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.

AMEN.

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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

 

Why we must support black carers – Ade Sawyerr in Voice Online

http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/why-we-must-support-black-carers

Why We Must Support Black Carers

SUPPORT NEEDED: Carers see their role as part of their duty and often do not know that help is available for them

THROUGHOUT THE UK there are a lot of people who care, unpaid, for a family member or friend who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support, and provide assistance to them in diverse ways.

Conventional wisdom suggests that most ethnic minority people will care for their loved ones, children and relatives. The reality however is that this unpaid duty can leave carers physically, mentally and emotionally drained to the extent that, the longer they carry out this role without support, the more likely they are in danger of their becoming unwell themselves and isolated.

The major problem is that there are a large number of hidden carers amongst the black and minority ethnic (BME) community who do not ask for help. These hidden carers see it as part of their duty, or they do not know that help is available to support them as carers. Or it could be because they think that asking for help would mean that they cannot cope with what they regard as, their basic duties of care to a loved one. There are others who also fear that knowledge of their duties will mean that their cared for may be taken into an institution where they may not be properly looked after.

Carers face a number of other difficulties such as having to juggle their paid work around their caring role and this can impact their career and earning power.

Continue reading “Why we must support black carers – Ade Sawyerr in Voice Online”

African alphabets and the QWERTY Keyboard problem – by Ade Sawyerr

London ©2013

blackboard

I attended ‘ABC’ at Frankfurt House the James Manye Naa Afimpong’s House before we moved to the james Town Mantse’s Palace at Mantse Agbonaa.  Our teacher was called Sigismund Owoo, but we all called him Sigi, and the school was called ‘Sigi Sigi kpee ŋaa, didɛ ʃala akɛyeɔ komi’ meaning Sigi does not eat crayfish, tilapia best with kenkey, I suppose a meaningless rhyme for those of us growing up in James Town British Accra in the 1950’s.  After Sigi, I was fortunate to follow an Aunt Mrs Mary Acolatse, who lived in the palatial Adorso House opposite our house, for a brief while, to the Accra Day Nursery, which she run before I started at Accra United at Adedaikpo.

I passed my entry exam into class one with flying colours, I had a lot of practice during my pre-school years, not studying as you would think, but doing a lot of hand stretching exercises because entry to primary school was determined not by what you knew but rather by demonstrating that you could touch your ears with your hand across your head.  Of course there were several things that I also had to learn before then.

Primary school consisted of learning the alphabets and this is where the dualism started for all of us.  Whilst we had learnt the English alphabet at home to give us a head start in school, lower primary school was also about learning the Ga alphabet, 26 letters but with differences from the English alphabet as shown below.

a b d e ε f g h i j k l m n ŋ o ɔ p r s t u v w y z

A B D E Ɛ F H I J K L M N Ŋ O Ɔ P R S T U V W Y Z

Continue reading “African alphabets and the QWERTY Keyboard problem – by Ade Sawyerr”

Festival 2012 – Homowo-Asafotufiam-Nmaayem

 

Festival 2012 – Homowo-Asafotufiam-Nmaayem

 

Sponsors for the celebration

Shanco Bruce, Esther Lamptey, Diana Aryeetey, Nii Nortei Omaboe, Ben Aryeetey, Mr Victor & Mrs Cecelia Ativor, Ade Sawyerr,  Patience Tagoe, John Quao, Diana Affutu-Nartey, Joe Adama, S.A Doku, Julie Lutterrodt, Comfort. Clottey,  Sarah Worburton, Elizabeth Tetteh, Diana Nartey, Jennifer Quaye, Stanley Allotey   Julie  Glover, Barbara Quarco, Rosemond  Sutherland

Appreciation

The entire membership of the GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo wish to express their sincere appreciation to the following for their contribution for the day;  Joe Boy & Friends  Band , and the ladies who prepared the food.

