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Four Word Story: Chale Wote Street Art Festival

                                

Walking through the streets of Jamestown was so different on April 14. It wasn’t a normal Saturday afternoon for me. It was one that gave me a lot of inspiration. It was the second edition of the Chale Wote Street Art Festival.

The festival celebrates the vibrant art traditions of urban life from visual media, experimental theater, and dance installations to extreme sports. It’s a very “young” festival since most people in the country aren’t aware of it.

For those of you who don’t know, chale simply means “friend” in Ghana and “wote” is a Ga word meaning “let’s go.” When you put both words together, you have “friend, let’s go” and that’s certainly what happened when I decided to go to the festival with some friends.

The Chale Wote street art festival taught me a few things….

#1 Chale, there are talented people in Ghana.

It was very easy to see talent all around. I was astonished at how some young guys could paint. Did I say guys? Maybe I am supposed to say boys.  The streets of Jamestown were painted. Some were done on wood and hung along the roadside. There were guys on skates doing dangerous tricks and they were incredible even though I feared for them most of the time. Don’t mind me…. I am just like that when it comes to people’s safety and health. There was a musical concert in the evening.  There were some technical hitches but that didn’t stop the event.

#2 It’s time for Ghanaians to embrace Ghanaian stuff

I am a huge fan of African fabrics, bracelets, shoes etc. I find it astonishing when people ask me sometimes why I wear them. You will never find me going “Britain” throughout the week. A few weeks ago, I was working at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and decided to pass by the Cultural Centre to get a new African-printed bag. There was an exhibition so the stuff was pretty affordable. Unsurprisingly, I met more foreigners than Africans or Ghanaians. I really don’t know why we don’t like our own stuff. I don’t know why we don’t write our own stories. I don’t know why we don’t promote our own culture. I don’t know why we don’t love ourselves enough to love our own things.

At the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, you could see foreigners more enthused about Ghanaian dresses, bracelets, anklets, necklaces than the citizens. They love stuff made in Ghana… while we cherish those made in China. I just implore my fellow Ghanaians to love Ghanaian stuff a bit. Chale, the country is for us oo…. We are the only ones who can make it better.

#3 There’s another fun thing in Ghana and this time…. It’s free.

Christmas, Easter, Independence Day… oh let me take out Independence Day. It’s really celebrated by the Ghanaians abroad. Those of us over here don’t care about it, right? If yes, I believe there is only one thing that gets Ghanaians excited…. Football or let me say “The Black Stars.” That’s the only time the nation goes agog especially after a victory. The Chale Wote festival is another opportunity for many Ghanaians who want to have fun but have limited options.

#4 Chale, we are gradually placing Ghana on the world map.

Ever heard of the group, Generik Vapeur from France? Yeah, they were there and that was the climax of the festival for me. They are usually called the “Blue Men” and they brought more fun to the festival. Having such a group at the festival meant a lot to Ghana and the organizers. Tourists visit the country each and every day. Soon, Ghana will be on the list of Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries to visit. We can do it and we must. Check out more incredible photos by Nana Kofi Acquah on his blog.

Big ups again to Accra [dot] Alt and the French Embassy for making it happen this year too.

I hope to see you next year at the festival. Can Ghana be the top country to visit? Let’s hear from you.

Start the year with Alikoto Clothing!

Christmas is over… everything is back to normal. I don’t get suffocated in traffics like the days preceding the holidays. Yeah… I hate traffic… both vehicular and human. I doubt if there is anyone out there who cherishes them but you never know because we are all different.

Before the holidays, people went shopping for clothes, shoes, bags and any other thing you can possibly think of. I got myself some African shirts. Oh yeah, I love African shirts, shoes, bags, sandals and anything made in Africa by an African since they are unique, simple and define me better. I have been a fan of African dresses ever since I was born. Why? Because my parents made me wear them all the time and I am more proud of them for that. I have come to love African dresses and I know the best from the rest when I see them.

“The finest clothing made is a person’s skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this,” said Mark Twain. I always tell people that a person’s self-esteem is sometimes directly proportional to the clothes he wears. As I was shopping before the holidays, I saw samples of the dresses of Alikoto Clothing online. They are on facebook, twitter and tumblr. Seeing an item online is different from seeing it in person so I called and booked an appointment. Nothing comes close to the service and hospitality they deliver when you call them.

