Feature Article of Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Columnist: Adorsu-Djentuh, Franklin
Easter is a major and very significant celebration on the Christian calendar. Christians all over the world mark the day with host of activities to commemorate the crucifixion and the resurrection of our lord Jesus Christ. Easter in Ghana is well celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike. The period though is strictly a religious occasion but it also has other dimensions which has both negative and positive secular meanings. People use the occasion as a period to get together, make merry and catch a good fun after long months of working. In Ghana the population at the city centres usually drift toward the towns and rural centres, where people mainly celebrate with relatives and friends at home. Kwahu the hottest spot for eater celebration in Ghana is almost like a national event, where indigenes and non-indigenes alike travel from within and outside Ghana to celebrate. The Kwahu easter celebration took a national dimension when the ministry of tourism identified with the celebration and incorporated the power gliding exercise on the Kwahu ridge to make it a desired tourist destination to foreigners. Kwahu has benefited immensely from these celebrations in the areas of infrastructure development and economic boom. Through these means development is sent to other places of the country to make these areas catch up with the over concentrated development in the capital.
Kpando have been reeling under chieftaincy dispute for decades and this has somehow brought development to inertia. The much cherished and colourful festival of the people of Kpando the Danyibakaka festival has sunk into a doldrums for well over three decades with little hope of near restoration due to the schism the dispute has created. Nevertheless the people of Kpando must not wait until Danyibakaka is restored before they can meet the power brokers as people and lobby for development.
Now let me tell you why the un-hyped Kpando Easter celebration must be given a close attention and be harnessed for development. The people from Kpando love their easter. A Kpadonia will not give anything for his easter at home. Luckily enough Kpando has all it takes to host a superb easter each year both on religious and the secular side of the celebration. The jamboree is always the height of the celebration, leaving the town in the pale shadow of it former self. The town’s rich history as a busy commercial centre and once the seat of the German colonial government gave it some unique qualities among its peers. The easter celebration attracts non-indigenes as well because of Kpando’s unmatched popularity due to it schools and other attractions. Bishop Herman College, Kpando Secondary and Kpando Technical have churn out a lot of great people who can easily identify with the town any day any time.
On the religious note Kpando house one of the oldest catholic cathedrals and the biggest catholic religious sites “grotto” in Ghana. This serves as a major tourist destination for catholic pilgrims from all over West Africa. During easter celebrations, people travel to observe the crucifixion and the resection of Christ at the grotto. Kpando is blessed to have two different grottos, one in Agbenorxoe and the other at Aziavi. But are these attractions being well managed to attract a lot more people who may rather travel to Rome for the same visit? The grotto under the tutelage of the catholic church can do much by forging a close partnership with the municipal assemblies and the traditional authorities to sell the this important religious monument in other to attract a lot more pilgrims and make some revenue as well for development.
Kpando Borborbor was huge and has travelled far and wide since the days of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and its founder Kojo Nuatro. Kpando Borborbor was a national band during the first republic, it got to a time when it name has to be changed to Nkrumah Borborbor band due to the first president’s fascination and attachment to the band. Borborbor is a powerful music and anybody who hears the sound of borborbor can barely help but bending his waist and twirl his white handkerchief in the frenzy of the drums and the trumpets. Borborbor has grown to be one of the biggest forms of music in West Africa but largely remained untapped. Did kojo Nuatro and Nkrumah left with the borborbor? The traditional authorities together with youth groups can come together to revive and reinvigorate this priceless asset Kojo Nuatro left for posterity. If managed well, Kpando can be returned to its glorious state as the home of borborbor. This can get people to travel from near and far just to come and dance and witness borborbor in its pure state during easter festivities. “Borborbor tsimatoe” Though I know of such plans in the pipeline, but the fire is just too dim to illuminate Kpando.
Kpando also has a natural port on the Volta Lake. “Kpando Torkor”. Kpando Torkor is a hub of commercial activities within the central and northern belt of the Volta region. Kpando Torkor has been one of the major revenue generation points for the municipal assembly but the condition of the market have left much to be desired. The whole market is consumed by the lake anytime the water level rises; the place is left largely undeveloped with some dilapidated sheds and a toilet donated by the former MP. Kpando Torkor is not only a commercial centre but it also has a huge arable lands for irrigation farming that can be given a lot more attention than it is now. The place can also be developed in to a beach resort. Tourist can take a cruise on the Volta Lake, holiday revellers can have picnic and camps activities there, which will make Kpando Torkor an ideal tourist destination.
