A dramatized history of Naa Gbewa, the forebear of the people of three great ethnic groupings in the Northern Region and Burkina Faso, the Dagombas, Mamprusis and Mosis, was premiered at the National Theatre last Saturday in Accra.
Using the Ghana Dance Ensemble, The Chaka Orleans Heritage Foundation was able to put together a wonderful performance, which was entertaining and educative. The drum appellation added an important appendage to the programme; the frequent applause said it all.
The Chaka Orleans Foundation is an NGO with an obsession for youth empowerment through documentation through Ghanaian history and beyond. The Naa Gbewa – the Northern Experience is the outcome of a six-year research into the origin and history of the Mole-Dagbani genealogical tree, with the legendary Naa Gbewa as the ancestor.
In the course of their work, the researchers travelled throughout the northern regions of Ghana, Burkina Faso and Togo to establish, as Roland Sumani Seini, aka Mandiaya, Founder/Project Manager, said ‘factual details about Naa Gbewa’s empire’, a history which he added spans from the 11th century to date.
For those who witnessed the premier, it was indeed a journey through the history of the many ethnic groupings in the northern regions and beyond. In Burkina Faso, all of them shared a common language with slight variations in diction.
Project manager said the event was organized in partnership with the Chale Wote Street Art Projkt, the National Theatre of Ghana and National Folklore Board.
Many dignitaries in attendance were the Deputy Minister Alhaji Dr. Ziblim, Carl Ampah UNESCO, Alejandro Siqueiros and Ms Patricia Siqueiros, Mexican Embassy, and Amy Appiah Frimpong, National Theatre of Ghana.
The rest were Dr Obadele Kambon of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon; Panelist, Dr Abdul Majeed Haroun – CEO Northern Development Authority; Dr. Adwoa Birgit Nuro-Panin, MWACP (Psychiatry); Dr Abdulai Mobson, President Dagbon Forum; and Mantse Aryeequaye Director/Founder Chale Wote Street Art Projkt.
A former Ghana envoy to Turkey and an authority on Dagbon history, Alhaji Ibrahim Abass, came all the way to Accra from Tamale for the premier.