Geoffrey Kofi Akuamoa (Jeff Akvama) was born in Ghana and raised in Europe. He studied at the College of Science and Technology, Birmingham, United Kingdom; the University Medical School at Zurich, Switzerland; the Medical University of Kiel, Germany; the Medical University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Medical University of Oslo, Norway. He was appointed Professor in Education and Academic Affairs, Colombo, and has lectured a great deal. He is a general medicine specialist and has received many awards from the International Biographical Association as well as the American Biographical Institute.
Geosi Reads Interviews Geoffrey Kofi Akuamoa:
GEOSI READS: Could you please tell me the relationship or otherwise of the two names that is often associated with you – thus Geoffrey Kofi Akuamoa and Jeff Akvama?
GEOFFREY KOFI AKUAMOA: I was born Geoffrey Kofi Akuamoa and left Ghana in 1955 to England, Switzerland, Denmark and other countries. The name Geoffrey Akuamoa was difficult to pronounce thus, I changed my name to Jeff Akvama which was easier and shorter for the Europeans to pronounce.
GR: You have lectured in various universities around the world. Has being a lecturer influenced your writings in any particular way?
GKA: Yes, it motivated me because people kept asking where I came from and since I was born in Ghana I wanted people to know about the country.
GR: You have numerous scientific publications to your name. What inspired you to shift the focus to writing a novel?
GKA: My wife read history books written by the late Prof. Adu Boahene, it inspired me and since I was aware of the history of the Gold Coast, West Africa in general and some countries I have lived in Europe, it motivated me to put my thoughts down.
GR: Triangle Within a Circle: The Globe and the People In It is your first book/novel. Tell us about the book?
|Triangle Within a Circle is a new historical novel that traces the adventures of a Portuguese family that settles on the West African coast in the fifteenth century. Garriguesz, a poor sailor, convinces his sons Figo and Raul to sail with him from the city of Porto, in Portugal, to explore the unknown waters of the Atlantic. They experience firsthand many of the ocean’s deepest mysteries, encountering mermaids and sea creatures. Their journeys eventually bring them to the wealthy and exotic region of Edina, on the West Coast of Africa, to what is today modern Ghana. They choose to stay amongst the beautiful and good-hearted people. Garriguesz and his sons experience the riches of life in Africa, and learn about the origins of the people, their languages, and their lifestyles, ever fascinated by the differences in customs, flora and fauna from their native land.
“The aim of the book is to provide an account of a little-understood region of the world, West Africa and Africa in general,” says Akuamoa. “The past defines our lives and brings meaning–the configuration of people on planet Earth did not take shape overnight, but passed through meaningful transformations.” For Akuamoa, the circle symbolizes the globe and the triangle symbolizes the people who live within it. Through the story of Garriguesz and his descendants, Akuamoa is able to show how encounters between people of the “old” world and the “new” bring about new ideas and change the course of human evolution. “Triangle affectionately recreates and captures the brightness of the region, the rise and fall of kingdoms, the decline of empires; mysticism, the supernatural, and superstition are all interwoven with wisdom,” says Akuamoa. Triangle Within a Circle traces the family through the centuries, ending in the 1950s, with the Independence of Ghana and the immediate aftermath. It is a stunning tale of beauty, one that urges its readers to look for some center of deepening knowledge and meaning in life, to discover the role each individual on earth is meant to play.
“On the Atlantic Ocean, we drifted away in our small ship from Porto, Portugal, vanishing into the open Atlantic Ocean sailing toward Africa. We were only three, my father Garriguesz and my younger brother Raul, age eighteen. I am Figo, age twenty-one. I learned much about navigation from my father and had learned a great deal of knowledge from my grandparents’ intellectual abilities, their explorations and distinctive pioneering. We did not struggle with fears because my father was very knowledgeable. I was prepared and had illusions that there was something out there……”
GR: Who is/are your audience? In other sense, to whom do you write for?
GKA: History Students.
GR: I noticed a great deal of history in your first book. How much of research goes into your writings?
GKA: A bout a year.
GR: The title of your book, ‘Triangle Within A Circle’ is very much symbolic. What should readers expect upon a first glance at the title of the book?
GKA: The Triangle symbolizes people and the Circle symbolizes the Planet – The people in the Globe.
GR: Where do you get your inspirations from to write? Is/Are there any special people who have influenced your writing?
GKA: From my patients who wanted to know more about Ghana and Africa in general.
GR: What is your take on the value of fiction writing in the transformation of the society? In other words, does fiction has a place in the modern society?
GKA: Yes, life is a fiction, a dream world, people are dreaming all the time.
GR: You will agree with me that every writer has his/her unique style. What is your style as distinct from other writers?
GKA: Combination of history with fiction to make history less tiresome for readers.
GR: What is/are your favorite book(s)? Do you have any?
GKA: Scientific books.
GR: To what extent have you marketed your book? And has it been well received?
GR: What do you make of the reading culture in Ghana?
GKA: Poor. It ends after they graduate from school.
GR: How did you get published? Did you struggle to get published?
GKA: Via search engines, I do not struggle to get published.
GR: What do you make of the Ghanaian publishing industry? How has your book been received back home?
GKA: I have never tried. Until now people do not know about it.
GR: Are there any other books in the pipeline? What have you been working on lately?
GKA: Yes, Thoughts of Encouragements 30 great stories, horror, scary…….2) Kwame, the Last Slave from Ghana.
GR: What book(s) are you reading now?
GKA: At the present I am writing.
GR: Do you have any online presence where your fans and readers can read more about you and your books?
GR: Your last words?
GKA: I hope the Organizations that help children to read continue their magnificent work.