In honour of a king, Jamestown
The history of Jamestown and it’s king, Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio V, has just been told, patently in arts.
Located in the heart of Accra, the country‘s capital city, James town was founded about three hundred years ago by pioneer ancestor, Wetse Kojo, an astute trader and resourceful leader who collaborated with the English to build the settlement.
As one of the traditional port and trading centers blessed with the country (then Gold Coast), Wetse Kojo ensured the prosperity of Jamestown by attracting migrants from all parts of the country and encouraged them to settle.
A glance at the name of its neighborhoods tells the story better. There is for instance, Ngleshi Alata settled by traders and artisans from Nigeria, Fantiland and Ashanti, Ajomanku Dawuranpong and Adanse were settled by fishermen from Cape coast and its surrounding villages.
Ngleshie Bantama was also settled by traders from the Ashanti region and Akwapim, among others. Today, centuries after their settlement and trading activities, several generations and descendants have been assimilated, creating the Jamestown fraternity.
This is the history that found its way into various paintings, as a group of Ghanaian visual artists opened an exhibition to celebrate the life and Kingship of Oblempong Nii Kojo Ababio V who turned a nonagenarian this year.
Several artworks of the great king were put on display at the Goethe-Institut in Accra Tuesday night, highly patronized and appreciated by all and sundry, including kings, ministers of state, artists and foreigners, among others.
The exhibition, a brain child of Zetha Annon (Mrs) a daughter of Obempong Nii Kojo Ababio V, saw paintings by ‘The call 3’ group, made up of Joyce Akwele Dowokpor, Nii T. Mills, Nicholas Wayo ,Maxwell Boadi, Nii Teiko Aryeetey, Peter Amoako and a white, Ashley Brown.
In a brief speech, Oblempong Ababio V, paid glowing tribute to God for His blessing of long and eventful life, which has made it possible for him to serve his people and country.
‘’In the Bible ,mankind was promised three scores and ten years .I’m overwhelmed to realized that I’ve enjoyed four scores and ten years ,’’said the 90-year- old king, adding the exhibition not only celebrated him, but also commemorated the history and cultural achievements of Jamestown.
He expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the artists and the Geothe-Intsitut for the honour done him and Jamestown via the exhibition, saying ‘’these paintings honour a king but more than that, they also applaud a people’.
On behalf of the artist, Zetha Annan congratulated the king on his birthday celebration, and explained their action was meant to celebrate him.
The spectator page: 15 Saturday, December, 4, 2010