Chicago, January 12 2014: The Chairman, Chief , Queenmother and members of the Gaddangme community of Chicago announced with great sorrow thedeath of Nii Lante Okunka Blebodzan I, aka Mr. Ebenezer Lamptey, and affectionately known as: Paa Lante. He passed away at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Chicago last night. Paa Lante would have been 82 years in February this year. The late Paa Lante was the first Chief (Mantse) of the GaDangme community in Chicago. He was installed in 1987 and served with distinction until 2006.
Together with Mr. A. C. Eddie-Quartey, Mr. O. Sowah Botchway, the late Mr. John Bruce-Amartey, the late Mr. Sam Owoo-Batlett all of the Ghana-Chicago Club (GCC), Nii Lante helped in the establishment of the GaDangme Community Organization of Chicago (GACO) in 1995.
Nii Lante’s installation in 1987 coincided with the celebration of the august GaDangme Homowo Festival at Jackson Park in Chicago for the first time, organized by the GCC.
Nii Lante and then Queen-Mother Naa Aku Shika I and their entourage sat in state amid pomp and pageantry and welcomed guests and celebrants to the Festival.
That Homowo celebration eventually evolved into GHANA FEST, the most spectacular and largest Ghanaian or African annual cultural festival in the Disapora.
Nii Lante in his active and healthy days, hosted his countrymen/women at his store, a gathering place, and the first of its kind then, on the Southside of Chicago. He and treated his compatriots , fellow Ghanaians and others to Kenkey, fried fish,”shittor” and other cuisine he cooked himself. He also provided lots of beer and other beverages free. This socialization helped to ease the stress on members of the community who attends these feasts and promoted bonding in the social fabric of the Ghanaian community.
Nii Lante passionately involveded in and committed to the cause of the GaDangme International (GDI), a Diasporan organization aimedat contributing to the socio-economic development of the GaDangme Region in Ghana. He attended many GDI conferences in North America. He also participated as Chief (Mantse) in functions held between the GaDangme Foundation of Chicago (GDFC), a charitable organization of which he was a member, and the Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), whose former Pastor was Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. The TUCC is the former church of President Barack Obama.
Nii Lante frequently attended Ghanaian community activities and events to celebrate birth, death, marriage, etc. He was one of the first Ghanaian honorary chiefs to grace the first ever Kente show at the popular Field Museum in Chicago. He is a founding member of the Chicago Ghanaian House of Chiefs.
Nii Lante was taken ill in 2007 after a surgical procedure and survived many critical health emergencies. Nii Lante passed away after a short illness at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Ihe prayers of members of the Ghanaian community are with his family, friends and Ga-Adangbe Organization.
Final funeral arrangements will be announced later……
Source: A. C. Eddie-Quartey, Reuben Hadzide.
title=”CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PICTURE OF PAA LANTE”>