Stevie Wonder is officially a Ghanaian citizen

Renowned American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder has officially become a Ghanaian citizen after taking the Oath of Allegiance and receiving his Certificate of Citizenship at a ceremony held on Monday, May 13, at the Jubilee House, the seat of government.

The event marks Stevie Wonder’s official integration into Ghanaian society, a move celebrated by many.

It comes three years after he announced his decision to move to Ghana.

The singer, known for “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” cited political turmoil in the US as a reason for leaving. 

“I wanna see this nation smile again. And I want to see it before I leave to travel to move to Ghana because I’m going to do that.”

Winfrey then asked, “You’re going to permanently move to Ghana?”

“I am,” replied the singer. He added, “I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh please like me. Please respect me, please know that I am important, please value me.’ What is that?”

Ceremony

Graphic Online’s presidential correspondent, Donald Ato Dapatem reports from the Jubilee House that Steve Hardaway Morris, the American singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer professionally known as Stevie Wonder, today became a Ghanaian in fulfillment of a 50-year old dream

After swearing the oath to respect and protect the constitution of Ghana with the help of God while holding a Bible in hand, the oath was administered by a Circuit Court judge, Kizita Naa Koowaa Quarshie.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo handed the global icon and the philanthropist with a certificate of citizenship and a Ghanaian passport.

He was also assisted to sit on an asasagwa and presented with a kente cloth.

It was all joy and excitement at the short but impressive ceremony because today marked the 74 birthday of Stevie Wonder and his son.

They were both assisted to cut a cake made in the colours of red gold, and green.

Visibly elated, the musician said, “Mr. President, I thank you for the heart of understanding that the only way that the world can move forward is that we come together as one people.”

“I celebrate that spirit. What is unfortunate is that too many people are too blind to see it. I know that it is just a hearts beat away,” he added.

Mr Wonder noted that for over 50 years, he had thought about acquiring a Ghanaian citizenship and that “the truth is, as a Ghanaian citizen, being a part of fulfilling the dream we have had for so many years of bringing people of Africa and those of the diaspora, USA and Caribbean together”.

Mr Wonder has joined the league of missionaries, policemen, lawyers, health workers, writers, artists, musicians, and the likes of George Padmore, Rita Marley, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. du Bois who became Ghanaians citizens.

President Akufo-Addo said conferring Ghanaian citizenship upon him, was a recognition of his immense talent and achievements as well as his deep connection to the African continent, and his tireless efforts to promote unity, solidarity and cultural exchanges among all peoples of African descent. 

“His decision to become a citizen of Ghana is a testament to his profound respect and admiration for our nation’s history, culture and values,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo said the welcoming of Stevie Wonder into the Ghanaian family must inspire the people to his legacy, and strive to build a future where creativity flourishes, diversity is celebrated, and the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood transcend all differences. 

He noted that his welcome represents a vivid manifestation of the goals of the Year of Return, which we commemorated, in 2019, as a bridge between the African peoples on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Today’s ceremony brings starkly to mind a favourite and oft-cited statement of the famous Jamaican reggae star, Peter Tosh, who once said, quite rightly, “don’t care where you come from, as long as you’re a black man, you’re an African.”

Mr. Kow Essuman, legal counsel to President Akufo-Addo, took to social media to congratulate the celebrated musician on his new status as a Ghanaian citizen.

At a brief ceremony at the Jubilee House, Stevie Wonder expressed his delight at the honour done him.

Stevie Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Morris, is globally renowned as a multifaceted artist, excelling as a singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer.

His influence spans across various music genres, including R&B, pop, soul, gospel, funk, and jazz, making him a true pioneer in the music industry.

Wonder, a Michigan native, learned to play piano, drums and harmonica by age 9 and signed to Motown in 1961. Since then, he has won 25 Grammy Awards and has been nominated 74 times.

Source: www.graphic.com.gh

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