National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC)
NAFAC is a biennial cultural event instituted in 1978 by the government of Ghana and managed by the National Commission on Culture with the aim of revitalizing the cultural values of the African but with Ghana in particular through the arts such as traditional music, dance, drama and other cultural displays and exhibition. It is a national festival which brings together cultural performers from all the ten regions of Ghana for friendly competition with the focus of preserving the African and Ghanaian heritage with the venue rotating from one region to another. The event offers the opportunity to view diverse life-styles and cultural practices from different parts of the country centered at the one place. According to the Ghana National Commission on Culture (NCC) that organizes NAFAC, “the primary objective of the festival is to renew the solidarity between the country’s ethnic groups and re-enacting their common values.” However in 1996 the concept was expanded to attract more international appeal, participation and performances. There was a night dubbed “international Friendship Night” with Ghanaian and international audiences observed performances from dancers artists from Cameroon, Burkina Faso and the Republic of Togo.
The festival is normally a ten day celebration with the grand durbar as climax, characterized by glamour and pageantry with the gathering filled with mixture of brilliant colors, cluster of giant royal umbrellas, royal staff, chieftaincy stools, palanquins, state swords, traditional weaponry and traditional musical instruments as chiefs and other royals dressed in their Kente cloth and other traditional regalia. Other activities aside from the durbar include general fun-fare and musical concerts which also aim at unearthing new artists and so only the amateurs are invited to perform, however professional are sometimes brought in to spice up the show.
HISTORY OF NAFAC
1978- Tamale (Northern Region)
1980 Sunyani (Brong Ahafo)
Koforidua (Eastern Region)
1992 Kumasi (Ashanti)
1996 Cape Coast ( Central Region)
PAN AFRICAN HISTORICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL (PANAFEST) Panafest like NAFAC ia a biennial event instituted by the Government of Ghana in partnership with international stakeholders to promote the ideals of Pan-Africanism for development. The major aims of the panafest is to establish to truth about African history using African Arts and culture, promoting unity between Africans on the continent and the diaspora and defining Africa’s contribution towards world civilization. It also has the objectives of developing a framework for the identification of Africa’s development needs and how to enhance its development agenda.
The festival is usually marked by Grand Durbar of Traditional Chiefs, Carnivals, Reverential events to commemorate the Holocaust of the Slave Trade, PanAfrican Colloquium, Seminars, Exhibitions and Musical Concerts.
HISTORY: The idea and concept of Panafest stemmed from a paper delivered by a Ghanaian Pan-Africanist and dramatist Efua Sutherland in 1980 entitled “Proposal For a Historical Drama Festival in Cape Coast” which gained so much acceptance in Ghana. In 1991 planning for the festival started, in October the same year the festival was launched and December characterized by playwriting competition, seminars and workshops on Pan Africanism which culminated into the first Pan- African Historical Theatre Festival in 1992. This took place in December 1992 in Cape Coast under the theme “ The Re-emergence of African Civilization” .
The next celebration was in 1994 with the same Theme “ The Re-emergence of African Civilization” . but with a sub theme as “Uniting the African Family”
EMANCIPATION DAY: Emancipation day celebration in Ghana stems from the concept of international emancipation day celebration which is done to commemorate the end of the slave trade and organized slavery in UK, US and other parts of the world in which black race was mainly the victims.
The emancipation day celebration is observed in many former British colonies and United States on different dates to mark end the freedom of enslaved people mainly of African descent and in other parts of the world to celebrate the abolishing of serfdom and many other forms of servitude.
Ghana’s Emancipation Day celebration is in line with the Caribbean Emancipation Day based on the final abolishing of Chatel Slavery in the British colonies on August 1, 1834, which was ones attended by the Former President Rawlings who decided to institute it in Ghana and becoming the first African country to celebrate it in 1998. In Ghana, festivities normally start from the last week of July and climaxed in the First week of August.
Chale Wote Art Festival is an entertainment forum which takes place in James Town, Accra brings the family of music, dance and drama and fine art together out into the street in a carnival. The festival initiated in 2011 and held annually, usually in August to run concurrently with the Ga traditional festival Homowor. The festival witnesses the participation of both local and international artists exhibiting and appreciating paintings, photography, theatre arts, poetry,. Other activities include film-shows, fashion parade, live street performances, street parties and workshops. The event produced by Alt Radio with support from Attukwei Art Foundation , Foundation for Contemporary Arts Ghana, Dr. Monk, Red Kat Pictures, and the institut Francais I Ghana has grown to become one of the major festivals in Ghana. It is the collective effort of people ranging from fine-artiste, musicians , writers and activists. In 2016 the activities have been expanded to span over a full week featuring more than 200 artists showcasing wide variety of projects. Chale Wote literally means, “guys!! Lets go.” And alluding to easy slippers worn on the feet suggesting everybody has something to offer. It’s about participation and sharing ones work of art, music and performance.