Rituals were performed Tuesday at the banks of the Benya Lagoon to commence the week-long celebration of the “Edina Bakatue” Festival of the chiefs and people of Elmina.
The rituals were performed at the banks of lagoon, the main source of livelihood of fishing community.
Bakatue, celebrated annually to symbolically purify the town, is also to ask for assistance from the god of the lagoon and their ancestors for bumper harvests in the fishing seasons.
The Edinamanhen, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, presided over the ceremony, which attracted a large number of celebrants from across the country, Africa and the Diaspora, including government officials.
They witnessed the casting of net in the Lagoon to determine the kind of harvest in store for the season.
The Central Regional Minister, Mrs. Ama Benyiwa-Doe, commended the chiefs and people of Elmina for sustaining and promoting the tradition and culture of the area.
She stated that, “a people who have lost their culture, have lost their future”, and advised Ghanaians to cherish their cultural heritage because culture and tradition are not idolatry as some believe.
The Minister underscored the importance of education and called on parents to prioritise the education of their children with good moral upbringing for them to be responsible adults and to stop indulging them in manual labour.
Mrs. Benyiwa-Doe also urged the youth to desist from negative practices such as cyber fraud (Sakawa) and stay in their areas to contribute their quota to their development.
They should not migrate to seek greener pasture in vain, she advised.
She encouraged the people to be truthful and diligent and also embrace peace and unity at all times to help foster the growth of the area, adding that, positive attitude towards visitors could attract investors into the area to boost their socio-economic status.
The Municipal Chief Executive of the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem, (KEEA) Mrs. Veronica Essuman Nelson, advised the people to endeavour to observe good sanitation practices and personal hygiene to avoid contracting preventable diseases.
The Member of Parliament for the area, Mr. Joseph Samuel Annan, pledged the government’s commitment to create more jobs for the youth soon.
An earlier colourful regatta by some canoe fishermen on the lagoon made the celebrants excited.