Liberia’s cultural arts showcased in Ghana and Ivory Coast￼ – FrontPageAfrica
MONROVIA- The Liberia Culture Promotion Group had the young and old citizens of two countries, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, dancing for hours during the musical and cultural (choreography) performances of the Liberian group in each of these two African countries.
By Samuel G. Dweh, freelance development journalist, [email protected]
The name of the Liberian cultural body that performed is All Stars Musical and Culture Group (ASMCG), established in 2013, in Monrovia, by a young cultural dancer.
The visiting Liberian cultural group included nine men and seven women.
The performances in Ghana took place at Ghana’s Arts Center on 11e october day 2022.
The performances in Ivory Coast took place on October 15, 2022 at two locations in the country’s capital, Abidjan. The venues were Escape Gombe Beach, in the community of Jacqueville, Yuopugun.
This writer simultaneously interviewed the two founders of the Group and its consultant.
“My name is Eddie Dongbe. My performance name is Africa Soldier. The music and culture group All Stars International was founded by me. A few weeks since I founded the group, I went to see my elder brother and my eldest knowledgeable about the culture, Mr. Emmanuel Lavela, to serve as my personal advisor based on his extensive knowledge of cultural dance and music,” the subject of the interviewer’s first question answered and looked at the seated person to her right.
“My name is Emmanuel B. Lavela, Executive Director of the Liberia School of Arts and Dance, another promoter of Liberian cultures. I accepted this young man’s call to be his personal advisor because of his deep passion for promoting the music and cultural dances of our country. I am not a registered member of his group, separate from mine, SLAD,” Emmanuel clarified. “SLAD was born in the refugee camp in Ghana where I lived for nine years. Some of our clients are hotels. We entertain foreign tourists in Liberia and teach them to drum and dance,” he added, and showed me pictorial evidence on his SmartPhone. One of the photos showed four white men beating wooden and animal skin drums, with him and other SLAD members seated with them. Another photo showed two white men and a white woman dancing as SLAD’s executive director and two of his deputies raised their hands above the drums.
“Our trips to both countries – Ghana and Ivory Coast – were sponsored by United States of Africa Consultancy, USAC, based in the United States of America,” Eddie added, after Emmanuel showed Illustrated evidence of SLAD’s community outreach programs.
“The presence of the musical and cultural group All Stars International in Ghana and La Côte d’Ivoire was for the Liberian cultural group to share the cultural knowledge of his country and for our host to share the cultural knowledge of his country with us. We are very grateful to the financial support of United States of Africa Consultancy which made possible our dreams of cultural performances in Ghana and Ivory Coast. We first traveled to Ghana. Our cultural songs were in the Bassa language of Liberia. The Ivorians welcomed us and many attended our performance sessions as the Ghanaians did,” Eddie recounted.
The international music and cultural group All Stars is the third Liberian culture promotion group to have presented Liberian cultural arts (drums, singing and dancing) outside of Liberia.
The first was Balawala Foundation International, a cultural group headed by national culture icon, Mr. Kekura Kamara, current President of the Liberia National Culture Union (LINCU).
“We attended the World Rhythm Festival, an international cultural event, in Italy in 1996. Our trip was sponsored by the then FIFA World’s Best Footballer George Manneh Weah from Liberia when he was playing for Italian club AC Milan. meanwhile,” Mr. Kekura Kamara had told me in 2021.
The first Liberian cultural group that showcased the cultural arts of Liberia was the Crusaders for Peace, founded by Liberia’s current National Culture Ambassador, Juli Endee. This was a few years after the election of Liberia’s first post-civil war democratic presidential and legislative elections.
In April 2021, National Culture Ambassador Juli Endee led a team of Liberian culture artists to the International and Cultural and Artifacts Exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2021.