Wiyaala has made another interesting move by taking her annual Djimba World Festival back to Funsi, where as a child she use to organise the village children to entertain the Chief. It’s counter-intuitive initiatives like these which are contributing to Wiyaala’s ever growing world wide popularity. It was no surprise when the BBC named Wiyaala as one of their “Celebrated African Women” of 2018.
It’s by taking the Djimba World Festival to her far away village, that Wiyaala can offer the wider world a window through which to look at a truly authentic African event. In making such moves, the Upper West singer songwriter, popularly known as the “Lioness of Africa”, is year on year, patiently building a life time brand that is encouraging more and more foreigners to respond “Wiyaala” when you say “Ghana”.
Wiyaala’s goal is to create a community focused event, with the community as much a part of the festival as the performers. She achieves this through four main themes, social responsibility, a children’s talent show, traditional performance and a contemporary concert. The first was a collaboration with Bliss Eye Care, an Upper West NGO lead by Optometrist, Dr Zakaria Alhassan Balure, to bring a free eye clinic to treat visually impaired children. The second strand, was to create a three day child star talent competition which included the prize of a free recording session with Wiyaala. The third element was a traditional dancing and cultural display by the Kyansia Troup from Funsi. The three day festival then wrapped up with a concert, which was headlined by King Ayisoba and Wiyaala alongside local talents who also got their chance to shine.
Wiyaala acknowledged thanks to all who contributed: “I want say thank you to the whole community of Funsi who helped me build the stage, the guys who volunteered to do security and maintained order, the artists who performed, the dancers, the children and especially Doctor Zak of Bliss Eye Care and King Ayisoba who travelled all the way from Accra to be with us. We’ll do it again in 2019, God willing!”
Watch the Djimba World Festival 2018 videos below: