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Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare Denies Claims By Mark Okraku Mantey Against NDC

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Former Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare has stated that, contrary to claims by President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey, the erstwhile John Mahama administration left notes on the sector during the 2017 transition.

Mr Okraku-Mantey, who was speaking during an event at the Accra Tourist Information Centre, had stated that workers of the Ministry had informed him that, zero investment had been made since the Creative Arts was added to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

But speaking on Hitz News @ 1 on Thursday, Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare urged Mr. Okraku-Mantey to stop the blame game and get serious. This according to her is because there is a lot of work to be done.

“He should stop the blame game and work. Ghana needs money, the Creative Arts industry needs money so if you just sit there and say they didn’t leave any money for us, there is no money in our coffers, what is that?

“He should get serious please, and please let Okraku-Mantey know there is a lot of work to be done which he hasn’t done.

“For him to say he is President of the Creative Arts, he should make sure that the law is passed otherwise he is president over nothing,” she said.

While listing some achievements by her office, the former Minister said they drafted the Creative Arts Bill which was ready for cabinet but lost power in 2016.

She added that they also ensured the passage of the Film Law which would include a fund.

Madam Agyare revealed that the Creative Arts industry was given GH¢1 million to work with, making allegations that investment was not made in the sector false.

“The Creative Arts industry was given GH¢1 million and Okraku Mantey can speak to that as well, and so if you say we did not make any investment in the Creative Arts industry what does he mean?

“Every year we took money from the Tourism Development Fund, so we could have given them another GH¢1 million if we hadn’t lost power in 2016,” she said.

Rating the works of the NPP, she stated that the government has not paid attention to the Creative Arts and did not continue from where they left off.

She advised Ghanaians especially the Creative Arts stakeholders to re-elect former President John Dramani Mahama to continue his good works.

Arts & Culture

CNN Celebrates Ghanaian Highlife & Afrobeat Legend, Ebo Tayor; Features Him On Africa Avant-Garde Series

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Cable News Network; an American news-based pay television channel has featured Ghanaian Highlife and Afrobeat Legend, Ebo Taylor on Africa Avant-Garde – a new series showcasing innovators and creators working across art, design, music, film and fashion, for playing a pivotal and practical role in elevating the West African sound and making his signature Ghanaian highlife that influenced the father of afrobeat, Fela Kuti.

According to CNN, as at when Highlife and Afrobeats grew to become a global household genre on the music market, the ‘Ayesama’ hitmaker’s outputs were inherited as a source of inspiration to many notable international creatives and has witnessed series of sampling by international R&B artiste Usher on his 2010 track “She Don’t Know,” featuring rapper Ludacris, and by Canadian hip-hop duo Ghetto Concept on their 1992 track “Certified.”

Speaking to CNN, “Uncle Ebo,” as he’s known by locals in Saltpond, the small Ghanaian fishing town he’s called home since birth, revealed how he cultivated a close and harmonious relationship with colleague Afrobeat legend Kuti.

“Fela used to come to my apartment in Willesden quite often and we’d spend hours playing records,” Taylor said. “When he came to Ghana in ’67, he drove to Cape Coast to see me and we spent the afternoon talking about African Unity.”

Taylor credits Kuti with pushing him, and others, to compose distinctly African music. “​He (Fela) never understood why as Africans we like playing jazz; he wanted us to be ourselves, be original and tell our stories,” Taylor said.

His influence can also be seen in afrobeat’s clubbier offshoot, afrobeats (with an “s”), which has hit international charts through West African acts like Wizkid, who has collaborated with artists including Drake and Major Lazer. Taylor is quick to highlight the fact that the popularity of afrobeats has coincided with its embrace of authentically African arrangements and a departure from heavy hip-hop and R&B sounds which he believes could seem forced.

“​The music we made was real music, it made you stop and think,” he said. “It’s not surprising that people are connecting with afrobeats more now that it is embracing elements from the music we made​.”

And Taylor, however, is still recording new material at age 84. He has spent most of this year in his home studio observing Covid-19 protocols and recording new material for his third studio album in 10 years.

Since the release of his 2010 album “Love and Death,” as well as his collaboration with the Berlin-based Afrobeat Academy in 2011, Taylor’s international profile has been raised. In 2017, the release of Ghana funk anthem “Come Along,” made DJ playlists globally, according to Taylor. But Taylor’s newfound global fame is the culmination of his own influence on West African music since the early 1960s.

Photo Credit: CNN

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Wins Women’s Prize Award For Her Haunting Novel – Half Of A Yellow Sun

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Half of a Yellow Sun author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has won the Women’s Prize for her haunting novel after being voted for by the public who deemed Adichie the “Winner of Winners”. According to BBC, more than 8,500 people voted, and were invited to share their thoughts with the prize’s digital book club, accessing newly created online reading guides and author interviews.

This one-off award marks the culmination of their year-long 25th anniversary celebrations, including our #ReadingWomen campaign championing a quarter of a century of unforgettable winners.

