Sonetco Institute Intel Unit(SI-IU) paid a visit to Ho to ascertain development in Capital. One of the development that caught and dazzled out attention was the rapid result the University of Health and Allied sciences- UHAS has yielded in the area of development against the background of misinformation going on as nothing has been done or there is no such tertiary institution.
Did l hear Rawlings has ended his honeymoon with the Mahama Administration? And what about what Dr Tony Aidoo saying about the Mahama administration not paying his outfit for six months.
What is happening.? Has Rawlings began seeing some greedy bastards again. Or the cleansing of the Mills gang is not complete and total to his satisfaction. Whose head does he want again.?
Tell them for me
I’ve had enough of their cult
Of men who talk chastity
And live in sin
Who talk honesty
And live by theft
Who teach brotherhood
And kill one another
Who say one thing
And do the opposite,
Tell them I’ll go no more
To their village school
I go back to my own,
The Clay idol and the Legba
The Se and Bokonon
I go back to the Asperges
Of Afla and the slaughtered fowl. (Dr Raphael Ernerst Grail Armattoe.)
Torbokor Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor and Prof. Atta Mills had gone back to their villages. And l know they departed this earth with heavy hearts. After all, it is a matter of time, that when principles that you hold so dear does not matter any longer to your bossom friends, you call it a day. And so two fine gentlemen, who should be living today were hounded to their early watery graves.
When the news of the demise of the Torbokor started filtering in, l knew another block has been removed from the path of Flt.Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and the wife. I remember vividly the backlash that followed the interview Rawlings granted the BBC about Prof Mills not being wiser and that if he had, he would be living for about six months more. So knowing how much Rawlings hated Kofi Awoonor, through the insults he poured on him, l thought this time, Rawlings is going to keep his distance from the grieving family. But l was very very wrong. I was wrong. Rawlings had the guts to go to the home of the Awoonors to sign the book of condolence. And below is what the media carried of the event -
Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings on Thursday described the late Professor Kofi Awoonor as a man who spoke against socio-economic injustice and had a good understanding of human frailties and inequalities.
The former President said: “Professor Awoonor helped lay the foundation of the revolution which saw a period with a sense of purpose and integrity – a period when democracy was at its best.”
He said it was those qualities that struck him when he first met the Professor during a visit to the University of Cape Coast in 1982 to address students on the principles behind the December 31 Revolution.
President Rawlings paid the tribute when he and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, paid a call on the family of Professor Awoonor at his residence in North Legon to express their sympathies over the passing of the former Council of State Chairman during the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on September 19.
Professor Awoonor’s role during the revolution, President Rawlings noted should be celebrated and not shoved under the carpet by some current leaders of the NDC who choose to dissociate themselves from the ideals of the PNDC that gave birth to the NDC.
The former President wrote in a book of condolence opened in memory of Professor Awoonor, that: “On the onset of the 31st December 1981 revolution when integrity was very high you were one of the bold and leading advocates of the PNDC principles and we thank you for it.”
President Rawlings gave particular attention to Afetsi Awoonor who was with his father on the fateful day and prayed that he will recover soon. He described terrorism as a global responsibility saying “we owe it to each other to fight it”.
Another media house captured it this way -
A former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, has paid a glowing tribute to the late Kofi Awoonor contrary to speculations that the former President and the late poet were not the best of friends.
Mr. Rawlings thanked the late Kofi Awoonor for being one of the leading advocates of the PNDC principles during the 1981 31st December revoloution.
Mr. Rawlings on Thursday wrote in the book of condolence in memory of the late Kofi Awoonor that,“On the onset of the 31st December 1981 revolution when integrity was very high you were one of the bold and leading advocates of the PNDC principles and we thank you for it.”
“Professor Awoonor helped lay the foundation of the revolution which saw a period with a sense of purpose and integrity – a period when democracy was at its best.” He added.
Mr Rawlings also called on members of the NDC who he said have chosen to “dissociate themselves” from the party to follow in the selfless role that the late poet played in the birth of the NDC.
Were they, Rawlings and Awoonor, the best of friends.? NO!!
Folks, I could not believe what l was seeing when pictures of Rawlings, singning the book of condolence popped up on my monitor. I had to pinch myself to make sure l was not dreaming. Where is this man’s morality?
Folks, on the 7th of June, 2011, l was a member of a delegation of chiefs that went to the home of the Rawlingses to ask him to patch up his differences with the Mill’s Administration. The chiefs took that liberty because Rawlings was one of them. See pix.
