Life In The Media 40 Years ago
Below is a link to a piece I published in New African magazine to mark the paper’s 40th anniversary in 2006.
I wasn’t in on the founding of the magazine, but I was close to some f the people involved in the paper’s origins. Its London offices –40-43 Fleet Street, EC4 — held a special emotional appeal for me: they were just above the London offices of the magazine that first made me famous, the Ghana edition of Drum.
When I left Ghana in 1965 to escape being imprisoned under the obnoxious Preventive Detention Act,for things I had written in Drum, I began to write for my own paper as a freelance! There was a lot to write about life in London and I used to show up in the Drum office once a month, to submit my copy to a nice Welshman, called Alun Morris, who had been “Editorial Adviser” to me when I first joined Drum as Ghana editor.
Alun and I hadn’t been too close socially when we were both working at Drum in Accra. But in London, he was most friendly and we were soon spending Saturday mornings at a pub at the junction between Holland Park Avenue and Ladbroke Grove, where I lived. He later became editor of the colour supplement of the London Observer.
But back to the Drum office in Fleet Street. I was made welcome there by Alun’s secretary, a lady we knew simple as Margaret. She used to give me a nice cup of tea when I went there, and we became so friendly that eventually, it was she to whom I entrusted the typing of my first novel, The Gab Boys. By the way, although this novel was first published in 1967 and has been out of print for many years, it can almost certainly be bought on the Internet at www.abebooks.com
You will probably pay as much for it now as the entire amount of royalties I received for writing it, but never mind — try buying a Van Gogh! Writers and artists are supposed to starve in their lifetimes, whilst those who had the foresight to buy their works early make pots of money on those works. Well,enjoy the piece. It will give you an insight into life in journalism in Ghana between 1960 and 1965. Here is the link:
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