Year of Publication: 2008
Nana Damoah’s Excursions in my Mind is a short inspirational book that takes into account the author’s personal experiences in life. The title of the book, taken from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s quote, ‘From whatever place I write you will expect that part of my ‘Travels’ will consist of excursions in my own mind’ is a true reflection of what we meet in the book.
Before the narrative begins, Damoah shares a beautiful exposition on how he started to write the book. He talked about how a group of young graduates wanted him to talk about their careers and aspirations and how excited he was at the time for such opportunity. The outcome of this, though the talk never came on, saw the beginnings of this book.
Excursions in my Mind is divided into several unique topics and each one of them under the bigger umbrella – Empower Series. What each series is aimed at is to empower the reader just as the young graduates were in need of at the time.
The topics range from Books and Knowledge to the Mountain Story. In all, there are thirty-seven titles the reader is expected to go through and come out empowered. I personally enjoyed the entire ride on all the topics though I could pin down a few as my favourites. The topics that ended up as my favourites were those ones the author infused his personal real life experiences as examples. By so doing, we read real life stories that can occur to each and every one as long as we are all human beings.
One of the topics, Loss Taught Me, talks about the death of relatives and the lessons the author learnt from them. ‘In a period spanning less than a year, I lost three members of my nuclear family: a father and two brothers… Loss taught me. Loss taught me that death comes to both the old and the young.’
I also enjoyed the series titled; Shyness is not a Virtue where the author talked about how he was once a shy person and how he was able to overcome it. If you’ve lived in this part of Africa, you will realise that the picture Damoah paints is absolutely true. ‘It amazes me that whilst in many parts of the world kids are being taught to be outgoing, forward, on the move and assertive, in Ghana it is a virtue to be shy!’
Damoah has written a book that has only a thin layer of difference, if any, between the author and the narrative. In a sense, the author paints himself as a witness to the story he tells. I cannot shy away from recommending this book.