It was themed Mata Wata which told the many stories behind water and other things. But this year's Chale Wote Street Arts Festival was more than water. It was love and I found one.
It’s purely arts and could pass for Ghana’s biggest outdoor arts event. The event, first started in 2011, is aimed at creating an environment where audience will reconnect to nature through art.
The festival presents interactive installations, street painting, photo exhibitions, food and fashion marketplace, and graffiti murals.
Some revelers at the 2017 Chale Wote Street Art Festival
Last year’s event is estimated to have attracted over 30,000 revelers, with 2017 attracting more including me.
It was at this year’s event that I fell in love again with my ex of over 15 years. She jilted me for another lover when we were barely in the Junior High School (JHS).
Painting by Australian artist Jacqui Lewis [credit: Chale Wote]
She was beautiful, pure, innocent and with voluptuous lips. And she had this charming smile when we parted ways in a most unfriendly manner.
She found me in a discreet conversation with one of her best friends and that was enough to get me my exit card.
I was hurt and felt my heart raced beyond its mandated speed. My heart ached and every tear that broke from my eyes worsened it.
I was later to move on and she did same.
Legend graffiti artist, Mohawudu by one of his creations
But after getting stuck in human traffic for more than 20 minutes at James Town, the venue for the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, I knew something good was in stock - maybe the human traffic was a sign of a good time.
The paintings from seasoned artists both local and international were enough to remind me of the theme for this year’s festival.
Chale Wote 2017
Wata Mata screamed the theme on the official 2017 poster for the Chale Wote Street Art Festival.
There’s surely a story behind everything we see in this world including the water we drink. And there is a deity called God.
All the things we’re proud of are connected to someone. So after admiring this art work at the Festival, it didn’t come to mind that I was praising my ex of over 15 years.
She stood there with her brush in hand like a judge who finds it difficult to part with his gavel and asked how I had been. I don’t remember what my response was because it was faint to settle in my consciousness.
But we spoke, spoke and spoke some more until I fell in love again with art.
I had been painting while growing up at Mamprobi in Accra but was to be disconnected from this love when I was promoted to class six. After over 15 years, I think I have fallen in love again and Chale Wote did the magic.
Chale Wote translated as friend let's go is all about falling in love with yourself and what you love doing again. Parts of Accra may be dirty but the dirt has its own love.
It's not late for any of us to reconnect to his childhood dreams. We can be more if we are desirous to be more.
Written by Austin Brakopowers. You can read more of his articles via www.brakopowers.com and follow him on Instagram @realbrakopowers