Dear Corporate Ghana, there are about 26 traditional festivals in these 3 regions

Originally published at 2:03 AM on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, by Atigsi Badek

Corporate Ghana neglects the 3 regions of Northern Ghana

A few months ago, a man from Bole became president of Ghana; I was busy hunting rabbits around the Ada-kuruk hills located in Sandema a town in the Upper East region. The circumstances that led to this Bole-boy becoming president though very sad was hailed as a gift from God by many across northern Ghana comprising the northern region, upper east region and the upper west region.

Yes, it may have been a gift, but my question was/is, why must a Bole boy come to power before attention goes to the “ntafuo”? Is it that they are insignificant in the eyes of policymakers or their contribution to the national GDP is so little they have to be served the crumbs?

In trying to flee from slavery, the King of Mamprugu in the 1700s charged his people to build a wall to safeguard them from capture

BAM I shouldn’t go there, right? Ok…I won’t. On a daily basis, I see competitions on TV, I see various forms of entertainment shows, I see cultural displays based on festivals, I have seen several documentaries on culture (southern culture), I see initiatives by celebrities, I hear a lot about people wanting to change/affect society positively, and I keep asking to myself; how do they achieve these things?

Who pays for all these adverts, TV shows, festival coverage and the various initiatives by our Ghanaian celebrities? Someone may see me as assuming an ethnocentric posture, to some extent I will say yes but it is not to suggest that I abhor any cultures.

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I just seek to understand why people of the 3 regions of the northern part of Ghana are left behind when it comes to sponsoring events and most other things that can affect the social change we all seem to crave. Most of the big co-operations that actively participate in the celebrations and social interventions initiated to the benefit of southern Ghana operate in the 3 northern regions, so why don’t they take our activities seriously?

From the telecommunication companies to the beverage/beer companies; all have clients and patrons over there, so why the reluctance to sponsor events there; could it be because they do not value the amount of revenue generated in these areas and thus do not recognize a need to intervene through their co-operate responsibility initiatives to make the people in these areas beneficiaries of their charitable works? Could it be because there are no indigenous companies to battle for the market with them in these areas?

There are about 26 traditional festivals in these 3 regions; Are they not worth publicizing or are they not worthy of being associated with any co-operation/s? My interactions with various people who have tried to get a form of sponsorship for activities they initiate around these festivals to suggest seemingly no interest from co-operate Ghana.

As a people with will all agree to the importance of retaining our culture whilst using it to effect that social change we so desire and also the importance of cultural activities intertwined with various activities/initiatives to bridge that developmental lapse between the south and the north of Ghana.

We claim diversity regarding the culture of the various people of Ghana, so why the constant neglect of certain cultural exhibitions? Is our media so unlearned to the effect that everything in Ghana is limited to the south? Is the only news from Northern Ghana conflict or natural disasters?

I can ask more and more questions but the reality is that anytime a person from those regions tries to make an issue of neglect they are referred to as being tribalistic. My personal experience may have informed this article but that can’t take away the truth in my case. Asking for sponsorship from co-operate Ghana in these areas is like trying to find a grain of guinea corn in the desert sands. You are either met with incomprehensible excuses or thrown out with utter disdain.

The worse offenders are the various marketing personnel of these companies that hail from the 3 regions. I do acknowledge the roles of individuals of southern descend who push for the recognizing of their cultures through the various media platforms and activities surrounding their cultural celebrations. But can that be said about the rich from the 3 regions in the north of Ghana?

An emphatic NO is the answer response to my own question. The rich only flaunt wealth when their political ambitions mature. It’s a pity that we call Ghana a country with so many diverse cultures yet prominence is given to only the cultures of southern Ghana.

We even see pageants and many events categorizing the 3 regions into one zone. A critical look at the TV and media, in general, is proof that the 3 regions are not significant when talking about events/culture. What could we be doing wrong? Could we be second-class citizens of our beloved Ghana?

Maybe that time has come for a sectarian attitude to be endorsed (a thing I forbid), maybe its time for a TV station to pop up only for these regions, maybe its time for a communication company to pop up for these regions, maybe its time for northern Ghana to start its own breweries and textile companies. Maybe it’s time for people in these regions to abandon the patronage of these co-operations that disregard our loyalty.

My challenge (as insignificant as it may seem) to co-operate Ghana, the media and celebrities are to prove me wrong. It’s October and many events are being planned, many festivals are going to take place, if I am wrong about their neglect, then they should involve themselves in these activities.

I will even help by telling them the various festivals that will take place between now and the end of December. Boaram will be celebrated in Bongo and Teng-zug, Daa in Boari, Kobine & Sabre in Lawra, Samanpiid in Bawku, Fao in the Kasena Nankani area, Kakube in Nandom and Feok in the Builsa traditional area. It is not my intention to whip up ethnic sentiments regarding the operations of co-operate Ghana and the media but to draw the attention of co-operate Ghana to the fact that their operational area is beyond the south of Ghana.

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