The People, Language, and Culture
The people of Cape Coast are part of a larger group of people known as Fantes found in the central part of Southern Ghana. They are part of a larger ethnic group of people classified as Akans in Ghana. The language spoken by the people is Fante. People who belong to other Ethnic groups and are mostly immigrants like the Ewes, Gas, Adas, Krobos, Nzemas, Twi-Speaking Akans, and others from the Northern Ghana reside in the Municipality as farmers, fishermen, traders, government workers, commercial drivers, fishermen, traders, government workers, commercial drivers, and artisans, among others.
The entire Municipality constitutes one traditional area with the Oguaa Omanhen as the paramount chief. The matrilineal system of inheritance is practiced. The extended family, otherwise known as “ebusua” or clan, is the basis of their social structure. The “odikro” or chief is the political head of a town or village. The main festival celebrated in the Municipality is the Oguaa Fetu Afahye, which is celebrated in the first Saturday of September every year, is watched by people from all walks of lives, both far and near.
Centre for National Culture
The Cape Coast Center for National Culture moved into its present premises in 1994. It is located on the Accra – Takoradi main highway, directly opposite the Parks and Gardens’ offices.
(A) To promote, preserve and project Ghanaian Culture.
(B) To provide facilities for recreation and entertainment.
The main units of the Centre are an audio visual consult, gramophone museum, eco-tourism consortium, a library, and a theatre for performance.
The Centre has, in addition, telephone services, a reception, and conference rooms, facilities for performing artists and offices for the personnel. The Centre also hosts the Biennial Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST), which brings Africans both at home and in the diaspora together.
The Centre normally rents out the theatre for commercial programmes at going economic rates.
This is the annual festival of the people of Cape Coast (Oguaa Traditional Area). The origin of Fetu Afahye dates back to the Fetu Kingdom of the 17th century. The climax is observed on the first Saturday of September of every year, but every other year, it is merged with the PANAFEST Celebration. It is usually a week long celebration that precedes the harvest season. Its main purpose is to give thanks to the spirits of Fetu religion for the plentiful catch from the sea and the fruits of the earth, and for their guidance and protection in the past year.
Activities / Functions
The ‘Afahye’ has its spiritual, cultural and social significance. Spiritually, it is a time for pouring libation to the 77 gods for the harvests from the earth and the sea; a period of spiritual renewal for the community; and a period for the renovation for the shrines. Culturally, however, it is a period for exposition and outdooring of all traditional / social organizations. The Asafo companies, seven in all, in their multitude of colourful arrays, troop through the streets of Oguaa, with their acrobatic flag bearers and Asafohenfo, or battalion commanders, drumming and dancing and contorting to intricate drum rhythm. Again, for a week, there is singing, drumming and dancing in the streets of Cape Coast – a real festive occasion for the entire community.
Socially, it is a time for friends and family re-union. There is also a week-long period of carnival and merrymaking celebrated with boat races, a state ball, dances, political speeches, a masquerade, a church service, a marathon walk and a football match. The festival has taken a new look in modern times, with visitors from all over the world being permitted to participate. This means, a much larger number of people converging into Cape Coast and its surrounding towns and villages for the week long ceremony.
Regalia of Chiefs
Regalia of chiefs are important artifacts in the Chieftaincy institution and in Ghanaian society. The use of regalia (ornaments of gold and other items of splendor) make the chiefs look unique when they sit in state on occasions such as a durbar of chiefs, festival celebrations and other social gatherings. To present the wealth and pageantry associated with Akan chieftaincy, the Cape Coast Castle Museum commissioned the replication of regalia for chiefs and queen mother’s from the Denkyira area of the Central Region.
These replicate regalia included jewellery, sandals, crowns, umbrellas, fans, linguist staff (of various designs with meanings), and palanquins.Other original examples of royal regalia exhibited at the museum are state swords, “asimpim” chairs, stools and royal drums drawn from the museum’s permanent collection.These can also be found at various palaces of chiefs.
