Day 1 – Lets Go
For this years Earthstrong Celebrations I decided to go to the Asante region – because of limited travel movements as the Ghana boarders are still closed. Flying via Africa World Airlines only took 30mins which was a privilege as I usually travel via road enduring 4-5 hours in a bus. It was not long until I settled into my new home for the next 4 days – The Asantewa Premier Guest House in Fumesua.
Day 2 – Earthdate
Due to a long morning rest I almost missed breakfast. As my friend was still at work I was escorted around town by his nephew Kofi. I remember in 2008 visiting the Kejetia market known as the largest single market in West Africa. However the market has now become an indoor open shopping space. Not completely finished as the food sellers still lined the streets. I gifted myself a pair of Ohiniba sandals. In the evening I met with friends Daniel, Bro Earl and Sister Ayo to chop local Ghanaian dishes at Ikes Cafe and Grill located in the National Cultural Centre – which I have dined here several times.
DAY 3 – Relax
Today decided to relax as headed in the afternoon to Rattray Park for some nature and chill time. Rattray Park is the recreational facility established by the KMA and jointly commissioned by former President John Mahama and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in 2015. Opens daily and consists of paved walkways, fauna, artificial lake, children’s playground, fountain, outdoor gym, open green space, cafeteria with swimming pool.
Day 4 – Earthstorng – Oto/Eto
Although my Earthstorng is 19th June, I was born on a Sunday. So as part of the Ga tradition every year on the first Sunday nearest my birthdate it is customary for me to celebrate with eating Oto. Oto is a sacred dish that consists of the preparation of boiled yam mashed and some with added palm oil. Accompanied with hard boiled eggs. It is also eaten at special occasions: for a bride’s breakfast, ancestor offerings, naming ceremony, post birth purification, puberty rites ceremony, twin festivals, harvest. On this occasion we added grinded onion and pepper to the boiled yam.
Firstly we fed the Ancestors and thereafter paraded around the compound followed by young children singing happy birthday. Then time for chopping which I shared with Mum (Mrs Antwi). We even happily drank palm wine.
Day 5: Return
My flight wasn’t until 4:20pm so I had another chilled day – breakfast, listening to music videos, chillin on the verandah and taking in the scenery until 3pm before departing to the airport. One of my highlights of the trip was being draped with woven Adinkra stamped cloth and parading the compound like a Queen Mother.
Despite not being able to travel out of Ghana and most of tourist sites closed, I had a really great time in Kumasi. Plan to return in the near future to discover and learn more about the history of the Asante Kingdom.
Check our IG posts which contains more info about my Asante discovery and Earthstrong blessings.
bless Sister E (Naa Dzamah)