April 19th - May 11th, 2012

Franz Kröger visited Accra, Ghana, in the company of Margaret Arnheim, her daughter Christine Adelesui Sam, and their nine-month old grand-daughter and daughter respectively, Emelia Sam. The main aim of his visit was research at the National Archives of Ghana in the capital. Together with Yaw Akumasi Williams (Wiaga-Yisobsa) Franz went through dozens of files in search of notes and reports on Bulsa history and old maps including the Bulsa area.


April 26th - April 30th, 2012

During a brief visit to Ghana, Margaret Arnheim was in her home village, Gbedema, in the new Bulsa South District of North Ghana, where, on behalf of the Münster-based (Germany) charity group, Maaka e.V., of which she is a founding member, she distributed medical items, medications and also shared and exchanged ideas and information on health issues with members of the village development committee and the volunteer community midwife, Lamisi Ayaric. Margaret also presented items to Gbedema Primary School, deepening the existing friendship between Maaka e.V., Peter Vischer Primary School (Dortmund) and Gbedema Primary school.


May 5th, 2012

Franz Kröger and Yaw Akumasi interviewed Winston Atigsi-badek Afoko, also known as Slim Badek Exet, on the Facebook social group Bulubisa Meina Yeri (BMY) at the Coco Beach Hotel in Accra. Among other pieces of information, Slim talked about the decision by the core active BMY members to register the group as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). – Cf. Interview in this issue of BULUK.

Bature Adamu


May – June 2012

Bature Adamu, a Bulsa and civil engineer based in the USA, offered service in Bulsa South on a voluntary basis, putting his professional experience and knowledge to use in the area of road and bridge repair and construction.


June – September 2012

Jennilynn, Marisa, Sean and Monika with Maxwel Akandem and Sumankeni

Under the “Students for Development Programme”, sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and through the Association of All Universities and Colleges in Canada (AUCC), six students of Calgary University, Canada, and their supervisor, Dr. Rowland Caesar Apentiik (cf. BULUK 4), worked and researched in Bulsa. Aimed at providing human resource and technical support in many areas, the work and research of the students focused on the following:

1.   • Securing the future for youth and children

2.   • Food security

3.   • Economic growth and development.

Marisa Lee and Sean Christopher worked in Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR), a local initiative coordinated by Maxwell Akandem, an agriculturalist and 2nd best Ghana farmer of the year 2011. The two students developed guidelines for teachers of students with intellectual disabilities. Understanding the students’ level of intellectual impairment, having patience for their slow pace of learning, encouraging them to ask questions as well as ask for assistance, and building up and maintaining their self-confidence are useful teaching and learning methods in such situations. The guidelines stress that “even more important than academic training are the confidence, social integration, and life skills that students with intellectual disabilities learn through attending school. Students with intellectual disabilities should ALWAYS be encouraged to keep attending school and to participate in all classroom activities.

Paula Johnson and Colin Minor were attached to the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) headed by Aloysius Anyiam, while Monika Ladosz and Jennilyn Anderson worked in collaboration with Richard Alandu at FISTRAD (see July 15th).

The University of Calgary also runs an exchange programme with the University of Development Studies (with campuses in Wa, Navrongo and Tamale). Selected students of both universities take courses together and interact on development issues for four months (in Ghana and Canada). Conceived as a training programme for young academicians, the exchange programme helps sensitize both Canadians and Ghanaians on issues relating to rural development and knowledge exchange. Last but not least, it offers Ghanaian students access to materials required for the completion of their theses.


June 15th, 2012

Slim Badek published a first draft of the proposed constitution of BMY on the group’s Facebook wall for comments and further suggestions.


President John Atta Mills congratulates Mr. Whittal on his appointment


June 2012

Mr. Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal (Sandema-Abilyeri, Chief's house), a lawyer by profession, has been appointed Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice. Until his appointment, Mr. Whittal was President of the Upper East Ghana Bar Association, a partner of the Law Firm "Ayieta Law and Consult" and Chairman of the "Justice and Security Sub-Committee" of the Builsa District Assembly.


June 24th, 2012

Mathew Kambonaba and his daughter Saha

Mr. Mathew Akunkolubiik Kambonaba died in Accra after a protracted illness. The late Kambonaba attended Fumbisi Local Authority Primary School, Sandema Middle Boarding School and Tamale Secondary School. He was holder of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and a Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Coast (1972). After his national service, he joined the Ghana Civil Service in 1977 and worked as an administrative officer in both Bolgatanga and Wa. In 1980 he was posted from Wa to the Office of the Secretary to President Hilla Limann. When the young Flight Lieutenant Rawlings toppled the regime of President Limann in his second coup on 31st December1981, Mr. Kambonaba left for Cameroon where he worked as a teacher in Bamenda until 1989. Back in Ghana he rejoined the Civil Service working as a director of education and a senior administrative officer in the Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Health respectively before retiring in 2009. He was buried in his hometown, Fumbisi, on the 24th July. Among the chief mourners was his younger sister, Cecilia Azumato Kambonaba, who lives in Vancouver, Canada. He is survived by two daughters, Sally and Saha Kambonaba. May He Rest in Peace.

