Tribute to Robert Okai Clottey

roc-obitA crown for the valiant

To wearied ones rest,

God shall be all, and in all ever blest


It is an honour to pay this tribute to Robert Ataa Okai Clottey whom I would venture to describe quite aptly, as a man of different parts, a father and devoted husband, an accountant, cultural exponent, leader of community organisations, teacher and latterly a man of the cloth.

At several points and in several ways he touched the lives of people around him and I pay this tribute in sadness because the several discussions that we had about life and its complexities will now remain unfinished and unexplained.

Ataa Okai like me, lived on Bruce Road, James Town British Accra and though our formative years were similar he was a contemporary of my older brothers.

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Ghana at 45 years – Great time to hit maturity


Ghana at 45 years – Great time to hit maturity

By: Ade Sawyerr (2002-03-06)

This article was first published in West Africa Magazine, Issue 4315, 4Th -10th March 2002

I have not heard anyone say that it was only just yesterday that Ghana gained independence; for a large number of us whop witnessed the event it has been painfully been a long time. But it has been worth it, we are maturing if not as yet matured.

We have made our mistakes, but as all adults do, we can reflect with the benefit of hindsight on what went wrong, and after objective reflection chart a new positive and brighter course. We are doing that now with our fledging, but new found democracy.

The test of success for any nation is good governance. Good governance is what brings nations prosperity. Our leaders can have all their good ideas and intentions but if these are not firmly rooted in good institutions, systems and governance, they will remain but visionaries who could not lead us into the state of prosperity that has been eluding us.

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The case for preventive detention under Nkrumah


The case for preventive detention under Nkrumah

Ekow Nelson and Professor Michael Gyamerah

Part I – Introduction

For all the criticism Nkrumah endured from much of the Western press and the opposition in Ghana, he did not kill any political opponents nor did he massacre groups of people opposed to him. Indeed in his often cited work – “Ghana without Nkrumah-The Winter of Discontent”, Irving Markovitz acknowledges that although “[t]here was considerable unrest and dissatisfaction, several assassination attempts against Nkrumah, and constant rumors of coups…[Nkrumah’s] government … made conciliatory gestures toward its opponents both within and outside its ranks, and showed every sign of having attained a durable balance of interests.”  Markovitz concludes, in a piece published two months after Nkrumah’s overthrow amidst a flurry of the wildest allegations, that by the time of the coup in 1966 “Ghana was neither a terrorized nor a poverty-stricken country”.

In any discussion about Nkrumah, however, the narrative of his critics quickly gravitates toward detention without trial, a derogation from the principle of habeas corpus which was neither unique to Ghana nor without precedent even in advanced democracies of the United States and United Kingdom or a large democracy like India, whose own Prevention Detention Act provided the template for Ghana’s version.

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A fitting and deserving honour to Kwame Nkrumah – Civitatis Ghaniensis Conditor

A fitting and deserving honour to Kwame Nkrumah – Civitatis Ghaniensis Conditor

By Ade Sawyerr – London March 2009


It is with some sadness that I respond to the thrash that goes for history that is being represented about the role of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and why some in our country still continue to dishonour his name by turning the politics of identity into the politics of envy.  Nkrumah rightly deserves his place as the Founder of the nation of Ghana.  I am sad because the objections are rather shrill and petty and in most cases go against the substance of what President Atta Mills in his wisdom proposes to do.

It is correct that the independence movement did not start with Nkrumah but neither did it start with the UGCC.  It started long before that but it was the singular effort of one man Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah that won us independence and for that we should be thankful.

The agitation for our independence can be traced to the opposition to British rule from the turn of the century that solidified under the radical Aborigine Rights Protection Society.  The scene up to the 1940s was dominated by political battles with the more moderate National Congress of British West Africa. Both these movements were represented on the Legislative Assembly and both were also national in nature.  As these disagreements sapped the energy of both groups and distracted them from properly articulating the needs of the people, the UGCC emerged. But there were other parties such as National Democratic Party, several sectional and special interest and tribal parties such as the Northern Peoples Party, Anlo Youth Association, Togoland Congress, Federation of Youth, Muslim Association Party, Ghana National Party, National Liberation Movement, and Ghana Congress Party the successor party to the United Gold Coast Convention.  All these parties played a part sometimes malign but most times benign to enable us achieve independence as a sovereign nation.

