Tribute in honour of the late Kingsford Nii Ahele Quarcoo – From GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo

Tribute in honour of the late Kingsford Nii Ahele Quarcoo

Pleasant are Thy courts above,
In the land of light and love;
Pleasant are Thy courts below
In this land of sin and woe;
O, my spirit longs and faints
For the converse of Thy saints,
For the brightness of Thy face,
For Thy fullness, God of grace

kingq1

Our faith in God directs us to accept, with sadness, the passing of our brother and friend King Nii Ahele Quarcoo. For us whose lives he touched in his many roles, his untimely earthly departure, in answering the call of our maker, nevertheless leaves us shattered. His passing flashes a void physically and psychologically onto our consciousness, not only within our organisation Gadangme Nikasemo Asafo, but right through the Ga nation as well.

His dedication to his people’s cause on all fronts demand unquestionably that we pay tribute to King Nii Ahele Quarcoo. King’s energy and passion in all activities the organisation was involved in are clear testimony to a true Ga. He embodied the essence of Ga nationhood with relentless defence, improvements, and promotion of our people and had great positive expectations of what we should become

It was at a Homowo function that King first met with us; as he recounted later he had been invited but did not know what to make of it.  He came and thoroughly enjoyed himself and immediately decided that this was an organisation that he wanted to champion and this he did to the fullest of his ability.

He joined at the next meeting and started to take centre stage in most of the deliberations, and there were several, in an organisation that was finding its way to project that Ga culture without limits in a diaspora environment.  This was at the time of the running of our play schemes for our young ones to provide them with structured culturally sensitive activities during their holidays.  His suggestions led the children on trips to City Farm in Vauxhall and to Box Hill in Surrey to give them the country experience.

His knack for organisation of events was soon at play in many of the events that we tried to implement in the nearly 30 years of our existence.  He was instrumental in the organisation of many of “Our Day”. This annual ‘bring and share event’ helped to foster fellowship amongst members but also served as an event for attracting new members. He became the recognised face of the organisation since he was the host and master of ceremonies in many of our ceremonies and our events, particularly the Annual Homowo/Asafotufiam/Nmaayem festival.

King took on several roles: he was the one we turned to for printing our invitation cards and other publicity materials, assisting in the many applications that we made for attracting funding either for our Saturday mother tongue classes and for the capacity building of the organisation that led to a grant from the Arts Council for our cultural activities.

He served as general secretary for years and more recently as chairman when he led in the celebration of the joint Homowo festival in the UK with other Ga groups.

He was at the forefront of our 15th-year celebrations. To mark our celebrations, he initiated the idea of anniversary cloth and was able to come up with the design and printing of the cloth. In addition to this, King assisted in organising Dinner and Dance at the Wandsworth Banqueting suite to crown the Ghana@50 celebrations.   In this regard, the entire membership owed him a debt of gratitude.

His value to the organisation can best be described as an initiator of some of the brilliant things, like getting us to discuss and document the proceedings and processes for conducting funerals that has been recorded for posterity.

We also recall with fond memories a lecture Nii Ahele gave on health issues relating to lifesaving – walayibaamo when he demonstrated the Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation CPR meant to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in cardiac arrest to manually preserve brain function. We not only found it useful since as we advance in age we could use it to save the lives of our loved ones, but the male members found it most enjoyable. Nii Ahele had brought with him a dummy that when inflated was transformed into a life-size lady and he allowed us to take turns in giving this dummy the kiss of life; we asked him to promise that if ever there was a repeat lecture he would bring a real lady volunteer for the role. Sadly, the promise of a live volunteer for the kissing competition will never be fulfilled as he has gone to meet his maker

His sad passing can best be captured in the words of Gray in his famous Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me. 

.May your soul rest in perfect peace in the Lord
Anyemi Nii Ahele Akwafro Matɔmatɔ Matɔade, yaa wo ojogbann ye Nuntso minshi

GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo
London November 2017

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The Funeral and Thanksgiving Service will be held on

FRIDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2017
at St Olaves Church, Church Walk, Mitcham, SW16 5JH at 11:30am.

