Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Honoring An African Country's Composers

We are delighted to have received a comment from Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke, whose home page at AfricanChorus.org says: "Born in Ghana to Nigerian parents, Onovwerosuoke grew up in both countries and eventually naturalized in the United States."  The website adds: "Onovwerosuoke maintains an active schedule as conductor, lecturer, cross-cultural educator, and composer-in-residence."  He comments: "Ghana, on the other hand has fared better.  Dr. Ephraim Amu (1899-
1995), Ghana's foremost choral composer, is one of the very few composers whose image graces his or her country's currency, on Ghana's 20,000 Cedi bill.  In addition, memorial lectures are held annually in his honor.  Prof. J. H. Kwabena Nketia (b. 1921) is not only a definitive scholar and composer in Western circles, he is equally a legend of almost mythic proportion in his home country of Ghana. In fact, Nketia, like President Mandela will eventually also be remembered as
one of those few world luminaries who received honor from his own people while still alive.  Nigeria, though possessing abundant resources that would rival or even surpass most developed nations of the West remains a tale of tragic parodies.  God bless us.  F."

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