SANKOFA: NATIONAL FOLKLORE BOARD LAUNCHES YOUTH CLUBS

“Yoomo ko hi shi
Aspaatere mii eyõõ.
Eyē bii kē nabii piii
Enyēēē amē elē
Ehã amē akasa flo
Ni bodobodo bē he
Egwao amē jogbann Ehã ãmē ya wō dioooo”

The good old days are back with a big bang as the National Folklore board (NFB) launched the Ghana Folklore Club at Accra today, first of March, 2019 to instil the love and application of Folklore in the youth.

The event which was held at the Mary Mother of Good Counsel school is part of the many projects of the Folklore board to revive Ghanaians’ awareness and usage of their rich folkloric heritage. In addition to the above school, 8 more schools in the Greater Accra region have being selected to spearhead the program on pilot basis while teachers will be trained to teach members of their respective clubs the essential folklores of the country.

The Acting Director of the Board, Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante explains why the board is targeting the youth : “Today, the NFB takes that bold step to bring back what appears to be disappearing, and there can be no better conduit than through these young ones who are still malleable and open to new and refreshing ideas. Sankofa (yen kyri) we are going back to our roots”

In her speech, she bemoaned the fact that many schools prevent the use of vernacular within the confines of the schools.

According to research, she said students’ development is greatly improved when they are exposed to their mother tongue also known as L1. She further went on to seek a resolution: ,“My dear teachers, can we take off the “No vernacular” signages in our schools?”

The immediate past Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Mrs Catherine Afeku, who officially launched the program expressed her joy of the revival of the education and use of folklore among the youth because according to her, it is essential for national life. Mrs Afeku revealed that the incoming minister has assured her of giving the Folklore board the needed support it needs.

At the launch were the former minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Catherine Afeku, Former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dzifa Gomashie, Chairperson for the National Commission for Civic Eduction, Ms Josephine Nkrumah. Also present were the Director of the Dubois Center, Joseph Amartey, A representative of UNESCO Ghana, President of the African American Association, Gail Nikoi, and other high profiled dignitries.

The laws of Ghana define folklore as the literary, artistic and scientific expressions belonging to the cultural heritage of Ghana which are created, preserved and developed by ethnic communities of Ghana or by an unidentified Ghanaian author. It includes music, dance, art, designs, names, signs and symbols, performances, ceremonies, architectural forms, handicrafts and narratives, or many other artistic or cultural expressions.

(Photo Credit: vogagesafriq)

Students of the host school did not disappoint as they trilled the audience with indigenous poetry performances and dances.

It is the hope of many that this initiative does not become a nine day wonder or just dancing and drumming troupes.

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