Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ghanaian PSAs



Ghanaian song texts, whether popular or traditional, are often concerned with didactic, educational matters. Traditional/highlife songs may extol particular morals and values, while storytelling serves to impress various lessons upon listeners. In more recent times, traditional groups (such as Adowa/Nwomkro ensembles) have integrated songs into their repertoire which deal with such current topics as HIV/AIDS awareness and the dangers of reckless driving. In this same vein, hiplife (Ghana's ruling popular music) may be used as a platform for a variety of public service announcements, whether advertising politicians or raising awareness about any number of issues. 

The four very catchy, sometimes amusing videos I've posted here represent hiplife/highlife PSAs broadcast over radio and television. These songs are rather unusual, and most are incredibly catchy. First (above) is a popular commercial from 2007, which explains in musical form the logistics of the currency change which occurred that same year. Unfortunately the artist is unknown. This is also one of the catchiest songs ever!


Keep the Money Clean - Akoo Nana & Castro

Second is "Keep the Money Clean" by hiplifers Akoo Nana and Castro. As demonstrated in the video, these artists urge Ghanaians to "keep our Cedi clean" by using wallets and avoiding crumpling bills.


    Efinye - Lucky Mensah

Third, Lucky Mensah (a somewhat older highlife musician) appears in "Efinye" dressed as a sanitation worker, telling listeners to keep Ghana's cities clean.



Ntom Tom Be Wu (Aha Yede Remix) - Nana Boroo

Finally, we have a remix of Nana Boroo's popular song "Aha Yede." In "Ntom Tom Be Wu," Boroo discusses ways in which Ghanaians may avoid malaria.  Highlights include a dance party in a giant mosquito net!

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