Nene Dr Tei-Djahene Korabo IV, the Senior Asafoatse of Manya Jorpanya, welcoming Mr Kennedy Agyapong to the 21st Ngmayem Festival in the Shai Osudoku Traditional Area. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Nene Dr Tei-Djahene Korabo IV, the Senior Asafoatse of Manya Jorpanya, welcoming Mr Kennedy Agyapong to the 21st Ngmayem Festival in the Shai Osudoku Traditional Area. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

Jorpanya celebrates Ngmayem Festival

The Chiefs and people of Jorpanya in the Shai Osudoku Traditional Area in the Greater Accra Region have celebrated this year’s Ngmayem Festival.

The festival, which is celebrated to mark the end of a period of famine and the struggles their forebears faced after migrating from Israel, was on the theme:

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“National development: The role of traditional leaders in the 21st century”.

The celebration, which came off last Saturday, also witnessed the enstoolment of Nene Dr Tei-Djahene Korabo IV as the Senior Asafoatse of the Shai State and Divisional Chief of Manya Jorpanya.

Advice

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, advised chiefs in the Shai Osudoku Traditional

Area to collateralise their land for future use, instead of selling it to meet their immediate needs, saying doing that could affect the development of the youth in the area.

“Most often, the youth become the greatest losers in such selfish engagements after their leaders have sold the land for meagre amounts,” he said.

Mr Agyapong, who was the guest of honour at the festival, said that practice also denied the youth their right of belonging and opportunities for growth.

He entreated the chiefs to use proceeds from the sale of land to create jobs and also provide development projects in their respective communities.

“Can you imagine how investors have bought quarries in the Shai Osudoku Traditional Area but never bothered to construct road networks to the towns and villages they operate in?” he asked.

The MP said the time had come for the youth to collaborate with their leaders, especially chiefs, to ensure that they also benefited from such transactions.

He, however, advised the youth against violent protests against their chiefs on those matters, since according to him, any such behaviour could worsen their plight.

Caution

The Shai Osudoku District Chief Executive, Mr Daniel Akuffo, also cautioned the youth against the formation of vigilante groups such as land guards.

“We will deal ruthlessly with members of such groups, as well as prosecute anybody found to be engaged in land guard activities,” he added.

He expressed appreciation to Nene Dr Korabo for his continuous dedication to peace, education, job creation and the total development of the area.

He mentioned some of the development projects in Manya Jorpanya to include the construction of a 2.1-km road, the award of scholarships to 14 brilliant, needy students and the construction of a CHPS compound at Doryumu.

He said the assembly intended to make Manya Jorpanya the industrial hub of the district, for which reason it was soliciting support from all stakeholders for the success of the initiative.

Mr Akuffo called for unity in the area, saying: “We should be reminded that a divided house can never stand and will always scare potential investors who are major development partners.”

Significance

For his part, Nene Dr Korabo said the festival provided an opportunity for the chiefs and the people to reflect on their achievements and challenges and the way forward towards the development of the area.

“We will go every mile to ensure that the youth are given what is due them, including basic amenities, jobs, education and quality health care,” he said.

He expressed appreciation to Mr Agyapong for donating GH¢20,000 to support a hospital project being constructed by the Queenmother of Manya Jorpanya, Nana Blemayo II, and for the construction of a chief’s palace.

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History

The Manyas were among the Dangmes who migrated from Israel after experiencing captivity issues in Babylon.

After a long stay in captivity in Babylon, the Dangmes came back to the Great Lakes region and continued to Niger and subsequently to the Gold Coast.

They settled at the foot of some hills at Lorlorvor and Jorpanya and became known as the people of Mla Manya.

They initially faced hunger, but strived and cultivated millet, maize and sorghum, known in the local dialect as ngma.

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Eventually, the famine gave way to good harvest, hence the Ngmayem Festival to celebrate the bumper harvest.

On the morning of the festival, the chief priest goes around the town to sprinkle millet to signify bumper harvest, long life and prosperity.

Families prepare meals and drinks, ‘Ngma-Ku’ and ‘Ngma-Da’, from the harvested grains, mainly millet, and come together to eat and make merry and also discuss issues of development.

The day is climaxed with a durbar in the afternoon.

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