Diasporian News of Thursday, 27 March 2014
Source: Anang, Kwashie Amartei
It was amusing and excitement when the Ghanaian community in Medway, Southeast of England came together to celebrate Ghana’s 57th Independence Anniversary on Saturday, March 8th, 2014. The occasion was organized by the Medway Ghanaian Association (MGA). The celebration was dubbed “Kente Party” and the theme was “Making Your Mark in Your Community”.
In attendance were the Mayor of Medway, The Worshipful, Cllr Mrs Josie Iles and her Consort Mr Steve Iles, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven, who represented the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Hon. Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, and the Chairperson of the Medway Ethnic Minority Forum (MEMF), Mrs. Priti Joshi. Also in attendance were citizens of other African countries as well as guests from the Medway Council, other Africa Association, the clergy, members of the Medway Africa Caribbean Association, and the general public.
The ceremony was opened by a prayer by the Pastor of Kingdom Exchange Ministry, after which the Ghanaian national anthem was song. In welcoming the guest the Chairman of MGA, emphasised the need for members of the community to contribute their quota to the development of Medway and the world has a whole, by ensuring they are law abiding, peacefully co-existing with others, showing affection for one another, encouraging the youth to become achievers, supporting and helping the needy in our communities. The Mayor, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, MP for Rochester and Strood, and the chairperson of MEMF, in their speeches stated how proud they are of Ghana, as Ghana has become a shining star in Africa. The MP stated that he just returned from an official visit to Kenya and “the people in Kenya said the look to Ghana as their role model”. The dignitaries did not fail to spot the good works being done by the Medway Ghanaian Association in bringing members of the Medway community together during such events and encourage the executive of the association to carry on with the good work they have started.
The occasion was graced by a renowned Ghanaian Artist Mr James Barnor who once lived in Rochester in Medway and attended the Medway College of Art, and latter was appointed as a photographer in the Graphics Department of the centre for Educational Television Overseas. Mr Barnor exhibited some of its Photographs, which included that of late President Nkrumah dancing with the Duchess of Kent, who represented the Queen during Ghana’s Independence Day on the 6th of March 1957. The photographs of Mr. Barnor attracted much admiration from the invited guest and dignitaries as some of the photographs, showed Medway towns in the late 1960’s. There were poem recitals by Ghanaian Children and youth. The children also treated the guest to some popular Ghanaian traditional music with their English accent.
As the day also marked world women’s day, all the women in their beautiful Kente clothes joined the children, Auntie Josephine Henking and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant to cut the anniversary cake amidst the rendition of Ghana’s patriotic song and popping of champagne. The guest and the general public were then treated with mouth-watering Ghanaian cuisine which included waakye, jollof rice, fried rice and kyinkyinga (kebab) among others with Dee Jay Padoo providing traditional Ghanaian highlife and contemporary music.
By: Dr. Kwashie Amartei Anang (Chairman Medway Ghanaian Association)