UG holds maiden edition of the Kwame Gyekye Memorial Lecture to celebrate philosopher

Radio Univers
Radio Univers
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Guest speaker, Prof. Martin Odei Ajei making his address at the lecture.

To celebrate one of Africa’s most remarkable philosopher, the University of Ghana held the inaugural Kwame Gyekye Memorial Lecture which was organized and hosted by the Department of Philosophy and Classics in collaboration with the Gyekye family on Tuesday, 16th April 2024.

The Kwame Gyekye Memorial Lecture was an evening filled with poignant reflections and a celebration of the legacy of the late Emeritus Prof. Kwame Gyekye.

Family of the late Emeritus Prof. Kwame Gyekye in attendance of the lecture.

Guiding the audience through the discourse was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo. She emphasized on the profound intellectual contributions of the former Philosophy lecturer and author.

“This first public lecture marks the fifth anniversary of [late Prof. Gyekye’s] passing and as we embark on this memorial lecture, we are not only celebrating the profound intellectual contributions of the remarkable lecturer but also reflecting on the enduring impact he had on our understanding of culture, morality and humanity.”

Vice Chancellor Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo eulogizes the late African philosopher.

The late Emeritus Prof. Kwame Gyekye was an African philosopher whose works had transcended the boundaries of the Department of Philosophy and Classics.

Notable among his scholastic works are The Unexamined Life: Philosophy and the African Experience, published in May 1987 by the Ghana Universities Press, Arabic Logic: Ibn Al-Tayyib’s Commentary on Porphyry’s Eisagoge, published by State University of New York Press in 1979 and. Tradition and Modernity: Philosophical Reflections on the African Experience, published by Oxford University Press in 1997.

Head of the Philosophy and Classics Department, Prof. Haskei Majeed shared with the audience the evident transformational stories of the students and lecturers taught by the demised luminary.

“We celebrate Emeritus Prof. Gyekye because of his immense contribution to the growth of the department and Akan philosophy. Gyekye was a pioneer African philosopher, who, for four decades, taught African philosophy and related courses to students of the department.”

“Having spent all his professional life at the department (that is, from 1969 when he was appointed Lecturer to the year 2019), Gyekye was not only able to train a large number of students – some of whom hold prominent positions around the world – but also, he taught all except one of the existing full-time members of faculty, in the philosophy section of the department.”

Among the dignitaries present were President of the Republic, H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo, A representative for the Minister of Education amidst other ministers of state and members of parliament. Also in attendance were the Guest Speaker, Prof. Martin Odei Ajei, a revered Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Mr. Samuel Dubik Masubir Mahama and Chairperson for the evening, His Lordship, Justice Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, a distinguished Justice for the Supreme Court.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the lecture ceremony.

Cultural performances by the Ghana Dance Ensemble and the soothing-voiced Jubilee Choir set the congenial atmosphere for the event.

The evening was filled with insightful discussions as the Guest Speaker, Prof. Martin Odei Ajei, delved into the lecture’s theme: ‘The Forgetfulness of Citizenship’.

Guest speaker, Prof. Martin Odei Ajei making his address at the lecture.

He placed emphasis on the need of the government and citizens to play their due diligence in keeping the relationship between cultural and legal matters in sync as attributed by the revered philosopher severally in his lectures.

“I think it’s most satisfactory we recognize the claims of both communality and individuality as pride to the status of equal moral standing. I leave you with these profound philosophical thoughts of Professor Gyekye.”

Story By: Fauzia Salim |

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