Lord, I am interceding on behave of my people in the Shai-Osudoku land and your word says in 2 Chronicle 7:14 ?if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land? (NIV).
The emphasis here is that you will heal their land! Lord, one of your illustrious sons name Emmanuel Safo , a PhD student did ask you some questions and I hope you have provided the answers. His questions actually touched me and made me also to come to you with my problems. Lord, so don?t be annoyed with me because i am only a concerned child.
Jehova Rapha, Jehova Nissi, Jehova Elohim etc, I am using all the appellations just to bring you down and help my people in the dangme land. You say if we call upon you, you will listen to us but it appears you are not listening to the people in the dangme land where your beloved son Ralph comes from. My God, ever since I was born, I have been particularly concerned about certain things in the dangme land for instance the tribe where I come from. According to history Shai people can be found in Greater-Accra and they have the famous Shai Hills Resources Reserve that attracts many tourists into their community. Shai Hills Resources Reserve is located just about 50km from Accra and about 65 km to Akosombo is the Shai Hills Resource Reserve. It is a unique reserve in Ghana because it is the driest evergreen savannah forest in Ghana.
The area used to be the home of the people of the Shai Traditional area until the British colonial masters forcibly expelled them in 1892 on the allegation that the natives were committing ritual murders. The area did not come under protection until 1962 when the government of the day decided turns it into a resource reserve to protect flora and fauna. The animal life of this Resource Reserve offers a lot to behold. The wildlife is made up of savannah antelopes, bushbucks and duikers. Green monkeys, lesser spot-nosed monkey and olive baboon can also be found. What is interesting about these animals is that they are easy to find. You may even meet some of them especially the green monkeys ?welcoming? you into the reserve before you even visit them. Experiences recounted by returning visitors pay growing tribute to these green monkeys. They will come to you and even have the guts to grab whatever food you have to offer them. The other animals of the reserve for instance the antelopes can be seen but are very shy and will not approach visitors.
Reptiles also abound at the reserve. Crocodiles, snakes and tortoises can also be spotted. The bird life in the park is also something to behold. Indigenous and migratory birds can be seen.
Birds such as the Senegal parrot, grey plantain eater, hornbill, red northern bishop and violet turaco can all be seen. Other birds to be found in Shai Hills Resource reserve include Senegal cuckoo, stone partridge and francolin. This makes the reserve a bird lover?s paradise.
Three caves can be found in the reserve and these are Adwuku, Sayu and Hieweyu. These caves provide an excellent home for bats which will spend the entire day sleeping only to wake up in the night. Visitors can climb unto the summit of the caves and the inselbergs in the reserve to view the plains of Accra. Viewing is best done in the evenings or during sunset. The golden skyline is a sight to behold.
What is also important about standing on these granite inselbergs or on the caves is taking a brief journey into history. It offers an individual the opportunity to look into the military thinking of the people during those warring years. In the early years of settlement before the Europeans arrived, tribes fought against each other. Mountainous places and river banks provided the perfect grounds for tribes to settle. They believed that those areas offered protection from the enemy. So standing on the hills you will have the opportunity to see what would have been seen by the watchmen of the Shai army of the time.
The reserve has some archaeological sites which can attract visitors as well. This is an important site in the reserve because until the British expelled the Shai people, it is believed that the reserve was occupied for over 1000 years therefore it would not be difficult to find things of archaeological interest such as grinding stones, pots and other farming implements.
The history of the Se people is a fascinating story of perseverance and resilience. Oral history documents that the Ga-Dangmes [Se, Klo, Ada, Osudoku, Gbugla (Prampram) and Ningo] migrated from Israel through Egypt and Southern Sudan, settling for a period of time at Simeh in Niger and then at Ileife in Nigeria. In the year 1100 A.D. they migrated again to Dahomey, Togo and later settled in Huatsi, where they stayed for a short time.
From Huatsi, they traveled to the eastern banks of the River Volta, originally named Jor. They managed to cross the Volta at a place between Old Kpon and Akuse, establishing settlements on the plains of Tag-logo, where they remained until 1200 A.D. They later migrated to the plains of Lorlorvor, between the Lorlorvor and Osudoku Hills.
Archaeological research at the ancient site of Se has shown that their settlement was already in existence by AD 1300 and that it had expanded into large townships by the 1500s. The Se witnessed tremendous prosperity and expansion during the 16th and 17th centuries, primarily due to coastal trade with Europeans.
The Se kingdom continued to flourish in the secluded Se (Shai) highland fortress until the end of the 19th century. A number of Basel Missionaries who visited the Se (Shai) hills recorded eyewitness accounts on the government, culture, architecture, and pottery traditions of the locals. One missionary who visited Se (Shai) in 1853 recorded in his diary, ?The Shai people are well-known potters and as one who knows something of pottery making, my people can make pots, as beautifully round as if they were turned on a potter?s wheel?.
Our Dipo ceremony
After the child naming ceremony, puberty rites are the next set of rituals of social status transformation which children undergo in Ghanaian culture. The most well preserved puberty rites are the Dipo of the Krobo and Shai ethnic groups. These ceremonies mark the entry of young women into adulthood.
Shai girls celebrate three stages in their Outdooring ceremony.
In preparation for their Outdooring ceremony, Shai initiates are draped with strings of glass beads often weighing up to twenty-five pounds. Tied around their necks and hips, the beads are of great value to the Krobo and have often been passed down through a family for many generations. The Krobo are among the oldest and most famous makers of ground-glass beads in Africa. Many of the beads, known as Akori, or Aggrey, are made locally; others have been traded from Venice since the seventeenth century and from Holland and Czechoslovakia since the nineteenth century. Denoting family wealth and social status, each type of bead worn by an initiate has a name and significance. Blue beads, called Koli, which literally means, something you love very much, are associated with affection and female tenderness. All shades of yellow beads symbolize maturity and prosperity. White beads represent purity, and when worn by initiates they denote virginity: when priestesses wear them, they signify respect for the gods and ancestors. The two large yellow beads in the collection are imitations of the legendary bodum bead, which is believed to have magical properties. Kept in a jar of water at the entrance to a bedroom, this bead allegedly will bark like a dog should an intruder enter. Said to be so powerful that they can even reproduce themselves, bodum beads are shrouded in mystery, and are among the most coveted in all of Africa. Dipo initiates wear beads of all colours, and of considerable value.
In preparation for their Outdooring ceremony, when the girls will be presented to the public as women, Shai initiates wear an elaborate headdress called Cheia. Made of hoops of cane wrapped in blackened cord, the headdress is constructed on the girl’s head the day before the ceremony. It takes six hours to complete and will remain in place for a week. Unique to the Shai, this dramatic headdress is reminiscent of styles recorded in Central Africa in the nineteenth century.
At the end of the first week of instruction, the girls put on Dipo-pe straw hats and perform the klama dance, which emphasizes the graceful movement of hands and feet. With small rhythmic steps and heads turned demurely downward, the dancers embody quiet elegance. The different movements of the dance are designed to reveal the beauty of the dancers. Suitors watching from the sidelines will often approach a girl’s family after the ceremony and make an offer of marriage.
God, Today, I would like to ask you a few, meaningless questions about what has been bothering my mind all these years. Hypothetically I know I?m not supposed to ask you these questions. Because if my parents see me asking you these questions, they may probably reject me, for these are questions for elderly, and not babies like me. But God let me take advantage of their
nonappearance to ask you.
God, your word says in Luke 11:9(New International Version): “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you?
I know your son Emmanuel Sarfo asked you a question and you have answers him and I am also asking you a question regards to my people in the Shai land.
But, God, I have doubted how and why the dangme people are still suffering in Ghana. I hope you will forgive me for asking you these questions. God, remember your son loves you so don?t mind my words and I ask of your forgiveness but these are the questions:
Question #1: Lord, is it really true that we are all made in your Image? Why did you made me a dangme man?
