Ghana’s legend Prof Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia dies at 97

Ghana’s astute scholar and ethnomusicologist, Emeritus Professor Joseph Hansen Kwabena Nketia has died.

Family sources confirmed the demise of the Ghanaian legend Wednesday afternoon but declined to give details.

Prof JH Nketia can be described as a teacher, lecturer, composer, conductor and life coach for many people. A man who can be likened to the proverbial elephant that could be described from different perspectives.

He has over 80 classical African music compositions and 200 scholarly publications in English and Twi languages, which he used as a vessel to write more than 20 books.  His works have shaped African studies within and outside of Ghana.

Prof JH Nketia

Prof. Nketia, who retired from the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1979, was the first African Director of the Institute of African Studies of the university.

Born at Mampong-Asante on June 22, 1921, the composer, ethnomusicologist, writer and mentor had, in the past, also held positions such as acting Principal of the Presbyterian Training College (PTC), Professor of Music at the University of Ghana and Chancellor of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture in Akropong.

Source: Kwabena Owusu


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