Franz Kröger remembers him as one of his very eager students who attended his German courses at the University of Cape Coast in 1973.


June 29th, 2012

The Bulsa District was divided into Bulsa North and Bulsa South District (capital: Fumbisi). Hon. Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, had this to say when he inaugurated the new district, “the new district would benefit from massive infrastructural development such as the construction of an integrated millennium village to include schools, health facitilites, agriculture and roads...” (Ghanaweb 29-6-2012).

After the general election in December 2012 new D.C.E.s for both districts will be nominated (Cf. also BULUK 6, Events, October 14th, 2011).


July 3rd, 2012

Sandema Senior (Boarding) High School: students with Martin Atuire, his wife, daughter and Lotta Kahlert

On behalf of “Read More Books”, a Ghana/Denver, USA initiative working to promote literacy and education, started by Martin Anbegwon Atuire, lecturer at the University of Colorado, and Eric Ayienaab, an intercultural learning consultant, Ghanatta Ayaric visited the library of Sandema Senior Secondary School to update himself and assess the library’s contribution to educational effort in Bulsa.

In the summer of 2011, he had been there with Martin Atuire himself, his wife, Vicky Putsche, and their ten-year old daughter, Maddie Atuire, as well as Victoria Atuire, Eric Ayienaab, Rüdiger Kahlert (German pedagogue and hobby film-maker) and his 17-year old daughter, Lotta Kahlert (both friends of Ghanatta). It was Martin Atuire’s first visit to the library after “Read More Books” and Regis University students and faculty completed a project to start, equip and stock the library in 2010. On that second occasion, students and teachers of the Sandema Senior Secondary School talked about the many ways the library has been useful to the school and students in the district in general. The event was documented on video by Mr. Kahlert. The German hobby film-maker also made a short video clip of work at Radio Bulsa and other clips on everyday life and scenes in Bulsa. Ghanatta has copies of the clips. With the opening of the library at the Senior Secondary School, North Bulsa has five libraries altogether, the others being the FISTRAD’s Africa Unity library, the Sandema Secondary Technical School (Santech) library (also established by Read More Books in collaboration with Regis University in 2008), the District library and the Wiaga Catholic Parish library. This calls for the opening of a library in Bulsa South, at Fumbisi Senior Secondary School, for example.


BMY donates books to

Fumbisi Senior High School

July 14th 2012

On behalf of BMY, Winston Atigsi-badek Afoko, a.k.a. Slim, Stephen Anamnya Adaawen (doctoral candidate at the University of Bonn in Germany), Mandela Achumboro (Radio Bulsa) and Ghanatta Ayaric presented books and other school materials to Fumbisi Senior Secondary School.

Charles Atibil, a member of staff (himself a member of BMY) and Mrs Faustina Kanbonaba, Senior House Mistress of the school, received the items on behalf of the students, many of whom were present at the ceremony.

Charles Atibil organized the school cadet corps in a match parade before and after the donation ceremony.


July 15th 2012

FISTRAD'S Africa Unity Library is at the disposal of students for academic work after school and during the school holidays

In another development, the BMY representatives, Slim, Anamnya Adaawen and Ghanatta Ayaric paid a visit to FISTRAD’s (Foundation for Integrated and Strategic Development) Sandema Educational Resource Centre located in Sandema Kobdem. An NGO and sponsor of Radio Bulsa, the Centre works “in partnership with communities, other agencies and government using participatory approaches to contribute to poverty reduction, respect for human rights and environmental protection and preservation.” The BMY representatives were shown round the Centre by the NGO’s Initiator and

The sewing room

 Executive Director, Richard Alandu, a friend of Ghanatta’s during their secondary school days in the 1970s. FISTRAD’s impressive community work includes vocational

training programmes for young people. They are assisted to acquire knowledge and working skills in tailoring, audio and radio broadcasting, handicrafts, gardening, carpentry and building among others. The Centre also offers pupils and students extra classes in English, Mathematics and the Integrated Sciences.



July 17th, 2012

Election of a new Sandemnaab and Bulsa Paramount Chief in Sandema. The event took place in the uncompleted sports stadium of the town.

