About 14 maidens from Ekumfi Abor in the Central Region have been taken through puberty rites last 2022, as part of the annual Akwanbo festival of the Chiefs and people of the town. This is the second time young indigenes from the town have undergone puberty grooming since Nana Amoasi VII was installed as Chief of the town and Ankobeahen of the Ekumfi Traditional Area.
Puberty rites are held as sacred for the people of Abor due to its immense contribution to the upbringing of the girl-child. The rites usher the young women into adulthood, offering the opportunity to learn how to remain chaste and avoid exploitation from boys and men.
It is a platform to groom the young ones and offer them the required skills and practices for adulthood. It is done to help the young ones escape the dangers of life, which includes but not limited to teenage pregnancy.
This year’s puberty rites programme was quite unique as the girls were camped for days, and taken through numerous lessons aside from the customary and traditional dimensions.
The maidens had the opportunity to take an excursion to few places. First is the palace of the Paramount Chief of Abeadze State, Nana Kwebu Ewusi VIII, to learn about some customs of the Fantes. Another is to the La Femme Restaurant in Mankessim for dinner, and to practicalise skills taught on ‘cooking and table manners’.
Some notable persons that assisted in the grooming of the maidens included the Paramount Queen Mother of Mankessim State, Dr. Nana Ama Amissah, Director of Gender and Children Affair, Central Region Mama Gah, Dr. Joana Larry-Afutu, Clinical Psychologist – University of Ghana, Mrs. Benedicta Nana-Sackey, Nanayer Abena Yirenkyiwa, and Nana Araba Arhinfuwa III.