Ghanaian teachers join DMU’s Gospel Choir on stage tonight

Teachers from a school in Ghana are joining De Montfort University’s (DMU) Gospel Choir to sing at this evening’s Black History Season event.

‘An Evening with the DMU Gospel Choir’ will be the final event in the university’s Black History Season, which has seen a series of events looking at issues facing the black community today and celebrating the contributions that African and Caribbean people have made to society.

This final event will see the choir and three visiting Ghanaian teachers hosting an evening of gospel singing, Southern African drumming and dance and learning about the roots of gospel music.

The three teachers, from Afrancho D/A School in the Ashanti region of Ghana, have come to DMU as guests of EAGA (Emmanu’-EL Apostolic Gospel Academy) which runs the choir.

The academy also gives free English, mathematics and music lessons to local children from challenging backgrounds, and hopes to share some of their knowledge with the Ghanaian school and ideas on how they can to promote education and human rights to children in their home country.

This visit, which is being partly self-funded by the EAGA, marks the start of a new partnership between the academy and the Afrancho D/A School.

The academy’s choir is led by former DMU student, Pastor Samuel Gapara. He said: “By forming this exciting partnership we will be supporting and advising the teachers in the development of projects at their school in Ghana.

“We are also specifically looking at helping them tackle the high number of teenage pregnancies at the school. We aim to support and help the children by providing peer support to their teachers and sharing advice on empowering young girls by educating them about what rights and options they have. We are hoping that during their stay they will get the opportunity to see how we work with the community and take something from this to help transform the lives of young children in Ghana.”

During their stay the teachers, Emmanuel Antwi-Boasiako, Ellen Frimporg, and Sandra Boateng, will get the opportunity to help out at local school workshops ranging from choir practice sessions to lessons on the history of Ghana.

They will be staying with members of the DMU Gospel Choir for six weeks and will also spend Christmas day with some of the university’s international students who couldn’t make it back to their home country for the holiday season.

Antwi-Boasiako said: “We are very happy to be here to visit our partner school and see how they help the local community. We hope through this partnership to develop a joint curriculum to help young girls in Africa and gain some understanding of promoting education and vocational training.

“One thing we are keen to set up is regular catering sessions, as this is something the children really gain a lot from and at the moment they don’t happen very often. On the whole we want to learn how to raise awareness of the importance of education so we can send this message back home.”

‘An Evening with the DMU Gospel Choir’ will take place on the DMU campus at the Portland Building on The Gateway. Admission is free of charge. To book a place please email blackhistoryseason@dmu.ac.uk