Traditional Administration of Cape Coast dates back to the 1660s, and is composed of the Omanhen (Paramount Chief), ahenfo or mpakamufo (chiefs of various grades or subordinate chiefs), tufuhen (master of arms), apanfo or omanfo (counselors), asafo-mpanyinfo (heads of the various companies) and akyeame (spokesmen). The omanhen is the paramount chief of the town. Originally, the line succession was patrilineal, but this was later changed to matrilineal. The Omanhen is assisted by a council referred to as beguafo in his day-to-day administration of the town.The council’s membership comprises certain hereditary chiefs, supported by persons elected on merit. The traditional name for these hereditary chiefs is mpakamufo who are by right the counselors to the omanhen.
The head of the mpakamufo is the next to the omanhen. He is called ohema-ose-aman-ye-nan (the chief that bears the feet of state). The omanhen is entitled to ride in a palanquin or apakan likewise the mpakamufo. Cape Coast is divided into seven asafo companies. These are Bentsir, Anaafo, Ntin, Nkum, Brofomba, Akrampa and Amanful. Each asafo company is headed by a superior captain (Supi) and under him a captain (safohen). Each company has its own complete organization. In the olden days they were known as the “town soldiers” who fought enemies of the state in times of war. All the seven companies have fetish priests and priestesses who are responsible for the spiritual needs of their members and the company as a whole.
These priests and priestesses take care of the 77 gods of Cape Coast and all rituals pertaining to the gods are performed by them. In times of war they carry the god of war to the battle field. They are also heavily involved in the Fetu Afahye, the festival of Cape Coast. The Tufuhen (master of arms) is the leader of the asafo companies and is regarded as the ‘General Captain’ with the responsibility of giving orders and directing affairs when war breaks out.A history scholar once described the asafo companies as a “para-military organization of the town youth” to meet such communal needs as warding off aggression, reaching out to community members and cleaning public places. These days, these asafos are mostly only seen in their full attire during the Afahye period.
The apamfo or the Omanfo (Councillors) are selected based on their intelligence and integrity and always join the Chiefs in settling disputes as well as in the general management of affairs of the town. There are seven major clans or Ebusua in Cape Coast and their heads play a role in the traditional administration of Cape Coast. The head of each clan is called Ebusuapanyin. The seven clans are Twidan, Nsona, Anona, Ntwaa-Abadze, Aboradzi, Kona-Ebiradzi and Adwenadze. The Omanhen comes from the Kona-Ebiradze Ebusua. Each indigenous inhabitant of the town belongs to one of these clans.VALUES / CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS.
Drumming and Dancing
Drumming and dancing form an integral part of the lives of the people in the Central Region, Cape Coast Municipality and its environs. There is no durbar of chiefs that drumming and dancing do not take place to crown the occasion. Similarly, it will be incomplete for the annual Festival, “Fetu Afahye” of Oguaa Traditional Area to be celebrated without “asafo” companies trooping out in procession attired in their colourful splendor. For instance, during the ’Afahye Festival’, the seven Asafo companies, in their multitude of colourful arrays, troop through the streets of Oguaa. Starting from company posts, with their acrobatic banner bearers and Asafohenfo, or battalion commanders, they drum and dance contorting to intricate drum rhythms. The drums talk, and the banners are tale-teller of ancient glories.
This offers entertainment to the community and visitors who are largely tourist. are various kinds of drums used by the Fantes (Cape Coasters) which are played on different occasions. For example, the “ompe” drums are for entertainment on secular, public occasions and for informal relaxation after a day’s work.The drums are played by specialist drummers, many of whom are fishermen. There are drums that also accompany community choral societies on religious occasions like church services such as the “tomtom” drum used by Choirs. Apart from these, calabash rattles, bone and ivory side-blown horns, iron gongs and a variety of other drums and instruments are played in the municipality for secular and ritual occasions like “Afahye Festival" and funeral celebrations.
