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Friday, 30 November 2018

AFTERMATH OF ACCRA TOUR: GHANA ENDORSES AFRIMA’S NEXT 2 EDITIONS


AFRIMA PRESENTS GIFTS TO SCHOOL
 Memories of Accra refuses to go away! Why? Well, those days were swell days November 21-24, 2018. And only those who participated in Ghana’s AFRIMA 2018 can tell it all. Nigerian artistes were well represented and so were other African countries, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt, Congo, Tanzania and other parts of Africa. Some of the African artistes, who are based outside Africa, also flew into Accra, to be part of this epoch-making event. 

AT THE BEGINNING 
By now it is no longer news that 2Baba, Davido, Falz, Tiwa Savage all won at the awards nite.

So those who took part in the historic tour of Accra were artistes and a whole lot of journalists who had come from different African countries. And there were also music promoters, Africans, Germans, French, Americans and so on.


Off we went on the huge Granbird Kia buses for the tour of Accra city with packs of plantain chips, Chin chin and drinks which were freely distributed inside the Granbird Kia buses to keep us company throughout the journey. 


From the city centres in the new Accra, with modern structures in the administrative districts, where the Law courts are, the Central Bank, markets squares, right down to the Old Accra, where the City of Accra began, we were soaked with new names of towns and people who made the various history that makes Accra what it is today.

We were told that a tour of Accra city without going as far as James Town, is never a complete tour! So we were at James town to admire the luscious beach and savour the history of the various historical happenings that had taken place there in time past.


Oh, not forgetting the historic jails and some things to do with slavery which all took place all around the area. Hmmm, definitely there was a limit to what the brain could grasp from the load of history that fell on us that day!

Ha-ha, the tour moved on to the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Mausoleum where we learnt more about the history of Ghana and its continuous relevance in the politics of West Africa and Africa as a whole. Here, we met school children from different schools who were also there to benefit from the well kept knowledge at the Mausoleum and at the Museum next to it.

The tour was packed with a special activity and that was the presentation of musical gifts and other items to a special school in Accra as part of the “giving-back-to-the society” programme of the organizers of AFRIMA.

Trust children, the entire school went into frenzy upon the arrival of artistes into the large school compound. The excited students could not hide their joy to see a huge collection of artistes all in one place. Spontaneously, some of the artistes and journalists organized the children to take part in dance competitions right there on the open field and the children danced their hearts out.

It was great fun as artistes brought out cell phones and cameras to capture the joyful moment and video-document the popular dance steps which the students exhibited.
And some of us were surprised that the students knew the songs from Nigeria to Ghana to South Africa and so on. 

Impressed artistes and journalists brought out Ghanaian cedis to give to winners. With such dangling cedis, ofcourse the students didn’t want to see the buses leave! But the buses with the visitors all left after Mr. Mike Dada The President of AFRIMA along with AFRIMA officials supported by the artistes, made the gift presentation to the head of the school and photographs taken. 

Next destination was however the most special. We were all heading to the Ghanaian seat of power, the Office of the President aptly known as the Jubilee House in Accra!


The excitement in the Granbird Kia buses knew no bounds. So there we were, after thorough security checks, we were ushered into the famous Jubilee House, where we were received by Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief of Staff on behalf of the President who was away from Ghana and the Minister of Tourism, the indefatigable Mrs. Catherine Afeku.

So, who was more excited? Was it the Chief of staff and the Minister of Tourism or the Artistes and Journalists? I think all parties were thoroughly excited! The Chief of Staff wanted to meet and know all the artistes who after introducing their names even did some free stlying! So music was already in the air. From the sonorous and peculiar voices, you could tell that these were indeed, the talents of Africa!
MRS. AKOSUA FREMA OSEI-OPARE, (The Chief of Staff )

The crowning of the visit to Jubilee House was the eventual announcement by the Hon. Minister of Tourism Mrs. Catherine Afeku, that Ghana would extend its hosting of AFRIMA, to the next two editions! This great information was gladly welcomed by the visitors with loud applause.

Yes, behind the cameras, what happened during the tour? As much as most of the artistes and journalists tried to stick to their initial cliques, such cliques couldn’t last for long as there were break-aways and introductions flowed freely inside the buses and wherever the buses made stop-overs. 


So, there were lots of networking and cross over interactions, exchange of telephone numbers and kisses and hugs!!! Yes, lots of it too. And some of the kisses and hugs were caught on camera!

The tours ended where it started at the Kempinsky Hotel. The artistes went for rehearsal and others retired to hotel rooms to rest before the commencement of the night party.












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