Curator of the popular Chalewote Street Art Festival, Mantse Nii Aryeequaye has recounted the time he spent in the cells over having a virtual festival in 2020.
According to the festival organizer, “We were having a virtual festival and they said we were breaking Covid protocols. They go and dump us in a tight cell with 52 people with no covid protocols.”
When asked if all the challenges he has faced and the time spent behind bars made him want to give up and trash the creative idea, Mantse pointed out that that was not the case and how it all boils down to sacrifice.
“Never! Don’t give up on your dreams. One cannot create a movement without sacrifice. Sometimes, they are painful and brutal like being thrown in jail for nothing and not reacting because there is a bigger picture you are looking at,” he stated.
Speaking on how time in jail felt like, he told Caleb Nii Boye in an interview on 3FM that “We had a laugh. It was pathetic; I don’t want us to dwell on it. It was a really insightful experience because we went in there and really transformed people’s lives. When we were leaving, people were crying. I became sad because some people were just at the wrong place at the wrong time, some people are innocent, they owe money and others.”
Wrapping up on the topic of discussion, Mantse, the Co-Director at Accra [Dot] Alt, a cultural network producing Chale Wote Street Art Festival called for “effective criminal justice system” as he realized during his time spent behind bars that things weren’t being done in the right way.
“We need a much more effective criminal justice system that doesn’t throw people into a cell on a whim,” he said in conclusion.
By Esther Aryee|3XTRA.TV|Ghana