Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Fante Man

By no fault of his own, the regular Fanti Man has been born with a pre-independence White Man's name hanging over his head. Some of them love to pretend it's a burden, (though they love it!) and redeem their nativeness with indigenous first names.

Paapa, Fiifi, Yoofi and Kojo are all time favourites. Kweku, Kwesi and other weekday names are also favored.

Kwamena Smith, or Yoofi Van Dyck are examples of such a curious combination. Your potential Fanti Man is pompous and self-opinionated and believes that the biggest offense committed against him is 'accusing' him of belonging to another tribe.

His answer to a question like "Are you from X town?" invariably is "Of course not! I am Fanti, a Fanti from Dutch Komenda!"

Seeking education, meaning higher education, to the Fanti man is as natural as seeking rain after a long drought. In the days of the 'Matric' Exam, they were the Greek and Latin Scholars - leave the Sciences (physics, maths, add. Maths) to others, theirs was the Humanities.

Even the Post-Matric Fanti man of the 2000's still believes that nothing is as good as a University Degree, any degree from Legon or Tech will do - Cape Vars is out. While on Campus, they still behave like they used to in Adisco and Augustines. In nobody else is the old boy feeling deeper than in the Fanti man. This is one of their fewer good points, for they are very loyal to old friends (even when they are down).

This 'old boy' streak is carried into the Civil Service, which is the Fanti Man's mainstay and Principal Secretary in a Ministry or General Manager in a private firm is his ultimate ambition. They are very rarely businessmen and even so their business achievements are commonplace and mediocre.

If you're a lady who believes in wealth and all its trappings, steer clear of the Fanti man because so long as government bungalows exists, the Fanti man will not build a house. When they get around to build a house, like their business acumen, their houses are uninspiring.

Your average Fanti man is stingy, and I mean with chop money, even though he enjoys his food. If after reading this article ladies, your heart is still set to get your Fanti man rush into the kitchen and start frying. Fry anything, he'll love it, as long as it is fried! As the Fanti proverb goes "a Fanti man builds his mansion in his stomach."

In relationships they are dictators and act like domineering feudal lords. They tend to colonise their women. In appearance, speech and taste, no detail on his woman escapes his attention. Stubborn and authoritative, the Fanti man can be cruel if you so much as change your hairstyle without consulting him.

On the plus side, he has a terrific sense of humor and is incredibly cheerful, though he can be petty, quarrelsome and can really sulk.

To know if you are the perfect match for the Fanti man, check the following out;

1. Did you go to Wesley Girls High School? (Upper Six mind you!)
2. Can you cook very well (and bake pies?)
3. Are you Fanti yourself or at least a Ga lady from British Accra (Chokor is out!)
4. Do you wear hats and gloves to weddings (and enjoy it?)
5. Are you ready for picnics, packed lunches and sandwiches(for afternoon tea?)
6. Can you pretend to be his slave (forever?).

If you couldn't tick any of the above, please don't waste the Fanti man's time, or yours. On the other hand if you do have one in mind, please act accordingly and as they say, book early to avoid disappointment and Good Luck!

Adze wo fie a, ow33!

The Ga Man

He was christened Nii Ayi Aryee Aryeetey - no name can be more ultra Ga than that.

Your Ga man, from the standpoint of history falls into one of three categories - those who belong to the sea (James Town, Bukom, Teshie and Chorkor), those who belong to the sand (Nungua, Labadi, Accra City itself), and those who are lost and about (Adangbes, Hausas, Yorubas, Sierra Leoninans etc., born and bred in Accra).

If you are yourself a lady prone to picking quarrels, never fear, for in the Ga man you have found your lifelong bodyguard. At first sight, he tends to be somewhat gentle - that is, until provoked of course. Of all the men in other Ghanaian tribes, the Ga man is the most fearless - moreso after his balls of kenkey and red pepper. But tread softly.

Because of their horrible sense of humour, every joke on him is a personal affront to his manhood. And since he applies the same code of honour to women and men, please for heaven`s sake, if he says.. "Ma yi bo eei" (I will beat you), don`t stand to challenge him, thinking it as empty threat. Woman, wife, lover, fiancee, he will turn you into a punching bag! But that is the core of the Ga man.

The icing on the cake is the educated Ga man. He is of a breed you can always count on. For even though he is capable of chewing his sponge to the airport to meet his cousins on the early morning Ghana Airways flight from London, he has gone to Achimota School and speaks the English language well.

