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Of KOD’s Rhythms on Da Runway (#RODR2017)

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A young man arrives in a convoy of three cars — all black. He looks princely and particularly Nigerian –his agbada (made of golden lace) shining against lighting on the forecourt, and an elegant sky which has poured forth ample rain about an hour ago. As he climbs up the ten steps, cameramen line up to take photos. Click. Click. Click. On cue, his smile widens. A bevy of women join him, and there’s the sound of more clicks as flashlights bounce off their foreheads.

He goes in — the gentleman, in all his glory — through the shiny see-through door guarded by the dark police officer of noticeable build. He comes back out, and gathers the sleeves of his flowing gown which has now fallen down his right hand. He throws it over his shoulder, again, with royal grace. He signals to the man stationed by the first car. The man: a driver conditioned into zealous obedience by a life of service, gets into the driver’s side. The others get in their cars and drive off into the parking area at the end of the stretch. He smiles for more cameras, and goes inside again –the policeman holding the door open for him.

More people start arriving, all familiar faces due to their frequency on television, and their pristine standing as society’s very favourite: Lexis Bill, Doreen Andoh, Joselyn Dumas, Stephanie Benson, Akumaa Mama Zimbi, respected legal name Kwame Akufo and so on. Some would climb the runway as celebrity models, others, among the privileged audience, or in plush make-shift lounge far to the left.

Such is the calibre that grace KOD’s Rhythms on Da Runway on April 1 at the Banquet Hall (Osu) — the very creme of the society.

Even more people arrive: some with an arm in the crook of a partner’s, others by themselves. Still, they all make important fashion declarations by their looks –succinctly, or by cuts and folds in strange places.

An art exhibition welcomes you when you walk through the glass door — a series of deeply breathtaking experiences which have found their way unto mere canvas. But don’t be carried away yet… it is still a fashion show you have come to. The ambience there is one of superior calm as patrons look upon the paintings with entranced eyes for significant periods.

 

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Previously held by the grand pool at Golden Tulip Hotel, and also GH ONE TV’s studios, the 2017 edition of  KOD’s Rhythms on Da Runway is also his biggest, for it has now obviously taken on international repute. It first came off in 2003, and has grown to become a truly artistic melting pot of music, fashion, visual arts and everything in between, gathering in one congregation, prominent fashion heads both locally and across the continent.

Fashion firms which represented at this year’s event are no mean names in the industry: wife Ophelia Crossland, Abrantie The Gentleman, Velma’s Accessories, Bon Collections, NINETEEN57 BY KOD himself, South Africa’s Palse, as well New York-based Kenyan designer Narok all presented breathtaking pieces. These names clearly prove that it is one of the most important gathering for the fashion ecosystem on this side of the Atlantic, if not the most important.

A relative of broadcasting legend and fellow style icon Kwesi Kyei Darkwa (KKD), the Winneba native (who recently celebrated 20 years as a media practitioner) has also designed for respected persons as former presidents Jerry Rawlings and J.E.A Mills, football stars Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien, Emmanuel Adebayor, Jamaican Reggae star Buju Banton, international Gospel singer Sonnie Badu, broadcaster Nathaniel Attoh, and a host of others — clear testament of his superior talent with clothes. His brand, NINETEEN57, is also telling of the philosophies which shape his creation: independence, patriotism, originality –Ghana! The brand name, because of what it stands for, is both weighty and audacious, needing only the steadiest of hands to bear.  KOD (Kofi Okyere Darko) knew what choosing a name out of Ghana’s independence year meant:

“I thought of 1957 because the year really represents something very special to me…not just me, but to all Ghanaians. 1957 is Ghana’s independence year, and our independence represents liberation not just for Ghanaians, but the entire black race”, he submitted to Sound City TV during the 2003 edition. Has he done a good job representing this national moment today? Without doubt!

Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD)

Again, Rhythms on Da Runway is consequence of a deep-seated passion in the soul of KOD. Everybody now knows him as “Mr Classic”, because of what he has come to truly embody in this age –pushing the limits with rare courage, and proving consistently, new and exciting possibilities which are only uncovered by keen eyes as his: “In terms of fashion, I think that I’m very liberated. I’m the kind of person that wears what quite a number of people might not be able to wear”, he pointed out in the Sound City interview.

