Scifi and fantasy is a genre of literature that has not really established itself in Ghana. You can take a personal survey, walk to a book shop and ask that you like to know of any sci-fi and fantasy title written by a Ghanaian. And you will not be surprised you will find none. It is not surprising this is so, but the verity of the matter is that, we actually do not have sci-fi and fantasy writers in Ghana. And even if we do, these writers may be doing it on a low tone or on a small scale where just a few people know about their work.
But truth be told, science and technology has always be a facet of our tradition and culture. Our ancestors invented a prudent and way of preparing “fufu” a local delicacy. Do you know the scientific principle that underpins the pounding and the preparation of fufu? Then to the preparation of palm nut soup. We have all tasted and enjoyed palm nut soup and we all familiar with the savvy method by which this delicacy is prepared. All these are sciences. These are indigenous sciences that are not found in any text book. And though our ancestors were not exposed to enormous western education like us, they had their own scientific ways of living.
I just want to bring your mind to the fact that, science and technology has always been a part of our way of life. In architecture, we can look at how our ancestors built their houses with clay and straws of leaf and palm fromds. Isn’t that brilliant and scientific? Then to literature, we have many stories that our ancestors had passed on to us containing many scientific elements and fantasies in them. Notable among these are the horrid and eccentric adventures of Kweku Ananse and his compatriots. The historical story of the Golden Stool and how it was conjured from the sky onto earth by Okomfo Anokye. I am sure there are quite many we can talk about.
Then when we come to our contemporary world, we have STEM education which has consolidated every discipline in science, technology and mathematics. And that is where we find science and technology at the moment. But if you do a back ground check on most of the literature that are supplied to schools, mostly Senior High Schools to be precise, they lack the STEM content in these literatures. There is very little literature on STEM. Most of the literatures we have on STEM are text books, journal, magazines or pamphlets. And I feel that has not been a great feat that we should continue with. There are many writers of literature who have a formidable STEM background, but none has ever thought of creating or producing a STEM literature just to spice up the study of STEM in schools.
But thank God, a new dispensation is born. I call it the dispensation of the rebirth of science fiction and fantasy in Ghana. Early this year, The Raven, a young adult science fiction and fantasy novel was launched by Ghanaian novelist Jacob A. Osae. This is by far the first ever Ghanaian science fiction and fantasy novel written and published on Ghanaian soil. And I will say with the highest magnitude of confidence that, this book is a priceless pearl having read it. And every student in Ghana should a copy of this novel. Because I do believe this has been long overdue. Literacy in Ghana will now have a greater force to reckon with when it comes to science fiction and fantasy because there is a new normal. Everything in this current age is science and technology. And I believe our current literature writers should work towards that. In a generation and dispensation were social media is the order of the day, we cannot still be writing and telling stories that do not inculcate all this science and technologies in our stories. I believe it is expedient that we move with the current trend and through that, make a personal resolve to offer a more quality and sterner education and training to the children of this age. For I believe when these children are given the solid foundation with STEM, they will go a long way to be the agents of change we have always prayed for.
In conclusion, I like to say let us not loathe the science fiction and fantasy that is created by our own. I believe the intelligence the western people possess does not transcend that of the black people. We can equally do whatever they have been able to do. So we bring you science fiction and fantasy Ghana. A movement we hope to augment so it will become a formidable force to reckon with. And all we ask it that you join in this crusade as we all herald the rebirth of science fiction and fantasy in Ghana.
Jacob A. Osae