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27 Ghanaian-Canadians honored at a glittering ceremony in Toronto

Claireport Place Banquet and Convention Center, Etobicoke in Toronto was on Sunday November 13, 2016, the venue for the 16th edition of the Ghanaian Canadian Achievement Awards. The hall was filled to capacity with over 300 celebrants for a glittering celebration of excellence. 27 outstanding individuals and organizations / businesses were honoured for their contributions which have impacted the Ghanaian community in Canada, our motherland- Ghana and the Canadian Society as a whole. Joe Kingsley Eyiah, Assistant Ghanaian News Editor since 1998 introduced the 2 Masters of Ceremony (MCs) for the night, namely, Dr. Michael Baffoe of University of Manitoba, Winnipeg and Philip Kwaku Arkoh-Forson, Vice principal at Sinclair Secondary School in the Durham District School Board, a past recipient and one time keynote speaker. The introduction of the MCs was after an opening prayer by Rev. Isaac Takyi DeGraft. After the rendition of both national anthems of Ghana and Canada by Bella Tee who was herself one of the recipients, Emmanuel Ayiku, the Publisher/Editor of the Ghanaian News (organizers of the event) in his remarks welcomed all and sundry to the event. He gave a brief history of the awards since its inception 16 years ago and extended his sincere gratitude to the awards planning committee and selection committee and all sponsors. Mr. John Bosco Kpebesani, Consul- General of Ghana in Toronto brought greetings from the Ghana Government and mission in Ottawa. Orkestra Gatigo, an all white cultural troupe as well as a live band from the Ghanaian community known as Royal Crew entertained the celebrants during the function. Deputy Mayor for Toronto West and councilor for Ward 1, Etobicoke North graced the occasion and presented a certificate to Emmanuel Ayiku, Editor/Publisher Ghanaian News. He also congratulated the recipients on their achievements. The award presentation started in earnest after the sumptuous dinner has been served with cool music playing in the background. The guest or keynote speaker was Professor George J. Sefa Dei of University of Toronto also known in private life as Nana Adusei Sefa Tweneboah I of Koforidua-Asokore in Ghana . He is a widely sought after academic, researcher and community worker whose professional and academic work had led to many Canadian and international speaking invitations in US, Europe and Africa. Professor Dei was a Ghanaian-Canadian Award recipient for the academic category during the first annual awards in 2000. The professional excellence awards went to Jabel Kwasi Opoku Okyere, currently Assistant Clinical Professor (adjunct) at Michael G. Degroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavorial Neurosciences; Dr. Ebenezer Miezah Kwofie who received Graduate Excellence Award (2013-2016) by the Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University Montreal; Dr. Meshach Asare-Werehene, Cancer Immunologist ( Gynecological cancers) and Doctoral candidate ( Ph.D Medicine, Ottawa Hospital Research ( OHRI) and; Dr. Ahmed Boachie, Medical Director Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services at Southlake Regional Centre for their professional service in their fields of endeavor. Aneal Mensah-Bonsu was the sole recipient of the academic excellence award. She has been earning 6 honor rolls since grade 5 and is now in grade 9. Ralph Debra of First Class Flooring, Solomon Adjei Yeboah of Peaceful Driving School, Christina Owusu of Skylight Store, Victor and Manasse Owusu of VMO Inc. as well as Elizabeth Adomah, a hairdresser at the Sheridan Mall Toronto, were all honored for their successful community businesses. In the community service category, Aisha Addo, founder and mentor to Power to Girls Foundation; George Benson-Amihere, co-founder of “Miss Awoulaba Canada” and co-created of the International Festival of African-Taste Flavors of Africa; Augustine Obeng who was selected out of over 60,000 York students for his commitment to education and excellence as brand ambassador for York University’s “This is My time Campaign “; Ebenezer Oteng who has hosted a weekly radio shows with TNV, cameos on Rogers TV, City TV; and Richard Twumasi- Ankrah, a former youth president of the Ghanaian Presbyterian Church were acknowledged. Kayza Massey was the 2016 U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup goalkeeper for the Ghanaian national team Black Maidens held in Jordan, Annette Amoah an all round athlete who plays soccer, basketball and competes in track and field as well as Lee Anna Osei who founded CANLETES to help Canadian student athletes were honored in the Sports category with Anabella Abena Nyamekye Twum bagging the Young Talent accolade. Anabella known also as Bella Tee has a CD to her credit. African Fashion duo of Isaac Ansah and Anita Aboagye as well as Joyce Yamoah Prempeh were given the award for fashion. Joyce organized the fashion show at the 2009 Ghanaian-Canadian Achievement Awards. Agatha Norbu who has been portraying our cultural heritage at events across Canada fittingly bagged the Cultural Promotion award with Freeman Nadawo , Toronto-based upcoming artist who has been opening for big Ghanaian and Nigerian artists was also given the Music award. Beni Boo Fashion also organized a fashion show as part of the activities for the event. These organizations partly sponsored the event: Lakeside Estates, Tree of Life Employment, Afrocan Foods and Royal Dental Care.

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