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Winneba Aboakyer On This Note
 
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16-May-2016  
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James Kofi Annan in his Asafo Dentsefo costume
 
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So the Winneba Aboakyer 2016 was a success. It was obviously one of the most patronized Aboakyer in the last several years.

Everyone benefitted; hotels, restaurants and bars, petty traders, taxi drivers, blue kiosk operators, everybody had a share of the huge crowds that greeted Winneba.

This year’s festival left in its wake a reawakened pride of the people. We rallied around the deer, and sung praises to our heritage.

We wore our colors yellow and red (Dentsefo), our colors blue and white (Tuafo), and we danced our apatampa, we danced our akosondotoba, we stomped our feet in unison, and we made merry.

There was not a single program that did not record a record patronage, from night vigils to spot performances, to traditional displays, every event was a sold out. Both women and men sold their wares to earn income. Brothers became brothers again, while friends re-united in tearing pride.

The tag of war recorded the biggest pleasant surprises of all the Aboakyer events. And I insist calling it a “Tag of War”. Trying to rename it “tag of peace” is too artificial, and not genuine.

Tag of war is a sport, like boxing, football, athletics, so I don’t see why we should force a name change, when in fact that is what it is, war between two sporting teams pulling each other to their ends.

Also significant is the fact that the Asafo companies insisted on carrying deities on the Thursday, ahead of the joint carrying of deities on Friday, and when they did, it was just spectacular.

It attracted massive participation in a culture rich for the gods.

And when on Friday the main deities were carried, it was just a god-feeling to be called a citizen of Winneba. It was just a glamorous feeling to be called a patron of Aboakyer. It was an experience worth repeating. Children, adults, everyone agreed that Aboakyer erupted.

Winneba went agog. The drama, the suspense, the frowns of the priests, the inspiring flow of human crowd, everything was a special feeling.

I will not talk about the Aboakyer Saturday. Next year come and witness it yourself. The Dentsefo brought a live deer. The crowd erupted. The rest was fun-filled.

The rest was all about music, dancing, drinking, eating, hopping from spot to spot, from live band to live band, and from one artist to another.

Then the Aboakyer Cup gave a befitting benediction. It was a Sunday filled with football fanatism. Kyeiwaa and Ayitey Powers helped pull the entire Winneba to one location – Winneba United park.

Then the park began to cry for space. Apam Ahenfo trouped to the field with red and white jerseys, forcing Winneba United to change to white dominated jerseys. And the crowd responded with thunders of roars, spirited cheers, and charismatic blows of whistles.

Apart from Kyeiwaa and Ayitey Powers, the MP for Effutu, Alex Markin did us the honor of gracing the occasion. The PPP Parliamentary Candidate for Effutu, Nana Ofori, was also present.

Mr. R. C. Ekem, the recipient of the R. C. Ekem Cup 2015, was also present. Romeo Oduro and Danny Arkorful both of Peace FM and UTV were present at the match, several media houses, as well as representatives from the Central Regional Football Association were in attendance.

Winneba United won the game by two goals to zero, but that is not what mattered. It was the sheer brotherhood, the economy of the people that mattered to me.

The real heroes of the day were food and water sellers, especially those who anticipated the crowd and therefore had enough of their wares to sell to patrons of the day. They made sales, and they made money.

I wish I have the means to give a befitting gratitude to those who helped to make this year’s Aboakyer successful. And here I’m referring only to those who helped me with publicity. NYCE MEDIA was obviously the center of almost all the publicity around the Aboakyer 2016.

Thank you to all the NYCE MEDIA crew, from management to operational support. The Despite Group of companies, as well as the Multimedia Group gave me their platforms to tell the Aboakyer story, and they did it profusely, on radio, television, online, every available space was washed with  Aboakyer 2016.

I also thank Starr FM, Graphic, Top FM, and a host of many media houses who gave their platforms free of charge to publicize Aboakyer 2016.

Perhaps this might be my final piece touching on the Aboakyer 2016. In my last article titled “Still holding on to Winneba Aboakyer”, I did mention that Winneba people are matrilineal inherited Guans. This was simply a simplication of the inheritance systems of the Winneba Guan people.

In the heat of the Aboakyer, I had tried to save readers of all the nuances of our complex inheritance systems.

I’m still going to be simple here in explaining further, and to state that the people of Winneba are both matrilineal and patrilineal inherited Guans whose inheritance route depend on a particular subject under discussion.

I make a personal claim to the Anona Ebusua (clan) of Winneba. If I die the only people who are traditionally able and allowed to decide the fate of my corpse are the Anona Ebusua of Winneba. I take this inheritance from my mother, Efua Odobirba, who was born into that family.

My children cannot be entitled to such an inheritance unless their mother is also from the same Anona Ebusua, in just the same way as I could not have claimed Ebusua inheritance from my father’s Asonfo Ebusua.

So from birth, one become a gift from the father to the mother’s clan, forever, especially if you are born a female, then you are seen as a sprouting seed, a fertile gifted gold, to increase the membership of the mother’s clan.

This explains why maternal uncles used to have more influence on their sisters’ children than the fathers of the children. Their role has been to ensure that clan members are well trained and protected for its own benefit.

In the future I will explore why Guans inherit traditional royalties and chieftaincy titles patrilineally. That chieftaincy topic is too controversial, and I have to be well prepared to advance my thoughts.

Until then I can only congratulate all of us for making this year’s Aboakyer festival one of a kind, and please begin to think Aboakyer 2017.
 
 
 
Source: James Kofi Annan
 
 

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