Administration and staff of the Natural Cultural Foundation (NCF) paid tribute today to former colleague, theatre arts professional Kofi Akobi.
A post on the NCF’s Facebook page said they were “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former colleague, Kofi Akobi”, who was dedicated to his duties as a theatre practitioner and administrator.
Akobi was a former reporter with the Barbados Rediffusion Group before joining the NCF in 1998 and retiring in 2013. Along with Elombe Mottley, he was one of the founding members of the Barbados National Theatre Workshop prior to Independence in 1966.
While at the NCF, Akobi played a key role in creating the TAPPWork programme (Theatre Arts Play Production Workshop), which was developed to train people in play production at the community level.
He was also an active member of Elton’s Black Night in 1969 and 1970, [a] space for artists-activists to gather and perform. At that time, the artistic community was integrally linked to Black consciousness and Pan African movements, according to the post.
Akobi was involved in numerous training projects in Theatre Arts, including the establishment of the Youth Achieving Results Drama programme, which was done along with the Division of Youth Affairs and introduced talented youth to drama, performance and edutainment.
He also headed the youth component of the Barbados Contingent at CARIFESTA 10, in Guyana in 2008;
In 2005, Akobi initiated the development of the film pilot for ‘The Baobab Tree’ which led to the development of a children’s educational TV series. Additionally, he initiated the presentation of Barbadian traditional medicines at CARIFESTA 8, which was held in Suriname in August 2008, according to the NCF post.
In addition to his work at the NCF and involvement in training of people in theatre arts, Akobi was a member of the board of the Barbados Government’s Commission for Africa and the Diaspora 1998 to 2008. (Nation News)