Ghana needs a Literature Development Fund to promote her rich cultural identity―Senyo Hosi

Accra, Dec. 27, GNA – The Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) should work towards establishing a Literature Development Fund to promote excellent works that shape society and globally market the rich identity of the Ghanaian.

“Literary works and critiques have forever been the foundation and bedrock of our society – a lead tool for shaping, questioning the status quo, and inspiring the actuation of humanity,” Mr. Senyo Kwasi Hosi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), who made the recommendation, explained.

 

Mr. Hosi, also a poet, was delivering the keynote address at the Fifth GAW Literary Awards, held in Accra, at which 28 persons were rewarded for their sterling works, achievements and contributions to literary development.

 

The theme for the Anniversary is: “Honouring Literary Excellence”.

 

Mr Hosi said the Fund would also help writers leverage technology to market the talents of both outstanding writers and contemporary artistes globally for their worth, with its attendant benefits to the nation.

 

He explained: “Legends like Jerry Hansen, E.T. Mensah, Amakye Dede, Awurama Badu, Kojo Antwi, Papa Yankson, Gyedu-Blay Ambuley, Koo Nimo, among others, have produced classic literary pieces in the form of music which ought not to be ignored.

 

“We see the same with some contemporary musicians like Obrafour, Manifest, Sakordie and Kofi Kinaata.

 

“The depth of their works must be studied and celebrated for they also awaken the consciousness of humanity.”

 

He pointed out the failure to optimise technology and contemporary media, making Ghana less visible on the global stage.

 

He, therefore, urged GAW to set up an online publishing firm, reviewing literary works, publishing them and liaising with various international platforms to promote Ghanaian literature.

 

The lower cost of online operations, he explained, provided a perfect opportunity for the GAW to leverage its brand into a powerhouse, maximising social media and driving visual and audio-visual pieces of the skills and talents it nurtured.

 

“If the youth have challenges with reading, then we should make them watch and listen. Our story must be told,” he emphasised.

 

To promote excellence in the industry, he suggested that GAW instituted a seal of quality, just like the ‘New York Times Bestseller’ list, which must be accompanied by a thorough review of works that assured quality.

 

He, however, lauded the growing number of Ghanaians writing and producing memoirs, saying the trend should be encouraged.

 

“We have been a country of oral history and as a result so much history, knowledge and depth have been lost to unrecorded oral storytelling,” he noted.

 

“Writing memoirs as evident today is a mark of hope… “We must do this even if it means encouraging ghost writing, because it will enable us to capture the valuable and priceless stories many Ghanaians do have and that can help shape the course and nature of our future. ”

 

He cited the likes of Nana Awere Damoah, a chemist a chemist making strides in the arts, saying this was inspiring.

 

“The exploits of Aisha Haruna Atta and her contemporaries provide us with hope that someday we shall influence the African and global literary space again.”

 

He advised GAW to look out for the old landmarks of excellence to guide the course for future accomplishments.

 

He noted in recent times many writers were identifying themselves as authors, saying it was important for GAW to develop systems to unearth talents and stem mediocrity.

 

“We urgently need to redefine who a writer is in a manner that defines quality, and I see no better home to host that seal of authority and excellence than right here at the Ghana Association of Writers.”

 

For his part, Mr. Kojo Mattah, former Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, urged GAW to use the anniversary to reflect the state of the country and its citizens regarding reading and writing.

 

The immediate-past President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG), who was the Guest of Honour, said in Ghana, like other developing nations, majority of citizens were apathetic towards reading.

 

He described the situation as a scary spectacle among the youth and students, saying: “These are the category of people who should consider reading as a very important life building process.

 

“Within schools, whether basic, secondary or tertiary, students only read when there is examination.

 

“This attitude stems from the fact that, the relevance of reading itself has not been identified and thus that intrinsic motivation towards reading is a missing desideratum.”

 

Mr Mattah also expressed concern about the negative impact of social media on the spelling of the youth.

 

“I wonder what will happen in the next five years if this trend continues. I will not be surprised if examiners are unable to read and understand exam scripts.”

 

Mr Mattah, therefore, commended GAW for its collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and other stakeholders to arrest the situation.

 

They include opening up literacy clubs in senior high schools in all the regions; and the GAW Sunday, held monthly, which features poetry recitals, storytelling, book reading, spoken word performance and music.

 

Mr. Francis Gbormittah, the President of GAW, paid tribute to the originators of the Awards, saying the Association was committed to stimulating literary creativity among writers.

 

The Association, he said, was also committed to protecting and advancing the interests of Ghanaian writers, fostering the development of good literature in Ghanaian and foreign languages and encouraging the study, documentation and preservation of the nation’s oral traditions and cultural elements.

