Cultural Games Festival (September 2021 onwards) – the Ghana’s newest and biggest community traditional games festival – will touch down in Ghana with a phenomenal best of Ghana’s traditional games including Oware, Alukoto, Chaskele, Pilolo, dame (draught), Catapulting, Ampe Sports, GHskyball (locally developed football), Tyre-chasing, Ntɛto and much more.
Ghana’s newer festival, Cultural Games Festival is aiming at branding and promoting Ghana’s traditional games, with the various and very interesting traditional games for the Festival to be spread over several communities in Ghana.
The President of the Cultural Games Association (CGA), and leading organizer of the Cultural Games Festival, Nana Boateng Gyimah II said ‘‘regulations on social distancing in Ghana could be limited or reduced down by September 2021 as a result of government’s effort and good plans in controlling the Covid spread’’. The traditional games festival in communities, he stated, he and his executive management are planning towards the events with community chiefs, queen mothers and government representatives on hourly and daily basis to achieve a successful and memorable Festival.
According to him, CGA is ready to stay a minimum of two days in every community which register to host the Cultural Games Festival, and the uniqueness in this Festival is the exchange of traditional games. CGA will go to every community with a minimum of twenty traditional games and the hosting community will be encouraged to include any additional game known and available to the town. September 2021 marks its first national cultural event, with the Chief of Adeiso, a capital of Upper West Akim District of Eastern Region of Ghana, Osabarima Asare Oduro describing the Cultural Games Festival in Ghana as ‘‘the perfect cultural event for families to remember, experience and play old traditional games together’’.
On his part, Nana Owusu Akyew Adepa, the Otumfou Nana Osei Tutu II (The Ashanti King) Yokohene Kyeame expressed his worries about the considerable change in Ghanaians interest in all traditional games since the inception or introduction of electronics games mostly found in computers and mobile phones, with the schools in Ghana no longer interested to include these games in their sporting activities.
Describing the National Commission on Culture and the Ghana Society UK collaboration with the Cultural Games Association as strategic cultural games development and empowerment, the revered royal member in the Ashanti Kingdom assured that the festival will improve Ghana’s brand image, create jobs opportunities and earn foreign attention, that is so needed, for country’s support and development.
In a statement on 16 June, 2021, the Cultural Games Association’s Executive Advisory Committee for Cultural events maintained that this year’s Cultural Games Festival ‘will be organized in over fifty communities in Ghana throughout the year and this is largely due to our clear agenda to make the traditional games be known and appealing to all person’s in the various communities. ‘‘Securing a sponsorship deal for this great and outstanding event has been an incredibly difficult opportunity to achieve. However, we are desperately knocking every door of the office of potential sponsor to come and assist in raising the image of Ghana through the Cultural Games Festival, and this is among the few option of achieving the CGA’s goal of developing and promoting Ghana’s traditional games for global recognition and interests’’ the statement added.
The President of CGA said they are discussing with the Chiefs and Elders, and the Honourable government representatives including the Assembly Members to acknowledge the current sponsorship challenges, and contribute towards each community festival because this is the beginning of something beneficial and “we are hoping the event will turn to attract more organizations to join as this cultural games festival is no doubt observed as the unifier and greatest ever Festival Ghana has recorded.”
Speaking finally about the involvement and envisaged benefit to the community, the President said the Cultural Games Association and its management are already in collaborative partnership processes with the National Sports Authority (Ministry of Youth and Sports) and this department is every sports personality favourite. “Those especially the youth who excel during the Festival program in the GHskyball, Ampe Sports, Chaskele Sports and Catapulting game will be recommended and officially refer to the Sports Authority for further full time sporting career. It sounds perfect for every community to know this, and as President it feels like the Cultural Games Association have achieved an exciting combination of entertaining games festival and recognition of person’s talent especially within the respective communities in Ghana.”