Northern Heritage is highly pleased to bring to you an insightful and thrilling encounter from our My Northern Experience session as we engage one of our distinguished brother who is an educationists and a professional Teacher. He is a gentleman who admires northern lifestyles and values and is always willing to learn new things. As our forefathers will say it, however far a stream flows, it never forgets its origin.
Our guest is a man of intelligence, ethics and a proud northerner. He has learnt a lot and has thrown several misconceptions on other tribes and places of the north. To him, north is where he belongs and he strives to make it a better place.
Our guest is currently residing in Tamale where he is teaching and running some of his businesses. As a business man, he has invested in several sectors of the northern economy, also he is a key member of northern heritage. His efforts and role is much appreciated.
With the help of one of our moderators Bagura Shamuddeen, our guest will be taking us through his life journeys travelling across the length and breadth of northern Ghana, shuttling between Upper West and Northern Region. The northern lifestyles and values he has encountered and his perspectives on them.
Ladies and Gentlemen, fill your calabashes with Sobolo as we take you through a refreshing ride to the north.
Shamuddeen: You are most welcome Sir, we are glad to have you spend this evening with us. Our forefathers has a saying that He, who learns, teaches. Indeed as a professional teacher, you are a learned one. We hope you take us through an educational springboard of belongingness and values. Distinguished members will be glad to know who Mr. Mumuni Ali is?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: My name is Mumuni Ali from Upper West, Jirapa district and Hain to be precise. I hail from a very composite family just as most Africans, I had my basic education in Hain both primary and Junior High school and had my high school education at Jirapa Senior High. I obtained my diploma in education as teacher in Bagabaga college of Education – Tamale. Also, I am currently doing a top in IT degree at Valley View University in Techiman. I am an entrepreneur as well. I manage my own little businesses here in tamale hoping to see it grow big like the top men of the world.
Shamuddeen: Nice to know. What a great vision for the north. Can you please give us a bit details on your hometown?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Yes please. I grew up partly in Hain which is located in the Upper West region and in Wa in a suburb call Dobile, growing up in the village ( Hain) was a lovely experience perhaps I missed those experiences; growing up in a composite family with a whole lot siblings from fostered home where we all eat from the same bowl, this personally has instilled the habit easily making a lot of friends when I came to Tamale especially with those who share or had had similar experiences or came from the similar background as me.
Shamuddeen: That's good to note. You seems to have grown up in a typical northern home. This puts you in the right position to tell us how the life in the Upper West region was and is?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Yes of course. I grew up in a typical village. Living in Wa was a hell I must say, as a village boy it wasn't easy adjusting at all. My brother won't allow me to roam wild, I mean going to the bush to shot birds, and all those were associated with my “village life” growing up. However I was able to adjust but slowly when I started Senior Secondary School till I completed.
Shamuddeen: Okay nice to share. Was there other traditional and cultural or moral activities that you appreciated from the people of Wa.
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Yes a whole lot. We the people of Hain and Wa as a whole celebrate series of festivals two of the many are Bamba and Bongo celebrated by Waliba and Jiribaalie respectively. Still on culture and festivals. Most of us as people from Upper West are much populated in Farming activities and when farms are over we indulge in our trading activities mostly brewering of "pito". Least I forget we have several childhood plays but most notable to me was "Tiiloloo" thus hide and seek, I really missed those days in the village. Also, "Miituolung" where we pile a lot of sand and a stick on the sand who ever makes it fall will receive beatings.
Shamuddeen: Nice highlights there. I look forward to trying the pito there someday. At a point you had to move to Tamale. What was your expectations and how was your experiences?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: My first experience in Tamale was in 2013 formally though I had been on several visit to Tamale but 2013 actually gave me the opportunity to be able say something in depth about Tamale. It was a good experience in fact it actually demystified a whole lot of misconceptions I had heard about Tamale.
Shamuddeen: As it is mostly said travel and see. It does entails a lot of wisdom.
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Yes distinguish members had it not been that I came to Tamale, my mind would have still been stuck with all those mysteries.
Shamuddeen: Members will be happy to know from your own perspective, how was the lifestyle in Wa and in Tamale?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Comparing my experiences and growing up in Wa with schooling in Tamale. Tamale is like a home to me because the weather in Wa and in Tamale are nearly the same. And the settings are similar. And I have made and met so many friends in Tamale. I highly feels belonged in Tamale. It was easy adjusting from Wa to Tamale simply because most of our settings, culture and weather and many other factors are similar.
