The Gbidukorza is in its 21st year now and I think we need to do some review of the festival celebrated annually
by GBI and PEKI, from Ghana’s Volta Region.
From the onset, the people from Gbi and Peki agreed that they were one and the same people separated by events during their migration from Notsie; hence, the institution of Gbi Dukorza to bring the two groups together for development and other purposes.
I am not sure if the people of Gbi and Peki together went by the Gbi identity before Peki changed to Peki, or whether further events following their separation led to the adoption of a common name for the two groups.
Whatever the story is, since their separation, the two groups have had their clear identities, which we all know to be Gbi, located in Gbi Traditional Area, and Peki, located in Peki Traditional Area.
As our identities are very clear, in my opinion, we should not have named our reunification festival GBI DUKORZA to start with. We should neither be describing the two areas as GBI DZIGBE and GBINYIGBE or encourage phrases like: "GBIDZIGBE (HOHOE)" and "GBINYIGBE (PEKI).” What these phrases have done is confuse people further into wrongly labeling Gbi Traditional Area as Hohoe Traditional Area, which sounds like the logical thing for them when they think of GBI as a common identifier for the two groups. We should just have found a name that underscores our reunification celebration.
As I explained in other write- ups, GBI TRADITIONAL AREA is known by most indigenous people of Gbi to comprise nine townships, namely:
The people of Peki also have their towns which have been identified as counterparts of Gbi towns, as listed below:
Gbi-Bla - Peki-Avetile
Gbi-Hohoe - Peki-Afeviewofe
Gbi-Wegbe - Peki-Wudome
Gbi-Abansi - Peki-Adzokoe
Gbi-Kpeme - Peki-Tsame
Gbi-Atabu - Peki-Blengo
Gbi-Kpoeta - Peki-Dzake
Gbi-Kledzo - Peki-Dzogbati
A review of Gbidukorza celebrations for all these past years will help us straighten up issues facing the festival.
In the meantime, my suggestion is that, if Gbi and Peki celebrate Gbidukorza because we are one and the same people, but Peki people are not officially referred to as Gbi, a UNIFYING but NEUTRAL name would be best for the festival. Norviza, Norvizileleza, Norviworworza, Milenorvisiza, etc. are just my own examples of possible names instead of Gbi Dukorza.
These are my thoughts for now.
I am Christiana Amamansah Gockel (Mrs)
Christiana Amamansah Gockel is the executive director of Insight Foundation, Ghana: an NGO working on Girl Child Retention in school. She is a retired civil servant, public administration expert and director. Mrs. Gockel worked in the Ghana Civil Service for twenty years until her retirement in 2014 on the post of director at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Her past work and positions include: Research Officer - Prices and Income, Accra Board; Social Officer - Manchester, UK; tutor: OLA Girls (Ho), and Hohoe E.P. Senior High (Hohoe). A former OLA Girl, she graduated from University of Ghana with a BA (Hons) in Economics and Geography. She obtained her certification with distinction in CPA and DPA - public administration - at Ghana Institute of Management and Public administration (GIMPA), and has a training masters in public sector management. Gockel worked with the Gbidukorza steering committee and played the role of master / co-master of ceremony for the festival for ten years, earning her an award of appreciation. The Gbi-Bla born is a mother of two. She is married to Dr. Augustine Fritz Gockel, formerly of University of Ghana. Gockel continues to play active roles in Gbi-Bla’s affairs and development.