ANNOUNCEMENT

Worship with us @ Mountain of Fire Miracles Ministries, Budapest, Hungary Address: 1081 Bp II János Pál Pápa tér 2 (formerly Köztársaság tér) Direction: From Blaha, take tram 28, 28A, 37, 37A, 62...1 stop. From the traffic light cross to the other side... Or take Metro 4 & get off @ János Pál Pápa tér
Time of worship: Wednesdays @ 18:30 hr Sundays @ 10:30 hr
Tel: +36 203819155 or +36 202016005

God bless


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

COMMENTARY


 Traditional deities in clash with development projects
By Kofi Akosa-Sarpong
Mayor Samuel Sarpong
In Ghana/Africa, some development projects could be difficult to discharge against rigid traditional beliefs. In some places, such as Kumasi, capital of the Asante Region and Ghana’s second largest city, traditional beliefs clash with development projects.
Taxi drivers, whose illegal parking lots are being reclaimed for re-developed into modern markets by the Kumasi Municipal Assembly (KMA) has resorted to the invocation of traditional river deities, such as the much feared goddess, Antoa Nyama, to strike the KMA mayor Samuel Sarpong to death. 
As an Asante growing up in traditional settings in Kumasi, the invocations of Antoa Nyama normally send tremor and awe.  A person cursed with Antoa Nyama lives in perpetual apprehension, until he or she counters it with his or her version of the story to the deity. The belief is that, the river deity can strike you dead instantly or make life miserable for you.
Even in Mayor Samuel Sarpong one can sense some anxiety from the Antoa Nyama curses heaved on him.
You don’t have to be traditional metaphysician to analyse Mayor Samuel Sarpong: “The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly says it is undeterred by the invocation of curses on its officials by transport operators over construction works at the Kejetia Lorry Terminal … I am staunch Christian well covered by the blood of Jesus Christ therefore the invocation of river gods and other deities to hurt my life will fail,” said Mayor Samuel Sarpong, revealing certain waves of spiritual insecurity and fear. “I have done no wrong, so the invocation of the deities against me will not work.”
Mayor Samuel Sarpong is an Asante and have been socialised into the Antoa Nyama belief, as part of the Asante cosmology. No doubt, despite being older with university education and supposedly sophisticated, Mayor Samuel Sarpong still exudes certain degree of fear of the river deity. “I am staunch Christian well covered by the blood of Jesus Christ therefore the invocation of river gods and other deities to hurt my life will fail.”
Yes, but in this contest, Mayor Samuel Sarpong could, traditionally, counter the taxi drivers’ curse by praying to Antoa Nyama to either mediate or ignore the taxi drivers’ oath by telling the deity that a modern market is to be constructed and that the taxi drivers were using the disputed lots illegally.
And how would Antoa Nyama decide? Strike Mayor Samuel Sarpong to death and let the taxi drivers stay at the disputed lot or dismiss the taxi drivers’ jinx and let the construction of modern market take its course.
The taxi drivers’ use of traditional deities isn’t characteristics of all Asantes. Perhaps the taxi drivers didn’t get enough information about the market projects or they weren’t involved in discussing the projects. Not all Asantes invoke river deities as curses to impede development projects.
Like anywhere in the world, some development projects could cause protests from varying reasons but that doesn’t mean those involved in the project should be threatened either spiritually or physically. The most civilised action by the taxi drivers is suing the Kumasi Municipal Assembly on the issue so that they could decide on the outcome. And not throw curses and threats of death which larger consequences nobody knows.
Like most on-going projects in the Asante Region, the massive Kumasi Sun City scheme, which construction is underway, didn’t incur the anger and traditional spiritual curses of the large traders who were operating at the site – the former Kumasi Race Course.
While some of the traders, who were relocated to a new site, belief in traditional river deities such as Antoa Nyama, they were able to balance the larger socio-economic outcomes to be generated by the Kumasi Sun City project – jobs for their folks, attracting international investors, boosting tourism, and the development of other socio-economic infrastructure - against their traditional spiritual believes to stop the Sun City project.
Freed from any attempts to summon any traditional river deity to strike the investors to death or put them in spiritual nervousness, the Kumasi Sun City project, a replica of the one in South Africa, when finished “will be a multi-purpose world class facility comprising a shopping mall, banks, insurance building, an amusement park and fitness centre, a five-star fully-equipped international clinic with an ambulance station and a helicopter pad.”
The Kumasi Sun City project “will also have doctors' bungalows and other ancillary staff quarters, a five-star hotel, 240 semi-detached executive houses within eight gated-communities of its own with each community having its own swimming pool and tennis court.”
If Ghanaians want development, some say “rapid development,” then why should a traditional deity asphyxiate the hard needed development projects? What does this say about the traditional deity? Is the traditional deity for progress or against progress? This is a development and traditional divinity dilemma in the African development context!
Like most deities the world over, Antoa Nyama could be entreated for progress and, at the same time, for retribution. But how this two attributes play into the taxi drivers and Mayor Samuel Sarpong mesh is a question development expects are to answer as Ghanaians/Africans progressively modernise and their culture increasingly enter their development processes.
The reality is that Antoa Nyama is two-faced: she could be prayed for progress and she could also be invoked for punishment.
How does development expects get involved in this Antoa Nyama-taxi drivers-Mayor Samuel Sarpong tangle in such a way that the constructive aspects of the traditional deity is made to outweigh its supposedly destruction parts for progress, so that modern markets or a Kumasi Sun City project could be undertaken without making trouble with the Ghanains’/Africans’ cosmology?
The answer lies in real dialogue in development planning in such a way that Ghanaian/African tradition is integrated deeply into the project planning. In Tradition, Culture And Development in Africa: Historical Lessons for Modern Development Planning (2006), Ambe J. Njoh, a professor in the Department of Government and International Affairs, University of South Florida, USA, argues that one of the reasons why Africa lags behind in development is the lack of African culture in Africans’ socio-economic planning, which is still driven by overly Euro-centric paradigms.
In the twists-and-turns between the taxi drivers, the traditional river deity and Mayor Samuel Sarpong, we get a sense of why Africa continues to lag behind all regions of the world on every indicators of development. The missing link is African culture in socio-economic development planning

Kofi Akosah-Sarpong,(BA,MJ,MA) wrote in from Ottawa, Canada

No comments:

Post a Comment

COPYRIGHT

COVER STORY

MY SMALL VOICE COLUMN

MY SMALL VOICE COLUMN
Odd jobs stacked against EU immigrants

COLUMN: MY SMALLVOICE

COLUMN: MY SMALLVOICE
TV2's false report about Nigerians in Hungary

MY SMALL VOICE

MY SMALL VOICE
Remembering a true prophet, Bob Marley...click on photo to read

MY SMALL VOICE

MY SMALL VOICE
Subsidising fraud & lies & blood...click on photo to read

MY SMALL VOICE:

MY SMALL VOICE:
Libya: The return of colonialist bondage.

Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in e.news. So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
Watch live streaming video from saharareporters at livestream.com

Gadget

This content isn't available over encrypted connections yet.

Popular Posts

Our Blog List