Instead of entertainment panels, let specialists assess the books

Jul 15, 2023 | Entertainment | 0 comments

The Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) advises media outlets to use specialists to assess celebrity books. GAW cautions against using entertainment panellists without book criticism expertise.

Negative book reviews discourage individuals, particularly celebrities, from telling their stories.

On Tuesday, July 11, GAW Organising Secretary Oswald Okaitei told Graphic Showbiz that until public figures like Asamoah Gyan, Nathaniel Adisi aka Bola Ray, Juliet Ibrahim, Celestine Donkor, and recently, actors Yvonne Nelson and Adjetey Anang had sparked conversations in a book and revived the reading culture, government and organisation projects, including GAW, didn’t have much impact.

He worried entertainment panels leading discussions on such provocative novels might harm the revived reading culture.

GAW has always advocated for creative industry stakeholders to treat writing/creative writing as beautiful art.

“The result has not been very important, but it came as tremendous comfort and optimism to find that ‘I Am Not Yvonne Nelson’ and Adjetey Anang’s book ignited dialogues and showcased writing.

“But here we are with individuals who don’t know and comprehend book reviews driving the debates and evaluating books. Book reviews include style, substance, and graphic design.

Yet, some responses indicate that the reviewers have yet to read the book but are commenting on what they have heard.

“This is a formula for catastrophe and might deter individuals from speaking their tale and that is what GAW wants to avoid, especially at a time when we realised that Ghanaians love to read and superstars have impact on their followers,” he added.

The saying that one should conceal anything from the Blackman in a book appears to confirm Africans’ weak reading culture.

Mr. Okaiitei, the Executive Director of Read Ghana, Read Consult, told Graphic Showbiz that African oral tradition may explain the long-held notion.

“We have been told that writing isn’t African, that we are renowned for oral tradition, and that ours isn’t literary. Chiefs are held indoors for days and taught traditions via oral tradition during enstoolment.

The mouth rots, but pen ink lasts forever. It’s why Shakespeare is remembered, but his musicians aren’t. It underscores the notion that writing should be cherished and that it is terrible that component of the creative arts has been orphaned,” he remarked.

Yvonne Nelson, Bola Ray, Asamoah Gyan, and Adjetey Anang “stimulated dialogues for writing,” Mr. Okaitei said. It inspires hope. Discussing it. Humans read. We applaud them for changing the narrative”.

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