By John Owoo
(At the Goethe-Institut in Accra)
Dancehall artist Blaq Originata last week drew wild cheers from students celebrating the 10th edition of the National German Cultural Festival, which ended last week at the Goethe-Institut in Accra.
Accompanied by six tactful dancers, the young musician worked his way into the hearts of over 500 students, with a charismatic stagecraft and poise that swayed them. In the process, several students and teachers joined the dancers on stage as Originata’s voice soared through the rather warm air.
With a combination of dancehall, highlife and hiplife, Originata treated the audience to memorable tunes and robust tempos as a lot of varieties in terms of emotions and themes echoed musically and lyrically throughout the performance.
“Blaq Originata is an up and coming musician with a mission – this is the second time I have seen him on stage. Each time he manages to pull crowds onto the stage, either to join in singing or dancing”, said Yaa Oppong Manu, a student in Accra.
Through swift and subtle movements, the dancers engaged the audience in a dialogue as movement after movement attracted copycat actions by the students, who cheered and called for more performances by the dancers.
Indeed, it was a show with rhythm – the singing and dancing appeared to converge and rise into the atmosphere as agile bodies from the talented young dancers moved with controlled intensity and in complete harmony.
“It was raw fun – we enjoyed every bit of the concert since we identify ourselves with the music. The crowd actually went wild with joy as the band unleashed uplifting sounds on them”, added Eric Adepa, a student in Kumasi.
Earlier, the students engaged in a creative competition, which was won by the Goethe-Institut in Accra. They showcased their artistic creations on a futuristic concept through music, theatre and dance to cheers from their peers.
Opening the festival, the German Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Christoph Retzlaff called on students to take serious the study of languages in order to reap its numerous benefits as they begin their careers in various disciplines.
He charged the students, who were drawn from various parts of the country to concentrate on their books, follow their dreams and aim for the very best after their graduation from universities and other academic institutions.
Germany he stated is a country of science and technology and has very good relations with Ghana adding that there are scholarship and fellowship schemes available for qualified Ghanaian students and urged the students to take advantage of them.
The ambassador revealed that although the German language is not officially on the curriculum of most schools, there are several clubs throughout Ghana that are teaching German with the support of the Goethe-Institut in Accra thereby ensuring the growth of teaching of the German language.
Titled “Die Zukunft Beginnt Jetzt” (The Future Starts Now), the festival was opened by the German Ambassador to Ghana HE Christoph Retzlaff. Goethe-Institut in Accra, Ghana Association of Teachers of German and the German Academic Exchange Service organized the festival.