 

The recipients of this year’s eight non competitive awards include Professor Awo Asiedu of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Prof Esi Sutherland and Prof Edward Collins.

 

The competitive awards cover categories such as Novel, Poetry, Short Stories, Children’s Storybooks, Creative Nonfiction, Spoken Words, Ghanaian Language Special Awards, Science and Mathematics, and Special Writers.

 

Madam Doris Kuwornu, who chaired the 2021 Awards Committee, urged corporates and the business community to support the work of GAW to succeed in the national interest.

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Bawumia urges renewal of mindset for building united, prosperous nation

Accra, Dec.27, GNA – Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, in his Christmas message, has urged Ghanaians to use the celebration for reflection and the renewal of their mindsets to propel the building of a collaborative, cohesive and developed nation.

In a statement shared his social media handles, the Vice President stated: “May the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ bring to us a regenerative mindset and deepen the bond of togetherness in developing Ghana our motherland.”

 

Dr Bawumia noted the complications that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused to humanity and pleaded with celebrants, individuals and families to adhere to the safety precautionary measures as they made merry and helped the socially disadvantaged.

 

“Let’s continue to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols as we put smiles on the faces of humanity.”

 

“Hajia Samira and I wish all Christians a Merry Christmas,” he concluded.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

We need to transform police cells—IGP

Accra, Dec.27, GNA— The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare says the Ghana Police Service needs support to transform police cells across the country.

He said the transformation agenda was necessary in ensuring that human dignity was preserved in the cells.

 

“What we want to say is that irrespective of whoever is involved, he is a suspect, he can be a criminal, he can be a convict, the humanity of that person is like ours and we cannot take the dignity of it out. We have to be very humanistic, because it can happen to anyone of us…,” the IGP said.

 

He said this during one of his visits to Police Stations to interact with officers.

 

The IGP said the Police Administration had noticed a “systemic issue and we want to address it,” and charged police personnel to move away from the “old police mentality of defensiveness” and admit that many police cells were congested, as such, people were “breathless” in there.

 

He said it was wrong for police cells to be congested to cause suspects to suffocate.

 

The IGP said on one of his visits to Asamankese, he and his team noticed that the cells were “open” and even though they had water closets, they were positioned in such a way that if anyone went in to use the washroom, everyone in the cells could see the person.

 

“Imagine you’re one of the 25, will you be comfortable? You can’t put 25 people in that space and at times they get to 30 or 40 and they are breathless,” the IGP lamented whilst addressing a Station Officer.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Mahama mourns passing of Desmond Tutu

Accra, Dec 27, GNA – Former President John Dramani Mahama, has mourned the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-apartheid and human rights activist, and an iconic South African Anglican Archbishop, who helped dismantle apartheid.

Mr Mahama in a Facebook message said: “I have heard with sadness the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a foremost son of our continent”.

 

“He was an eminent leader of the Christian faith and a humanist whose calling in the service of humanity transcended religion.”

 

Mr Mahama noted that God’s calling of Archbishop Desmond Tutu to rest during the sacred period of Christmas could only had been divinely scripted, with him having lived a full life, dedicated to God and humanity.

 

He said Archbishop Desmond Tutu aside from being an uncompromising figure against apartheid in South Africa and all forms of injustice anywhere they occurred, was also famously remembered for his saying: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

 

Former President Mahama said: “While we all grieve his demise, we can keep his memory alive by offering to be the voice of the voiceless or the silenced just as he was, and not by keeping mute in the face of injustice”.

 

He said that way, the memories of him and many others like him, would never die but continue to live through noble actions.

“May his soul rest well in eternity.”

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died Sunday in Cape Town, South Africa.

He was 90.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

 

Kumasi Asafo Chief poised to transform Akwamu Divisional Council

 

Accra, Dec. 27, GNA – Nana Akyamfour Asafo Boakye Agyemang-Bonsu, Asafohene in the Kumasi Traditional Area, has hinted of his plans to implement developmental policies to aid the transformation of the Akwamu Divisional Council.

The policies, according to him, border on energy security, economic empowerment, education, social cohesion among the people of Akwamu as well as restoration of the local system of governance.

 

Speaking on energy security, which he related to the protection of the environment, Nana Agyemang-Bonsu told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that he was looking forward to creating a system where human and animal waste in the area could used to generate energy for manufacturing industries and for the production of nitrogen based fertilizers to power up the economy.

 

“I am looking at the situation where I can refer to Kumasi as a society which is based on hydrogen, ”he explained.

 

In his quest to promote sustainable development, he said he had initiated discussions with stakeholders to economically empower members of the community.