If he is from James Town (British Accra) and has a surname like Bannerman, Reindorf or Bruce, he has extremely good taste and mannerisms and is worth the ride. That is until a taxi driver crosses him at Bukom junction. Then his spirit of sexual frankness comes out. Expletives of descriptions of the various parts your relatives spew forth in a torrent from his well-trimmed moustache. These insults, too private to mention here, invariably begin with "Onyaeeeeeee......................" and so on and on...

If Nii Ayi has any ambition, it is suppressed, perhaps for fear of failure. His faith is in the white collar job, where he fights with Fanti man over posts in the civil service. But the Ga man hardly ever gets to the top, because he will surely forgo his transfer related promotion to stay put in Accra - you see, he has the firmest intransplantable roots in Accra and for him Accra is the only place to be.

If you are a young ambitious lady who wants her man to get everything, forget it. Even though they can (with a little training!) make the most docile and obedient companions, his lack of drive will drag you down. But if you are a bit on the lazy, labour-saving side in the kitchen, rush for a Ga man.

Not for him the elaborate three course meals - he is more than satisfied with kenkey and kenkey and kenkey, fish and pepper (N.B just vary slightly with sardines, tilapia, corned beef, etc.)

Ah! One problem though, he is already married to his grandfather`s family house! So if Mr. Aryeetey has already started talking about matrimony, ask him where you are going to live after the wedding!

Don't think of moving outta ACCRA. You shall be in Accra always and not anywhere but in his fathers' father's home.. You get, what I mean..?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Ashanti Man...

In Ghana, he will tell you the name of his village, which is some miles away from Kumasi. Outside Ghana, ask him about his hometown in Ghana and he will tell you he is from Kumasi and probably knows everyone that lives in Ashanti New Town. His house in Kumasi is near the house of one of Asantehene's sub chiefs.

If he is in his sixties, he is likely to have attended Adisadel College, St. Augustine's or Achimota. The generation after that went to either Prempeh College or Opoku Ware. If he could not get into OWASS and Prempeh, he would settle for Ahmadiya Kumasi Academy, Konongo Odumasi, or Osei Kyeretwie. The Ashanti man likes the schools in Ashanti. UST before Legon (except Medicine and Law). Cape Coast? Unless he did attend secondary school but went to training college.

There are things Ashanti man does not do. He does not swim, does not like wedding and the wife does not care not having one and won't call his kids by non ? Ashanti names. He does not cook or wash; the wife does both. The things he does: have about a dozen funeral cloths, goes to funeral every weekend, build or aspire to build his own house if he can afford or uncle does not have any to inherit. Even the educated ones are likely to have a farm somewhere: a cocoa farm, cassava farm or citrus plantation.

He takes care of his parents, sister's children and the extended family. Ashanti man believes in litigation. Don't cross his path, he will take you to court. He will spend his last Ghana cedi on chieftancy matters. His identity is linked to a stool in his family and he does not hesitate to tell you about it.

His political affiliation? A relative likely spent some time in Nkrumah's Nsawam detention. His family supported National Liberation Movement and United Party. He later joined Progress Party, did not like Kutu Acheampong, supported Victor Owusu's PFP. Detested PNDC and NDC and yes, is very happy NPP is in power. If he does not call President Kufuor uncle, he seems to know someone that grew up with the President.

He supports Asante Kotoko and hates Hearts of Oaks. He's even against Hearts when Hearts plays a foreign team. He does not care if Cornerstones move out of the region. He refuses to eat fufu when Kotoko loses. Kotoko means more to him than the national team. Mfum, Osei Kofi, Razak, Opoku Afriyie, and Opoku Nti are his soccer heroes. He does not care about anyone that did not play for Kotoko.

The Ashanti man who did not continue his education past secondary school has lived in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, the US or Canada. He goes to Ghana to visit very often. He tells you how many houses he has built since he left Ghana; he visits "Atwumunumo" ? a popular hangout for fufu and bush meat.

He even brings some bush meat back from Ghana to make soup in his Bronx apartment and the soup smells all over the place. In the big cities in Europe and USA, he goes to funerals in his cloth no matter how it is. He is very proud of his culture.

