COLUMBUS, OHIO: The Asanteman Council of North America (ACONA) celebrated the 2017 Asante Day in Columbus, Ohio last month.
It was hosted by the Asanteman Association of Columbus, Ohio. The Asante Day is an annual event organized by ACONA, the umbrella organization that coordinates the activities of the various Asanteman associations in North America which comprises the United States and Canada. The events consisted of two main parts: A Grand Durbar on the first day and A Fundraising Dinner Dance on the second day.
Pastor Nicholas Asare, the Patron of the Asanteman Association of Columbus, Ohio gave the open prayers for the Grand Durbar. In his prayer, he made a very humble request for God’s grace and blessings for the occasion. Nana Essah Mensah of Houston, a former ACONA Public Relations Officer and Nana Yaw Marfo of Chicago, the current ACONA Public Relations Officer were the M.C.s for the occasion.
Nananom and their association members really showed their dancing and traditional skills especially during the procession. An observer, after watching the Chiefs and Queens of the various associations as they displayed their traditional dancing skills, remarked ‘ ‘WOW’ A real show of culture at it’s excellence’.
Isaac Osei Tutu, the General Secretary of the Host Association and also the ACONA Recording Secretary delivered the welcome address at the Durbar. He thanked Nananom from Manyia, special invited Guests, Nananom and Executives of ACONA and the Audience for coming. He cited that for many have travelled long distances served to remind everyone just how important the occasion was. He then highlighted on ACONA’s commitment to actively raising the quality of life for the people living in the Ashanti region in Ghana, regardless of ethnic origin, creed or circumstance to achieve their full potentials. He pointed that ACONA’s task is to make it possible and the mission is to provide assistance. The theme for the events was: “Building a foundation for the next Generation through Education and Healthcare”. He also captured the opportunity to thank the founders of ACONA, past and current leaders for their initiative. He then assured them of the continuity of their goal by saying “the goal today, is as pertinent as it was then’”.Nana Baffuor Sencherey of Houston, Texas and Dr. Jacob Boaheng, a Professor at Monroe College, New York chaired the events. Dr. Boaheng commended ACONA for their determination and expressed his commitment to support the mission. In his speech, he cited an example of foreign volunteers willing to help Ghana and therefore encouraged members to fully corporate with the leadership as they move forward with their mission.
Nana Barimah Osei Kwadwo II, Otumfuo Mamensenhene and the late Oheneba Osei Pipim, all of Manhyia were also present to grace the occasion. They took turns in commending the Council for all what they have done for Ghana, especially Ashanti Region .They both expressed their concerns about the divisions within some of the associations that was not good for ACONA and Asanteman as a whole. They then emphatically stressed on the need for all Asantis to stay united so the Council would be stronger and do better to help their brothers and sisters back home. Among other traditional Chiefs present were Nana Agyeebi, former Atwimamanhene, Nana Antwi Gyeabour, Kenyasi Adontenhene and Nana Ampong, Otumfuo Bosompra. The event was very colorful and well attended.
On the second day, The Council had a Town Hall meeting immediately after breakfast. The meeting began with a very powerful prayer by Pastor Nicholas Asare, the Patron of the Asanteman Association of Columbus, Ohio. It was during the meeting that Dr. Entsuah, a Cincinnati based Architect and a former Professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana gave a very professional and detailed presentation of the Project Plan i.e., The Nursing School Project at Wadie Adwumakase near Mamponteng in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Members had the opportunity to ask him many questions about the project.
The Fundraising Dinner Dance in the evening of the second day was the climax of the occasion. Professor Samuel Agyeman Duah, the ACONA Executive Secretary delivered the welcome address. He first thanked everybody for coming and then commended the Asanteman Association of Columbus for their hardworking in hosting the Asante Day. In his address, he pleaded with all members to corporate with their leaders, especially the Chiefs, Queens and the Executives in their respective associations which will then transcend to the Council at large. He also seized the opportunity to thank Nananom from Manhyia, other guests from far and near for coming to share and celebrate the occasion with them.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Agyenim Boateng, former Assistant Attorney General of the State of Kentucky then took the stage He reminded the audience about the four cardinal principles upon which ACONA was founded: 1. The unification of Asantes and Asante decedents in diaspora 2. The education of the children of Asantes about the cultural and historical values of Asantes 3 Showcasing the Asante history and culture in diaspora 4. Raising of funds and resources to assist in the economic development of Asanteman in particular and Ghana in general . The speaker, continues, “Throughout the years ACONA has provided funds and other resources in pursuance of some of the objectives. Among these were the funding of the Manhyia Palace Museum during the silver jubilee anniversary of Otumfuo Opoku Ware installation to the Golden Stool; the provision of hospital equipment to hospital in Tepa and Okomfo Anokye Hospital in Kumasi and other places in the Region; and also a pivotal role it played in provision of funds to Otumfuo Educational Funds.”
“In recent years most of the Chiefs or heads of the various affiliated Asanteman Associations seem to have forgotten the raison d’etre or the mission statement of ACONA thereby undermining the integrity ,loyalty and foundation of the organization”. “In spite of the apparent division within the ranks, majority of the membership (about nineout of fourteen ) have remained committed and supportive of the organizations goal and objectives. To wit: the recent funding of an ICT project at Old Tafo in Kumasi and the overwhelming support of the proposed Nursing Training College at Wadie Ajumakase in Assante Region is a testament to the unflinching support and loyalty the membership have for the future of ACONA” Dr Agyenim Boateng exhorted the membership to remain steadfast and be magnanimous in encouraging dialog between the splinter group and the organization . “For unity lie in strength and the power to achieve some of the vison of Otumfuo Opoku Ware and the dreams of the founding fathers for the Asantes and their children as well as descendants in diaspora”. He concluded.
Mr. Anthony Christian of Columbus Ohio, a special guest expressed their sincere appreciation to the Asanteman Association of Columbus for the opportunity offered him and his wife Joyce, to celebrate such an important event with them. He then commended the entire membership for their good work done.
Dr. Kofi Agyapong of Washington DC, a special guest, in his speech cited many examples to show how unique the Asante culture is and encouraged members to portray the culture boldly and to keep to their traditional values wherever they might find themselves.
Nana Antwi Gyeabour of Chicago, Kenyasi Adontenhene and the late Oheneba Osei Pipim of Manhyia, led the fundraising very successfully to raise thousands of dollars through donations and pledges in aid of the project. In fact they exhibited very great experience. A short interview with Nana Kwabena Agyarkwa of Denver, the Assistant Executive Secretary of ACONA and Nana Adu Opoku, Asantefuohene of Cincinnati and also the ACONA President, and some members immediately after the event, evidenced that the celebration was started with lots of enthusiasm and ended with great joy.
Listed below are members that participated in the Asante Day Celebration:
The Asanteman Association of Toronto, Canada. The Asanteman Association of Chicago and Midwest. The Asanteman Association of Southern California. The Asante Kroye Kuo of Greater Houston, Texas. The Asanteman Association of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio. The Asanteman Association of the Carolinas Charlotte, North Carolina. The Asanteman Association of Columbus, Ohio. The Asanteman Association of Worcester, Massachusetts. The Asante Unity Association, Washington Metro Area.
Nananom of ACONA in conjunction with the Secretariat, headed by Professor Samuel Kwaku Agyeman Duah would like to express their utmost appreciation to the general public and the members for making this occasion a memorable one. Thank you and may God bless you all.
ASANTE KOTOKO TEASE DAA !! ACONA BOHO PIM !!