The late Sheikh Imran Musah served as the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam for nine years before succumbing to diabetes at age 67. He was remembered for his dedication in promoting education as a means of fighting poverty and also his love for football. An official ceremony was held on July 3 at the Kumasi Central Mosque to honour his passing and to install his successor, the new Ashanti Regional Chief Imam Sheikh Abdul Mumin, formerly the deputy chief imam. Political and governmental dignitaries, both Muslim and Christian, were present to pay their respects. They include the Archbishop of the Kumasi Catholic Archdiocese His Grace Thomas Kwaku Mensah, former Vice President of Ghana Alhaji Aliu Mahama, current Vice President John Dramani Mahama and Ashanti Regional Minister Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah. Various tribal chiefs, chief imams and imams from mosques in Kumasi were also there in their regal traditional robes. The ceremony ended with the official installment of the late Chief Imam’s successor, Sheikh Abdul Mumin as the new Ashanti Regional Chief Imam.
Listen and watch to some of the eulogies honouring the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam.
Adowa is a traditional dance unique to the Ashanti region of Ghana. It’s common to see performances of Adowa at formal ceremonies with the accompaniment of Kete drummers. Adowa dancers perform shirtless, wrapped only in traditional Lapa cloths. Their movements are said to mimic the antelope, which is called adowa in Twi. An Adowa dancer customarily ends his performance by going around to collect tips from guests.
Watch the video to see how a young Adowa dancer entertained the crowd during the Neo-natal Survival Project’s end-of-pilot celebration at Suntreso Hospital in Kumasi.
Though the recent contest between the current president, John Evan Atta Mills, and the former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, to take the flagbearership of the National Democratic Congress just ended, talk of the battle has yet to cease. One of the key subjects of discussion throughout the race was the ability of women to run Ghana. For the first show of Know Your Rights following a few weeks break, we discussed the issue, with international human rights activist, Dr. Charlotte Abakah. In addition to hearing Abakah’s insight on how the nature of politics and society are preventing women from seeking positions in office, we also talked about the role of Islam in Ghanaian politics.
One of the arguments against having a women as the flagbearer of a political party is that Muslims in Ghana would not support a female candidate. In discussion with Abakah and a phone interview with a Ghanaian politician who is both a woman and Muslim, we debunked this religious argument.
To watch some behind the scenes footage from Know Your Rights, check out the video below.
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a Muslim wedding ceremony in the zongo surrounding the Kumasi Central Mosque. The ceremony involves the bride reciting verses from the Quran with the guidance of a Mallam (religious teacher). During the recitation, guests and family members offer gifts of cash to the bride. The groom was not present as he was undergoing the same ceremony at his home. It was wonderful to see the entire community organize the wedding together. The bride was flanked by classmates from her madrasah who diligently wiped away every bead of sweat or tear on her face. Not far from where the ceremony was held, elder women of the community cooked wakye (pronounce wah-chey), a local dish of rice and beans to serve to wedding guests.
Last week I had the opportunity to travel up north to Tamale, Bawku, and Bolgatanga. Along the way, I checked out the school situation as I’d been told that the standards and conditions of the educational system up north left something to be desired in comparison to the rest of Ghana. In truth, what I saw wasn’t all that different from the primary schools I’ve seen in Kumasi and Accra, although the kids made do with less. See for yourself what a typical school day looks like in Bolgatanga.
My coworkers have developed a habit of calling me up to the studio when Ghanaian celebrities come in, whether it’s a Black Star’s player or a musician. Most recently two West-African musicians, one from Ghana and one from Nigeria, came into the studio to talk to NY DJ on the station’s afternoon show, Homestretch. Ghanaian hiplife artist, Stay Jay’s, song “Shashee Wowo,” is currently playing on the Ghanaian airwaves. E.Fine, the Nigerian artist, has a collaboration with Sarkodie entitled “Stamina.”
To listen to some of NY DJ’s interview with the two artists, and to hear some a Capella watch the video below.
In celebration of Kapital Radio’s 14th Anniversary on July 1, some of the off-air staff at the station were asked to read hourly news bulletins. For the 1 p.m. news bulletin, Chris and I were invited to read the news. In an attempt to impress our many Twi (the local dialect) teachers, we even learned an intro! The bulletin we read was much shorter than the ones we help out with during the week, but it was a good chance to showcase the news-reading skills we have learned in journalism school.
For the anniversary the sports team had some fun and built up hype around a married couples vs. bachelors football match. The captains of the two squads were interviewed about their readiness for the match. Unfortunately there is no football pitch (large enough for teams of adults at least!) nearby the station so it is still unknown who would prevail in a battle.
To watch clips from our newscast, watch the video below.
Friday, July 1, was Canada Day. It also happened Ghana’s anniversary, known as Republic Day. But perhaps most importantly, it was Kapital Radio’s 14th anniversary, and we partied like it was 2011 (it is.) One of the major focuses of the day was putting people on air who generally have no business being on air (for highlights of Leah and I stumbling our way through a newscast, check out her video blog).
Here we have morning show host Kwadwo, along with news editor Erastus and a former Kapital employee whose name I didn’t catch, engaging in some musical mischief while sports editor Ben provides the dancing. Station manager NBY’s kids wrap things up with their version of a Kapital jingle. Happy birthday, Kapital Radio.
While Canucks celebrated Canada Day, Ghana turns 54 years old on July 1, 2011. Luv FM’s twi platform, Nyhira FM collaborated with the Ghana Tourism Board, the Bosumtwi District Assembly and Platinum Consult to celebrate this auspicious day at one of Ghana’s most famous tourist attractions. Located approximately 30km south-east of Kumasi, Lake Bosumtwi is Ghana’s only natural lake and is considered a sacred site where dead souls come to bid farewell to the god Twi. From high noon till long after the sun set, the Lake Bosumtwi shore was alive with music, dancing, games and high spirits proudly celebrating the nation’s independence.
Watch the video for a snippet of the event.
The song playing throughout the video is called Borga by Sarkodie
Premarital sex, pregnancies out of wedlock and abortions are taboo subjects that carry a lot social stigma in Ghana. As a result, teenagers often engage in unsafe sex due to lack of knowledge and expose themselves to sexually transmitted infections. Pregnant girls usually resort to traditional remedies to get rid of unwanted pregnancies, putting their lives at risk and jeopardizing their long term health. Save Our Women International (SOWI) is a non-profit organization aimed at remedying this situation through educational outreach campaigns to Ghanaian youths. They recently visited the Juaben Senior High School in Ejisu, a small town west of Kumasi, to speak to high school students about sex, abortions and HIV/AIDS. Students were encouraged not to be shy, to ask questions and speak to someone knowledgeable about sexual health and fertility-related matters.
Here is a portion of the event and an interview with SOWI Spokesperson, Justina Asofo Adjei.