Awoonor

We’ve been in mourning these past few days with the loss of renowned Ghanaian poet, Kofi Awoonor.

Awoonor was in Nairobi for the Storymoja Hay Festival when he fell victim to terrorist shootings in an upscale mall in Nairobi.

Paula Kahumbu, the director of the literary event, writes about hanging out with Awoonor the previous day and how the news of the tragedy got to them.

I noticed other writers arrive, but not Kofi; he had gone to the Westgate Mall to do some shopping with his son Afetsi. By 11.30am we heard that there was shooting in the mall and we were assured that it was a robbery at the bank. As the day progressed, the festival continued, the crowds swelled but reports of injuries and then deaths began to reach us.

By 2pm the helicopters were above us, and police and ambulance sirens screamed down the highway. By 6pm we were in shock, 15 people were reported dead at a location less than 3km away.

We could account for all our authors but one, Kofi. We contacted embassies, police, security anyone who might know something. By 6pm we knew that Afetsi was injured and in hospital, and Kofi could not be found.

On Sunday morning it was confirmed that Kofi was among 65 dead. Africa has lost a great poet and the world is poorer. How do we make sense of this?

 

Read the condolence message that the conveners of the festival posted on their website. HERE.

Tags: , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Reviews Are In! | Namwali Serpell Has High Praise for Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

Screen-Shot-2017-09-20-at-4.57.42-PM-e1505944728679 copy

Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu is one of the hit novels of 2017. A historical drama, it tells the story of an 18th […]

New Website Collects Everything Binyavanga Wainaina Has Written Since the Late 1990s

A new Website has collected everything published by Binyavanga Wainaina since his writing career began in the late 1990s. The […]

Opportunity for All Writers | Submit to Vanguard Literary Services’ HIV/AIDS Awareness Anthology

To mark the 2017 World HIV/AIDS Day on December 1, Vanguard Literary Services, a bookselling company in Nigeria, has called […]

The Graywolf Press Africa Prize Launches with Igoni A. Barrett as Judge

igoni a. barrett

A new award just dropped: the Graywolf Press Africa Prize, for “a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing […]

Nnedi Okorafor Celebrates Everyday African Life in New Superhero Comic

okorafor comics

A little over two years ago, South African Sci-fi writer Lauren Beukes collaborated with D. C. Comics on a Wonder […]

Redemption | Andrew Aondosoo Labe | Poetry

7019805185_c41d073551_o

A Pastor says the devil landed here in ‘77. His broken legs can be seen in the twin-rivers. Three-eyed demons […]