Representatives from the 10 Masquerading clubs in Essikado, Sekondi and Takoradi have lined up activities that will climax on January 2, 2023, as the Essikado ‘Ye Wo Adze Oye’ Masqueraders Carnival marks 10 years.
The event will begin with a quiz competition at the Nana Nketsia School, Essikado on December 30, 2022, followed by a football gala among the 10 Masquerades Clubs at the Nana Nketsia Astroturf park at Essikado.
The event enters the new year with the ‘Ye Wo Adze Oye’ Fun Games on the afternoon of January 1, 2023, with games such as ludo, oware, and cards among others would be played, among the clubs.
The three-day celebration is under the auspices of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Essikado-Ketan, Mr. Joe Ghartey with support from the MP for Sekondi, Mr. Andrew Agyaapa Mercer.
The 10 Masquerading clubs are gearing up for the mega performances to showcase their innate capabilities and skills and to thrill the spectators from Essikado-Ketan and beyond.
In an interview, the MP for Essikado-Ketan, Mr. Joe Ghartey who founded the Essikado Street Carnival 10 years ago, said the program was to bring entertainment and boost economic activities in Essikado and its environs.
He said the event was expected to bring people in the constituency together to foster unity and peace adding the event would be sustained and made more vibrant to attract tourists.
Takoradi Xmas street carnival festival
Every year, it is the biggest thing the people of Sekondi-Takoradi look out for, and for two decades and still counting, the Ankos Festival, now called the Westside Carnival, has always witnessed one of the most significant numbers in the history of events in the region.
This has cemented the festival’s bragging rights of being the best Christmas celebration in the country.
Another year came and the people pretty much anticipated another historic outing of masqueraders from over 30 masquerade groups. These masquerade groups are made up of huge numbers as one group is set to have over 4,000 members.
Some of the known names of masqueraders to look out for are the Supreme, Unicorn, Cosmos, Punch, Oil City, Millionaires, Holy Cities, Nyanta Boys, and many others. They are groups formed and respected by their members in the region and every year they come out in their numbers to represent their groups like a known cult.
This year’s event, just like the previous year, started off on 24th December which was the official opening day of the carnival with a series of activities to mark the celebration. There was the NLA live raffle draw on Saturday night, 24th December, as well as performances from various artistes, the Westside Carnival Momo market, and outdoor of the 2022 fashion parade to model new costumes and swag of top 30 clubs on Sunday, December 25. The top 15 brass band competition was held on the same night, and then the Ankos street carnival parade on 26th December.
The latter event started with each of the groups converging at a particular location to dressing up in their various costumes. They were made of both men, women, young, old, and even kids as young as three and four years of age. An all-female group known as ‘Classic ladies’ was also represented fully in their costumes.
A walk through the streets of the city followed, amidst cheers and brass band music, with participants and on-lookers dancing and singing to the brass band music in a procession to the main venue of the parade on Takoradi’s Liberation Road. The groups took turns in performing to the delight of the crowd, preceded by an introduction of the group and what it stands for. Performances came in two folds; each group will dance to a highlife tune provided by the band and then they perform a style of music and dance which is termed as ‘atwimu’ a local slang in the Western Region.
The event also saw performances from musicians – Kwabena Kwabena, Adina, Lasmid, Obrafour, and many others.
In an interview with the originator of the carnival, Mr. Willson Arthur, he stated that he’s happy with the rate at which the festival has been able to gather some great patronage for itself and has even seen more great things happening in the coming years. He also spoke about the level of impact it’s made in terms of business and the creation of jobs for the youth in the region.
The Ankos Festival also known as the Takoradi street carnival or Masquerade Festival is an annual event celebrated by the people of Takoradi, Ghana. Its main attraction is dozens of groups of people or teams dressing in wild outfits who display their skills and arts via dance. The festival is usually celebrated from 24th to 26th December of every year and is popular among tourists.