Well, folks watch for the rest of the tribes in Ghana in the coming week. Got a lot to share, Time is actually not on my side but I am looking forward to writing about the Ga Man first thing when I get to the office early Monday morning... :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Movie Pre-Screening @ Accra Mall.

In the run up to the opening of the fabolous new movie theatre @ the Accra Mall, there will be FREE weekly pre-screenings starting today, the 2nd of May 2008 and going right up till the end of June.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you gotta butter up your popcorn and prepare to be thrilled as you are pampered with the latest movies to hit the big screen right here in Accra!
People, Accra is really getting excited.

Beginning at 16:00 in the food court every weekend for the next two months, don't miss out! be on the look out, the Accra Mall is becoming the new hang-out joint for the youth these days. Girls in their teens usually come there during the weekends to just catch a glimpse of what is going on and all.

No need to rush to town just to hang out. The Accra Mall has everything you can think of. If you living around, East Legon, Airport residential Area, Dzorwulo, Spintex Road and it environs, just -drive or -pick a cab or if possible, grab a -tro-tro to the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange and you'll be surprised at what you can do in a twinkle of an hour.. Don't forget to check out the 'Mr. Price" Outlet. They've got great stuffs for all @ very cheap prices.

Its the latest TS or Kantamanto @ the shopping mall. Its a true modernized 'bend-down-boutique". You can also get to print fotos from your phone, memory cards or even flash drives (Pen drives). Just look out for the Print shop and you will enjoy their services.

Beware of traffic and make sure, you do all you gotta do as early as possible and hurry home or you will be taken by surprise with the traffic build-up @ the shoping mall area..

So yeah there it is.

TGIF babe.. See you on the flip side.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ghana-man. Where is your pride??

Warning: Objects in this article may appear farther than they really are!

I overhead my friend’s mother telling her husby, his proposal to her wasn’t romantic because he, unlike the westernized folks, didn’t get on one knee to ask her to marry him! What she probably has forgotten or failed to appreciate because of unnecessary imitation (or better yet, copy-catting) of the white man’s culture, is the nice traditional marriage I gave her: What is more romantic and more elegant than the Ghanaian marriage ceremony. Firstly, the man’s family goes to the woman’s family to seek her hand in marriage. “Our son would like to pluck a beautiful flower nurtured in this house”, the spokesperson of man’s family craftily says.

After the woman’s family concedes to the marriage, the man’s family organizes an elegant ceremony where they display and offer an array of beautiful cultural items like pure gold, colorful kente cloths and a heavy dowry to the female’s family as a token of their great appreciation. The display of both culture and items, the choice of words of the ceremonial spokesmen, and the evolution of the Ghanaian way of marriage, in my eyes, carry lots of not only romanticism but also meaning and symbolism.

Aside: There are mixed feelings about whether or not the displays of these elegant but expensive cultural items are worthwhile. In my opinion, our ancestors, being great thinkers, envisioned marriage as a serious event and thus required men to show their seriousness about their decision to marry by incurring such huge but well-intended costs. This could be an explanation to the extremely low divorce rates in the past: Any man, knowing the humongous fore-costs of marriage, would not even think about marrying if all he wanted to do is to “hit and then run (i.e. only having sex)”.

It was also appropriate that culture required the man to incur the costs of marriage since men, in the past, had more authority on divorce decisions. In our modern world where divorce could be initiated by either party, however, I think culture should require both parties to incur marriage costs so that neither party would find an incentive to marry unless he/she is serious about it. This would help curb the rampant divorce rates in our modern times.

Unfortunately, my friend’s mother is not the only person suffering from “Westernized Mentality Syndrome (WMS)”. My friend almost labeled me “NOT GENTLE” to say the least (the actual adjective my friend used was even harsher—UNCOUTHED) for having not developed the habit of opening car doors for ladies. However, this is the same guy who laughed at me when I took off my hat when greeting my grandfather’s friend. When did it become cool to adore someone’s culture but ignore our own (which should rather be more superior at least in our eyes). If pressed to rate these two events (i.e. respect for the elderly and opening doors for women), I would say respect for the elderly is more important by any standards than the western courtesy of opening doors for females.

Personally (and the reader can feel free to disagree), opening doors is just an unnecessary burden anyone should incur as this is huge waste of time especially if it’s done on a daily basis. We could save substantial amount of precious time if each party opens his/her own door!

