Amu Djoleto was born at Manya Kpogunor, Manya Krobo, Ghana, the son of Frederick Badu, a Presbyterian minister, and Victoria Shome Tetteh, “a modest trader”. He was educated at Accra Academy and St. Augustine’s College, Cape Coast before reading English at the University of Ghana. He joined Ghana’s Ministry of Education in the 1960s as a teacher and education officer. After studying textbook production at the Institute of Education, University of London, he returned to Ghana to edit the Ghana Teachers’ Journal. At one point heading the Ministry of Education’s publishing programme, he has continued to work for the Ministry of Education.

Djoleto contributed to the poetry anthologies Voices of Ghana (1958) and Messages (1970), and his poems were collected in Amid the Swelling Act.[2] He is best known for his novels, the first of which was The Strange Man (1967).


– The Strange Man, London, Heinemann, 1967. African Writers Series, no. 41.
– Money Galore, London [etc.]: Heinemann, 1975. African Writers Series, no. 160.
– Hurricane of Dust, 1987


– Amid the Swelling Act, 1992

Children’s books

– Obodai Sai, 1990
– Twins in Trouble, 1991
– The Frightened Thief, 1992
– The Girl who Knows about Cars, 1996
– Kofi Loses his Way, 1996
– Akos and the Fire Ghost, 1998


– English practice for the African student, 1967; (ed. with T. H. S. Kwami) West African Prose, Heinemann Educational Books, 1972.
– The Ghana Book Development Council: aims and objectives, 1976
– Books and reading in Ghana, 1985

  • The Frightened Thief (Junior African Writers Series Level 1)

    Level 1 is for readers who have been studying for three to four years. The content and language have been carefully controlled to increase fluency in reading.

    Amanor must find money to give to the school bullies. He is very frightened. What can he do to get it?

  • Junior African Writers Series Bookset Levels 1 – 2 (20 titles)

    Develop literacy skills in your 8-17 year olds with exciting and engaging books for all reading levels.
    The sentence structure and vocabulary has been carefully constructed to suit your students experience and age so that as they grow, so do their literacy abilities.
    Titles in this set include (likely to change due to availability of titles):
    Taxi to Johannesburg — Matlakala Bopape and Peta Constable (Level 1)
    The Big Fight — Michael Cullup (Level 1)
    The Frightened Thief — Amu Djoleto (Level 1)
    The Midnight Caller — Anthony Umelo (Level 2)
    The Hyena Valley — The Hyena Valley (Level 2)
    The Secret of Nkwe Hill — Marcus Khama ter Haar (Level 2)
    The Smile Thief — Fatou Keita (Level 2)
    The Magic Pool — Gaele Mogwe (Level 2)
    Happy the Street Child — F.M. Mlekwa (Level 2)
    Kodua’s Ark — Yaw Ababio Boateng (Level 3)
    The Ashanti Golden Stool — Ayebia Ribeiro-Ayeh (Level 3)
    The Haunted Taxi Driver — Kofi Sekyi (Level 3)
    Valley of Skulls — Anokye Wiredu (Level 3)
    The Secret Valley — Mike Sadler (Level 4)
    Paulo’s Strange Adventure — Barbara Kimenye (Level 4)
    The Ivory Poachers — Linda Pfotenhauer (Level 5)

  • Money Galore (African Writers Series, AWS161)


    This witty, extravagant but seriously intended satire marks the arrival of Ghana’s answer to T.M. Aluko. Abraham Kofi Kafu finds teaching a hard grind and lacking in rewards. He stands for the Liberation Party, the party of businessmen, landlords, smallholders and taxi drivers. As Minister of Internal Welfare, Kafu pursues his political career with a lively devotion to women, drink, gambling and skulduggery of various kinds and an almost total aversion to work unless it is devoted to some personal end. He is supported by a large cast: a crooked  but amiable contractor, Anson Berko; a less amiable and even more crooked contractor, Nee Otu Lartey; the Permanent Secretary, Mr Vuga, an ineffably dreary civil servant who strives to manipulate Kafu as he has manipulated previous Ministers but also turns out to be as crooked and so is subject to blackmail; the slimy Reverend Dan Opia Sese, who takes over as headmaster from Benjy Baisi and seduces Kafu’s maid. But even Kafu cannot get away with it for ever.

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