Mission of Music in Ghana

Bro. Pius F. K. Agyemang SVD, first Ghanaian Divine Word Missionary Brother shares with us his life's work with sacred music, liturgy and the cultural importance of Ghanaian music as an expression of faith in a deeper capacity. Music is a sign of promoting the Word of God to all people as Bro. Pius has experienced in his over 50 years of service as a Divine Word Missionary. In order to continue this great work, Bro. Pius has the support of the bishops and other Divine Word Missionaries to develop a training center that will continue his legacy for those who want to study pastoral liturgy and cultural training of sacred music used to celebrate the mass.

The people of Ghana belong to one broad African ethnic family –but with numerous branches, as mirrored in at least 75 differing languages spoken in the country. Among the largest ethnic groups are the Akan and the Ewe. This variety of ethnic identities, however, did not prove to be a grave national hindrance when Ghana gained independence from the British colonial rule in 1957. Since then, at all levels in government and in public life, a policy to play down ethnic differences was persistently enforced with the help of adopting English as the official language.

Despite its small area and population Ghana is one of the leading countries of Africa –partly because of its natural wealth, and partly because of the maturation of its political leadership that learned the hard way through a post-colonial era of corruption, malpractice, and military rule. The Pan-African leader Kwame Nkrumah, who championed sovereignty for the Ghanaian people and for all of Africa, said: “Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent.” Indeed, the 1960s saw 30 other African countries declare their own independence at the leading example of Ghana. By the 1990s the social situation of the citizens improved, and the country is now well esteemed as a showcase of economic recovery and political reform in Africa.