Ghana: God is still with us


Author: Victor Nii Sowa Manieson
ISMN 979-0-9008043-2-7
DOI: 10.38159/npub.eb201101
Published: 17th November 2020

GHANA: God Is Still with Us

21 Patriotic Choral Anthems/ Songs in 10 Languages
For Piano, Solo Voice & Chorus (SATB)
(Let the Choir Arise, Intercede and Conscientize the Nation for Healing)

A pre-independence anniversary choral festival project

Affirming and confessing that God is still with Ghana is not to suggest that God left, neglected or forsook Ghana. Rather, it is the conviction in the knowledge that the” LOVING CREATIVE SPIRIT” of God has always been, and will always be with creation. The issue is whether the trust and stewardship of being co-creators with the creator have evolved sufficiently, is evolving or will evolve to its “desired purpose” given our heterogeneous/diverse Ghanaian cosmologies.

If our intents, desires and focus of our diverse cultures and languages’ expressions of God’s goodness is articulated regardless of tonality (tonal/atonal and relative inflections), the parallel thought frequencies will emerge, consolidate and convert to the language of our maker.

As a Ga from one of the smallest ethnic groups in Ghana, this understanding was resolved in a patriarchal manner when my mother softly and nicely forced me to attend the launching of Rev. Prof Philip Laryea’s book in mid-2005 entitled, Yesu Kristo Homowo Nuntsô, meaning, Jesus Christ, Lord of Homowo – a reinterpretation of the history and religion of the Ga from the standpoint of Jesus as Lord, African books collection – at Osu Ebenezer Presbyterian Church. As a master of both the Ga and English language, he juxtaposed and justified the nuances, grammar and expressions of both languages with emphasis on our historical past, contextually similar to that of the Hebrews of the Old Testament. Similarly, I’ve wondered for a long about my fascination with the Fante and Asante-Twi languages till I found out and consciously understood that I was conceived in Winneba in the Central region and spent my infant years in Akrokeri in the Ashanti region. Supporting this line of thinking makes our theme seem humorous. However, imagine me writing an Ewe anthem in San Diego (1992) entitled Elavanyo kokooko meaning, “It will be well by all means” after my Dad had passed in Ghana. Consider 1995 in Savannah, Georgia at the Georgia Music Educators Association’s Annual Conference, where I wrote Kubariki, “Be Blessed” in Swahili. These and many more continue to convince me that God is the Lord of all. I believe content just gets transferred contextually and expressed through world views, cosmologies and languages concerning culture. I liken this to playing some hymns, worship songs and praise in church since the 6th Grade of my education career. The adjustment of rhythmic patterns and melodic contours I had to explore were mostly tonal inflections amidst maintaining the lyrical content.

I cannot fathom why a loving creative spirit would plan to defeat its purpose. My observation perhaps is that, it is our deficiencies in understanding, persevering and faith that have eluded us. Or is it that we might have been complacent, neglected our spiritual mandate or operating in the wrong frequencies even with the wrong keys? Or if I may tread where some Angels may have even faulted, is it that we have blindly trusted others and not well preserved, packaged, defended and evolved within our identities uniqueness, thinking that others were better created? The time has come for us to accentuate and intensify our positives.

TRUST IS SACRED and should not be abused. The energy, frequency and pain emanated when trust is abused, alter the equilibrium of a seemingly “perfect world” where we could all co-exist. I am not oblivious to Africa’s challenge. I prefer to confess it in the affirmative.

Yes, I see the decay of monstrous proportions concerning the African’s identity, personality value and equity of progressive acceptability, recognition, treatment and embrace on the global platform even with faith-based organizations and world trade. The challenges are not only from outside; they are also within. And yes, my affirmation remains clear – God is still with us!

It is with this affirmative mindset that I call on God through music, through THE CHOIR – an assemblage of ethnicities representing the heartbeat of Ghana. It is in this affirmation that the soil of Ghana absorbs the frequencies in our songs and prayers, languages, dances and myriad expressions that spell our identity and Africaness. It is also in this affirmation that the elements of nature witness God’s children in Ghana pleading for clarity of purpose! Furthermore, it is towards this clarified purpose that I pray for the choirs’ voices to be empowered to penetrate their human cells and that of their hearers for psychological healing and spiritual awakening. For an illustration we can consider among many, 1 Samuel 16: 14-19:

[14] Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. [15] Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. [16] Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better” [17] So Saul said to his attendants, “find someone who plays well and bring him to me.” [18] One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him. [19] Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep” (NIV).

