I am not a Cow&Gate baby: I was naturally nurtured


A year older and hopefully much wiser allows me to reminiscence about a wonderful life thanks to the blessings that God has showered on me.  I was born in a popular place in Ghana, Accra, Ga Mashie near the Salaga Market, delivered by a lady midwife who needs to be applauded for the excellent work she did in supervising my birth and several others of my generation.  I have tried today to find whether there is any mention of her on the internet but sadly cannot find any trace on the web about her midwifery practice.  Then she was just called Aunty Sisi. She was Mrs Nettey-Marbell.  Perhaps the reason why i cannot get Google to trace her is because it was so long ago.

i found this weighing card and thought that it told its own story!

Now let me  reconstruct what must have happened.  My parents lost a son before I was born, so I suspect that after the funeral rites of this brother that I did not know, they were locked up in accordance with Ga custom, and encouraged to try for another child, a fruitful result, if I may say so myself.  Born a bundle of joy to my parents but also causing a lot of anguish because my frequent bouts of illness, they must have spent a fortune those days taking me to hospital after hospital for these undiagnosed illnesses and several traditional medicine practitioners as they sought a cure for my twetweetwe.

But I was naturally nurtured; not for me the quick formulaic feeds of the present day, no  Cow and Gate or SMA or Heinz played any part in my growth.  The recommendation from Aunty Sisi was clear; so i suckled on breast milk for close on to 9 months with boiled water and graduated to other soft foods such as arkasa, ablemamu, agidi,  kpotonkpoto, ripe banana and pawpaw, bit of rice and butter, and fufu.  There must have been many variants of these corn based foods at the time – ekoegbemi, oblayoo, kpokponsu,  all would have been part of the fare at the time.

As i grew older I must have started eating otin, komi or kenkey as it is known and celebrated in the diaspora.  Indeed last night i had the good combination of good kenkey purchased from an Indian shop in Brixotn and  a very british attempt at domendo, grilled but not to the high Adedainkpo standards with sas and ngragra.  But growing up kenkey and light soup always did it for me.

But then i must have gone on to feed on some real good delicacies that seasoned me – adode, shialoo, waa, ngaa, kaa, song, bebeo, hala and in my kKoforidua days unknowingly partaken in  some kusie after a heavy bout of Olokwei’s palmwine.  Thankfully despite stuffing myself with Ghanaian food, even in cold Britain, I have not added too much to my girth though i need to be more careful now that i think i have to eat lighter food.

My son will be here soon to get me my favourite dish of chow mein from my trusted Chinese food stall on Surrey Street market for lunch  could not convince the wife to give me the customary otor this morning, but enough of food!

Though my Sickle Cell has been a part of my life since it was diagnosed almost 56 years ago when it constantly disrupted the start of my secondary school education, I have tried to manage it and avoided hospitalisation for the past 36 years that I have lived in the UK. This may be thanks to some discipline on my part, some diligence from my doctors who I have long arguments with, and to a large measure my darling wife who keeps a check on all the stresses that could send me to hospital.

Most people probably did not think that I would last at all, or indeed have a useful life, so several years after becoming a senior citizen, I need to give thanks to the Lord for keeping me, knowing that the best years of my life are still ahead of me and that I will still have sufficient time of my hands to praise God for each little blessing.  I am grateful that I was fortunate to grow up in a loving Christian home with parents who did their best to instil in me a sense of service to family and the wider community.

So today I must give thanks to the Lord for another year of my life and praise his name for keeping me through adversity and prosperity and guiding me through this journey of my life and thanking all my friends who will wish me a happy birthday today for keeping up with me.

Wɔ-Tsɛ ni yɔɔ ŋwɛi!
Ogbei lɛ he atse!
Omaŋtsɛyeli lɛ aba!
Afee nɔ ni osumɔɔ yɛ shikpɔŋ lɛ nɔ, taake afeɔ yɛ ŋwei lɛ!
Hã wɔ ŋmɛnɛ wɔdaa ŋmãa.
Ni okɛ wɔtɔmɔi lɛ afa wɔ, tamɔ bɔ ni wɔkɛfaa mei ni tɔɔ wɔnɔ lɛ
Ni okɛ wɔ akaya kaa mli;
Shi jiemɔ wɔ keje ɛfɔŋ lɛ mli.
Shi onɔ ji maŋtsɛyeli lɛ,
kɛ hewalɛ lɛ kɛ anuntam lɛ,
kɛyashiɔ naanɔ.


