Manya Krobo launches 2023 Ngmayem Festival
This year’s annual Ngmayem Festival of the people of the Manya Krobo Traditional Area in the Eastern Region has been launched at Akuse, with a call on the people to pursue peace to enable marketing of the tourism industry to the world.
This year’s festival, on the theme: “Development in unity: Reviving patriotism through unification,” will be held from Saturday, October 21 to Sunday, October 29, 2023 at Odumase –Krobo in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality.
The Manya Krobo Ngmayem Festival which is celebrated annually in October was established in 1944 by the then Konor, Nene Azu Mate Korle.
Ngmayem Festival is to celebrate the bountiful harvest of millet which is called ‘Ngma’ in Dangme.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mante, who launched the festival, called on all Ghanaians to promote peace to enable the country to successfully market its tourism industry to the outside world.
Mr Okraku-Mante who described chiefs as the custodians of Ghana’s rich culture and traditions, lauded the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo for the establishment of the Ngmayem Festival.
He said the government’s plan was to make tourism the number one contributor to GDP in Africa.
He said currently the country was placed third in Africa as a result of the “Year of Return”, programme. To achieve the first position target, we would need our traditional festivals to make it a reality.”
“We used to be number three but now we are now number one in West Africa.
We got this result because of some of the assets we have.
Assets as in edifices such as forts and castles, Beyond the Return activities and the traditional festivals,” he explained.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism said before any tourist could visit any country, the first thing considered was peace.
He said Ghana was the third peaceful country in Africa “and so it meant locally, we expected some degree of peace to be able to help us sell our tourism to foreigners”.
“And so let us use some activities such as the Ngmayem Festival and other opportunities to sell the peace agenda to the Manya Krobos and the country at large, because every area without peace cannot develop,” he said.
The Konor of Manya Krobo, Nene Sakite II, said the launch of the festival was more than just a mere gathering as it reflected the unity of the people, resilience and the strength that came from working together towards achieving their common goals as a people.
“As we gather here today, we must take a cue from this and rekindle that same spirit of unity, patriotism and collaboration,” he added.
He urged the people of Manya Krobo that to embrace the theme of the upcoming festival with open hearts and minds, saying “Our journey towards development starts with unity.”
The Konor said through the festivities and events of the festival, they had the opportunity to showcase their unique culture, traditions and the vibrant spirit of their people.
He added that it was also a chance for them as a people to engage in meaningful discussions about the future they envisioned for the Manya Krobo area.
The Real Estate and Security Services Manager of Volta River Authority (VRA), Eric Owusu, who represented the Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, said VRA’s role extended beyond being an energy provider and it was about responsible corporate citizenship and, therefore, recognised the importance of working hand in hand with the communities that it served.
There were displays of Klama, Dipo and other traditional dances to entertain the guests at the event.