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Rhythms On Da Runway: Projecting Ghana through fashion, music
Kofi Okyere Darko popularly known as KOD

Rhythms On Da Runway: Projecting Ghana through fashion, music

When media personality Kofi Okyere Darko popularly known as KOD held the first edition of ‘Rhythms On Da Runway’, it was to unveil the Ohemaa Kids Collection, a line of clothes for children named after his first daughter.

Today, what started as a family affair with a simple beginning has grown into an international event projecting Ghanaian and African fashion and music and this year’s event dubbed the ‘Green Edition’ marks the 10th edition.


Also, this year, it is the event that kick-starts ‘December in Gh’ a series of concerts, fashion shows, traditional cultural festivals, and private parties across multiple regions of Ghana which are endorsed by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) through the Beyond the Return Secretariat.
Slated for tomorrow, Sunday, November 20 at the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Centre, the event will give patrons a cocktail of music and fashion from Ghana and beyond.

At his Cantonments office last Saturday, a visibly emotional KOD told this reporter that it has been a challenging journey but he has no regrets as despite the hurdles it has grown to become an important event on the Ghanaian entertainment calendar.

The main challenge over the years has been securing funding and sponsorship for the event. He explained: “I believe corporate Ghana doesn’t understand the creative industry very much. It is hard for us to sell anything to them. We have received a lot of support outside from places such as South Africa Tourism but then locally, our own corporate institutions don’t see the value. I know many of the CEOs in these positions but when you talk to them they make you feel as if you don’t know what you are doing. It is one of the reasons that we decided to look beyond the shores of Ghana. The criteria is that participating designers and guest artistes must be of African descent.”

For instance, after the first three years, they had to take a break as there was no money to finance the production of the show.
He said such breaks have affected the growth and he had to depend on personal relationships within the media and arts industry to get things going.

“This year, if it hadn’t been our monumental 10th anniversary, we wouldn’t have held the event because looking at the current economic situation. People are going through so much just to feed their families but then again we also looked at it from a different angle. If you are going through turbulent moments, you need something to put a spark and smile back into your life so we thought why not? We all wear clothes, we listen to music, so why not? Let’s have a good 10th anniversary, let’s celebrate life,” he explained.

Sustainable fashion
In sync with the theme for this year, “Green Edition”, a focus on sustainable fashion, participating designers are not necessarily expected to create new designs for the show but can restyle or modify existing designs.

KOD said the rationale was to use fashion and music as a focal point to tackle climate change issues, saying, “look at the weather now, you can’t tell when it will rain or shine. It is all a result of climate change. Even with new designs we are encouraging them to create timeless pieces.”
Designers lined up are Velma’s Accessories, House of Paon, Kustom Look Clotheir, MOD HQ, Abrantie

The Gentleman, Nivaldo Thiery – Mozambique, Yapaul by Sock and Tie, AHA Brands, JANT Collection and MATEKO London.
Others are SIGA Jeans by Palse – South Africa, Akobimen- New York, Chocolate Clothes Global and Nineteen57 by KOD.

When it comes to music, there will be a mix of old, existing and upcoming musicians from Ghana and different parts of Africa.
explained that some of the runway shows would be interspersed with musical performances. Another highlight is that instead of keeping MCs throughout the show, there will be guest MCs, who are change makers, to speak about climate change and what can be done about it in Ghana. The messages from these presenters will focus on what should be done to sustain the environment.

The World Cup opens on Sunday and for football lovers who will not want to miss the opening ceremony, the “Green Carpet” starts at 4:00 p.m. where people can hang out in the lounge and watch the game or network.

“It’s supposed to be an experience that starts when you walk into the Conference Centre. The “Green Carpet” session is quite elaborate. The main show itself is curated just to make sure people go back with unforgettable experiences and that’s what we have been working at all this while. Because it is our 10th edition, we will have a jam after the show to celebrate,” he added.
Supporting the arts industry to grow

KOD disclosed that after 10 years in Ghana, the show was ready to move into other African countries with the first country being South Africa for the next edition.
He is hoping that by the next 10 years, “Rhythms on Da Runway” should have grown into a mecca of fashion in Africa.

“We are ready for the show so we hope Ghanaians come out in their numbers to support us. Someone might see this as just an event but from the guy cleaning the floor to those lighting the stage, creating sets, we are creating sources of income for them. The cast of the production is around 300, there are about 200 models and 100 production crew. Everyone is getting paid so we are not only having fun, we are creating employment for hundreds of people.”

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