The New Year has taken off, and Ghana, like the rest of the world, is in full swing. As always, it is a bumper year for football and politics. It is a momentous year for local arts and culture. And, as always, there are always bound to be a few gems cropping up along the way. It is Ghana, after all.
We are bound to catch a few sparkles from the development of local film and television studios. Nollywood, whose first film was released in 1992, has inspired the region to invest in local talent and local tales. Ghanaians, just like their Nigerian neighbours, are keen to see more shows and movies in local languages, and with local actors. People simply want to feel connected to the stories they engage with; that was exactly the point behind Bollywood, which drove Nigeria to create a similar industry in Africa. And, if Ghana has anything to say about it, there will be a Gollywood sooner rather than later. From increased partnerships in the local film industry to Ghana’s first International Film Festival this past June, it looks like Ghanaians can expect a lot from their local actors in the years to come.
On the other hand, the Ghana National Theatre has closed. No, it is not permanent; the theatre has closed for two weeks because it is finally time for a refurbishment. As the home of the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Dance Company, and the National Theatre Players (Abibigromma), it is, in fact, the only national theatre in the country. So, when it closes, even for a quick two-week facelift, it is a tremendous deal. But, according to theatre representatives, Ghanaians can expect a fresh new look when the theatre re-opens in February. The National Theatre is undergoing more than vacuuming; old equipment is slated for replacement, along with new carpeting and decor and plenty of new paint. When the theatre reopens, Ghanaians are likely to experience an exciting 2014 performance calendar.
Not everything in Ghana is closing down or taking off, however. Take the Green Plane, as it is commonly known; that has not left the ground in months. La Tante DC-10 is one of Accra’s newest and most unique concept restaurants. Housed inside of an old DC-10 aeroplane that travelled between Ghana and Europe and North America, this eatery is making waves, despite the price. Although the menu is not exactly cheap, people come for the experience, and many only come for the bar. The Green Plane seats up to 118 diners, and with the waiting area in first class, this is one experience that should not be missed.
In 2014, Ghana is making strides, even if, sometimes, it’s not about taking off.