Cape Coast Castle

AFRIMA-GHANA 2018; The Secrets of the Cape Coast Castle

We are excited about the upcoming All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA in Ghana. This is the first time it will be holding in the gold coast city. Let us fill you in on some interesting things about Ghana.

Many say you can’t talk about the rich history of Ghana without talking about the Cape Coast Castle, why is that?

Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, 1986Most historians believe that the Cape Coast Castle was originally built as a small trading lodge which was subsequently added to and enlarged until it became a fortification.

In 1637 the lodge was occupied by the Dutch. Then, in 1652, it was captured by the Swedes, who named it Fort Carolusburg. For a while, both the local people and various European powers fought for and gained possession of the fort.

Finally, in 1664, after a four-day battle, the fort was captured by the British and re-named Cape Coast Castle. The Castle served as the seat of the British administration in the then Gold Coast (Ghana) until the administration was moved to Christianborg Castle in Accra on March 19,1877.

Slaves were kept at Cape Coast Castle in dungeons while awaiting transport to the new world. Around 1000 male slaves and 500 female slaves occupied the castle at any one time in separate dungeons. Each slave would be locked up for 6 to 12 weeks, waiting for their turn to board one of the ships.

The dungeons must have been unbearable with hundreds of slaves crammed in together with no toilet facilities.  There were only a few windows to let in fresh air, and a channel down the middle to carry away urine and faeces which completely covered the floor of the dungeons.

In 1957, when Ghana became independent, the castle came under the care of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB). In the early 1990s the building was restored by the Ghanaian Government, with funds from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with technical assistance from the Smithsonian Institution and other NGOs.

Today, the Cape Coast Castle is included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. The Castle is one of West Africa’s oldest standing buildings; it was the first permanent structure south of the sahara built by the Europeans.

The Castle is a museum that encourages tours of the old slave-holding dungeons. Visiting the castle as many say is an experience you can understand only if you go through it, It is a must see if you ever visit Ghana.

So, will you be at the AFRIMA-GHANA 2018 slated for November 21 – 24, endeavour to drop by at the castle, to get a filled experience of the historic recognition of the Ghana people.

AFRIMA will be holding its 5th edition of the prestigious music awards in Africa in Accra, Ghana. For more information on the awards event, log on to www.afrima.org

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