But that was the day l had my greatest shock and realised Rawlings is not worth dying for. He is my idol and l worshipped the ground he walked on. But my regrets are now as white as snow or as red as the blood of a slaughtered hyena. He started by raining unprintable things about the men around Prof Mills, most especially Kojo Tsikata, Obed Asamoah and Kofi Awoonor. He called them thieves, greedy bastards, etc. He complained Tsikata and Obed stole some money he gave them for party work and that the least said about Kofi Awoonor, the better. When he calmed down a bit, the chiefs asked for a date and venue for the meeting to take place. We thought Rawlings was joking when he said he was not prepared to meet with anyone apart from Prof Mills. That he swears on anything he holds so dear that if Mills is ready to reconcile with him, then he must be prepared to meet him at the Australia House without those thieves. The chiefs tried their best demanding that someone should be allowed to accompany Mills to such a meeting, but Rawlings was adamant. In fact he categorically stated that there wont be the need for a face to face meeting with Mills, if he Mills, the President could sack all the greedy bastards from the castle. And that was the only condition that can patch up things. Sack the Greedy Bastards otherwise the party splits.
We took our leave and headed towards Mills’ castle. Mills wept when we told him of Rawlings’ conditions. As it was only Kofi Awoonor who was with him at that time, Mills asked why Rawlings should pick on Awoonor. Following is an audio transcription of what Mills said -
“These people made sacrifices before l was made President. And they are not with me because they come for something else. They are with me because of their wisdom. They are serving our dear nation. Prof Awoonor is not my equal. Prof Awoonor is my senior. He left the University before even l went. He left Achimota School before l went to Form One. But l would not for one day think l am equal to those two. God forbid that l would think like that. Prof Awoonor, Capt Tsikata, P.V. Obeng they are not with me because they come from Fanteland. Now they call me Sir because l am President, but l would not for one day think l am equal to those people.”
So the good old Prof was not ready to do the unthinkable. The battle lines were drawn. No meeting was going to be held. Rawlings got very angry that still Mills chose that line of action. The die was cast. The chiefs mission became MISSION UNACCOMPLISHED. And back to their villages, they went. A second meeting was scheduled.
At that meeting, unlike the first, Her Royal Majesty Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was present together with their bulldogs – Tei Nyaunu, Kofi Adams, etc. Hell broke loose. A meeting that was suppose to be held in camera had the full house of the Gh media in attendance. The chiefs demanded the removal of the mediamen from the house. Out they went. But Kofi Adams did some recordings and had Citi FM started playing it even before the meeting ended. As was the agenda, no follow up meet with the Mills section was possible. Mills died later and we all saw how Rawlings acted.
Today, the Old Torbokor lies in the morgue. Today, Rawlings visits the Awoonor family to share their pain and loss and he is heard praising Kofi Awoonor to the high heavens. And this man is none than the Torbokor, that he did not want his seeds sprout. Had you, Rawlings, not pressured the Mahama Govt to remove the Mills cronies, Awoonor would still be having his second stint as the Council of State Chairman. And MAYBE, he would have missed the Westgate Kenya Siege by seconds. This was the man you asked Mills to sack. This was the man Mills stood by, and died for. And now today, you seem not to find nothing wrong with the Mahama Admin. Hope you are happy now with the crocodile tears you are shedding.
For how long. For how long. Mr Rawlings, where is thy morality and principle. Have they fled to brutish beasts?
I am done. This is my humble and unlettered xedenyuie to the one and only TORBOKOR . Baba nawo.
AGBALEDZIGLA FOR TADZEWU FIAWO.
- Rawlings pays tribute to Awoonor (modernghana.com)
- Rawlings pays tribute to Prof Awoonor (modernghana.com)
- Renowned Ghanaian poet killed in Kenya mall attack: president (foxnews.com)
The Last Bow Of An “Ewe” Tribal “Chauvinist” By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Elizabeth Ohene’s BBC tribute to the late Prof. Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor makes for a quite fascinating reading (See “Kofi Awoonor: Remembering a Ghanaian Poet” 9/24/13). Still, I find it quite in order to gloss on a few more complementary comments, although I particularly did not care very much for the man or his literary corpus, which was neither as vast and qualitative as the works of such legends as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and, of course, Ghana’s own Ayi Kwei Armah, a man who, like his Nigerian and Kenyan contemporaries, has been widely rumored to have been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times.
