Thank You My Ghana Family

Traveling to Ghana I went there with an open mind and came back a transformed woman. Ghana is enriched with birth, life, and death in which are all celebrated joyously as a community. For most of my stay I lived in Anloga, a village located in Keta District of the Volta Region in southeast Ghana. It is a beautiful village filled with polite and giving people. Living there for three months changed my whole perspective on my life for the better surrounded by loving and caring individuals. Being an African-American woman living in the United States I knew what the dictionary definition of a community was, but never fully understood what a community really meant until I traveled to Africa. Anloga is a community where people knew who their neighbors were and had a family relation with them. They referred to one another as my brotha and my sista. Eating akple with okra stew at the table for lunch and ken key with fried fish and pepper for dinner filled my stomach daily. Ghanians are benevolent people who celebrate life everyday with their families. I celebrated life everyday until my return to the United States. I will never forget you all and all the wonderful stories we shared! Thank you Nii Quarcoopome, Grandma Hilaria, Sebastian Dayi, Tokalee, Milo Milo, Sista Epey, Michael, Charles, Power, Elder, Senna, Musah, Albert, & Martin just to name a few.
    
    “I’m happy to have Shenequa because I really believe in destiny, if it wasn’t for destiny she wouldn’t come to me.”- Grandma Hilaria.

 

"Kete" & "Kente" Cloth

I have read several African books about textiles and cloths made in Africa specifically in Ghana. The term kente cloth was always written in books so when I was being taught how to weave from my master weaver teacher, Sebastian Dayi, he corrected me along with his brother (Tokalee) about the term “kente” and “kete". They told me that "kente" is a term used by the Ashanti tribe who took the original term “kete" from the Anglo tribe. Ke means “to” Te means “beat”, which is the action in which you weave with the reed. Every cloth woven has a name which meaning derives from the technique or process used to make the cloth. These cloths are wore to celebratory functions such as out-doorings, weddings, and funerals throughout Africa.

 

Ghanaian Dishes

     Anloga’s (a village in southeast Ghana) primary occupation is farming and fishing so we had fresh fish from the sea and lagoon. The local dishes wouldn’t sit well in my stomach so I attended Lorneh Lodge for three weeks where I ate American dishes such as pasta, shrimp, rice, fried chicken, salad and coleslaw. At night Grandma Hilaria would have me eat a small amount of akple. The Ghanaian dishes I enjoyed were Waakye (rice and beans), Fufu (pounded cassava and plantain or pounded yam/cocoyam and plantain), Banku/Akple (cooked fermented corn dough and cassava dough), Kenkey (fermented corn and cassava dough, wrapped in corn or plantain leaves, and cooked into a consistent solid paste), and Gari (made from cassava). My favorite meal for lunch is Kenkey, fried fish, and pepper and for dinner Fufu with goat soup.

Hogbetsotso Za Festival

The Hogbetsotso festival is celebrated by the chiefs and people of Anloga in the Volta Region of Ghana. Celebrated annually on the first Saturday in the month of November. Hogbetsoso is in the Ewe language and means the festival of exodus or "coming from Hogbe". Started 4o years ago and this year marks the 50th year of celebrating.

Grandma Hilaria dressed me in traditional kete cloth which was wrapped around my body as a dress. The finest silk fabrics were tied on the my waist, chest, and hair. Aggri beads showered my neck, arms, and ankles. I was accompanied by my friends Michael and Inyam.