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Our dear friend Okoe is seriously ill. We believe he has suffered a stroke - his walking is severely affected and his speech is impaired, although he can speak very slowly. He was admitted to hospital for 1 week in Accra, Ghana but has now been discharged. Healthcare in Ghana is private - there is no NHS. He urgently needs rehabilitation treatment to help him recover and medicine to control blood pressure to prevent a further stroke.
Okoe has 6 children living at home with him and his wife Anita in Kokrobite, including a new baby. He is unable to work for the foreseeable future, so there is no income to feed the family, pay bills or the children’s school fees.
Okoe leads the Akrowa Drum and Dance Ensemble. Akrowa means family - with his Akrowa family, Okoe makes a living performing at weddings, funerals and tourist venues and running courses & classes for visitors to Ghana. He has toured the world with the renowned Mustafa Tettey Addy including a visit to Scotland during the Commonwealth Games in 1986 when he performed with Shooglenifty in front of Prince Charles.
As a true Master Drummer, Okoe has passed on his skills & knowledge to all members of the group as tradition demands - without any money changing hands. He has trained around 30 musicians and dancers in this way over the last 25 years and many of them now enjoy successful careers in music, based not just in Ghana but in Europe and the US.
Akrowa have also worked abroad and came to Scotland in 2014, 2015 & 2016 to work with ABC Creative Music in Scottish Schools where his music and personality touched many people. Through this project, using online lessons, thousands of Scottish children have learned about drumming, dancing and life in Ghana from Okoe and the Akrowa Group. Okoe and Akrowa have a Scottish family now in Pathhead.
No-one can predict the nature or duration of Okoe’s recovery, but we do know for sure that it is a long and difficult road ahead and the every support we can provide will make the process easier. We are of course hoping that he will make a quick and as full recovery as possible. There is nothing we would like better than to hear Okoe play the drums again, but to have even a chance of that he and his family desperately need financial support.
So we, his Scottish family, are asking you to join us in helping Okoe, Anita and their children. Every little helps. If enough of us can help, then a little could become a lot.
Okoe has selflessly shared his music, passed on his skills & entertained thousands of us over the years. We hope that now he can in return receive support from those of us who are lucky enough to have heard him play, had a lesson from him or been his friend. Or from those who understand that devoting your life to your art leaves you especially vulnerable in a crisis.
Amy, Tom & all of Okoe's Scottish Family, Pathhead, Thursday 20th September 2018.
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- 1 month ago
Amy Geddes1 month ago
Hello, thanks to you all for your kind donations - we can't quite believe it but we have reached 55% of our target in only 4 days. We are working hard to make contact with the consultant who treated Okoe in Accra to try to get a better understanding of his diagnosis and recommended treatment. We'll let you all know as soon as we have any more news from Ghana. A wee bit of fun to finish - a cheeky Okoe pic below and if you have a few minutes to spare, Tom has been entertaining us with "Okoe Stories" on FB - check them out! Amy x
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Oct 4, 2018
Good work Amy. Hope you get your target
Ken & Susan
Oct 4, 2018
Wishinng you a speedy recovery Okoe! We love you! Ken &Susan
Oct 3, 2018
Speedy recovery and best to your family Oko.
Oct 2, 2018
Wishing Okoe a good recovery.
Sharon and Michael
Sep 29, 2018
Thinking of you and your family and friends
Sep 27, 2018
Amy, so sorry to read about Okoe. Very fond memories of him in Ghana. Our best wishes to him. Paul and Morag x.
Sep 27, 2018
You're a strong soul. Keep with the rythm of your drums.
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