Kings, Priests, and Kinsmen: Essays on Ga Culture and Society -Book Review: by Gyau Kumi Adu


Book Review: Kings, Priests, and Kinsmen: Essays on Ga Culture and Society, by E. A. Ammah, edited by Marion Kilson (Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2016).

By Gyau Kumi Adu joewykay55@gmail.com

The thesis of the book is to inform readers about the Ga culture and society in general covering the time of the beginning of the Ga culture and ends at the turn of the 20th century. It uses an interdisciplinary-approach[1] of Ga philosophy, theology, politics, linguistics, religion, history and sociology. One significant theme running through all these essays is that the African culture is very rich, for that matter the Ga culture, in a wide range of subjects (as mentioned earlier).

Pertaining to how rich the Ga culture is in philosophy Ammah writes: “In the Ga Bible, wisdom is translated as nilee (knowledge of all things). But in kple, we have Oleete for wisdom. When used as Teteoleete, it means “the man who dwells in appearance and show of sense,” as Plato remarked long ago.”[2]

Concerning the depths of the Ga culture in sociology Ammah notes: ‘The sense of Ga community is built on the concrete foundation of… May our brooms be “thick,” may we obtain bestowable things to bestow on it, may it work for us that we may enjoy.…  It can be readily seen from this that the question of the group and that of the individual is not a problem in the Ga society.’[3]

In my view the book meets its main objective by covering these areas. It is a very classical book which will endure for many generations to come. It is very revealing. It covers many important subjects that the youth of Ghana are not privy to. One reason is that many Ga writings are difficult to come by. Some significant writings are also out of print.

Nevertheless, I think that sometimes because it is too general, very important facts are left to the readers to go search for. An example is the discussion dubbed “Leaving Old Tema”. This is how the story ends “Lorries are waiting to move people. Some people climbed into the lorries which carried them to the new town. Kpele drums are struck from the old town up to the new town. When they arrive, one knows that Kpeshi has been removed.”[4] Reading this sparked up a lot of thoughts in me since I have stayed in the location they were moved to. The section recollects how the Ga people of Tema who resided around the Temahabour were moved to Tema New Town (Manhean) with sorrows. The writing captures this with a bit of poetry tinged with facts. It is very revealing to read. Nevertheless, very important details are left out.

The story does not cover how the new place was built (a few lines on this would have crystalized the writings and made it more solid). It leaves out important details such as what was the condition of the lands (The government did not pay anything for those lands[5]). This explains why these Ga people will leave the place with tears.[6] This information actually ties up the pieces that Ammah mentions in the book earlier on the land tenure system. Since this abrupt departure of the Ga people, in my view, has altered the Ga structure of Tema New. Tema is more modern with a lot of business and commerce, but Newtown looks isolated, traditional and deserted from Tema. More research into this area will be very revealing. To look at the origin of Manhean in relation to the current social structure and the land tenure system that applies.

The book is divided into five parts: (1). Ga Culture in Comparative Perspective (2). Ga social Organization (3). Ga Political Structure and History (4). Life transitions Ceremony (5). Ga religion

The book review will centre on only (1), (2), and (5)

In the first section (1), one line that struck me was “… it is a fact that Ghanaians have been miseducated to the extent that everything in their own culture is regarded as primitive or pagan.”[7] Later he writes that “The most surprising part is that ‘many of our so-called educated people are victims of such psychological confusion, that they unfortunately regard their self-esteem as violated if they are found to have anything to do with ‘primitive’ languages instead of speaking foreign languages parrot-wise.”[8] Else Mensah writes “There are many GaDangme who cannot read or write the Ga or the Dangme language, yet they are fluent in foreign languages…”[9]

This is one problem that confronts Ga research. Many don’t know how to read it. The majority view the local culture as “primitive” and hence when people are good in it, not having a good English language background to support it, they are seen as backward. As Ammah rightly said, this is a “cultural confusion”. Dr. Laryea has done a good job in his writing “Yesu: HomowoNuntso” in this regard by writing a book on the Ga culture in Ga. However, just few are able to understand it and make meaning out of it.

