Highlife and hiplife lovers in and around Virginia in the USA, who thronged the state capital, Richmond, on Saturday, March 7 to soak some warm rhythms at the Ghanafest 2015 music and food fair were left in the winter cold without a show from two popular musicians billed for the event – hiplife sensation, Obrafour, and highlife veteran, Eric Agyemang.
Even though the two had travelled about six hours from their bases in New York with a band to the Ghanafest 2015 grounds in Richmond, following an invitation from the organisers, they both failed to mount the stage to perform at the event organised to mark Ghana’s 58th independence.
The duo, together with their bandsmen rather hanged around the event park socialising with fans and “click-clacking” photographs.
When Graphic Showbiz enquired from the artistes and the organisers, GhanafestRVA, why there was no show, it emerged that there had been a misunderstanding over the provision of the full complement of equipment for the band that was expected to play for Obrafour and Eric Agyemang.
This led to a blame game between the Founder and Coordinator of GhanafestRVA, Ms Lois Aba Yankah, and the musicians, that was never resolved, hence the failure of the performers to play.
Interestingly, however, Denmark-based Euro-African band, Hip Replacement, which had been invited to play at the event also faced some equipment challenges but went ahead to improvise with drums and other instruments from Eric Agyemang’s band and succeeded in entertaining the somewhat disappointed guests.
The musicians of Hip Replacement clad in kente jumpers “held down” the show for about 25 minutes with some fine tunes that got some of the visitors dancing.
Led by Keld Hosbond and playing under the auspices of Ghanaian group, African Footprint, the youthful band literally saved the Ghanafest 2015 music and food fair from lifelessness.
Though the music bit of the event was below expectation, there was a lot of tasty Ghanaian food for the patrons, made up of Americans, Ghanaians and other nationals, who savoured some sumptuous waakye, jollof, kenkey and other dishes prepared by America-based Ghanaian restaurant, Rahama.
The Ghanafest 2015 festival climaxed on Sunday, March 7, at the Garden Hall, Maymont Park, Richmond, with a well-attended kente and beads exhibition, which featured a kente weaving demonstration by veteran weaver, Kwadwo Asamoah.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, who graced the kente show, invited the patrons to visit Ghana saying, though the country had challenges, life was going on smoothly. “I therefore invite tourists and investors around the world to choose Ghana as a good place for business and pleasure”.
The Founder and Coordinator of GhanafestRVA, Ms Lois Aba Yankah, who admitted that the programme encountered some challenges, being the first event, promised a better show next year.