Earlier this year we visited Ghana during the Chale Wote Street Art Festival and Although the humidity and sheer volume of everything were a little overwhelming to start, we quickly fell for the bustling energy and creativity with which the city’s inhabitants go about their daily life.
We’ve highlighted a few things that were a great experience in our trip to Ghana and things worth trying again. Have a look…
Chale Wote Street Art Festival
The Chale Wote Street Art Festival also known as Chale Wote is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out into the streets. The festival targets exchanges between scores of local and international artists and patrons by creating and appreciating art together.
We joined the Festival on the days we were promised an adventure like no other. The Saturday and Sunday of the Festival was filled with music, games performing arts, art, food, and a lot of people. From the beginning of Jamestown right till the end of the main Street where the Festival was taking place you could hardly find time to breath because of the amount of people who filled the streets. This could make any foreigner uncomfortable but if you put on a mind of a “local” then you should be fine. While walking in the streets of Jamestown one of us; “Amanda Sibiya” was stopped in her tracks to be drawn on the spot by a local young artist.
We believe her camera and Zulu beads made it obvious she was a tourist, making her an easy target to the everyday hustle of a young artist. With everyone anticipating the sketch of a South African Girl in Ghana, the results of us waiting 20 minutes for the drawing to be completed were flattering, not a true representation of Amanda but a good attempt.
All in all the smell of khebabs being cooked on the shoulder of the road, the weirdly dressed performing artists, the HEAT and the random visit from the president at the Festival were welcoming and its an experience we would recommend to anyone visiting Ghana in August.
We were told by many locals that travelling to Ghana and not going to Cape Coats to see the Elmina Castle would be like not going to Ghana at all, so that was obviously part of our itinerary.
Elmina Castle is a white-washed Medieval Castle on the coast of Ghana. It was the first – and for many centuries – the largest, European building constructed in tropical Africa. Yet its grandeur, as well as its picturesque surroundings with blue skies, sandy beaches, and tropical palms, disguise a dark history – Elmina Castle was the last place that thousands of African slaves would ever see of their homeland. Many horrors transpired within the walls of the fortress, which have never been erased by time.
On our tour we met both locals and tourist who were just as intrigued and disgusted by the history that occurred in the walls of the Elmina Castle. the white sand and palm trees outside the castle would really fool you as its scenery is beautiful but the occurrence inside the walls of the Elmina Slave Castle wasn’t so great. Now turned into a museum and tourist attraction, its become easier for a black woman or man to enter the castle without the fear of being enslaved.
Friday Night in Ghana
The nightlife is something we never expected, having come from Johannesburg, a place we thought was the city of Gold, we soon realised that the Gold Coats Ghana is more shinier than Johannesburg would be and not because the infrastructure is phenomenal but because the nightlife is simpler, more authentic and evidently more fun for us. With mainly local music playing in most establishments, many tourist who were in Ghana for the Festival really felt like they were in Ghana and not another duplication of an American style club.
Visiting a place called “The Republic” and the famous “Bloombar” where the queue was unbelievable we sure had the time of our lives dancing, eating local food and enjoying local company. Yes we have slay queens everywhere but the Ghanaian Slay is one unique to others.
Independence Square with Black Star Gate.
Black Star Square, also known as Independence Square, is a public square in Accra, Ghana.
Bordered by the Accra Sports Stadium and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. It is the second-largest city square in the world after Tiananmen Square in China.
Now this is the pride of Ghana, the first thing we did on our first day in Ghana was to learn the history and that has a lot to do with its independence. The square was commissioned by Kwame Nkrumah to honor the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Construction ended in 1961 and it was christened “Black Star Square”Black Star Square is a site for Ghana’s Independence Day parades which falls on the 6th of March every year.
Here are a number of Images taken while on our trip.
For more on our 10 days in Ghana make sure to get the Ghana Edition of Hadithi Magazine scheduled to be released in 2019.