April 22, 2024

Emancipation Day is the annual celebration held to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the British colonies on August 1st, 1834. The annual event, which was initially observed in the Caribbean, is held from July to August each year.

Ghana, the Black Star of Africa and the gateway to the homeland of people of African descent in the Diaspora, launched its plans for the celebration on May 30 at the Obetsebi Lamptey Hall of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).

One of the activities set to be held ahead of the August 1 celebrations was a “Pre-Emancipation Day” festival, which was held on July 23 at the National Theatre in Accra.

The festival was a part of the “Hands Across Africa” initiative, which is spearheaded by the They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) Foundation and partnered by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC), Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), The Diaspora Affairs, and Yoks Investments.

The event saw a number of activities, including numerous musical performances from a number of local and international artistes, including Jamaican reggae icon Eric Donaldson.

One of the surprise features at the “Pre-Emancipation Day” event was the inclusion of an esports and gaming centre which took up most of the second floor of the National Theatre.

The centre was organised by the Esports Association, Ghana (EAG) and gave attendees the chance to try their hands on a number of games, including Just Dance on the Xbox 360, and participate in a FIFA 22 tournament on PlayStation 5 (PS5), among many others.

The esports and gaming centre looks like a continuation of the EAG’s plan to educate the public on the emerging sport, as some parents who brought their kids to the “Pre-Emancipation Day” festival got a chance to speak to the President of the EAG, Kwesi Hayford, about the gaming industry in the country and the benefits their kids could derive from it.