The first Re-Publica event in Accra took place on December 14-15th at the La Trade Fair Centre. This event focuses on how digital spaces have been used across various platforms in Politics & Society, Arts & Culture, Business & Innovation, and developed to transform lives, businesses, health & wellbeing, agriculture disadvantages, waste management, political agenda, culture, arts, science – the list goes on.
Using digital space in various platforms: Politics & Society, Arts & Culture, Business & Innovation, Science & Education
Motto: Next Level ‘thinking forward, taking action, and driving change’.
I was gifted with a free ticket so attended day 2 of the event with my cousin Fiona. I was overwhelmed by the vast amount to see, listen and partake over 3 open air floors. A line-up of innovators, activists, performers, panel speakers, interactive workshops, vendors, talks, installations, exhibition, food & drink, themed lounges and stages – and of course – food and drink. I was contented with the natural juices on offer.
There were 3 stage settings and was spoilt for choice on talks and discussions as they overlapped. The first talk I listened to was called Her Story – Insights from Female Leaders. Line up of Jemila Abdulai, Ethel Cofie, Veronica Da-Silva and Maukeni Kodjo – who spoke about their personal stories of life being a woman in the tech world, challenges and successes as entrepreneurs.
Panel Discussion – Building African Feminist Solidarity in Digital Spaces. On the panel was Pan-Africans – Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah(Ghana), Salamata Athie (Senegal), Hirut Dawit (Ethiopia), Rosebell Kagumire (Uganda).
Discussed how they have promoted social change, improved lives of feminist issues, advocated for change in their country via social media platforms, blogging, chatbox, podcast and vlogs to voice their stories.
I’m always fascinated to what people construct with recycled material. Taking a break I sat on a recycled chair that was very comfortable. As they say ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’.
There were many things happening in the Healing lounge. You could get a massage, chill, network and attend talks. I went to a workshop called Music Therapy – Improving Health through Traditional Ghanaian Music. We watched some video footage of using song and live instruments being played in hospitals and the effect on patients. At the end of the workshop we all danced to the sound of the drum – which definitely brings joy to the soul – whether to uplift mental, emotional or physical health.
I was attracted by a large bill illustration board and was giving an introduction into the online comic world by Eyfam Tawia the co-founder of Leti Arts – a media company that provides digital comics and mobile games. I’m not a comic fan but was attracted by his concept to include and promote African tradition and folklore within the stories.
I wanted to know more, so me and Fiona invited ourselves to the studio the following week – where we met some of the creators and graphic illustrators.
Eyfam gave us an outline of his interesting career. He is a family man that is hard working, dedicated, modest and loves smiling. Has a string of achievements from awards, App winner, written a biography, to speaking at Tedx Accra. But his biggest achievement to date was speaking at the Game Development Conference 2013 in USA.
One of their online comic stories called Karmzah was launching a printed comic book – so we attend that also. Karmzah is written by Farida Bedwei a IT engineer who has cerebral palsy. She felt the need to change the stereotype of disability through using a super heroine.
Who knows – maybe one day I can be a super heroine.
Rewinding back to Re-Publica event – The venue was the perfect place, the atmosphere was buzzing, quenched my thirst, caught up with friends, met creative people and took home lots of info.
bless Sister E