Kweku Ofosuhene, renowned photographer, and the 2011 Miss Ghana USA, former Youth Secretary of the Ghana National Council and co-founder of BlackStar Seed Nation, Akua Agyeman, had a flamboyant traditional engagement and wedding ceremonies last Saturday, May 22, 2021 at the gorgeous Georgios Banquets, Quality Inn and Suites, 8800 W 159th St, Orland Park, IL 60462.
The Cinderella story started during their Junior year of college when Kweku came to visit family and party at the U of I Urbana-Champaign campus. They became fast friends, and over time had a mutual interest in one another. At the time, it seemed their love story was untimely, so it never matured to dating. They even stopped communicating as friends for some years. In April of 2019, almost 15 years after they first met, Kweku and Akua reunited at a community event with a bang, that will cement the love they have for each other for life. As they described it, “It was like we were meeting for the first time.” On May 15, 2019, a month after reuniting, they decided to make their relationship official. Their relationship is a true testament to Ecclesiastes 3: 11. It is indeed their time and nothing can separate them again as had happened in the past!
It was a Thanksgiving day, 11/26/2020, and their families decided to have a virtual Thanksgiving event due to the “pandemic.” Ha! Each family was in their own home and the order of the ceremony was to show off what each family cooked and to each share what they were thankful for. Everything went according to the program until Kweku began to share what he was thankful for. This turned into him sharing his gratitude for all of God’s blessing during 2020, reconnecting with Akua, and their relationship. In the presence of the families of Kweku and Akua, virtually, Kweku got on one knee and said, “I would love love love everything to be sealed before the end of this year, by His grace. I thank God for everyone being here to witness this. I would like to ask Akua to marry me.” For a good, long 5 minutes, as Akua recounted, she had the most dumbfounded reaction in proposal history. She hid her face in the couch, cried, tried to figure out how and why they got off script of the virtual thanksgiving program, and reminded everyone that they were supposed to be eating. She couldn’t believe God had favored her in this way and during those 5 long minutes, she was trying to process what was happening. Then she realized that Kweku was still on his knees, so she exclaimed, “Of course!!” and gave him the tightest hug ever. The surprise didn’t end there… Akua’s family and friends would later put together a video sending her well wishes for their engagement and a slideshow of pictures of Kweku and her. Akua would admit to her friends and family later that she was totally floored, to say the least.
The scorching sun notwithstanding, the open space at the Quality Inn and Suites for outdoor events was filled with, Chiefs, elders, friends, family, and members of the community at hand to witness the traditional marriage and wedding ceremonies. Nana Yirenkyi Bonsu and Juliana Sekyere Bonsu, father and mother of the groom respectively, were heavily supported by a large entourage of members and elders of the Okuapeman Association. The President of the Ghana National Council, Paa Kwasi Sam, was also present. The bride’s mother, an elder of the Church of Ghanaian Community of Chicago, Mrs. Betty Agyeman, President of the Church of the Ghanaian Community, Ms. Evelyn Tetteh, former President of the Ga-Adangbe Community Organization, Frederica Buckman, Andy Aninagyei, Emma Dennis, Rosemary Amegashie and Peace Darko, all elders in the community, were there to support the bride’s family. Usually, 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! With the two families sitting across from each other, lots of back and forth, “lively negotiations” between the bride and the groom families took place. Henry and Jennifer Nartey, standing in as okyeames (linguists) for families of the bride and groom respectively, were back and forth with “boisterous negotiations.” The patience of the groom paid off as his beautiful bride was gallantly escorted to the center stage by the father of the bride, Nana Yaw Barnieh Agyeman. The bride sent the gathering into a burst of joyous laughter as she said “ me dɔ no paaa” in response to the father’s question as to if the family should accept the dowry and other presents from the groom. The wedding ceremony was officiated by a powerful man of God, Rev.Dr. Leeford Boohene, Resident Pastor of Christ Center of Hope AG, Chicago.
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 and Theodosia Nana Efua Adu Awuah emceed the reception which took place at the luxurious Georgios Banquets with excellence. 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.