Barcamp Tamale 2017 is a free networking forum bringing people together for a day of learning, sharing, networking and dialogue on Tamale, Ghana and beyond. It will take place on July 29, 2017 at the Tamale Sports Stadium. The theme for this year is “Empowering the Youth through Innovation and Professionalism”. About the theme, the lead coordinator for Barcamp Tamale, Nashiru Muntasir, said “This year’s theme seeks to foster innovation and professionalism among the youth.”.
The GhanaThink Foundation has successfully organized 72 Barcamps in Ghana as part of its Barcamp Ghana program since 2008. BarCamp Tamale 2017 will be a showcase of leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in the Northern Region. Discussions will center on empowering the youth for better development across all sectors. It will be an event for many people who live and are interested in Tamale to learn, share and network. Ato Ulzen-Appiah, the director of GhanaThink Foundation, said “So many young people here have been empowered through Barcamp Tamale, and this is the 7th edition. We’re excited about its continued impact”.
The Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about business, social entrepreneurship, technology and development, alongside topics relevant to the Northern Region and beyond. There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. Confirmed resource personnel include Alima Bawa of CowTribe, Sachibu Mohammed of Green Eaf and many more experienced mentors.
Register/RSVP at the BarCamp Tamale eventbrite website (barcamptamale17.eventbrite.com) or text “Barcamp Tamale [name] [email address] to 1945 through any mobile network. Contact the team at barcamp at ghanathink.org about any partnership opportunities or enquiries. Barcamp Tamale 2017 is supported by Tigo Ghana and Coca Cola Ghana Ltd. Our media partner is StarX TV and Zaa Radio in Tamale. Join us to move the Northern Region and Ghana forward.
Stay tuned via our #bctamale hashtag.
Stay tuned via our social media. Twitter | Facebook | Google+
This link is for the live streaming of today’s launch.
Foreword to FaceOff With the International ‘MP’
“It is often said that we take ourselves too seriously, and do not laugh enough. If this description fits or suits you, then please stay as far away as possible from Rodney and his writings [scratch that!]: read the book in hiding. I introduce to you a reverently irreverent writer who pulls no punches, wears no kids’ gloves, bars no holds and suffers no fools gladly. There is not a topic that Rodney is shy to address, and frontally and bluntly too. Rodney treats, [scratch that!] specialises in the topics that one might want to avoid; but by the time he is done, you absolutely relate to both the matter and his treatment of it. Or you hate him for it. His presentation is rich in language, imagery and humour. He is not shy to take digs at himself and so when he does that to others and the issues that he handles, it is just Rodney being Rodney.
I first ‘met’ this self-described “Honourable MP for Facebook” on (you guessed right) Facebook. Nobody elected him. He does not stand for re-election. He is self-anointed, self-appointed and self-titled. And to top it all off, he has chosen his own “Stool Wives” (three of them!), explaining that the position of an ‘African’ MP on Facebook must come with certain ‘fringe benefits.’ He has carried this make-believe ‘marriages’ so far that once when he had a public ‘tiff’ with one of the ‘Wives’, he received a genuine inbox message from a reader, reprimanding and excoriating him for quarrelling with his spouse in public!
We were students in the University of Ghana at the same time; or so he claims – I have absolutely no memory or recollection of him from those times. And I don’t remember whether he requested my ‘friendship’ on Facebook or I did his. I think that was the time he was about to relocate to Ghana from the UK. But somehow we got connected and hit it off like a house of fire. Once he settled in Ghana, he turned his fire and ire on the things that keep us back from moving forward as a people; and with his finely-honed wit, unrestrained humour and biting sarcasm, he has sought not to throw the fabric of who we are away, but to change some of the weak strands of the fabric, one frustrating strand at a time.
Rodney does not hide his obvious political bias, and freely admits that his political views are deeply influenced and coloured by that bias. Yet when you read him teasing, and ripping and tearing into his own side of the political divide, you are left wondering where that bias is…, until he returns to teasing and ripping and tearing into the opposite side of the divide. When he does that, he invites leading proponent-opponents to read his writing and answer back. He relishes in the exchanges and is full of witty comebacks. He wears his opponents out with sheer energy and vim.
Occasionally, he takes one on the chin. But I have seen him ride the punch and come back even stronger. He is your YING-YANG, at once your light and darkness, softness and hardness (Rodney, no naughty puns intended), in and out (Rodney, be careful!) and giver and receiver (Rodney!!!) This book marks his transition from the soft copies of electronic media to the hard copies of traditional paper books. But it doesn’t change who he is and what he does: an enigma and a riddle, confused and confusing at the same time.
You will find in Rodney, your well-hidden antithesis that is probably your real self, the self whose existence you deny to everyone and even convinced yourself does not exist. Thus in welcoming you to this book, I just welcome you to yourself. ”
— Ace Kojo Anan Ankomah. The 290-page book by Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng, his third book, is published by DAkpabli & Associates, Ghana, and will be launched on 23 June 2017 at the Christ the King Parish Hall, Accra. All are invited.
Kindly like and follow facebook.com/vividstreamlive when we are live, you will get notifcations.
“Her head did not fall within the norms of beautiful heads, it had two chambers and a frontal porch, (something far from the round head society deemed beautiful) and her physique was nothing to write home about. She was skinny to the bone and those bones were glaringly conspicuous. She raised her head to the silent and terrified stares from the sophomores and the final year students. She knew she was not beautiful, but she didn’t think she was that ugly until she saw the looks on their faces as they watched her”
Rigo Tales is your classical high school story retold to you in all its ramifications with the crude edges intact. Set in the cold Kwamo highlands, the inexorably thickening plot launches the reader on an excitingly breath-taking trek down the memory lane. At each turn and curb, what counts for the reader is the ring of authenticity.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia excels at pacing her narrative, which races forward, mirroring the frenetic lives chronicled; school boys and girls swept up in the bewildering change; the almost stoic persona of Abena seeking solutions to problems never faced before, the humanity of GKA the prim and proper school head teacher, the relentlessness of Ogunsa, the happy-go-lucky and mean Nipasco group; all melting into that bottomless pot called Kwamo Rigo.
Perhaps, what makes this book a breezy read that keeps you devouring the pages and yearning for more, is the courage of conviction, strength of character and love for family that encapsulates the very existence of the ugly-headed yet sweet-spirited protagonist. She affirms life while admitting its turbulence, melodramas and misfiring passions.
A solid meaty tale that does not disappoint; dramatic, suspenseful. The smooth reading makes it easy to forget the time and keep flipping the pages.
Amoafowaa Sefa knows how to wring the emotion out of the briefest scene and I am so honoured to foreword this book.
Chris Worla Essikpe
Lecturer, African University College of Communications – Accra
This Saturday and Sunday, #GIGI will steal the show at the #ChaleWote festival.
Everyone who comes to the fair wearing #GIGI will leave with something exciting.
There will be a draw, and winners will get FREE #GIGIs (show up at the WearGHANA stand in your #GIGI, drop your card or name on a piece of in the bowl and you could be that lucky customer)
But there’s more, come take a pic with our #GIGI koliko, load that up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with #GIGI, get the most likes and you get to win a #GIGI. And there will be an amazing #GIGI parade of #GIGIlets. You really don’t want to miss out on that.
Together, let’s steal the show. #GIGI anaa no size. Enti hy3 wo #GIGI na hyia y3n w) #chalewote
Last year, two Ghanaian writers Kofi Akpabli and Nana Awere Damoah gave themselves two targets: to do regular (preferably quarterly) public book readings and to extend the reading sessions beyond Accra.
Last year the duo held two readings. But could not go outside Accra.
For 2016, they had the same objectives and so far, they have done three readings: at PaJohn’s (Jan), Sytris Bookshop (Feb) and Vidya Bookstore (June).
For this quarter, Kofi & NAD intend to do two readings and finally achieve the second target: a double-strike; readings in Accra (3 Sept) and Kumasi (24 Sept).
They continue on their mission to make reading hip again. These writers, with 10 books between them including popular titles Tickling the Ghanaian, I Speak of Ghana, Romancing Ghanaland and Sebitically Speaking, believe that reading should be done for pleasure as well and not only for exams.
