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Rosina Osei Bonsu

Rosina Osei Bonsu

April 6th, 1955 - February 2nd, 2020

Biography


Obituary: Rosina Bonsu, an inspired choreographer and movement director who taught people the joys of dance (By Mary Brennan, Dance Critic)


An appreciation


Soon after the death of Rosina Osei Bonsu, at the age of 64, was made public by her family, outpourings of love and grief spread across social media networks everywhere. The sense of profound loss, tinged with shocked disbelief, was a marker of how Rosina Bonsu had - as a wonderfully intuitive movement teacher, supportive colleague, staunch friend - touched countless lives at home and abroad.


For nigh on four decades, she was a talismanic inspiration to those who joined her classes. Under-fives and over-60’s alike discovered what their bodies could achieve and enjoy through astutely structured movement. Many, myself included, would feel our spirits lift if we caught sight of Rosina in a venue foyer - her smile, her laughter, her unstinting interest in other people’s work, had an infectious positivity that wrapped around you like the spontaneous hug that said, “It’s really good to see you”.


From Ghana to Glasgow, where she built a multi-faceted career, married, and greatly enhanced the city’s cultural profile, was a life journey sparked with courage and a commitment to make dance matter in people’s lives. That journey occasioned a deeply personal dance-theatre solo, Coconut (1999). In it she candidly addressed the realities of being half a world away from the family home and its legacy of Ashanti customs and wisdom. Coconut - signifying ‘brown on the outside, white on the inside’ - delivered a powerful, sincerely moving affirmation of the cross-cultural identity that had shaped her.


Born in Ghana in 1955, the youngest of five children, Rosina was just a toddler when she moved to Italy with her father, a Ghanian diplomat.Aged eight, she was in England, at a private girls’ boarding school. From there she trained as a school teacher at Southlands College of Education Roehampton Institute, before finding her life’s purpose, at the London Contemporary Dance School.


Her intuitive connection with movement - and people - shone out: little wonder Scottish Ballet lured her to Glasgow, as Artistic Director of their outreach company, Steps Out, from 1984 to 1987. She moved on, to a similarly proactive role with Renfrewshire Dance Project, before going freelance in 1989.


Free to pick and choose her next challenges, Rosina nonetheless continued to make Glasgow her home. Her West End flat became a regular gathering point for dancers, musicians, theatre-makers: all disciplines were welcome. Long Sunday lunches - stoked by Rosina’s delicious home-cooked fare - helped forge informal networks and creative friendships that still bear fruit today.


The list of her own achievements is humbling in its breadth and variety, an ongoing witness to her feisty, determined spirit and her charm and ready humour. When Dance Base, Edinburgh’s National Dance Agency, launched in 1984, Rosina‘s immediate response was, ‘why hasn’t Glasgow got its own centre for professional dancers and community classes?’ Her solution was to set up the Dance Bothy, which grew into the Dance House Glasgow of today.


She made time alongside the teaching of movement classes - a role which expanded into colleges and, latterly, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - to collaborate on several dance and drama productions, even initiating some memorably large-scale projects herself. She pulled together resources for a Carmina Burana (2000) that found the RSNO orchestra and choir acting as the live backing group for massed ranks of professional and community dancers under the direction of international choreographer Royston Maldoom.


Two years later, the Rosina touch was again in evidence with another epic community project, Journey, which involved the University of Namibia (UNAM) Choir coming to Glasgow - it was her ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ dynamic in action.


When, as part of her own learning curve, Rosina took up yoga, she went on to incorporate the methodologies and benefits in her classes, setting up yoga programmes under the umbrella of Rosina Bonsu Moves, at Arlington Baths and forming connections with groups as far afield as Crete. Who else but Rosina would commission an eco-pod, load it onto a flat-bed lorry for the risky road and ferry journey to a village on the island? It became a summer haven for many. Acting with mischievous flair in Them - an NTS production - at Tramway last year brought her back into performing on-stage, and left her eager to do more. Other offers were, apparently, in the pipeline.


Becoming one of the Saltire Society’s “Outstanding Women of Scotland” in 2017 was well-deserved recognition of her work across so many sectors. Energetic, energising, indefatigable... even when, as in 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.


Chemotherapy and subsequent surgery were briskly incorporated into ongoing work commitments and her yoga classes witnessed how she practised what she taught, bringing balance to mind as well as body through her own Breathing Bones techniques. Last month, a secondary cancer took hold, and proved terminal. She was still organising work schedules from her hospital bed until she passed away, peacefully, on February 2.


