My love and interest for Kente made me plan months ago to be at the 20th anniversary of the Agotime Agbamevorza also known as Kente Festival.This is a festival of the people of Agotime-Kpetoe in the Volta Region of Ghana. As the history was narrated, Nene Nuer Keteku III, Konor (Chief) of Agotime traditional area and Custodian of the Ewe Kente and his people , revived a domestic ritual – the purification of the weaving loom and accesories – into a traditional festival known Agbamevorza over 20 years ago.
As the event date drew closer, I had a few friends who were equally interested in attending. So on the eve of the event we set off to Ho, which is the Volta Regional capital. We chose Ho strategically. It is just 30 minutes drive or less from Agotime and the people of Ho were also gearing up for the Asogli Yam festival.
Leaving the busy capital of Accra and driving through the Eastern region exposed one to the beauty of nature, away from the artificial architecture that has taken over the capital. The greens, the hills and the cool breeze if for nothing at all gives one a therapeutic feeling.
Agotime itself was alive with colourful activities from Thursday through to Saturday when the grand Durbar was held. On Thursday, there was a Kente weaving competition. The target of the competition was to see who could come out first with quality work. The dexterity and alacrity of these local weavers were exhibited to the admiration of all. On Friday, almost the whole township travelled to a town in Togo for a Musketry ritual. Why Togo? It has become a norm for most Traditional areas in the Volta region to visit Togo as part of their Festivals; to commemorate their migration from Togo. Sadly enough, I couldn’t get to the destination of this activity. My travelling partners and I underestimated the distance because we were not given adequate information, something I think the organisers should work on next time.
The grand durbar was a sight to behold. Almost everyone I met was dressed in a particular kente cloth. There were thousands of kente designs to feed your eyes on. There was merry-making all over and to climax the festival, there was an amazing war-like display by the three warlords of the Agotime traditonal area after the durbar.
Hope Agbamevorza 2016 will be more fun and better. Kudos to the organisers and the people of Agotime-Kpetoe.
Watch a display by the warlords here.