The second section touches on the structure of the Ga community and some important institutional structures such as marriage, land tenure, and inheritance. I will concentrate on marriage and land tenure.

About marriage Ammah has a comprehensive view on it. He mentions the steps involved:                       (1). Knocking (2). Consent (3). Waist covering-cloth or espousal (4). Puberty rite (5). Dowry (6). Wedding. What I found interesting in all of this is that, after the marriage the “the husband gives the wife a sum of money to open cooking. She (the wife) now has responsibility for serving her husband.”[10] Although Ammah does not mention that on the other hand for the man this means that he assumes responsibility to love his wife by providing for the home, I think such an assumption is not far-fetched from it. This is in line with the Biblical idea of wife submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their own wives.[11]

Speaking on the land tenure system for family Ammah writes “For when the male is grown up to a period that is recognizable as manhood… he is given his own room or a portion of land to settle with his wife…”[12] In my estimation, this system was good to preserve family property. In that, vast Ga lands will have been preserved if given to family members to settle and make their own home. It is something which is common among Ga people that land be given to a family head to start a new settlement in a new area. However, the current land structure where land is sold to anybody has altered this structure that Ammah talks about. Children are no longer left apartments to settle, but lands are sold for huge amounts of money. Alhassan makes an important statement on this. He explains that, “Since colonial and postcolonial governments took ownership of land and converted natural resources into cash commodities, communities have had little incentive to protect and promote its efficient exploitation…the serious problems confronting us…economic and developmental problems facing the country (Ghana).”[13] This statement is truer in Ga land, where the nation’s capital is.

The chapter I found most interesting in the third section was “60 Years of Ga politics”. It chronicles the history of King Ayi Kushi, the first king to be recorded to Nii Amugi. The most striking feature of this writing is that during all these times the major problem of kingship that began with the destoolment of the first Ga ruler by their alliance the Ga made with the Akwamu is what started the kingship problem that the Gs have to date. Another issue that has strengthened this problem is with the Ga leader known as Dzaasetse. Ammah writies “In summing up 60 years of Ga politics, we are bold to say that sixty years of politics began with a strong Ga Stool Dzaase…. We regret to record that 60 years of Ga politics closes with the very weak Dzase of Nii Teiko Abonua… The weakness of this Dzase was reflected at the entsoolment of… suggest that the exalted position of the Ga stool became a toy in the hands of the Ga people, an unprecedented situation in the history of the Ga royal family.”[14]

I suggest that the current Ga chieftaincy disputes can only be resolved if these issues that Ammah raises in this chronicle is properly looked into since all these problems are a development of those problems.

The most fascinating part of this book I enjoyed in the last section was Ammah’s discussion on Ga prophets. He notes that there have been three major waves of leadership. The first is the Ga priests (wulomo) who led the Ga to their present abode. The second is the kings (mantse) which governed the people in the settlement, and the last is the prophets who were sent by God to deliver the Ga from certain problems. Ammah speaks that “The office of a prophet is not regular like a wulomo. He is not elected and installed by man; he is called, ordained, and commissioned by a power divine… The current view of the people is that the control of rain in Ga society is vested in the prophets.”[15] He mentions one prophet called Lomoko who made rain available in a time that the Ga people lacked rain.

I think this information is quite revealing. Upon all my readings on the Ga culture, I have not come across such an information. I think it will be of much benefit to the academic society if more research is done into this area to find out more about the agency of prophecy in Ga.

Conclusion:  I think this is a very great book. I have been really educated on the Ga culture. I will give this book five stars for its quality and in depth perspective on the Ga culture.

Gyau Kumi Adu

I am a sincere, self-motivated, versatile and creative young gentleman, who has extensive knowledge in philosophy and religion, particularly in relation to the African experience. I aspire to use my knowledge and academic experience to assist in developing and shaping the continent of Africa, and for that matter Ghana, through my writings on the Ga culture, Biblical doctrine, and other practical issues in life.


