Ghanaian international award-winning Poet & Performer, Tuggs Togobo, is connecting the new generation to African history through music, films and spoken word.
Tuggs in an interview with Starrfmonline.com said there is the need to create a new narrative and to challenge the understanding of what African history is, comparing documented history and presenting it in a new form that connects with the new generation.
“A lot of times, what we are told of African history is mostly from Eurocentric perspective with strong colonial standpoint which gives Africans poor self-esteem…There is the need to challenge what we have been told and if we don’t do that, we have other people claiming our African history which is not the best and if we don’t excel ourselves we lay victims to narratives that doesn’t reflect us”.
Tuggs intends to convert all history documents into films, music spoken word among others to enable the new generation appreciate the rich African history and its impacts.
His mission is to explore, preserve and share his Ewe family history dating back to 1884 with the African Diaspora and Europe. Through family connections, they have discovered papers dating back to 1884, through until 1956. Those papers are in the form of letters, newspapers, brochures and pictures.
The letters are between Chief Togbui Sampson Paul Adamah II and various colonial officers. The letters are handwritten. They include one in which a colonial officer is offering a bribe for continued support of the British cause. The Chief refused the bribe.
Tuggs Togobo is the great grandson of Chief Adamah II. These precious letters that represent pages of Ghanaian history were handed down within his family. Such is their historical value, that in London, Black Cultural Archives has been granted almost 90,000 pounds from the National Heritage Lottery grant to do an 18 month exploration of this history in the present day Volta region of Ghana.
The papers were examined by British historians and specialists from Britain’s prestigious Victoria and Albert museum. One historian described the papers, brochures, pictures as “possibly the most significant find in Black British history”.
Part of that exploration will result in an exhibition and an oral history CD from Tuggs. He will study and speak with individuals connected to this history and present it via spoken word, poetry and music as he builds new audiences from new generations.
The Black Cultural Archives – also called the BCA – is based in Brixton, south London. It was built by a 5million pound grant from the National Heritage Lottery fund and the Mayor of London fund. It holds more than 10,000 archive documents spanning more than five centuries. It is a major centre for Black culture and history in London.
As a poet and performer Tuggs has shared a stage with Jerry John Rawlings, American poet Amiri Baraka, hip hop icons Dead Prez. He has performed in Ghana, America, Canada, UK and Norway.
Source : Ghana/StarrFMonline.com/103.5FM