Be Inspired, Family

A review of the National Museum of Ghana

I love to explore places with my family, so when a friend sent a WhatsApp message about the newly commissioned museum in Ghana, I was thrilled. I had been there as a child and the thought of going there once again but this time around with my kids, to experience the culture and traditions of their Ghanaian heritage was more exciting.

The museum was recently reopened in June 2022 by the President of Ghana after undergoing a period of renovation since its closure in 2015. It had to be closed down for safety reasons due to the lack of maintenance over a prolonged period. It is run and operated by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) and has been in existence since 5 March 1957, a day before Ghana’s independence. It is also one of the oldest, out of the six museums operated by the GMMB. Archaeology, ethnography and fine art are its main areas of collection with the aim to create a story of the country’s rich cultural history.

So here goes, a personal review of our visit (myself and my 2 handbags)

LocationNo. 2 Barnes Road (Close to Holy Spirit Cathedral)

Damage: GHS10 for adults, GHS2 for students and it’s FREE for preschoolers. A different rate applies for those who want to take pictures for one reason or the other, ensure you seek permission for that.

Road: The state of the road is fine compared to the road we used to access the Accra Zoo and the museum has a car park so there will be less stress finding a space to park.

Opening hours: Mondays to Sundays between 9am and 4:30pm

Recommendation: Go there with an open-mind and be ready to relive childhood memories with your kids. The computer babies of today would not understand the struggle back in the day. One more thing! Ensure you get a group of fun and inquisitive people in your tour team, it will also impact on the experience you would have. In our case, we had two creatives as part of the visitors and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them and sharing our knowledge on the history of Ghana and the items on display.

Try raising your voice (not too loud though!) at the centre of the museum, below the spider web and enjoy the echo of your voice.

To enjoy the experience, don’t rush! Go through the tour with your assigned guide and once that is over organise your own tour with your squad. This will give you the opportunity to break things down to their level and engage with them at their own pace.

What we saw: The first thing that catches your eye is the giant spider web. It is meant to be a symbol of unity. Different tribes coming together as one unit, a GHANAIAN!

Giant spider web at the museum
Selfie with spider in the background

There was a lovely display of items, from the art to learning about the history and stone age days of Ghana to learning about the different traditions. There was also a kids play area but I would have wished that all the materials there were all African and Ghanaian themed. The different currencies from the cowries to the pounds and many other historic artefacts including the Presidential seat. The vehicles of the past presidents were also on display at the car park including Kwame Nkrumah’s Cadillac.

I could not take pictures of every single item on display so here are a few pictures I took.

Task for the kids: Reenact how things used to be done back in the days. For instance the use of stamps to post letters, storage of water, the gramophone used for music and the use of pots for cooking among others.

I also encouraged each of them to select their preferred art and take a picture with it. My son’s favourite thing from the entire visit was the art on display and my daughter loved the spider and the rich display of royalty of the King and Queen (mannequins adorned with royal regalia to replicate how kings and queens dress).

Always get their impression and views after any visit to a different location or any activity you engage in with kids to see things from their perspective too.

Overall impression

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rates are affordable for all which is good. I also love the fact that they intend to periodically change items on display but the core would still be to tell the story of the rich culture of Ghana. The reception was good and the tour guide had all the patience including when my son interrupted the session because he wanted to see where the dinosaur bones are (I give up!lol). We have the Museum of Science and Technology on our list, hopefully he will see some bones there.

I love the entire concept although there are still some aspects which were yet to be completed at the time of our visit in June. I was only disappointed with the handling of the presidential vehicles. I expected to have a much better experience than simply having a look at the exterior and posing by the cars for pictures. I was hoping for some history of the vehicles and a view of the interior but unfortunately that was not the case.

Have you visited the National Museum? What was your experience? Know any other places I can explore with my squad? Link up with me at omtsdigest@gmail.com

 

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meybi-regular

The OMT brand focuses on inspiration, family life, entrepreneurship, youth and women empowerment and changing the African narrative a blog post at a time. If you have a story or experience to share or need answers to questions just reach out to me via omtsdigest@gmail.com.