Saturday, May 19, 2007
EMANCIPATION DAY CELEBRATED
THE Eastern Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture(CNC), Mr. Kingsley Obeng, has observed that although mental slavery is the last vestige of the colonialism yoke Ghana experienced, it has been the most enduring of that unfortunate legacy.
He said while political freedom has been won, that of mental slavery continue to assail the people, adding that nascent effects of the phenomenon will persist unless concrete steps such as revising the nation’s curriculum are to allow for the formation of new mental attitudes.
He was emphatic that without a revision of the educational curriculum in Ghana to allow for pedagogical instruction in Ghanaian heritage studies, not much will be achieved in terms of mental freedom.
Mr. Obeng was speaking on the topic: “The Relevance of Emancipation Day in Ghana’ the Cultural Perspective” at an Emancipation Day celebration organized by the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) for Secondary Schools, media practitioners and players in the hospitality industry at Koforidua on Wednesday.
Mr. Obeng premised his expose on the legendary Bob Marley’s hit reggae song of which excerpts reds “emancipate you form mental slaver”, nothing that the subject matter of that song is as relevant for the present generation as it was to the audience for which it was composed.
Mr. Obeng marveled at the voluptuous appetite for foreign products, including second-hand panties while the very few people patronize local fabrics manufactured to promote national identity.
According to Mr. Obeng, many Ghanaians have be come depersonalized and dominated by foreign values and in the case of the youth, they have developed false perception which did not see anything attractive about Ghanaian cultural products.
He said not only were such attitudes false and misplaced, but in addition the proponents tended to exhibit a certain ignorance about Ghanaian culture such as equating everything African to ‘juju’ practice.
The Registrar of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Mr. Kwesi Sarkodie Opoku, in a contribution, said although the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) has the capacity and potential of attracting a huge number of international and domestic tourists, the event has often been plagued with poor organization and staffing.
He stressed the need for a salaried Director and staff to be appointed to oversee the affairs of festival and as well enable them to develop a strategic plan for fund-raising to enable the PANAFEST secretariat become a self-financing institution.
In a welcoming address, the Eastern Regional Director of the GTB, Mr. Sampson Donkor, appealed to the medial for support to enable the board to sensitise the people of the region and propagate its activities. – GNA
National Theatre is now free… Chinese govt. writes off debt.
CHINA has written off the construction cost of the National Theatre built in the early 90s as well as other projects.
A statement by the Chinese Embassy in Accra on Wednesday said the theatre was refurbished with a grant of million US dollars form the Chinese government.
It said renovation works were carried out before the Golden Jubilee celebration during which new materials and equipment were installed.
“The National Theatre of Ghana, which symbolizes the China-Ghana friend-ship, has become a gift form the Chinese government,” the statement added.
Six bilateral protocols and agreements were signed Mr. Jia Qinglin, Speaker of the Chinese people’s political Consultative Conference, paid a courtesy call on President John Agyekum Kufuor last month.
One of the agreements, on the cancellation of part of the debt owed by the government of Ghana to China which was due at the end of 2005, has written off the construction cost of the National Theatre in early 90s, as well as some similar projects.
The National Theatre plays an important role promoting people-to people cultural exchanges between the two countries. As time passes, some facilities and functions of the national Theatre could not satisfy the demand of new century. The theatre was refurnished with a grant of US 2million, also the Chinese government.
The renovation was finished right before the Golden Jubilee of Independence, which not only keeps the original functions, but also employed new technology new materials and installed new equipment.
With the renovated National Theatre, the friendship between peoples of China and Ghana will be enhanced to a new height.
TIMES WEEKEND - Saturday, May 19, 2007 Page: 11