What a delight to have you all here today, at the launch of the second annual Edemfest —our end-of year festival celebrating art and culture, and also tacking pertinent social issues.
As you would expect of creatives form these parts, my career began modestly — pounding on school desks and sleeping on studio floors. And so, I consider it a great blessing to reach the heights that I have, and to possess an influential voice.
Whenever I sit to reflect on my journey thus far, my heart brims with joy, but at the same time, I am reminded of the responsibilities a person in my position automatically assumes —one to leave my society better than I met it. Undoubtedly, music is a powerful tool, and my music has constantly served as a great platform to share my story, and inspire fellow youth who nurse hopes of a better life. My name loosely translates as “redemption” —and it is what I seek to demonstrate with my life
Especially in an era where it is easy to lose our identity whilst navigating the globalization question, Edemfest was conceived as part of brand Edem’s Corporate Social Responsibility, as an avenue to remind ourselves of an illustrious heritage as a people, and a wake up call for us to preserve the very culture that makes us unique.
A day-long event highlighted by a grand musical concert, Edemfest consists various activities catering to art, culture, tourism and business.
Last year, we held the festival on the Keta High Street, with the core aim of raising awareness on illegal fishing. This year, the event, which serves as prelude to the Hogbetsotso Festival, will be held with the objective of tackling sand winning, and open defecation.
Day in, day out, we continue to witness the devastating effects of illegal sand mining on our coastlands, destroying our environment, and hampering tourism potential. Indeed, some experts have compared the effects of sand winning to the galamsey menace. Therefore, the need to raise awareness on the adverse effects of this activity cannot be overstated.
A 2017 Unicef report indicates that 208 districts in Ghana still engage in open defecation. Earlier this year, the Global Media Foundation (GLOEMF) revealed that open defecation cost our economy about $79 million each year. These are clearly staggering statistic that must be addressed as a matter of urgency, and we very much look forward to having government, corporate Ghana, and private individuals support us on this quest.
Plans are far advanced to make Edemfest a nationwide affair, because I recognise the gravity of the task I have taken on.
Edemfest 2018 comes off November 2nd at the Aborigine Beach Resort, Keta. A serene beach wit pure sands, the venue is a gorgeous testament of what happens when we take the duty of preserving our environment seriously. This year’s event will be attended by over 20,000 patrons —double of the number we recorded last year. We are confident that Edemfest 2018, aside reconnecting us to our heritage, and reviving our confidence in our potential, will go a long way towards contributing to the economic development of the area, as well as fostering budding talent from there. Watch out for a special performance by Agbadza group, Charles Nipson Foundation Group (NFG).
We would like to especially acknowledge our partners: Clayman Impression, Griddle Kitchen, Gbevunation, Rythms Africa, and Genet Services for helping us put together the event.
To our sponsors: Snappy Snacks, MTN, Aborigines Beach Resort, and Betway, we can’t thank you enough.
We are also grateful to donors for Edemfest 2018: JK Horgle Transport, OBZ Group of Companies, and Top Oil). And of course, to our media partners: Ameyawdebrah, ENewsGH, Zionfelix, Ghlinks, Nkonkonsa, Cypressgh, Showbizpundit, Tmghlive
RonnieIsEveryhere, Blagogee, Beeniewords, Jonilar, and StandoutEntGH.
Thank you again for making the time today, and see you on November 2nd.