I saw the clothes… different designs, different colors, different shades and different sizes. Gentlemen, you are going to be surprised by how unique these shirts are. The quality and naturalness are unrivaled.

Let me state five reasons why I love them:

  • They are 100% natural be them cotton, nylon, silk or polyester.
  • They are comfortable.
  • They are reasonably priced.
  • They look very hip.
  • They can be washed with the hand or machine.

I must say that Alikoto clothing connotes uniqueness, quality and timeless beauty. I am covered for the first quarter of the New Year. I will surely go back for more as they keep on making new and cool dresses for men and women. Did I tell you that, I got compliments from a lot of ladies when I wore one to church on Christmas Day? I was the envy of most of the guys.

Alikoto Clothing can be found on facebook, twitter and tumblr. Talk about a clothing line that’s also tech-savvy and loves social media. You can also call them on (233) 269-138-021. As I celebrate the New Year, I am going to do that in style…… thanks to Alikoto Clothing. Don’t be left out, guys!

“Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.”  – Epictetus

5 things I learned from BarCamp Ghana

The Christmas holidays are over. This time of the year is one I sometimes loathe because of the human and vehicular traffic. I know I am not the only one. Welcome to the life if you share my sentiments. Anyways, before the holidays, I got the opportunity to learn so many things in a day when young men and women from all walks of life met at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT on December 17.

The event was to highlight the importance of appropriate partnerships and corporate engagements in ensuring the success of projects, spurring wealth creation and economic growth. It featured mentors who shed light on how attendees could use successful partnerships and mentor support to scale up projects and businesses.  I get people asking what BarCamp is, anytime I’m seen in a Barcamp T-shirt (Too bad I didn’t get one on Dec 17.)

BarCamp is simply an ‘unconference’ – an ad-hoc gathering of people with the simple desire to share and learn in an open environment. Unlike a conference, at a BarCamp everyone is both a speaker and a participant. The content is provided by all attendees based on their interests.  Barcamps in Ghana bring people interested in Ghana together for an informal networking forum where attendees share ideas, discuss interests, network and learn how to add value to their lives and make impact in their communities. Since you now know what it means, here are the five things I learned from the event.

Iron sharpeneth Iron

The Bible says in the book of Proverbs that, “iron sharpeneth iron.” There is no better way to understand this than to attend a BarCamp event. If you thought you knew something, you go for the event, listen to other people and realize that you need to know more. Most often than not, you get some extra points and add to yours. In the “Art of Leadership” session, I met some vibrant leaders who shared a lot about leadership. I got the chance to be sharpened since leadership is a “skill.” Writers who went through the “Creative Writing” session would also testify to the fact that they got sharpened after the event. It’s better to be sharpened once in a while like a knife so you would cut through pieces of bread, materials etc so easily. Don’t wait to corrode before you act.

Mentorship is the way to go

One question was raised which caused a lot of debate. The question was “why are there few women in ICT?” I remember sharing ideas on this with a host of my friends including Kwabena, Ato, Prince, MacJordan and Amma Baffoe. I kept wondering even after leaving the premises. One answer I found was that, there are few mentors for the women in ICT. I know some of our women are in the field and very soon, Ghana is going to have a lot of prominent women who would serve as mentors. Enough of that and back to the mentorship part…. There was speed mentorship earlier in the morning. Nothing beats sitting beneath an elderly person and getting all the knowledge you can. We learn more from our elders than we do in a classroom. They have been in that position before and certainly know better so it’s so easy to tap into their knowledge and make good use of them. Creative Writing, Acting, Fashion, Banking to mention but a few were some of the knowledge imparted. One could easily get a business card from a mentor and bingo… you get the chance to forge a relationship for the future. Ghana has mentors and the young ones must realize this and make good use of them before all the knowledge is sent to the grave.

