A active event at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra on Tuesday launched the 80th anniversary of the Asafotufiami, an annual traditional festival celebrated by the people of Ada, in the Greater Accra Region.
This year’s festival which starts on August 3 and ends on August 10, is under the theme, “Peace and Unity as a tool for socio-economic transformation for Ada Traditional Area”. The week-long celebrations will be dedicated to two key projects, namely, a palace for the paramountcy and the construction of a health facility.
The Paramount Chief of Ada Traditional Area, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, said the projects earmarked as part of this year’s Asafotufiami festival could not have come at a better time. Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III said, “the palace project has become necessary because the Ada state has existed for about 400 years without one and the sacred role of chiefs in the present political landscape in the country is demanding of such project”.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ideal Financial Holdings, Nii Kotei Dzani, a renowned native of Ada, donated GHS300,000 to support the construction of palace for the paramountcy.
The celebrated entrepreneur and member of the Council of State also pledged his support for a successful festival.
MP for Ada, Doyoe Cudjoe- Ghansah, who was a special guest of honour commended the chiefs and people for the theme selected for the event, noting that the socio-economic growth of Ada depends on their unity rather their differences.
“On my part as a Member of Parliament I will continue to do my bit to promote the peace and unity for the betterment of all Adas and I will challenge all of us to also to also add our bit to the cause.
“As I did in the previous celebration, I will ensure again that I work hand-in-hand with the security operatives to provide enough security for the protection and life and property, before, during and after the festival,” she said.
The special guest speaker for the launch event, COC Amate, a renowned writer and native of Ada urged the chiefs of the Ada to bury their differences and use their traditional offices to foster the development of the area.
He urged the traditional leadership of Ada to work with “good-spirited and gifted” indigenes from the two district assemblies – Ada East and Ada West – to bring peace and unity that will create the conducive environment for development.
“In my view, what we really need at Ada to enable us achieve the transformation is the reawakening of the political leadership of the Ada traditional area to the realization that it is part of their responsibility to help promote the socio-economic transformation of Ada,” he said.
About the Asafotufiami Festival
Asafotufiam” is an annual warriors’ festival celebrated by the people of Ada, in the Greater Accra Region from the last Thursday of July to the first weekend of August. It commemorates the victories of the warriors in battle and those who fell on the battlefield.
To re-enact these historic events, the “warriors” dress in traditional battle dress and stage a mock battle. This is also a time when the young men are introduced to warfare. The festival also ushers in the harvest cycle, befor this special customs and ceremonies are performed. These include purification ceremonies. The celebration reaches its climax in a durbar of chiefs, a colouful procession of the Chiefs in palanquins with their retinue.
They are accompanied by traditional military groups called “Asafo” Companies amidst drumming, singing and dancing through the streets and onto the durbar grounds. At the durbar, greetings are exchanged between the chiefs, and declarations of allegiance are made.