General News of Friday, 13 October 2017
Naming ceremonies are sacred occasions; therefore, songs played or sang at such occasions should be solemn and reflect the country’s culture, the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Na Abdulai Yakubu Andani, has said.
According to him, a naming ceremony is a revered occasion for welcoming a new born into the world but lately, it has become an occasion for the playing of and dancing to profane songs.
“It looks like we are losing our culture. I sit here every Sunday and watch the people hold naming ceremonies. The music they play, you don’t understand anything, but people will be dancing left and right.
“People don’t play our traditional music again. Music is part of our culture which must not be traded for anything,” he said when a delegation from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture led by the Deputy Minister of the ministry, Dr Ziblim Iddi, paid a courtesy call on him at the Gbewa Palace at Yendi in the Northern Region to introduce some of the selected tourism ambassadors to him.
The Kampakuya-Na, who is also the acting President of the Dagbon Traditional Council, therefore, urged the ministry to play a key role in orienting Ghanaians, particularly the youth, to value the country’s culture.
Cutting across various segments, the tourism ambassadors include musicians, actors, bloggers, writers and disk jockeys whose key responsibility would be to use their influence to promote Ghana as a tourist destination for the next two years.
The Dagbon regent commended the ministry for working with the Tourism Society of Ghana (TOSOGHA), a non-governmental organisation which promotes domestic tourism and culture at the grassroots.
“Promoting our culture should start from the school. If they learn it in school, when they come out, they will continue to practise. Gradually, our youth are gravitating towards westernisation.
“We need to empower them (TOSOGHA) to go into our schools and get more converts,” he said.
Turning his attention to the tourism potentials of the Northern Region, he noted that the region was lagging behind in terms of tourism development in the country because of its failure to explore its tourism potentials.
He cited the site of a battle between the Dagomba people and the Germans which resulted in a number of casualties on both sides, with the graves of the slain Germans still in existence as an example.
“Occasionally, we get some German tourists visiting the place but there is nothing there that shows that it is a tourist attraction. We are not deriving any economic benefit from it,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the ministry to take up the challenge of developing the site into a prime tourism destination.
The Kampakuya-Na said as the custodian of the culture of the area, he was ready to collaborate with the government to develop tourism and promote the culture of the Northern Region.
In a related development, the Overlord of the Gonjaland Traditional Area, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa, has enskinned the Minister of Tourism, Mrs Catherine A. Afeku, and her deputy, Dr Ziblim Iddi, as the Queenmother and King of Culture.
He bestowed Gonja chieftaincy titles Dankeriwurche and Dankeriwura on the two ministers during a visit to the Jakpa Palace as part of activities to mark the World Tourism Day, where some of the country’s tourism ambassadors, including Fuse ODG, Dada K.D and Kakyire Kwame Appiah, were introduced to the Gonja overlord.
They were adorned with smock and northern Kente to symbolically usher them into office.
He pledged the support of the Gonja kingdom to the development of tourism and the promotion of culture, adding that with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo putting his weight behind the tourism ministry, it was important for all to put their hands on deck.
Speaking earlier, Mrs Afeku said the team’s visit was to seek the support of the traditional area for the development of tourism and culture.
The team later visited the Larabanga Mosque, the oldest mosque in West Africa, the mystique stone and the Mole Park, which are all tourism sites in the West Gonja District.