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'NEW VOICE OF AFRICA,' KOFI ANYIDOHO SPEAKS TODAY

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Posted on February 22, 2013

Portrait of Anyidoho. Celebrating the oral tradition of Africa’s singer-poets, internationally acclaimed poet and educator Kofi Anyidoho will read from his work at 7 p.m. March 14 in Steele Hall Mainstage Theatre.

Anyidoho, of Ghana, is a UNESCO resource poet for cultural and linguistic diversity in education. A sought-after international speaker, he is renowned for powerful live performances that address contemporary culture while honoring the spoken-word tradition of his family’s Ewe ethnic group. 

The poet is the first African author and educator to visit California University as part of the College of Liberal Arts’ globalization initiative.

“He is the new voice of Africa,” said Dr. Mohamed Yamba, dean of the college. 

Anyidoho has published six collections of poetry and a bilingual children’s play in English and the Ewe language. His Ewe-language recordings include GhanaNya, a dialogue between Anyidoho and the voice of his late mother, who also was an Ewe poet and cantor. 

He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including the Langston Hughes Prize, the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award, the Valco Fund Literary Award and the Fania Kruger Fellowship for Poetry of Social Vision. Among his collections are Elegy for the Revolution, Ancestral Logic and Caribbean Blues, Praise Song for the Land and The Place We Call Home and Other Poems. Some of his books will be available at the event.

Educated in Ghana and the United States, Anyidoho earned a Ph.D. at the University of Texas. Today he is a literature professor at the University of Ghana Legon, in Accra, and the first occupant of its Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies. He has been a distinguished visiting professor at various colleges and universities outside Ghana, including Swarthmore College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Barnard College, Collegio de Mexico, University of Bouake-Cote d’Ivoire, and University of Lome.

Anyidoho also has served as  director of the African Institute on Humanities of the CODESRIA, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.

He is deeply involved in various initiatives designed to promote African culture, among them Ghana Television's African Heritage Series, for which he was the main host and executive producer.

About Kofi Anyidoho

Works by Kofi Anyidoho

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