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STIRRING UP THE WATA MATA: #ChaleWote2017 – Day 2 ROUNDUP [+images]

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Day 2 of CHALE WOTE 2017 began on Tuesday afternoon with Open Surgery, a creative fiction writing workshop led by award-winning Ghanaian author, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, for 8 writers selected through an open call. The laid-back event held on the ground floor of Brazil House was less workshop-style and more informal and open with very interactive conversations between writers who were either meeting for the first or the umpteenth time, united by an undying passion for sharing pieces of themselves and their communities through the stories they weave.

Nii Ayikwei Parkes taking leading the Open Surgery writing workshop as part of  CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

The selected writers – young, bold and unafraid to put their work up for scrutiny – read excerpts from their submitted pieces and received unbiased, encouraging and invaluable feedback from each other, Parkes and witnesses present. The feedback touched on everything from language, pacing, creating unboxed writing styles, characterization, and setting. The best part, however, was that it was all so organic. One participant, Temitayo Johnson, commented on how this workshop was a much better learning experience than all the creative writing classes she’d had combined.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

 

Each writer got a front-row seat into the perspectives and interpretations of their work through fresh eyes that posed delicate questions, offered advice and inspired the writers to be like WATA MATA, constantly flowing and most importantly, enjoying the process of creating and being, echoing Nii Ayikwei Parkes’ counsel that, “if you’re not having fun writing, then stop!”. Some of the stories touched on family, intimacy, identity, and even psychedelic road trips with a host of themes that explored what it means to be human.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Nii Ayikwei Parkes together with participants such as Mohammed Naseehu Ali (The Prophet of Zongo Street), Nii Nikoi Kotei, Poetra Asantewaa, Kweku Benneh, crazinisT artisT, and Temitayo Johnson kept the energy going with thoughtful feedback, constructive criticism and golden writing advice. A key takeaway from the writing workshop organized in collaboration with the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing was for writers to “read the stuff that moves you and resonates with the stories you want to write.”

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

U.S. based researcher and artist April Bey then stirred up WATA MATA at the National Theatre (Folkspace) with her talk, “Dolezalism and Jollof Rice from 6-8pm. Originally from the Bahamas, Bey’s lecture systematically unveiled the whole trans-racial saga that broke out in 2015 with controversial figure Rachel Dolezal. She began by going through Dolezal’s background as a fine artist and her fixation on painting the bodies of young black boys and how this may be an indicator of the state of Dolezal’s mental health. Bey also touched on the mainstream media’s portrayal of the whole affair, especially the difference in interpretation around Blackness and cultural appropriation between media and inter-African communities. For April, it is important to push beyond binaries and understand the background behind Dolezal’s evolution before one can grasp her motives and understand why her identification as “trans-black” is problematic.

As an artist herself, April Bey’s personal body of work, including a new analogue printing technique that producers laser print quality and was developed whilst in Ghana last year on residency, will debut at the festival and interrogate the aesthetic qualities attached to race. She also debuted the cover of Jollof Magazine, a fictitious magazine she created, with Rachel Dolezal on the cover of the first edition as well as some of her work installed in the Bahamas which are centred on the nuanced portrayals of Blackness in art. Our understandings of race and culture and even appropriation are at least partly determined by our geographical contexts and social environments.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

April Bey’s focus as an artist and researcher during her lecture went beyond trying to find out if Rachel Dolezal, sorry, Nkechi Amare Diallo (Dolezal’s new legal name) would like Jollof Rice to debunk the myth of trans-racialism. However, she explicitly explained why race structures cannot be binary and in fact extends beyond two simple choices like right and wrong to a much more elaborate and delicate network of personality traits, shared memories and experiences collectively making up a person’s race.

Participating artist Lineo Segoete CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Day 3 of CHALE WOTE 2017 (Wednesday, August 16) includes more open Gallery events. “DISPERSED” featuring the work of 3 UK female artists from the Black British Female Artist(BBFA) Collective and 3 Ghanaian female artists opens today at the Nubuke Foundation (Lome Close, East Legon Accra), 10am – 5pm. Elisabeth Efua Sutherland also outdoor’s ”Deverb” – a sound and video experiment using women’s song traditions of Fanti culture as a sonic base to explore the role and importance of woman as griot in Akan society at Terra Alta (Abelemkpe Junction, next to Lucas College) at 6PM.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Check out the Open Gallery Program for all the other tours going on. The exhibition at Brazil House is also open throughout the week and features the work of Ghana-based and international artists on both floors of the building.


CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Source: KaDi Yao Tay & Hakeem Adam /Accra[dot]alt
Photos: Nii Kotei Nikoi & Abdul Arafat

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Final steering committee meeting of “French Solidarity Project” held

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On Tuesday 12th December, 2017, a final steering committee meeting was held on the French Solidarity Project geared towards “Strengthening the accountability of Ghana’s central and local government” at the Residence of France.

In attendance were the French ambassador, the Director of research, statistics and information management representing the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), both of whom co-chaired the committee, the Rector and Deputy rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Executive Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, as well as other partner agencies such as the Centre for Democratic Development, FD Associates and the Touton company.

