The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Volta Regional Chapter has lined up activities to tackle the moribund local musical forms and dances in vogue.
Mr David Mawutor, Chapter Chairman dropped the hint in Ho, during a folk
music celebrity meeting with Octogenarian folk music celebrity, Daniel Korshie
In the past, dirges and folkloric songs riveted at funerals, but now it is
loud contemporary music and it appears we are losing our identity,” Mr Mawutor
known in showbiz as “Hadzixevi” told the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
He said the first activity in Accra in August is towards the planning of Ewe
Musical Renaissance that would bring together Ewe drum and dance groups for
“expository drumming and dancing sessions”.
Mr Mawutor said the programme is expected to revive the engine of the Ewe
Music Revival Train for the big event in December.
“And the big thing is a three-day musical exposition in Ho involving
performances, trips to tourist sites and intellectual inquests into Ewe Music,”
Mr Mawutor said the interaction of the executives of MUSIGA to Mr Ahegbebu
is part of efforts to grow camaraderie among its members and draw inspiration
from older performers.
Mr Ahegbebu, 87, a 2004 National Award Winner for contribution to culture,
folk music and dance told the GNA that the inkling for his 62 years musical life
came to him on a tree at Ouidah in Benin, where he lived with his uncle.
“I had plucked a big pawpaw, scaled and perched on a forked three,
overlooking pals I had been playing football with a while ago.
“Bloated by the sheer size of the pawpaw I devoured, all efforts of pals
down there to get me back on the field failed.
“As they persisted my involuntary answer came in song that, the pawpaw had
filled my belly and can no longer play, leave me alone,” he said.
Mr Ahegbebu expressed regret that modernity had pushed drumming out of
vogue at ceremonies especially funerals in Ewe land.
Mr Ahegbebu, a Goldsmith and resident of Ho heads a drumming group, called
He expressed worry at the waning interest of the youth in Ewe dance forms
such as “adzida, “kinka” and called for the revitalisation of cultural drumming
in the communities.
Raizo Lino, a former MUSIGA Volta Chapter Chairman, who owns a studio, gave
the undertaking to put Mr Ahegbebu’s compositions on discs for posterity.
Togbe Edinam Ansah, a former national executive of MUSIGA expressed worry
about the poor performance of musicians from the region on the showbiz scene.
He said the region had big names in the music and academia but not in
showbiz and called for concerted efforts by entrepreneurs, policy makers, chiefs
and politicians to change the contemporary music scene in the region.
Togbe Ansah, a composer observed that many musical talents in the region did
not go beyond the stages of churches and courts of chiefs, where they where were
honoured with serving drinks.
Togbe Ansah who is also Chairman of Volta Music and Entertainment Board, a
musical skills development NGO, expressed disappointment at the flagrant
disregard for copyright laws in Ghana.
Richard Vance Adjei, known in musical circles as “Panza” called for the
intervention of chiefs to stop the culturally demeaning practice of spinners who
spew out loud dance hall music at funerals even as the corpse laid in state.
The interaction was interspersed with renditions of folksongs by Mr Ahegbebu
sometimes aided by his wife.