Thereafter, all are cordially invited for a reception to celebrate King’s life

at Imperial House Banqueting, 31 Imperial Way, Croydon, CR0 4RR
from 2pm – 10pm.
**Dress code requested is black & white**

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CULTURE AND CHRISTIANITY – A Public Lecture by Rev. Dr. G. N. N. Odonkor

This lecture was delivered under the auspices of Gadangme Nikasemo Asafo in London by Reverend G. Nii Noi Odonkor, Chairperson  of the Ga Presbytery on 18th October 2014

ChristianityandGaCulture

Introduction:

Thank you so much for the invitation to share some ideas on culture and Christianity with you. For starters I want to admit that the topic is a bit broad and so narrowing it should be the way out. Culture is a way of life of a people and religion is one of the pillars of culture of a people. Since the context is that of GaDangme I will narrow the reference to Ga Culture. The Christian faith may have its different strands but I will be making general references to it.

Topic:

For me the topic is an attempt at reflecting on –Being African (Ga) and Christian at one and the same time.

How can we be truthfully Ga Christians? To answer this I think we should be guided by two verses in the New Testament:

  1. Paul’s admonition in 1Thesslonians 5:21-22. ‘Use your judgment, hold on to whatever is really good; steer clear of evil in any form’
  2. The Great Question/Confession: when Jesus asked the disciples the question of their life, i.e. ‘Who do you say that I am?’ (Matthew 16: 15)

I am sure God is posing this same question to all people at every turn of life and He expects an answer from all, the English, Americans, Japanese, Hausas, Scots, Ewe, Ga, etc.

Obviously, because of our common humanity there are things that we share with all the people but there are many things that are unique to each group. It is only by bringing our unique experiences of God together that we are able, to some extent, to appreciate what God is like?

Who is God to the Ga and how do we reckon our identity vis-a-vis our understanding of God?

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The Ga of Ghana

As mentioned earlier on, as Ga we share a lot with other cultural people in Ghana and perhaps outside Ghana. But we are unique because we have things that mark us out as Ga. Homowo celebration is one such uniqueness, language and many Ga names are others. In our uniqueness, who do we say God is? Or Jesus Christ is?

What do we as Ga, share with Christianity and where do we differ from Christian position?

Some concepts that are Common to both Ga and Christianity

  1. God as a Supreme Being: He reveals Himself to humanity. Ga and the Christian faith believe in Monotheism, His attributes of Holiness (sacredness), His omnipotence, sovereignty, omnipresence, omniscience, as Creator of all, etc.
  2. Humanity : as gbomotso (body) and Susuma (spirit) and kla (soul)
  3. Life as a gift from God (Outdooring). Life as delicate, life as a continuum
  4. Sanctity of marriage and the family life: The Christian religion and Ga Culture hold this dearly.
  5. Understanding of death: death as a gateway to the other world; life after death (eternal life), though Ga believe that life in the other world is a carbon copy of life in this world (i.e. that one’s status remains the same. This understanding is very much unchristian)
  6. The concept of sin. The Ga is richer in our understanding of this. Sin in Christianity- is about missing the mark of God. In Ga sin, Esha is about Hence we have masha(fermented dough) naabu sha( a bad saying) higmeii sha (evil looks) Besides for the Ga sin (esha) is lighter than musu which has something to do with the spiritual world- and therefore, needs special rituals for cleansing.
  7. The concept of Peace as Shalom; is not ‘toinjole’ the absence of war but properly speaking, Omanyee. ones total wellbeing
  8. Veneration of Ancestors and Sainthood. Ancestors are the living dead; they maintain a close relationship with the living; they share in family meals, family activities especially at the critical times in life (birth, puberty, marriage, death); they have advanced mystical powers which enables them to communicate easily with God. (Intermediaries); they are the guardians of morality and ethics; they can bless or punish.

