As part of activities to mark this year’s World Folklore Day , the National Folklore Board (NFB) on Friday, August 23, presented licenses to companies that have duly gained permission for the use of Adinkra symbols in running their businesses.
The Board visited three entities including the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City and MTN Ghana to present them their licenses for having applied for permission, provided the needed documents and consequently paid the fees required for the authorization of their usage. NFB had also presented license to the Accra Brewery Limited the day before.
In a speech, Acting Director of the Ghana Folklore Board, Nana Adjoa Adubea Asante said Ghana’s heritage is something that should be promoted and protected, adding that the their commemoration of World Folklore Day is focused on encouraging other entities using Ghana’s folklore expressions outside the authorized space to seek permission and engage with the board on its legal and accepted process.
To the recipients of the licenses, Ghana Stock Exchange, Kempinski and MTN Ghana, using Ghana’s folklore such as the Adinkra symbols has proved to be a great starting point for their brands by showcasing the country’s authentic cultural heritage while deepening the fact that their brands are Ghanaian at heart.
With the Ghana Stock Exchange logo featuring the Adinkra symbol “Akoma Ntoaso” meaning “the extension of the heart” it is depicting the symbolic meaning of an “Agreement or Charter”.
Kempinski hotel has the Adinkra symbol “Funtunfunafu-Dnεkyεmfunafu” as its logo. Its literal meaning – “the Siamese crocodiles that have one stomach yet fight over food” symbolizing “Unity in Diversity”.
MTN Ghana as a multinational brand has proved its firm local roots with the use of Adinkra symbols on their starter packs as a way of promoting the country’s folklore.
Nana Adjoa said these companies and all others processing their licenses have been diligent in their compliance with the law by respecting what is uniquely Ghanaian and relevant.
She admonished folklore users to desist from using artefacts for commercial purposes without authorization by the board, emphasizing that doing the contrary will attract stern consequential penalties.
“We should be proud of who we are, we must promote and protect what we have and pass this on to the next generation in good condition” She noted.
Folklore is the intellectual and spiritual tradition comprising of customs, beliefs, material culture like Kente, dramatic art, festivals, music stories, proverbs, poetry recitals, riddles, literary and scientific cultural legacy.
The National Folklore Board is the state institution responsible for the promotion, protection and registration of expressions of Ghana's folklore.
By: Angela Dzidzornu