A visit to literary festival Africa Writes resulted in a chance interview with Dr Sylvester Onwordi – son of the late British-Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta. Buchi remains my all-time favourite author and I’m proud to say that with the exception of one novel – I have read all her books. I interviewed Sylvester about his plans to launch a literary celebration to mark her life and work on 8 February, which was later featured in The New Black Magazine.
At Black alternative music festival Afropunk, I met Natalie Fiawoo from the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) who was launching an exhibition of personal and private papers from Ewe Fia (King) – Togbui Adamah II. This was the first exhibition of its kind in London and you can read more here.
In the same month I met the founder of Black British Bloggers – Mariam Bashorun and later joined her blogging group, learning new skills, building networks and finding potential writing opportunities. Thank you!
Through The New Black Magazine, I got to see the fantastic theatre performance ‘Trouble In Mind’ starring the talented Alice Childress (below). Although I had some reservations about watching a play that described the US’ lynching past – it was an inspiring and thought-provoking performance. If you missed it, please check it out here.
What a busy month! At the beginning it was World Mental Health day on 6 October and a chance for me to share a new interview with a young man who recounted his experiences of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Tetteh-Kwesi is a budding poet and social activist and you can learn more about his journey in this podcast.
Then came Black History Month, which was my chance to celebrate Black excellence. I attended Africa on the Square (Trafalgar Square – London), which was a showcase of African cultures, fashion, music and arts and included my piece on Africans influenced Shakespeare’s writings.
I then landed in Accra to co-deliver a two-day workshop with fellow blogger Nesta Erskine as part of the Ghanaian literary festival Pa Gya. Thanks to Blogging Ghana, the Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institut for the opportunity and the chance to meet more writing enthusiasts.
Then it was back to London to bask in the excitement of Ghana having a special focus at the Film Africa festival. Those of you who have followed my blog will know I have been asking why Ghanaian films do not have the same global prominence as other African nations. This year, all this changed with a flurry of films from Ghana showcased (and previews featured in The Graphic, Modern Ghana and The New Black Magazine) and I got to interview one of its rising stars – Peter Sedufia – producer and director of Keteke the following month.
Discussion turned to rape, sexual assault and harassment following the revelations in Hollywood from film producer Harvey Weinstein. The discussion got me thinking of my own experiences which I penned in a Huffington Post blog, and that grey line between speaking out when something feels wrong and saying nothing. The topic sparked a lot of debate with one blogger in particular and reared its ugly head the following month when prominent radio stations in Ghana thought nothing of sharing a viral video of a teenager being gang-raped. Disgusting! So much more needs to be done….
I shared my post on gay activist Lady Phyll with the platform ‘The Only Way is Ghana’ which promotes all things Ghana and charts the journey of one woman from London who moves to Accra.
More injustices continue with news growing of the treatment of Africans in Libya. This news sparked a series of protests and marches across the world including ones in London, which I attended. The fight is far from won and is one that I plan to champion moving forward.
Meanwhile, I continued my quest to highlight that Black talents is not only in the arts with a chance interview with Louise Broni-Mensah. Still under 30, this entrepreneur became the first African person to secure funding from Silicon Valley for her online ticketing and events platform Shoobs. Her story continues to inspire me and I hope it does you as we enter 2018. Happy New Year!
What have been your 2017 highlights?
All comments are welcome on this page. If you are having trouble posting on the Google+ page, please share your views via Facebook here or tweet @MisBeee
Please be aware that you may not reproduce, republish, modify or commercially exploit this content without our prior written consent.