By Louisa Atta Akpoto
Awe, Awe, Awe Aweeeee…
Bleku Tsor Nsu, o,
Nsu Enam, o,
Enam Manye, o,
Manye Adibane Kpotoor
This appellation amidst firing of musketry, drumming and dancing is the sight to behold in the Ada Traditional Area when we celebrate the Ada Asafotufiam festival.
The festival is mostly celebrated in the first week of August in remembrance of our ancestors who fought various wars and came out victors. One of such wars is the Katamanso war. Asafo- meaning group and Tufiam- meaning firing of musketry. Asafotufiam festival simply means festival of firing of musketry.
The festival for some reasons was put on hold but after some years was revived in the year 1937. The main aim of reviving the celebration was to bring sons and daughters of the land scattered abroad back home to help in the development of the Ada state. This year marks 80 years after the revival.
My question is, have we achieved that aim? 80 years on and we cannot boast of a befitting palace for our Paramount Chief. 80 years on, we don’t have an educational fund. 80 years on we can’t maintain our main natural resource ( Songor lagoon). 80 years on and teenage pregnancy is on the rise. 80 years on and we have failed to empower our youth. 80 years on, our farmers are still struggling to market their produce.
Nene Abraham Kabu Akuaku III, Paramount Chief of Ada congratulations on your 40th anniversary and reign. Nene, oyi n3 na wam ( may you live long). Naana Domaaley Dagodzo I, Paramount Queenmother of Ada, I ngaa moo, may your reign be long as well. My warmest greetings to all Chiefs, Asafoats3m3, Hlamts3m3 and Queenmothers.
To the planning committee for this year’s Asafotufiam festival, this year I’ll like to see the brochures are edited well before printing. The ambassador for the festival must be an Ada and one conversant with our history and culture. Indulge event planners and organizers based in Ada. Involve the youth in the planning process. Lastly, I want to know what we use the proceeds from the festival for?. To the best of my knowledge every sponsor and corporate entity that markets their products during the festival pays a token to the Ada Traditional Council.
Let me also use this medium to say a very big thank you to Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani (Tsaatse) and Groupe Ideal for the tremendous role they are playing in this year’s festival. Tsaatse, God bless you. You have solved my question on the Palace and in your speech during the launching of the 80th anniversary on Monday at Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, promised to build a palace and health post in Big Ada. You have given the Ada Traditional Council 300,000 Ghana Cedis for the construction of a palace. My prayer is that the money is used prudently or better still a monitoring and evaluation team is set up to supervise the successful execution of the project.
I am hoping that this year’s Asafotufiam festival will also bring a massive change in the livelihood of the people of Ada. I encourage our traditional leaders to liaise with our government representatives to bring developmental projects into our land. Projects such as: An additional Senior High Sch. Proper Police Stations and accommodation for Kasseh, Sege, Ada Foah and Big Ada. An ICT center. A District Hospital for Sege. An Ultra Modern Library.
Long live Okorlih! Long live Ada!! Long live Ghana!!!