Voices of Ghana

September 2018
17 black and white illustrations
296 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781847011923
Format: Hardback
James Currey
BISAC LCO001000, LIT004010, HIS001050

Voices of Ghana

Literary Contributions to the Ghana Broadcasting System, 1955-57 (Second Edition)

Edited by Victoria Ellen Smith

Annotated, scholarly edition of the original landmark anthology, Voices of Ghana, containing poetry, plays, stories and essays first broadcast on radio in the years leading up to Ghana's independence.
Ghana's first radio programme of original literature, The Singing Net, began in 1955 as part of the development of a national radio station in the years leading to independence in 1957. Its central aim was to bring Ghanaian writers to the forefront of cultural programming as part of the Africanisation of radio in Ghana. It was a critical cultural expression of the radical changes that were unfolding across the colonial world. The programme successfully introduced listeners to a series of pioneering Ghanaian authors who would go on to become significant figures of Anglophone West African literature in the early postcolonial decades: Efua Sutherland, Frank Parkes, Amu Djoleto, Geormbeeyi Adali-Mortty, Albert Kayper-Mensah, Kwesi Brew, Cameron Duodu, J.H. Nketia and many others. The anthology, Voices of Ghana (1958) is a collection of the poetry, short stories, play scripts and critical discussions that were aired on the Gold Coast Broadcasting Service (later the Ghana Broadcasting System) (1954-1958). Both The Singing Net and Voices of Ghana were edited by the BBC producer, Henry Swanzy.
The context of Ghana's independence, the singularity of the anthology's history, and the significance of many of the writers all contribute to the importance of this text. This second edition is a timely intervention into recent debates within postcolonial studies and world literature on the importance of broadcast culture in the dissemination of "new literatures" from the colonial world. It includes an unabridged version of the 1958 text, a new introduction and footnoted annotations, which draw on extensive research undertaken in Ghana and Britain. It will appeal to a general readership with an interest in Ghanaian literature, 1950s broadcast culture, the figure of Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the making of a national literature in the era of decolonisation, as well as engaging scholars. The new edition presents a deeply insightful and engaging history of Voices of Ghana and reintroduces the original works on the occasion of the anthology's 60th anniversary.

Victoria Ellen Smith is a Lecturer in the Department of History, University of Ghana, Legon

Ghana & Nigeria: Sub-Saharan Publishers

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787443457), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

Preface by Mustapha Abdul-Hamid (PhD), Minister of Information, Govt of Ghana
Foreword by Atukwei Okai, Secretary-General, Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA)
No Wings by Frank E.K. Parkes
Author's Preface & Acknowledgements - Victoria Ellen Smith
Introduction to the Second Edition - Victoria Ellen Smith
A Note of History by Henry Swanzy (1957)
Should I Ever by I.K. Hoh
THE COUNTRYSIDE - Akan: Contributions by J.H. Nketia; A.A. Opoku; T.C. Aninfeng; J.K.O. Lindsay; J.V. Mensah; C.V. Hutchison; S.K. Otoo; Bossman Laryea; Joseph Ghartey; Albert Kayper Mensah; Efua Sutherland; L.K. Idan
Ewe: Contributions by K. Hoh; L.K. Safo (Translated by R. Agodzo); Adolph Agbadja
Ga-Adangme: Contributions by E.K. Martey; Richard Bentil
Dagomba: Kamyana Ka Ti Balim Tingbon & other Contributions by A.B. Derimanu
Hausa: Contributions by J.H. Sackey; Malam Bello Osman; Bidi Setsoafia
THE TOWN Contributions by Geormbeeyi Adali-Mortty; Martin Cameron Duodu; A.A. Opoku; Frank E.K. Parkes; Chapman Wardy; Peter K. Buahin; Kwesi Brew; Lionel K. Idan; F.K. Nyaku; Kenneth Macneil Stewart; G.R. Hagan; I.K. Hoh; Lebrecht Hesse
E.K. Martey; E.A.N. Ankrah; I.K. Ametsime; E.A. Winful; S.A.A. Djoleto; Albert Kayper Mensah; Joyce Addo; G.M.K. Mensah; S.D. Cudjoe; S.E. Archibald Aikins; Kwaku Poku; P.E.A. Addo; K.A. Nyako; F.K. Nyaku; I.B. Dadson; P.H. Nehrbot; J. Aggrey-Smith
The Meaning of Independence by Robert K. Gardiner
National Anthem by Philip Gbeho
Notes on Contributors


'This is an important book in its own right, and its appeal lies in but also crucially well beyond the usual groves of academe. It is a celebrated text, long unavailable to those interested in owning a copy. It is at once an avowal and a celebration of Ghana's independence under Nkrumah in 1957, and a notable addition to the now busy field of African literature. After fifty years of research in Ghana I learned new things from Smith's impeccably researched and written introduction. The original is clear, engaging and thought provoking, and the new editorial material is illuminating and to the point. All in all, a pleasure to read.' -- Tom McCaskie, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

Voices of Ghana is an important and vital contribution to historical, sociological and literary study of West Africa. AFRICA IN WORDS

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