It was an evening of celebration in the Australian Capital Territory on the 22nd of September 2018 as Africans from all over Canberra and interstate joined together at the Southern Cross Club to celebrate the achievements of African Australians.
The Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda kicked off the show with some impressive singing and dancing which got everyone on their feet.
“As we gather here tonight to celebrate individual accomplishments, it is only befitting to pay tribute to one who was a very high achiever, one who across race, inspired young and old.
In line with the purpose of this awards ceremony, the tribute I am about to read is meant to inspire, challenge and bring out the best from you,“ says Ms Asempapa who read a special tribute on behalf of the Ghana High Commissioner, H.E Mr. Edwin N. Adjei.
“Mr. Kofi Annan made very significant contributions to Africa which cannot be recounted in this space. Through his work at the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Africa Progress Panel, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Elders, an independent group of eminent people founded by the great Nelson Mandela, to promote world peace and progress, Mr Kofi Annan continued to contribute to the humanitarian and developmental issues in Africa, even till his last breath,”she said.
She quoted Ambassador Victor Gbeho who said that Kofi Annan was the UN Secretary-General who put Africa on the global map and drew the world’s attention to what Africa could do for the world.
Even though he was a global icon, his home country Ghana was always at the core of his heart and has been described by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the one man who brought renown to Ghana.
Ms Asempapa challenged Africans in the diaspora, particularly the youth, to take inspiration from the life and legacy of this great son of Africa.
She concluded her eulogy with the fifth stanza of the African Union Anthem which says:”Let us unite and toil together to give the best we have to Africa!’
Three distinguished Ghanaians were recognised for their outstanding contributions to the African community and beyond.
The versatile and hard working Ghana association president, Ms Mona Moutrage was appreciated for her hard work within the Ghanaian and the African Australian communities as a whole.
She said that it feels good to be acknowledged by the community.
“To have Ghana always on the map has been my motivation right from the very first time that I stepped foot in Australia…To let people know that there is a place called Ghana! The fact that we are here doesn’t mean we don’t have a home.” she said.
Her motto in life is ‘service above self’ and this has been her motivation all the time and she concluded by saying that at the end, your hard work in life will pay.
Mr Joseph Delle of Comprehensive Car Care and cleaning business was awarded the investor award.
He said that his greatest motivation has always been to help new migrants get a job and settle down with ease.
“The challenges I faced as an African in Australia during the late 70’s made me nurture the idea of establishing my own business with the goal helping other Africans and immigrants from other parts of the world to improve their lives.” he said.
Australia’s under 18’s 100 metres champion and record holder Eddie Osei Nketiah was full of joy when he picked up the award for the sports personality of the year. Eddie plays rugby for his school team as well.
“I believe this is the beginning of many awards and I am going to train and work hard to become the best that I can be and hopefully one day emulate the records set by the great Usain Bolt,” says Eddie.