The 18th Celebration of the Emancipation Day was launched in Cape Coast with a call on Ghanaians especially the youth, to hold in high esteem the nation’s cultural and traditional values. The colourful event, which drew chiefs, Africans from the Diaspora, government officials, Tourism and Creative Arts practitioners, Actors Guild, Tourism Trade Association, Senior High School students in the Cape Coast and study group from Atimpoku to the Centre for National Culture premises in Cape Coast, was on the theme: “Our Heritage, Our Strength,” with the sub- theme: “Empowering Our Youth through Pan African Culture.” The host for the program was Mrs. Elizabeth Agyari, minister of tourism, culture& Creative Arts and she urged the youth that the 2016 Emancipation Day Celebration focuses attention on the youth who are the future leaders. “In the spirit of Pan-Africanism, we are entreating all people of Africa descent, especially the youth to participate in this year’s celebration, come together and strengthen the bond of solidarity, and remember that unity is vital to the economic, social, and political progress of the people of African descent. “We should also remember that African people, both on the continent and in the Diaspora, share not only a common history, but a common destiny. “We are therefore extending an invitation to students of junior and senior high schools, tertiary institutions, members of the Tourism Society of Ghana and other tourism and youth groups, tourism trade associations, our brothers and sisters from the Diaspora, the Cape Coast Community, indeed all and sundry to participate in the 2016 Emancipation Day Celebration,”
Born Again Afrikan Study Group also joined the celebration by sponsoring the transportation and food of people from Atimpoku /Eastern region to cape coast to participate in such an education program, the group included students from Lisa Darwood a private school in akosombo , frank Owusu Kojo Asiamah a radio personality at asuogyaman fm ,workers of Born Again African Ghana Soul food , diasporas living in Akosombo and other stakeholder in Atimpoku joined Dr. Maulana’s Ministry of the Future group to embark on the journey.
Speaking at the program was the guest speaker for the Emancipation day 2016; H.E. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola the Executive Governor of the state of Osun, Nigeria said. Ghana joined in the celebration of Emancipation Day in 1998 as an annual event for recollecting the horrors of the slave trade and honouring those who worked hard to overcome the challenges. Accompanied by an array of African drums, Traditional dancers in Cape Coast who performed at the palava hall displayed a rich African cultural dance with their skilful steps and movements to the admiration of the invited guests and audience. The audience who could not resist the rhythms from the drums joined the dancers to exhibit their skills. Ghanaian based Afro-American OIADA Band in Cape Coast, also charmed the audience with a mix of songs and dances that symbolize African’s freedom.
The celebration commenced with wreath laying ceremonies on Thursday July 28, at the Du Bois Memorial Centre, George Padmore Research Library and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra.
There was a symposium at Palava Hall at Cape Coast where dr. Hamet Maulana an Egyptologist was also one of the guest speaker at the program spoke on a topic “ who are Ghanaians ?” .
After the Symposium at Cape Coast Castel, dr.Maulana and BAA led group also moved to Assin-Manso, which is also part of the Slave Corridor, and home to the Nnonko Nsuo, otherwise known as the Slave River, where the slaves had their bath before being shipped overseas, most people were sad when they got to the river and they were told the history .
Emancipation Day is celebrated in many former British colonies in the Caribbean and some areas of the United States to commemorate the emancipation of slaves of African descent. It is also observed in other areas in remembrance of the abolition of serfdom or other forms of servitude.
Source: FRANK OWUSU KOJO ASIAMAH