I tried and failed to get even a glimpse of the exterior of Osu Castle, the president’s residence in Accra, Ghana. As I approached the building, I was stopped on its periphery by two burly guards who were happy to chat with me about world politics but weren’t going to allow me even a foot closer to the centre of power. Turns out I didn’t need their permission. If books are a window into the soul – and they surely are – John Dramani Mahama’s memoirs are a floor-to-ceiling glass pane, offering an unrivalled insight into the mind of the Ghanaian president.
This is an accident. Mahama wasn’t president when he wrote it, nor when it was published in July. At that time, he was deputy to John Atta Mills and expecting at least another term as backup. Then Mills died, without much warning, and Mahama was thrust into the global spotlight. He was swiftly confirmed as president and as party leader and will contest the elections at the end of this year, which are expected to be very tightly fought.
- My First Coup D’Etat: Memories from the Lost Decades of Africa by John Dramani Mahama
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