Prof Kwame Karikari bows out after 36 years in academia

Prof. Kwame Karikari shone with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as 36 years of teaching at University of Ghana comes to an end.

The academic, media advocate and campaigner bid his farewell wearing smiles, surrounded by colleague academicians close friends and students of communications at a short ceremony held to honour him at the Gust House of the University of Ghana.

Founder of NGO the Media Foundation of West Africa Prof. Kwame Karikari recounted to a gathering of family, fellow academics, colleagues, students and friends about how his varied experiences have fulfilled and filled him with pride.

“I’ve been here for all these years and I have seen much progress in [the University of Ghana]. One of which is the sheer size of this university . When I came here there were just about 3400 students now there are 35 thousand students. There is a lot of expansion. I think that those kinds of progress make me happy and also as a Ghanaian make me have confidence that this country will always make progress”

Prof says scholarship was very high when he joined the university of Ghana in August 1979 with a generation of scholars, Assimeng, Kwapong, Addae-Mensah, Laing to mention a few. But he said the excitement of campus life was what made the most impression – symposia, debates, extra mural activities. Reflecting on his intellectual interaction with students Prof. Karikari says,

“For about the first 10 years I lectured here one met some very brilliant students, one of them is sitting here, Kwaku Sayi-Addo. I asked him in class what are you doing here because you don’t need to be here to be who you are…but the point I am making is that there is a certain level of intellectual quality[that is missing]you teach nowadays and no student challenges you in class. [Far from days]when people would debate you like Kofi Bucknor on cinema. Nowadays that kind of life is in abeyance and I hope it will pick up again.”

With pioneers like P.A.V Ansah, Yaw Twumasi, the School of Communication Studies, Prof. Karikari hailed their contribution to the growth of the advertising industry in the country with the work of Kweku Mensah-Bonsu , the Public Relations Sector, and mainstream journalism with recognisable names such as such as Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Kojo Yankah, Kabral Blay Amihere.

Some of his colleagues paid tribute
Kweku Mensah Bonsu “The school will miss you as you go away you will still be a part of this school. Even with his intimidating beard he smiles a lot and jokes a lot. You are a great teacher, you are a great man. He is a man!!!!”

Ahunu Dake “Kwame cuts across. Kwame has done his bit. Kwame is a very honest person. Kwame’s commitment to this country is rare. He is one person you can be assured of that he means well.”

Esther Cobbah, CEO Stratcomm Communications “Congratulations. Many of us have passed through your hands. Thank you for believing in me and supporting my idea of concert party in communication. Remain young.”

Dr. Margaret Amoakohene, Senior Lecturer, Department of Communication Studies “You have been a very good teacher and a very good colleague. Working with you was smooth. If we had multiples of you Ghana would be a better place.”

Akoto Ampaw, a lawyer “Kwame and I go way back. He is not just a comrade but a brother and a friend. The department of communication congratulated for organising the get-together. It is great that this occasion has happened to celebrate his contribution to the Ghanaian society – the media. Kwame is a very special person. Very thoughtful in the advice that he will give. He is very principled but not sectarian.”

Yao Graham, Executive Director Third World Network “Actually speaks to underlining value and trait that need to be made clear his commitment to the public good, commitment to life and public service.”

Student, Class of 2015 “We have learnt so much from him in the course, Development journalism. What strikes me about him is his retentive memory. We thank him so much for all the knowledge he has impacted.”


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