Nzulezo - Short Video, Western region of Ghana. How to Get to the Water village
On the way to Nzulezo, the famous village, within a lake, in the Western region of Ghana. Enjoy nature and tranquillity!
Below a story from visitors to the village of Nzulezo, back in 2002
Today is stilt village day! We drive westward to Beyin, approaching the border with Cote d'Ivoire. The road is full of ripples so Jo explains the American term “washboard” in reference to its surface. Amos, our driver, is obviously frustrated with this condition.
Doug visited this place in 2000, introducing FF to it. Everything about visiting Nzulezu has changed and is called “progress” and it probably is. The manager of the fort (Ft. Appollonia) recognizes Doug and expresses gratitude for the pictures he has received. Apparently many promise to send photos, but few deliver. There is a beautiful new office near the start of the canoe voyage which has been provided by the Amansuri Conservation and Integrated Development Project (ACID). After the usual negotiations, we depart in the hand made canoes, barefooted and with our bailing equipment included. Two canoes and two paddlers, but extra paddles for obroni who is expected to help out this time—so obroni does!
Harold has stayed home to be near a bathroom, but Jo is doing a yeoman’s job considering no life vests have been provided and she is not very comfortable on water! God bless her for doing this! There is much joking, laughter and storytelling both in English and in Twi. Things like:
"When ex-president Rollins came to visit Nzulezu he brought two armed body guards with him. He did not know that the guards didn't know how to swim! When the canoe capsized, the guards drowned. Their bodies are still somewhere in the lake! Oh! Should we turn around?"
Upon arrival in Nzulezu we are greeted by the same young man who welcomed and toured us on the last trip. His name is Daniel Ebba and he is the village’s mover and shaker being young, strong, handsome, at ease with people and educated in Takoradi. This year we are greeted with ritual and ceremony, not as tourists, but honored guests. Why? FF is with us and the village knows and respects him as the person who has begun to support a school for the children too young to paddle into Beyin where the nearest primary school is located.
Daniel, in a ceremonial way, asks who we are and why we have come. FF replies with the story of our last visit and now we have returned with new guests and we wish to introduce them to the life of Nzulezu villagers. Daniel acknowledges the story and states that we are welcome which is shown by offering of Star Beer and minerals for everyone. Soon Daniel recognizes Doug with an exclamation and facial expression of “Ah Hah!” He runs to retrieve the photos he has received and with laughter and large smiles, we remember our last visit.
Daniel has built a guest house. It is well built and is artistically wallpapered with newspaper. The cost is $4.50 US per night, which includes dinner, but probably not a shower—guests may take a dip in the lake just under the beds.
The village is changing. It looks more substantial with some plank walkways and the beginnings of the school promised by FF. People still lie on the walkways looking bored—some of the older kids work on fish traps while one older gentleman asks for my hat and sunglasses. Since there is not a lot of space to spread out as in a normal village on land, of course people will rest in the walkways. It is difficult to get rid of the idea that we are invading their living spaces, probably because we are.
The chief and his elders meet us in an avenue on the lakeside of the village. Again there is the same ceremonial exchange of stories as at the welcome with the entire council circulating four times, shaking hands and saying Akwaaba (welcome). We present our poor gifts of pens, pencils and candy for the children, feeling negligent for bringing so little and yet welcomed so well. Next time! FF also receives thanks for books he has shared from our last shipment.
As we leave we are served pineapple and rice cooked in banana leaves. The rice is very, very hot in temperature having been in a charcoal fire for the duration of our visit. The parting drink is a form of raffia apetishi, also known as “Jiggy-Jiggy.” It is served in a clear 1 gallon jug much like you would expect moonshine to be served anywhere in the world. There are twigs and roots floating in the jug and so it becomes a medicinal drink for men! Apparently it helps their jiggy-jiggies!
Canoe races are the order of the day for the return trip. Paddler Felix, FF, Jo and Doug are in canoe #1 with two paddles, while O., A., Ralph and Ellen are in #2 with 3 paddles. Each canoe wins once. There is much singing and laughing all the way. On land once again, we purchase commemorative calendars at the ACID office and “dash” everyone well. It was an extraordinary trip! O. thanks me for giving him a great tour.
Back at Ankobra, and having been "wash-boarded" to a frazzle we swim and boogie board in the high surf; it is a riot! O. and A. want their photos taken in the ocean; Amos because he is from Kumasi and Ashanti people are supposedly nervous around water and Onyameba because he is such a clown. They are in their underwear.
After supper O. and Doug talk until late, evaluating the tour up to this point. Doug tries to be objective and does give some suggestions, but objectivity is difficult for him. O. has become a friend or in Ghanaian terms, a son...
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