Her book ultimately prevailed over a stellar-line up including Zadie Smith, the late Andrea Levy, Lionel Shriver, Ali Smith, Rose Tremain and Maggie O’Farrell, amongst others (the full list is available here). Half of a Yellow Sun originally won the Women’s Prize for Fiction (then the Orange Prize) in 2007. Set in Nigeria during the Biafran War, the novel is about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class, race and female empowerment – and how love can complicate all of these things.

Chimamanda, who is currently in Lagos, Nigeria, said: ‘I’m especially moved to be voted ‘Winner of Winners’ because this is the Prize that first brought a wide readership to my work – and has also introduced me to the work of many talented writers.’

She will be presented with a silver edition of the Prize’s annual statuette, known as the ‘Bessie’, which was originally created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven as part of the gift of an anonymous donor. An exclusive hardback special edition of Half of a Yellow Sun is also available from Waterstones.

Tickets have just gone on sale for our LIVE event with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in which she will talk further about her writing and being chosen for the ‘Winner of Winners’ award, hosted by Women’s Prize Founder Director Kate Mosse. Join us on Sunday 6 December at 7pm GMT.

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Video Director Prince Dovlo, Babs Direction, Nana Asihene, Yaw Skyface, Others Attend ‘The Creative Space’ Program

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One of the essential and demanded meetings for young and renowned creatives in Ghana ‘The Creative Space’ program has been held successfully in Accra.

BaseCamp Initiative – a green hub tailored for work and leisure who’s sole purpose is to provide a platform for creative expression, collaboration and leisure together with Connect 101 Agency on Sunday, November 8 held a session dubbed ‘The Creative Space’ for creatives in Ghana.

Representative of Connect 101 Agency who doubles as a film producer and director, J Willz, video director Nana Asihene, colorist Tytanium, popular music video director Yaw Skyface, Prince Dovlo, Omar El Imade, Director Abass, Director RQA, Babs Direction, Andy Madjitey and film producer Scilla Owusu were some of the speakers who adorned the program.

The well disposed gathering saw a lot of industry players particularly in the music video production sector attending – including film directors, editors, colorists, photographers, singers, filmmakers, DOPs, costume designers, music distributors, script writers, among others.

According to the organizers, the program was designed to bring out creatives in Ghana together with the sole aim of connecting and sharing ideas.

BaseCamp Initiative started in 2018 with the aim of unearthing African talent through a communal, creative hub that provides the perfect environment for collaboration, networking and leisure under the leadership of Ms. Sunita Norley Kragbe (founder).

BaseCamp Initiative is situated in a serene environment and provides members with unlimited access to the space as well as Wi-Fi, which helps members to focus on their work and be as productive as possible.

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Arts & Culture

Afro Nation Ghana Rescheduled To 2021

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Making the most of the Ghanaian capital’s lush Atlantic coastline, white sands, and year-round average temperatures of around 30°, the new festival saw the brand return to the spiritual homeland of the music that populated the lineup in 2019, The 2020 edition of Afronation Ghana – the biggest urban music beach festival in Ghana aimed at celebrating all things Afrobeats, hip-hop, Ghana Rap, reggae and dancehall has been cancelled.

“First off, we are sorry it’s taken this long to announce place for Afro Nation Ghana this year. We have been deep in talks with the authorities and partners in Ghana and as you can imagine – due to the effects of COVID-19 around the globe, we unfortunately can’t go ahead with our Afro Nation Ghana festival in 2020”, according to a statement released by the management and or organizers.

“We will be back with more information about our return to Africa in 2021, one that is going to be a celebration like no other. We already have some uniqie and exciting plans in place to return to the motherland next rear, and we cannot wait to see you all there. It is going to be special. Until then, stay safe and look after each other”, the statement added.

Ghana’s stunning coastline runs 560 kilometres from Aflao in the Volta Region to Cape Three Points in the Western Region. With an average temperature of 30 degrees in December, it’s no surprise that the festival chose this incredible location as their African festival destination. In 2019, all roads led about 20,000 music consumers, festival goers, to the Laboma Beach Resort on December 27th to celebrate different music genres at the Afro Nation festival.

Featuring wave headliners from the likes of Stonebwoy, Wizkid, Davido, Shatta Wale and Burna Boy, along with a phenomenal list of support throughout the event from artists and DJs including Yemi Alade, Teni, Becca, Kuami Eugene, Kofi Kinaata, KiDi, Naira Marley, Zlatan, The Compozers etc, festival goers were not disappointed as the event promised and delievered some of the most exciting names in afrobeats, hip hop, rnb, dancehall and bashment for your ultimate summer party.

Already establishing itself for being one of Europe’s biggest urban music beach festivals, Afro Nation let’s festival goers enjoy four days of summer rays on the beaches of Praia da Rocha with a lineup of top-class talent from across the seas.

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