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28.11.2001 General News

British woman launches a book on Akan proverbs

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A book on a collection and translation of 5,000 Akan proverbs authored by Mrs Peggy Appiah, the 80-year-old British widow of the eminent Ghanaian lawyer and politician, Joe Appiah, was launched in Accra on Tuesday.

It is a voluminous book with the cover in Asante kente colours at its right and left vertical ends and pictures of Mrs Appiah and her son Kwame Anthony, at the back.

Also launched was an edited compilation of a 76-page book of the late Dr Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen Memorial Lectures from 1990 to 1995 by Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah, a journalist.

Professor Ama Atta Aidoo, a writer and poet performed the launch. Mrs Appiah, who retires from writing after this book, has been in Ghana for the past 50 years.

She was Peggy Cripps, daughter of the late Sir Stafford Cripps, former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer.

She has written extensively on Asante and Akan folklore through her association with great people like the late Dr Kyerematen, the Founder and First Director of the National Cultural Centre, Kumasi.

Mrs Appiah said she started the collections in the early 50s and later with the help of Anthony and Mr Agyeman-Duah. She likened proverbs to folk stories because they enabled people to comment on activities or say a great deal more about other people.

Mr Agyeman-Duah said his book "Kyerematen and Culture" had authoritative essays from some of the best in the cultural and historical enterprise of the country.

He cited the Rt. Rev. Professor (Emeritus) Kwesi Dickson, President of the All-African Council of Churches, Prof. J.H. Nketia a close friend of Dr Kyerematen's and Dr Mohamed Ben Abdallah as those, who first gave the memorial lectures.

An amount of 5.7 million cedis was realised when five of both books were auctioned with the highest bidder paying three million cedis for one.

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