Lake of Tears” Wins NOMMO Award for Best Graphic Novel
“Lake of Tears” is an African graphic novel written by Kobe Ofei and illustrated by Setor Fiadzigbey. The this beautifully illustrated, imaginatively written story tells a heart wrenching tale of captivity and redemption. Set against the backdrop of Ghana’s hazardous inland fishing industry, where an estimated 21,000 children
currently live and work on Lake Volta, the story features three fiercely determined teen protagonists who come together through unlikely circumstances to put at least one wicked slave master out of business for good.
The story brings to light to the highly complex yet largely invisible phenomenon of child trafficking and forced child labor out of the shadows, into the
bright light popular culture.
Surprisingly, perhaps, though comics and graphic novels have been used all over the world to educate and inform people about a vast array of subjects, “Lake of Tears” appears to be the first project of it’s kind from Ghana.
“I think for those of involved with the project,” says Kobe Ofei, who penned the action-packed script, “if readers walk away from this story wanting to learn more about the problem and how they can become some small part of a the solution, it will be a huge success. Hopefully the NOMMO Award will give us a massive signal boost.”
“To be honest,” says KaDi Yao Tay, co-founder and social media manager of Squid Mag, an online platform devoted to African digital art, comics and animation, “until I heard about this project, I had no idea child trafficking was still prevalent. I would have never guessed the magnitude of the problem. The way the graphic novel is able to balance this deeply uncomfortable truth with such fantastic art is truly incredible.”
“Lake of Tears” was originally released digitally, in four free installments via Facebook and the Lake of Tears Ghana website.
A special Aké Arts and Book Festival edition of “Lake of Tears” was produced in conjunction with Kugali. It is currently for sale in Nigeria and Ghana.
To learn more about how you can help to end child trafficking and forced child labor in Ghana’s fishing industry, wherever you are in the world, visit the Challenging Heights website.