Cephas Yao Agbemenu

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Cephas Yao Agbemenu
Cephas Yao Agbemenu Teaching at MCCC 2010.JPG
Fulbright Scholar and Artist
Born (1951-05-29)29 May 1951Expression error: Unrecognized word "may".
Leklebi-Kame, in the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa
Nationality Ghanaian
Occupation Artist – Art Professor

Art Professor Cephas Yao Agbemenu, teaches at the Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a sculptor and a traditional African wood carver who sees parallels between his carvings and life.


Cephas Yao Agbemenu was born 29 May 1951 in Leklebi-Kame, in the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa.

Family Portrait taken before Cephas Yao Agbemenu left for the USA in 1978, he is third from the right, standing, wearing a dark suit.

As a child, Cephas Yao Agbemenu grew up in Ghana, going to school where art and crafts lessons were a part of the curriculum. He also learned farming, backyard gardening, fishing, trapping and hunting. All requiring good coordination and visual abilities in order to complete those tasks.

Cephas Yao Agbemenu went on to Secondary School at Evangelical Presbyterian Secondary School Hohoe, Volta Region, Ghana where he received his Ordinary Level, School Certificate. Agbemenu's major subjects were Art, English Language, Ewe Language, Math, General Science, Principles of Accounts, Geography.

Cephas Yao Agbemenu then attended Kpandu Secondary School, Volta Region, Ghana. He completed this program with an Advanced Level, School Certificate. The major subjects were Art, Economics, Geography, General Studies in the year of 1972.

June 1976 he completed a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art with First Class Honors’ at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. His Major was Sculpture, Painting, Art History, English Literature, Art Appreciation and African Studies.

Cephas Yao Agbemenu then obtained his Master of Fine Arts Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, February 1980.[1] University at Buffalo, The State University of New York Cephas Yao Agbemenu major was Sculpture which included Wood Carving, P.O.P, Concrete and Bronze casting. Minor in Painting, Drawing and Art History.

Cephas' Sculpture "Freedom of Speech" 1980. Notice the padlock over the lips. Sculpture was carved from Elmwood.

Teaching and Career[edit]

Cephas Yao Agbemenu started to teach at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana in 1977 with Art, Sculpture and Drawing.

Agbemenu traveled to many different countries and taught African Art, Sculpture, Black History in a global perspective, along with Ceramics, African History, Culture European Art History and African Carvings.

1987 Cephas Yao Agbemenu started as a Senior Lecturer, in the Department of Fine Art, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.[2] Lecturing: Contemporary African Art; Sculpture and traditional African Wood carving.

Fulbright Scholar[edit]

Cephas Yao Agbemenu was awarded the Fulbright Scholar which is one of the most honable awards one can receive worldwide. This program has granted Cephas Yao Agbemenu a visit to the United States to teach at two colleges in Pennsylvania. The first was Reading Area Community College in the city of Reading where he gave lessons on African Woodcarving and also participated in a Dialog "The Spiritual Dimension in Art" with Art Professor Tullio DeSantis on 2 March 2010. Cephas Yao Agbemenu has said that "It's not necessary to pursue art, but I think it's necessary to pursue artistic thinking; the thinking that there is an alternative solution." [3]

Cephas Yao Agbemenu then traveled to Montgomery County Community College, Social Sciences Division, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, c/o Dr. Aaron Shatzman from January 2010 – June 2010 [4] (Scholar-in-Residence Program)[5] Cephas Yao Agbemenu taught Contemporary African Art and Culture, in addition to conducting studio classes in Traditional African Wood Carving. The basic tools used for Agbemenu's wood carving classes were straight and spoon gouges, chisel, carving knife, veiner. Cephas Yao Agbemenu was quoted that "America is seen as the citadel of knowledge and power. That is why many of us chose to come to the United States for graduate studies. My presence at Montgomery County Community College will be measured in both theory and practice, in terms of cross-cultural understanding in this period of globalization." [6]

Cephas' Sculpture "Noble Burdens Front View" 1980 Mother and Child

African proverbs[edit]

Cephas Yao Agbemenu was a member of and contributor to the African Proverbs, Stories and Sayings Committee, chaired by Father Joseph Healey founded in Nairobi, Kenya. Professor Cephas Agbemenu was awarded in June 2008 a grant to compile a booklet of 100 EWE Ghana Proverbs [7] that would include African Symbols as illustrations of the proverbs, translated into English. The work has been published on the www.afriprov.org website. The Theme of "Reconciliation and Peace".[8]

A Collection of EWE Proverbs was published with illustrations and translations by Cephas Yao Agbemenu on 1 November 2010.[9]


  1. ^ University at Buffalo
  2. ^ Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya Retrieved 15 June 2010
  3. ^ African art form comes to Reading Written by Greta Cuyler on 4 May 2010 Retrieved 25 May 2010
  4. ^ Visiting Scholar Directory Retrieved 25 May 2010
  5. ^ Cephas Yao Agbemenu teaches at MCCC Retrieved 25 May 2010
  6. ^ MCCC awarded Fulbright Scholar Program Retrieved 1 June 2010
  7. ^ Proverbs Notes Retrieved 24 May 2010
  8. ^ Reconciliation and Peace Retrieved 2 June 2010
  9. ^ A Collection Of Ewe Proverbs, Cephas Yao Agbemenu Retrieved 8 November 2010

External links[edit]