"African Story Pt2" Continues With: The Amazing Music On The Beaches Of Ghana
"Ghanaian Connection" by George Edah
In my African story Pt2, music plays an integral part in the everyday experience of Africans. In the fisherman’s case they need to come together and unify their efforts, to accomplish some of the heavy work they do without the benefit of heavy duty machinery. Most things are still done with physical labor.
As you see the fisherman on shore they use a huge net which they take out a short distance from the shore. Two go out on a small boat and one or two are in the water to spread the net out over a wide distance. There is a thick rope tied to the net which will be dragged in with fish to the shore little by little (in the Ghanaian vernacular “small, small”).
It takes hours for this process to be done, but it is done very methodically. They have special songs that are sung in a very methodical rhythm which helps them to pull together at the same time.
There is one man who mans the end of the rope wrapped around a coconut tree. His job is to take up the slack of the rope by wrapping it tight around the designated coconut tree, so that the net will not go back out to sea.
One man leads the song. He sings a phrase and the other ten to twenty men also pulling the rope with, him respond in unison. Thus starts the rhythmic call and response with a simple African melodious folk song. He sings a phrase they respond and then pull together in perfect harmony together. This continues for hours, inch by inch (with times of rest in between) until they succeed with bringing in the catch for the day.
It’s amazing to watch and even more amazing to hear. It’s fascinating and mesmerizing at the same time. Music can bring people together in so many ways. When they are singing these songs they are in perfect harmony, not just in pitch but also in their physical laborious efforts. Every facet of Ghanaian society has an African story that can be told.
Along the coastal cities of Ghana fish is plentiful and delicious to eat. In Ghana you can still get fresh fish untainted with the pollution we are so accustomed to in the West. Living in Ghana was a memorable experience. Natural beauty, friendly hospitable people and beautiful music is a part of everyday life. Being there made me want to share this experience with everybody I knew.
Ghana is such a nice place to visit and a place the whole family can enjoy. If you get a chance take a trip and experience your own Story. End of African Story Pt2.