Kwasi Kafele, the founder of Yensomu Youth and Development in Toronto, has become the first Toronto resident and non-Krobo in the 500-year history of Manya Krobo, Ghana, to be enstooled as Matse (Chief).
Kafele is now a member of the Manya Krobo Traditional Council of Chiefs and was given the stool name of Nene Kwesi Detse 1. Kafele will only use this name when he is sitting on the stool in Toronto or when he is in Ghana. Otherwise he will be known as Nene Kafele.
Nene Kafele is Manoyam Matse (Chief for Youth Development) for Manya Krobo, an area with a population of more than 200,000 people in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He is responsible for the overall welfare of young people, especially in the areas of education, health, economic development and crime.
“There are many examples of incredible work being undertaken at the local community levels and across the traditional area,” says Nene Kafele. “I want to build on this strong groundwork that has been laid and hopefully use my position to leverage, connect, influence and stimulate further change and growth.”
Some of the youth-related issues include an increasingly high rate of HIV (the highest in Ghana) with a prevalence rate of 8.4 per cent (especially young women between the ages of 18 and 25), high levels of youth poverty and unemployment, a rapidly increasing youth population, low high school graduation rates, poor education infrastructure, increasing crime and addiction and mental health challenges.
Kafele believes Torontonians can learn from the young people in Manya Krobo about the creative use of scarce resources in the development and delivery of critical programs and initiatives. He will work in partnership with various levels of government, the NGOs, local organizations, churches and the Chieftaincy.