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Centre named after Emeritus Professor Kwabena Nketia

• Dr Korye Anim-Wright (right), acting President, AUCC, presenting a bowl of oto (mashed yam) as a birthday gift to Prof. J.H. Kwabena Nketia (3rd left).Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY

The Governing Council of the African University College of Communications (AUCC) has named its Centre for Africana Studies after the former Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Ghana, Legon, Emeritus Professor Joseph Hinson Kwabena Nketia.

The Omanhene of the Asokore Traditional Area, Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante, announced this at the official launch of the Kwabena Nketia Centre for Africana Studies.

In view of this, an inaugural ceremony has been held at the campus of the AUCC in Accra to officially unveil the centre in honour of one of Ghana’s erudite ethnomusicologist and composer.

The occasion was also used to commemorate Emeritus, Prof.Kwabena Nketia’s 94th birthday which fell on June 22.
Various performances such as choreography and poems were read to uniquely honour and appropriately celebrate Emeritus Prof. Kwabena Nketia, who is one of the nation’s living legends for what he has meritoriously accomplished for himself and the nation at large.

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In his remark, Susubribi Krobea Asane, who is known in private life as Dr S.K.B Asante, extolled the contributions of Emeritus Prof. Kwabena Nketia to the culture and history of Ghana and Africa at large.

He said it was appropriate for the AUCC to name its centre after the professor of music, and indicated that Emeritus, Prof. Kwabena Nketia, had left a legacy that ought to be followed, especially, by the youth.
He challenged young Ghanaians to build on the legacies and heritage of Prof Nketia, who was the first African Director of the IAS of the University of Ghana.

“Emeritus Prof. Kwabena Nketia has shown the way, now let us accept the challenge of building on his legacy, he stressed.

Acceptance speech

In his acceptance speech, Emeritus Prof. Kwabena Nketia, expressed his deepest appreciation for the honour bestowed on him, acknowledging that it was not common for such honours to be conferred on living persons like himself.

He pledged his unflinching support towards the running of the centre. He also commended the institute for its commitment towards ensuring that Africana Studies was entrenched in its curriculum.
Emeritus Prof. Kwabena Nketia expressed regret about the fact that Ghanaians had thrown away their culture and “copied blindly” from the Western world.

He said even though he had travelled the length and breadth of the globe, he always ensured that he stayed put to his culture.

“Even though culture is borrowed all over the world, it is regrettable that the trend is eroding the African and Ghanaian culture”, he noted.
As part of his contributions in maintaining his legacies, the world-renowned scholar and ethnomusicologist recently entrusted his publications, musical compositions and works to the Africana Centre of the AUCC.

Background of Prof. Nkestia

Born on Tuesday, June 22, 1921 at Mampong, Asante, Kwabena (Ogyam), the appellation of a Tuesday-born, Nketia (Saben), the appellation of the name Nketia, was educated at the Presbyterian Elementary and Middle Schools at Mampong, Asante, from 1928-1936, and thereafter at the Presbyterian Training College and Theological Seminary, Akropong-Akuapem, from 1937-1941.

He is currently the Chancellor of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, Akropong-Akuapem as well as a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.