True friendship, it is often said, is tested on the day one finds oneself in a crisis and needs the help of others one considers as friends. But the understanding of this adage seems to have taken different and deeper roots in the hearts of the Dagaabas and the Frafras, as their comradeship and support for one another transcends the day of trouble.
The friendship of the two is experimented and lived as a daily affair where members of the two tribes seize each meeting opportunity to express it no matter the setting. This relationship could best be described as a reflection of a deep sense of commitment to one another.
It is no wonder that the two tribes effortlessly organise friendly games each year to celebrate their bond to help renew the strength of unity that exists between them. Captioned under the theme “Celebrating decades of mutual friendship and trust: the Dagaaba-Frafra way”, this year’s event promises to be a full package where friends of the two tribes, as well as first-time spectators of the games, will be thrilled in a manner that is comparable to none in the past.
History of the Dagaaba-Frafra friendship
People of the Dagaaba and Frafra stocks are playmates who do not compromise on their relations. The story of the bond between the two tribes centres on a myth about two brothers who suffered the pangs of famine and had to sojourn for food with their treasured pet, the dog.
History has it that at a point of severe hunger, the two decided to sacrifice their pet for a meal; but, disagreed on the method of preparing it: either to roast it or cook it with broth that could take them days to live on.
Although the impasse caused the two brothers’ parting, their descendants have refused to be captives of their past. They have become refined products of their experience. By recognizing peace as the panacea to their past misery, the sting of disagreement that ruined the relations of their grandpas, which would have continued to enjoy paramountcy in their midst, had been exorcised.
What is refreshing about the transcendence of this story is how the current offsprings of the two brothers appreciate it and utilize its lessons to their benefit. Men and women of the two tribes have resolved to stay glued to each other in harmony with friendship as an active agent of their DNA.
Indeed, the blood of their ancestors’ pet has become a seal of unity that remains undaunted by any circumstance that shows up between the two groups. To incite fury between the two will be suicidal to oneself as the opposite will take place.
It is really intriguing to eavesdrop the conversation of a Dagaati and a Frafra at the first instant. The hate-free debate over the claims of whose grandpa between the two stocks was superior by his actions and the spontaneous smile of excitement that is exuded in the encounter is tempting to join when one has no natural locus to do so.
This fun that greets the meeting of members of the two ethnic groups has taken a new dimension with the introduction of fun games in the regional capitals every year. The games are a delight to watch as the ambience of the event is often charged with musical tunes of cultural performances.
This year’s games, scheduled for September 1, 2018, at the Elwak Stadium in Accra, welcomes all and sundry. The friendly tussle in the games: football, tug of peace, and lime and spoon race symbolically reverse the order of competitions where the other side is conceived as an opponent. Rather, during these games friendship is ignited to the benefit of members of these two great tribes.