Letter to my wife, Ahinae on her 60th birthday

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My dearest Ahinae,

It is such a shame that I have not written to you for several years now, I did enjoy those days when a letter was the only means we had for corresponding with each other, but I suppose that the daily contact has provided a more meaningful way for our bonding. This letter is really meant to recognise the love that I have for you and to celebrate in my own personal way, a relationship that has developed over the years and made me a more accomplished human being and to thank you for helping to round my rough edges.

I still remember the very first time I saw you 40 years ago and the day we got married 30 years ago and I can say with all honesty that I would not have found a more suitable partner in my life; I certainly did not have any doubts when I proposed to you on my knees that are now wobbly with age, but then it was because the first time I saw you, I knew that I had found the one to share my life with.

I have seen you grow and mature into the lovely woman that you have always been and have been impressed that age has not dulled your vivacious instinct for a decent life.  But then I know that I have been lucky and blessed.  With your forthright manner, you even charmed my dear late father because you would not indulge him in his platitudes to you, he always wondered how I a recalcitrant soul and unconventional soul could cope with your strictness.  My late mother was in awe of you all through the period of our courtship, I mean if my mother Araba did not have an unkind word ever to say about you, I knew that you were the one.  My grandmother, Ma Lucy just adored you and with the many chats she had with you sitting by her coal pot as she cooked she even knew before I did that you were the only one for me.

So, the years have rolled by and I have managed to stay true to my word that I would always cherish you.  You have always done the right thing and I have learnt to accept the way you have done things in a way that only you could pull off.  I have been fascinated for instance whenever we are going out, you ask for the dress code and then decide to put on what you want to, despite the code, and then one day because of your constant headaches, you decided to cut your hair and then you buy a lot of makeup that you do not put on and yet your beauty shines through all the time.

You have stood by me and continue to do so in my period of trials, we have praised together in our times of need and god has answered our prayers, you have been selfless in your devotion towards me and my son Olumide and we continue to love you for it.  I have seen and heard you being a rock to your family and friends, as you provide them with counsel and wise words in their moments of anguish and my respect for you has grown.  I have also been impressed by the way that you have adopted my family and my friends to become your own and how at every stage on our relationship you have advocated for me and covered up my lapses proving to be the dutiful wife and doing so without any expectation of reward or even acknowledgement. I know that you are proud of me though as usual you ensure that I am firmly rooted to the ground always, curbing my flights of fancy and pretensions of grandeur when I have felt the need to show off.

I suspect that I may have had some influence on you because you have adapted to my ways, reluctantly but even in so doing you have never accepted the you have become ‘softer’ despite the hard shell that you portray to most people who do not know you.

Well I was going to write one of my very long pieces but I know that you will come back to me and say that my sentences are too long and I need to learn how to write and not write like I speak, but I suppose that you will not be correcting this piece before publication so let me end here.

I thank God who has been our solace for you and I love you, I love you and I love you again!

I hope that you enjoy today and pray that your 60+ Oyster card increases your capacity for more independent travel

From your loving husband

Jacob

17th February 2017

 

The Outdooring, Dedication and Naming of an African Child – A Ceremony of the GaDangme People of SouthEastern Ghana – Ganyobi Kpojiemͻ Vol 1 Book Review by Gyau Kumi Adu

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BOOK REVIEW: THE OUTDOORING DEDICATION AND NAMING OF AN AFRICAN CHILD: A CEREMONY OF THE GADANGME PEOPLE OF SOUTHEASTERN GHANA – Ganyobi Kpojiemͻ  Vol 1 by Ernest H.C. Tetteh (London: Ophelia Vanderpuye On-line Publishing, 2016).

By Gyau Kumi Adu (joewykay55@gmail.com/ https://joewykay.wordpress.com/)

Reflections on the Book

The primal purpose of this book is to explain three interwoven cultural practices of the Gadangmes: The outdooring, dedication, and naming ceremony of Gas. Although there are writings on Ga naming ceremonies, there is no book on the Ga culture that extensively deals specifically with the depth of Ga names this way the book does. The author’s exegesis and mastery of Ga names is incredible.[1] In fact, after reading the book I realized that if you take away a person’s indigenous name, you take away a person’s distinct cultural identity and heritage. Our names partly define us. Can Ghana be said to be Ghana after all the local names have been erased? Am I still a Ghanaian when I have a totally Western name? Can my lineage be traced if I adopt a completely Western name? Can I be an indigenous Ga and still be a Christian? These were some of the lingering thoughts on my mind after I finished reading this classic book.

