At our first ReadAThon on Saturday, 10th January, 2015 at Totally Youth, North Ridge – owned by the late Eva Lokko and family – and in partnership with the Writers Project of Ghana, Kofi Akpabli and I read from 10am to 5.30pm in 3 sessions – a real reading marathon! Our facilitators included Anny Osabutey, Kwame Gyan, Kinna Likimani and Martin Egblewogbe.
In 2016, we dubbed our reading road tours ‘ReadAThon’; and in September 2016, we started the 3-author format with Alba Sumprim at a packed session at JamRock Restaurant. Since then, we have toured Accra, Tema, Ho, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Tarkwa and Kumasi as well as readings in Monrovia, Liberia and a surprise one in Lagos, Nigeria, where Kofi paid me a surprise visit at a gathering of Ghanaian professionals. We have held the ReadAThon in bookshops, auditoriums, campus conference rooms, universities, restaurants, gardens, and even on a rooftop!
We have had a couple of dinner readings, where patrons paid to have dinner and listen to readings! The Jamrock reading in September 2016 was our biggest, attended by over 150 literary enthusiasts who literally jam-packed the then Jungle Road location! In June 2020, at the height of COVID-19, we premiered our Virtual ReadAThon.
In June 2020, at our first Virtual ReadAThon – bringing together some of our favourite ReadAThon authors, such as Alba and Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng (our first published author) and adding exciting new authors such as Marjorie Boafo (Marjy Marj), Bisi Adjapon, Audrey Obuobisa-Darko, Nana Gyan-Apenteng, Amma Agyeman-Prempeh with the support of our clothing sponsor WearGhana – we experienced something we had never envisaged would happen to a gathering of book lovers across the continent and the globe: hackers shouting unprintable words and showing us pictures that are not worthy of re-sharing.
Not once, but twice – even after we regrouped and put in a password which we shared only to participants. Yet, again, we rallied and rose. We charged forward and held our own against the forces. Our writer friend Marjorie Marjy Marj Boafo saved the day by quickly switching us onto her channel to continue the broadcast.
And we prevailed, dishing out rounds of delicious readings that got patrons asking for more and asking that we didn’t stop. But I guess that virtual experience shook us! So we took a two-year break. Good news…we are back! bringing you authors and thought leaders via readings from books that you should have. We are happy to contribute to the agenda of bringing light and making reading hip again! This Saturday, from 10am to 7pm, at Dikan Centre, it shall be butu-butu!