Olympia Fields, IL, October 7, 2018: Rene’ Lamaar Cannon and Dr. Afua Nyamekye Owusu had a colorful traditional engagement ceremony last Sunday, October 7 2018 at the flamboyant Bradford Barn, 20712 Western Avenue, Olympia Fields Illinois. Renee’ and Afua met in the Summer of 2015 at her home church in Chicago, Illinois. They developed a friendship that evolved into a relationship that later culminated into a marriage proposal on New Years Day at the Chicago Riverwalk the same year. The two love birds realized that their lives were meant to be one, so they decided to proclaim their love for one another at a traditional wedding ceremony that was witnessed by friends and family. Customarily, for most West Africans especially Ghanaians, the “traditional engagement” is really a traditional wedding ceremony! Before Christianity infiltrated into the African society, the engagement party ends and seals the deal between a man and a woman and they are pronounced husband and wife!
It was a joyous, lively occasion as Chiefs, Elders and members of the Ghanaian community came in their numbers to support the bride’s family. As well, a large delegation from the groom’s family was there to support their son. Present were Mr. Seth Owusu ( Asanteman Sanaahene) and Mrs. Charity Owusu, the bride’s parents; and Mr. Robert Cannon and Mrs. Lajean Crosby, the groom’s parents! The Asantefuohene and hemaa of Chicago, Nana Addae Baffour, and Ohemaa Amponsah respectively, their elders and members were there in full support. All the way from Ghana to Grace the occasion was Nana Appau Wiafe, Sanwansan Hemang Hene. With the two families sitting across from each other, lots of back and forth “boisterous negotiations” between the bride and the groom families took place. One of the outstanding scenes of the day was the part when the bride’s family paraded a young woman in front of the groom and asked him if the woman that was being unveiled to him was his bride? The groom would not fall for that “trick”, because he knows his “flower” too well! His response was an emphatic no! It was funny and sweet at the same time! Finally, the patience of the groom paid off as his gorgeous bride was gallantly escorted to her future husband and asked jokingly by the family spokesperson, called ‘okyeame’ in the Akan language, “Is this the beautiful flower you said you saw in our garden?” The groom, taken by his bride’s beauty and the powerful symbolism contained in his response, burst out the answer, Yes; stirring the gathering into shouts in his support and laughter!
Something about the Ghanaian traditional way of performing marriage seemed raw and embellished to the onlooker. A man is in the market for a wife, he finds one, he comes over with his peeps, schnapps, and suitcases full of requested items by the bride’s family—he makes his selection… et voila! He’s married. Even though this is the essence of all marriages, the simplicity of the tradition is admirable.
Nana Yaw Marfo emceed the event with excellence. Nana Kwame Frimpong and Mr. Boateng Ahyiah acted as okyeame on behalf of the bride and groom respectively. Pastor Theodore Weegar blessed the marriage. We, at www.sankofaonline.com, wish the newly married couple all the best. The lenses of www.sankofaonline.com were there to bring these images to our worldwide audience.