Now, my understanding here is that, when we go outside our mandates and not in alignment with our purpose, God calls our attention. Calling your loved ones’ attention frankly to what they are doing wrong may not necessarily be pleasant. How do we betray our loved ones or do things that are unhealthy to our spirituality, conscience, health etc.? What we term evil perhaps is the uncomfortable process needed for a wholesome upgrade. This can happen to an individual, family, community or a nation. Hence being called to the remembrance of one’s unique mandate is not evil!

The power of faith propelled by hope, determination, perseverance and acceptability of ourselves comes to play here; not only as a concept but understanding, exploring applicable approaches of faith through our languages and culture as necessary ingredients in the universal principles equilibrium of the truth equation which demands that our spokespersons in our pulpits, chiefs’ courts, parliaments and other decision-related personnel serve also as models worth emulating for growth. It is faith exemplified in functionalism grounded in God that we are also contributors to developments within and beyond our borders and not always compromisers. It is in this line of thought that I agree with Professor Emerita Derise Afua Tolliver of DuPaul University when she said that we must be “unapologetically, unashamedly, unabashedly, African”.This calls for a mindset that actively celebrates God’s goodness in all God’s creation. One needs to admit one’s weakness and seek for solutions, including from psychological traumas.

In activating our affirmation, THE CHOIR has to also remind and echo to the Nation’s conscience [leaders] what 2 Timothy 1:7 says:

God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power (not cowards), of love and of sound mind (NIV).

One is bold not to seek for approval if one is doing what resonates well with nature and humanity. For the frequencies of nature and humanity complement best when a nation’s unique mandate serves a needed unique purpose.

While churches, civil organizations, political and opinion leaders seem to be playing some roles regarding arresting deplorable situations concerning National Consciousness particularly in our role of contributing to the African identity, history still shows a deficiency of such efforts. This is because straight-jacketed approaches in matters of the heart and mind are not exclusively sufficient. Faith and conscience, the propelling essence phenomena that fuels perseverance, are best evoked, conjured, activated and nurtured through a platform that is holistic and aesthetic to resonate and propel the average citizen’s conscience towards our unique identity. It is not necessarily the absence of fear; it is lodged in the knowledge of how to get support, protection and reassurance in the face of fear. In this regard, I suggest that the organic and integrated nature of THE CHOIR can serve as a platform to call to our attention the need for both introspective and retrospective reflections for the informed analysis.

It has become critical at this juncture to ask how we should align ourselves to the frequencies of the Heavens under which we dwell and the Earth on which we live. What is our solicitude for being? What is it that hampers or heightens our spirits? Similar to how plants survive well in challenging climatic conditions and yet are part of nature, so is it that we thrive well calling God in our languages with related appellations. Language has its imprints and memories whose meanings need decoding. The liberation is in the language. It is so because in my opinion language is the coded energy of a people verbalized to penetrate phenomenon – to make meaning of, and to validate their existence. If we believe in the Pentecost phenomenon that happened over 2000 years ago where those gathered heard in their ears the language with which they were familiar yet knew the Apostles were speaking in a different language, then we need to appreciate the conversion of energies as complimentary. The beauty in this is that if one genuinely tries to understand another language, one becomes humble enough to arrive at how different perspectives can generate similar meaning and content in a larger context. How refreshing therefore will it be if one understands that their indigenous “ language or mother tongue carries messages with profound spiritual awakening and is an equal partaker of life’s blood to humanities’ existence. In this regard, our policy makers, spokespersons and custodians of culture must embrace the liberating force and power of the arts. They must explore the many ways we can be intentional in promoting a healthy national agenda and consciousness not only on paper but also resource the community choirs, university choirs, High school choirs, theatre and drama performing groups whose potential and capabilities of restoring our languages enormously stare at us. However, Oratory alone cannot do it. Choreography or dance of thematic concept alone will not do it. Fine Art and sculptures alone also will not do it. So I suggest an art form that has the unifying force that will not only stimulate or provoke imagination but blend them and subliminally confront us in image, sonic, conscience, word power and content. THE CHOIR as a platform seems to me the needed vehicle to coordinate and accommodate the efforts of the performing arts to inform, transform, heal and educate society.

