Confront Your Fears.Discover Traditional Ghanaian Religion

3 min


This weekend, I had an intense personal experience with African traditional religion. Before you freak out, get some perspective.

Though I hold some views that would be considered radical in Ghana, in general, i’m a regular Ghanaian. I work. I take tro-tro. I dream of a better life. I look forward to teaching my children fante. Sometimes I go to church. But unlike many Ghanaians, when it comes to religion, I consider myself a truth seeker so I am open to learning about religions. I tend to think favourably of the Christian faith perhaps, because I was raised Christian and live in a society that largely favors that religion. But I know that I don’t know so I keep myself open to learning. What is ironic is that even though I claim to be exploring different religions, until this weekend, I wanted nothing to do with african traditional religion. Nothing to do with shrines, mmotia, abosom, and libation, and african spirits…I considered them evil.

So when a new acquaintance invited me to the meeting of traditional believers this weekend, this is what went through my mind… I cannot say for sure that African traditional religion is evil. I cannot say for sure that it is good. I know that I have been preconditioned to consider it evil. I also know that I do not know. I would like to find out, but I’m scared of the whole affair. My fear is an irrational fear. It is a fear of the unknown. I wanted to confront that fear. Because every time I confront my fears, I grow. Plus I was curious.

It was a truly interactive event. Everyone there seemed to have a role, whether it was translating the message into Ga, twi, or Ewe, drumming, clapping, or dancing. It was similar to a church service in some respects. For example there were readings from the same text which were then translated. The readings were followed by drumming and dancing. But it was also different from regular church. Many of the people took of their shoes. And when they danced, it was not free-style like we do in a church…these dances were traditional Ghanaian dances. Like adowa and agbadza. At one point, we were all encouraged to dance, and I looked so odd…I thought i’d look silly pretending to dance adowa or agbadza so I stuck to my usual church dance. I made a mental note to learn a traditional Ghanaian dance. I’d never had use for it, but now I was found wanting.

Oburumankoma ee!, Oburumankoma ee! Oburumankoma Odapagyan ee! Oburumankoma Odapagyan ee! Oson! Oson akyi nyi aboa.

Thoughts, questions, insights? If you’re reading this, I’d like to ask you, what experience, if any, do you have with African religion. Should we be exploring these questions, critically examining who we are, or is this a no-go area, better left unexplored? Should I take the next step to visit a shrine? Would you? Why or why not?



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Ignorance is dangerous, but knowledge without responsibility is more dangerous. With his readers as number one priority, Obour Amankwa’s aim is to bring celebrities closer to their fans and update readers on all the entertainment news in Ghana. His love for movies and music is exceptional. He has authored several educational books most of which have gained much popularity especially among ‘story-thirsty’ readers. He is currently a medical student in Central South University, China. [email protected]

5 Comments

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  1. Hi Obour,

    is good to explore the true original traditions of africans in general and of Ghanas in specific. That is the only way the Almighty will enable you to discover, know and understand what you are looking for. To give you a go ahead. In Africa the people back in the days didnt know what we nowadays call religion (after especially Christ). Back in the days we believed in BELIEVE. Our ancestors experienced and discovered long before today that there is a ‘superpower’ above themselves (as humans). They BELIEVED that this superpower now called and know by many names all over the world is part of each and every thing we (all) know that enables each and every one to do the things we do (including what we call good and bad). However they also experienced and discovered this superpower ONLY support things that are good for us. How did we know if something is good for us? That was a simple question to answer back then. When you did something that made you happy, your loved ones around you happy (in other words) with good intentions you knew that the superpower is supporting you, otherwise only you might be happy but the rest around you would not.

    Back in the days other races (other than black) started to study how the black people organized, managed and governed themselves. Also alot of translation attempts have been done to understand what we documented in their way. The Holy Books are an extract of the many things that were pre-documented long long time ago. The black race is a peaceful naive culture. Through those nativity other races managed to over rule them and force their own willings on to the black race. Including a re-writting version of our own habits and believe. The now native western people (white race ) wrote the Bible (as a translation of what the black race has gotten (documented) from the Almighty superpower (i.e. GOD, ALLAH, YAHUWUAH, YAH and many more names). The arabs translated that and called it the AL Qu’ran. And other parts of the world also created their versions. This is where religion started to become. So nowadays we don’t believe we HAVE and FOLLOW a RELIGION. Religion therefore can be seen as an interpreted form of what we think the superpower what us to do and how. This is straight away the complexity we hve nowadays which creates wars and fight amongst all of us. We fight in name of a religion, which is definitely not what the superpower wants.

    How does this link with the traditional BELIEVE (read believe not religion)? The traditional believe is misunderstand and ‘painted’ evilish. However believe in the superpower can enable people powers (we are part of the superpower, the Almighty, the One and Only), we can use those powers for good (which the Almighty supports) or bad (which the Almighty doesnt support, but rather we the human support by choice). Regious (physical) power seekers brainwash many believers that the traditional way is bad since they could really do ‘magic’ (in the eyes of the white and arab man). With force people turned away from it and followed religion oposed on them. This has been passed on through our generations till now. As the traditional believe also has managed to be passed on.

    To keep it short. Traditional believe is the pure believe just that we don’t understand it, and is approach to use for mostly ‘bad’ things instead of good things.

    I will be posting a fully article or book about this as time goes on for more details and explanations of things.

    So I would say go and experience, however always be the Almighty in your heart that way you can protect yourself through the Almighty when others do their best to do ‘bad’ on to you. “The truth is in progress to be revealed”

  2. My name is Vanessa and I am from Angola. I stopped praying jesus 3 years again because I wanted to connect with my ancestors. I remember my first day, I thought I will die if i dont Pray jesus again but that was the fear of the unknown just as you said. But i am so happy now, I pray my ancestors and I keep trying to connect with them. We have to ask ourselves good questions before the slavery our ancestors did know about Jesus or mohamed whoever he is. then they were forced to into others religion, why??? we, need to have a critical thinking my people, for real. Time has come for all us to go back to our roots.

  3. Our own can do better wanders than what we known already.

    Accept that we the Africans have been twisted. I have deeply research more about other religions particularly Christianity and to my understanding we’ve been confused. It is time we go back to take what belong to us and leave the western thing behind otherwise our own people who are smart would continue to use their brain to enrich themselves with our own African thing together with the western thing to deceive us.

    The Vatican, The Watch Tower and the Church of England who originated and publish the Christian publications have made it clear to me with supporting evidence that, Miracles was cease after the last Apostle of Jesus Christ. Even Islamics have also made it clear to me that Miracle was last done by Prophet Muhammad.

    Check Daniel 12:14, Mark 13:32, Mathew 13:11, Luke 8:10, Ephesians 3:3-5, Colossi ans 2:2 and many more which I can give later to make matters short.

    They even said to me that, if African preachers can do miracles then one should ask them what it’s hidden behind. So, the remaining is for you to find out. Even they couldn’t proof to me that other religions are wasting their time because as the bible says one can not enter the kingdom of God till they pass through Jesus Christ. Islams, Buddhist, Hindus, Judaisms etc. Are they wasting their time? We must go back and reorganize our own by forming an administrations which would bind all fetish Priest under one umbrella where there would be some publications in regards to the religion itself so that our children and any one concern can grab a copy and read for themselves.