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Fuse ODG's TINA FESTIVAL Was Huge, With Enough Memories For The Rest of The Year

Exactly a week ago, FUSE ODG threw one of the best parties ever. TINA FESTIVAL was huge, with enough memories for the rest of the year, until the next one in 2020.

Sarkodie and Fuse ODG at the TINA FESTIVAL/ Photographed by Phylx Akakpo
With this feature, we show you how huge the festival was, and to begin with, how this whole TINA FESTIVAL idea came into being.

It has been 400 years since the first slave ship landed on our coast of gold, for gold and for blood. Since then, the very essence of our culture and our value as tenants of this earth has being under siege and threat. Africans were robbed of our wealth, and far more importantly our worth, more reason why our pride has been associated with little priority.
Fuse ODG and Damian JR Jong Marley in the studio during the BRA FIE recording.
Well, its 2019, and all that is on the verge of changing as Fuse ODG and his New Africa project and colleagues are striving to alter the narrative.

The New Africa agenda has been Fuse ODG's way of way leveraging on his widespread influence to project African culture and contribute to its development. Over the years, the Britain based Ghanaian has associated with and founded several initiatives like the school construction in AKOSOMBO, the Nana dolls, and of course the diasporadical campaign for black folks to return to the motherland, inspired by his most recent song with Damian Marley - Bra Fie. Just recently Fuse added an initiative to further popularize and develop the Ghanaian culture with a festival dubbed 'THIS IS NEW AFRICA FESTIVAL'

The TINA festival was held on the 4th of January at the Round pavilion (Ghana International Trade Fair) in Accra. However, FUSE ODG facilitated two successful events thus the 'Nation Builders Day' and the 'Global Diaspora Conference and Exhibition' prior to the festival. With the former, FUSE ODG led a group of volunteers, including Stefflon Don to Akosombo (where his school is located) with the quest of interacting and inspiring the pupils, painting the school and re-orienting the volunteers on the need to give back to the African continent not only by means of charity but profitable investments as well.  
Fuse ODG and Stefflon Don painting the WoodWorld Mission Charity School in Akosombo, Ghana founded by FUSE ODG. Credit: AmeyawDebrah.com

 On the 3rd of January, the President of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo together with award winning actress Ama K Abebrese, Samia Nkrumah (Daughter of the late Kwame Nkrumah and a political activist) were all invited to the Accra International Conference Centre (A.I.C.C) for the maiden edition of the Global Diaspora Conference and Exhibition. The conference was aimed at amassing thought, ideas and discussions about how to pushing 'Ghana beyond aid' and mobilizing the sleeping giant of the diaspora. Also in attendance were BBC's Reggie Yates and Chakka Bars of IHeart Radio.
Atoine Mensah, radio host with EIB seated next to Fuse ODG/ Picture by Rob Photography
Then came the climax, the TINAFEST dubbed #KenteParty was a day long fair of great Ghanaian food, people and products. The majestic Round Pavilion of the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre was all colorful, with Kente. Ghanain acts like Feli Nuna, Medikal, Kojoe Cue and Shaker, Joey B and Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie all took turns to perform. And for a crowd that had probably had too much of Reggie Rockstone's Aftawerk Waakye to eat or Mz Black's tasty varieties of fruit cocktails to wash down the pepper, their reaction to performance sessions unprecedented.

Eddie Kadie, Stefflon Don, and Skepta at the TINA Festival
 
Event Audience

To have seen Stefflon Don, D Banj, Skepta, Kojo Funds, Sarkodie, FUSE ODG himself, we still maintain that (and in support of that part in our headline that says the festival gave enough memories for the rest of the year) the audience at the TINA Festival might just be the luckiest of all. Suffice it to say, we might never get an artiste line up this diverse and top rated.

With an event audience observed to be fairly balanced Ghana based and UK based fans, the difference was not quite clear. TINA Festival was a proof of the Ghanaian - Uk synergy. One could easily feel the thirst for songs like Joey B's 'Tonga', Stefflon Don's 'Hurtin Me' and Senseless (which may be a little foreign to the Ghanaian music market), Kojo Funds' 'Warning' and 'Dun Talking', Skepta's Africa-inspired 'Bad Energy' through the loud screams and chants for he songs to be re-performed.


Production

TINA fest was officially launched somewhere December (according to Peacefmonline.com ) last year but for some of us fortunate to be close to some industry insiders like Barima Kwabena Owusu and Godwin Dogbey (by virtue of social media), the hint about this noble event was given as far back as 2017. That only goes on to proof the amount of planning and consulting work invested in to the TINA Festival. Without an accurate number of the audience served, we can estimate about a little over 2000 people in attendance, not forgetting the tens of thousands reached via live stream by UTV and SVTV.

However, for an event, where calls kept coming through on the D-day on how much tickets were being sold for, we think, there was more to achieve. It was hard not to have realised this, may be that was a strategy because some past events have blazed the same trail, but having some experiences with Ghanaian audiences, all information including how much a ticket costs could turn up the patronage numbers. NB: This is not to say the price of 100 cedis per ticket is high (the price was fair as compared to some of our December concerts), all we mean is that people should be prepped adequately. There could be a whole group of people who may not vouch for that effort of getting to the event grounds only to be turned down because the price was not prepared for. In some extreme cases, some people may also resort to the thinking that, it could be for invited guests only.

In general, with the results produced for a first time show, we are hopeful that production targets set by the team were met, and it can only get better.

Security

First time ever, a metallic scanner was used on a Ghanaian event grounds to check for potentially harmful objects like knives etc. Security is one of the many fields we would have to doff hats to organizing team for taking very conscious and improved measures. There were abundant security personnel on the grounds, and it will be odd for any one to not feel safe.

But then we will have to ask the renowned event photographer Phylx Akakpo, whose great pictures you see in some sections of the write-up, how he managed to get these memorable photos after constant battle with the security personnel close to the stage. Very great results even with a very limiting space.
 
Post Production

It was long after the event, when we chanced on Dee Money's twitter timeline, where he had photos of himself and colleague artistes like Stonebwoy. Tina Festival with all of its thrills for fans was also an influential grounds for peer to peer connection amongst several artistes and their teams making the event one of the most important on the Ghanaian event calendar.

Just like this feature and some more others like Gabriel Myers Hansen ' ONCE UPON A TIME IN A NEW AFRICA, A Round Pavilion Party Happened', there have been several efforts after the event, aimed at documenting the festival's experiences and sustaining its relevance.

The organising team is also yet to publish a video on youtube that highlights all the exclusive moments from the festival and its prior activities.


  
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