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Diamond Damba Festival Fun Games 2023 takes Centre stage at Magnolia Recreational Centre

The 2023 edition of the annual Diamond Damba Festival Fun Games took centre stage at the Magnolia Recreational Centre on Saturday, 30th September, 2023. The games organized each year in lieu of the Damba celebrations by some tribes in Northern Region brought together a total of ten teams with ‘rival’ tribes, the Ghana Blind Union members from both Tamale Metro and Sagnarigu Municipality as well as chiefs, high profile dignitaries and the two rival political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in attendance.

The fun games had in attendance the Mayor of Tamale, Hon. Sule Salifu, the NDC Tamale Central Chairman Umar Farouk Issahak (aka Chairman FK), the Northern Regional Football Association Chairman, Alhaj Abu Hasssan Mahamadu Rhyzo, the Northern Regional Football Association Division Two Working Committee Chairman, Mohammed Tahiru, North Gonja District Football Association Chairman, Adam Zak, immediate past president of Gonjaland Youth Association, Alhassan Kpanshegu and current president, Mohammed Jamal, executives and supporters of the NDC and NPP in the northern region among others.  

The fun games are part of efforts to foster peaceful coexistence and unity among these ‘rivals’ in society. When the games begun, the Dagombas played against the Moshies in a football match that offered everything to play for and eventually ended 2-2. The Dagombas then opted out of the resultant penalty shoot outs which meant the Moshies were declared winners.

The Bonaboto Youth from the Upper East Region then took to the field against their traditional ‘rivals’, the Dagaabas. The game ended 3-3 and the Bonaboto Youth won the resultant penalty shoot-out by 3-1.

The Gonjaland Youth Association then came up against the Kasena Youth team in another match up that had everything to play for. However, the Gonjas with the Northern Regional Football Association Chairman, Alhaj Abu Hassan Mahamadu Rhyzo emerged winners by 2-1. Alhaj Rhyzo came on as a late substitute for the Gonjas.

Then the rival political parties, the NDC and NPP came up against each other. The NDC again cemented their dominance in this fixture emerging as 3-2 winners at the end of that game. The NDC has now won every edition of the games except the maiden edition in 2017 when the NPP emerged victorious.

In other sports, the NPP won the playing cards competition with 36points as against the NDC who had 15points. The Ludo game for females saw Rahama Adam (NDC) emerging 1st followed by Latifa Inusah (NPP) in 2nd with Alice Dawuni (NPP) in 3rd and Mariam Razak (NDC) in 4th. In the male Ludo game, B. Y. (NDC) was 1st, Umar Farouk (NPP) was 2nd with Richman (NPP) in 3rd while Alhaj Binyuribuu Sheli (NDC) was 4th.

For the tribes, the Ludo game saw the Moshie emerging 1st with Yussif Adam representing them, Abdul Rahim (Dagombas) came in 2nd for the Dagombas and Ibrahim Adam (Dagombas) was 3rd and Adam Bawa (Moshie) was 4th.

For the Ludo men, Tanko Baforga (Gonjas) was 1st followed by Eric Atuna (Kasena) in 2nd, Mallam Awunche (Gonjas) was 3rd while Mohammed Awal (Kasena) was 4th.

In the Sack Race Women, Rahama Salifu (Moshie) was 1st while Fatima Salifu (Moshie) was 2nd, Suleamana Rafia (Dagomba) was 3rd and Hubaida Hamidu (Dagomba) was 4th. In the men category, Umar Bayan (Dagomba) emerged 1st, Honourable Karimogu (Dagomba) was 2nd and Iddi Fuseini (Moshie) was 3rd followed Yussif Adam (Moshie) in 4th.

Still in the Sack race, Eric Atuna (Kasena) was 1st while Mohammed (Gonjas) was 2nd.

In the political parties competition for the Sack Race, Haruna Mohammed (NDC) was 1st, followed by Iddrisu Abdul Rashid (NDC) in 2nd, in 3rd was Umar Bayan (NPP) and Umar Farouk (NPP) was 4h.

A special side attraction to the games was the Ghana Blind Union who displayed their skills in the Gold Ball competition as Tamale Metro came up against Sagnarigu Municipal. Sagnarigu Municipal emerged victorious by 6-3. A team was then constituted among the general public who were blind-folded for them to play the Gold Ball and experience what the blind go through in playing the Gold Ball. The team was named team Magnolia and came up against the winners of the all-blind competition, Sagnarigu Municipal. Team Magnolia defied the odds and won 6-5 against the Sagnarigu Municipal Blind Union team. Team Magnolia had manager of the centre Mohammed Faisal participating.  

 At the end of the games, the Mayor of Tamale, Sule Salifu thanked Diamond FM for the organization and indicated how important it was for seeming ‘rivals’ in society to take part in games for peaceful coexistence. He mentioned the Gold Ball by the Ghana Blind Union in particular and how amazing it was to watch and the political parties’ game as well and how it was important for them to openly display sportsmanship at all times.

The Chairman of the Ghana Blind Union in the Sagnarigu Municipality, Mr. Mohammed Maltiti thanked Diamond FM for the organization and thanked the general public for giving them the opportunity to entertain them. He called on the Mayor of Tamale to open their doors for them when they call on him for support in running the affairs of their union.

The Tamale Central NDC chairman, Umar Farouk (aka chairman F.K.) donated an amount of GHC 200 each to the Ghana Blind Union teams from the Tamale Metro and Sagnarigu Municipality.

All ten participating teams took home assorted soft drinks while the winners of the various matches had a trophy each in addition.

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