Luckily, entertainment is not hard to find throughout the country.
Be it highlife music, jazz, performing arts, African dancing,
theatre, cinema or video rental, all are available and accessible
once you know where to find them.
Highlife music is the form of entertainment that first comes
to mind in Ghana, and although it is not quite as everywhere
as one might imagine, there are several venues where you can
hear wonderful highlife music and dance the night away.
Highlife is a tradition in Ghana that traces back to the Fante
recreational music of the southwest coast of Ghana, which was
subsequently influenced in part by military marching music and
other Western music played by regimental bands of the European
forts in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Other outside influences came from sea shanties - tunes introduced
by seamen from the Caribbean, the Americas and neighbouring
African countries, played on portable instruments such as guitar,
banjo and harmonica. A third influence on highlife was the hymns
introduced by missionaries and school teachers, popular among
the Christian-educated Ghanaian elite.
This local and African neo-folk style became generically known
as "highlife" in the 1920s, when it was incorporated
into the repertoires of the high-class dance orchestras and
spread throughout Ghana. Subsequently, many variations of highlife
evolved such as "palmwine" music and "Ashanti
blues", and eventually it was also influenced by the swing
bands introduced by the Allied troops, culminating in a fusion
of swing, calypso and Afro-Cuban music.
Contemporary highlife incorporates pop, soul, jazz, and Afro-beat
as well as reggae and disco. More recently, there has been an
upsurge of gospel-highlife bands, which have introduced many
female singers to the stage.
Groups to look out for are the famous African Brothers, George
Darko, Daddy Lumba, the City Boys, Pat Thomas, Paapa Yankson,
Pozo Hayes, and for gospel-highlife bands; the Tagoe Sisters,
Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Suame Pentecost Fire Band, to name
a few. However, nowadays you will find more than just highlife.
Many of the clubs play the latest American, European and Caribbean
music. In fact, you can find just about any musical genre if
you look around.
In Ghana, weeknights tend to be somewhat quiet, but on weekends
the nightlife livens up considerably, and is considered to be
among the most dynamic in West Africa. There are plenty of nightclubs
and bars in the major cities and small towns.
Most Ghanaian cinemas are open air. There are few air-conditioned,
indoor theatre which shows many recently released Ghanaian and
foreign as well as children's films.
Although nice cinemas are few, you can always rent a video!
There are many video rental shops, most of which carry PAL/SECAM
(British system) tapes, although quite a few also stock American-standard
NTSC. Prices vary depending on how recent the films are.
Cultural Entertainment And Drama
Cultural centers of other countries also offer exciting entertainment
through visiting troupes and shows. There are several drama
groups in Ghana.
Music And Live
Of course, for private parties, you can hire a live band! Just
ask around - they can be found through personal reference.