Source: Alexander R. Anim – Mensah/ ghanaweb.com
This year’s Okwahu United of North America’s (OUNA) Congress was in Columbus. It was hosted by the Ohio Chapter, Kwahuman Association of Ohio (KAO) with the theme “Education! A Promise for All Obooma”. This event coincided with OUNA’s 30th Anniversary Celebration.
The 3-day event started September 1 and ended on the 3rd. The first day was a well-attended reception that was followed by a socializing and networking night while the second day involved project progress updates in the morning and dinner event in the evening. The last day was crowned with a church service in the morning and a picnic in the afternoon. Overall, about 400 participants from Toronto – Canada, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC and Massachusetts attended the event.
The second day morning session i.e. project progress update meeting was opened with a prayer by Mr. Peter Ennin, followed by the host; Ohio President and Board Chairman Rev Isaac Anim’s welcome address and then by OUNA President Fred Ansong-Dwamena address. Fred Ansong-Dwamena’s address touched on how far the union has come since 1987, progress the union has made to better lives of some underprivileged, and why homecoming 2018 is necessary to move Okwahuman forward to do more.
Dr. Alexander Anim-Mensah, the OUNA General Secretary in his presentation touched on how Kwahu’s should look at the bigger picture when proposing solutions to help the Kwahu District. He cited having an ultra-modern cultural center will attract more businesses, professionals, tourists and others to the Kwahu District which automatically will lead to improve the economic situation of the area while contributing to resolve the pending potable water, education and health needs.
Elder Kwabena Boamah-Acheampong opened the dinner dance with a prayer while Elder Bismark Omari Somuah the MC of the event introduced the event chairman Dr. Yeboah. Mrs. Florence Ofori introduced the keynote speaker Nana Effah Opinamang III Obomenghene from the Kwahu District who represented Daasebre Akuamoah Agyapong II the Kwahumanhene in Ghana. In Dr. Yeboah’s speech, he commended Kwahuman Association of Ohio for the great work done in hosting such a North American event with precision and continued by saying other chapters should learn from Ohio to make Kwahu events precise and concise.
In a speech by Nana Effah Opinamang III he touched on why having such events on regular basis were necessary for the Kwahus and the Kwahu District. He fully supports the idea of Homecoming 2018 proposed by OUNA.
The fundraising event led by Mr. Enoch Ahenkora (OH) and assisted by Mr. Raymond Ansong (MA) raised funds to be used to support education for needy students in the Kwahu District. Nana Opoku Fosu was awarded a plaque from Ohio for his contribution to Kwahuman Association of Ohio (KAO). Moreover, Sam Safo the president of Okwahuman Massachusetts was awarded a plaque on behalf of his association for their quick responses towards facilitating a successful congress preparation in Ohio.
At the event were the current OUNA executives and the various chapter/states presidents. The OUNA executives were Mr. Fred Ansong-Dwamena (President from New York), Dr. Alexander Anim-Mensah (General Secretary from Ohio), Dr. Wilson Akuamoah Boateng (Asst. General Secretary from Toronto Canada), Ms. Joana Achanfuo – Yeboah (Treasurer from New Jersey), Mr. Derrick Mintah (Organizing Secretary from Connecticut) and Mr. Kofi Dankwah (Fundraiser from New York).
Chapter/states presidents present were Rev Isaac Anim (OH), Dr. Alex Boateng (NY), Mr. Derick Mintah (CT), Mr. Francis Sarpong (DC), Mr. John Kesse (IL), Mr. Lord Ansong (NJ), Nana Dickson Obeng (Canada), Mrs. Queenstar Kyeremanteng (TX), Mr. Sam Sarfo (MA), Mr. Rexford Anson-Dwamena (VA), Mr. Prince Amoako (PA) and Mr. Gerald Boateng (GA).
Also present at the event were OUNA past presidents Mr. Stephen Somuah (IL) and Nana Opoku Fosu (NY) and past state/chapter presidents Ms. Margaret Tabiri (DC), Mr. Sunku-Sunku Donkor (DC), Mr. Henry Ofori-Kru (DC), Mr. Philip Siaw (NJ), Mr. Peter K. Ennin (CT), Mr. Kofi Saka Owusu (VA), Mr. Fred Ansong-Dwamena (NY), Nana Opoku Fosu (NY), Nana Asomani (OH), Mr. Yaw Mensah (OH), Mr. Sam Boateng (OH), and Mr. Joseph Yeboah (OH).
Other notable guests in attendance included Akwasihohene Nana Dafour II, Kurontihene of Kwahu-Tafo Nana Okyer? Gyengyah II, ceremonial Okwahuhene of Chicago-IL Nana Asamoah, ceremonial Connecticut Queen Mother Nana Adoma Kyerekua, Dr. Ofori-Attah of Columbus Asanteman, and Dr. & Mrs. Nyamikeh Mensah of Indiana.
Associations that came to support Kwahuman at the event included Asanteman, Okyeman, Mfantseman, Ga- Adangbe, the Ghanaian Friendship and the larger Ghanaian community friends of North America.
Next year’s 2018 Congress scheduled around the Labor Day weekend holiday will be co-hosted by Washington DC and Virginia Chapters from August 31st to September 2nd. Homecoming 2018 is scheduled for March 23rd to April 3rd.
Long live Okwahuman!!!