Efutu’s Unexplored Heritage Centers – Graphic Online

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Winneba, locally called Simpa, has been recognized as a town with one of the most exciting festivals in Ghana, thanks to its long-running, vibrant and colorful Aboakyer Festival.

The city, when properly explored, could add to the wealth of cultural sites in the central region and boost the tourism sector.

As a coastal town home to some of the Central Region’s most interesting waterfronts and other notable educational institutions, Winneba has also contributed to the region’s wealth of historic landmarks, with its monumental sites known as of Efutu Heritage Centers.

Effutu Heritage Centers offer a wide range of attractions, from breathtaking views of historic structures to calm and friendly environments that will elevate the country’s tourism industry.

Initiator

The centers are intended to promote Winneba as an important Ghanaian tourist destination by highlighting Effutu customs and traditions for the economic gain of the Effutu people.

The buildings were established as the modest contribution of Effutu Constituency MP Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin to educate both natives and guests of Effutu about its origins and cultural heritage.

In an interview with Mr. Afenyo-Markin, he said that the idea for the heritage sites came about from a desire to tell the role of the Effutus in the history of Ghana, particularly in the slave trade and the accession to the country’s independence.

He observed that historic sites, monuments and other tourist attractions in the central region were all centralized in Cape Coast, while other areas in the region that had equally promising facilities had been ignored.

“It was all going towards Cape Coast and there was a need to tell our own story and project what we have as Efutu people,” he said.

The legislator reaffirmed that the decision to set up the facilities was taken in part to portray the political reconciliation and friendship between the late JB Danquah and the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

“All we say in Ghana is that they were two friends – JB Danquah and Nkrumah, telling Ghanaians to say no to extremism.

“So you can see a monument of people holding hands to symbolize unity and reconciliation from the ‘Reconciliation Roundabout at Winneba Junction,'” he said.

Mr Afenyo-Markin said there had been a positive response since the heritage centers were established, with an average of 50 visitors per day and thousands of people visiting the centers during the recently held Aboakyer festival.

Asked how the project was funded, he replied that it came from his own resources as a modest contribution to opening up Winneba to the outside world.

Heritage centers include Unity Square, Osimpam Heritage Center and two fishing monuments at Akosua Village and Eyipey.

Unity Square

In Unity Square, one would be greeted by eye-catching displays of Asafo paraphernalia.

The main features of Unity Square are; three Asafomen waving the flag of Effutu State high, and the paraphernalia of the Asafo thrown over the main wall, with the head of the bushbuck they are hunting in the center.

According to Paramount Chief of Efutu Traditional Zone, Neenyi Ghartey VII, “the dream behind it is to unify the people, taking the theme ‘together we can do it'”.

The beauty of the long-running Aboakyer festival is showcased by the center’s display of distinctive Asafo costumes, musical instruments and dance styles, which provide visitors with an incredible cultural experience.

The Roundabout of Reconciliation

Notable instruments that visitors would come across in Unity Square include ‘Kakradaa’ (Rattle) – a percussion instrument associated with the Tuafo Asafo No. 1 Company, which is used to keep the rhythm going during the performing drums and dances or when the Asafo Company is in motion, and a large brass bell with a wooden handle, which is associated with the Dentsefo Asafo No. 2 Company.

Osimpam Heritage Center

This center uses photographs to showcase the former splendor of Simpa.

Photos of former chiefs and other leaders of Asafo, as well as wonderful sculptures to see, are displayed in the center.

Carved fishermen drawing a seine net at Akosua village

On the top floor is also erected a sculpture of the Asafo Company holding aloft the jack for the king.

Akosua Village and Eyipey Fishing Monuments

The two fishing monuments in the village of Akosua and Eyipey, respectively, are the last of these historical monuments in the municipality of Efutu.

These monuments tell the story of the great fishermen and the fascinating journey of some of the best fishermen in the history of the country, natives of the region.

A massive sculpture of three fishermen drawing seines is on display in Akosua village, while another huge sculpture of a fisherman hauling in a massive catch is beautifully displayed in Eyipey.

Call

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Neenyi Ghartey, implored relevant tourism industry players to step up their efforts to help publicize Effutu heritage monuments to promote targeted tourism in the central region.

He noted that by exploring and promoting these under-the-radar tourism hotspots in the region, they would be brought to the attention of everyone around the world to generate more revenue for the country.

Neenyi Ghartey VII, the paramount chief of the traditional Efutu area

“Countries around the world are researching undiscovered tourist hotspots and identifying them to attract more visitors to boost their economies,” he said.

He added that “given the decrease in the number of tourists coming to our country to visit our sites, I think that if we pay attention to those that have not received much attention and market them effectively, we will give tourists something new and interesting to watch”. before and also add to our tourist destinations in the country.”

Worry

Neenyi Ghartey observed with concern that despite the potential of the heritage centers to become one of the main tourist destinations in the central region, they had not received the necessary support from the government and other key players.

He lamented that stakeholders did not provide them with the necessary support and push for appropriate action.

“No government institution now cares about his upkeep and they show no interest. And we also realized that the assembly couldn’t handle him because of the finances, so he was handed over to the traditional council. We employed a few people, but they don’t have serious ideas about tourism and monument management,” he said.

Neenyi Ghartey felt that what needed to be done urgently was to take the appropriate steps to ensure that heritage centers were properly projected so that they could generate more income, like other centers in Cape Coast and other places in the central region. .

“If they start marketing this place like they do for Cape Coast, Takoradi and other areas, I am sure we can move forward. that are not available elsewhere, making it a truly unique experience for them,” he added.
Neenyi Ghartey said the traditional council has not wavered in its efforts to turn the area into a top tourist attraction, and current initiatives include lobbying for educational institutions to “visit and learn some of our values”.


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