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24.06.2019 Feature Article

Nakeeyat Dramani Sam

Nakeeyat Dramani Sam
LISTEN JUN 24, 2019

Child prodigy she is, by many accounts. Nakeeyat Dramani Sam is her name. She has dazzled, mesmerised, thrilled and moved audiences with recitals. The young lady has accomplished all that with almost perfect English and Akan (Mfantse and Twi) pronunciation, even without her four front teeth, effectively code-switching. One wonders what the performance will be when the four front teeth are in full complement. 'Flawless performance,' I at least once, heard a member of the panel of judges say. Anytime her appearance was announced, I would say to myself: 'Obiba Nakee nono; here comes another flawless rendition.' Indeed, the seven-year old is a child wonder. Miss Sam is a real whiz kid.

The little wonder girl of 'Kidz Got Talent' (KGT) is by all standards a can-do actor. She is as can-do as the Girl Robotics heroines of MEGHIS, the school some think is small because hitherto many, minus me, had not known it existed. To those who may think it is a small unknown school, they should learn from me that it sits on top of the entire Akwapem range of hills, the highest peak within the range. As a matter of fact, KGT reminds one of singer superstar, Kylie Minogue who was produced by Australia's Young Talent Time (YTT), an equivalent of the KGT.

KGT, though, is as interesting as 'Let's Talk Ability' (LTA) is of extreme importance. LTA is an 'inclusion warrior' programme which encourages and allows PWDs to display their potential and educate themselves, and the able public, about their talent and abilities. KGT and LTA combine as education and entertainment, edutainment, and even also infotainment; with the massive potential and power to touch hearts and minds. LTA's inspirational impact makes one wonder how many awards it has won.

KGT saxophonists will just blow anyone away. I now understand how Bill Clinton managed to wow his compatriots to vote for him all the way to a presidency with his skills in playing the saxophone. Louis Armstrong (Ambassador Satchmo) melted hearts, including that of Nkrumah, with his saxophone. Of course the founder brought whoever, of similar skin and ideas, and especially black and shining, he saw as an achiever to golden Ghana. Miriam Makeba was here. Indeed, the audience was brought to its dancing feet when one of the saxophone playing contestants rendered her much loved song, 'Patapata.'

It may be time to channel energy and enthusiasm generated by the programme into reviving our disappearing performances. I have in mind Sikyi, Konkoma, Odie, Abaa da mu (which I recently witnessed is alive somewhere), Apatampa and Asɔ as part of the Africa rising movement, a Ghanaian cultural revival or rehashing the African personality movement. Forget about those who think globalization should mean, to us developing, as abandoning what is yours.

What is ours is our niche. Our contribution to the global cannot be what belongs to others. No nation has gained in globalization by deepening foreignization. Prosperity in the era of globalization is maximizing your niche. King Ayisoba is an example of finding and living the treasure of the past in the present.

Because we were for long an oral with hardly any written culture (Adinkra was never developed beyond its hieroglyphics level) I think we are known as of the power to memorise and regurgitate. It has been the proverbial chew, pour, pass and forget which has buried us in a culture of copying and imitating; to make us more British than the British; still less able to create than fabricate and even less so for creating and innovating.

To me, the issue is how effectively the power of memorizing to recall accurately (which falls within imitation and copying what already exists) be converted into thinking to create the new. It is in applying the power of memorising to geometric and algebraic formulae in the like of lines and phrases of wisdom, lies our needed science and technology push. I hear Dede of 'Things We Do for Love' graduated in the sciences.

Anyway, if you are troubled by dubbing local language to increase viewership of the foreign, know we continue to teach mathematics and physics in foreign language. Meanwhile, the cultures of origin of those programmes teach science in their language. So maybe our television programming is somehow misplaced.

I hear there is a move by the Ministry of Education to establish a special school for the creative arts. I have no idea about how an artist like Nakeeyat, at age seven, would be deemed to possess the talent that can be further nurtured in a school like that. But it would be a great leap towards enhancing talent such as what is displayed by the KGT contestants. The programme should dramatically boost the creative arts should the experts rightly determine who's fit for purpose.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

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