Art Attack on the streets of Accra; Chale Wote has come to stay

African Electronics, the theme for the 5th edition of the solitary street art festival in Africa, amalgamated art, music, dance and performances on the historic High Street of Accra from August 20 to 23, 2015.

Four days in a row, activity after activity,  thousands of people trooped to the venue without any disappointment as graffiti murals, street paintings, theatre, installations, live music performances, dance, extreme sports, fashion, poetry, historical tours, art workshops, food and technology markets glorified art.

If it was in the pre-smartphone era, photography shops will run out of films as each moment was recorded and social media buzzing with art by  both Ghanaian and international artists including Bright Ackwerh, Benjamin Okantey, Adjo Kisser, Steloo, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Attukwei Clottey, Kwame Asante Agyare, Moh Awudu, Elsa M’bala (Cameroon), Temi Kogbe (Nigeria), Anna Kurtycz and RUDEK (Benin), Sandra Krampelhuber (Austria) and Kenturah Davis (U.S.), among others.

Not to bore you with lots of grammar as this is a late post anyway…enjoy the photographs below shot with Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy Camera.

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Mandela and Nkrumah come alive on AU Day at the Osu Oxford Street Mall

Brush stroke after brush stroke, it took the genius of multi-talented artist Mohammed Awudu to bring alive a smiling Nelson Mandela and a forward-looking Kwame Nkrumah on a canvas in front of the Osu Shopping Mall.

Dubbed, the Africa Day Live Graffiti & Mural Painting, the Osu Oxford Street acknowledged the struggles that led to the discovery of the African identity through the innovative event organized by MohArt and Wetwater Studio on Africa Unity Day, May 25, 2015.

Many people caught a glimpse of the work of art in progress while others waited for it to materialize into the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary leader and Ghana’s first president as promised.

To the admiration of those gathered, the Mandela and Nkrumah mural was a touch of class interwoven by various colours representing the African diversity with the message; the unity of Africa is paramount.

Mohammed Awudu, popularly called Moh, said he was overwhelmed by the support and interest from Ghanaians and tourists alike who passed by to see his handiwork. He expressed appreciation to the management of the Osu Oxford Street Mall and the other partners who made the day a success.

Moh has featured in many international art projects including Amatthan Art Workshop in Lagos, Tabom Graffiti Project, Nima for Peace project, Imagine Accra, Tales of Two Cities, ChaleWote Street Art Festival, Samsung Note Live Portrait Artist among others.

The facilitator of this art attack, multi-talented and award-winning artist Mohammed Awudu, says he chose to undertake this project because he believes in telling stories of great men through art for the youth to aspire to appreciable levels of success.

Mohammed Awudu, popularly known as Moh, has painted many graffiti murals with the most recent being that of Kwame Nkrumah to commemorate Ghana’s 58th Independence Day at the Kanda Highway in Accra.

Moh has also featured in international art projects including Amatthan Art Workshop in Lagos, Tabom Graffiti Project, Nima for Peace project, Imagine Accra, Tales of Two Cities, ChaleWote Street Art Festival, Samsung Note Live Portrait Artist among others.

As the founder of the Ghana Association of Graffiti and Mural Fine Artists, Moh, with the help of friends, promises to bring excitement and expertise to graffiti art in Ghana.

See below the beautiful mural painted by Moh on African Unity Day.

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Bleaching creams to flood Ghana as Cote d’Ivoire, Mecca of its production bans the products

Days after a ban was issued by Ghana’s neighbour, Cote d’Ivoire, on skin lightening products, the mantle has been passed onto the government of Ghana to heighten its checks on the influx of such harmful products onto the Ghanaian market.

Cote d’Ivoire, notable for the production of assorted skin lightening products, banned them because of “fears of lasting damage to health”, says the Ivorian health ministry.

The ban affects whitening creams and lotions containing mercury and its derivatives, cortisone, vitamin A or more than two percent hydroquinine, a lightening agent that is used to develop photographs.

“The number of people with side effects caused by these medicines is really high,” said Christian Doudouko, a member of Ivory Coast’s pharmaceutical authority, warning that they could cause skin cancer.

The use of the creams is increasing in Ghana and also believed to be even more widespread in Nigeria.

Every cosmetic shop in Makola Market, main market of the Central Business District of Accra displays varieties of skin lightening products with very attractive packaging and names mostly from Cote d’Ivoire.

Although the phenomenon of skin bleaching is not new and the effects visible on the streets of major cities of the country, a directive from government against its sale is yet to be conveyed.

Samuel Tete Katchan paintings at Francophonie Festival 2015

The 2015 Francophonie Festival held at the Alliance Francaise in Accra in March displayed a number of artworks. Our spotlight today is on the paintings of Togolese artist based in Ghana, Samuel Tete

Our spotlight today is on the paintings of Togolese artist based in Ghana, Samuel Tete Katchan. They were displayed at the Art Studio of Alliance Francaise.

Enjoy sceneries from the Festival below and the paintings by the talented painter, Samuel Tete Katchan.

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Accra gives Jazz legend, Earl Klugh, a standing ovation

Characterized by an outpour of Jazz enthusiasts, the Stanbic Ghana Jazz Festival in Accra savoured live the all-time favourite records of legendary Jazz musician, Earl Klugh, who himself was stunned by the warm reception at the Accra International Conference Centre on February 19-20, 2015.

With songs including Midnight in San Juan, Heartstring, Wishful Thinking, Vonetta and Cabo Frio, the discerning audience called for more from the 61-year-old master of the acoustic classical guitar.

Earl Klugh touched the right nerves with his 5-man band made up of Stan Sergeant on the electric bass guitar, Tom Braxton on the alto/soprano sax and flute, Marcus Finnie on the drums and hilarious David Lee Spradley on the piano.

Applause after applause to each song in the hour and a half performance, Earl Klugh expressed appreciation for the kind reception Ghanaians gave him. The man of few words said: “This is a wonderful experience and I want to thank all of you and my band.”

The band displayed classic skill as each member pulled a stunning display in between performances. Stuck in the memories of the audience will be that of drummer, Marcus Finnie, who at the seeming end of the performance twirled his drumsticks rhythmically across his trap set for close to five minutes winning the admiration of all including the other band members.

One of Earl Klugh’s oldest songs, ‘Vonetta’ brought the Jazz spectacle to an end with the audience on their feet in applause as the band took a bow.

Crème de la crème of Ghana were present at the festival including former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Kwesi Botchway, Albert and Comfort Ocran, Fred Amugi, Kofi Anyidoho among a host of other prominent people in the country.

The two-day festival also witnessed performances from Ghana’s Jasper Band, Big Wellington Trio, Kyekyeku, Stanbic Rhythms, Akablay, Bernard Ayisa-Victor Dey Quintet and legendary Ebo Taylor.

Watch Earl Klugh below as he performed ‘Wishful Thinking’ at the Accra International Conference Centre.

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