13 April, 2007
Ghana@50 Celebrations: Comments by Kwantlen University College students and Faculty
I am very glad I attended the Ghana Independence Anniversary Symposium on
Friday night as it provided me with a view that I may have overlooked before. To
be quite honest, I was completely unaware or ignorant of the contributions of
President Kwame Nkrumah. I was amazed to learn of President Nkrumah's efforts in
liberating Ghana from the colonizers, more amazingly he paved the way for the
rest of Africa. Another observation I made at the symposium was the passion and
work ethic of the Ghanaian people as a nation. It was also very interesting to
see all of the dignitaries and various professionals of Ghanaian background. I
felt as if the community is making a real effort in promoting and jump starting
the development of not only Ghana, but Africa as a whole. The Ghanaian community
along with various organizations and different levels of government is making a
real effort to debunk some of the issues affecting Africa and Ghana in
It was also exhilarating to also hear people with strong opinions, fearless
to voice their opinions in public and clear on their social obligations to their
community and its success.
The experience was enriching of spirit and eye-opening in experience as I was
not fully aware of the fortitude of the Ghanaian people and the difficulties
they have faced to achieve the status of independence. I felt it an honour to
have played a small role in assembling this symposium and hope that more of
these events will come.
My personal favorite part of the evening was the recreation of the Ghanaian
Royalty. It was very well done and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The presentation
was very vibrant and up-tempo and everyone played their parts wonderfully,
especially "The King" (who I later found out was my friends dad). This part of
the evening seemed to invigorate the crowd as everyone was now ready to dance
the night away. The dance floor was opened up and everyone let loose and had a
great time. I only got to dance for a few minutes as I was busy taking pictures,
but still enjoyed myself. In all, it was a great night in celebration of Ghana's
I now understand why Ghanaians call Ghana, Mother Ghana. The importance of
women in Ghana is outstanding. Mrs. Theresa Agbemenu talked about women's
importance which taught me a lot. Her examples included how women earn the same
wages as men and how the equality between men and women supports the country.
60.5% of families are female headed (matrilineal). Men produce the cash crops
for the country while women produce for consumption. Women produce 40% of
Ghana's GDP which is staggering by looking at it. Women are extremely important
to Ghana and the population. The population is 18.8 million and 51.4% of the
population is women. Women play a vital role in everyday life to support and
contribute to the family. What surprised me is how she saw Canada in comparison.
Canada does not have equality of wages between men and women; whereas, Ghana
does. She was surprised when she first came to Canada because the culture of
Ghana places such an extreme importance on women in all areas. This taught me
that there can be equality between men and women and it can start in
post-colonial countries. Now only if Canada and the United States took Ghana as
an example, then things would become even more interesting.
I must say I very much applaud Mrs. Agbemanu for her enlightening and magnificent
presentation. I was really tuned in because she was discussing how the women
back home have much more respect than men or as equal. The woman is portrayed
as a caregiver and one the controls the household. The role of the women really
impressed me and I was taken aback to discover the many extraordinary activities
and duties they perform. As one member mentioned, (not exactly by word) but
we all owe our present positions where we stand now to our respected mothers.
I was surprised to see how many hands went up, to acknowledge that most owed
their mothers for their current rewards or positions. All in all, I was glad
to take part in an educational and cultural experience. I have been able to
take something from this, and that is to really and truly give homage to you
own country and recognize the diverse cultures around us. Only when we do this,
we will be able to possibly eliminate discrimination or some form of ignorance.
I hope to take part in many more upcoming programmes to expand my horizons and
have a broader multi perspective.
The Ghana Golden Jubilee Symposium, an event marking the 50th Anniversary of
the Independence of the Republic of Ghana, was certainly an eye-opener; it made
me realize the independence that so much of us take for granted and yet it is
independence that the people of Ghana have long ago sought and continue to celebrate
with so much joy until now.
Dr. Charles Quist-Adade quoted Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's pioneer president
when he said, "We prefer independence with danger to servitude in tranquility".
Indeed, there is nothing more important than liberty. When I think back to the
history of my country the Philippines, that it was colonized by the Spaniards
for more than 300 years, I couldn't bring myself to accept such an event
repeating itself; that would mean me and my countrymen stripped of the freedom
of expression, among other things. Freedom gives us all a chance to explore our
individuality and enjoy life. For that to be taken away from us would be
Not only does it make me happy that the people of Ghana celebrate their independence
and take pride in what they have accomplished so far, but also the fact that
they have created ties with countries all over the world, like Canada. The friendship
that Ghana and Canada have built together remains strong. This kind of friendship
not only opens more doors to the people of both countries, it also serves as
an example to other countries, showing the essence of camaraderie. There is
definitely strength in numbers.
My experience at the Ghana Golden Jubilee Symposium was an unforgettable one;
to see the colours of Ghana brought here and to be immersed in a culture of
good cheer was absolutely wonderful.
I think that there is great hope for Ghana. The people are intelligent and
the culture is rich. As we've witnessed first hand in our classroom, our very
own proud Ghanaian teacher, Dr. Charles Quist. Adade is a living example of what
the people of Ghana are capable of if given the opportunity and the proper
resources. The sky is the limit.
Grant Allan, Director, Office of Research and Scholarship
Charles. I wholly endorse Steve's comments. Carroll, my partner, also made
the point to me how comfortable she was made to feel by the friendliness of
your fellow Ghanaians. Well done, Grant
Stephen Dooley, Director, National Institute for Research in Sustainable Community
On behalf of Preet thank you so much for a wonderful evening on Saturday. As
you know, Preet and I danced long into the night!
I must say that I was very impressed with the effort you put forward to make
this a successful event. As we drove home Preet and I talked about the wonderful
sense of community we felt through the Ghana-Canada Association of BC. Yes,
there may have been a few logistical problems, but in the main this was a very
important and successful event and I was glad to be part of it.
I also thought it was a nice touch to see a selection of your students in attendance.
Engaging students in activities outside the classroom is the hallmark of a great
Thanks again for inviting us to the Ghana 50th anniversary celebrations.
Posted by The Ghana Canada Association of BC at 2:52 PM 0 comments
Labels: GCABC News, Ghana 50th Anniversary, Ghanaians in BC