The outdooring ceremony is principally one in which “a baby is brought outside for the first time (usually occurring eight days after birth).”[2] In the words of the writer, the “beautiful ceremony [is] to symbolically introduce a new-born baby to God… as well as to the mysteries of the seen and the unseen world…”[3] E.A Ammah, looking at its Ga equivalent word, kpojiemͻ, notes the following: Itis made up of three words. “Kpo” is “yard”, “dzie” is from ‘dze’ “come out” or “appear”, and “mͻ” is person[Therefore it] means to “take or bring the child out into a yard.”[4]   It is at this outdooring ceremony that the baby is dedicated and given a name (family identity). Hence, a child is not recognized as part of the family without the ceremony.

Continue reading “The Outdooring, Dedication and Naming of an African Child – A Ceremony of the GaDangme People of SouthEastern Ghana – Ganyobi Kpojiemͻ Vol 1 Book Review by Gyau Kumi Adu”

The Blackening of the White House – Ade Sawyerr

In the spring of 2008, I gazed into my crystal ball and came out with this. How wrong I was on several fronts!

The Blackening of the White House – Ade Sawyerr

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Barack Obama’s historic appointment as Democratic candidate in the US elections puts the presidency within the grasp of a Black man for the first time. But his views on race are having an impact far beyond the shores of the US, as Ade Sawyerr explains….

On 20th of January 2017, a new president will be sworn in to take charge of America; this new president will be replacing President Barack Obama who would have completed a successful two terms as president of the most powerful country in the world.
President Obama would be handing over to a Democratic Party candidate because he would have used his presidency to deliver on domestic issues of health, education, jobs and a good economy and the concerns of ordinary for all the people in America.  He would most likely be handing over to a woman president who would be following in his mould breaking fashion of his having become the first black president.

Through his historic achievement in becoming Democratic nominee for the US presidential elections, Barak Obama has attained heights that were not achievable for black men in America just 50 years ago. Then African Americans were, in the main, excluded from politics. They were fighting to be allowed to vote,– but their only option was to vote for white men.

Continue reading “The Blackening of the White House – Ade Sawyerr”

New Opportunity Ghana – Welcome President Nana Addo

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Ghana has another opportunity to move forward as our democracy deepens. it must be a joy to all Ghanaians that we can now use the ballot box to effect change in government and not resort to the barrel of the gun. The fact is that military governments have done too much damage to the social, economic and political fabric of our country, more than most care to admit. change in attitudes cannot be enforced by well-intentioned decrees without the approval of the representatives of the people. accountability must invariably be to the people who appoint their representatives. there is hope for Ghana yet, many more years of democracy will gradually bring us to the point where each change in the colour of government must applauded and not celebrated as something historic. that is the guarantee of multiparty democracy. Nana Addo deserves all the goodwill from all Ghanaians for his elevation to be head of state. let us hope that he has vision that will be the compass that will direct his moves. he will make mistakes, he will make many mistakes, he will have to admit and learn from those mistakes; for was it not an american president – i think it was Roosevelt, Theodore who said – He who makes no mistakes, makes no progress! What we must pray for is some sort of continuity amid all the resolve to turn the country around. Ghanaians deserve the best and i hope that Nana Addo will deliver. i wish him well

what do you think?

Traditions and Customs of the Gadangmes of Ghana: Descendants of Authentic Biblical Hebrew Israelites – Book Review by Gyau Kumi Adu

 

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 Book Review: Traditions and Customs of the Gadangmes of Ghana: Descendants of Authentic Biblical Hebrew Israelites by Joseph Mensah (Houston: Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co., 2013.)

By Gyau Kumi Adu (joewykay55@gmail.com/ https://joewykay.wordpress.com/)

 

The thesis of the book is to demonstrate that Gadangmes are of Jewish origin. A careful distinction is made in the book between Jews (from the tribe of Judah) and Israelites (all the 12 tribes). Although, all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews. Mensah writes “Most people have come to incorrectly to associate the term Jew with Israelite…  an Israelite is a descendant of Jacob… The term Jew (Hebrew)… means a descendant of Judah.”[1] This distinction is important since in the history of the Israelites, Judah became the southern kingdom, and Israel the northern kingdom. The central theme of this book is that the Gas hail from the Jewish stock.

