Formerly Bassline Jazz Club, +233 (named after the Ghanaian dialling code) is an intelligently designed club that has live bands six days a week. Inside, there are two floors. The band play on a small stage downstairs, but can also be seen from the U-shaped upstairs. There’s ample seating outside too, which looks onto a glass wall behind which the band play. And external speakers mean its almost as loud outside as in. Each section has its own bar with attentive servers. The food – burgers, hotdogs, chicken, chips, kebabs and pork chops – is mostly off the grill. The music varies between highlife, blues, jazz (although rarely hip hop) and anything else good. There’s only an entrance charge (usually GH¢10) when the band merits it. It’s a hugely popular venue, and rightly so. Probably the best place in Accra to see live music at the moment.
A fun night of tunes from the 1990s. Dress up in your finest '90s attire and get into the mood. There will be free nibbles before midnight and the music won't stop until 4am. Old school hip hop non stop. It is advised to purchase tickets beforehand as this is a popular event but tickets will also be available on the door. 50ghc
Every Thursday from 8pm, Burger & Relish presents The Acoustic Sessions live on the terrace.
Firefly is a confident nightspot – the industrial chic of its whitewashed brickwork, dim lighting and edgy beats attracts a preened international clientele. A backlit bar glows with premium blends, with cocktail aficionados, spirit lovers and wine drinkers alike pull up stools to confer with chatty staff who sport braces and the odd jauntily angled hat.
FLOW: Live & Unplugged is on every Tuesday evening and tomorrow, we bring you live band music by The Groove Agent Band. Accra is hot and we know that, hence we are preparing a time capsule for you between 6pm and 9pm tomorrow.Think of your favourite Motown Records song and let me know. Some of mine are by Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder.Time: 6pm-9pmDate: Tuesday 6th DecemberVenue: Kristal Accra, Osu (Behind SSNIT Hospital, Next to Mamma Mia Pizza)Entry is FREE so come early and don't miss out!To *reserve a table*, please email us on email@example.com or call us on 0246824274
While the dim lighting and pumping tunes advertise it as a drinkers’ hangout, Firefly Lounge Bar also has a comprehensive international menu to accompany its premium spirits. A selection of tapas is a tasty and swift re-fuel for barflies, as is the selection of Middle Eastern dips (GH¢18-28), with crisp slices of French bread for ladling fresh hummus, baba ghanoush and labne. Mains include steaks and Spanish classics such as saltimbocca. The fries are the perfect alliance of crisp and fluffy, and the goat’s cheese croquettes are as wonderful as they sound. As a sophisticated nightspot, Firefly is faultless; as a restaurant, it has some real strengths and sophisticated flavours, but the menu could benefit from a couple of tweaks to back up the price tag.
Fresh and bold Mediterranean flavours reign at this friendly Italian eatery. It’s recently been expanded, and diners have a choice between an indoor restaurant area, outdoor patio, or lounging on the banquettes in the bar area. Patrons devour Italian staples packed with triumphant combinations of smoky black olives, rich cheese, tender artichokes, full-bodied passatas and cured meats. Mains include tagliata with parmesan and rucola (GH¢45), but most people opt for the pizzas (GH¢28 on average), which are superb – giant bubbling disks liberally topped. For a loaded treat, the Quattro Stagioni has mushrooms and artichokes aplenty, and the piquant Diavolo is a simple pleasure of salami drizzled with chili oil. Those heroic enough to vanquish a whole pizza can revive with a espresso in stylish white cups.
One of the most happening bars in Accra right now, thanks to its relaxed, music-forward approach to the good things in life: alcohol, fried food and really great music. It’s a tiny space that tumbles out onto the street when things really kick off late on a Friday or Saturday. Album covers and black-and-white photos of music stars adorn the walls as Ghana’s best music blasts out (often live on the terrace; check out the Facebook page and Twitter account for details – highlife legend Ebo Taylor has even played here). Even the cocktails use great ingredients not found anywhere else: the Republica is a caipirihna made from traditional palm wine. On a sunny day (and yes, it’s always sunny), try one of their ‘Wild Beers’: the Beer Sap has bissap concentrate added to it. Fittingly, the food is good beer fodder too – the cassava chips are a fabulous drinking accompaniment, while the Fire Go Burn You pepper soup and Ye Ye Goat curry, for around GH¢12, are superb value for something this tasty.
