The Hogbetsotso Festival of the chiefs and people of Anlo in the Volta Region is back this year after its suspension for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The celebration of the famous festival, also known as Hogbeza, which commemorates the legendary exodus of the Ewe-Dogbo folks from Notsie in present-day neighbouring Togo, was suspended in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols to prevent its spread.
Mr Silas Aidam, the Publicity Chair, 2022 Hogbetsotsoza Planning Committee, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said preparations were underway for the launch on September 21 to herald activities of the one-month long festival.
“The launch is happening on 21st September after which the rest of activities and ceremonies will follow to climax the festival on Saturday, November 5,” he said.
These include ‘dodede’ – removal of diseases and expulsion of evil spirits; ‘nugbidodo’ – reconciliation; glimetoto – an enactment of the departure or escape from Notsie, and mini Hogbeza – best described as dress rehearsal for the main festival.
The others are MTN Hogbetsotsoza health walk, Anlo State dinner dance, congress of chiefs, Mama Hogbe beauty pageant, and musical concerts.
“The message we want to send to our Anlo citizens home and abroad, local and foreign tourists, is that after the COVID-19 break, Hogbeza bounces back in a special form.”
Hogbeza is celebrated every first Saturday in November at Anloga the traditional and ritual capital of the Anlo State.
It is usually characterised by a display of rich tradition and culture with people treated to a variety of drumming and dancing, including the ever-popular “agbadza”, “atsia” and “misego” or “husego”, the incorporated dance style of the backward movement of the people during their exodus from Notsie.
The 2022 edition is on the theme: “60 Years of Anlo Hogbetsotsoza: Uniting for Development, Sustaining our Unique Cultural Commonwealth for Future Generations.”