Appearing bare-chested before Tindana is tradition, not juju

Images of bare-chested New Patriotic Party campaigners in Talensi in the Upper East Region were given a distorted meaning because of either ignorance or political propaganda.

Many on social media and tabloid newspapers and news portals published the pictures believing that the men had gone to visit a shrine to obtain powers.

Such powers, it was reported, were meant to help the opposition party win the by-election there.

But the Deputy Head of Joy FM’s Political Desk, Malik Abass Daabu, said the publications and claims were based on ignorance.

He explained that the Tindana amongst the Frafras and other Northern ethnic groups, is the custodian of the land.

According to him, the Tindana is the chief priest who signs documents in any land transaction and performs sacrifices for the chief who is the ruler over the people.

Malik Daabu said traditionally, the Tindana does not wear clothes- he is always clad in an animal skin.

Because of this, he said, anybody visiting the Tindana is necessarily required to remove their shirt before meeting him.

When a team of NPP guys campaigning in the constituency went to the Community where the Tindana resides, they went to seek his permission and his blessings as custodian of the land.

The team, led by Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly called, Chairman Wontumi, as tradition demanded removed their shirts and appeared before the Tindana, Baare Tindaan at the Zupelga in the Talensi Constituency.

Obviously excited by the tradition to which some of them were not accustomed, they took photographs and shared them on social media.

Before long, the photographs had been splashed on social media by adherents of their political opponents who claimed they had consulted a shrine for political victory.

Malik Daabu, who is also the Editor of, said the comments and publications were based on a misunderstanding of the culture and traditions of the people of the area and “must be consigned to the bin.”

He said it was wrong for some to try to demean the traditions of the people by imputing occultism to what happened there on Wednesday.

Appearing before the Tindana bare-chested, he argued was not strange because in various parts of the country, people remove their sandals and lower their cloths as a sign of reverence when approaching chiefs and other traditional rulers.

“Why should the respect shown to the Tindana be attributed to occultism”? he asked.

The political analyst said people must respect the culture and traditions of others.

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