Press ReleaseMISAJE, August 25, 2015—The third edition of the ‘shaa’ festival has opened in Misaje in the Donga Mantung Division of the Northwest region of Cameroon. The festival opened on Tuesday August 25 and will span six days.
Some five villages of the local municipality of Misaje; Kamani, Sabonguida, Mfume, Misaje are taking part in the third edition with over 100 ‘shaa’ producers.
The initiator of the festival, Ndansi Elvis Nukam said besides the increase in the number of participating villages and ‘shaa’ producers, the third edition will witness a number of innovations.
“Some 40 under privileged pupils from denominational schools will receive scholarship. Staff of Unite for Health Foundation will carry out sensitization campaigns, donate drugs and rapid HIV test drips to the participating communities,” Mr Ndansi Elvis said.
Day four of the festival would be reserved for the muslim community of Misaje and Dumbu. The festival initiator will donate praying mats and kettles to the Misaje and Dumbu mosques.
The hallmark of the third edition of the ‘Shaa’ festival will be the launching of the Misaje Sports Academy. The baby soccer academy will play an inaugural match with Bang Bullet FC; a third-division football team from Nkambe.
About the ‘shaa’ Festival
‘Shaa’ is locally brewed liquor which is highly consumed in the rural municipality of Misaje. While most households depend on the sale of the liquor for a livelihood, most youths spend their days drinking—making them lazy and less productive. Hygienic conditions surrounding its production and sale too have been doubtful over the years.
“The festival does not aim at encouraging the consumption of alcohol. It is an avenue to educate producer and consumers on how they could better manage the business and render the consumption more responsible,” Mr Ndansi Elvis said.
‘Shaa’ manufacturers from the different contesting zones each bring a 20litres of the liquor which a specialized committee tastes and grade. Results are tallied and first three finalists are awarded prizes ranging from cell phones, tap adapted buckets, drinking cups, amongst others. Each participant’s 20litres of ‘shaa’ is paid for by the organizing committee and shared to consumers. All participants receive a token participation bonus (and transport where necessary).
“‘Shaa’ is made out of corn and is served locally using cups. These cups are re-used after each person drinks from them. And so during this period of washing the cups they have their traditional washing bucket system wherein they use one bucket in washing. Based on the principle of basic hygiene if you continue to use this method and we have the outbreak of a disease like cholera, it would be disastrous,” the festival initiator explained.
During the first edition, ‘Shaa’ sellers adopted a resolution dubbed ‘operation 12 O’clock’. Rather than open their ‘shaa’ houses from 6-10pm, they agreed that the drinking spots will hence open from midday and close at 8pm.
The Communication Unit
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