By: Isaac Amo-Kyereme
History was made in New Jersey on Saturday, June 24th 2011, when a local street Victoria street was renamed “Ghanaian Way’. The street which houses a number of Ghanaian businesses perhaps is the only street named after a country in America.
In a chat with Mr. Edward Nsiah, Secretary of a local organization, Dreamers Association, he recounted how the street, once a crime infested area has been transformed since Ghanaians adopted the area. He said Ghanaians in and around the area during the 2010 world cup gathered to watch the matches in a Ghanaian restaurant. As Ghana made progress in the world cup it was just exciting to go and watch the match amongst Ghanaians. When Ghana beat the United States during the tournament the jubilation it created in the street was so deafening the police thought it was a riot. They tried to arrest the jubilating crowd until local councilman Ras Baraka intervened and got the street blocked to traffic so Ghanaians could celebrate. When councilman Baraka came to see how comported the Ghanaians were even in their jubilation, he pushed for the renaming of the street from Victoria Street into Ghanaian way.
In attendance naming ceremony were; Congressmen Donald M. Payne, The Consul General; Ghana Missions, NY – H.E. Ernest Lomotey, The City of Newark Municipal Council leaders, many chiefs, queen mothers and the general public. A co-chairperson for the ceremony was A. Zachary Yamba, now retired but recognized as New Jersey’s longest-serving college president.