The 2023 ‘Ngmayem Festival’ of the chiefs and people of Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region has been launched with a call on the people to prioritise peace and unity as catalysts for social and economic progress.
Ngmayem, literary meaning “Eating the new millet,” is observed on the final two Sundays of October in towns such as Odumase and Somanya, entailing a diverse array of activities to mark the bountiful harvest of millet, called ‘ngma.’
This year’s celebration is scheduled for October 21 to 29, on the theme: “Development in Unity: Reviving Patriotism Through Unification,” and presents a great cultural significance as it offers togetherness and national pride.
It is celebrated by the people of Manya Krobo in communities of Asesewa and its surrounding areas in the Upper Manya Krobo District, as well as Odumase in the Lower Manya Municipality.
Nene Sakite II, the Paramount Chief of Manya Krobo, in a speech read on his behalf during the launch on Thursday at Akuse in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality, said the forthcoming festival would be an extraordinary occasion.
Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving world driven by technological advancements and societal modernization, he highlighted the importance of preserving the core values of the people, which had shaped their identity.
He said the Ngmayem Festival served as a poignant reminder to the people of their cultural origins, thereby exemplifying their powerful sense of community and steadfast commitment to safeguarding their unique identity amidst societal transformations.
“It also provides a valuable guidance for future generations,” he said, and urged the residents to unite in a collective effort to accelerate the progress and prosperity of their communities, and enhance their quality of life and well-being.
The launch, graced by chiefs, queen mothers, prominent political figures, religious leaders, and residents, adorned in colourful customary clothes, saw splendid cultural performances, depicting the rich culture of the people.
Mr Mark Okraku Mantey, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, who launched the festival at the Volta River Authority Club House at Akuse, said Ghana’s tourism sector, ranked third in West Africa, had undergone significant transformation.
That could be credited to the implementation of initiatives like the “Year of Return” and “Beyond the Return,” which had not only yielded positive outcomes but fostered the celebration of traditional festivals to amplify the country’s tourism potentials, he said.
He emphasised the significance of peace in Ghana’s development and urged the people to actively build an environment of peace during festivals.
Mr Bismarck Tetteh Nyarko, the Member of Parliament for Upper Manya Krobo, urged Krobos to wholeheartedly embrace peace and unity as catalysts for the advancement of their communities.
“We must come together and plan together towards developing the Kroboland,” he said, adding: “In my district, Upper Manya Kobo, we are hungry for development, and how do we seek it if we keep on fighting ourselves?”
“We must be united and put our heads together towards developing Manya Krobo because the government can’t do it all for us.”