Posted by: thebluemusicblog | July 20, 2011

3 CONTINENTS IN 42 DAYS PART 5

Didn’t I speak about the blessings of motorbikes in Togo in my last post? Here we go again, but this time in Accra, Ghana. I think you can read from my face that I am happy as a little boy visiting the Fire Department or rambling around a toy shop for boys. This  was the morning when we were taken in a convoy through the heavy traffic of the capitol of Ghana, Accra, to the GA MANTSE’s PALACE, to be received by His Royal Highness, King Tackie Tawiah III, Ga Mantse and President of the Ga Traditional Council.

This very charming police officer took the convoy of 5-6 cars under his leadership, and he performed miracles on his motorbike. He drove on red light,  stood on his bike while driving and stopped traffic with his feet, very demanding and conclusive. Blue lights and sirens took us through the city in high speed.

At the King’s palace we learnt that the King himself at the last moment had had to apologize because of urgent responsibilities, but we were warmly received by the Members of the Ga Traditional Council and taken into the Palace. The King is a highly respected and famous leader in the society in Ghana, an eminent lawyer, a renowned economist, having served on the National Development Planning Commission with distinction.

We were all seated in the beautiful reception hall in the Palace, and it was time for the speeches and the gifts. I started my speech with a traditional “Agoo!” Then I commented on the ban on drumming and dancing, noise making, clapping of hands and whistling. This ban made any applaud impossible, but after each speech all of us snapped our fingers in silent appreciation. The ban on noisemaking lasted a few weeks, and would enable the Chief Priests of the Ga State to seek God’s favor for the people and for them to enjoy God’s blessings, prosperity and peace in the year ahead. Because of the silence the earth would give growth and gifts to the people.  I wished all present “Afioo Afi”.

As a gift I received a wooden elephant with an antelope on top of it, which symbolized the strength of the country and the wisdom of its leadership. After the formalities we were able to talk with one another and learn more about the Ga State and its leadership and I shall cary this warm experience of hospitality and friendship with me as long as I live.

Our new friend, the police officer on his motorbike was waiting for us outside and to our friends in the Palace we bowed and said “Tswa Omanye Aba”  Thank you!

The visit to Ghana YMCA was very impressive. An old, well established YMCA with a good YMCA property downtown Accra, close to the government buildings and with lots of great volunteer and professional leaders.

We visited a local YMCA in the outskirts of Accra and talked with the football team, young recruits in a national sport of huge importance. For many of us Ghana had become the team in our hearts after their splendid performances in the world championship, and we did talk a lot of football!

The young adults had their own stories to tell and the young men were singing a cappella so elegantly and with such a quality that we demanded encore after encore!

So – time to say goodbye to Africa. Exciting experiences. Everywhere we could feel the slogan of the African Alliance of YMCAs: “Empowering Young People for the African Renaissance.” Pride, energy, warmth and hospitality are words falling down to my screen as I am reflecting on our African visit. And an almost impatient energy to change, to grow, to develop a genuinely African vision of YMCA.

Thank you! Youth Empowerment – S2C . We are marching!


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