The Centre for African and International Studies (CAIS), has embarked on a10-day fieldwork at Kormantse Nkum.
The annual exercise is conducted to provide the students with the opportunity to interact with some selected communities.
The Director of the Centre, Dr. Alex Jacques Wilson, noted that the purpose of the exercise was to expose students to an ethnographic experience. “Ethnography is highly used in African Studies to let students gain access to the members of a community; to comport themselves in a community and to have a feel of a community.” Dr. Wilson added that the exercise would let them identify the right people to contact for information; learn to interact with people and identify respondents in the community. The Director of the Centre also said indicated that through field works, students were taught interviewing skills and micro studies which would guide them in their research methods.
Relevance of the Exercise
Nana Kyeame of Kormantse Nkum, Egya Amissah, explained that the exercise had given the entire community the opportunity to associate with UCC and also explain and transfer hidden traditions, customs, norms, taboos, etiquette and occupation to the students. Egya Amissah, who is also the Kona Ebusuapanyin, said that through this fieldwork, historic objects of Kormantse Nkum were exhibited at UCC during last year’s PANAFEST. “Thankfully, we were given the chance to exhibit these historic items during PANAFEST last year,” he noted. He said the collaboration had also opened doors to the youth of the community, who qualify to be admitted into the University.
The Assistant Coordinator of fieldwork, Dr. Eva Tandoh Quansah, also explained that the programme was very relevant because it served as a practical session for Research Methods course which was usually taught theoretically. She indicated that the fieldwork has been scouted for towns with historical backgrounds and was conducted twice in a town.
Dr. (Mrs.) Quansah noted that the exercise was intended to seek: the origin of the people and the Aboradze clan of Kormantse; the role(s) of the Chief(s) and Queen Mother(s); music, dance and appellations of Kormantse Nkum. Others were court language and etiquette as well as the state of Kormantse in the pre and post-colonial era.
A level 300 student, Ms. Mary Hawawu Aliyu, stated that exercise was very informative, indicating that, it had given them the opportunity to associate, interact, learn and familiarise with other people. Ms. Aliyu added that “The fieldwork has also given us the exposure to practise the conventional classroom theory of African Studies. This is because we live, cook, converse and work with them.”
Present were the Oman Kyeame, Mr. Oscar Gaisie, Kormantse Nkum Pofohene, Nana Afful, Palace Court Secretary, Mr. John McCarthy, Nana Benya, a lecturer (CIAS), Dr. Mario Nisbett and African studies students.