Why are twins celebrated during Homowo? Johnnie Hughes reveals ‘Akwele Suma’ importance

Why are twins celebrated during Homowo? Johnnie Hughes talks of ‘Akwele Suma’ importance
Homowo twins

‘Yeyeeye’ or ‘Akwele Suma’ is what locals call the Twin’s Festival, a beautiful display of white-clad twins during the celebration of Homowo. Today is no exception from the previous years as the streets of Ga Mashie was flooded with pomp and display. But what is the why behind the twins Festival? Ace broadcaster Johnnie Hughes gave insight into why the twins must be cleansed and pampered on Showbiz297 with Caleb Nii Boye. 

“That ritual was instituted based on the fact that you are supposed to have one child. Then, suddenly, you have two. So there is the need for you to call their spirits and ask them why they chose you and what they have come with.”

Customarily, on this day, the twins are given baths specially prepared to cleanse them from any misfortune. This is followed by eating mashed yam mixed with palm nut oil (Otɔ). This meal is said to appease their spirits. And as Johnnie Hughes pointed out, it is believed that twins have a strong divinity connection that has not to be ignored. Failure to observe these rites can spell doom for the parents or the twins themselves. 

“You have to get into the place of divinity to ask why they didn’t go to any other parent, but they chose you and what they are coming with. This is why you find sometimes twins can come into your life, and you are poor forever. They can come into your life, and they will be too sick. Every day they are sick. Every time they are sick. You spend all your money on them. So you need to perform that ritual for them. First of all, ask and let them know that they are welcome. If not, they have been times when the Tawiah (one who is born after twins) never comes. Anybody born after them, die.” 

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The Homowo festival is celebrated by the Ga people from the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. This celebration begins with the sowing of millet by the traditional priests in May followed by a 30-day ban on drumming imposed on the land by the priests.

Homowo recounts the migration of the Gas and reveals their agricultural success in their new settlement. According to Ga oral tradition, a severe famine broke out among the people during their migration to present-day Accra. They were inspired by the famine to embark on massive food production exercises, which eventually yielded them a bumper harvest.

Their hunger ended with great joy as they “hooted at hunger” this is the meaning of the word HOMOWO. (Quartey-Papafio, A.B. ” The Ga Homowo Festival”, Journal of the African Society, Vol. 19, 1919)

By: Grace Somuah-Annan|3news.com|Ghana