Fashion, they say, is like eating; you shouldn’t stick to the same menu, but that is where this educated elite from the Gold Coast era in Ghana’s history, broke the cycle.
Even more, Kobena Sekyi, who was a nationalist lawyer, dared to be different, sticking only with his traditional African cloth for all of his life, even attending court proceedings in his choice for fashion.
The celebrated Pan-Africanist was also a politician and a writer, and the last president of the Aborigines Right Protection Society (ARPS) in the Gold Coast (now Ghana).
He was, and perhaps remains, the only educated elite in Africa who vowed never to wear European clothing again, and became the first lawyer in the British colony to appear in court in a traditional African cloth.
According to details on @GhanaianMuseum on Twitter, Kobena Sekyi never wore European dress again until he died in 1956.
Born on November 1, 1892, as William Esuman-Gwira Sekyi, he was better known as Kobena Sekyi. He was a firebrand nationalist who became the president of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society (ARPS), an aboriginal organization that fought and won their battle against the British obnoxious Land Bill of 1897 that seek to give Queen Elizabeth of England all the unoccupied lands in Gold Coast (Ghana) and also entire British West Africa in general.
Kobena Sekyi was also executive member of the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA), and member of the Coussey Committee for constitutional change that finally pave way for the independence of Ghana.
As a person born into the Gold Coast coastal aristocratic Fante family and a highly educated member of his society, he was brought up to believe that European culture was superior to African culture. But it did not take long for Sekyi to commit class suicide and transmogrify into an unshakable apostle of African values, traditions and culture. Sekyi did not only became an unrepentant hardcore Pan-Africanist in his days, but, in fact, he lived and practiced African culture and traditions to the very core; so much that ‘he vowed never to wear European clothing again, and became the first lawyer in the colony to appear in court in a traditional African cloth. He never wear coat and European dress until he died in 1956.
Though an ethnic Fante man himself, Kobena Sekyi criticized the manner his Fante coastal towns have became anglicised to such an extent that even now a Fante cannot speak a sentence without less than four English words. They anglicised their local names into English such that you can hear Koomson, Blankson, Menson, Filson etc. Some have all foreign names without a local name. To show his utter abhorrence and disdain for this anglicization of Fante names and outright adoption of foreign names, Kobena Sekyi as a matter of principle and leading by example removed “William” from his names and became just “Kobena Sekyi.”
Kobena Sekyi was born into a Cape Coast (Oguaa) aristocratic family. His father was Mr John Gladstone Sackey (note, Sackey is the anglicization of Fante name “Sekyi” to suit European tongue), headmaster of the renowned Wesleyan School (Mfantsipim) in Cape Coast. Mfantsipim is the first secondary school in Ghana and was established in 1876. Mr John Gladstone Sackey himself was a royal and a the son of Chief Kofi Sekyi, the Chief Regent of Cape Coast.
Kobena Sekyi`s mother was Wilhelmina Pietersen, also known as Amba Paaba, daughter of Willem Essuman Pietersen (c.1844-1914), an Elmina-Cape Coast businessman and one-time President of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society (ARPS), a later president of which was Sekyi’s uncle, Henry van Hien, whose heir Sekyi was.
Like his father, Sekyi was also educated at Mfantsipim School and and went on to study philosophy at the University of London. He was accompanied to Britain by his maternal grandfather. Sekyi was originally to study English Literature, however, a fellow student (Nigerian) persuaded him to give up English Literature in favour of Philosophy.
After completing his philosophy degree, Sekyi returned to Gold Coast to teach for sometime and participated in the political affairs. Realizing that Gold coast has many lawyers and liberal art scholars, Sekyi went back to England in 1915 with plan to become an engineer like his mother’s younger brother, J.B. Essuman-Gwira, but because his family controlled the purse strings and they wished him to study law, so that was the career he entered.
He was called to the Bar from the Inner Temple in 1918 and also awarded MA in philosophy. Sekyi became a lawyer in private practice in the Gold Coast.
