Photos by MANTSE ARYEEQUAYE
We continue our CHALE WOTE episode of Strolling Goats in Accra with the rest of the festival’s production crew. Below are more expectations of this year’s edition and thoughts on James Town.
I would say James Town is an urban community that has a lot of interesting places. They also have a lot of interesting things that people always want to see like the beach, the food, the old harbor and a particular type of Highlife music that can only be found in this part of the capital. I’m hoping that through CHALE WOTE young people here will be inspired to embrace education.
Once this happens, everything will change. People here are nice and they make everyone feel welcome. Chale Wote has been a great festival for the community, for us who live here, it’s a way to leave our mark . After this year’s Chale Wote, I hope young people here will be inspired to be creative so they can turn their lives around.
What comes to mind when I think of James Town? First of all, my hometown because this is where I come from. Next, just like the Ga people, it’s flowing with rich tradition; those ancient or pre-colonial buildings. There’s a lot of curiosity as well. I think, some of the projects that are going to happen will probably arouse more curiosity in terms of what the artists can do and what you can find in the space that we are using as a platform to show or talk about folklore. I’m curious about how far we can stretch this whole idea of futurism.
With folklore, really what comes to mind is storytelling. You know, how do we tell our stories apart from the traditional words that we know? How do we tell our own stories on a day-to-day basis? What kind of stories are we creating? I think that with this year, as much as we are looking at the traditional sense of folklore- what it is – it’s also how we create what our ideas of this futurism is, because times change and stories change. I’m wondering what other new ways we can identify ourselves and what point do we begin to tell these stories.
Nana Osei Kwadwo
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of James Town is life. The funk life, the free life, the free road to do whatever you want to do. That’s why I think there are a lot of creative artists here. My expectations for Chale Wote this year are lots of creative projects and a lot of people coming from outside to witness how artistic Ghana is. Chale Wote always lives up to expectations but we are looking forward to seeing a larger platform for a lot of people to come and witness how Ghana is in terms of arts and culture.
David Livingston Attoh
I’ve lived in James Town for 27 years. When I think of James Town, I think of arts. I think of lots of things. I mean, different cultures with different backgrounds, with a lot of people with different perspectives. James Town brings a lot to my mind, don’t even get me started. For the past two experiences – first and second Chale Wote – it’s been wonderful. This time around, I’m looking forward to something great like something with a lot of fine arts. Something crazy, something that’s not just going to attract people around Ghana but people around the world. Something wild.
Well, it’s actually my first time walking through the place and going this deep. James Town is like the mega port of Accra. Lots of “I-don’t-care” things going on. I also expect, like the past Chale Wote to depict the actual African style here in James Town. So, I don’t expect anything different from what I see right now just the party part of it so it can make it a lot of fun.
When I think of James Town, the first thing that comes to mind is the forts and the sea life that was here prior to independence and then the Light House and then the living – everyone is free to live on the streets, people do what they please. You see people walking wherever time of day it is, people walking freely. I mean, no hustle, no rush, no stress. Chale Wote always blows my mind. I mean from when it started – my first Chale Wote to last year – so I’m hoping for a bigger, better Chale Wote with a lot of performances.
When I think of James Town the first thing that comes to mind is the old architecture of the place. It has so much character and you don’t see anything else like that in the city. I also love how people just feel free here, there is always something happening and I love that about James Town. I’m expecting amazing setups and performances and lots of people. I like the fact that this year people are talking about it without us having to announce it all over.
When I think of James Town, I think of boxing. This place has the best fighters in the country. It’s a very vibrant place but there is also this calmness about it. My expectations for CHALE WOTE this year, well I’m expecting a lot of new talent and futuristic art. I’m also looking forward to all the new music at the finale concert on the beach. That should be very cool.