National Press Club

Author of “My First Coup d’Etat” charms audience at National Press Club

July 13, 2012 | By C. Naseer Ahmad |

John Dramani Mahama, vice President of Ghana, described his country's lost decade with moving personal stories in a discussion of his memoir, "My First Coup D'Etat," at a National Press Club Book and Author event Thursday.

“Ghana’s independence triggered hope," he said. But those hopes were dashed by what is known as “lost decades," a period of turmoil with frequent, bloody upheavals and the overthrow Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, he said.

Mahama recalled the impact on his father, a cabinet member, who was imprisoned after the first Ghanian coup d’etat, but who later achieved success as a businessman after his release. His father taught him to "be prepared to leave when the applause is loudest," he said.

Ghana, he said, had moved on from its unstable past. Its people want peaceful transitions of power and continued economic growth, he said.

Mahama was introduced by Book and Author Committee member Eleanor Herman, an author of several books.