One of the important discussions that no one studying the Ga culture can ignore is the whether they are from the Jewish stock or not. Mensah agrees with Ga oral history that the Gas are of the Hebrew stock. He further advances this perspective by pointing out that Gadangmes could possibly be from the “Gadites” tribe of Israel using linguistics. He writes.

They [i.e. the Gas from oral tradition] believe they are descendants of ‘CUSH’ or perhaps, Gad and Dan from the twelfth tribe of Israel. It’s fascinating to note the name of their King who led them to Ayawaso in Ghana is Ayi Kushi (Cush); and this lends support to their claim that they are Jews… It will appear that the letter “d” became omitted from the word Gad over several centuries. What we now refer to as Ga people is rather GAD people or people from the tribe of Gad.[2]

In other words, the Ga are Gadites as the word Gadangme suggests. Probably, during interactions between this Gadite stock of Jewish Gas and other cultures, a transformation occurred within the culture. Eventually, a suffix was added to the word Gad: “angme”, making it Gadangme.

Another interesting thing about this linguistic historic analysis of Mensah is that it seems the meaning of Gad and Ga has a strong semblance. The Ga historian, Rev Carl Reindorff notes that the word “Ga” is coined from the expression gaga[3], “connoting black-ants or a marching army of termites which form military troops devouring everything that comes their way. History tells of a similar conquest by the ancient Gas. They destroyed armies that crossed their path.”[4] Hence, the meaning of the word Ga connects to a military soldier. Interestingly, the Hebrew word ‘Gad’ can be also translated as fortune or soldier.

Continue reading “Traditions and Customs of the Gadangmes of Ghana: Descendants of Authentic Biblical Hebrew Israelites – Book Review by Gyau Kumi Adu”

Ten years on – missing Onike Sawyerr Twumasi

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
his inner mercies never come to an end
they are new every morning, new every morning
great is thy faithfulness O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness

Life History

Mrs Honora Moronike Sawyerr Twumasi

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21 November 1946 – 18th December 2006

A full life, a life well lived, a life of fulfilment that has touched all that she has been associated with, a life that must be celebrated by all those who have been left behind and a selfless life of toil that must be an exemplar for all.

Honora, Onike was born to Mr J Ade Sawyerr of blessed memory and Sophia Araba Sawyerr nee Mould of Jamestown.  She was christened Honora as a tribute to her late Grandfather who was then an Honourable member of the Legislative Assembly of Ghana.

She started and completed her primary school education at St Mary’s School in Accra and continued her Middle School at Kotababi Middle School, K1.  After successfully passing her common entrance examination at Form 3 she went on to Aburi Girls School to start her secondary education. After a year battling with frequent bouts of illness living in the high altitude of the Aburi hills, and where her sickle cell condition was discovered she left Aburi to restart at Accra Girls Secondary School, as a proud member of the second set of that school.

Continue reading “Ten years on – missing Onike Sawyerr Twumasi”

This is no way to treat a former first lady! In praise of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings

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Whilst reflecting on the reasons why the American electoral college system rejected the former first lady, Hillary Clinton at the polls though she won the popular vote, I have been wondering whether it is just because people do not like former first ladies to succeed their husbands in the highest office of state despite their experience and capability.

It is certainly true that political campaigns do not always reward the most qualified candidates and in Ghana which goes to a general election on December 7 2016, another former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings attempts for the first time to win office as president several years after her husband Jerry John Rawlings stepped down as president. But in these days of ‘fake news’ and ‘post truth’ politics, the vision and clarity offered in the message of the smaller parties have been drowned under the campaign noise of the larger parties in but the traditional and social media.

The journey by the NDP candidate Nana Konadu in getting her name on the ballot paper has been long often thwarted many times by officialdom.  In 2012, after she had formed her own party, the National Democratic Party and been selected as their presidential candidate, the Electoral Commission disqualified her because the forms had not been properly completed.  In this coming election, she was again initially disqualified by an overzealous Electoral Commission but that unfair disqualification was overturned by the Supreme Court against an appeal from the Electoral Commission.  So, she stands as qualified and competent and indeed capable candidate in this election.

Continue reading “This is no way to treat a former first lady! In praise of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings”