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April 12, 2004 | General News

Wulomei Preserves Folklore Music

ghanamusic.com
The fast-changing music landscape in the country has gradually pushed traditional folklore music to the background, as hiplife now rules the industry.These days one hardly hears traditional palmwine music on the airwaves unless on special occasions when one visits such places as Anansekrom, the Centre for National Culture in Accra, or at such social gatherings as funerals and traditional marriage ceremonies.The once popular Wulomei Cultural Troupe has maintained a strong presence over the years and has refused to be pushed out of the entertainment scene into extinction.Gone are the days of ace drummer Big Boy and songstress Naa Amanua who churned out old favourites like Meridian, Maafio, Komi Kala and other distinct Ga folklore music.Several years down the line Wulomei has undergone metamorphosis with the exit of the founding members. A succession plan instituted by the founder and leader, Nii Tei Ashitey has seen of singers who have maintained the rich and original Wulomei flavour. And after 31 years of existence the group has been renamed “Sensational Wulomei” to reflect their thrilling outlook and presentation. Similarly, Sensational Wulomei have discarded their famous all-white attire for all-yellow apparel. Nonetheless, the old flavour remains the same despite the introduction of the base drum and base guitar among their traditional instruments. Nii Ashitey told The Mirror his vision has always been to maintain Wulomei not only as the pioneers of authentic Ghanaian folklore music but also make it an institution that spans generations, hence their succession plan. In line with this vision, his eldest son Nii Tei Ashitey Jnr currently manages the group, with his daughter Naa Ashaley as lead vocalist.“Society is dynamic and people would always want to move on in life so I make it a practice to train the young ones to replace those who leave the group after some time,” he said. “With Sensational Wulomei, people will come and go but the old flavour remains the same.”This fact is attested to by patrons of Basement Nite Club at Bubiashie, where Sensational Wulomei performs regularly on weekends as the resident band.This Easter the Basement will commission an 80 million cedis set of musical instruments. The group will perform on Easter Sunday.

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