The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has announced that this year’s ban on drumming and noisemaking commences from Monday, May 15 to Thursday, June 15, 2023.
A statement signed on behalf of the Chief Executive of the Assembly by Mr Gilbert Nii Ankrah, the Head of the Public Affairs, said the AMA has therefore, set the following guidelines in the interest of peace, harmony and national security.
It said during the period of the ban, churches were expected to carry out their activities within their premises and refrain from the use of musical instruments and that positioning of loudspeakers outside the premises of churches, mosques and pubs were banned, while roadside evangelists were to cease their activities during the period.
“Religious bodies and the Traditional Authorities must show respect for one another and restrain their followers from making derogatory and inflammatory remarks about the beliefs and practices of one another,” the statement said.
It stated that other guidelines by the Ga Traditional Council include a ban on funeral rites and their related activities.
The statement said apart from an identifiable task force that consisted of AMA personnel, the Ghana Police Service and representatives from the Traditional Councils with tags, no other person or group of persons should be seen or found enforcing the abatement of noise in the metropolis.
“By this notice, we entreat all persons, towns and villages within the Ga Traditional Area to cooperate and comply with the directive accordingly during this period,” it urged.
Before the Homowo festival, there are various activities performed by the clans. One of the activities is “the ban of noise making”.
The two main types are “Gbemlilaa” and “Nmaa dumo”. Gbemlilaa is specific to the Teshie, Nungua peolpe whiles Nmaa dumo is specific to the Ga-mashie people.
“Gbemlilaa” is followed by the ban of drumming, dancing, burying of corpse, all night ball clubs and dancing hall are closed or forbidden to make noise.
The ban of noise making enables the gods to perform their activities quietly and peacefully. This enables people to learn more homowo songs and creates an opportunity for them to meet friends, spouses and family members.
The following day the people parade the fortnightly street possessions.
The Ga-mashie clan practise the “Nmaa dumo” ceremony which means “sowing of millet” or “seed”. All noise making ceases on the very day the seeds are grown.
The millet seeds are not the only seeds planted but maize seeds and okro seeds are also planted.
Noise making is banned during this activity because it is belived it aids the gods to have mercy upon the people so that it will let down rain unto the crops for a bumper harvest.
The “Nmaa dumo” takes place in the month of April to the month of June.