“We must unearth the potentials amidst the GIF in the service of those who may need them” – Steve OSEI-DARKWAH
GiF: Good morning Opaninin. SOD: Good morning.
GiF: Can you please introduce yourself to the Ghanaian Community in France SOD: Steve OSEI-DARKWAH is my name.
GiF: What is your educational background and your actual occupation SOD: BA – Teaching of French as a foreign language, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and currently supervisor at the Hôtel Hilton International
GiF: Have you got a family here in France?
SOD: I am married, with 6 children.
GiF: How long have you been living in France? SOD: Lived in France since 1982
GiF: Tell me about Ghana Union and the difference between yours and the one in Paris. Are you connected?
SOD: Ghana Union Lyon, like most Ghanaian associations was created to foster unity, solidarity among Ghanaians and most of all to showcase the rich Ghanaian culture in the eyes of the French community. We are a baby association if I should put it that way, since we’ve been existing since two years. Apart from our relationship with the Ghanaian group in Dijon, we do not have any relationship with any other association. Several associations formed to unite Ghanaians have already existed in Lyon in the past 30 years but none survived with the exception of the SANKOFA group managed by Ernest Boachie-Duah. It should be underlined that his association does not embrace all Ghanaians.
GiF: Ghana Union has always existed, what can yours boast of?
SOD: With our association, we can boast of it’s survival due to its transparency, conviviality and our goodwill to avoid history mechanically repeating itself like in the past.
GiF: Have you heard of FEDGHAF ( Federation of Ghana Ass in France)?
SOD: I have personally heard of the FEDGHAF but with our association not yet inaugurated, we’ve not been able to get in touch in a bid to run under it’s umbrella.
GiF: What is your advice to them?
SOD: Due to the fact that Ghanaians in France are not very numerous as compared to the other African communities, it would be advisable to be very faithful, staunch to make sure we help ourselves mutually and to prove our worth in terms of law-abiding as admonished in Deuteronomy 8.
GiF: Are there any other Ghana associations in lyon?
SOD: The only Ghanaian association apart from the cultural association SANKOFA is a women’s fellowship whose details I’m not conversant with.
GiF: How many Ghanaians are there in Lyon
SOD: Telling you the exact number of Ghanaians here is impossible, for there have been many of them who have recently arrived here, have not made themselves known or maybe prefer to remain anonymous. I can say we should not be less than 100 families and several single individuals.
GiF: What is your your advice to the Franco-Ghanaian youth in France SOD: Our sole problem reposes on the fact that we do not organise cultural activities, the only way to bring together Ghanaians and introduce our kids to the Ghanaian kids who don’t know each other. Most of these kids speak very little or no Ghanaian languages at all. Why not coming together, and voluntarily proposing our experiences to teach some of these kids, desirous of learning the original culture of their parents.
GiF: If you where the President of a unique Federal Association for Ghanaians in France what would be your first step?
SOD: Having to collaborate with the leaders of the various associations to see how best we can help Ghanaian residents culturally, administratively by unearthing the potentials amidst the Ghanaians in the service of those who may need them and also what we can do being in diaspora to help mother Ghana in our own small way.