The Sisaala is poised to host numerous visitors as they celebrate an annual festival known as Parri Gbielle.

The festival which was given birth to in the year 1965 and was short lived due to disunity. The celebration of the festival bounced back to life in the year 2009 when Tumu Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton IV took over as the chief of the Tumu and the paramount chief of the Tumu traditional area.

Paari Gbielle festival is annually celebrated by the Sisaala people in the Upper West Region of Ghana, West Africa. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘’A tool for the Restoration of our Cultural Heritage’’.

The celebration signifies bumper harvest of the Sisaala people since the main occupation is farming. The sisaala land is on record to have been the largest producer of maize in Ghana. Notably among food crops cultivate in the Sisaala area are maize, millet, yam, cowpea, soya beans, rice, sweet potato, etc.

Cash crops such as cashew and mangoes are cultivated by the people. They also practice dry seasoning gardening in few communities. The Sisaala people are also into animal rearing.

The proximity of some Sisaala communities to the neighboring Burkina Faso has aided cross border trade of food crops and animals. The transfer of technology in agriculture between borders has also been helpful to the people.

Invitation to the celebration of the festival is usually extended to all and sundry in Ghana and beyond (tourists, revelers, academicians, photojournalists etc. This year’s special guest of honor is his Excellency the President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo.

Also invited guests are ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Roads and Highway, Ministry of Special Initiative and Development, Non-Governmental Organizations both local and international, the media etc.

Friends of the Sisaala people tribe or land are usually invited to perform drumming and dancing.

The celebration is usually hosted in Tumu the Municipal capital of Sisaala East in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Tumu Kuouro’s Durbar grounds is the exact venue for the event. The celebration starts from 17 March to 23 March, 2019. The celebration of the festival is usually graced with series of activities leading up to the climax on the 23 March, 2019.

Activities include:
Health Walk through the principal streets of Tumu Township
Bicycle Ride Competition
Fun games especially soccer competition
Mass visits to tourist sites in the Sisaala land
Tug of peace among tribes residing in Sisaala land
Pleasure Hunting and Camping in the wild
On the final day of the celebrations activities such as local drumming and dancing groups from various communities and tribes invited within the land and even outside the Region. We also have licking of hot metal by black smith and show casing of different types of food crops cultivated.

There will be a war dance from the people of Tumu where fresh blood would be sucked out of an animal and fresh meat chewed to the bone. This is rare display of culture that one needs to see and not be told.
At the end of the celebration, proceeds from donations would be used to put a flagship project to augment government’s efforts in developing the area. This is why the support of corporate organizations is very important aspect of the festival.

By: Ayamga Bawa Fatawu

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