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An open letter to the African electorate

An open letter to the African electorate
By: Ade Sawyerr -first Published in West Africa Magazine

The power to effect political change in Africa has always rested in the hands of the African people. How this power has been used in the past has been based on the African view of democracy. Several leaders in Africa, who led their countries into independence, failed to deliver economic freedom, other have even been found to be corrupt and oppressive and yet others have stayed on in power beyond their usefulness to their countries through the manipulation of the electoral system. It however now the time for the African people to adopt a modernist view about democracy and start using their powers to elect leaders capable of delivering good governance. Democratic systems of government with the right structures and strictures will deliver good governance. Good governance is desirable, equitable and facilitates development and progress for all the people in the country, engenders good health, education and social harmony, protects them from disorder and incursions from other states, and promotes economic growth and prosperity.

The most objective and modern system for selecting the most suitable people to rule a country in a republican democracy is through elections. The road to good governance therefore begins with an election. It is for the people to critically evaluate candidates against a framework and subject them to rigorous analysis. Elections need, political parties, party policies, principles and philosophies, promotion and propaganda of these policies and above all personalities that will stand for election.

What the electorate need to look for is a strong party, a party that is set up under egalitarian principles and that is representative of all people in the country no matter their station in life, class, tribal origins, gender, religious beliefs or creed.

Indeed what the electorate must find desirable is a party that reflects their aspirations, a party that must be capable of negotiating between the different interest groups in the country and must have the capacity to merge these interests into a common good capable of being articulated to the people.

The underlying ideology of the party must be robust. It must deal with basic principles. It must be flexible so that it lends itself to adaptability in a changing political and socio-economic environment. Whilst most valuable principles emanate from traditional values, the principles that rule a party must be capable of modernisation to deal with dynamic change in the environment. For instance, in Britain recently, the Labour Party had to transform itself into a New Labour Party, ditch some of the main tenets of the party, that had no place within a modern 21st century agenda, in order to win the 1997 general elections. A party founded on valued principles is a party that has solid foundations and is capable of renewal.

We must also evaluate our parties in their breadth of coverage. A broad based party, pervasive at all levels, at the ward, constituency, district, regional and national levels. A party with overall national representation must be stronger or more appealing than a party with a patchy presence in some areas of the country. The danger of a sectionalist party is that it would be quite incapable for delivering prosperity and good government to the whole country.

So what do we see in our parties? Are there truly nation-wide parties in Africa or are our parties dominated by one tribe or one religion or one people from one particular section of the country. If there are parties that are organised around sectional interests or nepotism, we must reject these parties.

Continue reading “An open letter to the African electorate”

Today is Homowo in London

ataa klottia and naa ago2

Special Homowo Prayer from the Diaspora
Awo Awo Awoooo
Agba e, Bleku tsoo
Esu esu
enam enam
Manye manye
Adiban kpotoor

Today we celebrate at Battersea – Wilditch Community Centre

May Agba descend, may Bleku open the skies so that
we are drenched in water for our corn
water, plenty of water
fish, plenty of fish
Glory, may glory surround us in abundance
May we have food forever

Agoo atamei ke awomei
Tswa, tswa, tswa, omanye aba
Agoo niimei nenemei ke naamei
Tswa tswa omanye aba
Nmene ashi me, nmene ashi hɔ
Niimɛi a hɔ, naamɛi a

Bo mawu asaase yaa afia
Ataa naa nyomgbo
Ni obɔ ngwie ke shikpoon
Tsei ke tei
Gongii ke fai
Ke ni bii koklomei
ni obo gbomei adesai

Tse ofe, Ni ogbeo ni ayeo
Wontse bo ni oba domo nmene afi ni woyei ne mli
Wɔntse bo ni oshi wɔ ŋmaa, ni oshi wɔ loo

Fasee Kwale ke Krobo Odua
Nye fee he eko, ni ebashwele ye mei ahie
Nye ba yei odase nmene

Dantu, bo okanɛɔ ni bei shɛɔ ni wɔ gbaa ko
Bahe dan ne eko onu

Nii Sakumo Klote
Onyanku afre, Ofite osaa
Na nmene baa saa ohawo
Nmene Akee Ga eku shi egbekosi
Orko ama nkran
Nii ni hawɔ bɔfoi ni wɔkɛ yaa ta
Awuna ba wɔ ye kunii, Ashante ba wɔ ye kunii
Nkrumah ba, wɔ ni wa ha e ye kuni
Mills eba ni wɔ noo ni wɔ wa lɛ ni eye kunii
No he wo baa hu taa oha Gadangme fee

Naa Korle aboyoo, aboyoo
Naa Korle yoofoyoo
Naa moomo naa
Naa ni jor ni ahe
Na bajor shi ohawo

Nai e nai
Nai e nai
Nai e nai
Ogbeedada, Odooma, meiwura, shitse
Kingbi king, Amralo bi amralo
Ope amugi ope ntro
Osatsoko asa nyanyara
Tse nai bahe dan ne oko onu

Kedze Obuto akpla keyagbei Langma
Kedze Langma keyashi ada Shwilao
Kedze Yilo gon ayiten keya gbee Ada
Kedze wouyo keyaa kooyi
Wontse nyefee ni yebaa
Mi gbekebibio ke mi naa fufo sa,
Mi Nyen ni male nyefee
Si ke ntse ekome e, etse nyefee blublu
Atsee moko ashii moko
Nyefee nyebaa koni nyeba jor shi
Ni nyehaa Bleku aka, ni nu ashwee shi
Ni shi ajor, ni mle akwen
Ni wona eko woye
Ni nshɔ afu ni nshɔ gbɔ abasra wɔ
Ni ke wodze bu, wodze ye nuno
Ni ke woye ni wonu
Wo kodjii ano ajo wo

Be dze no shi, wo Gadangme bi ni woyoo mansee
Wokee daa afi le esani wo gbako ni woke kai nibii ne eteeno ye woshihile mli,
Be ke wotse nye bie ene noo dzi wo sane e

Naa Thames hemo dan ne eko onu
Wonbi djomo wo eha wo Manye Elizabeth ke ehefatalor
Won bi dzormo woha Gordon Brown
Wonbi wala ke djomo womli ha
Wo president Mills, ni ekura wo man dzogbaan ehawo
Wɔn bi dzomo wɔ ha wo ha wɔ High commissioner

Nii Ga Abiasuma bokete afadi
won bi wala woha bo

Na aprodo woba he nohewo le
won bi ni nye bafo wohe akrabatsa
ni nye kpaa adiden
ni oshra ateke wo

Wontse nye ni nye ha woshwelea
Ni notsumo fee ni wotsoɔ
Eya no odzogbaan
Ni woya obo ni woba obo
Ni wo kpaa ni wo glaa abaa dzwele wo hi
Ni wo tako dzuro akpa abu wo hie
wontse nye ni nyehawo wala ke nmaa
ni ke wo ko shelen etso poun oha
wontse nye ni nyehaa woshwele a
ke wo bii ke wo hoi

naa ni ni woba nye nee
moko musuu akako le
moko yitso akgbale
woba obon woya obon
ni ke wonya
teko aka twsa moko e
tsoko aka tswa moko e
naa ake gadangme bii
ke atwsa akpee
wono bemli fei

ni ke sulo ko damo heko ni eke wo ka shwele
ni ekee woka naa nmaa
ani ke wo dzoo, wo dzoo le lo
ani ke wo dzoo wo dzoo le lo
ye ha wo waa eyi ko
tswa omanye abla wo

And for all those friends and foes
this is our day of celebration and making peace with each other

Choose life, choose life,
May the end of the year meet us
May we see the eighth day
May we celebrate the early Gbo festival and the later Gbiena
May we be as good as old
Let no evil befall us
so that we shall meet again next year
Let us strike for glory

Noo wala Noo Wala
Afi Naa akpe wo
Kpaanyo anina wo
Woye Gbo ni woye Gbiena
Wofee moomo
Alonte din ko aka fo woten
Ni wose afi wota shi neke noo
Tswa Omanye aba

Homowo–Asafotufiam–Nmaayem-Festival 2009

Festival 2009

GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo
Registered Charity 1056912

to The annual Festival of the GaDangme people of Ghana
date Saturday, 12th September 2009
venue Wilditch Community Centre
48 Culvert Rd, London, SW11 5BB
time 3.30 pm prompt
attire Traditional
Generous donations in excess of £10 will be expected
Please bring this invitation card with you

Transport details
Buses: 44, 49, 319, 344, 345
Network Rail: Queenstown Road, Battersea Park, Clapham Junction

For more information contact
Mr JC Clottey 0208 674 9172
Mrs Esther Lamptey 0207 357 8891
Mrs Sarah Worburton 0207 701 6927
Ms. Diana Aryeetey 0208 674 0342
Mrs. Lizzy Tetteh 0208 648 0231

Please send generous donations to
The Treasurer, GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo
36 Henley Road Ilford Essex IG1 2TT

Web http//