For instance, I believe in:
The ability of songs to transcend denominational, ethnic, cultural and political barriers.
The potency of melodies to subliminally sit in the unconscious mind and by association evoke lyrical content as both therapy and information.
The possible myriads of teamwork building and cohesiveness that the learning and deliveries emerge with.
Situating the choir in the above context demands:
Showcasing the African personality through the lenses of Ghanaian Choral Music.
Conscious effort to identify thematic concepts that validate, compliment and generate our African-centered expressions with no regrets or apologies.

As an alternative platform serving as a vehicle in promoting the needed orientation for understanding the African Identity, THE CHOIRS conscious role through its organic nature with its members of different cultural and professional persuasions will play a critical role in integrating intersections whose ethos will by nature, evolved into celebrating our common humanity, embrace diverse interpretations and not even desecrate nature. Thus, beyond school choirs, other complimentary choirs, advance in content and life experiences can serve as a continuum. These can be types or categories of choirs ranging from church choirs, community choirs, corporate choirs, interdenominational choirs whose contents may be examined and crafted to draw correlations of their impact on conscious orientation towards a goal – addressing issues, suggesting resolves and injecting healing.

With an awakening that requires functionally integrated approaches, the performing arts as functionaries, with decor and other simulators, can reinforce the thematic concepts and appeal to different senses of the human body. Not only as an exploratory approach, performing arts can serve as a structured framework with complimentary expressions and interpretations towards the expanded consciousness. This expanded consciousness will demand of the average Ghanaian the innate pride in celebrating profoundly his/her dignity not only as a contributor but also as one who embraces stewardship at high proficiency levels of excellence. For it is not farfetched to presume that a well-groomed choir nature could be considered as interdisciplinary oriented, with areas of interactions intersecting in such a manner that analysis, builds and sustains sensitivity towards thematic goals for functional living. Hence my desire to consider THE CHOIR as a potent tool for National Development and the Ghanaian Identity is a deliberate suggestion.

GHANA: God is Still with Us was initially borne out of the concept of “togetherness” via a choral festival particularly during the years that elections took place. Its goal is to promote National Unity instead of the divisions of tribal cards that some politicians play on Ghanaians. The choral festival idea seeks to serve as a platform to showcase approaches that will shape our orientations towards our common humanity and glean insight to how we can purpose to attain and sustain a national identity and national policies that help all God’s children. Again, to say “God Is Still with Us” is not to assume that God left us for a while. I am also thinking along the lines of how we might have veered off our frequency as a nation and have tainted our glasses in seeing our potentials – our consciences need awakening. So the statement” God Is Still with Us” can also be seen as an affirmative confession yet a call that should resonate in our national fiber. Furthermore, our conviction is also an application of word power to any treatment we may need to mobilize national cohesiveness and call into being the manifestation of God’s protection of a people towards a desired goal that cannot be undermined.

A classic case remains. It has not been too long when the late Dr. Ephraim Amu was excommunicated from his church for being African Centered regarding hymns being sung in our languages and also putting on a cloth (not wearing suit) to preach in the pulpit. Traces of similar situations still exist and we need a type of choir that can also call the attention of the ecclesia (church leaders) and not is afraid to be excommunicated. There are oppressor’s wounds that need healing. And there are still yet collaborators from within who may or may not be aware that mother tongue (indigenous language) is also a gift that our God will demand an account of.

Rationale of the choral festival
Choral Music in Ghana is not necessarily new. It receives less publicity and patronage. In most cases it is considered old-fashioned or outmoded. Yet, choral music as a tradition still permeates most of our orthodox churches (very few charismatic churches), some civic organizations and even still subliminally serves as an underpinning vehicle in the promotion of patriotism in identifying National Consciousness – i.e., The Ghanaian Personality. The psyche of a people towards a common destiny that is progressive to the advancement of its national interest is not limited to formal communication and political rhetoric alone. Also, it embraces creative sonic frequencies grounded in Faith.

Considering the “competition” between churches and especially for their choirs, it is fashionable to choose songs that are fast-paced, easier to teach, sing and in genres deemed to be “modern”. Hence most choirs in Ghana today limit themselves to more of short Solo and Duet, Trio, or Quartet backups interjected with short repetitive choruses. While this practice sustains music/ singing as an artistic expression, its extension on our national televisions even when cultural expressions are sought for, still is limited in scope resulting in an unbalanced scale making us short change our potentate abilities. The issue is that modernity is not necessarily the absence of tradition. An honest and daring examination of the interface between modernity and tradition evolved within a specific culture, void of another culture whose description of modernity has caused/compelled them to embrace that which is outmoded somewhere else requires that we first reflect on the possibility of the coexistence of “ tradition and modernity” and relative appreciation of a continuum contextually. For traditions indigenization and other influences result in varied dynamism, not necessarily resolving the dichotomies but rather informing us of the powerful but frail and feeble nature of humans and their minds. Increasingly it is becoming obvious, unfortunately, that our advancement seems to make us forget that we have grown from somewhere to the now – present. Can the present never appreciate anything positive of tradition?

