Ghana Month: Exclusive with the Queenmother of Larteh Kubease on Ghana’s cultural heritage
Ghana as an independent country is endowed with rich cultures cherished by its citizens and foreigners that visit the country on important occasions.
The desire to adopt foreign cultures has intoxicated some of the cultures that define the people of Ghana. The month of March which is recognized as Ghana Month is mostly used to create awareness of some of the beautiful Ghanaian cultures that must be valued, and embraced and the need to transfer such cultures to the next generation.
Culture as generally known is a way of life of a group of people referring to the way the people dress, eat(food), speak(language) and their beliefs, arts, and places which attract tourists.
The Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture and its partner agencies in July 2017 outdoors the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana” campaign with the aim to ignite the ‘’I am Ghanaian’’ spirit among Ghanaians living in Ghana and those overseas.
Today, on the #GhanaMonthDiaries, The Ghana Report speaks to Nana Otomo-Adwenpa Topra I, the Queen mother of Larteh Kubease in the Eastern Region on her thoughts concerning Ghanaian heritage that must never be neglected in any circumstances as the world is undergoing civilization.
Nana Otomo-Adwenpa Topra I- Larteh Kubease Queenmother
According to Nana Otomo-Adwenpa Topra I, she is really glad to be a Ghanaian looking at how peaceful and the way the country is blessed with rich culture. To her, the only country she will prefer over and over again when she is being asked would be Ghana, and will never be ashamed to speak about Ghana to her colleagues in other countries.
Speaking on why she prefers Ghana to other countries, the queen-mother based her reasons on the main items highlighted in the See Ghana, Wear Ghana, Eat Ghana, and Feel Ghana agenda.
“As Ghanaians, we have some important things that define us as Ghanaians and such things must never be overlooked in every society or any tribe. The most common things but in actual fact must not be visualized as common are our apparel, food, language, tourist sites, and little things we believe in, that were handed over by our ancestors and I am referring to myths and the supreme being we worship”, she noted.
Nana Otomo-Adwenpa Topra I speaking on the food and the people you can attribute that food to in Ghana said, ‘Kenkey’, now commonly known as Ga ‘Kenkey’ was at first eaten mostly by the Ga people and perhaps that is why people have now added the name of the tribe to the food.
“Kenkey is now not being enjoyed by only Ga people as it used to be. Now everyone including foreigners enjoys taking Ga Kenkey because we are one common people in Ghana and there is Fante ‘Kenkey'”, she added.
“Other foods that I can mention and the people who you can attribute that to is ‘Kokonte’ known as face the wall, ‘Akpele’ for those in the Volta Region, ‘Akyek3’ for the Nzema people, Tuo Zaafi for those in the Northern Region, Beans commonly known as ‘Gob3’ was food for those in the Volta Region but now being enjoyed by all tribes. There are many foods that the moment you mention people know where originated from Ghana and that is why I say we are blessed. The most interesting thing is that for all the food that I have mentioned, farmers here in Ghana are able to produce such food crops without any importation”.
Beans, red palm oil, gari, and plantain (Gob3)
Shifting her conversation on various foods in Ghana, she landed on the apparel that defines Ghanaians.
“In the olden days, Asante Kente, Northern smocks, and the Kente from the Volta Region were not all that common. Anyone you will see clothed in Kente was seen to be very wealthy and from a First Class family. Ordinary people couldn’t afford Kente some years ago but now, there are various colorful kente on the market, and very affordable also”.
“We used to wear outfits made from Dumas, GTP, or ATL material designs, and now that these clothes are very expensive. In the olden days, that was how they used to be very expensive. Most people couldn’t afford that also but we managed to purchase some for important occasions”
“This generation is blessed because you have different varieties of African prints and are very affordable from different manufacturing companies.”
Nana Otomo-Adwenpa Topra I advised the youth to inculcate the habit of wearing African print to important occasions.
The queen-mother spoke about tourist sites like Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Kakum National Park, Cape Coast Castle, Mole National Park, Wli Waterfalls, Labadi Beach, and other beautiful places that can be found in Ghana for relaxation and comfort.
Finally, Nana Otomo-Adwenpa Topra I entreated the good people of Ghana not to throw away the first thing which gives people an impression of whom they are, that is our ‘language’ because it is one of the very key aspects of Ghanaian culture.
“Yes, civilization is good but we shouldn’t copy blindly whiles we ignore our own culture. What defines us? It is only our culture that can show our originality” she concluded.
We thank God for Giving us such a queen of multiple Solomonise wisdom.
Nana well spoken,! May you live long on your throne.