It should be emphasized that Kobena Sekyi had life changing experience whilst traveling on a ship to England. It is said that “On the voyage out his boat, the SS Falaba, was torpedoed by a German U-boat and some lives were lost. Sekyi managed to get to a lifeboat, at which point a European shouted at him that he should get out of the boat, as a black man had no right to be alive when whites were drowning. It was this incident that had a profound effect on him, confirming his rejection of European pretensions to superiority.
Robert Ross in his book “Clothing: A Global History’ published in 2008 citing authors White and White, “Slave Clothing” page 156 averred that “Equally, in the Gold Coast, Kobena Sekyi, a coastal lawyer, is said, in the family tradition, to have been subjected to racist racist insults when wearing a suit while being trained in London during World War I. In consequence, he vowed never to wear European clothing again, and became the first lawyer in the colony to appear in court in a cloth.”
Whilst practicing law in Gold Coast Sekyi married Lilly Anna Cleanand, daughter of John Peter Cleanand and Elizabeth Vroom.
Biography, Age, Education, Family of The Youngest Attorney General of Ghana, Godfred Yeboah Dame
Born on 5th June, 1979, Godfred Yeboah Dame obtained his GCE Ordinary Level and Advanced Level Certificates from Adisadel College between 1989 and 1996. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) in 2001. He proceeded to the Ghana School of Law from where he obtained his professional law qualification in 2003.
On being called to the Bar in October, 2003, Godfred Yeboah Dame commenced his professional law practice with the firm of Messrs. Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co., an elite law firm in Ghana, specializing in various aspects of civil litigation.
Godfred Yeboah Dame rapidly and firmly established himself as one of Ghana’s leading advocates, conducting with a remarkable degree of success many of the politically important trials and constitutional cases in the Superior Courts of Ghana.
In 2006, in recognition of his contribution towards the defence of media and human rights, rule of law and civil liberties generally in Ghana, Mr. Dame was one of a few lawyers from across Africa and the rest of the world awarded the Open Society Initiative Fellowship, and selected to pursue the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies.
Mr Dame’s active law practice saw him take charge of a significant number of high profile and landmark cases in the Supreme Court of Ghana which contributed to the advancement of constitutional law, human rights, criminal law and good governance in the country, including serving as counsel for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in many cases of moment for the party between 2012 and 2016.
In 2016, he was a member of the NPP Manifesto Committee on Governance which drafted the Party’s proposed policies for the Legal and Governance Sector. In 2013, together with three of the Party’s former Attorneys-General, Hon. Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Hon. Ayikoi Otoo and Hon. Joe Ghartey, he was appointed to review the 2013 Election Petition Verdict and come up with proposals to avoid a defeat of the Party in the 2016 elections which would result in another election petition, after having already served as one of the counsel for the Petitioners in the Election Petition.
From 2011 to 2016, Godfred Dame was part of the teaching faculty for Company Law and Practice at the Ghana School of Law. In January, 2017, he was appointed as a teacher in Advocacy and Legal Ethics at the Ghana School of Law, a commitment he was unable to fulfill as a result of his appointment as Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice in President Akufo-Addo’s first term as President.
He also served on very sensitive committees of the Ghana Bar Association contributing to the formulation of policy in the training of lawyers, notable among them being the Pupilage and Juniors Committee, which is concerned with the upholding of standards among junior practitioners of the law. In 2014, he was appointed member of the Ghana Bar Association’s legal team.
Mr. Dame, between 2009 and 2017, served as the Vice-Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the Ghana Football Association. Earlier, from 2008 to 2009, he had been Chairman of the Greater-Accra Regional Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee. From 2011 to 2017, he was also a member of the Ghana Football Association Elections Committee.
In 2017, Godfred Dame was appointed Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice of Ghana, a position he holds to date. In that position, he distinguished himself in his active defence of the Government in various high-profile law suits against the Government and international arbitration involving the Government of Ghana.
He transformed the image of the Attorney-General’s Office into a formidable force in litigation. He is particularly noted for leading the efforts of the Government to recover the money paid businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, ensuring the termination of three mining leases given in favour of Exton Cubic Company Limited, the challenge to the constitutionality of the appointment of Mr. Martin Amidu as Special Prosecutor, the challenge to the creation of new regions in Ghana, the challenge to the compilation of a new register of voters by the National Democratic Congress and many other cases.
