It was a day that confirmed a recurring theme that ran through interviews conducted by reporters of PramcitiTV, a community-based YouTube channel. The said theme was peace. It was not what was crafted to guide the process, but one that was on the lips of everyone, which even the elders acknowledged.
On the second day of the festival Naa Ayiku Ablade III, Senye or Stool Mother of Kley, one of the quarters in Prampram, said the success of the festival was partly because “those of us in leadership positions have resolved to work together.”
The decision to work together must have paid off, as for the first two celebrations, the attendance was impressive. The first celebration did not record impressive numbers like the second one, partly because of an impending curfew on that day. But the second one dedicated to the people was well attended. The streets were taken over by revelers, who partied right into the early hours of the next day.
Though the expectation was that the third and final one was going to be well attended, the numbers on the day overwhelmed everyone. The crowd in Lakple or the lower side of Prampram exceeded that of last year’s. People defied the cooking heat and milled to the ground as early as midday, though the event was anticipated to start three or so hours before that.
Once news went round that the procession of chiefs, queenmother, Asafoatsemei and Asafoayenmei and a retinue of clan elders had taken over from the upper side of the town, the numbers at the beach started picking by the minute. The various musical groups kept floating in and out. Attired in football jerseys, the groups were respectful to each other and even situations where they bumped into each other, the camaraderie was clear for everyone to see-and there were more happy faces in the crowd.
An important aspect of the festival, history says the final day is devoted to cleansing the town and its people. Right after the various rites had been finished by the Chief Priest Nii Aryertey Charway Labia, the drum is lowered into the ocean. Symbolically, it means every negative thing on the land had been washed away by the ocean. It is a sacred ritual which then paved the way for everyone to jump into the ocean and wash him or herself.
This year’s ceremony was streamed live on PramCitiTV. Some residents who spoke to the channel were full of praise for the cohesion they witnessed at the leadership level, and prayed same for the homowo in August.
“I am a happy man today,” said Dauda Martey, an ex-assemblyman and a prominent native of Prampram. “Our elders have shown leadership, they have shown that they listen to us the people and I am glad that for the first time in many years, we have celebrated Lalue Kpledo and almost everyone is excited.”
“Just look at the crowd here, isn’t it beautiful,” a middle-aged woman quizzed Alvin Nii Okine Kasabrofo aka DJ Soul, one of the prominent presenters on PramcitiTV. “I came all the way from the UK for this and I am very happy.”
Written by Nii Hayson Martey and Anny Osabutey