A Republicans guide to what is Jiving in Ghana

Monthly archive

January 2019

Shaka Maidoh tells us about African Fashion Perceptions & Trends

in Art/Fashion by

KM: In what manner do you incorporate “Africa”  in your brand presentation

Shaka: When we first started there was a conscious decision on our part to not follow the traditional mainstream method of using African fabric and kente in our designs. We wanted to tell people that there is a certain richness to African fashion that goes beyond the fabric print. You can have the silhouette, the texture, the detail and the finesse that is definitively African. Our first collection was inspired by traditional Malian and Senegalese fashion and we actually did spend some time in Senegal to experience it firsthand.

Shaka Maidoh (Right) and his “Art Comes First” partner Sam

Growing up in Africa I used to see how school uniforms were tailored, how people will dress  to go to church, how our military and police would dress up. There was always a utilitarian approach to design. There was a purpose for the elements sewn into the attire. The pocket was there for a reason,  to house your pen, your diary or your bible, so the position and placement had to be exact.

There was a method of dyeing that was used for African fabric, there was a certain type of texture that was peculiar to African design as well as the method of weaving our textiles. You can particularly observe that characteristic black and the grayscale colour scheme in our work.

KM: Whats the reason for your emphasis on the high level  of “Tailor-Ship” in your craft

Shaka: We are self taught, none of us went to fashion school. In Ghana when anyone wanted a suit, the person would go to the tailor. Tailoring was common place, customised and made to fit. Tailoring was not for the elite per se. My business partner Sam was taught by his father, who was a tailor, and Sam in turn taught me to stitch and sew so that we could refine our silhouettes the way we wanted  it to be, thereby creating our “Punk Tailoring” kind of style. Further down the line with Ozwald Boateng for 5 years, we learnt the  Savile Row tradition. We  indeed were able to blend a fusion of both traditions of expression.

Shaka, Sam and Ozwald Boateng. Savile Row.

KM: Is there a future for Ghana in Tailoring Craftsmanship

Shaka: Whilst we were up and coming, everyone around wanted to be a designer or model in the fashion industry. We knew however that the tailor behind the scenes, the weavers and the stitchers were also an important piece of the picture that no one gets to see. They do not have time to come out and shake hands with the audience because they are always busy. It’s a dying profession and it is not valued. In Ghana we really want to help resuscitate this craft of fabric weaving and manufacturing as well as tailoring.

KM: Apparently you DJ sometimes. How does your fashion sense affect your choice of music?

Shaka: Music is the soundtrack to your life. It is said that the designer is always a “Frustrated Rockstar”. There can be no clothing without music.

Shaka Maidoh on Decks- Republic Bar, Accra. New Years Day, 2019.

For us, growing up in London and Ghana, music has always influenced and inspired our style. Our approach to design has not only been from the stylistic point of view, music draws everyone together, different sub-cultures and flavours. Our first love was music, we had producers we toured Europe and other places. Many of my friends have been in music for years and have been very successful.


KM: You must then know the famed British/Ghanaian Music Producer/Dj Peter Adarkwah

Shaka: Oh you mean Pete!!! When we were students, Pete had this club in London called Barumber. We used to dress-up and go there religiously every Sunday, but they wouldn’t let us in most of the time, but if Pete was around , we were in. So forward 20 years later, Pete sees what we are doing and he expressed interest in working with us. We were like “Nah mate” you have been a big inspiration to everything we have done. His massive influence and and entrepreneurship is astounding and off course, being a Ghanaian, he was also quite very humble. Pete a few years ago actually motivated me to explore more of Ghana, and i’m glad.


KM: Any ideas to Collaborate with local Ghanaian brands in your endeavours?

Shaka: There has already been in existence some synergies between players based in Ghana and the Diaspora. Before I arrived though, I was already in touch with “Afro-District” based here in Ghana. In South Africa I was exposed to “I see a different You”, in Kenya it was “Too Many Siblings”. 

Shaka and Sam with some members of Afro-District at The Republic Bar, Accra  in February 2018.

Coming here has exposed me to so much talent and vision of certain local brands. There is no nomenclature to capture how Africa has inspired many things around the world overtime. But I believe we have to build and enhance our capacity to style, produce and make Africa have better access to markets around the world, and also make Africa itself be a consume for her own work.

KM: In a world that can pose challenges to some Creatives that are of ethnic minority backgrounds, what have been some of your challenges in your work, so far.

Shaka: When we first started there was a certain biased expectation of our work. People were expecting us to use and apply the usual Kente and Ankara on all of our works. We had to inform, repeatedly, that we are not just designers but we are also cultural creatives. That’s why we design for the aviation industry, we design bicycles etc.

It is common for some people to try and define for themselves an interpretation of you, without taking the time to fully understand the depth of your cultural and creative involvement. Sometimes you can be deemed as being “not British enough” or “African enough”, however right there is also a certain kind of motivation. This motivates you to tell your story of Africa and build your narrative. Africa is diverse in its fashion orientation, the body tatoos we wear can also be found in Ghana, Ethiopia etc. So we are glad to also help change the common perception of Africa in some minds.

KM: How has coming back to Ghana been like after 16 years in Europe?

Shaka: Obviously the western media stereotypes of hunger and famine have been proven wrong. I fortunately had a very strong father that provided me a strong Ghanaian foundation, but I must say it was however impressive to see the extent of this Neo-African explosion. Africa is bubbling now. I was in Sweden the other day, and I was shocked to see Swedish blonde girls singing our Afro-Beat in our language at the same time.

How beautiful is that!!! They were singing in Yoruba and Twi and they were dancing. We had this, all this while. Our Art is only now coming to the forefront and we are now beginning to realise our value. That’s why our Art Comes First.


