Kobena Eyi Acquah

ACQUAH, Kobena Eyi (1952-), Ghanaian poet, was born in Winneba, in the Central Region of Ghana, and educated at the University of Ghana, Legon and the Ghana Law School. A legal and investment consultant, he also contributes to Ghana’s public life in such organizations as the Copyright Board, the W.E.B. Dubois Centre for Pan-African Culture, and the Ghana Book Development Council.


Though some of his short stories and essays have appeared in print, Acquah is best known for his poetry, which has been anthologized, translated, reviewed, dramatized, broadcast, and read to large audiences worldwide. His publications include The Man Who Died (1984), Music for a Dream Dance (1989), Rivers Must Flow, and No Time for a Masterpiece (1995). He dramatizes the nightmare that independence has become for Ghanaians and Africans, as well as the plight of oppressed black people the world over, in poetry influenced by the history, folklore, proverbs, idioms, riddles, and drum language of his people as well as his personal Christian faith. While lamenting the brutalities that go with oppression and insisting that oppressed peoples take their destinies into their own hands, his priestly voice cautions moderation in the quest for justice and equality, and insists on reason and forgiveness, not vengeance. While documenting human suffering, the poetry insists on hope and redemption, not doom.

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