We partied all the way to the airport! On the EBC crew’s last day in town we held a massive cookout and pool party at the mansion and even invited a few friends over to celebrate with us and wish our visitors home safe. Jacob outdid himself with a feast of grilled fish, chicken and pork, rice and peas, salad, pasta and so much more.
On the EBC crew’s last night in Ghana, we ventured over to +233, the hippest jazz soul café in town. Stephen Bedi, a jazz saxophonist launched his new CD for the crowd with a dynamic set with his live band.
Check out pictures of our insanely good time:
One thing for sure, the EBC group knows how to have fun. We visited Chez Afrique, an open air bar in East Legon that features a live highlife band every Friday night. We had such an amazing time gabbing, laughing and dancing.
Peep the picture slide of our night out on the town:
Our friend Maame and her mother, Aunt Pat, run a splendid restaurant in Osu Ringway and the EBC folks dined like queens and kings in proper Ghanaian buffet style-light soup and fish, grilled tilapia, jollof rice, banku, palava sauce, fried chicken, fried plantain, and much more. The food was plentiful and everyone left with satisfied bellies.
Aburi is a series of mountainous communities about 45 minutes outside the city of Accra. The region is filled with lush greenery, picturesque views, and fresh air. Bob Marley’s widow, Rita Marley, has built a home, recording studio, school and health clinic in this area. We were delighted to receive a guided tour by Nana B., a traditional priest and healer, through an old cocoa yam plantation in Aburi. We then perused a double roadside craft market and talked with some of the artisans about their creative process of carving tree wood into drums, sculptures, and masks.
After so much activity, we were glad to arrive to our friend’s country home in Brekuso, an upper province of Aburi. Here we relaxed on the wraparound porch, visited the garden, took a hike to the bottom of the cliff, listened to music, chatted up one another, and dined on some amazing food by our chef, Jacob.
On March 6, 1957, Kwame Nkrumah became the first Black African president of Ghana signaling national independence from the British colonial regime. As the first postcolonial administrator, Nkrumah is popularly heralded as “The Father of Pan-Africanism” for an ardent philosophy of racial solidarity among Africans on the continent and in the diaspora through economic, political, social and artistic cooperation. This position was built through his sojourn in the U.S. where Nkrumah received his bachelor’s degree at Lincoln University and his master’s at the University of Pennsylvania. Nkrumah also began a doctoral program in Philosophy at Oxford University but returned to Ghana before finishing. Throughout Nkrumah’s stay in these western nations, he witnessed the Great Depression, Jim Crow segregation and racially restricted covenants, all of which helped to determine his course once in Ghana.
Through a shared sense of subjection stemming from slavery and colonization, Black Ghanaians’ struggle against imperialism and African Americans’ fight against segregationist practices served to bolster racial and political networks of hope and transformative change. During his tenure, Nkrumah embarked on an ambitious agenda of “ideological education” and material development that would ensure Ghana’s self-sufficiency from western government and financial interests. As Nkrumah states, Ghanaians “were studied in such a way as to reinforce the picture of African society as something grotesque, as a curious, mysterious human backwater, which helped to retard social progress in Africa and to prolong colonial domination over its people.” Once in office, Nkrumah began setting a comprehensive national agenda with particular economic, educational, political and cultural objectives that would inculcate Ghanaians into a national structure of racial self-determination.
Cultural arts were used to galvanize the public around an African socialist agenda based on swift development. This program included an extensive exhibition of indigenous arts—drumming, traditional folk music, praise poetry, storytelling, highlife music and concert parties—endorsed by the government in state ceremonies, presidential visits with other country leaders, and public holiday celebrations. The aim of Nkrumah’s cultural agenda was to unite the country’s more than a dozen ethnic groups through a revitalized appreciation for indigenous knowledge and its centrality for accomplishing Ghana’s future development initiatives.
Nkrumah’s critical design and rehabilitation of much of the country’s infrastructure—hospitals, universities, and the Volta Region dam project that continues to provide for the needs of citizens—was essential to the global struggles waged by disenfranchised communities against a persistent imperialism in Cuba, Algeria, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among other places. He imagined building a United States of Africa where borders between countries would not contribute to division and isolation. Rather, Africans across the continent and in the diaspora would share their cultural specificities by building economic, intellectual, political and spiritual coalitions of self-definition and determination. Nkrumah envisioned that through networks of egalitarianism, Africa could develop a commonwealth of states and secure a unified political presence that would be able to compete with the U.S. and U.K. Additionally, African Americans could repatriate to their cultural homeland and contribute to commerce building, through an investment of money and skills, across the continent.
The. W.E.B. DuBois Centre was our first stop on the tour. DuBois is an icon of African American history but his connection to Ghana is not as well known. DuBois was friend, advisor, and supporter of the first postcolonial president of Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah. DuBois, an integral player in the pan-African movement, migrated to Ghana in his eighties and worked closely with Nkrumah to create a number of cultural projects including the development of Ghana’s first television network, GTV.
At the time of his death, he was working on creating a comprehensive encyclopedia of African history, country by country. The centre is located in the home DuBois shared with his activist wife, Shirley. His body lies in an enclosed grave in the former gazebo where the DuBois’ would entertain their guests.
Listen as some of the EBC travelers reflect on their tour of the W.E.B. DuBois Centre:
After more than three hours in transit from Accra to the Volta Region in western Ghana, the group was more than happy to shake their legs out by walking through the shaded rainforest to the breathtaking waterfall.
Wli Waterfalls cascades from a height of 60-80 meters, and is the highest falls in West Africa. The hills mark the border between Ghana and the neighboring country of Togo. A walk through the forest of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary offers a chance to see a large colony of fruit bats, butterflies, birds, monkeys and baboons. To get there we walked about 30 minutes each way through the rainforest on a footpath crossing 9 smaller streams in the process.
Take a look at our pictures at the foot of the majestic Wli Waterfalls: