Kakamotobi brought fear into my childhood. Sounds of their drums could be heard from afar during the month of December. It was a festive month, a time for celebrating. In a town called Osu, the Kakamotobi masqueraded on stilts, wearing dazzling outfits. They came to entertain. Instead of sharing in the joy, we were afraid. I lived in the Airport Residential Flats with my family and like the other neighborhood boys and girls, I hid whenever “Kakamotobi scares you but it doesn’t catch you” was uttered. I knelt in front of my window, two flights above and watched them dance in an area surrounded by hedges and trees. The colors of their costumes were so bright. It disturbed me to see the intricate designs and shapes painted on their masks and bodies. The reality of it all; the rhythms, men and women dancing, made me tremble. This was our Carnival, Rio and Fat Tuesday all in one. These men, dressed in a glory of colors imitating Ananse folklore and even, surrealistically, the white man, appeared to be characters out of a nightmare. Their faces were obscured by huge masks. To see a charismatic figure twenty feet tall with a mask simulating the face of a white person and speaking Ga was enough to send a shock up my spine. It did. From shimmery to flash, their clothing formed an assemblage of go-go colors, red, blue, yellow, green to gold. Not one but five: each shook in a separate fever, twisting his knees, shaking his hips, gyrating under some spell. Together, they were forbearers of what the New Year promised, their celebration bringing the past year to an excruciating halt. Slowly they would come and when drums became loud enough, we would scatter.
(Authored by Kofi Fosu Forson)