Entertainment of 2013-12-14

Give children a chance

Ever since the Accra International Children’s Arts Festival (Kiddafest) burst onto the entertainment scene about a decade ago, it has been getting more and more interesting with each passing year as a result of new introductions into its programming.

The latest innovation is the introduction of an art and craft exhibition. Any visitor to the National Theatre last week, one of the venues for the celebration of Kiddafest (the other was the Children’s Park), could not miss the exhibition that was mounted on the premises of the theatre.

The arts exhibition itself was richly laid out, displaying various items, including variety of textiles such as batik, kente, tie-and-dye and screen-printed cloths. There were also paintings, metal craftworks, wood carvings, beads, ceramic and gold weight ornaments and basketry.

The draw to the exhibition by any curious visitor was to get to know how children were applying their artistic and creative abilities. However, any such expectation was at once diffused as the works on show were by adults and not children.

“I thought this was a children’s programme,” I queried Mr Franklin Glover, Co-ordinator of the Kiddafest Arts and Crafts Exhibition.

He sidestepped the question but explained that the exhibition was a sponsorship package by the ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts towards the festival.

He said the exhibition was also part of the Ministry’s long-term plan to hold similar forum in other parts of the country to promote the creative arts sub-sector of the ministry.

While the move to include an arts and crafts exhibition is laudable, it is hoped that future festivals would take advantage of the catch phrase “catch them young,” and give opportunity to the children to demonstrate the power of their creative imagination as artists for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, African Footprint International (Ghana / Denmark) alongside Nafsi Acrobats (Kenya) received cheers from hundreds of children during a brilliant performance at the opening of this year’s Kiddafest.

Performing at the National Theatre in Accra, the artists, who are in Ghana with the support of the Ghana Denmark Cultural Fund, exhibited well-coordinated movements, as well as amazing feats of balance and agility.

Accompanied by an assortment of traditional Ghanaian drumming and dancing, the group swayed the kids with a variety of deft manoeuvres.

The festival, which was opened by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare, ends today, December 15.