This celebration has been only possible through the voluntary contributions and donations by individuals.  We thank all those who have contributed in some way to the success of the day.  We also thank in advance those who could not send in their donations before today but are willing to contribute. We gladly welcome your donation.  The bulk of the donations and proceeds from the raffle will be devoted to the running of the Language and Saturday Schools to be restarted.

Future Plans

This coming year, we have set ourselves some targets outside our cultural and artistic objectives.  These include:

  • The establishment of an after-School club.
  • The beginning of a Saturday supplementary school.
  • The establishment of a youth club.
  • The establishment of a Befriending Society for the  elderly

We can only achieve these objectives with your support in joining in with celebrations and in offering contributions towards our cause.

GADANGME NIKASEMO ASAFO

(Educational, Cultural and Welfare society)

Registered Charity No.  1056912

 

HOMOWO-ASAFOTUFIAM-NMAAYEM

FESTIVAL 2012

Annual Celebration

of the

GaDangme People of Ghana

Saturday 22 September 2012

Lavender Children’s Centre, Lavender Park Pavilion

Steers Mead,

Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 3HL

3.30pm – 11.00pm

Programme

4:00 Soobii Arrival of guests
4:30 Start of Festival Procession
4:45 Solemo Opening Prayer
4: 50 Cultural Music
5:00 Shitswaa ke Dzoomo Libation
5:20 Kogbamo ke Nishwamo Sprinkling of Kpokpoi
5: 40 Cultural Music and Drumming
6:15 Kpokpoi Yeli The feast
7:30 Welcome and Fundraising
8:20 Noo Wala ke shiwoo Thanksgiving
9:00 Music and Dancing Highlife Music  & Dancing
10:00 Raffle Draw
10:15 Music and Dancing
11.00 Close

 

The Festival

The Homowo-Asafotufiam-Nmaayem is the main annual festival of the GaDangme people.  It is cultural, historical, and religious and also represents the harvest as well as the start of our New Year.  GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo tries to celebrate this festival to bring out all the different art forms which make this festival worthy of attending.  We still rely on your voluntary contributions.

 

Aims and objectives

  • The learning of the GaDangme languages in Britain especially amongst the children born in the UK and to organise the teaching of the GaDangme language to interested persons.
  • The learning and dissemination of information on the Ga Dangme history, language, religion, culture and traditions and to provide a forum for the exchange of views and interpretations of our practices.
  • The observance of our customs and traditional practices and to organise the celebration of our main festivals.
  • To promote the welfare of all GaDangme people.

Traditional Practices and Customs

Individual members of the organisation are still called on to assist with the vital customs that mark us out as a people; be it at birth, in marriage or at death, we are at hand to provide support.

Language School

Perhaps the most important activity that we undertake is the Language school.  This is endowed by voluntary contributions from individuals who are interested in the children or spouses learning our language and grant from The London Community Foundation.  The language school is held on Saturdays, every wee k.  For more information please contact Nii Nortei Omaboe- 0794745 3034.

Meetings

Monthly meetings are held at the St Mark’s Church, Rowfant Rd.  London SW12.

The meetings take place every Second Saturday of the month at 6.30 p.m.

For more information, contact.

The Chairman,  21 Stockport Road SW16 5XE

Email nikasemoasafo@gmail.com

Web: http://gadangmenikasemoasafo.wordpress.com/

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Equinox Consulting! Celebrating 28 years of service to the black community in Britain

The Equinox Consulting story

The story of Equinox Consulting can be likened to a journey of hard work with a lot of fulfilment along the way; but like all journeys, things do not always go as planned. There are detours and there are new objectives that get set up along the journey.  The business model and the strategy for survival have to be constantly updated especially if like us you have been able to survive two recessions.

We remain in business because there is, and has always been a compelling need for the work we do for our clients, and the demand for our services has enabled us to survive and be successful. Continue reading “Equinox Consulting! Celebrating 28 years of service to the black community in Britain”

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