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Kwame Henaku Addo


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Prof. Kwame Henaku Addo, a native of Abiriw Akwapim in the Eastern Region. Born in Tamale on August 9, 1957 and educated at the Mort Lake School UK, Akropong Demonstration School, Akropong Akwapim, Achimota Primary, Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and Rhode Island School of Design, USA.

Right from his formative years, his father, the late Dr. Clifford Diabene Addo, a surgeon and Jamaican mother, Millicent Lydia Addo, a midwife and musician, gave him all the necessary encouragement to project his innate talents through frequent exhibitions and providing him with challenging educational material, Kwame was quick to discover and identify with a wide variety of role models in his own creative world. They included artists of the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Ato Delaquis, Dr. Oku Ampofo, architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Kwesi Hazel and Philip Johnson who later became his lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States of America.

Music had soon become a crucial area of influence in his approach towards life, a factor which was inspired by musical icons such as Steve Wonder, Carlos Santana, Koo Nimo, George Benson, and Osibisa. His compositionswhich are played and sold across the globe by EMI Publishing, Power House Records and CBS records imclude Arriba, Mixed feelings, Samba Highlife, Obaa Frema, Celebration of Love and Moonlight Dancer.

But perhaps what makes his compositions unique and universally acceptable is the fact that many of the songs have been used as soundtracks for Hollywood movies and signature tunes for cable networks such as E entertainment, BBC1 & 2 NTI network, Channel 4 as well as Discovery and Travel channels.

How did a Ghanaian decide to carve out his professional life in the Spanish speaking South American country of Colombia?

For an answer, Professor Addo narrates: “Well…in 1983, after working as an assistant architect for Malcolm Grear Associates on a city concept for Saudi Arabia in Manhattan USA, I was awarded a contract by Toro & Company, an architectural and engineering firm, to participate in the design of a major bank headquarters in Bogota, Colombia.

“This became an important platform to experiment with my futuristic special ideas nursed back on the KNUST campus five years earlier.

“While being co-opted into the academia of Prof Addo was the architect and visualiser of this theme park of the Americas my new environment, I had the unique opportunity to illustrate the official national symbols, produce books for architects and design cultural centres and promote Ghana and Africa as a whole.”

During this interview, I observed that Prof. Kwame Addo’s ambitions had no frontiers and I continued to marvel at his humble zeal for excellence. Indeed it was clear that anything he imagined, he worked hard to make it happen!

As an adviser to the governments of Venezuela and Ghana, he has worked on turkey transformational projects in the petroleum, housing, transportation and tourism industries in those countries. As a member of the planning committee for the international university, Agro Eco Turistico Robinsoniana in Venezuela, Prof. Addo had collaborated with Mayors from the state of Miranda to project tourism and bilateral educational programs towards promoting South-South relations with the continent of Africa.

In 1993 he was the Senior Special Projects Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) who designed its new corporate image, annual reports, staff uniforms, staff housing, camp site layouts and office furniture.

Earlier, in 1986 he participated in the design of a petroleum village for (ECOPETROL) and collaborated in the architectural and interior design of Occidental Oil’s regional head office in South America.

Prof. Addo a renowned artist has held several fine art exhibitions in galleries around the world and his works have found themselves into private homes, cultural centres, corporate buildings and presidential palaces impacting his audience in many different ways with his pastel, acrylic and oil paintings presented in the USA at School One gallery, Providence, International House of Rhode Island, Third World Gallery, New Bedford and in Ghana at the Arts Centre and National Museum, to mention a few.

Some of his awards include the ‘Button of Honour’ and honorary citizen of cities in the Cauca Valley State of Colombia and the prestigious Award of Merit for promoting the arts and design in South America.