 

Nana Agyeman-Bonsu, who is also the Chief of Akwamu (Akwamuhene), proposed a structure where his leaders would ascertain the average income levels of various households within the community as a way of tracking the effectiveness of the intervention.

 

Nana Agyemang-Bonsu further stated that he was looking forward to creating a Community Trust which would be managed by a board of trustees.

 

“This would be like a Fund that we would try to raise to get money from both the community and even from people outside who might want to support us, ”he said.

 

On education, which the Chief described as a priority to his people, he said together with his sub-chiefs, he would work to secure scholarship opportunities for his people, especially the less endowed.

 

He also hinted that his Division would work to help improve health conditions in the area.

 

Speaking on how to foster social cohesion within the community, Nana Agyeman-Bonsu said he was hoping to see a society where there was proper interaction among the people in spite of their individual differences.

 

Part of his vision for the Akwamu Divisional Council, he said, was to ensure that the traditional system of governance which existed before the British colonial rule, was restored.

 

“This is the total restoration that I have in mind in terms of our cultural emancipation, ”he added.

 

He emphasized the need for his people to appreciate their cultural values and revealed his plan to start a television series which would offer him the platform to talk about the various systems of governance within the Kumasi Traditional Area as well as the history of Ashanti in general.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Look for opportunities to show love during this festive occasion

Accra, Dec. 27, GNA – Reverend Professor Ivy Drafor -Amenyah, Executive Director, Regain Hope, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has advised Ghanaians to look for opportunities to show love. She said love was the one sure way to bring change to people.

 

Rev Prof Ivy Drafor-Amenyah gave the advice during a Christmas party organised by the NGO for the inmates of the Senior Correctional Centre (SCC), formerly known as Borstal Institute in Accra.

 

She said “we should show love, giving to the needy in society as God did as He gave Jesus Christ to the world, especially to those who would be unable to retaliate.”

 

‘‘That is why I have taken it upon myself to visit the Centre every year, to celebrate with them and also give them a sense of belonging to make them change from the ways which brought them to the Centre,’’ she said.

 

Rev Prof Drafor-Amenyah, who is also a Life Coach and an Author, presented about 360 bowls of fufu and banku with variety of soups and gospel bookmarks to the inmates to express love to them.

 

She said ” l have been donating every year to augment the efforts of Government in feeding the inmates and also share with them the word of God as they had the capacity to change through hearing these messeges.”

 

The Executive Director said the show of love gave the inmates hope that they were important persons of society, hence, they need to be encouraged to reform.

 

“The way they are treated at the Centre will influence their actions and behaviours when they return to their communities,” she added.

 

She encouraged the inmates to take their studies and skills training serious, be obedient to the Officers and utilise what they were taught at the Centre, while returning to society and work with the knowledge acquired, since they would not be tagged with any crime when they left its confines.

 

The Assistant Director of Prisons, Millicent Owusu, Officer in Charge of the SCC, who received the gifts on behalf of the inmates, expressed gratitude to the NGO for their annual visits to the Centre.

 

“ It has become a norm for them to visit the Centre every Christmas to present items to the inmates. We were looking forward to the visit and they have come as usual,” she said.

 

The NGO has been a supporter of prisons rehabilitation since 2013.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tourists share experiences and expectations on Wli Waterfalls

 

Wli (V/R), Dec. 27, GNA – Tourists, both Ghanaian and foreigners, have shared their experiences on the Wli Waterfalls located in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta region.

They also shared their first-time feelings at the Falls as well as their experiences and expectations in the years ahead.

 

Mrs Angela Frazier Arthur, Co-Director, ArthurFrazier Tours, USA who was part of a delegation to the Falls told the Ghana News Agency (GNA), she would recommend that there were better bathrooms at the site for everyone to be able to use since a lot of people visit the falls.

 

She said she does bring a lot of tourists to the Falls and was expecting that many people who would visit, must be made to feel comfortable.

 

Some members of the delegation shared their experiences and views on the falls with the GNA.

 

Arletta Frazier said it was her third time visiting and the beauty and nature of the Falls as well as Africans, brought her back adding that she would like to see a lot of seats at the site to enable tourists to have places to rest especially those who might want to take a rest after swimming.

 

Tia Mckinney, who was on her second visit, noted that she loved visiting the Falls because the water gave her locks (hair) some benefits and added that her presence at the Falls enabled her to ground herself and speak to the ancestors as well as meditate while sitting in the water.

 

She said, “this is such a beautiful place to reconnect not only with the ancestors but the living as well.”

 

April Lee said her experience was wonderful with the journey to the Falls while wondering what medical assistance would be given to a tourist who got hurt on their way to the Falls.

