President John Dramani Mahama on Friday joined hundreds of Ghanaians to celebrate the life of the late Professor Kofi Awoonor at the auditorium of the National Theatre, Accra.

The event dubbed ?Celebrating a true Ghanaian, Professor Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor? was to tell his story as well as his literary works in the academia.

Many dignitaries including former President Jerry John Rawlings, leading members of the National Democratic Congress and members from the academia attended the event.

Professor Awoonor, a distinguished poet, novelist, literary scholar, essayist, diplomat and political activist, met his untimely death on September 21, 2013, when the Al-Shabab rebel group from Somalia attacked the Westgate shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

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.

A tribute by President Mahama described Professor Awoonor as a man of conscience and consciousness with a tremendous vision.

A statement by the Ghana Association of Writers expressed shock and sorrow over the death of Professor Awoonor, describing him as a literary giant.

The statement observed that Professor Awoonor, who was a strong defender of culture, used his literary works for the development of Africa and died in the service of literature.

Selected poems by the Professor with titles such as the Weaver bird, Rediscovery, the Sea eats the land home, America, They do not sound for me and Harlem on a winter night, were read. (GNA)



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