Wogbejeke: nation’s history told in one colourful act
Recently, I had the privilege to witness Chief Moomen's Wogbejeke, a beautiful depiction of the history of Ghana at the National Theatre.
The history of Ghana is full of twists and turns with various legends about how the various tribes in the country came to be. In a conventional sense, it could take one months, or even years to narrate the entire history of this beautiful country without leaving out any nitty gritty.
But here, Chief Moomen and his team did exactly the impossible.They succeeded in telling this story in just a couple of hours.
The beautiful set was well demarcated and touched with the right amount of lighting which brought the set to life with the perfect visual effect. The costume, also added colour to the weaving account of Ghana's past.
The play opens with the history of Northern Ghana. Where the people migrated from and how the various tribes settled at their various locations in modern day Ghana.
Food to language, lifestyle and indeed, the entire culture of the people, Wogbejeke's talented cast depicted everything you need to know about the people of northern Ghana.
Then the Ashantis: the various wars and great tales about their royalty. Because of the great role these people played in pre-colonial and colonial eras, their story was more on what they did than where they migrated from.
Here too, the characters did not come short in carrying out their roles. A story that many historians have struggled to digest, was crisply expressed in minutes, with every important detail touched on.
With a blend of humour, suspense and style, audience present at the National Theatre on Monday were served the perfect night to commemorate Ghana 57th Republic Day.
A play about Ghana's history could have been complete with the Fantes. From their migration to the role they played in pre-colonial and colonialism, Moomen's Wogbejeke left no stone unturned in Fantes' story as coastal dwellers.
These people, found in the south-western parts of the country, particularly in Central and Western regions were the first to have encounter with Arabs and European traders and hence became the heartbeat of civilisation and education in the country.
The Volta Region and its great migration story was not left out. In a subtle way, the characters did not only mimicked the life-style of the Ewe speaking people, but also captured its great migration, how they escaped from their wicked chief to settle in their modern location.
As it is said, the best is always reserved for the last. The Ga people in the Greater Accra Region climaxed the history of the various tribes in Ghana. Many stories and legends might have their own perspective about the people history of the Gas, but I have not seen or heard one told as beautifully and detailed as Wogbejeke's.
The play also tackles Ghanaians ideologies about politics from pre-colonial, colonial and post colonialism, religion, music, culture and dance, fashion and any other thing that has influenced our history from dawn to dusk, and from the beginning to today.