Katangees Alumni, UK

Past fellows of the University Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) affectionately called Katangees converged last weekend at the Kent Hill Community Hall in Milton Keynes for a get-together enacting the good old days on Campus.

The meeting was organised by of some fellows including Martin Dzideku, Paul Sarfo (Alinguy), Jerry Twum-Asare, Yaw Frimpong (Sorbibor), Saviour Malcolm Azumah and Prince Nyavor among others with the main aim of establishing an ongoing association of fellows in the United Kingdom and beyond.

Email communications had begun during the first quarter of the year to rally fellows round to this event. As usual, it generated a lot of debate with fellows exhibiting their usual positive dynamism and showing a true cause why this event was to come to fruition. This start undoubtedly buoyed fellows ensuring that they attended in their numbers.

katangees in UK
Azumah(3rd from left), Nana Otu(black t-shirt with Yellow), Alinguy(3rd from right) and Sorbibor(wearing a wig).

By 12noon on the day of the event, fellows had started gathering, first displaying their skill at assembling two gas barbecue grills as well fraternising with friends they had lost touch with for ages.

This was interspersed with the serving of “pepper soup” whilst fellows gathered. Then the first assets of the association were outdoored – a pair of djembe drums, afirikyiwa and a maracas which had been purposely acquired from Accra for the meeting.

After the hall anthem was sang, “Okyerema” Jerry Twum-Asare grabbed one of the djembes and started a solo rendition that mirrored a performance by Guy “Ghanaba” Warren whilst Sorbibor grabbed the other in support. The day had earnestly started “p-lodge style”.

Fellows danced and sang their heads off whilst intermittently doing the “back pass” leg movements and the “endie so wo nua muer” routine. Songs ranged from the inspirational gospel and militant katanga rallies to the traditional necessities without which the occasion would have lost part of its essence.

To the singing of “pamshe no oooo pamshe nooooooo, pamshe nooooo o pamshe no. Pamshe nooo Nooooah, pamshe nooo obi reba aa, agya Noooah a, pamshe noooo o pamshe no”, the jama came to a brief halt to allow Sorbibor to address fellows.

He started by asking fellows to observe a minute silence for departed members of our fraternity especially Professor Andam and Leslie Sackey (Wolo sexy). He continued by thanking fellows who had made it and opined that this was the beginning of greater things to come for the Katanga Fraternity in the UK.

He also shared a thought for those who could not make it and hoped that they would be able to avail themselves to the call of mother Katanga in the future.

In an apparent reference to a draft constitution that had been circulated days before the meeting, he then went on to implore fellows to put into place an interim group of executives to steer the affairs of the association until substantive ones are elected at a later date so that the day’s event would not become a one-day wonder.

To this end, he set out with the permission of the house, to nominate four persons to this interim body. Nominated were, Martin Dzideku (President), Jerry Twum-Asare(Treasurer), Paul Sarfo (Organising Secretary) and Nana Otu Turkson (Secretary).

The house agreed to the nominations in principle while it awaited responses from the nominees as to their willingness to undertake their roles. After some deliberations, the nominees accepted the nominations and received the blessing of the house.

The interim president then set out to discuss the draft constitution, which was ratified after some deliberations in the traditional Katanga style.

The meeting broke up soon after the ratification of the constitution as fellows could not withstand the urge to immerse themselves in another round of “p-lodge” style jama.

Thanks to the hard work of Toro who tirelessly worked the grills, there was more meat to eat than there had been by the time the jama was over.

As usual the meeting was graced by the sizable attendance of KAWA members (Katanga Wives and Concubines Association) who had instantly “domesticated” the kitchen we had at our disposal.

They worked on “Auntie Becky’s” ga kenkey which was frantically on the boil. There was also so much to drink in traditional funcity style with extra to spare and fellows in their usual exhibition of their Green credentials, made an undertaking to finish them rather than let them go bad.

As dark fell, it was certain that the inevitable was going to happen – fellows were reluctantly to go back to their humble abodes. It was time to take group photographs to make sure that everyone was counted as well as give absent fellows something to be proud of.

Significantly, KAWA members refused to join the group photograph until they had received an apology from the Interim President for not acknowledging their esteemed presence during the meeting.

Indeed this was only an exhibition of the positive dynamism they have imbibed from their association with fellows and therefore no sooner had the Interim President attempted to talk to them than they joined fellows for the picture.

To prevent confusion on the day or sometime in the foreseeable future however, all the KAWA members were introduced together with their partners or concubines. To wit, if you want a fish, try the deep sea where whales abound. Don’t think you have caught one by a public standpipe – it most likely has an owner!

The eventful day then grinded to a halt as fellows in the united family spirit, helped the organisers to clear up in preparation from handing the hall over.

Fellows also undertook to make some contributions on the day which was partly used to pay for the musical instruments which had been purchased prior to the day. The remainder was handed over Interim Treasurer who will account for it in the scheme of events for the day.

On behalf of the Interim Executive Body, we wish to extend a debt of gratitude to and all who in diverse ways made this day a great one. Special mention must be made of the fellows who contributed financially to make this happen but want to remain unanimous in the Katanga “ninja” tradition.

As well, we salute the fellows who made the initial financial contributions and those who brought various assortments of food and drinks to add to the joy and fun. We are eternally grateful.

This day is indeed a sign of greater things to come for the Katanga Fraternity in the UK and we hope we can increase our impressive number even more at our next event.

Interim Executive Body Katanga (UK)

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