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Opinions of Friday, 25 January 2019

Columnist: Francis Atayure Abirigo

The smock day institutionalisation heart warming

I read with high ecstasy, delight and happiness, the announcement making rounds to the effect that after a long period of Dagbon without a sitting King has decided to mark day 25th of January a Smock Day and that it should be marked every year in memory of the Royal Outdoor Ceremony of Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II.

If this is institutionalized as an annual culture for people leaving in and around Dagbon annually or Northern Ghana it will go a long way to e rich our culture and bring about unity and long lasting popular identity of the people of the North.

Parts of the announcement read: "In honour of His Royal Highness, the great Lion of Dagbon, Naa Abukari Mahama II and to celebrate the milestone reached by the Kingdom, we encourage all sons and daughters of Dagbon to join us observe the first "Smock Day" by wearing the smock tomorrow 25/01/2019 even if you are not going to Yendi".

It further states that: "The Smock Daycan be celebrated every 25th of January in honor of Dagbon getting a new King after a long period without one; to show Dagbon pride; to express our joy for the milestone; and more importantly, to acknowledge the importance of this day to every son and daughter of Dagbon.

This message carried me to a state of strategic thinking.

I thought of three important strategies which when put into action by the planners or initiators and corporate Northern Ghana could inure to our benefit.

1. Cultural and traditional enhancement to Northern identity

2. Smock market expansion

3. The possible tomorrow for Northern Ghana and the nation Ghana.

Cultural and traditional enhancement to the Northern identity

Before Dagbon, Mamprugu, Gonjaland, Frafras, Dagaabas, Kusaasi, Kassena, Builsa, Bimoba, Nanumba, Konomba Sissala and the many others is the *Northerner* This northerner also popularly known as 'pepe' in southern palance to mean the Northerner is identified first with the smock as a dress.

The bigger the smock and the quality of it the indication that the wearer (adorner) is either from a royal family or is well to do. The Kente is without argument the identity of the southerner.

If it is true that every household in the North has a smock for certain occasions, then why should it not be their identity?

The Northerner whether from Dagbon or Builsaland or the Farefare or Dagaaba or Kasem or Kusal or Mamprugu should all embrace this idea. Whether you are wearing the smock to the celebration of Dagbon Kingdom or not just wear it in solidarity for your identity.

With this I see a more coordinated and respected Smock Day in five years to come. Our tradition and culture will definitely be enhanced and our identity will speak for itself. Great idea.

Smock Market Expansion

From hundred users to thousand users and a million etc users the smock material makers and the smock makers from Dagbon, Gonjaland, Frafraland, Kusaland, Kassena territory and Eweland will have a boost in the smock market.

It suffices to say that national and international smock usage will be encouraged meaning that is a viable business venture that will churn in millions of dollars into our Ghanaian economy.

The little said about this the better because producers and makers of material and smocks are wild ready to supply the global community to make a leaving.

Every Ghanaian needs a smock, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Hilla Limanm, J.J. Rawlings, J.A Kufuor, J. Dramani Mahama and H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo are all lovers of the smock, who else doesn't like it in Ghana?

The possible tomorrow for Northern Ghana and the nation Ghana
The smock is a mark of authority, it projects personality, it is the only pride of the north and to a large extent the Ghanaian.

If Ghana projects the smock and the kente in the lines of the idea of muters a brighter tomorrow is seen at the end of the tunnel.

Let President Akufo-Addo make a bold statement today at Yendi for the smock market and I will tell you that it's a great move.

Long live the Dagbon Kingdom!

Long live Northern Ghana!!

Long live Mother Ghana.

The smock is our identity and I am a citizen, not a spectator.

Francis Atayure Abirigo
Writer is a Development Communications Expert contact me on (aabirigo@yahoo.com)

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