Benjamin Appiah Kubi was a key player in the music ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) in Ghana. Known as Akwasi Dwumfour, Appiah Kubi was born on August 7, 1949 in a town called Jacobu, which is located at the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He was born to the late Opanin Yaw Dwumfour and Madam Afia Asantewaa, and was the fifth child of his parents. Appiah Kubi received his basic education at the Methodist Primary School at his hometown if Jacobu. He completed his middle school in 1965.
A few months after finishing his basic education, at age seventeen, Appiah Kubi was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Jacobu in 1966 by Pastor E. K. Akwaboah. From 1966 to 1970, he helped his parents doing farmwork at Mile 9, a village close to Jacobu.
The transitional life of Appiah Kubi began in 1970 when his father’s best friend, the late Opanin Kwadwo Sika at Anwiankwanta, took him to Accra to be trained as an auto mechanic. This was when Appiah Kubi moved from the Ashanti Region of Ghana to Accra, the capital. In 1971, he joined the Hansen Road SDA Church in Accra where he continued the music ministry that he had started at Jacobu SDA Church.
His role as a father began in 1977 when he married Mrs. Comfort Appiah Kubi at Jacobu. Appiah Kubi and his beloved wife were blessed with three children: George, Doris and Francisca. Appiah Kubi made sure all of them were well educated. He was considered a God fearing, loving, fruitful, and caring husband. He never joked with the morning devotions of the family. He served as a father, brother, mentor, counselor and pillar of strengthen to his wife and his in-laws. Appiah Kubi has a great sense of duty as a husband and father. He worked hard to provide for his family. His children remember him for his sincerity and integrity. His words at home promoted patience and forgiveness. Before his death, Appiah Kubi had been married to his wife for thirty-seven years.
His Music Ministry
The musical ambition of Appiah Kubi began in the early 70s at Jacobu, a few years after his baptism into the SDA Church. The first singing group he formed was called the Adventist Singers. Even, after his departure for Accra, this group continued to function because of the firm foundation he laid as the leader.
When he joined Hansen Road SDA Church at Accra, he formed another singing group called Faith for Today. This testifies to his love for music and his passion to spread God’s word through music. This singing group grew and had a great impact on the lives of many people. They later became known as the Advent Heralds, the oldest SDA singing group in Ghana. This singing group, which has been in existence for about forty years, has had Appiah Kubi as one of its pivotal members, as he was an excellent tenor. As the founder, he played a key role in the spiritual growth of the group and was actively involved in all the activities of the group. The Advent Heralds, through its evangelistic activities has established many SDA Churches. Some of these are the Pokuase SDA Church, Asuboi SDA Church, and the Ashaiman Middle East SDA Church. The Advent Heralds ministered in and outside of Ghana. Appiah Kubi was actively involved in all these travels.
He is deeply remembered by his singing mates for his skill with maracas (a locally made musical instrument that adds beauty to songs). He played it with excellence providing rhythm while singing vocals. Though the founder, Appiah Kubi served as the treasurer of the group as well as the chairman in charge of the transportation of the group.
Alongside the Advent Herald group, he was a staunch member of the Singing Band in both his local church and the nation at large. He was a faithful and dedicated member of the Singing Band of Hansen Road SDA Church and the Ghana Adventist Singing Band Union (GASBU). For GASBU, Appiah Kubi served as a leader for a period of over thirty years. He was an assistant leader from 1987 and became the leader in 1995. He demonstrated democratic leadership style during his tenure in office. His sense of humor made practice sessions lively and enjoyable. He sometimes told jokes to create laughter during practice sessions to ease the tension and calm the members. Though he lived far from where the rehearsals took place, he was punctual and always on time. He contributed immensely to the growth of GASBU. Appiah Kubi was among those who championed the success of the maiden GASBU Convention that was held at Mamprobi in Accra in 1998. He always ensured that musical performances went well.
Though busy, he served GASBU wholeheartedly before death took him away. He is noted as one of the founding pillars of the Accra Central District Chapter of GASBU, under what was then the South Ghana Conference, now the Accra City Conference.
In addition to his deep and active involvement in the activities of Advent Heralds and GASBU, he worked as a driver for the church until his retirement on August 7, 2014. He held a post-retirement contract from September 2015 to August 2016. In 1977, he began his work with the church at Advent Press, where he served as a driver for nineteen years. Simultaneously, he served as the first driver to SAWS (now ADRA) for two years. He joined the Valley View family on October 10, 1998, when he was called to be the tanker driver/ mechanic of the institution. He drove the tanker for years and supplied water to the entire university community. Again, he drove vehicles to various place within and outside the country and in different situations. As a driver, he demonstrated tenacity and diligence on the road. His dedicated spirit was demonstrated in his readiness to serve when called upon no matter the circumstances. He was resourceful, hardworking, and played a key role in the growth of the department of auto mechanics of Valley View University. Appiah Kubi was people-centered and down to earth. He had time for everyone who came to him. His good human relations and his role as a team player won him the respect of all.
Appiah Kubi died on June 2, 2017. He was a gifted musician. God had endowed him with the gift of music, and he could easily and immediately detect and correct wrong voices. This made him a great song teacher. The music ministry of the Ghana SDA Church will forever be indebted to him for his sacrificial services. His love for music was deep and immeasurable. Appiah Kubi used his gifted voice to win many souls for Christ and to inspire thousands. He dedicated his entire life to serving the SDA Church through music and driving.
Burial, Memorial and Thanksgiving Service for the late Opanin Ben Appiah Kubi. Program Booklet. Sunday October 8, 2017, held at Methodist JHS Park, Jacobu in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
Appiah Kubi, Francisca. Daughter of the deceased. Interview by author, October 8, 2017, at her home at Jacobu in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
This article, received in May 2018, was researched and written by Kenneth Oppong, a Teaching Assistant and an Assistant Chaplain at Valley View University, Techiman Campus, under the supervision of Assoc. Professor Abiodun A. Adesegun, Ph.D while a Masters student (in Biblical and Theological Studies–Church History) at Adventist University of Africa, Kenya.