21st September will be a very special day as we mark the 1st anniversary of the infamous Al Shabaab attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi that traumatized us all so much. This day was especially trauma inducing for the literary community in Kenya as its premier literary festival the Storymoja Hay Festival was happening not too far away. One of the most esteemed guests of the festival Ghanaian Prof Kofi Awoonor was caught up at the Westgate and lost his life.
As we head towards this one year anniversary I know that we are organising something in Kenya to remember the good professor. Its not just us here in Kenya who are gutted though. The University of Ghana, Legon will be hosting an international symposium called “KOFI AWOONOR & THE CHALLENGE OF HISTORY” to commemorate the great man.
This event will include a formal launch of his posthumous collection The Promise of Hope: New and Selected Poems; a vigil and official unveiling and dedication of the Awoonor Mausoleum in his hometown Wheta. It will also see the official launch of the Kofi Awoonor Literary prize which will include an evening of poetry reading/performance and a performance of traditional songs/drums.
If you are a scholar interested in taking part in the two-day Symposium dedicated to Kofi Awoonor’s Life and Work Abstracts and Panel Proposals are invited. For more information you may click here.