Only a quarter of the number of performers advertised for the show showed up, but even that was not a light list:  Sarkodie, Bisa KDei, M.anifest, Abida from Zimbabwe, Wutah Kobby, Akwaboah, incredible band “Collectives”,  and saxophonist Okyere.

M.anifest

Among models who walked the length of the runway  that night are admired showbiz figures as actor James Gardiner, radio man Lexis Bill, PY Addo Boateng, Akumaa Mama Zimbi,  Coded (of hiplife trio 4X4), and madman Kwaw Kese. This runway has attracted similar big names in the past, including (but not limited to) Sandra Ankobiah, Reggie Rockstone, Funny Face, Bola Ray, Asem, D-Black, Tinny, Jon Germain, Benny Blanco, Kwaw Kese, Keitta Osei, Kwaku-T, and Sena Gbedawo.

An assembly point of the very best Ghanaian models too, this year’s was graced this year by the likes of Chantelle Dapaah (wife of revered stylist Abrantie The Gentleman), Victoria Michaels, The Ayew Sisters, Prince, Julee Djoulde Bocoum, and Miss Ghana 2015 Antoinette Delali.

Sarkodie’s performance was the ultimate highlight of the night, as it served as precursor (and background music) for the showcase of KOD’s latest pieces. All the excitement happened then: patrons could hardly remain seated, and the cheers just wouldn’t stop. When PY emerged unto the runway, he received a rousing welcome. Beaming, he began his walk, acknowledging Akwaboah, and Sarkodie who were still stationed in the centre of the runway, dishing out  a live rendition of the latter’s recent Painkiller  single which features Nigerian singer Runtown. PY clashed fists with Sarkodie as salutation, and when he got to the end of the strip, he broke into dance. The crowd got even noisier. His colleagues who had agreed to model for NINETEEN57 received similar reactions.

It is not unusual that rapper Kwaw Kese modelled with bare feet (a number of the male models walked without shoes). It is the fact that the “madman” held his black pair of footwear in the grip of his fingers instead. The crowd was pleasantly shocked, and it proved very entertaining –Kese’s act. Even Sarkodie paused in the middle of singing just to exclaim “abodam!”

All the NINETEEN57 models came back out for a final time: in a row, accompanied by KOD, whose head was covered in a cap, and a hoodie he had designed himself. He walked to the front of the row, where Kwaw was standing, shoes in hand. He attempted to snatch the shoes from Kwaw. He succeeded with one, and they both made their way back to the main stage, trying not to laugh. Once more, this love-hate relationship between Kwaw and KOD (also accurately told by at least two of the latter’s videos Killer Bewu Last Show and Mmaa Pe Wu) was reenacted, and it’s all so beautiful what they have made out of this relationship over the years.

KOD walked to the front of the row, where Kwaw was standing, shoes in hand. He attempted to snatch the shoes from Kwaw. He succeeded with one, and they both made their way back to the Main stage, trying not to laugh.

KOD and wife Ophelia Crossland have become a power couple over the years, greatly influencing the country’s fashion situation.

Fashion shows in Ghana continue to grow at a pace where they now commands a decent space in the larger textile and accessories ecosystem. The scene is actively run by persons like Darko, who continues to find inspiration from a situation that could have been better. Ghana has over the years showed the way in fashion in the sub region and has had huge names such as the late Kofi Ansah, lead the charge. Devotees of the industry have remained active despite current floundering statistics. Okyere and his colleagues hope to catch the eye of authorities to at least put fashion on the agenda on discussions bordering on Gross Domestic Product. Ghana stands to gain enormously from initiatives such as Darko’s. In 2013, the World Economic Forum estimated that the country’s Tourism sector was valued at some 2.1 billion dollars with a 5 percent contribution to GDP. The WEF forecasted a 5.4 percent growth by 2022.

Fashion is indeed a magical wand which brings all sorts of people together. Proof? Peoples of diverse heritage all collected under the large roof of the Banquet Hall, beholding with the avidity of children, the very future of style trends. It made for a colourful and inspirational image — this uniting force that fashion has also morphed into.

Rhythms on Da Runway 2017 was hosted by Joy FM’s Nathaniel Attoh, as well as Zimbabwean presenter Vimbai Mutinhiri.

More images courtesy VINE/ Frozzen Second:

 

 

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Teephlow, Kuami Eugene, Kelvynboy perform at UCC Closeup Campus Tour (+IMAGES)

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The University of Cape Coast was the place to be last Friday as the University felt the heat of the Closeup Campus Tour.

