Entertainment of 2014-05-02

Bong-Ngo celebrated in Jirapa

The Chiefs and people of Jirapa Traditional Area in the Upper West Region have climaxed their annual Bong-Ngo festival with a grand durbar at Jirapa over last week-end.

The week- long festival, held on the theme " Culture as a vehicle for the promotion of peace and social cohesion," marked the beginning of the picking of the dawadawa fruits, literary known as the Bong-Ngo, as they are reaped between April and May every year.

Before the celebration of the festival, a ban was placed on the picking of the fruits and was only lifted with the celebration of the festival.

The fruits which grow wild in the area and have been found to be of economic, health and nutritional value can be processed into medicines, soap, flour and food.

During the festival, each Divisional Chief presents dadadawa fruits to the Paramount Chief of the Area, Naa Ansoleh Ganaa II to signify the harvesting of the fruits.

During the period of the ban, there is a campaign to educate the people on the importance of preserving the environment and the dawadawa tree and its fruits in particular.

Activities which preceded the celebration of the festival included football matches, tug of war, medical screening, health walk, bicycle race, dance, exhibition of dawadawa products and lectures among others.

It was a memorable day amid traditional drumming and dancing, eminent people and celebrities from all walks of life including politicians, tourists, traditional rulers and opinion leaders attended the festival. It highlighted the rich and diverse culture of the area which is also a commercial centre in the region.

It was also characterised by singing and occasional firing of musketery by both the youth in their splendid smocks of various sizes who turned in semi-circles and circles to offer courtesies to the various Paramount and Divisional chiefs.

This year's festival was instituted to raise funds to support developmental projects and boost education standard at the Basic Education Certificate Exams (BECE) level in particular which is on a downward trend in the area.

Among the Paramount Chiefs who graced the occasion were the Naa Puowele Karbo III, Paramount Chief of Lawra, Gussorko Wura of the Gonja land, the Chinaapio.

Naa Ansoleh Ganaa II, known in private life as Mr Peter Nanfuri, a former Inspector General of Police launched a GH¢ 400m education trust fund part of which will be used to motivate and attract teachers, build an ICT centre and offer scholarships for bright but needy students in the area.

Source: Emmanuel Modey
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