Fashion and music will take centre stage today, Friday, May 30 at the funeral of Ghanaian fashion icon, Kofi Sasraku Ansah,62, who passed away on Saturday, May 3, after a short illness.
At the funeral, which would be held from 8.00a.m. at the forecourt of the State House in Accra, a catwalk parade featuring models in his evocative Kente and Bogolon Collections will be part of activities to mark the four-hour ceremony.
Kofi’s body will be laid in state for filing past and viewing before a short interdenominational service is performed.
There will also be musical performances featuring his childhood friend from Asamansodo in Sekondi, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, as well as the Tagoe Sisters, Cindy Thompson and Akosua Agyepong.
Kofi Ansah’s iconic garments are identified by small bronze heads that he hang on the back, as well as on the front pocket hooks of his shirts and other prominent places on his couture dresses.
In fulfillment of his wishes, guests attending the funeral are expected to come in attire that depict ‘tradition and fashion’ as a tribute to the man who helped change the face of fashion in Ghana. Kofi was the principal at the ArtDress fashion house.
He was also a founding member, as well as a past president of the Federation of African Designers.
He had on several occasions asked that he should not be mourned when he dies, but rather “celebrated”.
“I believe no better tribute can be paid to Kofi than to follow his wishes, and also honour him in a final moment by wearing that which he made,” said his elder brother, Kwaw Ansah.
According to Paa Kwesi Yankey, his family head, his final obsequies, “will be a private affair, only to be attended by close family.”
“Africa has indeed lost a great gem with the passing of Kofi, he shown the light in fashion, we pray his legacy continues to inspire generations,” says Nana Kobina Nketsia, Omanhene of Essikado.
Filmmaker and communications expert, Dr Kwesi Owusu, who knew Kofi Ansah well, said many would miss “the joy of the late designer’s engaging conversations and his incredibly infectious smile.”
In a tribute, Dr Owusu said, “Kofi’s engaging personality spoke to his deep love for Africa. He also believed in the creative potential of its people and the urgency of getting things done. In that sense, time was always of the essence for him. It informed his creative mission.
“Significantly, his passion for excellence, obvious in everything he did, especially his design collections and shows he staged, spoke to the need for Africa to deploy its rich tradition of creative design to unleash the African genius and renaissance.
“Kofi was immensely witty with a sharp intellect and simply fun to be with. He was at the same time also focused on his creative mission and was always determined to take African fashion to new levels.”
By Maame Praba