Inside Afro Nation Ghana 2022, Africa’s Biggest Music Festival

A fantastic end to the year...

After a long year filled with ups and downs, it was finally time for Ghana’s Detty December, a term used to encompass all the festivities at the close of the year. Besides a range of other events happening during this period, festival lovers were eagerly anticipating the grand finale of 2022, which was Afro Nation Ghana.

After a three-year hiatus due to Covid, the festival returned with a bang, bringing over 15,000 party people to grace 2022’s Detty December celebrations, at the heart of Ghana’s capital Accra behind the historic monument of Black Star Square.

Slated as a two-day festival with a star-studded lineup of performers, there was a buzz in the air as expectations ran high. The outfits were on point and there was so much culture on display as people from all over the world came for the final concert to end the year. 

At 3pm on December 29th, the entrance to the grounds was already saturated with bodies hoping to get in early. Eventually, gates opened at 5pm for everyone to troop in and enjoy the last music. The first day of festivities started with bangers on bangers of good music to entertain the crowd, and preparing them all for the awesome performances that were in store. 

Gyakie, the Ghanaian singer kicked off the event with her stunning vocals belting off notes from her most popular songs to the audience and passing on to Kuami Eugene who stunned the crowd with his popular hits as well. The Ghanaian performers for that day had done wonderfully and set the pace as Kamo Mphela rolled out a set of amapiano classics which had the crowd dancing the night away. Eventually, it was time for the stars of Nigeria to shine as Oxlade, CKay and Tiwa Savage delivered their best performances to end the year. When the time came for the headliners to emerge, all phone lights went up as American rapper from Philadelphia, Meek Mill, came up on stage to perform his songs to an expectant crowd. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many.

“I used to pray for times like this to rhyme like this” was on the lips of every individual in the audience as Meek Mill rapped through his inspiring song ‘Dreams and Nightmares’. After an awe-inspiring performance, Meek stepped off the stage to applause ahead of the evening’s final act, P-Square. After a long hiatus, this disbanded duo of brothers have come back together to do what they do best, stunning the crowd with all their greatest hits to end the first night of Afro Nation Ghana on a high note.

After a fulfilling and successful first day, people trouped in early for an exciting climax of the show on December 30th. At exactly 6pm the ball was set rolling for performances after the DJs and MCs for the night entertained the crowd with danceable tunes. With everything primed and ready, Ghanaian “sugarcane” hitmaker, Camidoh hit the stage with a beautiful performance, closely followed by KiDi who came to wow the ladies with his display. Then came the breakout star of the year, Black Sherif who produced a standout rendition of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ to the unanimous applause and approval of the crowd. After giving the audience a masterful performance, he handed over to one of Ghana’s biggest music exports, Stonebwoy, who delivered his performance with class. It was then time for French musician Dadju to serenade the crowd in his home tongue to much applause. 

With three more performances from Asake, Rema, and Skepta still to go for an amazing show to end, the evening had to come to an abrupt end due to security concerns. It was not the finish that most people wanted for this amazing concert, but it was a necessary ending due to the risks of injuries or worse as unexpected crowds amassed outside the venue. 

Despite the circumstances leading to the end, the concert goers could all agree that Afro Nation Ghana was the ultimate end of year music festival experience, and anticipation builds for next year’s event on the beautiful shores of Accra, when it stops here again.

Words: Ekow Barnes
Photography: Michael Tubes

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