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Kofi ne Ama: Know your Ghanaian leaders since independence and their ‘day born names’

Ghana is blessed with a host of ethnic groups or tribes which have uniquely distinctive values, norms and practices.

However, in this diversity lies some strong underlining features that permeates the various Ghanaian cultures.

One of such widely-shared cultural features is the naming of children on days they are born.

So common is this practice that churches leverage on it to raise funds to raise revenue to support projects undertaken by the church and other expenses.

In a typical Ghanaian church, the last Sunday of every month is designated for ‘Kofi ne Ama’.

Since independence, Ghana has had twelve leaders, eleven of which are Christians and therefore must have experienced the ‘Kofi ne Ama’ practice in church.

So, assuming they were all alive and in the same church auditorium, which days would they have given their collections?

Below is the list of Ghana’s leaders since independent and their born days

Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday is a contentious one. Over the years, scholars have argued on the exact day Ghana’s first President was born.

The matter appears to have come to rest following the adoption of September 12, 1909 as his birthday.

Going by this date, Nkrumah, contrary to widely held opinion is a Tuesday born and therefore has Kwabena as the name for the day he was born.

For an Nzema man, Nkrumah’s first name will be Kabenla.

General Joseph Ankrah

Joseph Ankrah succeeded Nkrumah through a coup. He was born August 8, 1915.

The said date falls on a Wednesday which in accordance with Akan christening rights is Kweku.

He died of natural causes in 1992.

General Akwasi Afrifa

In the period when the military toyed with leadership of the country, Afrifa got the chance to lead the country following the resignation of Ankrah in 1969.

Born on April 24, 1936, Afrifa is a Friday born and thus called Kofi.

Kofi Abrefa Busia

Busia was the Prime Minister of Ghana’s second republic. He had Edward Akufo-Addo who is the father of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as president.

Busia’s date of birth is given as July 11, 1913, which happens to be a Friday. Boys born on Friday in Akan are named Kofi.

Ignatius Kutu Acheampong

Ghana’s return to civilian rule was short lived as Acheampong and his colleague military officers ousted the Busia government in a coup.

September 23, 1931 is the day Acheampong was born. Kweku would be his first name as the day happens to be a Wednesday.

Frederick William Akuffo

Sunday, March 21, 1937 is the birthday of the William Akuffo.

A male born on Sunday in the Akan society is called Kwesi.

Akufo became a Ghanaian leader through a ‘palace coup’ in 1978.

He is one of those military leaders who were executed on the orders of Jerry John Rawlings.

Jerry John Rawlings

The name ‘Efo Kosi’ has been used in a derogatory context for former President Jerry John Rawlings.

Ghana’s longest serving leaders bears the name Kosi or Quarshie because he was born on Sunday.

It’s the Ewe version of the Akan’s Kwesi/Kwasi.

Rawlings has June 22, 1947 as the day he was born.

Hilla Limann

Rawlings handed power to a civilian government that had Dr Hilla Limann as its President in 1979.

Limann ruled for two years as power-hungry Rawlings staged another coup to kick him out.

Available record indicates that Limann is a Wednesday born with his birthday falling on December 12, 1934.

Limann is a Sissala and is thus called Alariba. In the Akan settings he is Kweku.

John Agyekum Kufuor

The almost two-decade rule of Rawlings came to an end when Kufuor won power in 2000.

The second president under the fourth republic is Kumasi-born with December 8, 1938 as his birthday.

Yaw is the name for Thursday borns which is the day Kufuor was born.

John Evans Atta Mills

The Fiifi in his name easily gives him away. The ‘Asomdwehene’ is a twin and was also born on Friday.

He and his twin brother arrived on this earth on July 21, 1944.

Unfortunately for the professor, he departed the earth on July 24, 2012.

John Dramani Mahama

Mills succeeded Mahama after he was painfully taken away by death.

Mahama got re-elected and ruled for four more years. The fourth John was born on Saturday, November 29, 1958.

He would have been Kwame if he was an Akan but for a Gonja man, his name is Asibiri.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Akufo-Addo ascended to the throne after flooring Mahama with over a million votes.

Born on March 29, 1944, Akufo-Addo is a Wednesday born and goes by the name Kweku.

He is the first and only president under the fourth republic without John in his name.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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