Feature Article of Monday, 11 July 2011
Columnist: Assam, Balemwo
This highly desirable area of distinct serenity is a town in the Upper East Region with a rich historical background. This town happens to be the capital of the West Kasena Nankana District the newly created district, with existent border with Burkina Faso. Equally happens to be the landmark center of the entire suburbs under the influence of the President of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs and Paramount Chief of Paga, Pagapio Charles Awiah Awampaga II.
Farming has always been the main occupation of the people but, they engage in all legal businesses and trades of all kinds. You’ll see modern buildings springing up from every part of the town due to the business acumen and the ferocious resilience of the people.
Paga’s an area of complete demonstrably and indisputable tranquil, free from the usual pandemonium of the cities. With energetic, benignant natives and residents always ready to assist the visitor or the stranger feel comfortable.
Benignity, being one of the solemn cultures handed down from their ancestors, the people of Paga believe good name is better than riches so, you instantly become part of the family the moment you enter this peaceful town. The visitor’s happiness is a worthy asset to the people of this town including all the villages that forms the Paga traditional lineage.
Their interest in the visitor to feel at home is not frivolous but real, their quest to see the stranger comfortable is authentic. They are humble and never intrusive however; if you find yourself in Paga and envisage people anxious to assist you when you’re in need feel relaxed because, intrinsically that’s part of their culture. They take delight in seeing the visitor ensconce.
Without hesitation they will turn their tickets to the stranger and wait for the next bus. This was the era when it was difficult to travel with the government transport in those days, due of scarcity of the buses. Thank God all those times are over, busses are now available at anytime. Assisting the stranger is always done by the natives and residents with a sense of pride.
There’s a distinctive quality of serenity when entering this town, highly captivating and cherished by residents and visitors who reside or takes a trip to this area. The climate of Paga has always been a tropical weather but without tornados or hurricanes. In the cold or hot season, temperatures are always within moderate limit at all times of the year.
There’s a bank to enable you perform any financial transaction and a post office to take care of any of your communication needs. Comparatively, hotels are cheap and super by all standards. Stay in any of the hotels in Paga and you’ll not want to leave except if you run out of funds.
Take advantage of buying guinea fowls, a goat, sheep or a cow for pittance. Taste the delicious local dishes and you’ll lick all your fingers dry. At all times of the day don’t be confined to your rooms, go out and patronize the bars. Feel free to mingle with the locals and you’ll love it. They meet you with a smile and their sense of humor is second to nothing.
Most tourists or visitors do not miss the opportunity to visit the Chiefs Palace to meet the young intelligent gregarious Paramount Chief himself when entering the town. The Chiefs Palace is a historic ancient imposing building, highly admired by anybody who care and adores culture.
The people of Paga take pride in their rich cultural heritage, which includes the venerable historical narratives of their settlement and their chieftaincy institution. There’s a lot to learn when you enter the Chiefs Palace due to the rich historical facts. From the center of the town towards Nania, you’ll meet the home and the ancestral home of the Maestro Abedi Ayew Pele, the famous internationally acknowledged footballer. The former soccer giant of Africa and one of the best footballers the world ever produced in our time. He was voted the best player of Africa three times in sequence and to a large extend in reminiscence, his prowess in football resonate at all times. He captained the African all stars to victory over their European counterparts in the Meridian Cup of 1997. In spite of the fact that Diego Maradonna was at his peak, Abedi was voted the best foreign player in Italy. With this accolade, he eclipsed Maradonna in the realm of football circles. This proves in essence at that time he was the best player in the world but, for convoluted reasons best known to the organizers they could not muster courage to confer on him the world title he rightfully deserved. From Nania towards Kajelo lays the Slave camp sprawling in the hills with marble stones doted around the area. The slaves used those marble stones as musical instruments to entertain themselves, to curtail the misery they find themselves. Slaves were camped in those locations while the slave masters brace themselves to move them to the coast for onward journey through the Atlantic Ocean to the west. These stones have social significance in relation to the slave trade and are still there for historical purposes.
Descending towards the border lays another grand mystery, the Crocodile Pond. Rush to Paga and witness the unbelievable sacred crocodiles. The only place in the world where you can sit on crocodiles, touch them and take pictures without any iota of trepidation. You can hold the heavy tails of these crocodiles and take pictures without being nervous.
These crocodiles exist in these areas and can be called out from the dams in most of the suburbs apart from the main Crocodile Pond at Paga. The tamed crocodiles can be found at the Nania New Dam and at the Kajelo Dam called Kaprakuu.
People troop there from every part of the world to see for themselves this mystery which is obviously difficult to comprehend. If you wonder what I’m delineating, just proceed to Paga and find out for yourself.
In conclusion, I could not be clearer than to elucidate; criminals are not welcome to this vicinity called Paga and its surrounding villages. The house of thunder at Baloo will strike you dead and to prove it, will undoubtedly place the exhibits in your hands. Should any criminal perform any nefarious activity in this area you’ll be flipped dead in a twinkle of an eye by the house of thunder toasted. Paga’s not a comfortable place for criminals.
This is a peaceful town that, even volatile reptiles like crocodiles are peaceful. Don’t take my word for it, just travel there to verify for yourselves.
After the noise of bustling activities and political acrimonious wrangling in the cities, take a break and dash to Paga to cool down the heat from those antagonistic atmospheres.
You’ll leave Paga with fond memories and with the utmost conviction of returning there at the least chance you get. Additional satisfaction is that, you’ll leave the area with plaudits of the natives and the residents which they so much cherish in their lives than riches.
Balemwo Assam Washington DC [email protected]