Numo James Aflah Barnor at 91 years – Happy Birthday!

Dear Ataa Aflah Barnor,

As one of our very few remaining elders of the Jamestown community, I will call you on your birthday and sing you a song and wish you the best, again and again, every year as you edge gracefully towards your ton!.

The central piece of your work that I present here evokes memories of my childhood days in the 1950’s Jamestown British Accra. I still think of my childhood trip every Sunday to church  in my finest European clothes of the time, walking through Bruce Road, Commodore Street, St Edmonds, and then High Street to the Church at Holy Trinity trailing after my older siblings and the very occasional stop after Church at Everyoung Studio.

Numo James Aflah Barnor

The recurring theme of your photography for me is how you brought families together in that elite community that can only be recreated through astute regeneration. So as you celebrate your birthday, I can only think about family and what legacy we leave for them.  It is only strong and united families that can strengthen the community and only strong communities that can influence society in a positive way.

As for me, I am happy that I continue in the tradition of driving from Croydon to Ealing for my monthly church service and a detour to Danehurst accompanied by my family and the occasional photograph in my finest African clothes more than 60 something years later.

I leave you with that one here

Ataa Aflah, Nyɔŋmɔ ajɔɔ bo ni ehabo wala

Mr Barnor, may the Lord continue to bless you and give you life.

Your friend and ‘nephew’

Ade Sawyerr

Croydon 31st May 2020

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AUTHOR

Ade Sawyerr

Ade Sawyerr

Ade Sawyerr is a management consultant at Equinox Consulting who works on enterprise, employment and community development issues within inner city and black and minority communities in Britain. He is also a community activist involved in several local and national causes. He comments on social, economic and political issues with a strong interest in cultural, diversity and third world issues. Ade can be contacted at equinoxconsulting.net or adesawyerr@gmail.com.

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