Countdown for the biggest and perhaps the most anticipated masquerade festival in Ghana and hosted in Takoradi has begun in earnest.
Anyone who has witnessed or participated in the week-long masquerade parade will bear testimony to how unassuming each year’s celebration is.
And this year’s will be no different particularly with the extension of a participation invitation to Nigeria.
Western Region Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, at a meeting with Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana H.E Ibok-Ete Ibas, emphasised the cordial relationship between the two countries and how a participation will further strengthen the bond.
“The friendship between Ghana and Nigeria keeps growing each day. The interaction between our musicians, movie stars and in recent times our food jollof makes us the envy of many countries. It is in this spirit that I will want to invite our brothers from Nigeria to take part in our ankos festival.
“Already the Nigerian presence is there because you will be amazed to know that the bandsmen usually play rendition of several music tunes from Nigerian artists and so Nigerians will have so many things to relate to,” he explained on Connect FM after paying a courtesy call on the Nigerian High Commissioner.
Beyond the invitation, the regional minister also encouraged Nigerian investors to explore the numerous business opportunities on offer especially with coconut and rice production.
H.E. Ibok-Ete Ibas, on his part, was worried about the underutilisation of Africa’s vast natural resources.
He echoed his country’s commitment to work with other African countries to excel in their developmental endeavours.
H.E. Ibas expressed the hope that, in the near future, Nigeria could host an edition of the Masquerade festival, while Takoradi also hosts the Calabar Carnival.
Charles Cobbina, the architect of the Takoradi Christmas City Project, explained that the concept is to make Sekondi-Takoradi the preferred destination during the Christmas season.
“The idea is to make Sekondi-Takoradi synonymous with Christmas celebrations just like Kwahu and Easter. There are so many tourists destinations in the region that people are not aware of. And so we want to use occasions like Christmas to open those place up. We want to put on display the uniqueness of the region like the crocodile pond, waterfall, islands, parks and others.
“And we have carefully crafted our Ankos festival to be unique from all the other festivals. Last year the numbers were unprecedented and this year we’re introducing new features to make it even better,” he revealed in an interview on Connect FM, after the meeting.
By Eric Yaw Adjei