Akosia Film Festival Poster

 
To start off the month of September, why not attend the 2011 AKOSIA Creative Arts Mini Film Festival?
Join the children of Accra’s Street Academy as they showcase their film projects in Jamestown! After a month of fun (and hard work!) at the 2011 AKOSIA Creative Summer Camp, these students have produced two short films, and learned what it takes to pull off an art project as a group.
 
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the budding filmmakers here:

We’re excited to see what the young film crews have in store for their audience!
This amazing experience was made possible by AKOSIA and the TKA Foundation, who have partnered to bring summer arts programs to street children in Accra. Visit their blog to learn more about the 2011 camp!

Our resident cultural treasure, Auntie Ama Buabeng, treated the members of Mmofra’s Language Club to her dramatic, interactive storytelling performance on August 2oth 2011.
On that same day, almost eight thousand miles away in San Francisco, USA,  storyteller Kirk Waller was scheduled to perform at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD).
These uncoordinated yet closely related events are a wonderful testimony to the global reach of storytelling traditions across the African Diaspora.

Auntie Ama of Mmofra Foundation tells a story, joined by Awula the resident dog!

In Accra, master storyteller Ama Buabeng interacts with children at Mmofra Foundation. Photo credit: B. Afful


 
 
 
At Mmofra Foundation we give children an enriched cultural experience similar to children’s museum programming in other parts of the world, through performance, reading, art, crafts and play. Master storyteller Ama Buabeng is often on hand to demonstrate the indigenous version of an art form that continues to thrive in many places around the world.
Most of our sessions take place in a simple outdoor environment.   We hope to have some indoor space as well soon!
 
 
 
 
 
Storyteller Kirk Waller performs at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco

Kirk Waller. Photo credit: Van Waller/I Am Unlimited Photography


 
 
MoAD’s Folktales across the African Diaspora is an interactive program series for children and their families of storytelling, performance and crafts from Africa, North America, South America and the Caribbean.  The storytelling arts and folktale figures of Ghana are an important part of this heritage.
The Museum’s  program for Saturday August 20th 2011 featured Kirk Waller with a performance of tales from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and the American South, followed by craft activities.

Andrew Adansi-Bonnah, 11 year old Ghanaian boy launches campaign to help Somali children

11 year-old Ghanaian boy Andrew Adansi-Bonnah. Photo credit Francis Kokutse


Edward Adansi-Bonnah is definitely a Kid Who Inspires!
His Save Somali Children From Hunger campaign to raise funds for the drought crisis in Somalia has captured world-wide attention in a very short space of time.
Andrew is an 11 year-old Ghanaian boy with an original and courageous idea – to walk from office to office in Accra collecting pledges towards his ambitious goal of raising 20 million cedis.
What motivates him?  He is reported to have said,
“There is no point for others to have so much to eat while others have nothing to eat. It is not right.”
Andrew is a Primary school student at  Class Peter Memorial School in Bubuashie, Accra.
He started his campaign on August 1st 2011. By the end of the month, Andrew was on his first trip outside Ghana at the invitation of the African Union, to attend a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The event was held in support of the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa which has affected over 12 million people, many of whom are vulnerable children.
Andrew Adansi-Bonnah, ii year old campaigner in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Andrew Adansi-Bonnah at the African Union, Addis Ababa in August 2011


UNICEF reports that although he was too small for the podium, Andrew held his own amongst African leaders and the international delegates, ambassadors, journalists and guests who came together to lend a hand in response to the crisis.
Many participants at the conference recognized him instantly in his orange T-shirt and congratulated him for his efforts. He has already collected over $4000.

With the world watching, Andrew is challenging African leadership as well as businesses in Ghana and the Ghanaian public to think about active philanthropy in new ways.

Andrew is a confident, creative thinker and a natural leader.  He has raised the profile of his school and country, and has made his parents proud.   We are sure to be hearing more about him.
Ayekoo! (Well Done).
Please DONATE to Andrew’s cause.

At Mmofra Language Club, you might find yourself sitting under a tree and talking to a famous Ghanaian poet, listening to a live reading of a new African children’s book, or learning how to perform confidently in public with a master storyteller.
On August 20th, the 62 children who came for the session learned about xylophones from Mr. William Diku, a choreographer with the internationally recognized Ghana Dance Ensemble.

Mmofra Foundation August 2011 session

Hands-on music at Mmofra language club August 2011 session. Photo credit B. Afful


 
The interaction involved an explanation of how the instrument is put together,  with wood, calabashes, string and hide making up the various parts.  Mr. Diku explained that the xylophone is a truly African instrument, traditionally from the Upper West region of Ghana and also other West African countries like Burkina Faso, Guinea and Senegal.
He demonstrated its versatile range from traditional music to rap and encouraged children to make their own music!
Trying out the xylophone at Mmofra Foundation

Playing traditional instruments at Mmofra Foundation. Photo credit: B. Afful


 
Mr. William Diku, choreographer and instrumentalist, Ghana Dance Ensemble

Mr. William Diku, choreographer and instrumentalist, Ghana Dance Ensemble. Photo credit: B. Afful


 
Mmofra Language Club sessions are held about once a month at No. 2 Forest Avenue, Dzorwulu, Accra.  Forest Avenue intersects the 37 – Motorway road at the Abelenkpe traffic light.  Every child is welcome.  Upcoming sessions will be announced on our Facebook page.