2016 Barcamp Tamale came off at the GNAT hall in Tamale on 30th July, 2016 with over 200 people in attendance. The motto was as usual “Vim” and “More Action, Less Talk” with the theme “Empowering the Youth for a Productive Nation”. Many mentors from Agriculture to Humanities to Aeronautics mentored participants who left satisfied and motivated. Senyo Kpelly, Ruka Yaro, Hikmat Baba Dua, Abdul-Mumin Damba Tahidu, Victor Pul, Nafisa Adams, Carole Donkers, Nana Kyei, Ken Kubugu, Abdul-Mumin Yussif, Ibrahim Mustapha, Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, Innocent Kafembe, Peter Kwarteng, Udit Shetty, Geoffrey Buta, Nana Kojo Bartels, Timothy Akanpabadai were the capable mentors. 2016 Barcamp Tamale was sponsored by TigoGhana and Tafta, Savannah Signatures, Hopin Academy. There was the open floor which was the starter, breakfast, speed mentoring, lunch and another group mentoring. All mentees left satisfied and well networked. Speaking to Ato Ulzen Appiah who is the director for GhanaThink Foundation he said:
It was great to see an impressive diversity of #bctamale participants, many who participated for the first time. We had over 15 mentors who have gotten rave reviewsfrom the mentees. This is the 6th Barcamp in Tamale and the fulfilling thing is that, some participants from the first one in 2011 mentored today. This signify growth.
It was indeed a successful programme and the organisers: Maccarthy Lomotey, Peter Awin, Nashiru Muntasir. Yakubu H. Yakubu, Kofi Larbi, could not ask for more. The breakfast was cool and lunch was delicious. Below are pictures from the event.
Introduced by Onyeka Nwelue and forwarded by Chris Worla Essikpe, Secondary Rhythms is fresh on Amazon. Dr. Mrs. Philomena Yeboah, Lecturer, KNUST English Department had this to say about it:
“Amoafowaa’s Secondary Rhythms captures the daily battles of her protagonist Abena, who fights against the emptiness and squalor of her family and personality, using diligence and long suffering as efficient tools. Abena, irrespective of her limitations, thrives academically and morally in Kwamo Rigo, a low-grade secondary school. Amoafowaa powerfully maps out the tortured routes of female progress. The young writer has called on us all to cast a retrospective glance at our past again so we can learn and share lessons through Abena’s journey through adolescence into adulthood. Abena will make a lot of friends all over the world and this is because each of us continues to traverse the rough roads of life – yet with optimism that success is assured.”
Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli’s book reading at Vidya Bookstore takes place in Osu on June 25, 2016.
“She couldn’t take another year in prison. She couldn’t even think about it. It had become so loathsome that it was almost preferable to die than to waste away any longer behind those walls. So her appeal began, not to the Governor, nor to the warden, but to the prison undertaker. The undertaker was responsible for all inmates who died. He placed them in coffins, sealed the coffins, and took them out for burial.
After some time, and using female wiles, she was finally able to persuade the man to help her escape. The plan was simple. The next time someone died, he would allow her to get into the coffin with the dead body. He would then nail the lid shut, take it out to the graveyard, bury it, and return under the cover of darkness to open it and free her. There would be enough oxygen in the coffin for that amount of time.
Eventually the opportunity came. Someone died. According to the plan, she sneaked into the darkened parlor and crawled into the coffin with the body. Shortly after that, the lid was nailed down. She felt the movement of the coffin as it was carried out to the waiting wagon. There was a rocking motion as it was pulled out of the prison yard, through the gates that were locked upon her for so many years, beyond the walls that she could never climb. She felt the wagon stop in the paupers’ graveyard, sensed the downward motion of the coffin as it was lowered into the hole dug for it. A swelling sense of victory filled her. The ploy was going to work!
She heard the clunking noise of earth being shoveled onto the coffin, until at last she could hear no more. Now it was only a short wait until the undertaker would come for her. Being curious, she lit a match to see who had died.
In the brief flare of the light she saw who it was. It was the undertaker… ”
— Nana A Damoah, Excursions in My Mind
Join Kofi Akpabli and Nana Damoah for more at their mid-year reading.
What do you call an oufit that you can share with your brother or sister, wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend?
What do you call an outfit that looks equally great on males and females alike?
How about GIGI?
That’s what the folks at WEARGhana call their latest creation: the world’s first truly super-cool unisex outift with a touch of African. And before you say unisex ain’t your thing, remember two words: polo shirt.
A truly creative fashion label, WEARGhana has always sought to expand the frontiers of Ghanaian fashion. And this is another mighty leap forward, and in the right direction
According to Co-founder Awura Abena, this is what led to the creation of GIGI, “At WEARGhana, our aim has always been to help Ghanaians look great at all events, wearing made-in-Ghana outfits. We noticed that while a lot of progress had been made in the formal and semi-formal categories, we really didn’t have worthy alternatives for casual foreign outfits like the polo shirt. And we realized that was a huge market.”
So what did they do?
“We went to work to produce an outfit, that was easy to wear and maintain, fun, great looking and truly casual. And affordable. And we ended up with the beauty we have christened GIGI”
Angorkor, the other half of the WEARGhana duo added, “GIGI is a t-shirt with unique statement print details. It’s both dressy and casual. Initially we were torn between presenting it as gents or ladies wear, and then ended up thinking, “why can’t it be both”? A ‘dress shirt’. So we tested the concept for a while and the response was overwhelming.”
Now here’s what you need to know about GIGI:
It’s available in countless exciting colours (navy, white, yellow, turquoise blue, purple, fuchsia, green…) and comes in 2 designs: the flap and the diagonal.
Ladies can wear it really short for those hot events or knee/ midi length. And guys can rock it like they would a polo shirt or t-shirt.
And it’s moderately priced. At GHS 70, you can afford to stock your wardrobe with enough GIGIs to make unforgettable fashion statements wherever you go.
So now we can’t wait to go to parties, the club, and see the GIGIs driving the polo shirt crazy.
Go on, call/ whatsapp us on +233243766202 or +233244827003 to place your orders. Or simply send us a message on our Facebook/ Instagram (@WEARGhana) page or website: http://www.wearghana.com.
PHOTO AND INFO: Wear Ghana
Efya performs. She looks great in her dress. Make up on point. Very on point.
Efya can really sing. And she is a Great stage performer!
Gospel Artist of the Year goes to SP Kofi Sarpong.
Hi Life Artist of the year goes to Bisa KDei with Mansa. Presenter of the award was Tonyi Senayah of Horseman Shoes
Hip Life/Hip Pop of the Year goes to EL still with Mi Na Bo Po.
Reggae/Dancehall Artist of the Year goes to Stonebwoy with Go Higher.
Omar Sterling of R2BEES represents on stage. Cool performance. There is some classy thing about his performance. Mugeez joins and the stage lights.
The Best Female Vocalist of the Year goes to Mz Vee!!! Well deserved! She looks stunning.
Best Male Vocalist of the Year goes to Pat Thomas. I must ask what was Hamamat Montia wearing? Soo horrid and where have her breasts travelled to?
Best Rapper of the Year goes to Sarkodie.
African Artist of the Year goes to Wizkid.
Joe Mettle performs. What a voice! Very powerful performance. It should have been the opening act.
Best Collaboration of the Year goes to VVIP with Skolom.
Best Group of the Year goes to VVIP.
Best Producer of the Year goes to EL with Mi Na Bo Po.
Best Music Video of the Year goes to EL with Shelele. Sparks controversy.
Best Record of the Year goes to Sarkodie featuring Pat Thomas.
Best New Artist of the Year goes to Kofi Kinaata. Well Deserved. Susuka was, is and will forever be a hit!
Most Popular Song of the Year goes to Bisa KDei with Mansa.
Wizkid performs. Cool performance. Wizkid announced that he has signed Mr. Eazi to his record label Star Boy Records. On it are R2Bees, Efya and himself. He called him on stage to perform.
Album of the Year goes to Bisa KDei.
Artist of the Year goes to EL.
Songwriter of the year goes to Kofi Kinaata. I must say it is well deserved. Susuka is a very very cool song.
Gospel Song of the Year goes to Nicholas Omane Acheampong with Aposo
The High Life Song of the Year goes to Bisa KDei with Mansa.
Reggae Dancehall Song of the Year goes to Stonebwoy with Go Higher.
Adoma who is an internet sensation rocked the stage although her beginning was a little too dramatic.
Bisa KDei must be commended for rocking his African Print suits. Cool stuff and his performance is okay. Not dramatic at all although a bit dull.
