Ayekoo GEY HEY ‘97

I have seen and heard credible stories of how Old Girls of Wesley Girls High School, both home and overseas often went to great individual and collective lengths to raise substantial amounts of funds for projects in their alma mater. The spirit of commitment which drives these ladies is simply phenomenal and is indeed worthy of emulation. This author is no stranger to such benefaction.But for good reason, he is compelled to positively discriminate and single out the 1997 graduating year group of Gey Hey Old Girls for special commendation. There is no quantifying the praiseworthiness due them. The climax of this year’s Anniversary Celebrations of Wesley Girls High School was the Speech and Prize-giving day which was held on Saturday 10th February 2018. For their project, the Gey Hey ‘97 ladies built an ultra-modern Visual Arts Department for their alma mater. This is groundbreaking as it is fantastic, considering that for far too long the Visual Arts programme, in spite of its significant contributions and enormous potential to national development, has been made the black sheep of the family – mocked, maligned and marginalised in Ghana’s secondary educational system. This project undertaken by Gey Hey ‘97 therefore reveals the admirable level of maturity that these ladies have attained two decades after leaving their alma mater. To have brainstormed extensively, to have given due consideration, shortlisted and eventually settled on the Visual Arts Department as the unit of the school worthy of their highest collective benevolence as yet, is an act of intellectual, emotional, social and cultural maturity, both on a unit level and as a collective. It is a monumental act of pure selflessness and wisdom borne out of maturity. To appreciate the Visual Arts, even dimly from a distance and leave it at that is all too easy and all too commonplace. To attain a state in life when an individual or a group truly appreciates the all-pervasive value and magnificent potential of the Visual Arts, is to begin to appreciate not only the obviously beautiful, but vastly more importantly, it reveals an intuitive recognition and a true appreciation of the deeper and more subtle things in God’s vast universal system. It is the dawn of enlightenment in its true non-academic context. Yet, even in the light of such intuitive inspiration, recognition and appreciation, the Latin axiom “Facta non Verba” holds true as the true measure of conviction. To walk the talk is the real litmus test of great inspiration and real commitment to a cause. Throughout recorded history to the present day, this is where many a people, highly proficient in fine rhetoric have fallen short. But you noble ladies of Gey Hey 97 have passed the test – the litmus paper reveals resplendent shades of yellow and green colours. This was the way of the cultured people of might civilizations of treasured antiquity. Dear ladies, you have risen above the divisive tendencies of needless intellectual pride, false egoistic associations, negative stereotypical convictions and progress-stifling discrimination. It is obvious that the bulk of your numbers would have pursued programmes other than the Visual Arts during your school days. Yet for this cause, your accord was singular. You have proven that there may be strength in numbers, but there is greater fortitude in the single-mindedness and relentlessness of a well-meaning group. This is citizenship; the kind which is productive, the kind which translates noble thoughts to deeds, the kind which moves nations forward. To all who also supported these ladies in diverse ways to bring such an uncommon dream into vivid living reality, I doff my hat to you all. I further urge every significant institution – statutory or otherwise, which is overtly or implicitly connected to Education in general and especially the Arts Industry to commend these distinguished ladies of Wesley Girls High School 1997 graduating year group. But beyond commendation, let us take like action. Well done sisters. Your shining example will travel a long way to help shift the paradigm; to change the narrative; to restore the long-lost pride, expressiveness, confidence, dignity and other countless virtues which attended the study of the Visual Arts. Value is what we make it. You dear ladies have booked your place in the annals of Ghanaian history. You have charted new waters, weathered the tempestuous elements and sailed safely ashore. The ensign atop your ship flies high in bright yellow and green colours. For this good deed, God bless you. By Laud Ebenezer Freeman Email: [email protected] The writer is a Research and Management Consultant and CEO of Nexol Capitol Limited, Ghana. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Publishing Studies from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.  ]]>