[1] I use this not in the technical sense of the word where the author intentionally relates more than one branch of knowledge at a time to present truth in a very broad perspective. However, although the author does not apparently use this approach, his mastery of the all these subjects (as mentioned in the write up) inherently employs this approach, especially when the broad is read as one collection rather than in pieces as a set of essays. In fact the author does not just use local sources but foreign sources as well to establish truth or cogent arguments.

[2]Pp 24.

[3]Pp 97

[4]Pp 222.

[5] Did some research on this by asking some natives.

[6] Although this information is sensitive and could have been said in a way to not sound political but informative for the future youth of the country to be acquainted with facts.



[9][9] Joseph Abekar Mensah, Traditions and Customs of Gadamgmes of Ghana: Descendants of Authentic Biblical Hebrew Israelites (Houston: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co., 2013), 339.

[10] See footnote 14, pp 150.

[11] Ephesians 5:24-25.

[12] 153.

[13] Osman Alhassan, Traditional Authorities and Sustainable Development: Chiefs and Resource Management in Ghana,” in Chieftaincy in Ghana: Culture, Governance and development,” ed. Irene K. Odotei and Albert K. Awedoba (Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2006), 528.

[14] 216.

[15] 376 and 378.

A Tribute the late Dr. Vincent Padi from GaDangme Foundation UK.

Digital StillCamera
The late Vince PADI

Writing this tribute to the man Vince Padi has not been easy.                                                          Indeed it was with great sense of loss when we heard that our Vince had passed away.

Today we deeply mourn the sudden death of Vince, an affable and charming person who became such a fixture of the Gadangme community both in Diaspora and Ghana and even in his sickness when we visited we would only talk about what the future held for us all.

Vince was a person who was not only interested in academia but also in the community around him and it was therefore, not surprising that he got more involved in community activities to the point that he was seen not only as an elder in the Gadangme Community but also as a leader of all the other black communities in the country.  He had ideas and vision and played a role in the formation of the African Caribbean Parents Advisory Group in Croydon and his organisation, Family & Education Advisory Services Team ( FEAST ) dovetailed beautifully into his work serving the wider black and minority ethnic community.

Vince Padi played an important role in furthering of the agenda of Gadangme Foundation.  As a representative of the Krobo association in the formation of the Gadangme Foundation in the UK, Vince saw it as a duty to participate in the fullest in forging relationships amongst all the interested community associations to ensure that the operation of the foundation worked within the spirit of the principal aim of GaDangme Foundation.

Yes, we had mature and interesting discussions and even if one disagreed with some of views, one had to respect that fact that he thought comprehensively and then followed it up with zeal and passion that such dreams desired.

The bonding of the initial 17 organisations that provided the forum for the resurgent of Gadangme issues in the UK and the reconnection with Gadangme people all over the world were all possible because Vince found the time from his busy schedule to strategize for these things to happen.

We also spent many fruitful hours together in those formative period visiting all the member organisations to explain the concept of the platform and umbrella organisation and how the participation of each of the groups would ensure that there was a much stronger organisation that could bring us all together to do greater things on behalf of Gadangme.

Vince’s passion about Gadangme affairs meant that he took his duties very seriously, representing the organisations in the major conferences of the sister Gadangme International in America and later in providing support for the Gadangme Council in Accra.  He eventually took on the leadership role as Chairperson and it was the background and behind the scenes work that was instrumental in the formation of Gadangme Europe. We recall his warm words of welcome when he hosted the first conference that led to the formation of that organisation in Tottenham. There he told the persons assembled that there was always a purpose for brothers and sisters to get together to think about their homeland and that should always be the pride and joy of those who had the opportunity to leave their homeland in search of better life but that progress is made real if that fortune is then returned to be shared by all.

As the Chairman of GaDangme Foundation he was very instrumental in organising a celebration in Ealing- UK, in honouring  the life of the late Nii Amugi 11, Ga Mantse..

To this end Vince led strongly in the raising of funds to support the organisation in Accra with a Memorandum of Understanding and also to support several charitable organisations that were providing hope for street children in Accra, Ghana.