The show which saw award-winning artistes like Teephlow, Kuami Eugene and Kelvynboy move the crowd to the highest level.

Other artists who performed on the night included B4Bonah, Obkay and Real MC.

But it wasn’t all about them last Friday, staying true to Close Up’s “Break The Barrier” mantra, other upcoming artists were given the opportunity to perform on the same stage Adina, Kwesi Arthur and Kelvyn Boy performed on.

This was a major confidence booster for the young artiste who will undoubtedly record that moment in history as one of their own “Break The Barrier” moments.

The BreakTheBarrier competition was tough in Cape Coast but the luckiest among the contestants was UCC’s own Rap Dizzle. The rapper beat 11 other competitors to win the 2018 Close Up Cool Breeze Campus tour edition in Cape Coast.

As the winner, Rap Dizzle will get another rear opportunity to break another barrier and represent his school on the Close Up Cool Breeze Campus tour bus.

As part of the fun-filled activities, Close Up Cool Breeze shared some goodies including mugs, towels and cash prices.

The next stop for the Closeup Campus Tour is the Koforidua Technical University.

 

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OUT NOW! TICKETS FOR Ghana Meets Naija hit physical stores

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Empire Ghana, organizers of the annual Ghana Meets Naija have announced that tickets for #GhanaMeetsNaija18 are out at major physical outlets, and are selling for 120, 200 and 300 cedis.

Tickets are available at LIVE FM, STARR FM (located in the Meridian House, Ring Road), opposite Ecobank, and close to Nima Junction. Other outlets include Accra Mall, Achimota Mall and West Hills Mall, as well as Empire Ghana offices (located at Ridge, Accra, close to Alisa Hotel),

Patrons can also download the flexipay app on Playstore and Appstore, and make their purchase. Platinum tickets/ tables can be reserved on 050 564 6657 and 0558434907.

The 8th Ghana Meets Naija is on June 9 at the spacious FANTASY DOME, Trade Fair, La, Accra. The call for a bigger event for the annual Ghana Meets Naija concert has been heeded to by the organisers, Empire Ghana, as this year’s concert makes its debut at the facility located at the International Trade Fair, La. Fantasy Dome boasts state-of-the-art facilities and has already hosted a number of high-profile events.

Over 5000 people are expected to attend the event, which has constantly proven a sought-after platform for the West African nations to play out the musical sibling rivalry that exists between them.

Dubbed the “Rescue Mission”, this year’s event will also witness  performances from Stonebwoy, who is famed for his outstanding live gigs, KiDi, Kuami Eugene, King Promise, Patapaa, and Fancy Gadam. Nigeria will be represented by Wizkid, Mayorkun, and Mr. Eazi. More acts are expected to join the roster, organisers say.

Usually overbooked, the concert, widely deemed the biggest West African show, has previously been mounted by A- Listers as Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Falz, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Naeto C, R2Bees and a host of others.

This year’s sponsors include Kasapreko Alomo Gold and Storm Energy Drink, Allied Oil, Somoco Ghana Ltd, Nasco Mobile, Kirusa, Point and Play, Rova Surveillance, Tang Palace, Fix Consult, EIB Network (Starr FM, Live FM, Gh One TV, Kasapa FM, Empire FM, Ultimate FM, Abusua FM), Graphic Showbiz,  Y FM, Aftown Music, Muse Africa, Ghana Music.com, West Hills Mall, Achimota Retail Centre, Accra Mall, Timepiece Gh.

The 2018 Ghana Meets Naija concert is powered by Empire Ghana.

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B4bonah,TeePhlow,Kuami Eugene others invades UCC for Close Up Cool Breeze Concert

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Award-winning artistes Kuami Eugene, TeePhlow and Kelvynbwoy will take the party to the University of Cape Coast this Friday.

Dubbed #BreakTheBarrier, the event will give an opportunity for an upcoming artiste to breakthrough to mainstream music.

The Campus Tour is an initiative of Close Up Ghana to break the barrier and connect with the youths of Ghana through entertainment.

Among the several artists who would perform on the night is rapper O’bkay of  MTN Hitmaker fame and Tema based Afropop star and Dear God crooner B4Bonah.

The Campus Tour is an initiative of Close Up Ghana to break the barrier and connect with the youths of Ghana through entertainment.

The Close Up Cool Breeze gives you up to 12 hours of fresh breath.

This youth centric brand is giving young people the confidence to break the barriers with the power of fresh breath.

