Emeritus Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia
A Festschrift has been officially launched at the Kwame Nkrumah Complex, Institute of African Studies (IAS) in honour of Emeritus Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia,renowned Africanist, ethno-musicologist, composer and poet, linguist and sociologist, and the first African Director of IAS and of the International Center for African Music and Dance (ICAMD).
The festschrift, titled Discourses in African Musicology, is a compilation of papers presented at a two day international conference held in September, 2011 on the theme “The Life and Works of Emeritus Professor J.H. Kwabena Nketia”.The 2011 conference was jointly organized with one of the Institute’s partners, Guinness Ghana Breweries, in recognition of the life and works of Emeritus Professor J.H. Kwabena Nketia.
In her welcome remarks at the ceremony, the Director of the Institute, Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo referred to the University Anthem, a composition by Professor Emeritus Nketia, and stressed the need for integrity in order to inspire the younger generation to do same in all their endeavors. She used the occasion to thank her fellow editors as well as the contributorstothe festschrift.
Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost of the College of Humanities
The ceremony was chaired by the Provost of the College of Humanities, Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, who also launched the publication. According to Professor Agyei-Mensah, the diversity of contributions in the book bears witness to the versatility of Professor Emeritus Nketia and his excellence as a scholar. Professor Agyei-Mensah used the occasion to urge other academic units to emulate the example of the Institute to honourimportant scholars.
Professor Kwasi Ampene, Director of the Centre for World Performance Studies, University of Michigan, and a Co-Editor of the festschrift
The Director of the Centre for World Performance Studies, University of Michigan, and a Co-Editor of the festschrift, Professor Kwasi Ampene, took the audience through the design and special features that distinguished the festschrift from an earlier one also honouring Professor Emeritus Nketia. He described Professor Nketia as a legendary figure, who should be celebrated for his mentorship of many global scholars as well as for his contribution to Ghanaian and African music.
Professor John Collins,Department of Music
Professor John Collins of the Department of Music, School of Performing Arts, reviewed the festschrift, which he described as a treasure while Ms. Patricia SerwaaAfrifa auctioned the publication.
In brief remarks, Professor Emeritus Nketia emphasized on the importance of collectively contributing to the development of the country irrespective of individual political affiliations. He expressed appreciation to former presidents of the country, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Kofi Abrefa Busia, through whom his association with the Institute began, and who together with other heads of the country, had supported the Institute in many ways. Professor Nketia also thanked all the contributors of the festschrift as well as the administration of the Institute for the honour done him. He described the Institute as a positiveenvironment that enabled him to accomplish so much in the field of ethnomusicology.
Goodwill messages were read on behalf of Professors Eddie Meadows and Jacqueline DjeJe, Professors of Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles.
The Ghana Dance Ensemble was in attendance with a drum roll as well as a seperawa appellation in honour of Professor Emeritus Nketia.
Guests seated at the ceremony
From left, Prof. Albert Awedoba, IAS, Ms. Mavis Addotey, Senior Assistant Registrar- IAS, Professor Kwasi Ampene , Emeritus Professor J. H. Kwabena Nketia, Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Director-IAS,Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, and Dr. Godwin Adjei, IAS in a pose after the ceremony..