Noyam’s ‘Dede’ Highlights Migration Issues Through Dance

Nii-Tete Yartey


The Noyam African Dance Institute, in partnership with the Culture for Sustainable and Inclusive Peace (CUSP) Network Plus, and the Center for Migration Studies, Legon, has conducted artistic research activities in Ghana to promote conflict transformation and sustainable peace building, as part of CUSP Network Plus Strand 3.

Noyam organised three arts initiatives aligned with the project’s goals of utilising creative practices for positive social change.

On Saturday, September 9, 2023, Noyam put together an amazing stage production dubbed ‘Dede’ at their theatre in Dodowa.

The production told a story of how a young lady, Dede, lost her dad though conflict, and travelled out of her community in search of answers for stopping the conflict in her homeland.

Noyam put together the contemporary dance theatre piece ‘Dede’ in collaboration with partners at the University of Glasgow and University of Ghana’s Centre for Migration Studies.

‘Dede’ also highlights the stories of migration and displacement through music, dance and drama.

The production saw a massive turnout of dance and art enthusiasts from all walks of life.

As part of the CUSP activities, Noyam held a youth dance competition at Noyam Theatre featuring groups creating dances around the theme ‘Move for Peace’.

It gave young talents the platform to express their visions for nonviolence, unity and social harmony through dance. Groups incorporated varied dance styles from hip hop to traditional African along with spoken word, music and theatre.

The competition fostered positive connections between youth across different communities in Accra and provided them the platform in advocating for social change through artistic expression.

A panel of local dance artists and peace practitioners evaluated the groups, with prizes going to the top three crews.

Noyam dancers also staged a powerful performance in Ahenkra village in the Eastern Region promoting messages of unity, resilience, and hope through a blend of traditional and contemporary African dance.

The event brought together Noyam’s professional dance troupe with community members in Ahenkra to showcase regionally specific dances from Ghana alongside modern styles.

The fluid mix of genres reflected the continuous evolution of Ghanaian cultural heritage.

Speaking after the project, Nii-Tete Yartey, a renowned Ghanaian choreographer and artistic director at the Noyam African Dance Institute, stated that a lot of research went into this production to ensure that their audience around the world would understand the essence of the production and go home with the core message of unity, resilience, and hope through a blend of traditional and contemporary African dance.

Nii Ogbamey Tetteh, Communications Manager at Noyam African Dance Institute, disclosed that it is easy to spread messages about illegal migration, peace and unity through traditional and contemporary African dance productions.

“What Noyam has been doing over the years is to preach on areas that constitutes to a better universe.

“The ‘Dede’ production focuses on unity, resilience, migration and hope. These key things have become very important in the world in recent times.

“Together with our partners, we at Noyam will continue to deliver high-level productions and play our part to ensure that the world becomes a better place for all of us,” Nii Ogbamey Tetteh said.

For more information on the CUSP Network Plus and Noyam’s peace building initiatives, please visit