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Black Star Line: 50,000 descend on Ghana for diaspora festival

3 Mins read

Black Star Line: 50000 descend on Ghana for diaspora festival

Tens of thousands of people have poured into Ghana’s iconic Black Star Square of Independence to witness the maiden edition of the Black Star Line Festival.

The event – which took place in the heart of the Ghanaian capital, Accra – was founded by Chicago-born Ghanaian Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper and featured a host A-list acts from both sides of the Atlantic in a bid to unite the country and its diaspora.

International stars, including multiple Grammy award winners Erykah Badu, T-Pain and Chance The Rapper, were joined by Ghanaian legends like Sarkodie, Manifest and The Asakaa Boys at a festival to mark the event, which has also seen a weeklong series of events and panels.

Vic Mensa on stage at the festivalIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
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Born to a Ghananian father, the US rapper Vic Mensa received a rapturous welcome when he told the crowd that he had come home. “I had a dream about connecting the African people of the globe – to unify us as one people”. Midway through his set, Vic brought popular Ghana artist Kwesi Arthur on to the stage and they performed together – much to the delight of the crowd.
US rapper T-PainIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
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Also taking to the stage was the rap legend T-Pain. During an emotional performance – which saw the two-time Grammy winner taking several breaks in between his set to tell the audience how grateful he was to be part of the festival – he performed a host of his iconic hits, including Got money, Good life and Buy you a drink.
Ghana rapper SarkodieIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
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While the visiting US stars were welcomed warmly, the real adoration was reserved for Ghanaian rap legend Sarkodie. One of the highlights of his set was when he performed his latest single called Country Side – a vibrant afrobeat that has already racked up hundreds of thousands of streams online in little over a month.
Festival attendee HazelIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
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An estimated 50,000 people attended the Black Star festival, including Hazel – a Ghanaian now living in Chicago. “Today was amazing, beautiful,” she said after the event. “We’re at a place now were Ghana is on top. And I just love how everybody from the diaspora and Ghana have come together to make something magical.”
Princess Fathia NkrumahIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
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The event also attracted some noted celebrity attendees. Princess Fathia Nkrumah – the granddaughter of Ghana’s first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah – hailed the vent’s empowering atmosphere. “One of the key factors that brings the black man down is the concept of classism,” she observed. “Its a tool that’s been used since colonial times to separate us and by proxy prevent us from moving forward, because you can’t move forward if you’re not a united front.”
Dennis HazeIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
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And Dennis Haze – who travelled from Washington DC – said the event had helped him connect with his African roots. “Its beautiful to see the Black American culture and African culture unite,” he said. “I resonate with it, personally because I am African-American. I was born in DC but, I’m also Ghanaian. So, I really resonate with this.”
Dave Chappelle with fansIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
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Dave Chappelle – widely viewed as one of the greatest comedians of all-time – also attended. During his visit to Ghana he met with the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, and dignitaries of the government’s diaspora affairs department. On stage, he kept it short and simple by saying “it’s great to be here” – before introducing the New York-based rapper and podcaster Talib Kweli.
Chance the RapperIMAGE SOURCE,NUBUEKE NUR MEDIA
Image caption,

By the time Chance The Rapper performed it was almost dawn in Ghana’s capital. However, tens of thousands of people had still patiently waited to hear their favourite songs from the Chicago-based star. Arguably, the highlight of the event was towards the end of the show when Vic Mensa joined Chance on stage to perform their song Coca Butter Kisses. Earlier, the star’s uncle Sammy Kofi – of the legendary Ghanaian group Okukuseku – had also performed.
Source: BBC
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