Chale Wote Festival: Let’s exploit Ghanaian culture strategically — Rocky Dawuni  

By James Amoh Junior

Accra, Aug. 16, GNA – Ghanaian reggae singer and record producer, Rocky Dawuni, says Ghana has a rich culture, which must be exploited strategically for the collective benefit of all.   

He said the economic potential of the Ghanaian culture and festivals must be extensively explored to boost tourism. 

The two-time Grammy nominee, therefore, called on stakeholders in Tourism in the country to take initiatives that would expose Ghana globally and celebrate its indigenous practices.  

Mr Rocky Dawuni was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a meditative procession with organizers of the Chale Wote Street Art Festival through the streets of Jamestown to the Ussher Fort and other ancestral points.  

On that day, the history of the enslaved who walked through the alleyways of Jamestown to ships on the shores was remembered. 

The precession, among others, highlighted the complex history of Jamestown, a suburb of Accra, and its central importance to the making of Accra and the development of Ghana and the diaspora. 

Chale Wote Street Art Festival is an alternative platform that brings art, music, design, dance and performance out onto the streets.  

The community-based festival is an annual event, which takes place in James Town one of Accra’s most historic communities and targets exchanges between Ghana-based and international artists creating and appreciating art together.   

The reggae singer said: “For me any cultural institution that aims to celebrates who we are, our traditions, culture and generally who we are as a people and at the same time connects the historic bonds that exist with the diaspora to the world is something worth promoting and supporting.”  

 As an artist who has travelled widely, Mr Dawuni said he understood the changing times, and there was need to “elevate all the cultural bridges to connect to the outside world” while boosting domestic tourism and enhancing socio-economic development.  

He emphasised that the Chale Wote Street Art Festival served as one of the primary institutions that had worked in that direction and had celebrated the Ghanaian culture annually through art, music and dance.  

Mr Rocky Dawuni said like the major festivals promoting the culture and traditions of the country, Chale Wote should be given adequate support from the Ministry of Tourism. 

Mantes Aryeequaye, Festival Director, Chale Wote Street Art Festival, said this year, organisers were exploring oral tradition and literature as an artform on the theme: “Stargate of Africa.” 

He said the annual festival was positioning African oral history to open opportunities and ideas for the development of the African continent. 

In its 12th cycle and 11th year, Mr Aryeequaye said, the prospects of Chale Wote had been tremendous as it had brought thousands of people onto the streets of Accra and Ghana, translating to direct jobs for people through vending and exhibition. 

“The festival has been transformative for the over ten thousand businesses that have benefited from the festival activities over the period. So, in essence, it has been transformative for the city of Accra and for Ghana. It has been transformative for the artists who have been involved.”