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'Sasadu' Festivalpdf print preview print preview
31/01/2009Page 1 of 1
 
‘SASADU’ FESTIVAL
              ….A unifying factor

By Raymond Kyekye


Festival will forever remain the unifying factor among people of the same ethnic affinity. They will remain occasions for merry-making, easing stress and the institution of development projects. Such was the atmosphere that prevailed at Sovie in the Kpando District of the Volta Region when the 2008 SASADU Festival was held recently.

Following the arrival of the chiefs and people from the various traditional areas, the durbar ground was thrown into a state of great jubilation and merry-making.

The soothing borborbor music accompanied with dancing and throwing of handkerchief was nice to behold. Very characteristic of them, each of the asafo groups tried to outdo the other in style and in speed at which they danced.

The inhabitants were dressed in colours for the various divisions. Very conspicuous in the centre of the durbar ground was a teenager on a tricycle, dressed in white shorts and shirt with a long flying tie, long socks, and a pair of black shoes to match. Simply to add beauty to the festivity. He could be seen covering the ceremony with the aid of his mobile phone.

The president of the Supreme Council of the 3008 SASADU Festival, Togbe Kofi Nyarku VIII, the Paramount Chief of Sovie Traditional Area, in his welcome address said, “One of the cardinal objectives of SASADU is to unite the people of Saviefe-Akrofu-Sovie and Alavanyo and to reaffirm our historical and solidarity to one another in all matters through the institutionalized annual rotational system of SASADU Festival”.

He noted that aside the fun and excited that it generates the festival also aims at uniting the people and for initiating development projects.

He said the Supreme Council of SASADU has therefore, encourage each community to initiate one development project.

As part of the celebration, a GH¢50,000 SASADU Development fund was launched to support the various community projects. He assured that the amount if realised, would be shared among the various communities for their projects.

Togbega Kofi Nyarku VIII praised the philanthropic spirit of Mamaga Akosua I, the paramount queen of SASADU, for initiating a number of development projects. Some of these include the provision of dormitory and classroom blocks, kitchen, toilets, baths and a flat. He said these projects were done in collaboration with the German Embassy and some non-governmental organisations.

“Mamaga is also complementing the efforts of the government by extending the school feeding programme for basic school pupils in Alavanyo for the next 10years,’’ he said.

Togbega Kofi Nyarku expressed his worry about a number of chieftaincy disputes in the
traditional area, adding that they only stagnate development.

Other speakers at the durbar were the District Chief Executive of Kpando, Mr. Puis Adanuty, the MP for North Dayi Constituency and the Minister designate for Women and Child’s Affairs, Ms Akua Sena Dansua.

Judging from the bond of love expressed, the joy that that gladdened many hearts, the sense of belonging, the ardent desire to cling to the history and culture of their forefathers coupled with the tremendous benefits being derived through the initiation of development projects, the SASADU festival will forever remain essential to the chiefs and people of the four traditional areas.

Togbega Tsedze Atakoro VII, Fiaga of Alavanyo, will play host to the 2009 SASADU festival.

SASADU festival is celebrated by the people of the same traditional areas, who are geographically dispersed in the Volta Region. They include Akrofu and Savife in the Ho municipality, Sovie in the Kpando District and Alavanyo in the Hohoe municipality.

The name SASA is the acronym of the four towns namely, Savife, Akrofu, Sovie and Alavanyo. SASADU literally stands for the union of these four traditional towns. These are the towns that are made up to nineteen in townships in the SASA areas. These towns came together to form the Saviefe-Akrofu-Sovie and Alavanyo Development Union.

SASA originally belonging to one family unit located at Sakome in Notsie, in the Republic of Togo, the ancestral home of the Ewes. During the great exodus of the Notsie, the people who were earlier called Saviwo left the walled city together with other groups of the Ewe people.

Saviwo traveled as one entity over many years under seven successive leaders to arrive at Akrofu. At Akrofu their then chief, Amega Xe died. So a group was tasked to settle at where he was buried. The main group came to settle at Saviefe. From here another group moved to settle at Sovie. This was followed by the last group which moved to Alavanyo.

The festival was aimed at renewing the traditional fraternity, affinity and love among the people. It was also to promote social activities, encourage educational activities and promote development and self-help activities and projects.

The SASADU symbol depicts a simple open heart which can be instantly erected on a farm or in the home for the purpose of cooking put superimposed. Four pieces or firewood placed under the pot, completes the symbol.

The first stone represents Akrofu Division- the first settlement of the people of SASADU. The second and third settlements at Saviefe and Sovie are represented by the second and third stones. Alavanyo, the fourth and the last place of settlement, is represented by the pot placed on top of the stones. The scene is thus set for the cooking of a typical meal consisting of education, civilization and development works. The fire also depicts unity, co-operation, self-help and mutual understanding.

The traditional areas are identified with specific colours namely; red, green, blue and white. Red is for the people of Akrofu, green for Saviefe, blue for Sovie and white for Alavanyo.

*Source:
           The Spectator                              page 22                               Saturday, January 31, 2009

 
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