Beaches and Azonto: Day 2
(Class session at Afia Hotel conference room)
The morning began with breakfast, a pleasant meal of fried eggs, bacon, and toast, and a classroom session led by African University College of Communications (AUCC) students. Founded in 2001, the private institution focuses on communication and media studies. Over the years, MPAGE and the AUCC have formed a strong relationship.
The students welcomed MPAGErs with new cultural names and a basic language lesson. In Ashante (largest Ghanaian ethnic group) custom, babies are given a nickname based on their gender and day of birth. For example, a Monday male-born would be called ‘Kojo’, while a Thursday female-born would be called “Yaa.”
A few names and a couple Twi (one of Ghana’s many languages) phrases later and MPAGErs were officially Ghanaian. For lunch MPAGErs ate jollof rice, a spicy dish of rice based in tomato sauce, curry chicken, and plantains. Next, we visited the AUCC campus.
(MPAGErs outside AUCC campus)
In the AUCC café, hip-life music blared out the windows. Although it was 3pm, they danced and celebrated like it was midnight. MPAGErs were not shy to join their AUCC family and, soon enough, everyone was midday partying. They were teaching MPAGErs how to Azonto, the popular new Ghanaian dance craze.
(Emmanuel Saint-Ange azontos with AUCC students)
Last night, a few MPAGErs joined an Afia Hotel receptionist, Phillip, and his friend, Christopher, for a night on the town. Afterwards, we sat on the beach to enjoy some conversation.
(Phillip, Kamau Grimes, Borley Quaye, Emmanuel Saint-Ange, and Christopher pose for the camera at an Accra beach restaurant)
The waves thrashed and the winds whipped. How many graves lie beneath these seas? How many Africans chose to jump overboard rather than face a life of slavery? Perhaps these seas were angry.
“How do you feel about African-Americans?” we asked our new friends.
The answer blew our minds. They explained that African-Americans are very admirable. He passionately told us about our Civil Rights movement and how strong of a people we are. They said we should know that Africa is our home and they are doing their best to maintain it for us. He encouraged African-Americans to utilize their success to empower their brothers and sisters and to empower their home.
Written by Kwabena ‘Kobi’ Ansong
July 9, 2012, Accra, Ghana