By Ellen Agbavor
World Junkanoo Festival Foundation (WJFF), a cultural and tourism organization is introducing the maiden World Junkanoo Festival 2022 in Ghana.
Junkanoo aloo festival is a festival celebrated in America, especially the Caribbean Islands, Brazil, Jamaica and many other countries.
The festival history is built around the slave revolt hero “GyanKwaw” also referred to as John Canoe.
Head of Programs for the Foundation, Bob PinodoIdan, stated that the festival would commence in Ghana from next year 1st to 10th March 2022, and would coincide with the 65th independence anniversary of Ghana.
The festival is the brain child of the World Junkanoo Festival Foundation, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture in partnership with Musician Union of Ghana.
Junkanoo is the first of its kind in the country even though it is celebrated throughout the Caribbean notably Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize and Guyana.
The theme for this maiden edition is “Afro Historic Renaissance, Junkanoo the unifying Force.
A delegation from Bahamas, led by Mr. Chris Davis, Historian and Tamara Scavella (a musician) came to Ghana in August specially Princesstown (Pokesu) where legendary “GyanKwaw” also known as Junkanoo lived.
Mr. Idan stated further in an interview that festival is meant to connect the people and cities of Prinesstown, Winneba, Cape Coast, AssinManso and Kumasi where the activities would take place.
The head of programs who is also Ace musician, Mr. Idan said he is hopeful that the festival would bring together a lot of people from the diaspora especially America and the Caribbean.
The International Relations Officer and Executive Director, Vincent Boakye, a tourism consultant who returned from Bahamas, for his part said the country could use the platform to develop its heritage, tourism and culture.
He therefore urged the people of Princes town and its surrendering communities to prepare for the festival by providing tourism enhancement facilities.The festival would also create opportunities for the people to network.
Acting President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA),Bessa Simons, also pledge his support to the organisers of the event and entreat all stakeholders in the tourism industry to support them.
The foundation has plans to tour Netherlands, Chile, Peru, Canada, USA, Mexico and Bahamas to sensitize people, market and promote the event to the world.
The foundation is being backed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, National Commission for Culture, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, amongst many others.