This particular choral festival seeks to serve as a model platform to resurrect choral music, not as a fashion. It needs to be a functional contribution to national development and prove that its potency can positively impact us in diverse ways.

Project Objectives
The Choral Festival, Ghana: God is Still with Us is designed to shape the orientation of Christian Sacred/Gospel music lovers and the general public in Ghana to choral music as an Art Form. As a platform to conscientize the nation, choral music can be composed, arranged and performed in a fashion that will inject a sense of:
Individual and collective awareness of patriotism and belongingness
Interdenominational fellowship
Cultural/Ethnic sensitivity
Lessen the tension that is heightened during election years
Equip and develop 50-250 voices with vocal and choral techniques that they will take back to their churches and society at large.
Promote thematic concepts regarding our common humanity and our efforts as responsible stewards echoed as citizens with Ghanaian Identity

In conclusion, I wish to say that I have chosen “Ghana, Nyame Ehyira Yen” as the premise for understanding our title “God Is Still with Us”

The song “Ghana, Nyame Ehyira Yen’ simply means God has blessed us Ghana. The song calls us to acknowledge how well resourced Ghana is. It beckons us to be supportive of each other not allowing the constructive efforts of our forbearers to be in vain.

A careful analysis/overview of Africa seem to always conclude that Africa is plagued with poverty, misunderstanding, wars. Yet, the under guiding contextual metamorphosis leading to the stated symptoms are hardly examined and recognized. Not even do we see this kind of examination from the highest of the ecclesiastical hierarchies who claim they have been called to tell the truth.

For a continent full of resources, its problems should not appear to overshadow its possibilities. They should only be considered as challenges that need to be dissected and thoroughly examined with constructive prescriptions offered and properly channeled. Numerous situations confronting the very existence of Africa’s survival makes the average person’s life difficult. The question arises about the Africans place in God’s salvific plan not only in Heaven but on Earth too.

I contend that if what seems gloomy about the development of Africa, especially in self-sufficiency among Africans is true, then we need to do some constructive assessments in the following areas:
Collective Spiritual Awakening (collective consciousness)
Learn to co-exist peacefully
Celebrate our integrity by excelling in our diverse pursuits

Knowing that music is capable of permeating all cultural, language and religious barriers, I have decided to begin at home (Ghana-Africa) using music as my medium in overcoming socio-cultural and political challenges. Different musical styles, languages and lifestyles that are reflective of our cultures can be cultivated and promoted to attain proficiency levels. These levels can be equated with the highest of elements that thoughtfully and prayerfully spell excellence. Hence, this patriotic song book calls people of Africa especially Ghanaians to retrospectively discover the strengths and admit their limitations in embracing Ghana’s diverse developmental facets.

In my opinion, Africa needs SPIRITUAL [RE] AWAKENING and not “pontified religiosity and denominational supremacy”. Africa’s political and economic boom will be realistically realized and meaningful after being liberated spiritually as a people. The liberation is in the language of and THE CHOIR needs to explore approaches to bring this to pass. For pontified religiosity and denominational supremacy – usually borne of cultural and ethnic supremacy – is the veil behind which any people can easily be manipulated consciously or unconsciously. So until we draw from ourselves those positive elements complementary to our existence, we will remain behind the veil.

All the way across the Atlantic Ocean, my friend and big brother Osofo Kwesi Atta’s reflection on 16th July 2020 resonates in me what I have been trying to say. I asked him for permission to share and he agreed because we are trying to stay awake consciously.

The liberation is in the Language.

On an occasion to take a class to learn to speak Songhai, we asked the literal translation of words and discovered powerful essences and meanings. In that class, another stark reality hit me in a very powerful way. And I spoke it out loud. The Liberation is in the Language!

