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Cameron Duodu (born 24 May 1937) is a UK-based Ghanaian novelist, journalist, editor and broadcaster. After publishing a notable novel, The Gab Boys, in 1967, Duodu went on to a distinguished career as a journalist and editorialist.


Martin Cameron Duodu was born in Asiakwa in eastern Ghana and educated at Kyebi Government Senior School and the Rapid Results College, London, through which he got his O and A Levels by correspondence course. He was a student teacher in 1954, and worked on a general magazine called New Nation in Ghana, before going on to become a radio journalist for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation from 1956 to 1960, becoming editor of radio news. From 1960 to 1965 he was editor of the Ghana edition of the South African magazine Drum, and in 1970 edited the Daily Graphic, the biggest-selling newspaper in Ghana.

In 1967, his novel, The Gab Boys was published in London by André Deutsch. The "gab boys" of the title - so called because of their gabardine trousers - are the sharply dressed youths who hang about the village and are considered delinquent by their elders. The novel is the story of the adventures of one of them, who runs away from village life, eventually finding a new life in the Ghana capital of Accra.[7] According to one recent critic, "Duodu simultaneously represents two currents in West African literature of the time, on the one hand the exploration of cultural conflict and political corruption in post-colonial African society associated with novelists and playwrights such as Chinua Achebe and Ama Ata Aidoo, and on the other hand the optimistic affirmation of African cultural strengths found in poets of the time such as David Diop and Frank Kobina Parks. These themes come together in a very compassionate discussion of the way that individual people, rich and poor, are pushed to compromise themselves as they try to navigate a near-chaotic transitional society."

Duodu also writes plays and poetry. His work was included in the anthology Messages: Poems from Ghana (Heinemann Educational Books, 1970).

Having worked as a correspondent for various publications in the decades since the 1960s, including The Observer, The Financial Times, The Sunday Times, United Press International, Reuters, De Volkskrant (Amsterdam), and The Economist, Duodu has been based in Britain as a freelance journalist since the 1980s. He has had stints with the magazines South and Index on Censorship, and has written regularly for outlets such as The Independent, and The Guardian.[8] He wrote a nlog - "Under the Neem Tree" - for New African magazine (London), and has also published regular columns in The Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg) and City Press (Johannesburg). He has been writing a weekly column for the Ghanaian Times (Accra) for many years. Duodu appears frequently as a contributor on BBC World TV and BBC World Service radio news programmes discussing African politics, economy and culture.

Personal life

In the 1960s Duodu married the dancer and choreographer Beryl Karikari, great-great granddaughter of the king of the Asantes Kofi Karikari ("whose golden death mask, pillaged from the royal mausoleum in Kumase by a British "expedition" in the 1880s, can be found at the Wallace Collection in London"). Beryl died aged 71 on 9 February 2007, survived by her two sons with Duodu, Akwasi and Korieh, and by his two other sons, Yaw and Kofi