The Buchele Adventure

This is record of the Buchele Adventure, as reported from West Africa.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Transparent Man at The Zayaa Mosque


Typical architecture of northern Ghana

The architecture of northern Ghana is so different than the south; homes are round, in collective compounds, and made of red mud and thatched roofs.  But 20 minutes south of Bolgatanga on the main road there is something that doesn’t seem to belong anywhere: The Zayaa Mosque of Walagu.

The Zayaa Mosque of Walagu

This shrine has square corners, was built to be many levels, and looks more like it belongs in Santa Fe than the savannah of Ghana. I have no trouble imaging Luminaries atop its walls at Christmas.
Today known as the Zayaa Mosque, it dominates the landscape, making the mud houses that surround it look out of place, and ancient. Our guide tells us it was just built in the 1990s, using traditional materials and methods.


Sheik Abdul Karim, was given a vision for a house of prayer. In a series of dreams he was directed to this location and then given a vision that specified its design and purpose. The story goes that the morning after he came to Wulugu, a hand dug well appeared on the site. God had provided water. As the Sheik started building, new levels would appear in the night at he slept, as if some unknown person had continued building. In another dream, he heard “The land I have shown to you is a place to be kept holy.” Dave and I are invited to remove our shoes before we enter, this is holy ground.


Do you see the transparent man?


While our guide tells us this story, I look over and see what appears to be a man, a transparent man, sitting, watching us.  I have that feeling of being watched, but don’t say anything to Dave. I snap a few pictures to make sure I’m not loosing it I’m wasn’t or imagining things I was.


Close up of “transparent man”

When we take off our shoes and go inside, I see transparent man up close, but all I see is his shirt, on closer inspection, he goes away. The site makes me feel energized, adventurous, something our tour guide doesn’t quite know what to do with as I go scampering up any incline he points me to.


Mud PlayLand

Though the Sheik built this as a house of prayer, it feels like a grown-up version mud of a McDonald’s PlayLand with all sorts of cool tunnels, turrets, and walls to climb. No wonder they keep the goats out, they would love this place.


Keep those goats out!