“Chale Wote” is a very popular phrase in the Ghanaian Ga dialect which translates to “Let’s Go”, and is also the name given to the ever popular rubber bathroom slippers. Depending on what you are saying, “Chale Wote” has it’s own meaning at various times of the year. However, in the month of August, Chale Wote means only one thing – the most popular street art festival in the Ghana which sees thousands of art and fun lovers converge in James Town (Accra) to have memorable experiences of colour, art and culture.
The vision of the organizers is to cultivate a wider audience for the arts industry in West Africa by breaking creative boundaries and using art as a viable form to rejuvenate public spaces, the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival challenges both artists and community-based audiences to connect through art.
Here are five key things to know about the Chale Wote Street Art Festival:
1. Once a year but not just one day
Being that the weekend is when many people get the time off work to really enjoy the festival, it is the notion of many that Chale Wote is just a day’s event. In some cases, people even think it’s a two day event which takes place on Saturday and Sunday. However, Chale Wote street art festival is a full week event, with the weekend as the climax of activities. This year, the festival begins on Monday, August 20 and ends on Sunday, August 26.
2. There is more than just colourful paintings
The Chale Wote festival is synonymous with colourful paintings on walls, canvases, the floor and many other backgrounds. These artworks usually tell stories. Some are very simple and relatable while others are very detailed and sophisticated. However, this festival goes far beyond paintings. Street art is not just about paintings. At Chale Wote, you will see fashion, eat good food, enjoy great African music and see interesting fashion trends. It’s a great platform where many talents in the creative arts industry come out to show the world what they can do.
3. It’s FREE
Chale Wote is a free breakaway from the stress of work, a time to explore the richness in art and a time to maybe make some money. You don’t pay to enter the festival. You can walk through the festival, feed your eyes and enjoy the whole atmosphere without having to spend a cedi. However, the art and its accompanying activities are often so good that you will end up buying one or two. You may also be thirsty or hungry at some point so you may need to carry some cash on you. Admission to the event is however FREE of charge.
4. Promotes Ghanaian Culture and Tourism
Ghana is a country rich in culture, tradition and heritage. Chale Wote is one festival that really sells the country’s rich culture through street art. Tourists from all over the world come to witness this art and cultural phenomenon.
5. Perfect Vacation
The timing is perfect and the destination, wonderful. In August, the sun is just great on the coast of Ghana. Taking a vacation to Accra around this time is always a wholesome delight. You get to enjoy the Chale Wote festival, see all the colour, style and beauty while you explore the great beaches on the coast. You can go fishing with the locals, see tourist attractions such as the Lighthouse, the Usher Fort, James Fort, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Accra Arts Centre and the Independence Arc which is coincidentally on the main stretch of road where the festival takes place.
CREDIT: Jumia Travel