It was a convivial, colourful and remarkable celebration of Ghana’s six decades plus three years of liberation from British colonial rule.
It’s a ceremony that once again demonstrated that despite the embracement of some elements of foreign culture, Ghanaians place much value on their tradition heritage and are more than determined to hang on to it in the face of modernity and westernization.
If you thought the viral kente picture from the traditional ceremony of Kency2020 was the biggest and richest assembly of the historic Kente cloth then you will have a re-think if you see the eye-catching photo of royals clad in their kente cloth at the VIP stand of the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
So beautiful was the apparel that the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago who was the Guest of Honour of the event could not resist the attempt to fly one over his shoulders like a typical Akan man.
Attendance was great. The Baba Yara Sports Stadium, the nation’s biggest sports centre with a sitting capacity of 45,000 was filled to the brim and security officials reportedly had to deny people entry.
So huge was the number that management of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, a club that claims to have a followership over 8million will question why their club who is one of the many embodiments of Ashanti supremacy has failed to pull a crowd of that size to their matches this season.
The display by the Army was amazing. If you had reservations about the power of Ghana’s defense forces then performance by the Armed Forces Training School and the Airforce will fill you with a new sense of hope.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the wise one, the King Solomon of our time arrived with cheers and appellations from the crowd largely dominated by his subjects.
The crowd was ecstatic and lively throughout at the over five-hour event. Every move, every drill performed the Armed Forces was met with a resounding cheer.
The age-old practice of student march pass featured too. Despite persistent calls by some people to have it scrapped, it still remains an integral part of Ghana’s Independence Day celebrations and yesterday, schools drawn from the various part of the country got a chance to grace the event and also salute the Commander-in-chief of Ghana’s Armed Forced who received the salutations with a standing ovation.
The speech by President Akufo-Addo who wore white kaftan with a touch of Kente touched on some pertinent issues in the country.
In line with the theme of ‘Consolidating our gains’, the president admitted that albeit the missed opportunities and blunders committed by the country, Ghanaians still have reasons to celebrate 63 years of self-rule.
“At sixty-three, we know that we have squandered many opportunities that, properly utilized, would have brought us to the economic breakthrough which we aspire. We lament, and rightly so, the infrastructure deficits that plague all sectors of our lives, and the considerable number of our people who still live in poverty”, he noted when addressing the nation at her 63rd Independence Anniversary celebration held in Kumasi on Friday, March 6, 2020.
“It surely must count for something that our nation has been spared the ravages of civil way that have racked some of our neighbours and other nations on the continent. It must count for something that we have been spared the epidemics that have brought havoc to other nations in our neighbourhood. It certainly must count for something that we have been able to keep out terrorist activities from our country, and we can take for granted the peace and stability that define Ghana”, he said.
While Ghanaians were in merry making mood, their eastern neighbours, Togo were fear stricken after the first case of the deadly coronavirus was recorded in the country.
President Akufo-Addo who spent a chunk of his Thursday visiting designated health facilities earmarked for the virus code name COVID-19 offered tips on how Ghanaians can stay away from it.
At the end of it all, some Kumasi folks thronged the Mall to dance and enjoy music.
Others also took to social media to justify why the successful and colourful staging of the Independence Day celebrations provides enough grounds for Kumasi to be named capital of Ghana.
Below are some comments
Nungua SM President @MusicFreakGh
Nungua SM President @MusicFreakGh
Kumasi Suppose To Be The Capital Of The Nation. We Deserve it.
See How Baba Yara Is Packed.
And Not Just That, when Ever Kumasi Host Anything Concerning Ghana, We Come In Our Numbers to support. #IndependenceDay