Dear Nii Kpakpo,
Yeah I know I haven’t written in a long time but it is not due to being busy or anything but rather to me not finding my mojo to write you a letter. Sometimes I feel plenty has happened that it is not new anymore and therefore there is no need to tell you because I have already done it in one missive or the other.
My Tamale has grown into a cosmopolitan city and you know inasmuch as that is good for development and we can rub shoulders with other cities in the world, cosmopolitan life has brought with it its attendant problems. More and more people are increasingly migrating into Tamale especially from the south because when they look up north, this is the most developed and fastest growing city at the moment.
Nii Kpakpo, truth be told when people tell me they have heard stories about the development of Tamale but they haven’t been here in the last ten years I shake my head because even in my five years of relocation who would have thought that Tamale will grow this fast. The migrant community and the businesses that have come up north are all using Tamale as their bases.
Hey, now talking about bases, what is it I hear about our governments, the past and the present signing an agreement with Americans with regards to military bases in this country. Well, I know that the American Peace Corps have bases and safe houses dotted all over Ghana and whoever thinks these people are really here to volunteer to help out should be as blank as a the newly polished blackboard (with batteries as we used to do in primary school) not knowing how America promotes her capitalism. For me up here though I wonder what it involves for us the citizens in the supposed backwaters and how this is going to affect us and the implications for the country as a whole.
Any3mi, let’s just wait and see.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson, there have increasingly been highlights from Tamale that has spread across the country and even gone further international. Lemme give you an example in King Ayisoba. He is a musician and entertainer and his brand is music has won him many awards locally and internationally and he hardly spends time in this country because of his bookings abroad especially in Europe. The guy has British folk, who we know to be very conservative, bleating like goats as they sing along to one of his popular songs that has the hook of the sound of a goat bleating ‘meh meh meh’. Well maybe I should go on twitter and ask our friend and brother the former British High Commissioner to Ghana who is always taunting his namesake for taking that four wheel government vehicle and getting caught. Hee hee hee! That should be fun to ask him what he thinks especially since he’s also an advocate for Ghanaian music.
(Over here @jonbenjamin)
Tamale music is going pretty far and crossing international boundaries with the likes of Macassio and Fancy Gaddam belting out hit tunes and doing collaborations with popular local artistes and even some international artistes. Apart from our music there are individuals who are competing with the doyens of their professions in the south and coming away with awards like our own radio presenters Kwaku Oduro and Ewurama Attoh (@ramalish) both of Kesmi Fm taking awards as Best Presenters in the country and not just the three regions up north. Let’s not forget that Alhassan Suhuyini of Alhaji and Alhaji fame of Radio Gold and now a honorable member of the House of Parliament representing Tamale North, also started his radio career in Tamale. That is pretty commendable and I’m sure that even though such awards mean that they can move anywhere they choose to stay here in Tamale and work diligently. I’m sure you might also have heard of Geoffrey Butta the Graphic Corporation photographer who now has about 7 local and international awards under his belt and is still as unassuming that you will pass him by unlike some in the business that carry airs and charge exorbitant prices just for a shoot.
Kpakpo, events here are pretty rare to meeting the standards in the capital or Kumasi but when they happen they are a happy occasion for people up north to showcase what we have got. Hitherto, events were limited to traditional events like drumming and dancing and mostly cultural displays but now there are musical concerts, music and album launches, video and movie premieres and once in a while a cinema even though our cinema hall is now a classroom block and a chain of store warehouses. The last time I even heard there was a karaoke event but looking at the photos of the event it didn’t really look like anybody went there to sing. Most people went there to hang out and do something different. In a cosmopolitan society, if events don’t come up that frequently everything seems to come to a standstill and stale and people just need to exhale or do something different. It is unpardonable that events organizers think that they wont get the necessary market when they bring shows that are a hit in the capital and other cities up north when there is a large migrant community who have relocated from the south who are hungry for such events. Check with Uncle Ebo Whyte and Latif Abubakar who have brought their stage plays up north.
Well, anyemi, life goes on for us here and like I keep saying you should visit soon. Businesses are opening up quickly that you can say rice paddies and well I promise to write more often from now. Talking of promises, what is this I hear about our round bespectacled Commander in Chief being nicknamed King Promise but I’m sure he can’t sing for shizzle.
I still remain
Your Cousin in Law