Mostly legends are admired and appreciated after they’re no more, but the good people at National Folklore Board have made it a point to document and celebrate them while they still have breath.
The National Folklore Board (NFB) is a constitutional body whose prime mandate is to protect and promote the folklore of Ghana. ‘Folklore’ in simple terms refers to the traditional beliefs and customs of a community. It can also be explained into detail as the literary, artistic and scientific expressions created, advanced and preserved by the ethnic communities of a country. Hence it was in line for the board to pay a courtesy call on a pioneer of palm wine music, Agya Koo Nimo.
Born Daniel Kwabena Boa Amponsem, Agya Koo Nimo is a leading folk musician who brought palm wine music and Highlife genres onto a bigger stage. He is currently a lecturer of Ethnomusicology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Agya has made a huge mark in our music industry as he was the president of Musicians’ Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) in 1979; he served for a decade. He was also appointed as the interim chairman of the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA) in 1985. The living legend has traveled around the world, has been honoured and awarded with gold medals in the process.
The acting director of NFB, Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante in an engaging visit to the residence and museum of Agya Koo Nimo discussed a great deal of topics. Through the conversation, Agya revealed that he plans to digitize his albums, writings, and art in general to serve as an inspiration for the young generation. He advises the youth to not lose grip on our tradition whilst creating art. The ethnomusicologist explained the concepts behind the drums and other instruments that make his music lively. Agya plans of expanding his self-owned museum to promote folklore.
Inasmuch as we modernize our culture it is always essential to hold on to our culture, because that identifies us as a people. With that being said the National Folklore Board is on a good mission, and their efforts shall be of great benefit to us all.