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People of Tema celebrate Kplejoo Festival


The people of Tema Saturday celebrated their annual Kplejoo Festival marked with splendour and colourful displays of singing, drumming and dancing by the Kple groups.

Kplejoo, which is a planting festival, is one of the two festivals celebrated by the people of Tema and precedes the Homowo celebrations.

The festival is the period for the planting of maize where a ban on drumming and noise-making is also enforced to allow for some calmness in the environment for the traditional leaders to reflect and consult the gods for protection and a bumper harvest.

The traditional Kple dance is a preserve of the traditional priests and priestesses who were required to perform within the confines of the shrine houses of the four main gods of Tema.

They stamp their feet rhythmically to the left and right three times, while gradually moving forward amidst singing to extol the gods and recall their protection and ancestral deeds.

The Kple festival is also used by the youth groupings who go to town dressed in uniforms and fanciful attires, waving their flags and singing songs composed to serve as a peer review mechanism.

This is used to praise those who engaged in good deeds over the traditional year while naming, shaming, and reprimanding unacceptable behaviours.

The singing and moving around by the teams are said to be done in memory of their forefathers for their sacrifices to the nation by vacating their ancestral village in the old Meridian area to make way for the construction of the harbour.

It is believed that in the process of moving, a man named Ashitey Kpɔjɛŋ from Yoryitsoshishi, led the people through chanting and dancing to ease their movement as there was no accessible transport to their new abode.

Nii Adjetey Agbo II, the Tema Mankralo, and the Acting President of the Tema Traditional Council, commended the teams for the display and songs composed to signify the happenings in the country.

He called on the Government and institutions to help provide employment opportunities for the youth of Tema, especially when their forefathers sacrificed their farmlands for the development of industries in the area.

“The way we have sacrificed, it is just fair that our youth get some jobs to do. Tema gives Ghana about 75 per cent of its revenues, but unfortunately, we don’t derive anything from it,” he said.

Mr Daniel Titus Glover, the Greater Accra Regional Minister designate, said he would promote the culture of the Ga-Dangme people by drawing attention to the festival to attract both local and international tourists.

Mr Yohane Amarh Ashitey, the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Tema East Parliamentary Candidate, expressed joy at the increase in the number of youth groups, which showed their understanding and acceptance of the festival.

He said the Assembly had put in place the Kplejoo Lectures and ‘lalakanemo’ (singing), to bring the festival closer to the people, especially for non-indigenes to appreciate it.

Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, the Member of Parliament for Tema East and National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate, said it was obvious that unemployment was a big issue in the town as it formed the theme for all the songs composed by the groups.

He said the 24-hour economy proposal by the NDC was the best solution to the huge unemployment situation in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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