London Witnesses the First Ever Damba Festival in UK
9/16/2012 9:43:30 PM -
Ghanaians of northern descent living in the United Kingdom must come out of their hide out and not shy away from the rest of the Ghanaian community in the Kingdom, were the words of His Excellency Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo, the High Commissioner to the UK and Northern Ireland when he delivered his key note address to participants attending the maiden edition of Damba Festival in UK dubbed 'London 2012 Damba Festival' on the 8th of September 2012.
The High commissioner stated that he was particularly exited when he was informed of the preparation being made to celebrate the biggest festival in the north of Ghana in the Kingdom and commended the organisers for their initiative. He made reference to a similar one organised in the US annually and how that has attracted the cultural world's attention.
Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo categorically stated that he will want the High Commission to be officially involved in the planning and organising of the festival next year and that the intention to make it an annual affair is laudable. He added that he knows the potential and the impact the festival can have on Ghanaian's tourism potential if it is integrated into a properly planned annual calendar for all Ghanaian festivals in the UK and assured participants that he is going to be in the UK for many years to come to see the festival in succession. Recounting his experience with the US annual Damba Festival he said all Ghanaians and other dignitaries would be interested to be part of such Ghanaian cultural display and traditional extravaganza.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Alhassan Mbalba who is a native of the north of Ghana and currently living in the UK thanked the High Commissioner and his entourage for honouring the invitation and the High Commissioner in particular for his fatherly advice and the supreme leadership example he has demonstrated since assuming office in 2009.
Mr. Mbalba also called on all northern Ghanaians to bury their differences and think of a better north and the country as a whole. He said no one benefits when there are divisions among people and that development will not come to the north until factionalism is done away with in the area. In his remarks, Mr. Mbalba commended the organisers for taking such a bold initiative and for working against all odds to get the festival organised successfully for the first time.
Participants came from all walks of lives and were treated to traditional Damba dance, gonje, nagbegu, condoliya etc. The High Commissioner took to the dancing floor when Blema Cultural Group dedicated the popular aduwa dance to him luring many participants to join him.
Children seeing the festival for the first time also flooded the dance floor and had to be persuaded to make way for the programme to continue.
The Managing Director for City Face Limited, Mr. Abdul-Fatahi Abdulai, a Ghanaian/UK events management company expressed his profound gratitude to the High Commissioner and his entourage and all who made it to the festival and have been part of the historic success. Narrating their efforts and correspondences to reach out to potential sponsors to source funding for the festival, Mr. Abdulai hopped the Ministries of Tourism, Chieftaincy and Culture, and the Northern Regional House of Chiefs will be contacted in time for necessary assistance for the next Damba in the UK scheduled for 2013. He indeed lamented the lack of support from others who could have been of immense assistance to the course and thanked the organising committees in Ghana and in UK for leaving up to the challenges they faced. He said lessons learnt from this year's organisation will be put to use in the subsequent events since they did not have anything to compare with.
The High Commissioner was accompanied by Alhaji Bawa Ayemibillah, Minister and Head of Consular Section, Mr. Jojo Bruce Quansah, Minister Counsellor of the Information Section and Mimatu Ziblim an officer at the Ghana Mission.
By The Organising Committee
London 2012 Damba Festival