Tamale the capital of the Northern region in Ghana is well worth exploring. I had 7 days of hustle and bustle with calmness of riding through the streets on a yellow yellow (public transport cart) – pure bliss. Including re-connecting with the Shea butter farm cooperative, adventuring through Mole national park, celebrating Winnie Earthday, radio interviews, historical sites, great food and relaxation. Tamale is only 1 hour by flight but about 13 hours by road from Accra. The Northern region recently split into 3 regions – to include Oti and Savannah.
After catching up with our wonderful host Fadila (founder of Tiyumba Hope Foundation)we had a restful evening. The next day we visited the Cultural Centre to meet up with Clemy from USA, who now resides in Tamale. We browsed through several craft stalls but were all drawn to the Bolga Hat or Kinkanhe Hat. It was the right accessory for sun blocking and posing. The Bolga hat is made by skilled weavers from Bolgatanga. Using kinkanhe or grass found near waterholes, then harvested, soaked in water and twisted together to increase durability. It takes about 2 days to make a hat.
We were invited to radio interviews set up by Fadila, were we shared our thoughts about period poverty and youth needs. Hosted by Diamond 93.7fm radio and Tawasul radio 95.7
Earthday Celebrations: On Winnies birthday we visited an orphanage were she donated sanitary wear to some of the girls. In the evening we chilled out at Oasis with fish and chips and cool drinks. The owner was actually from UK who was grateful to return to his home town and start a restaurant business with his wife.
A traditional African village of huts normally arranged in a circle enclosed by a fence are called Kraal buildings made from mud and natural resources (or commonly known as mud huts). The thatched roof is made of straw in a conical shape. This is an important family structure dating back centuries, built to last, low maintenance and economical. Many show signs of erosion due to climate change, heavy rain that has led to more common structures made out of cement and concrete blocks being built.
You can’t go to Tamale without visiting a Shea nut farm. It was a coincidence that Fadila led us to Sagnarigu. This bought back so many memories of exporting Shea butter from here to UK since 2009. The women work hard to ensure the Shea butter is made traditionally to bring out the best quality for usage as moisturiser or in cooking.
After a few hours’ drive west of Tamale to the Savannah Region, we arrived in a town called Larabanga known for the historical Larabanga Mosque and Mystic Stone. I have always wanted to see and hear about the site based on how it looks in pictures. Although the story was very intriguing I was not overwhelmed as I thought I would feel.
The highlight of the trip was taking an adventure tour in the wild forest called Mole National Park. Travelling via open jeep seeing elephants, deers, hogs, buffalo, baboons, snake, lizards. Thereafter, chilled with some iced tea and light lunch at Zaina Lodge looking over spectacular views and reminiscing about the adventure.
The short trip to the Northern Region was well worth every minute and hour. I can’t wait to return to learn about the Dagomba culture.
Bless Sister E (Naa Dzamah)