Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


The show goes on

The African music and arts season is on and the Royal Albert Hall is once again the scene for another explosion. This one called the 'Greatest African music and Arts Festival' appears to be on the similar tracks as one organised last year at the same venue.

The Royal Albert Hall certainly lends a prestigious atmosphere to such festivals but if I remember correctly there were a few problems with last year's show. The huge capacity of the hall and the not-so-big attendance were such that many wished the concert had taken place in a different venue altogether.

Then of course, being probably the first of its kind at that venue, last year's organisers appeared not to have worked out an effective continuity schedule between performances, which situation left many yawning gaps only to be filled by a not-so-competent compere and thereby detracted from the overall positive effect.

Then of course, the decorum of the Royal Albert Hall could not be overturned with the usual audience participation associated, for instance, with rock concerts held in other less imposing venues, hence a few of the audience who couldn't resist the throbbing rhythms of Osibisa (highlight of the show) were firmly marched back to their seats.

One hopes that these issues have been resolved. So that on Friday 23rd March, when the show starts at 6.30 p.m. Franco and His T.P, O.K. Jazz, Orchestra Jazira, Ekome (from Ghana) Bomas of Kenya, Nigerian Juju music, Morocco and Misty in Roots, will keep the audience satisfied.

Highlife International are also billed to perform, not forgetting, Shikisha and Uthingo, formerly of Ipi-Tombi fame. It should be quite entertaining.

Fun galore at Africa Centre

Africa Centre is mounting a series of music and arts programmes in March designed to focus attention on Ghana with assistance from the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Accra, The Ghana Film Industry Corporation, Ghana Airways, the High Commission for Ghana and the Visiting Arts Unit of Great Britain.

There will be talks, cultural shows, a concert party, a Ghana film season, music and dance and art exhibitions. This week Ojah and Osis Uku as well as Hi-life International and traditional drumming and dancing will set the scene.

Wednesday March 7th, under the theme "Contemporary Art from Ghana", mounted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Accra, an exhibition of paintings by Ghana's leading painters, including Dr Ablade Glover who exhibited at the Centre in 1982 and at the Commonwealth Institute in 1983 would be on show. There will also be examples of textiles, ceramics, pottery, metal work, sculpture and design work.

On March 1st, Duma Ndlovu, South African poet and journalist, now resident in the USA, and other black poets resident in the UK will read and discuss their work. March 8th is "Africa Night", featuring African Dawn and Dade Krama who will present a new programme of dramatised poetry fused with African music. The African Brothers Concert Party led by Nana Ampadu I presentation of "The Tragedy of Kwata", a musical comedy about the evils of greed in social life.

African Brothers are one of Ghana's leading "Concert Party" groups, part of a tradition which has produced such popular household names as Kakaiku, Opia, Osofo Dadzie and Bob Cole. Using primarily satire and humour, the Concert Party draws on Ghana's rich dramatic traditions and this week of performances offers a rare opportunity to appreciate one of the most popular forms of West African theatre. Check this out on Monday March 12th.

Nigerian civil war

The BBC's Radio 4 is running a series of seven programmes on "War and Peace" which highlights a number of wars since the end of the second World War and ends with the Falklands war of 1982.

The third in the series features the Nigerian Civil War and is due to be broadcast on Friday March 2nd. The presenter is Miss Elizabeth Ohene, Editor of Talking Drums.

talking drums 1984-02-27 ghana's aimless revolution - pro buhari demonstration in London