Hip Hop Song of the Year is Sarkodie with Hand to Mouth. Was expecting R2BEES’ 1990 to make the cut but what do I know?
Hip Life Song of the Year goes to Atom with Ye Wo Krom.
Afro Pop Song of the Year goes to EL with Mi Na Bo Po.
Finally Kofi Kinaata on stage. Been looking forward to it for long. His first performance is just okay. Not too special. Just okay.
Finally my favourite song from him in performance; Susuka. Nothing can go wrong with this performance. Well, it flopped on stage but still, I love it.
TESA MUSIC GROUP takes the Traditional Music Award.
Winner for the instrumentalist of the year is Justice Williams, aka Shikome.
Sound engineer of the year goes to Kaywa
All presented by Obuor and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
Best Music for Development is Milla Odartey Lamptey popularly known as Gasmilla. Takes home five thousand Ghana Cedis sponsored by Midland Savings and Loans
Lifetime Achievement Award goes to A. B. Crenstil. He takes home five thousand Ghana Cedis by the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts.
Stonebwoy’s performance was, to me, average. Sometimes performing head on is best than giving it too much side additives. So average for me.
Mid Land Savings and Loans sponsored the VGMA Peace Awards for the year and it goes for New Generation Gospel Ministers. They get ten thousand Ghana cedis. Joe Mettle received the award on their behalf.
What do you think Andrew Carnegie would have said if you had asked him in the 1800s if there was a steel industry? Somehow I can’t imagine him saying that it was non-existent. I can almost hear him say ‘it’s growing and it’s going to transform many industries throughout America and the world.’
One of the commonest questions about the fashion industry in Ghana is ( you guessed right):
Is there a fashion industry in Ghana?
I guess people ask because they can see many many areas that need to be improved in the industry. Like our primary school teachers, they mark our scripts and write in red ‘can do better’ sometimes even drawing an akokɔti 🙂
So why and how did such an industry attract a man as brilliant as Ob Abenser? I guess like Andrew Carnegie, he sees how this industry can impact the country and continent.
Ob, who describes himself as a documentary filmmaker and blogger holds a B.A. Sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon.
In an interview he says he had gotten tired of the complaints about the negative narrative on Africa by the western media. ‘If you won’t do anything about it, shut up’.
So he did 2 things. He established a full house media production outfit, Excelsis which has gone on to work with clients like Vodafone, KACE- AITI, Google Ghana, The African Regent Hotel, etc. This would enable him tell the African story the African way.
Then he founded Auntie Oboshie ( then FashionistaGH). He had noticed that there was a vacuum. The most popular stories (apart from the ones on disease and wars) on Africa were on politics and sports and he had noticed there was some brilliance being displayed on the Ghanaian fashion scene. He wanted it highlighted and documented.
Ob and his team have organised several shopping festivals, lecture series and business soirées, all with a focus on Ghanaian fashion. In 2013, he was named an Innovation Hero by Google and the Ministry of Trade and Industry for his outstanding contribution in using the internet in innovative ways to improve society.
In 2014 he was named Social Media Contributor of the Year at the Fashion Icon Awards.
But Ob’s greatest award is undoubtedly the respect he has won throughout the Ghanaian fashion industry. Almost every fashion house in Ghana has an Ob story to tell.
This Sunday, 24th April, 2016, AuntieOboshie presents a showcase of Ghanaian fashion from the 60s till now. The event will be held at the Accra International Conference Centre from 1- 9 pm. It’s free to enter.
Come. Come for 2 reasons.
1. To support Ob and his solid team
2. Come and see for yourself what Ob saw in 2011 – the strides being made in Ghanaian fashion.
#WEARGhana and several other leading fashion brands are bringing their A game and it promises to be an exciting event.
We salute you today Ob and we celebrate your contribution towards making Ghanaian fashion globally relevant. Ayekoooo!!!!
#AuntieOboshiePresents #HearUsRoar #CelebratingGhanaianGreatness
Story and phito credit: Awuraa Abena Agyeman of Wear Ghana.
When I was told about publicising a Ghanaian movie on amoafowaa.com, I showed no interest but my friend Perez Dziwornu insisted I did because of a special surprise, then this caught my attention.
“New York, NY USA: The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, today announced the first 55 films to feature in this year’s festival. Among the films selected was the film “childreN of the mountaiN” produced in Ghana by I60 Productions.
The film is the first feature from writer, director and producer Priscilla Anany who took her short film “Hospitals (Korji)” to Cannes Film Festival in 2013. “childreN of the mountaiN” is about a woman who has a child with cerebral palsy and a cleft lip who believes she can get healing for her child. She wonders from disappointment to disappointment trying to leverage her meagre earnings as a yam trader in the market. The film is set in Accra, Ghana and also a remote village of the Volta region of the country by Lake Volta. The film is in Twi and Ewe and stars a fresh Ghanaian/Nigerian actor called Rukiyat Masud who has done films like “Chelsea”, “Black Beauty” and “Sorrow of Madness”. It has some industry heavyweights like Akofa Edjeani, Adjetey Anang, Grace Omaboe (Maame Dokunu), Dzifa Glikpoe, William Addo (Akpatseh) and Bex (Agbeko Mortty).
Films are submitted in their thousands to the major festivals. Sundance this year had 12,793 films submitted of which they chose only 122 features and 72 shorts. Tribeca received 6,626 films so for Ghanaian film to be selected is a big accomplishment.
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 with the mission of contributing to the revitalization of lower Manhattan in the wake of the September 11 disaster. Thirteen years later, the Festival has grown at a remarkable pace, and brings together members of the international film community and movie-lovers of the US to the greatest and most diverse city to celebrate the power of film.
Writer∕Director Priscilla Anany said of the news “It took some time to make the film and it got to a point where the struggle to complete the film overshadowed the reason why I had started out to make the film in the first place. Being accepted into the Tribeca film festival awoke my drive and motivation and reminded me of why this story is important to share with the world any why it’s important to me.”
Still not convinced, he told me the movie was in two Ghanaian languages; Akan and Ewe with subtitles in English. That got me interested. For these two beautiful languages of Ghana to be promoted worldwide for others to see and familiarise with them was something that struck a chord. Then I watched the trailer and I was totally charmed. The story line of a dedicated mother with a child who had cerebral palsy and a Cleft palate facing challenges from within (in self doubt, pain and disappointments), facing challenges from the society who thinks it abnormal for a woman to have a child with disability, some associating it to all kinds of evil ( and we know that this is the reality on the ground where Ghana, I know, is concerned), For the Writer∕Director; Priscilla Anany, to think of this evil in society and make it into a movie whose dialogues catch attention and appeal to the senses of all is something that is not only commendable but extraordinary. So I thought, finally, some women will be empowered, finally, some parents will be stripped off their clothes of shame and clothed in understanding and love as they should, finally society will rethink its unfairness towards people living with disabilities and their families, finally some evil in the society is being shown the exit as enlightenment appears to claim its throne in the heads of those who lack understanding where people living with disabilities are concerned. Humans deemed snakes will reclaim their human status, humans tagged evil will have the evil severed from them. I thought on and on and on and they were all delightful thoughts.
What is equally catchy is the fact that this film represents the first full length feature film produced in Ghana and by a Ghanaian to be officially selected by such a major internationally recognised film festival. To applaud like I am doing now, you need to be there for the world premiere in New York on the 17th of April 2016 at Regal Battery Park Stadium 11 (RGL) 102 North End Ave, New York, NY 10281 6:30pm
“childreN of the mountaiN” will be first premiered on the 1st of July 2016 (Republic Day) at the Silverbird Cinemas, Accra Mall.
After my interview with Agbeko Mortty known as Bex, I understood that the movie was made for all the right reasons. Even the title having a special feature of end capitals to depict that anyone can have a disability. Luck may be a deciding factor in all that regulates the world. Although I would have loved for the Editing to be done in Ghana by Ghanaians, I will say it is absolutely a good start.
Good movies we watch, good books we read, give us the right knowledge, give us the right wisdom to discern facts and put ignorance in shame. A satire by all standards that raises questions and strikes the chords of conscience of every individual no matter how uninterested. For those in the USA, please watch the premiere and see from a different geographical era the cultures that differ, the love that anyone can relate with, the pain that anyone can feel and the humanity we share. I highly recommend this movie for anyone, everyone who wishes to be enlightened and wants to be in touch with his or her humanity.
