Happy 52 Ghana!

Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana.

Fifty two years ago today, The Republic of Ghana, gained its independence from Great Britain, becoming the very first black African nation to do so.

In January, Ghana too held a spirited inauguration celebration for its new leader, President John Atta Mills who squeaked by the ruling party’s candidate with less than 0.5% of the vote. (Who could forget Mr. Atta Mills’ presidential campaign banners bearing the slogan “A Change We Need” and a photo of Mr. Mills paired with Barack Obama.)

The Bronx is home to most of New York City’s Ghanaians. Churches and a thriving business community meet the needs of Ghanaians far from their homeland.

Bronx Beat recently ran an article on the soaring costs of food imports affecting local Ghanaian and West Indian markets and eateries. Costs per plate at some restaurants are increasing as much as 50%.  A wholesale food supplier and a diner at Sankofa Restaurant on Webster Avenue express their concerns in an accompanying slideshow to the article.

As for all out celebrations, The National Council of Ghanaian Associations is hosting Ghana’s 52nd Independence Dance at Armenia Hall in Manhattan on Saturday, March 7. Last year’s anniversary gala was held at the New York Sheraton. Here are photos from the 51st Anniversary celebration.

Batman Samini, hip hop artist from Ghana.
Batman Samini, hip hop artist from Ghana.

Bronx based, Boogie Down Nima Productions will host the Ghana @52 Independence Concert on Saturday, March 14th at HSA Ballroom in Manhattan, featuring the “King of African” dancehall, Batman Samini. With a line up of other West African acts as well.

The BDN Productions site has a lot of info about their work. Turns out their sister org in Ghana, is a non for profit in Ghana creating educational opportunities for young people in the Nima community in Accra using hip hop as a tool. Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, co-founder of the Boogie Down Nima Productions, is a filmmaker.  His film HomeGrown Life is all about the growing hip hop movement in Ghana.

Ghana @52 Concert flyer, hosted by BDN Productions.

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