She is survived by her husband Mark and family members, and sadly mourned by those whose lives she gladdened and enriched.


https://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/18235116.obituary-robina-bonsu-inspired-choreographer-movement-director-taught-people-joys-dance/

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Family

About

Name Rosina Osei Bonsu
Date of Birth April 6th, 1955
Date of Death February 2nd, 2020
Home Town Glasgow, Scotland, GB 
Interests Yoga, Dance, Theatre, Music, African Art, Knitting, Travel, Children's education, Textiles, Jewelry, Cooking, Being the life & soul of the party, Gardening
Favourite Saying “Whatever the problem, it can be solved by moving. This has inspired my entire life, this is my passion.” Rosina Bonsu
In Memoriam Donation Maggies Centres
Cemetery

Memorial

Cemetery Killearn Woodland Cemetery, G63 ONJ, Scotland, UK
Location D8 e
Family

Family

SiblingsKofi Bonsu, George Bonsu, Afua Kobi Bonsu, Theresa Bonsu Kutriakor
ParentsOsei Bonsu, Serwah Bonsu
Milestone

Milestones

1973 Farringdon School, High School
1981 Southlands College of Education Roehampton Institute, Teacher training
1983 London Contemporary Dance School, Dance training
1984 - 1987 Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet Steps Out
1987 - 1990 Dancer in Residence, Renfrewshire Dance Project
1990 - 1996 Principal Guest Teacher, Renfrewshire Dance Project
1992 Dance solo, Pandora at the CCA
1995 Ensemble Chorus, Feast of the Pheasant
1998 Dance/Theatre solo, Coconut
1999 - 2005 Artistic Director, Dance House
2000 - 2003 Balance : Glasgow : Gerry Keilty, Yoga training
2000 - 2018 Yoga Plus : Crete : Rhada & Piere, Yoga training
2009 - 2020 Dance & Movement Instructor, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
2009 - 2020 Yoga Teacher, Rosina Bonsu Moves
2009 - 2020 Lecturer in Contemporary Dance, West College, Scotland
2010 - 2020 Kia Naddermier : Paris, Yoga training
2015 Marriage to Mark Hale
2017 The Saltire Society "Outstanding Woman of Scotland"
2019 Actor, "Them" National Theatre of Scotland

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Tributes



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Alison Russell published a tribute .

For no particular reason this morning I googled Rosina Bonsu and am so sorry to hear she has passed away. Rosina and I were at school together in 1965 at Dean Grange school in Huntingdonshire and became fast friends, sharing a bedroom and many adventures. She came to my home for the summer holiday and was thrilled to be amongst my large family. I shall always remember her cheeky smile and infectious giggle. We lost touch although my aunt Miss Morley, who was the headmistress at Dean, told me how Rosina was getting on until she was at the London School of Contemporary Dance. After my aunt died and my life became busy with my own growing family I had no connection with her, although I have previously searched Friends Reunited and Google for my old friend's name. I am so sorry that my first news of her will be my last, especially given the wonderful tributes I have just read. I offer my sincerest condolences to all Rosina's family and friends.
The picture above was taken at Dean Grange. The children are Mako, Brian Bonser, Kofi Gbedemah, Rosina, myself and I have forgotten the name of the Egyptian girl beside me. We were all good friends in "The Den," being the oldest in the school at ten and eleven!

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Mary Eckersley-Fielding published a tribute .

Rosina was my contemporary dance teacher at Northern Ballet School in the early 80s, she was exciting ,quirky and made a deep and lasting impression ....I had never met anybody quite like her .....we loved her sense of fun ,her strong opinions and amazing rhythms her energy knew no bounds......she made us feel that we mattered in the world. Rest In Peace

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Salma published a tribute .

ROSINA’s HUGE GENEROUS MIND, HEART AND SOUL made me smile and laugh and reflect, and smile and smile again every time I was with her. My first day at Dance college in Paisley, the students asked me if I knew Rosina as she was also from Africa? I knew no one; I remember a students saying, “You’ll love her, she’s brilliant”. When I finally met Rosina as my new teacher, I sang through my journey of Dance training with her, HUGE SMILES exchanged, and continued. She always invited me to watch, share, explore dance, projects, friends, I followed her everywhere Thank goodness; who’d miss that opportunity? On a few occasions in Glasgow, people asked if “I was Rosina?” I was completely overwhelmed, but truthfully said, “I WISH I WAS” ! I told her, and we laughed and laughed and laughed, that story. THANK YOU SO MUCH, ASANTE SANA ROSINA, ALL YOUR LEGACIES Continue. I am so so grateful and honoured to have shared your energy, teachings, wisdom, happiness, dance, yoga, cooking, laughing hysterically, smiles, healings, beliefs, and so much more. For saying to me, “What are you waiting for, do what you want to do, you’ll make it.” My mentor and inspiration. HUGE thanks to all the family and friends for sharing this website; United, bringing everyone together, smiling, that’s Rosina. Xx Salma

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Mila Brown published a comment .