Since our post about the Nima Mural Painting and Art Workshop on July 23rd, we’ve been anticipating photographs of the finished artwork!
Nima: Muhinmanchi Art has the support of a number of very successful artists, including Larry Otoo, a Mmofra Art Exhibition presenter. Project coordinator Robin Riskin tells us that the program went so well, the organizers are working to make it an annual event in the community!
Via Robin’s blog Art Worlds in Ghana, we can share a link to the Nima Muhinmanchi photo album. A few of our favorite images are below:
 

Children at Muhinmanchi Art event
Some of the young painters. photo credit: Robin Riskin

 

Child painting at Nima Muhinmanchi Art event
A young artist at work. photo credit: Bank.foto

 

Part of the finished mural, Muhinmanchi Art event
Part of the finished mural! photo credit: Robin Riskin

Our congratulations to the Junior Art Club and community supporters for this vibrant project!

 

Child drawing at Chale Wote Festival, by Nana Kofi Acquah

photo credit: Nana Kofi Acquah


The Chale Wote Street Art Festival took place on July 16th 2011 in Jamestown, Accra.
Chale Wote, a term that roughly translates as “Friend, let’s go!”, also refers to the rubber flip-flops everyone in Ghana seems to wear when in a hurry.
According to its organizers, Accra[dot]Alt, the French Embassy, and the Institut Français, the Chale Wote Festival “is the collective effort of many young people—ranging from artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers to designers, students and activists—who are working together to produce Accra’s first annual street art festival.” Participants transformed areas of Jamestown, including the old Kingsway Building (pictured below), into canvases for vibrantly colored murals!
Murals at the Old Kingsway Building, Chale Wote Festival

photo credit: Foundation for Contemporary Art, Ghana


How were children from the community involved?  It looks like they were right in the middle of all the activity! We selected a few images to share from the many fine photographs posted by Nana Kofi Acquah, Gerard Nartey, Francis Kokoroko and others. Please visit their websites to see more images of this event.
 

 
We are looking forward to many more innovative art events like this around Ghana!

 
Poster for Nima: Muhinmanchi Art event
This weekend in Accra, you can join members of Nima’s Junior Art Club (JAC) as they transform the wall of the 441 Welfare Association School (see poster above) into a community mural. The JAC, founded in Nima, has brought children and volunteer artists together to create a unique piece of art that will no doubt be a neighborhood centerpiece.
We admire the JAC’s effort to encourage children’s artistic talent, and can’t wait to see the final result!
You can learn more about the Nima: Muhinmanchi Art project here:

 
If you would like to support the JAC, please visit their online fundraiser here.

What You Can Do

Enjoy this event with the Nima Junior Art Club, and tell us about your experience!
Plan a mural painting project in your community.
 

 

Nelson Mandela at 93 with family member

Nelson Mandela with great- granddaughter Zama in Kweku Mandela's film. Image courtesy: telegraph.co.uk


Mmofra Foundation wishes Madiba a wonderful 93rd birthday!
Madiba is Mr. Mandela’s clan name.  He is also sometimes called Tata, which is a respectful name for a revered father figure.
July 18th is International Nelson Mandela Day.
We also wish to highlight The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund which aims to build a rights-based movement that gives voice and dignity to the African child.
We learned that Mr. Mandela’s grandson Kweku Mandela is making a documentary film called Mandela’s Children, featuring the world’s most highly respected elder in conversation with his grand-children and great-grand-children.

What You Can Do

“Make every day a Mandela Day“.  Choose your Mandela Day deed from one of these 67 ideas.
You’ll find a children’s page on the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund website called Madiba’s Kids Club.  You can even send your own question to Mr. Mandela!

Nelson Mandela with children

Madiba and children. Image courtesy sabc.co.za

"Mmofra Foundation Videos" logo
 
Mmofra Foundation has a YouTube channel, and we would like to share it with you! We will be posting some glimpses into Mmofra activities in Ghana, as well as curating playlists of great videos from around the web.
 
 

 
You can see our featured videos and explore our playlists here. If you’ve seen something worth watching, please share it with us!

Young Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi

photo credit: Stephanie Sinclair, ESPN.com


Our inspiration of the day is Phiona Mutesi, the 15-year-old from Uganda who is making her mark in the world of chess.
“In chess, it does not matter where you come from, only where you put the pieces”, says her coach and mentor Robert Katende, the Ugandan soccer player who started a chess program in the slum community of Katwe in Kampala where Phiona lives.
She learned the game at the age of 9 and quickly emerged on the Ugandan chess scene, winning tournaments first at home, then in regional competition in South Sudan.  Phiona earned a place on the Ugandan team to the World Chess Olympiad in Siberia.

 

Phiona Mutesi and Ugandan chess teammates

Phiona (right) and her teammates come from very poor families. Photo credit: BBC.co.uk


“When I first saw chess, I thought, what could make all these kids so silent?” Phiona recalls. “Then I watched them play the game and get happy and excited, and I wanted a chance to be that happy.”
According to the Uganda Chess Federation, the proven ability of the children of Katwe has caused a chess revolution in the country.

What you can do

Start a chess club in your school or your neighborhood.  Chess pieces can be made by carvers into uniquely Ghanaian shapes!

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