Christianity has her Saints; persons who have lived in demonstration of their faith, Catholics- accept Sainthood through canonization, Protestants understanding is Pauline, i.e. every true Christian is a Saint. As far as Christianity goes, the Bible does not make reference to relationships with the dead. An exemption is e.g. Saul and the witch of Endor. Christians however believe in the Communion of Saints (that they share in our lives); we celebrate all Souls Day and all Saints Day, Many Protestants do not pray for Saints. ???

Jesus as the first ancestor. Jesus unites peoples of all cultures. He is thus a unique ancestor, the elder-brother ancestor and the Number One of all the ancestors; Ancestor par excellence. This is why He is the most important being in our lives.

The truth is God reveals Himself to people at various times. Often our vision of this God is blurred. But it is Jesus who has come to un-blur our vision of God; hence the uniqueness of Jesus.

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Points of Divergence

  • Position of the jemanwojii/gods and their powers and relationship with human life is untenable to the Christian faith. Jesus is the only Way, the Truth and the Life.
  • There is the vexed question of whether a Christian can be a chief?

What happens to traditional rites?

What happens during confinement?

What is so special about the Black Stool?- Does the stool only represents  the history, unity, morality etc,  or signifies the past, the present and the future of the society only.

Adaptation/Dialogue between the Ga culture and Christianity.

I believe that at all times; the Christian Gospel must engage the Ga culture.

As we look forward we should at all times take from the past, the fire and leave out the ashes?

Rites of passage may be Christianized; I believe that Ga Culture and Christianity can accommodate each other during outdooring ceremonies, puberty as in confirmation services, marriage and widowhood rites. Thankfully, the Church already has liturgies for Widowhood rites and naming ceremonies.

There can also be Christian input into festivals, eg ban on drumming may be a time for Christian fasting and prayers for the Community, a special service may be held in the church to kick start the festival celebration. Interestingly no libation is poured during the ban on drumming among the Ga people because the jemanwoji (gods of nature) and ancestors are assumed to be ‘already in town’. The Church can make good use of the time.

  1. Use of Ga cultural categories in Christian Worship eg drumming, song genres (kpaa shimo) may be adopted by the Church. Some drumming and dance forms, however, are too sexually suggestive or implied and should have no place in Worship. E.g Kpanlogo, Gome etc. eg Ephraim Amu encouraged the wearing of native cloth and some drumming but did not encourage dancing at church (because of emotionalism and portrayal of the male sex attracting the female sex, g. Adowa or kpanlogo)
  2. Prayer: Prayer constitutes both the form and the words that are used. For a proper understanding we will need to differentiate between the two.

Form includes, pouring out of water or drink, closing of the eyes and holding hands together, prostrating, Muslim prayer form, and Jewish prayer form of standing by the Wailing Wall and repetitively moving the head up and down. Any form may be acceptable.

The point of sharp difference is normally in the words. We are called to bless not curse; to pray for the repentance of the sinner not for his death. It is unacceptable to Christianity that in the Ga traditional prayer the supposed enemy is cursed.

But I have a bigger challenge which is very controversial: Is it possible to pour out water libation whilst verbalizing a Christian prayer? Is the Ghanaian Church ready for these adaptations?

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Use of the Ga Language

The Ga language has been helpful for both the Ga Culture and for Christianity.

  1. affirming Identity
  2. Missionary work ) (the Ga language speaks to the heart first)
  3.  As gift for civilization (passing on of knowledge)

How to present the gospel story to indigenous primal Ga

The Concept of Nyomno as God, the Supreme Being

‘Hell’ was a Canaanite God, which the Israelites somehow corrupted to mean a place for the wicked dead, as against Heaven. In the same way the concept of God was already with the Ga before the missionaries arrived. Some have suggested that the pre-Christian notion of Nyonmo was not that of a Supreme Being but one of Jenmawon.. Nyogmo was on the lips of the Ga people long before the arrival of the missionary, eg. you have divinities known as: Nyonmo tsawe (rain god in La); Nyonmo Tsaanaa (sea god in Teshie) and Nyonmo tsa (god of thunder and lightning in Ga Mashie).

