How many times do we get to meet our favourite author(s)?
How many times do we get to go to lunch with our favourite author(s)?
How many times do we get to sit up with our favourite author(s) and talk about their books?
Benjamin Kwakye needs no introduction on this blog as readers would have noticed by now that he is one of my top most favourite authors. Every reader would agree with me how delightful it is to meet personally the writers of our favourite books. In fact, I have enjoyed every single book written by Benjamin Kwakye and it so happened that I read his books in the order in which they were published.
I remember how I got hold of his first published book—The Clothes of Nakedness. I was in my final year at the university when I realised that I was not happy with the course I was studying. I went straight to the English Department; spoke to one of the Professors who introduced me to certain courses tagged as free electives. In my first class, we read and talked about Benjamin Kwakye’s The Clothes of Nakedness. I remember how I swore to myself to contact him when I had completed the last page. I finished the entire book at the Balme library of the University of Ghana, went straight to the Computer room and searched online for his email address. When I found it, I wrote to him: ‘Hello Benjamin, I’m Geoff Gyasi. I’m a final year student of the University of Ghana, Legon. I have been a very, very great admirer of your novel—The Clothes of Nakedness. We study your novel at school and I must confess that, I do love your work. You inspire me a lot… You inspire me to write. You are great…’ I titled the mail as An Admirer: Student From Ghana.
Several years after reading, enjoying and reviewing all his published works, I am extremely excited to have met him in person. I met Benjamin Kwakye at the just ended Time of the Writer Festival in Durban, South Africa. He had flown in from the United States to be part of some wonderfully invited writers. On the first day of the festival, it was a bit of a surprise seeing him. I have said somewhere about how I found it difficult approaching him. I was just so nervous going over to start a conversation. But when I got to sit with him, I found out how simple Kwakye was.
Before the festival came to an end, we met for lunch at Café Jiran, in the very building that housed him and the other writers. We spent quality time talking about his books, the festival and everything literary. It was just so humbling sitting and chatting with one of my favourite writers. Before we departed, I told Benjamin Kwakye, ‘It has always been a dream to meet you personally. I feel my dream come true’.
See my interview with Benjamin Kwakye here.
See my reviews of books by Benjamin Kwakye: