Kofi  Awoonor's Memorial

Kofi Awoonor
(1935 - 2013)


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General Details

Name: Prof Kofi Awoonor
Gender: Male
Age: 78 years old
Lived: Wednesday, 13 March 1935 - Saturday, 21 September 2013

My Story

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor was born in Ghana when it was still called the Gold Coast March 13, 1935 and passed into eternity on September 12, 2013. He was educated at Achimota School and then proceeded to the University of Ghana. He taught African literature at the University of Ghana. While at the University of Ghana he wrote his first poetry book, Rediscovery, published in 1964. Like the rest of his work, Rediscovery is based on African oral poetry. In Ghana, he managed the Ghana Film Corporation and founded the Ghana Play House. His early works were inspired by the singing and verse of his native Ewe people. He then studied literature at the University of London, and while in England he wrote several radio plays for the BBC. He spent the early 1970s in the United States, studying and teaching at Stony Brook University (then called SUNY at Stony Brook). While in the USA he wrote This Earth, My Brother, and My Blood. Awoonor returned to Ghana in 1975 as head of the English department at the University of Cape Coast. Within months he was arrested for helping a soldier accused of trying to overthrow the military government and was imprisoned without trial and was later released. The House by the Sea is about his time in jail. After imprisonment Awoonor became politically active and has written mostly nonfiction. Awoonor was Ghana's ambassador to Brazil from 1984 to 1988, before serving as his country's ambassador to Cuba. From 1990 to 1994 Awoonor was Ghana's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, where he headed the committee against apartheid. He was also a former Chairman of the Council of State. Death On 21 September 2013, Awoonor was among those killed in an attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. He was in Kenya as a participant in the Storymoja Hay Festival, a four-day celebration of writing, thinking and storytelling at which he was due to perform on the evening of his death. The Ghanaian government confirmed his death the next day. His son was also shot, but was later discharged from hospital.[3] Awoonor's remains were flown from Nairobi to Accra, Ghana on 25 September 2013 for burial. Poetry • Rediscovery and Other Poems (1964) • Night of My Blood (1971) – poems that explore Awoonor's roots, and the impact of foreign rule in Africa • The House By the Sea (1978) • The Promise of Hope: New and Selected Poems (to be published in 2014) Novels • This Earth, My Brother (1971) • Comes the Voyager at Last (1992) Non-fiction • The Breast of the Earth: A Survey of the History, Culture, and Literature of Africa South of the Sahara (1975) • Ghana: A Political History from Pre-European to Modern Times (1990)

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Country of Birth: Ghana
Country of Residence: Ghana
City of Residence: Accra
Occupation: Education & Training
Religion: Other


Favourite Music Genre: Miscellaneous
Favourite Artist: Akpalu, Ekpe, Horsu, Dzenawo


Place of Passing: Nairo, Kenya
Date of Passing: 21 September 2013
Cause of Passing: Terrorist Attack on the Westgate Mall, Nairobi, Kenya
Type of Funeral: Private
Place of Burial: Wheta, Volta Region, Ghana
Funeral Date: 9 November 2013


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