Asansan Savannah Production Limited, a cross-sectoral entity that is leading its subsidiary organisations in the Savannah Region with the goal of tackling domestic tourism that facilitates prosperity across the tourism chain, accelerate inclusion and development has launched a project to revive the ancient Gonja Wrestling Competition dubbed the ‘Shea tree’ on 22nd December, 2021 at Damongo.
The Shea Tree is a package that will highlight the physical strength and valour of our region’s young men through local wrestling (Kibrimasi) and traditional music and dance activities that have been pushed to the margins over the years.
The initiative aims to revitalize ancient traditional wrestling while also elevating Savannah Region to a higher level in terms of tourism attraction and accelerating development. The encounters were accompanied by cultural performances similar to those used in the past to welcome great hunters (Kpana dance).
Speaking at the launch of the project, program, the coordinator of ‘Shea Tree’ Borejinkpr Mufti said the initiative will empower young men and women economically as each wrestler will be rewarded handsomely.
Alhaji Losina Afuli who represented the King and Overlord of Gonja Yagbonwura Tutumba Boresa commended the organisers and the brains behind the initiative and encouraged the Youth including the ladies in Gonjaland to instead of practicing immoral acts in the society to take part in the local wrestling since many of their peers elsewhere are making it big. He said this will also lift high the flag of the Savannah Region and gonjaland since this is the first of its kind in the region.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the West Gonja Mr Musah Kusubari on behalf of the assembly said they will fully support the initiative adding that a lot of jobs would be created if the youth takes the local wrestling seriously.
Mr Kusubari stated that all this is happening in Damongo as a result of the creation of the region and he is very sure many more of such initiatives will be in Damongo soon.
Mr Seidu Jeremiah who represented civil society organisations has promised to plant shea trees at the very playgrounds where the program would be permanently situated and also develop a strategy for them to be able to use it to source for support and partners across the world.
In his speech, the Park Manager of Mole National Park, Mr Mahama Ali said his outfit is extremely enthused to partner the organisers for their visitors to enjoy the beautiful cultural display of valour by young men.
He added that each year, the mole national park receives so many tourists and apart from seeing the animals and visiting Larabanga, there is no other entertaining event or place that their customers can leverage while in the region hence the advent of this initiative will go a long way to boost the tourism attraction of people far and near.
On their part, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the National Youth Authority (NYA) has pledged to include the project in their action plan for next year with the NYA playing a key role in ensuring the representation of from the region in the upcoming All African games in 2023.
The launch saw a contest between Borejinkpr Mufti and Chief Agrowura Fatawu with no winner after a prolonged fight that got fans to stand on their foot including the MCE for West Gonja who at the end of the program gave each contestant an amount of one hundred Ghana cedis (GHC100).
In all, six contest were witnessed with twelve contestants.