From that class, I deciphered that in all my attempts to reclaim my Afrikan past, essence and liberation, I would never be fully free until I learn an African language. The meaning and essence of culture are embedded in the language and its meanings. Likewise, I realized how oppression is built into the oppressor’s language. To oppress Afrikan’s, the oppressor knew language would have to be stripped away. I feel sad when some Afrikan countries value oppressor’s language more than their mother tongue – an offense to the mother earth, father time and the Creator. I assessed that such is the reason that many Afrikan’s in the diaspora speaking the oppressor’s language will change its spelling, its meaning, or create new words as an act of rebellion and as an act of Liberation from the oppressor’s tongue to a more liberating expression. Word, language and speech are critically important to being liberated and whole. The Creator brooded long and hard before speaking a Word because the Word created an existence. We should perhaps think long and hard in choosing Words and Language so that we are sure that the world we create is the one we wish to create for our Liberation. The Word will become reality and we’ll have to live in that reality. The Liberation is in the Language!!!
(Osofo Kwesi Atta)

My conviction is that in addition to what Osofo Kwesi Atta has said, there is a fluidity needed to bind concepts and creatively inject into our consciences such possibilities of our God given cultures. I still contend that THE CHOIR as a platform has this potentate ability to aid us.

Christianity did not go to any culture in a vacuum; it went to Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, England and other places and met their cultures. Likewise, in Ghana (Africa) it met our culture. Sadly, the challenge continues to be understanding and distinguishing between non-cultural essentials and cultural essentials plus the Divine essentials. God is Lord of all. So we will use our languages and cultures through our artistic renditions to affirm constructive possibilities.

The Required Mindset: “Leviticus Consciousness”
I borrow the phrase “Leviticus Consciousness” from the introduction of my vocal & choral technical exercise booklet entitled Choir Groomers.Com There is a level of mindset needed to establish the intent of why particular sounds with their texture, color and other related elements are considered and generated. The vessel or instrument generating the sound are also built-in different shapes and sizes to correlate to the capacity of sound that can come out. In general, the quality of sound that emerges depends on the activated intent skillfully initiated. This is why the same song played on the same instrument generates different responses. This is also why all who sing the same song or recite the same poetry touch us in different ways. Likewise, a choir whose focus is to sensitize, conscientize, intercede on behalf of a nation and boldly project in quality needs special training based on a conviction. THE CHOIR in this context must understand that it has a special role that is both a spiritual mandate and an expected physical manifestation to penetrate the Heavens, the Cosmos, the Earth and the pillars on which the earth stands.

The choir must understand the necessity to be “strong vessels” not in loudness but focused intent. It must be skillfully crafting the emanating sounds to call nature into remembrance elements of energy in consonance with the “LET THERE BE” phenomenon. Sound must travel through and to hearts, corridors of minds, resonate in bones, align human cells to wellness and refine thoughts to birth positive affirmations. The Choir’s role to intercede and conscientize is a duty for those who believe in the Arts for ministry. Arts Ministry Practitioners therefore must not relent in their effort in these strange times when we still wonder if God has a place for Africa. We can visit the scriptures to see how Jehoshaphat did it, how the wall of Jericho came down, how the chain on Paul and Silas came off and how the story of the lepers whose dragging feet sounded like an army. That sound was amplified in the ears of their enemies because there was an intent (thought) activated (conviction) through word power – utterance. Simply coded, “if we stay we die; if we go we die.” Let us go and identify our unique mandates. Let us affirm and call liberation into being. It may sound unpopular in this age and time when most people compromise on where they’ve been called to serve – their assignment. Suffice to say that it takes contemporary versions of the biblical Joshua’s, Gideon’s, Caleb’s and ancient Africans like Yaa Asantewa, Shaka Zulu, Queen Nzinga and their likes to boldly step into our Divine Mandates. Likewise, the choir cannot continue to entertain and play compromising roles when strongholds are to be broken. Trained and anointed voices giving of their best in worship and renditions of Christian sacred songs must be able to apprehend the invaders described in Jude 1:4

For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly crept in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (NIV)

The multiplicity and interwoven nature of the choir, the integrated intersections coupled with being saturated by God’s grace is sufficient to overcome the Goliaths, Pharaohs, Herods and Nebuchadnezzars of our times. This simple but profound patriotic songbook is a necessary one not only for religious leaders, music lovers, or the African Intelligentsia alone. It is an essential contribution towards collective spiritual awakening. I have twenty-one (21) songs representing nine (9) Ghanaian Languages and Kiswahili (widely spoken in other African countries) as a contact to all our languages. It is a modest step towards our mutual conviction and affirmation that “God is with us.” The song in Swahili placed at the end of this book is entitled KUBARIKI, meaning “Be Blessed”. While Swahili is not a Ghanaian language, I still added it to this project for solidarity purposes because as Ghana calls on God, Africa also benefits. Kubariki is intended to bestow and evoke blessings on us.

