Posts Tagged ‘Kofi Awonoor’

Louis Esterhuizen. Bekende Ghanese digter gedood tydens tereuraanval op winkelsentrum in Nairobi

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013


Volgens AFP is die bekende Ghanese digter en diplomaat, Kofi Awonoor (foto), een van die mense wat verlede week omgekom het tydens die tereuraanslag deur Islamitiese militantes op ‘n winkelsentrum in Nairobi, Kenia. Awonoor (78) se seun is ook tydens dié aanval gedood. Awonoor was in Nairobi om aan die Storymoja Hay Literary Festival deel te neem.

Kwame Dawes, neef van Awonoor en eweneens ‘n gerekende digter, het volgens AFP die volgende te sê gehad: “I think the son went to pick up something at the mall. Professor Awoonor was in the parking garage waiting for him. The son was shot while he was inside the mall. We don’t know at what point the professor was shot.”  

“He straddled many, many, many worlds,” het Esi Sutherland-Addy, ‘n hoogleraar verbonde aan die Universiteit van Ghana in reaksie op die nuus gesê. “He’s an elderly gentleman. You would have thought that such a person would pass away peacefully. That’s what you wish for. This is just absolutely the last thing that one would have thought.”

Awonoor was die Ghanese verteenwoordiger by die VN gedurende Jerry Rawlings se presidentskap (1990 tot 1994). Meer onlangs was hy voorsitter van die Ghanese presidentsraad, maar dit is uiteraard vir sy digkuns wat hy vereer en onthou sal word: “He was most noted for his poetry inspired by the oral tradition of the Ewe people, to which he belonged. Much of his best work was published in Ghana’s immediate post-independence period, part of which he spent in exile after the first president and post-colonial icon Kwame Nkrumah, to whom Awoonor was close, was overthrown in a coup.” Aldus AFP se beriggewer.

By wyse van huldeblyk volg een van die digter se meer bekende gedigte hieronder.


Song of Sorrow


Dzogbese Lisa has treated me thus

It has led me among the sharps of the forest

Returning is not possible

And going forward is a great difficulty

The affairs of this world are like the chameleon faeces

Into which I have stepped

When I clean it cannot go.

I am on the world’s extreme corner,

I am not sitting in the row with the eminent

But those who are lucky

Sit in the middle and forget

I am on the world’s extreme corner

I can only go beyond and forget.

My people, I have been somewhere

If I turn here, the rain beats me

If I turn there the sun burns me

The firewood of this world

Is for only those who can take heart

That is why not all can gather it.

The world is not good for anybody

But you are so happy with your fate;

Alas! the travelers are back

All covered with debt.

Something has happened to me

The things so great that I cannot weep;

I have no sons to fire the gun when I die

And no daughter to wail when I close my mouth

I have wandered on the wilderness

The great wilderness men call life

The rain has beaten me,

And the sharp stumps cut as keen as knives

I shall go beyond and rest.

I have no kin and no brother,

Death has made war upon our house;

And Kpeti’s great household is no more,

Only the broken fence stands;

And those who dared not look in his face

Have come out as men.

How well their pride is with them.

Let those gone before take note

They have treated their offspring badly.

What is the wailing for?

Somebody is dead. Agosu himself

Alas! a snake has bitten me

My right arm is broken,

And the tree on which I lean is fallen.

Agosi if you go tell them,

Tell Nyidevu, Kpeti, and Kove

That they have done us evil;

Tell them their house is falling

And the trees in the fence

Have been eaten by termites;

That the martels curse them.

Ask them why they idle there

While we suffer, and eat sand.

And the crow and the vulture

Hover always above our broken fences

And strangers walk over our portion.


© Kofi Awonoor (1935 – 2013)