Founder of the Guan Congress to be buried

Anyenum Kwame Ampene,
Anyenum Kwame Ampene,

Anyenum Kwame Ampene, 91, Founder of the Guan Congress and a regular columnist of The weekly Spectator newspaper, would be laid to rest at Anum Boso on Saturday, April 18.

This would be preceded by funerary rites at the Forecourt of the State House from 5:00am-6:00pm

Ampene who was born in Anum Boso on July 26, 1924 was a former tutor of Agogo Training College, Abuakwa State College and Breman Asikuma Secondary School.

He attended Akropong Training College, and was awarded a scholarship to study music at Winneba Specialist Training College in 1964.

From 1968-1971 he enrolled at the University of Ghana for further studies in music.

He was a prolific writer who took great pride and interest in the oral historical traditions of his people.

His multifaceted writing touches on a variety of topics which were all based on the country’s traditions and culture.

Ampene published Atetesem in 1978 and from 2009 until he joined his ancestors on February 12, he was a columnist for the Weekly Spectator – “Know the Origin of Towns.”

He vigorously contributed to the debate on the issues involving new church music compositions in the Ghanaian (African) idiom, and published his opinion in the erstwhile Radio & TV Times and Christian Messenger in the late sixties and seventies.

Ampene launched the Guan Socio-Cultural Renaissance in 1981 with a core group of village elders at Ajumako-Boso.

His primary vision was to help provide a single platform and singular identity for the 28 Guan speaking communities in Ghana.

In his autobiography 1924-2015, he notes: “This is a sober reflection of the life of someone who dedicated himself to project oral historical traditions, customs and festivals that the signs and honour of a nation is enshrined; These traditions remind us that we have a past, and that whatever we are today and hope to be in the future had a distinct link with the past”.

He accomplished his goals through a series of symposium at the University of Ghana, several delegates’ conferences and congresses at the district, regional and national level.

A greatly loved teacher, he counted among his students’ chief executive officers of some of the nation’s best-run companies.

He was the primary mentor of 40 doctoral students who have gone on to successful academic careers.

He travelled the length and breadth of the country in addition to undertaking a study tour of neighbouring Togo, Benin, and the Ivory Coast. He achieved this level of success with support from individuals in the Guan community who encouraged him and where possible provided funding for his trips.
One of his daughter’s, Dr Afia Ansaa Ampene, Producer of the Mmaa Nkomo show said: “My dad may physically not be here on earth with us, however his lifetime accomplishment will continue to yield fruit to nourish generations in perpetuity.“

Another of his children, Professor Kwasi Ampene, Director, Centre for World Performance Studies of the University of Michigan, notes: “He was a trailblazer, deepening and expanding collaboration across societies. His work brought together outstanding individuals from many different academic disciplines and is an inspiration to his students, colleagues and society”.

“He taught us what is not taught in the classroom, he researched a lot so his writing was very informative; I read his Spectator regularly and learned a lot from it” Gyedu Blay Ambolley, a musician said.

After three decades, Ampene has accomplished his immediate and long-term goals of unifying the diverse groups with a common identity.

He has published a compelling History of the Guan-Speaking Peoples of Ghana: The Undisputed Aborigines of Ghana (StarSpirit Press, 2011).

From 1981-1994, he served as the Organizing Secretary of the Guan Congress and in recognition of his “meritorious service, his dynamism, and patriotism,” the Congress awarded him a special Certificate of Honour during its national congress.

In December 2014 he was honoured by the Chiefs and people of Anum Apapam, near Asamankese at the Odrodwo Plantain Festival with the Citation: “Certificate of Honour for a Distinguished Guan Citizen.”

He is survived by 11 children and many grandchildren and great grand children.

His body would be taken to Anum Boso for burial after a ceremony that would include a cultural display, poetry recitals and reading of tributes.

A Thanksgiving Service would take place at the Tema Joint Church Community 7 on Sunday April 19, from 8:00am to 9:30am, followed by the final funeral rites at Crystal Palace Grounds.

On Saturday April 18, thousands are expected to participate in the momentous celebration of Anyenum Kwame Ampene’s life.

Source: GNA

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