Adinkra is a series of ideographic symbols from Ghana and the Ivory Coast depicting age-old proverbs that incorporate aspects of Asante culture, flora and fauna.
These symbols are strongly linked to religion, language, and geometry but in modern times are used widely in and outside Ghana for their aesthetic appeal. The list includes jewellery, pottery, clothing and architecture.
Below is a snapshot of some of the responses I received, feel free to add your own. All images below come from adinkra.org.
Kwame from Birmingham My favourite
symbol is Gye Nyame because everything starts with God, and ends with God. God
creates, sustains and destroys and generates again. It is self-germinating. The
symbol of Gye Nyame looks like a circle when connected and so it is symbolic of
the circle of life.
In her early 20s, Louise Broni-Mensah became the
first Black female entrepreneur to secure capital from a seed fund provider in
Silicon Valley to grow her fledgling business Shoobs(pronounced Shubz). The provider was Y Combinator - a company known for supporting such names as online renting service Airbnb and Genius - a lyrics and music knowledge database. Three years later (in 2017) and thanks to the funding and expertise she received, Louise's online ticketing and discovery platform is changing the way party-goers seek out, buy and engage with urban events across the UK. Passion project Louise took the traditional route to entering the
business world. She holds a Mathematical Economics BSc from Birmingham University, worked
in banking and finance and had her own property all by her early 20s. But music was never
far from her thoughts. “I’ve always had a passion for music but I did it
this way round because my parents wouldn’t let me otherwise,” she told MisBeee
Writes. “At universi…
Combine love, a bit of humour, 80s nostalgia and a pertinent social message about infrastructure underdevelopment and you get Keteke. Keteke, which means train in Akan, charts the escapades of heavily pregnant Atswei (played by Lydia Forson) and her husband Boi (Adjetey Anang) who are hell bent on getting to Atswei's village to give birth. But they miss the weekly train which forces them on an adventure filled with comic and nail-biting moments. Debut This Ghanaian film was first screened in March 2017 in Accra and had its European debut at the London Film Africa festival in October to rave reviews. Written, produced AND directed by relative newbie Peter Sedufia, Keteke takes a serious look at Ghana's failing train system and gives a human face to the plight of ordinary Ghanaians who have no choice but to use it. The idea behind the film came from Sedufia's contrasting experiences of accessing transport as an adult visiting Finland and as a youngster in his village in the Vol…
I recently attended an event with two British-Ghanaians in the media, which shone a light on how some of us second generationers (I know it's not a word...yet) have dealt with feeling foreign in the country of our birth.
The event was organised by The Media Society and Reed Smith LLP and was called Brit(ish) and Black - Growing Up in a Strange Land.
It introduced former T4 presenter June Sarpong and lawyer and journalist Afua Hirsch and was called Brit(ish) and Black - Growing Up in a Strange Land.
Both women are panellists on the Sky TV show The Pledge, both have launched new books and both have lived in Ghana at some points in their lives.
June came from a well-to-do family in Ghana, grew up during the Rawlings years and had to flee with her immediate family to Britain in the 1980s. She initially lived in council accommodation - so it was a world away from her life in Ghana.
Comparatively, Afua grew up in Wimbledon, London with her Ghanaian mum and Jewish dad and only lived in G…
It is a rare treat for me
to go to a museum showcasing African art. But when I do, facemasks, figurines
and other sculptured pieces tend to be displayed as an afterthought - in my
Sometimes artefacts with limited cultural links, apart from being from
the same Continent, are huddled together in a corner. And in many cases there
seems to be little acknowledgement of the sheer workmanship involved; the
significant societal and cultural value the pieces hold, or the role they
played and still play in shaping modern art. Centre stage
So you can imagine my surprise at learning that the Musée du quai Branly in Paris was staging the Les Maîtres de la sculpture de Côte d'Ivoire (the Master of Sculpture from the Ivory Coast). In one fell swoop I felt that this exhibition, which runs
until 26 July, showcased how nuanced, complex, sophisticated and diverse
sculpture from the Côte d’Ivoire truly is. And at the same time gave a long overdue
hat-tip to those largely unsung champions of W…