The celebration of Homowo, the primary festival of the people of Ga, will be held in Ga Mashie today with a call on all the people to use the occasion as a rallying point to deepen the prevailing peace and unity in the Ga State.
They have also been asked to rally behind their chiefs to celebrate another memorable and peaceful Homowo this year.
The Gbese Mantse, Nii Ayi-Bonte II, who made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, said with the resolution of some minor chieftaincy disputes two years ago, he was confident that Homowo would once again be celebrated in peace.
The celebrations started at Nungua on July 3, this year, followed by Lante Djan We on July 31. Tema followed suit on August 6, to pave the way for Ga Mashie to celebrate it today.
It would be the turn of the people of Osu, La, Teshie, Kpone, Prampram and Ningo to celebrate Homowo on Tuesday, August 24, to climax the festivities. La will, however, not celebrate it because the La Mantse is yet to be interred.
The Gbese Mantse said he would pray to the gods to safeguard the peace and unity currently in Accra, indigenously known as “Ga Mashie”.
The Gbese Mantse, elsewhere known as the “Adonten” Chief, will perform traditional rites this morning at Ussher Fort, an area known as “Gbese” within Ga Mashie, to pave the way for the Ga Mantse to follow.
Nii Ayi-Bonte said the traditional rites for the Homowo would begin around 9 a.m. today, with the preparation of the ceremonial meal; kpokpoi, which is made from corn and usually accompanied with palm nut soup and fish.
The ceremonial meal captures the essence of Homowo, which literally translates into “hooting at hunger”.
The kpokpoi would be sprinkled in the full glare of hundreds of people to show gratitude to the gods and ancestors for their blessings in providing the people with food after a long famine.
The Gbese Mantse explained that in line with the traditional custom of the Ga people, he would be accompanied by some sub-chiefs, clan and family heads to sprinkle the kpokpoi in communities and traditional family houses (known as We) located in Ga Mashie as a sign of appreciation to the gods. Some traditional elders expected to join him during the sprinkling are the Gyaasetse and some chiefs from Abafun on the route.
By noon, he is expected to have sprinkled the kpokpoi at traditionally significant locations in entrance of the Ga Mashie, including the Ussher Fort and the Ga Mantse Palace.
He said on his return to the Ga Mantse’s Palace to perform a symbolic dance and washing of hands, the way would be clear for the Ga Mantse, Nii Teiko Tsusu II, and his sub-chiefs to also sprinkle the kpokpoi on the streets of Ga Mashie.
Observance of COVID-19 protocols
Nii Ayi-Bonte also stressed that as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Accra, there would be strict enforcement of the mandatory wearing of face masks at the celebrations.
“As President Akufo-Addo has said about the enforcement of wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, I can assure you that we will enforce this directive everywhere I go to perform the rites,” he said.