An Interview With Ayi Kwei Armah – One of Africa’s Most Influential Writers

Jacques Barie

Introduction

Ayi Kwei Armah is a Ghanaian writer. His novels include The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968), Two Thousand Seasons (1973), and Why are We So Blest? (1995). In the 1960s, he received grants from the Ford Foundation, which allowed him to visit the United States for a year. During his stay there he wrote The Healers (1973). He was a professor at the University of Ghana Department of Theatre Arts when he became its head in 1981. He also served as editor of African Review and was a member of the Ghana National Council for Arts and Culture. In 1990 he travelled to South Africa where he met Nelson Mandela, who inspired him to write “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” – an epic poem on South African history and politics written in seven parts over twenty years which appeared in the Guardian newspaper’s A series in 2008

Ayi Kwei Armah is a Ghanaian writer.

Ayi Kwei Armah is a Ghanaian writer. His novels include The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968), Two Thousand Seasons (1973), and Why are We So Blest? (1995).

Ayi Kwei Armah was born in Accra, Ghana on March 15, 1940 to an Asante mother and Fante father. He attended Mfantsipim School where he studied English literature under Adu Boahen. After graduating from high school Ayi Kwei Armah went on to attend Oxford University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Law before returning home to teach at Adisadel College while working on his master’s degree at the University of Ghana-Legon. While teaching at Adisadel College Ayi Kwei Armah met Nii Odoi Agyemang who introduced him into politics which inspired him greatly throughout his career as an author later on down the road when he began writing political essays for newspapers such as New African Magazine which eventually led up until today where he continues working hard towards achieving success through his literature pieces being published worldwide while also focusing heavily on making sure that there is equality among all people regardless of race or gender

In the 1960s, he received grants from the Ford Foundation

In the 1960s, he received grants from the Ford Foundation, which allowed him to visit the United States for a year. During his stay there he wrote The Healers (1973). The book is set in a fictional West African country called Adua and tells the story of a healer who goes on trial for murder after one of his patients dies. It won several prizes including an award from UNESCO as one of its “Books That Shaped Africa”.

In 1990 he travelled to South Africa where he met Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the anti-apartheid movement. He later described how this experience influenced his writing: “I saw for myself how our struggle against colonialism was not unique; it had universal significance.”

He was a professor at the University of Ghana Department of Theatre Arts when he became its head in 1981. He also served as editor of African Review and was a member of the Ghana National Council for Arts and Culture.

In addition to being an author, Ayi Kwei Armah has also been involved in political activism, particularly against apartheid and colonialism in Africa.

In 1990 he travelled to South Africa where he met Nelson Mandela, who inspired him to write “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” – an epic poem on South African history and politics written in seven parts over twenty years which appeared in the Guardian newspaper’s A series in 2008.

Ayi Kwei Armah’s works have been translated into many languages and his novels include The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1968), Two Thousand Seasons (1973), Why Are We So Blest? (1995) and Achebe: The Man Who Made Words Dance Again.

 He has been awarded several literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa, an OBE in 2003 for services to literature and was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by French President Jacques Chirac in 2005.

In 1990 he travelled to South Africa where he met Nelson Mandela, who inspired him to write “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” – an epic poem on South African history and politics written in seven parts over twenty years which appeared in the Guardian newspaper’s A series in 2008

Conclusion

Ayi Kwei Armah’s work has been translated into more than 20 languages. He has received many awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France. His latest novel is called “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born” (1968).

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