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Colonial satire parade still going in Ghana after almost a century

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A fancy dress New Year festival that began almost a century ago in Ghana as a searing satire of colonial life is still thriving today, with hundreds of people dressing up and donning masks.

On the streets of Winneba, a fishing town a two-hour drive from the capital Accra, a four-metre tall Santa Claus waving Ghana’s flag marches past a wolf shimmying to the jazzy beats played by a brass band.

Children wearing matching pink and white cowboy outfits decorated in silver tinsel and Christmas ornaments dance along with their parents in the friendly — but fierce — annual costume competition held just after New Year’s Day.

The Winneba event is a “passion festival”, organiser James Kofi Annan told AFP.

“Whether you are in Winneba or elsewhere, you want to come.”

The Winneba Fancy Dress Festival has its roots in colonial Ghana, when Dutch and English settlers would wear masks at New Year parties.

Ghanaians in Winneba began forming masquerade groups in the 1920’s in part to poke fun at the life and dress of the Europeans, explained Annan.

What began as a subversive depiction of colonial life transformed into a beloved cultural event.

After Ghana achieved independence in 1957, President Kwame Nkrumah’s administration endorsed and promoted the annual Winneba festival.

This year’s event saw five groups of about 100 members vying for the top trophy.

The groups — the Nobles, Egyaa, Tumus, Red Cross and Group Five — have their own marching bands to provide the soundtrack to fast-paced, rhythmic dancing and marching formations.

To perfect their moves before the big day, they practised in secret locations around Winneba, including in the bush and abandoned buildings.

Almost everything the revellers wear is custom-made for the event, from the harlequin outfits sewn in leather and velvet to the multicoloured hand-stitched boots and tall crowns.

 

– Cowboy boots and tinsel –

The costumes are adorned with a glittering array of embroidery, tinsel and Christmas balls.

The performers all wear masks, some handmade, others more generic. Santa is a favourite, and there is at least one Obama among the dancers.

The groups, made up of women, men, boys and girls, work to wow the judges with three different dance routines throughout the day.

Isaac Ambrado, 43, an architect and proud member of the Red Cross group, has brought his five-year-old son Gabriel to perform for the first time.

The father and son are also joined by Isaac’s cousin, Mark Koomson, 42, and his son, Theophilus, also five.

The two young boys held hands as they marched in the procession. Dressed in pink and white, they were pint-sized reflections of their fathers.

Neon pink feathers lined their white, handmade boots, with pink rope decorating their white trousers. Their vests were festooned with tassels.

They wore pink and white masks with long noses under pink sun hats decorated with feathers and tinfoil.

 

– Family legacy –

Both fathers want their sons to carry on the tradition of the annual festival.

“I am growing older, he is supposed to come and take over from me. I have been doing it for 32 years. It is in my family,” Ambrado said.

Koomson said it was emotional to have his son march alongside him, explaining that his great-great grandfather was a founding member of the Red Cross.

In the end, the Red Cross lost out to the Tumus group, who impressed the judges with their costumes that sent a message of “harmony and unity”, Annan said.

While there was no specific theme linking the outfits, Annan noted that they took care to use harmonious colours.

The Tumus group showed discipline in their well-choreographed routines, but it was their passionate performance that endeared them to the judges.

As Annan put it, “they were on top of virtually everything”.

 

Credit: dailymail.co.uk

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Events & Places

2018 WatsUp TV Celebrity Car Race slated for Saturday, June 30!

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After a successful launch of a fun-racing competition for celebrities in Ghana, WatsUp TV is set to host another edition of the annual Celebrity Car Race dubbed WatsUp TV Rush Hour.

This year’s event which will be held at House Party Go-Kart  on the Krokrobite Road in Weija, Accra will be on Saturday 30th June 2018 at 4pm.

Reigning champions Hunter, Dee007 (both from bikers forum) and Epixode are all expected to defend their titles against new comers who will be joining the race this year.

According to the CEO of WatsUp TV, Abd Traore, this year’s event would be raising the bar as more celebrities will be joining the exclusive hangout and racing competition for celebrities and their associates in Ghana.

Some notable celebrities who participated in the previous edition held at the A1 Race Course in Tema include:  Abraham Attah, DJ Mensah, Epixode, Magnom, Gemini, Sista Afia, Opanka, DCryme, Feli Nuna, Ephraim, Keche, George Britton, ZionFelix, Bossu Kule, Stip, Rudebwoy Ranking, Richard ,Coaches, Pep Junia , Geesus and Sarkodie Manager Angeltown Baby

This year’s WatsUp TV Rush Hour is also made possible through the support of SHOB GROUP, TWELLIUM INDUSTRIES, RUSH ENERGY, EXCEL OIL , MAX TV and TV7

 

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Third World, Cyril Neville perform in Ghana this FRIDAY!

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Jamaican reggae band, Third World, considered legends all across the globe, will be in Accra this Friday, June 22, headlining the Ghana World Music Festival.

