Monday, October 29, 2012



Tamale is a city of mosques.  Their number is overwhelming.  They far outnumber the churches of the Christian denominations put together.  The faith of Tamale people is deeply rooted in God.  They don’t seem to see any necessity to have modern buildings as mosques.  They are simple people and they can pray in places which might seem a last option to others.  When my Friday ministry involved moving around town to distribute food to the destitute, I saw packed mosques on every corner during afternoon worship.  Those who could not get a space inside found a space outside the shops or under the trees and performed their prayers there.  What great faith!  (Kutwa)

During my two years in Ghana, I have come to realize that people are friendly regardless of religion.  There is a difference in terms of cultural practices compared to Zambia, but it has helped me to value different cultures as well. I have learnt something of culture of the people in Tamale, especially the Dagombas who are the majority.
Tamale has Christians and Muslims, though the latter are the great majority, and I am very impressed to see the relationship between these two religions. I have seen both religions showing sincere respect and love for each other. It was a valuable opportunity for me to interact with Muslims because in Zambia there are few Muslims.
These experiences in Ghana have been tremendous and have helped me to understand what Internationality means in our Congregation of Christian Brothers.  ( Belamino)
Many times I have heard of countries and situations where there are hostilities and tensions in people’s lives due to their religious beliefs, with Christians against Muslims, Muslims against Christians, accusing each and praising their religion as the best. That is not the case in Tamale where the great majority of the population (over 90%) are Muslims and a small minority are Christian.

During my stay in Tamale, I have been impressed by the way the Muslims and Christians live in harmony. I have made many friends and the most are Muslims. It is in Tamale that I entered a mosque for the first time and this showed the willingness to accommodate others’ religions. The inhabitants of Tamale are not divided by religion. For example, parents in a family can be Muslims while their children are Christians, or vice-versa. I have witnessed Muslims and Christians children attending the same school. Muslims and Christians attend each other’s religious and traditional celebrations and this has created freedom of interaction and intermarriage.
 In all there is freedom of expression about where one is to worship and this has developed respect and peace in the people’s lives.  If we could let go of our religious differences and know we all belong to and worship one God, we would be living peacefully, as I have experienced the people of Tamale doing. (Romano)

I have been inspired by the life lived between Christians and Muslims.  The love, unity and sharing between the two religions, as one family and one Ghana, is amazing.  I think the Inter-Religion Committee in the country is really helping to bring people together in understanding God.  This committee consists of Muslim and Christian leaders.  This has helped me to see that Ghanaians seem to understand that God is one, and is beyond and bigger than religion.
I have had many good relationships with Muslim families and friends in this mainly Islamic part of the north.  This has made my life in Tamale exciting and enjoyable.  The Christians living here are living happily, without complicated issues that would cause loss of life.  Their leaders from both religions meet from time to time, to nourish their relationships and love as people of one family, Ghana. (Nature)

Monday, October 22, 2012


As our time in Tamale comes to a close, we want to share with you some of the impressions and memories we will treasure about our time here.   This is the first instalment – a second part will appear in the coming weeks.


The friendliness and friendship of the people in Tamale is something that cannot go unnoticed.  Any time I leave the novitiate to go to town or for a walk, to ministry or to visit friends, I feel completely secure and safe.  I have always been humbled and nourished by the simple gestures of respect that accompany the greetings from stranger that I meet on the way.  Old and young, women and men, boys and girls, all show respect in different ways.  You never pass unnoticed unless you choose to.
Even if you are a complete stranger, if you happen to meet someone eating you will be surprised to be invited there and then to join the person, eating from the same bowl. I never experienced this in my life until I came to Ghana.  I can say the people are very receptive and more than just being friendly to me. This is why I have come to feel so at home here and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Tamale.(Victor)                  

It is unusual in Tamale to pass a stranger without extending greetings.  Greeting expresses concern for the health of the person, and wishes them well.  It makes people feel recognized and able to venture into the next matter of business.  One day I passed two men seated under the tree without greeting them.  Having lost my direction for coming home, I came back and asked for help.  I got a list of questions: “You did not greet us, yet you want help from us?  Did you look down on our help?  Are you from this town?”  Apologizing was all I could do.  They offered me water, wished me well and showed me the way.

The importance of greeting others should not be overlooked.  It is the first opportunity to focus entirely on another person, and it determines the next step of good relationship.  It expresses acceptance, and makes one feel happy and respected. ( Daniel)                 
Having stayed in Tamale for 20 months, I have come to like the country and am used to the climate.  It has been a wonderful experience and I have learned a lot from the Ghanaians.

The people are very welcoming and I am happy to say that Tamale has been a home for me.  I have come across many families and they have made me part of their family. The teachers I worked with in Yumba Special School have so good to me, welcoming me when I visited them and introducing me to so many things in Ghanaian culture, some of which I will take home with me to Zambia.
I really admire the way people respect and cherish their culture.  They like and value their local products, and encourage local industries making such things as clothes (especially the distinctive smocks), sandals, necklaces and so on.  It has been an inspiration for me and I wish my own country had something like this.  (Lewis)                       
My experience of Tamale has helped to reshape my worldview.  The people are friendly, warm and hospitable, always ready to offer assistance whether you ask for it or not.  I have had the opportunity to work and interact with people from different backgrounds and this has made me get in touch with people at a deeper level and develop a passion for people, especially those at the margins of society.  I have also seized the opportunity to study aspects of their culture.  These experiences have helped me to deepen my relationship with God.   (Hazeley)