Asanteman Association of Chicago & Midwest (AACM) is a Non-Profit Organization under the leadership of Nana Addai Baffour, Asantefuohene (Chief), Nana Abena Amponsah, Asantefuohemaa (Queenmother), an Executive Board as well as Council of Elders. The association has a total membership of about 500.
Our logo or emblem is the proverbial porcupine, “Kotoko” in Akan.
“Wo Kum Apem A, Apem Beba”, which literally translates into “If you kill a thousand, a thousand more will resurface” which expresses the resilience of the Asante people.
1. To foster unity among Asantefuo in consonance with the cultural diversity of Ghana.
2. To recognize and preserve chieftaincy.
3. To assist in educating our children and ourselves in Asante cultural systems and values and in the moderation of changes in these cultural systems and values with time.
4. To serve as a basal foundation for promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship and accomplishment among Asantefuo and contribute to the development of Ashanti region and Ghana as a whole.
5. To provide avenues for cooperation among ourselves and with other associations and organizations on matters of common interest.
6. To design and implement fund raising strategies necessary to insure a continual financial strength and support of the organization’s viability at all times
The Asanteman Association of Chicago and Midwest (AACM) started modestly in the late 70s on the South Side of Chicago. Prior, the only cities that boasted of such associations were New York and Toronto. Chicago followed suit spearheaded by Wofa Kojo Renner who volunteered to use his house as meeting place, the birth place of AACM.
Wofa Kojo Renner was selected the interim Chairman during this trying period, with the immediate members being but not limited to Nana Alex Prempeh, Mr. Victor Owusu, Barima Osei Abeberese, Mr. Akwasi Mensah Sarpong, Nana Atakora Amaniampong, Nana Bonsu Wiafe and others. There was difficulty in recruiting members partly because Ghanaians and particularly Ashantis in Chicagoland were demographically scattered. The only associations at that time were student unions and a few Pan-African organizations, but these groups did not fully participate in the affairs of the communities at large for they socialized within their own circles. The idea to meet monthly to discuss the welfare of non-members and to offer help to those who needed them was met with mixed feelings.
Wofa Kojo Renner and his team slowly and gradually got the word out and the association began to grow. All people with different opinions were coming together for the first time for a reason and they loved it. Helping members in times of need became the top objective. Also creating a wing at Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi in addition to sending and donating hospital supplies to the facility was also a top priority. With a constitution in place, and more members to participate in their deliberations, the newly formed AACM never looked back.
Soon after that, Mr. Adu Darkwa was elected chairman, and Nana Serwaa Akoto was Asantefuohemaa. He organized the first formal gathering in the name of Asanteman. The huge crowd signified a new beginning. The Asanteman Association was here to stay.
Nana Atakora Amaniampong succeeded Mr. Adu Darkwa, and Nana Adwoa Pinaman was Asantefuohemaa. It was during this transitional period and under his leadership that the organization slowly shifted to becoming a ceremonial traditional entity. He presented himself as a true Asante King, and served one term.
Nana Wiafe Bonsu was elected chief afterwards. Nana Yaa Pokuaa and Nana Akua Takyiwaa served as Asanfuohemaa during his first and second terms respectively. Nana Wiafe left an indelible mark, for the first Asanteman Inauguration in Chicago occurred during his administration. It was around that time that Asanteman Council of North America (ACONA) was formed. He elevated the organization to its pinnacle and travelled around the country advertising Asanteman Chicago and pitching his ideas to recruit more people. The outspoken Nana Bonsu used his public relations expertise to double the membership and became one of the most popular chiefs in North America during his era. Nana Bonsu stepped down in the first year of his second term administration, paving the way for Nana Akwasi Appiah to succeed him.
Nana Akwasi Appiah took the mantle majestically, and put together a council of elders like none before him. After serving the remaining of Nana Bonsu’s second term, Nana Appiah was elected to the first of his two terms, with Nana Amma Akyaa as Asantefuohemaa. The association put on a massive inauguration to welcome their new chief who reciprocated by using his serviceable personality and his mastery of the Twi language and Asante culture to recruit more members. For the first time in the history of the association, its coffers gradually mounted.
He organized Asanteman’s first black-tie dinner at the Marriott Hotel downtown Chicago. Nana Appiah represented the association in every major North American event that featured Asante traditional chiefs. He led a delegation to Detroit to meet with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II during his visit to the United States. Just as he had sworn during his oath swearing-in never to abandon the association, he had lived truly to every word of his. He served faithfully and credit is given to him for his dedication and sincerity. At the end of his second term, the chapter now boasted of an investment club. He had established himself as a true icon of the Asanteman association, dedicated to the foundation, and still instrumental in its affairs.
Nana Akwasi Addae who served for one term with Nana Abena Amponsah as Asantefuohemaa, succeeded Nana Appiah. During this time, membership growth was steady. Nana Addae added to the coffers of Asanteman by organizing another successful black-tie fundraiser.
Nana Addai Baffour succeeded Nana Akwasi Addae, and is currently serving his fourth term with Nana Abena Amponsah as Asantefuohemaa. Nana Baffour has served admirably well, and was re-elected during the November 2016 elections. During his second term in 2008, the association donated over 16, 000 books to the Ashanti Regional Library at the Cultural Center, Kumasi. The books which cost thousands of US dollars comprised of fiction and non-fiction, textbooks, workbooks, journals and children books. The books were made available through solicitation by courtesy of Algonquin Public Library, Kennedy-King College and others. Under his leadership during his third term, AACM officially adopted “A2 Maternity Ward” of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) on September 1, 2016, renovated the deplorable ward by multi-color painting the entire ward and its hallways as well as replacing two (2) water ceramic sinks which had been in existence since the hospital was built in 1954. Then on November 7, 2016, AACM donated brand new hospital equipment and accessories (15 beds, 15 mattresses, 15 bedside cabinets, 15 pillows, 15 bed-sheets/pillowcases, 2 multi-function obstetric beds) to the 34-bed capacity adopted ward. Asanteman Association of Chicago and Midwest is thriving and continue to serve its community.