Feature by Josephine Naaeke
Nandom celebrate’s 25 years of Kakube festival
Sons and daughters oF the Nandom Traditional Area will again gather not only to celebrate an annual festival but also to mark its 25th anniversary celebration scheduled to take place from November 27th to December 2nd, 2014.
The festival, founded by Naa Puore Puobi Chiir VII, Paramount Chief of the Nandom Traditional Area in 1989, attracts chiefs and people from all the villages both far and near to Nandom where the event takes place.
Nandom is a small town with a population of about 80,000 who are spread across the country and the outside world contributing to the development of the nation and the world at large.
Naa Puore Chiir VII told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that it was a cultural and agricultural festival to promote the culture of the people and make friends both within and outside.
The festival is also celebrated to show gratitude to God and the family gods for a good harvest during the farming period and to ask for their continuous blessings and protection for a safe environment, rich soil and rain in the coming farming season.
As a harvest festival sacrifices are performed food such as Saab, Sense (Koose), Maasa, djodjo (groundnut soup with leaves) together with the popular local drink pito are in abundance.
There will be display of traditional music and dance, ?bine? and ?bewaa? by the various traditional communities with the aid of the xylophone and ?dalara.? In fact, the traditional dances take the place of disco dances and serve as a reminder for people to go to their roots.
The best xylophonist award is awarded each year.
Naa Puore Chiir VII said this year?s festival will also see the recognition of 13 sons and daughters from the area who have distinguished themselves by their dedication, commitment and show of love for the continuous development of the area, demonstrated in their readiness to support the course of Nandom..
What is found and cherished during the festival is profound happiness, togetherness and oneness, a durbar of chiefs from all villages and chiefs from other regions who show some solidarity and reaffirming their friendship with the chiefs and people of the area. Those from the diaspora find it as a form of family reunion.
The best of Nandom is seen during this occasion because the customs, values and cultural apparel is put on display, while discussions on the previous farming season and the way forward to advance the area is put on the table.
As a farming community the economic life of the people are dependent on what they produce.
Apart from the festival which creates a reawakening of the culture and traditions of the people, Nandom can also boast of other social infrastructure like primary, junior high, and senior high schools, a midwifery training school, a hospital and a Catholic minor Basilica which serves the spiritual needs of the people because the people are predominantly Christians.
Sunday is a market day at Nandom, situated in a valley near the main lorry station in the town to the left when one enters Nandom from Burkina Faso and to the right when one reaches Nandom from Wa, the market is a busy place where all the people converge either to sell or purchase grains like millet, guinea corn, maize, smocks, goats, fouls, guinea fouls, vegetables like lettuce, pumpkin leaves, dawadawa, shea-butter, dry leaves, okro, yam, calabashes, meat and other provisions. People who visit Nandom on this day or during the festival get the opportunity of buying guinea fouls and goats at affordable prizes.
With 18 divisional chiefs and 44 sub-divisional chiefs and some headsmen under the leadership of Naa Puore Chiir VII who succeeded Naa Polkuu Kunkuu Chiir VI, issues of concern are the construction of irrigation dams in Guo, Ketuo, Gengenkpe, Sone and Burutu He called on the district assembly to undertake a project that will train people on the playing of xylophone and ?dalara.?
Vida Kpelle, a teacher in Dobile Junior High School, called for innovative ideas to make the festival more attractive in-order to show case the culture and traditional wares and local cloths ?gaun? to the world. ? we need to expose our area to the people especially investors to know about the opportunities available.
According to Prof Edmund Delle, Owner of Rabito Clinic, said the festival should not just be for merry making but a home coming one where people meet to brainstorm on how to develop the area and to leave behind a legacy for the young ones.
He called for a register of all prominent men and women in good standing whose ideas could be tapped for development purposes, saying people should also not be afraid to approach any prominent person from the area for support., from Tokuu, Guo, Gengenkpe, Goziir, Betaglo, Danko, Betaglo to Kokoligu “we have the people and we can make it and not only depend on government.”
Prof Delle advocated the establishment of a mandatory Nandom Development Fund for all to contribute at least ten Ghana cedis a year to address the development concerns of the area.
He also emphasized the need to set up a student scholarship scheme and urged the Nandom Students Union to be vibrant because they are the hope of the Nandom.
In his opinion, the festival should not be a time to make empty speeches but speeches should be backed by realities and appealed to the people to leave politics aside and engage in healthy and fruitful discussions to enhance the socio-economic life of the people.
Prof Delle who is also an Adjunt Professor of Dermatology at the University for Development Studies, Tamale and a one-time Chairman of Kakube festival described Naa Puore Chiir VII as a man with good quality leadership skills and forgiving spirit by which he urged the Gbollu family in Nandom to leave the past behind and forge for unity.
?I have absolute trust in him, he has good sense of humility, he is my favorate son we are inseparable, he is a leader with foresight, vision, thorough examination of cases and gives his verdict without fear or favor? he explained.
The founder was chairman of the Forestry Commission and a member of the Consultative Assembly, 1991 to 1992 that the 1992 constitution. Under his able leadership Nandom has regained a district which existed in the Kwame Nkrumah?s era in addition to a new constituency.
Nandom Naa as he is popularly called is a product of the University of Venice in Italy where he obtained a Doctorate in economics. He is presently the President of the Upper West regional House of Chiefs, 2012 to date. He was vice President of the National House of Chiefs, 1995 to 1998, 1998 to 2001.
A member of the standing Committee of the National House of Chiefs, 1995 to 2001, Chairman of Finance and staff of the National House of Chiefs, 1992 to 1995.
From 2000 to 2001, Naa Puore VII was President of the National House of Chiefs and Vice President of the Upper West regional House of Chiefs from 2008 to 2012. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Daily Graphic Corporation now Graphic Communication group 1992 to 1993 and from 1993 to 2001 he served as a member of the Council of State.
To all sons and daughters of Nandom, friends and loved one of the traditional area, the Chiefs and Elders are calling. It is time to come home, visit Nandom from 27 of November to 2 December, eat and drink with the people.
The land of ?our? birth is celebrating a silver jubilee, the land that fed ?our? fathers and mothers and will continue to be an abode for ?us? and your ?our? children?s children. It is time to come together; so come one! come all!.