It has been suggested, debatably, that in the order of things, Nyonmo was not originally on top of the pecking order. Somehow, the Ga have now equated this Nyonmo with God and given it a new meaning. (ref. M. Field, p 14)

Tswa tswa tswa Manye aba

Wogbei kome?

Nii Sakumo edzor (still in existence as supreme)

Akpititiokor edzor(extinct)

Otsiamah edzor(extinct)

Awudu Sakaraka edzor( of little significance today)

Ataa Nyonmo edzor (now developed into the Supreme Being)

Tswa tswa tswa. Manye Aba.

The further suggestion is that the title of Nii Sakumo suggests superiority. Sakumo in both Tema and Accra is considered a war deity (also known as shitse, owner of the land); whilst Ataa stands for father.

Furthermore, the reference of rain to Nyonmo is not semantics, it is intentional. It is to demonstrate how the concept of rain, thunder (Nyonmo shimo), lighting (Nyonmo kplemo) relates directly to Nyonmo.

Of great help to the development of the Nyonmo as a Supreme Being is that He does not have a shrine, priest or altars and is not associated with any one place or location. He dwells permanently in heaven. He only reveals himself to people and nurtures them by sending rain. Over time these understandings may have catapulted Nyonmo to be Supreme Being, higher than any other deity.

The Concept of Sin

Recognition of sin and cleansing is both Christian and among the Ga (aadwra as in Odwira) The use of blood is in tune with the Bible: ‘without the shedding of Blood there is no remission of sin.’ Among the Ga this is done especially

  • as part of Homowo festivals cleansing rites
  • To avert any calamity resulting from musu
  • As Peace meal to pacify feuding e.g. couples

The meat in the meal stands for the sacrificial animal.

The man gives the money for the meal just as among Christians God gave his son whose blood saves us the offending party.

Understanding the Virgin Birth/ Incarnation

Among the Ga, there is the belief that ‘jemanwonjii’ can give children; or can conceive with a woman and give birth to a child. We have ‘won bi’, ‘Nyogmo bi’ etc. Lakpaa is known as Nyonmo-bi-Tettey. The Sakumo is also known similarly. The Ga is able to replace Jesus with Sakumo or La-Kpaa as nyonmo bi thus it should be easier for the Ga to accept and understand the virgin birth, Jesus as God’s son born to save us from our sins.

Chaplaincy

Long before the advent of the missionaries, we have had traditional Chaplaincy. Eg. Okomfo Anokye and Osei Tutu 1

We also have the Nai Wulomo, Gborbu Wulomo and Sakumo wulomo and their relationship with the Ga Mantse and other Chiefs. We have also heard of the close relationship between Nene Odonkor Azu of Manya Krobo and Zimmermann, the missionary.

  1. Mutual influence: It is insightful that the previous Nai Wolomo will refer to the Trinity as rain, earth and sea or use the title archbishop for himself. This tells of the great Christian influence in traditional Ga thought.
  2. There is obviously the need for adaptation and indigenization but…

One has to be Careful: eg. Prof. Dzobo’s and ‘Melagbe’ theology which caused  schisms of the E.P. church. However the success story of Vatican 2 and Archbishop Sarpong‘s attempt at indigenizing the Catholic Church in Ghana should be our guide. All said and done the process of adaptation and indigenization should be like the Peeling of onions-Gentle and gradual. Full or Complete indigenization and adaptation may out live all of us.

The Salem Concept: The early Missionary approach o making Christians was not helpful since it created an identity crisis for Ga Christians. The Missionaries uprooted the early converts from their families and communities and planted them in Salems. This approach isolated the converts and led them to demonize their own heritage. For example, Ga Christians were not encouraged to celebrate Homowo and those who did were disciplined. Eventually, it became difficult for them to identify with their own culture. John Mbiti has  rightly said that the African man cannot be saved alone as an individual; he must be saved with the community.

