If you came to Ghana in December and you didn’t go Afrochella- chale you didn’t come to Ghana. And I’m sorry for you. #JustSaying
If you read my last blog on Ghana, you’ll know that everyone and her cat comes to live their best life. During Dec-Jan it seemed like their cats also bought their litter because EVERYONE was in town, and once again London repped with the usual suspects (me included) like Idris Elba, Oswald Boateng, Lethal Bizzle and Fuse ODG, to Naomi Campbell, Michael B Jordan, Skepta, Stefflondon, Burna Boy, Diggy Simmons, Issa Rae, Yinka Bokinni…and Liam Payne! Seriously. It looks like people are (finally) catching on that #GhanaIsLit
You’d think a month is enough time to visit most of the country and be done with everything, well it wasn’t. Because I was on a hype ting! From AM-AM on ‘y3nko chilli’ vibes (special thanks to my homie Kotie and Republic bar- I’ll get to that at the end). But first- Afrochella. It. Was. Major!
Afrochella was litty AF! This was only the second year of the arts and music festival and a huge #LevelUp
It’s already billed as the Coachella of Africa but 10x cooler and more fun. It’s curated to showcase modern Africa, unlike the way the ‘western’ media tactically avoids. It’s an unapologetic celebration of the creative and cultural brilliance of Africa (via Accra). And as a holiday/festival destination it puts Ghana firmly on the mother funkin map! #GhanaWeDey
As you can see- this is ‘new Africa’ and we gengin’ paa. The swag was on point! #ForTheCulture
The event elevated in the evening when Ashaiman hero Stonebwoy bought the Bhim vim on stage. It was a #goals event for me as I finally got to see loads of my fave Ghanaian artists like La Meme Gang, King Promise and the legendary Daddy Lumba!!#AbenWoAha
Although billed to finish 8pm- it finished midnight with Kwesi Arthur shutting sh!t down. Ground up chale!
I was recommended by my homeboy Nene to check out the Manifestivities concert because it’s mostly a celebration of Ghana’s rap talent both phresh and established. Unlike Afrochella it was local and smaller yet I really wanted to experience that vibe- and see rapper Manifest, who I hadn’t really listened to.
It turned out to be another goals night because I got to see my fave rapper Sarkodie who I missed on Christmas day at his annual Rapaholics night- Idris Elba was there! On top of that it was my first time seeing buff tings Kwesi Arthur live (yasss) and Naija’s Burna Boy who got the crowd insane!
The show also introduced me to singer Simi and one of my fave emerging rappers Yung Pabi- he’s like a Ghanaian Nas with a Sarkodie seasoning. I’m currently obsessed with his track WANUI #TwiGang
In Accra, Monday to Sunday, errday was a parrrtay. There’s sooo much going on you won’t be able to keep up!
There’s Mr Eazi’s ‘Detty Rave’, Ghana Rocks Concert, pool paries, beach parties…There’s also the Beer & Bbq festival in Osu, the Made In Ghana festival on Oxford Street, Akwaaba’s ‘All black’ and ‘All white’ party, brunch parties, Sandbox events…It’s alot!
Even my homeboy Kwame from London launched his audiobook The Novelist.
The immersive event kicked off with a silent disco before we put on blindfolds and listened to the story. It was dope- and so was the pizza. The intimate event had millenials from London and Ghana as well as locals.
Remember I said everyone was in town? Well Lauryn Hill was back and she hosted a pop up in collaboration with Afrochella. #YasssQueen
Speaking of pop ups, there was also a ‘made in Ghana’ event at Loko House which included a bbq and live music. Oh and one of the dopest hosts in town! #GhanaStandUp
To answer any questions regarding how Ghanaians celebrate Christmas- they eat with family then go to concerts or party hard til morning. On New Year’s many go to evening mass, but the ‘New Africa’ gang and visitors head out to parrry.
You know how in London on 1st Jan til Feb peeps is broke, already regretting making new year resolutions or just downright miserable? Well it’s the opposite in Ghana! The party don’t stop (seriously they don’t stop!) And on 4th Jan it was time to rep with pride and Azonto off to Fuse ODG’s debut, TINA festival. #Dench
The theme was ‘Kente party’ which inspired most peep’s #OOT…
Acts included Skepta, Bizzle, D’banj, Kuami Eugene, Kidi and the man himself- Fuuuuuse!
I had such a good time, TINA fest had me like…
Like Afrochella, there were lots of arts and crafts, local food stalls and swag. Africa is style and Ghanaians have plenty! #GhanaStandUp
It was a good night but loooong! It started in the afternoon and finished at 3am, so I did what any certified Ghanaian would do- went Republic Bar for Kokroko and fried yam before going to my wife’s for a shower and escaping to Elmina!
As always the best way to see Ghana is by dipping out of Accra for abit. I took a 3 hour trip in the Trotro (around £5!) for a brief stop to Elmina to see peeps, land, and buy kilos of raw Sheabutter. From there I headed back to Cape Coast, a town I always drove by until now. Finally!
The initial plan was to be back in Accra by the evening to party up, but chale-, the vibes and beach life calmness hit me and I ended up spending two nights! Eny3 easy koraaa.