The people of Kpando love soccer; Kpando has a rich antecedent in sports. Kpando has the oldest sports stadium in the Volta Region and it was a hotspot to many sporting activities and national events dating from the era of trans-Volta Togoland up to the 90’s. People travel from other parts of Volta region to Kpando sports stadium to watch soccer. Back in the days Kpando sports stadium was a waterloo for big teams like Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Accra Hearts of oak, the republican etc. Kpando Mulpo brought a lot of pride to Kpando back in the days. Lately Victor Ahiakpor’s Hearts of lions has taken over the vestige after the collapsed of Mulpo F/C and has turned around the fortune of Kpando to it past glories in soccer. The lion’s den is still a waterloo as it used to be. But can’t something be done about Kpando Sports Stadium? It can be made a more attractive venue for sports in Ghana. I hear sports commentators refer to Kpando Sports Staduim as Kpando Park and it grieves me to the heart, because that is what we have relegated it to. Before now the stadium was a total package, with facilities for all others sports. Now it now serves as a home park for Hearts of lions with all other sports thrown in to the abyss of hopelessness. All Kpando have left is Heart of lions. Though they represent Kpando at the highest level in soccer but I cringe when I think of Heart of lions as a one man team. This is a time bomb waiting to explode in the face of Kpando. The collapse of the bankroller may tentatively spells the doom of the team. And since the people of Kpando takes a lot of pride in the team as theirs, then why can’t Akpini as a state buy significant numbers of the shares in the team and co-manage it with the private owner? With Okpekpewuokpe Torgbui Dagadu the live patron of the team? It will be very difficult to have a world class team like Heart of Lions to the credit of Kpando again if this opportunity is botched. It must not be least taken for granted, that is why all indigenes must come on board. Even a levy of a paltry sum will give the sense of ownership to the people to support and own the team. Kpando saw the painful demise of Mulpo F/C in the 90’s and it only took the sole effort of Victor Ahiakpor to give meaning to sports in Kpando again. I witnessed Kpando very active in sports in the late 80’s and early 90’s. it took the effort of Coach Bankole and his collegues to develop the talent of the youths in Kpando both in football and handball. The specialty of Coach Bankole was handball and he was one of the kind this continent has. He was able to single headedly developed handball in Kpando to the highest level. Today a lot of Kpando youths have been absorb in to the forces, like the military, prisons, police, fire service just to play handball. Coach Bankole has also moved on to become the national handball coach and he is rated above most of his peer on the African continent. The easter celebrations can be use to re-lunched sporting activities in Kpando again. Coach Bankole works with the national sports council has so much attachment and love for sports in Kpando he can be tasked to repeat the fist of the 90’s because a lot of the youth needs help.
I began to see a lot of hope in the development of Kpando when the newly elected MP of the newly created Kpando constituency started rallying around herself the youth groups, women and natives all over the country to initiate developmental project to restore Kpando to its past glory. Now Kpando has all arsenal at it disposal to take of the head of the snake called under development and apathy. There are chieftaincy dispute in other towns and villages but they are making strides towards development. Chieftaincy dispute have always persisted and I don’t see any truce in the near future with the little I know about the dispute. That is why Kpando must stop giving excuses and arise.
I was so much elated by the initiative of the chiefs and people to use this easter to launch the centenary celebration of the return of King Dagadu Anku III from exile in cameroun “kamalo” it was well organised with the crème de la cream of the political class in attendance. The regional Minister Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, his deputy Francis Ganyaglo who also happened to be the immediate past MCE of Kpando. The chief of staff Prosper Bani, the local government minister Hon. Oppong Ofosu the MP for Kpando Dela Sowah and other chiefs within Volta and outside Volta region graced the occasion. The speech delivered by Torgbui Dagadu VIII was one of a vociferous lobbying tool which has given many of the youth hope for something better for Kpando.
Let Kpando agree to continue developing whiles she also continues to disagree over who has legitimacy or not over the Akpini paramountcy. The two must not be mutually exclusive; chieftaincy dispute cannot continue to be the bane of the development of Kpando.
The author is an Indigene who is very passionate about the development of Kpando.
Franklin Yayra Adorsu-Djentuh