The Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) held its 28th Annual Convention from September 2nd to September 5th, 2021, virtually for the second time under the theme: “Move Forward with the Socio-economic Development of Eweland”. The event was watched by over 220,000 people on YouTube and Facebook around the world.
The welcome address was delivered from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, by Dr. Tsatsu E. Nyamadi, the President of CEANA. The President reminded the viewers that conventions are unique opportunities to reflect on the past year’s activities, make plans for the future, and raise funds for upcoming projects. It is also an occasion of celebrating our traditions, culture, organizing family gatherings, meeting old friends, and making new ones but not forgetting the enormous networking opportunities presented.
For the four (4) days, convention viewers and attendees saw developmental projects that CEANA has done and those that are currently in progress. Among ongoing projects are the construction of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Library at Lolobi (in Ghana) and the pedestrian footbridge across River Tordzie (in Ghana). The pedestrian footbridge is aimed at providing relief to the people of Agordoe (in Ghana), especially school children, who have to swim across the river daily to access Torve and neighboring villages to attend school, and for healthcare and basic services. In addition, the newly completed three (3) classroom blocks and an office at Dawu (in Togo) were showcased. The Dawu classroom block is to provide a safe and quiet place for school kids who are currently studying under trees and in a dilapidated building.
The convention kicked off on Thursday, September 2, 2021. Thursday’s activities featured the video presentation of the history of CEANA interspersed with traditional African jazz music by various artists, borborbor by Edzordzinam Fafali Borborbor Dance Group and agbadza by Nutifafa Dance Ensemble. There was also Learn Eʊe Class Presentation by the youth of CEANA.
Friday’s activities included the welcome address from the President of CEANA, Dr. Tsatsu E. Nyamadi, greetings from some CEANA member associations and the showcasing of ongoing CEANA projects. Dr. Nyamadi reminded all to be guided by the fact that we have one overall aim i.e., to put our skills, talents, and resources together toward the development of Eweland. Therefore, all citizens of Eweland need to continue to cultivate the idea of helping develop our communities and not to wait for others to do it for us. As such, we should all be guided by this universal principle that is echoed by the renowned Earl Nightingale that whatever we do to one another, whether good or bad comes back tenfold.
Greetings and Goodwill messages from Ghana came from Togbe Agbelom, Chief of Salo (V/R) also known as Nana Ofei Asamani I, Nkosuahene of Akwamu Traditional and Togbe Henyo.
Nana Asamani I praised the team spirit and togetherness from all Ewes across the USA and Canada and their resolve to help in the development of Eweland. He urged other Ewes across the world to emulate what CEANA is doing. Torgbui Henyo also congratulated all Ewes for coming together to make this Virtual Convention a reality and urged CEANA to continue their good work in Eweland. Greetings from the president of CEANA Nurses and Allied Health Workers encouraged all citizens of Eweland to support CEANA and its efforts in developing the homeland. There were also cultural performances from Glikporme by Seat of Wisdom Ewe Borborbor Dance Group, Asiagbekor by Nutifafa group from Wheta, musical performance from Hans Bekx, and Aboki all from Ghana and also from S Joe from Togo. A video of CEANA projects was also showcased in addition to an invitation to the 2022 CEANA Convention scheduled in Houston, TX. Other artistes, including the duo Kose & Shittor, Slim Cross, Zaguno Sam Agudzemegah, and Mama Vee trilled viewers with their performances for the rest of the night.
The Convention continued on Saturday morning with a Keep Fit and Spin Class led by Theresa Kumassah and Lawrence Dagadu. For the first time, we have Africans, Africa Americans, and Caucasian American together in one Spin class promoting a healthier living. The convention returned on Saturday night with the National Anthems of Ghana, Togo, Benin, Canada and USA that was sung beautifully by Saviour Acquah. There were various fund-raising activities for on-going and planned projects. Additional CEANA completed projects in Ghana and Togo were also showcased along with greetings from the remaining CEANA member associations. There were also additional performances from Seyram Music, Nyamedie, Keeny Ice, Agbeshie, Remy J, Togbe Olokodzoko, Favor Favelyn, Dela Botri, Ida Gambian, Choeur de la Glorie, Agoo See, Sefashi, Delali Vonnor, Edzordzinam Fafali Borborbor Dance Group, Nutifafa Dance Ensemble, Latino and, Cano Z Dzata. The evening was crowned by the legendary Agboti Yao and the handing over of the CEANA stool, which is a sign of transition of Convention hosting rights in 2022, to Ewe Association of Houston, TX.
On Sunday morning, a well-attended non-denominational church service was held. The service was officiated by Rev. Martin Osae of Ghanaian Community Presbyterian Church – Irving, TX, Rev. Divine Tamakloe of Global Evangelical Church – Kingdom Chapel, New Jersey, Rev. Ernest Borney of Word In Prayer Church – Atlanta, GA, Rev. Dr Peter Agbelie of Global Theological Seminary – Distance Education Supervisor, Rev. Vanessa Mensah-Adu of Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Maryland, Rev. Stella Sekyere of Global Presbyterian Church USA/Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX and Rev. Ofosu Ayea of Firstlove International African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEAC) – Houston, TX. A moment of silence was held in memory of deceased CEANA members since the last CEANA Convention in 2020.
On Sunday afternoon, was filled with cookout from various CEANA member associations. Various traditional African foods were displayed. All attendees/viewers enjoyed the family feast virtually. There were also musical performances from various artists.
On the evening of Sunday, a well-attended Toli Night, moderated by Dr. Bernard Gadagbui and supported by the 1st Vice President of CEANA, Mr. Prince Gbeklui, (aka . Efo Kofi), crowned the festivities. For the first time, Toli was carried live from Ghana with Togbe Olokodzoko. Kose & Shittor were also featured. The ToliNight presented the opportunity to discuss various topics concerning culture and tradition as well as areas to explore further.
The president of CEANA expressed his profound gratitude to Mr. Steve Dei, Empress Mawusi Kudjawo, Mr. Michael Zuberu (aka Torgbui Hododuio), Mr. Daniel Soglo (aka SB Don), Mr. Alfred Amuzu, Ms. Rachel Dabla. Efo Etse Agbemabiese, and Ms. Pearl Emefa Kpekata (aka Authentic Mama) as the MCs for the Convention programs. He also congratulated Trend AfricaTV, Ako Radio, Steve Show, Sankofaonline Media of Chicago, Radio Gold 90.5 FM, DNT, Authentic Mama FB, RTV Denyigba and Heroes Cable Network (HCN) for their sponsorship, media, video, and photography coverage.
The following are also acknowledged for their invaluable contributions: CEANA Secretariat, Dr. E. Wornyo, Mr. Patrick Tamakloe, Captain Frank Gokah, Mr. Lawrence Dagadu, Mr. Kelvin Asamoa-Baah (aka Royal Black Jesus), Mr. Truth Amedzekor (aka Medo), the Virtual Convention Planning team, the Funds raising team, Professor Elikem Nyamuame, the CEANA Council of Representatives (COR), Mrs. Perfect Senam, Corneh, Patience Tsigbe, Amenyo Mensah, Atsu Eho and all others who helped in various ways to make the Virtual Convention a success.
On behalf of the CEANA Secretariat and the CEANA Council of Representatives (COR), the president of CEANA congratulated the delegates and guests across the world for making the Virtual CEANA 2021 Convention a great success.
God richly bless you. Mawu ne yra mi kata.