The Shisha Lounge is Osu’s newest hotspot, filled well into the night with partygoers attracted by its laidback vibe, outdoor seating, superb DJ roster and some very fine cocktails. It’s a small, but well-designed space with a series of patios, outdoor lounge seating areas, plus an indoor bar and lounge. They turn out great pizzas from the bespoke oven, plus sharing platters. There are, of course, shisha pipes to hire if you’d like to indulge. It’s a classy well-thought out joint that steamed to the top of the Accra VIP list. This is a place that is all about the good times! Open daily from 6pm to very late.
Kaya meaning ‘home’ in both Japanese and Zulu and 'pure' in Greek, and wellbeing lies at the heart of this multi-experience. Here, we care about the beautiful outdoor bar. Kaya is at its most alluring at night, when the sparkling terrace is illuminated and transformed into one of Accra’s best party venues. The vibe is soulful sounds and jazz. On Fridays it becomes resident to one of Accra’s most renowned DJs, who draws a younger crowd to the very buzzy cocktail bar. The cocktails are unmissable, with hyperactive mixologists using inventive ingredients to create masterpieces.
The hugely respected Ghanaian artist Ablade Glover established this renowned arts venue, which has become one of the most important of its kind in Ghana. There are three expansive floors of art displayed in cool marble galleries. Some are by established artists, such as Owusu Ankomah and George Hughes, whose paintings are reminiscent of Jean Michel Basquiat and Willem De Kooning, while others are by new and upcoming artists like Ebenezer Borlabie. Market, rural and urban scenes are interspersed with political satires – and naturally, there are also the shrouded figures and staccatoed crowd scenes by Glover himself. There are collectors’ pieces too: Asafo flags with appliquéd and embroidered symbols; ancient strip-woven Kente cloths by the Akan and Ewe; African masks of the type that inspired Picasso; and intricately carved furniture. Also on show are full-sized coffins in the shapes of crabs, running shoes and eagles. Everything is for sale. There’s a lovely pool out the back.
James Barnor’s Jamestown Revisited as the names indicates, explores through his photography, the narrative on the history of the city of Accra, where he was born and practiced photography. James Barnor’s work freezes in time the nostalgia and the spirit of Accra in a way that allows one to reimagine what Accra could be...a city with great potential. Some of the key questions that this exhibition explores, are the social backgrounds of the archived families who are captured in the photos. Other key areas include their eco-nomic class, educational attainment /achievement, their links with the diaspora, the reasons for the pictures that were taken. For the first time the people represented will be able to see positive images of themselves in their forebearers. These images show a gone by time of enlightenment and a progressive attitude to life in these parts that is lost on the present inhabitants (partly caused by unemployment, low self esteem, lack of education and all the other impediments to human development.) The exhibition therefore aims to serve as a mirror of a past that can be used as a spur to the potential development of the future.
Along the seafront near Black Star Square is the Arts Centre. Hawkers attack from all sides as soon as you arrive, but if you’re not exhausted by the scrum you can find carvings, baskets, drums, bags, beads, fabrics, sandals, sculptures, stools, rugs and occasionally antiques. It’s a place to unearth some incredible finds and gifts. The best bet is to head past the hassle which you’ll inevitably encounter at the entrance and make your way towards the back of the complex, where it’s a bit more relaxed. Haggling is expected. There’s also an art gallery, which sells prints and paintings at reasonable prices.
The inaugural exhibition, Accra: Portraits of a City, will explore the capital city and the birth of modernity, – its mythologies, rituals, social changes and structures, – through architecture, photography, sculpture, public installation, film and writing by six Ghanaian creatives. Works presented will include photographs from Deo Gratias, the oldest photography studio that is still operating in the city. Established in the 19th century, Accra’s history has been documented through photography since its very beginning. Includes work from Felicia Abban and Serge Attukwei Clottey. Accompanying the exhibition will be a public programme of talks and workshops running at ANO, local schools and universities; and a book and film created by Nana Oforiatta-Ayim.
Loom’s Frances Ademola has a popular gallery that exhibits paintings and sculptures by a good selection of Ghana’s foremost artists, with a smattering of expressive Nigerian pieces. The modest space has been here since 1969, and is bursting at the seams with the work of nearly 100 artists. If Ademola is around, she’s delightful company, chatting exuberantly about artists such as Seth and Serge Clottey and Gabriel Eklou, and happily offering her great knowledge of the Ghanaian art scene, past and present. Loom is regarded as one of Ghana’s premier galleries.
