Remarks at the Launch of All the Good Things Around Us- An Anthology of African Short Stories & May Their Shadows Never Shrink- Wole Soyinka and the Oxford Professorship of Poetry.

Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London.

August 15 2016

Ivor Agyeman-Duah

It is with pleasure that we have in this Parliament, the King of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Nobel Laureate for Literature- Prof. Wole Soyinka. The former is the guardian of an ancient African political heritage and the latter a primogeniture of his generation’ arts and letters. Soyinka has for over sixty years defended this heritage that the King protects even if through its Yoruba equivalent.

His fifty year old famous play, Death and the King’s Horseman is partly about the dignity of African kingship. The Seven Signposts published decades ago is in defense of African traditional religion. It sets out precepts that most African religious beliefs identity with. It was partly written in anger following denigration by some scholars that indeed ancient Yoruba system of beliefs “did not qualify for consideration as religion because” they said, “it had no written scriptures.”

                         The Economies of Literary Arts

                                                           -Ivor Agyeman-Duah

Africa Rising has come down to the world of fashionable vocabulary. It is Africa’s hopeful equivalent of what became known before this century dawned as Asia’s century. It means Africa has become an unavoidable factor in global economic growth: its resources, including the discovery of hydrocarbons in all corners of its world and the re-structuring and divestiture of telecommunication industries have made it important for global capital investment; easy connectivity to the world, high revenue for multinational corporations and in secondary terms fertile grounds for consumer goods from Europe, the United States and Asia as an enlarging middle class becomes more cosmopolitan with varying tastes for these goods.

Kofi Awoonor’s The Promise of Hope : A Year to the Reckoning.

By Ivor Agyeman-Duah

If protégés get created, there are always possibilities that with infirmity of death or as the hymnist says, eternity’s shortness, they can stand in good stead for their mentors. Kofi Anyidoho was inspired by the elder deceased Kofi Awoonor as a poet and scholar. Ewe cultural aesthetics particularly its poetics might have created a bond between them. Their poetry is almost on the same wave-length. It was not surprising therefore when it fell on Anyidoho to see to the conclusion- through editing and an introduction to Awoonor’s last collection of poetry- The Promise of Hope- New and Selected Poems, 1964-2013 published as part of the African Poetry Book Series by Amalion Publishing.