Slated for the National Theatre from 7:00 pm, the night will also witness a performance from New Orleans great, Cyril Neville.

Currently consisting Stephen “Cat” Coore, Richard Daley, Tony “Ruption” Williams, Maurice Gregory, Norris “Noreiga” Webb, and AJ Brown, the group,active since 1973, are authors of over 20 albums, and are best known for such tunes as “Railroad Track”, “The Story’s Been Told”, “Now That We’ve Found Love”, and “Try Jah Love”. Past band members include

69, singer and percussionist Cyril Garrett Neville shot to fame as member of his brother Art Neville’s funky New Orleans-based band, The Meters.has appeared on recordings by Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Edie Brickell, Willie Nelson, Dr. John and The New Orleans Social Club among others.

Tickets for the Ghana World Music Festival sell for GHC 200 ($42).

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Hundreds donate towards TV Africa’s maiden blood donation exercise

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TV Africa’s blood donation drive was a success as many trooped in to support the worthy cause last weekend. The event saw a lot of voluntary donors in attendance to support the station aid the Ghana national blood service with the blood supply in the country.

Speaking to TV Africa News, the donors expressed joy for participating in the exercise and the fact that it’s an opportunity for them to help save lives whiles others also said they joined the donation as a sign of loyalty to TV Africa.

It was not just about donating, patrons had the opportunity to check for their haemoglobin test, blood pressure, among others.

The donors also were thrilled with musical performances from some artists and were fully refreshed with products from cowbell, Ghandour and other partners.

Veronica Ofosuhemaa Owusu-Ansah, Head of Media and brands for TV Africa, disclosed that the blood donation is a charitable event TV Africa is embarking on as part of its corporate social responsibility to give back to society. She added that the exercise is also part of the company’s positioning strategies.

Some celebrities that passed through were Nikki, Khadijat from the breakfast live show, Classy Judy of Odo confession fame, Sika, Shirley FRIMPONG MANSO, and a host of others.T here was a network session for the donors, presenters, and stakeholders of TV Africa as well.

Cowbell, Ghandour, Ideal Capital Partners, Ideal Finance Limited, Firstrust savings, and loans,360 group, National blood service were our proud sponsors

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aftown to commence quarterly music workshops

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aftown just marked a year of official operations in Ghana with a highlight of 460 artists and over 25,000 subscribers. As part of efforts to improve music sales of artists and increase streaming figures the company kicks off the quarterly aftown music workshop in partnership with afromusicon.

The aftown music workshop is organized specifically for artistes/managers and other stakeholders in the music industry. During this 4-hour workshop, artists will be taken through how to market and promote music with aftown to increase revenue, how to distribute music on other platforms, howproducers and songwriters can publish their music in order to receive royalties, as well as branding as an artiste.

They will also be introduced to partners who provide services in how to plug in their music on radio, and monitor radio airplay nationwide.

The sign up fee for the workshop of GHS 50, which comes with a break-time snacl. To confirm participation applicants can call aftown on 050 3981775 or email musicworkshop@aftown.com

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CALL FOR ENTRIES: RTP Awards 2018

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Big Events Ghana, organizers of the annual Radio and Television Personality (RTP) Awards have released the online nomination form for the 2018 edition of the awards, commencing the process and activities preceding the 8th edition of the event for this year.

The forms are open to Radio and Television personalities who have endeared themselves to the hearts of listeners, viewers and media critics – and have excelled in their respective fields within the year under contention.

The eligibility year for the 2018 RTP Awards is September 2017 to July 2018. Persons eligible for filing of nomination are station managers on behalf of their presenters and individual presenters who wish to put themselves up for nomination.

Interested Radio and Television personalities who meet the above criteria are to visit www.rtpwardsafrica.com, fill the online forms and submit for vetting It is worth nothing that there will be no printed nomination forms for this year’s event and so every process in relation to the filing of nominations will take place on www.rptwardsafrica.com The closing date for the submission of nominations is midnight of 2nd July, 2018.

 

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FlowkingStone, Medikal, Kidi shut down Closeup Campus Tour in Kumasi

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Closeup had the biggest party in Kumasi last weekend.

Just before Otumfuo played host to Okyehene Amoatia Ofori Panin, in Kumasi, Close Up had added more spice to the city.

If you weren’t at the Kumasi City Mall last Friday, you missed a whole lot of fun.

Even though the rains came down a few minutes before the show started, the car park of the mall was full right after it stopped raining.

There were performances from Dope Nation, Kelvynboy, Medikal, and Kidi.

The night was crowned with a spectacular performance from Flowking Stone, who was later joined on stage by his brother, Kunta Kinte.

Before we saw the performances from the stars, we saw the winners from the other regions also perform.

There was also the battle session where a winner was chosen from the Ashanti Region.

There were about 14 underground musicians who battled it out, but it is Officials, a duo who were crowned winners of the Ashanti Region.

The finale of the Closeup Campus Tour will hit Accra in the coming days.

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