The several times when we visited during the period of his illness, the discussion was about how we could incorporate the younger Gadangmes into our scheme of things for the revival of the GaDangme Foundation.

We knew he was ill but we did not know that these were the parting days and when we were told that he had been hospitalised our concern was about how he would come back much sturdier than before.

Our heartfelt sympathy and commiserations to the children and his family. We know that this has been a loss of momentous proportions from which we may never recover. It is still very difficult to believe that our brother Vince, is not with us.

Wa nyemi Vince – Yaa wo nge Tse Yawe bie mi.

May Your Soul Rest In Perfect Peace.


Tribute to a good friend – Mr Ima Plahar

Nine years ago, my good friend Ima Plahar passed on to the other world.  It was a difficult time for all of us.  Nine years on, tears still well in my eyes when his name gets mentioned.  Still cannot get over his passing.  Today, I share the tribute that i wrote on his passing – a remembrance and testament of my association with him.imaplahar

Tribute to a good friend – Mr Ima Plahar

The success of any immigrant community can really only be judged by the strength of the community organisations that they build. This is because the community organisations provide the supportive welfare and social environment that allows individuals to achieve their aspirations and excel in their professional lives. So the people involved in building and maintaining community organisations who thereby promote involvement in civil society must be applauded at all times.

It is therefore with a heavy heart and a deep sense of personal loss that I pay this tribute to Ima Plahar, a gentleman, a strategist, an organiser and a servant of the Ghanaian community. Though of little stature, he stood tall for his dedication and devotion to the cause of strengthening the community organisations that he belonged to.

Ima helped to organise support for my election as chairman of Ghana Union several years ago. He was steadfast in his belief that the time for change had come, he helped to shape the vision of a new Ghana Union and eventually took his place at my side as General Secretary. of the Union

In our initial discussions we agreed to handle all conflicts within the Union without being confrontational, to be visible and accessible to all, asking for views and ideas, but challenging assumptions in an enquiring sort of way.  Above all, we agreed that we must not only tell the truth to the executive and the membership at large but be seen to do so at all times.

These discussions provided me with an indication of the true character of the man Ima Plahar, for he had character in abundance, he was passionate, he had integrity, he was loyal, he had the due zeal and diligence to undertake whatever tasks needed to be implemented in the union.

It was an absolute pleasure and memorable experience to work with Ima, you just wanted him as part of your team because of his abilities and affability. As we worked together, I came to have absolute trust and confidence in his organisational abilities and would only seek approval for events that he was confident that the Union could pull off.   If a job was worth doing, it had to be done well and that is how it was with Ima.

He would on a daily basis, stop by the Ghana Union office on his way home from work to ensure that things were running smoothly.  He was serving his country Ghana through serving the Ghanaian community here in London and did this at absolutely no cost to the organisation – no fees, no expenses and no pay.

Ima was honest, called a spade a spade, expressing his views in a forthright manner which one might describe as being blunt or even tactless.  He was determined that the unsavoury habits that we had brought with us from our motherland had to be challenged and confronted and that those who deviated from operating in a transparent and open manner should be held accountable and if necessary, openly shamed.   This was someone who was not only selfless but someone who expected the same high standards of accountability, he held, from all around him.

The friendship and trust that developed extended way beyond my tenure of office in Ghana Union.  It was a friendship that was based on mutual respect and admiration and Ima became the dependable person who i came to  on rely very much for advice on all manner of issues.  Our daily lunch break conversations even after we had both stepped down from executive positions were far ranging from politics, social and business and even personal issues. I know that through his dedication and selflessness, Ima has influenced many people just as he influenced me.  I learnt from him valuable lessons about listening to people, suspending judgement till the full facts and context of situations had been established.

The sacrifices that Ima made did not detract from his role as a father and loving consort to his dear wife Tina, the same principles were on display at home.

I can attest that for the four years that I was chairman of Ghana Union, I might have been at the front but he led on most of the activities since he was at his best organising events and making contact with people.   His modesty allowed me to bask in the glory of his achievements during the years that we worked together.  I therefore had no hesitation  in recommending him as Chairman of the Union.