I fist met Rosina some 30 years ago while we were both involved in the very first West End Carnival Parade with artist Lindsay John . The thing that struck me was her force , by that I mean her life force and energy . We then kept on bumping into each other throughout the decades. My friend Colin Tod is a photographer based in Glasgow & I remiember going to see Rosina,s first ever solo show at the CCA with Colin . I know she went off to live for a while in Greece. It must surely be over just a month ago I was working with artist & friend Alberta Whittle at project she was doing at Kelvingrove Galleries & Alberta was telling me she was working with an amazing dance & yoga teacher on this project . " I think you will know her Mila ? " Rosina Bonsu . ? My face lit up & I turned around there was Rosina skipping up the Kelvingrove Gallery steps. It was a one day workshop esp curated and delivered by Alberta for B.A.M.E. artists in the City . Rosina,s slot was wonderful , a relaxing and accessible movement workshop . I have an unsightly double hernia which cannot be repaired , but Rosina approached this mobility issue i have now with great sensitivity . That was the last time i saw Rosina. My friend Ros and friend Colin also knew Rosina too all those decades ago . She was a very unique one off artist & Rosina,s presence in the community will be missed . R.I.P. dear Rosina ...

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Brian Hartley published a tribute .

From Sue Crow

"I live, I die - it's all the same." - Rosina Bonsu

Inspirations from a Breathing Bones Class

Revealing Omnipresent Smiles Into Now-ness - Arrival,... allowing bones to breathe, experiencing gravity, observing...

Revolving Orbits Simultaneously Instigating No-Thing-ness' - Adventures,...of doing absolutely No-Thing, resting, watching...

Red Orange Suns Indigo Nights - Autumn,...
being timeless, sensing space beyond a rooftop window pane, breathing...

Restoring Our Senses In No-Thing - Awareness, ...of a whispering soul in stillness, perceiving...

Random Orchestrations Serenely Investigating Now-ness' - Augmented,...reality of altered second movements of a body embracing One-ness.

You are here, you are there - shine on everywhere.

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Jean Langhorne published a tribute .

I have so many happy memories of Rosina, over the last 36 years! We first met in 1984, when she arrived in Glasgow to work with Scottish Ballet and it has been such a privilege & a joy to be counted among her friends. She was completely unique; always full of enthusiasm, determination and love; always hungry, often unpredictable - none of us will ever forget you, dearest Rosina.

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Aine Kennedy published a comment .

Lovely photo of you all Jean. And wasn't it great to see that excerpt from Journey in the video!

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Kally Lloyd-Jones published a tribute .

Like thousands of people, I have been touched by the generosity and support of Rosina. Since she first took me under her wing over 30 years ago, Rosina was a part of my life and someone who inspired and encouraged me. Without Rosina, dance in Scotland would be a totally different and impoverished landscape.

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Francesca published a tribute .

Rosina has brought the sun in the life of many, including mine. She has helped me in difficult moments with her smile, enthusiasm for life and with her precious encouragements. She was an angel, I feel blessed to had the honour to meet her and learn from her. She has given me confidence when more I needed. I loved you Rosina and You will always have a precious space in my heart.

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Brian Hartley published a tribute .

Hello friends and family of Rosina,

It's Jo here, an old student of Rosina's from RCS and her yoga studio. I was very touched by her remembrance video from yesterday and wanted to share this prose (by Jeanette Winterson) that reminds me a lot of her and her energy. I hope you enjoy it and find joy from reading it.

Joanna Norman

At a dancing school in a remote place, Fortunata teaches her pupils to become points of light,
They begin with her as early as six or seven and some stay for the rest of their lives.
Most, she releases like butterflies over a flowering world.
Bodies that would have bent double and grown numb she maintains as metal in a fiery furnace, tempering, stretching, forcing sinews into impossible shapes and calling her art nature.
She believes that we are fallen creatures who once knew how to fly. She says that light burns in our bodies and threatens to dissolve us at any moment. How else can we account for so many of us who disappear?
It is her job to channel the light lying in the solar plexus, along the arms, along the legs, forcing it into the fingertips and feet, forcing it out so that her dancers sweat tongues of flame.
To her dancers she says, ‘Through the body, the body is conquered.’
She asks them to meditate on a five-pointed star in the belly and to watch the point push outwards, the fifth point into the head. She spins them, impaled with light, arms upraised, one leg at a triangle across the other thigh, one foot, on point, on a penny coin, and spins them, until all the features are blurred, until the the human being most resembles a free spirit from a darkened jar. One after the other she spins them, like a juggler keeping plates on sticks; one after the other she runs up and down the line as one slows or another threatens to fall from dizziness. And at a single moment, when all are spinning in harmony down the long hall, she hears music escaping from their heads and backs and livers and spleens. Each has a tone like cut glass. The noise is deafening. And it is then that the spinning seems to stop, that the wild gyration of the dancers passes from movement into infinity.

