I. Tribute to Professor Kofi Nyiᶑeʋu Awoonor: The Hippo Turned our Cannon by Edzordzi Agbozo-Hero (#RIPAwoonor)

The death of Ghanaian novelist, poet, politician, and academic Kofi Awoonor in the Kenya Westgate terrorist attack by al-shabab is no longer news. Several news outlets have talked about this eminent Ghanaian poet.

ImageNations is offering a platform for those who want one to share poems of tribute to Kofi Awoonor. Edzordzi Agbozo-Hero begins this series with The Hippo Turned our Cannon. This series will run as long as there are submissions.

The Hippo Turned our Cannon
Nyiᶑeʋu meᶑea keʋu o

The hippo does not overturn
The canoe with sandload

Nyiᶑewu meᶑea keʋu o

This hippo overturned it
This hippo overturned it

We are the snake
Whose head Al-Shabab caught
We only wag our tails defenceless
The hippo overturned our canoe
But never it’s content
For the sand is too light to sink
Your voice, too loud to sink

In this corner of our common fate
Fire in a neighbour’s farm
Consumes all farm-huts
A dirge from a distant drum
Splits the tear-bag in our brains
The blast of toy-guns
Mould fireballs, dispersed across all souls

Indeed, yours is a great journey
So let not the children mourn
The transition of a pathfinder
And his voice, the path-adder

Let monuments rise
Lift up the anthems
Sound is mother to words

And let the great ancestor
March on into eternity
To remain
Eternal father of modern Ghanaian poetry

Nyiᶑeʋu meᶑea keʋu o

The hippo does not overturn
The canoe with sandload

Nyiᶑeʋu meᶑea keʋu o



  1. A beautiful and powerful tribute, Edzordzi. Indeed, Awonoor's powerful voice cries on, in our hearts!


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