MOVIE REVIEW: Amma Asante’s Belle Premieres At Silverbird Cinemas, Accra

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A stirring period drama with historical importance, Belle is a must-see for Accra moviegoers. Based on the true story of a mixed-race aristocrat who lived in 18th century England, it is directed by Amma Asante, an award-winning actress and director who was born to Ghanaian parents in the U.K.

The movie premiered in Ghana at the Silverbird Cinemas on Friday, September 12 to rave reviews. The event was preceded by a cocktail reception at the theatre’s Silver Lounge.

Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761-1804) was the daughter of a British admiral and an African slave. Under Asante’s masterful directing,  the movie depicts her growing up in Kenwood House, Hampstead, under the guardianship of her father’s uncle Lord Chief Justice Mansfield.

Belle lives an unusual life – she is brought up as an aristocrat and even inherits a fortune from her father after his death. Yet her skin colour and illegitimate birth confer…

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The Art Of Ama Ata Aidoo: “A Young Girl’s Voice Doesn’t Break: It Gets Firmer”

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“This documentary celebrates Aidoo and her work and brings it to new audiences in a way that will inspire future generations. ” 

Watching Yaba Badoe’s docu-drama on the life of Ama Ata Aidoo  – one of my favourite African writers – at its launch in Ghana last week, was pure delight.  Ama Ata Aidoo is Africa’s first female published playwright and undeniably one of Ghana’s most influential poets and short story writers.

Masterfully directed by Badoe and with Amina Mama as Executive Producer,  “The Story Of Ama Ata Aidoo,” follows the writer over a course of a year during which she travels to her ancestral village in the Central Region of Ghana and is feted at a Festschrift organized by friends and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then attends the premier of her seminal play about the local African experiences of the slave trade, Anowa, performed by…

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Selected Events: May 2014

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When:  Saturday May 3
Event:  KSM Confessions Of a GH Man

Where: National Theatre, Accra
 
 
Description: Ghana’s king of stand-up satire Kwaku Sintim-Misa is back to entertain audiences with another show entitled Confessions Of A Ghana Man. The show will be held at the National Theatre on 3rd May, 2014 at 4pm and 8pm.Tickets are 50GHC for regular and 100GHC for VIP.
 
 
When:  April 4, 2014 – May 14, 2014, Ongoing
Event:  Photo Exhibition Berlin-Dakar
Where: Goethe Institute, Cantonments
 
 
Description: Each week one photograph – that was the idea and mode of the photographic interchange held between Simone Gilges from Berlin and Mamadou Gomis from Senegal’s Capital Dakar. After meeting at the prêt-à-partager workshop, the two photographers have been exchanging one picture each week via internet since 2009. The photographs serve as a response and comment to the prior one sent – taken in the very unlike cities and addressing everyday life in the streets, rituals of public and private life and the artistic work of both photographers. The developed references bring the other side closer to one’s own and respectively the familiar is made foreign.

Entrance: free

When:  Saturday May 10, 2014
Event:  Ghana Smooth Jazz Festival
Where: Labadi Beach Hotel (Omanye Suite)
Time:   Doors open at 6pm, concert begins at 7pm
 
 
Description: World renowned smooth Jazz Guitarist and Songwriter Peter White will perform in a jazz concert in the Ghanaian capital for the second time.White has maintained a reputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape. Armed with an unparalleled combination of lyricism and energy, he combines elements of jazz, pop and classical guitar to create a sound that is singular and at the same time accessible to a broad audience.
Also featuring on the bill are British musician jazz musician Oli Silk and Ghanaian artists the Queen of Afro Jazz, Ofie Kodjoe and Akablay and the Abiza Band.White was lead artist and star performer for Johannesburg Joy Of Jazz festival.
Click here for more info http://www.smoothjazzeventsgh.com/index.html
 
When:  May 10, 2014
Event:  Concert Under Kontrol (Beatboxing)
Where: Alliance Française Accra
Time:   8pm
 
