Bendigo’s African Music and Food Party Draws in crowds forExperience Cultural Extravaganza

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On May 11th, the Engine Room on View Street was transformed into a vibrant hub of African culture, flavours, and music during the much-anticipated African Music and Food Party. The event, organized by Ghanaian cookbook writer Ras Ato, saw an impressive turnout of over 200 attendees who enjoyed a rich tapestry of traditional and contemporary African performances, delicious cuisine, and cultural displays.

The event’s highlight was a performance by Asanti Dance Theatre, led by the talented Artistic Director Appiah Annan. Hailing from Ghana, Annan’s diverse practice encompasses traditional African dance, contemporary styles, freestyle, hip-hop, and acrobatics. Known as a master drummer, Annan’s journey began on the streets of Ghana, where he learned under the guidance of dance master Omari Oppong. By 16, he had already won Ghana’s national dance championship. He continued to work with prominent artists and ensembles, including Ghanaian pop star Slim Buster and the Ghanaian National Dance Ensemble.

Annan founded Asanti Dance Theatre in Ghana in 2003, which has since grown into an internationally recognized 15-piece drum and dance company. The group’s performance at the Bendigo event was a captivating blend of rhythmic drumming, energetic dance, and acrobatic feats, captivating the audience and providing a vivid glimpse into African culture.

Ras Ato, who also presented his latest Ghanaian dishes at the event, expressed his desire to share his home country’s culture with the Bendigo community. The party was about food and connecting people through music, stories, and dance. It was only fair that after producing a cooking book, Ato put on a cultural celebration that included eating food.¬†

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