It has been several days since I returned home from a 3-days National Youth and Tertiary Students residential conference organized by the Fountain Gate Chapel at UDS Campus, Tamale-Ghana.
I believe every journey is a quest and mine was to identify my divine purpose as a Christian and also tour Tamale, which is situated at the north of Ghana. For most people, the north of Ghana is considered as a desert with a bold “NO GO AREA’’ stuck on it environs. That was my perception too but I was keen to find out the truth of it when I went camping there.
The Northern region is one of the sixteen regions of Ghana, located in the north of the country. With regards to Ghana’s tropical climate, having two main seasons; the wet and the dry seasons, Northern Ghana experiences it rainy season from April to mid October. Deductively, one can say that it is not always dry or ‘desert-ish’ nature at the northern part of Ghana.
Well, this article draws it lens on my experience at Tamale, so let me leave the climate issue for the meteorologists.
The journey started from the Greater Accra Region to Northern Region, covering at least eight regions in Ghana before getting to Tamale. It was a 12 hours drive with 3 stops at rest centers and filling stations. Due to the current season; the wet season, the Northern region–Tamale– is bestowed with greenly refreshing environment. Livestock freely roam around in green spaces nearby to graze while being guided by their herdsmen.
The forest reserve will blow your mind with a thousand shades of green I have never seen until my stay there. For a minute, something got me thinking; the urban areas in the Greater Accra region are bustling with people from far and near in search of greener pastures, even natives of northern Ghana, meanwhile the lands they are migrating from is as green as an unripe mango! I learnt from a chit-chat I had with an elderly man that, the vast plots of land which can be used to establish business or better still build social amenities for the people are not as elusive to a acquire there. One would simply need to consult the custodian of the land, giving a laudable reason for why it should be given up.
The perfect blend of modern buildings and traditional mud houses inhabited by the people affirms the fact that culture is indeed dynamic.
Some unforgettable names of towns I could gather are Bawa Akuraa, Kapom Yili, Buipe and Yapei.
I also observed that motorbikes are commonly used as a medium of transportation too, which undoubtedly makes Tamale a bike friendly city. Children ride on it to their schools as well as market women to their various trading locations. There’s always a bustling view of motorbikes wheezing along roads.
Notwithstanding the fact that the main market is in the center of the town, one could find all sorts of foodstuffs such as banana, groundnut, fried guinea fowl, tomatoes, and tubers of yam being sold on the roadside and carried mainly by women in large basin on their head.
I also noted that Tamale is the center of hospitality. The natives are kind and warm; Everybody is regarded as family with no discrimination whatsoever.
A big thank you to my bus-sitting partners to and fro Tamale; Abalansa and Kwaku, who assisted in taking images and critical observations. And oh, if you ever think of taking time off work for vacations, consider giving yourself a tour at the Northern part of Ghana, which is loaded with numerous tourist sites like the Mole National park, Larabanga mosque, Salaga slave market, Larabanga mystery stone, Daboya Township and Yendi.