Saturday, November 3, 2007
NAFAC with a difference
From: KINGSLEY E. HOPE, Kumasi
THIS year’s National Festival of Arts and culture (NAFAC) has taken off at the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi, under the theme, “50-years of Cultural Integration and National Development”.
Rich cultural displays by the performing artistes were at their best when the celebration took off on Thursday.
Dubbed “NAFAC with a difference”, the emphasis this time is on creativity, innovation and ingenuity characterized by the usual pomp and pageantry.
This year’s celebration is said to be unique as it is taking place in the country’s Jubilee year and moreso, being organized for the first time, by the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture.
The 10-day series of activities include exhibition of photographs and inventions, and regional durbars of chiefs.
NAFAC was established in 1961 by the late Dr. Alexander Atta Yaw Kyeremanten, who was the first Director of Ghana’s premier Culture Institution, the then Ghana National Cultural Centre, in Kumasi.
It aimed at bringing together the various artistic groups representing different ethnic groups within the Kumasi metropolis and its environs to perform and exhibit their cultural heritage.
It was from this small beginning by the man referred to as the Father of Festivals that the festival assumed a national character when adopted by the then Arts council of Ghana in 1967 and later started its rotation through all the regions in the country.
NAFAC is now serving as a biennial platform for assessing the country’s level of development leased on its cultural heritage.
On display at the Thursday launch of the festival were rich kente cloths with names such as ‘Obaa pa, Sika futuro, Sika fre mogya, Wofro dua pa a na yepia woo and Agyengyensu among others.
In an opening address, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, commended the founder of NAFAC stressing that his untiring efforts had contributed to the development of other festivals which had given Ghanaians a legacy that would be forever cherished.
He prayed that Ghanaians would always consider themselves first and foremost as one people with a common destiny adding that “inter-ethnic relations was an important tool to bring us together to celebrate the cultural diversities on a common platform”.
Contributing, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, observed that festival’s emphasis on creativity, innovation and ingenuity would give hope to the people and spar them on to achieve greater heights.
He stressed the need to depend on tourists to make the festivals generate foreign exchange for the nation.
Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, Paramount Chief of Asante Mampong, chaired the opening ceremony.
TIME WEEKEND - Saturday, November 3, 2007 Pages: 11 & 14