To be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities. Because all our lives we’ve heard that we’re “made in the image of God.” It’s a nice thought, and probably we?ve clung to when we need a reminder of our own value. But have you ever stopped to think about what it really means? “Made in the image of God” is an audacious claim?and one that probably carries some responsibility with it. We all know we are not gods?though if we’re honest, we know we often think we are the god of our own lives, even if we’d never admit it. The truth is, we are not God. But we are godlike.
My confusion about whether or not we are God arises from our godlikeness. It’s in the first chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1:26-27 reveals, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’ … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” But God it appears some tribe are very far ahead of the dangme people, why God?
Question #2: God, if you created all of us in your own image then why is the dangme people suffering in Ghana? And why did you allow other tribe in Ghana to look down upon us? Lord, look now the dangme youth are even running away from their own tribe and even their names by changing it. They don?t like speaking the dialect. Why God?
Question #3: My Master, Lord, did you make the dangme people to suffer all their lives? In Ghana the tribe suffering most in the dangme land are the people in Shai-Osudoku, they even invite president to their festival and will not show up, why?
Question #4: Lord, You gave our forefathers enough strength, power and knowledge to fight the Ashantis and won the battle in the Dodowa-Forest but today the new generations are not bold enough, why?
Question #5: God, did you make me and my people in Shai-Osudoku to be daft and poor? Some have linked intelligence to race, and that we are naturally less intelligent. Perhaps you wanted us to be vagabonds. God Why?
Question #6: God why is that people are running away from their town because they fear of Witches in the land but your word also says that in 2 Timothy 1-7
?For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.? (NLV)
Question #7: God, I know that you gave us so much wealth in the Dangme land? good soil, tourist destinations, sea, salt, all kinds of food crops, etc. Conversely, it seems that you didn?t give us sufficient intellects to make proper and good use of these assets.
Your son, Emmanuel Safo also says ?It?s just like giving a homeless man a mansion without its keys.? Your children are starving amidst vast wealth sitting on in the dangme land. God, why?
Question #8: God, did you create us to be so corrupt such that when we get positions. This is evident in the collapse of the Shai-Rural Bank in Dodowa. God why?
Question #9: God, your world also says that you make kings and leaders? If it?s true, God, don?t you think it is time to treat us well? By giving us good chiefs to do away with chieftaincy disputes in the dangme land and eradicate land guards problems. Look at the Ashanti kingdom God, Why?
Question #10: God, so why did you, after making the world, link us to Egypt and Southern Sudan as our origin. Look at the way they are fighting and suffering. God! Southern Sudan? Oh my world! You didn?t treat us well Kraa!
Question #11: God, Is it possible to now change the stethoscope and send us probably to the Ashanti race since majority of the dangmes are speaking Twi dialect?
Question #12: I am speaking in Tongues now so that probably you can favor us by changing things for us? Are we not serving you right? We go to church, we go to mosque, we pray and we pay our tithe. In fact, we even appear to believe in your existence and power that we drink all sort of holy waters and buying anointing oil and stickers for success. In everything we do, we call on you first because we believe that everything is by you and for your glory; yet we don?t seem to get any reward or you don?t need our righteousness anymore? Tell me!
Question #13: Some even say we?re a cursed people because we are womanizers and our women are also good in bed and manizers with dangmes in the eastern region leading with HIV, AIDS why? God, is that true? God, even if we?ve sinned against you, Daniel 9:9 says ?To you the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness?, so why don?t you forgive us? Or aren?t you merciful and forgiving anymore?
Question #14: God, are we not doing things right? What?s the right way you want us to serve you? Tell me right now because your word came to me some time again through Prophet Annor about my life and it did happen so I know you can do it for my people.
Question #15: Lord, do you feel dissatisfied in us? God, sometimes I have a feeling that we worry you too much and you must be tired, but because you?re not talking to us we don?t even know whether we?re worrying or helping you. God, can you change the course in our favor? We need change, for your children are dying; your dangme children are devastated; your children feel deserted. We need your involvement. Please, if you didn?t create us the way we are, tell us what we can do to get out of the swamp and woes in which we find ourselves.
God, I promise you that if you do it for us in the dangme land particularly the people of Shai-Osudoku we will worship and exhort your name forever. Thank you. God bless Dangme People!
Source: Raphael obu