Nov
19

AN EVENING AT BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD, WITH LORD BOATENG “OF AKYEM AND WEMBLEY”

The “Akyem” in the title was a tribute to his late father, the Honourable Kwaku Boateng, MP, who served as Minister of the Interior as well as of Higher Education, in the Government of Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Mr Kwaku Boateng hailed from Akyem Abuakwa and his son, who was brought up in Ghana (his secondary school was Accra Academy) did not forget his ancestry in his hour of glory. It was an extremely courageous thing for Mr Boateng to choose such a title, for the British find it difficult to pronounce even “Boateng” (which some still mispronounce as “boating”, despite his having been in politics there for so long!) Adding Akyem (which they would no doubt pronounce as Ah-kyerm!) could have seemed a foolhardy thing to do: a double mispronunciation of the name of a single individual? But Paul Yaw Boateng is not the sort of man to be deterred by trifles like mispronunciations. He nonchalantly took that “cumbersome” nomenclature to the ”House of Ermine” and Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley he became. The title, of course, evokes a particular resonance in the bosoms of all Akyemkwaas – like yours truly!

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