When I Saw Kente in ‘Black Panther’, I Sang Hallelujah – Ghanaian Tourism Minister

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture has revealed she was elated and proud to be a Ghanaian when the country’s popular Kente fabric was used in Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Black Panther’.

Catherine Afeku said the cloth being featured in the all-black cast movie directed by Ryan Coogler got her singing Hallelujah.

The movie tells the story of the African nation of Wakanda and as at March 11, it has grossed $1.079 billion.

“For the first time since independence, it is cool to be African. Those of you who have seen the Black Panther…the power of culture. When you watch the recent all-black cast movie, they show a stripe of Kente. I sang Hallelujah. Ghana is championing culture,” she said.

The minister made this known when she spoke at the Stakeholder Dialogue and Arts Emporium to celebrate Ghana Culture Day 2018 and The Multimedia Group Ghana Month.

The Stakeholder Dialogue at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT on Wednesday was under the theme: “Putting Value on Arts and Culture: Policies, Institutions and Funding”.

“We are not as people may see or think underdogs, there is a lot happening in this sector but there is a lot that needs to be done,” Catherine Afeku noted.

The minister stressed that culture, arts and tourism are not an appendage to other sectors of the economy but rather, “it is a transformative sector.

“If we all come together, put our hands together and our hearts together and see it as a sector that can transform and outlive gold, outlive oil, outlive cocoa, we can see a serious budgetary allocation to arts, culture and tourism.”

“It is the only industry that brings all spheres of people together,” she said and added that tourism, arts and culture have the potential to create millions of jobs.

Madam Afeku called for a change in attitude for the sector to get the needed respect.

“We have a billion dollar industry but we are not buying it as a people. It is easy to point a finger but what are you doing as a Ghanaian, are you proud of your heritage, are you wearing our culture, are you buying made in Ghana goods – beads, jewellery, Kente…?” she quizzed.

According to her, the growth of the sector starts “with us, our attitude to appreciate our own culture then we can advocate for the world to come and see and appreciate it with us.”

She urged policymakers to set examples by patronising made in Ghana goods.

Apart from the Stakeholder Dialogue, the event witnessed a Traffic Pop-up (Visual Arts Installations, Fashion Stunts and Performances) and Mini Emporium (Exhibitions and Performances).

Written by PH

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