Nothing good comes easy – Dr Yamba
by Kofi Ayim
Dr A. Zachary Yamba, a renowned educationist and scholar has advised the African community to girth their loins and stay focus in order to attain their goals in life. Dr Yamba who retired in 2010 after 40 years as President of Essex County College (ECC) – and back again as Interim President of the Newark, New Jersey based college – was speaking at a fundraising/brunch session of the Ghanaian Association of Medical Aid (GAMA) at the Kenilworth Hotel, New Jersey October 1, 2016.
Citing his own experience immediately after his initial appointment as President of ECC, – when the college was on the brink of losing its ac- creditation – he faced acute challenges and distractions from people who were rather supposed to help revive and revitalize a college in comatose.
He said parochial interests, embedded and shrouded in a game called politics overshadowed and clouded the minds of many so much so that he was at one time seen as a threat by the changes he had introduced. Dr. Yamba insinuated that some were bent to asphyxiate his efforts to make ECC competitive and bring at par excellence with other schools within the region.
He said parochial interests, embedded and shrouded in a game called politics over- shadowed and clouded the minds of many so much so that he was at one time seen as a threat by the changes he had introduced. Dr. Yamba insinuated that some were
But he never bulged nor lost focus. He therefore cautioned GAMA to not be frustrated and distracted in their chosen path of reeducating the com- munity in health issues what- soever, especially with the free services it offers. Dr. Yamba, who has both a street in the City of Newark and the main Building of Essex County College named after him, pointed out that many a people have their own similar stories to tell, and the truth is that they, in most cases achieved their goals at a price. “Politics, the affable and unassuming Elder said “should not stand in the way of our children” He challenged the invited guests to contribute in kind to the GAMA cause and reminded them of shared responsibilities both to the community they live in and back home. “Our responsibilities cannot be found in books,” he poetized. He said much has been given to us and it’s time to give back. Wealth, he observed is not necessarily measured in mansions built or driving expensive cars, while our people back home wallow in abject poverty.
In an elaborate presentation on health issues, Dr. Nelson Alyua, mesmerized the crowd with a practical approach to knowing and mitigating potential health hazards unique to Africans. He delineated major health issues between first and second generation Africans in the U.S. and compared and contrasted dietary influences between Africans who come to the U.S. at young age and those at matured age. The Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers NewJersey Medical School heaped praises on GAMA for its services. He advised Africans to dispel the notion that every death in the community is attributed to an- other person in the community. Mr. Emmanual Anim Sackey in his presentation on non-profit work high- lighted the challenges that face non-profit organizations, especially in Ghana where its work is needed most to improve quality of life. He philosophized that it is imperative for each individual to unearth his or her latent purpose in life and execute it. He therefore urged GAMA never to give up on potential frustrations and red tapeism that they would encounter should they decide to extend their services to Ghana. GAMA is a nonprofit health Ghanaian organization that basically comprises of health professionals based in N.J. It is headed by Dr. Andrew Baddoo and available for free services to the community.