a boy in my class who came to this school in December from Ghana. He's a
smart student. He can speak English and his tribal language. His name is
George. He taught us how to say our names in the Twi language.
We had a Ghanaian visitor named Michael Amppiah who is living in New York City to study at Columbia University. He came to meet us through the Global Classroom program. George taught us how to say “akwaaba”, which means welcome. George also told us that when you are born in Ghana everyone who was born on the same day of the week as you gets the same name. There are seven female names and seven male names. George's name is Kweku and my name is Adjoa in Twi. You can find yours in this chart.
Birth Day Female Name Male Name
Monday Adjoa Kojo
Tuesday Abena Kobina
Wednesday Ekua Kweku
Thursday Yaa Yaw
Friday Efua Kofi
Saturday Ama Kwame
visit we went on the Internet to find out which day of the week we were born
on so George could teach us our Ghanaian names. Go to CalendarHome.com and
click on the 10,000 year calendar.
General of the United Nations came from Ghana. He was named Kofi because he
was born on Friday and Annan because he was his mother's fourth child.
We had learned about Kofi Annan when we made a report about the United Nations
Millennium Summit. It was his idea to ask all of the world leaders
to meet here in New York City to try to plan for the future. He wanted
the richer countries to try to help others. We made a report about
this and sent it to him, and Mr. Annan wrote us a very nice letter.
When we gave a copy of our report and the letter with Kofi Annan's signature
to Michael, he had a big smile on his face.
It seems strange
that everyone in Ghana has the same name as all of the people who were born
on the same day. But we talked about it and it is really similar to
the way we all have the same Zodiac signs. Michael told us that the
names are part of their traditional religion.
In our country
people like to ask you about your Zodiac star sign. Mine is Leo, the
lion. Michael said it made people feel good when they meet people with names
they know because it is like they are all from one big family.
started to study about Ghana we saw a lot of pictures of people wearing kente
cloth on the Internet. Kente cloth is popular with African American
people too. The designs are very hard to make because you have to use
a loom and weave the different colors and shapes into the cloth. Michael
brought another kind of cloth that also comes from Ghana. It is called
adinkra and it has really great patterns.
cloth is made by using a piece of a gourd that you carve symbols into. Then
you dip the gourd into dye and press it on the cloth to stamp the designs
on. Each symbol means something special. Michael brought a book
about it and we found more on the Internet.
Adinkra Symbols From Ghana
Akoma (the heart)
Have patience. Symbol of patience and endurance.
Sankofa (return and fetch it)
You can always undo your mistakes.
Osrane ne nsoroma (moon and star)
A symbol of faithfulness.
Hye wo nyhe (the one who burns you be not burned)
Symbol of forgiveness. Turn the other cheek.
It was a pleasure
meeting Michael and I liked learning about Ghana. George and I wrote
a report about the new President.
“From today, we must learn to smile
again, we must learn to appreciate the good in each other and we must feel
pride in being Ghanaians.”
“Our greatest enemy is poverty and the battle against poverty starts with reconciling our people.”
"Ghana is open for business Come in and let's do business.”
These quotations are from the speech John Kufuor made on January 7, 2001 when he was elected president of Ghana. Before that Jerry Rawlings had been the leader of the country for over twenty years. Now Ghanaians have voted for John Kufuor to be their new president in a peaceful election.
It is good that the new president wants to work with everyone to improve his country and help the poor people. He is wearing a kente cloth robe to keep up the traditions of his county.
George and Taneisha
Links and References
Classroom, Metro International
Ghana, (also has Adinkra
Symbols, Kente Cloth)
Akan Cloth (more
Adinkra and Kente)
Mr. Greenberg, Teacher
Public School 241
976 President Street
Brooklyn, New York 11225 USA