The chief of Ponyentanga, a famous community located in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region, Naa Abdulai Salia (II) declares 28th December this and every year for the climax of a local festival which is still titled, “Ponyentanga CultureFest”. “Upon several consultations with my high chiefs, we agreed to hold an annual competitive cultural festival in order to foster unity and peaceful coexistence among the various tribesmen within the Ponyentanga community. Our culture is dying slowly and as a result, we need its revival for the benefit of the youth and our future generations.” He said.
The Ponyentanga Naa (Naa means chief) made these revelations during a massive community forum held at the Ponyentanga market square on 30th of June, 2019. The occasion was championed by BECAAP Platform, an outfit that supports Cultural and Art Programs.
Speaking at the occasion, the CEO of BECAAP; Mr. Christantus Kavaarpuo revealed that the festival would last for three days which starts from 26th to 28th December as captured in this year’s Program. “There will be a clean-up exercise on 26th of December and other activities. On the 27th of December, there would be football gala, floating and night jams but on the 28th December which shall be the climax of the event, there would be socio-cultural dancing competition, bow and arrow shooting, wrestling and other activities. Awards will be given to students who distinguished themselves in various fields of discourse in the presence of high-profile dignitaries.” The BECAAP boss stated.
Another guest and sensitizer was the Upper West popular music gem, El-twist affectionately known by his fans as ‘Dagara’; he educated the members of the entire community on the possible benefits that will culminate from the great feast and urged all hands to support the good fight in bringing the day into a success. “This festival would attract different calibre of people from various places and as a result, businessmen in this community would be the major beneficiaries; pito and pork would be much cherished during the celebration.” He added.
He further enlightened members that this event would also serve as a medium of channelling some developmental challenges of the community to some politicians and Non-profit organizations that may honour their invitation.
A word of counsel was nostalgic for members by a representative from the Wa-Nayiri (Wa chief palace), Mr. Abudu Hasshim, who chides all and sundry to desist from unsolicited criticisms that may hinder the objective of the coming festival. “Please, avoid the black mentality of ‘pull me down’ habit and rather welcome this good news which your elders have planned. Avoid bad criticisms and the ‘Black nepotism’ that it’s for this or for that person. It can never yield any development as a people.” He cautioned.
Mr. Hasshim therefore challenged the whole community especially the youth to pledge their support to the Ponyentanga-Naa to be able to officiate this noble festival without any hindrance or negative influence.
However, the Ponyentanga-Naa in a quest for the official name of the festival stated that, he and some elders are still in talks to come out with a suitable traditional name for the festival the ‘CultureFest’.
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