Ghanaian Poet Kofi Awoonor Killed in Kenya Attack

Christian Thompson/AP

The Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor was among those killed in Saturday’s shopping mall attack in Nairobi. He was 78. Awoonor was renowned for his modernist verse inspired by traditional Ewe poetry. He was also Ghana’s ambassador to Brazil and Cuba in the 1980s, and later to the United Nations from 1990 to 1994. Ghana’s president called Awoonor’s death “such a sad twist of fate” in a statement. Awoonor was in Nairobi to participate in the Storymoja Hay Festival, a literary event, and was scheduled to perform Saturday evening. He was shopping with his son, who was wounded, when gunmen from Al-Shabab, Somalia’s al Qaeda affiliate, stormed into the mall Saturday afternoon, killing at least 68 and wounding 175.