The Mayor of Accra, Mr Alfred Vanderpuije, together with one of his predecessors, Nat Nuno Amarteifio joined their kin at Bukom Square, the public space in the Jamestown community in Ga Mashie for the next round of the ongoing Bukom Jama Gala series of events.
The galas, which started last month with an aim to create some cultural and economic revival within that community, and by extension highlight their tourism potential, saw six competing groups from Chorkor and Jamestown locking horns in the very first edition of the competition.
Of the eight groups billed to compete on the afternoon, four showed up, psyched and ready to prove their wits to the hundreds who had converged at the popular Bukom Square.
Beginning with a brass band procession from the Lighthouse through the township, the various groups, brandishing their flags march in typical jama style attracting scores of youth, as well as international delegates to a City Forum on Culture and Development taking place in Accra, who followed them dancing and making merry.
When the competition took centre stage, Ashawo were first to set the ball rolling, followed by Rainbow, Gbeohe and Alanmli.
The four groups lit up the entire Bukom Square with enthusiastic and energy filled anthems that held the crowd spellbound, yet frequently eliciting great cheers from them. A sight to behold, some of the songs held social commentaries and unique messages that called on the inhabitants to keep their surroundings clean at all times- a message that was re-echoed by the Mayor of Accra in a short speech at the event.
After rounds of euphoric singing, clapping and dancing, the four groups were judged based on their appearance, stagecraft, lyrical content and audience response.
When the results were tabulated, Rainbow stood tall. It was obvious that their stagecraft, which saw them pull interesting stunts for the open-air performance. With a general idea of migration as their theme, the group appeared on stage carrying household props such as mats, pillows and utensils with one person even carrying a goat!
Although Rainbow was crowned winners on the night, all the four qualified for the next stage of the competition, which is scheduled to come off on Monday December 26 at the same venue.
Organised by Accra Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) in collaboration with the Ga Mashie Development Agency (GAMADA), the events will lead to a full blown Jama festival next June. .