Africa-Canada

Edmonton: Bakar Mansaray releases his second book

By  | 26 June 2017 at 21:22 | 1224 views

Bakar Mansaray launched his first book here in Edmonton, Canada, about 20 months ago. That book, A Suitcase Full of Dried fish, was a collection of fiction stories. Now he has published yet another book, his second. This one is titled ‘My Afro-Canadian Chronicle.’

The new book is far from fiction. In it, Mansaray looks inward as he shares his life story against a familial backdrop. Mansaray was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in French and Geography, from the University of Sierra Leone, he worked for the then national airlines based in Freetown. While he was there he took frequent flying tours of the world as part of the airline’s crew. That was from the mid-1980s and up to the 1990s when war broke out in Sierra Leone. Mansaray fled the country with his family in the heat of the war. He finally settled in Canada around the start of this millennium.

The author first lived in Woodstock, Ontario, before moving to Edmonton, Alberta, about 10 years ago. He earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Athabasca University in 2006. No doubt, Mansaray has much to share with the rest of the world.

My Afro-Canadian Chronicle is an autobiography that tracks the author’s life as he reflects on his ancestral roots. Mansaray guides this 264-page excursion with a global mindset; never losing sight of his readers. It is essentially a close-up of his life in Sierra Leone, and then Canada. His diverse cultural perspective is also informed by his travels. “My target readers are grown-ups who’ve experienced life in two or more distinct cultures,” the writer tells The Patriotic Vanguard.

Mansaray cites resilience as the theme of his new piece of literature. “I have used this book to remind myself and others that all is not lost; even when a situation seems gloomy.” He adds: “My message is to reinforce the virtues of honesty, fairness and respect.”

The writer compares the experience of writing this second book with his work on the very first one, ‘A Suitcase Full of Dried Fish.’ The research and organization of materials was rather tedious, says Mansaray about his autobiography. “It seemed like I had bitten a lot more than I could chew,” he confides. “It was quite a challenge at first; but the deeper I dug into the history of my extended family the more my motivation grew.” Mansaray also laments the difficulty he faced as he sought people who could spare some time and look at his manuscript. “One thing kept me going; a lifelong dream to leave an enduring legacy for my family and for posterity.” He laughs, “The morale booster was that it is my own story, a true story.”

Mansaray (fondly called Samory by his close peers) says he is now more confident as a writer: “I’ve learnt to be more organized.” “My advice to aspiring writers is that one should go into it whole-heartedly. Writing is not for the lazy or lethargic mind.” The author plans to continue writing books, especially non-fiction. “I’m currently working to complete a manuscript by the end of 2017.” He says the working title is ‘Canadian Muslims: 1867 to 2017.’ This is exactly the 150-year span that Canada has existed as nation.

Acclaimed Sierra Leonean writer and poet Oumar Farouk Sesay wrote the foreword to My Afro-Canadian Chronicle. “In this book humanity oozes out in shades and slides, almost as if one watches the silver screen of a historical movie set in Sierra Leone of yester years,” writes Farouk Sesay who has several publications to his credit. “Montage after montage, the contemporary history of Sierra Leone is revealed through the eyes of the author.”

The book is published by Sierra Leone Writers Series (SLWS), an academic and general publisher. It caters to Sierra Leoneans and other nationals whose writings have a Sierra Leonean context. SLWS’ vision is to be the leading publisher of high quality textbooks, novels and other works by writers of Sierra Leonean origin in order to improve the availability of such publications in and outside Sierra Leone. Oumar Farouk has himself published quite a few books with SLWS; on prose and poetry. They include a novel titled ’Landscape of Memories’ and his newest one, a book of poems. The latter is named ’Broken Metaphor’.

My Afro-Canadian Chronicle was released on Friday June 9, 2017. The book is priced at US$25; and is now available with these options:

Online at www.amazon.com (Type ‘Bakar Mansaray’ in the search box)

In-person purchases:
Lungi International Airport (Sierra Leone) duty-free shopping Centre
Sankoh House, Warima, Sierra Leone
120 Kissy Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone
CLC Bookshop, 92 Circular Road, Freetown, Sierra Leone
By telephone:
+1(780) 200-5541
+1(780) 716-7256
+011(233) 244 201563

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