Shamuddeen: Impressive. I guess that's why it is easy for most northerners to easily find their commonalities. Your points has reduced the hodophobia of travelling across the north. By the way, do you have any experiences of the south?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Perhaps schooling in Techiman, the experience is meagre to talk about as a result of my busy schedule of school hours and that has hindered me from exploring Techiman in fact the short nature of our semesters and how loaded every semester is. Notwithstanding personally the weather in Techiman has not been friendly for me, it is always too cool for my liking especially during the raining season.
Shamuddeen: Based on your personal experiences have you ever faced with cultural conflicts, as in you being in a situation you did not know what to do because that moment was all foreign to you.
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Personally I have not experienced any cultural conflicts since been in Tamale and my short stay in Techiman. But I have observed a bit of difference in culture between been in Upper West and living in Tamale, the first thing I noticed was that according to Dagombas, it is not culturally acceptable to give one genuine fowl to a person in appreciation for a good thing he or she has done for you, it must be two or more. It was quite interesting to hear that! In fact I would love to have Dagomba men coming forward to be marring my daughters. Quite apart from that our cultural practices are similar.
Shamuddeen: Wow. This is a tradition I never knew. I was looking forward to present one guinea fowl to my Dagomba in-law. Am very fortunate then. Can you please tell me something peculiar to your lifestyle that was as a result of the northern experience?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Personally my lifestyle has been altered as a results of my few years of experience in the north (Tamale). Mine is more of internal (psychological) as compared to physically. It has changed and demystified all the misconceptions I was having. That it was a Jungle, a town of "flying bullets" I mean war zone. I discarded all these misconceptions as a result of my experience in Tamale.
Shamuddeen: Your travel to Tamale was indeed a good call. What is your perception on northern Ghana?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Mmm my brother and sisters sad to say but I must go hard on this one. That's my own perception about we northerners (Upper West, Upper East, Savannah, North East and Northern region) My perceptions of northern Ghana are: We have great minds and well to do people who never want to invest, to help their own, and to develop their own communities. And we accord much respect to the southerners and outsiders than ourselves; thanks to we the youth for changing the whole face. I encourage all of us should try in our own ways to portray good image of Northern Ghana to Ghana and beyond,
Shamuddeen: May you succeed in making the north proud. As earlier stated however far a stream flows, it never forgets its origin. This is a wisdom to emulate. In a brief statement is there something you want to tell us concerning your lifestyle that is related to the north? Something you will be glad to share with members?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: One thing that is peculiar to my lifestyle as a northerner is the like for my northern dishes especially T.Z.
Shamuddeen: A northerner who does not like TZ is not a northerner or is a hybrid northerner lol.
QUESTIONS FROM OUR GUESTS
Iddrisu Maani: What is your mother tongue? As part of the many festivals the people of Wa celebrate can you please tell us in a nutshell how and when two festivals are been celebrate. I will be looking forward to celebrate one of your biggest festivals??
Mr. Mumuni Ali: My mother's tongue is Dagaare. In brief Bongo festival is celebrated by the people Jirapa to mark or celebrate and thank the Gods for the success and harvest throughout the year. It is celebrated immediately after the raining season.
Shamuddeen: Alright. Thanks for the enlightenment.
Kamal: What special lifestyle did you learn from the North while growing up that you deem necessary to share with Members who do not have the opportunity to be groomed in the North; the differences in cultures notwithstanding?
Mr. Mumuni Ali: I had learned and experienced a lot for instance;
Firstly, Hard work we northerners have been installed with the spirit of hard work since childhood.
Secondly, Honesty, most I have encountered in Tamale and in Wa have been honest to me. Please if I may ask, how many of us northerners out there (not in the northern part) still believe that when you forget your valuable item in a taxi for a week, it will still be brought back to you by the driver. Few I guess. I have experienced that three times in the north. This shows how honest we are.
Shamuddeen: Wow indeed. I keep receiving such complements on our Facebook and Twitter platforms. Mostly southerners and I always feel we are on the right course.
Time is far gone and it was a pleasure spending tonight with us, enlightening us much on your perception on northern Ghana, as well as your experiences. Thank you for your time. We look forward to having you on another program someday.
Mr. Mumuni Ali: Thanks to you all for taking time off your busy schedule to listen to me. It was fun.