Birth and Outdooring
The birth of a child in every society is a joyous moment in the lives of family members and the community at large. Cape Coasters in particular hold birthday and outdooring ceremonies in high esteem. It is an Akan custom to present the new born child to the community on the eighth day following the birth. The “outdooring” and naming ceremony starts when an elder of the father’s family pours libation. The child is placed on the lap of the family elder who dips a finger three times into two glasses of water and gin or schnapps (the preferred libation offering) and puts drops on the tongue of the baby.
Each time he drops the liquid, water or alcohol on the tongue of the child the elder says “nsu a Nsu”, Nsa a Nsa”, meaning if water, water, if drink, drink. This statement exhorts the child to be truthful, honest, objective and firm, calling a spade, a spade. The elder also exhorts the child to live an honest and upright life. He then announces the child’s name publicly. The child then receives the gathering’s congratulation; gifts are presented and food and drinks are shared
among the gathering.
The funeral of the dead are highly revered and deemed inseparable from the lives of Ghanaians. Death is seen as a natural phenomenon which is everywhere and a part of the cycle of life. An Akan proverb confirms this: “Owu adar nndow faakor”, meaning, “the cutlass of death does not weed in one place”.The communities’ mortuary practices are characterized by a prolonged period of mourning and a series of rituals that mark the transition of a deceased from the living members of the family and the community to a revered ancestral spirit, whose ties to the living are very much intact.
In contemporary Fante community (Southern Ghanaian) mortuary rites, it is common practice for the body to lie in state for a day or more days (though modernity is changing the trend to few hours or at most a day). While the body lies in state, mourners file past to pay their last respect and offer symbolic gifts (usually money, but can also be gold, soap and cloth) to the deceased for his / her afterlife.
Oguaa fetu afahye
Akoto dwerdwerba a
Woda ban etu ano;
Eduasa a wanye apem Roe a,
Apem enntum han. Eyee Oguaa
Den Na Oguaa annye wo bi!
Oguaa Crabs, tiny nimble crabs guarding their hole. The thirty that triumphed over the thousand. What would you do to Oguaa that Oguaa wouldn’t do to you? The Crab In Oguaa’s Appellation And Its Emblem .Akoto literally translated, means Oguaa crabs. Small, sagacious crabs; the thirty that triumphed over the thousand. What would you do for Oguaa that it would not return in kind? One school of thought on the origin of the town claims it derived its name from "Gua" that is market. In support of the view that Oguaa started as a market-town (as did Kasoa on the Cape Coast-Accra road). Historians assert that the trapping and sale of crabs undertaken by some of the early immigrants who settled a short distance from the shore became the most inviting industry and a source of wealth.
This lucrative enterprise developed along a stream referred to as "Kotowuraba" or crab stream. The dealers in crabs referred to the "Bentsir" area in front of the castle as "Gua" or market while the inland village was named "Kotokoraba." Literally, "Ban" means Wall /Castle and "Tsir" means Head or Nkum which is coined from "Nkotum Ekum" or "you cannot kill me." Hence, the town’s residents decided to give credit to the crab and its trade, which established the town-not gold-thus "Oguaa Akoto." Having regard to the nature of the "Kotowuraba" or crab stream, "Nana Kotowuraba" became one of the earliest gods of Oguaa, which were reputed to care for the well being of the people.
This stream is now a big drain running from Kotokuraba through London Bridge, Anaafu, and into the sea. Though not given much prominence these days, legend has it that the slaughtering of the bull during the Oman Purification Rites at Prapratam was instituted to commemorate a historic event when a young man sacrificed himself in "Kotowuraba" to atone for the sins of Oguaa in order abate a plaque which had beset the town. The crab also symbolizes military tactics used in the wars against the Ashanti in 1806, 1811, 1814, 1816, 1823 -1824, 1863, 1873 -1874 and 1896.