Ima’s spirit of service must give us hope that there are still some selfless and dedicated people within our community.  Let us take consolation in the knowledge that although his life on this earth is over, what he did and what he stood for have more than adequately prepared him for the higher work that he has been called to do above.

Ima let me say this for you one more time – funtumfunafu denkyem funafu, wom aforo bom na nso worididi a na wom aku

We will miss you.Ima, we love you but God loves you best.  .

Rest in perfect peace in the Lord – yaa wo dzogbann


William Jacob Paatii Ofosu-Amaah – Goodbye!

William Jacob Paatii Ofosu-Amaah: 1950-2016

Good bye – Ruby Tuesday 
She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or on the darkest night
No-one knows
 She comes and goes
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you.

Most will attest that Paatii was easily and undeniably one of the most accomplished sons of Adedainkpo and Jamestown who rose to great heights in his professional life. Indeed, whenever anyone mentioned the World Bank in any conversation with me, I always made it a point to let it be known that I also know somebody “important” who worked there, someone I had grown up with and in whose achievements I take great pride.  I enjoyed basking in the compliments, acknowledgements and of course the heart warming praise about how good he was at his job.  He was a coach and a mentor to many, often offering sound advice to several younger people in their professions.  He made Ghana proud by rising to the top position of a Vice President, and in recent years making his mark as a diplomat and lawyer helping to solve some of the intractable political problems in Africa at large.

I have not quite got over the shock of his passing and painful as it is for me, I must say goodbye to my ‘older brother’ by remembering those good old childhood and teen years.

Paatii was christened William Jacob to my Jacob Williamson, three and a half months older than me, a fact he never failed to remind me of during our formative years.  We were closest in age within the larger Mould family and we were inseparable as children.  He insisted that I should always obey his every command if he was to get me out of the many sticky situations that I landed in as we walked around the streets and alleyways of Adedainkpo – playing at Gbonbon, Awusa Gormli and other ‘areas’ around the lagoon that were out of bounds to us. We played with lorry tyres and played football down the park from Bartholomew and even created a game of sorts out of the tote cards that Dad would bring home on Saturdays after his work at the turf club.  We made our own toys as was the fashion in those days of the early 1950s, the sardine tins with agbomi wheels and playing alokoto out of snail shells. But our pre-school childhood was also about studying.  With all his older siblings around there were always books around and somebody to teach us the ABC and 123. Also because Mother was a teacher we could always lay our hands on some play dough and even crayons to draw with on real paper instead of learning to write on the concrete floors with charcoal.  Those were our competitive years.

Continue reading “William Jacob Paatii Ofosu-Amaah – Goodbye!”


Planning Question:  You referred to the principles of management in your last advice shop, what are these principles and how does one implement them Asif. Bristol Answer: Most successful endeavours start with a plan, but all not all plans are successfully implemented. The flip side to this is that most endeavours that do not succeed do not have good plans. This must suggest to you that planning is the most important activity within the framework of management. It is also perhaps the first activity in the scheme of things. The other management activities are organising, staffing, leadership and control. The […]

Source: Planning

Can CPP win in 2016? By Ade Sawyerr


Since Ivor Greenstreet won a spectacular election to become the CPP flag bearer, I have been asked this question by several people who know my passion for the Party that is Supreme but who also know that I am honest in my writings about the party. So I have been wondering what it really takes to win a presidential election in Ghana.

For instance if it is about the number of times the candidate stands then we have a clear winner because Edward Mahama is running his fourth campaign after taking a break in 2012 for Hassan Ayariga to run.  Nana Akufo Addo is on his third run, and so is Paa Kwesi Nduom, but Atta Mills won on his third run after changing his running mates each time.  If Abu Sakara were to make good his promise to run as an independent and Hassan Ayariga gets his party registered, then they will join, Henry Lartey and John Mahama in making their second run except that John Mahama won on his first attempt.  Rawlings also won on his first attempt and Kufour on his second after changing running mate.  So it not about the number of times you run.

Continue reading “Can CPP win in 2016? By Ade Sawyerr”