Cultural and Social Festivity as a Silent Contributor to HIV Infections: A Moral Challenge of the Easter Festivity to the Kwahuman Leadership in Ghana

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Beatrice Okyere-Manu
Joseph Antwi

Abstract

This article takes a look at cultural and social festivals celebrations, particularly the Easter festival celebrated amongst the people of Kwahu in Ghana. It argues that the festival has the potential to become a silent contributor to HIV infection in Ghana. This claim is based on recent incidence during the celebrations. The three day Easter observance among the Kwahu in the Eastern region of Ghana has become one of the most celebrated festivals in Ghana, far exceeding any other festivals in terms of popularity and participation. Currently the festival attracts both local and international tourists with many activities on offer including paragliding and street carnival, jam night and the like. Drawing on a personal observation as well as available literature on the current developments of the festival, the article argues that notwithstanding the economic boost that may accompany the festival, as a result of the tourist attraction and other activities, the growing presence of people from different communities and countries who travel to the festival presents a chance for unintended, unprotected sexual networks. This and many more activities and occurrences can be a major contributing factor to the increase risk of HIV infections in the country. This is because during the Easter festivities, most of the people who travel to the Kwahu area engage in excessive drinking of alcohol, and abuse of drugs which makes them vulne-rable to HIV infections. Others also use this opportunity to showcase their wealth with the view of attracting potential girls and women as life partners.


These behaviours do not only compromise the cultural and religious values of the festival, but also pose a serious risk to HIV infections. This unintended activities, ultimately challenges the gatekeepers of the Kwahu communities and other stakeholders to offer a contextual and relevant voice within the complex challenge of tourism, cultural and social festivity, morality and HIV.

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How to Cite
Okyere-Manu, B., & Antwi, J. (2016). Cultural and Social Festivity as a Silent Contributor to HIV Infections: A Moral Challenge of the Easter Festivity to the Kwahuman Leadership in Ghana. Alternation Journal, 23(2), 236-249. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1285
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Articles
Author Biographies

Beatrice Okyere-Manu, University of KwaZulu-Natal

okyere-manv@ukzn.ac.za

Joseph Antwi, Presbyterian University College


kofiantwi69@presbyuniversity.edu,gh
antwi69@yahoo.co.uk