Monday, February 26, 2018

Book Review: 'Tears of My Life: Old Version' by Philip Gbormittah

Ghana born Author Philip Gbormittah in addition to writing has been highly honored in his field of finance, having received his Executive MBA in Banking and Finance from ESG - Paris Graduate School of Management - France. From humble beginnings (he was born at Keta in the Volta Region of the Republic of Ghana and a child laborer and survivor of the 1983 famine that claimed many lives) he is now recognized not only for his enlightened form of a customer centric individual, but also as a writer of poetry, non-fiction, fiction and thrillers.

To gain the true experience of this book means it must be read and digested by each reader. It is a powerful memoir that Philip introduces in his sensitive Author’s Note at the beginning of the book: ‘Tears of My life is the unforgettable account of a dreaded famine that claimed many lives. It is the story of Kofi, the author, whose courage to survive amid scoundrels is rare. His torturous struggles, worsened due to the death of his father, have inevitably left some dark stories— tales that gave birth to dangerous child labor. His luxury of food was nothing more than dried palm nuts with herbs or unripe mangoes. In abject poverty, he started school under a big mango tree and later attended in an old structure with palm-kernel walls. Looking back at his past and his many sufferings as a sand-winner, minor road construction laborer, and a lot more during his teenage years, Kofi felt that he was abused, victimized, and enslaved by his own people. This was why he envisioned suicide as his last resort after a betrayal by an evil friend. His awesome survival of partial blindness, inflicted grief, and undesirable dejection has lifted him beyond the odds with great hopes for the suffering children around the globe. As the reader goes through the dreaded facts of every wretched situation with him, Kofi smiles at the memories that lie like dust and ashes on his heart, while his enemies rot in the doldrums with shame, devastation, and hopelessness. Through each near-fatal struggle, you’ll find yourself enduring his pain, comforting his dejection, and fighting for his will to survive. This inspirational story will remind you of the truth about child labor and the ability we all have to make a difference.’ He then adds these words – ‘We have sent astronauts into space, yet we seem unable to understand ourselves. Why is there a vast gap between modern technology and people’s inhumanity? Considering our inhumanity toward one another, can life have real mean-in? We have never thought about it; we need to know.’

This not only a beautifully written book, but is also a book that alerts us to many of the inhumanities of today and yet provides us with guidance that promises hope for change. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, July 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.