These culminated in the claim of the thirty that triumphed over the thousand. It is this ability of the crab to defend itself with cunning and bravery that is symbolized in the Cape Coast Crab. "We are very hospitable but can also become vicious when attacked. We gave lands to whites to build the castle and schools, but also led the struggle towards the attainment of independence. Further, we were the first seat of government and represent the cradle of education in Ghana. What will you do to Oguaa that it will not return in kind"?
Contemporary History Of Oguaa Fetu Afahye
"Once again the great and historical OGUAA FETU AFAHYE is upon us. Our festival reminds us of the yield from mother earth and the bounteous resources provided by the sea. Therefore, let us give principle thanks to the ALMIGHTY GOD who has graciously spared us our lives and given us the abundance of the land". "Afahye time is an occasion for pouring libation and sprinkling yam to our forebears and the seventy-seven (77) gods of Oguaa for the part they played during the past year in bringing us abundant yields from the land and sea, and for warding off misfortune that would have befallen the Oguaa State".
As the citizenry of Oguaa Traditional Area celebrate the 42nd milestone of the recommencement of the celebration of Fetu Afahye Festival after it had been banned for more than three decades by the colonialists, it is significant to amend here certain mistaken descriptions that have been attributed to it by earlier writers, mostly Christians or Moslems who associate it with fetishism. This contemporary history is aimed at correcting the misconceptions our colonizers gave our cherished traditional religion and festival. The most popular of these false attributions is its reference as "Black Christmas."
According to the late Osabarimba Kodwo Mbra V, Okyeame Ekow Atta (reigned from 1948 to 1996), this is a misnomer because it has never been an occasion for Africans to mark the birth of Christ as Christmas does. Rather, it is similar in terms of its temporal relation, as a new calendar year follows Christmas, the beginning of our African Traditional and religious calendar year is celebrated during Fetu Afahye. The late Okyeame Ekow Atta also confirmed that it was out of ignorance that the colonial governors and their missionary allies tagged this important event "Black Christmas." They did so in an erroneous attempt to interpret the religious significance of the festival.
Using this biased knowledge, they vainly tried to ban its celebration and often attempted, without success, to have it moved to the same period as the Christian Yuletide in December. Fetu or Efutu was the name of the Oguaa Traditional Area (Cape Coast) until the capital was transferred from Efutu town to Cape Coast at the close of the seventeenth century. Afahye is observed among the Akan community. Various Akan sub-groups refer to the celebration using different terms. The Fante community, for example, refers to the celebration as "Ahobaa" while ethnically Ga groups as well as neighboring communities call it "Homowo."
Early scholars likened the Afahye to the Hebrew feast of Passover in the Old Testament, whereby Hebrews governed by events within the sacred year or changes between agricultural seasons gave religious significance to such events by conducting certain commemorative festivities. However, recent research demonstrates that it is the Omanhene’s Yam Festival held during late July or the first week of August (when the crops are in blossom) that bear religious and ritual similarity with Passover.
Notably, Fetu Afahye’s only similarity with Passover is that it claims to mark the beginning of the new year according to the sacred agricultural calendar or "Afehyia" which in Fante means circled around and returned to starting point. Similarly, Passover marks the first month of the sacred year. The other similarity is the festival’s purification aspect as Afahye could be aptly compared to the Feast of Pentecost (shahouth, Lev. 23:15-21), which was celebrated after harvest time, when animals drank and cereal offerings were made to God as a means of giving thanks and to seek His blessing for another propitious year.
As earlier stated most onlookers, especially Europeans, wondered as to what significance this ancient custom held for the inhabitants of the Oguaa Traditional Area. To begin, its celebration in the beginning of September is significant as this month marks both the fishing and yam harvest time. Outsiders, however, attributed its origin to fetish worship. Imperialist governors did not encourage its celebration because of the firing of musketry near their castles. Any provocative act by one Asafo Company against the other could spark off fighting at any point in the celebration. Therefore, the colonial administrators were always in a state of apprehension as they questioned whether the musketry being fired was done so in funfair or war.
