13 January 2015: Originally from Ghana and having lived, worked and been educated around the globe, University of Canberra alumnus Kabu Okai-Davies has many stories to tell – some of which he's shared in his latest book.
Written as part of his PhD thesis at the University, Dr Okai-Davies' latest novel Curfew's Children is a memoir that focuses on his time in Ghana, recounting his own life but also interweaving cultural stories from his homeland and beyond.
"It's a combination of my research for my doctorate and also a memoir, but it's not just about me – it is also sharing my culture and my country's story. I wrote about my home country Ghana, but also what I see as my new home country: Australia," Dr Okai-Davies said.
The playwright, actor and author considers himself as a "global citizen", having been born in Ghana, growing up in England and then further educated in the US, where he founded the African Globe TheatreWorks company that ran productions in New Jersey. Moving to Australia in 2006, he produced the National Multicultural Festival from 2008-2009 and has also managed the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre.
Along with the PhD in communications he received from the University of Canberra with in October last year, Dr Okai-Davies also holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Graduate Diploma of Professional Writing from the University. He said a highlight of his studies was being selected to do a creative writing residency with Oxford University, adding that he hopes "UC will be proud" of what he has achieved.
"I look at learning as a medium for enhancing life. It's not about the degree; it's about setting a goal and achieving it. At UC, your teachers really inspire you and stir your imagination and make you feel what you are doing is possible. I was very grateful to be in that environment," he said.
"UC was the best choice for me to do my writing education. It was a wonderful experience," he added.
Curfew's Children was launched on 6 December by former ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs John Hargreaves. It is Dr Okai-Davies' second novel and he has also written two poetry anthologies as well as had articles published in works such as Spectator, Ghanaian Times and in Harvard University's Transition Magazine.
Currently working on two more books, Dr Okai-Davies juggles his writing with working for the Office of Multicultural Affairs where he is mainly responsible for running events. He says he hopes to one day fulfil his dream of becoming a full-time writer.
"I just love to write – I think writing is one of the greatest things that human beings have created."