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All set for "Araminta! Harriet Tubman Lives" drama

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The National Theatre of Ghana in collaboration with Andrea Vonny Lee, Department Chair of Dance of the Laney Community College in Oakland, California will host a theatrical piece dubbed, “Araminta! Harriet Tubman Lives” in Accra.

The collaboration from Thursday, February 21 to Saturday 23 is part of 2019 upcoming performances to commemorate the Year of Return festivities which marks the 400-year anniversary since the first enslaved African arrived in Jamestown Virginia, USA.

“Araminta! Harriet Tubman Lives” which fuses drama, dance and music exhibits the exploits of a young female; Harriet Tubman, whose grandmother was believed to be a descendant of “Gold Coast” now known as Ghana, shipped and sold into slavery in the 1700s.

She was one of the most world known freedom fighters in the United State of America.  Born between 1820 and 1825, she helped to free hundreds of enslaved Africans from the Plantations.

Speaking on GBC’s ‘Uniiq Breakfast Drive’, the Department Chair of Dance of the Laney Community College in Oakland, California said the Harriet Tubman is a household name in the African American community in U.S.A and should be a house hold name in Ghana because her grandmother was a descendant of Ghana.

Miss Andrea Lee said the “Araminta! Harriet Tubman Lives” drama is to share to the Ghanaian Community about the life of Harriet Tubman, the abuse and hardship she went through from the time she was a young girl in the plantations.

“The Theatrical piece is also to honor the strength of women across the world and poses the question; “Are You Free Today?”

A Portrait of Mrs Amy Appiah-Frimpong, Executive Director of National Theatre Ghana; and Miss Andrea Vonny Lee, Department Chair of Dance at the Laney Community College in Oakland, California.

“We are going to portray some of the hardships that our ancestors had to go through. More importantly the resilient factor and what has made her loved in the community. She always had the spirit of freedom in her,” she noted.

Miss Andrea Lee also added that, the theatrical piece will be performed by the three (3) resident groups of the National Theatre namely National Drama Company, National Dance Company and the National Symphony Orchestra.

“To know that a descendent of Ghana ended up to being one of the most famous freedom fighters in America should be a part of history and education in Ghana. We have been separated by history. This is a better type of production to merge and bring a better understanding. She should be a character in the history books of Ghana just as Yaa Asantewaa should be in our history books in America,” she urged.

The executive Director of National Theatre Ghana, Amy Appiah- Frimpong also added that, Harriet Tubman was not educated but yet did the work that most men were not doing, therefore the Theatrical piece is to celebrate the strength of women and the potential of whoever you are regardless of one’s educational background or financial or social status.

“You can look within you and look at what you have to offer and use it to the world’s advantage. She used the underground where they went from the South to the North. Our own slave trade went from the North to the South. So, we are just positioning these two women’s lives; Yaa Asantewaa and Harriet Tubman. Acknowledging their role in history at the same time the strength and power that these individuals had,” she concluded.

The Year of Return seeks to make Ghana the focus for millions of African descendants reacting to their marginalisation by tracing their ancestry and their identity. By this, Ghana thus becomes the beacon for African people living on the continent and the Diaspora.

Story by: Mavis Arthur

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