To be clear, so I am not misinterpreted, it’s inevitable for a man to help a woman when, say, she is carrying a huge load of goods as women are physically not as strong as men; however, constantly doing things that a toddler easily does for him (her)-self with no assistance, in the name of so-called courtesy, is a complete waste of time. Despite the lack of meaning and value of most western culture, it remains a puzzle why Ghanaians strive to be like the west, and in the process and rather unfortunately, lose their own identity: I can’t count the number of times I have come across Ghanaians who look like Ghanaians but strives desperately to act like Americans or British.

They always try to put up a fake accent and more. {Aside: A friend of mine observed that hiding one’s identity is negatively correlated with one’s education. In other words, less educated Ghanaians are more likely to act westernized!)

WMS is spreading more rapidly than the HIV syndrome. Very unfortunately, WMS is giving rise to the proliferation of symptoms worse than the above mentioned: It’s definitely not by coincidence why the typical so-called civilized (westernized) Ghanaian woman doesn’t know how to cook even the simplest Ghanaian dishes.

I was unfortunate to be a part of a group of Ghanaian boys who happened to taste the jollof rice of a Ghanaian lady who volunteered to cook for us; I never knew Jollof could be as bitter as paracetamol (and this is no exaggeration). Trust me, my brotha; Dave is the best Jollof Chef in town. If you looking to eat some delicious-aromacious jollof, hola at me.

Because most Ghanaian wives in our recent world don’t know how to cook, most families are at the mercy of their maidservants (imported from the village) or the outside restaurants. Quite paradoxically, instead of feeling ashamed of their cooking skills, the so-called civilized Ghanaian ridicules the ethically trained Ghanaian woman, whose cooking skills are inferred just from the aroma of her dishes, for being “kolo” colloquial, that is belonging to the 17th century.

Cooking is just a tiny bit of the imminent threat of the loss of our Ghanaian pride and identity. Most Ghanaian men can gracefully put on flying ties within a twinkle of the eye but it remains a mystery how they tend to look like caricatures when they try hard to put on traditional clothes; we rattle English but stammer at our own language; worse of all, we laugh at the guy who speaks his language with uttermost dexterity and prowess.

Instead of the fellow being an idol, he becomes a comedic entity showered with all sorts of belittling names like “Green”, “Kumasiano”, “local”, etc. Agyaa Koo is a typical example and I do find his acting skills very interesting. Our voting pattern reveals tremendous favor shown toward the folk who is able to speak both English and Twi like the white man. When did it become a big deal to not “know English” but no deal to be ignorant of one’s own language? If we don’t do something now, our children and grandchildren would be more cultureless and would have no identity.

Our culture and traditions are what make us Ghanaians and not Americans. Just as Toyota strives to distinguish itself from the other car manufacturing companies, we ought to not feel shy promoting our own. Democrats are known by their beliefs and practices and they accentuate these features so they are not mistaken for Republicans.

I understand comprehensively that, we should weed out the unhealthy Ghanaian practices like Trokoshi (the vestal virgin), female genital mutilation, and the others, that are rather detrimental to societal growth; however, there are other distinguishing aspects of our culture that need to be proudly promoted and accentuated anytime everywhere.

These include but not limited to Respect for the old age, Admiration of the Ghanaian values and culture, the Ghanaian Dance, our language, our way of organizing ceremonies like marriage, naming, and funeral, to mention a handful. These are what make us unique and there are no better substitutes for them.

Let’s remember that, the bad doctor who took care of the sick until the good doctor came to take over need not be betrayed! Saying the same in our ancestors words, “Okomfo bone a, woatena oyarefoo ho ama okomfo pa abe to no no, yennyi ne mma”

Volta Hall Week Pool Bash @ Kokrobitey!

On Sunday afternoon, after returning from church, I hurriedly entered the kitchen and placed some rice on the gas burner as fast as I could because, I never had breakfast before going to church. Whiles at church, I was thinking, by the time we get home, Jude (cousin in Cape Coast Uni) might have cooked something but to my utmost dismay, he was sipping tea when we got back in the name of, I was not really hungry.. lol

I stood near the gas burner, constantly checking if there is any progress with the rice. I would drive a spoon through it once a while to see if, it is getting to some boiling point. I left the kitchen to go look for my basketball short which I shall wear to the beach that afternoon…

Came to the kitchen to see Jerome, my kiddo brotha stirring the rice and also checking to see, if it’s cooked. I warned him to stay off or else, he shall know no peace that after. Previously, I had asked him to go put some rice on the fire and eh said, Hell No… So, why now come and be stirring the rice, people ask him for me ooh.

