Ngmayem Festival: A celebration of harvest and tradition in the Manya Krobo community

Stories and facts

Every year, the lively community of Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region of Ghana comes alive with the colorful festivities of the Ngmayem Festival. Rooted in tradition and history, this annual harvest celebration holds significant cultural importance for the chiefs and people of the region.

Established by Nene Azu Mate Kole in 1944, the Ngmayem Festival emerged as a replacement for the existing "Yeliyem" festival, which centered around the consumption of yams. The word "Ngmayem" itself translates to 'Eating the New Millet,' signifying the festival's focus on the bountiful harvest of millet, locally known as 'ngma.'

Typically held in the month of October, the festival unfolds over a week, often commencing from the last two Sundays of the month. The festivities extend across various towns, including Dodowa, Somanya, and Odumase, drawing together communities to partake in age-old traditions and celebrations.

At its core, the Ngmayem Festival is a time of gratitude and reverence. It serves as a moment for the people of Manya Krobo to express thanks to their creator for protection and for the abundance of the harvest. Through rituals, dances, and ceremonies, participants honor their cultural heritage and reinforce the bonds of community.

As drums echo through the streets and vibrant costumes fill the air, the spirit of unity and joy permeates every aspect of the festival. Families gather to share meals, stories, and laughter, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie that transcends generations.

Beyond its cultural significance, the Ngmayem Festival also serves as a platform for economic activities, showcasing local crafts, cuisine, and traditions to visitors from near and far. It provides an opportunity for artisans and entrepreneurs to display their talents and generate income, contributing to the overall prosperity of the community.

As each year passes, the Ngmayem Festival continues to thrive, preserving the rich heritage of Manya Krobo while embracing the evolving dynamics of modern life. It stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of the people, reminding us of the importance of tradition, unity, and gratitude in our ever-changing world.

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