During an exclusive chat with the late Okyeame Ekow Atta, the Chief Linguist of the Oguaa Traditional Area, the Afahye’s multiple functions were described. He explained that most of the rituals were imbued with social, economic and religious connotations. He began by saying that Fetu Afahye represents the period in which "the Efutu Year has circled around and is once more with us." This is expressed by the term "Afehyia" which was later Anglicized and thus referred to as "Afahye" by Foreigners. The Fetu Afahye programme commences with the Omanhene’s Yam Festival, which is marked by the appearance of new tubers and when the first yield of farms present itself.
In the case of fishing communities this time signifies the beginning of the herring season. This depends on the sacred year, but most often takes place in late July or early August following week, the ban on drumming and fishing in the Fosu Lagoon is imposed. This year, these ceremonies occurred on Tuesday the 24th of July and on the 31st of July, respectfully. On the same day the confinement of the Omanhen ends. The ban on drumming enables the Omanhene and others to repair their drums properly for the impending festival.
More so, the traditional elders, who by this time may have taken a break from courtly activities, will be meditating and preparing for the occasion. Since they are accustomed to being summoned by drums, they ought not to be disturbed with any noise of this sort. For the same reason, quiet solitude is required within the community to enable elders to concentrate on the impending festival. This also accounts for the ban on funerals as most elders are family heads, and as such are expected to break their resting period to head affairs of the bereaved and its attached commitments. Thus, it is important to conduct funerals after the festival in order to allow uninterrupted rest for elders and others who are preparing for the celebration.
Since harvest time is a busy period, the ban on drumming strives to reduce the funfair to the barest minimum to enable the citizens in the various vocations to maximize production. When there is no music and no booze, all that is left is work. Okyeame Atta also added that the ban on fishing in the Fosu Lagoon enables the parent tilapia and other spices to lay eggs and have them fertilized since during this period, they will have reached their reproductive stage. In this way the ritual activities conducted during the festival enforce aquatic agriculture as the fingerlings are given ample time to mature for consumption.
Moreover, herrings are in abundance during this time, so why not preserve the Tilapia and let them reproduce more? Such religious sanctions have further practical significance. For example, as a result of frequent rains during this time the lagoon may become flooded making it unsafe for daily activities. According to Okyeame Atta, the purpose of the Omanhen’s 3 confinement is to enable him to meditate and prepare himself spiritually and mentally for the task ahead. It must be noted that when the ban on drumming is lifted, the one on funerals is imposed.
This ceremony is marked by the Asafo companies, beginning with the Bentsir No. 1 drummer, who will signal to the others with his drums. This is followed by the cleansing and renovation of shrines or company posts and the burning of refuse in bonfires to clear away evil spirits. This act can also be explained in terms of environmental and human sanitation as the clearing of drains, cans and tins prevents the breeding of mosquitoes that cause malaria. In ancient times such ailments were described by certain medicine men as the attack of evil spirits.
After the cleansing and white washing of company posts (this year this occurred by 29th August), the Ahenfie will be officially opened and visitors who now wish to call on Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II are able to do so. Friday, 25th August represents the first formal harvest of the year. This is marked by a procession there. On the same day Asafo Companies No. 4 and 7 conduct their clean-up day, which is followed by bonfires at their various posts. By Monday 28th August, activities start warming up as the crowd starts trickling in. This can be measured by the people who patronize the vigil at Nana Fosu’s shrine, which starts at 8:00 p.m. with traditional priests and priestesses dancing and invoking until the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Tuesday marks the "Bakatue" or lifting of the ban on fishing in the Fosu Lagoon and is celebrated amidst firing of musketry and colorful pageantry. After libation is poured, the Omanhen’s net is cast to declare that the lagoon is now open for fishing. Great attractions accompany this event such as a boat race and regatta. Okyeame Ekow Atta added that before this ceremony the Lagoon, which may have began to overflow its banks due to rains making fishing highly dangerous, might have had its sea end dredged to release part of its excess contents into the sea.