Headed by the indefatigable and hardworking Randy Sedem Agbodo and supported by Charity Batuure; the Autism Help Foundation got the full backing of the Wa School for the Deaf’s section of neuro disorders and the walk came off in the morning at exactly 9am.
Some members of the community joined to lend their support to the children as they celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2016.
The Wa walk was also a huge success. Thanks to all stakeholders concerned.
April 2 of every year is World Autism Awareness Day and to commemorate this day, Autism Help Foundation organised walks in two regions, Northern and Upper West and partnered the Autism Ambassadors of Ghana to walk in Accra. The Yendi walk, with the pupils of Yumba Special School and Portia Dery’s African Youth Writers Organisation members, started around 11:00am as the rains made travelling from Tamale to Yendi a hurdle. Thankfully, the Yendi Police Commander made sure our escorts were ready by the time we reached there.
Protected by five strong escorts, we started off at the palace of Kampakuya Naa Yakubu Abdulai, the Regent of Yendi who gave his blessings days before the walk. We spoke to many people, enlightened many whose idea of people with neuro disorders ranged from evil to spirits to witches in rivalry. We were thankful most of them confessed they had learnt to keep them alive.
Enjoy some of the pictures.
Great thanks goes to Autism Society of Ghana who supported this project, Nana Awere Damoah, Alexer, Mash Cudjoe, Portia Dery, Ruka Yaro, teachers of the Yumba Special School, and all the volunteers. And to the AHF team and its chairship, I say Ayekooo!!!
Writers Project of Ghana proudly presents the second reading for 2016, featuring Nigerian lawyer and writer Elnathan John. This event is scheduled for Saturday 5th March 2016 from 4.30 PM at Vidya Bookstore, Osu.
You are cordially invited to join us for the reading. Admittance is free of cost.
Any Other Monday is a family drama produced by Abc Pictures and directed by Pascal Amanfo. It will be premièred in Accra at the SilverBird Cinemas, West Hills Mall and Accra Mall all in Accra on March 4, 2016 from 6am to 9am.
The movie, directed by Pascal Amanfo and featuring Yvonne Nelson, Kafui Danku, Doris Sackitey, Jose Tolbert, Kunle Rhemy, Selly Galley, Victoria Micheals, Emman Donkor, is a satire which makes us see that we all wear masks. A wise man once said “We all live a LIE
at some point or the other”. You want to know how true that is? Make sure you make time for the premier on March 4, 2016. Who others think we are may be different from who we really are. Fact or Fiction? Truth or Dare? Our secrets, no matter how long we hide them, will eventually surface like oil hidden deep into water and stare us in the face. When that time comes, it will be on a day like ANY OTHER MONDAY.
As an independent artiste owning her own label (Djimba World Records), she is free to go in whatever artistic direction she chooses. Wiyaala used her opportunity in the UK to shoot a video for “Leno” in Yorkshire. “Even better, Charlotte Appleton (Rock My Body, Go Go Black Stars) the director, came up with a great storyline set in historical times” Wiyaala said.
In the video, she plays the role of a beautiful African temptress who bewitches and seduces a young man (played by British actor Neil Tattersall)…. You will have to watch the video to see what happens!
And there is lot’s more news to come! Wiyaala’s film acting debut in “No Man’s Land” will premiere at The Accra Silverbird on the 13th February. She is travelling
to South Africa this month to shoot a video for “Hiizi”, a song collaboration with Mzee & Rafiki, from their upcoming album with artistes from all over Africa including Salif Keita from Mali. Wiyaala wishes you a Happy New Year!
Gradually, theatre is gaining grounds as a formidable, alternative source of entertainment in Ghana. Something big in this industry is going to happen this February. The eve of Valentine just got more interesting.
From the ink of playwright, Kobina Ansah, comes a new romantic comedy, ‘I Want To Sue God!’ Writer and director of the first ever seasonal play in Ghana; This Family Is Not For Sale, says this satire mocks how we blame God for almost every misfortune that happens to us when indeed we are the cause. Typical of most humans right?
Set in a contemporary society, this piece highlights how young couples spend extravagantly on weddings only to live the rest of their married life regretting. After entangling themselves in a mess, such couples blame either God or the devil for what they have brought on themselves.
In I Want To Sue God!, Bishop Akpanya, General Overseer of The 13 Apostles Divine Ministry, prophesizes the marriage between Kekeli and the singing bird, Arhinfoa. After throwing a luxurious wedding party, Kekeli finds out his “heaven sent” wife, on whom he has spent his lifetime savings to wed, is exactly opposite what he had imagined. She’s everything but a wife. Decision? Someone needs to be sued!
Showing on Saturday, 13th February 2016 at Central Cafeteria on University of Ghana campus, I Want To Sue God! promises to be suspenseful, fun-filled and entertaining. Kobina Ansah hints, “We seek to achieve three main ‘Ls’ with this satire; leisure, laughter and lessons.” He added, “Young people spend on weddings too much. It is about time we used theatre to correct some of these ills in society while we laugh at them.”
Laced with humour, the five-cast romantic comedy is a product of Scribe Productions and proudly sponsored by Scribe Communications. First show is at 4pm. Second show is at 7pm. Don’t miss it.
Writer Nana Awere Damoah, author of five books including I Speak of Ghana, Sebitically Speaking, has called on Ghanaian publishers to do more to push Ghanaian writers on the world front. The writer, in a chat with Amoafowaa wrote:
“I Speak of Ghana listed as one of the “to read” books for tourists to Ghana. Sadly, it is the only one listed which is written by a Ghanaian:
Check out the top 50 books in the “Travel Guide” category on Amazon for, say West Africa, and you will see my point even more clearly: most of the authors listed are not West African.
Our publishers must do more to get many of our great titles on online sales platforms. We need more GH writers. We also need to promote our own.”
He also added
“By the way, two great books for anyone visiting Ghana: Romancing Ghanaland and Tickling the Ghanaian, both by Kofi Akpabli.”
You are invited to the launch of Akua Agyekumwaa’s inspirational book, Hurt People Hurt People. This is the blurb of the book:
“Blood boils through your veins manifesting in the seething of your teeth whenever you see them because of the pain they caused you. The sexual abuse, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse that made you feel dirty and useless any time you think about it.
Are you tired of going through all the emotions and tired of the tears? Are you tired of having broken relationships as a result of the abuse you went through? Are you too ashamed to open up to people but anxiously in need of healing?
Then this is the right book for you.
Akua Agyekumwaa shares wisdom she gained from her own experiences of various forms of abuse and practical scriptural principles to help liberate the broken hearted and bring healing to all who have suffered all forms of abuse.
You will find out
• How to identify abusive situations
• The difference between forgiveness and reconciliation
• Practical steps to help you heal
• True life stories of people who have been through abuse and have been healed
This book is the beginning of your journey to wholeness. Wholeness that will give you a peace of mind to pursue all you want to be and have fulfilling relationships.”
If you want a copy of Hurt People Hurt People, please Place your orders here:
Nana Awere Damoah’s launch was a successful launch. The programme which took place at the GNAT Hall in Accra on December 4, 2015 saw the likes of many huge personalities in attendance. Guests arrived at 5:30pm and this was the programme line-up.
0600 Opening Prayer
0605 Welcome – MC
0610 Introduction of Chairperson and Keynote Speaker – MC
0615 Poetry – Nana Asaase
0625 Chairman’s Response – Romeo Djan
0635 Sebitically Reading – Maukeni Padiki Kodjo, Petra Asamoah & Stephen Anti
0650 Book Review – Seth Bokpe, Daily Graphic
0700 Poetry – Chieff Moomen
0710 A Touch of Wofa Kapokyikyi – Nana A Damoah
0720 Appellations – Achiebold Acheampong
0730 Keynote Address – Prof H Kwasi Prempeh
0745 Launching & Grand Auction – Samson Lardy Anyenini
0805 Vote of Thanks – Josephine Afriyie Acheampong
0810 Closing Prayer – MC
0815 Music, Refreshment, Book Signing
MCs: Kwame Gyan, Katutey Ocansey
Little Damoah at post, usher extraordinaire.
As usual, Nana Asaase gave a stunning performance
A full auditorium it was
The man of the moment; Nana Awere Damoah talking about Wofa kapokyikyi the wise drunkard
Archibold, the great Akwapim poet who wowed his audience with his heavy lyrics and Akwapim ascent.
