congratulations

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