Mayor Nii Ephraim of Winneba, also known as the Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, and Rev. Eldad Booney, Presiding Member of the Effutu Assembly attended the African American Cultural Arts Festival held at the Booker T. Washington Park in Charlottesville on July 28, 2012.
Winneba, the Capitol of Effutu Municipal District of Ghana, and Charlottesville are Sister Cities. Charlottesville is an active memeber of Sister Cities International. The Charlottresville's Sister City Commission, appointed by the City Council, is composed of 13 members. Currently, member Nana Ghartey is the Winneba Representative. The Commission plans and coordinates Sister City activities, seeks private funding for activities and operations. A deglegation from Charlottesville has visited Winneba and contributed to the construction of a public library in Winneba which has a population of approximaely 50,000, about the same as Charlottesville.
During his remarks at the festival Mayor Ephraim expressed his appreciation to Charlottesville's Mayor Satyendra Huju and the people of Charlottesville for their partnership with and contribution to Winneba. He stated that a day before his departure from Africa, the President of Ghana, John Atta Mills, died and had been succeded by Vice President John Dramani, who was immediately sworn in as President. Ephraim had also made this announcement about the death of Ghana's president two days earlier at the Taste of Ghana, an event thar focuses on African cuisine and fashion. The mayor and his associate arrived in Charlotteasville Wednesday preceeding the Saturday festival and will return home on August 4.
The 23rd Annual African American Cultural Arts Festival activities included live entertainment, craft, book and food vendors, and a Community Health Fair sponsored by the University of Virginia and Martha Jefferson Hospital that provided complimentary blood sugar and blood pressure test. Mammograms were available to women with health insurance or for a fee.
Near the end of the festival this writer (Uriah J. Fields) presented Mayor Ephraim with an autographed copy of his part fiction and part nonfiction book, "Grandpa Benjamin," which chronicles his family history as told to him by his grandfather Benjamin Fields who was born in slavery. He begins this story of his ancestors with the 1776 kidnapping in Africa of his great-great-great-great-grandparents and their enslavement in America.
The 23rd Annual African American Culural Arts Festival was a success, according to attendees. It was co-chaired by Ruby Stradford Boston and Lilie William and supported by many volunteers, that includied Dora Walker who said she had been volunteering at the festival for 12 years and longtime volunteer Hilda Ward. Marie Whitten was in charge of logistics and vendors relations. One of the activities that helped make the festival a success for young people was storytelling by Story Man Baba Jamal Koram, the author of "Aesop - Tales of Aethiop."
Copyright 212 by Uriah J. Fields