The chiefs and people of the Asogli State in the Ho Municipality of the Volta Region have ushered in the 2022 edition of the Te Za (Yam Festival), with a hike on the Adaklu Mountain.
The hiking expedition was the first activity of the Te Za after the festival was suspended for 3 years due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Thousands, including residents and revelers, thronged the town of Adaklu Tsrefe to participate in the hike as well as make merry with friends and families.
One would spend about an hour and a half, on the average, hiking to the peak of Adaklu Mountain, which measures 580 meters above sea level.
The leader of the Adaklu Mountain Tour Guides, Sammy, expressed excitement about the event; adding that it had already created jobs for some few youth who have been recruited to help tourists climb the mountain with ease, and ensure their safety.
“We woke up at about 4 am and have since been working till now. I think about 2,000 people attempted climbing the mountain, but not all of them made it up to the peak”, he said in an interview at sunset.
Adzasu Mawunyo, who was able to climb to the peak explained how excited he was “conquering the mountain” once more after 10 years.
“It was a bit stressful, but because I wanted to make it to the top, I persevered and achieved my goal.
I used an hour and a half to reach the top. My thighs and entire legs are hurting. But it’s a good feeling, a good form of exercise for the body,” he said.
His friend Michael gave up halfway through the journey.
“I was only able to make about half of the journey. Climbing the mountain was stressful so I returned”, he detailed.
There were fun parks at the two locations for those who climbed to rest and replenish their energy.
Volta’s DJ Karanja and DJ Cantona entertained patrons with some great music at the base of the Adaklu Mountain.
Ensembles also performed Borborbor, Kpanlogo and other traditional dances to the admiration of patrons, most of whom couldn’t help but join in the dance.
A food and drink bazaar was set up where various local delicacies were served.
“We saw the opportunity and decided to take advantage of it and make some sales. We are serving all types of drinks and ‘Joseph’ [cat meat] with gari.
Sales has been good but the festival needs a push from the government to make it one of the best in Africa”, said Winfred, an entrepreneur.
A resident of Ho, popular known as Chief Kowa, described the last three years as dull because the celebration of the Te Za was suspended.
“We are happy the 2022 festival is here and we are representing at Adaklu Mountain”, he exclaimed.
He suggested that some fun activities should be added to the hiking including paragliding, hence his appeal to investors “to turn their eyes to the Volta Region” where business opportunities abound.
An Asofofia (War Lord) of the Asogli State, Togbe Dzomatsi II, said the large number of people that participated in the first activity of the 2022 Te Za depicts how excited people are about the festival.
He said the Asogli Traditional Council seeks to use the festival to promote tourism in the enclave to enhance the social-economic development of the area.
“This mountain hiking is one of the ways to promote tourism in the area, letting people know that we also have sites that they can travel to see.
We have a big one coming up on the 2nd of September, which is the hailing of the new yam and nobody would want to miss that, it will be a marvelous sight to behold”, he cheerfully added.
Togbe Dzomatsi II invited revelers across the globe to visit Ho in August and September to witness the customs and traditions of the Asogli State as they celebrate the Te Za, in glamour and style.
He, however, cautioned miscreants who would want to perpetuate “vices or crimes” to rescind such decisions and not mar the celebrations.
Source: Fred Quame Asare (myjoyonline.com)