The people of Ga Mashie, on Saturday, marked their annual Homowo festival amidst, sprinkling the traditional food, “Kpoikpoi”.
The festival which has been dogged by chieftaincy disputes and led to security presence in the past, this year’s festival had only few security personnel around due to the peaceful atmosphere in the area.
As usual, within customary practices and norms, the Gbese Mantse and the Adonten of the Ga State, Nii Ayi-Bonte II, began the sprinkling of the Kpoikpoi, first, within the environs of Ussher Fort and the inner chambers to commiserate with the ancestors.
He then moved to the clan houses under Gbese to do same and also offer prayers for prosperity and peace amongst them.
Unlike in the past when on his return from the Ussher Fort, he used to meet with the Ga Mantse, before the Ga Paramonuntcy Stool House for them to exchange pleasantries, this time the exchanges did not happen.
The Ghanaian Times later learnt that, that deviation could have been instigated by an earlier statement from the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, cautioning all feuding parties laying claim to the Ga Mantse stool to avoid any public showings during the Homowo festival.
However, in the course of the day, after Nii Gbese had retired to his palace to start receiving visitors, Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru, currently occupying the Ga Paramonuntcy Stool House as the Ga Mantse, came out of the Stool House to sprinkle the Kpoikpoi.
In a short statement to well-wishers at his palace, the Gbese Mantse, Nii Ayi-Bonte, called for peaceful co-existence, especially, amongst feuding parties in the new year, saying, “As we approached the new year which kick-started with a lot of traditional practices, I would wish all feuding factions to bury the hatchet”.
Nii Ayi-Bonte also asked them to exercise restraint in order to find amicable solution to the challenges which had undermined the development and progress of the Ga State.
He tasked parents to take the education of the children seriously since the education youth of the area, would create opportunities for them to get good jobs and also build personal skills to enter into the job market.
The celebration of the festival travelled deep into the night with a lot of musical artiste, including, Shatta Wale performing at the Bukom Park until Sunday morning.
The Homowo festival, literally meaning, “Hooting at hunger” is marked by the Gas to commemorate a famine which hit the populace just after settling in Accra.
In the following year, when there was a bumper harvest, the Gas kick-started the festival with the preparation of the special meal “Kpoikpoi” which they sprinkled around to pacify those who passed away during the famine.
By Lawrence Marwei