President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday, 4 August 2018, joined the Chiefs and people of Ada in the Dangbe East of the Greater Accra Region to celebrate the Asafotufiami festival.
He assured the gathering that his government wants to bring progress and prosperity to all parts of the country in a balanced, inclusive development of the Ghanaian nation.
The festival which is held during the first week of August every year allows the people of Ada to celebrate their Asafo companies and the ancient wars that they fought to protect themselves and their lands from foreign invasion.
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In modern times, the festival has, however, become a time for indigenes of Ada living elsewhere and abroad to come back home to take stock of issues hindering the development of the area and make plans for the next year.
Main activities/ceremonial arrivals
On the first Thursday in August (as decided) all Adas start arriving from their various places of stay to their respective homes in Ada. Elders at home perform purification and rituals of various sorts in the main family houses. Feast of cow, sheep, goat, fowls, etc, welcome the arrivals on Thursday.
Announcement by main war drums
At early dawn on Friday, the two main Asafo war dances of Akofode and Asorkor parade through town drumming, yelling and singing the war songs. They visit the residence of the war captains and stage the war dances.
Display at old battlefield â€œAplenaverâ€.
In the morning on Friday all the divisional clans in an orderly procession on the principal street amidst musketry firing, drumming, singing of war songs and dancing to cheer the leadership of their respective Asafoatseme (war captains) onto an old field called Applenayer at luhuese, a little way from the main township. Here young men display musketry firing on serious war fashion (against imaginary enemies) amidst continued drumming, yelling and dancing, till early afternoon when the priests pour libation and the companies return to greet the Paramount Chief seated at Lenobinya to welcome his people from the battlefield ritual at Kpomkpombanya.
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From Lenobinya the company continues the procession to Kpomkpompanya (the riverside were the main ancient warriors departed to war by boat and landed on their return from war). At this riverside libation is poured, musketry is fired over the water of the river Volta and ritual of feet/hand washing is done to wash away all evil of war etc. for the Volta River to carry into the vast Gulf of Guinea of the endless Atlantic Ocean: the evils to go, never to return to Ada any more. After this ritual the clans return home in the evening to prepare for the main festival Durbar on the following day.
Main Asafotufiami Festival Durbar Saturday is the climax of the Asafofiami Festival. All road lead to the main Durbar ground at the Presby Middle School Park. Everybody comes out in the best attire affordable. The Asafoatseme and the Divisional Chiefs or Wetsoyihi also are carried high in palanquins riding in the middle of the Groups gorgeously dressed, usually in native Kente or native war attire (Asafoatseme) raising wearing their usually glittering hands in response to the waving and cheering. The long procession of the ten clans move slowly with drumming and dancing and musketry firing to the Durbar ground.
Ada Youth Organisation
Each Traditional clan group is led by one of the many Ada youth groups formed in big Ada and other towns in Ghana.
Paramount Chiefs Group
Last to arrive at the Durbar Ground is the Paramount Chief and his group whose arrival signals the commencement of the Durbar activities.
Exchange of greetings
The invited Guest of Honour usually a representative of Government exchange greetings with the Paramount chief and participating Association and group around the Durbar Ground. The Paramount Chief returns the greetings. Then follow Traditional libation and Christian prayers, procession, welcome addresses, etc.
The most important function at the Durbar Ground is Annual oath swearing by Asafoatsenguame to the Paramount Chief renewing their allegiance to serve the state and the Paramount Chief whenever he called upon them to do so. The oath is by the ancient wars of Katamanso, Adidome Hogba and Tordzenya.
Non-denominational church service
Sunday is marked by non-denominational thanksgiving service at the Durbar venue conducted by participating Christian Churches.
Main activities close with riverside sporting activities at Kpomkpo-panya featuring.
1.Tug of peace competition among the women of the Associations.
2.A canoe race The festival games are usually sponsored by various companies.
After Monday sports, the festival opens into free activities of Dances Beach Party, Excursions on the river Volta, Football Competition, Music cordial greetings, family meetings and departures.