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General News of Thursday, 13 September 2018


Professor Atukwei Okai to be given state burial

Professor Atukwei Okai, a former Secretary-General of the Pan African Writer’s Association (PAWA), will be given a state-assisted funeral on Friday, September 14, in Accra.

The funeral will be under the auspices of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

A release signed by Joseph Emmanuel Allotey-Pappoe, the PAWA Public Affairs Advisor, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the pre-burial service would commence at 0900 hours after a file-past between 0600 hours and 0830 hours at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The burial will take place at the new Military Cemetery, Burma Camp, and will be followed by the final funeral rites at the forecourt of the State House. The prescribed dress code is all white.

Prof Atukwei Okai was a renowned Ghanaian poet, cultural activist and academic.

His early work was published under the name John Okai.

With his poems rooted in the oral tradition, he is generally acknowledged to have been the first real performance poet to emerge from Africa.

His performances on radio and television include an acclaimed 1975 appearance at poetry international at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, where he shared the stage with US poets Stanley Kunitz and Robert Lowell, and Nicolas Guillen of Cuba.

Prof Okai died at age 77 and was survived by a wife and five daughters.

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