It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention but for Theresa Kwofi frustration was the mother of taking charge of one's image. Kwofi, a mother and grandmother who left Ghana to make a life in New York, was tired of having ignorant comments about her homeland directed her way. In one instance, someone told her that the small island nation of Guyana was larger than the entire African continent from which she hails. With that, she decided to educate the masses with a book: even if it meant publishing it herself.
Mother Africa is best in its introductory pages when Kwofi presents a kind of Africa 101 for the clueless. She talks about the mountains of Africa: the Kilimanjaro, the Drakensberg, and the Futa Djallon; the great lakes: Tanganyika, Malawi, Chad and Volta. Kwofi also writes of the mighty rivers: the Nile, Niger, Congo, Limpopo and Zambezi; and describes the Kalahari and Sahara deserts. It is so basic, it's delightful. She even lists each African nation and its capital city.
Then Kwofi's frustration - or perhaps anger - begins to seep into the book. Her ire is directed towards the generic white man: she lays the blame on him for what is wrong in Africa.
Kwofi also lashes out at Africans for their belief that all that is white is right. The arguments sometime dwindle down to the ridiculous. As an example, she asks why it is that western journalists have access to all of Africa, while African nations never send reporters to expose the ills of Europe.
From cooking to dialects to marriage rights, Kwofi touches lightly on all of them, but with enough depth so that after a perusal of this tome, you'll pick up nuggets of Africa you were clueless about before. At the same time, you may wonder why she is spending so much time blaming the generic white man.
Kwofi wrote: "I am an African and I should bear the African banner and ring her bells loud and clear over the rooftops." Well alright!
Mother Africa can be purchased by contacting T.K.I.A books at 94 Greene Ave., Brooklyn N.Y. 11238