Profile of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Nathan Iddrisu Samwini
According to the narrative of his mother Nathan Iddrisu Samwini was born at Mangu, near Wa at the beginning of the farm-clearing season (usually March) in the year and day Wa Na Seidu Bomi caleed Wa to war. Nathan later got to read the day to be on or around March 12, 1955, hence my documented birth day. His parents Samwini Anlonno (deceased) and Hawa Sidiqi, both from Mangu were peasant farmers. Nathan was the seventh child of his father and the third of his mother but following death he has become the third of his father and the first of his mother. Nathan was raised a shepherd boy in his early life. He was also introduced to farming very early in life.
Early life and education
Until 1961 when The Methodist Church Ghana opened a Primary school at Mangu all parents who wished to educate their children had to send such children to Busa. This was a long way away and such children had to relocate to that village. Since my father was not ready to risk any of his children that way none of his first children was sent to school and the education of Nathan himself ahd to wait until 1962 when the Methodist Primary School at Mangu started it second year. Then a near grown-up Nathan was taken to the school. He passed the first test of stretching his right hand to overlap the left ear to signify his school-going age. The first five years in school saw Nathan combining shepherding cattle with school. Each time he was on morning shift he took his big sister would tender the cattle in the morning with Nathan taking over in the afternoon. The reverse was the order whenever he was on afternoon shift.
Encounter with the church and introduction to Christ
Sunday School was made compulsory for every enrolled child of the Methodist Schools the (Kpongu, Chansa, Dorimo and Passey had Methodist Schools at the same time). Although Samwini Anlonno and Hawa were traditional religion adherents young Iddrisu (as I was known until Baptism in 1967. I took Nathan at Baptism) was allowed to follow his big brother Ahmadu to Ahmduyya Movement. I was doing very well in Arabic under the tutelage of M. Ismail and Kassim. I attended the Methodist Sunday School on Sundays and the Arabic classes every evening throughout the week. I managed to combine the two systems in me, Twum-Baah. After the Baptism I started to consider things more seriously but as a minor I did not know how. The rest of the story is long but I decided against Ahmadism in 1968/1969, now in Middle School Form One, still at Mangu Methodist.
I went back to the farm for one year after the Middle school in 1972. Then I went to Lawra Secondary School after a successful Common Entrance Examination in 1973, finished in 1978 after a real hard struggle with family disagreements on my education and faith. Between 1978 and 1980 I served as a Pupil teacher at the Kpongu Methodist Primary School under the Methodist Education Unit.
I left my village and Wa for Accra in August 1980 and by February 1981 was employed as Accounts Clerk in charge of donations at the Scri[pture Union Head office following my membership with them whiole at Lawra. I joined the Nima Methodist Church immediately on arrival in Accra. I was very regular and did not hide my identity at all.
Call to the Methodist Ministry
By late 1980 Nathan’s faith in Christ had deepened and he understood Him better and more clearly. I was getting fully convinced to go back and tell my people about Christ. As a first step I sought to be trained at the Maranatha Bible College in Accra. But I chose to tell my home Minister, the Rev. John K. Stedman then. He advised against Maranatha and instead took me to the late Osea Addo to candidate me for Methodist ministry. I had earlier been Confirmed and made local preacher by the same Stedman in late 1970. In 1982 Nathan, after a successful long procedure entered Trinity College, passing out in 1985 and commission into the Metodist Ministry in June the same year.
Marriage and family life
Nathan met Gloria, first at the Scripture Union Office in early 1982 and later at Nima town fellowship. Little did we know God was using those steps to bring us together as husband and wife forever. The marriage was consummated and solemnised at Trinity College on September 15, 1984. Aside every spiritual and physical blessing the marriage had been blessed with five adult children:
- Esther Kanyiri, BA. MA.
- Cephas Joshua Beujung, BSc. MPhil.
- Hezekiah Yeng, BSc
- Nehemiah Addai, BSc IV and
- Abigail Mwin-Nea, BSc II
He met the family of Mr. and Mrs. Dordoe when he visited the Nima Methodist Church.
Nathan Samwini has served the Church in the Following areas:
- Local Preacher (1971 – 1985)
- Secretary, MYF, Nima Branch (1981 – 1982)
- Assistant Secretary, MYF, Adabraka Circuit (1982)
- District Youth Organiser, Northern Ghana District (1986 – 1992)
- Kumasi Diocese Daily Records Secretary (2007 – 2014)
- Chaplain, Association of Methodist Church Choirs (GHAMEC), Ayigya Circuit (2007 – 2014)
- A member of the Methodist Church Ghana Conference (1995, and 2006 to date).
