By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
The chiefs and people Agotime Traditional Area in the Agotime-Ziope District of the Volta Region have climaxed the 2018 Agbamevorza (Kente Festival) on Saturday at Kpetoe in grand style.
The day had the paramount Chief of Agotime, Nene Nuer Keteku III sit in state to receive homage and welcome visitors to the festival. The dress code for the day was kente and this was displayed in any form and shape whereby tradition was seamlessly fused with fashion and modernity.
The festival which attracted ministers, members of parliament, municipal and district chief executives and both local and foreign tourists was held on the theme, “Attitudinal Change: the Panacea for our Future Development”.
There were various activities which preceded the grand durbar. On Friday morning, the people observed the Heroes and Heroines Day, an ancient traditional practice of the people to commemorate their forefathers who fought in great wars and rendered selfless service to the community. The day saw the people wear red and black war-like attires to perform musketry ritual amid drumming, singing and dancing.
Later in the day, there was the Kente (kete in Ewe) Weaving Competition, one of the main activities of the Agbamevorza which brought together, master weavers to exhibit speed, wisdom, craft, creativity and ingenuity in weaving.
A junior high school pupil, Bless Dogbey who came out with the best design in this year’s competition, was grateful to the Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Charles Agbeve for sponsoring the competition which will benefit the people, the youth especially. He disclosed that the GH₵5,000 cash prize he received will be used to sponsor his education.
Previous activities which marked the festival included Godigbe (The Landing Day) which saw the people reenact the largest single landing of the Agotimes at the bank of River Tordzi at Afegame in their hand-dugout canoe with kente treasures.
It was followed by Maidens Water Fetching which had women dressed in beautiful kente clothing visit the riverside to fetch water in demonstration of hospitality to welcome visitors to the festival. The beauty of this was portrayed when they returned from the riverside in single file carrying water in clay pots well balanced on their head with the support of palm leave pads to be poured in a bigger pot at the forecourt of the palace.
There was also the Women and Children’s Day which was in recognition of the role women and children play in the entire kente business, from puberty through marriage, delivery, naming ceremony and mourning when women are dressed to tell the story of kente throughout the stages of life.
Speaking at the durbar, Nene Nuer Keteku III called on the President to consider Agotime-Ziope District in regard to Kente in its flagship 1 District- 1 Factory project to benefit the area.
According to him, the area had initiated a Kente Village at Kpetoe to be the one-stop shop aimed at boosting the kente industry and believed the project will create jobs for the youth and prevent them from migrating to urban area in search of non-existing jobs.
He also appealed to government for a district hospital to be constructed to care for the health needs of his people adding, land had been procured for the hospital, 14 years ago.
Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu who represented President Nana Akufo-Addo assured the chiefs and people of government’s readiness to support the kente industry as it held a key potential to the economy.
He admitted the bad nature of roads in the region especially the Sokode-Ho road and the famous Eastern Corridor road that is expected to link the north to the south and announced that work will begin on these roads before the year ends.