 

Support for public sector reform and the decentralization process

Funded with a budget of €800 000 over a period of 3 years, this project sought to facilitate public sector reform and support the decentralization process. It aimed more particularly at reinforcing accountability through a number of actions: performance contracts, training, open forum and dialogue, ensuring  progress of communication and consultation programs implemented by the ministries, improving the capacity of local government, development of coordinating systems, etc. Another objective of the project was to improve citizen participation by consolidating mechanisms of accountability or transparency. This involved the sensitization of the civil society in order to foster a better appreciation of issues relating to statutory reforms and available tools for keeping policy makers accountable.

The first component of the project was principally based on training, which “represents a crucial element in the strengthening of the public service that, in collaboration with the private sector, will nurture a more vibrant, inclusive and sustainable economic development” Ambassador François Pujolas stated. In this vein, more than 200 civil servants have been trained in various sessions facilitated by visiting French experts from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) and Expertise France, whereas 10 civil servants underwent training organised by ENA in Paris. An equal number of women and men have been given this opportunity in each training session.

The ambassador was “pleased with the outcomes of the project, the objectives of which have been attained to a large extent” and emphasized that this project has been “the fruit of an enduring cooperation between France and Ghana, especially in the area of decentralization and the public sector because, since 2006, the French government has disbursed 3.2 million euros to finance three projects within the sector”.

 

Empowering women to participate actively in the public sphere

Furthermore, as a means of promoting citizen participation – especially that of women and youth, a call for projects focusing on the reinforcement of links between civil society and local authorities was launched. Over 10 000 people benefitted from various actions carried out under the initiative. Also, 11 forums bringing together civil society and parliamentarians were organised to encourage interaction between the population and their representatives, in the Western region which served as the pilot site of the project.

The consolidation of the place of women in public discourse and in local governance, as well as the increase in representation of women at the district assembly level were major areas of concern. Sensitization campaigns were embarked upon, resulting in the training and networking of over a hundred women opinion leaders and policy makers.

Finally, the project has enabled the realisation of “green” micro-projects aimed at combatting deforestation, promoting solar energy and fighting global warming.  The co-chairperson of the committee, Madam Dorothy Onny, reiterated the ambassador’s comments by calling on the Ministry of local government and rural development and its partners to explore possible fields of cooperation and future projects to undertake with France in the domain of public sector reform.

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All set for Worlasi’s “Outerlane Concert” tomorrow!

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Worlasi was born and raised in Ghana, and he hails from Agbozume in Volta region. He is a figure painting artist and also a musician. He is a beast of a rapper, producer, singer and songwriter. His songs have been praised for being refreshing and inspiring and his lyrics, unrestrained and African.

Worlasi is an intriguing contrast: hyper confident yet humble, hungry for knowledge and simultaneously overflowing with it. His breakthrough single, Ay3 Adz3 set him apart from his peers. He caps off such focused and realistic lyricism with his mixtape project, Nus3, released in September 2016. Nus3 is a super jumbo bundle of motivation, assertiveness and self- belief. This was his first major project and it already has people calling him a god.

He released a second major project which has also nothing short of breathtaking and shot compelling visuals for two of his singles- One Life and Nukata. Since then he has worked and bagged features with artistes like EL, M.anifest, Hammer of Da Last Two, Sena Dagadu and shared songs with the likes of Sarkodie and Kwaw kese. He has shared stage with some of Ghana’s finest musical acts on platforms such as ACCRA [dot] ALT’s Sabolai Radio, rock group, Dark Suburb’s Awakening concert, Beatphreaks, The Unheard Voices etc.

 Worlasi wraps up this year’s success by performing songs from his upcoming EP (Outerlane) on Saturday, 16th December 2017 at 7pm at the Amphitheatre of Alliance Francaise Accra. The concert would be with the Safoa Band and Fans would be thrilled to a live performance of songs from the Outerlane EP. Also performing would be Alee & Dede, artistes who are signed to Worlasi’s record label.

Other featured artistes for this concert include Manifest, EL, Teephlow, Boyd, Extacy & Kwame X. Save the date and come with your friends and family to enjoy extraordinary mixture of Afro, Rap and Soul music!

 

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‘KOK StopOver Tour’ back this December

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After a successful beginning at Awoshie in the month of September 2017, Koo Ntakra and his friends return on December 16th for another mega street block of the ‘KOK StopOver Tour’.

With over three thousand in attendance at the first stop, the second promises to be sizzling hot inside Bubuashie, BN Pub, Bishop School on Saturday 16th December.

Koo Ntakra who recently released his 2nd studio album ‘KOK’, is to be joined on stage on the night with an array of his colleagues including dancehall diva Renner, Tee Rhyme, Amerado, Phrame, Addi Govnor, Bassaw and a host of other arts, as well as surprises from some of the artists featured on his KOK Album.

