An annual ‘Dwen Hwe Kan’ Lectures to provide a platform for renowned Old Boys of Mfantsipim School to discuss topical national and global issues that relate to leadership among others is to be instituted to mark the School’s Flag Month Celebrations.
Mr. J. K. A. Simpson, Headmaster of the school who made the announcement at the formal unveiling of the flag event, said the platform would also be used to discuss patriotism, governance, development, nationalism, service, loyalty and allegiance within the context of Mfantsipim values, creed and philosophy as defined by the founding fathers.
He said the hoisting of the new flag that embodies the virtues, heritage, traditions and values of Mfantsipim also marks another historic occasion in the life of the great school saying, Mfantsipim, the soul of the nation ticks and Ghana responds accordingly.
He said while exploring ways of celebrating the annual Flag event, as a memoriam of constant reminder for ourselves, the nation and humanity, the story of the Faithful Eight who had no teachers and headmaster but came together to help train themselves until Rev. Balmer arrived from Sierra Leona to head them, should be an important lesson for us in school and out of school.
He rounded his speech with a quote by Rev. W. T. Balmer, ‘Let all undergrowth of superstition and suspicion be cleared away, so that the African character may grow in the clear sunlight of truth and sincerity. Then the fruits of African life will become more worthy and of more value than all her gold and merchandise’.
The Special Guest of Honour, Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Ghana Armed Forces in his keynote address themed, ‘Energizing Mfantsipim’s Esprit De Corps for Contemporary Challenges’ said the age-old purpose of mounting or carrying a flag has been simply to identify a leader or group to which one is associated or is loyal.
One fundamental leadership principle every student is liable to pick up at Mfantsipim, he said, is the need to lead by example and set the standards for one’s peers and contemporaries. ‘We may find the best example of this in the military; where if an officer’s men are living in harsh conditions he does not resort to privileged conditions or absolve himself from the hardships being endured by his men’, he said
‘He stays in the trenches with his men and works with them to defuse any threats to their survival and improve everybody’s condition’. He added ‘so as a leader, you need to demonstrate to your men that you do not expect them to do anything that you would not do yourself’.
A flag, Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie, a member of the MOBA 1970 Year Group said represents not just a unit but also its history and its future. It is the symbol of the Spirit of the Unit. Mfantsipim has a unique history and keeps making history which is why we should all be proud of our alma mater; and adding that the Spirit of Mfantsipim is not about tribes, or political parties.
It is about people, their local communities, their country and their continent in unity, offering equal opportunities and shaping the thoughts, vision and energies of men of destiny towards unique contributions to enhance the quality of human life in every community and nation on the African continent and on the globe.
He noted that as a country, we are gradually deviating so much from the old cultural norms that have held us together for years. Today we have become so much individualistic he said, an attitude which is gradually transforming into selfishness, giving vent to greed in all facets of our national life.
We need to generate a new and positive energy in ourselves and direct such energies for the benefit of our teams or groups. We need to identify with our broad objectives and contribute meaningfully to achieve them.
Esprit de corps however would not come easy. In our everyday management, there will be questionable workloads, inadequate support at various levels, lack of recognition of individual accomplishments, remuneration issues, and varied perceptions of the direction of a programme or activity. There would also be varied perceptions of individual roles within a programme, or mismanagement of personalities.
We all desire an environment of open communications, a relaxed environment that includes physical comfort, fair methods of assessment, a pathway for dissent, honest leadership, mechanics for change and / or development and a prevailing spirit of concern for the individual as a human.
He urged all to be innovative and always think outside the box. He also urged students and old boys to always press on regardless of difficulties.
He further urged all to go forth from here as leaders of this nation with their thoughtfulness and foresight in every human endeavor in character and thought, in energy, initiative and resourcefulness.
Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie also urged all not to let the spirit of Mfantsipim elude them, imploring them to go forth and sell the Mfantsipim brand. ‘Kwabotwe Boys’ must remain as one family and rally round the flag.
He ended his speech with a quote from Prof. Adu Boahen’s ‘Mfantsipim and the making of Ghana’ it is a greater privilege still, to be an old boy of such a school and it is an onus on all old boys to help the school continue to live up to its traditions, it’s achievements and its reputation and to make even greater contributions still to the development of our Country.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhen of Essikado Traditional Area (British Sekondi) and member of the MOBA 1969 Year Group, who chaired the Mfantsipim Flag unveiling and raising ceremony, reminded all to be mindful of the exploits and philosophy of the founding fathers, the School Motto and meanings of logo upon which the School was established to shape their own lives and destinies. He added that each student and old boy’s life should always be in partial fulfillment of the Mfantsipim creed and ethos; and concluded that the rationale behind the design and colours of the Flag should be a constant reminder not only to the School but to the nation in driving its national development agenda.
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