Bekwai-Ash. — CHURCHES HAVE been urged to team up with traditional leaders to help promote cultural values towards a rapid social transformation.
Nana Adwoa Pinamang II, Queen mother of the Bekwai Traditional area has called on all stakeholders, including churches, educational institutions, teachers and parents to combine efforts in protecting our rich cultural values and heritage, by embracing traditional set ups.
Nana Pinamang bemoaned the scorn people show on some of the valuable traditional practices, like puberty rite, noting that this norm had gone a long way to check teenage pregnancy and the spread of diseases in the past.
The queen mother expressed concern, when she performed the puberty rights of a 11-year-old class six pupil of the International Community School (ICS), Nana Serwaa Kobi Ampem, to mark her adolescence.
She is the first daughter (Ahenkan) of the Omanhene of Bekwai Traditional area, Nana Karikari Appau II, on ascending the Ayeboafo stool of Bekwai. Young Nana Serwaa Kobi Ampem was named after Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, Asantehemaa, who was represented at the ceremony last week.
She encouraged parents not to look at the cost in initiating their daughters who reach puberty but look at how their daughters serve as role models and respected women in the area.
Nana Pinamang noted that the collaboration by the stakeholders would help promote, preserve and protect cultural values, as well as help shape the lives of the people, especially the youth.
Nana Adwoa Pinamang said the initiative is a protest against the decline in discipline among the youth, following the influence of the western lifestyle on our youth, particularly the girl child.
She noted that our culture had become adulterated, impacting negatively on the youth and noted that while our boys had taken to drugs, the girl child shamelessly engaged in prostitution, with its attendant homosexuality and lesbianism on the increase.
Nana Pinamang said once the stakeholders take this crucial step, our cultural heritage would be safeguarded.
As a result, Nana Pinamang, in collaboration with Nana Afia Amponsah I, queen mother of Adankrangya, Nana Akua Afriyie III, queen mother of Amoafo and the queen mother of Asanso have resolved to establish a GHÂÂ¢50,000.00 Cultural Centre Complex at Bekwai.
The proposed Centre is expected to help mobilize the youth for training in cultural values and help churn out responsible and disciplined youth for national development.
The Bekwai queen mother said a comprehensive programme of activities, including traditional games (oware and dame), art and craft, preparation of traditional cuisines, drumming and dancing, highlife music, how to wear the traditional cloth, the celebration of Akwasidae, durbar to mark display of traditional practices, funerals and marriages, story telling and Akan proverbs would be exhibited at the centre.
She said the youth would also be educated on the dangers of teenage pregnancy, streetism, truancy and prostitution, for the benefit of the society as a whole.
The queen mother hoped the project would go a long way to bring about the healthy upbringing of the Youth, who need the right guidance to contribute positively to societal growth and appealed to the government, District Assemblies, NGOs, Nananom, politicians and the general public to support the project.