There are many holiday destinations worldwide to celebrate Christmas but Ghana specifically Takoradi in the Western Region is where you want to be. People from various walks of life commute to the region during Christmas to celebrate the Ankos Festival. The Ankos Festival is a masquerade carnival deeply rooted in the history, culture and lifestyle of the people of Takoradi.
During the festival, masquerade clubs march the streets with fancy outfits (which are peculiar to each club) accompanied by brass bands. They also display interesting dance moves whilst the crowds cheer them on.
I journey from Accra to Takoradi for 2 nights to document this festival in photographs.
It is the eve of Christmas, I make my way to the market square in the city to observe preparations for the street carnival the following day. I meet the leader of one masquerade club called “Ohyewakomem” who takes me around the clubhouse.
On Christmas Day over 20 clubs with their brass bands converge at Ghana Secondary Technical School, to begin the street carnival. Other clubs also meet at the Takoradi Mall. They arrive in pimped rides and show off their driving skills. It is around 11:00 am. The morning begins with “gospel” tunes. I hear tunes like, “Yesu ka wo ho. Odi w’anim, odi w’akyi…” Club members sing along in loud voices but as more people begin to gather, the band switches to hiplife tunes from popular artists in Ghana such as Kofi Kinaata and Black Sherif.
It is late afternoon. All the clubs gather that the market square to showcase their fancy outfits and dance moves. Each club together with its band is given about 10 minutes to display.
I reserve all rights to my photographs. ©️George Koranteng.