2017 Kundum celebrations and the involvement of Ahanta youths

Ahoba Kese Festival.jpeg Kundum Festival

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 Source: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III

The 2017 Kundum celebrations started on a good note despite everything. Whatever that happened prior to the commencement of our festival has rather added colour, beauty and value to it since it seems to have created some kind of awareness among Ahanta youths and sparked new flames of culture fever among our people. It was good after all.

For the first time in many years some of my friends who never mentioned that they are Ahantas updated their facebook and whatsapp statuses that they are going home to celebrate kundum and I was extremely shocked on one side, and on the other side very happy. Looks like something is forcing these guys to now admit that they are truly Ahantas and I am wondering what exactly it is. Finally we are finding our bearing as people and some of us are feeling very relieved that our efforts for creating the awake awareness among our people is yielding results.

The commencement of the festival itself sparked a social media arguments after Esikado Traditional area and Nana Kobbina Nketsia IV in collaboration with Skyy Power FM floated flyers/posters and titled it KUNTUM instead of KUNDUM with a lady dancing adowa instead of our royal abisa dance. It was a heated debate between the youths of Esikado area who constantly maintained that the festival is rather Fante Kuntum instead "Ayinda" Kundum/Kundumi particularly when Nana Kobbina Nketsia IV seems to have given an endorsement to the Fante kuntum ascent.

We voiced out vehemently and some of us wrote about how our culture, heritage and identity were being sold out by the very people who ought to protect and preserve them. My brother Justice Baidoo and two others also penned down another breathtaking piece bemoaning how the Ahanta people have been relegated to the background with nothing to represent the them even on Sekondi-Takoradi soil. The contributions of Samuel Kojo Brace, the Joly Breakfast Show host at Skyy Power FM and TEGRAD cannot be under estimated in the heat of Kuntum-Kundum debate. The fact is that, it has yielded positive results and next year we should take the Kundum to the streets of Takoradi with funfair.

We thus started the social media campaign #IAMAHANTA #ICELEBRETEKUNDUM and I must say that it went down well among our youths, far and near. The campaign vibrated every social media platform home and abroad. I in particular received tones of emails and phone calls from Ahantas abroad and home. People expressed their happiness that finally some wind of change is blowing on our land again, torches of hope are being lighted and the perpetual flames of self consciousness are rekindled.

I later on heard that Nana Kobbina Nketsia IV himself smoked peace with inflamed Ahanta youths who seems to realise their worth now and the records have been straightened. The dust has been settled, it's Kundum and not Kuntum anymore. After a long while, finally we are finding our worth and dignity as people with common destiny. We can deny ourselves openly and become social renegade but deep down in our human and genetic make ups we cannot deny that we are Ahantas. That is what we are, it is inborn. We are unique in our own ways and we cannot change it but we can rather strengthen our identity by openly embracing ourselves.

We have been recolonised after the white man left and the Ahanta this time must liberate himself not from anybody or tribe but rather his or her own fears, mental incapabilities and self inflicted slavery. We must heal ourselves and purge ourselves from all infirmities which are shrouding our conscience thus blocking our sense of reasoning. We must think and broaden our horizons and take giant leaps into the future and take our place in socio-economic and political space in Ghana and contribute our quota to the development of our dear nation. We cannot be sidelined when our forefathers also toiled and laid down their lives for this country. We must step in their stead and create new Ahanta personality with fortitude and very dynamic leaders.

The Ahanta is not a person of today or yesteryear but rather methusalareans homo sapiens who have come through the prehistoric times to the medieval ages down the memory lane to the modern Ahanta. We have come from far as people and we cannot just afford to lose ourselves and identity. Between 1300 and 1400 A.D, the Ahantas were organised states under one kingdom. We have stood against all forms, shapes and format of oppression and suppression. The beheading of Otumfour Nana Badu Banso II symbolises how we can resist oppression and suppression till death. Our forefathers were great men of valour so we must carry on the legendary of the Ahanta conquerings.

The death of this great king also leaves deep generational scars in the memory of the Ahanta people which seem to make them compromise to oppression and suppression thus losing everything including their very selves. We should heal ourselves from the scars of our fallen hero and wake up to wage war on diseases, poverty, illiteracy, inferiority complex and all the negativities that are tying us down to failures, diseases, illiteracy among others.

If nothing at all we should always remember that it is the Ahanta who signed the Butre treaty that lasted over 275 years. The very first among all the African states to have a pact with an European country - the Dutch. Historians might have forgotten us but we should never forget ourselves as people of distinct identity. It's time to raise the barometers of self confidence and conscience. It's time to raise the hand up as descendants of great Ahanta mothers and fathers.

It's Kundum and the best time to be an Ahanta and a Ghanaian. I wish all our people merry making Kundum and loads of blessings. The festival itself signifies end of famine and beginning of harvest. Next year by now, may the good people of the Ahanta harvest prosperity and a lot of goodies. It's time to foster unity among ourselves and other tribes for a peaceful Ghana.

As for me, the best thing that ever happened to me is the very fact that I am an Ahanta from Apemenyim and a descendant of Nana Ackah Chie, the occupant of "Mbafire" royal stool of Apemenyim.

I am Ahanta and I celebrate Kundum.

Columnist: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III