‘December in Ghana’ - An extravaganza to “DiG!”
It’s year-end, and in the African diaspora, many are those looking forward to “DiG it”, that is, fly out to celebrate the end of the year festivities in Ghana during what I call the “shutdown season” more generally known as ‘December in Ghana’! You DiG!? PaJohn Bentsifi Dadson takes a cursory look at what has become quite a phenomenon making Ghana the destination of choice during the Yuletide period.
A season of great festivity and delight, every December brings about good reason to join thousands of people who converge on Ghana to celebrate the end of the year.
It’s a period for creating lasting memories, both with family and friends, and the experiences shared in the period ranges from frivolous fun times for some and deep reconnections for many others, who participate in it.
Unlike in the West and elsewhere where Christmas is a two-day holiday; in Ghana, it is essentially a weeklong celebration that presents much economic opportunities. In recent years, what was a traditionally family affair has transcended boundaries and is challenging the status quo, with the staging now of a myriad of social functions, including events and activities that tend to separate families.
Many families, however, still insist on that one reunion though and manage to get all members together for the traditional Christmas Day or Boxing Day gathering. This tended to be a rotational affair with each side of the family getting a visit to each other, so that all the cousins could interact with each other. On this day, a family will be lucky to have all the children, especially, staying around long enough for a meaningful family gathering.
Especially with the younger generation, their agenda would include attending the many festivals and concerts and parties, and so on, which have been put together for their enjoyment during the season. Often, these youths are in school abroad and only get to visit once a year during the end of year.
Characterised by all sorts of commercially motivated events, the tourism authorities have to step in to sanitise the scene by carefully endorsing a select number of the events that meet criteria of safety standards and value for money. It becomes a measure to decipher what’s worthy of participating in from the cacophony of events that takes place during the period.
Out of this comes the consolidation and branding of what the authorities, spearheaded by the Ghana Tourism Authority, call ‘December in Ghana’ - DiG!
An extravaganza of the flurry of activities that culminates the end of year festivities, DiG runs from sometime at the end of November all the way through to January of the following year, a selection and endorsement of events that showcase the kaleidoscope of exciting parties, festivals and shows.
It is a “Saturdays on repeat” kinda scenario, characterised by the myriad of music concerts, stage performances and neighbourhood entertainment that makes Ghana’s capital, where most of these events take place, the destination of choice every year-end.
Here’s Bentsifi’s DiG List - Events endorsed by the Ghana Tourism Authority’/Beyond the Return’ campaign is marked with an asterisks.
*HEAR WORD! Internationally acclaimed stage play seen by over 100,000 live audience members around the world debuts today! Starring notable Nollywood stars such as Joke Silva, Taiwo Ajai -Lycett, Ufuoma McDermott, Elvina Ibru Omonor, Zara Udofia - Ejoh, Debbie Ohiri, Oluchi Odii and Mofe Okorodudu. 7 p.m., Grand Arena, International Conference Centre.
*AFROBEATS BAZAAR. A grand fun event involving music, arts, culture and a broad marketplace to give audiences a resounding experience. Noon, Nubuke Art Gallery, East Legon.
WIZKID LIVE IN ACCRA. Africa Star boy from neighbouring Nigeria is hosting his first self-staged event in Ghana with other big names. 6 p.m. at the Accra Sports Stadium.
*RUN FOR YOUR WIFE. A crafty two timing bloke finds his cup running over in this hilarious piece of theatre starring some of the most talented actors around today. 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. National Theatre
Wed. 14 thru 16
*Aspatir Indigenous Cultural Festival. A staging of the Ghanaian heritage featuring a Made in Ghana fair, street parade, highlife night, bonfire and more… 10 a.m. daily. Efua Sutherland Children’s Park, Accra.
FRIDAYS AT BLOOM. Hosting their usual Friday link up in match with their 5th Anniversary Party. Accra’s hottest DJ’s and blombers are on live and coloured. 8pm. Bloom Bar, Osu.
POP-UP. TribeofGod alongside AM&PM will be serving eye-catching wears ranging from luxury to street wear for a whole week. AM&PM, Evita 3 East Legon.
RIVERFEST. A celebration of culture. 4 p.m., Camp Tsatse, Ada.