Ghana Association Celebrates 67th Independence in South Carolina with Keynote by Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette

Ghana Association Celebrates 67th Independence in South Carolina with Keynote by Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette

Original Posted in The Humanity Herald on March 25 2024

Spartanburg, SC – The Ghana Association of the Upstate SC marked Ghana’s 67th Independence Day with an event showcasing the rich cultural heritage and vibrant spirit of the Ghanaian community in South Carolina. Held on March 23, 2024, at the Cleveland Park Event Center, the celebration drew esteemed guests, including the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, Pamela Sue Evette, who delivered an inspiring keynote address.

The event began with drums welcoming guests to a cocktail hour. Guests were invited into the event hall after the initial hour of networking. After an opening prayer by Rev. Amos Durham of the Spartanburg Sheriff’s Office, the audience received a warm welcome from Spartanburg Mayor Pro Tem Janie Salley.

With Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, EVP & Chief Legal Officer Duke Energy Corporation, as the Chairperson of the evening, the event was not just a tribute to Ghana’s independence but also a vivid showcase of the enduring ties and cultural exchange between Ghana and the United States. Through gatherings like this, the Ghanaian community in South Carolina continues to foster a deeper appreciation for their heritage while contributing richly to the multicultural diversity of the region.

In addition to the Lieutenant Governors keynote which highlighted her experience as the descendant of Polish immigrants, the event included dance performances from the Gye Nyame Cultural Ensemble, poetry recitals, the singing of both national anthems, cultural displays, authentic Ghanaian meals, music, dancing, fundraising, and laughter.

The evening was captivating and memorable. The celebration showcased a variety of dishes cooked by individuals of Ghanaian heritage from the Upstate area, allowing guests to savor authentic Ghanaian cuisine. The food display included jollof rice, waakye, kenkey, fufu, soup, chicken, salmon, salads, rock buns, plantain chips, and more. The colorful kente themed food display table also included authentic Ghanaian drinks such as sobolo and ekumfi juice. The peanut cake/brizzle provided by Rosemond Owens of Minnesota was a popular dessert item.

The event planning committee, including Abby Solomon – Azumah, Charles Agyeman, Nat Buah-Kwofie, Reverend Jefferson Crystal, and Ben Azumah, played a crucial role in the smooth execution of the event, coordinating everything from volunteer efforts to food delivery, setup, and cleanup.

The event was spearheaded by the dynamic Ghanaian American author and Spartanburg resident, Marjorie Boafo Appiah, also known as Marjy Marj. Her centerpieces adorned with Ghanaian woodwork added an artistic flair to the tables. Marjy’s meticulous attention to detail was evident in the decorated hall, featuring floral arrangements from Coggins Flowers, and serving utensils from Event Rentals, Spartanburg, creating an ambiance that was both elegant and welcoming. As the author of ‘The Jollof Project’ a book based on two Spartanburg fourth graders who embarked on a cooking competition, Marjy cooked her jollof recipe (among other dishes) for the guests.

The balloon decor, created by Angela Butler of Spartanburg, included Ghana-themed elements adding a patriotic touch to the setting. The backdrop of the flags of the United States and Ghana, framing the podium captured the spirit of love for both countries.

In attendance were reporters from Fox News, covering the celebration and its significance to the local and broader community. Attendees included representatives from the African-American and African communities, Duke Energy, BMW, City and State Officials, Furman University, the community at large, and several benefactors.

Photography was provided by Jeremiah Drummond of South Carolina, ensuring the event’s vibrancy and exuberance were preserved. The music was provided by DJ Master Berto.

The Ghanaian Association of Upstate South Carolina is a social  association of Ghanaians, people of Ghanaian descent, and friends of  Ghana residing in the state of South Carolina and surrounding towns  and suburbs.

Subsequent independence and cultural commemorations continue around the country. Another celebration is scheduled to take place in Columbia, South Carolina on March 30th.

Photo Credit: Jeremiah Drummond.