I stayed at Baobab House with two friends which was a colourful building overlooking the sea and only 2mins from Cape Coast Castle. They have a cafe serving local food and International vegan dishes. The rooms were basic with a communal shower downstairs and great value for money (from 50 Cedis /£8 a night )
Oh, BTW today is Ghana independence day- 62 years of being the first African country to be free from ‘the Coloniser’. This year also marks the #YearofReturn; an initiative to invite ‘African Americans and the diaspora to ‘come home’ or invest in Africa in any way. 2019 also markS 400 years of the first enslaved African arriving in Jamestown Virginia and Ghana aims to open up accessible relationships with African descendents living in the US. #BraFie
And for those that don’t know- Mrs Obama is a Ghanaian! Since 2009 she was certified and traced her grandmother’s roots to Cape Coast! #GhanaWeDay
After taking on some WOKE history, you have to check out Kakum Park. I met young Kofi, a stranger, and asked for directions to get the trotro up there- the dude chose to accompany me all the way (over an hour). And when we got there he was happy to wait and take me back! The kindness is unreal. I accepted on the basis I took him on the tour- he’d never been inside before.
There are several activities you can do but I recommend the Canopy Walk (only 20 Cedis/ £3) above the rainforest. It’s dope and great if you’re a thrill seeker! #Levels
And guess who came on the walk with us? The super talented Presenter and Dj @YinkaBokinni and her partner in crime (told ya errone came!). Yinka had already fallen in love with Ghana (and the Jollof!). She mainly came to Ghana to check out and support Fuse ODG’s charity/School in Akosombo. After the tour we had lunch and they dropped Kofi and I off en route before she headed to Accra as she had to host her show back in London the following day. Certified boss-babe. That girl is funkin’ exceptional BTW!! #YinkDaddy
In Cape Coast life is cheaper and there is an island vibe. People speak ‘Fante’ whilst being fluent in English. Locals are super friendly and they really welcome visitors…
I made another BFF via Kweku who looked after me like a favourite sister- taking me to the best food joints, making recommendations on local produce to try and looking after my stuff whilst I went for a dip in the sea- without want of reward or praise. This sort of behaviour, in my experience is common. There is hope for humanity here. #Blessed
Here’s the ad Ghana Tourism Board shoudda done for #YearOfReturn shot by @ Israelametep_ #LifesABeach
So yeah this pretty much sums up my time there. I’ll be back again before the end of the year chale! #Goals
One of the exceptional things about Ghana is the food. It really is some of the best food in the world and since Jollof is sooo 2000-and-late it’s all about chopping some Waakye, Fufuo or Banku #ChopLikeAGhanaian.
Oh and don’t get it twisted, there are LOTS of local vegan dishes.
In Ghana people don’t need alcohol or drugs to get turnt (ain’t you seen em with Supermalt?). Ghanaians get drunk on music and dancing and that vim, dem vibes is…spiritual! There’s no doubt Accra is the best place for it- it’s becoming Africa’s new party city.
One of the trendy clubs to be at is Carbon. I got round to their 2nd year anniversary bash with my crew and danced til the lights went up! There was a Tatoo and peircing pop-up on the night.
The DJ on the day was the sh!ttest I’ve ever heard. He was clueless at mixing and timing, but that didn’t stop our fun. Drinks are overpriced (Mayfair prices) and the crowd are often ex-pats or rich kids who are fashionably turned out, so you if you want to stunt- you better go hard!
Bloom Bar (Osu) on the other hand is much more cooler and chill with a wicked buzz! It’s an outdoor bar with two floors under a ‘ceiling’ of lights. It’s always packed and full of peng tings and not pretentious @BloomBarGH
Another cool place to jam, dance and have late night/early morning BBQ is Oasis Lounge @OasisLoungeGH in Cantonments- next to legendary Reggie’s Office. I never left there before 5am!
However, as I mentioned in my previous blog, my go to place in Accra is Republic Bar!!!
I’m not even going to say much- if you follow me and was checking my Insta stories mid Dec -Jan you’ll know I pretty much lived there!
It’s a great place to network with and eclectic and authentic crowd, dance or listen to live music. The cocktails are also good value for money (Kokroko and Ginja shot is a must!). It’s such a certified joint with great vibes you’ll often catch celebs there relaxing.
When you can go to a joint several days in a row over several weeks and not get tired of it, you know you’ve found a home. #Amen
I went so much I got gifted official merch- the Republic tote. I am officially an MVP.
Oh my gwaash! #Certified
Like I said I was there til the AM, as you can (below) people find it hard to leave!
Here’s a tip- whilst you’re in town you should get an outfit made. This lady gifted me a skirt and top she designed after seeing me once- she didn’t tell or measure me, yet it fitted perfectly! #Skills
The creative talent in Ghana is really exceptional. Once again I got round to a couple of shoots with some awesome photographers- you’ll have to check my Insta later to see the final images tho! #HereToCreate
Seriously- don’t be fooled by the pre-historic stereotypes or narrow representations of Ghana or Africa. You are missing out. If you haven’t been to West Africa- visit Ghana.
If you’ve already been, you need to come again. Ghana is funkin LIT!
If you haven’t already, check out my 2018 blog on Ghana for other interesting things to do, places to visit and some of my fave restaurants. I’ll be surprised if it’s not on your #bucketlist soon:
“When I was younger, the perception of Africa was kids with flies ’round their mouth, and hunger and poverty and stuff like that. But… we’re successful…we’re doing our thing. And it’s important that if the media don’t show that- we show that“- Fuse ODG #TINA
I’ve already booked my tickets for endda the year- and I’ll be staying longer!
Am I missing Ghana? Chale I’m contented, I think Ghana is missing me #AwiaseY3d3
Follow me on IG for more highlights from my trip: https://www.instagram.com/missbrowngotaround/