The city of Bad Dürkheim, the heartland of the wine-producing region of southwest Germany, and its Carnival Society “Derkemer Grawler” have named Togbe Céphas Bansah as the Golden Winemaker 2022.
The Ghanaian traditional ruler is being honoured for “realising many aid projects and thus in fact improving the living conditions of his people”, the Carnival Society said in a press release.
“Due to his unusual life story and the special services he has rendered to his people, he fulfils the conditions attached to the award in an outstanding manner,” the statement added.
The honour of Golden Winemaker (Goldener Winzer) has been awarded annually since 1974 by the Carnival Society to personalities from politics, sport, science and culture.
The first laureate was the then Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate and later Chancellor of the Federal Republic, Helmut Kohl. Past award winners include the legendary Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, actress Maria Schell, astronaut Ulf Merbold, football legend Fritz Walter, folk actor Willy Millowitsch, wildlife filmmaker Heinz Sielmann, science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar and, most recently, singer-songwriter Heinz Rudolf Kunze.
Whether they were politicians, artists, scientists or sportsmen, the honourees were always public figures whose professions had earned them a high reputation in German society.
Chief Bansah will receive the medal in the evening of 21 January 2022 at an award ceremony that will hold in the historic Kurhaus in Bad Dürkheim.
Togbui Céphas Bansah (72), better known as “König Bansah” in the German media, comes from Ghana and has been living in Ludwigshafen am Rhein since 1970.
In Ghana, Togbe Bansah is the traditional chief of the 300,000-strong Gbi community of Hohe Gbi in the Volta Region of Ghana, a region that is home to the Ewe people. In Ludwigshafen, he runs a car repair shop and works with his wife Gabrielle to raise funds for the implementation of development projects in his home country.
Bansah, the first person of African origin to be named a Golden Winemaker, had also made history in 1999 when he was crowned the first wine king in German history, helping to revive a dying tradition.