Tributes are flowing for the late Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor who was killed at the Kenyan Shopping Centre whiles attending a literary festival in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday September 21, 2013.
Among the hundreds of tributes is one from Ghanaian singer, Becca which has been published on the website of the leading UK Newspaper, The Guardian.
Becca’s tribute to the late Kofi Awoonor reads below:
On the fifteenth August 2013 I left Nairobi to celebrate my birthday with the Masaai a few hours drive away from the capital. My trip to Kenya would have remained private but for this terror attack on the Westgate mall in which I spent most of my lunch periods during the few days that I stayed in Kenya.
I never had the honour of meeting the now late, prof. Kofi Awonoor but most west Africans, especially Ghanaians of my generation who were educated under the West African Examination Council system of schooling met Awonoor through his poem ‘The Cathedral’.
At that time and being students, I guess the main reason he got very popular and loved was because his poem was a nine line, one verse, masterpiece.
Poems by Awonoor’s contemporaries like Wole Soyinka and Leopold Senghor, which we were tasked with committing to memory were lengthy and by our standards then, not very ‘cool’.
If only any of the bird-brained criminals who slayed our distinguished professor had read ‘The Cathedral’, they would have had the sense of appreciating the noble man’s stance on imported religion.
Awonoor, born in 1935 in the Keta district of southern Ghana, fought for the ‘African Cathedral’. But that nation has this weekend been reduced beyond restoration by persons suspected to be followers from a Cathedral of doom.
Dramatist/Poet/Africanist and professor of the English language is passed to join his ancestors via a route most unimaginable.
I Rebecca Acheampong (Becca), will always hail thy name.
The poem, The Cathedral can be found here.