Samuel Reilly

Let Them Eat Corned Beef

Search Sweet Country

By

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General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, president of Ghana from 1972 to 1978, is remembered particularly for his slogans. The modernising initiatives he oversaw – driving on the right, national ‘self-reliance’ in agriculture – were given names that smack at once of the ad man’s office and the barracks: Operation Keep Right, Operation Feed Yourself. As the sociologist Professor Sackey notes with irony towards the end of Search Sweet Country – the Kumasi-born writer Kojo Laing’s debut novel, published in 1986 and now reissued by Penguin – Acheampong renamed a roundabout in central Accra ‘Redemption Circle’. ‘The poor circle is still going round in circles,’ says Sackey, ‘trying to find out how and what it is supposed to redeem!’

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