Short & Tight
This video shows Ampe, a girls' jumping, dancing, clapping game from Ghana, that helps bring communities together and develop player skills of anticipation.
In this video we hear from young and old generations of Kwamoso to help celebrate 50 years of independence in Ghana.
I had been in Ghana for almost a year when I finally got around to making a video about Ampe. Alice Afram, whom I'd met some months prior, was my guiding star, in helping me locate and communicate with local communities.
Alice and I roamed around the lower lake volta region on my motorcycle, stopping to ask different communities if they had any girls typically playing Ampe. After a few days we hit upon the village of Kwamoso, where we discovered schoolgirls at the local school who sometimes played Ampe. The jovial local headmaster, Gershon, was enthusiastic about the schoolgirls taking part in the video, and even showed us his own skills at Ampe.
Not only did we find energetic schoolgirls willing to participate, but also a local veteran champion of Ampe, Rose Animah, more than 100 years old.
Rose heartily agreed to participating in an interview about her involvement with Ampe, but suggested we might also visit her nearby younger sister, Elizabeth Kyei, 88 years old, who also joined in the regular Ampe competitions in her time as a schoolgirl.
When we went looking for Elizabeth in Bewase village just down the road, we found her carrying a substantial load of firewood on her back as she returned from a day working in the fields.
Perhaps Elizabeth and Rose's excellent health can be attributed to their active rural lifestyles, but perhaps their former years playing Ampe may have also contributed to their youthful physique.
In the following days, Rose and Elizabeth dressed in their best kente cloth and gave us wonderful interviews about their memories playing Ampe.
On the designated day we met with all the schoolgirls of Kwamoso and captured them playing Ampe for several hours. Alice helped greatly, lightening the mood with her light and happy spirit, encouraging the girls to perform their best and finally produce a winner, Sarah, and her subsequent interview.
As is often the case, I don't manage to edit and present a video to the people who helped me make it, since I'm on the move and may not have the time to edit the material before my visa expires. On this occasion, I was invited to present my video at the Environmental Film Festival of Accra. I was not able to make it to the screening since I had moved on to Togo, but Alice was able to stand up infront of a packed audience and present the video.
Now I have often looked at this video as being a little but boring myself, since there is a lot of repetition in the type of images used, and having so many interviews span across it too. However, Alice reported back that Ghanaians had really enjoyed the video at EFFA, often laughing with the honesty of Elizabeth and Rose, finally resulting in a standing ovation. I wish I had been there, since it is often the case that, especially in Africa, local people are so happy to see positive images about their culture rather than the depressing subjects that media so often focus on.
Alice Afram Rose Animah Elizabeth Kyei Sandra Ampofoah Rita Asieduaa Agnes Awuku Florence Fefeh Marta Tene Kwezi Felicia Kisi-Adu Appiah Regina Agbezdo Comfort
Stereo De Luxe
Ga & Twi
Alice Afram English to Spanish
Anabel Yahuitl Garcia
Tim Jules Hull
Kwamoso Junior Secondary High School Headmaster Gershon Faith Soglo All the girls who played ampe Alex Sulzberger Yacine Gueye Raja Owusu-Ansah Nii-Obodai Provincial Anita Baptiste Peter Lovett