If God is God and our spiritual senses are heightened, then it is possible for us to excel in our diverse developmental facets. Our basis undoubtedly is to rekindle our “spiritual selves” and work towards the fulfillment of constructive possibilities even amid seemingly chaotic situations.

The preliminary undertakings of this project as a test case started with the Music Ministry Choral between 1998- 2005 as part of the MMC’S eclectic repertoire. However, as a project of only my works, it was boldly undertaken in November 2012 at the Ghana Technology University with three distinct choirs after my chorister David Obiri- Antwi had come to share with me an Epiphany he had which was in line with my plans. The Evangel Assemblies of God Choir (all the way from Santase, Kumasi spent three days in Accra) along with the God’s Tabernacle of Praise Choir and the Music Ministry Chorale of Accra. The Chief Guest was the late Emeritus Professor Nketia. Prof Cosmas Mereku was also a distinguished guest. The collaboration of choirs, instrumentalists, choreographers was quite exciting and overwhelming. While I did not get the response I wanted, I understood in my spirit that it was a seed I had sown.

Also, in early 2016 the Susan Owusu Chorale decided to learn five of the choral Anthems in this book for a concert in my honor. This was a dosage of encouragement. It provided hope for me to experience some of the young folks embracing eclectic repertoire to address National Issues. They raised funds and we went to lodge at Akrofi Christaller Institute for about four days of training. Their platform was the choir.

With Ishmael Kpakpo Allotey coordinating efforts of the choir, Michael Nii Darko Doddoo teaching, polishing and interpreting my works and Samuel Nyineh on Keyboards, the choir gave the concert on 7th August 2016 at Royal House Chapel international, Kaneshie. My insight after this was to occasionally give speeches on the potency of music for Spiritual Upliftment, National Development, Therapeutic Essence, Relevant Creative Arts Industry player and occasionally help some choirs. Also, it was refreshing to note that in late 2018 the Greater Accra Mass Choir through the instrumentation of Rev. Newlove Annan (the Maestro) their Music director, also embraced some the works entered in this book.

However, a conscious effort to revisit this project happened in January 2020 while on vacation in New York hosted by Bright Amankwa. Bright’s efforts connected me back to old friends especially Ekow Ortsin. One new friend was Dr. Alfred Aponsem, an audiologist and lay leader of the Methodist church as well as impresario of Ghanaian Sacred Music. He “summoned” Bright Amankwa, Ekow Ortsin, Lydia Amoquondor (Mrs. Amankwa) and me to a dinner of plain and frank discussion of the current state of Ghanaian music on Monday, 18th January 2020. He noted the generational gaps and the potency God has placed in us to mend them. He explained and sampled out European music groups and choirs whose artistry and musical proficiencies not only promote their cultural identity, economic potency but continue to shape global thought and decision making that impact humanity. He gave similar examples of other big countries and small countries.

In subsequent days Bright and Ekow both found their ways of sharing with me how we could explore such possibilities not necessarily as a response to Dr. Amponsem alone but as a responsibility to our nation Ghana. In fact, my mind started racing with these words. “Our elders did their part, our children are wondering what’s going on and our grandchildren yet unborn are asking God whether we are well packaged”. Dr. Edward Amenlemah , a Ghanaian gynecologist in New York (also a jazz drummer) and Asare Bediako, a music genius living in Canada and others are all in this consciousness with us.

Thus, there’s a clarion call for church/God and nation that compels us to purpose and to stay on course. We are to remind each other of our mandate. This is an urgent matter and we can’t afford to give up! My son Elijah Akonai–Otoo a young man who was about three or four years old when I was an organist in the mid 1980s at Okako Maamobi Presby Church visited me mid of September 2019 and requested a song “Mi le – Mi le Moko” which I first wrote and taught the church choir in 1986. This actually broke the camel’s back for me. I still have work to do if his memory is calling me into action.

