- Renowned Ghanaian poet Atukwei Okai dies aged 77
- He is noted for his excellent poetry recitation and is believed to be one of the first real poetry performers to have emerged in Africa
Renowned Ghanaian poet and social activist, Professor Atukwei Okai, has passed on.
The celebrated poet died on Friday evening at the age of 77 after battling a short illness, a statement released by his family said.
The statement, which was signed by Prof Akilakpa Sawyerr on behalf of the Odoi and Okai families, said Prof Okai died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
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“The Odoi and Okai families of Asere, Ga Mashie in the Greater Accra Region and the Pan African Writers Association announce with regret the passing of Prof Atukwei Okai, which sad event occurred at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital today, 13th July 2018 after a short illness,“ the family statement said.
During his active years, Prof Okai served as President of the Ghana Writers Association and was General-Secretary of the Pan-African Writers’ Association.
He used to publish his works under the name John Okai, before settling on Atukwei Okai in the latter part of his career.
His work has been described as “politically radical and socially conscious, one of his greatest concerns being Pan-Africanism.“
The celebrated poet was also an academic, having earned his M.A (Litt) from the Gorky Literary Institute in 1967.
He also earned his Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in 1971 from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London, after undertaking a post-graduate course at the University of Ghana.
Later in 1971, Prof Oaki rose to become a lecturer at the University of Ghana, where he became Senior Research Fellow in African Literature at the Institute of African Studies.
The renowned poet left behind a wife and five children.
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