- International and Annual Letter writer for the Conference (2008 – 2014)
- Patron, Ghana Methodist Students’ Union, KNUST Local (2008 – 2014)
- Member/Vice Chairman, Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) Board (2004 – 2008)
Journey so far as a minister:
Society Circuit Diocese From To
Bawku Bolgatanga Northern Ghana 1985 1992
Anwomaso Asawase Kumasi 1992 1993
Sunyani Sunyani Sunyani 1994 1995
Dzorwulu Adabraka Accra 1995 1996
New Abossey Okai Abossey Okai Accra 1996 2000
Dzorwulu Dzorwulu Accra 2003 2006
Kentinkrono Ayigya Kumasi 2006 2010
Oduom Ayigya Kumasi 2010 2014
To acquire more knowledge, upgrade himself and become more useful in the contemporary Church Samwini pursued further studies in the field of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations in the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom between 1993 and later from 2000 to 2003.
Between 1995 and 2006 Samwuni, with the permission of the Methodist Church Ghana served the Christian Council of Ghana at different capacities at the Interfaith/Interchurch Coordinator and Director of the Council’s Programmes. Samwini has for a long time been a member, executive and resource person for the Programme for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa, with General office in Nairobi, Kenya. In fact, this Organisation, with EMW and the Methodist Church Overseas Division sponsored all Samwini’s Masters and PhD studies in the United Kingdom.
In 2006, The Rev. Samwini was permitted by the Methodist Church Ghana to serve as a lecturer at the newly established Department of Religious Studies at the KNUST. As a consummate Academic and researcher over a period of 8 years Samwini has over 33 publications in refereed Journals and 2 books to his credit. He has also published grey literature in The Christian Sentinel, the New Africa, The Watchman, “Free Press” the “Weekly Spectator”, “The Ghanaian Times”, “The Ghanaian Chronicle” (under a pseudonym, Nimbabuoruu Yelfaare)) and the “Daily Graphic”. Samwini’s writings have ranged from Religion, hygiene onto Economic issues especially relating to the controversial implementation of the VAT in 1995. He has supervised and examined a total of over 55 Undergraduates at BA, MA, M. Phil M. TH and PhD levels. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and has held part-time appointments at Agape Bible College, Central University College and the Regent University College.
He has served on several state and University Boards, including:
- Member of a three man Committee to write the first ever Good Governance project for Ghana (1997 – 1998)
- Ghana’s National Millennium Comission where he was privileged to make the National countdown to the new millennium in 1999 – 2000
- Vice Chairman Religious Broadcast Advisory Committee of GBC (1996 – 2008)
- General Secretary of the West African Association of Theological Institution (WAATI) and Chairman of the Board of the Department of Religious (2009 – 2011)
- Programme Assessor for the National Accreditation Board
- KNUST appointed Moderator for the Spiritan University College, Ejisu
- Member on many Committees to review Universities/College Applications for Affiliation with KNUST, particularly, Technical Islamic University College; Christian Heritage University College.
- Member of Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa (IFAPA) (2004 – 2008)
His membership of other boards include:
- KNUST Academic Board (2009 – 2011)
- Board Member, College of Arts and Social Science (KNUST) (2009 – 2011 and 2013 – date)
- Boards Member, Faculty of Social Science (KNUST) (2008 – date)
- Member, Planning Committee for All Africa Academy of Theology and Religions, 2012 – date
- Cognate Member, KNUST School of Business (2012 – date)
- Chairman, Department of Religious Studies Ph. D Proposal Committee (2011 – 2012
- Member, College Committee to prepare a response to criticisms that Art and Humanities are not needed in KNUST (September 2011)
- Member All Africa Conference of Churches Advisory Committee on Theology, Nairobi, Kenya (2010 – Date).
The Rev. Dr. N. I. Samwini is the co-founder, with the King Family of the UK of Bulay Kuong Ghana, a water and sanitation NGO which since 2003 has provided 5 boreholes to approximately 12,000 people living in deprived and remoted. He has gone to almost every urban town in Ghana. He has also attended more than 30 Local and International conferences.
Samwini prays and calls on all here present to pray for him that God will bring all this experience and knowledge to bear on his work in the Northern Ghana Diocese, otherwise they are all history.