Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond: “A shower is a daily reminder of a metaphorical truth…”

Africa39 author, Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond (Ghana/U.S.) speaking about “African Women In Literature And Publishing.”

"Powder Necklace" by Nana Brew-Hammond.

“Powder Necklace” by Nana Brew-Hammond.

Speaking about the process of writing her novel, Brew-Hammond said:

I write better when I have pockets of time rather than when I have a big stretch of time in front of me, which can be frustrating and annoying but that’s just my process right now. I am also sensitive to the fact that my writing process often changes, for instance sometimes I can write for hours and hours at a time and I won’t sleep or eat. I am just writing.

And I actually love those moments. But when I don’t have those moments, I just take the little time that I have when I feel inspired and write without any restrictions. I can write using my Blackberry or go to the park during my lunch break. I just try to write as often as I can every single day. There are definitely days that I am not inspired and I try to use those days to still stay connected to the creative process and do something towards the book. I can use that time to do research or write up a character study of my main characters. (source: Essence)

She also spoke about her love for Buchi Emecheta and Chinua Achebe, as some of the authors that inform her approach to fiction and that shaped the writing of her debut novel, “Powder Necklace”:

I like being part of a community of voices telling new stories – African writers, black writers, women writers,” Brew-Hammond said. ”I want people to know that Africa is a diverse place. I want people to know that our stories are not just sad stories – stories of war or children dying of AIDS or malaria. Africa is not a dark continent that needs to be saved. Too many of our own leaders have set policies in motion that have kept people down. But now, we need right those wrongs.” (source:

Nana Brew-Hammond modelled for critically acclaimed photographer and artist, Manjari Sharma‘s “Shower Series”, and spoke about the body, pride in one’s self-image, performing nudity, and daily truth:

Africa39 author, Nana Brew-Hammond
Photo credit: “Shower Series”, Manjari Sharma, New York.

Thankfully, I grew up in a home where the naked body was seen for what it is — something everybody has under their clothes. Though nudity is often misrepresented through the lens of sexual objectification, ironically, we are most often naked when we’re doing very asexual things like changing our clothes, using the toilet, or showering. This truth is what drew me to participate in Manjari Sharma’s Shower Series. At once cleansing and cathartic, a shower is a daily reminder of the metaphorical truth that oftentimes we have to strip ourselves of all the layers we accumulate in this life to get clean. (Source: Manjari Sharma)

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