Made in Ghana cloth in Obama inauguration celebrations in US

immigrantsMade in Ghana cloth took centre stage in  the celebrations to mark the inauguration of President Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America Tuesday January 20, 2009 the Connecticut Post reports.

While most Americans simply watched the televised ceremonies for Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration Tuesday, Jonas Dingam and his family went a few steps further, reports from the Connecticut say.

The report describing the clothes said the family designed clothes for the occasion, complete with the image of Obama and the words “44th President of the United States” and “History is made by Barack Obama.”

It indicated also that the cloth was produced in a factory in Ghana and shipped to the family’s  Bridgeport apartment.

The family, including three young children, also invited friends over for a post-inauguration party in honor of Obama.

“Everyone is enjoying what America has done,” Dingam said, referring to the Obama’s election as the first black president in the America’s history and the first to have direct family ties to Africa.

“We made these clothes to express how we feel,” he explained.

Dingam, a native of Chad,  knows more than most about the value of freedom and democracy. He escaped religious persecution and fighting between Muslims and Christians in his country in 1983 and emigrated to the United States. His wife of 13 years, Maimouna Chapel, is from Ghana.

Obama’s late father, as is widely known now, also was from Kenya.

“I don’t know how I escaped. God saved me. One day the military came in a circle and started to gun people down. I was one of the survivors,” he said.

Dingam said the fabric for their outfits was ordered from a factory in Ghana. The family designed the blue-and-white star pattern, which is complemented by pictures of Obama taken from a campaign button. A friend tailored the outfits after the fabric arrived from Ghana.

“In three days she made 30 suits for people,” Maimouna said.

Also joining the party was their daughter, Elizabeth, and their two sons, David and Michael. They wore the same outfits, as did a handful of friends also invited to their Laurel Avenue apartment for the late-afternoon fete.

David, their 7-year-old son, said he watched Obama’s speech at school with other kids and parents who had gathered to see the historic event.

“Obama is the first black president,” David said proudly. “It tells me that no matter what your skin color is, you can become what you want.”

Asked how his classmates reacted to the swearing-in ceremony and Obama’s speech, David said many clapped and cheered.

Now that Obama is president, the family believes change has come to America.

“It’s not just where his father came from. He’s from everywhere. We are proud for the history. It’s a victory for all of us. We pray for Obama and his administration,” Chapel said.

“This change is not for America only,” Dingam continued. “It’s for the whole world. We need to change our minds on many things. How we live. Many things. I’m 98 percent sure we will have a good life under this administration.”

Celebtations were also held by Africans in their repsective countries. Kenyan citizens and tourists held celebrations in Obama’s father’s village of Kogelo, carrying posters of the President. In Ghana, a musical show was held at the Du Bois Centre in Accra to commemorate the event.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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