As these young talented musicians bring their act to the University of Cape Coast, the students of the university will get the unique opportunity to make to gain the confidence they need to break the exam barrier.

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Collaborating for Growth – Aftown music is set for AfroMusicon 2018!

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After a year of operations in Ghana, over 22,000 subscribers and 300 signed acts; it’s become evident that both artists and music lovers are receptive to the business side of music.

Aftown exists not only to help artists make money but also for music lovers to have a one-stop shop to download and stream all their favourite songs from artists they love. So far, artists like Akan, Worlasi, Stonebwoy, EL and more have benefited from the marketing and sales opportunities that Aftown has to offer; selling their singles and albums to thousands of their fans across the country and across the world.

So when word came in from EchoHouse Ghana of the AfroMusicon initiative, it was only right that Aftown came on board to help push the grand agenda; The Business Of Music.

We believe artists should be able to make a living from their art, and conferences like AfroMusicon play a major role in enlightening the artists with respect to opportunities available and measures they need to put in place to secure revenue from their music. Aftown, along with its partners DGN, BBNZ LIVE and Sound Effects, will be playing a major roll in maiden AfroMusicon conference. Look out for the Aftown music workshop, concerts and panel discussions. Sign up to Aftown and get all the info first hand!

 

AfroMusicon is hosted by EchoHouse Ghana, in partnership with InnovaDDB and Pulse Creatives and supported by Trace, Kuulpeeps, BBnZ, DGN, Ameyaw Debrah, Harmattan Rain, NYDJ Live Media, George Britton Media, GhudMusic, Enewsgh, StarrBuzz and TalkMedia GH, Kobby Kyei Media, MiPromo and Ghana Music.

The conference will focus on how musicians can capitalize on existing platforms and opportunities to make money off their passion. Visit www.afromusicon.com or follow @AfroMusicon on all social media platforms for more information or call 0500003344 to sponsor.

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Pascal Amanfo joins the Amoateng Pastors for next level Conference

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Nigerian film director, based primarily in the Ghana film industry, Pascal Amanfo after announcing that he is a man of God in 2015 is yet to speak at one of his biggest events.

The filmmaker has been announced as one of the ministers to give a sermon at the 2018 Next Level Conference in Accra starting May 27 to June 3 this year.

The event expected to happen at the Power of Worship International church at Spintex Road aside Pascal Amanfo will have the three Amoateng brothers who are men of God also speaking at the week-long event.

Pastor Brian Amoateng together with his elder brothers, Pastor Daniel Amoateng, Prophet Sampson Amoateng will minister to patrons who will attend the Next Level Conference. Abena Brigidi is also named as the only female speaker for the Christian event starting on May 27.

The conference will witness performances from several top Ghanaian gospel musicians. The Sunday, May 27 to Thursday, May 31 shows start from 6 pm and Friday, June 1 to June 3 events also commences from 9 pm each day.

Prophet Daniel Amoateng, a civil engineer, author, philanthropist and a servant of God is the founder and leader of the Power of Worship International church located at the Spintex Road, basket bus stop in Accra.

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W.E.B DU BOIS MEMORIAL CENTRE FOR PAN AFRICAN CULTURE Hosts 2018 African Union Fashion show & Bazaar

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The W.E.B Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Accra, in collaboration with the Fashion Department of Accra Technical University, will from May 18-19 host an African Fashion Show and Craft Bazaar.

The event is being held in commemoration of the African Union (AU) Week under the theme “Sustaining Africa’s Authentic Fashion and Clothing Industry”

Officials say the objective of the programme is to promote the “African Fashion, Clothing and Textile Industry, as well as, providing a platform for the Final Year Students of the Fashion and Design Department of Accra Technical University to showcase their creative designs as part of their academic assessment.

“It is an event which is strategically designed and crafted to give a platform for the African Fashion, Clothing and Creative Arts Industry as well as the general public to engage in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.”

Some One Thousand (1,000) people including Government officials, Diplomatic Missions, Pan Africanists, Trade groups, Students, Cultural groups, and Craft Vendors are expected to attend.

The official launch will be performed by the Hon Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Madam Catherine Ablema Afeku on Day One; Friday May 18, at 9.00am. It will be followed by an Exhibition and Craft Bazaar, which would continue the next day till 6.00pm.

The two-day event will be climaxed by a Fashion show by the Accra Technical University Fashion Department.

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