VE CELEBRATES FESTIVAL
BY MIKE ATSUTSE
As the year glides to an end, the people of Ve Traditional Area and others from the neighbourhood of the traditional area in the Hohoe District of the Volta Region are reminded that their annual tourism-driven Ve Lukusi “Dodoleglimeza” is at hand again.
The festival marks the historic and miraculous migration of Ewes from the dictatorial and wicked rule of King Agorkolie of Notsie, in the Republic of Togo in the early part of the 17th century.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Education; Key to Youth Empowerment for Accelerated Rural Development”.
The planners of the celebration could not have chosen a more appropriate theme for the festival than this, because it is becoming evident every day that education would be the panacea to the myriad of the problems confronting nations, societies and individuals.
According to the programme, the symbolic Wall-breaking ceremony, during which leader of the Ve Community at Notsie were alleged to have displayed a high sense dexterity to outwit King Agorkolie and his warriors and sneaked out of the kingdom of the wicked king, would be revisited at Ve – Dome on Friday October 8.
It will be accompanied with a cultural durbar and street carnival at Ve – Dome. This will be an important sense for tourists to feed their eyes on and go back home with something added to their stock of knowledge.
There will be a grand durbar at which the chiefs and queens of Ve, together with invited guests and their retinues would appear in pomp and circumstance to climax the celebration at Ve-Golokuati on Saturday October 9. A state dance will also be organized where “Miss Lukusi” 2010 will be crowned.
Ve-Koleenu will host football and volleyball competitions among the youth groups while a beach party will be held at Ve-Gbodome.
To whip the interest of students in the traditional area, a quiz competition will be organized for junior high school students. The winning school will be handsomely rewarded.
Preceding the celebration will be a massive clean-up in all the towns in order to promote environmental cleanliness.
Nowadays, the celebrations of festivals are no longer occasions for drumming, dancing and merry-making. Rather, they are occasions for drawing programmes for developments which would eventually make like worth living for the people.
In the times past, descendants of so-called warriors who were alleged to have led their people in wars dressed up in their parents and grand-parents’ dirty and worn-out war dresses and paraded in the streets to gain recognition from the younger generations.
Today, the old order has changed, yielding its place to education. Modern society has no place for those obsolete exhibits; instead, education is reigning supreme and therefore individuals and communities who would not heed the clarion call would be left behind.
About 300 years ago when our ancestors escaped from Notsie their journey from there to their present place of abode was not paved in gold and silver. Indeed, it was thorny and dangerous. But with hard work and perseverance they made it.
Now, there are no wars or strange diseases threatening us at our present place of abode, but the main challenges confronting us are more destructive than wars and strange diseases.
On the forefront of those challenges is education which continues to be the gate-keeper of all prospects of life. Any attempt to down-play the effects of education will result in the doom of the people.
Luckily, Ve has chalked up some successes in the field of education. The community has produced a good number of enviable professionals, notably medical professionals, lawyers, ICT scholars, top military officers and a host of them.
However, the sky is no more the limit, the sky is now the beginning of the journey. More children must be sent to school. There are too many children on the streets and school dropouts are still multiplying. Positive steps need to be taken to reduce them drastically.
Currently, the Ve Community Senior High School at Ve-Koloenu is coming out with encouraging academic results every year. But more needs to be done so that their products would climb the educational ladder to enter the tertiary institutions.
Similarly, students from the community who are pursuing studies in various surrounding institutions must accept the challenge to continue their studies at universities, polytechnics, training colleges, among others. They must improve on whatever their predecessors have achieved.
On top of all, citizens from the area but resident in Accra, Kumasi or Tema and other urban areas must endeavour to establish small-scale projects at home to solve the unemployment situation in the area.
Daily Graphic Page: 10 Friday, October 8, 2010