Dzelukope, Jellacope, aka JC, Wuga Zomayi beckons you
Come Saturday, October 28, 2023, Dzelukope, the town, with many aliases will host the mini durbar that precedes the major durbar that climaxes the Hogbetsotso Za of the Anlo.
Starting out as Wuga
Zomayi, christened Jellacope (hence JC) by latter-day zealot colonialists who could not pronounce Dzelukope, this small, beautiful, and powerful community tucked between the Atlantic Ocean (Atsafu) and the Keta lagoon (Torkor) is by far the most popular Anlo community.
Its accolade in addition to the exploits of its citizens say it all.
“Atsor medea Zomayi o. Zomayi, atsor wode” (Don’t bring your elegance to Zomayi, because Zomayi is the home of elegance) is the appellation that goes with it. You doubt it? Check us out! Come to our clean, golden sandy, beachfront now bedecked with Aborigines Resort, Agblor Lodge, Villa Amore, Keta Beach Hotel, and many mini hideouts. Many beautiful mansions in Brazilian, European, and local architecture adorn the town, some of which date centuries, the worth of which is unparalleled in Anlo and beyond.
Dzelukope’s fame goes before it as wherever its citizens find themselves, they exude it. Zomayi atsor wode! We are JCians. Our worth, our beauty, our bravery, our wisdom, our hard work, sincerity, you name it speak for themselves.
Small as we are, Dzelukope, is the pride of Anlo and for a long time the whole of southern Volta and stretching across the eastern border to Togo, Benin and Nigeria looked up to it in many ways.
So, it has always been, because it hosts, the offices of the local political administration, and the residences of the public officials, the police station and barracks, the prisons barracks, and all other district offices of Keta Municipal Assembly are in Dzelukope.
Indeed, if Keta were a country, Dzelukope would be its capital. The modern administrative and official residential area in Dzelukope has become known, popularly, as “Bungalow”, “Bonglo” to the illiterate.
Dzelukope, the “capital”, is thus the fulcrum of the Keta Municipal Assembly, as everything happens there. The Keta Municipal Hospital (our own “Korle Bu” yes that is how it is called since it was the first public hospital not just in southern Volta but the whole region), with its small but famous go-to market, “Korle Bushime”, the district offices of the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company, Ghana Post, Ghana Telecom, Ghana Highways Authority, Public Works Department (PWD) etc are all sited in Dzelukope.
Joseph Cramers New Look Optical Centre established by and run at the premises of the St. Peter Claver Catholic parish is another popular Dzelukope destination where people from all over Ghana and Togo come to have their eyes tested and get eyeglasses.
In the education sector, Dzelukope used to be home to three secondary schools at some point in their lives until some moved out for lack of space later.
The oldest secondary school in the Volta Region, Zion College at Anloga (ZICO, founded in 1937) at some point in its life was in Dzelukope.
Keta Senior High Technical School (Ketascho) is the only secondary school that has remained in Dzelukope proper since it was founded in 1953.
Yes, Ketascho that has been making and continues to make waves in the National Mathematics and Science Quiz competition! Keta Business Senior High School (the second oldest secondary school in the Volta Region, founded in 1939) has, for lack of space, moved outside Dzelukope which was its home till the mid-70s.
There used to be a private technical institution, Keta Polytechnic which until its demise in the late 1970s was a great destination for technical education.
Three basic schools have been the pillars of elementary education, Roman Catholic Schools A (on the lagoon side and on the compound of the St. Peter Claver Catholic parish) and B (then also called Norlivime but now Bishop Herman school, on the seaside of town). There is also the EP Basic school.
The latest kid on the block is the Ketascho Basic school, an offshoot of the Keta Senior High Technical School and therefore based on its compound. This completes the educational enterprise of Dzelukope, an enterprise that it is also noted for as it equally holds the enviable record in Anlo, southern Volta and indeed, Ghana of many educated citizens.
Famous citizens? Dzelukope has its fair share of them. Leading the list is late former President Jerry John Rawlings. Late former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Alex Ashiagbor. Francis Selormey, author of the popular novel, The narrow path, published by African Writers Series.
Late Prof. Foli, a giant in medicine and medical education. Late lawyer N. K. Kudjawu. Late Prof. Kumapley, an engineering
colossus at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST. Currently at KNUST, Prof. Rudith King holds the professorial baton of Dzelukope.
There comes the military pantheon of Air-Vice Marshall Harry Dumashie, Brigadier Alphonse Katah, Col. A. H. Selormey, and Col. Kwaku, all of blessed memory.
Remember Private Gatsiko of AFRC fame? He is right there in the mix. Ladies have not been left out as Group Captain Sophia Adzo Jiagge, currently flies the Dzelukope flag. Perhaps this is the source of the famous Dzelukope Mafia? Dzelukope of the brave. JCians never look back or flinch in battle.
