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18.10.2003 General News

National Theatre honours three Ghanaian writers

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Accra, Oct. 18, GNA - The National Theatre on Friday night honoured three of Ghana's most distinguished writers for their works, which have been recognized as cornerstone of Ghana's history.

Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, Prof. Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor and Mr Kwesi Brew were honoured at the programme, the "living Legends Series", the third in the series of events, being celebrated as part of the National Theatre's 10th Anniversary.

The first in the series recognized Prof. J.H. Nketia, a renowned African music scholar and Kofi Ghanaba, an African musicologist for their contributions to the development of African music.

The second in the series honoured Mr Saka Acquaye, an artist and Mr Amon Kotie, the artist who designed Ghana's Coat of Arms, for their outstanding contributions to virtual arts in the country and beyond. Prof. Komla Amoaku, Executive Director of the National Theatre, said the theatre considered it necessary to initiate such programmes because it was its vision to canonize individuals whose works continued to shape and influence the lives of the people.

He said it was for these reason that the "Lining Legends Series" would continue to be part of the theatre's programme for future celebrations.

Prof Amoaku noted that with technological advancement, such programmes were absolutely necessary to enable the younger generation acknowledge the role that the award winners have played in shaping the country's destiny.

Prof Ama Ata Aidoo, who is a writer, University lecturer, Consultant on education and gender issues, also served as Minister of Education under the PNDC government.

She graduated from the University of Ghana, legon and was a Fellow of the Advanced Creative Writing Programme at Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA.

In the 1970's, she lectured in the Department of English at the University of Cape Coast, and has served as the Director on the Boards of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the Arts Council of Ghana and the Ghana Medical and Dental Council.

In 1999 she was awarded an honourary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters at the Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, USA.

He books include; "The girl who can and other stories:, "An angry letter in January and other poems, and "Changes" a novel. But her most prominent books are the Drama "Anowa" and the "Dilemma of a ghost". Prof. Kofi Awoonor was born in 1935 at Wheta in the Volta region. He was educated at the Catholic Primary School at Dzodze and later at the Zion College, Anloga, as well as the Achimota School and the University of Ghana, Legon.

Prof Awoonor is a prolific writer, poet, critic, scholar and diplomat. He is a tenured Professor of English at the State University of New York at Stonybrook, USA and was also an English Professor of the Cape Coast University.

His publications include "This Earth My Brother," a novel, "Rediscover, Ride Me Memory," House By the Sea" and "Night of My Blood," a collection of poems, and "Until The Morning After and the Breath of the Earth," a textbook on the history and the literature of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Kwesi Brew was born in 1928 in Cape Coast. He was one of the first graduates of the University of Ghana Legon. As a member of Ghana's diplomatic corps, he served in England, France, India, Germany and the USSR. He was the Ambassador to Mexico and Senegal.

His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including such anthologies as "Modern Poetry from Africa", "Messages, Poems from Ghana" and "Aftermath". His first book of poetry, "Shadows of Laughter", was published in 1968 by Longmans and his second volume of poems "African Panorama" was published in 1981 by Greenfield Review Press, New York, USA.

The production of Ama Ata Aidoo's "Anowa", on Saturday October 18, 2003 will climax the segment of the writer's series. The fourth in the Living Legend Series will celebrate Ghana's highlife musicians. This will include Koo Nimo, Jerry Hanson, Fuseini Pia and Togbe Ahegbebu.

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