By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Murals by over thirty painters that incorporated elements of Ga Adangbe culture and traditions have transformed the Ako Adjei Interchange in Accra into a visual feast of figures, shapes, symbols and colours.
Images on the giant concrete walls and columns of the interchange make references to festivals, royals, totems, rituals, fishing, emblems, stools, priests and others that reveal the diversity, variety and beauty of Ga Adangbe culture.
Indeed, symbols on display focus on empathetic individual experiences that inform personal development and involvement within the population since community / kinfolk are highly regarded among Gas – and this is evident through marriage ceremonies and outdooring of babies among others.
Equally depicted are spiritual practices, reverence for the ocean and the universe, philosophical thoughts, cleansing rituals, symbols of communication, theatrical aesthetics and visual representations of mythical imaginations.
Several symbols denote unity and harmony, which obviously make references to the “nomadic” life initially adopted by the Gas as they traveled from one place to the other while encountering and fighting diverse invaders and aggressors, who attempted to halt their journey.
The Ga Adangbes are believed to have set off from Goshen (Egypt) between 672 and 525 BC. On that journey, they crossed Ethiopia and moved into Nigeria and migrated across West Africa and finally settled in Ghana, which eventually became their permanent home.
Currently, they are mostly found in the Greater Accra Plains with others in the towns of Akuse, Somanya, Dodowa, Akwapim, Akwamu and surrounding areas in Ghana with another community in the Anecho area of Togo.
The mural was made possible under the auspices of the Creative Arts Council of Ghana, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Visual Artists and AccraDotAlt.