The very learned forwarder, if I can put it that way. The man brought books written by learned people from early African civilization. And spoke like the knight of words he is.
The time for some tedious work by the author and the lovable chase by owners who need autographs
Multipixel Limited (Book design and layout)
Biggles Multimedia (Publicity & Program design)
Type Company Limited (Book printing)
Azaliabooks.com (Online bookstore for e-books)
Wear Ghana (Clothing)
Horseman Shoes (Shoes)
A Piece of Cake by Nuerki (Cakes)
StoreFoundry.com (ndamoah.storefoundry.com – online bookstore for hardcopies, for delivery in Ghana and globally)
Beyond Events (Decor)
Sena Fiawolikplim Wemakor (Décor)
Abeeku Entsua-Mensah (Video streaming)
Nana Awere Damoah’s Sebitically Speaking to me, is an ice breaker if ice is sluggishness and breaking is salvation. The book takes us into a journey of advice through satires and threads many paths from personal to political. Once we all have breath and live in the same world, everyone is likely to see a part of himself in the book and hear the call of change, the power behind the writer’s voice.
That said, Sebitically Speaking will be launched on December 4, 2015 at Teachers’ Hall, Accra from 6-8pm.
Here is an excerpt of Nana Awere Damoah’s Sebitically Speaking:
“Sebitically Speaking: The Legend of Kapokyikyi
This week, I have been thinking of my ancestors a lot. Of Kwame Bassanyin the first and second; of Nana Ntiako; of Premang Ntow the second; of Bombay; of Somiah; of Egyabima and Abakoma. Of those who have gone ahead to prepare the way for the rest of us who will surely traverse the road which doesn’t lack pilgrims, willing and unwilling. I thought of Kapokyikyi. I bring you greetings from all these names, as I reflected on the memories of their lives and times.
The spirits of my ancestors keep me company as I prepare to go to my village to see the Old Man off on his journey to join his forebears. I go to Wasa to bury my uncle Kasapreko Nana Kwame Bassanyin III, the nephew of my grandfather Nana Premang Ntow II (known in private life as Nana Kwabena Damoah). I go to the village to say goodbye to the man who bears the same name as my dad Bombay and my son.
And I think of Kapokyikyi. It is now time to tell you about Kapokyikyi. You see, Kapokyikyi is not a fictional character. Kapokyikyi was my dad’s brother; you would say a half-brother as his mum was not my maternal grandmother, Efua Abakoma. But in my language, there is no word for ‘half-brother’; nor is there a word for ‘cousin’. That word is alien to my tongue and that is why Kasapreko is my Wofa. Kapokyikyi’s mother was one of the fourteen wives of Nana Premang Ntow; go to Wasa Akropong (the big city) and ask of Africa Woman, Nana Asieduwaa, and she will proudly tell you that she was the youngest wife of my grandfather. She is alive and still goes to her farm. I don’t know her age; I doubt that she does. Nana Asieduwaa, it was, who asked me once when I visited with the Wasalets:
“Nana Awere, when are you having your fourth child?”
“Nana, we are done”, I replied.
“Nonsense,” she blurted, “if your mother had stopped at three, would you have come into this world?”
Nana Asieduwaa, the Africa Woman.
Kapokyikyi lived in the old palace, which was the traditional family house and the residence of Kasapreko before the new palace atop the hill near the Ehyira River was built. I don’t remember Kapokyikyi being married. So he ate in the house of his sisters and slept in Kasapreko’s palace.
Kapokyikyi contributed no chop money. The little money he had, he spent it at Liberty Base, where the ‘hot stuff’ was sold. The stuff that Kofi Akpabli says no one ever drank and smiled.
VC 10. Kumepreko. Anferewoase. Efie Nipa. Akpet.
My uncle, Kapokyikyi, was hardly ever sober.
But his mind was sharpest when he was not sober.
And he certainly spoke his mind.
Mostly to Kasapreko. He who was reputed to speak once and definitely.
So one day, Kapokyikyi was said to have confronted Kasapreko on an issue and asked him, “Nana, wo gyimi a, wonnhu?” meaning, “Nana, don’t you realise it yourself when you are being stupid?”
I said it o! I did! That what a man says when drunk, he thought about whilst sober.
Kapokyikyi would exercise his sharp tongue even on his sisters who fed him, at the risk of losing his next meal. Ka na wu (speak your mind and damn death), he would say.
This week, I say I am thinking of my ancestors oo. Of Bassanyin. Of Ntiako. Of Kwame Atta. Of Yorke. Of Premang Ntow. Of Kapokyikyi.
I am thinking of the founding fathers of our nation, Ghana. I think of the courage of the ex-servicemen, the veterans of World War II, who stood up to the colonial powers. I think of Nii Kwabena Bonne III. I think of Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey. I think of the vocal activists who shouted themselves hoarse and spoke out to get us our independence.
And I ask, what has got our tongue as a people?
I read the articles of the late writer and lecturer, Professor PAV Ansah, in these reflective moments; I juxtapose them against the current times and I ask, what has made us so silent as a people in the face of issues that demand that we speak out and straighten the crooked paths our leaders are traversing in open view?
Did the culture of silence in the eighties produce citizens of silence?
Where from this culture where we speak from our stomachs instead of from our minds? Where political patronage defines the exercise of our speech and the fear of being tagged restrains us from expressing our views on national issues?
Unless we all speak out about our speedy spiral into the valley of national ineptitude, no-development and directionless-ness without fear of being branded, there will be no hope of a turnaround. That ka na wu attitude.
I think of Kapokyikyi. I think of my own dad, Bombay, who called a spade a spade. ‘Old solider never dies’, he would say. Friendly but firm. Brother and close friend of Kapokyikyi. Kapokyikyi who would tell Kasapreko to consider his own folly, sɛbi sɛbi.
Every leader needs a Kapokyikyi. Okay, those who are biblically inclined would say a Nathan, but one definitely infused with the spirit, whether brewed or unseen.”
Finally, finally the D day is here.
To give thanks and praise to God almighty for how far He has brought us, we are holding an online church service.
Here’s the order if service please. We know it might take a life of its own but this is to give it some structure
Order of service
Moderator intros day’s activities
Invites Grey for prayer
Invites Seyram and praise team
Moderator invites pastor, osofo maame and interpretor to stage
Pastor invites visiting pastors I.e. NAD, Nenebi, Asaase to say a few words
Invites Amoafowaa to talk about autism project
Prosper gives women’s fellowship announcements
Ends with praises
Introduces second part of program I.e. launch of website
We put up the we are live artwork
Put up pictures of outfits
Invite people to buy
Throughout service moderator encourages people to load pictures for beauty pageant
I have three wonderful things to tell you about!This Saturday 19th September at 9pm at Accra’s +233 Jazz Bar & Grill, Noella is in concert with her official band, The Djimba World Band. The show will start at 9pm sharp and they have designed a pulsating two hour set list for you to feel the heat and rock your bodies! Don’t miss this chance to see Wiyaala & The Djimba World Band in full flow. If you’ve not seen her live, here is a little taster!
For anyone in Germany on the 3 October, she will also be performing a concert at The Kampnagel Concert Hall in Hamburg which is the climax of the two week “We Don’t Contemporary” Arts Festival celebrating the diverse African arts scene.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
She has 3 nominations at the All Africa Music Awards (Afrima) due to be held in Lagos 13th to 15th November. This is a very prestigious African awards event which attracted 2558 entries from all over Africa this year. She is very honoured to have been selected. Her nominations include best Female West Africa, best African Rock Song and African Album of the Year for “Wiyaala”.
The video for her song “Africa” directed by Stanley Adjetey was also nominated in the Best Video category. This award goes to the director.
Last year she won two awards; Most Promising Artiste in Africa and The Revelation of The African Continent. And that was thanks to the enthusiastic voting from her fans.
If you want her to win again, here’s the thing…
“To win awards like this in the face of Nigerian competition with their massive population advantage is not easy. That means I am calling on all of you who support Ghanaian music to take time out to support our musicians. Now! And I mean right now!
We did it last year and we can do it again. So, please just take a few moments of your time, CLICK THE LINKS below which take you directly through to each voting page and vote Wiyaala! Please do it NOW!”