There were 12 contestants (listed here in the official order):

1) Amobitima Abakisi, Clement (Father: Abakisi Ayieta)

2) Adungbasisi, Thomas (Father: Akakaroa Anaankum)

3) Akanjagnaab Adiita, Albert (Father: Adiita Atuik)

4) Amoak Afoko, “Lawyer” (Father: Peter Apung)

5) Aweiniwie (Aweiliwei) Awobsa, Steven (Father: Anguuni)

6) Anaamtoa Abakisi (Father: Abakisi)

7) Azagsuk Azantilow (Father: Azantilow Ayieta)

8) Akankoalim, Moses (Father: Asekabta Ayieta)

9) Awiaknab Adiabiik, (Father: Ayeparo)

10) Ateteng Azantilow, Sylvester (Father: Azantilow Ayieta)

11) Akanyatalika Agaampi (Father: Agebtechaab Agaampi)

12) Assibil Azantilow, Geoffrey (Father: Azantilow Ayieta)

Azagzuk Azantilow received most votes and has since been functioning as successor of late Sir Azantilow Ayieta who died in 2006 after seventy-five years as Sandemnaab and Paramount Chief of the Bulsa.


July 19th 2012

BMY and DC Norbert Awulley

Slim, Adaawen, Evans Akangyelewon and Ghanatta (all of BMY) visited the District Chief Executive and ex-MP for Bulsa North in the 3rd Republic, Hon. Norbert Awulley, in his office.

The BMY members were there to brief the DCE on the mission and objectives of the group and seek ways of possible collaboration on development issues in Bulsa. On his part, Mr. Awulley explained his role as DCE and the working apparatus of the District Administration and District Assembly to the group. He also listed development projects (on-going and completed) in Bulsa since he took office. Most of the projects include school building, teachers’ quarters, health posts and nursing quarters. The District engineer, Moses Avariko, gave the BMY representatives a soft copy of pictures of the projects, with details on their costs and duration of construction.


July-August 2012

Dr Marcus Watson, African-American, professor at the University of Wyoming, USA, and his wife, Sadia (Sarah) Akambasi-Watson, a native of Sandema, visited Bulsa.

Marcus also interviewed people on the effect of mobile phones, television sets and the internet on the lives of individuals and the community as a whole.

Cf. article in this issue of BULUK


September 2nd, 2012

The Kumasi branch of Gbedema Mabrimtom (a rough translation would be “the spirit of brotherhood”) launches an Education Support Fund (GESUF) in Kumasi to give financial assistance to brilliant students in Gbedema. Thanks to its dynamic coordinators, Chris Analimbey and Richard Abilimdjo Andii, not forgetting the active members as a whole, the Kumasi branch of the group has been very active, linking up and meeting with the home group in Gbedema on various issues relating to tree planting/growing and construction work on the community centre.


November 22nd – 24th, 2012


Dr. Akis Afoko examining children

In line with the group’s promise to help provide healthcare to the less privileged, Bulubisa Meina Yeri (BMY) embarked on a free medical outreach in some of the remote villages in the two Bulsa districts. This was done in collaboration with the Tamale Teaching Hospital’s outreach department. With support from Nallem Clothing Ltd, Radio Bulsa, The Good Shepherd Congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in North-Legon (Accra) and a number of well-meaning members of Bulsa, BMY took a twenty-one member medical team to four Bulsa villages, namely Uwasi, Kanjarga, Dogninga and Siniensi. The team screened and treated a total of 587 people with various ailments in a three-day exercise.

The medical team arrived in the Upper East region in the evening of 21st of November but had to stay over in Navrongo due to the poor nature of the road linking Buluk and Navrongo. They however left Navrongo on the morning of November 22nd and arrived in Sandema at 7am. After breakfast they proceeded to the first community, Siniensi. The turnout being massive the team worked till 6pm.

Day 2 saw the team in Doninga where the turnout was equally big. The team originally planned proceeding to Kanjarga after its work in Doninga. However, this was hampered by an accident involving the vehicle of the team’s leader, Dr. Akis Afoko. This notwithstanding, the team managed to work there till 4pm. BMY also distributed used clothes to people in the village.

Day 3 was the most challenging day with work planned in two villages, Uwasi and Kanjarga. As early as 8am, people had converged at the primary school in Uwasi awaiting the medical team. Work in Uwasi started at exactly 9am and after about 5 hours of intensive consultations and administering of drugs the team paused for lunch. BMY team members also distributed used clothes and shoes in Uwasi. From Uwasi the team proceeded to Kanjarga where it worked till 8pm, ensuring that all the people who turned out there were attended to. At the end of the three-day outreach programme, two patients were referred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital for intensive care and a major surgery.

The challenges were quite enormous but the medical team did the best within its power to make an impact.

It was discovered that many children suffered from malnutrition, had an iodine deficiency and lacked vital minerals in their diets. In this connection, BMY is making efforts to return to Buluk in April 2013 with a second medical outreach programme during which it will distribute iodine tablets as well as educate people on the sources of iodine in local foods and the importance of minerals to our health.

