Now very popular for its art, culture and street jamborees, the word ‘’chalewote’’ is a native Ga word which means ‘’Let’s go friend’’ or just the name of rubber bathroom slippers. Over the past few years, this amazing art and cultural festival has been one to look forward to on our calendars right from the turn of the new year. Why is it that popular and what is in it for us? As a country, we are at a stage of development where we have to tap into every opportunity. The tourism and creative arts sector is one that has great potential and can boom if we pay great attention to it and explore the many vibrant avenues for development. This week, the Chalewote Festival returns to the capital and Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online travel website takes an introspective look into why we cannot just treat ‘’Chalewote’’ as an ordinary Ga word. It has much more to offer than that.
Entertainment – Every year, the second week of August in Accra is one that is greeted with much enthusiasm and expectation. After the traditional festival of the local people, ‘’Homowo” comes the much colourful, cultural and creative art festival dubbed ‘’The Chalewote festival’’. There are only a few other events with such buzz and natural hype as the ‘’Chalewote festival’’. The entertainment it carries along with it is just overwhelming. Apart from the concerts at the tail end of the week long activities are several pockets of entertaining activities.Boxing bouts, acrobatic displays, cultural dances, live paintings, music, games and several other activities are all available on the streets of Jamestown. The entertainment often reaches its apex during the weekends usually in the last two days of the festival when busy workers and students who couldn’t make it during the weekdays all jump into life and turn up for the ‘’party’’.
Promotion of creative art, culture and tourism – In Ghana just like in several other parts of Africa, tourism is all about monuments and historic sites. This prejudiced notion has rendered the creative art sector of the industry a bit redundant in recent years. The ‘Chalewote street festival’’ offers all stakeholders and players in the Ghanaian tourism industry the platform to sell Ghana’s tourism. Organizations such as the Ghana Tourism Authority, The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts and many others come on board to ensure that all artwork and other activities that promote Ghana’s rich culture and tradition are promoted here. Souvenirs and Ghana branded paraphernalia are also on sale. From handmade beads to African print clothing and many more are on sale .Poetry, Music and acting is also a great way to sell Ghana and this platform presents such a medium.
Revenue – A word that every business loves to hear. Revenue is good for everyone when it is coming in and not being lost. At ‘’Chalewote’’, there is a lot of good money waiting to be made. Countless opportunities present themselves here and many smart people tap into it. Thousands of art and fun lovers converge in one big community. The endless list of items these people patronize just goes to show how much in income can be made from this week long festival. You will definitely go hungry, there are food vendors ready to serve you amazing cuisines.You need to recharge airtime, they are there, Street art for sale, you don’t have a problem. As a tourist, you want a place where Ghana made souvenirs go for cheap, you are in the right place. Drinks and other items are also here in multiples. Even if you are too tired to drive back home, a hotel booking is always one click away. However you look at it, there is money to be made.
Jobs – And of course, there are jobs that come with the revenue. To make more money, vendors usually need to be fast and efficient. This always calls for an extra hand or two. Although it is short term and the financial benefits are not as high. It pays some of the bills, doesn’t it? Hotels may employ more reservation staff to handle the excess bookings that will come in, restaurants will be super busy while vendors definitely need some help. There is always a job for someone when ‘’Charlotte’’ comes around.
National Development – just like the symphony orchestra when all the other parts are in sync, the music that is heard is just smooth and melodious. When this event is well organized as it always is and every facet is handled properly, national development is guaranteed. Tourism and hospitality industries will be booming while the nation is the overall beneficiary. Hotels will be fully booked, restaurants will run out of stock while the city will becoming with business. Guests will fly down, sleep in hotels, buy food and other items. This is is foreign exchange and money coming right to the nation.
Everyone has a reason for going to ‘Chalewote’’ and some of these reasons may amuse you. However, no matter what your preference is, one thing is for sure; ‘CHALEWOTE’ is not just a Ga word but also very beneficial.
Author: Bennet Otoo, Jumia Travel