Who are they that shine like gold Apostles in a church window at midday?
The polished wooden floor glows with the heat of their bodies, and one by one they crumble over and lie exhausted on the ground.
Fortunata refreshes them and the dance begins again.

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Aine Kennedy published a tribute .

What to choose from the richness of memories shared with Rosina! I too arrived in Glasgow in the early eighties and shortly afterwards met Rosina whom I remember thinking was one of the coolest people I had ever met! Like many here, perhaps my fondest memories of her were of sharing food, friends and great conversation at gatherings at her flat in Westbourne Gardens Lane.. especially her legendary Hogmanay parties. Her 50th birthday celebration at that wonderful Inn in Strathayr was the most enjoyable celebration of her life and what she meant to so many of us. It provides solace now when we are unable to celebrate her life together as we would wish, that we celebrated it so well then. I am so grateful to have taken part in Dance House events like salsa classes and the 'Journey' experience at Tramway with the University of Namibia choir which was truly unforgettable. I also remember Rosina at the very beginning of her yoga journey when we went to a weekend of Ashtanga yoga together. Afterwards I could hardly walk and vowed never to do it again while she went on to train to be the wonderful yoga and movement teacher that she became. Her generosity, joie de vivre, creativity, wisdom and energy were outstanding but best of all was her capacity for friendship and connection.

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Linda published a tribute .

Watching my beautiful friend from Innellan. The kids loved her as she loved them. We just planted a runner bean outside our front door. Here are the kids watching.

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Salma published a tribute .

THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH, THAT WAS AN INCREDIBLE MEMORIAL AND CELEBRATION OF LIFE of Glasgow’s heroine. I was so honoured to see this, I am truly grateful to Family and friends. ASANTE SANA. SO MUCH LOVE AND SOUL TO YOU xxx

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Joanna Mendl Shaw published a tribute .

Rosina was one of my dearest friends in the world. We lived an ocean apart but we kept in regular contact and managed to see each other almost every year on one continent or another. Our friendship began in the early 1980s when I came to Scotland to teach at the Strathclyde Summer Dance Festival. I have so many memories of Rosina: Rosina joining me at Swiss Olympic Training Center where the young women on the gymnastic dance team asked Rosina to do a dance for them, thinking she would do a fabulous African dance. In her beautiful British accent she told them that she was a modern dancer and did not know any African dances; I made a solo for Rosina, inspired by an Ivor Cutler poem and set to several Bach Unaccompanied Cello pieces. The piece was made for a tiny space surrounded by a white picket fence. I arranged a NYC performance of the solo and Rosina arrived at JFK carrying the fence in a fantastic travel bag she had made. She was heartbreakingly beautiful in that solo. I will miss so many things about Rosina the list is very, very long. Like many of us, the first thing I remember is of course her joyous laugh. I am so grateful for the four days I spent with Rosina this past January. I will never stop missing her. jms

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John Adam-Baker published a tribute .

I first met Rosina in 1977 where she was sharing a community centre space in Camberwell (London) with a theatre company for whom I was working with at the time. It was to be another 13 years or so before our paths were to cross again when we were cast in the same production at the Byre Theatre (St Andrews). It was through working together, that we were able to develop our friendship. Another two years then passed before I moved in as a lodger into her flat in Clouston Street, and where I stayed for nearly three years. The time spent there were very happy ones, in which Rosina generously included me into her social life and from which I met many of her friends (often at Rosina’s famous meals she hosted in the flat) and also got to share in some new activities to me (including regular stints of Ceroc dancing). Even more profound though, were the numerous walks we shared chatting about so many things as we (or rather myself as I was the newbie) explored the West End, the Botanic gardens, the Kelvin river, other parts of Glasgow, and occasionally further out into the beautiful Scottish country side. Since leaving Scotland back in 1996, we kept contact in which for the first few years I made annual trips to visit Rosina and then in more recent times, we would catch up in London.
As experienced I suspect, by so many of her friends, it feels utterly surreal not to be able to pick up the phone and converse with Rosina, or to arrange when we might next meet up. It is a very deep hole that will not be filled save for the abiding memories of the wonderful times we shared…

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Brian Hartley published a tribute .

