The six weeks activity-packed twin event will culminate on 7th October 2023 with a grand durbar. Even though members of the planning committee remain tight-lipped on the guests for the grand durbar, sources reveal that highly revered traditional rulers, powerful government officials, respectable captains and a host of diplomats have accepted to grace the occasion.
The 2023 Asogli Te Zã took a dynamic turn as it is laden with activities to build capacity, sustain the environment, uphold traditions and culture, discover potential tourist sites, funfair among others.
The 2023 Te Zã coincides with the 20 years accession to the throne of His Royal Majesty Togbe Afede XIV as the overlord or Agbogbomefia of Asogli. In this regard, the traditional council and the 2023 festival planning committee under the chairmanship of Togbe Ayim Adzokoto II, the Paramount Chief of Takla II, have tailored activities to celebrate the son of the soil and the King of the people, whose reign has elevated the state and brought so much pride and progress to the Asogliawo, Volta and Ghana.
The past five weeks has witnessed activities that involved everyone fitting into one or the other. An elderly man in his mid-60s had this to say “this is the first time our festival had a programme for everyone. Togbe Ayim and his people have done well”. This year’s lineup of activities saw the return of pilgrimage to Notsei, the ancestral home of the Ewes.
Pilgrimage to Notsei: Embarking on a pilgrimage to one's ancestral home holds profound significance, as it allows individuals to reconnect with their roots, honour their heritage, and deepen their understanding of their cultural identity. Notsé holds great historical importance for the people of Asogli and the larger Ewe people, as it is believed to be the ancestral home of the Ewe ethnic group. History has it that the Ewes migrated from Notsé centuries ago, spreading across present-day Togo, Ghana, Benin, and parts of Nigeria.
Hiking and Exploration of Mount Galenkui and Adaklu: Mountain Galenkui is a stunning peak forming part of the Akwapim Togo Mountain Range and peaks about 1000ft above sea level. The mountain derived its name from the nickname given to one of the German colonial governors who administered the area. Volta Region was under German administration in the early 1930s. Galenku’s residence was on top of the mountain. Galenku was a bespectacled man, hence the mountain's nickname, ‘Galenkui’ (metal on the eyes). The exploration will start from the foot of the mountain through a path to Akoefe where a mini-durbar was organised at Akoefe.
The Adaklu Mountain, about two thousand (2,000) ft. above sea level, is about twelve (12) kilometres from Ho. It is an isolated mountain not connected to any other nearby mountain. There are about thirty-six communities surrounding the mountain. Tourists from far and near hike up the mountain regularly. During the annual expedition, various groups from Ho and Adaklu communities play games, perform traditional music, and dance to entertain the participants. The chiefs and people of Adaklu also hold a mini durbar in honour of Agbogbomefia and the other Chief from Asogli. The expedition aims to maintain close relations between the people of Asogli and their Adaklu neighbours and promote tourism and investment.
Summit of Ewe chiefs from Ghana, Togo and Benin: Togbe Afede XIV believes traditional leadership should address the people's basic needs and aspirations for better living standards rather than just being a display of expensive regalia. In recent years, it has been argued that traditional leadership has become irrelevant in modern times. To address this, a summit is being organised to unite Chiefs with a shared ancestry to protect the institution of chieftaincy and bring about transformation in their communities and countries. The summit aims to foster unity and love among all Ewe-speaking people, enabling them to work together to confront common enemies such as poverty, illiteracy, and disease.
The environment sustainability was salient throughout the period as planting of trees and flowers were done to help maintain the “Ho Oxygen City” drive. Plans are underway to launch Asogli State Environment Sustainability Fund (ASEFund).
The grand durbar's multifaceted spectacle will feature a colourful amalgamation of music, dance, costumes, and traditional rituals, all designed to reflect the rich cultural heritage of the people of Asogli State and the wider Ewe community.
The dignitaries, resplendent in their regal attire, will grace the occasion, adding an air of prestige and importance. As the rhythmic beats of traditional drums reverberated throughout the venue, dancers in vibrant costumes will take centre stage, mesmerising the audience with their graceful movements. Representatives from different ethnicities and communities are expected to proudly display their customs, fostering a sense of cultural exchange and appreciation. The event will be one that will serve as a vibrant tapestry, weaving together the threads of diverse traditions and bringing forth a rich colours and sounds.
According to Mr Stephen Tetteh, the secretary to the planning committee “extensive preparations have are in place to give a memorable durbar in honour of the king. It will also provide a platform to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments, what he stands for and the legacies of Togbe Afede XIV.