It is rare to see in today’s Ghana a dedicated individual or organisation that is committed to passing on the ideals and values of our native or indigenous culture and traditions to younger generations who are as young as toddlers.

Kwame Asamany Afero with his Kora guitar

Well, there is hope for the future of Ghanaian cultural preservation as one organisation dedicates itself to grooming children as young as 5 years and above on traditional music.

The Afero Youth Foundation is leading the way in teaching young children the various traditional musical instruments like the Xylophone, traditional drums and other stringed instruments.

The foundation, which started this project in 2019, has worked with about 120 children to date and still training more. The weekly training programme entails introducing the children to the various traditional musical instruments, teaching them about the origin and history behind these instruments, how to play the instruments and traditional songs whose rhythm and melody are in sync with the instruments.

Founder and President of foundation, Kwame Asamany Afero, told this writer that it had always been his dream to pass on the legacy of African tradition to the younger generation in order to instill in them the cultural identity that seems to be fading away in these modern era of technology.

Kwame Asamany Afero, is also a musician and a craftsman who makes stringed musical instruments like the kora guitars which are very popular in African countries like Niger, Mali, Senegal and Burkina Faso.

These instruments are also very popular among natives of the northern part of Ghana.

Kwame calls these instruments Kafonu, which according to him means “talking strings” and Kadanu. According to him, he learnt how to craft or make these instruments from another artist from Burkina Faso called Papa Jena.

Kwame Afero teaches his students the origin and nature of the Kafonu instrument to pass on what he has learnt to the youth.

Kwame Asamany Afero has taken his music career to international heights as he has performed in several African countries and also in Europe.

He owns a studio where he crafts his art works and also trains his students. The young man rom the Volta Region is set to release an album soon and take African traditional music International heights just like Salif Keita of Mali, Yousou Ndour of Senegal, King Ayisoba and Atongo both from Ghana.

Story by Jonathan Thompson


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button