John Wetten Brown.
A few words in appreciation of Rosina.

Dear departed Rosina your laugh was infectious and you told such wonderful stories. Every time Yoshino and I had a dinner party, Rosina was number 1 guest on the invite list, along with Sheila, as she lit up the room with her laughter and vitality. It all brings a tear to my eye and a rosy glow in my heart as I remember some great times.

I have a really nice photo of Rosina which I took last year when she visited me in hospital. It was only a quick snap taken on my mobile but somehow it managed to look like a professional photograph taken in a studio. She was wearing that furry hat with the floppy ear bits and displaying a great big smile. I’ve put it in a nice wee frame and it sits in our dining room where we had so many wonderful times.

Here’s to you Rosina.
John and Yoshino

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Moira Dyer published a tribute .

Rosina was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met. She radiated warmth and humanity and I was incredibly privileged to have had her as my yoga teacher and a mentor. Rosina could always tell when I was becoming disheartened or frustrated in my practice and intuitively knew the right words to say to get me back on track - on and off the mat. Often an encouraging email would also show up in my inbox later that evening, and not just about yoga, but about life.
I adored Rosina and miss her dreadfully but she has left us a wonderful legacy. ❤️

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

Rosina was a beloved teacher to so many of her yoga, Breathing Bones and dance pupils. This Sanskrit chant ‘Sahana Vavatu ‘ known as the teaching mantra is often sung by teachers and students before they embark on learning together. Teaching was Rosina’s life work. She had an amazing gift and passion for teaching & saw no obstacles to teaching wherever she travelled; with little Greek kids in the dining room of a village hotel or with international yogis crammed into an olive oil store room in a tiny Cretan taverna. In every location she taught; West College, Royal Conservatoire, the Arlington or further afield Rosina created sacred, healing spaces for body and mind, a place where friendships developed, and her sense of fun and laughter filled the room.

The words in this peaceful chant ‘saha’ means together and ‘nau’ means both embody Rosina’s collaborative approach to teaching. She noticed and truly cherished everyone of her students. And valued the ‘luminous and purposeful learning’ that each person offered her. Rosina was a force of nature, a teacher who never stopped learning. She encouraged her pupils to find and follow their chosen passion and when some became teachers, she became their pupil. Rosina has left a tremendous body of creative work for us her pupils, friends and family to treasure. Our beloved Rosina. The most gifted & compassionate teacher. Forever in our hearts.

From one of her friends
Louise Pirie.

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Angus Balbernie published a comment .

I first met Rosina when we were both part of the Scottish Arts Councils first group of Dance Artists in Residence, (around 1988/89?). Rosina shone then with her energy, commitment, character, presence and life-force.
Over the following 30 years or so, I would bump into Rosina in a here-or-there way if I was back in Scotland..... at the cashpoint on Byres Road, the Tramway at a gig, at one of Jane Simpsons most excellent gatherings above Lochwinnoch, out with Sheila somewhere....
I think I last met Rosina I when I got a free ticket to see something at the Festival Theater a way back. We bumped into each other in a corridor at an interval, and although she was obviously more frail, she still shone out, clear and full. Rosina had something that choreographed the space around her...a kind of sharp focus wrapped in soft air. It was special and beautiful. It was Rosina.

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Brian Hartley published a tribute .