He served on the Legal Service Board, the Ministerial Advisory Board of the Ministry of Justice, the Board of the University of Ghana Medical Centre and the Board of the Public Procurement Authority.
He is a Christian and married to Dr. Joycelyn Assimeng Dame. They have two children.
5 Interesting Facts About Ghana That Will Make You Feel Proud As a Ghanaian
Do you sometimes have a regretion of being a citizen of Ghanaian? Worry no more because, these tips are going to make you feel proud of your beloved country.
First of all, Ghana is considered as one of the most peaceful countries in Africa. Research by Global Peace Index indicates that Ghana is ranked the 4th most peaceful country in Africa and the 44th in the world. This is based on the fact that, Ghana has never experienced civil war.
Again, the sense of humor by the people of Ghana towards humans, in general, makes them unique among others, their indiscriminative mindset can’t be left out.
Also, the unique and beautiful culture of the people of Ghana is so tremendous. From their way of life, their style of dressing, their delicious meals, to their various languages.
In terms of productivity, Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world. Between the year 2018 and 2019, Ghana was estimated to have produced about 900,000 tons of cocoa beans.
Finalizing, Ghana is a home to the largest artificial lake in the world. The Volta lake of Ghana extends from Akosombo in the South to the northern part of the country.
Briefing in accordance,
1. Ghana is one of the peaceful countries in Africa.
2. The people of Ghana has a great sense of humor towards themselves
3. Ghanaians are known for their unique and beautiful culture and tradition.
4. Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa in terms of productivity.
5. The largest artificial lake(The Volta lake) can be found in Ghana.
List of Speakers of Parliament Since Ghana Gained Independence In 1957
Ghana has had a total of 13 Speakers of Parliament with the last one being Rt Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin who was sworn-in as Speaker on January 7, 2021.
Today, www.GhanaCNN.com brings you all the outstanding Ghanaians who have served and are now serving as Speakers of Parliament.
1. Emmanuel Charles Quist
Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Charles Quist was Ghana’s first Speaker of Parliament who served the state from 1951 to 1957. He was born on May 21, 1880.
2. Augustus Molade Akiwumi
Rt. Hon. Augustus Molade Akiwumi was Ghana’s second Speaker of Parliament who served from 1958 to 1960. He was born on April 7, 1891.
3. Joseph Addo
Rt. Hon. Joseph Aseidu was Speaker of Parliament from 1960 to 1965.
4. Rt. Hon. Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta
Rt. Hon. Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta served as speaker from June 1965 to February 1966. He was born on December 12, 1912.
5. Rt. Hon. Nii Amaa Ollennu
Rt. Hon. Nii Amaa Ollennu served his tenure as Speaker of Parliament from October 1969 to December 1971. He was born on May 21, 1906.
6. Rt. Hon. Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph
Rt. Hon. Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph was Ghana’s speaker from September 1979 to December 1981. He was born on September 6, 1914.
7. Daniel Francis Annan
Rt. Hon. Daniel Francis Annan was Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament from 1993 to 2001. He was born on November 7, 1928.
Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey served his tenure as Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament from 2001 to 2005. He was born on August 11, 1931.
9. Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes
Rt. Hon. Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes was Speaker of Parliament from 2005 to 2009. He was born on September 4, 1939.
Rt. Hon. Joyce Adeline Bamford Addo served as Ghana’s only female Speaker of Parliament yet from 2009 to 2013. She was born on March 26, 1937.
11. Doe Adjahoe
Rt. Hon. Doe Adjahoe was Speaker of Parliament from 2013 to 2017. He was born on January 3, 1957.
Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye is Ghana’s immediate past Speaker of Parliament. He served the august house from January 2017 to January 7, 2021. He was born on April 4, 1944.
13. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin is Ghana’s current Speaker of Parliament. He was sworn-in into office on January 7, 2021. He was born on September 24, 1957.
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