Gbidukor Festival Launched
By: NORMAN COOPER
The Gbi people of the Peki and Hohoe Traditional areas in the Volta Region, lived together as one people in Notsie in what is present day Republic of Togo.
Due to the tyrannical rule, history has it that in their bid to escape from the tyrannical rule, history has it that in their bid to escape from the tyrannical leadership, the families got separated during the westward migration of various Ewe groups from the Notsie Kingdom.
They eventually settled at various places most particularly present day Peki and Hohoe traditional areas.
Over the years, some visionaries from the two traditional areas saw the need to reunite the Gbis and thereby accelerate their development.
The re-unification dream became a reality with the institution of Gbidukorza, re-unification festival to be celebrated from December 3 to 7 every year.
At the press launch of this year’s Gbidukor festival in Accra on Wednesday, Mr. Herbert Dzako Awuah, the national steering committee chairman, said the rationale of the festival was to among other things take stock of achievements during the year and plan for the future.
Gbidukorza the latest to be added to the country’s rich celebrated festivals, was unique to the extent that the celebration was the only one in the country that would involve the mass movement of 3,000 people who would travel from Hohoe to Peki where they would be hosted by their kith and kin from Friday to Tuesday, December 3 to 7.
This is done on a rotational basis, so this year; Peki would be hosting Gbis form Hohoe. He said, stressing that this he believe, was strong evidence of how successful the Gbidukor objective of rekindling the spirit of unity and brotherliness has been achieved.
Mr. Dzaku Awuah said he could confidently say that since the inception of Gbidukorza, over the past 15 years, the spirit of unity had gone to the extent of almost wiping out chieftaiicy disputes in the traditional areas.
“This resultant tranquility has allowed communities to focus their energies on community development”, the chairman of the National Steering Committee said.
In 2008 Mr. Dzako Awuah said one of the success stories of the Gbidukorza was the establishment of the Gbi Rural Bank, which he noted could help drive economic development efforts.
He said the festival has also opened up business and employed opportunities in the tourism sector as evidenced in the comparatively new hospitality infrastructure and services that have sprung up within a decade.
“We have also started witnessing the established of many private arts and craft businesses turreted at expatiate tourists”, Mr. Dzaku Awuah noted.
The festival, he added had lead to the institution of an environmental protection campaign to address the destruction caused by economic activities in the areas.
So far, many trees had been planted in the 17 towns of Gbidukor and also improved environmental awareness amongst the people.
The Spectator Page: 31 Saturday, October 2, 2010