Life Lessons
Part One: Vanessa King
In memory of Rosina Osei Bonsu

Rosina was a dear, dear friend. Not one I saw every day but with whom I had shared many concentrated times of connection with, mostly in Crete, sometimes in Glasgow, where she lived, and at times in London. I’d known her for more than fifteen years. We shared a love of wonderful, beautiful environments, of good food, nice pots and plates and of men who weren’t easy. She was intrigued by psychology (my field) and I was awestruck by her incredible knowledge of the body.
I am thankful I managed to make it to Crete last summer and was able to be with her in her village, Kerames. It was especially special to have some time with her in a place that she was in her element, even though the place we’d met at, Yoga Plus, was no longer operating. She left Crete before us so handed over a big bag of goodies she hadn’t had a chance to eat. I can she her now, standing on the roadside by her house, resplendent in a brightly coloured kaftan, against the blue of the sky and sea.
Last time we met up in London (as far as I can remember). She came to an event I was part of at the London Literary Festival. She dashed to the Southbank after teaching a yoga class in Peckham to see me on stage. She made an effort to be there. She was proud of me I think and afterwards highlighted that most of the questions the audience were interested in were for me. This was typical of her. Doing what she could to support her friends and recognising the great qualities in each of them.
I regret not spending more time with her, not visiting Glasgow enough or encouraging her to come here more. Life is busy. Both our lives were. Hers was certainly full. She meant a lot and gave a lot to so many people, many of whom depended on her for her strength, wisdom and, well, for just being her.
Rosina created circles of love around her. People who loved her and whom she loved back and as a consequence often formed connections with each other. She was great at bringing people together. At celebrating life, celebrating just about anything in fact.
She pretty much had her priorities right, it always seemed to me. She put people front and centre. She knew what brought her joy and found incredibly creative ways to make sure these were in her life. She knew how much was enough. She dreamed big enough. She wasn’t acquisitive, but always found beautiful flats and made them more beautiful still. (She was fond of interiors magazines!) She never seemed focused on or driven by money but always seemed brilliant at managing it, albeit by London standards her income was modest. Abundant is a word that comes to mind for Rosina, for the way she lived life. Generous. Abundant. Creative. Joyous. Joyful. Thoughtful. With a wonderful, infectious laugh.
Belying her joyful approach to life and her creativity was an intelligent, clear-thinking mind. She thought deeply about issues affecting her and how she wanted her life to be moving forward. She always, it seemed, looked forward. Yet she knew where she actually was. Her intellect and creativity came together to make her plans come to life and to find ways to move through or around problems and obstacles….

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Brian Hartley published a tribute .

Life Lessons
Part Two: Vanessa King
In memory of Rosina Osei Bonsu

Who else would find a huge, six-bedroomed flat at a dinner party and end up doing a flat swap? Or drive an ancient, green Citroën 2CV (complete with parrot fabric interiors) from Glasgow to Crete?
Who else would have a tiny house designed and built in Scotland, shipped to Greece and hoisted on to a handkerchief of land on a steep hill in remote Southern Crete? Not a box but a thing of craft and beauty. So she could enjoy sitting under her olive trees in the sun and look out to sea. A place she could have space and time to think alone.
How many queen-like Ghanaians become part of rural Greek village-life? How many Greek grandmas receive Thai massage and local children learn yoga? They did in Kerames. Rosina understood how villages worked. She got to know everyone and they loved her. She helped everyone she could. And they helped her.
And she LOVED eating! She was a great, instinctive cook. We shared many, many meals in Cretan tavernas, sometimes driving into the mountains for the best sausages, or looking past the touristy fronts for delicious charcoal-grilled lamb chops, or sharing fish and meze by the beach. Simple village meals or exquisite offerings at her favourite, Prima Plora. I loved that she loved meat. Yes she was a committed yogi but, as she always said, she was African and brought up to enjoy steak and chewing on bones. In Glasgow her orchestration of Chinese feasts for many was well known. We always left it to her to order.
She always was courageous and seemingly strong. When she rang to tell me of her diagnosis. She finally got hold of me on Christmas Eve. She said it was treatable or at least manageable, but I could hear the tremor in her voice. To the last she was making plans – to travel, to visit friends, to spend time in Crete.
When I heard she was close to an all-too-soon end, I jumped straight on a plane, but it was too late. At least I got to hold her hand and see her in her final savasana to say some sort of goodbye.
But is it a goodbye? What does she leave? Seeing her there in her hospital bed, rucked in by one friend in an African fabric, with a tiny angel made by another by her side. I was struck by the sense that little of what we fret about or focus on in life really matters. Nothing we acquire in life can be taken with us at the end. All we can take is love to guide us on our onward journey, where-ever that may lead. And Rosina was surrounded by a lot of that. And to us she gave so much more. Her life lessons, words of considered wisdom, spoken in reference to herself or offered to us when needed. “We must stop managing our men” was one final piece she offered to me.
But also how Rosina lived life. That is a lesson too. How she stayed strong when at times I know she was hurting inside. How she cared and created, loved and listened (if you had her good ear), and planned and problem-solved. How she approached life with steadfast vivacity and found the joys. How she took waifs and lost boys under her wing and quietly helped them find a way to fly. How she connected people of all shapes, sizes and flexibilities with their bodies and helped them move, physically and psychologically. How she was there to help her friends as true good friends should. And the web of community and worldwide friends she brought together. That’s a big legacy to leave behind.
And we can each take some of it forward with and in us.
Thank you Rosina. Love you. Miss you.
Your friend,
Vanessa
14 March 2020

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

Dear Friends

I was devastated not be with you in person or virtually at the special yoga celebration of Rosina three weeks ago. Rosina was a dear and highly valued friend of 15+ years and it felt so wretched making the decision not to come when, in normal circumstances, I would have absolutely been there.



