The Kaya Girl by Mamle Wolo
Genre: Middle Grade Literary
Publishing Date: June 28, 2022
This rags-to-riches story by an award-winning Ghanaian author has page-turning appeal with luminous literary resonance.
Writing with effortlessly engaging prose, Wolo showcases the interweaving layers of Ghanaian culture to create a prismatic, multifaceted world in which two young girls, against all odds, are able to find each other. When Faiza, a Muslim migrant girl from northern Ghana, and Abena, a wealthy doctor’s daughter from the south, meet by chance in Accra’s largest market, where Faiza works as a porter or kaya girl, they strike up an unlikely and powerful friendship that transcends their social inequities and opens up new worlds to them both. Set against a backdrop of class disparity in Ghana, The Kaya Girl has shades of The Kite Runner in its unlikely friendship, and of Slumdog Millionaire as Faiza’s life takes unlikely turns that propel her thrillingly forward. As, over the course of the novel, Abena awakens to the world outside her sheltered, privileged life, the novel explores a multitude of awakenings and the opportunities that lie beyond the breaking down of barriers. This is a gorgeously transporting work, offering vivid insight into two strikingly diverse young lives in Ghana.
About the Author:
MAMLE WOLO is an award-winning Ghanaian-German author who studied at the University of Cambridge and the University of Lancaster in the UK, and is an Honorary Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa. She writes fiction, poetry, and screenplays and lives with her family in Accra, Ghana.
When I saw the Kaya Girl Tour appear it really intrigued me so much I knew I really wanted to get on that Tour and when I did I was over the moon.
I am trying to diversify my reading and have not really read stories set in Ghana and I was not disappointed. The friendship between Abena who did not want for nothing and Faiza who worked in the Market where Abena's Aunt had a shop was a beautiful thing to watch and be a part of. That's all I am saying about the book as you really really really need to read it but I will say Mama Wolo's storytelling was sooooooooooo good I did not want to put the book down and I admit in parts I did have a sob or two. So for all these reasons Kaya Girl four stars.