Writings of the general word's body

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

To Labadi

My short-short story, A Gong to the Past (left), published in the new ('Freedom') issue of Calabash Magazine.
A Gong to the Past is based on a little gem of a historical snippet I heard last year about a place in Ghana called Labadi. Apparently Labadi was so named because the locals' sabotaged plans to build a slave fort on their land during the Triangular Trade.
However, whilst the bit about the slave fort is based on fact, everything else weaved around it in the story is completely made up.
I do remain fascinated by the history of Labadi, and will continue to dig. I have not read any reference to the slave fort sabotage anywhere. If any readers know more, do please share.


Waffarian said...

Ahhhh, where can I get a copy? I liked the last story a lot! The image of that man falling over chickens and washed clothes still makes me laugh and I am still wondering which state! can't get past that!

Wordsbody said...

Hi Waffarian,

'Calabash' was being sold at the recent book fair. I expect there'll be info on the organisers/publications' website: www.centerpriseliterature.com - they usually upload downloadable pdf copies of the mag soon after publication...

'Gani's Fall' - ah, thanks. Gani gets his comeuppance among the chickens, I guess. That's one story in which I liked every character, including Gani, who's like that because he's a product of his upbringing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Molara,

I didn't want to comment anonymously, i've just forgotten my g-mail account.

I love your blog and your stories, i've been lurking shamelessly for a few months. I loved gani's fall, it left me wanting to know more about all the characters.

I look forward to reading more of your stories, NB. i loved the photos of the litfest in the gambia.


Wordsbody said...

Hi Chepkemboi,

Thanks for the encouragement.


Anonymous said...

Dear Wordsbody!

I am very interested in your story on Labadi, and when i get some time I should try and get you some more information.

I myself is a Dane, and some of my ansestors where those who build the forts closest to La, in Teshie and in Osu, which they named Christianborg after our King.
Chrisitansborg is now the "Palace" of the Ghanian president, even though the sitting president is building a new one, I am told.

In light of the violent and unjust history of Africa, brought on by greed and inhumane ideas about others, it is important to tel the many stories of resistance, to this exploitation, and if I can be of any asistance it wold be my pleasure (I have send you my email on a seperate mail, in case you want to contact me.

As a sad but very real reality, a fort build by the english just some few kilometers from La is still today - 2007 - used as a prison, and has been since 1957.

In this former fort, build during the slavetrade, people are still being kept, among insects that only live in this fort, studied by biologist, for their fierce interest in consuming human flesh.

As a journalist, this might be a topic of interest, alongside the more possitive one about resisting the slavetrade.

Nii Ashitey Blofunjo aka Jesper

Wordsbody said...


Eye-opening contribution, thanks. I heard around the same time last year about the former fort being used as a prison in Ghana, and how visiting African-Americans found this most disrespectful, and voiced their disquiet. Naturally. I had thought the prison would have been decommissioned even by the time of my hearing of it. Alas.

Your comment is the first I'm hearing of the insects, which sound like the stuff of gruesome nightmares.

I will await your mail under separate cover.

Thank you so much.


Frank Partisan said...

Really good work.

Uzo said...

Wow! I have never heard of Labadi! Will definitely be looking for some more information