Finally, I smelled the aroma of the rice from the sitting lounge and hurriedly got to the kitchen only to find Jude, scooping about half the content in the name of, “we are three”. I guess, you would by now be imagining the look on my screwed face. Astonished! Well, I couldn’t deny him the right to eat, therefore I just had to allow him and Jerome take some and I did justice to the rest.

Alas, the van was ready to make the long journey to the Volta Hall Week Beach Bash @ Kokrobitey. A close family friend, Marcus and his brotha, Nana who joined us had to go pick a few friends from the Pentagon Hostel on the campus of University of Ghana. It happened, they were 3 gals and they had to be in his momma’s Ford Explorer. We left Legon Campus heading towards Achimota to pick, KayDee, another family friend, the nature of our friends are normally rooted deep in the family way..

Half-way through the journey, we reached a police check point and luckily for us, it was a lady Sergeant on duty and she beckoned Dave, (my half brother) to produce his license and the documents covering the car since it wasn’t registered. It had a trial number and we must all times carry its log book and all..

Before then, Dave had a police notice for misplacing his drivers license and it was the lady sergeant who even reminded him, it shall expire the next day, therefore he must go and have his license or else, he shall not find it easy at all.We did thanked her and speed away only to find another bunch of crazy-looking money-conscious police officers, these time around, MEN with AK’s. They realized, we were just going to have fun and never wasted our time at all instead, one just asked us to get him GH¢1.00 for him to get a packet of cigarette for his immediate officer which we did and went our.

We finally got to the beach and starting meeting a couple of friends from my high school and those I used to play basketball with on the Legon Campus. I met Nokio taking it cool and calm with his Caucasian mate, saw all colors and shades of ladies, from obolos-not too obolos, shorties, slendies, and skinnies. Soon, it was dark and the real jams got underway. DJ Mensah from Empire Entertainment, DJ Nii-Aryee from Joy FM, Mr. Drive-Jam, Bola Ray were all there to give the students and friskers a real treat on the dancing floor. Man, it was the bOmB.

Later, as the K4 Buses (Metro Mass Buses) started tooting their horns signifying, departure is due, the “kwashe3 boys’ started snatching the ladies bags and mobile phones. Dave lost his freshest pink colored ipod in the process of getting to the van. Sorry brotha. I shall get you another one when my wages are in. lol

We started the journey back home and not long after, I fell asleep. I woke up when we had stopped at a near by kenkey joint to get some supper since no-one would cook that nite… The moment I got home, I called a very good friend of mine; made her aware, I was back safely and tried describing the turn of events to her.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


We’ve seen them all– Brenda Fassie, Tony Tetuila, 2 Face, Dade Shoki, Blu 3, Awilo Logomba, Jeff Bogolobolo and D’Banji. They have graced the stages of the most pristegious music industry awards in Ghana and now it has been confirmed – one of America’s best rap artistes, Jeffrey Atkins aka Ja Rule is to headline the Celebrations Jam of the MTN Ghana Music Awards festival 2008.

The music awards festival is the only occasion, year-on-year, that musicians from Ghana and across Africa are brought together on one stage to celebrate Ghanaian artistes for their works. With the inclusion of Ja Rule on this year’s performance line up, the festival is on a sure route to becoming a music festival like no other. The MTN GMA festival begins on April 23.

The Celebrations Jams which comes off a day after the main awards, will also feature star performances by some Ghanaian musicians as well as P2 from Nigeria and Nameless from Kenya..

The performance by these international acts will in no way detract attention from the many hard working musicians whose contributions to the Ghanaian music industry will be recognised. Artistes like Kwaw Kesse, 5-Five, Praye, Tic Tac (Accra Connexion), Ofori Amponsah, Cee, Bcca and Ohemaa Mercy are sure to register a strong presence.

Meanwhile the voting process is still ongoing. Music enthusiasts are encouraged to make their views on who wins what count by calling MTN short code 1750.

Fellas, I, your most ever-industrial son of Accra-town will surely be there to have some photos and more fillas for ya’ll. I promise and I shall keep to my words but ya’ll should always keep reading my blogs and spread it also.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Deal Over, Prezzo Mugabe. Tsvangirai Steps In!

