The Central Regional capital, Cape Coast, will come alive with a mosaic of rich and bright Ghanaian culture from December 9 -16, as she hosts the 2022 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC), which also marks the festival’s 60th anniversary.
The ancient coastal city and ‘poster boy’ for Ghana’s tourism, will be a cornucopia of authentic African arts, culture and music liaised with fun games and touristic trips to give the biennial festival a befitting 60th anniversary.
All 16 regions of the country will be represented to showcase their beautiful cultures and learn new ones in a way that fosters national unity and expedites development.
The festival is on the theme: “Reviving Patriotism, Peace and Unity through Cultural Diversity for Sustainable Development”.
Beyond the pomp and pageantry, the one-time national capital is also expected to be a booming business centre for various enterprises dealing in a variety of goods and services.
NAFAC, Ghana’s biggest cultural festival, is celebrated every two years on a rotational basis to provide a platform for each region to showcase the diversity and richness of the country’s cultures to stimulate peace, unity and nation-building.
It is the turn of the Central Region to host this year’s celebration, launched in Cape Coast by the National Commission on Culture, during which it called for patriotism and nationalism among citizens to expedite national development.
Already, participants and guests from across the country and abroad are trickling in with high hopes to have a lifetime experience of cultural glitz and glamour.
Mr Paakow Idun, the Chairman of the Central Region Hotels Association, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that he expected hotels in and around Cape Coast to be fully booked.
He said the Association was giving out the rooms at a discount as its contribution towards a successful festival.
Feverish preparations, including the mounting of big billboards along the stretch of the Accra-Cape Coast Highway with the Adisadel School Park, where the majority of the activities will take place, inundated with canopies and exhibition booths for the various regions and businesses.
Mr Paa Kwesi Sampson, the Public Relations Officer, at Cape Coast Centre for National Culture (CNC), told the GNA that most of the booths would be given out to the regions and districts for free with only a few going to businesses at a minimal fee.
He said enough publicity had been provided on the festival and was expecting a thrilling showpiece to give patrons an indelible experience.
What to Expect
The weeklong festival will start with a float of masquerades through the major streets and end with Islamic worship at the Cape Coast Central Mosque on Friday.
The Festival will officially open on Saturday at the Adisadel School Park by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with ministers and diplomats expected to grace the event.
Later in the day, a durbar of chiefs will be held where the Savanna and Bono regions will take the stage to showcase their culture. The International Friendship Night would be the icing on the cake.
Church service would be held on Sunday at the Emmanuel Methodist Church at Siwdu, Cape Coast, after which the Oti, Western and Upper East regions will take their turns to sell their culture. In the evening, a piece of choral and indigenous music will be held to entertain patrons.
Monday will see the women and girls’ day at the CNC, a cultural display by the Bono East, Volta, Western North and Northern regions at Adisadel Park, and a theatre night at CNC.
A beauty pageant, ‘Miss NAFAC’ will be held at the CNC Tuesday evening after the Upper West, Ahafo, Eastern and North East regions had showcased their cultures as well as a colloquium at the CNC.
Trips would also be made to various tourist sites like the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles and the Kakum National Park on Wednesday.
The day would also see the Ashanti, Central and Greater Accra regions entertaining the audience with their glamourous traditional displays, subsequent to which participants will be treated to authentic live band music and storytelling.
On Thursday schools will have their cultural day, in addition to Central Folklore Night, and a cooking competition by the various market women associations.
The festival will finally be crowned with splendid performances by the Association of Performing Arts Groups on Friday, December 16.