Ghana is equally greener

We keep on talking about brain drain. I know very well that it isn’t going to stop today but here is the catch: even if it’s greener at the other side, you would still have to mow the grass and also take care of the weeds. The same applies to the grass in Ghana. There are so many opportunities in Ghana. They are just wearing work clothes and seem so gargantuan. We refuse to see these opportunities. The likes of NandiMobile makes you believe that, Ghana is indeed a land of opportunities if you can see beyond the horizon. Success stories from various people who started from nowhere tend to uplift the spirits of others and that is exactly what BarCamp Ghana served. The motivation, the vim, the spirit was there and I tapped into that. Let’s mow our own grasses. Let’s make Ghana a better place to live. We can do it!

We already have the future think-tanks, Gates, Zuckerberg and Jobs of Africa

I wrote an article on the 5 lessons we could learn from the legacy of Steve Jobs (May he rest in peace) some few months ago. I must say that, there are some Ghanaians who could rise in this world and be the Jobs and Zuckerbergs of this world. The kind of ideas that are in people’s minds beats my imagination. At Barcamps, you realize how great some people think and that is contagious. Even if you have nothing on your mind, an idea suddenly pops up when someone is sharing a story. Yeah…. People started with nothing and are making something. I know very well that those people won’t rest but will aim for the stars.

I got to meet a host of these men and women. When I was young, I had a friend who would say, “Take me as a friend now because if you don’t, one day, you will join a queue just to see me.” Since our words are very powerful, he is the pastor of an Assemblies of God church in Accra and of course, you have to book an appointment if you want to see him except some of us who took him as a “friend” and can now call him to meet us anywhere when we need him. Networking is very important. It opens doors and BarCamp offers such an opportunity.

 

Our children/grandchildren will have the coolest of mothers.

“The surest way to keep people down is to educate the men and neglect the women. If you educate a man you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family” said Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey. At Barcamps, you see women exchanging ideas. The days where the woman’s place was the kitchen in Ghana are over. The days where women were so scared to stand for their rights are over. We are in the days where women are conscious of their environment, tech-savvy and are determined to make waves in the society. I am told BarCamp Tamale had a lot of women attendees than all the other Barcamps this year. It is a step in the right direction. I only hope there would be as many women as men next year and the years after. BarCamp isn’t for men. It isn’t a tech event. It’s an event where people choose their own topics so we can share ideas on them. I therefore entreat women out there to discard that notion of a tech event and embrace BarCamp. Even if it’s a tech event, the women are supposed to be there since we live in a tech world and one cannot afford to miss out. Nonetheless it isn’t a tech event as it encompasses a host of topics that arise from the attendees.

 

We can all make Ghana a better place. This nation belongs to the youth. Africa belongs to Africans. I learned a lot from BarCamp but have shared five of them. Let’s hear what you also learned. God bless you and see you at the next BarCamp event.

5 things you can learn from Dr. Kwame Nkrumah


On the nationally observed Founders Day in honor of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who helped Ghana gain independence, take a second to learn a little bit about the man and his mission. There are bits of wisdom you can take from a quick look at an amazing life.

I would like us to throw away any partisan sentiments and learn from the man whose handwriting is seen on all the state institutions in the country.

5. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned

Dr. Nkrumah was an excellent leader yet he had his shortcomings as a leader. Some people downplay the achievements of this man because of these shortcomings. No man is perfect. We all make mistakes. Dr. Nkrumah saw a broader picture of a United Africa. He went after that dream. He chased the vision but it could not be materialized. Sometimes things don’t go as planned but that doesn’t mean you should give up in life. We hit the wall most times. We fail in certain things that we do but we must still strive. True strength is being able to hold it together when everyone is expecting you to fall apart.

“We face neither East nor West. We face forward” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

4. Passion is paramount

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed in justice, equality, philanthropy and non-violent protest. He was a scholar and a revolutionary. He was a husband, a father, a friend and a leader. He was a brilliant orator. He had the passion to do whatever he wanted to do. With passion, you can do all that you dream of. One very important thing about life is passion or enthusiasm.  Nelson Mandela once said “there is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” If you have the enthusiasm to do something, you can get that thing done. He had the passion to lead Ghana to independence. He went to jail for that. He was oppressed and yet never gave up. That’s the kind of spirit we need. The never-dying spirit that works in us because we have the passion to succeed regardless of what life throws at us.

“Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought.” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

3. You have to be ready to stand by your standards

What are your standards? What do you believe in? “Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The founder of Ghana had his ideals. He stood for something. He believed in something. If you don’t have any standards in life, then it’s high time you checked yourself.

“The best way of learning to be an independent sovereign state is to be an independent sovereign state.” 
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

2.Be yourself

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah believed that each of us is special. Each of us is here for a purpose and that the main purpose for all of us is to make Africa and the world a better place. No matter what color you are, what religion you are, what you look like, what you sound like and no matter where you’re from you belong here. You have an assignment. You have a mission. You weren’t born by accident. There is a reason you are breathing today. There is a reason you are reading this post. Never look down on yourself. Be yourself because you are unique. Don’t try to be like someone else because no one will be you if you discard being yourself.  Make your life on earth count!

It is far better to be free to govern or misgovern yourself than to be governed by anybody else” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

1. Believe in yourself

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your abilities to succeed in life? Just have faith in yourself, in your future and in your family. Dr. Nkrumah just believed. He believed that he could wrestle power for the people of the Gold Coast. He had a dream and he had the faith to propel that dream. He believed Ghana could be a sovereign state. He believed we could manage our own affairs. He cried for self governance because he believed we could govern ourselves. What was the outcome?

The dream became a reality! His belief gave birth to the following:

Bank of Ghana, Bonsa Tyre Manufacturing, Cape Coast University, Cocoa Marketing Board (now Cocobod), Cocoa research Institute, Tafo , Ghana Commercial Bank, Ghana Film Industries, Ghana Housing Corporation, Ghana Law School, Ghana Medical School, Gold Processing Factory, Prestea, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, National Cultural Center, National Investment Bank, National Research Council, Nsawam Prison, Komfo Anokye Hospital, Social Security Bank (SSB, now SG-SSB), State Transport Corporation, Trade Fair Center and the University of Ghana (Legon).

Once again the words of our great leader:

“We have the blessing of the wealth of our vast resources, the power of our talents and the potentialities of our people. Let us grasp now the opportunities before us and meet the challenge to our survival. “– Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

5 reasons to make SUNYANI your home.

Eusbett Hotel, Sunyani

When I was told to be in Sunyani, I was so excited….excited because the city is one that makes me feel at home. I arrived early in the morning.  One of the missions was to talk to some students at the Sunyani Polytechnic. Students who want to soar like the eagle …who want to make an impact in life and who want to make Mother Ghana proud. There is also a funeral I am to attend on Saturday to celebrate the life of a mother who has grown past 100 years. Something that is uncommon in these modern times. It’s so difficult to find the Methuselahs of this generation. Sin, eating habits, accidents to mention but a few make us leave the face of the earth so early lately. Enough of that! Sunyani is the city: the place where Kwabena, my brother from another mother was raised. When I told him I was going to his hometown, he was a little bit jealous. LOL… Anyways, the city has endeared me a lot. I therefore decided to write this post.

          1.       Women of NATURAL beauty!

It is very rare to see “artificial” women in this city. Yeah I have to say it. In Accra and Kumasi, I see women who paint their faces blue, pink, indigo, violet and even magenta all the time. I have visited this city like 7 times and it is so rare to see these colors on the faces of the women. It is all about the natural beauty. Do not be tempted to say that, they are colloquial. They are not…. They are simply beautiful and proud of their skin. I see a lot of people with natural hair and yes I love natural hair. One feature of the human body that is also in abundance and something that most young men love is the bum. You look at some of the ladies and you know why Castro and Asamoah Gyan went with the phrase… “Ghanaian women are sexy as cheese.” Erm…. Let me move on.

        2.       No trotros but taxi fares are super cheap.

There is one tradition in this city. You don’t see any Trotro. In Accra, the rich take Trotro and the super rich board taxis. I say this because the fares are gargantuan. When I am moving from Dansoman to Circle with a taxi, I pay ₵1.50. That’s the price when you take a ‘dropping’ in this city. The taxi drivers are also very friendly. Ok….. Ghanaians are generally hospitable but the people of Sunyani are more than hospitable. They tell you stories upon stories when you board their cars. It’s simply lovely.

