One of Ghana’s foremost professors in music, Professor John Collins has praised Prof. Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia as a towering figure who inspired many people through his work.
To him, “He was very nationalistic” and was also “in fact, he is the leading and most famous African musicologist” whose work transcended continents.
Considered Africa’s premier musicologist, the renowned professor passed away on Wednesday, March 13 at 97. His death was confirmed at the Legon Hospital in Accra.
Eulogising Prof Kwabena Nketia in an interview on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM with Daniel Dadzie, the music professor said he was one of the pioneers of music in the continent.
Prof John Collins is particularly excited that he inspired a lot of people through his writing and teachings.
“He’s gone now but he’s got 200 publications behind him which are going to be there for posterity…,” the music professor, who had done extensive research on Ghanaian music, said.
Touching on some of the key lessons people can learn from the late musicologist, Prof Collins noted that Prof Kwabena Nketia was original.
“If you just copy somebody and be a copycat, you’re never going to get anywhere,” he said.
Prof Collins, who said he is still in shock over the musicologist’s death.
He recalled “He always talked about his grandmother. If you asked him where did he get his original inspiration from, he said it was his grandmother who trained him to a lot sing original Ashanti songs,” and also delve into them to enable him to analyse the songs.
He noted that Prof Kwabena Nketia helped put African performance in academia and “in the end, everybody was proud to be a dondologist.”
“He was the one who helped Nkrumah breakthrough in the performing arts and linking it to national identity,” the music professor added.