I have asked you to come here this evening for a very special and, to me, important reason. I know that all of you are interested in art, music and drama. In fact you are all keen students of drama and have taken leading parts in many plays in this country.
I have therefore brought you together to form this drama group, so that by the quality of your performances you will provide the intellectual and artistic stimulus for art and drama in Ghana. We have in Ghana and in Africa a rich cultural heritage in art, music, drama, paintings and sculpture which colonialism sought in vain to destroy. Our culture and traditions have survived because they possess a special in-born power, a peculiar cultural image which we must now take upon ourselves to cultivate and develop. What we are about to set up now — and that is why you are here — must therefore rest in a healthy and dynamic expression of African genius and creative power. African Art and Epos are bound up with the forms of our social and cultural development.
As you know, I have initiated the establishment of the Institute of Art and Culture, the Institute of African Studies, and the School of Music and Drama at Legon. We also hope to launch a film and television school for training producers and artistes. We already have a Ghana Symphony Orchestra and a Choir which are showing great promise. All these institutions and this drama group which we are initiating today mark a forward step in the development of the Arts in Ghana.
I know that you are all fully employed and that you should not let your activities in this drama group interfere with it. It is my hope, however, that each one of you in this group will bring into it all your dramatic talents and experience, artistry and vigour. Here we shall work together and exchange ideas, and out of this activity, we shall contribute to the progress of the theatre movement in Ghana. In other words, I look upon this drama group to be the intellectual centre, artistic stimulus and driving force behind the theatre movement in Ghana and the cultural renaissance of Africa.
It is only when there is complete fusion between African culture and African politics that the African Personality will find its highest expression.
I now, friends and comrades in the Arts, have great pleasure in inaugurating THE OSAGYEFO PLAYERS.