Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said he and the late Ghanaian diplomat and poet, Kofi Awoonor could have been together at the Westgate shopping mall shooting in Nairobi where Kofi was killed.
Soyinka who spoke in Lagos 3 days ago during a memorial reading session held in honour of the late Ghanaian poet, said he was invited to the same festival poet Kofi was in Nairobi for but he could not attend. Because of two commitments- a public conversation with a very brave individual, Karima Bennoune, an Algerian national, and the annual conference of international investigators in Tunis.
He said, “My absence was particularly regrettable, because I had planned to make up for my failure to turn up for the immediate prior edition. It was at least two days after the listing of Kofi Awoonor among the victims that I even recollected the fact that the Festival was ongoing at that very time. With that realisation came another: that Kofi and I could have been splitting a bottle at that same watering hole in between events and at the end of each day. My feelings, I wish to state clearly, did not undergo any changes. The emotions of rage, hate and contempt remained on the same qualitative and quantitative levels”.
Soyinka described the late Awoonor as a passionate African who gave primacy of place to values derived from his Ewe heritage.