What would have been a major embarrassment for the powerful Awoamefia of Anlo State Togbe Sri III and his people was avoided when rain that had begun to fall very hard on guests seated at the Hogbetsotso 2019 festival was stopped in its track, eyewitnesses have told MyNewsGh.com.
Around the time the rains attempted to “show disrespect”, the guests who were seated included respected chiefs from all the 36 states of Anlo and its surrounding villages.
This included rulers and feared jujumen from Afiadenyigba, Klikor, Atiavi, Dzelukorpe, Dzodze, Shime, Avenor, Anyako, Agave, Dzita, Deʋegodo, Kome, Aflao, Tegbi, Vodza, Kedzi,Abor, Alakple, Tsito, Whuti, Afiadenygba, and even Nogokpo.
Also seated were former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama as well as National Security Minister, Mr Kan Dapaah, IGP James Oppong-Boanuh, and some Ambassadors of foreign missions.
Members of the audience who attempted to seek cover from the rain were warned to remain seated and watch proceedings as the rains is not a problem. Within seconds to a minute, the rain stopped falling at the festival grounds.
The rain however fell in the surrounding areas. As soon as the Hogbetsotso za durbar ended, the rains now fell non-stop to late into the night.
The festival is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in the month of November. The name of the festival is derived from the Ewe language and translates as, the festival of exodus or “coming from Hogbe (Notsie)”. The celebration of the festival was instituted about four decades ago.
About the Anlo people
The Anlo are a group of people from a tribe in the eastern coast of Ghana. Prior to their settling in their present location, they lived in Notsie, a town in present-day Togo. It is believed that they had migrated from southern Sudan to settle in Notsie. Oral tradition has it that they lived under a wicked king, Togbe Agorkoli, and in order to escape his tyrannical rule they had to create a hole in the mud wall that surrounded their town. They achieved this by instructing the women to pour all their waste water on one particular place in the wall. Over time the spot became soft, thereby allowing the townspeople to break through the wall and escape. Tradition also holds that, to avoid pursuit and make good their escape, they walked backwards with their faces towards the town so that their footprints appeared to be going into the town.
Religion in Anlo land
Traditionally the Anlo-Ewe have one supreme God Mawuga Kitikata or just Mawu. This god is believed to be all powerful and everywhere at once. There are no shrines or devotional ceremonies because of this omnipresent belief and instead the people practice religion through lower level divinities.
These include: Yewe, Afa, Eda, Nana, Mami Wata, etc. The first two being the most popular, each having a membership initiation process to worship.
Yewe is the god of thunder and lightning.