Tema, Ghana :: Tribal chiefs and Queen Mothers from villages across Ghana gather for a community event on board the ship.
It’s not every day that a procession of Kings and Queens is seen making its way past the shipping containers in Tema’s busy dockyard, its members swathed in traditional robes and carrying ancient staffs and spears.
But such an array of colour and cultural expression climbed the gangway of Logos Hope for a unique event which brought tribal chiefs and village matriarchs together.
The 80 honoured guests govern outlying communities across Ghana, where they uphold ancient customs and act as figureheads. Many had travelled for several hours to arrive at the port. Despite practising different religions, they shared a platform and discussed how they might reach out to younger generations to preserve their culture in the modern age.
Mama Ngorgbe Tina Fugah, the Queen Mother of a village outside Takoradi, explained the difficulties her community faces: “There is nothing left for the youth and they are leaving for the cities, so we seek sponsorship to create something that can let them stay and learn technical and vocational skills to benefit us all.”
Logos Hope’s Partner Ministries Director, Randy Grebe (USA), knows the value of such an event: “These are the movers and shakers - one chief I met is responsible for 80 villages. Occasions like this foster relationships and help people learn not to fear differences. Our hope is that in the future, there will be open doors of welcome for outsiders to start medical facilities, outreaches or churches because of this networking opportunity, which we have had the privilege of hosting.”
The visitors also saw something of the international variety on board Logos Hope; being served by volunteers wearing their own national costumes, and entertained by Korean and Indian dance performances. Diverse people swapped telephone numbers and posed for photographs together, and the Kings and Queens did some shopping in the onboard book fair before returning to their heartlands.