'Wake-keeping'—a vigil kept over a corpse the night before burial—has been completely banned in the capital of Adansi-Akrofuom District of the Ashanti Region.
The traditional council, led by its regent Nana Annin Agyekum II, announced the ban last Friday during the celebration of Bona Festival aimed at saving female schoolchildren from getting pregnant.
According to the chief, sex, alcohol, drug abuse and promiscuity had become easy escapes for young people in the community because of 'wake-keeping' which provides them the opportunity to mill around on the streets in the night.
Speaking to the media on the sideline of the festival celebration, Nana Agyekum disclosed that teenage pregnancy had become a pernicious problem in the traditional area, where young girls hoping to escape poverty become easy prey for illegal miners popularly known as “galamseyers”.
In the Ashanti Region, 'wake-keeping' has become a way to gather to give condolences and lend moral support to a bereaved family, but the Adansi Akrofuom traditional leaders believe this has become a monster, destroying the lives of young girls in the community.
The regent said girls, as young as 12 years old, were getting pregnant in each passing month, while others engage in other forms of social vices at the detriment of their future. He, therefore, called for support from the traditional authority to nib the development in the bud.
He explained that the Bona Festival held annually is intended to rally the people together, raise funds for the development of the community and fight all forms of social vices.
The Akrofuomhemaa, Nana Abena Durowaa, on her part, said the traditional authority would team up with the district education directorate and the assembly to enforce the ban as teenage pregnancy was not only a community problem, but also a national one.
She appealed to parents to consistently keep an eye on their wards for them not to fall prey to drug and alcohol abuse, and teenage pregnancy.