Small as Dzelukope is, it has many suburbs. Among them are Lokpodzi, Agorte, Alata, Blefuta, Bikor, Nukpesekope, Yeluworkope, Badukope, Adablakope, Ashigame, Gakpokpornu etc It is also home to many families. Nutsugah, Kumapley, Dumashie, Kudjawu, Seshie, Nutakor, King, Amegayibor, Kporsu, Agbotui, Quist, Tay, Deku, Dzikunu, Gemegah, Foli, Pomaney, Adisenu-Doe, Korblavi, Dravie, Potakey,
Salakpi, Agbodzakey, Aborhor, Tornyeviadzi, Garr, Graham, Heyman, Dartey, Hodzoade, Kumado, Ahiakpor, Ahiekpor, Gakpo, Adedze, Kluvia, Awunyo, Jiagge, Avorkliya, Adorkor, Bowman, Akorli, Vordzorgbe, Dzelu, Mensah, Badu, Amuzu, Deynoo, Danu, Desewu, Gbormittah,Ahafianyo, Fiashide, Lekettey da Pilma, Kudaya, Akpalu,Gasor, Wemakor, Wemegah,Egar, Kanyivi, Amexo, Kokose, Kpodo, Lawoe, Tagbor, Segbefia are just but a few of the families that people Dzelukope. The town boasts of five chiefs, Torgbi Nukpornku, Torgbi Gatsiko, Torgbi Dzelu, Torgbi Tay-Agbozo and Torgbi Kporsu and two queen mothers, Mama Nyadror and Mama Dasewa. Dzelukope has only family cemeteries and no public ones. These include the Sokpui, Dzelu, Tay-Agbozo, Agbaga and Zotorglo cemeteries.
As far as religious practices are concerned, The Catholic and EP churches are the oldest Christian denominations, Dzelukope having being part of early missionary activity in Ghana by the close of the 19th century.
Indeed, for the Catholic Church, the Dzelukope St. Peter Claver Parish, was the residence of the bishop of the then Lower Volta Vicariate (now divided into Keta-Akatsi, Ho and Jasikan dioceses), in its early days. It also had a printing press, St. Michael Press, a pre-seminary, and a novitiate, for the formation of nuns, Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church (SMMC). Nowadays, other denominations have also become part of the religious landscape just like across the whole
Traditional religion cannot be left out as there are still a couple of shrines and traditional religious practitioners representing a few sects like Yewe and Brekete. At strategic areas of the town, you will see various legba erected as traditional protectors of the town.
Dzelukope has played major historical roles in the history of Anlo and its relations with colonial powers.
The treaty of Jellacope (22 June 1874) was between the British and its allies the Ada, the Ga on the one hand and the Anlo, resulting from the Datsutagba War of 1871-74.
The industry of the people of Dzelukope reflects that of the Anlo in general, hardworking, resilient, and enterprising so most were into private enterprise. The many traditional fishing companies, no less than 10 including Dovorviwo, Sekoeviwo, Nyatofoviwo, Kpetoviwo, Selormeyviwo, Papaloloviwo, Magaviwo, Seshieviwo, Kumapleviwo, Awudiviwo at the small beach front speak volumes.
Practically, every family of note, owned a fishing net, small or big. In the yonder days of good catches at the beach, one could hardly find space as the beach was crowded by many returning canoes and crowds of fisherfolk pulling their nets and women fish buyers and mongers jostling each other for space to buy fish. July-August was the height of the season with the sardines, tuna, and the popular ‘Keta school boys’ (anchovies), squids etc in the mix. “Sea never dry” but when the lean season sets in at sea, the lagoon offers another avenue for fish. Various types of salt-water fish, tilapia, crabs, clams come in handy from the Keta Lagoon, the northern boundary of Dzelukope.
In between the lagoon and the sea, the little land left is not spared, as it is used to cultivate maize, cassava, sweet potatoe, okro, and sugar cane. Mangoes and coconuts are the most popular perennials in either houses or the farms dotted around.
The people of Dzelukope are therefore not just fisherfolks of the sea and lagoon but also farmers. There was therefore no excuse for anyone to remain idle or complain of no work because all year round there was work to do.
Work and therefore, wealth to adorn oneself after working hard to make some money, must show, hence the appellation, “Atsor medea Zomayi o. Zomayi, atsor wode”, Zomayi, the home of elegance.
In all these, we cannot leave out the hardworking women of Zomayi, who apart from smoking, frying, drying, and generally processing all the fish from the sea and lagoon, complete the value chain by carrying them to markets all over Ghana, Togo, and Benin.
Indeed, some of the hardworking women were providing capital for the men fisherfolk and many became icons for not just their families but also the town. Their legacies are some of the beautiful houses in town, some of the welleducated people of the town as they financed their education to the highest level possible, including going abroad. Such women as Madam Edith Fiawoo aka Ewotsige and Mrs. Dzikunu aka Grace and Glory fall into this category.
What attracts you to Dzelukope these days? Calm, golden, sandy, clean beaches, with beach hotels, guest houses and other hospitality outlets are ready to welcome you to a warmth that only Dzelukope can offer you. As you join the local fisherfolk in their traditional fishing or relax on the coconut-tree dotted beach taking in the Atlantic breeze. If you feel tired of the sea front, the Keta lagoon offers you a change in environment.
There you can go fishing too, do traditional angling to catch tilapia or just seat idly by and watch migratory birds on Xevikpodzi. You may even take a boat ride across the lagoon to such historic towns as Anyako, Alakple or the only habitable island on the Keta Lagoon, Dudu.
Another delight in Dzelukope is the local cuisine, full of delicacies like eworkple, amorkple, dzenkple, abolo, yakayake, ayikple, borbor, agbelikpornor, agbelikaklo, katsakoe, kpomebolo, dzomabi, atsififi.
The various soups, okro soup, ademe, fish light soup (fresh and smoked fish), akpadetsi,agbametadi, borbitadi, bosratadi among others. The famed culinary skills of the Dzelukope ladies and the typical Anlo man are on full display in Dzelukope. From snacks through breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Dzelukope has it all with unique menu all through the day.
Dzelukope, Wuga Zomayi, Jellacope aka JC, ever welcoming, opens its arms in warm embrace to you all.
Come savour its delicacies, its awe-striking sights and sounds, its rich history and ever graceful hospitality.
Zomayi, atsorwode, Zomayi, home of elegance, throws its doors open to all to join in the mini durbar of HogbetsotsoZa on Saturday, October 28.