Preserving the past to inspire the – Ade Sawyerr

Preserving the past to inspire  the future –

Increasingly I get excited when I see an old picture of myself at a much younger age; i am even more excited if the photograph is or a relative or relatives taken before i was born and this is not just related to the fact that I am getting on in years myself. I was fortunate to have met great grandfather, Thomas Barber, at his Kotokoraba Road house in Cape Coast where during my primary school days I spent many a holiday. As for my grandmother, Lucy Omolara Barber the joyous moments were several since I carried food to her at Korle Wokon after my lunch break, lived with her at Bawaleshie during some of my holidays and in my secondary school days preferred her company at Lagos Town than having to travel all the way to Akyerensua where my father lived..

ma lucy
Lucy Omolara Barber – my paternal grandmother

I probably spent more time with her than my own mum because she lived with us till i left to come to England.  I never saw a photograph of her mother, Diana Cole, who I am told died when she was quite a young girl, but i chanced on a photograph of her mother Naa Odua Sanniez who gave me my Teshie roots some time ago and would need to get my cousins to cut me another copy since i cannot find my copy.

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A Ga New Year Greeting


Afi oo Afi
Afi naa akpe wɔ
Kpaanyɔ anina wɔ
Wɔ fee momoo
Wɔ ye Gbo, wɔ ye Gbiena
Alonte diŋ ko akafo wɔteŋ
Ni wɔsεε afi lε wɔ tashi neke noŋŋ
Ni wɔsεε afi le ehi eha wo fe neke
Ni nyemi afee nyemi
Ni afi aya ni ebanina wɔ ekoŋ

Tswa ni omanye abla wɔ!

…. and the imperfect English translation!

Hail to the New year
May we live to see the end of the New Year
May the eighth day meet with us
So that we are as good as new
May we celebrate the Gbo festival of September and the Gbeina festival of May
Let no black cat, a symbol of evi,l cross our paths
And let us be around to sit together in the next year
and that we may be more prosperous
Bound with sisterly and brotherly love
As the year goes round to meet us again
That when we strike may glory surround us

Bruce Road, Jamestown British Accra

Bruce Road, Jamestown British Accra

By kpaikpaanyo

My good friend Thomas Jefferson will not forgive me for continuing to use the word Accra.  He is right, there is no word called Accra in the Ga language but we have moved along culturally with the integration and assimilation of people from different places.  The beauty of it all is that there is a Jamestown smack in the middle of Accra that most people who live in Accra do not know.

But it was in Jamestown that we all grew up and it was in Jamestown that our navels were cut and buried and so we continue gravitating towards Jamestown.  For me it is to the home of my maternal grandfather that I celebrate the Ga Homowo, but since I am so blest I am also privileged to go the house of my paternal grand uncle’s house at Krobo in Teshie.

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