BY CEDERIC AFEWU
THE MO Youth (Dega) Foundation in the Greater Accra Region has celebrated its 2017 annual Yam Festival with pomp and circumstance.
The Mo or Dega People of Ghana are found in the Northern and Brong Ahafo regions and they are divided by the Black Volta River, which also separates their two major towns that have paramount chiefs, New Longoro or Maantukwa in the Brong Ahafo Region and Bamboi in the Northern Region.
The entire Mo area used to be within the Ashanti Territory until the British colonial government created the Northern Territory in 1908 and used the Black Volta River as a boundary without due cognizance of the fact that one ethnic group had been divided into two territories.
In this year’s event, the fifth of its kind, citizens of the Mo land living within Accra and its environs in came together as a family re-union. It was all merry-making when celebrators, both young and old, danced the ‘Wodie’, a local Mo dance.
Chairman for the Mo/Dega Foundation, Kwasi Didi, popularly known as Kwasi Mo, noted that one of the major achievements of the festival was to foster unity among members in Accra.
Mr Didi stated that the celebrators had come from various Mo communities/towns in search of jobs or better condition of living in Accra and so there was the need for them to focus on why they came to Accra so that they could have a better condition of living that would enable them to contribute their quota to the development of their various home communities.
“We need to be more united and fight for our own development agenda. No outsider would do it for us. Outsiders would only come in to help us when they see us taking the initiative and when they see that we deserve to be supported. So as we are in Accra, we should remember the community we are coming from and contribute our quota to its development,” he said.
He therefore called on members to be law-abiding so that they could go about their work freely without fear of any arrest or litigation.
“If we abide by the laws of the land, live peacefully with our neighbours and also make God or Allah our centre-stage, we would have no problem with anybody.
“On the other hand, if we decide to indulge in some social vices and live very bad lives or allow bad people to influence us, we would certainly spend all our earnings and time on litigation,” the Chairman opined.
The Queen of the Mo Youth Foundation, Esther Donkor, underscored the importance of education in the country’s scheme of things and thereby urged the people to invest in education, saying “education is the best legacy we can give to our children”.
Mrs Donkor opined that education opens doors to everything in the world, and so challenged the youth to take their education very seriously because “we are now in an era when if you have no good educational background you are not valued in society.”
“Education has been the major facilitator and catalyst in the astonishing changes and transformation sweeping through the world today. The role of formal education in the liberation of the individual mind as well as economic dependence and in national development is therefore quite obvious.
Mrs Donkor, therefore, urged beneficiaries of the government’s free SHS programme to improve upon their academic work, saying that it was important for beneficiaries to justify the government’s investment in them.
The Yam Festival, which was first celebrated in 2013 in Accra, has indeed become one of the flagship events among the ‘Mos’ in Accra, and it seeks to bring together Mo people who have not been seen at their meetings for quite a long time.
It is also an avenue for creating awareness of a tradition being relayed to remind the youth of their root, especially those who rarely visit their hometowns.