On Thursday November 17 2016, the Manhyia Palace in an official press release signed by Kofi Badu, the chief of staff confirmed the passing of Nana Afia Kobi Serwa Ampem II, Asantehemaa and mother of His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Aside the little information given on the death of the Asantehemaa, the release also called for the ban on all funerals, drumming and noise making throughout Asanteman until after the funeral of the Asantehemaa in line with the Asante customs.
This directive seems not to have gone well with a number of young people who believe the custom is archaic and not relevant to current times when a lot of commercial activities would have to be halted. It also comes at a time when most political parties are busy engaging the electorates to solicit votes in the upcoming 2016 general elections.
It is important to note that, a lot of planned events towards the festive season have had to be cancelled. A clear example is Guru’a album launch which was to hold at the Bantama High Street on November 26 2016.
Another musical concert which was to be held in honour of veteran Ghanaian musician Daddy Lumba at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Saturday November 19 has also been called off. These are but a few, I can easily point out.
Although a school of thought believes the custom is archaic, another party believes customs define us as a people hence we must adhere.
In a post to find out what people thought on the development, I shared a post on Facebook and below are some of the viewpoints as expressed by some Ghanaians.
Radio presenter and entertainment critic Kwame Dadzie believes the custom is archaic and only stalls development.
He also suggests that some of the customs must be modified or discarded.
“It is an archaic practice that stalls development.
I believe it is about time our traditional authorities modified or discarded some of the customs and traditions that have outlived their usefulness on the people.
Could you imagine the number of businesses that will be lost during the period on the ban?, he quizzed.
Ghanaian hip musician Kojo Cue also shares this;
With varied opinions being shared, would this be the right time for our traditional institutions to perhaps educate us on why some practices do exist since many might (especially the youth) have simply ignored the relevance of such developments?
Have the traditional institutions failed or is the Ghanaian youth no more interested in the traditions and customs of old?