AU Arts Festival woos art lovers

BY: Linda Safoa Antwi
Okyeame Kwame and his wife Annica with former President J.A. Kufour
Okyeame Kwame and his wife Annica with former President J.A. Kufour

From Friday, June 1, to Sunday, June 3, art lovers from around the African continent are expected to have a blast at the AU Arts Festival which will take place at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra.

Organised by Malaika Media and OK Communications in partnership with the Kufour Foundation, the AU Arts Festival is part of fundraising activities for an endowment fund launched by the Kufuor Foundation which has a target amount of GH¢ 80 million.

The festival is also the contribution of Hiplife artiste, Okyeame Kwame, who is an ambassador of the Kufuor Foundation, an initiative of former President, John Agyekum Kufuor.

The festival will see 40 young and talented artist selected from across the country, paint milestones of former President Kufuor’s achievements.

They will also try to capture Ghana through their works.


Explaining how the artists were selected, Okyeame Kwame told Showbiz on Tuesday that “we created a website and asked interested artists to register and upload a picture. We received a lot of applications and we met most of them before the selection was done.”

The opening of the festival is expected to be a big deal with former President Kufuor in attendance and the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Honourable Prof. Mike Ocquaye as the special guest.

The 10am event will see a networking session and speeches with the main programme being an auction of the art works which would be autographed by the former President and the Speaker.

As Okyeame Kwame puts it, “they are not only buying art works but they are getting a piece of greatness.”

Music will also be a big part of the AU Arts Festival with performances from Okyeame Kwame himself, the Philharmonic Choir and Spoken Word performances from Rhyme Sonny and many others.

In the evenings, patrons can expect some acoustic music performances while they buy art.

The three-day festival is expected to attract not only art lovers but friends and admirers of the former President across Africa among others.

Okyeame Kwame says he expects that they will raise a substantial amount for the Kufuor Foundation.

“I am targeting GH¢ 1million for the Foundation and although I know I won’t raise it all at the festival, I hope that between now and December, I will have met my target,” he said.

Okyeame Kwame is also hoping to put up a concert which will feature three Ghanaian legends; Daddy Lumba (DL), Kojo Antwi and ‘Abrantee’ Amakye Dede later on as part of his fundraising campaign.

On his part, CEO of Malaika Media, Kojo Ampah Sahara told Showbiz that they are celebrating exemplary leadership through the Festival.

“A lot changed when former President Kufuor took office. His achievements are massive and we want to use the festival as a reminder of that change he brought during his tenure.

Mr Sahara said the festival will be an annual affair that will honour leaders across the continent.

“There is an AU Arts Festival Board and together with Malaika Media and OK Communications, we will select one honoree. The plan is also to hold the Festival across Africa in the long term.”

CEO of the Kufuor Foundation, Prof Agyemang Duah also spoke on why the former President should be celebrated.

“Well, President Kufuor in his time did a lot to put this country in shape.

Even after his presidency, he has been very active, getting appointments from global organisations, advocating for climate change, water and sanitation around the world and is currently Co-Chair of the Global Panel of Agriculture for Food Systems and Nutrition.”