The inaugural edition of Afro Nation Ghana transformed the Gold Coast into a festival paradise late last month, as throngs of attendees flocked to the capital city of Accra for four consecutive nights of music and entertainment.
Afro Nation is a brand-new urban music festival, which began in Europe and offers a music showcase of talent from the world of afrobeat, hip hop, R&B, dancehall and afro bashment.
Year of Return
The four-day festival, which formed a part of the massive ‘Year of Return’ celebrations in the West-African country of Ghana, featured highly-anticipated performances from some of the African Diaspora’s well-known entertainers, including Teni, Shatta Wale, Jamaica’s Alkaline, and Nigeria’s kings of afrobeat, Wizkid and Burna Boy.
Despite viral rumours of legal court injunctions filed against the organisers in the days leading up to the massive event with venue complications, Afro Nation executed a spectacular feat for expectant festival patrons, while creating history in the process as the first iteration of the globally-renowned festival in the African continent.
“The crowd was electrifying, the atmosphere was great.”— DJ So Good
The constellation of superstars rained on Laboma Beach from Night 1, with Fireboy and Stonebwoy taking to the stage to deliver high-energy performances of some of their well-known hits.
However, it was the beloved Nigerian singer and songwriter, Burna Boy, who took the crowd to higher heights when he graced the stage just after 1 a.m. Performing his Grammy-nominated hits including Anybody, On D Low and the high-energy crowd favourite Killin’ Dem, Burna – whose real name is Damini Ebunoluwa – routinely sent the massive crowd into a frenzy with his clean vocals and spontaneous dance breaks.
The Caribbean was well-represented in the Ghanaian festival with a headline performance by Jamaican entertainer Alkaline, who kept the crowd in a smooth dancehall groove for much of his hour-long performance.
He thanked the audience and Ghana for “showing him love” on his first trip to the country, which was met with thunderous applause from attendees. With well-known hits such as Badness It Name and Most Wanted, the dancehall vocalist set the perfect tone for the final act of the evening – the Starboy of Nigeria, Wizkid.
World-class music experience
The 29-year-old Lagos crooner showed his versatility across afrobeat, reggae, hip hop and pop with the assortment of song selections for the evening. He also showed why he is well-known as the ‘Lil Prinz’ of afrobeat with his fans singing along to every word of his back-to-back hits, including Brown Skin Girl featuring. Beyoncé and Picture Perfect.
DJ So Good, who is a popular London-based entertainer and resident disc jockey for Afro Nation, spoke highly of the experience in Ghana last month.
“I am Nigerian. I felt at home with Afro Nation. The crowd was electrifying, the atmosphere was great, the food was top-notch.”
He noted that Ghana doubled as a good holiday destination and is looking forward to his next stint at Afro Nation Puerto Rico.
“I’m expecting another world-class music experience from all of the artistes. People should look forward to a different culture and good entertainment as we continue to celebrate the African Diaspora,” he said.
Afro Nation Puerto will take place from March 18 to 21 with Patrice Roberts, Shenseea, Beenie Man, Jada Kingdom, Chronixx and Zincfence Redemption already confirmed as headline acts to represent the Caribbean in soca and dancehall music. More information is available at www.afronationpuertorico.com.
Tenille Clarke is an avid wanderlust, Carnivalist and cultural enthusiast who pens about her ongoing love affair with travel, culture and entertainment through a Caribbean lens. She is the Principal Publicist of Chambers Media Solutions and Managing Director of Industry 360. (@tenilleclarke1 on Instagram/Twitter)