Is it Give Peace a Dance or Give Peace a Chance? Whatever way one reads it, the most important word that has meaning to Ghanaians at this period of our political discourse is PEACE. In an election time like these, PEACE is of essence to us. This is why a prayer that has the following words is relevant to us.
"We are one global family
All colors, All races
One world united.
We dance for peace and the healing of our planet Earth
Peace for all nations.
Peace for our communities.
And peace within ourselves.
As we join all dance floors across the world,
let us connect heart to heart.
Through our diversity we recognize Unity.
Through our compassion we recognize Peace.
Our love is the power to transform our world
Let us send it out
The above prayers are the exact words that were said by over 300 communities around the world to celebrate the Global Festival for Peace titled EARTHDANCE.
In Ghana,a significant number of community based organisations and other governmental institutions from the Central and the Ashanti regions have combined their resources to host this important global festivity on the 13th of September in their respective communities.
The communities are Mankessim, New Edubiase, Adansi-Akrofuom and Kumasi. Major sponsorship for the Earthdance 2008 events in Ghana came from the International Centre for African Culture & Arts office in the USA, the Percussive Arts Society and the OBAATANPA House of Hope International of the USA.
The Earthdance Mankessim event was incorporated into the Borborfantse Afahye (popularly referred to as Carnival in the West) events from the 11th-15th September. The climax of the festival was a grand durbar of chiefs and dignataries at the Kessemu School park on the 14th September and a beach jamboree at the Baafikrom the next day. The Omanhene, Osagyefo Amanfu Edu called on the government to recognise Mankessim as the traditional capital of the Fantses and as the main source of the municipal's revenue,and to extend development projects to the community. The queenmother, Nana Ama Aminsah, on her part, cautioned Ghanaian politicians not to corrupt the youths of today, and to turn around to blame the police service,office clerks,teachers and politicians of tomorrow. She said, when greedy and ambitious politicians bribe the youths during the campaign period,they are indirectly sowing an everlasting corruption seed in them. She said Ghana is tired of sweet talking politicians,and advised the people especially women to vote wisely. Other chiefs,queenmothers and other dignataries called for peace during the pre and post election period.
At Adansi Akrofuom, Mr. Maurice Jonas Woode, a presiding member of the Adansi South District Assembly who presided over the Earthdance Akrofuom event called on the people to give peace a chance during the elections. He and other guest speakers advised politicians not to intimidate opponents but to preach messages of tolerance and peace. Mrs. Ernestina Ofori, a businesswoman from Kumasi and a 1st Vice President of the Ghana Percussive Arts Society,on her part called on the people to maintain the peace in the community. She also took the opportunity to advice the people not to abandon some of their cultural values especially the musical heritage,she said, since a nation stays alive when its culture is alive.
At New Edubiase, the District Assembly, the N.C.C.E, the Centre for National Culture and the Ghana Percussive Arts Society hosted a joint Ghana Day of Percussion/Earthdance Edubiase event at the Edubiase market centre. Speaking at the event,Honourable Mr. Francis K. Dorpenyoh,the DCE called for peace in the community during the electioneering time. He cautioned the community that anyone who flouts the rules of the land would face the music. Mr. Willie Klutse, the NCCE Director and the 2nd Vice President of the Ghana Percussive Arts Society, also called on the people to turn up to vote massively during the December elections. He warned under-aged individuals not to fall prey to greedy politicians to vote for them for they will risk being collared. He said, anyone who goes against the law would be dealt with according to the law. The Owoaman Cultural Troupe,Tweapease Borborbor,Edubiase SDA and the Brass Band were the groups that entertained the audience.
In Kumasi, a businessman and enterpreneur based at Kwadaso,Alhaji Baba Ali who was the host for the Earthdance Kumasi called on moslems in the Kwadaso and the neibouring communities to vote massively during the elections. He also advised the youths not to be swayed by smooth talking politicians but to vote for candidates who can deliver.
According to the local hosts and the international sponsors of the Earthdance Ghana, they feel happy that at a time that Ghana is preparing to host a general elections, their combined efforts at bringing the community together is having a cummulative impact. They said, there could be no better time and opportunity to advice Ghanaians to embrace peace than through the global festival for peace.