||This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Togbe Ngoryifia Céphas Kosi Bansah|
|Born||April 22, 1948|
Togbe Ngoryifia Céphas Kosi Bansah (born April 22, 1948), also known as Céphas Bansah, is the Ngoryifia ("developmental chief") of the Gbi Traditional area of Hohoe, Ghana. He is often incorrectly referred to as the King of Hohoe.
Céphas Bansah grew up in the Volta Region of Ghana, and first visited Germany in 1970 during a student exchange program. He took an apprenticeship at the firm Paul Schweitzer in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, and went on to earn two German Master Craftsman certificates: the first was a Master Craftsman as mechanic for agricultural machinery and the second as mechanic for vehicles. He also took up boxing in his spare time, and in 1975 became the district flyweight champion.
He has made the statement: "I had two reasons why I wanted to come to Germany: firstly, my interest in pursuing a career to use and reinforce the experience gained in my apprenticeship and secondly, to gain an insight into the 'typical' German attitudes – the inflexible sense of duty, discipline, diligence, and ambition."
In 1987, Céphas Bansah was chosen to be the developmental chief based on his status as a native living abroad solely to help spearhead the development of his people. Despite his new responsibilities, Céphas Bansah decided to continue living in Germany, as he felt he could do more to help his people from abroad. He now runs a workshop of his own in Ludwigshafen, and is in regular contact with his family in Ghana, who he visits a few times a year.
Throughout the years, Céphas Bansah has been able to realize several supportive ventures. Soon after his coronation, he established a non-profit organization to raise funds for the people of Hohoe. In Ludwigshafen, he was able through his good relations with the farmers to collect containers full of water pumps and pipes. They were shipped to Ghana and served to supply many people's homes with clean drinking water. Further items such as electricity poles and a new church bell for the Hohoe Evangelical Presbyterian Church were sent in subsequent containers. The town's hospital, which had been understaffed and inadequately equipped, was much improved by donations of medical equipment, wheelchairs, ambulance vehicles, and twenty-two German doctors. He also supervised the construction of a new bridge over the River Dayi, which had previously been dangerously unstable.
He is also known as an entertainer and musician, and makes many media appearances to generate interest for his charitable projects. He has been on many television shows with almost every German television station and as a guest on many other national and international television shows, even with the ORF (television broadcaster) in Austria. In September 1995 his installation as the "Superior and Spiritual Chief of the Ewe people" in Notse in Togo – a recognition of his hard work, development achievements, and continuous support for the Ewe people – was covered by the ZDF.
Ngoryifia Céphas Kosi Bansah has explained: "...people approached over and over again with questions about Ghana and about other African states. These people had never had personal contact with an African before. Their initial reservations about the continent were dispelled, and they considered me a mediator and representative for the whole of Africa. They asked for advice about traveling, for commercial contacts, and how they can be supportive in numerous developmental ventures."
He has produced and published six CDs of his songs and music, including a version of "O Tannenbaum" in his native language, and his World Cup 2006 song "King Football". The German author Horst O. Hermanni has written a biography of Céphas Bansah with the title "Majestät im Blauen Anton" (His Majesty in Blue Overalls).
Céphas Bansah married his German wife, Gabrielle, in 2000, and has three children: Michael Kweku, Carlo Koku, and Katharina Akosua.
Theft of crowns and other regalia
In late November 2014, Bansah reported to German police that whilst he and his wife were away at a function, thieves broke into his home and stole items including his four crowns.
- "Re: Ewe King who rules from Germany via Skype robbed". Ghana Web. January 21, 2015.
- "Geschichte". Konig Bansah (official website).
- Kühner, Claudia (May 1994). "Herrscher im Overall" (subscription required). NZZ Folio.
- "König Bansah kümmert sich um sein Volk in Ghana". Charity Label.
- "König aus Ghana kommt zum BonbonBall". ORF. 13 January 2008.
- "African king who rules his people by Skype has 'four crowns stolen'". RT. 29 November 2014.