Brew, F. (2018). The ‘linking character’: A valuable tool for African playwrights

 The playwright’s story is often bigger than what the stage can take within a stipulated time frame. It then becomes imperative for the writer to effect significant cutbacks which might involve character mergers, setting eliminations, story condensations, event narrations and expressional conciseness. This becomes a daunting task to especially amateur writers and sometimes those who have significant experience in writing. One of the techniques to accomplish the aforementioned and still retain desired meaning is to use what I call the ‘linking character.’ Linking characters are given different names in various plays. For instance, Aidoo calls the linking character in Anowa, ‘The-Mouth-That-Eats-Salt-And-Pepper’ whilst Yaw Asare uses ‘Ananse’ in his play, Ananse In The Land Of Idiots. Despite such distinct names, they ultimately function in similar ways. This article assesses the roles of linking characters in eight selected African plays regarding their purposes and effectiveness. Varied situations, dialogue and other issues are cited from these plays and analysed in correlation with available literature. The article also popularises the efficacy of utilisation of linking characters and recommends them for up and coming African Playwrights. 

The ‘Linking Character’: A Valuable Tool for African Playwrights

Posnak, A. (2018). Sacred Ceramics: Investigating the production and significance of Ewe ritual ceramics in Ghana

 This article outlines the beginnings of a new study of the ritual ceramics of Ewe traditional religious practices in Ghana, which play a unique role in the visual expression of indigenous Ewe worldview and cosmology. Ritual ceramics are fundamental to indigenous religious practices of Ewe and are worthy of examination yet have not received significant attention from scholars. In African-Atlantic religion, handmade pottery is being usurped by commercial ware, but the tradition remains vibrant in Ghana. The author’s position as a practicing artist with experience in making pottery for African religious practitioners in the US, and 20 years studying West African and African Diaspora religions, give a unique perspective to this study.

Sacred Ceramics: Investigating the Production and Significance of Ewe Ritual Ceramics in Ghana

Brako, D. (2018). Re-examining digital effects in ‘Kumawood’ science fiction film titled 2016

 Digital technology and its impact across the world has influenced the use of digital effects in Ghanaian filmmaking, particularly Kumawood science fiction films. Most often, the use of digital effects in such films are only considered for showmanship. Meanwhile, the idea behind using special or digital effects is to create an illusion of reality, fantasy and believability. Also, the digital effects created in science fiction films should form part of the narrative. The study examined some digital effects used in 2016 (2010), a Kumawood science fiction film. The research employed a content analysis method. Specific scenes were selected from the film 2016 (released in 2010) and the digital effects discussed. The article in an attempt established that the use of digital effects created in some Kumawood science fiction films aimed at showmanship or a kind of exhibition. It is recommended that use of digital effects must form part of the narrative.

Re-examining Digital Effects in ‘Kumawood’ Science Fiction Film Titled 2016

Maclean, G. A. (2018). The roots of brass bands in Ghana: The premier brass band in Winneba

 The main purpose of the paper is to document the provenance, growth, achievements, challenges and prospects of the first brass band formed in Winneba – the Winneba Yamoahs Brass Band. Using interviews and document review, the paper traces events leading to the band’s formation, the birth of the band, growth and sustenance, recruitment and training of members, achievements, challenges and the prospects of the band which remained in oral context with early band members and owners of the band and thus risked being lost with the passage of time. Major findings from the study such as the circumstances leading to the formation of the band and achievements since its formation places the band as a pacesetter among brass bands in Winneba and recommends that an interest be taken in writing on similar bands or groups that have no written history yet.

The Roots of Brass Bands in Ghana: The Premier Brass Band in Winneba

Coffie, M. M. (2018). Bigshots Band’s ‘Too kɛ aduŋ’: A modern Ghanaian dance band highlife music

The superimposition of Western musical instruments on the conventional dance band highlife music has been the trend since its evolution around the 1950s. Despite Ghana’s monumental traditional instrumental resources, the dance band highlife tradition has not been able to break away from the colonising force of Western instruments. Too kɛ Aduŋ (goat & monkey), a highlife song by the Bigshots Band, however, is an exception to this trend. Traditional musical instruments such as gyile (xylophone), atenteben (bamboo flute), ŋoŋo (bell), shakashaka (rattle) and tsoŋshi drums (traditional palm drums) were featured prominently together with the Western instruments such as drum set, guitar, bass, keyboard synthesizers and horns in the song. This paper seeks to investigate the compositional resources and devices employed in Bigshots Band’s highlife song, too kɛ aduŋ, how they have been managed, and reasons for their inclusion in the body of work. The paper also discusses the arranging techniques employed in the song in the context of dance band highlife music, and some background to the influences that have shaped the song. A descriptive analysis of the song using the emic approach reveals a communal music participation, a concept found in African traditional drum music, where composite patterns are heard in integration and not as isolated units. The song also exemplifies a phenomenon of a proportional cross-cultural music fertilisation.

Bigshots Band’s ‘Too Kɛ Aduŋ’: A Modern Ghanaian Dance Band Highlife Music