Friday, 7 November 2014

NEWACCRA MAG. FEATURE

Meet Gamel Sankarl, The Ghanaian Writer Nominated for the BEFFTA UK Awards 2014

When a 13 year old Junior high School boy picked up a book and started reading, he was so captivated by the story that he promised himself that someday he will write a book that good.
But it was more dramatic circumstances that made him actually write his first book.
Like many teenagers, this boy had a crush on a sweet girl. They grew up together as friends and developed feelings for each other as time passed. The lady was first to notice this feeling and she did all she could but this guy did not make a move. The night the naive young boy finally found the  courage to propose to the lady, years had passed and he was too late. She was dating somebody else and the boy was left heartbroken !
So what does a devasted young man do when he is heartbroken ? He writes his pain away. That night, this shattered boy started pouring his pain on paper and by sunrise, he had produced a  chapter. From heartbreak, emerged a writer whose words warm hearts.
That was years ago.
Today, Gamel Sankarl is a BEFFTA nominated author who made Ghana proud by being one of the few Ghanaians nominated in the category of Best Author – BEFFTA UK Awards 2014. Although the award was ultimately won by Maureen Elizabeth Worrell, Gamel’s story inspires many up and coming writers.
According to the author with 8 books on the shelf and 6 more unpublished titles under his belt, his sucess can only come from  God. On the human level, his consistency ,ever since he started writing his first book while a first year student in the University of Cape Coast, has also paid off.
Writing has given Gamel some exciting life experiences. He fondly remembers the day he launched his fourth book. Just before the launch, His Head of Department approached him and gave him money for the launch event. Gamel couldn’t believe his luck when the head of department went on to give him a double offer- an opportunity to pursue his Master’s degree and a job in the department. Writing had just opened a double door!
But it is has not always been that positive. Surprisingly, some young people have refused to accept  his efforts. Someone once asked him ‘So what do you think you know to be able to write a book at your age ?’ He has also found it hard to sell his work and he had to fund some of his early work with personal savings and his student loan. Despite all these, Gamel keeps pressing . “People will always say whatever they like, but you should listen to the inner voice, not the many outer voices” he states.
To all you aspiring writers out there, Gamel says start by building your capacity. Also use the internet to establish networks with useful contacts. In his signature rhyme style, he says;
“You may currently be operating in a hole out of the whole world’s view. But if and only if you are wholeheartedly doing something right, someone will spot you right where you are and bring you right before the whole world’s view. Keep doing the right things the right way and the right people will help you claim your right spot at the right time”
Gamel’s latest book is titled ‘Author at any Age’. It is a rich book that details his starting out as a writer, producing his own work and dealing with the challenges that come with the life of an author. It is available in a book shop near you. If you are in Ghana, simply call 0245 130 342 for your copies.


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