The great Thursday market day with its array of farm and sea products is supposed to be a final market day for inhabitants before the festival. Currently the market has been converted into an agricultural show and bonanza demonstrating its growth and modernization as diverse array of products are readily available. Thursday night also witnesses a great vigil at the Papratam shrine by traditional priest dances in order to invoke the ancestral spirits and that of the 77 gods of Oguaa for success of the annual meeting of the Traditional Area, which is meant to solicit their guidance in the coming year.
Okyeame Ekow Atta noted that "Papratam" literally means open space for gatherings or meetings. Osabarimba Kodwo Mbra V explained that the population growth of the Traditional Area in recent times has made the Papratam look too small for the purpose it is meant to serve but attributed this to the fact that when they first arrived at Cape Coast or Oguaa from Efutu the town was small, stretching from Nkum around present day Victoria Park to Anafo and lower areas such as Amanful, etc.
During this era the Papratam tree was the biggest arboreal product that had wide shades so they adopted it as the sole meeting ground that was traditionally recognized. Thus, all important decisions and meetings were held there. In fact, when a chief was enstooled and was going to swear his oath of allegiance it was to be done at Papratam. Hence, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II on his enstoolment on Saturday, 25th July, 1998 made his first appearance in state and swearing at the Prapratam.
On the death of any Omanhen, after a cow has been paraded through the principal streets of the town, they finally come to slaughter it at the same place. This was exemplified during the funeral of Osabarimba Kodwo Mbra V in 1997. Osabarimba Kodwo Mbrah V confided again that even when he was a child before his enstoolment, his fore-bearers notwithstanding, political and secular concerns resolved by the Traditional Council that all other vital meetings were carried out under this great tree. He emphasized that no meeting is valid if not convened there.
He also explained that out of the recognized seventy-seven (77) gods of Oguaa Traditional Area, Nana Papratam is regarded as one of the eldest and was therefore thought of as deputizing for the others. During the era before the advent of Christianity with its concomitant maxim that Jesus Christ was the mediator between man and God, the belief was that it was necessary to pass requests to the supreme or Almighty God through lesser gods. Thus, the present generations have inherited and are stoutly maintaining our culture and customs as handed down to us by our fore-bearers. On this same eve of Afahye day there are bonfires all the Asafo companies for newly installed Asafohenfo. This does not take place at their posts like events, but at some of the numerous school parks scattered in the municipality. For example Intsin No. 3 company holds theirs at the A. M. E. Zion School Park at Aboom.
During these bonfires, new Asafohenfo are expected to display and confirm their combatitive spirits or bravery as well as their readiness to lead their people in times of crisis. This is demonstrated by jumping over flames with others ostensibly being possessed by their ancestral spirits while performing spectacular feats by walking through the embers of the fire barefooted as was the case in 1989 by the African-American Asafo Akyereba. The following day, people were really amazed to see her on the durbar grounds with no bums on her feet! While the bonfire shows are in progress, various brass bands and Kolomashie songs (local folk music constituted by band instruments playing indigenous rock music) will be playing through the streets of town.
Bands move from spots of one bonfire gathering to another, providing others with live music to ginger up their spirits for a change.The Afahye day takes place on Saturday, the 1st of September. This is preceded early in the day (by 8:30am) by the colorful turn out of the Asafo companies in the procession of the Omanhen, Chiefs, and people of Oguaa Traditional Area from Mfantsipim junction through Kotokuraba Road, connecting up through Commercial Street, then wind their way past Royal Lane to Victoria Park, the durbar ground. On arrival at the Durbar Grounds, the Omanhen goes around to acknowledge seasonal greetings and cheers from the guests.
