Happy Independence Day Ghana! In 2017 Darkowaa who runs the African Book Addict! Blog wrote a three-part series on Ghanaian writers and their amazing books to celebrate Ghana at 60. The blogs inspired her to start the #ReadGhanaian🇬🇭 Challenge on social media this year and it has been exciting to see bookworms all over the world participating.
Booksie has also been inspired to create a Kid Lit version of this list. So, on the occasion of Ghana’s 62nd birthday, we present the #ReadGhanaian🇬🇭: Kid Lit Edition. Meet 9 of our favourite Ghanaian children’s writers.
One cannot talk about children’s literature In Africa without mentioning Meshack Asare. He is the author and illustrator of 12 children’s books that have entertained and delighted children for more than 40 years. He studied Fine Arts at the College of Art in Kumasi and later got an MA in Social Anthropology at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2014, he became the first African to win the prestigious NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature and his book, Kwajo and the Brassman’s Secret won the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa in 1982. His works have won several other awards including the 1999 UNESCO First Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature. Asare mostly writes picture books.
Booksie’s current favourite: Kwajo and the Brassman’s Secret
Diana Bamford McBagonluri
Diana Bamford McBagonluri is an author, teacher and education consultant. She holds an MA in English Literature from Rosemont College, a BA in English Education from the University College of Education, Winneba and a Teacher Certificate from St. Monica’s Training College. She is the author of several children’s fantasy themed books including Zahara’s Diaries, Sons of the Skroll, The Flying Ostrich and Tears of a Rain Goddess. She’s also written textbooks and teachers guides. I recently discovered Diana Bamford-McBagonluri’s books in a bookshop in Accra and was blown away. She has written so much but until that day, I hadn’t come across any of her works. The world needs to read her awesome books. Bamford-McBagonluri mostly writes chapter books.
Booksie’s current favourite: Sons of the Skroll
Efua Sutherland was a celebrated children’s books writer, playwright and activist. She established various writing and cultural institutions in Ghana including Okyeame, a cultural journal, the Ghana Drama Studio, the Ghana Society of Writers, a touring theater group called the Kusum Agoromba and the beloved Mmofra Foundation, a foundation dedicated to enriching the cultural and intellectual lives of all children in Ghana. Her books and plays include Tahinta: A Rythym Play for Children, Voice in the Forest, Foriwa, Edufa, and The Marriage of Anansewa. Sutherland’s children’s books were mostly picture books.
Booksie’s current favourite: Voice in the Forest
Ruby Goka is a prolific children’s writer and dentist. She has written 15 books so far and we are sure she has more literary goodness to share with the world. Her first published book, The Mystery of the Haunted House won the third prize in the Burt Award for African Literature competition in 2010. Since then, her books The Lost Royal Treasure, When the Shackles Fall, Perfectly Imperfect, Plain Yellow and The Step-monster, have all won awards in the same competition. Goka shares Booksie’s philosophy that “the more African children see themselves reflected in the pages of books they read, the more they will dream and know they can be anything they want to be.” Goka mostly writest picture and chapter books.
Booksie’s current favourite: Mama’s Amazing Cover Cloth
Dr Mary Ashun
Dr Mary Ashun is a scientist, educator and writer. She is currently the Principal of Ghana International School (GIS). She holds a BSc from University of East London, a B.Ed. from University of Toronto and a Ph.D from SUNY Buffalo, NY. Prior to GIS, she was the Principal of Philopateer Christian College in Toronto, Canada and a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Redeemer University in Canada. Her works include The Adventures of Kobby Badu-Smith, a science-themed chapter book for children, Stubborn Kwame, a picture book, Serwa Akoto’s Diary, a novel for young adults and more. You may have come across any of the books written under her psuedonyms; Abena Apea or Asabea Ashun. Dr Ashun’s children’s books are mostly picture and chapter books.
Booksie’s current favourite: Stubborn Kwame
Delali Avemega is a children’s books writer, illustrator and graphic designer. Although he’s relatively new on the children’s literature scene, he’s produced amazing books in a short amount of time. His writing and illustrating journey began when he had his first child and realized that a lot of children’s books on the Ghanaian market were foreign and his daughter wasn’t really interested in the local ones. He has currently authored and illustrated more than 10 books and has more in the works. His publishing company, Fish & Plankton Books recently announced it’s country wide book tour around Ghana and we can’t wait! Avemega writes mostly picture books and early readers.
Booksie’s current favourite: Lulu goes to school
Elizabeth-Irene Baitie is an award-winning author and biochemist. She studied biochemistry and chemistry at the University of Ghana and received a postgraduate degree in clinical biochemistry from the University of Surrey. She currently runs a medical laboratory in Accra. SHE has won the Burt Award for African Literature twice and in 2006 won the Macmillan Prize for Africa (Junior Readers) for her book A Saint in Brown Sandals. Fans of Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers and Twins at St Claires series will love her work. Baitie mostly writes chapter books.
Booksie’s current favourite: The Twelfth Heart
Dr. Adwoa Badoe
Dr. Adwoa Badoe is a trained physician, educator, African dance instructor and children’s books writer. She has written 20 books for children and young adults. Her works include a collection of folktales, picture books, novels and plays.
Booksie’s current favourite: The Runaway Bicycle
Nana Ama Buckman
Nana Ama Buckman is the Publishing Manager at Buck Press Limited and the author of one of our favourite picture book series, Naughty Kofi. She has an MA in publishing from the University of Arts London and a BA in English from Trinity University. Buckman mostly writes picture books.
Booksie’s current favourite: Kofi and the Wedding Dress
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many other authors we know and love but we couldn’t put everyone here. Are we missing your favourite Ghanaian children’s books author? Tell us who they are in the comments!
This post was written by Edem Torkornoo, Founder of Booksie. Booksie is a pan-African book subscription service and book club for 3–12 year olds.