“YES WE CAN” – A phrase coined by President Barack Obama during his first presidential campaign in 2008 to wrestle the presidency from the republicans was to ask Americans to look past the negativities the system have attached to blacks in America and rather look at the substance of the candidates. “Yes we can” – Americans did just that and Barack Obama – the only Black candidate that year was voted to the white house as the first black president of a super world – The United States of America.
His achievements so far going to the end of his first term is phenomenal even though he inherited a disaster from the Republican Party. Now Osama Bin Laden is dead and gone, the revival of the auto industry is here to stay and he has been able to pass the affordable health care – Bravo! And “more grease to your elbows” President Barack Obama.
“Yes we can” – Denkyira mma, Nananom Adehye! A “can-do-attitude” can make our presence be felt in the western world as well as home. The good old Book says it perfectly that “All things are possible to him that believes (Mark 9:23). Through this “can - do – attitude” this old empire of ours will one day become a haven and a real home for us, our children and our children's children.
“Yes we can” – On September 22ND 2012, the children of Denkyiraman, friends and well-wishers in the United States of America and Canada will come to understand that what brings us together as one people with one destiny is greater than what drives us apart – That in our unity we can, and will achieve greater things.
“Yes we can” – A little over 2 years ago, a group of concerned citizens from the New York metropolis – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts met at my residence (Nana Oduro – Appiako II) in the Bronx USA - to discuss the ways and means of coming together to form an association. With a spirit of enthusiasm we all welcomed this beautiful idea of the association that was to be known as – Denkyiraman Association of USA (DAUSA) to showcase the Denkyira culture, 2) and to help ourselves here in the United States of America and further extend our hands home in the Denkyira Land.
Just like every other association in life, history has it that similar associations of ours were formed on two occasions but shortly and briefly became defunct. Now about two years down the line amidst challenges and turbulent of the vicissitudes of life, the association is still alive and growing - “Yes we can”
On this faithful day of the inauguration (September 22ND, 2012) it is more natural and appropriate for one to begin by acknowledging the elders and founders of this association and pay respect to the first executive members who helped stabilize the association and gave us a sense of direction.
They are - 1) Nana Oduro – Appiako II (Founder)
2) Nana Nyantemaa (Brofoyedure Ohemaa)
3) Mr. Francis Asare Bediako (1st Interim President)
4) Mrs Gladys Afriyie (Vice President)
5) Mrs. Hilda Appiah Danquah (1st Interim Secretary)
6) Mrs. Elizabeth Ampong (Secretary)
7) Mr. Thomas Boateng (1st Interim Secretary)
8) Ms. Florence Lartey (Treasurer)
9) Mr. Joe Amankwaah Mensah (Public Relations)
10) Ms. Evelyn Arhin (Women Organizer)
11) Mr. Joe Asamoah (Men's Organizer)
Denkyira mma! An Inauguration such as this is indeed a glittering affair and in substance because it's going to be a meeting of members – Brothers, Sisters, friends and well wishers of Denkyiraman to celebrate its formation in the United States of America.
On this faithfull day, - Rain or shine, come what may, we have distinguished personalities who legitimately claim or perhaps be accused of “genetic link” to Denkyira – The rebirth of which we are celebrating this day with pump and pageantry.
“Yes we can” – “Efie ne fie” – To wit, North and South, East and West – Home is best. A beautiful Italian adage literally explains the above saying better than I can. It states that “After the game” the king and the pawn go into the same box” The above saying should wake you up, those of you who are fond of concealing your identities and have gone “AWOL” (Absence without official leave) just because our people need you. To those individuals I charge you to take note of president Abraham Lincoln's thought that “It's true that you can fool some people some of the time: You can even fool some of the people all of the time: But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”
The above quote was also echoed in one of the lyrics of Bob Marley – the reggae King. Remember “Ofie ne fie” – And after the game the king and the pawn go into the same box.
As children of the great “Pentemprem” Let us know that President Martin Van Buren said it best that “it's always easier to do a job right than to explain later why you did not” Remember that after our various lives here in the Diaspora – Alive or Dead, most of us will end up at home-Denkyira.
Now the question is, do we go home when conditions are so uncontrollable and unbearable to the extent that we cannot do anything? Or do we come together now and do something about the situation while we are young, healthy and resourceful? Think about that.
“Yes we can” – Now let's refresh our memories and learn from an island of Singapore and how it moved itself from a third world economy to a super world economy within a couple of decades. Even though this is like comparing apples and oranges yet still please forgive me this once.
After gaining independence from the British in1965, Singapore faced numerous problems. This small island had neither human nor natural resources. An island without gold, iron or tin coupled with the influx of illiterate immigrants from China and India made matters worse.
To add insult to injury, 75% of their economy depended on Britain and since the British were pulling out of the island, they suspended their activities. With all the above setbacks, the citizens of Singapore with the help of their leader Yee Kuan Yew did not run away from their patriotic responsibilities. They did not denounce their island because of problems. They took their destiny into their own hands, set up unbelievable goals that might seem unrealistic to you and me.
Today, Singapore has a wonderful economic power and a per capita income of about $ 51,000.00 sitting alongside the great economies of the world. Now about 80% of it's citizens live in fantastic public housings unmatched with any of the super powers.
“Adawu dawu Denkyira” “Pentemprem ma woho mene so!” This is the era that every ethnic group from Ghana is harnessing all efforts to commit their various resources to uplift their image and presence.
The magnificent examples continuously being set up by other ethnic groups like the Asanteman Associations of USA, Okuapemman Fekur, Brong Ahafo Associations of North America and Kwahuman association all of USA and just to mention a few are worthy of mentioning and emulation.
The Asanteman Association, through unity have done tremendously providing computers to high schools in Ashanti region, children's playground in Ashanti Newtown (Ashtown), Scholarships to the poor, needy and deserving students and adopting a ward at Okomfo Anokye teaching hospital (KATH), deserves praising.
The Brong Ahafo Associations are also doing a great job at sunyani government hospital with equipments.
The Okuapemman Fekur with their numerous help to Okuapemman – especially providing water to the school for the blind. – Wow!
Kwahuman association's water project at Kwahu all need to be commended,
Denkyira Adehye! “Asopa nkyere asem tie” A word to the wise is enough. IT's not too late to emulate the good works of our brothers and sisters.
You are all cordially invited. Come on board and be a part of an association that belongs to you. Come and show your love and speak your mind. Protest on what you feel needs to be protested in our system and help find a solution to it. Our communities cannot for long feed on itself. It can only flourish with the coming of ideas from beyond their unknown and undiscovered brothers and sisters, the super minds and the foot soldiers. After all to sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
ADAWU DAWU DENKYIRA! “PENTEMPREM MENE SONO” ADEHHYE MMA, Denkyiraman needs all the prodigal sons and daughters to come on board for alone our mission is too narrow to see all that must be seen. Together our vision widens and strength is renewed.
“Yes we can”
It's all happening in the Bronx, New York at the Ghanatta House – 2180 Webster ave. (Between 181 -182ND ST.) on September 22ND, 2012 from 10PM - 4AM.
May the almighty God and gods of Denkyiraland – the Yentumi's and the Bankam's touch our hearts and bring us together on this day.
Hope to see you!
Nana Oduro – Appiako II
Kyidomhene of Denkyira Traditional Area.
1. Mr. Joe Mensah 2. Ms. Elizabeth Ampong
2. Nana Oduro – Appiako II