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Friday, 30 August 2019


Chale Wote Street Art Festival is an annual festival event that takes place in Accra, Ghana. The festival showcases Ghanaian heritage, culture and talent through multiple art forms over a span of two weeks. However, the Jamestown takeover usually takes place during the last weekend of the Chale Wote Festival. Since 2011, Chale Wote has been exhibiting collaborative art, music and performances to the streets of Jamestown and of recent times in separate venues where organisations put on shows in association with Chale Wote. The event is produced by Accra Dot Alt Radio and supported by various local cultural networks.

Before attending this year’s Chale Wote I had only ever attended the Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal when it comes down to art shows in West Africa. The set up of Chale Wote was ever so embracive you could find everything and anything around the town. Jamestown on the other hand, if you imagine a street carnival, meets gallery, meets a main stage. That was Chale Wote! The streets sidewalks were filled with food stalls and products stands whereas the streets had graffiti, parades of different groups showing off their skill, heritage or their pieces of work. On the main road by the coast are James Fort and Ussher Fort. These are old builds from the pre-colonial era that were built by the Dutch and the British. During the festival these space is reused as the gallery space that showcases the work and performance pieces of selected commissioned artists from around the world. One of my favourite installations at the festival that I saw inside one of the fort was by Ghanaian Artist Theresa Ankomah who uses kenaf woven baskets to explore weaving and structures.

Theresa Ankomah Installation at Chale Wote 2019

On the same side as the forts, Jamestown Café is situated further down this main road; they also hosted live music during the weekend in their mellow courtyard space. Before arriving at the field with the main stage for the music entertainment and more stalls!

I travelled with Africa World Airlines from Freetown to Accra. AWA also known as Fly Africa World offers flights from Freetown-Monrovia-Accra three times a week. This was my first trip with the African airline. The two and a half hour journey from Freetown was smooth with honourable customer service, the Fly Africa magazine and not to forget the selection of  ‘Made In Ghana’ fresh juices to choose from. The Ghanaian based Airline deploys just over fifty flights a day across five West African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast). Africa World Airlines also have a new have a brand new partnership with ASKY and Ethiopian Airlines where they offer seamless travel and new international routes.

Chale Wote Street Art Festival was the perfect excuse to visit a neighbouring West African city like Ghana that is making incredible moves in the tourism sector. This year marks ‘The Year Of Return’. Celebrating years of resilience as this August marks four hundred years since enslaved Africans were taken to the United States from the Gold Coast. In line with the ‘Year of Return’ the government of Ghana have also initiated policies to attract African Americans in particular and Africans abroad to relocate to Ghana. So it is fair to say Ghana will most definitely be the place to be this December.  Not to forget Afro Nation, Afrochella and the other seasonal festivities.

During the seven days I spent in Accra, I met fellow West Africans from Nigeria and Ivory Coast who also travelled for the Chale Wote festival using Africa World Airlines, it was a great feeling to not only witness the festival but to know that people from different countries around the world are also willing to travel for the same reason as you.

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  1. Good read... I so want to go Afronation now after reading this. Thank you for the insight 👌🏾

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