Parliament on Thursday eulogized the distinctive artistic qualities of the late Efo Kodjo Mawugbe, former Director of the National Theatre and announced that he would be accorded a state burial in recognition of his contribution to the nation.
Mr Cletus Avoka, Majority Leader, who made this known on the floor of Parliament, said the body would be late in state at the National Theatre and also at the State House today Friday October 28, 2011.
Mr Avoka made this announcement in support of a statement presented by Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho West on the floor of Parliament on the demise of the late Efo Mawugbe.
Mr Bedzrah said Efo was renowned for his writing prowess in drama, adding he was a winner of the BBC’s international Radio Play Competition 2009 with his play, “The Prison Graduates” which was selected out of 12,000 entries across the world.
He added that Efo had to his credit 19 plays including “A calabash of Blood“ – Radio Drama-GBC in 1978, “Aluta Continua” – drama produced for radio, stage and TV distributed in Africa by URTNA (1979) and in 1980,“ The Unbending Branch” Radio Drama (GBC).
Mr Bedzrah said Efo Kojo’s predominant sentiment was a deep development to the cause of human dignity and subsidiary to this was the conduct of his whole life, he loved his country and he burned with zeal for the advancement of prosperity and glory.
For almost thirty years he dedicated his time to pushing young men and women in the industry to accomplish their goals as well as use their full potential and was never judgmental.
Mr Bedzrah also noted that the people of Ghana became deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Efo Mawugbe, adding that the shock that came with the news about his death surpassed anything of that kind ever witnessed in the Arts and Culture Industry in the country.
He said those who followed his lead in the industry and by extension all Ghanaian lovers had shown grief, which his death had inspired for his character and fame.
Mr Baffour Fritz Frederic, National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ablekuma South, said children must be encouraged to think artistically through the use of literature.
Mr Asiamah Isaac Kwame, MP for Atwima Mponua, said his writing prowers was what most people cherished, adding Ghana Most Beautiful TV programme was one of his contributions to Ghana and called for the establishment of monument for such great persons, adding a cultural site should be named after him.
Mr Gershon Gbediame, NDC MP for Nkwanta South said Efo Mawugbe has impacted his talents and left a land mark.
Mrs Beatrice Bernice Boateng, New Patriotic Parry (NPP) MP for New Juabeng South, said the way Efo Mawugbe handled criticism of actors and actresses was worth emulating.
Mr Osei Kyie Mensah Bonsu, Minority Leader said he served the country to his outmost, adding that Parliament as an institution should recognize that but not for only Volta caucus, adding he deserved to be recognized with a state burial.
Efo Mawugbe was born on April 21, 1954 and his interest and talents began at Mawuli Senior High school in Ho through the school’s drama group. He studied Theatre Art, majoring in play writing from the University of Ghana 1975 to 1978.
He also served as a Senior Research Assistant African Theatre at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Centre for National Culture) where he helped students in the development of play and production of plays.