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University of Ghana hosts exhibition on slavery at Elmina Castle

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The Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana, in conjunction with the Zeeuws Archief in Netherlands, has opened an exhibition on slavery at the historical Elmina Castle aimed at “inspiring a fair world for all.”

With a major theme of “Resistance and Resilience: Narratives from Northern Ghana and Zeeuws Archief,” the exhibition which will last till October, has two sub-themes entitled “Slavery resistance narratives in Northern Ghana; Every human being is a human being,” and “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: The unity and freedom’s narratives from the Zeeland archives”.

The exhibition, which is organised with support from the Netherlands Embassy and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), according to the Director of the Institute of African Studies, Prof. Samuel Aniegye Ntewusu, will “combine text, audio-visual and physical objects to vividly tell the story of slavery and the struggle for freedom.”

“This exhibition exemplifies the shared commitment to preserving and honouring historical narratives that shape society’s understanding of the past,” Prof. Ntewusu said in a statement while declaring the epoch event open.

“It also tells the narratives of the people Sankana, Sandema, Salaga, Gwollu, Nalerigu and Pikworo communities and the impact of the slave trade on these communities

“The exhibition, which would run till October, is expected to help patrons reflect on the stories and renew their commitment to honouring the resilience and resistance of those who endured the adversities of the slave trade.

“It is also anticipated to inspire all to strive towards a future of justice, equality and respect for all.”

Prof. Ntewusu also noted that the subject of slavery remains a global discourse making the exhibition of local, national and international relevance.

“While the story of the inhumane treatment suffered by communities in Northern Ghana had been untold until now, research had challenged the widely held narrative about the enslaved as docile and passive victims.”

Also speaking on the exhibition, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Jeroen Verheul, said it connected two sides of the same coin and looked at the impact on both Ghana and the Netherlands looking at the resistance and resilience of the slavery history which was usually undocumented and forgotten.

He expressed the hope that the exhibition would ensure the current and future generations resisted all forms of slavery.

Culture

Ghanaian music producer wins $250k in copyright damages against CAF

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A Ghanaian music producer, Kwabena Ofei-Kwadey Nkrumah, also known as Spiky, has won $250,000 and legal costs of GH¢40,000 against the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after he sued the football governing body for intellectual property rights violations.

Nkrumah had dragged CAF to the Commercial Court 7 in Accra for not seeking permission from him before using the beat of his music titled, ‘Okomfo Anokye,’ as part of promotional materials for the 2018 CAF awards.

While delivering judgement in the case on Wednesday, Justice Emmanuel Loddoh who presided over the case found CAF guilty of failing to obtain legal permission before using Nkrumah’s music.

Nkrumah who spoke after the verdict went in his favour, said CAF’s act of using his song without permission was a total disrespect for his intellectual property rights, causing him to lose money from any licensing of his music for commercial use.

Before instituting the lawsuit, Spiky had called out CAF in 2029 for copyright infringement in a series of tweets.

He had noted that even though CAF had sent an email admitting to using his work without his consent and had apologised, they did not reply to him when he made a demand for compensation.

“This is a win for the creative industry: CAF vs Spiky’s,” he wrote on social media.

While admitting to the offence, CAF said the musical work was “available online for free download without any restrictions or conditions, to use for the artwork posted on CAF’s social media platforms.”

They however, denied using the soundtrack for commercial purposes, citing that the CAF Awards was not a profit-making venture.

They further explained that they had deleted the work from their social media accounts and apologised to Spiky.

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Two African lions make record-breaking swim in crocodile-infested river in Uganda

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Two African lions, Jacob and Tibu, have made history by swimming at night to break the record for the longest swim in predator-infested waters, attempting to cross the Kazinga Channel in Uganda.

According Alexander Braczkowski, from the Griffith University’s Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security who led a team that used high-definition heat-detection cameras on drones to film the two male lions crossing the river at night, the feat was even more remarkable as Jacob made the 1 kilometre-long swim with only three legs, having lost his fourth in a poaching incident when he was caught in a steel trap.

“This swim across a channel filled with high densities of hippos and crocodiles is a record breaker and is a truly amazing show of resilience in the face of such risk,” Dr Braczkowski said.

“Jacob is Africa’s most resilient lion and he is a cat with nine lives given the adversities he had overcome.

Jacob has become famous for surviving a multitude of life-threatening incidents, including being gored by a buffalo, having his family poisoned for the lion body part trade, and escaping after being caught in a poacher’s snare.

“The fact that he and his brother Tibu have managed to survive as long as they have in a national park that has experienced significant human pressures and high poaching rates is a feat in itself,” Dr Braczkowski said.

In an article published in the recent edition of Ecology and Evolution, Braczkowski said the two lions showed strong their determination to find females by ploughing on through waters teeming with crocodiles and hippos and arrived at the opposite bank, some 1.5 kilometers later.

“So, from a behavioral standpoint, it’s fascinating to see them cross such a large water body and over such a long distance.

“I think it’s also a testament to a much larger problem, and it’s a symptom of a much larger problem. And that’s why animals are having to take much bigger risks in a human-dominated world,” he adds.

Braczkowski believes Jacob and Tibu were forced to make the swim due to a lack of females in the national park.

“Female lions are more susceptible to being killed by farmers in retaliation for the killing of cattle and this has led to males outnumbering lionesses.

“A healthy lion population should have a ratio of two females to one male, but in Queen Elizabeth National Park, those numbers have been reversed, and there are twice as many males as females,” says Braczkowski.

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