I was with you in spirit and held a meditation to honour Rosina in front of the little shrine in the photo attached (the fruit bowl to represent Rosina’s love of food, colour and sense of abundance; the bracelet was one she bought me in Crete for my 50th birthday). I then wrote the attached reflection which I wanted to share with you. It captures some of what Rosina meant for me and it may be helpful for the memorial website.



My decision that weekend was based on advance awareness of the need for physically distancing due to Corvid19, that I’d been party through the charity I’m a trustee of. Additionally the situation in London was ahead of that in Scotland and I didn’t want to contribute to any spread of the virus. I’d also been having some chest tightness and rawness in the preceding week. Further I was conscious that being closely together with others meant I could potentially bring back the virus to my partner John, who has underlying health issues. There were lots of tears. It was an extremely tough decision not to be physically present with everyone. I loved Rosina and felt, as longstanding friend as well as part of her close yoga family, I should have been there. It was especially painful as, despite my best efforts, I’d been too late arriving in Glasgow to say goodbye to her the weekend she died.



As it turns out it was a responsible and right decision - on the following Wednesday I came down with the virus (as far as my GP could tell without testing). Thankfully I’ve had it mildly but it wiped me out for over a week and I’m still not fully recovered, but getting there!



I’ll finish with three hopes - that:

you are all staying well in these most unusual and challenging times,
we emerge from this pandemic with a world brought closer together and changed in ways for the better,
some of the red and gold thread used to bind Rosina’s yoga community is left for those of us who weren’t able to be there.


With much love and light.



Until Sunday and when we are able to gather in person.



Warmest



Vanessa King

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Brian Hartley published a tribute .

A tribute to Rosina from Fiona Alderman, Salignac, France:

It is with a heavy heart that I finish this month's blog. Rosina Bonsu has very sadly died at 64.

I have known her for over 30 years and first saw her in class at The Place in London. A young dancer but already with a powerful presence. Your eyes would be drawn to her, her love of movement and sense of musicality was apparent.

When I moved back to Glasgow, she was already a leading light in the Scottish world and we became colleagues at Glasgow Independent Dance and Dance House - which she founded for the dance community in Glasgow. Rosina supported me as a dancer, teacher and choreographer throughout.

We were friends as well as colleagues and she made me laugh with all her exploits and her sense of humour. Full of energy and creativity, she never ceased to amaze me with all that she was doing. A wonderful teacher herself and very inspiring to all that came within her orbit.

Apparently still working a few days before she died we will all miss her very much. She had a Woodland Burial on the 17th February 2020 in Killearn, near Glasgow and all of us throughout the world, thought of her. I had a walk in the woods here, too, and then lit a candle for her in the church. Very peaceful.

Then there was the French Connection – Rosina bought our house in Glasgow (Westbourne Gardens Lane) before we moved to France and she had a portable dance floor that she was going to give us here from her house she had in Le Bousseau, France.

So many threads and links. Gros bisous. Rosina. xx

Fiona and Barry

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

My name is Dr. E. Kenneth ANDOH of Ghana. I am the brother-in-law of the late Rosina OSEI-BONSU. I first met Rosina in September, 1973, in London when I visited her late senior sister, then Miss Afua Kobi BONSU, whom I was then dating. I was on my way to Ghana after my graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, California, USA. Her sister, Afua, had also just completed her studies at the University of London, and we laid down plans for our life together as man and wife. Needless to say that Rosina was a great advisor to her sister, and played a major role in our wedding later back in Ghana. She was the Chief Bridesmaid or Special Maid of Honour.

As Rosina's relationship with her sister, now my wife, blossomed, so did my relationship with her also grow in strength. She was very close to us, and was always around us when our children were born and grew. Rosina had time for our family; she regularly visited us when we were in the US for my doctoral studies. She always found time for us and during my long career with the United Nations, she visited us regularly at every duty station we went to, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, through Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, through Lusaka, Zambia, through Geneva, Switzerland, and finally to Pretoria, South Africa. Her relationship with our three children, her two nephews, Papa and Kofi, and niece, Efua, grew from strength to strength as her relationship with her sister, Nana, deepened. She was indeed my children's "younger mother", according to our Akan culture and traditions. She continued to visit her sister and me when we retired to Ghana in 2005

When in December 2008, my wife and her sister, Nana, fell ill in Ghana, Rosina was the first member of my wife's family to come down from Glasgow together with our children to visit her. She was still with us when we, unfortunately, lost her dear sister and my dear wife, Nana. She stayed to comfort and grieved with us throughout the funeral, and came back to Ghana for both the first and fifth anniversaries of her sister's death.