Soyinka would actually go down in global history as the first Black-African ever to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1986). Soyinka’s clinching of the Nobel Literature Prize was only a matter of time. I had always said before the award was afforded him, that if ever any continental African qualified to be the glorious recipient of the same, that personality, of course, was none other than Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka. In fact, shortly after the Apex Literature Prize was awarded him, a white-American woman guest-lecturer to one of my creative writing classes at the City College of the City University of New York (CCNY of CUNY),
I believe her name was Ms. Haddas, a poet, I forget her first name (she was then nursing her newly-born baby), had the misfortune of patronizingly asking me what I thought about the highest global literary prize being awarded to an African. I promptly riposted that it was long overdue, and that other far less talented and far, far less prolific and even far less versatile non-African litterateurs had already received the Nobel Literature Prize.
I don’t think my creative writing teacher for that course, Ms. Karen Swenson, as I vividly recall, took kindly to my perceived rude and abrupt response, coming from a newly arrived African student with an accented lilt the thickness of charcoal. I would receive a precautionary letter-grade of a “B,” for refusing to attend a party organized in her private residence for our class by Ms. Swenson. “Precautionary,” because she had categorically warned that any student who failed to show up at her house would be academically disciplined.
Anyway, in her rather terse and limpid tribute to Prof. Awoonor, Ms. Ohene omits to inform her readers that the dropping of his European names of “George” and “Williams” was part of the 1960s “Nkrumah Revolution.” For Prime Minister – later President – Francis Kofi-Nwia Kwame Nkrumah would drop his “Christian name” of “Francis” and simply style himself as “Kwame Nkrumah.” It was, admittedly, a radical psycho-cultural epiphany of sorts, even though until the end of his life, Nkrumah adamantly insisted on being identified as a “Marxist-Christian” who envisaged no contradiction in this rather curious ideological compound.
Ms. Ohene is also quite right that Awoonor remarkably contributed to both the literary and dramaturgical ferment of the 1960s, but it is absolutely untrue that the slain poet had “assumed responsibility for the development of theater and drama in the country.” The latter yeomanly credit actually belongs to two Cape Coasters roughly of the same age, namely, Ms. Efua Sutherland in whose Ghana Drama Studio (1958) Awoonor’s drama troupe, the Ghana Playhouse, would be housed; and Mr. J. C. DeGraft (alias Joe DeGraft), who had expressly been transferred from the Mfantsipim School, where he headed the Language and Theater Department, by President Nkrumah, in order to found the erstwhile University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama.
I know quite well about the preceding, first-hand, because my own late father had been moved into Joe’s office (Room 6), by Prof. J. H. Kwabena Nketia, then Director of the Institute of African Studies, when “Uncle Joe,” as Joe DeGraft was affectionately called, was seconded by UNESCO to Kenya to establish a similar music and drama program at the University of Nairobi. My father, newly graduated from the School of Music and Drama, would also be named Technical Director at the same school, presently named the School for the Performing Arts.
We need to also highlight the fact that Awoonor owes a heavy debt of gratitude to Prof. Nketia for his work in neo-oral poetry, even though the much younger Ewe tribal poet pretended for most of his academic and professional life to have been autodidact. Needless to say, it was actually Prof. Nketia who patiently and meticulously mentored Awoonor, as well as tutored the latter, in the intricate art of musicology and oral poetry, the famous Director of the Institute of African Studies himself having been quite a knowledgeable and erudite cultural custodian and easily the best Ghanaian poet in both English and Akan of his generation (See W. E. Abraham’s The Mind of Africa).
Ms. Ohene is also quite accurate to observe that “Kofi Awoonor joined [the 1980s Rawlings revolution] with all his feet and hands.” But this was definitely not because “Kofi Awoonor did not know how to do anything in a half-hearted manner.” Rather, it was primarily because Awoonor was an insufferably pathological social climber, to speak much less about a congenital opportunist. Prof. Nketia may not want to publicly admit this, but I authoritatively know that he thinks the same with irrefutable conviction. A tribal hegemonist, indeed, he was. And an inexcusably violent one at that. No two ways about that!
Kofi Asamoah | 9/25/2013 9:25:00 AM Bravo, Kwame! I was indeed not believing my eyes after reading all the praises being poured on the murdered Prof. Kofi Awoonor. I simply said to myself that Ghsnaians are certainly a bunch of hypocrites. How could one easily forget the deeds of this tribalist who did everything to set Ewes against Asantes in particular and Akans in.general. Ghana is now reaping the dire effects of Kofi Awoonor’s achitecteral foundation of Ewe chauvinism and hegemonism. The headline is that, “A brutal tribal chauvunist has fallen by his own sword.” Down with all tribalists! Long live Ghana.