Gadangme Union in Vicenza inaugurated
The Italian northern city is noted for its large population of African immigrants, especially Ghanaians, who goes out projecting the image of their country and an even which marked the inauguration of Gadangme Union (natives of Greater Accra Region in Ghana) in the city added to the list of such events. It’s interesting watching how Ghanaians in Italy are maintaining their culture whilst at the same time respecting the culture of Italians. The hoisting of Italy’s flag alongside the Ghana flag and singing of both nations anthem, at the beginning of the event, was welcomed by the few Italians present and they went on to interact, eat and danced with their hosts.
For the Gadangme natives in Vicenza they had cause to celebrate, after a long period since the formation of the Union - having passed through thick and thin - they have finally shown themselves to society and they marked it with some of the traditional dances of their native land –‘Kpanlogo’ and ‘Otofo’ dance – enjoyed by all who were present.
The euphoria that engulfed this event, in the spirit of friendship and togetherness is drumming home a message to all natives of the Greater Accra Region back home in Ghana about unity and forging ahead for the progress of the Region. These concerns were emphasized by the special guests invited which included Sarah Naa Adoley Coleman (the newly elected Vice President of the Gadangme Union in Europe), Annetey Abbey (Founder and President of ‘Bokemei’ Foundation based in Holland – an NGO which is carrying out projects in the Greater Accra Region to assist some communities) and Bishop T (real name Titus Evans) – a celebrated Radio Host of a program called ‘Bo Obo’ broadcast on Hotdigital FM in London. They all took their turn to address the participants advising the Union members about forming a strong unity and their contributions towards helping the Greater Accra Region.
The occasion was chaired by Odai Laryea and in a brief remark said the inauguration of the Gadangme in Vicenza is a remarkable day and a turning point within its natives in Italy. He called on the Union members to redefine themselves in joining hands for the good cause of the Region. The history of the Union was narrated by its General Secretary, Jeffrey Nii Moi Allotey, who mentioned it is with great enthusiasm that the Union is officially being inaugurated. “The realization of this moment is a dream come through. Many obstacles have crossed our path since the vision of the Union was birthed. It has faced oppositions, financial and organization challenges but against all these hindrances our great vision has materialized through the work of God,” he noted. He paid special tribute to the four founding members -John York Brown, Francis Laryea Charway, Solomon Odarlai Lamptey and himself - who came together to mobilize all the Gadangme natives in the city Vicenza and beyond to hold their first meeting on 2nd January 2005.
“We recorded 12 members at that meeting and quickly set our objectives, which was to promote peace and unity among our people and to assist the less fortunate ones in life.” The General Secretary also said among some of the issues discussed at the first meeting was to promote unity and peace and that triggered the need for an effective and sacrificial leadership under which Aaron Adotey Allotey was elected the President of the Union (still in office for a second term). “Our motto: has always been ‘Ekome Feemo – Nomli Hewale Yor’ (interpreted to mean: Unity is Strength).
Presently we can boast of 100 committed adult members and 29 youths. It’ obvious to say we have accomplished our primary goal of unity not to mention of projects we have undertaken,” he added.
In an earlier interview, the Vice President of the Union, Titus Nii Boye Glover, mentioned some of the achievements of the Union in assisting with equipment to the Children’s Home at Osu in Accra (an Orphanage) and financial help to some of its members who are unable to work.
The event was also marked with certificates being presented to some members and non members for their contribution and dedication to service for the Union and community of Ghanaians in Italy.
The occasion really brought a new chapter of Gadangme natives in Italy and almost all who participated shared the view which the Union stands for - about unity to help push for progress in the Greater Accra Region.
- Reggie Tagoe in Thiene (Vicenza), Italy.