… My heart’s in Accra Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003

April 5, 2005

Bernard Woma playing Dagara Bewaa music

Filed under: — Ethan @ 12:11 pm

My current header features my friend (and former teacher) Bernard Woma (left, playing the xylophone), rehearsing with his “cultural group” of musicians and dancers at his home in Medie, a suburb of Accra, Ghana. The photo is from January 2004, when I was travelling on Geekcorps business with Berkman colleague Andrew McLaughlin.

Bernard Woma, live in his backyard

Bernard is a Dagara master xylophonist from Nandom, a small village near the Burkina Faso border in northwestern Ghana. He’s now the master drummer of the National Theatre of Ghana and a lecturer at SUNY Fredonia, where he’s both teaching in the music department and studying towards his BA.


  1. It’s nice to see some postiive, yet honest images of Accra.

    Comment by Heather Koranteng — April 22, 2005 @ 10:29 am

  2. Hello !

    Have look at my eritrean pictures :


    I hope you ‘ll love them!

    Best regards from a French guy who loves Eritrea!

    Comment by eric — August 15, 2005 @ 2:50 am

  3. I wanna listen to the sounds of that xilophone!!! Looks great and must sound great too!!

    Isaac b.

    Comment by isaac b — December 4, 2005 @ 5:28 pm

  4. Isaac – check out BernardWoma.com – you’ll find some of Bernard’s audio there. I may get around to posting some soon if Bernard will let me.

    Comment by Ethan — December 5, 2005 @ 4:14 am

  5. […] I’ve finally met Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark) only two hours before flying back to Dubai. We had coffee with Ethan Zuckerman at the business class waiting lounge. It was very thoughtful of Ethan to bring me and Ahmad special gifts! thanks Ethan […]

    Pingback by Sugar Cubes » So it’s finished! — February 3, 2006 @ 9:45 am

  6. I studied drumming and dancing in Ghana in 1997. I flew into Accra, then traveled to a compound in Dagbe. The teacher that took me there was named Joseph Rasmussen (He suddenly and tragically died of a heart attack this past September). We studied under Godwin Agbeli (deceased later in the fall of 1997). I miss Ghana and want to go back. The xylophone players and dancers bring take my mind to a time of musical joy. Thank you for your blog.

    Comment by Sarah — February 5, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  7. Hey, I am currently doing some research about Ghana.
    anyone help, advice?
    It’s for a quiz.

    Comment by silvia — May 3, 2006 @ 9:13 am

  8. Hey,
    well, I am moving to Accra soon and really could use some advise and suggestions. We have a few people there, so we won’t totally be alone.


    Comment by krissy — July 2, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

  9. would like to move to ghana, i visit there july 17th 2004/

    Comment by A.D — July 4, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

  10. Hi,Hoder has recently started to support Iran’s intentions to get atomic bombs.If interested you can read here. Furthermore he tries to ruin iranian prominent prominent journalist, Akbar Ganji. From his trip to Israel he has a famous text and video.

    Comment by Eric — July 28, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  11. […] Ethan Zuckerman shares some of the interests I have, so I’m always interested to read My Heart’s in Accra. […]

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  12. Huh! is been nice reading about Ethan and and his good friends from Ghana once again. Ethan, which part of the world can you be found now. We miss you.

    Comment by Gladys — September 28, 2006 @ 6:49 am

  13. It’s nice to hear from you, Gladys. I’m home in MA today, but seem to travel every few days – yesterday was Pittsburgh, tomorrow, San Francisco. I’m trying very hard to get back to Ghana soon!

    Comment by Ethan — September 28, 2006 @ 10:06 am

  14. OK, the web is now getting close to “small world” for me. Got to your blog via Data Mining blog, via Spatially Adjusted (I’m into GIS), and looked at the picture, thought “that looks like Bernard Woma!?” Super cool for a most A-MA-ZING musician to get some extra face time on the web. I’ve played Ghanaian music, starting at Macalester College in St. Paul nearly twenty years ago now, and Bernard has come through Minnesota a few times. Though I’ve never had the honor to play with him, it was a true joy to see him play. OK, I’ve got to go play my dzil a bit now… Cheers!

    Comment by brad — December 8, 2006 @ 12:47 am


    Comment by DENVER — March 2, 2007 @ 1:45 am

  16. I want to view pictures of Miss Ghana because Iwant to use her picture as my screen saver

    Comment by Mary nutor — March 8, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

  17. thanx for all the work you are doing – makes the world a better place – you might want to look at AC2010 – effort to revive a once great school in Ghana

    Comment by kwame mfodwo — March 15, 2007 @ 4:45 am

  18. I was in Accra in May and Idrove on a sunday afternoon through the streets of the city. Was so impressed with absence of potholes and the beuty of the city save the new constructions.
    Good blog.

    Comment by Edward — June 20, 2007 @ 5:16 am

  19. Hi,

    I stumbled upon your site today and was quite impressed. I really liked the design. Did you make it yourself?

    I wanted to let you know about ReadPrint.com — a massive non-profit library similar to Bartleby — except its far better organized and user friendly. We’ve been using it extensively in school nowadays — it’s great for doing research since you can search within the books.

    Comment by Jennifer — September 11, 2007 @ 7:47 am

  20. Ethan, if you don’t FIX the link embedded in the banner graphic on your blog that directs readers to this blog post (Page ID=15) vs. the blog homepage I’m just gonna scream!!! Or do you leave it as is just to piss-off your regular readers? Hoping all is well with you back in Mass.

    Comment by BRE — September 17, 2007 @ 6:45 am

  21. Again, nice to see positive photos of Accra.
    Many generations ago it was the jewel of Africa
    maybe it will be that away again in the future.

    Comment by ScribbleSheet — September 19, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

  22. […] That’s where I met Bernard. He was a few years into his time with the company, and I’d just come to Accra on a fellowship, hoping to study traditional Ghanaian music and its relationship to contemporary Ghanaian music. Unfortunately, most of the teachers that had been recommended to me turned out to be dead, drunk, or dead drunk, and I spent a good bit of time in the fall of 1993 waiting around the National Theatre to see if my teachers would ever arrive. Bernard eventually rescued me and started teaching me the Dagara xylophone, the gyil. […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » That’s how you get to Carnegie Hall — October 27, 2007 @ 7:16 pm

  23. […] ha spiegato Ethan Zuckerman nel corso del suo intervento all’ETech 2008, gli stessi spazi progettati con il preciso scopo […]

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  24. I recently traveled to Accra to marry the most wonderful man . We were married at the Accra court house and then the following day had a ceramony with african friends who made me a tradital outfit out od kente cloth. It was a huge honor. They made my clothing by hand and I was so impressed by their love and kindness. I know it was genuine. I have never been around people so happy and spirtual, and full of love and life. I know there will be a day when my husband and I move back to Accra, and live out the rest of our days on earth, in this loving spirtual country. I look forward to my return, much love. Oh as for the music, I can feel that music down into my very core. it was so intensily “Feeling”

    Comment by Julie Ann — June 16, 2009 @ 5:18 am

  25. […] Ethan Zuckerman My Hearts in Accra. […]

    Pingback by Recommendations « ktravula – a travelogue! — March 29, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  26. […] Lifting choice quotes from the proceedings of the Berkman Hyperpublic event graciously compiled by Ethan Zuckerman. […]

    Pingback by A new vision of the public domain at Alper.nl — June 14, 2011 @ 6:29 am

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