The Chiefs and people of Weija, a suburb of Accra on Sunday celebrated their annual Homowo festival in a very peaceful manner. The celebration as compared to others, have been described as the most peaceful Homowo in the history of the Gas and a legacy worth emulating by other communities in future celebrations.
As has been the tradition, the Dzaasetse and Acting Mantse of Weija, Nii Ogbedada Nii Boafo Danyina-Nse I, led the durbar, supported by Nii Kwao Otu II, Weija Oshipi, Numo Tettey-Fio III, Wulomo and Otsiame Fufui, sprinkled the traditional kpopoi, around 12 noon through the Weija community, the shrines of their gods and ancestors seeking for their protection as per the norm.
The Homowo, which literally means ‘’hooting at hunger’’, is characterized by drumming and dancing and general merry-making as the Asafo group led by the Asafoatse Nii Ayi Pampanku I led a procession through the Weija township amid singing of Homowo dirges and war songs heralding the beginning of a new dawn in Weija.
Addressing the people of Weija, the Dzaasetse and Acting Mantse of Weija, Nii Ogbedada Nii Boafo Danyina-Nse I, called on all chiefs and traditional leaders within the Ga Traditional Area to put an end to the little squabbles that seem to be hindering the peace of the Ga State.
According to him, the time has come for political leaders to allow the Chieftaincy institutions to work independently from any of their interferences since that is a panacea for peace and development.
According to him, although the theme for the celebration, is “Intensive Youth Education To Enhance Development Of Weija,” they have digress a little from the theme to include issues of the Cholera outbreak. He noted that the recent news about the menace is very appalling and therefore called on the people to observe good and healthy living so as to protect themselves from contracting the disease.
He also indicated that there is an urgent need for all to keep their surroundings clean and develop the habit of using hand sanitizers to always keep themselves away from the deadly Ebola disease.
Nii Ogbedada Nii Boafo Danyina-Nse I also explained that the homowo celebration is not pagan as claimed by many people, but rather a ceremony that was handed over to them from their forefathers, which they always do to remember their escape from bondage.
He however expressed his readiness to welcome all including people from the other ruling houses so as to build Weija together, wishing his people well in their celebrations.
Nii Ogbedada Nii Boafo Danyina-Nse I also called on parents to cut expenses on funerals and clothes and rather channel those resources into the education of their children to give them a brighter future.
On chieftaincy litigations, he said, “Chieftaincy litigations and wars over who is a chief or not only retard the forward march of a particular community. ‘’It is therefore important that we allow the laws to work, we must also follow due process in installing chiefs ,that way, we will be avoiding unwarranted litigations,” he said.
According to him, there were many reports about disputes in the Ga State, painting a dark picture that could put off investors from coming to do business.
He, therefore, called for peace and calm in other communities, urging the chiefs and people to live in harmony.
On his part, the Asafoatse of Weija Nii Ayi Pampanku I, prayed that things get better for the community so as to better the lives of the youth.
He believes that there is peace in Weija and called on all and sundry to come and celebrate with them during festivals.
The word “Homowo” actually means ‘hooting at hunger.’ The tradition of the Ga oral history describes a time long ago when the rains stopped and the sea closed its gates.
A deadly famine spread throughout the southern Accra Plains, the home of the Ga people. When the harvest finally arrived and food became plentiful, the people were so happy that they celebrated with a festival that ridiculed hunger.
This harvest festival is celebrated by the Ga people from the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.
It begins with the sowing of millet by the traditional priests in May. After this, thirty-day ban on drumming is imposed on the land by the priests.
The festival is highlighted at varying times by different quarters of the Ga tribe. The Ga-mashie group of the tribe will celebrate theirs’ a little earlier than the La group.
Homowo recounts the migration of the Gas and reveals their agricultural success in their new settlement.
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