Down south of Africa in Zimbabwe. Ruling President Robert Mugabe needs to step down so as to allow the victor in the recently held presidential and parliamentary election to take his post as next president of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

The outline of a deal has almost been reached for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to step down; opposition sources have told the BBC. They say that representatives of Mr. Mugabe, Zimbabwe's military chiefs and the opposition have held meetings chaired by South Africa's president.

The sources say Mr. Mugabe would give an address to the nation but urge caution until the announcement has been made. The opposition says it won Saturday's general elections.

Under the proposed deal, Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai would be declared the winner of the presidential race after Mr. Mugabe had stepped down.

President Mugabe, 84, came to power 28 years ago at independence, but the economy has been in freefall in recent years. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has not yet given the results of the presidential race; sparking MDC claims that the outcome was being fixed.

BBC correspondent Ian Pannell has spoken to three MDC sources who have confirmed that a deal had almost been reached. One was 90% sure that this would happen but others were less confident.

Ruling Zanu-PF officials have not yet commented on the reports.

Nkran Abrabor II. (Accra Life) Part II

Look sistethren and brethren who do read my blogs, I hear well, I have no hearing impairment and I read well. The intended meanings into the comments some readers make about this blogs is way beyond your average sleaze and cheap tabloids. Every issue raised is thoroughly researched into and written to fit well into the brackets of the law and all the tenets of the noble Pen Profession.

I have not been feeling well lately but I am fine as at today. I had a problem with my neck and left shoulder, and a British friend of mine suggested, I go see a Chiropractor. I just made her aware, it’s not easy to locate one in Ghana and even if you do, it’s going to be very expensive. She laughed!

On the front page of this morning’s People’s Daily Graphic of our noble gold-coast now Ghana, is the caption, “27,000 To Go Home”. The story says, all 27,000 Liberian refugees resident in the country are to be sent back to their native now-peace-free country to help rebuild their country. According to sources, the security of the nation might be breached when care is not taken because; amongst the refugees are ex-combatants who can jeopardize the peace atmosphere the country is enjoying currently. Therefore, there is the need for all of to be sent back.

People out there; don’t be disturbed by this news at all. We have done what we can to accommodate them. Feed them, provide them with shelter and almost everything but they don’t seem to appreciate it. Rather, they decided to go on a strike and demand for a $1000.00 before leaving the land of Ghana. Did we ask for war to befall Liberia? Are we the cause of all the attrocities that befell them? Hell No!

The poorer a nation the more religious it becomes. The more religious one becomes the poorer one is. By the way, how true is this assertion? Much is known about our plight and socio-economic situation. Note, I didn’t say anything about spirituality, because one can be spiritual without necessarily being religious.

It is rather sad that our NHIS couldn’t chip in to help Auntie Ama Asumani. The health of our nation is at stake here. How do the poor and vulnerable people cope in times of crisis when the wages is from hand to mouth? Maybe some organizations in Ghana deduct money for the NHIS but many do not. Is there any provision made for such group within our society? The NHIS is not really well organized and I believe, they need to revisit it before implementing.

Let have a look at this scenario; I registered for the NHIS in Fijai in Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region whiles working there and now, I moved back to Accra and suddenly fell ill. I went to a health care post only to be told, I can’t be attended to here because, I registered in the Western Region. Do I have to go back to the Western Region for health care? Doesn’t this sound very strange??

Ghanaians are ranked, 4th most people who like to travel for greener pastures. Recently, there was a commercial on the radio for tourist and travelers who will like to explore the other end of the island nations, Barbados, Cayman Island, Jamaica and the rest by a travel and tour operator in Accra. Many people rushed to book for their seats just because, there is no Visa required if you holds a Ghanaians passport.

Lemme tell you this, what a typical Ghana man hates to hear is, Ghanaians don’t require visa to enter so-so countries, they shall pack bag and baggage and head towards that country without even studying about those countries economy or whatsoever.

Now the government of Ghanakrom has committed $12million to hire a plane to fly home about 50 stranded Ghanaians in Barbados. The deputy minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Charles Brempong-Yeboah, who made this known, said the stranded travelers paid between GH¢4000 and GH¢10000 Ghana Cedis to get to Barbados for just two weeks in the name of travel experience.

