Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian drummer and a Tour Guide globetrotting within the last six years solely to promote Ghana’s tourism sector and traditional folk songs to the international community.
Akesse was the only Ghanaian participant at the just ended 2014 edition of the World Music Event in Germany dubbed International Folk Music Festival otherwise called Ethno Germany 2014.
In this interview with NEWS-ONE’s Francis Addo, Akesse spoke about the event, his passion for tourism and what Ghanaians can do to improve the country’s tourism industry.
He said it was sad to see Ghanaians who haven’t been to any of the country’s tourist sites queuing for tourist visas to other countries.
Congratulations on representing Ghana at the Ethno Germany 2014.
Thank you. It was really exciting representing Ghana. I really, really loved it.
What does it take to be on a platform like that?
First you have to be a music lover, very well abreast with your country’s culture and be able to play at least one instrument.
Was that your first time, and how did you get to be part?
I have represented Ghana in a similar event in the UK. And with the wonderful showmanship I did put up there, organisers were convinced I would be a suitable representative for my country. Ethno Germany was like a magnet, something out there was calling me and I just couldn’t resist it. I knew it was going to be an experience. It turned out to be a very wonderful one, placing my country Ghana on the world map. Memories of this music festival won’t leave my head.
Any experience you want to share with us?
The event brought out the best in me as a Ghanaian; teaching the world the Ghanaian culture, music and also dance. I am particularly happy this event helped me meet people from different parts of the world. I am proud of the good work I did out there for mother Ghana. Now, I am known over the world and people have come to know more about Ghana.
Beyond the event who is Akesse Sanza?
Hahaa…Don’t even know where to start from. Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian, in his late twenties; a native of Duase in the Asante Akim district of the Ashanti Region. I am the CEO of One Office Consult. I love to travel around the world as my work demands. I have love for good music. I am very creative, with a good interpersonal and communication skill.
What’s your background in the creative arts industry?
I play Djembe Drum.
Which schools did you attend?
I was at the Minnesota International JSS, then Kumasi Secondary Technical School. Subsequently I did Hotel Catering and also received a certificate in Tour Guiding from the Tourism Training Centre (HOTCATT). I was also at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and was awarded a Diploma in Travel and Tourism Consultancy.
I have loved tourism way back in secondary school where I organised domestic tours for my mates during every vacation. The desire to promote my own (Ghana) brought me into Tourism and I am happy it’s going so well.
What exactly do you do in tourism now?
Aside Tour Guiding, I provide travel and tourism consultancy services.
Any achievements in that regard?
Well for me, just the ability to provide enriched cultural experience for my international visitors is an achievement. The focus as it stands now is to grow the business to a very good and respectable standard where we will become the leading travel and tour company within and outside the borders of Ghana. And with the work done so far, we should be there sooner than later.
From your perspective, is the current state of Ghana’s tourism industry something to smile about?
Unlike before, Ghana’s tourism industry is developing and new tourist sites are being discovered. This is a good sign of growth. If our tourism industry were to be very bad, we wouldn’t have recorded the current number of tourist arrivals in the country.
What area in tourism do you think we are not exploring?
Traditional folk music is under-explored in Ghana today. These songs are not even cherished by us. Tourists enjoy these songs and I urge the Tourism Ministry to put measures in place to resurrect Traditional Folk Music.
How do we improve on what we have?
Our authorities do not take international cultural events seriously. These events, just as the one I just attended, are very big platforms to sell the Ghanaian culture and tourism. It is time that they provided grants for people to represent Ghana in such events.
Today, Travel and Tour Companies pay huge monies to promote outbound tours, neglecting our own tourist sites which are not known to many.
It is very sad when I see people who haven’t been to any of our tourist sites queuing for visas to see those in other countries. The sector ministry, the Tourist Board and the Ghana Association of Travel and Tour Agents must see to it that there are measures in place to promote local tourism. These can be TV programs or publications in the dailies that seek to promote various tourist sites.
What do you think is Ghana’s major tourist attraction?
Ghana as we all know has wonderful tourist attractions of which its beauty and intrigue lies in everyday life. Kakum National Park is one of such awesome tourist sites the country can boast of.
By Francis Addo (Twitter: @fdee50 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )