Kodjo Vangorski is the nom de plume of a Ghanaian and Serbian author and a former Yugoslavian diplomat, Ljubomir Anđelković. (Pronounced: Lewbomere Un-djelkovich).
Kodjo authored seven works of fiction and three non-fiction books. All his writings may be considered as commercial literature. Most of his fictional characters are fugitives from unpalatable truth.
Lj ubomir was born on 18th June 1934 in Belgrade, Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Before World War II his father was editor in chief of the national telegraphic agency “Avala”, while the mother was a PE teacher in the prestigious “First Girl’s High School” in Belgrade.
His life was full of vicissitudes. Over the first fifteen years of life, Ljubomir experienced the carefree life of the upper middle class, but also terrors of World War II and the destitution that followed the communist revolution. After the end of the war, family Anđelković moved from their suburban villa to a miniature flat in a near-slum settlement in Belgrade. In the new environment Ljubomir joined a local gang of brawn composed mostly of Romany (Gipsy) youth. Thanks to his eloquence he managed to negotiate peace with a rival gang and thus ended a feud which had lasted for several decades. That ‘diplomatic’ experience influenced greatly his stance towards the challenges of life.
During his studies at the University of Belgrade, he went in for sports (track and field) and became national youth champion on 400 metres and 200 metres dash.
After having taken his degree he spent two years in London. There he worked at W&G Foyle’s of Charing Cross Road. Thanks to innovations he had introduced to the functioning of that mega-bookshop and to his knowledge of rare books, in less than six months he became Chief buying manager.
Back in Belgrade, he was employed as a research assistant in the Institute for International Politics and Economics. In that capacity, he wrote quite a number of studies and articles.
In 1965 Ljubomir was transferred to the Federal Customs. There he was posted as Deputy Director of the newly founded Department for Professional Formation of customs officers. He kept that position for fourteen years and was recognised as pioneer of new trends in staff policy of the Federal Government.
As a double specialist (for international affairs and permanent education), he was transferred to the Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs with the task to organise a school for diplomats. He was also engaged in lecturing. His field was “Evaluation of authenticity of intelligence materials” (fact checking).
In 1984 Ljubomir was posted as counsellor to the Embassy in Accra (Ghana). Life in Africa brought a new dimension to his life and partly satisfied his penchant for adventure. Among other exploits, he drove all the way from Belgrade to Accra across the Sahara.
His final report, after his four-year-term in Accra, was noted for prophetic predictions on post-cold-war situation in the Middle East and Africa. (Appearance of religious fundamentalism as reaction to globalisation; massive shifts of population; and a dramatic change of the known geostrategic constants). As a consequence, Ljubomir was promoted to Minister Plenipotentiary and posted as acting head of the Group for Analysis and Planning.
Since the 1991 Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement was to be organised in Accra, he was sent back to Ghana to help the Ghanaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare the final documents of the Conference.
After the collapse of Yugoslavia, Ljubomir decided resign from his position and stay in Ghana as a foreign investor.
Unfortunately his business collapsed and Ljubomir was left without any means of support. He and his family squatted in an uncompleted building in a fishing suburb of Accra. In order to survive, he worked as labourer in the construction business. That is how he discovered a completely different Ghana – Ghana of the destitute.
After six years of life below the poverty line, a Greek, who owned a bookshop in the centre of Accra, started publishing his stories which became popular among the reading public.
That was the moment when Ljubomir took as his nom de plume Kodjo Vangorski – Kodjo being the vernacular name of all those born on a Monday, and Vangorski as part of a family joke.
Next, his novel ‘Angelface Nancy’ was published and Kodjo Vangorski became a bestselling author.
Finally, in 2010, Kodjo Vangorski returned to Belgrade where he continued writing, using the same pseudonym. So far seven of his books were published in Serbia. Three are translations from English and four were written in Serbian.
His intellectual formation was influenced by his father and his Institute boss, comrade Rudolf Blum.
Ljubomir’s father Vukašin was an interesting figure in his own right. During the Great War he was schooled in Figeac, France, where he stayed in the house of a Mademoiselle Moulin, a long-time friend of his father (Grandfather Ljuba). For full three years, there he shared the room with Mademoiselle’s nephew Jean Moulin, who later, during World War II, became the leader of the National Council of the French Resistance. It is quite possible that already in those days Vukašin took part in the activities of French secret societies.
Rudolf Blum was an even more interesting personality. At the time Ljubomir joined the Institute, Uncle-Blum (as junior staff of the Institute used to call him), was already in his early eighties and very talkative. He confided to his assistants that during the early twenties, he was one of instructors in the notorious Hotel Lux in Moscow and mentor both to Mao Zedong and Josip Broz Tito. Uncle-Blum’s unorthodox thinking helped his assistants not to fall into the quagmire of Marxist dogmatism.
Ljubomir is member of the Association of Writers of Serbia.