It was all fun, opportunity to learn from the legends and a platform to brain storm in a quest to preserve and promote Ghanaian languages on the premises of the Bureau of Ghana Languages and CYCC during Sanegbaa, a rebranded version of Bureau of Ghana Languages’ commemoration of UNESCO International Mother Language Day. From morning till evening was a portrait worth seeing and re-seeing and re-seeing!
The day, of what has come to stay as a festival of Ghanaian languages, was started with screening of Kofi Yirenkyi’s Sika Sunsum—a brilliant by all standard film produced in Akan—and the famous I Told You So also in Nfantse. This was followed with a conversation with one of Ghana’s film making legends, Mr. Kwaw Ansah. This session saw a wide range of participants, from film makers, actors, students of film making school (NAFTI) and from senior high schools, languages activists, journalists and to families, interacting with the legend.
A moment of thrills & excitement was birthed as the reinvention of the past was seen in the next session as all participants of the festival were held in traditional oral games in different Ghanaian languages amidst playing of games as oware & ludu among others. There was also a ‘Brain storming session’ as different government agencies/institutions/association heads, academicians, professionals—doctors, teachers, journalists, actors, language experts, students and activists—were held in a round table discussion about how the Ghanaian languages can be preserved and promoted. These included Mr. Abdullai Diallo (the Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO), Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng (President of Ghana Association of Writers), Nana Fredua Agyeman Ofori-Atta(President of Ghana Association of Writers), Grace Omaboe (Mame Dokono), Prof. Abdulai Salifu Asuro (Bard Chairman, National Folklore Board) Akosua Abdallah (Actor and Director of Community Youth Cultural Centre) among others.
Anansesem si soo!, the performance session, was absolutely fantastic!
It commenced with a dialogue led by Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng and curated by Pan African Tv’s manager and Tv show host, Ama Pratt and then a statement by Mr. Abdullai Dialo (Keynote Speaker for the day), audience engagement and then a range of performances.
The sweet memories the outstanding storytelling television programme By The Fireside, was re-enacted as Grace Omaboe (Mame Dokonu) led the Asante Twi students of Labone SHS in an awesome and mind blowing story telling session soon after some of the cast members of the famous Akan Drama and Obra including Jagger Pee, Waakye among other popular faces were seen in 3 intriguing different acts in the Ga, Akan and Ewe languages. Amandzeba Nat(ive) (He)Brew then with the African and PlayHouse cultural bands in performing the famous NAKOREX’s Kpanlogo yede.
There were also performances by budding poets/spoken word artistes one of is Regina Asante, a young student from Akuapem Apirede Methodist Basic School, who thrilled the audience with her skillful and well rehearsed delivery.
Hon. Catherine Afeku, the sector Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture was the Special Guest of Honour for the day. Supported by the Board Chairman, (Mr. Ernest Boateng), Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng and the acting Director of the Bureau to honour she led the Bureau of Ghana languages to honour Grace Omaboe, Amandzeba, Peace Fm, Adom Fm, Adom Tv and UTv for their hard works in their respective fields of endeavour to preserve and promote Ghanaian languages. She shared in the performances by dancing and sharing fond memories with the audience on the storytelling style in her hometown that was beautifully done in Nzema.
‘Sanegbaa!’ is the translation of ‘Conversation’ in the Ga Language and is an event designed to host several intriguing segments every year to mark UNESCO International Mother Language Day.