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Ghanaian writer, Patricia Konadu Mensah lives in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The 24-year-old literally works as a writer at Brand Creative. 

She enjoys to read and watch movies in her free time. For Mensah, it’s beyond just passing time; she dreams of working in the movie industry and produce some of the beautiful stories she creates.

Last year, Mensah emerged as one of the winners of AWC2021, the very first edition of Antoa Writing Contest, with her short story titled “Sankofa” which points to her African origin.

It is the digital economy era and Mensah isn’t sleeping on it. She’s hoping to become a forex trader to support her writing career. Although, she says many people have told her that there’s nothing but uncertainty on that path. But her response comes with a strong determination:

“Regardless I love doing these things, and I can only anticipate that with determination, hard work, and hope, I’m on to becoming the best versions of myself.”

The young writer is currently working on novel piece which she called The Golden Sahara.

In an exclusive interview with the writer, she had more to share:

Interview with Patricia Mensah

Tell us, what inspired your short story “Sankofa”?

I believe there’s a gap in our African history, and many important events have been hidden from us. So. I wanted to create a character who wanted to ensure the next generation of his people knew how their society was formed and the principles their society was built on. In his capacity, he created symbols that people began to use to tell stories. 

Everyone has a story. How did you pick interest for writing?

I saw a poem by my junior high school teaches; and I thought the words in the poem were beautiful. It was after then that I began to develop a desire for finding words and creating meanings with them. 

Who are your favorite African writers and why?

I love Chinua Achebe from Nigeria. My mum told me about his story ‘Things Fall Apart’ when I was young, and I remember I got so enthralled by the story.

In junior high, I bought his book at the Ghana Book Trust, and after reading it, I was convinced. He is a great African writer. I also love Peggy Oppong from Ghana, and her ability to use descriptive words is impressive.

Mensah, do you have favorite places where you write?

I write everywhere 🙂

All I need is a book and a pen or the Notepad on my phone. There’s beauty around. Love, pain, and joy in people’s lives, and I see them every day. I believe these are the most basic forms of emotions to draw inspiration. So I write when I see or feel regardless of location.

As a young writer, where do you see yourself in the future?

I want to develop scripts that I can use for film production. My sole desire is to shake up the movie industry in Africa with my writings. And of course, my screenplays will be centered on the forgotten African history.

Read Award-Winning Short Story “Sankofa” by Ghanaian Writer Patricia Mensah 

 

SANKOFA

Patricia Mensah

A chronicle of the future conquest yet to come. A majestic representation where stands our past. My steadfast will to bequeath our traditions to our heirs. Wherein my story begins.

It was a bright day with the afternoon sun glistering like a mighty fireball. The people of Kusaase village had awoken to a new day embracing the winds and gifts that came along with it. Amidst the hustling and bustling of the people in the town square stood a boy, a young man full of vigor, with an excitement dawning on his face. He lifted his eyes to behold the azure sky that stretched far beyond what his eyes could gauge and he smiled.

As he walked through the town he saw many things. He saw a farmer and trader bargaining fiercely over the price of the newly harvested tubers of yam. He saw daughters helping their mothers to sell, sons accompanying their fathers to farm. He saw kings rule and people obey.

A voice called from behind, ‘‘Asare…Kojo Asare!’’ he turned his head slightly and saw his friend Akoto running towards him.

‘‘Where have you been all day?’’ Akoto asked, panting heavily.

‘‘What do you think?’’

‘‘Let me guess; you were thinking of ways to pass down our traditions to the future generation,’’ he sneered ‘‘to people who will live a thousand years from now; people you will never meet!’’

‘‘Ooh friend, you know me too well.’’

‘‘You’re the son of the great Oppong Kyekyeku and the heir to all his properties. Focus on continuing the legacy of your family and forget this stupidity.’’

Asare in reply to his friend said, “in fact, I can relate to your concern about my family’s continuity but despite that, my dream lies far beyond the responsibilities I shall bear.”

In pursuit of his dream, a decade flew by. Asare who was once a boy was now a man. His desire to hand down the past to the people of tomorrow led to an accomplishment that made the land of Kusaase the pinnacle of greatness. 

The ancient Kusaase located in Ghana of today’s Africa flourished like none other due to the wits of Asare.

‘‘Asare,’’ Akoto called out, ‘‘I always thought you were sprouting nonsense but you really did it! How did you think of creating symbols and giving them meanings? This art of symbol writing you’ve created will indeed go down in history and the future generations will appreciate the traditions of their ancestors.’’

‘‘Well…’’ Asare smiled softly.

‘This is my hope; Let these symbols I have created be your foundation and guide. Let it inspire and shape your thoughts. May our stories be your swords, narratives and solid grounds. And build a far greater future for your offsprings as was done for you’.

 

By Elijah Christopher

 

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Elijah Christopher is a lifelong creative artist and a journalist for “A New Touch Of Africa”, an American news media and magazine focusing on Africa-related issues, fashion, new technologies and innovations. He has contributed to several published works, most notably a collaborative poem celebrating Scottish poet Edwin Morgan and in 2021 was the winner of the DIAJ Award for his photo-artistry.

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