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Regional News of Monday, 5 November 2018

Source: Daniel Kaku

Chiefs and people of Bonyere climax Kundum festival with durbar despite ban

The Chief used the occassion to urge people to contribute their quota to the area's development

A mini durbar of the Chiefs and people of Bonyere traditional area in the Jomoro Municipality of the Western Region had been held to climax this year's annual Kundum festival despite the ban placed on it by the Western Nzema Traditional Council.

It would be recalled that the Western Nzema Traditional Council led by its Paramount Chief, Awulea Annor Adjaye III placed a ban on this year's Kundum festival celebration for inadequate preparations but the Chiefs and people of Bonyere defied the order of the Council.

The festival which is celebrated by the Ahantas and Nzema people of the Western Region is an occasion to render thanksgiving to God for the abundance of food at the end of the harvest period.

The week-long celebration which was on the theme, "Unity for Progressive Development", was marked with activities such as appellation songs, football gala competition, a clean-up exercise, quiz competition, street jams carnival health talk and fundraising.

Addressing the durbar on Saturday October 27, 2018, King Kaku Ackah III who was the Special Guest of Honour expressed profound appreciation to people in the area notably the planning committee and others from abroad who made the celebration a very colourful one.

He appealed to inhabitants of the area to use the festival to unite as a prerequisite for the rapid development of the community.

The King expressed worry about the falling standards of education in the area and attributed it to lack of parental control and copying of certain lifestyle by the youth.

He admonished parents not to lavish money on expensive funerals to the detriment of their children's education and their developmental needs.

The King also advised the youth in the area to commit themselves to their education and take advantage of emerging opportunities in the area.

"Today if you don't go to school to acquire knowledge, you will not get proper work to do. Very soon Bonyere community will see governmental projects like fertilizer plant and if you joke with your education, you will not be engaged”, he cautioned.

He said though Bonyere was a fishing community, yet the youth must concentrate so much on fishing but rather, focus on education for a secure and brighter future.

He used the occasion and cleared the rumour going around that he doesn't support the establishment of the Fertilizer Plant in the area by the NPP government.

The King said the establishment of the plant will give jobs to his people and also help improve the local economy of the people.

"I want to place on record that I King Kaku Ackah III I support the establishment of the fertilizer plant and I want to also tell the MP in this Constituency, Mr. Paul Essien that he should stop going around telling people I'm working against the establishment of the plant", he emphasized.

He added, "What I want the government to do is that there should be an establishment of Education Trust Fund to support the brilliant and needy students in this Constituency and this is what I'm fighting for because our youth should benefit from the oil and gas".

He also encouraged the Chiefs and people of the area to celebrate the Kundum festival every year to give thanks to gods and added that Awulea Annor Adjaye III, the Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema Traditional Council does not have any right to stop any community from celebrating Kundum festival in the Jomoro.

"Kundum festival celebration can never be banned by any Chief because this is our tradition and I disagree with Awulea Annor Adjaye III to tell the whole Jomoro not to celebrate it, Kundum festival was brought by the Nvavile Family and since the Nvavile Family has this land, nobody can stop us from celebrating", he charged.

He, therefore, used the occasion to appeal to all indigenes of Bonyere community both home and abroad to contribute towards the developmental agenda of the community.

He was not happy about the dwindling of communal spirit in the area with special reference to some elders of the town who were not contributing their quota towards the rapid development of the community.

Cash donations were made to support the renovation works of the Roman Catholic M/A Junior High School which was built by the community itself in the 90s and currently on the verge of collapse.

Speaking after the durbar, the Assembly Member of the area, Hon. Peter Yeboah, admitted that the Bonyere Kundum festival was among the best celebration in the Municipality and entreated the chiefs and their subjects to continue to live in peace and harmony.

He used the opportunity to thank King Kaku Ackah III for honoring their invitation to climax the festival with them in a grand style.

He called on other benevolent organizations to come to their aid to renovate the JHS block in the area for effective teaching and learning.

He said education which was the bedrock of development, would take center stage and appealed to the people to support the planning committee to realize its objectives.

The Assemblyman said education is the key to success in every field of human endeavour and charged parents and guardians to give their children good education.

He said the sandy beaches in the area are very potential tourist attractions and called on his people to keep them clean in order to attract entrepreneurs who would establish beach resorts.

He pleaded with his people to revive their self-help spirit to facilitate development of the community.

The Kundum festival is celebrated by the Ahanta and Nzema people of the Western Region of Ghana to thank God for a bumper harvest.

According to history and folklore, the festival began when a hunter, Mr. Akpoley, during an expedition, chanced upon some dwarves dancing in a circle.

After observing the dance, he returned to the town and introduced it to his people.

The ritual dance, has the propensity to ward off any devilish spirits and malevolent forces from towns and villages.

The festival usually starts from Ahanta through Axim and Ellembelle to the Jomoro Districts.