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Ambolley Attends “Odunde” in Philadelphia USA

Musician Gyedu-Blay Ambolley originally from Ghana and inventor of ‘Simigwa’, a Ghanaian musical genre, on Sunday June 12, 2016 was one of the thousands of people that attended the “Odunde” –the largest Afric­an-Amer­ic­an street fest­iv­al in the USA which is held annually in Philadelphia.

The festival features au­then­t­ic crafts, goods and food from the Afric­an di­a­spora. “Odunde” is Yor­uba for “Happy New Year,”. The annual event hon­ors tra­di­tions from the Ni­geri­an cul­ture, in­clud­ing a noon pro­ces­sion to the Schuylkill River in the city of Pennsylvania located in the state of Philadelphia to give of­fer­ings to Oshun, the God­dess of the River.

To me “Odunde” festival is a demonstration of our African culture to America especially to African Americans who were brought from Africa and have lost their African culture because of the different cultures that their children were and are born into. I think it is a good thing because every race has a culture and it is a important for Africans everywhere to identity with their real roots” — Gyedu-Blay Ambolley.

Ambolley thoughts on Odunde

Ambolley who for the first time attended the festival in its 41st edition further disclosed to TheAfricanDream.net that he was invited to witness the festival since he happened to be in the Philadelphia area a few days prior in the company of Nathan Pryce of Pryce Levenson Corporation.

His USA management and the Deputy Ghana Ambassador to the USA; His Excellency Skido Achulo to receive a citation and Liberty Bell Award from Jim Kenney; the Mayor of Philadelphia, as part of the city’s recognition of him and Ghana.

The “Odunde” festival is indeed one colorful and amazingly authentic African festival here in the Diaspora, I am really impressed with its organizers and attendance and personally excited about the wonderful work the state of Philly is doing here to very soon name a street in honor of Ghana’s first president Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.


This year, the “Odunde” saw hun­dreds of vendors hail­ing from Ambolley‘s native of Ghana, Nigeria, Seneg­al and other African countries. Tourists, city dwellers and curious participants thronged the event in their thousands in search for a cultural and ancestral connection and the best of Afric­an, Carib­bean and Soul foods, crafts, jew­elry, cloth­ing and networking opportunities.

The fest­iv­al’s Afric­an Mar­ket­place has in the past 4 decades of the existence of the “Odunde” been of­fering au­then­t­ic items from coun­tries in Africa, the Carib­bean and South Amer­ican continents to give this truly Afrocentric event a highly cosmopolitan appeal.

Per­form­ers headed to the South Street Stage for an out­door con­cert that featured hip-hop group Brand Nu­bi­an and old school rap­per Biz Markie. His Imperial Majesty Prince Ad­eyeye Ogun­wusi; the 51st Ooni of Ife, the traditional ruler of Ile-Ife in Ni­ger­ia was the spe­cial guest at this year’s event. Although Ambolley did not perform, he told TheAfricanDream.net that he was really impressed by the performance of all the entertainers and artistes, something which has inspired him to begin looking into the possibility of performing at the 2017 event.

TheAfricanDream.net can confirm that while in the USA Ambolley will be visiting the Embassy of Ghana in Washington DC to present the citation received from Governor Jim Kenney to His Excellency, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith (Rtd), Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States. While with the Ambassador, Ambolley will also talk about his plans to spread authentic Ghanaian highlife music globally and other matters. This visit is expected to happen in June 2016

To find out more about Gyedu-Blay Ambolley visit www.ambolley.com information is also available on the “Odunde” at odundefestival.org

Source: Oral Ofori (All photos courtesy Mr. CNN/3gMedia)


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