FROM the legendary shrine of Akonode, to the leafy environs of the Botanical Gardens, Aburi rolled out its tourism red carpet for thousands last weekend to climax this year’s Ohum and Odwira festivals of the people of Akwapem.
It was a thriller of a cultural bazaar, the flaunting of royal colours, ornaments and magic that once again reaffirmed Aburi's place of prime in Ghanaian history, tradition and religion.
The grand festive occasion was also spiced with a musical jamboree to celebrate the life of the world renowned exponent of “conscious reggae” born in Jamaica as Joseph Hill and crowned Nkosuohene of Aburi as Nana Osae Kwame I, who died last August.
For the two-day cultural affair, Aburi, also home to the notable Rita Marley and Kojo Antwi, was the place to be.
Within the most inviting weather imaginable, the greenest of botanical surroundings and from a height overseeing all the human and natural treasures of Accra, scores of trance dancers from various shrines, exhibited ;heir spiritual prowess to penetrate the abstract.
Their purity was underscored by the pieces of sparkling calico that covered them from breast to knee and the white clay that painted the body parts left uncovered.
The giant trees in the Garden and the human activities under their shade provided the perfect setting for the actualisation of the theme, “Tourism Promotion - A Tool for National Development.”
Its true essence is the reexamination of past and present achievements, the spiritual purification and cleansing of Akuapems and the reaffirmation of loyalties by sons and daughters of the Akuapem Anafo Traditional area presided over by the Aburihene, Otoobuor Djan Kwasi II, who sat in state to receive homage.
Vice-President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the Deputy Minister of Transportation, Mr Magnus Opare-Asamoah, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Ms Suzie Mensah were among dignitaries who graced the occasion.
Recalling the fact that the celebration of Odwira is also an occasion to resolve all disputes within the
traditional area, the Vice-President reminded the chiefs and people to settle the Adamorobe chieftaincy and land dispute as well as the Nsakye land issue without delay. He said peace; stability and unity were prerequisites for development.
Alhaji Mahama said Aburi had been a beneficiary of Presbyterian secular and religious education with values of personal discipline, hard work, honesty and decorum.
The Aburihene deplored the erosion of traditional cultural values as a result of the embracement of Western systems and noted that copying blindly from the West was not helping the development of the country.
The Chairman of the Ghana at 50 Planning Committee, Dr Charles Wereko Brobby, said it was expected that more tourists would visit the Aburi area during the anniversary celebration.
Source: Graphic Showbiz
19 October 2006. Page 8.