9th Ghana Day – resuscitating African Culture

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, March 3, 2019

The 9th Ghana Day observance commenced with a regal parade moving from the Square of the Revolution, before culminating in a grand cultural show at Congress Place, Sophia.

The sounds of drumming greeted the Queens and their Courts, followed by a cultural programme which featured dancing, singing, poetry and more heart-thumping drumming.

An exhibition was held on the lawns with a colourful display of African wear, accessories, pottery, figurines and more. African foods such as cook-up, conkie and beverages were on sale.

President of the Ghana Day Organisation, Sister Penda Geyan said this year’s observance will focus on the resuscitation of African culture among African-Guyanese. This, she said, is very germane when taking this year’s theme into consideration – “Let us recognize international presence of African Guyanese in history, government, business and entertainment.”

“By hosting activities like these, we are trying to bring back the link with Africans here and Africans on the continent” Sister Penda stated.

The goal is also to rekindle the cooperative spirit that once saw freed African slaves banding together to purchase villages and carve out a place in society for themselves and their future generations.

“We are trying to instil these values into our young people so they too can foster that nurturing and that African-centred culture that is an uplifting culture” Sister Penda explained.

She is optimistic that African-Guyanese can work together for the common goal.

Citing the number of rebellions orchestrated by the once enslaved Africans in 1763, 1823 and 1834 in Guyana, she noted: “You could not have planned such grand revolutions without cooperation; despite the language barriers, they found ways to come together and cooperate… So, we are saying that we have to bring that culture back because we have lost our religion, we have lost our family values, all those things were taken from us.”

Ghana Day is celebrated in Guyana, since it was the first country on the African Continent that attained independence. Kwame Nkrumah was the first prime minister and president of Ghana, having led it to independence from Britain in 1957. An influential advocate of Pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organisation of African Unit.

Isaiah Braithwaite

Images: Anil Seelall

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