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Franka Maria Andoh’s book ‘The Kente Curtain’

Author and Entrepreneur, Ms Franka Maria Andoh has launched a new children’s book “The Kente Curtain” which explores the diversity and beauty of different cultures.

The thirty-three page book tells a story of a young boy named Paul, who finds a connection between Africa and the United States and was inspired by the beauty of the diverse cultures.

Based on the diversity of having an African American mother and a British born father of Ghanaian descent, young Paul was fascinated by both worlds and tries to appreciate equally the cultures.

Speaking at the launch, Franka Maria Andoh described “The Kente Curtain” as magical, a proud legacy and a gift to future generations.

She said the book, written with local imagery, would enable children both at home and in the Diaspora to explore the connection between the foreign and local cultures and learn to appreciate the values through the experiences they acquired.

“My goal is to offer children the opportunity to experience Ghanaian events, through carefully-crafted stories, to enable them to see the reflections of their own lifestyle,” she said.   The Kente Curtain was commissioned by Dr Kwabena Appenteng for his grandson Paul.

When asked about what this project meant to her, Ms Andoh said, “Working with the various creative artists to produce this book was a real honour and pleasure. That the commissioned work is now published and available for more children to read is a source of tremendous joy to me.”

Reviewing the book, Nana Awere Damoah said to the many like Paul, the story of the Kente Curtain is most appropriate, evolving the sense of Sankofa, a connection ‘to our roots and our heritage.

He said while the connection exists, the lines are getting interrupted by the diversity of cultures that were so intertwined, making it difficult for many to discover their identities.

“Even here in Ghana, and on the continent, parents are finding that keeping their children anchored to the rock of their identity in the contemporary times is hard. So we have an Akweley in Accra who speaks no Ga, or a Kossi in Kpando who speaks no Ewe,” Nana Damoah said.

“The Kente Curtain allows us to step out and back to connect with our Yaa Asantewaas, to know what moved them and to experience what made them. The Kente Curtain opens a window for us to savour the coolness under the trees of our cultural and traditional folklore and stories,” Nana Damoah added. The Kente Curtain is the first book project embarked upon by the Antique Lemonade Space, an artist-run space with the idea for creatives to fuse their creative energies together.  It came about from the realisation that it is very important that we take back control of the African narrative and tell our own stories.

A writer with two children’s books under her belt, Franka wrote ‘Koku the Cockerel’ and ‘Dokono the Donkey’ because she wanted her daughter to read books that mirrored her life.

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