Ewe Association of Georgia
Before the formation of the Ewe Association of Atlanta, Georgia (EWAGA), Ewes had travelled to the USA and settled in many parts of the United States. By the 1990s, however, the population of Ewes and other Ghanaian families living in Georgia was growing steadily. Ewe families began to contact one another and develop links with one another resulting in a budding Ewe community. At first, whenever an occasion (such as Christmas, Easter, birthdays, outdooring and naming ceremonies, and other such occasion arose, families just invited those families they knew and were friendly with for the celebrations. Soon these celebrations started to rotate between families.
The formation of the Ewe Association of Georgia was occasioned, in early 1993, by the death of the mother of one Mr. Sammy Kumah (an early Ewe settler at Atlanta). When the death occurred, friends and sympathizers gathered at the home of Tony Torkvikey (an early ewe settler too) to sympathize with the bereaved family and offer any help that they could. It was at these deliberations that the idea came to form an association to help with such and other matters affecting the ewe community. Subsequently, in late 1994 (November 1994), at its general meeting the Ewe Association was formalized, and the following officers were elected or chosen;
- President: Dr. Godfrey Abotsi
- Vice President: Mr. Kofi Afeku
- Secretary: Mr. Christian Adedze
- Asst. Secretary: Mr. Edem Adatsi
- Treasurer: Ms. Beatrice Ayrakwa
- Financial Secretary: Mrs. Mary Acolatse-Narnor
- Public Relations Officer: Mr. Bobby Nyarko
By July 1994, President Abotsi had resigned for personal and professional reasons and Mr. Kofi Afeku was chosen as the new president. Mr. Blaise Segbenya was chosen as Vice president.
Growth of the Association (EWAGA):
Once EWAGA was formed, many new members joined the association and it started to grow rapidly. At this point, it would be a worthwhile exercise to acknowledge the contributions of those who helped the association arrive at its current standing, albeit a great association.
Godfred Abotsi – First President:
The first EWAGA president. He was a person of decent academic standing, and by his calm manner and personality gave clout to the new association. He provided good direction and guidance for the activities of the new association.
Segbenya – Vice President:
Just like, Mr. Abotsi was a person with a calm demeanor and great ideas. He had friends outside Atlanta and so brought new and innovative ideas to the association
Kofi Afeku – President:
A great gentleman with calming personality. He always calmed things down when discussions got heated. Always trying to point out what was most import for the association. He abhorred misunderstanding and conflicts and was always attempting to resolve them. Also a man of many contacts both in Atlanta and elsewhere, he endeavored to bring the best ideas to Atlanta from his friends outside of Georgia.
Christian Adedze - Secretary:
Many consider Mr. Adedze as the great philosopher of the Ewe Association. He loved Ewes and the Ewe culture to the hilt. He always advised that we never let the ewe culture die. He advocated that the Ewe language, drumming and dancing, and the portrayal of the culture be prominent in all our dealings. He was also a gentle soul. He did most of EWAGA’s work for us all. He got the association its 501c status and was a representative for almost any meetings with other associations.
Very good and calm person. He wanted everything to be done quickly and was sometimes impatient with those who did not share those view. He always reminded us that time is precious. Last of all he spoke his mind, so that there was no misunderstandings.
Mary Naami Narnor - Financial Secretary:
Mary is a constant in all Ewaga affairs as well as women’s issues in the Atlanta and other areas. Her interest in civic duty makes her a great asset for EWAGA. She helps develop contacts for the association members who need the contacts to do work for EWAGA. Her participation in activities makes her an asset everywhere. She is easy to work with too. Her family has provided a meeting place during the times EWAGA meetings were held in private homes.
Ama and Titrim Attipoe:
Among the foundation members of the Ewe Association, and who live in Athens, but were regularly in Atlanta for EWAGA activities. Titrim has been like a marketing officer for the association, and he has drawn and encouraged many people to come join the association. Ama is a cultural icon and likes dancing a lot. She is very encouraging to the young ones and anybody else who likes to dance and entertain. Her presence is always fun, and she has drawn many to come and see her do the cultural dances.
An Ewe farmer and businessman who lived on a farm at Covington. He provided a place for the association members to visit his farm for parties and rest, usually during the summertime. He was regular at meeting and was quick to advance his views. He supported the association in whatever way he could.
Celestine is a regular face for the Ewe association. Her house was one of the meeting places or venues for EWAGA. Apart from providing a venue for meetings, she also provided us free food most of the time. Her culinary expertise drew many to attend meeting and join the association. She travelled to many places on EWAGA assignments. Some call her one of the mothers of the association.
One of the foundation members of the association. He was one of the members who laid the foundation for the association. He encouraged those he knew to join the association and he was a regular during those early days.
Worked in the interpretation of materials that required deeper interpretation to grasp. Beatrice was there from the beginning and is one of the pillars of the association. As a nurse member of the association, she provided health related help to members who needed such advice. An independent and strong woman she was very outspoken and very regular at meetings. She always helped in providing whatever association members needed during meeting. By her regularly at meeting during the initial stages of EWAGA, the association stands tall today.
Was one of the original members who was present when the association was formed. He was very diligent and helped in whatever way that he could help to make the association viable.
Bobby and Cecelia Nyarko:
Also, original family that was present at the formation of EWAGA. Their sacrifice and desire to create a good life for the EWE community led to the formation of EWAGA. They provided a meeting place during the early days and food for meeting attendees.
Reverend Dr. Johnny Akoto:
One of the members who saw the formation of EWAGA. Being a reverend minister Dr. Akoto worked with the Presbyterian church (at Decatur) to have them provide a facility for members of the EWE association who did not have a church of their own. So, Dr. Akoto became the de facto Spiritual advisor for the association. He was also a delegation member to many meetings both inside and outside Georgia.
As an original member of EWAGA, Amega Zewu was a regular attendee at EWAGA meetings. Being adept in the Ewe culture and traditions he performed many traditional rituals. He knows how to pour libation, do many cultural dances and so is always in great demand when there was an occasion for traditional rituals. He is a great asset to the Ewe community.
Sammy was there at the beginning. And some believe that it was the death of his mother at this time that provided the momentum for the formation of EWAGA. That notwithstanding Sammy played a great role in the formation of EWAGA.
Anthony and Empress Dotse:
Anthony and Empress were very active in the EWAGA and they contributed in many ways. Being a teacher, Anthony helped the association formulating policy, and help I the interpretation of documents. Empress being a nurse provided medical related advice. Many meetings and parties were held at their house, while they were here in Atlanta.
Some have referred to him “as a man for all seasons” for his work and participation in Ewe Association programs. He is always there to organize something for the benefit of all. He specializes in organizing and arranging transportation for events both inside Georgia and outside. A very handy person with the ability to work with all people. A great asset indeed.
Some call him the “man from South Carolina” joined the association just after it’s inception. Since then he has played many roles in helping the association grow. He became a regular member of the association and dealt with academic related issues. He always supported the association in implementing assignments that were before the association.