Rev. Professor Jonathan Kuwornu–Adjaottor’s encouragement for such a book to be published has also ignited some fire in me. Prof’s conscious objective is to display through publication African Scholars, which is equally a mandate to showcase our positives. However, it is my friend and brother Fred Darko, whose frank and honest article on the internet entitled “CREATIVE ARTS IN GHANA: A good for nothing Industry” that has provoked and gingered me positively. This is because he, just like Dr. Amponsem, and a few others have truthfully laid the bare facts through the reasoning of how patriotism clothed in artistry can have a penetrating essence, economic potency, relevant legal and trade-related growth for our country – Ghana. Such is our required stewardship for a country so blessed! THE CHOIR can be the flagship of the nation by articulating our aspirations, interceding (standing in the gap), advocating, mobilizing and conscientising in lyrical content, melodic/harmonic craft and alied interpratives. 1 Samuel 7:1-10 could be considered as a guide/ framework in this effort to overcome the “Philistines” hindering Ghana’s progress.

THE CHOIR’S role in assuming this sacred position on behalf of the nation comes with requirements and responsibilities. What feeds the spirit, mind and body is very crucial here. Meaning, THE CHOIR whose spiritual, mental and physical health is well nurtured probably has the fortitude, foundation, tenacity to echo and intercede effectively.

May Gods liberating force equip us all in this regard. It is my prayer that the songs in this book become OUR BALM IN GILEAD – A Healing Balm for our Nation.

Ministerially yours,

Mr Victor Nii Sowa Manieson is a Music Educationist by profession and has taught all academic levels in Ghana and USA. He is a product of the former National Academy of Music (now the music department of University of Education, Winneba), San Diego State University, United States International University (San Diego Campus), and Clark Atlanta University where he took some doctoral classes in humanities. Mr. Manieson’s teaching preference is grounded in facilitating understanding to all learners. Most recently, Lincoln Community School in Ghana for 9 years (An American IB school) and also as an Adjunct lecturer from the University of Education, Winneba (2010-2013). He is married to Doreen Mansa Manieson, they have two children. They are the founders of Manieson Christian Academy.

GHANA: God Is Still with Us

21 Patriotic Choral Anthems /Songs in 10 languages for Piano, Solo Voice &Chorus -SATB
(Let the choir Arise, Intercede and Conscientize The Nation for Healing)

1. Nyame ehyira yɛŋ (God has blessed us Ghana Testimony) –  Pg (1)
2. Wɔtsɛ Nyɔŋmɔ Ba (Come Almighty God) – Pg (12)
3. Ghanaman  (Ghana, God Is With us Affirmation) –  Pg (18)
4.  Amɛ Kataa Miva (Come, Everyone Unity) –  Pg (28)
5.  Womi Hewa lɛ (Empower me)  –  Pg (39)
6.  Mile Moko (I Know Someone Testimony) –  Pg (49)
7.  Ɛlavanyɔ kokooko (It will definitely be will Affirmation/Confession) – Pg (71)

B: OTHER SONGS (Piano, Solo & Chorus in SATB)
8.  Nyame Tease  (God Is Alive) –  Pg 82
9.  Ɔkonkron bɔ ɛne Kyerepon   (The Holy one created us Conviction) – Pg (92)
10. Ɔtse na hen gua no do  (He is on His throne Reverence)  – Pg (101)
11.  Naagmen Barka Dagaarti   (Thank you God Appreciation)  –   Pg (107)
12.  Mawu madja Mo daane (I will worship you always God Adoration/Reverence )  –  Pg (117)
13.  Dza mɛ nyayi (What I have gotten/received Testimony) – Pg (139)

C: OTHER SONGS (short hymnlike chorus(es) in SATB)
14.  Osee Yie  –  Pg (143)
15.  Yisa n nye shelikam n ntima (Jesus is everything to me)  –  Pg (147)
16.  Bra Otumfuo Ɛgya (Come Almighty God)  –  Pg (157)
17.  Onyame Ye (God is Good Confession)  –  Pg (159)
18.  Ma hen nyɛ Nhyira (Let us be a Blessing Empowerment)  – Pg (161)
19.  Tere Denlee (Thank you Lord)   –  Pg (163)
20. Ɔnnton kon  (He does not sleep Assurance)   – Pg (167)

D: OTHER SONG IN SWAHILI (Piano, Solo & Chorus)
21.  Kubariki (Be Blessed)  –  Pg (169)

Manieson Victor N.S. Ghana: God is still with us. (Accra: Noyam Publishers, 2020).