ISBN 9789964705503
Pages 104
Dimensions 198 x 129mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2015
Publisher Afram Publications, Ghana
Format Paperback

Once Upon A Time In Ghana

Second Edition

by Anna Cottrell, Agbotadua Togbi Kumassah

These original and traditional oral stories are really by the people and for the people. If a civilisation expresses itself through its various art forms, then stories are the voice of those who have handed down their understanding of life from age to age. Traditional stories were a wonderful way of binding communities together and it is a nation’s loss if it no longer values the wisdom of the past. We should remember the Sankofa who bids us look to the past to guide us into our future.

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About the Authors

Anna Cottrell

Anna Cottrell had nursed the ambition to visit Africa since early childhood and was able to realise this dream when she retired in 2005; spending three months as a volunteer in Woe, near Keta, from January to March 2006. Towards the end of this period, Anna realised she wanted to understand the traditions and experiences which had helped shape the people.  It was at this point that she was introduced to Agbotadua Kumassah who talked about oral storytelling and took her to visit a group of storytellers in Klikor.  She used an old cassette recorder to record the six stories they told. Learning that the stories were dying out with the death of the storytellers, Anna returned to Keta as a guest at Togbi's house in 2007 and recorded 60 more stories in Dzelukope, Anyako and Have Domefe.  During a visit to Anyako, Anna saw two boys looking in a bottle which they had taken out of the lagoon and Togbi explained that they were seeing if it contained a fish for their dinner; no fish meant no dinner.  Anna then decided to use the stories to broadcast the African wisdom to the Western world, and at the same time raise funds to help the storytellers and their communities.

Agbotadua Togbi Kumassah

Agbotadua Kumassah was born at Anyako, in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region of Ghana in 1943. He holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Cape Cost, Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Sociology from the University of Ghana, and a Specialist Certificate in Geography from Advanced Teacher Training College (University of Education) Winneba. Agbotadua Kumassah taught in many schools, including Nifa, Adukrom, and Keta Secondary Schools, and was the headmaster of Anlo-Afiadenyigba Secondary School from 2000-2003. He retired from the Ghana Education Service in 2003. Agbotadua Kumassah held and holds many positions in religious, educational, social and political arches in his community and outside. He is the current Secretary of Anlo Agbotaduawo Traditional Council and the Agave Clan Union of Anlo.  He was government appointee to the first Keta District Assembly and was the chairman of Social Services and Culture Sub-committee and member of the Executive Committee. Agbotadua Kumassah was installed Agbotadua to Togbi Tay Abgozo stool in 1979. He combines his traditional responsibilities and Christian duties well to the admiration of many. He was a member of the Ministry of Health sponsored team that visited Israel in 2008. He was also guest lecturer in Barcelona, Spain in 2008, courtesy of the La Ceixa Foundation.
   

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