Conclusion

If we are to worship God as Ga Christians without any struggle of anxiety, we must evolve a Ga Christian theology which must come out of the people’s experience (past and present and world view.

Who do Ga say that Jesus is?

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Homowo-Asafotufiam-Nmaayem – an invitation 13th September 2014

homowo2014_back homowo2014_front

This is an invitation to all to join us at this years celebration of the Ga New Year in London.

The celebration is
0n Saturday, 13th September 2014
at Lavender Children’s Centre, Lavender Park Pavilion
 Steers Mead, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 3HL
3.30 pm prompt

 

and now a little bit about Homowo

Exodus 12.20 -29

Ye shall eat nothing leavened…tip it in the blood and strike the lintel for the Lord Almighty will pass over thoroughly ugh to smite the Egyptians.

 

Awo Awo Awo Awooooo!                Mother oh Mother

Agban ee                                             Agban the diety

Bleku Tsor                                           Let Bleku rain/pour down

Esu Esu                                               Water, plenty of Water

Enam Enam                                         Fish, let us have a lot of fish

manye Manye                                      Glory, let glory reign

Adiban Kportor                                  Let the food be in abundance

 

 

 

HOMOWO

This brief talk is an attempt to share with You my recently acquired knowledge or the celebration of the main Ga-Dangme festival; Homowo in the hope that it will answer some questions that people may have liked to ask but have never had the opportunity to do so I must issue a caveat here; my knowledge is only peripheral.   It is based more on observation and analysis than on practice.   It is based on reading and interpretation rather than on being formally taught on the subject.

 

The Homowo celebration is a public manifestation of public worship amongst the Ga-Dangme people which now portrays elements of our religious, historical, cultural and social aspects of our lives The Ga-Dangme people have a religion.   We believe in the worship of God as a Supreme Being. . It is this one God who orders our lives and gives reason for our being.

 

We are organised as a theocracy.  Our leaders have always been our, wolomei, chief priests who are the main medium to our One Supreme God.

 

Our chiefs are recent creations borrowed from other tribes who we settled amongst when we arrived at the Ga-Dangme region of Ghana.  They perform administrative and political functions a convenience in our dealing with the other tribes and with our colonial masters.  Our holy priests because of their spiritual nature did not want to deal directly with affairs of state or with the conduct of wars that were then a necessity especially since we settled among hostile tribes.

 

The Ga believe that we were an original part of creation.  Our origins can be traced although not scientifically because of our oral traditions.

 

The celebration of Homowo therefore goes back as far as the origins of time although in cur present sojourn In Ghana it has now assumed cultural and social importance as a way of asserting our identity.

 

Why HOMOWO

Homowo is a yearly festival which celebrates the passing of the old year and welcomes in the new year.  It is a culmination of a series of religious events throughout the year.  It is a reaffirmation of our belief in our GOD Ataa Naa Nyomgmor – a God who is both male and female.  It is a renewal of our faith in the wonderful might of our God in preserving us from year to year.  In delivering us from the harsh difficulties of the past year in providing us with a bountiful harvest.

 

Above all it is a religious celebration to commemorate the deliverance of our tribe from the hands of the godless Egyptians and may have formed the period when we started our migration from the land of our origin as related in the book of Exodus.

 

There were rules and regulations attached to the celebration.  The eating of unleavened food, the fact that all celebrants most be circumcised, the marking of the doors with the blood.  So that we will be passed over by the pestilence sent by God to kill all the first born children of the land, the fact that the Homowo marks the start of the New year.

 

Homowo socially for us is the period when we gather to be counted as a clan, when all Ga born people if possible gather In the family house to celebrate the coming of the new year and to get to know each other. It is a communal feast in which all partake. Even those who are not Ga people are sent food as a token of goodwill.

 

WHAT IS HOMOWO

Homowo is a KPLE festival It is a manifestation of religious public worship.

