December in GH: How Ghana Has Become the World’s Playground

Opinion Patrons at a December in GH event in Accra
Patrons at a December in GH event in Accra

December has crept on the world once again and the lull that has engulfed the showbiz scene in Ghana for some time now is about to end as a string of events have been lined up for this year’s “December in GH” (December in Ghana) – a tourism initiative by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to showcase Ghana as the most preferred tourism destination for Christmas/New Year, with scads of social events highlighting Ghana’s unique role as the “epicentre” for culture and entertainment on the Africa continent.

“December in GH” has the unique power of bringing life to every dormant bone. And no time in the year evokes more smiles on the faces of people than this period of the year.

As it has come to be associated with this festive season, vehicular and human traffic, especially in Ghana’s capital city of Accra, are beginning to develop. And soon, there would be a huge expansion in human population; for better (for business) and for worse (for road users/motorists).

Not too long ago, the Yuletide (Christmas season) in Ghana was predominantly a time for the indigenes to revel, create bonds, maintain relationships and subsequently ring in the New Year. However, the season now draws hordes of tourists and holiday makers from around the world, especially from the African diaspora.

The myriad of foreign visitors, including global superstars/celebrities, who stream into Ghana's magnificent Kotoka International Airport, en route to various destinations in the country, soon get infected by the "December in GH" passion with an overflowing sense of bliss when they touch down in the country. Evidently, this is an indication of how intoxicating the festive season in Ghana has become.

There is a travelling trend now during this period of the year where travellers desperate to get to Ghana had to transit in neighbouring countries on the continent owing to direct flight tickets being sold out. These ‘desperate’ travellers, sometimes, jocularly ask the airline operators if they could hang onto the airplane’s wings, in lieu of making a transit in another country.

This is also the time of the year entertainment events peak. Already, the airwaves in Ghana are saturated with promos and advertisements on all sorts of entertainment packages to jazz up the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations.

As expected, there is going to be a plethora of events happening back-to-back at several event venues across the country, mainly in Accra, with artistes and performers hopping from one event to another. The season is like a “harvest time” for players in the showbiz and entertainment industry and they often cash in.

One peculiar characteristic of “December in GH” events in places like Accra is that most events don’t have a beginning and neither do they have an end. The “24-hour economy” automatically comes into full effect with unbridled fun and merrymaking. Patrons walk in to performances as they arrive and at the end of it all, walk away with performances still going on, virtually ushering the patrons out of the venue.

Accra, as noted, pulls in almost all the big entertainment events that are staged which may suggest that ‘tis only the nation’s capital city that can hold the kind of crowd that patronize extravaganzas, which is definitely not the case.

It will thus be a great idea if event organisers begin to look beyond Accra for their December/New Year shows and extend the fun to other parts of the country. By so doing, Accra – which is often teeming with revelers and “party animals” during this period – is being decongested.

Music and entertainment are part of the Ghanaian lifestyle and the nation has leverage them to provide the right setting for people from different part of the world to come to the country to celebrate Christmas/New Year. It is a testament to the universal and unifying power of music and entertainment.

Can anyone imagine how boring, drab and dreary “December in GH”, Christmas and the New Year celebrations would be without “music” and “entertainment”? This is because they are integral part of human’s daily life and activities in the society. As a result of this, one can never imagine a world without them. For some people, life would not even have been worth living without “music” and “entertainment”.

Apart from the fun aspect, one is also exposed to so many health and emotional benefits that come with listening to music as well as engaging in entertainment activities. Suffice it to add that human beings in general use “music” and “entertainment” as a means of escape from the exhausting realities of life.

The crucial point here is that if the government want to make the people happy, which in the long run would lead to peace and stability in the country, then they have no choice than to lend tangible support to the entertainment/showbiz industry.

For “a happy people make a happy people”. If the people in the country ain’t happy, the foreign guests and tourists who come into the country in droves would not feel very welcome.

After months of consistent work and little rest, there is no perfect time of the year for the populace to unwind and de-stress than in December. Having fun is often associated with a tendency to over indulge, throwing money around like confetti. But doing things in moderation could eventually be a wise decision.

The ‘trouble’ now with “December in GH” is that it has become the time of the year where some folks temporarily disregard all the precautions they take in the course of the year. The masses generally throw caution to the wind and party hard like the “Devil”.

It also appears the nature of the celebration is beginning to take a new complexion as some people now travel to Ghana not only to have “clean” fun but ostensibly for other pursuits, like “sex tourism” as it is called. Accordingly, the celebration has been “dogged by” bouts of intense sexual activities and all kinds of sexual indiscipline in recent times.

Tis great to have fun, but doing that without considering the possible effects and ramifications is simply unwise. Such recklessness could wreak dire and sometimes long-lasting consequences on one’s health and finances.

It would therefore be prudent on people’s part to take cautions and not get carried away by the prevailing atmosphere of sheer fun and revelry.

A word to the wise…

Eugene Selorm Owusu
Eugene Selorm Owusu

Media Practitioner/WriterPage: EugeneSelormOwusu

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