GHANA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2022 EDITION OF THE MEMPHIS IN MAY INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL HELD IN THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA

Background:

Memphis in May International Festival is a month long festival held in the Memphis city of the Tennessee state of the United States of America, celebrated by the people of Memphis.

As an annually events, the festival each year specifically gives a special salute to a country. For the past forty four (44years) and still counting, this festival has been noted of hosting the city’s largest event that attracts people from  all walks of life including the surrounding regions of the USA, and across the globe to downtown Memphis.

Memphis in May International festival is a non-profit community-based organisation which focuses on contributing to the economic growth of the Tennessee community, fostering civic pride, promoting awareness of Memphis heritage through education and building international relationships.

Ghana is the seventh (7th) African country to be honored since its inception in 1977. The 2022 edition of the festival accorded a special salute to Ghana based on the country’s historical significance, cultural depth and importance, potential for strengthening existing or developing new trade opportunities with local businesses and its positive diplomatic relations with the US.

Arrival of the Ghanaian delegation in Memphis:

Delegates from the selected institutions in Ghana began arriving in Memphis from 28th April 2022 to participate in the long awaited festival that showcased the beautiful and rich culture of Ghana to the Memphis community. However, each institution represented at the event had unique roles to perform at the event. Institutions such as  the National Commission on Culture, Institute of African Studies, Ghana BBQ Association and many others  representing their respective institutions thus takes turns to perform at specific days within the program durations. 

 

Itinerary for the 2022 salute to Ghana:

Series of activities were held as part of the programme line-up designed to honour Ghana at the event. These included the famous Beale Street Music Festival which took place in the first weekend of the month of May, this showcased among other things, an eclectic lineup of national and local musical talents. This was followed by the International Week event which had the blessings of His Royal Majesty Otumfu Osei Tutu II as a special guest. The event, which took place in the second week of the same month, saw activities such as the display of a series of    exhibits, screenings, Arts works and cultural performances hassled out to mark the occasion, and it was dedicated to the honoring country.

One of the most popular barbecues contests in America, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, was the next activity to follow up after the international week event. This took place in the third week of May where contestants from the different states of US and other countries of the world including Africa displayed their cooking talents at the event. The last in the series of activities held at the event was the Great American River Run Half Marathon & 5K, this event welcomed runners of all experience levels through the streets of Memphis and along the banks of the Mississippi River to climax the month long celebration.

Pictorial of HRM Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

 

 

Pictorials from the BBQ contest

 

Pictorials from the Great American River Run Half-marathon

 

THE ROLE OF NATIONAL COMMISSION ON CULTURE:

A two member delegates were nominated to represent the commission at the 2022 edition of the Memphis in May International Festival held in the United State of America. The team organised beautiful wearable metallic Ghanaian adornments from the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), The Kumasi Center for National Culture and Nana Anim Obiri the Culture Ambassador for the Commission. Also the team mobilized all the exhibits with a detailed research on the adornments to aid the public understand the exhibits. The exhibits were used as an educational work peace and where displayed at one of the renowned Metal Museum in Memphis Tennessee for awareness creation.

Pictorial exhibits from NCC

 

Pictorial exhibits from NCC

 

Pictorial exhibits from NCC

 

 

Pictorial exhibits from NCC

 

Conclusion:

The month of May treated the city of Memphis with a display of Ghanaian beautiful Culture heritage such as exhibits, great talents in Music and dance. The month-long salute was experience through a variety of way around the city, from independent film series in area theaters, to multiple art and photography exhibits in local galleries to a series featuring artists, business leaders and government delegates from Ghana. However, the international focus was most prominent during the international week with cultural performances at the Orpheum Theater, local elementary schools, and culinary masterpieces created by chefs preparing their country’s traditional dishes.

The NCC team participation in the event would not have been possible without the support of the Commission’s Executive Director who facilitative efforts contributed immensely towards making the teams participation richly.

SNAPSHOTS FROM THE EVENT: 

 

Performance by Okyeame Kwame

 

 

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