Charlottesville's Ghana Association Celebrates Independence Day with Community
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - People across the Charlottesville-Albemarle area are celebrating Ghana’s independence from British rule.
On Saturday, dozens recognized the country's sixty-second Independence Day through music and plenty of food.
The Ghana Association of Charlottesville put the whole event together.
Members told NBC29 that the event was a way for them to be a part of the fun happening at home in Ghana, while also sharing it with the Charlottesville community.
From the tune of the Star Spangled Banner to Ghana’s national anthem, the crowd celebrated the nation's independence.
Chair for the Ghana Association of Charlottesville and event organizer, Nana Akyeampong-Ghartey, said, “This is the sixty-second independence anniversary after breaking free from the British rule for 113 years.”
Saturday’s celebration featured plenty of Ghanaian music, fun and of course food for the community to enjoy.
“There is no celebration in Ghana without music,” said Bruce Penner, who attended the celebration. “For me, it's basking in the glow of the key, of the clave when I come here.”
The event served as a celebration but also a chance to spread awareness.
“We want to introduce part of our culture to the people here,” said Akyeampong-Ghartey.
The Charlottesville community has a particularly special connection to the country.
Akyeampong-Ghartey continued, “Charlottesville's Sister City is in Ghana, all of the other Sister Cities are in Europe.”
The Sister City Program also gives Ghanaians living in the Charlottesville community a chance to give back to the city of Winneba.
"When you travel and you get outside you don't have to forget the people that you've left behind. Through the Sister City Program Charlottesville is trying to build a library for Ghana,” said Akyeampong-Ghartey.
This relationship, Akyeampong-Ghartey said, makes Ghanaians in the community feel more welcome.
“We are so much appreciative, we realize how much people love us as immigrants living amongst them.”
2019 marks the tenth anniversary of Charlottesville's Ghana Association.