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26.04.2005 General News

Dr Amu's legacy lives on-Rev Laryea

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Accra, April 26, GNA - Ghanaians should let the legacy of Dr Ephraim Amu embodied in his humility, yet strong character and presence of mind, patriotism and ingenuity guide them in national development. The works of the great ethnomusicologist, his contribution to the promotion of African identity and works deserves more than token memorabilia.

The Reverend Philip Laryea, Research Fellow of the Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre for Mission Research and Applied Theology based at Akropong-Akuapem said these at the Seventh Ephraim Amu Memorial Lecture in Accra on Tuesday.

The Lectures was organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with International Centre for African Music and Dance, University of Ghana, under the theme, "Theological Landmarks in the Life and Thought of Ephraim Amu."

It was to throw light on Dr Amu's contribution as a Christian thinker and explain the nature and significance of his theological landmarks and musical language to enable the present generation to draw inspiration from his rich experience.

Rev Laryea said Dr Amu was the doyen of contemporary art music, a cultural activist, a self-conscious nationalist, an African statesman, a Christian humanist, a poet, a philosopher and a patriot. "His concern was to redeem the image of Africa from the ravages of Western domination and influence."

Rev Laryea expressed concern about the lack of information on Dr Amu's Christian stand, stressing, "very little is known about Amu's career as a catechist and the efforts he made at spearheading the local assimilation and adaptation of Christianity." Rev Laryea said: "Amu's cultural activism and creative patriotism are deeply rooted in his convictions as a Christian and it is difficult to understand Amu the African without knowing who Amu the Christian was".

Rev Laryea wave his speech around Amu's childhood days at Peki Avetile in the Volta Region where he was born and educated, trained as a teacher-catechist at the Basel Mission Seminary in Abetifi, Eastern region, worked as a teacher at Presbyterian Training College and as a catechist at the Christ Presbyterian Church all at Akropong in the Eastern region.

Rev Laryea also exposed Amu's life at the Achimota School and the University of Ghana and Kumasi in the Ashanti region, where he was preoccupied to make the Christian faith intelligible and meaningful to the African.

The lectures was interweaved with harmonious coral music from the Amu collections which included "Odomankoma Oboadee," "Abibirimma," "Asem yi di ka," Kasakyerew ho nimdefo, mo", "Agya fa firi won," "Asomdwee mu na meko makoda" by the choir of the Music Department of University of Education Winneba and Immanuel Presbyterian Church Choir at Madina.

Professor Kwame Gyekye, Vice President of the Academy chaired the lecture, which was attended by the Amu family from Peki Avetile, academia, musicians, students and a cross section of the public. As part of the lectures, an exhibition of books, musical instruments, typewriters used by Amu were displayed at the forecourt of the Christ the Kings Parish Hall venue for the lecture.

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