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Diasporian News of Thursday, 25 April 2013

Source: Golden Baobab

Ghanaian illustrators display at Bologna International Book Fair

Accra, April 25, 2013 – Sixteen illustrations by nine Ghanaian illustrators have been displayed at the prestigious Bologna International Book Fair by courtesy of Golden Baobab, a pan-African social enterprise dedicated to stimulating the development of world-class African children’s literature.

Since 1964 the Bologna Children's Book Fair has been the most important international get-together for professionals involved in children's publishing. It is the leading forum for the trade of international children’s book rights, and the go-to hub for professionals and enthusiasts of the children’s literature industry worldwide.

This exhibition of Ghanaian illustrations at the fair is evidence of a resurgence of creative energy amongst Ghanaian creators of literary content for children. The exhibited illustrations were products of an illustrators’ workshop hosted by Golden Baobab in conjunction with the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) – Ghana in July 2012.

Meshack Asare, an awarding-winning Ghanaian author/illustrator, conducted the weeklong workshop, which culminated in a showing of the resulting artwork at the W. E. B. Du Bois center in Accra. Participating illustrators were Elkanah Kwadwo Mpesum, Enoch Yaw Mensah, Peter Oti Asamoah, Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey, Nana Kwabena Hene Kodua, Hawa Nikoi-Ola, Ernest Cobbinah, Andrew Adote, and Sela Kodjo Adjei. These artists reconvened in November of the same year for the opportunity to spend a day learning from Paul O. Zelinsky, winner of the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children.

The illustrations have travelled around the world and have been exhibited in such prestigious venues as Haverford College in Pennsylvania and at the 2013 IBBY Conference in London. This inter-continental display has sent the clear message of the reemergence of a children’s literature industry in Ghana with renewed attention and opportunities given to the creators of children’s literary content.

According to the executive director of Golden Baobab, Deborah Ahenkorah, “it was an incredible honor to show the works of these nine talented Ghanaian illustrators at the Bologna Book Fair. It is Golden Baobab’s mission to afford such opportunities to creators of literary content for African children. In a similar vein we have just launched the 5th annual Golden Baobab Prize for African children’s literature to discover and celebrate the most promising African writers of children’s stories.

In the next ten years Golden Baobab wants to put more and more African writers and illustrators on the global stage for producing incredible works for African children. We encourage all interested writers and illustrators to take advantage of these opportunities we offer.”

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Note to Editors:

Golden Baobab is a nonprofit social enterprise established in 2008 to stimulate the development of world-class African children’s literary content. The organization’s mission is to inspire the creation, ensure the production and facilitate the distribution of enthralling, high quality, culturally relevant literary content by African writers and illustrators for African children. It envisions “a world filed with wonder and possibilities one African children’s book at a time.”

For further information, photos or to arrange interviews, please contact: Alida Uwera via info@goldenbaobab.org

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