Rosina had a great loving heart, not only for those of us her family, but for everybody she came across. She was witty, loving, compassionate, and a friend indeed! She quickly developed a close relationship with my second wife, Philomena. My wife, son Kofi, and I visited her in Glasgow just about a week before she passed on. Losing her at this time brings to me all kinds of personal memories; I feel like I have lost a wife again. It hurts so bad; and in all this, my children are the great losers. We will all miss her; she is irreplaceable! May her soul rest in perfect peace, and may her Maker have great compassion on her soul.

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

It is with great sadness that I write about my younger Sister Rosina. Since Naana, Rosina’s Sister was a good friend and a dear sister, Rosina became my sister too. I still remember her enthusiasm and joie de vivre when she visited my family and I in Canada about 30 years ago. After the death of Naana, Rosina stepped in as a guardian and mother of Papa, Kofi and Maame Efua. Her many achievements and human love will forever stay with us. We will all miss her dearly and until we meet again, Rosina, Rest in Perfect Peace. Georgina Donkor-Cato

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

Yaw Mensah

I remember when we were kids how Rosina reacted to the rainfall she experienced after returning from London to Kumasi for a short vacation. It was raining very hard with lighting and thunder. She rushed to me and asked what was happening. When l told her it was raining. She stretched her hand over the balcony to feel the rain. She said it did not rain in London with such a loud thundering. Any time l think about her, l remember the way we were and now we are fading away one by one and it is so sad.

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

"Sisi' Rose"

She was affectionately called this by the late Maame Serwaa (her mother). I met Rosina for the first time in December 1968 in Kumasi, Ghana when I was visiting her late sister, Mrs. Afua Andoh. Rosina was then a young teenager - around 13 years of age. She had come to Ghana from Britain for holidays. She had a small bag carrying her few personal belongings but she also had a big suitcase which was full of Christmas gifts. I couldn't believe my eyes to see how Rose distributed these gifts. People who were in their Mbrom residence, i.e., tenants, friends, cousins, nephews, nieces, distant relatives - everyone had a fair share of what was brought from "abrokyire" i.e. Britain. She epitomized the Ghanaian adage that "Obroni anya" which translates that "white people have plenty". For Rosina, this gesture was her real and natural self. She gave because she was kind. Furthermore, she communicated fruitfully and constructively with everyone inspite of the fact that she did not speak "Twi" - our mother tongue. It was amazing how she communicated harmoniously in wisdom and understanding with her mom. It was fun to see "Sisi Rose" communicate with people with warmth, the smile, the facial mannerisms, such responses as "really??". Her actions demonstrated how real, natural and truthful she was. "Beloved Rose, if we could have purchased an escape from death for you, we would have sacrificed everything for you.

"Da yie Onua pa".
May her soul rest in peace.

Mrs. Theresa Arthur
South Africa

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

Memories of Rosina

Dancing at the Place in London where we first met. A striking figure and strong character. We continued our journey to Scotland, where we became colleagues at Glasgow Independent Dance, then Dance House. Rosina supported me as a dancer, teacher and choreographer throughout. Full of wisdom and creativity. I admired her a lot.





Fiona Alderman, Salignac, France.

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Efua Andoh published a tribute .

John Adam-Baker




I first met Rosina in 1977 when she was sharing a community centre space in Camberwell (London) with a theatre company for whom I was working with at the time.


It was to be another 13 years or so before our paths were to cross again when we were cast in the same production at the Byre Theatre (St Andrews). It was through working together, that we were able to develop our friendship.


Another two years then passed before I moved in as a lodger in her flat in Clouston Street, and where I stayed for nearly three years. The time spent there were very happy ones, in which Rosina generously included me into her social life and from which I met many of her friends (often at Rosina’s famous meals she hosted in the flat) and also got to share in some new activities to me (including regular stints of Ceroc dancing).


Even more profound though, were the numerous walks we shared chatting about so many things as we (or rather myself as I was the newbie) explored the West End, the Botanic gardens, the Kelvin River, other parts of Glasgow, and occasionally further out into the beautiful Scottish country side.


Since leaving Scotland back in 1996, we kept contact in which for the first few years I made annual trips to visit Rosina and then in more recent times, we would catch up in London.


As experienced, I suspect, by so many of her friends, it feels utterly surreal not to be able to pick up the phone and converse with Rosina, or to arrange when we might next meet up. It is a very deep hole that will not be filled save for the abiding memories of the wonderful times we shared…

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Rosina Remembered - A Love Letter from Glasgow

April 5th, 2020 at 17:00hr
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