The ‘KOK StopOver Tour’ is a Gulfcoast Entertainment & Dekins Entertainment event, powered by Coloured Frutz, with support from ignite Creatives, BankyNation and all our media partner.

The event is a free concept which looks to bring the artists closer to their fans in a more interactive way, as well promote other up and coming talents across board.

 

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Obrafour, STONEBWOY, Pappy Kojo, Medikal, VVIP, others join Kinaata for ‘Made in Taadi Concert’, Dec 23

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Over 20 Artistes are billed to perform at Kofi Kinaata’s 23rd December ‘Made in Taadi Concert.’

The much anticipated concert which will be hosted at Jubilee Grounds in Takoradi will witness 20 known artistes across Ghana thrill the attendees to good music. At a press launch in Takoradi on December 7, Kinaata told the media that he gets calls from his colleague artistes daily who show interest in the concert.

“I get calls daily from my colleague artistes. Some are even ready to pay for their own bills to Takoradi. If people who are outside Takoradi are this eager about the concert, I can only imagine what my Taadi people are waiting for” Kinaata told the media at the Best Western Atlantic Hotel yesterday.

The Public and Media Relations Officer of the concert, Nana Kwesi Coomson mentioned that Obrafour, Stonebwoy, Medikal, VVIP, Kwaw Kese, Pappy Kojo, Donzy, Nero X, Ayesem, Sayvee, Afedzi Perry, Aya, Ayma, Ras Ebo, Snow B and almost every Sekondi-Takoradi Artiste will perform at the concert.

He also reiterates the concert as a “strategy to project the Artistes from Sekondi-Takoradi.”

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Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation to Fete Beneficiaries

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The Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation (CAMF) established in memory of the mother of the MUSIGA President Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour is to fete youngsters in the Juaso area as part of its activities for the Christmas holidays.

According to Obour, CAMF will undertake a series of clean up exercises in Juaso and Obogu on December 24 and 25 and climax with the Christmas party for the youngsters. In addition to providing the youngsters with entertainment and refreshing them, they will also receive sanitary products from the Foundation to promote their personal hygiene. Some of the items to be presented include personal hygiene products like toothbrushes, toothpastes, deodorants and soap. Meanwhile the Foundation has begun processing application forms from applicants for support for their education.

Speaking at the launch of the Foundation, the Chairman of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and National Youth Organizer, Sammy Awuku applauded Obour and his siblings on such a bold initiative to both honor the memory of their late mother while contributing to the socio-economic development of the community. He assured the Foundation of the support of the agency in their operations.

The Asante Akyem South MP Lawyer Asante Boateng on his part commended Obour and his siblings on the establishment of the Foundation and assured them of his support to realize their aspirations.

The Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation will provide scholarships to successful applicants to pursue courses at various levels of their education. CAMF will support brilliant students who are financially handicapped especially the girl child from the deprived rural communities of Juaso and adjoining communities through the provision of scholarships at the tertiary level. The Foundation is also to promote sanitation and personal hygiene as critical pillars to health, survival, and development in the Asante Akyem area.

According to Obour, the decision to establish the foundation is due to his mum’s selflessness and strong, unshakable conviction in education as a lifeline to poverty eradication. He says, knowing the value of education, his mother endured enormous sacrifices to educate him and his siblings. He added that the foundation is also to celebrate the unwavering and strong leadership qualities of Christiana Addo as a role model for all women especially single mothers.

The Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation was set up with the vision to become an organization that impacts lives and helps transform and bring sustainable development to the Asante Akyem Area especially the South, Central and North Districts of the Asante Akyem rural area.

 

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Richard Addisson Foundation Marks Ten Years Of Successive Growth [+images]

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The RICHARD ADDISSON FOUNDATION (TRAF) a non-governmental youth philanthropy is marking 10 years of giving assistance to the less privileged in Ghanaian communities.

TRAF was founded by Richard Addison, the CEO of Kent Investment, a multi-layered firm that currently holds investments in the fields of Agriculture (Kent Farms), haulage services (ARE Haulage Services), an IT/information system and management company (K.SIS) and recently acquired major stake in a Digital Graphics and Advertising company  (Beyound Graphics).

The foundation which was set up to put smiles on the faces of the very poor, needy and under privileged across the country is marking the decade of doing good with the launch of an after school programme in collaboration with Matic Foundation run by Award winning Hiplife act Trigmatic.

The After Work Programme which will be cordinated by Trigmatic, Teachers in the chosen communities benefiting from the programme and leaders of TRAF will focus on Maths and Science, Sex Education and First Aid.

“When charity began at home, me, you and every young adult did not sit down for Bill Gates to dole out money for the eradication of Malaria on our, we gave up a bottle of beer for one treated mosquito net everyday”- Richard Addison

“TRAF started ten years ago by distributing thousands of mosquito nets on annual basis to help eradicate malaria which is a predominant illness killing these poor and needy who sleep around the central business district of Sekondi Takoradi, and also to all the major hospital in the metropolis.”

The Richard Addison Foundation (TRAF), now focuses on projects ranging from farming, provision of water and renovation of schools for deprived communities.

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