Entertainment of Monday, 30 April 2012Source: – “Everybody dreams of all the things they could do; Everybody wants some day to have their dreams come true; If only we can get a little help to see them through; What a wonderful world it would be!”
Over two years ago, I received that life-changing call from the TOUCHING LIVES team to be part of the maiden edition of the life-transforming initiative and reality show by the former brand name of Airtel (Zain). I counted myself very blessed to have been selected out of the over thousand nominations that were put through at the time.
As a young budding writer who wrote his first two books at age thirteen, I was practically over the moon to have known that, Airtel Ghana will support me nurture my creative writing talent by giving me the necessary push. This was at a typical time that the script of my just completed 150-page novel was just sitting on the center table, waiting impatiently to get published so it could get to its target audience to serve its purposes – Educate and Entertain.
It is sarcastically said that, “to write is human but to publish is divine” and I was very fortunate to have the “Touching Lives Team” becoming that divine intervention for me; having the first 1,000 copies of my novella “THE BLOODY INGRATE” (Betrayal of Trust) printed for me for free, among other supportive incentives! Am I not lucky! What more could I have asked for? I am proud to say today that, this book is becoming a bestseller with over 7,000 copies sold within two years and still counting. I am again particularly glad that, this book has been very much accepted by the senior high schools, thereby making it a compulsory read for the students due to how educative and entertaining it is.
By the special grace of God, this book won me the “Young Professional (Writer) of the Year” during the “Youth Excellence Awards” which was organized by Waves International and British Council to appreciate, celebrate and reward excellence among the youth in the country in March 2011. In April 2012 this same “red” book won me the “Youth Impact Ghana Awards” (YIGA) in the category of “Arts and Entertainment.” I am so much humbled by all these recognitions. Let me say here again that, I have solely dedicated those two awards to Airtel Ghana. I believe in the saying that, “give honour to whom honour is due.”
As I expect more laurels and hope to “touch” more lives with my books, let me quickly add that, I currently have two unpublished works that I hope to add to my already three books in the market before the end of this year with the working titles: “Holding on to Hope” and “… Until one Sunday Morning … ”. Today, I can add that bragging title and profession; ‘Writer’ or ‘Author’ to my name, courtesy Airtel Ghana. If not for anything at all, let us all be grateful to Airtel Ghana for giving one Ghanaian that urge to rekindle the flames of the likes of Ayi Kwei Armah , Ama Atta Aidoo and Nigeria’s Chinua Achebe. Just to buttress the importance of Writing and Reading, it is said that, “Writers are the engineers of the human soul” and of course, “a reading nation is a winning nation.”
To Airtel Ghana, the title of my book will be the best adjective to describe me if I do not give you the credit for what I am today and whatever I will become tomorrow. I am so much grateful to you for turning my mere imaginations into a glorious reality. I salute you for introducing and continuing that ground-breaking reality show that is changing lives and giving hope to the hopeless – AIRTEL’S TOUCHING LIVES.
Sylvanus Bedzrah is the author of THE BLOODY INGRATE. He was one of the beneficiaries of the first season of Airtel’s Touching Lives corporate social responsibility initiative. His book, which was first published with the support of Airtel Ghana, is currently a compulsory reading material for Senior High Schools in Ghana