Mapping London’s Ghanaian Community (2016): Demographics & Discourses

Doing these kind of articles poses the question of where do I begin? Nevertheless, one can start by saying Ghanaians are in principal one of the most established and vibrant African communities in London. Ghanaians are also the most trusted and established African community in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. IOM did a good Mapping Report in 2009 but there are believed to be almost 2,500,000 Ghanaians (both Ghanaian born and of Ghanaian parents) in the UK. Majority of the Ghanaians are Akan (Twi and Fante speakers) with smaller groups of ethnic communities.

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Ghanaians can be found at Seven Sisters, Dalston, Brixton and Lewisham with a growing presence in Crystal Palace, Croydon, Norwood and Tulse Hill. They also have sizeable communities in Manchester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Swansea. Seven Sisters has been seen as cultural capital of Ghanaian Londoners in recent decades; though it’s fair to say that area is going through a big re-generation ‘mode’ at the moment and the once heavy Ghanaian/Jewish demographic is going through rapid change.

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So, the Ashantis have been the most dominant tribe in Ghana for hundreds of years; in London – things are no different. They are often compared and contrasted with the Yorubas of Nigeria (though that is not much appreciated). You also have the Ga and Fante speaking communities in small pockets across London. The Ewe people, Nicknamed ‘Number 9’, they and the northern tribes are “the most stereotyped and misunderstood bunch in the country” (Gattitude, WordPress, 2015).


‘WHEN YOU THINK OF A GHANAIAN LONDONER…’ by Linda Gyamfi

When you think about a Ghanaian Londoner and their location in terms of where they reside, very often the first thing people would say is ‘Tottenham’. Tottenham has been recognised as a home  for the largest Ghanaian community in the UK. Since the 1980s Tottenham as been one of the most desired places to live as there were a number of job opportunities particularly in the fashion industries and factory job opportunities were booming.

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If you grew up in North side or London in general as a Ghanaian, then you would have known aboutBroadwater Farm Estate particularly the community centre, which was the number one hotspot for Ghanaian functions and events. This is ranged from Christenings, Holy Communions, Birthdays parties, funerals, weddings etc. As far as I’m concerned, if you regularly attended Ghanaian functions in your childhood and never knew or even went to the Broadwater Farm community centre then you were not a typical Ghanaian socialite. If we explore the origins of Afrobeats or how Ghanaian music made waves into the mainstream music the history all began with Ghanaian local radio stations (West Green and in within the Broadwater Farm estate).

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We have the number Ghanaian owned bakery specialist in Bread (Uncle John’s bakery) located at West Green Road, our very own Suya Kebab specialist Akolbire Hassan outside of the Bernie Grant Centre in the weekends – his kebabs has a unique rich sizzling taste out of this world. We have many churches around from Methodist to Pentecostal and Charismatic churches and famous Pastor who was awarded an OBE from the queen. “You just ask who Bishop Frimpong-Manson is?

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If you want to get a real taste of Ghanaian food head down to Bongo Bar in the South Tottenham, Sweethands at Holloway road.

If you want to get a feel of a Ghanaian event then take a day trip to Tottenham.

*** For more write-ups and video blog from British-Ghanaian Blogger Linda Gyamfi – checkout Gyamfi’s Guide to Life on YouTube or ellegeedebates.wordpress.com ***

A FEW LONDON-BASED GHANAIANS YOU SHOULD KNOW:


1) EKOE & ABENA RICHARDSON (DESTINATION AFRICA)

Destination-Africa

Facebook: /Destination-Africa-Group | Facebook: /Listen-Speak-Learn | Twitter: @DestAfricaGrp | Phone: 07974 82 93 42 | Emailinfo@listenspeaklearn.com

A Fiercely Ghanaian and Pan-African couple here dedicated to teaching African Kids African culture and languages creatively and practically. And these two do just that. Mr. Richardson runs Listen, Speak and Learn, a Twi language learning app and device keeping the Twi language and culture alive. Mrs. Richardson runs Destination Africa. Destination Africa run tailored Saturday Classes for young children between the ages of 5 – 16 in South East London. They have a vision to connect young Black British sons and daughter with knowledge of their ancestral heritage and creative language sessions in Twi, Yoruba, Hausa, Shona, Zulu and Swahili make this particular Saturday school a fun and ‘must-try’ experience for parents and young parents with kids in London.  For more info: Tweet Destination Africa at: @DestAfricaGrp, call 07974 82 93 42 or email: info@listenspeaklearn.com.


