The World Folklore Day was a 3-day event that took place on 20th – 22nd August 2018. I attended the launch Day one at the DuBois Centre and Day three at the National Theatre.
Folklore a culture that is common to a community in the form of stories, music, dance, song, festival & ceremonies, food, symbolic representation, activities, traditions – that have been passed over from generations.
The National Folklore Board twitter.com/FolkloreGH had been established that was set up to grant permission for the use of expressions of folklore for commercial purposes. Proceeds from folklore fees will be used to promote folklore, create jobs and wealth and sustainable development.
There was many speeches by guests of honour which included scholars, education professional, law firms, chief, members of the folklore board and the Minister of Tourism, Art and Culture. Praise was given to the vast amount of folklore that Ghana possessed, and we should take ownership.
‘One cannot smile with someone else’s teeth’
The main speakers also outlined the importance of using tourism in branding and how this can be achieved. A way of promoting folklore going forward suggestions were to:
*ensure that the youth were involved
* incorporate a cultural aspect in buildings
*promote Ananse stories not just as a trickster but as a wisdom character.
*use proverbs frequently in the classroom
*cherish, be proud and own culture.
There were also many concerns that:
* Not enough adequate attention to tourism because relying upon natural minerals as an income.
*Tour Guides not promoting the culture or wearing African attire.
But one of the main concerns was Language – enthuses were made about learning and speaking a Ghanaian language instead of English, especially at home with family. If this is not addressed then the Ghana language in particular the Ga dialect may diminish. There was a talk from the Intellectual Property Network about promoting creativity, innovation and branding of Ghanaian products.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture emphasised that there needs to be a unified cultural agenda. We should remember what our ancestors did before colonisation. We should be an ambassador of Ghana and asked the question: – When was the last time you visited a site? and how are you promoting and sharing with others?
Performances by The Africana Dance Ensemble, a young lady captivated the audience with spoken word & sang whilst playing the Kora. There was also a solo drummer.
The keynote speaker mentioned a proverb in his final words –
‘Cant fly with someone else’s wings’.
There was a poster in the foyer which highlighted some facts about origins of some Ghanaian folklore – that were not indigenous to Ghana but improvised, utilised and formatted into Ghanaian culture.
After the speeches we entered another conference room where the table set-up looked regal. On entering you were greeted with drinks of Asaana, Sobolo, Boabab juice which was served out of a large calabash bowl.
After being shown to a seat – I lined up to where the enticing array of traditional food being served out of very large pots. So many choices, but not going wild – the food was delicious, and I was well satisfied for the rest of the day.
I met a sister called Kirstly Abena (a journalist) who had been in Ghana for 3 months – we spoke about the event and the Adamah Papers exhibition that was held at BCA in London. About the Ewe kingdom and Fia (king) – check out www.msbwrites.co.uk
I was unable to attend Day 2 – but the theme was : Children’s Fun Folklore Games Day; with traditional games like oware, sansankroma, pilolo and ampe. Also proverbs, storytelling sessions, traditional dance, face painting and language spelling bee competition.
As I entered the forecourt of the National Theatre I could hear drumming. The entertainment from the dancers to the beat of the drums also got me inspired to dance.
There was a line of vendors ranging from representatives from Embassies in Ghana, natural and herbal products, artwork, jewellery, books, screen prints, environmental activists, tourism promoters, food and natural juices. Fascinating to see exhibition about some staple food of Ghana – banku and fufu and a cooking demonstration using clay pots.
Entertainment throughout the day included Kizomba, African drumming and dance, spoken word – as well as key note speeches from UN representatives and members of different countries.
There was a installation about Ghanaian architecture (David Kojo Derban) which included the Larabanga and Ashanti fettish house – which is one of the places in the north that I would like to visit.
It was also good to meet up with the people I acquainted with on Monday and network with new people.
It was a great day of edu-tainment. But I was disappointed that there were not adequate food vendors – so headed off with Abena to chop some Ghanaian delights at a restaurant.
Bless Sister E