Quality content suitable for audience who are children have become hard to come by lately. In these days that almost every media platform has been polluted by violence and sex among others, it is almost impossible to leave your children alone to watch even cartoons all by themselves. They may inadvertently be exposed to something ill.
Children in their formative years are very fragile and vulnerable. Whatever they consume can have an indelible impact on them. A child is very much influenced by what they see or hear. With the media being a strong agent of socialization, it goes without saying that what our children are exposed to will have even more effect on them than the values we intentionally inculcate in them.
If we will want to win the war against corruption, for instance, we have to start instilling values of discipline in our children through the media. We may have to begin teaching them patriotism as early as possible through theatre, for instance, because they are the generation that will be filling the spots of leadership sooner or later. One of the main ways we can pass on these values is through content carefully packaged for them.
Over the years, great Ghanaian children content have played a major role in teaching and forming values in our children, youth and sometimes, even adults. By The Fireside told interesting schemes of Kwaku Ananse and how he always tried to outwit others with his wisdom. These stories were laden with great life lessons one could easily learn from such engaging content.
Growing up, KIDDAFEST was one the platforms many of us were not only entertained but also educated. We got to learn a lot about our society at this arts and culture festival. This flagship event of the National Theatre of Ghana helped in molding the character and mindset of our generation, pointing to how important arts and culture are to the development of a people.
Coincidentally, this year marks National Theatre’s 25th anniversary and as part of its year-long events, a special version of KIDDAFEST will climax the celebrations this December. Like it has always been, KIDDAFEST is going to be an opportunity for our children to showcase their unrefined talents on a national platform. They will go all out to tell the Ghanaian story in their own language.
The three-day event is going to bring together a lot of schools across the capital city to show forth their inherent skills on stage. KIDDAFEST 2018 is a festival for children and performed by children. Themed on “Sustaining our cultural values”, this year’s festival will give children the opportunity to delve into selected Ghanaian cultures, research and develop an artistic performance or work that touches on cultural values that bonds us and promotes the African. Each performing school will be allowed to select one of the ten (10) regions in Ghana, delve into their cultural heritage and use their findings to present a performance.
In these times of fading African identity, this festival comes at an opportune time to encourage our children creatively make content that will remind them of their roots and why they do what they do. Our cultural values are important to our development and it is essential these values are instilled into our children at the least opportunity.
The list of programmes lined up for the festival will touch on all African arts and culture forms namely crafts, dance, theatre, drama, music, brass band competition, poetry, visual arts, painting and props and costume design. There will also be other side attraction events like bouncy castles, food stalls, face painting, art markets and many more. The holistic event is set to develop every mental faculty of the child.
KIDDAFEST 2018 has been one of National Theatre’s main events for children. Running annually for more than two decades, it has been a platform that has birthed many national figures in the entertainment industry, indicating National Theatre’s commitment to unearthing new talents, nurturing them and positioning them as the next generation of creative thinkers and artists.
Definitely, this year’s is going to be the cynosure of all eyes, considering all the creative works that are being prepared to be showcased.
National Theatre’s objective has been to re–emphasize the importance of the creative arts to the tourism industry and the economy as a whole. As they seek to encourage and educate the Ghanaian child on the importance of the arts and its benefits if they choose to have a career in the sector, KIDDAFEST will continually be that platform where they will sharpen their skills.
The event is slated for the National Theatre of Ghana from Thursday, 13th December to Saturday, 15th December, 2018 and will span from 10am to 5pm each day. The all-exciting event will treat our children to great fun.
KIDDAFEST 2018 will usher children, parents, guardians, teachers, head teachers, principals, school proprietors etc. into their yuletide season. It will be a whole new level of great performances. What a way to start Christmas!
By Kobina Ansah
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of an Accra-based writing firm, Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com).