Before arriving at Afronation, I was actually quite concerned about how they would possibly pull it off. Being Ghanaian myself, I LOVE my homeland and I see soo much potential in it. I know Ghana at this moment, is one of the fastest-growing African economies. But this was the first time I have heard of such an event at such scale, in a country that is still got some development to do – especially with some infrastructure (roads, customer service and more). So of course, I was concerned about how this could possibly go right.
But I must say, I was completely blown away! Here is my review of AfroNation 2020.
The Year Of Return
December 2019, we saw the first year of Ghana’s drive to encourage African diasporans back to visit their homeland to invest and potentially settle. “The Year Of Return“, is what the Ghanian government called it. It’s estimated to have attracted 1.5 million people into Ghana during December and generated the economy an estimated $1.9billion!
Not only that, it attracted a host of celebrities including, Beyonce, Rick Ross, Ludacris, T.I, Popcaan, Kranium, Reggie Yates, Akala, Cardi B and many more.
Afronation couldn’t have picked a more prominent time to introduce themselves to the country that has inspired the whole movement. There is so much more meaning behind the year of return, it is a remembrance to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. 400 years on, they’re simply asking for their people to return to the roots of their ancestors.
The whole festival was hosted on the amazing Laboma Beach, in Accra. On the beach, the setup had everything from amazing stools of continental foods stools to some of the finest Ghanaian delicacy – obviously, the Ghana Jollof was on point. There were also pop-up shops from some local businesses, including Nail shops, clothing brands and more. So before getting lit, people were able to get a nice manicure…why not!
What really impressed, was the cashless wristbands. The ability to top up the wristbands with cash and then use it over the course of the three days was absolutely amazing! it really worked perfectly.
The stage design and lighting were astonishing. Each artist felt like they had their own stage design and it blended in nice and elegantly.
To top it off, the sound set up around the beach was perfect. No fuzziness, no bad feedback, just pure crisp sound all around.
Afronation went all out for this one. Hosted by UK’s very own Eddie Kadi and Ghana’s Shopsydoo. They couldn’t come ghana without bringing out some of Ghana’s top talent including Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, KiDi, Kwesi Arthur and Kuami Eugene.
As well as bringing together some of Africa’s greatest talent at this moment, including the likes of Davido, Rema, Wiz Kid, Burna Boy, Teni, DBanj and more. Not to forget some of UK’s very own Yxng Bane, Tion Wayne, Not3s, Wiley, Sneakbo and even The Composers.
Lastly, the Caribbean selection thanks to Jamaica’s very own Alkaline.
I think the biggest talking point for me was when Yxng Bane performed! A lucky couple got engaged during the process.
I think the only thing that was a bit annoying, was the fact the performance times for the artist changed a lot throughout the day. I was a bit frustrating having to watch Davido at 2am in the morning, after originally being told he was supposed to be on at 11 pm.
Overall, I was so impressed with how well organized the whole festival was. The vibe during the day was on point, everyone was there for a good vibe. The acts really came out and shut down, loads of energy and it was just great fun.
Afronation 2020 and beyond
If you missed Afronation Portugal and Ghana this year, I would be first to say, DO NOT miss the next wave of Afronationing. Be sure to stay tuned into to Afronation, as they travel to Portugal this summer and look out for Puerto Rico.