Greetings, my name is Kofi Akuamoah, Pen Name Alvin Abredu Akuamoah and I am;
a Ghanaian, an African, an Actor, Writer, occasional Spoken Word Artist, Rapper of some sort, currently studying law at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA, Ghana, West Africa).
Why he Weaves
I’ve been obsessed with stories since as long as I can remember, even before I was 5, while living with my grandmother I wouldn’t eat or I would vomit out all my food until my grandma told me an “ananse story”. And was she a good story teller…She would sing to me, and I would sing with her. Those were some of the happiest moments of my life, I remember my innocence, the baths in a pan with Key Soap and all that powder. I’ve been told I was too young, that it’s impossible that I remember, but I do. I really do.
Years later I would finally move in with my parents and my obsession would continue, this might seem strange but I remember not knowing how to read. I would ask any adult I could find to read this portion of the Mirror newspaper that always had a drawing of a model in some dress for me. I wanted to know who the woman was and why she kept changing her clothes. It was only when I finally learnt how to read that I understood it was just a picture of some tailors designs. The writings were a totally unrelated article about politics.
School was no different, I remember my disappointment in kindergarten when Kwaku Sackey won best story teller over me, that was an actual award in St. Theresa’s back then, don’t know if it still is. Class 1, I would tell my grandmothers stories to the class and teach them the songs, even a warped rendition of Rapunzel my older sister told me. Class 2 I started making up my own stories. I never planned before hand and the stories would go on and on with no end so Mr. Klaku, my class teacher then, his soul rest in peace stopped calling me when I raised my hands during story time.
The first books I remember reading were the baby-sitters series. I am not proud of this, my father was so invested in me knowing how to speak and read well, he would give my class teacher money to buy books for me. She would always get baby sitters, I still don’t know why…I mean the hardy boys existed around the same time.
In class 4 I started saving money to buy books at EPP. My father was not a fan of the ones I got though, they were mostly very “white” books, so he took the money from me and bought a whole set of the African Writers Series. I read Money Galore, I read Things Fall Apart, I read About an African Child, I read The Beautiful Ones are not yet born and I wished I had been born in another lifetime. The books were raw, and relatable and so true to life, I wanted to be like them, the writers, I wanted to be like them one day. I cut out pictures of Ama Atta Aidoo, Chinua Achebe and Amu Djoleto from newspapers and pasted them in my room.
A history with Film
Well that’s pretty much it, these are the things that made me what I am I guess. Somewhere along the line I discovered Love Brewed in an African Pot, The Road to Kokorantumi, this movie about two friends who fought a giant that I can never remember, and Battle of Love (a historic Nigerian film that captured the Biafra war so well, I thought about it for weeks) and I fell in love with film as well. My mothers side of the family brought this part out of me, even my grandmother (mothers side) has stacks of VHS disks lying around her home still.
I love stories, I really do.
My style of writing is well, to not have a particular style of writing, I endure myself to being different. Sometimes I’m elite, sometimes not so elite, sometimes typical African Writer , sometimes the young African heavily influenced by western culture.
I want to tell relatable stories, I want to tell stories that can be discussed.
I must admit though that over and above everything else, I am more inclined towards the “Hitchcock way” of doing things- nothing makes sense until you read to the very end. I love Hitchcock, I love Kwaw Ansah, I am slightly influenced by Quentin Tarantino…his conversations more than his violence, I think
Film influences my writing, as you should probably be able to tell by now, hence often my narratives have elements of that dictatorial flair of plays, but its all good. I think it’s a good thing where rather than force-feed descriptions, you give the reader enough to create their own universe with.
I am young, I have dreams and I am afraid they might never come to pass, but one thing I know that at least through everything the future holds will be definite is my addiction to the utopia that is imaginative story telling; film, music, literature, I am a dis-reality junkie, give me anything but reality!
Kofi Akuamoah is co-founder of the Lost In the Words Book Club (L.I.T.W), a club dedicated to collecting stories and reviewing them for leisure and spends his spare time with books and with film. He has plans to pursue a degree in creative writing after his LLB and has started a film recommendations project on Instagram.