Festival Of Masqueraders In Takoradi – FOMIT, Ghana.
In the south-western part of the nation, many are the events, activities and programs which are organized to bring about entertainment as well as socio-economic developments. Although, there are several traditional festivals which are celebrated across the length and breadth of the nation. It’s quite obvious the ‘Kundum’ which is connected to the tribe known as ‘Ahanta’ and ‘Nzema’ in the Western Region has lost its consistent patronage by the people of this setting, viz over the past couple of years, probably by virtue of modernity. However, most of the festivals are associated with certain dances, songs and dresses which create an atmosphere of fancy and ecstasy to lots of the people living within this region of the nation.
In the city at stake, particularly Takoradi which has continually become the hot-spot of various activities in terms of sport, music and other fields of Arts. In actual fact, one unique festival which has been in existence for about hundred years since its inception by far the oldest club which is known as ‘Anchors’ takes it root or foundation from a suburb in the city known as ‘Amanful’.The call of leadership is termed ‘Officer’ who often is in charge of most duties ranging from the sewing of the fancy dresses to the meeting which comes on weekends. Apparently, there is no age barrier or limit and trend with regard to who is to join whichever club of choice. For this reason, even babies or toddlers are some-times part of the on-the-road movement from one place to another.
In relation to the list of the club name, it includes ‘Tumus, Sunato, Justice, Crench, Millionaires, Holy, Cosmos, Valencia, USA, Sambot, just to mention but a few. More often than not, the masquerader clubs have peoples or friends living abroad and so they make provision of exotic masks, little bells and other attires which bring about certain differences among themselves. Although, some are virtually new ones on the day of events one can see that the number of registered members are few unlike the older clubs. In terms of location, one may think they ought to get offices so as to operate and communicate effectively with peoples of different classes and origins. Come to think of it, is there any club with social media pages?
In recent years, the association and sponsorship by a certain media organization within the Western Region has brought about a fiesta known as ‘West-Side Carnival’ which has made it possible to assemble majority of these masqueraders across the length and breadth of the region. During, this period brass-band of trumpets, percussions and other musical instruments makes it lively as they match from one end of the street to another. This becomes a contest to know which of the clubs has better dancing styles and antics to entertain participant or by-standers of the events .As a matter of fact, there are ‘MCs – Master of Ceremony’ who mention names of the clubs through the microphone via the public address systems displayed at the venue of the event.
In conclusion, on 24th December every year members of the masqueraders clubs get the sewn dresses which prepare them ahead of the Christmas celebration as it coincide with diverse activities they’re being invited to attend as a means to entertain people from all walks of life. Obviously, most of the masqueraders spend times of rehearsals in terms of different kinds of matches on the street coupled with the kind of songs which will suit their performances. Believe it or not, there are times some of the Masqueraders go from house to house in order to play drums to solicit funds for the purpose of managing their clubs. It’s also believed that they operate under the system of Non-governmental that’s why they get donor funding. Suffix it so say, festival of masqueraders in the city of Takoradi at the heart of the Western Region of the nation, Ghana is one cherished and adored festivity which bring people from different regions and all walks of life together. Sometimes, various Masquerader clubs celebrates till the end of year, thus annually.
Written By Ike Boat.