She described the Falls as not only Ghana’s secret but a tourist attraction that should be built up.

 

Erica Boone said she brought her parents to Ghana and at the Falls for the first time which they were enjoying.

 

“If there is going to be an improvement, maybe improve the path a little so that we can continue to bring our mothers, fathers, and grandfathers so they could enjoy the place as well,” she added.

 

Arnetta Frazier revealed that she had been visiting the Falls since 1999; a period where there were no bridges to cross to the Falls and added that “things have changed.”

 

She said it was and still is a majestic thing visiting the Falls and would continue to bring her family back every single time they would be in Ghana because they loved Wli waterfalls.

 

Robert Heron, a Jamaican and a first-time visitor, said the Falls were nice, precious, and not a joke since “nobody else in the world has it.”

 

He however said plans must be advanced to make visitors to the Falls feel more comfortable.

 

Madam Rina Kuma, a Banker said it was her first time which was a surprise from her spouse to her and their son describing the experience as fun and calling on everyone to “join”.

 

Mr George Kofiedu, a Staff of Venture Force Limited, said he kept coming back to the Falls due to the serene atmosphere, cold weather, and the refreshing feeling gained from stepping into the water adding that he would “come back again.”

 

Irene Owusua, a student, told the GNA she joined her church members to the Falls being her first time. She said they also visited the Afadjato mountain.

 

Madam Ruby Adams Akorfa, an Account Officer at the Wli Falls office, said some projects such as the putting up of changing places started by the Hohoe Municipal Assembly, had stalled.

 

She said the Office had provided some rest stops around its premises and would add more to make visitors feel comfortable.

 

GNA has also observed the low patronage of the site during this year’s Boxing Day.

 

Joseph Atsutse, an Artefact seller at Wli said due to the coronavirus pandemic, sales had slowed down because people were no longer purchasing his products.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

ARS commissions second group of Apostles since inception

Tadzewu (VR), Dec. 27, GNA— The Apostles Revelation Society (ARS), the first church to accept African values and customs against conventional Christian theology of the time has commissioned ten new Apostles.

They are Reverend Ministers Timothy K. Amada, Gestus Kwablah Ayekpey, Issac George Abossey, Worlanyo Komla Adabra, Woedem Kodzo Ahialorlorxo, Laurent Kodjo Sossou, Kenneth Galley, Simon Ben Klutse, Hayford Cudjoe Nyamedor, and Alfred Kwami Siame.

 

The commissioning which was the second since the advent of the Church in 1939 and the first after the demise of the founder Mawu fe Ame Charlse Kwablavi Nutornti Wovenu was part of the ongoing 82nd missionary anniversary celebrations at Gbedzi, New Tadzewu (Ketu North), the International Headquarters of ARS.

 

In a message at the commissioning, the Administrator of the Church, Apostle Charlse Kwami Attipoe said the commissioning and elevation of the ten Assistant Apostles to the rank of Apostles and, the ordination and induction of 40 new pastors a month ago (also the first of its kind since the demise of the founder), marked an “important and magnificent milestone” in the history of the church.

 

“In December 1990, the founder commissioned 17 top ministers as Apostles, having appointed and groomed us earlier. In June 1998, five additional Apostles were appointed and were to be commissioned after his return from his trip to London but unfortunately, this did not happen because he gloriously passed on.

 

The present crop of Apostles have over the years felt the need to have in place, a succession plan that would ensure continuity and smooth administration of the Church. This has become very imperative because most of us are advanced in age. Another reason is the need for extensive and comprehensive evangelism.”

 

The remaining five of the first-ever 17 Apostles commissioned include Apostle Isaac Kwami Axorlu, Apostle Charles Mawufemor Gbeku, Apostle James Geoffrey Fummey, Apostle Richard K. Afenyo, and the Administrator of the Church, Apostle Attipoe.

 

Apostle Attipoe charged the Senior Regional Superintendent Ministers who had been serving as Assistant Apostles across Ghana and neighbouring Togo, Benin, and Nigeria since 2013 to take seriously two biblical texts, Mathew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:16-18 seriously as they assumed their new role as Apostles.

 

He asked them to go to lost and new souls, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and to teach them to observe the Word of God saying, with that they (Apostles) were assured of God’s presence, protection and guidance till eternity.

 

The new Apostles were grateful to God and the College of Apostles and Leadership of ARS for the opportunity to serve and promised to follow the dictates of God and their commission.

 

Rev Etorko Kofi Gbeku in a sermon quoted John 3:19-21 to admonish Christians to remove the garment of darkness and put on that of light to escape judgment which he said would “start from the house of God.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency