“Afi o Afi!”- Happy New Year!
Today in my family home in Osu, Accra, they are celebrating the start of a New Year after a successful harvest… The Homowo festival!
As my father is from Osu, traditionally I celebrate Homowo in this part of Accra. However this is a celebration of gratitude and sharing food so everyone’s doors are opened welcoming guests to join in the feast. I always head to my Grandmother’s side of Accra; James Town and Kole Gono, to sample the kpekple (the traditional food made from maize) served with generous helpings of palm soup with fish, in different relatives houses.
This song by Nat Brew will be playing through the sound systems for sure! Unfortunately, this year I am not in Ghana to experience my favourite festival. One that carries so much meaning to me. But I can still dance to this song and thank my ancestors for going through their trials and tribulations to arrive at the land they finally settled in, Greater Accra… Ghana. I’m so thankful that their strength has been passed down onto me, as I’m now on my own personal journey in Haiti.
“We’re come from far” indeed! Here’s my history in a song! Thank you Nat Brew for this song. It gets me on my feet every time!
An extract about Homowo from Reverend Peter E. Adotey Addo:
THE HOMOWO FESTIVAL
The word “Homowo” actually means ‘making fun of hunger.” Our traditional oral history describes a time long ago when the rains stopped and the sea closed its gates. A deadly famine spread throughout the southern Accra Plains, the home of the Ga people. When the harvest finally arrived and food became plentiful, the people were so happy that they celebrated with a festival that ridiculed hunger.
The Homowo festival starts with the planting of crops before the May rainy season and continues through August. The actual time for the August celebration is determined by the Chief Priests after they consult with the Lagoon Oracles.
Sometime in June there is a total ban on noise throughout the State, and fishing is limited to certain days. In early August the celebrations begin with a special Yam festival in honor of the Spirits, the eternal protectors of the Ga people.
For the full article please check out the website:
God’s remembrance… Remembering where we are from…
I’ll end with a statement from a very dear friend about his experience of the Homowo festival. Cássio Eduardo Rodgriges Serafim is a Brazilian living and working in Ghana. He is the Portuguese language professor at Ghana Institute of Languages (GIL). I met him in 2010 and he has since become not only a supporter of my “Tabom” afro-brazilian heritage research, but a true friend. He leaves his post this academic year to head back to Brazil. Cássio you will be dearly missed by myself, your students and the Tabom community. Thank you for your contribution!
“I do like the Ga Festival. I first witnessed the Homowo in 2010, and I was looking forward to seeing it before leaving Ghana. Through Homowo, I can see some similarities between Ghana and Brazil..