KM: What personal plans do you have yourself in this NewYear 2019 Ghana Trip

Shaka: I do want to perfect my native language, indulge and explore better some vegetarian food options.

I also want to spend more time with my Family. My little cousins and brothers are really showing me around Ghana. Ghana is definitely not what you see on foreign TV.


KM: Any words to the audience out there?

Shaka: If you are from Ghana and you are out there, come back home and reconnect. If you are not from Ghana, come and checkout Ghana.

“The King of Hearts” Spoken Word Session – A new rising sensation

in Poetry/Theater by

The King of Hearts spoken word session had its introductory segment kicked off by Elikplim Akorli @thegodofpoetry who’s authored two poetry anthologies, the most recent being Purple Harmattan poetry anthology. He took the audience to a thrill, performing with the quartet of the National Symphony Orchestra.


The third and last segment of the show saw an awe-inspiring moment when Elikplim came back onto the stage, this time having with him Nela @teochronic interpreting poetry in a dance form as he delivered his piece Bubble from The Deep.



A session of the audience:



Paul Boachie-Ansah who goes the stage name Paul God (@therealpaulgod), rapper and producer who’s produced on Guillotine Bars, Paranormal, John Figs, The Soloist, The Klinik (Sean Simpson), Crzstl of Venezuela, Intel of Hip Hop legendary group Wu Tang Clan. With the poetry band churning out, he performed live, stepping up to Hip Hop to have the audience entertained.


The future looks very promising for the collaboration between Paul Boachie-Ansah and Elikplim Akorli considering that their style and kind of branding is very unique on the Ghanaian creative and entertainment scene.


Mr. Eazi, Kidi, Medikal, DarkoVibez, Raye and Friends Storm Republic Bar

in Entertainment/Music by
  • 7C5A9657.jpg?fit=5192%2C3461
  • 7C5A9656.jpg?fit=3840%2C3840
  • 7C5A9640.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9639.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9631.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9625.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9624.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9621.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9619.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9617.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9616.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9650.jpg?fit=3840%2C3840
  • 7C5A9614.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9610.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9609.jpg?fit=4703%2C3840
  • 7C5A9598.jpg?fit=5760%2C3840
  • 7C5A9583.jpg?fit=4775%2C3208

This holiday season many stars and personalities from all over the world have visited Republic Bar and Grill as part of their planned itinerary.

It is not very unusual for Mr. Eazi to be seen at Republic, as he normally prefers to go off the beaten track and immerse himself amongst his Ghanaian folk as best as he can. However it was very much a noticeable sight when his entire crew of friends showed up and it was nothing but love! Medikal, Kidi, Raye (A popular musician and friend of Mr. Eazi from the U.K.) and DarkoVibez, were certainly manifesting a special bond amongst themselves yet maintaining a dialogue and interaction with their fanbase and crowd. Nothing short of very cool.

Their soiree was not a touch and go affair. They certainly felt at home and toasted their New Years trajectory with Republic Bars’ famous “GinJah” (Akpeteshie Cane Spirit Ginger Shot)  and granted photo opportunities to some of their fans.


“MEET ME THERE- Weekender” announces program lineup for March 2019 event

in Entertainment/Events/Music by

“MEET ME THERE- Weekender” is an intimate not-for-profit music and arts festival held at Meet Me There African Home Lodge; an eco-retreat in the Volta region of Ghana. Fringed by wild beaches, colourful fishing villages and lush mangrove forests, this secluded stretch of coastline is worlds apart from your usual festival setting. Here, nestled at the edge of a saltwater lagoon, their little oasis awaits you.

Bringing like-minded individuals together for a unique celebration of Ghanaian culture, MMT Weekender offers a festival experience like no other. Their four-day programme is designed to open your eyes to the magic of Ghana through a carefully-curated display of Music, Arts and Culture.

This years’ music program sees a huge range of live acts and DJs performing. Ranging from highlife legend Ebo Taylor, vibrant band Kyekyeku to Ewe rappers such as Worlasi and Agbeshie, DJ performances from rising stars Gafacci, DJ Pherry, Zongo Abongo’s Busy Twist. Plus South Africas’ SNO and UKs Tash LC are sure to be some of the many highlights from across the weekend! Please see the Full musical Lineup here: Adomaa, Agbeshie, Bessa Simons, Bood’nBone, Borborbor Drummers, Bessa Simons, Costiro, DJ Pherry, Ebo Taylor, Evergreen Dance Band, Fred Robarts, Gafacci, Jay Carder, Kakatsitsi Drummers, Kyekyeku, Latino, Mprez Ody, Shieshie Nitan, SNO, Tash LC, Worlasi, Zipporah, Zongo Abongo & The Busy Twist, 4TotheFloor –  It’s fair to say the lineup really does cater for all tastes!



But MMT Weekender is not just about the music. They also offer free workshops and activities for all ticket holders throughout the weekend. Whether it’s trying your hand at drumming or dancing, getting stuck into a beach football tournament or joining a boat trip down the Volta River, there’s something for everyone.

Meet Me There is a truly special place that will have you returning to reality re-fuelled, revitalised and full of love!

Ghana Residents tickets are available via Whatsapp: +233545547942


International tickets via: bit.ly/mmt2019

Their Ethos:

The festival is not-for-profit supporting Dream Big Ghana NGO. DBG are dedicated to providing safe sanitation and educational opportunities to the communities of Dzita -Abledomi.

Leave no trace: Here at MMT they are committed to being as eco-friendly as possible. As well as planting a tree for every festival ticket bought (their way of offsetting your carbon footprint), the site is proudly portaloo-free thanks to their lovely smelling compost toilets and they have swapped plastic for biodegradable products wherever they can.