Day 18 – The cock crows and crows and crows…

“cock- adoodle -aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh”

a nearby cock croons a slightly familiar ‘wake-up call”..similar to the American rooster but with an edgier sound…edgier perhaps because i was not expected to be woken up by his call!

W arrives at 9am JUST as he had said he would..all smiles he greets me with a big hug…at breakfast we plan on heading to the National Theatre, Arts Cultural Center, and the beach…

 

The Nathional Theatre is an impressive building…constructed by a Chinese architect in either the late 80’s or early 90’s, it has a modern and expansive design…i was surprised that it only seated 1500 people, but quickly understood this limitation, as the lobbies and stage area take up MOST of the structural space…the lobbies house very striking sculptural works commemorating the building’s opening and its relation to Africa/Ghana’s connection to the past and present…in particular are two pieces that i found incredibly detailed; both hand-carved wooden sculpural pieces – one dealing with the legacy of slavery and the other aptly titled Sankofa… intertwined in these works are elements, faces, and symbols that awaken so many memories of images i have encountered when researching the African diaspora…

 

currently the theatre is is booked for a production titled: ‘In The Chest of a Woman; honoring the Chief Justice Her Lordship, Mrs. Georgina Wood and featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, Abibigromma of National Theatre and THE NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY….i find out from our impromptu guide that National Theatre rents out yearly to international, national and local arts companies…i ask about Dance Factory and he tells me that they are no longer housed there but we can find them at the Arts Cultural Center (ACC)…i thank the guide (with a donation as well as the Ghanaian hand-shake) and we head off to ACC…

Later that nite we head back to the lodge and, at the staff’s request, have dinner there…a NEW Chef is in place and is eager to prepare a meal for us…he was a former Ship’s Cook and cooked like he was A FORMER SHIP’S COOK unfortunately…i had ordered REDRED with plantains and rice – NO MEAT…when he brought out the food, he asked if we wanted some meat dish he had made for himself…i, being the vegetarian i work hard to be, declined but W accepted…this was BY FAR the worst meal i have had in Ghana – overcooked and salty beans; dried out plaintains, mushy rice and the MEAT that W ate was also overcooked and tough…AND THEN the Chef had the nerve to try and charge us approximately $14 US dollars for the meal…this would had been the most expensive meal i had eaten since my arrival in ACCRA…after my most diplomatic reasoning with him and the staff, they asked for $9 dollars – still too expensive for THAT meal, but i obliged…perhaps it was the fact that he specially prepared the food for us AND that we were the ONLY people eating at their restaurant accounted for the HIGH price; it doesn’t matter, like pretty much everything i had gotten in Ghana, i was able to negotiate a deal!

stomachs full we spent the rest of the evening dancing with THE RUDE BOYS at a local spot on the main road of the lodging…kool to be able to hang out, listen to an inventive mix of HIP-LIFE and American HIP-HOP, and be among the ACCRA young peeps doing their latest moves; not at all un-similar to the youth in New york!

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Author: Barak adé Soleil

creative practitioner, independent consultant and curator. making dance, performance art and theatre. working within community.

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