Friday 15th November – until Monday 11th December Exhibition Hall, Alliance Francaise Accra Eric Adjetey Anang is dedicated to develop the art initiated by his grandfather Seth Kane Kwei in the 50s. Recognized in Ghana as a coffin maker, he is renowned abroad as an artist and a designer. He is regularly invited to present his work at international events, works with Western designers and is involved in educational projects. There's nothing like a colourful send-off... The tradition of crafting elaborate, vibrant caskets for the dearly departed is a relatively new one - hence the playful, sometimes postmodern aspects to the work of coffin-maker par excellence Paa Joe (whose inflatable Disney-consumerist coffin sculpture, recently on display in the UK, could give Jeff Koons a run for his money on the international art scene). The 'fantasy' coffin making trade emerged in the Teshie suburb of Accra in the '50s, around the time of independence. It was pioneered by Seth Kane Kwei, who took commissions from grieving family members and ran with them. Kwei died in 1992 but bequeathed a new, iconic style to African contemporary art. The Kane Kwei Carpentery Workshop - along with a number of other designer-coffin producers in Ghana - is as busy as ever today, and Time Out was allowed a peek under the lid...
ANO is an arts institution based in Accra. Ghana. It was founded in 2002 by Ghanaian art historian, writer and filmmaker Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, as a cultural research platform. Since then it has been involved in numerous collaborations, publications, films, exhibitions and events nationally and internationally, with artists such as Ibrahim Mahama, Zohra Opoku, and Serge Attukwei Clottey; institutions like LACMA, Los Angeles; KNUST, Kumasi; The Tate Modern, London and AccradotAlt, Accra. ANO is opening a new permanent space in Accra in March 2017, which will include an exhibition and screening space, as well as workshop and library areas.
The Foundation for Contemporary Art at the WEB du Bois Centre (a research centre for Pan-African history and culture, named after African-American civil rights activist William Edward Burghardt Du Bois) was set up by Joe Nkrumah, formerly of the National Museum, and Australian artist Virginia Ryan. It exhibits work by up-and-coming artists in interesting ways, such as its Art in the Garden projects. Its growing library, now with more than 800 books about visual arts, is one of the organisation’s most important projects. It’s also developing a debating forum and a public database of artists, organisations, galleries and patrons. There’s a wide range of information on its website.
Carving its way out of the ‘West African literature’ hold all category and emerging as a genre in its own right, Ghanaian fiction has received due credit in recent years with young authors taking the reigns from the likes of Kofi Awoonor (This Earth, My Brother, 1971), Ama Ata Aidoo (Our Sister Killjoy, 1977) and Ayi Kwei Armah (The Healers, 1979). Ghana’s new generation of writers includes poets, successful bloggers, authors of young adult fiction, crime fiction and strong contenders on ‘recommended new novelist’ tables in bookstores across the globe. Probably last year’s most talked about novel of this realm is Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi. It leaves readers with plenty to chew on, with its unusual narrative style and complex characters. The intelligent Ms Selasi has certainly stepped into the literary world with a grand entrance (her fan base includes Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie). The story revolves around a Boston family of six - the mother Nigerian, the father Ghanaian - whose mixed up lives repel and retract like a rubber band. Accra is referred to more as a backdrop to the storyline, however it is obvious the city and Ghana are familiar territory for Selasi with descriptions such as “lush Ghana, soft Ghana, verdant Ghana, where fragile things die” and “the smell of Ghana, a contradiction, a cracked clay pot: the smell of dryness, wetness, both, the damp of earth and dry of dust.” Selasi enjoys flitting between hot, slower paced Accra and crisp, snow covered Bo
Since achieving independence in 1957, Ghana's artists have been steadily embracing a freedom of self-expression that is transporting them out of the controlled and literal, and into a playful and exciting meld of semi-abstract and impressionism. Traditional Ghanaian scenes remain popular subject matter, but today's artist can be found confidently experimenting with colour and form, and the market is awash with bold and emotive pieces.No one has had a better view of this post-independence transformation than Loom gallery's Frances Ademola - an ardent champion of Ghanaian artists for over 40 years. When Time Out Accra popped in to browse the stacks of paintings filling Loom's walls and giant folders, we took the opportunity to get Ademola's pick of 21st century Ghana's brightest artistic talents.An artist she first encountered when he was just 12 is Samuel Agbenyegah (also known as Samkobee), whose semi-abstract figures demonstrate a bewitching understanding of colour blending and form. 'He came to me when he was 12 with two wonderful paintings,' explains Ademola. 'I said "who did these?" He said "me". I didn't believe him and told him to go and do another one. He came back with four more.'Bowled over by this young talent, Ademola had one big piece of advice for him. 'I told him "do not go to art school, whatever you do! It will take away your natural flair." He is now 30-something, and such a natural artist.'One of the most established Ghanaian artists found exhibiting both in