Former ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs,
John Hargreaves to launch seminal work by African author
On Saturday, 6th December 2014, the former Minister for Multicultural Affairs and former Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, Mr. John Hargreaves will launch a new book – Curfew’s Children – by a Canberra-based African writer. At a time when Africa is in the news for stories other than about its literatures, an Australian-based African writer Kabu Okai-Davies will launch a new book Curfew’s Children, a coming of age story set in Ghana. Okai-Davies stated that “the writing of the book would not have been possible, if Australia had not provided me with the sense of cultural confidence, comparative distance and reflection to tell my story.”
In launching the book, Mr. Hargreaves will address the need to encourage new migrants to add their stories to the ongoing narrative about immigrant life and to the larger story of Australian history. Through the use of the genre of the memoir or life-writing, the new generation of immigrants can have the opportunity to write, to voice, record their experiences, capture their impressions and share their stories with the larger Australian community. This launch forms part of the social and cultural inclusiveness policy initiative of which Mr. Hargreaves was a strong advocate during his term as Minister. In his current capacity, Mr. Hargreaves hopes to continue with his efforts to expand the idea of multiculturalism through the use of seminal works like Curfew’s Children that speak to the democratic spirit of cultural diversity in Australia.
Curfew’s Children chronicles the childhood and growing up pains of the author’s life in England and Ghana, set against the backdrop of Ghana’s struggle for independence, military interventionist politics, ancient history, a sense of nostalgia of its idyllic past and the contradictions of the current conditions of life in an Africa that has imposed a curfew on itself through authoritarian rule. It is a tale about the evolution of a family story, the fragmentation of a people and the eventual exile of its children to lands far and near, scattered around the world in search of better dreams, away from the haunted curfew of Africa’s history.
Kabu Okai-Davies is a poet, playwright and novelist. He was the Founder of and Producer at African Globe TheatreWorks in Newark, New Jersey from 1992 -2005. Kabu lived in America for almost eighteen years before migrating to Australia in 2006. He directed Mark Taylor’s play “Young Followers” in 2007 and participated in the playwriting residency at the Street Theatre. Okai-Davies was the producer of the 2008 and 2009 National Multicultural Festival and manager of the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre. He studied Creative Writing at Oxford University Summer writing residency, and was awarded a Master of Studies, by Australian National University; MA Creative Writing and PhD in Communications; University of Canberra. Okai-Davies has authored two poetry books, The Long Road to Africa and Symphony of Words, a memoir, Curfew’s Children and a novel, In Another Man’s Name. Okai-Davies is currently a Visiting Fellow in Writing at the Australian National University.
The book will be launched on 6th December 2014 at 3:30 at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, Canberra, ACT. The launch is jointly sponsored by the Ghana-Australia Association, the Migrant and Refugee Settlements Service, Canberra Multicultural Community Forum and the Multicultural Youth Services.