MY GENERATION and Other Poems: Anthology by Victor Nana Odei Ofei (Paperback #1) (Paperback)
Frida Haski stated the truth that "every time an intellectual has the chance to speak out against injustice, and yet remains silent, he contributes to the moral paralysis and intellectual barrenness that grips the affluent world."Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng reveals more deeply in his foreword to this anthology: "Yes, I was there at the birth of My Generation, which established Nana Odei Ofei as one of the most promising poets of our time in the 1970s. He had a solid reputation in the arts even before we met at the University of Ghana in the early 1970s. He was a versatile actor, scriptwriter, director and inclined to music, with a special interest in playing keyboards. He would even employ choreography or paintings, especially African abstract forms, in other artistic expressions.Legon in the 1970s was made for a prodigious talent like Nana Odei (Naadei). With the black pride political movement at its height, Legon hosted hundreds of students from the US, most of them black who had come to pursue courses in African studies and culture at its source. They brought with them an urgency and edginess about life in general as if to make up for the lost years of slavery. We had not been long liberated from colonialism, and with Nkrumah's star shining again after the infamous 1966 coup, the university was a veritable beehive of cross-cultural activities and fermentation of ideas.It was into this intellectual and cultural cauldron that we honed our skills as scientists, debaters, writers, orators, musicians even entrepreneurs. One of the biggest influences of that time was the Ghana Association of Writers. Atukwei Okai as President was a force of nature. He kept his collection of enthusiastic young writers on their toes, organizing events almost on a weekly basis; one of his star acolytes was Nana Odei Ofei.My Generation made its debut at one of the many "Evening With..." events organized by GAW. It was an instant hit. Of course, as with almost all of Ofei's poems, he had read it to me even as it developed. But hearing it delivered to an audience in a lecture hall above the bookshop was a different experience. For many days and weeks thereafter, we used to quote verses from it just to enjoy the flavor of the aftertaste.Thus, I have waited for decades for the publication of this anthology and what I can say is, better late than never. I am happy that at long last many people will get to enjoy Nana's prodigious talents and that he would receive the recognition he deserves.The poems in this collection reflect Naadei's personality and outlook even many years after the foundations were laid for them. They retain the freshness of his play on words and rhythms from the many cultural influences evident in his cultured universe....I believe that these poems will speak to this and the next generation with the same eloquent force with which Ofei spoke to an earlier generation forty years ago. These poems are better enjoyed when they are spoken, although I do enjoy them in the quiet moments; but I hope Naadei will be able to organize public readings to maximize the enjoyment of those who will have the opportunity to get their hands on this volume."A variety of themes tackled with a unique style of craftsmanship and rendition acquired through African and American multicultural influences are the mainstay of Victor Nana Odei Ofei's poetry packaged in this special anthology. Enjoy.