Did you taste being a star?
I don’t want to miss any kind of festival in Ghana. I watched in the calender and noted up every sort of festival in Ghana. I attended Elmina Bakatue festival, Winneba abokyir festival, Cape Coast Fetu Afahye. Odwira festival, Homowo festival, Fir festival in Tamale, Damba –Takay festival etc.
One day preparing to go to Hobotsotso festival in Anloga, East Ghana, I saw a boy running towards to me saying:“there are two white people looking for you.“ “ Where ?“ I asked him and he continued.“They are going to your mothers house in Nima“ I was closed to my house so I run. As I arrived in the house with my friends Emmanuel and Dodge. We saw two white men standing in our house. We welcommed them and asked them where they come from. It happened that one was from Israel one from Argentina. I asked them, how they got to know my name. They respond: „We have a friend called Hamid from Israel and he got to know you from the AAMA academy in Accra.“
I was surpised: „Ahhh Hamid¨“ they also explainded:“ We also don’t know him much, but we meet in travelling and spoke about travelling experience and we end up talking about Nima, and we said anytime we are coming to Africa we will go to Nima.“ I asked them.“ When did you arrive?“ They replied.“ Oh we arrived yesterday night and spend a night in a hotel near Accra and then we went to Kokrobite the AAMA academy to book ou rooms. There we asekd about you and they said you are in Nima and they directed us to come here.“ And I responded:“ Oh this is the right place for you.“
I told them about the festival I wanted to visit the next day and asked them if they are interested.“ They were interested and we made an appointment to go to the Hobotsotso festival. The next day we came together. My friends Dodge, Emmanuel and Yaw also came with me to accompany our European friends to the festival.
My friend Emmanuel came from Aniako and gave us the idea why don’t we do an nice excursion with a canoe on the Volta delta to Amalga. Thats what we did. Arriving in Aniako we immediatly were invited by Emmanuels uncel for a special dish from Aniako: Akpele (like Banku) with special fried fish from the river. We were doubting if our European friends could join us for eating, because it was fresh chillipepper, tomatoes and onions with the fried fish. This was very tasty. Our friends also liked it so much, although it was so hot, but they didn’t care about. After eating we went to the delta. We rent a canoe. We ate so much, that we were just happy to sit down and enjoy the site - seeing. We arrived in Anloga at the right time. The festival was just about to start. We meet our artist friend, who came with a student from US, specially for the festival. We greated eachother and joined them. The festival started and we walked towards the parc. As we arrived the chiefs and participants took their positions. One of the elders and the festival organizers came directly to us and ask to come and sit down on a special place they had for us. Through this US team, we also could take part like officials.
Activities went on for hours, they played very hot Agbadza. I invited all the American and European friends to go and dance. On the parc you yould hear a lot of cheers and laughing. Because they just arrived in Ghana and they never took any course in dancing. So they didn’t know what is Agbadza. They were all shocked and said. „We cannot dance this.“ And I told them just to watch us and do the same. They followed us and we started dancing. The cheering, clapping and laughing became more and more and more. After we finish, we sat down the music stopped and president of Ghana, J.J. Rawlings got up and gave a speach. He said in his mother tongue Ewe: „You see how best our friends can dance our music. I am so impressed!“ The cheering and the laughing became so big as he spoke Ewe, everybody understood, except our friends. I then translated it to them: „Do you see how the president was appreciating your dancing and you were hesitating in the beginning.“
Afterwards we were going back to the palace and we had to walk in groups. The chiefs were carried and all the agbadza groups and adzagbeko groups.
The adzagbeko groups invited us to join them to dance and walk with them to the palace. So we walked with them all the way throught the city to the palace. This festival is always attendend by thousands of people. After all activities finished on daytime, the American group was invited for eating by the officials. We were invited too. But our friends wanted to go and have some cold beer. Everywhere we passed, the poeple were calling us: „Oh yevo (white man), theses are the people the president was speaking about.“ We got lots of fans. We meet a very good friend from Nima, which we didn’t even know, that he is coming from Anloga. James saw us from far and shouted my nickname: „Koria!“ so I knew it was somebody who knew me from Nima. We shouted, run and hugged eacheother. We introduced our European friends to him. His freind was walking with him and said: „James you missed something! These guys put up a show in the parc and the president was so impressed.“ As James was walking with us, he saw the fans we got. He offered to us his family house, if we want to stay over night. Our European friends decided to go back to Accra, because they had an important meeting in the next morning. So we decided to stay. We then went to his house and he requested an evening meal for us. So we went back to the city again to enjoy the festival. We danced so much and took part in all activities. We came back and had our meal. As we were eating, a lot of people alsways wanted to come in and great us. We almost had no time to eat and enjoy the food. We were occupied so much aout this short show inwhich the president recommended us so much. After we continued to party into the late night. Although our European friends were not with us, we got still a lot of fans. As we are returning back to Accra I was thinking a lot about how famous people are cooping with their life. They got famours for many years and we just got it for some days and I was exhausted. Even in the car to go to Accra we still get people greeting us. And on the Aflao station in Accra we heard people shouting: „Ahh here they are!! Well done!!!“ And people were faning us. This moment was following me a lot and I wonder how stars can deal with it for many years.
Today I am watching this and understand, how fame can rise you up and you have to breath.
John Kofi Donkor