The Centre for National Culture, Kumasi, in collaboration with the National Commission on Culture has been organising COVID-19 awareness campaign in Ashanti Region. Over the past weeks, the campaign has been organised in these areas – Tafo Municipal, Kumasi Metropolis, and Oforikrom Municipal, all within Ashanti Region.
The objective of the campaign is a direct response to coronavirus pandemic. It encourages citizens on the need to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing of face masks, hand washing and applying hand sanitisers with the correct alcohol content, to help mitigate the spread and impact among residents within Ashanti Region.
The Centre has been using the opportunity to distribute free face mass, hand sanitisers, T-shirts to the participants at the programme venues.
The campaign, funded by the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, is intended to correct the misinformation/disinformation surrounding COVID-19. It is also to ensure access to culturally relevant information to increase awareness raising, and to significantly curb the spread of the virus.
The campaign takes the form of Theater for Development (TfD), which is a powerful communication tool for community development. Performance encompasses drama, poetry, choral music and traditional music and dance; all performed with a thematic concern on coronavirus.
The drama, Corona ‘Kodiawuo’ written and directed by Emmanuel Jewel Peprah Mensah involves acting out scenes on coronavirus with actors playing the roles of individual characters in the play and telling “a life-changing story” with scientific facts on the coronavirus pandemic. The drama is beautifully interwoven with informative dialogues and music helping audience to remember the story with a powerful visual force.
Speaking to the media, the Director of Centre for National Culture-Kumasi, Barima Asumadu-Sakyi expressed worry about the current trend of the coronavirus pandemic and the non-observance of the COVID-19 safety protocols. He therefore appealed to the participants to observe the safety protocols to remain safe and alive.
On the side of Madam Janet Edna Nyame, Executive Director of National Commission on Culture, she was optimistic the campaign “will give the participants the opportunity to once again become more conscious about the pandemic and help disseminate their knowledge among their family members, friends and neighbours and make them aware on COVID-19 health issues”.
Expressing her excitement about the campaign, Health official from the Oforikrom Municipal, Rosemary Afriyie Barimah, indicated that the drama performance is a great way to enhance community sensitisation of the virus. She added, as it is performed for a local audience in a local language, “it has the ability to reach an audience member with a particular message that can have a lasting impact”.