The Wulomei start by taking their turn in Planting corn or maize.  It Takes approximately 6 weeks for the new corn to be harvested starts by planting wheat at a special site It is during this period that the wheat is growing that there is a ban on music and drumming of any sort in Accra.  It is interpreted as the period that the drummers are expected to repair their drums and prepare for the festivities ahead.  It is also regarded as a period when the major deities go into hibernation or take their rest to fortify themselves for the coming year.

 

The month before Homowo:

There is no public dancing.   Burials take place but without music or dancing Important people who pass away are kept unburied until after the festival because they cannot he buried without The pomp and pageantry their status.

 

It is said that this period of quiet has to be observed or else fish from the sea and game from the land are driven away with the noise my own interpretation is that this is one way in which we keep the balance with the ecology around us

,

WHEN

We start our year in September and we’ tend to use more fish than meat and we have substituted unleavened Corn for the unleavened bread.

 

Homowo is generally celebrated around August’. which is the end of the Ga calendar, It also coincides with the harvest It occurs after the harvesting of the first corn.   Corn being the staple diet of the Ga people very utilitarian in nature and used for- all our meals. For breakfast, for lunch and also for dinner and even sometimes as a snack,

 

It also coincides with the period when there is a lot of fish around.

The Dantu wolomo provides the dates for the celebration in the different states amongst the Ga people

 

NUNGUA START usually on the first Saturday of July

They are followed by LANTE DZAN WE four weeks later.

TEMA celebrate a week later oil the FPLDAY

GA MASHI FOLLOws a WEEK LATER ON A SATLJRDAY

OSU LA.  TESHI, KPONE FOLLOW 10 DAYS Later ON THE TUESDAY

The Krobos and the Adas have allocated specific days for the celebration, For instance the Adas celebrate on the bank holiday in August

 

THURSDAY

In Ga Mashi the Thursday prior to the Saturday of the main celebrations is when the returnees arrive, These are mainly Gs born children and their children who are working outside the Area who arrive to take part in the celebrations SOOBII.  They tend to come with exotic meats and foods that are not readily available in the main parts of ACCRA.

 

Contrarily to popular belief the Ga are not only a sea faring people they are also farmers and have villages spread around the hinterland of Accra.  This is where the palm soup comes 6cm indeed it must have been the Ga who taught the other tribes of Ghana the delicacies of Palm-nut soup.  They also bring firewood and bush meat for these Ga people Homowo represents the coming home to be welcomed and they bring their contributions To the festivities.

 

FRIDAY

 

The cult of the twins

Friday is the day reserved for the cult  of the twins.  The Ga believe that twins have some special significance or powers, some close intuition However there is need for appeasement of sorts.  This is prevalent in most ancient societies.

Genesis 27 talks about Isaac asked the elder twin Esau to prepare him a meal so that he will be blessesd, their mother Rebekah organised the meal and let Jacob present it to their father. 

The Ga ensure that both are blessed and a meal – fotoli cooked for them.

Haadzin anin takes no chances and the meals are prepared for both twins and taken to Korle so that no rivalry should exist between them. So that The problems of birthright are resolved there is the ceremonial food that is cooked for them.  This comprises of mashed yams mixed with palm nut oil with an egg   Normally called oto this Is the food that Is given to people on their birthday, Medicinal plant nyanyara  put in water and they are bathed in this water The residue is carried by their other siblings in a procession to the Korle lagoon.  Korle is one of revered female deities that inhabit the Korle Lagoon.  Korle is one of the spirits responsible for fertility.  Indeed she is known as the mother of all mothers

 

This procession in our time was a sort of carnival and provided the social angle for the celebration of Homowo.  The Haadzin anin was the time for all secondary school students to meet their colleagues from other schools.

 

SATURDAY

The main celebration in GA Mashi takes place on a Saturday.  The  food is cooked very early and by noon all who will partake are gathered in the house o f their origin.  Before the food is dished and eaten by all who have friends who are Ga or not Ga have some food dished out and sent to these so that they will also partake in the festival of goodwill.

