The Centre for National Culture, under the Department of Tourism and Culture, has held the second biennial Traditional Talents Festival at Prampram to encourage the youth to develop an interest in Ghana’s cultural heritage to enhance development.
The Traditional Talents Festival (TRATALFEST) 2021, held in collaboration with the Ningo-Prampram District Assembly (NiPDA), was on the theme: “Identifying Students’ Talents through Arts and Culture.
It was to help school children to develop the necessary skills to make them self-employed and promote Ghana’s economy.
Director of the Department of Tourism and Culture, Joyce Guddah, indicated during the Festival at Prampram that it would help unearth the talents of the youth.
“We have developed the programme such that students, who are talented in culture or arts or drama, would be nurtured so that after school, they would have something doing before they continue their education,” Ms Guddah said.
She encouraged the students to maintain their culture and not pick foreign cultures adding: “Do not see the African culture as a fetish. Rather I urge you to embrace it since it holds a lot of blessings for Africans.”
A Lecturer at the Department of Dance Studies, University of Ghana, Dr Narh Hargoe, said there was still hope for Africa as it had not lost its culture.
“We have lost it partially, we are doing our best to advise and educate Ghanaian communities about the need to go back to our culture because all the answers we are seeking to our challenges are in our culture,” he said.
Dr Hargoe, who was also an Artistic Director, Ghana Dance Ensemble, asked the government to see tradition, culture, the creative arts, and tourism as sectors that could fast-track national development.
He said if the government did not support such programmes it would result in losing them to foreign cultures since the technology was making it easy for one to learn those cultures fast.
Dr Hargoe said a lot would have to be done to boost the creative arts sector, adding: “And when we package it nicely as business entities, we are going to have the creative economy booming.”
“Gold would get finished, a diamond would get finished, our tree resources would get finished, but our culture would be there; this is an intangible cultural heritage that we can harness and then put a premium on it for everybody who would like to come and watch,” he said.
He bemoaned the continual dependence on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics as the means to drive the economy, arguing that without the arts, the economy would lack the energy to develop.
TRATALFEST 2021 involved a competition between three schools, Prampram Senior High School (SHS), Ningo SHS and Global SHS on Cultural Dance Display, Drama, Cooking Craft, and Arts Exhibition, in which Global SHS emerged the winner.
The programme was sponsored by Nene Tetteh Wakah III, the Paramount Chief of Prampram Traditional Area, and by Kingdom Books and Stationary.