ARTS CENTER in Accra

Arts & crafts in Accra

P1050012

 

AFRICAN ARTS AND CRAFT in Accra, Ghana

West Africa is rich in arts & crafts, and you can see this art in Ghana, in Accra, the capital.
Art for real fullfilment and love does not traditionally exist in Africa : everything that was crafted had some purpose behind it.

In Ghana, you can find beautiful hand woven textiles, old and new beads, brass works, gold jewelry, ceramics, paintings, sculptures, and wood carvings.

ARTS CENTER  is not the only place to buy regional art, but where that sale takes place depends on what kind of story you want to tell about the purchase. ARTS CENTER, TETTEH QUARSHIE ART MARKET near Airport area., village Markets, Wild Gecko (a shop mostly dedicated to expats), Global Mamas (clothes shop in OSU) are the places to find it.

ARTS CENTER

The Centre for National Arts and Culture, popularly known as Arts Centre, is located next to the Kwame Nkrumah Musoleum, off the High Street in Accra. The center became very popular in the 80’s for its leisure and entertainment.

P1050009

Arts Centre is a wonderful maze of more than 100 stalls which have all a number on the top of their roof for te ones outside.

When my car’s door opened, handshakes and a hearty welcome to the Accra welcomed me in Arts Center.

However,  it does not look like very nice, big, orderly building…. Rather, it is a crowded collection of vendor stalls who will do anything to invite you to come and see their products: joke, sing, tug at sleeves… from your car parking.

TIPS TO HAVE A GOOD SHOPPING EXPERIENCE 

Visiting the Arts center may be an exciting experience for tourists who are not used to the aggressive but thrilling negociation process … Hawkers attack from all sides as soon as you arrive, but if you’re not exhausted by the scrum you can find cheap and nice gift to buy!

A tips : if you say nothing, theses vendors will  take you to their stall unless you asked them nicely several times. So try to be hard when saying NO because after that you will have one then 2, and 3,4,5 vendors following you saying “Please, sister, have a look at my shop!” !!

P1040871

Tourists equal big money and for market sellers, this competition for foreign dough can easily turn into shouting matches about somebody’s mama. Most of all, they sell the same products among craf staf, jewelry, fabrics…

P1050014

Personnaly, I have been there several times there ewith friends and last time (for this article) I had Thomas, my driver. He came inside the Arts Center with me who was especially helpful in negotiating with me in their local language and also to take me pictures while looking to crafts product and negociating too:)

P1050004

P1050011

We walked along the “building,” which is really a cluster of stalls, towards the back, past old men leaning on scraggly wooden canes and bored children sitting in the dirt, glancing our way with feigned interest.

All kinds of handicrafts imaginable may be found in this market.

The items range from wood carvings, traditional musical instruments, cane and raffia products, leather ware, gold, silver and bronze jewelry, beads, clay products, antiques, paintings to ivory products, and many more.

P1040866

These items are brought to the markets from various parts of the country and also from other countries within the West African sub-region including, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Senegal and Nigeria.

The arts and craft market provides employment opportunities for many people. Skills have been developed in carving, painting, designing, metal works to service the market.

The buyers are made up of those purchasing a few items to customers who place orders for large quantities of various products. A lot of buyers are tourists and other foreigners visiting Ghana.

CRAFTS CHEAP PRICES

I already bought many craft things for my family, friends and ourselves.

P1050087

 

For exemple, I bought a “Chief Chair” for less than  400 GHC (100€) in a beautiful wood.

You can negociate a lot because they have the same products in different stalls and also you will n ot find many other tourist in the market!

 

For a salad tongs you will pay 5€, for a small elephant (6 cm) 8 €, I also bought a table for 10€ and a big giraf cost 75 €.

P1050079

 

These african comb or stick cost me 4 € each.

All this is very well made and is cheap I think.

BUYERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

Art center is in fact one of the most important tourist attraction sites in the City of Accra and in Ghana. For this reason, some international famous people visiting Ghana for  official assignments are taken to the market to see and perhaps buy some of the crafts on display. These customers spend hundreds of thousands of cedis including foreign exchange at the place.

Because the craft market is very old and there’s been no investment in infrastructure, the structures housing the exhibits are very dilapidated. It is expected the safety and comfort of visitors would be better guaranteed when the rehabilitation and expansion takes place. The multi million dollar project would include the construction of market stalls, workshops, storerooms, restaurants, communication centers, show rooms and modern places of convenience. The Greater Accra Handicraft Dealers Association was formed in 1994.

Visitors at the market told that the market is very popular in Europe and America because of the variety and quality of the handicrafts available. Some of them said the items that they purchase are sent home as gifts for their loved ones and relations while others explained that they buy and resell in America and Europe.

HOPE YOU ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

P1040867

AND THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO DISCOVER THIS TYPICAL ARTS CENTER IN ACCRA !

My 1st safari in Mole national park

 My first safari in Mole national park

Continue reading “My 1st safari in Mole national park”

Bojo Beach -40 mn drive from Accra-

WEEK END IS STARTING AT LAST  😉 !!!

It is time to rest out of Accra!!

Enjoy Bojo Beach !

 

At 40 minute drive from Accra,  just past krokobite beach and you get to is this little piece of paradise to escape at last from the crowded and noisy Accra.

Here is the nearest beach from Accra : BOJO BEACH !

Entry fee is Ghc 15 but be aware that  you are not allowed to take your own food or drink.

You will walk on a stone trail to a large canoe-type boat which will takes you across the lagoon to the white sand of Bojo beach.

Then it is time to rest and enjoy the sea with a wind …If you want , you can ask a table 10 meters from the sea, without nobody in front of you ! Just amazing 🙂

 

You can order food such as  tilapia, chicken, jollof, yam chips, but also french fries, octopus,  etc. Smoothie, Pizzas are also available. Prices are correst (around 35 GHC the chicken /french fries meal and 2 GHC the bottle of water).You should try to order as soon as you arrived so that you will get your meal for lunch -and not for dinner-     😉

You can also have fresh coconuts  for 2 GHC to quench your thirst after swimming or having a walk along the beach.

The sea is quite clean, the beach all around the restaurant also, but all garbage are hidden in holes under the sand…… you can see in front of you the man “cleaning” by digging a hole and put all the litter inside….

The “attraction” here is to see the fishermen firing their nets in front of you. They are about 20 men doing this :

 

 

20160221_102415
Small fishes to sale

You can talk to them and they will love to explain their work.

Today, I met Francis a ghanaian from accra, who come every week-end to Bojo Beach to go fishing from 6 am to 11 am. During the week , he works as a security guard in Accra Mall.

They sell their frying of fished on markets or to you if you want of course.

==>But what I saw is so so so small fishes ….

The waves tends to be strong and you have to swim well and dive under each wave coming to you … it can be quite difficult to stay along inside because of it. The sea is hot and you feel good inside!

Some people also play in the volley ball court but it is so hot that I did not even tried once!

Be awared also that music start from 2 pm from the restaurant : so if you feel like dancing, and love music,  it is perfect !! But if you want to rest in a quiet place,  it is no more possible. So you should choose to come early  and leave early !

On the afternoon, you can have a walk and discover all the colored fishing boat in wood, and meet ghanaian tidying up and folding fishing nets,  and also children collecting crabs to cook ! Since it can be far, I had the security guard following me.

At the end of the day, you can take advantage of the light turning down with the silver reflections of the sea…

Colored fishing boats along the coast are particularly wonderful at sunset.

Do not hesitate to  go to Bojo Beach !

Leave me me comment if you have liked this article ! Thank you !!