T. E. Kyei's memoirs trace his life from his early childhood in the opening decade of the twentieth century through Ghana's independence in 1957. The autobiography demonstrates this consummate cultural translator's ability to both intuit the questions raised by those unfamiliar with Asante culture and also seamlessly weave answers to such questions into his narrative. The detail on social and material life contained in Kyei's memoirs is unparalleled in the scholarly literature on Asante. His writings open up fundamental questions about the production (and producers) of historical knowledge about African societies and they will surely inspire a major reassessment of the categories and concepts Africanist scholars have used in their studies of African societies.
T.E. Kyei, served as the principal research assistant in the data collection for noted anthropologist Meyer Fortes's Ashanti Social Survey, which was published in the mid-1940s. As Jean Allman explains in her introduction, however, Kyei played a vital role not only in the collection of data Fortes used, but also in its interpretation. In this vivid autobiography, the author presents not only his personal and professional recollections, but also contributes significantly to our understanding of a crucial time period in Ghanaian history.