The US base Oti Community loses a prominent member. · Ghana Quest

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The emerging Oti congregation in the United States, especially members from the Buem enclave, gathered on Saturday the 6th. Mr. Alfred Kwame Otempong, affectionately known as Wofa Kwame, was originally from Okadjakrom, Buem, a pillar of the congregation, who passed away after a brief illness . The 67-year-old father of three retired about four years ago after serving as a chartered accountant for New York City for over 24 years.

Bereaved family

Wofa Kwame was well known for his generosity and willingness to help members of the US Buem community. He was a valued and dedicated son of Buem. He contributed financially to the Buem cause in various ways and helped raise fundraisers for the creation of the Oti region.

He was especially helpful to new parishioners when they first first arrived in New York City, with his guidance and assistance in navigating their new life in the city. In some cases, they offer their first winter coat to help withstand the harsh New York winter weather.

As Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the Great Oti Association of USA, he was instrumental in drafting a constitution that reflected the hopes and aspirations of the culturally diverse community for the newly formed region in Ghana. He was busy helping prepare for the funeral and transporting another Beum native home before the sudden illness led to his early departure.

Family and friends present the gifts to the grieving daughter

An inspiring and soul-seeking service was held at the University Heights Presbyterian Church Bronx, New York, prior to the funeral at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. Tributes from his children read by his older daughter Rita describe a lovable father devoted to his family. One of the most tearful moments is hearing his young granddaughter Kezia remember the memorable summers she spent with him and how much she would miss their time together.

During the church service, Reverend William Adjei-Darko reminded those in mourning of the preciousness of life. Using Job’s story in the Bible as a backdrop, the Reverend reminded those in mourning that while it may be easy to replace material possessions, the loss of life is forever. He advised us to follow the example of the late brother for his endless dedication to his family and friends by loving and supporting one another our brothers and sisters.

Dancing at the cultural funeral to celebrate his life.

After the funeral, a small cultural funeral was held at the Hampton Inn in Elmsford, New York. Activities at the inn included a ceremonial presentation of gifts to the bereaved eldest daughter, Rita, by her husband, and a donation from members of the Great Oti Association of USA by the association’s leadership. Founded in 2018, the association works to build a sense of community between locals and friends of Oti who live in the United States while helping develop the newly created Oti region. Covid restrictions limited the number of people in the inn to about 60 at a time.

The gathered mourners enjoyed a mixture of fantastic Ghanaian music and a brilliant display of the funeral aspects of Ghanaian culture. The prevailing opinion among everyone who knew him is that Wofa Kwame has left a void in the community that will be difficult to fill.
May he rest in perfect peace

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