I have always been a huge admirer art, history, literature, music – you get the picture. So last Monday I decided to visit the National Museum of Ghana in Accra, Ghana. I went there because I was bored and I needed inspiration. I find it creatively refreshing to be in a different environment or to be surrounded by inspiring people or articles. The National Museum has been around for as long as Ghana has been independent, yet being a Ghanaian living in Ghana all my life, I have never heard much about it. The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum is far more popular than this is. I cannot explain why that is but I can speculate. Are Ghanaian selectively interested in just some aspects of their culture and history and not the whole? Well, that is not the focus of my post.
Scope of Gallery
There was so much history and art on not just Ghana, but the whole world on display! I was absolutely shocked circling the artefacts in the galleries. I found mosaic from Carthage, Ife Bronze statues from Nigeria, Actual human remains from archaeological digs in Ghana, terra-cotta figurines, ritual dolls, contemporary art pieces, hand carved masks from La Cote D’Ivoire, etc. I did not know how to react to it.
When I got there, I thought it was closed. The place was dead quiet. I spent about two hours and all I could kept on hearing was the occasional chatter of the employees. No one else came in and from the looks of things, it did not seem like the museum is heavily patronized. However, that did not deter me from enjoy the art and learning my history. I was sad not to know a lot about the history of Ghana, despite having studied history of Africa and Ghana at a point in time in my life. There is just so much out there, that is ours and we should be proud of.
I used to be one of the people who did not see the importance of history. Well, I would kindly like to educate you should you fall in this group. History instills in the people a sense of national pride. Pause! This is not theoretical but very practical. Let’s consider the United States of America. I don’t think anyone is ignorant of the sense of pride Americans derive from being American. This is all because of how they have celebrated their history, making every citizen respects that history and want be a part of the history.
Now why can’t Ghanaians adopt that? We have successfully imitated their eating and dressing habits but why can’t we learn to be proud of our history just as they are? Please, let’s take interest in our history and culture, so we can be inspired and motivated by it.
I managed to chance upon an art exhibition by contemporary Ghanaian artist. The collection consisted of paintings by Ablade Glover, Amon Kotei, Kobina Bucknor and other prominent Ghanaian artist. I honestly do not know what to say about this. My pictures may be able to describe the richness of the art but certainly not the experience. Art is life and the exhibition confirmed Ghanaians are marvelous at art.
Should you happen to be in Accra, try to visit the museum. You might learn something you never knew. Please be proud of your history!
<Written by Hakeem Adam
Photography by Hakeem Adam/>.