2) DEVINA AGGREY (AFRICA PROBE)

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Twitter: @AfricaProbe | Facebook: /Africa-Probe | Phone 1: 0744 8957 957 |  Email: info@africaprobe.com

Celebrating the achievements and lifestyles of African and Ghanaian migrants is a shared passion that I have with a certain lady named Devina Aggrey. Founder of Africa Probe, this creative film hub deliver debates, seminars and documentaries focusing on the lives of Ghanaians in the Diaspora and beyond. Through artistic mediums they communicate that there are problems or raise awareness on the positive strides African individuals/ organisations are making. For more info or to get in touch; contact Devina Adwoa Aggrey via devina@africaprobe.com


3) ALEX GYASI (HIGHWAY HOUSE)

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Facebook: /Highway-of-Holiness-Christian-Love-Centre | Email: info@highwayhouse.co.uk | Twitter: @highwayofholine

Pastor Alex Gyasi manages Highway House which provides more than just shelter. Featured in various news outlets and tabloids. It provides food, counseling and employment training, and it helps connect people with the right jobs. According to a report from the Institute for Health and Human Development at the University of East London published this year; Highway House is saving the public purse over £300,000 per year by offering a home to 50 destitute men addicted to drugs or alcohol or suffering mental health problems. Pastor Alex Gyasi is Good Ghanaian man behind this homeless hub. Highway House provides more than just shelter. It provides food, counseling and employment training, and it helps connect people with the right jobs. They are currently looking for volunteers. For more info email:  info@highwayhouse.co.uk


4) SAMANTHA ASUMADU (MEDIA DIVERSIFIED)

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Instagram: /WritersofColour | Twitter: @WritersofColour | Facebook: /Writers-of-Colour

Samantha is a filmmaker and the founder of Media Diversified and the Media Diversified Experts Directory. Out of the numerous tweets, followers, interviews and articles Ms. Asumadu has achieved over the last five years; it is Samantha’s chief dedication in creating and maintaining a national platform for talented writers from diverse backgrounds to write on a wide range of subjects from film and literature to economics and sport that marks this #GoodLady as an undisputed champion in her field. However, it’s her Ghanaian heritage that is just as celebrated in this article. For more information; checkout Media Diversified


5) PAMELA SAKYI (Producer of ‘BRITISH GHANAIANS: LOST IN TRANSLATION?’)

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Twitter: @SparkleLightPro | Facebook: /British-Ghanaians-Lost-in-Translation | Email: sparklelightproductions@gmail.com

Pamela has been working in the media industry for over 10 years now. I have worked on documentary projects for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Lambeth Council as well as having edited/produced music videos, web series and serial content for television. She founded SparkleLight Productions (a Media Production company) in 2011 and began creating bespoke content for a number of clients. Today SparkleLight productions has produced established, award-nominated work including documentaries, music videos, television series’ and much more. She was producer of British Ghanaians: Lost In Translation? A TV Documentary. Presenter Ortis Deley explores the root causes of British Ghanaians being unable to speak Ghanaian languages, in London.


SOME GHANAIAN ASSOCIATIONS IN LONDON:

The number of Ghanaian associations in the city of London, continue to multiply with inaugurations almost every month. AFRICAN ECHO research has indicated that there are nearly 200 Ghanaian clubs focusing on ethnic, professional, regional, cultural, religious and in some cases age and gender in the capital alone. All of these clubs are aiming at the unity and development of Ghana.

But here are some of them:


GHANA DIASPORA VOICE

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Facebook: /Ghana-Diaspora-Voice

Ghana Diaspora Voice is a UK based Media/Event platform endorsed by the Ghana High Commission to the UK & Ireland, with speciality in TV content Creation and Diaspora Engagement Consultancy as well as Events Planning and Organization. GDV was established in January 2013 by Africanus Annan as a response to the growing need for Diaspora involvement in matters of National Interest.


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY GHANAIAN SOCIETY

University-of-Cambridge

Facebook: /Cambridge-University-Society | Email: ghanaian@cusu.cam.ac.uk

These guys mobilise all Ghanaians studying in the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge area, coordinating their socio-cultural and intellectual activities, and creating a forum for members to interact, share experiences with each other and all other interested parties. They aim to develop a range of social and information events which will encourage students to build social networks, allowing them to have a comprehensive educational experience during their time at Cambridge. The Society also seeks to ensure that Ghanaian students merge successfully into the social, academic, and cultural life at Cambridge.


