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The Chiefs and people of Agotime Traditional Area in the Volta Region have kick-started their annual Festival to celebrate one of the most important fabrics the world can boast of – the Kente Cloth.
The weeklong event commenced last Sunday October 14 with visitations to some selected churches in the area by members of the planning committee supported by some opinion leaders, ostensibly to sensitize the a section of the community on activities lined up for the 2018 Agotime Kente festival and also to seek their active participation.
This was followed closely by a brass band procession through some principal streets of Agotime followed by a three hour marathon prayer session at an interdenominational evening church service to seek God’s face for a favourable weather and a peaceful celebration.
On Monday, it was all excitement when the chiefs and other traditional leaders of the area gathered at Agotime Afegame for the scheduled traditional prayers. This was done alongside a massive clean-up exercise at Kpetoe indicating the community’s readiness to welcome guests across the world.
Speaker after speaker at each of this events emphasized the need for unity among the people as they go through the festival since it is among the cardinal reasons for the introduction of the festival – to unite individuals and communities.
The Chief of Agotime Afegame, Nene Mahumaso XIV, said though the purpose of the festival is to unite the people, it appearing as if the people are rather getting more divided.
“I believe with this traditional prayers our once united front will be restored. We need that unity back and we must do all that we can to achieve it. Let the spirit of unity return to the people of Agotime. Let us eschew enmity and embrace peace,” he stated.
In a remark on his behalf, the Paramount Chief of the Agotime Traditional Area, Nene Nuer Keteku III, said culture is a beautiful thing and must be preserved always, there are rules and regulations that guard the preservation of every culture, as such, it is important for every individual to abide by those principles for the purposes of peace. He emphasized that the festival was not initiated for any specific individual but the community.
“There is nothing wrong if you are asked by the elders to go and put your house in order should there be a need for that. It is possible for people to get on the offensive in their enthusiasm to preserve our culture but if your attention is drawn to an issue it should be possible and easy for you to go back and rework your actions. This shouldn’t bring trouble, and that is why we are all excited that the planning committee has worked hard to ensure that we have another festival this year,” he stated.
The District Chief Executive for Agotime-Ziope, D. D. Dzorkpe, reassured the people that President Nana Akufo-Addo has given him his word that he will be at the grand durbar on Saturday, as such, all preparations should be geared towards welcoming the first gentlemen of the land.
“In my conversation with President Nana Akufo-Addo last night, he reassured me that he will be here. He said ‘DD I am coming, tell them I am coming’,” he stated.
The theme for this year’s Agotime Kente Festival is “Attitudinal Change, the panacea to our future development”.
Chairman of the Central Planning Committee, Eddie Akotey, said they are ensuring that this year’s event is among the best that has ever been organized.
“We are also expecting dignitaries such as the US Ambassador to Ghana, the Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, Catherine Afeku, the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, and a 100-man tourist delegation from the United States of America, among others,” he told newsmen.
The people of Agotime instituted the Kente Festival in 1995 as part of measures to preserve the uniqueness of the Kente cloth which has for a long time remained their identity. As the livelihood of the majority of the people depends on their association with the Kente cloth the festival offers them an opportunity to market it to the world.
Among others the Annual Kente Festival, also called ‘Agbamevor Za’ has the objective of preserving and protecting the cultural and aesthetic values of the Kente cloth and projecting its various uses.
“It is also aimed at exposing new techniques and innovations in the Kente industry, attracting tourists to Ghana and the Agotime Traditional Area and above all uniting the people for socio-economic development,” Akotey stated.
The Festival runs till October 21.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh