Author and theologian, Agana-Nsiire Agana has challenged writers to take up projects in Pidgin to cater to the needs of African audiences.
“I think there is a place for well-written Pidgin stories for African audiences,” he said during ‘Catch Up!’ held by the Accra International Book Festival (AIBF).
Describing himself as a lover of language, the author said he was compelled to write his latest book ‘Master the Pidgin’ because of the total disregard for the language on the continent.
“I want to achieve a few things with the book, including raising the profile of Pidgin as a credible and robust linguistic system worth learning and teaching and exposing the inner beauty of the language and show the rules by which it can easily be learned,” Mr Agana said.
He also wants to “debunk the myth that Pidgin is for illiterates as well as the cause of failure in English language exams” across Africa.
‘Catch Up!’ is a social media conversation organised by the Accra International Book Festival (AIBF) to explore works by African writers. The conversation with Mr Agana was moderated by the Executive Director of Centre for Patriotism and Attitudinal Change (CEPAC), Hannan T. Legend.
Asked if any novel could rival Chinua Achebe’s celebrated work ‘Things Fall Apart’, Mr Agana said, “I think it is possible.”
“But it’s possible for any nationality. The significance is in the weight of the story, so let’s see what stories get told. It’s not just about the words, but about the weight of what you have to say with a story,” he said.
He believes every writing project can sell but to do that the writers must master the ingredients of his craft.
“That comes down to content or ideas, and language. Say powerful things, and say them powerfully,” Mr Agana said.