It was all excitement when several clans, families and culture lovers fully graced the maiden youth involvement of the annual Ada Asafotufiami Festival of the Dangme people of the Ada Traditional Area.
One Big Family – a non-governmental organisation which has become one of the most loved groups in Ada for gathering all clans, families of the Ada Traditional Area and friends from the diaspora – quickly changed the status quo of non-involvement of youth plans in the celebration of the festival to make it a fully youth involved-programme; and it was wonderful to see several groups of youth gather to share a common platform and vision.
The Ada Asafotufiami Festival is an annual warrior’s festival celebrated by the people of Ada in the Greater Accra Region from the first Thursday of August to the second weekend of August. It commemorates the victories of the heroic warriors and ancestors in battle and those who fell on the battlefield. The festival also ushers in the harvest season, and for this, special customs, rites and ceremonies are performed.
This year’s edition of the festival, as the 85th edition, started on August 4 and culminated on August 14, and was on the theme: ‘Uniting the Ada State Through our Cultural Heritage and Use of our Natural Resources’.
Furthermore, this year’s celebration of the festival was like a great family reunion and an ignition of the love of all. The youth who have always been involved – one way or the other, this year Nene Tetteh Kakepeemi I, Youth Development Chief of the Ada Traditional Area, invited the youth groups led by One Big Family to be officially involved in the festival and urged them to be up and doing.
And to memorialise this historic event, activities planned by the lead group, One Big Family, supported by vibrant groups such as Ada We From, I Love Ada, Wubaby Entertainment and Ada Vibes as part of the festival included a mega float from Tema through Ashaiman to the Ada township, music festival at Kemmat Stop Over, football gala, royal walk among others, and it was climaxed with a health walk plus kenkey and waakye party.
Friends and families joined in as a force of solidarity to make this year’s occasion a success and one to be remembered.
The event was also graced with the presence of traditional leaders, Christian leaders, Islamic leaders, government officials, politicians, corporate organisations, brand representatives, musicians, among others.
The celebration of the Asafotufiami festival brought on a durbar of chiefs and queen mothers in full regalia, a colourful procession of the Chiefs in palanquins with their retinue. They were also accompanied by traditional soldierly groups called ‘Asafo Companies’ amid drumming, singing, dancing and merrymaking on the streets and on to the durbar grounds. At the durbar, greetings were exchanged between the chiefs, libation was poured, and declarations of allegiance were made.
The youth believe that this year’s edition of the Asafotufiami was exciting and a great success – one of a kind – because of its involvement in the planning; as such, it should remain so as long as the festival is celebrated.