“Album of the Year is decided by a panel of judges. Other artistes from Ghana who have been nominated include, Sarkodie, Edem, Stonebwoy, Dark Suburb & Efya. I am sure they would also appreciate your support.
Thank you and have a great day! And come on Saturday! You will not regret!
An Irresistible Literary Tiger Nut …Sebitically Speaking is released ACCRA, 14 AUGUST, 2015 Sebitically Speaking, described by Daily Graphic’s Samuel Obour as ‘an irresistible literary tiger nut every lover of Ghana must chew’ has been released in paperback, written by the Ghanaian writer and engineer, Nana Awere Damoah. The fifth book released by the writer in eight years, Sebitically Speaking is a collection of Sebiticals, no-holds-back articles infused equally with humour and satire, a commentary on socio-political happenings in Ghana and Africa. “Inspired by Damoah’s late uncle, nicknamed Wofa Kapokyikyi, who was known for speaking his mind like nobody’s business, Sebitically Speaking is set around responsible citizenship and nation building. The 26-chapter read, which focuses mainly on Ghana with references to neighbouring Nigeria and Africa as a whole, exposes the country’s vulnerabilities and highlights her prospects. With the economy, energy, health care, education, political process; even family, faith and morals forming the bulk of the contents, the subjects in this book aren’t what strike you as unique. It is how Damoah drums them home in a manner that transcends mere commentary to provoke action,” writes Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey, a freelance journalist based in New Jersey, USA and a columnist for The Africa report. Sebitically Speaking is available for purchase on Amazon sites globally and in outlets in Ghana from September 2015. It is also offered as eBook on Kindle, iTunes/iBooks, Azaliabooks (in Ghana, where payment can be done with mobile money) and other eBook platforms. About Nana Awere Damoah: Nana Awere Damoah is the author of three non-fiction books: I Speak of Ghana (2013), Through the Gates of Thought (2010) and Excursions in my Mind (2008) and one fiction book (a collection of short stories), Tales from Different Tails (2011). He has also contributed to two anthologies. He keeps a personal blog at http://www.nanadamoah.com and is a columnist on Infoboxdaily.com, writing under the column Sebitically Speaking, where the Sebiticals in this book were first published.
Portia Dery is a young writer making waves in Ghana. She won the Golden Baobab Award for Children’s Literature and she is the main brain behind this writing clinic which will start on Saturday, 20th June 2015 from 9am to 10:30am at the Children’s Library, Tamale.
The funky ReadWrite clinic is an intensive incubator grooming clinic that lures children to read and write through play activities/games, AYWO’s curriculum and technology. The aim of this clinic is to groom children to pick up pleasure reading and creative writing as quality leisure activities hence in the long run making them avid readers and prolific writers.
The Funky ReadWrite Clinic has two key distinctive features;
A funky reading clinic where children are exposed to a wide variety of books. Children are taken through an exciting journey of reading via play activities/games and technology.
A mentoring creative writing clinic which systematically stimulate the imagination of children. Here, creative writing is used as a therapeutic tool to help children open up, be confident and become more vocal about their emotions. Children are taken through intensive writing courses and also mentored by top African writers around the world via online programs.
Why the need for this?
Ghana’s educational system has undervalued the importance of pleasure reading and creative writing for children in schools. Over the years emphasis has been on ‘text book’ education and story books have been subtly pushed to the back.
Children are constantly reminded, “you must read to pass your exams!” as a stern warning making most children view reading and writing as ‘ a dreaded monster.’ Thus, reading and writing is often promoted as a means to an end, which is for exams only. Hence children miss the opportunity to explore and stimulate their creative minds.
The above worsens the already high illiteracy among children. UNESCO clearly says that more children are illiterate in world’s poorest countries than believed.
Although a national problem in Ghana the situation is worse in the northern region of Ghana. For instance, whiles the rate of illiteracy in the Greater Accra Region is 21% Ashanti 40%, 54% in the Brong Ahafo Region, it rises to an alarming 76% in the three Northern regions(http://tadmi.org/)
Why are beneficiaries children from deprived communities? Children in deprived communities have no access to good schools with good educational facilities. These children are usually very timid, less vocal, their reading and writing abilities are low and therefore find it extremely difficult to understand their lessons in the classroom.
Their parents earn below the minimum wage hence would never be able to afford extra reading & writing lessons or buy enhanced reading materials.
17 school children are selected from 4 schools within 4 deprived communities; they would be groomed in this intensive clinic for 4-5months. After which the second batch will be enrolled.
These children would become reading ambassadors and change agents for their schools and communities
There is a local proverb which is best transliterated “he who climbs a good tree deserves to be pushed”. Let’s show our support in sponsorships and show up in our numbers to help train some children to love reading so as to impact positively their peers.
Yesterday, a very good friend of mine; Sylvanus Bedzrah, nominated me to tell the world what makes me a Ghanaian. Well, I’ve thought it through and these are the things.
1. My name is Abena Amoafowaa Tawia Mansah Sefa Cecilia; Abena, a name I gained after touching the Ghanaian ground on a day ordained by God in birth. Amoafowaa, my box cum part of my surname, a name my late grandmother used to stand on three legs to mention with its appellations: Nana Amoafowaa Jemremedua! Princess of Nana Yaw Adjare of Ekona Clan. No knife must touch you lest it breaks bones of the holder, no harm must come to you, lest the harmer risk his or her family’s extinction. You are the old wise one reincarnated! You will live long!!! (Smiling at this point). Tawia, a name I earned by the sole reason that I was born after twins, Sefa; the other part of my surname. Mansah, another name earned because I am the third of females born continuously without a male. I make the “Cecilia” my last name because it was borrowed. I could legally remove it but I loved and still love the one who added that name to my list of names, plus, she is late so it is more like a deed of hers I want to live with. Legally, I am known as Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia. This is one thing that makes me a Ghanaian.
2. My palate knows grasses and weeds and alien vegetables and also knows indigenous foods like tuo zaafi, banku and okro, ampesi and “potogum hwei gum” but to mention a few. The lands produce good food and I love eating them in style, it is easy to find others calling me names like “a villager” and the rest, what sort of tag is that? Every body comes from a village, please the good food and demonstration of me eating it always, makes me a Ghanaian.
3. We can bicker like old maids, insult politicians who are accomplished as though they are slaves, hail stars and bring them down (not proud of), but many extend their hands when someone is genuinely in need. Family are sacred entities. By the end of the month, money attracts dead relatives who spring up from nowhere, but when help is needed, all hands (sometimes a few anomalies) are on deck, they are always there to show their support and love. Me giving most and receiving no cash but much love; pure or otherwise, makes me a true Ghanaian.
4. I can watch a local parody of Lil Wayne on Ghanaian screens and laugh at the laughing stock that is associated with the original. No tattoos on this one but the face, mannerisms and gestures tell tales of freedom and humour which gladdens my world. The laughter of life which echoes from me and can travel to others in an infectious manner, makes me a Ghanaian. The elephants can battle the umbrellas on the field of politics all they want, but never see the shoes of wars. Even comedians are among political aspirants allowing electorates some comic relief, my pride in most things we do making life interesting makes me a Ghanaian.
5. Whatever you teach me, I can do it to an extreme (on the good side though). So teach me to fly with wings of a hen and I will make sure I get that of an eagle. Hard work earns me the name “witch”, typical Ghanaian show of successful African women.
Kwaku Atta can date 6 women together, he can only be called Kwaku Attah the he-goat. Let me defend one of his women who has two men, and I get to be called defender of prostitutes; melody to my ears. A woman from another planet may choose to go to court for this, as for me, I know this makes me me and shows I am doing well because I am a typical Ghanaian.
6. I know no snow because the sun mostly dances in my Ghanaian sky, sometimes goes overboard, but what do I care? I get to live, feeling its massages on light clothes. I don’t need to live in hundred clothes a day. Snow can never restrict my movement. Just sponsor a trip with me inclusive abroad and you will know by my shrivelled cries that I am a true Ghanaian.
7. Celebration of excellence is the Ghanaian way. Fail and no one knows you. Be around me where writing is concerned and you will hear, “oh her? I know that girl, she is a very close friend of mine”, go abroad and let someone mention my name and you will hear one who has never seen me say; “Oh! That is my sister” That is just by the way. Everyone we respect and love has a “brother” or “sister” attached to his or her name. Yes, sisterhood and brotherhood, that makes me a Ghanaian, so if I call you Sister Sylvia or Brother Maxwell, know it is a Ghanaian thing of love and respect..