           

              3.       The place is neat and not densely populated

As greenghanaian stated when she wrote about the state of the environment in Ghana, the number of people in Accra and Kumasi outnumbers the infrastructure or facilities in place. There is dirt everywhere because “we eat our shit” in this country as Greenghanaian would say. Sunyani is different. This place is just like Takoradi where rubbish is controlled. In Accra, you don’t even find a dustbin when you are walking through the streets of Osu and East Legon; the places that are noted for inhabiting the rich in the society. This place is neat and homely. There is no problem with accommodation as well. If you want a room to rent, you would never suffer like it happens in Accra and Kumasi.

              4.        The city is well segmented…. no floods.

Suburbs are named in an interesting way.  They have Berlin Top, South Ridge, SSNIT Flat and Airport Residential Area. The city is nice and there is no problem when it rains. Accra floods anytime it rains. The Kwame Nkrumah Circle is a swimming pool when it pours. It’s horrible. All the banks you can think of in Ghana have branches in Sunyani. It isn’t a village if someone told you so. It’s a safe haven. A place where you can escape the armed robbery and murder attempts that we experience each day in the capital city.

No traffic!

            5.       There is NO TRAFFIC!

Don’t you just hate traffic? If you don’t, I do. I hate sitting in a car for 2 to 3 hours and the car will just move 1 kilometer. A trip from Dansoman or Korle Bu to Legon will take you close to 3 hours. The same trip can be made in less than 30 minutes on a Sunday when there is no traffic. Just think about it.

I have made an inquiry on a plot of land at Berlin Top. I encourage you to make a trip down here and do likewise if you cherish a place with a low cost of living. I don’t even want to talk about how peaceful and green the city is. There is an airport….awesome hospitals…. What more can you ask for? The city dey be kɛkɛ!

Because you make a difference!

The past week has been full of lessons for me. Life has always been the best of my professors. I keep on learning and I know you are too. Let me start by sharing a story with you.

A professor was in the habit of giving his students a little gift at the end of the school year – a blue ribbon with the words “Who I Am Makes A Difference®” printed in gold letters on the ribbon.
As he gave each student their ribbon, he explained why he had appreciated teaching them, and why his course had been different because that particular student had been present.

One day it occurred to him to see what effect this little custom would have on the community. He gave each student 3 blue ribbons instead of one, and told each of them to give one ribbon to someone they knew who, in their opinion “made a difference.” He also told them to give the two other ribbons to that same person, with instructions to hand them out to others who had made a difference. After that the students were to come back and report what happened.

One student who had a part-time job gave his ribbon to his boss, a grumpy fellow who nevertheless appreciated the honor.

“I admire everything you’ve done,” the student said to his boss. “I think you’re a creative genius and a real fair guy. Will you allow me to pin this blue ribbon on your shirt as a sign of my appreciation?”

The boy’s boss was surprised but also pleased. “Yeah, sure, why not?” he said.

“And will you take these two other ribbons,” the student continued, “and give them to someone you think makes a difference, like I did for you? It’s for a project we’re doing at school.”

“All right,” the boss replied.

That night the boss returned home wearing the purple ribbon on his shirt. He greeted his 14 year old son and said, “Something strange happened to me today. One of my employees gave me this ribbon. See what’s written on it? ‘Because you make a difference.’ He gave me another ribbon just like it and told me to give it to someone who’s made a difference for me, someone who is very special and means a lot to me.

“I had a pretty hard day, but on the way home I said to myself, ‘There’s only one person I want to give this ribbon to.’ I know I tell you off a lot because you don’t work hard enough at school, because all you think about is going out and having fun with your friends, because your room’s always a mess… But tonight I want to tell you that you are very very important to me. You and your mother make all the difference in my life, and I’d like you to accept this blue ribbon as a sign of my love. I don’t tell you I love you very often, not nearly enough, I know. But I do love you, and I think you’re a wonderful kid!”

As soon as he stopped talking his son burst into tears. His whole body shook with sobs. His father took him in his arms and held him close, saying, “That’s okay, it’s all right. Did I say something wrong?”

“No Dad.” his son replied, “It’s just that… I decided I was going to kill myself. I was going to do it tomorrow. I had it all planned out. I wanted to kill myself because I was sure you didn’t like me, even though I tried hard to be good. Now that’s all changed…” 

Now these are the three things I would like to share with you from the story:

 

You are one lucky fellow!