GHANAIAN DOCTORS AND DENTIST ASSOCIATION

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Facebook: /GDDAuk | Twitter: @GDDAUK

The Ghana Doctors & Dentists Association UK (GDDA-UK) first came into existence on 9th September 2006, holding their inaugral meeting and adopting their constitution in Polchester, London. This group of Medical and Dental professionals from the Ghana diaspora, residing in the UK came together to join forces in both friendship with each other and support of healthcare in their homeland Ghana, adopting the motto, ‘PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE & COMMUNITY SERVICE’. The GDDA-UK was born to shed light on the willingness of emigrant professionals to contribute skills and resources to help their home land, where appropriate institutions and processes exist to facilitate this.


GHANAIAN PARENTS ASSOCIATION

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Facebook: /Ghanaian-Parents-UK

GPA seeks to connect parents, children and education professionals to support community and family objectives, whilst trying to identify areas of alignment between education, social and family goals. In 2011 they began their journey as the Ghanaian Parents Association and believe their scheduled plan of work reflects their tagline ‘Supporting Communities’.


GHANAIAN NURSES ASSOCIATION UK

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Facebook: /GhanaianNursesAssociationUK | Phone: 07516 663895

The Association has a membership of over 300 nurses, most of whom take active part in the work of the Association. Membership is open to all trained registered nurses, midwives and specialist community and public health nurses of Ghanaian origin and marriage.  Members may be in active service in any speciality of nursing as well as in management and education. They may work in the statutory, voluntary or private sector. The Association has a proportion of its membership based in other cities in the UK. It is envisaged that branches will be created in other major cities in the UK.

CHEVENING UK GHANA

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Facebook: /CheveningAlumniGhana | Twitter: @CheveningGha

Chevening is the UK government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders. Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations, Chevening offers two types of award – Chevening Scholarships and Chevening Fellowships – the recipients of which are personally selected by British Embassies and High Commissions throughout the world.


ME FIRI GHANA
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Facebook: /MeFiriGhana | Instagram: /MeFiriGhana | Twitter: @Me_FiRi_GHANA |  Youtube: /Me-Firi-Ghana | Phone: 07932896845 | Email: info@mefirighana.com

These guys have been doing a lot of great things for five years + with Ghanaian youth and Ghanaians abroad. Their vision is to establish a first world self-sustaining Ghana and partner with and consult individuals, organisations and government recommending opportunities and tailored strategies to engage Ghana and the Diaspora communities.


GHARWEG UK

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Gharweg | Gharweg Advice Training & Carrier Centre | 5 Bridge Rd London SE1 7XW+44 20 7620 1430

Gharweg provide advisory for Ghanaian migrants based in London in Twi, Ga, Fante, Ewe and Hausa. They provide saccredited English Language courses and Literacy and Numeracy along with translation services and immigration advice.


GHANAIAN LONDONERS

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Twitter: @GHLondoners | Facebook Group: GHLondoners | Email: info@ghanaianlondoners.org | Ghanaian Londoners | Starting Point, 16 Pickering Road, Barking, Essex London, UK, IG11 8PG | Phone 1: + 44(0) 20 3 288 2180 | Phone 2: 020 3288 2180

Ghanaian Londoners (GL) Networking is a social enterprise organisation which aims to unlock the potential of individuals with a core focus on enterprise, women empowerment and Youth development. for more info: email : info@ghanaianlondoners.org


GHANA UNION

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Instagram: /GhanaUnion | Twitter: @GhanaUnion | Facebook: /Ghana.UnionUK | Ghana Union | Address: 12 Finspace, 225-229 Seven Sisters Road, London N4 2DA | Phone: 0207 263 3224 | Email: info@ghanaunion.org.uk

Ghana Union is first and foremost an association of the Ghanaian community and voluntary groups and individuals (both Ghanaian and otherwise) who have the welfare of Ghanaians in the UK in general, at heart. Ghana Union is a welfare charity committed to serving the Ghanaian community in the UK & has been working hard to ensure that we are able to connect and keep the community informed. They work in partnership with external agencies, community groups, governmental organisations & our Corporate members for the benefit of the community.


ASSOCIATION OF GHANAIAN ACCOUNTANTS UK

Association of Ghanaian Accountants (AGA) UK is a professional association of experienced accountants collaborating to provide training and development opportunities for its members. AGA UK also aims to facilitate the practice and development of professional framework for the accountancy profession.