 
Description: Under Kontrol is a French group made up of 4 beatboxers who met in 2007, named MicFlow, Mr Lips, Tiko and Fayabraz. This vocal quartet won the French Champion in 2008, Beatbox Team World Champions in 2009 and Discovery Artist of Printemps de Bourges in 2011. They received praises from the international music scene and released an album, 100% Beatbox, in 2011 entitled ‘1’ Their music is inspired by hip-hop, electro, jazz and funk producing melodies, rhythms and bass.
Tickets: GHC 10, GHC 5 (for AF students and members)
 
When:  May 23, 2014
Event:  Classical Music Concert
Where: National Theatre
Time:   7.30 pm
 
 
Description: Classical music concert by The National Symphony Orchestra, The Yale Percussion Ensemble and the Yale Concert Band. Ghana’s National Symphony Orchestra and Yale musicians are joining together to give a concert to celebrate a new public-private partnership aimed at making Ghana the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate Pediatric HIV.
Building upon its mission of public service and education, the Yale Club Of Ghana will host over 50 Yale students as they uplift this important initiative through music. The Yale Club of Ghana is proud to be a sponsor of this inspired work.
Tickets are VIP GHC 100, Adults GHC 30, Students GHC 10
 
When:  May 24, 2014
Event:  Concert Illy and The Extreme Volumes, King Ayisoba
Where: Alliance Francaise, Accra
Time:   8pm
 
 
Description: The concert is going to be a visual art / musical protest in its own right, using music and arts to fight African leaders. Nigerian Afro-Fusion International Sensation, VILLY & The Xtreme Volumes will feature a complete musical fusion of Afrobeat, Rock, Soul, Highlife and more. They will be joined by King Ayisoba – a hiplife performer, as guest artist and Kologo, a guitarist from Upper East Region of Ghana, whose sounds are both melodic and percussive. Kogolo emerged onto the music scene in the mid-90’s fusing traditional instruments with hip life, hip hop and dancehall elements, beats, bleeps and bass.
Rate: GHC 10, GHC 5 (for AF students and members)
 
When:  May 24, 2014
Event:  Accra Festival Of Storytelling
Where: W.E.B. Dubois Centre, Cantonments
Time:   5:30pm -8:30pm
 
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When: 28 May 2014
Event: Theatre/Musical
Time:  7.30 pm
 
 
Description: Alliance Francaise hosts a monthly performance by new artists called La Paillote Takpepke. This month will feature Of God’s Men, The Switch directed by New Morning Art Cafe.
In the country of Mantain, corruption and vice have found solace. There are leaders and citizens, but you can hardly tell them apart, as a result of the rottenness of their collective behaviour. The gods who are watching are now tired of it. Do they step in, wipe them out, or offer them the opportunity of a fresh start?
Script by Golda Addo, adaptation by New Morning Art Cafe
Rate: GHC 2, GHC 1 (for AF students and members)

 

Selected Events: April 2014

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When: Friday Apr 25, 2014: 10am – 8pm
Event: Ghana Poetry Festival
Where: Center for National Culture (Arts Center)
 
 
Description: The theme is “The emergence of poetry and its relevance today”. Poetry readings, Open Mic, sales of books, recordings and crafts, music performance.
 
 
When: 25th April to 3rd May
Event: Accra Jazz Festival
Where: Various
 
 
Description: Various jazz artists including Nicolas Genest, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Colter Harper, Dr. Royal Hartigan & Jazz Ensemble, Toni Morrison, Kyekyeku and Tommi Quinci,, Ofie Kodjoe, Brenda Joyce, Sandra Hudson and Michelle McKinney-Hammond performing at different venues over the course of 9 days.
For full schedule, dates, and venues, go to: 
http://www.afaccra.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=154%3Aculturalactivities&

 

When: Wed Apr 30, 2014 7pm – 8pm Accra
Event: Book Reading
Where: Goethe Institute Cantonments
 
 
Description: Ghana Voices Series: The Writers Project of Ghana runs a monthly book reading with the Goethe Institute dubbed the Ghana Voices Series. This event takes place on the last Wednesday of every month. April’s readings will be held on April 30 at 7 pm prompt at the Goethe Institute, and features Ama Ata Aidoo, author of No Sweetness Here, Changes, Diplomatic Pounds, Our Sister Killjoy and others.