You may not know this but you are very lucky.  At this moment, there is someone somewhere who is wishing to be like you. Don’t be surprised. That’s how the world is. You may not like what is happening in your life. You may be depressed and all that but someone is wishing to be in that very position you are in. Have you ever thought about this: what if I was born in Somalia? You wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it. Famine, drought, hardship would have been your pals. Wherever you are, whatever situation you find yourself in, count it all joy.

 

You make a difference!

And yes you make a difference in someone’s life. You may not know it but you are a role model to someone. It could be your niece, nephew, son, daughter, a facebook friend or a follower on twitter. Someone somewhere draws inspiration from you. Someone somewhere gets a smile on the face as soon as he/she sees you. Whatever you are doing, put it at the back of your mind that it is affecting the life of another…… so do the right thing! There is inside you all of the potential to be whatever you want to be all of the energy to do whatever you want to do. Imagine yourself as you would like to be…. doing what you want to do and each day, take one step towards your dream. Though at times it may seem too difficult to continue, hold on to your dream because you make a difference in someone’s life.

 

 

You don’t have to give up!

Stressed, depressed, sad……add the rest. We can go on and name all the negative things that come our way. These are part of life and we cannot avoid them. We always face them and will always do as long as we have life. We get rid of all these emotions when we are in our tombs. Until then, you will lose a family member and get sad….you will lose that job or contract and be depressed….you will be heartbroken and feel like the world is coming to an end BUT the message is clear….DO NOT GIVE UP!

Entertain not the ideas of suicide. Embrace hope and face the future because you are born for greater things! There may be times when you feel as if you have taken a million steps towards your dreams, and acted on your plans, only to find yourself in the same place that you began from. At times like this, you must not give up. You must continue on. Though you may feel lost, bewildered and alone, continue to believe in yourself. Do not allow discouragement and doubt to blur your vision and wash away your dreams. Visualize your way beyond the detours, standstills and obstacles.

You will realize your dreams.

 

Share with us what you learned from this post. God bless you!

₵20 “Kufuor dollar”…… the day daddy made it change my life!

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When my dad called all his children to his room, I was a little bit perturbed. Why? Because I hadn’t finished reading the book he gave me. Once in a while the old man will give his children books to read. When you are done reading, he will ask you questions on what you have read. I thought it was going to be a similar experience. I have been playing FIFA 11 with my younger brothers and a friend all day.

 

We went to his room, made ourselves comfortable and that was when I started making up all the excuses I was going to give should he ask about the book.  My mom was seated on his left. I have three other siblings now (the eldest went into Abraham’s bosom some years ago. May he R.I.P)
My dad started off his speech by holding up a ₵20 note. He asked: “Who would like this ₵20 note. This is a real Kufuor dollar?”

Hands started going up. He said: “I am going to give this ₵20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple the cedi note up. He then asked:  “Who still wants it?”

Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “what if I do this?”

He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air. “My children, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth ₵20.

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless but no matter what have happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. To those who love you, you are priceless.

The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know but by who we are. You are somebody. You really are. Do not let anyone make you think otherwise. Yes…. there are times you will feel depressed, repressed and oppressed but stay true to yourself. See yourself as that “Kufuor dollar” that was handled badly by my dad yet all his children craved for it.

 

It was a turning point in my life. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give up. Press on because victory is assured!

 

Fordham to Offer New Course in West African Language, Twi.

Contact: Syd Steinhardt
(212) 636-6534
steinhardt@fordham.edu

A course in Twi, the most widely spoken language in the West African nation of Ghana, will be taught at Fordham next summer.

Fordham will be the only New York City university to teach this language of the Akan people, the largest single linguistic group in the country. The official language of Ghana, where hundreds of languages and dialects are spoken, is English.

The Bronx has the highest concentration of African immigrants in the United States, said Mark Naison, Ph.D., chair of the Department of African and African-American Studies at Fordham. There are about 36,000 Africans in the Bronx, as assessed by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2005-2007 American Community Survey, a large percentage of whom are Ghanaian. There are also significant numbers of Nigerians, Malians, Guineans and Gambians.

That number is likely higher, according to Jane Kani Edward, Ph.D., director of African Immigration Research and a post-doctoral fellow at Fordham. She based that assessment on her team’s interviews with Bronx Africans in places such as mosques and churches, as well as at Fordham.

Ghanaians comprise a major portion of the labor force in health care, particularly nursing homes, Naison said. That fact, and the number of first-generation Ghanaian-American children enrolled in the public school system, contributed to the decision to teach the language at Fordham.

“Twi is for people wanting to teach, and for people working in health care, in the Bronx,” he said. “Teachers will be able to talk to their students’ parents and health care workers will be able to communicate with patients.”

The teaching of the language is one example of a greater prominence to be given to Africa at Fordham in the coming year. The African Cultural Exchange, a two dozen-strong student group led by Kojo Ampah, a junior at Fordham College at Rose Hill, plans to hold an African festival in February as one way to “bring Africa to the fore,” he said. Eventually, Ampah hopes that the cultural exchange will grow to become a resource for African issues.

Naison agreed.

“Fordham is a place where African culture and history is going to be discussed on a regular basis,” he said.

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 14,700 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in Westchester, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.

Ghana: 40 funny acronyms for groups emerging from the NDC!

Acronyms for groups emerging after Nana Konadu declared to contest President Mills. Ei Ghana! Let's know which one you would prefer to join.
1. FOAM - Friends Of Atta Mills
2. GAME - Get Atta Mills Elected
3. SADAM - Sons And Daughters of Atta Mills
4. BASAM - Br3d3s And Sisters of Atta Mills
5. SEA - Supporters of Egya Atta
6. FAFAM - Friends And Family of Atta Mills
7. ENEMA - ENEmies of Massa Atta
8. SAEMA - Secret Admirers of Egya Mills Atta
9. AMASS -Atta Mills Association of Slow Starters (HQ- OSU)
10. PWAJMAUA- People Who Are Just Mad About Uncle Atta. Motto: Don't mind the long name!
11. FS 24 RA - Font Size 24 Readers Association Motto: Seeing is Believing.
12. AMSSAC - Atta Mills Society of Sycophants And Cowards.
13. OMAMA - Oh Massa Atta, Make Active.
14. SUAME - Supporting Unilaterally Atta Mills Everyday.
15. AMFCV - Atta Mills Foundation For Contractors and Vets.
16. MAMW - Massa Atta Make Wild!
17. DJAM -DJs Against Mills  Motto: Enkoyie...
18. AMA - Ahba Massa Atta!!
19. AFGUAN - Alliance For Getting Uncle Atta Nominated
20. AFWAS - Association For West African Slowpokes. Chairman -Uncle Atta. Motto : We shall get there someday..
21. KAO - Kick Atta Out!
22. PKOA - Prefer Konadu Over Atta
23. TAFAM- Tamale Footsoldiers Against Mills
24. WWEAM - We Want Evans Atta Mills
25. MTN 2012 - Mills Tena Nky3n 2012
26. AFAC - Atta FAn Club
27. ATONE 2012- Atta Or No Election 2012
28. FAMAKO - Friends of Atta Mills Against KOnadu
29. AMOGS - Atta Mills Opposition Go Shame
30. BANK 2012: Back Atta Not Konadu
31. PAOK - Prefer Atta Over Konadu
32. DWFAFC- Dzi wo fie asem fun club
33. LOAFS - Lovers Of Atta's Fashion Statements. Motto: Political suit all the way.
34. COHIGRA - Coalition of Hitting the Ground Runners Association. Its only a
theoritical group with no practical experience...
35. FOAMACH:Friends Of Atta Mills Against Cat Hunting
36. LUMEAM: Lucky Mensah Against Mills. Motto: No payola, No support.
37. VUBA - Volta United Behind Atta
38. OLONKA - Organised Ladies for Nana Konadu Agemang-Rawlings
39. AFKoM - Abankyetufuo for Koo Mills. Motto: the deeper the dig, the better the booty.
40. AGeYSO - Atta Get Your Swag On!
NB: These acronyms were collated from some good people of Ghana. The land of Humor. It is all for fun.
Don't take it personal if you are an NDC supporter or fanatic. LOL
Long Live Ghana!

