I am a Ghanaian by birth and an American by naturalization. I was born on January 1948 with crippled legs. In 1954 at age 6, I started school. I was withdrawn from school after first grade. At the beginning of the second grade, when my first grade teacher did not see me around, he asked of me. When he was told that I had been withdrawn from school, he approached my father to find out why. My father told him he didn’t see the need to educate a cripple. Teacher Aggrey advised my father to let me stay in school and learn how to read and write so that when his able sons and daughters working outside Kukurantumi wrote to him, I, the cripple, would read the letter for him instead of an outsider. This suggestion registered well with my father so he put me back in school.
I completed my Elementary School Education in 1964. There was no money to further my education so I went and lived in my father’s farm for one year weaving baskets for sale. That was how I was able to raise money to register for Teacher’s Training College Entrance Examination.
Between 1968 and 1972, I earned my 4-Year Teacher’s Certificate ‘A’ with Distinction in Practical Teaching. I began my professional teaching career at Akyim Maase Methodist Middle School in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
In 1978, while teaching at Martin De Porres International School at Dansoman in Accra, I published my first English book, The Torch: English Composition. It was the first Composition Text book in Ghana to give guide lines in terms of questions, suggestions and prompt-notes.
In 1980, I published a novella or short novel, Crucial Decision, which I left Ghana for further studies in the United States. In June of that same year, I gained admission into the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
In 1983, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from the Oklahoma State University and entered Graduate school to do my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. In 1985, a Poetry Class under Professor Nuala Acher assigned us to do research in any branch of the Science Department and write a Scientific Poem for End of Term Project Work. This led me into the Ranch House of Oklahoma State University. In the process of this research my hand got stuck in a cow’s ass. The terrible experience I went through gave me so much to write about. So my Scientific Poem, ‘THE DAY I PLAYED ROMANCE WITH A COW’ was judged the best Scientific Poem ever in the history of the University portraying a real life experience with a cow at the Ranch House of the Oklahoma State University. In that same year, one of my published poems, “By the Pool of Thought” received an award in the American Poetry Showcase.
For my MA thesis, I chose to analyze poems and short stories written by Africans and travelled to some African countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast for research exercise. Unfortunately, my research materials got lost on the flight. This unfortunate setback greatly affected my intellectual and spiritual oxygen to the extent that I had to give up the pursuit of my Masters Degree for a while.
In June of 1987, I moved from Oklahoma State to New York City and began to work for the New York City Board of Education as a classroom teacher of English. I taught at Evander Child’s High School, Morris High School and John F. Kennedy High School.
On Monday, October 26 1987 in New York City, another of my poems, Africa is My Home (The Wire Discourse), won “POEM OF THE WEEK” cash prize award in the People’s Poetry Contest, co-sponsored by the National All Stars Talent Show Network and the National Alliance.
In 1991, I earned my Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the Queen’s College of The City University of New York. My MA thesis, a novella entitled Ancestral Sacrifice, received so much critical praise that I developed it into a novel and published it in 1998. Later, Ancestral Sacrifice became the Core English Literature text book for Senior High Schools in Ghana.
In 1992, when President Clinton was vying for US Presidency, I was part of the team which campaigned for him in Harlem. When he became the president, I became one of his Presidential Partners for all his two terms.
In 1994, when Nelson Mandela was struggling to change history by becoming the first black President of South Africa, I joined an effort initiated by Harry Bella Fonte, Willie Johnson, Danny Glover, Robert Zavine and Bob Moses to raise money in the US for Mandela’s campaign in South Africa. Captioned “Fund for Democratic Elections in South Africa (FDESA), I was one of the volunteers in the Harlem Community. I was granted interview on this issue by Dr. Lamptey on Afric-Vision TV. Frankly, I still feel so proud for being part of the team in the US which assisted Mandela to fulfill his lifetime effort to chase the evil apartheid out of South Africa
In 1998, I was awarded Certificate of Merit by Writer’s Digest for my novel Ancestral Sacrifice. Also on June 23, 1998 I was invited by Morris High School in Bronx, New York and presented with a plaque in recognition of my Literary Accomplishments.
In 2009, I published 3-PLE COMENTARY, a critical analysis of Lawrence Damani’s Grief Child, Efo Kojo Mawugbe’s In The Chest Of A Woman, Five Poems by African Poets and Five by Non-African Poets. These were Core Literature Set books for The West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
3-PLE COMENTARY was written to assist students to understand the texts in Prose, Verse and Drama with considerable ease.
I have just published another intensive schedule English book entitled PRACTICAL ENGLISH LEVEL 365 Vo. 1. This is an effective English improvement text book which was published in the United States by Outskirts Press in Parker, Colorado. I am currently working on Volume 2 of PRACTICAL ENGLISH LEVEL 365.
I am married to Mrs. Alice Safoaa Nyantakyi. We have 5 children. Akosua Akyeanowaa Nyantakyi, Asafoakye Kwabena Nyantakyi, Kwasi Ohene Nyantakyi, Akosua Ohenewaa Nyantakyi and Nana Asor Nyantakyi.
What is your main creative activity?
What is your website address?
How did you hear about 'Who'd Of Thought It!'?
Through Melanie Solomon, my personal marketting assistant at Outskirts Press in Parker, Colorado
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Thank you for joining us and I extend a warm welcome to you. Your biog made me cry and laugh (in that order). We are privileged to have such an accomplished member of this embryonic community. I very much look forward to reading and directing people to your work and hope you are able to use this platform to evolve it further.
Who'd of thought it is not a business as such though we have been considering its potential commercial positioning. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share our core values with you:
Our mission is to create a democratic model for the acquisition and exploitation of creative assets, delivering an investment opportunities and ongoing stakeholder value.
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I set up Who'd of Thought It in 2010, as a blog and place to share and develop ideas.
It evolved into a small community and forum to post thoughts and canvass feedback, with me entertaining the notion of perhaps collaborating on and publishing some of the content to a wider audience. After gathering some initial traction (there are some novel concepts in the archive) other ventures took precedence.
'WoTI' now serves as a occasional pleasure, scrapbook of ideas and guest posts from those who dare. But never say never!