The story of Dr. Amo is a historical narrative based on real incidents. The protagonist was born around 1703 near Axim in what is now Ghana. The circumstances of his move to Europe are uncertain. One legend says that he was given to the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel as a »gift« by the Dutch West India Company. Another says that a German soldier, who died shortly after Amo’s arrival, brought him to the Region of Brunswick to be his slave.
What is certain is that Amo spent his early life at the court of the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and later on in other parts of Germany, such as Brandenburg-Prussia and Saxony. We also know that he studied philosophy and law and that he was mentored by his patrons. He wrote several works on his fields of study, acquired a doctorate degree and later on even gave lectures himself. After all this time committed to his academic career, he decided to return to the Gold Coast to live there for the rest of his life.
Appearances of other characters such as Nana Yankey of Pokesu, Jan Konneh of Prisi and Kaku Akaa of Jomoro are retellings of true stories, just as well. The slave trade between Brandenburg-Prussia and Ghana is also proven to actually have taken place back then even though modern German aristocracy does not admit it openly. Forts Gross-Friedrichsburg, Dorothea, Sophie-Luise and Takarary were built by German orders to support human trade. Traces of these buildings are still existant in the Western region of Ghana.
Together with Abram Petrovich Hannibal, another African who achieved the right of higher education in Russia at the said time, Dr. Anton Wilhelm Amo is known to have been the first African ever to complete an academic biography of such excellence. For the historic data lacks details on our hero’s private life, fictious incidents have been added by the author. Nevertheless, the novel is closely related to the real life of Dr. A. W. Amo.
Dr. Amo’s Lonely Planet
1706. The Dutch West India Company »donates« an African child to the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. The slave boy soon impresses with his extraordinary intelligence. Sponsored by his patrons, the young African studies philosophy, medicine and law and finally receives a doctorate degree at the Universities of Wittenberg and Halle.
What happens after that is part of the melodramatic reconstruction of a true lifestory highlighting the fundamental dilemma that has lived with African immigrants in the »white people’s world« ever since Henry The Navigator’s men penetrated the shroud surrounding Africa on the eve of the Age of Discoveries.
Über den Autor
Jojo Cobbinah is a teacher, translator, author and journalist. Born in Tarkwa, Ghana, he moved to Germany after his graduation from school to work there for the better part of three decades. Today he lives in Accra, Ghana, where he works as a full-time author. His travel guide book of Ghana (published in German) is the most famous one. Like all travel guides by Peter Meyer Verlag it combines practical ideas with interesting information on culture and environment. Jojo Cobbinah is also Senior Contributing Editor of the The African Courier, Germany’s only magazine on Africa written in English. »Dr. Amo’s Lonely Planet« is his first novel.
© pmv Peter Meyer Verlag 2012
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1. Auflage 2013
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