Home > Andrew's Blogs > Krobi: A Festival the Men Don’t Like But the Women Do

Krobi: A Festival the Men Don’t Like But the Women Do

Ladies, your gonna love this.

Missionary Tim Neufeld writes about a festival in Mango, Togo where the girls sing about the shortcomings of the men in their life.  Here’s an excerpt:

On the 27th day of Ramadan we learned about a festival that they call Krobi.  The young girls dress up and dance in various places around the town.  They are coached by older women to publicly sing about the shortcomings of the men in their lives.

To see how the men react and a universal truth about women and clothing  keep reading . . .

September 20, 2009

It’s Sunday afternoon and this day marks the end of Ramadan, the annual month of fasting.  Actually the month ended last night, and the day following is a day for huge celebration.  The four guards employed at the guesthouse and our place just left from their afternoon visit.  It’s customary for people to visit friends and share food on this day. Since we were in Dapaong this morning, and there wasn’t time to prepare a sauce with rice, Esther served them popcorn, and sent some home with them for their families.  It was a nice visit, with a lot of laughter and joking.  They are definitely relieved to be done with fasting for another year.  And we pray that they will come to understand that we don’t have to gain God’s favor by punishing ourselves in this way.  This is definitely a work through which they hope to gain points for salvation.

On the 27th day of Ramadan we learned about a festival that they call Krobi.  The young girls dress up and dance in various places around the town.  They are coached by older women to publicly sing about the shortcomings of the men in their lives.  It is a rather lighthearted festival, but our guards said that men are sometimes embarrassed by the public exposure of their offenses.  We asked what they might sing about, and learned theyTogo 3 Girls are coached to sing things like the following; “Look at this old clothing his wife has to wear!  Her husband never buys her anything new to wear.” Does that sound familiar?  Anyway, it is customary to give the girls a bit of money as a reward for their public service announcements.  Three of them came to our house and Esther got their picture.

Speaking of clothing, Nogbedji’s tailor shop was packed with young ladies waiting for new dresses.  That is also customary at the end of Ramadan.  I know he and the apprentices worked through the night on several occasions, and I was told that he was at work until 4:00 a.m. today.  The customers waited at the workshop for their new dresses, so there was no way to stop until every order was finished.  This is a tailor’s life.  It is feast or famine much of the year.  Apart from the used clothing market, there is no ready-made clothing.  And women in particular tend to order new dresses around the holidays.  So the end of Ramadan sees a rash of orders.  Tabaski, coming up in a couple of months, will also be very busy, as will the New Year.  We don’t know how Christmas will sell up here in Mango, but it is very busy down in Kara or in Lome.  I guess people the world over love to celebrate special occasions.  We spoke with Mumoni this afternoon and he said he is looking forward to the Christmas tree that we had last year. We hope to buy some lights to plug in outdoors as well.  It will give us opportunity to talk about our Lord.

Since we were on the road much of the past week and a half, we missed writing last week’s Musings.  But I do thank those of you who prayed for our safety on our trip.  We saw and heard nothing more of bandits while we traveled, and do hope that the banditry we heard of was an isolated event.  The only problem on our way back to Mango was a three-hour delay at a detour around a damaged bridge on the main highway.  There has been too much heavy truck traffic for the bridges that were built more than 30 years ago.  I’m told the bridge is now repaired, and trucks are coming through.  That is good news as we have the first container for the Wendell Kempton Medical and Ministry Center coming north tomorrow.  We expect to unload it on Tuesday morning.  It’s just a relief that they won’t be sent around by the detour (we hope). The delay we experienced was the result of a container that fell off a truck and blocked the road.  I’ll leave the condition of the road that caused the accident to your imagination.

It was a blessing to be in church once again, as we visited Pastor Laré  in Dapaong.  We do miss gathering together with God’s people on a weekly basis, and will be happy when we can see the start of a church here in Mango.  We were thankful to leave him with a smile on his face.  He’s been pretty discouraged over the past several months.  It’s tough being in a situation by oneself, and I think he still struggles with the loss of his wife, Mana, several years ago.  We need to pray for him more regularly.

Several weeks ago we wrote about having Nogbedji, his family and his apprentices over for dinner.  Following the meal we showed the film, Magdalena, a view of Jesus from a woman’s perspective.  Tonight Nogbedji brought a list of questions his apprentices asked that were prompted by viewing the film.

1. Why did the people mock Jesus when he was on the cross?
2. Why did they kill Jesus?
3. Why didn’t the people want to listen to Jesus?
4. Who were the two people crucified with him?

These and other questions show that the apprentices were thinking as they watched the film.  They were so moved by what they saw that a number of them were in tears.  Please keep on praying.  We believe God is going to do a great work here.

Yours in His service,

Tim & Esther Neufeld

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