8. So I love taking “trotro” because talking about love, life, politics makes life worthy of living. It is easier to get the biography of an unknown person or know all about the antagonist of another’s life without asking questions. People talk to people freely, known and unknown. So see me talking to someone I just met on “trotro” or in a taxi and laughing my heart out, there is no doubt that I am a Ghanaian.
9. I am a manager by default. The cost of my food alone can be 1000 cedis, school fees, hospital bills, transport cost etc not inclusive while my take home is less than 1000 cedis. Trust me, I can live through the month in perfect stride, don’t mind my “sign dan ho”, my managerial skills makes me a true Ghanaian.
10. I love the natural sights of the Kwahu Mountain, the beautiful Damongo Game Reserves, the intriguing Monkey Sanctuary, the many beautiful waterfalls, the legendary temples but to mention a few. The beauty of nature in Ghana reflects my being, ask me about the realisation of most of these serene places and I will tell you about the many hunters or farmers who chanced upon them. Trust me, that makes me a true Ghanaian.
There are many more I may share in future life if God permits. For now, I choose Nana Awere Damoah and Namerl Tagoe to tell the world ten things which make them Ghanaians.
Our guest post is a beautiful, very beautiful (no exaggeration) lady inside out. She is a fashion designer, a motivator, an inspiration, a Ghanaian patriot with a golden intelligent head on her head. She is one of the stars of Africa where innovation in creativity is concerned. She is none other than Awura Abena Agyeman.
AMOAFOWAA: You’re welcome to amoafowaa.com
AWURA: Thank you
AMOAFOWAA: Please tell us about your family and growing up
AWURA: I come from a large family filled with lots of love and support. I’ve got 8 siblings and a fantastic mum. If I had to choose the single most valuable asset I have aside God, it would be my family. They’re my anchor. I grew up as a silly chubby girl who could talk from here till forever and yet I managed to convince my teachers that I was the quietest person in each class I got to.
AMOAFOWAA: Lol. So Wear Ghana. How did it come to be?
AWURA:Well it started in so many little parts.. A promise to a friend to make him a shirt after he had ordered me some sewing books… a project with my brother to find a way to revive the clothing and textiles industry … a conversation with two of my brothers with one of them suggesting the name WEAR Ghana for an event … my sister going out to tell a neighbour I was a fashion designer after the neighbour had shown interest in an outfit I had designed for her (my sister)… to having my best friend of so many years, Angorkor Nai-Kwade partner me. Looking back I realise these were just sign posts leading me to my calling. But all in all it really happened when I realised I had landed a promotion at work and had been offered a nice position in another bank and was still feeling empty. It was then that I realised WEAR Ghana was my only way to achieve true happiness in my work life.
AMOAFOWAA: Who is/are your role model(s)?
AWURA: I’ve got many. At various points in my life I’ve found myself learning from many different people… A fantastic boss, my siblings, even a character in a book or movie. My role model is anyone who has a trait I find admirable.
AMOAFOWAA: Who do you dream to dress in the whole world?
AWURA: Oprah. All the African presidents, Chimamanda, Will Smith, all Ghanaian presidents, Obama, Patrick Awuah, Mensah Otabil to mention but a few.
AMOAFOWAA: What inspires your designs?
AWURA:We draw inspiration from so many random things. Trees, light… I find that I’m most creative in a moving vehicle. Perhaps it’s because those are the few times I’m truly sitting still. I should be still more times. I’ve decided I’ll learn how to meditate but it takes a lot of practice to master.
AMOAFOWAA: Can clothes speak on beings?
AWURA: Hopefully I understand your question. Clothes do a lot of talking. There are people who you have probably never spoken to who assume they know you because of your appearance. And clothes take up a huge chunk of one’s appearance. Sometimes without even getting close you can imagine how a person’s breath will smell, just because of how they’re dressed. Kojo Yankson of the Joy Super Morning show demonstrated this perfectly in one of his ‘messages from the morning man’ in which he speaks of a robbery where thieves get easy access into a building because they dress up as firemen.
AMOAFOWAA: Yes, you understood perfectly. Any hobbies?
AWURA: I love dancing and chatting with people whose minds I find beautiful. Reading too.
AMOAFOWAA: Can fashion contribute to national development?
AWURA: Not only can it, it absolutely should. The global fashion industry is a multi billion enterprise. If we think of fashion as a wealth creating force, we’ll approach it in a more business minded way. That’s what’s often missing in the local industry. There’s a disconnect between the art and the business of fashion.
AMOAFOWAA: What is your take on gender equality in Africa in recent times?
AWURA: I honestly don’t see people in terms of male and female. I see them as intelligent people or hard working people or kind people. But that’s not to say there’s no gender imbalance. There are struggles women go through that men would never fully appreciate. Like having a pervert grab my ass while I was shopping in a market. And the painful part when these things happen is that most of the people around including women think it’s funny. “It’s just a man being a man. Oh come on, don’t make a fuss” But on the other hand I know there are battles men have to fight on a daily basis that I may never fully appreciate. At the end of the day, I think we should all just learn to treat each other with integrity and respect. Male or female. Period.
AMOAFOWAA: Politics, does it affect the fashion industry?
AWURA: It affects every industry and the clothing and textiles industry is no exception. The fact that at the end of the day it is politicians who run the economy and that the economy has such a direct bearing on how the business climate works, shows clearly that politics affects us all.
AMOAFOWAA: Has formal education inspired you in any way?
AWURA: I believe it has. If for nothing at all I’m able to browse the internet to learn ways of building empires and see how other clothing lines are being efficient. I am however of the opinion that our method of education is seriously porous. And I doff my hat to people like Patrick Awuah who are redefining Ghanaian education.
AMOAFOWAA: Sexual harassment as barrier of the realization of the hard work of women, do you think the world can break off this completely?
AWURA: I certainly hope it does. it can be such a distraction. It’s negative and evil and I hope the men of this world grow up. Grow up! Period! Learn how to shut up when your lust surfaces. And I’ve come to realise it’s a power thing. Many harassers use harassment as a tool to show who is boss. That’s not to say women are not guilty too. So let’s all grow up, people.
AMOAFOWAA: Awuraa, you are beautiful, tall, fashionable and hot with long dreadlocks. Considering the opinion of many Africans of people who wear locks, may I please ask what inspired your locks?
AWURA: Eish eish! Please print your description for me so that I hang it on my wall those times when I’m feeling downright ugly. I was tired of perming my hair. I hate hair driers. I wanted to be free from them. And I love the natural look.
AMOAFOWAA: If you are given a chance to go back in time to erase some parts of your life, which parts will you erase and why?
AWURA: None. Each minute of my life has formed me. That’s not to say I’m proud of everything I’ve ever done. But it’s all been a learning curve.
AMOAFOWAA: Single, attached or married?
AMOAFOWAA: Who fits your description of a perfect man?
AWURA: Hmm. An intelligent man who is true to himself and has loads of integrity and character. If he’s good looking and tall and dark too I no bore kraa smile emoticon
AMOFOWAA: (Laughing out loud) Who can gain your respect?
AWURA: Anyone who’s trying to make the world a better place in any sphere of life, in any discipline.
AMOAFOWAA: You have made Ghana proud and is still on course, are there some challenges?
AWURA: Oh thank you, that’s very kind of you. There are. Our very brand name bears our identity as Ghanaians. And every time something goes amiss in the country and the way it’s run, we cringe. From dumsor to senseless flooding right down to the fact that there seems to be absolutely no national agenda. It affects businesses. It affects families.
AMOAFOWAA: Who will you describe as a perfect man of God?
AWURA: One who is true to himself. Who admits his flaws and works towards becoming the best version of himself. Who appreciates the fact that God is wise and calls on us to be wise as well.
AMOAFOWAA: Politicians, Priests and Imams/Mallams, Traditionalists, Public and Civil Servants, The Whole Nation, who do you think is the major contributor of the nation’s stagnancy in progress?
AWURA: All of us. We are all responsible for where we are. Whenever I see people jumping queues I wonder how we even feel like we have a moral right to complain about politicians. It appears there’s something wrong with the way the majority of us think.
AMOAFOWAA: Indeed. Any interest in sports?
AWURA: In the past it used to be any football game between Ghana and another country. But I’m losing interest in even that.
