Asiedu Yirenkyi

Ghanian playwright
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date of death
May 10, 2018
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Asiedu Yirenkyi (8 December 1942 – 10 May 2018) was a Ghanaian playwright, actor, director, theatre company manager and author of screen plays. He was born Emmanuel Asiedu Yirenchi at Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He is of the same parentage as the late Ghanaian actor and film maker Rev. Kofi Yirenkyi. In the early 1960s Asiedu Yirenkyi became involved in the Ghana Drama Studio founded by Efua Sutherland, joining the Drama Studio Players. His formal education in Theatre began with a Diploma in Drama from the University of Ghana, Legon. In 1968, when Yirenkyi gained admission into the Yale School of Drama he made history by becoming the first Ghanaian to receive a grant to study Drama in the USA. He graduated in 1971 with the prestigious John Golden Scholar Award in Playwriting. He lectured in Ghana and Nigeria. Like writer Ama Ata Aidoo, also involved in the Ghana Drama Studio, Yirenkyi later served as a minister in the Provisional National Defence Council of Jerry Rawlings: he was Secretary for Culture and Tourism from 1982 to 1984, when he resigned. It was under his political leadership in 1983 that the first elaborate work on Ghana's Cultural Policy was carried out. Yirenkyi later served twice as the chairman of Ghana's National Folklore Board and as a World Bank consultant on the National Theatre of Ghana. He died on 10 May 2018.
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