Ghana| August 29|Official Dates and Activities of the 2022 Oguaa Fetu Festival Out
SATURDAY, 27th August:
General Clean-up exercise 6:00 am
– Connect Masqueraders Soccer Fiesta at Zion Park 12:00 pm
SUNDAY, 28th August:
– Oguaaman Health Walk 5 am
– Launch of Oguaaman Film Project 6:30 pm
– Pepratem Mberantsehen Nana Orkortor Perry Procession 9:00pm
MONDAY, 29th August:
– Akoms Night at Nana Fosu Shrine 5:00 pm
TUESDAY, 30th August:
– Lifting of ban on Fishing in the Fosu lagoon and Regatta/Bakatue 12:00 pm
WEDNESDAY, 31st August:
– Youth Colloquium
THURSDAY, 1st September:
– 2nd Akoms Night at Nana Pepratem Shrine
– Fetu Afahye Mask Party at Ridge Royal Hotel 9:00pm
– Tales Afahye Snooker Competition at Whispers Pub 7:00pm
FRIDAY, 2nd September:
– Mass for Nananom at Christ Church Anglican 6:30am
– Oman Purification at Pepratem Shrine 9:00am
– Nananom Gathering at Emintsimadze 2:00pm
– Orange Friday 3:00pm
– Hydout Party at Whispers Pub
– FETU Beer Festival at Pempamsie Hotel 6:00pm
SATURDAY, 3rd September:
– Fetu Afahye Procession of the Chiefs from Mfantsipim School Junction to Victoria Park 9:00 am
– Grand Durbar of Chiefs and people of Oguaa at the Victoria Park 2:00 pm
– Fetu Beer Festival at Pempamsie Hotel 6:00 pm
– Bonyo Concert at London bridge 9:00 pm
– Street Carnival at Whispers Pub 7 pm
– Miss FETU AFAHYE at DC Glitz hotel 8:00pm
SUNDAY, 4th September:
– Afahye Inter-denominational church Service at Victoria Park 9:00am
– Gold Coast Special at Whispers Pub 7:00pm
About the Festival
Oguaa Fetu Afahye is a festival celebrated on the first Saturday of September by the people of Oguaa or Cape Coast Traditional Area.
It is named after the 17thCentury Fetu or Effutu kingdom located some 19 kilometres inland of Paramount chief’s yam festival and is observed in the form of offering mashed yams to the gods.
According to tradition, a plague once ravaged the Oguaa community. Cape Coast was thus founded as a fishing community by a man, Oguaa who gave his name to the place.
Such was the devastating effect of the plague that the people called on their gods before the plague stopped and the land was cleansed. The word fetu is a contraction of ‘efin tu’ in the local dialect which means clearing the dirt.
Oguaa Fetu Afahye festival is, therefore, a commemoration of that purification which saved the land from the plague and a show of gratitude to the 77 gods of the Oguaa Traditional Area.
Before the start of the Fetu Afahye celebrations, the Omanhene (paramount chief of the Oguaa) spends a week in confinement to confer with the gods. A ban is placed on drumming, dancing, noise-making and merriment within the municipality, while fishing in the Fosu Lagoon is forbidden at this period.
A cleansing ritual is offered at the lagoon by the Amissafo (guardians of the lagoon) for the gods to ward off bad omen, while also entreating for abundance of fish and bumper harvest of food crop.
A day is set aside for general cleaning of the environment. This day is known as Amuntumadeze (Health Day) and all the people tidy and spruce up the community.
On the last Monday in August, the festival proper starts as the people observe a vigil at the Fosu Lagoon where the priests and priestesses invoke the gods with drumming and dancing through the night which attracts a large crowds mainly the youth and tourists. Ritual activities continue the following day at the Fosu shrine, followed by a regatta on the lagoon after libation is offered by the Omanhene.
This ceremony involves cutting through the sand bar separating the Fosu lagoon and the sea to allow the lagoon access to the sea presumably to bring more fish into the lagoon.
As part of the event, the Omanhene (Paramount chief) pours libation to the deity, Nana Fosu.
The Omanhene then officially opens the lagoon by casting his net thrice into the waters this is to signify the lifting of the ban on lagoon fishing.
If his net catches a lot of fish, it is seen as a sign of a bumper harvest in the coming year. Once this is done, the lagoon is open to the public to fish in.
Muskets are fired into the air as the celebrations kick off with dancing, drumming and merrymaking around the community.
Wednesday is usually reserved for welcoming the natives who have travelled down to attend the festival, while socialization, conflict resolution and merrymaking continue. Another vigil takes place on Thursday night, this time at Nana Paprat Shrine with rituals and dancing (Adammba). It continues to the next day when a bull is slaughtered by the Omanhene for purification, after addressing the people.
The grand day of the Fetu Afahye festival falls on the first Saturday in September as a procession takes place around the community with dancing and merrymaking. Fetu Afahye marks the beginning of a new year for the Oguaa people of Cape Coast. The festival closes with an interdenominational service at Chapel Square.