Nene Okpatapkla Sasraku launches this year’s Ngmahem Festival
Posted on: 2011-Jul-24        GNA
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Nene Okpatapkla Sasraku IV, Chairman of the Ngmahem Festival Planning Committee, has launched this year’s Ngmayem and International Beads festivals of the people of Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region.

Nene Sasraku explained that the Ngmayem festival is the annual celebration of the new harvest of “Ngma” (millet).

The festival was significant, he said, because it was a period of celebrations during which the people of Manya Krobo returned home to renew their solidarity and express their gratitude for God’s blessings.

Nene Sasraku said the ultimate aim of the festival was to unite the people as one cultural entity whilst the youth were provided the opportunity to learn about their culture.

The festival, scheduled for October 22 to 30, is the under the theme: “Managing Our Rich Natural Resources – A better Approach for Sustainable Development.”

Nene Sasraku said the committee had programmed drama and Spelling ‘B’ Competitions for the Junior High School under the Ghana Education Servic; ‘Yakama,’ an ideal programme for Woman’s Day; a Remembrance Day; a Pilgrimage to Krobo Mountains; Free Medical Screening and a Grand Durbar to mark the occasion.

On the Beads Festival, he said this year’s event is expected to propel the beads industry of the Krobos into an internationally-accepted expo and make it a door to tourism.

Nene Sasraku explained that the motive was to develop the small-scale bead producers into a reputable industry of another Non-Traditional Export (NTE) for Ghana and reinforce Manya Krobo’s position as the global destination of choice in all things pertaining to the production, marketing and utilization of beads.

“ Bead-making is a cultural handicraft, which is associated with the three Krobo Districts namely: Yilo, Upper and Lower Manya,” he stated. “The glass beads originating from Ghana have always been keenly sought after by tourists and others.”

Nene Sasraku said the first International Bead Festival, held last year, was instituted as a response to many requests from a variety of stakeholders who had a deep interest in the beads industry.

“The objective was to create awareness of this fledgling sector, promote and support the building of sustainable structures in order to assist the development of small and medium scale entrepreneurs with an interest in the industry,” he added.

He said as the smock was associated with the people of the Northern Region, and the Akans were noted for the Kente, quality beads were synonymous with the Krobo people.

Activities for that festival include a week-long exhibition/trade show of beads, seminars and workshops for sellers and producers, marketing and sales of a variety of beaded items, a Fashion Show of Bead Design Competition, Cultural Dance and Displays, Musical Concerts Bead-Making Lessons for visitors.

Nene Domer Siako, Chairman of the International Beads Fair Planning Committee, said bead production in the Krobo State is not only a culture but also a trade with an economic prospect, and had generated income for the country.

He encouraged corporate bodies to associate themselves with the events for its success and help project the beads industry.

Mr Sampson Donkoh, Deputy Executive Director of Ghana Tourist Board, said the Board had identified a number of traditional festivals and events and was working with the traditional authorities to package them for promotion.

Mr Donkor assured their commitment to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to grow festivals to become major special events on the national tourism calendar.

He, however, urged planning committees of festivals to consider weaning the events off the heavy dependence and reliance on sponsors and develop alternative ways of generating funds.

Mr Donkor encouraged planners to brand and commercialize aspects of the festivals to raise revenue to cover the cost of organization, through the production of brochures, shirts, caps and other souvenirs items for sale.

He also said another area was to package the event and organize visitors to pay and participate in them, adding that, tour operators, hoteliers and caterers could be well organized with accreditation fees introduced.


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