Recently, Yvonne Nelson and her friends led a procession that held a vigil to bring much-needed attention to power outages in the country. Somehow, the event won Accra residents respite for a couple of weeks.
This week, Belgium-based Ghanaian multi-artist Azonto Teacher, also chipped in. This time, he is talking about citizens’ responsibility.
He released his disturbing single ‘Africa No Easy’ on You Tube, a video set in an Accra slum, in flood waters, painting a vivid picture of the devastation that the unfortunate deluge caused in the capital city.
Known in private life as Nana Dankwa, the all-round artist, who works in fine art, music, sculpture, theatre, film and education has now successfully earned the description ‘activist’ to the already long line of acolades.
“This is not about seeking fame,” the arts teacher explained. “It is about bringing attention to ourselves as Ghanaians. We are all to be blamed for the situation we find ourselves in. And we are all part of the solution.”
After the day one-shoot in the slums, Nana Dankwa broke down with infections.
“I must have swallowed quite a bit of the flood water. We splashed in it all day. It was gruelling, but the cause is worth fighting for,” he said.
‘Africa No Easy’ is taken from his forthcoming 14-song album, titled ‘Ojam Celebration’. In line with his activism, the album also includes ‘Xenophobia’, an insight into the recent unrests in South Africa.
“The collection is about having faith in ourselves as Africans and doing things for ourselves. We can’t wait for outsiders to do it for us; we can’t even wait for ‘leaders’ to do it for us. We have to do things for ourselves. I believe the time has come for us to raise consciousness about our surroundings and change the parts we don’t want,” says Nana Dankwa aka Azonto Teacher.
Azonto Teacher got the moniker when his Belgian dance students insisted he changed the regular traditional African syllabus in favour of the then new craze ‘azonto’.
“This was about two years into the azonto craze. I had no idea how popular it was as a sound and dance. So I went online and researched it. Within three days, I had enough material to start. And the video that came out of the class went viral. So my name became Azonto Teacher,” he explained.
Born in Kumasi, Dankwa studied Art at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and quickly started teaching art workshops in educational institutions in Belgium. He forayed into music after the unexpected success of the ‘Azonto Teacher’ video on You Tube.
– See more at: http://www.spectator.com.gh/azonto-teacher-uses-flood-for-activism/#sthash.eyYuH37w.dpuf
Source: The Spectator.