Day 2 of #WallaDa was most definitely the most jam-packed! Our first day of adventures, exploring Ghana squad deep we definitely looked like a walking cliche. Five beautiful girls all rocking their natural hair, wearing beautiful prints, we looked like we had just stepped off a Tumblr page.
We made our way into town to learn about the art of batik-making. You’re probably asking yourself what that is. It’s basically the cool word used to refer to designing and making material. Now having a blank canvas sounds like a ton of fun but we all started to feel the pressure once we got a short demo of how to put it all together. We each got a chance to pick a variety of sponge cut-outs and broom tools to design our fabric and quickly got to work. To imprint the designs, wax is melted and kept at a high heat in giant metal, mixing bowls. Once that was ready, your design tools of choice are dipped in the hot wax and pressed onto the material. This can be done in any shape or order you prefer to create your unique design.
Maame set the stage while Twiggy and Velma followed suit. Once we were all happy with our designs, the material had to be soaked in cold water in order to remove the wax. Then we all got to choose a colour for our batik and the material is left to dry – this all seems pretty straight forward but the manual labour involved works up quite a sweat.
Our next stop didn’t help with the cliche. We stopped at the Naya Naturals head quarters to sample some natural soaps, Mango body lotions and Almond and Chocolate Shea Butter fusion hair butters. Naturally, excuse the pun, we all just wanted the hair goodies to take home to try out!
Batik making? Check. Product sampling? Check. Take squad photo that will break the internet? Check. We then rushed off to the Du Bois Center for our talk on the preservation of Culture using Digital media. This was a great opportunity for all of us to interact with one another and discuss the importance of cultural preservation with fellow Africans. By the time that wrapped up, we all ready to have each other for lunch.
If there is one place you HAVE to visit while in Ghana, it’s definitely Chez Clarisse. Now when you arrive, you wouldn’t believe that such a quaint restaurant would be able to serve out the meal we enjoyed. Known by locals as Mama Africa, it’s a favourite for many because of its impeccable service (Ghanaians are the most hospitable people you can meet) and the quality of the food. So one thing that might throw you off is that there are no menus; the locals and staff have an agreement about the popular dishes that everyone keeps coming back for. We agreed to share our chicken and Tilapia as suggested by the lovely Maame, but we had no idea what to expect.
So the food arrives and our table looks like the tapas version of what you’d expect giants to order. Sedi finds herself with a WHOLE Tilapia prepared over a fire while my chicken order was what itis dreams are made of. ( I can’t remember what we had on the side but Plantain was apart of the mix so Sedi was in heaven). After a hectic morning and afternoon, we head back to our abode to unwind and get ready for radio interview with Steelo which ended up being the pre-party for our first night out on the town.
Republic Bar & Grill gave us our first taste of Ghanaian nightlife – good music, THE BEST COCKTAILS and delicious tapas kept us going for a few hours ours before it was time to move on to the next spot. Besides the refreshing cocktails that we knocked back on this warm night, what we loved the most about Republic was how the crowd spilled out on to the streets. This reminded us a lot of the street bashes that used to take place in the 90s back in the day here in Soweto. A trend that we hope our generation will revive. Yaga and Maame faded but us and Velma soldiered on in the name of liking things. Now house parties aren’t necessarily anything to write home about in terms of the setup, this one was like no other we had ever been too. A stranger would think it was for someone’s birthday or a wedding reception. Now we’re talking a full buffet, a bar area with maybe every alcoholic beverage you can imagine, 2 dancefloors and some seriously OTTP decorations. We were definitely those girls that were mad underdressed for the occasion, nonetheless we had a great time. Not to be stopped by sore feet or fatigue, we made one last stop to toast the day away and head home for some much needed beauty sleep.
With Chale Wote happening the next day, we probably should’ve gotten more sleep to prepare for what Jamestown had in store for us.
Moli & Ramone