FATHER’S DAY 2019: Ghanaian Fathers and Father Figures – by Francis Quamina Farrier

Guyana was honoured last week with a State Visit by the Head-of-State of the West African country of The Republic of Ghana, His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo. As such, I decided to throw the spotlight on Ghanaian fathers and Father figures, in this my 2019 FATHER’S DAY Feature  Article.

The Ghanaian Head-of-State, President Nana Akufo-Addo and First Lady Rebecca, have three daughters. Guyana’s President David Granger is also a father of daughters. For those observing the way the Ghanaian president interacted with the Bishops’ High School and other students who turned up to greet him at the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Non-Aligned Monument Garden in Georgetown last Tuesday, would have no doubt that the President of Ghana, is a loving father and Father figure to millions in his native Ghana (Population 27 million) and abroad.     

Fathers come in many guises; biological, adopted, foster and those special Father figures. During a Meet and Greet event by President Nana Afuko-Addo at the Guyana Marriott last Tuesday evening (June 11, 2019), Guyanese Olga Konyo Addo, who was there with her brother Henaku Anim Addo, addressed the visiting President, telling him of her Guyanese mother and Ghanaian father. For many decades, there have been Ghanaian men, although small in numbers living and working in Guyana. Others were visitors. Many have played Father Figure roles to Guyanese youths. Here is an example.

Recently honoured with a National Award of the Cacique Crown of Honour, Monsignor Terrence Montrose, CCH, (Well-known as Fr. Monty), of the Catholic Church, told me of an experience he had with a Ghanaian Father figure, when he was a youth. As a youngster, Fr. Monty was a member of the Albouystown YMCA at the time, and his own parents did not have sufficient funds to have himself and siblings attend an August out-of-town Camp, so he boldly wrote a letter of request for sponsorship, to the then Guyana-based Ghanaian, Sir Edward Asafu Ajeu.

In response to the young man’s letter of request, the Ghanaian gentleman and Father figure, visited the Albouystown YMCA, inter-acted with the boys, and paid for all those whose parents were unable to fund the cost to send their boys to that August Camp.

Among the beneficiaries of course, were Terrence Montrose (Fr. Monty) and his siblings. Since becoming a priest, Monsignor Terrence Montrose (Fr. Monty) has played the role of Father figure to countless young men who have gone on to become very successful Guyanese citizens. At that Presidential Met-and-Greet at the Marriott last Tuesday evening, were other Guyanese who told stories of either being students of male Ghanaian educators, or other Ghanaian professionals.

During my three visits to The Republic of Ghana, I have paid close observation to Family Life in that country, taking many photographs of Fathers sharing quality time with their children. Both in Ghana and in Guyana, there are also men, by whose conduct within the communities in which thy live, give fatherly guidance unwittingly. There are many stories of hero Fathers which ought to be told on FATHER’S DAY, by those who have the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to address audiences on that Special Day. Father’s Day is celebrated and intended to recognize and shower praise and encouragement on the Good Fathers. Nothing less should be the case.

Another observation of mine in Ghana, is the use of images of HAPPY FAMILIES on jumbo billboards, whether in promoting goods or services. It seems that the Ghanaian business community is systemically promoting Happy Family Life in their country in which Fathers are uplifted as vitally important for the on-going development of The Republic of Ghana.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY 2019 to President Nana Akufo-Addo, President David Granger and all the wonderful Fathers and Father figures both in Ghana and Guyana.-

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, is flanked by Guyanese Henaku Anim Addo and his sister Olga Konyo Addo, at a Meet and Greet at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown on Tuesday evening (June 11, 2019).

Farrier with a Ghanaian Father and his three teenage children in Accra, Ghana

One of the hundreds of billboards in Ghana showing HAPPY FAMILIES

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