GHANA WELFARE ASSOCIATION

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Ghana Welfare Association | 18 Bennington Road, Tottenham, London N17 7NU | Tel: 020 8801 9444

The Association provides information and advice on welfare rights, benefits claims, housing, health, HIV/Aids awareness, education, racial discrimination, crime prevention, juvenile delinquency and domestic violence on women, men and children.


RELIGIOUS GROUPS:

Yes there are several Ghanaian muslims in London and are very much situated in South and North London. The Hausa muslims are close with fellow Hausa speaking Muslims of Nigerian and even some Sudanese. Here the two main Muslim associations in London:

GHANA MUSLIM WELFARE CENTRE:

Ghana Muslim Welfare Centre | 1a Lawrence Yard, Tottenham, London, Greater London, N15 4EG

GHANA MUSLIM UNION:

Ghana Muslim Union | 15 Exton Crescent, Stonebridge London NW10 8DA

This union serves Ghana’s muslim community in the whole of London and the UK. Notable and respected members, imams and teachers within the GMU include Alhaji Sarki Baba (chief of Zongo UK and Ireland), Mallam Ibrahim(Deputy Imam chief zongo), Alhaji Baban Yaara Haidara (chief of staff of zongo chief, London), Alhaji Husseini Gali(Advisor to chief zongo), Alhaji Ridwanu, Alhaji Baraw (Advisor to chief Zongo), Chairman Sahyahu Midas Mende (former chairman of Ghana Muslim welfare centre). Others included Alhaji Tijani (Youth activist), Alhaji Kamil (Chairman of Ghana Muslim welfare centre), Alhaji Ahmed Awuah (Imam), Mallam Abdul Razak (Imam), Baba Adams of Zongolink Radio-London and Murtala Imam.

LIGHTHOUSE CHAPEL:

Lighthouse Chapel International | (Leyton Branch) 37 Grange Park Rd London W7 1JJ

LONDON GHANA SDA CHURCH:

London Ghana SDA Church | London Ghana SDA Church Chadwin Road , Plaistow London E13 8NF

SOUTH WEST LONDON SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH:

South West London Seventh Day Adventist Church | St Augustine’s Church, Broadwater Road, Upper Tooting, London SW17 0EF

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF GHANA-UK:

Presbyterian Church of Ghana-UK | London SE12 0PW, UK

ICGC KINGS TEMPLE:

ICGC Kings Temple | Suite 7 & 8 Clarenden House, 117 George Lane, South Woodford E18 1AN

DESTINY APOSTOLIC CHURCH:

Destiny Apostolic Church | 333 Romford Rd, London E7 8AA

GHANAIAN METHODIST UK FELLOWSHIP:

Ghanaian Methodist UK Fellowship | Second Sunday of every month at 2:30pmMethodist Central Hall, Westminister, London, SW1H 9NH


GHANAIAN EMBASSY IN LONDON:

Ghana High Commission, 104 Highgate Hill, London London N6 5HE, 0845 313 3399, Ghana Embassy, 13 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PN

[ note: The number of Ghanaian churches, christian alliances and associatons in London are numerous. Many church groups can be found across the city with sermons and praise and worship songs delivered in ‘twi’. ]


Outside of London:

GHANA PORTSMOUTH COMMUNITY:

Address:  Ghana Association Portsmouth (GHAP), C/o The Grace Textiles & Fabrics, 68a Kingston Road, Portsmouth | Email: info@ghaponline.com

South East England based Ghanians and Friends of Ghanaians set up this charity in 1993 to work together on educational, cultural and social events in support of their mission. Their aims are as follows: To foster cultural awareness and unity among ethnic groups in the Portsmouth area, To work together in partnership with other groups for the future multicultural development of Portsmouth, To promote and publicise the aims and work of the Association and promote fellowship and solidarity among Ghanaians, their children, spouses, and associates living in the Portsmouth.


 

Do you know any Ghanaian Organisations, Entrepreneurs and/or Creatives based in London that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via:

Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

3 thoughts on “Mapping London’s Ghanaian Community (2016): Demographics & Discourses

  1. This is very useful and insightful. I am seeking to locate Ghanaians abroad who would like to have access to a Ghanaian gourmet coffee. It is the finest coffee Ghana has to offer. Thank you

    Like

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