The elder in the house prays by pouring libation before the food Is dished out and Alt members of the family are expected to partake of the food from one bowl sharing the bowl, On the local public scene, the Nai wolomo prays at home: he pours his libation at home.  The Ga Mantse goes to the seaside to offer his payers.  The position chosen for this place is where the Ga were supposed to have entered Accra which is right inside the Ussher Fort which is now a prison and therefore the wolomo cannot go in there The Gbese Mantse takes the lead in the sprikling of Kpokpoi followed by the Ga Mantse.

 

The ceremony continues with the traditional sprinkling of Kpokpoi in other traditional areas of Accra.  This is done for the purposes of renewal so that All can eat including seen As well as unseen animals and persons and spirits.  It is also believed that as a spiritual people the ancestors have gone before us need to be nourished and thus the offering of kpokpoi so that hey can join in..  After the sprinkling of kpokpoi there is now opportunity for all to partake in the meal.

 

Then comes the main dancing of Oshii by the chiefs and elders in the traditional area,

 

SUNDAY

Yara Woo

Early in the morning there is mourning for the recently departed members

of the family

 

Noo wala

Ngoo Ngoo Wala Ngoo wala             Chose Life Chose life

Afi naa akpe wor                                May the year end meet us

Gbi Kpawo anina wor                         May we meet the eighth day again

Worye Gbo worye Gbeina                  May we celebrate Gbo  and  Gbeina festivals

Wor fee momoo                                  May we be renewed

Alonte din ko akafo worten                Let no evil come between us

afi aya ni afi aba                                  Let the year go and come back again

worsei afi worta shi neke noo             Let us sit down like this again next year

tswa omanye abla wor                        Strike and let the glory surround

 

 

This is the renewal aspect of the ceremony when all are required to wish each other new life, It is done so that all: who have differences during the past year have an opportunity to patch up Moreover it is -cask for new fruitful life without any mishaps go that we can all meet again next year

 

Some subsequent rites of the Homowo celebration includes

 

There is AYEKOO when all the young men who participated are thanked for their services by the people in the town, The importance of this ceremony is that food is normally left  over in the morning by traders for these young people to pick up as they do their rounds They have been sent by Sakumo wolomo and are therefore not soared if they pick food from any-where in the market, They are not supposed to be caught as thieves on this particular day This part of the ceremony has now degenerated into a general looting and most trader who are not Ga find that some criminal elements exploit the situation to steal things other than food.

 

Purification of the sea –  Nshor bulemo takes place after Ayeekoo, one characteristic of this ceremony was that often the Anglican archbishop takes place side by side on the beach.

 

In the evening Homowo officially ends with kple noowala

 

THE Thanksgiving TO THE KPLE DEITY- THIS incorporates Dancing BY

THE Cult Priest AND PRIESTESSES

 

LOCAL VARIATIONS

 

The celebrations vary from area to area

 

At LA the main highlight is the Kpaashiimo and SHKAMO which takes place on the Thursday of the Homowo.  Strangers often find that people they do not know take the liberty to engage them in all sorts of embraces during the procession through the town.

 

At TESHI there is KPANSHIMO when all the various youth groups dress themselves in sort of fancy dresses and go singing through the town, On that day the libel laws cannot be evoked and they sing about all the scandals that have taken place during the period.  The chief is a usual target but all is taken, in good faith,,

 

 

Ade Sawyerr

9th September 1998

Festival 2012 – Homowo-Asafotufiam-Nmaayem

Sponsors for the celebration

Shanco Bruce, Esther Lamptey, Diana Aryeetey, Nii Nortei Omaboe, Ben Aryeetey, Mr Victor & Mrs Cecelia Ativor, Ade Sawyerr,  Patience Tagoe, John Quao, Diana Affutu-Nartey, Joe Adama, S.A Doku, Julie Lutterrodt, Comfort. Clottey,  Sarah Worburton, Elizabeth Tetteh, Diana Nartey, Jennifer Quaye, Stanley Allotey   Julie  Glover, Barbara Quarco, Rosemond  Sutherland

Appreciation

The entire membership of the GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo wish to express their sincere appreciation to the following for their contribution for the day;  Joe Boy & Friends  Band , and the ladies who prepared the food.

This celebration has been only possible through the voluntary contributions and donations by individuals.  We thank all those who have contributed in some way to the success of the day.  We also thank in advance those who could not send in their donations before today but are willing to contribute. We gladly welcome your donation.  The bulk of the donations and proceeds from the raffle will be devoted to the running of the Language and Saturday Schools to be restarted.

Future Plans

This coming year, we have set ourselves some targets outside our cultural and artistic objectives.  These include:

  • The establishment of an after-School club.
  • The beginning of a Saturday supplementary school.
  • The establishment of a youth club.
  • The establishment of a Befriending Society for the  elderly

We can only achieve these objectives with your support in joining in with celebrations and in offering contributions towards our cause.

GADANGME NIKASEMO ASAFO

(Educational, Cultural and Welfare society)

Registered Charity No.  1056912

 

HOMOWO-ASAFOTUFIAM-NMAAYEM

FESTIVAL 2012

Annual Celebration

of the

GaDangme People of Ghana

Saturday 22 September 2012

Lavender Children’s Centre, Lavender Park Pavilion

Steers Mead,

Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 3HL

3.30pm – 11.00pm

Programme

4:00 Soobii Arrival of guests
4:30 Start of Festival Procession
4:45 Solemo Opening Prayer
4: 50 Cultural Music
5:00 Shitswaa ke Dzoomo Libation
5:20 Kogbamo ke Nishwamo Sprinkling of Kpokpoi
5: 40 Cultural Music and Drumming
6:15 Kpokpoi Yeli The feast
7:30 Welcome and Fundraising
8:20 Noo Wala ke shiwoo Thanksgiving
9:00 Music and Dancing Highlife Music  & Dancing
10:00 Raffle Draw
10:15 Music and Dancing
11.00 Close

 

The Festival

The Homowo-Asafotufiam-Nmaayem is the main annual festival of the GaDangme people.  It is cultural, historical, and religious and also represents the harvest as well as the start of our New Year.  GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo tries to celebrate this festival to bring out all the different art forms which make this festival worthy of attending.  We still rely on your voluntary contributions.

 

Aims and objectives

  • The learning of the GaDangme languages in Britain especially amongst the children born in the UK and to organise the teaching of the GaDangme language to interested persons.
  • The learning and dissemination of information on the Ga Dangme history, language, religion, culture and traditions and to provide a forum for the exchange of views and interpretations of our practices.
  • The observance of our customs and traditional practices and to organise the celebration of our main festivals.
  • To promote the welfare of all GaDangme people.

Traditional Practices and Customs

Individual members of the organisation are still called on to assist with the vital customs that mark us out as a people; be it at birth, in marriage or at death, we are at hand to provide support.

Language School

Perhaps the most important activity that we undertake is the Language school.  This is endowed by voluntary contributions from individuals who are interested in the children or spouses learning our language and grant from The London Community Foundation.  The language school is held on Saturdays, every wee k.  For more information please contact Nii Nortei Omaboe- 0794745 3034.

Meetings

Monthly meetings are held at the St Mark’s Church, Rowfant Rd.  London SW12.

The meetings take place every Second Saturday of the month at 6.30 p.m.

For more information, contact.

The Chairman,  21 Stockport Road SW16 5XE

Email nikasemoasafo@gmail.com

Web: https://gadangmenikasemoasafo.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo website!

Dear Anyemimei and Friends,

Nye hea manye! Welcome to the New GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo website! Please note that we are migrating information from the Multiply.com website to Word Press. We expect to complete this task in a few weeks.

Please feel free to send photos from GaDangme events, and GaDangme-related videos and links. Thanks in advance for your patience and help!

Warm regards,

Administrators

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