Ziavi - The Green Valley City
Ziavi in the Ho municipality is indeed a beautiful community. A first-time visitor to Ziavi is held captive by the extremely clean neighbourhoods and friendly nature of the people.
The people of Ziavi migrated with other Ewe groups from Notsie in Togo, as part of a faction which rebelled and fled the tyranny of King Agorkorli.Subscribe
Ziavi literally means ‘stop crying.’ Oral history has it that it was the tradition of the people of Notsie that bereaved families kept their dead for long periods, during which they cried until the corpse decomposed or was carried away by wild beats.
On one of such occasions, an elder in Notsie told the members of the bereaved family to stop crying and rather dig a grave to bury the body.
The bereaved family complied after which they were all relieved and ceased crying.
The people of Ziavi were formally called Fiakpoawo, which later changed to Ziavileamenuawo and shortened as Ziaviawo, and has been maintained as such over the centuries.
Apart from the clean surroundings, there are meeting points in Ziavi, usually under trees and seats made of flat stones, kept unsoiled always.
Since the arrival of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana (EPCG) missionaries in Ziavi as far back as 1907, the people of the community embraced Christianity which came with education and social discipline which are readily evident in the culture of the people of Ziavi.
The community, with a population of a little over 2000, has for many years produced doctors, teachers, university lecturers, journalists, engineers, lawyers, agriculturists, economists, and men and women of great substance in various careers serving in Ghana and other parts of the world.
Conspicuously absent in Ziavi is a police station; yet crime is virtually non-existent in the area.
“We love one another, and so we do not hurt one another,” said the Paramount Chief, Togbe Kwaku Ayim IV.
He said from time immemorial there were laid down disciplinary measure for crimes in Ziavi, and those measure were so stringent that not many in the community could even conceive the idea to indulge in crime.
For instance, Togbe Ayim said a notorious thief or rapist could be banished from the community for life.
The people of Ziavi are also on record for their self-help spirit. The Ziavi Community Senior High Technical School, which was initially built through self-help and later absorbed into the public stream by the Ghana Education Service, the community clinic and potable water system testify to the voluntary spirit of the people of the Ziavi.
Meanwhile, the internationally acclaimed coffee brand, Ziavitutui is produced from coffee locally grown in Ziavi.
Ziavi is often referred to as the Green Valley City due to its environmentally friendly sceneries.
The Chief Warlord of Ziavi, Togbe Kwaku Tsru II, said the environment, with its thick vegetative cover, was religiously preserved by the forebears of the Ziaviawo to ensure that future generations of Ziavi became inheritors and not just survivors.
“We carry on with that tradition and so Ziavi is green all year round,” he added.
On the cultural front, Ziavi is synonymous with the zigi music and dance; and the Ziavi Zigi Cultural Troupe has made great and sustained impact in Ghana and Germany over the years.
The Ziavi Zigi Cultural Troupe played the role of the dancing choir in the film, Cobra Verde, a 1987 German movie directed by Wermer Herzogand staring Klaus Kinski. The film depicted the life of a fictional slave trader who travelled to the West African Kingdom of Dahomey.