AMOAFOWAA: Lol. If you have any advice for Ghanaians to use as ticket of progress, what will it be?
AWURA: Let’s start thinking. Period.
AMOAFOWAA: What is your say on racial discrimination?
AWURA: It’s wrong. But I think respect is earned. It’s a human thing. When you come from a continent which constantly portrays itself as a laughing stock, you can only understand when others ridicule you. I think that it’s only when the African proves by his actions in his home country that he is a thinking and progressive being that the world will take us seriously. Everything else is begging to be respected because we are humans too and for me that’s not good enough. Even animals have rights. Not very impressive if you ask me.
AMOAFOWAA: Wow! What is your biggest dream?
AWURA: To be able to say when I’m old and dying, that I’ve lived as best I could. To be able to build WEAR Ghana into an empire that thrives 100 years on.
AMOAFOWAA: It surely will come true with determination like yours. Now if you were to choose between teaching, preaching, news casting and petty selling apart from fashion, which will you choose and why?
AWURA: Hmm. What makes you ask? Lol. Maybe teaching. Maybe.
AMOAFOWAA: How do you choose fabrics for individuals where Wear Ghana is concerned?
AWURA: Personality, design, occasion, amongst other factors.
AMOAFOWAA: You are an achiever; there are many wanting to step into your shoes, what is your advice to those people?
AWURA: You think? Well I guess it would be this: constantly strive to achieve your highest potential.
AMOAFOWAA: Now please give your general advice to followers of Amoafowaa.com.
AWURA: Keep following amoafowaa.com. This lady rocks. And let’s all support her autism project.
AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Thank you very much and thank you for your time on Amoafowaa.com
AWURA: Thanks, Darling.
Her inspiration came in this form:
AWURAA ABENA: A FLOWER WITH LIGHT
Pretty flowers are known to have vicious thorns
But I know a pretty flower whose thorns, if there ever are, never show
And her smile brightens the skies
Pretty flowers are conceited
Deriving payments from their view
I know a pretty flower who works harder than normal flowers
Pretty flowers care not about their heads
All they need is a bright light to show themselves
I know a pretty flower who is her own light and values a good head
Yes, I know a pretty flower called Awuraa Abena Agyeman
You have seen no flower if you haven’t seen this flower
Natural in shine and beauty
Creative in decorum
Like an earth of forever sunshine,
None can blame those who wish for only flowers of Awuraa’s kind
In a world so blessed but cursed with many flowers of thorns in sluggishness
Love her or hate her
If there are stars of Africa,
Her motivation and strides makes her the moon worth following
Serwah Attafuah’s exhibition starts from Wednesday, 3rd June (the opening night from 7pm until 9pm) to 10th of June 2015 in Sydney, Australia. The gallery will open from the 3rd until the 10th of June 2015 for viewing.
There will be free drinks and great works by Frey Abraha and Khadijah Ali. Please be there to support this budding artist.
The venue is Alpha House, 226 Union Street, Erskinvile, Sydney-Australia. Please be there to support and be inspired.
Our guest post today is a young woman I refer to as “a beautiful bag of talent”. From a talented family, she paints to perfection. Although she is still a student, she is working soo hard to make stamp her in the world. Our inspirer for today is Miss Serwah Attafuah.
AMOAFOWAA: You are welcome to Amoafowaa.com
SERWAH:Thank you for having me!
AMOAFOWAA: Please tell us about you and growing up, schooling etc.
SERWAH:I grew up around a lot of creative people. Both my parents are artists and performers and encouraged me to pursue any talents I liked. I spent most of my childhood dancing and singing, but lost interest once I started high school. I had a lot of difficulties in high school because I didn’t fit in and the work didn’t stimulate me. In class and my spare time, I would draw in my textbooks. I left high school one year ago to study at design school.
AMOAFOWAA: Which religion do you belong to?
SERWAH: I don’t belong to any religion anymore. I like to explore all religions and spiritual teachings as I believe that you can find knowledge in each one.
AMOAFOWAA: You are a budding artist, is that all you do?
SERWAH: Right now I am studying a Diploma of Live Production design. I’m learning how to build and design sets and props for film and theatre.
AMOAFOWAA: Any hobbies?
SERWAH:I play electric guitar in my spare time. I also play bass in a band called Spiral.
AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Tell us about your passion for art and what sparked that passion.
SERWAH: I’ve been involved in art for almost all my life. But only in the last 2 years have I been more serious about it. I think what started it all was that I needed a way to express myself and I found art as a method I liked.
AMOAFOWAA: What inspires you?
SERWAH: Artwork from the impressionist and pop art period inspire me. Video art and photo accidents have also had an influence on my recent art.
AMOAFOWAA: Who is your role model?
SERWAH: One of my role models is Jean Michel Basquiat. He was a young pop artist from New York.
AMOAFOWAA: Who did you grow up reading from?
SERWAH: I was a big reader when I was growing up! I really enjoyed fantasy novels like Harry Potter. My favourite author growing up was Karen Mc’combie
AMOAFOWAA: Whose songs can inspire you any day?
SERWAH: John Fruciante, who is a solo guitarist. My favourite album of his is ‘Niadre Lades and Usually Just a T-shirt’.
AMOAFOWAA: Of all the works you’ve painted, which is your most cherished and why?
SERWAH: Probably the Giesha I painted in 2013. That was probably the first time I did a painting I liked.
AMOAFOWAA: Tell us about being an independent female artist and its challenges
SERWAH: I haven’t had any trouble being a female in the art scene. Sometimes it’s hard to find money and time to fully realise the paintings I would want to paint.
AMOAFOWAA: What is your favourite colour?
SERWAH: Probably crimson, I like to use it a lot in my paintings.
AMOAFOWAA: You have had the chance to travel to many countries, which country do you find most beautiful and why?
SERWAH: Canada. It’s a lot like Australia but colder and the people are nicer!
AMOAFOWAA: Which country’s culture really appealed to you?
SERWAH: Netherlands; so many kind people and an awesome music and art scene
AMOAFOWAA: Which country’s foods do you find most delicious?
AMOAFOWAA: I smell a maiden exhibition. When and where will it take place?
SERWAH: My first exhibition will be at the Alpha House Co-op Gallery in Erskinville from the 3rd of June, until the 10th. The opening night is 3rd of June at 7pm.
AMOAFOWAA: What should we expect during the exhibition?
SERWAH: I will be exhibiting most of the works I did over the summer and a handful of paintings from late last year. I do a lot of portraits and people
AMOAFOWAA: Can painting be used to give advice or send a message?
SERWAH: Definitely, in many cultures people use paintings to tell stories and send messages.
AMOAFOWAA: Now to what all the male fans out there want to know, are you single?
SERWAH: Yes, but no time for boys. Too much painting to do.
AMOAFOWAA: How do you see yourself in 10 years?
SERWAH: I see myself in a big warehouse like Andy Warhol’s silver factory, and driving a black hearse.
AMOAFOWAA: Hehehe. There are many girls with no ambitions, they have been suppressed and made to believe without men, they are nothing. Please, any advice for them?
SERWAH: You need to go within yourself and find out what truly makes you happy.
AMOAFOWAA: Please advise people who have suffered rape and are battling with depression.
SERWAH: If you have been sexually abused, do everything you can to have the abuser put in jail. Reach out to those in your community who can help you, don’t go through this alone.
AMOAFOWAA: Now your advice to those who want to be like you.
SERWAH: My advice would be to work hard at what you like to do. I work towards my art every day. I try to live by this quote; plant your seeds today, reap the rewards tomorrow
AMOAFOWAA: If there is a thanksgiving and you are the one hosting, who are the people you will want to feature in your words?
SERWAH: I would thank my whole family, they are the biggest supporters! The friends who support me. Also friends I make on the street sometimes give me great advice, Thanks uncle Mike!
AMOAFOWAA: Thank you for your time on Amoafowaa.
SERWAH: No worries, thank you for having me Amoafowaa!!!
Good songs beg for listenership and having listened to Shegee Styla’s new album titled “Let’s Go” I am inclined to share it with all you lovely followers of amoafowaa.com. The song is set in the slums of Accra, Ghana, and talks about the fact that people in the slums also have lives and live lives to the fullest.
It tells of their everyday activities, shows those in the slums have hope and are strong in facing life’s hurdles.
Check it out on Youtube if you are a lover of music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL4ws7b4-81