The Ghana National Council and its 13 affiliate organizations and the Ghanaian community in Chicago staged a showcase of Ghanaian culture, food, music and fashion in Chicago on Saturday July 31, 2016. The event was the most spectacular African cultural show in the disapora,Chicago’s Ghanafest.
With pomp and pageantry the chiefs and queenmothers of the traditional organizations in Chicago adorn themselves with rich traditional Ghanaian clothes and jewelry. The highlight of the organizations performance is when the ceremonial chiefs and Queenmother’s lead the various associations in dancing to tradition Ghanaian music in fanfare and celebrative mood.
Ghana’s international singer/songwriter Gyedu Blay Ambulley was on hand to dish out some of his memorable and crowd captivating songs. Prior to that, there was a two-hour gospel interlude which saw displays by some of the best gospel musicians in Chicago on display. Ghana’s renowned cultural drumming icon Okyerema Asante would not be denied a place in this cultural extravaganza as he at times play alongside Ambulley or perform alone.
To inculcate the youth finally into the Ghanafest program, the Ghana National Council, GNC, erected a stage purposely for the youth.
There were local youth artistes and DJ,s who performed excellently and kept the large crowd of youth dancing throughout the duration of the festival.
Also on hand to grace the event was Ghana’s international soccer star of Chicago Fire soccer fame, David Accam, who autographed soccer balls which were raffled to the public.
Ghanafest was chaired by Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, chairman of Groupe Nduom. The Nduom family acquired the Illinois Savings and Federal Bank in Chicago in April this year and were the main sponsors of the event. Dr. Nduom promised to work with the GNC to acquire a community center for the use of the Ghanaian community here.
The keynote speaker for the occasion was Lt. Gen. Joseph Smith (Rtd.), Ghana’s ambassador to the United States. He commended the GNC for the high level display of Ghana’s culture for 28 years running. He challenged Dr. Nduom to his promise to work with the GNC to acquire a community center for the Ghanaian community when he said he will be here next year to commission the center. He noted that a community center for Ghanaians in Chicago is long overdue.
In his welcome address the President of the GNC, Mr. Ebenezer Antwi-Nsiah called on the non-Ghanaians who were present to join in tasting the uniqueness and hospitality of the Ghanaian people which has made Ghana one of the best countries in the world.