7 worst ways to break up with the Ghanaian woman

        

They are the most beautiful women on planet earth. They are very intelligent. They help build their men. They make homes lovely and they raise their children very well. That is the definition of the Ghanaian woman. I believe that the bad ones…yeah you can’t get all of them to be angels…. should also be treated with respect even if all they do is negative. Below are some of the worst ways to break up with the Ghanaian woman who is sexy as cheese.

7 With Clichés

Let’s just be clear here. Saying: “It’s not you, it’s me” is ridiculous. You’re breaking up with her. You don’t want to be with her. There’s something (or some things) about her that you just aren’t into. Also, saying: “Let’s be friends” is plain disrespectful. If you’re ditching the situation, you owe her the respect of taking a step back. Leave her alone. If you ended it, you have no say on the friendship potential. That’s her choice and you need to suck it up, stay away and ditch the cliché mode as it is definitely one of the worst ways to break up with a woman. You can’t eat your cake and have it. Can you? So stop that trick. Hehehehe…

6 Remotely

Yes, this is the 21st century but breaking up is pretty much stuck in the past. Don’t even think about ending it online. Dear Ama letters have always been disastrous so the modern equivalent via e-mail is completely unacceptable and flagged as one of the worst ways to break up with a woman. Phone call breakups have never been easy, so be a man: Do it in person. And if all this doesn’t tell you that text messaging is an absolute no-no, you’re probably too far gone to be helped anyway. Hi Ama, I can’t do this anymore. Dude, you can do better than that. Be brave because you were when conning her. Aba!

5 By Assumption

Sure, you’re clear on how you feel, but you’d better be sure she is too. Don’t take it for granted that a brief mention of how things aren’t going terribly well will be accepted as an end to the affair. What you say can be taken a number of different ways. You need to make sure that you limit this possibility for interpretation, so spell it out. Don’t count on anything less than a clear statement that the relationship is done. If you’re not saying it, she’s not going to hear it. That’s how hardcore some Ghanaian ladies are. Beware!

4 Through Provocation

When a little boy pesters a little girl, it usually means that he has a thing for her. If, instead of getting straight to the point, you turn pestering into provocation to locate a convenient moment to dissolve the partnership, this is going to be mighty confusing, annoying and angering for her and it’s one of the worst ways to break up with a woman. Sure, you may disagree over Kotoko and Hearts of Oak, NPP and NDC and even the best secondary school in Ghana but if you make this the relationship-defining issue, you can count on being confirmed as crazy. Bet you beat Kwaw Kesse to it. Abodam!

3 Publicly

Though from the outset, it may seem like a good idea to break the news in a public place, it’s like a no-man’s land, and that’s just the problem. With public breakups there’s no telling what might happen. In this situation, the event is simply not contained. If she gets upset, then you’re responsible for making her cry in public. If she’s angry, you look bad as well. Public humiliation is never desirable (for you or her), so close the door to this possibility and stick to locations that offer you and your soon-to-be ex a level of privacy. Behold the Accra Mall!

2 By Cheating

It’s guaranteed that it’ll be over if she finds out you’ve cheated but you’ll also be forever known as the bastard she caught cheating. It doesn’t matter how much you want to get out or how much another woman catches your fancy, you’re bound to look bad if there’s any awkward overlap. Also, once you’ve done the deed, you’re technically available immediately but if you want to up the positive-memory potential, you’ll probably want to wait it out a bit before bouncing back into the dating scene. Some Ghanaian guys even flirt in public so their ladies will notice and that will eventually end the relationship. Yeah, the ladies know that trick now!

1 Through Avoidance

Again, clarity is the best policy. Yes, if you just quit answering phone calls, texts, e-mails, and your door, she’s bound to get the message, however, she’s also bound to get mighty upset and you should know this is the worst way to break up with a woman. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment because it will take time and energy to dodge and weave between repeated cracks at communication– take the high road and end it with dignity. She’ll most certainly still be hurt but she won’t be left with the image of you as an unfeeling, insensitive ass who won’t pick up the phone. Be a gentleman who is also sexy as cheese!

Do you have any other way you want to share? Let us hear about it!

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