BMY wishes to thank Dr. Akis & Hamza of the Tamale Teaching Hospital for their swift attitude in putting together a great team for the exercise. Our gratitude also goes to Radio Bulsa for providing a platform for publicity. Nallem Clothing Ltd. is highly praised for their financial support and donation of clothes and shoes to our rural folks. We are also grateful to the Presbyterian churches for their contribution towards the realization of the outreach programme. To the various individuals who contributed in diverse ways to make this exercise a reality, we say a big thank you and pray God’s blessings on each person.

Long Live BMY, Long live Buluk!


December 7th, 2012

Prof. em. Dr. Rüdiger Schott, the anthropologist specialized in Bulsa oral literature, religion and law, died in Bonn (Germany).

See obituary in this issue of BULUK.


James Agalga

December 7th, 2012

Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in Ghana. James Agalga (NDC) was elected MP for the Bulsa North Constituency, and Alhassan Azong (PNC) for the Bulsa South Constituency for a second term.

See also "Events: January 5th, 2013" and the article on the results of the elections 2012 in this issue of BULUK.


December 2012

Dr. Clement Apaak, an Archaeology and History lecturer at the University of Ghana and convener of the Forum for

Dr. Clement Apaak

 Governance and Justice, has been appointed a member of the National Media Commission by President Mahama. A community organizer and an outspoken social advocate, Dr. Apaak founded and registered "Direct Assistance Network Ghana and Canada" in 2010. The NGO mobilises "funds and educational supplies from Canada to help provide and improve opportunities for students in Northern Ghana. In November 2012, he launched Direct Assistance Network in Sandema Senior High Technical School, the secondary school he attended in Ghana. He expects to support 100 girls in ten schools with $100 per year as well as provide ten computers and books to the ten target schools from which the girls will be drawn."


January 2013

The independence monument at Wiaga-Gonsa, which is some hours older than Ghana and was completed at midnight, 6th March, 1957 by the Wiaga-Kadema Local Council was repainted not long ago by the youth of Wiaga (from Evans Akangyelewon Atuick’s comment in the BMY internet group).

Before the late Sandemnaab’s statue had been erected in Sandema, the Wiaga Independence Monument was, to the knowledge of the editors, unique in Buluk. Its inscription “Naawon neak Ghana” means “God bless Ghana”.


Alhassan Azong

January 5th, 2013

Alhassan Azong, PNC, elected MP for Bulsa South and Minister of State in charge of Public Sector Reform at the Presidency under the late President Mils, has been nominated the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament. James Agalga was naminated Deputy Minister for the Interior. Our sincere congratulations to both!


February 2013

Mr. Kangah

Mr. David Adeenze Kangah (who taught Ghanatta Ayaric Physics at Notre Dame Secondary School, Navrongo, in the early 1970s) retired last year after serving as Deputy Electoral Commissioner of Ghana’s Electoral Commission. Mr. Kangah is a member of the Council of State for Upper East under President John Mahama.


March 2013

Mr. Daniel Awenyue Syme, who served as Bulsa District Chief Executive from 1992-2000, has been appointed Deputy Upper East Regional Minister. Mr. Daniel Syme’s father, Mr, Anbeawai Syme, was one of the first pupils of Sandema Old Primary and a Director of Workers’Brigade in the First Republic under President Kwame Nkrumah.


April 20, 2013: Death of Mr. Godfrey Achaw. He was born in Sandema Kalijiisa in 1946 or 1947. Among German

Godrey Achaw and Franz Kröger ( 2006)

anthropologists of Münster, he is well known as the Bulsa assistant of Prof. Dr. R. Schott and Dr. Franz Kröger. During R. Schott’s first research trip to Buluk, Godfrey introduced him to many friends and informants and took him to his own subsection, Sandema-Kalijiisa-Yongsa, which became the focus of his study of Bulsa society and religion during all of the professor’s research stays. When F. Kröger was a lecturer at Cape Coast University (1972-74), Achaw was working at the University Hospital as a nurse, and so it was quite natural that he also became Kröger’s main informant, assistant and teacher of Buli. Later Godfrey Achaw spent many years in the USA. It was only in the early years of the 21st century that he returned to his Sandema hometown where he established a small clinic. He died in Sandema, where his memorial service took place on May 18th, 2012. May his soul rest in peace.


Stephanie Carey and her late girl friend Danielle Dunlap

July 2011 – July 2013

Stephanie Carey, a member of the American Peace Corps Service, has been working as a teacher at Gbedema Junior High School where she teaches Mathematics and Computer Science. Apart from her teaching duties, Miss Carey organized her students to start a gardening project and also started an HIV peer educators group in the village. Her stay has been overshadowed by the death of Danielle Dunlap, a friend and fellow Peace Corps, who died in April 2013 after a short illness while serving in Ghana.


June 2013

Adangbey Bonaventure was nominated District Chief Executive (DCE) of Bulsa North District, Norbert Awulley of Bulsa South District.