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Music of Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Dela Botri represents Ghana at the International Visitor Leadership Program

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Dela Botri, traditional and contemporary musician and leader of Hewale Sounds was among personalities selected from across the world by the United States government to take part in this year’s International Visitors Leadership Program held in the USA.

The program which has been in existence for the past 70 years has hosted world renowned personalities including former President Kufuor and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The program is designed to offer leadership skills training across the world. This year’s program was under the theme: ‘Promoting tolerance through the arts’ and it featured personalities from Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt, Finland, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Bosnia and a host of others.

Briefing on the impact of the program and the trip, Dela Botri said it was successful and that the program that took place from the August 16 to September 3 in different states in the US has taught him a lot of lessons.

He said in Washington DC, participants were taken through leadership skills and how to raise funds to support the arts in their respective countries.

Being the only person selected from Ghana, he said he hopes to encourage people and bodies who support entertainment activities, programs and events to equally channel their attention to local music and content.

“We have not placed value on our culture. If we don’t promote our culture, a time will come foreigners will come and teach us our own culture because they have placed value on it and have been coming down here to learn it,” he cautioned.

He revealed that he is currently teaching more than 40 people for free on traditional music, how to play traditional instruments and how to read and write music to help sustain our music.

The program, he said also took him to Memphis where he performed at two venues, BB Kings Jazz Club with Plantation All Stars and at Stas with William Bell.

Dela Botri said he also visited New York where five artistes; Nash from Cote I’voire, Belo from Haiti, Mertsi from Finland, an artiste from Tanzania and himself (Dela Botri)collaborated with some US artistes to record a song titled We Are Together.