Eunice celebrates 50th birthday at Subtopia, August 29th, 2015
 
   
 
 
 

Eunice celebrates birthday in grand style

 

If her intention was to make it the best party ever in the Ghanaian community in Stockholm, then Ms Eunice Kollai succeeded beyond all doubt with her 50th birthday bash at Subtopia in Alby over the weekend.

Eunice never fails to attend social occasions in the Ghanaian and African community in Stockholm. She got the reward by the huge number of people who turned up to celebrate with her. They came from near and far. Her immediate and distant family members were there. Some of them came all the way from the UK, USA, Germany, and Holland.

Everybody who mattered in the Ghanaian community was there. Even those you would normally not see at such gatherings made an exception for the sake of Eunice. There were members of her Friendship Association, colleagues from Skärholmen Vårdcentral, church mates from Emanuel kyrkan, her Zumba training friends, and from the African community came friends from Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya and a large contingent from Nigeria. Joe Franz, former Socialdemokrat Member of Parliament, was there too. Mr Osei-Poku was there. And so was Baba Ibrahim-Nabigah. People came from other towns in Sweden. They came with their families and you could see many kids running about in the corridors. And I was there, too, to bring you these pictures – and to tell you the story…

For once for an African party, the guests arrived on time. Many were dressed in white or gold. They gathered at the forefront of the theatre drinking champagne, eating chips and making small talk while waiting for the event to start. Eunice, herself resplendent in her white dress, was there to meet everybody personally shaking hands here or in a hug there. The huge theatre had already been arranged with the tables in long rows.

Then people were called in to take their places. George Adu-Boahene, the MC for the day, called on the gathering to stand up as the chief celebrant and her immediate family were ushered into the hall, their white handkerchiefs fluttering in the air in praise of God as Aseda and Okokoroko issued out of the loudspeakers. Everybody was issued with white handkerchiefs taken straight from the manufacturer’s boxes. These were waved in the air like borborbor dancers. The entourage danced its way through this confetti of white handkerchiefs to take their places at the high table that was decorated with expensive drinks and white, green and yellow draperies.

Eunice and her husband sat in the centre of the high table. They were flanked on either side by her relatives and friends from the UK, Kwadwo Baidu, Mrs Nana Yaa Adu-Boahene, and Afia Asare Dapaah.

Kwadwo Baidu said the prayers that started things off. He was in tune with things, saw how people were itching to get going and kept the prayer short.

Then the tributes started coming in. Fiona Akpan sang a Whitney Houston song in her tribute. Others sang to her too.

Then it was time to eat and drink. There was a lot for everybody. There was so much to take at the food stand that the queue to serve oneself was long and moved slowly as people were spoilt for choice which was not easy to make because of the abundance. People could be seen heaping their plates as if they had been fasting for this day. Yet the food never got finished. As for the drinks, they were flowing like water.

A huge five-tiered cake was rolled into the room. Each tier represented a decade of Eunice’s life. The cake was so huge a small child could be hidden between the tiers. The bottom tier had a picture of Eunice embossed on it. Flanked by the sister and the husband, and with the help of the latter, Eunice, who had by this time changed into one of the five different dresses she displayed this evening (each dress obviously signifying every decade of her life), cut the huge cake amidst cheers. Ja mår hon leva was sung in her honour. It was followed by Happy Birthday to You in English. The paparazzi milled around with many of them jostling for position to be able to take the best shots. Everybody with a smartphone wanted their own pictures. The toast was given and the MC then gave the “Hip Hip Hurrah” in her honour in typical Swedish fashion. The födelsdagsbarn was full of smiles often flashing her set of perfect white teeth in satisfaction at all the adulations she received. Everybody wanted to toast her. Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday To You was played.

The tables and seats in the front were then pushed back to make way for the dancing. If you are 50, the music that you would want to be played on your birthday is the one that you enjoyed when you were in your youth. For Eunice, it was no hip hop or hiplife. She went back to the 80s and it was Cool and the Gang singing Celebration. Eunice and the husband opened the floor and others then in.

The Friendship Union’s Cultural group (of which she is cultural chairperson) danced adowa in her honour. She joined them too. Her female friends from Nigeria also did a special Nigerian dance in her honour. Eunice joined them too and for that occasion, someone had adorned her with a very well made and intricate headgear which only the Nigerians are so good at. It was so tall it touched the chandeliers.

Eunice had informed all ahead of the party that she did not want any personal gifts and all monetary donations were to be made directly to her organisation, The Sweden Ghana Health Fund that helps diabetic patients in Ghana. Slides were shown of the activities of the organisation in Ghana. Envelopes were passed around and those who didn’t have their cash donations in envelopes used them to make their gifts. Some people still came with non-monetary presents. The Friendship Association presented her with two pieces of costly traditional cloth. She opened it and showed them to the delight of everybody.

Then the dancing continued. The food and drinks that never seemed to get finished continued to be eaten. People danced and danced until the proverbial wee hours of the morning.

It was a party those who attended will talk of for a very long time…

A well-attended thanksgiving service was held the following day at Emanuel Kyrkan to show gratitude to God for all His mercies.

Those who still wish to make a contribution to Eunice’s organisation can pay that into the following account. Mark the payment with your name: Pay to the Nordea account – 32324522160.

 

You know it doesn't make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration

'Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you

And I'm sure you would agree
It couldn't fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party
On the day you came to be

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Ooh yeah
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Happy birthday

-
Stevie Wonder

 
   
 
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