Chale Wote is an art festival celebrated in Accra, James Town to display the talents and skills of the young Ghanaians and to a large extent Africans, to the world. Its main purpose is to support Ghana’s and Africa’s emerging artists in the creative industries, be it arts, music, dance, film, fashion, visual, illustrations, etc.
Chale Wote is a common word for flip flops in the Ga language and it also means “man lets go” in Ga. The curator or co-founder of Chale Wote is a Ga, by the name Mantse Aryeequaye. And the festival has been running for the past 10 years. Since its inception in 2011.
The image below is that of Mantse Aryeequaye, courtesy of Asaase radio.
Today been the Saturday 21st August, as the Chale Wote festival was going on. A tweet by journalist Anny Osabutey reads, “For staging an indoor activity at this years’ #ChaleWote2021, Mantse Aryeequaye curator of Chale Wote has been picked up by police for his works… currently at the police regional command, Accra. Since when did the art become a crime?”
Many will agree that Chale Wote is the only arts festival in Ghana, that attracts crowds in the thousands for the 1 week or two weeks long celebrations in the city. That provides a medium for artists to connect with one another and interact with the general public. It is also an opportunity, for the indigenous people of Accra. Who caters to the visitors by providing food and drinks to them. Thereby making some money to cater for their families.
Since its inception, Chale Wote has brought into relevance the importance of arts with respect to the African youth. But the global pandemic of Covid-19 poses a big threat to it. Because of these, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly announce that the 2021 edition of Chale Wote will be a virtual event. This is to help curb and possibly stop the spread of the disease.
Chale Wote street art Festival is a mission geared towards the encouragement and sustainability of the creative industry in Ghana. And it is a fully Ghanaian own and originated which is appreciated globally. Because of the opportunity it provides to artists in all sectors of the creative arts be it visual arts, music, dance, film, short movie premieres, fashion, and performances.
These years Chale Wote is not much to talk about. Due mainly to low patronage and poor advertisements on all social media platforms. Gone were the glory years of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 when chale wote was dutifully marked on calendars and appreciated by patronages and performances alike.
Kindly comment your fond memories of Chale Wote in the comment section.
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