In a country where reading falls below the priority list, for even students, a 12-year-old is inseparable from books.
Anas Issa Adusei has read 166 books and hopes to read more.
“I read 50 books when I was 10, but my aim is to read as many books as I can,” he said.
He completes books containing thousands of words in a day, and hunger does not tickle him until he is done.
His eloquence and assertiveness are traits lacking in many Ghanaian children, perhaps derived from his wide-read mind.
Again, many pre-teens have no idea of a career path, but Issa Adusei is certain about acting.
He wants to change lives through acting.
“I want to inspire others through acting not just for money… acting for me is spiritual because whenever I watch any of my favourite actors, I feel the connection…I can picture that it is me out there doing something.”
He has a “spiritual attraction” to playing roles before a camera or audience to motivate others.
Among his favourite books are Jeff Kinney’s ‘Diary of a Whimpy Kid’, Shayne Leighton’s ‘Of light and Darkness’ and Michael Miller’s ‘The Time Keeper’s son’.
He identified Kumawood actor Kwadwo Nkansah Lil Win and Hollywood actor Jace Norman as his favourites.
Lil Win excites him because of his dramatic acting style and exaggeration.
In his research titled ‘Reading Culture in Africa: the Ghana case’, PhD candidate Isaac Owusu Nsiah stated that reading and developing countries are considered incompatible.
This is due to the increasing apathy towards the habit of reading in these countries.
Research has provided a considerable account of such an abysmal reading culture in Africa.
Ghana is one of the countries that suffers from this canker, and perhaps it explains why successive governments and Non-Governmental Organizations have made the culture of reading a priority.
In October 2014, the former second lady, Matilda Amissah Arthur, launched the ‘Stock your Library Project’.
It was a GHC 5million project aimed at donating and equipping libraries with reading and informative books to promote reading amongst students.
In October 2018, the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, launched the ‘Reading to learn, learning to read’ programme.
It is an interactive reading television show with school children and an adult reader.
In January 2020, the Ghana Association of Writers also initiated the GAW Sunday.
A programme held on the first Sunday of every month to encourage young people in features writing, poetry recitals, storytelling, book reading, spoken word performance, and music.
Other individuals like ace broadcaster Gifty Awo Dansoa Anti, in 2016 launched the ‘Awo Dansoa’ reading project to inculcate excellent reading habits in the children of Adumasa-Akwamu.