He later sits in state to receive the special guest speaker. After Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II and his chiefs have returned the Guest Speaker’s felicitations, there is the pouring of libation by Omankyeame followed by the Omanhen’s welcome address. The guest Speaker then addresses the gathering with the colorful display of Asafo companies bringing down the curtain on this well acclaimed Grand Durbar. has brought about the introduction of the special Afahye State Dance at the Cape Coast Town Hall with the crowning Miss Afahye during the peace of the night when folkloric dances of the old times play on the Saturday evening of the Afahye. Following Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II with all his traditional chiefs, Asafohenfo and elders will round off the festival with a Thanksgiving Service at the Chapel Square on Sunday.
Later in the afternoon there will be a football match at Siwdu Park, which is most often between local rivals, such as the Cape Coast Mysterious Dwarfs and Cape Venomous Vipers. Another fun event that takes place on Sunday is the beach party. The whole Fetu Afahye celebration is then rounded off with a meeting between Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, the Afahye Committee and the various representatives of the Oguaa Akoto Societies. This modern interpretation of our cherished festival has become very important in the face of recent confrontations between religious groups, especially Christians and Muslims, because when it comes to the observation of certain rites concerning our traditional festivals, they claim these observances are fetish.
However, it is hoped that this contemporary exposition will go a long way to disabuse this notion. Further, they should understand that during ancient times when there were not any security force or police to enforce socio-political norms, Asafo Companies maintained peace and security. During this time there was a need for these norms and taboos to be backed by religious sanction (as Asafo Companies were) in the absence of police in order for laws to be obeyed and accepted by society.
Launching Of Oguaa Fetu Afahye 2006 At The Centre For National Culture, Cape Coast By Odeneho Gyapong Ababio II, President 0f The National House Of Chiefs, Member Of The Council Of State Paramount Chief Of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Area.
The President of the National House of Chiefs and Omanhen of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Area and member of the Council of State, ODENEHO GYAPONG ABABIO II has charged traditional rulers in the country to build on the uniqueness of the African culture and traditions as the basis for the unity of their people. They should therefore use the celebrations of their various traditional festivals as the platform to bring about such unity by extending invitations to their colleague chiefs from other traditional areas to partake in the celebrations.
ODENEHO GYAPONG ABABIO II spoke at the launching of this year’s FETU AFAHYE of the Oguaa Traditional Area at Cape Coast. The President of the National House of Chiefs reiterated that Nananom, as custodians of the peoples’ cultural heritage, have the responsibility of ensuring the successful celebration of traditional festivals. It is therefore Incumbent that Nananom use occasions such as these to address issues of traditional or cultural practices which have the tendency of dehumanizing the very people they are to protect and guide.
Chiefs should therefore take a critical look at any such customary practices that are outmoded and socially harmful with the view of modifying them. Odeneho Gyapong Ababio II noted that the numerous disputes in the chieftaincy institution nationwide is not going down well with the people. Chiefs in the country should therefore do well not to wash their dirty linens in public if they want to succeed in sustaining the age-old glory and dignity of Chieftaincy, adding that greediness and financial considerations have made some chiefs cheats and charlatans.
The Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur in his submission proposed the establishment of a five member eminent citizens of state to settle chieftaincy cases in the region out of court, bemoaning that though the region has thirty-three (33) paramouncies, the forty to sixty-two (40-62) disputes pending in courts, cast great snare on the reputation and dignity of chiefs in the region. Nana Ato Arthur also pleaded with the Chiefs to support the Regional Co-ordinating Council’s initiative to establish an educational endowment fund to enhance education at the basic level. The Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II noted that the problem of legal disputes and litigation is not only affecting Chieftaincy but families as well.
He therefore called on individual family heads and elders to give better meaning to traditional festivals by using them as a platform to settle all such disputes within their family as tradition demands. Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II reiterated that ligations and disputes sap people’s energies and potential. It is therefore extremely urgent for the society in general to forge a united front in order to address problems hindering their development and progress collectively. He appealed to all those who have pledged to support the Oguaaman Palace Project to honour their pledges to enable Oguaaman find a soul for its people.
Date Created : 11/16/2017 4:00:07 AM
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