Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Hon. Mark Okraku-Mantey, has thrown his weight behind the Hands Across Africa Charity Concert.
Hands Across Africa Charity Concert, slated for Saturday, July 23, 2022, at the Accra Sports Stadium, is an initiative spearheaded by Taj Weekes — Goodwill Ambassador and UNICEF Ambassador for St. Lucia. He also doubles as a well-travelled musician versed on various paths from music to humanitarian and charity initiatives globally.
Dubbed “Hands Across Africa”, the project is laced with Charity concerts designed to run across 8 African countries, where proceeds from all concerts are diverted to charity initiatives in the respective countries.
Taj Weekes, his 2nd year of such Charity programmes, did a similar project in 2021 where he gave out 5,000 pairs of shoes to poor and under-privileged Ghanaian school children in various communities in Greater-Accra, Eastern & Volta Regions.
In a courtesy call on the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture on Tuesday, June 28th, Taj Weekes called on the Deputy Minister’s outfit for support to make the Programme successful and sustainable.
Taj Weekes, in his engagements with Mark Okraku-Mantey says he is liaising with Local and International charitable organizations to collaborate to bring relief to Ghanian Youth.
“We’ve been taking care of under-privileged and underprivileged children. Giving football scholarships to children as well as healthcare and education. We’ve given 76 scholarships to under-privileged children so far and looking forward to doing more of such. We gave out shoes to some Ghanaian children last year during my first visit. We distributed 5,000 pairs of shoes to needy (school) children across various places in the country last year, 2021, during our first visit, with an intimate concert here in Accra to gather support”, Taj Weekes stated.
“We would very much need the drive and push from your outfit to support us in this push to make it materialize. We have our Foundation — TOCO — registered here locally. So everything accrued from the concert will be directly pushed to selected communities here in Ghana. All the funds remain here in Ghana. So it benefits the country,” Taj Weekes added.
Mark Okraku-Mantey, in his response to Taj Weekes’ call, was quite elated.
“I’m happy to have you here to do this meaningful initiative. I am also glad to know you’re in line with our ‘Year Of Return’ and ‘Beyond The Return’ activities and extending your hand to do charity works here. We acknowledge you, and we embrace you as one of us. If our brothers and sisters in the diaspora will emulate the same, I’m sure we can make Africa a better place”, Mark Okraku-Mantey added.
Taj Weekes was in the company of his wife, Angela Serieux-Weekes, partner to the TOCO Foundation. His wife, Angela, who has over 32 years of experience in the fashion business, is also supporting the initiative to expand fashion minds in the youth to sell the numerous but uniquely designed Ghanaian and African fashions to the globe. Elorm Beenie, a Ghanaian publicist for Taj Weekes and TOCO Foundation, was also present at the meeting with the Deputy Minister.
Hon. Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister For Tourism, Arts & Culture, though he wasn’t present at the meeting, threw his support behind Taj Weekes and his Team.
They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) Foundation was established by Taj Weekes in 2005 and has a local wing registered here in Ghana. In the concluding words of Taj Weekes, he says, “we look forward to hosting a successful music festival to raise enough funds to support the purpose. And this is in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority for five years.”
St. Lucia, the home country of Taj Weekes, is an island in the Caribbean that birthed many Nobel Prize Winners. It is a country of about 180,000 population.
Mr Jones Nelson, Director of Corporate Affairs at Ghana Tourist Authority with his Deputy, Mr Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi, joined the company of Taj Weekes for the courtesy call on Mark Okraku-Mantey.
The Ghana Tourism Authority and the Office of the President have fully endorsed the initiative. The musical concert pitched for Saturday, July 23rd, enlists Okyeame Kwame, MzVee, DSP Kofi Sarpong, and Blakk Rasta. Legendary Reggae Singer Eric Donaldson from Jamaica and Brinsley Forde of the popular Aswad Reggae Group will also be playing for the night, plus a couple more names.
Story & Photo Credits: Elorm Beenie (Contributor)