Emmanuel Ofori Akyea, age 82 of Dryden, NY passed away May 16, 2023.
Emmanuel Ofori Akyea, or “Togbe” as he was known, was born on December 1, 1940, in Lateh in the Eastern Region of Ghana, West Africa. He was a native of Peki. “Togbe” is an honorific Ewe word meaning grandfather and elder.
The first of 11 children, Togbe’s father set a high bar. His mother, Rosa Akyea, was an industrious homemaker and loving parent. His father, Felix Akyea, was an ambitious and successful merchant and entrepreneur who owned several businesses– including gas stations and a retail and food store. Felix was also an ordained Methodist pastor. His work as a pastor took the family to many regions throughout Ghana.
Emmanuel Ofori attended primary school in Lateh and secondary school in Keta in the Volta region of Ghana. Upon completion of 6th form at Ho High School, he attended college at the University of Ghana in Legon where he completed both his bachelor’s degree in English and his masters degree in African History and
In 1970, he married Miranda Akyea. Emmanuel Ofori was employed in the African Studies Department at the University of Ghana in Legon. During his time at the University, he was very involved with activities with the YMCA. He was also very active in student affairs and politics focusing on youth education in partnership with Kwame Nkrumah’s government. His affiliation made it possible for him to escape imprisonment through his friends at the YMCA.
Emmanuel Ofori then became a representative for the YMCA and this work took him throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. In 1971, he brought his work and family to Geneva, Switzerland. During this time, he traveled throughout the world to work on issues related to measles, polio, and malaria vaccinations, child care for parents, and youth education and health issues.
After nine years, Emmanuel Ofori joined UNICEF and was posted in the Ivory Coast as the regional representative for managing field projects.
Following his work in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Emmanuel Ofori went to Monrovia, Liberia for four years, and he worked in Kigali, Rwanda. As a result of the war and subsequent genocide, he was evacuated from the country and ended his work as a United Nations diplomat.
After moving to Iowa City, Iowa, Emmanuel Ofori began working with Rotary International. His interests moved him into academics field of study where he started a PhD program at the University of Iowa. His research at the University of Iowa focused on the aesthetics and social role of Kete cloth in Ewe society. His academic field of study included African history and Art. He was also a published author, writing a book, Ewe, about the Ewe
people, history and culture. While in Iowa, Ofori and his wife Miranda, started a clothing and catering business (Elike Traditions), an African newsletter, and worked in the African student association, and international student center.
In 2000, Emmanuel Ofori and Miranda returned to Ghana, where he began working as the vice president, lecturer and teacher at the African University College of Communications in Accra, Ghana, teaching business education.
He famously said, “The school will teach ethics and instill morals in everything we do. Business cannot be excluded. It informs journalism and communications.” After a long, protracted, and brave fight with prostate cancer, Emmanuel Ofori passed on peacefully on the evening of May 16th, 2023 in Dryden, New York in the home of his eldest daughter Oforiwa Akua Akyea surrounded by his loving wife and partner of 53 years Miranda Akyea and steadfast sister-in-law Stella Tsey.
Emmanuel Ofori was a loving husband and father, a devout practicing Christian, and his love for God manifested in his passion helping young people. A father figure to many, Emmanuel Ofori was known for his African proverbs, sense of humor, keen intellect, storytelling, and memorable bass voice. An advisor, councilor, diplomat, and teacher to many.
Emmanuel Ofori is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 53 years Mama Loye III, queen mother of Weto in Anyako, Ghana. His children Oforiwa Akua Akyea (Dryden, NY), Modei Akyea (Iowa City, IA), Ansa Akyea and Seena Hodges (Saint Paul, MN), and his two grandchildren Senam Akyea and Cashton Akyea. Emmanuel Ofori is also survived by his sister-in-law Stella Tsey and her familyAgbenyo Aheto, Eli and Carolyn Aheto, and Colin Aheto. As well as countless nieces, nephews and family members including Franco, Mawuli, Agbeko, Mawunega, Nana Arko, Selom, Dela, Bribiti, Yao, Dzifa, Ekow (and siblings), and extended family- Edem, Sika, Cudjoe, Elikem, Happy, Efo, Koshi and many others both in the United States and abroad. Emmanuel Ofori will be sadly missed but fondly remembered 4 pm service on Monday, May 22, 2023 at Perkins Funeral Home, 55 W. Main St., Dryden, NY with Pastor King officiating.
Calling from 3-4 pm prior to the service.
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