Takoradi – Ghana
Date and Time:
June 24, 2017 at 10:00am Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT)
Coordinator and choreography concept developer: Emmanuel Brace – An engineering graduate from the University of Kentucky with a masters in the natural sciences from the Johns Hopkins University. He collaborates with rural communities to explore ways to harmonize their methods of resource management and industrial processes with modern global sustainability policies and procedures. Currently, he consults in the international developmental sector.
History of Site and Related Water Issues:
Takoradi is located in the Western Region of Ghana. Historically, this location has been a vibrant economic hub. Between (approximately) 1481 and 1698, many forts were constructed along the coast of the then Gold Coast (now Ghana) including in proximity to this geographic location. These include Sao Antmoi in 1502, Orange in 1690 and Metalen (Metal Cross) in 1693.
Among the items traded were gold and ivory. The communities around the site of this performance comprises primarily the Ahantas, fondly referred to as the people who speak an idiomatic language.
Over the years, the vestiges of deliberate as well as involuntary sociocultural and economically inspired acts have dynamically manifested in inducing various vices which have had severe negative externalities in the area and arguably nationally. The social and environmental cost is certainly not one to write home about. An example of this sad manifestation is “galamsey”; a local term coined for illegal or unsustainable mining practices. This vice has taken a terrible toll on the water resources in the area and the public health implications are dire. The degree of water poisoning and environmental abuse for short term economic gains at the expense of future generations is disheartening.
- Traditional folk music indigenous to the locality.
- A national song titled Yen Ara Asaase Ni; this transliterates as “This is our land”.
- Musical poetry by P. Bentum III
The dancers comprised members of Nananom ( the King’s) traditional troupe.
The dance performance was choreographed to raise awareness about the adverse impacts of unsustainable mining practices.
The ideologies reflected in the choreography and overall performances advocates a “Bottom-Up” approach and effective stakeholder engagement practices.
The Kundum dance was factored into the performances. The costumes were generously designed and supplied by Ewurama Sam; a youth leader and former representative for the Western Region in the annual Ghana’s most beautiful reality show.
Opanyin Kojo Brace wowed the audience with a Fante translation of the poems “The World Should Know Better” and “Assase Yaa Gaia” depicted below:
The World Should Know Better
We plunder under the guise of liberating
We maim on our clandestine mission of misery
When then do we end this all? Errrrm..
When the Ankobra runs amok in murk?
When the youth are deprived of their livelihood?
When mothers watch in pained defiance
Reminiscent of Yaa Asantewaa of old?
We. ..the World should know better!
Assase Yaa Gaia
Asase Yaa, our dearest Ahanta Gaia
From her cove of life, she birthed hers
And nourished seeds from yonder
Sao Antmoi, the first-born child of King Jao II;
Orange, of the House of Orange-Nassau heritage;
Metal Cross, the golden child of ethereal infamy.
All bear homage to a mother’s abounding love
Lynn Margulis, Lovelock, John Kenu.. We thank you.
This performance sought to bring awareness to the adverse impact of “Galamsey” on the Ankobra river. The Ankobra river is located primarily in Ghana and flows about 120 miles south to the Gulf of Guinea.
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