You are here: HomeNewsDiaspora2014 03 19Article 303724

Diasporian News of Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Source: Anor, G. Ofori

New Yorkers Celebrate Independence with Usual Class and Flair

March 8 last week must have been a day that the elements decided to join Ghanaians in New York to mark the 57th anniversary of their country’s independence. The biting cold and snowy weather conditions which has been a hallmark of this boisterous winter season lifted. In their place came cool, sunny, spring-like conditions that made lifting high the flag of Ghana an experience both awesomely inspiring and a thing of beauty.

Having been granted the mercies of a gorgeous weather, Ghanaians and friends in several hundreds honored the invitation of the National Council of Ghanaian Associations to toast their motherland yet again. The grand ball room of the glitzy Maestro Banquet Hall in the Bronx was the setting where Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Nations His Excellency Ken Kanda and his lovely wife joined their compatriots to recall and honor the men and women who 57 years ago, lowered the usurping Union Jack and fluttered in its place the Red-Gold-Green colors of Ghana. Mr. Kanda spoke briefly to convey the appreciation of the government and folks back home for the immeasurable contributions Diaspora Ghanaians make towards the development of the nation. He in particular urged Ghanaians overseas to chart their own 'go back home' initiatives. He noted that as much as the country is crying for our services and expertise to fuel growth and development, it is inconceivable that employers or opportunities will come begging for our services. They are there for our taking. "Take the plunge. Don't wait and expect to be called. You will be surprised what you can achieve”, he said.

No sooner had Dr Victor Essien, chair of the Council's Advisory Board, made his welcome remarks and Mr. John Feliciano had strummed the national anthem on his guitar than the patrons jammed the floor bobbing and swaying to Joe Mensah's epic hit "Bosoe". The sequence of "munches" being served, music, dance, anecdotal and jokes by MCs Mawuli Abgenu and Jerry Oku, interspersed with patrons walking to and from the bar for drinks dominated the night. Throw in sterling performances of kpanlogo, borborbor, adowa and azonto dances by the Okuapemman Youth Club and you paint a fine picture of solid fun and entertainment! The youngsters concluded their act with a riveting rendition of Dr Ephraim Amu's patriotic gem "Yen ara yen asase ni". Fact that all the members in the group are American teenagers of Ghanaian parentage made it all the more special and fulfilling.

This party will be remembered for a number of reasons. First, the $100.00 a plate event was very well attended. Second on the list was a very solemn minute's silence observed in honor of a member of the Council Alhaji Mohamed Toure who passed away last November. Then and most important, apart from delivering on good food, an open bar and good music, it began within thirty minutes of the posted time and ended exactly as posted. The usual idle chatter that literally blocked out speeches and announcements was virtually non- existent. You could actually pick up the last syllable of everything that was said. The speeches themselves were few, short and sweet. And who can forget the surprise appearance of Alhaji Inusah Fusein, Ghana's Minister of Lands and Natural Resources visiting the US on assignment?

The question on everyone's mind as they left the happy event was have we finally turned the corner on our woeful non-adherence to time? Future events will tell. In the meantime, the hard working members of the Council who made it happen one more time can hold their heads high and pump their chests for a job well done. G. Ofori Anor