As our current world seems increasingly divided, it's truly heartwarming to come across individuals who embody the spirit of unity, kindness, and community.
The "Mountains" Spirit
The communities in the Akuapem traditional area, nestled amidst Ghana's breathtaking landscape, values, and traditions are deeply rooted in the beauty of the mountains. People from the mountains are often stereotyped as being incredibly respectful, welcoming, kind, and they approach life with profound meaning. At the core of their identity is an unwavering commitment to family and community, a principle that guides their actions.
I’d like to take this opportunity to honor such a remarkable soul. Paa Kwasi Sam, owner and CEO of ArtBancGh, is the epitome of this “mountains” spirit and a true “Ofie”(a nickname affectionately given to the area meaning “Home”) front the Akuapem traditional area, a place known for its rich culture and the values it instills in its people. Paa Kwasi's actions exemplify the very essence of the "mountains" spirit, breaking down stereotypes and demonstrating that even in the diaspora, the legacy of this beautiful culture lives on.
Meet Paa Kwesi Sam
Yes, Paa Kwasi Sam, my Akuapem brother, embodies the very essence of the "mountains" spirit. While we may now find ourselves scattered across the diaspora, the values and principles of our homeland continue to live within us, and Paa Kwasi's actions serve as a testament to this enduring connection. In May of 2023, I posted a photo to my WhatsApp status. The photo featured a client, a person unknown to Paa, but the image clearly left an indelible mark on him.
Paa's Heartfelt Offer
Paa Kwasi Sam's response to this photo was nothing short of heartwarming. He felt a deep sense of appreciation for the person in the image who was willing to embrace and share in our culture and traditions. It's a powerful reminder of the universal language of art and the way it can bridge gaps and bring people together. Touched by this individual's willingness to connect with their culture, Paa Kwasi offered to create a digital painting of her, a gesture that would celebrate her beauty in a timeless manner.
This act of creating a digital painting was not merely a casual gesture but a heartfelt gift. It was a way to express gratitude for the beauty, respect, and kindness shown by someone outside our immediate cultural circle. It transcended geographical boundaries and served as a symbol of unity, reminding us that the "mountains" spirit lives on in the hearts of people like Paa Kwasi.
Paa Kwasi Sam's tribute to a stranger through art is a powerful testament to the enduring nature of cultural bonds, even in the diaspora. It reminds us that our roots shape us, but they do not define our capacity to connect and appreciate the beauty in others. Paa Kwasi, embodying the spirit of the Akuapem mountains, shows that the values of respect, kindness, and community are universal and can bridge gaps, even when we live far from our cultural homes.
I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you all to be a little more like Paa Kwasi – to see the beauty in others, reach out across boundaries, and celebrate the shared humanity that unites us all. I know that this may seem impossible these days as we find ourselves often divided by differences. I implore you to let Paa's tribute serve as a beautiful reminder of the strength and kindness that connects us, proving that the "mountains" spirit can touch hearts everywhere.