To him they could have used the money they paid to the travel agent to invest at home instead of embarking upon such trips with the hope of moving from there to enter either Canada or the USA.

Why won’t this happen, when you get to the American and British Consulate, you get denied because you have no travel experience whiles all your documents are original and correct??? Oh, oman Ghana. When shall all these stop…?

Ghana is surely a strange place when it comes to sex and sexuality. People are embarrassed to talk about it much, but they do it a lot.

Case in point; Masturbation. I know, it sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it's not. A radio presenter at in Takoradi asked me what I thought about masturbation. I genuinely said; I figured everyone had done it at some point in their lives. So we asked some other people, and nobody would admit it in person, but almost everyone admitted it on the radio, having had the chance to conceal their identities.

There’s also a huge variety of herbal potions to enhance sexual pleasure, often being sold by street hawkers who can't even read the labels if they happen to be in English. I remember when Jude visited from Canada, someone tried to sell him a little bottle of 'sex juice'. It had a picture of a couple having sex and that was really all the information to be gleaned from the bottle.

Women are especially frowned upon if they admit to having had multiple sexual partners. It’s gotten so bad that they've resorted to herbal concoctions that changes their organ, and makes men think they're virgins. Oh yeah...the concoctions / potion causes cervical cancer and sometimes HIV.

It reminds me of “bon jovi”. "Your love is like baaad medicine..." really, really baaaad medicine.

On a lighter sex-related note, Ghana chocolate is good. Pure cocoa, very few chemicals. Cadbury from London will never taste the same. Now that's orgasmic!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Politrics In Ghana.

I have been thinking about the run-up to next year's general election. Atta Mills already won the NDC candidacy. People are already saying buy Mills, get Rawlings free. Hmmm. “hwe wa asetenam na tu aba pa” meaning, “consider your current situation very well before casting a good vote

Their nemesis the NPP after all their big billboards display and fussing around town went in for Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo? Akufo-Addo was one of the founding members of the NPP in 1992, and was also the founder and first chairperson of the Ghana Committee on Human and People's Rights. A recent newspaper article described him as a potential future President of Ghana. A recent opinion poll conducted by Research International put him well ahead of all the 17 people aspiring to be nominated as the presidential candidate of the governing NPP in Ghana.

Nana Akufo-Addo was preferred by 40% of his party members and 38% of the general electorate out of the field of 17 candidates. The closest to his popularity was the country's vice president, Aliu Mahama, with a distant 18%. If radio airplay is anything to go by, you have to go with Alan Cash, the man who has promised Ghanaians cash. On December 23, 2007, Akufo-Adda was elected as the NPP's 2008 presidential candidate at a party congress, receiving 47.96% of valid votes (1,096 votes). Although he fell short of the required 50%, the second-place candidate, John Alan Kyeremanten, conceded defeat and backed Akufo-Addo.

Up till today, Ghana politics is still about J A Kuffour and J J Rawlings. Don't let the lack of Boom speeches and Waa waa press conferences deceive you, advises the Ghanaian music monk aka Shasha Marley. Remember Shasha Marley? He's the guy who released the track, See ye good and not evil, one of the biggest reggae hits in Ghana. He also led the Johns Hopkins sponsored AIDS campaign song which proved very successful in educating Ghanaians about the HIV-AIDS pandemic. He disappeared from the music scene for awhile and just resurfaced with his second album, Lost & Found. I don't know if he was ever lost, because listening to his album, he was still very aware of Ghana and 'conscious'.

I am really glad he's found because I love his track 'Buum buum waa waa', the inspiration for this blog. The album also has tracks like Maata family, Shame Politicians, Promised land, Twin city mafia, I am not ashamed of the gospel, etc.

To Shasha Marley, Ghana Politics is all about Kuffuor and Rawlings. Rawlings says Buum! Buum! Buum! and Kuffuor says Waa! Waa! Waa! The two have been going at ever since Kuffour was running for the NPP in 2000. After leaving office, Rawlings has not been able to be a quiet statesman, resorting to 'boom' speeches, criticizing the NPP government and even making some 'threats' that many pundits did not take lightly.

The gentle giant aka Traveller John Agyekum Kuffour has matched Rawling's fire with his own fire, and the relationship between the two has not been cordial. We've had to have people like Kofi Annan, Pastor Mensah Otabil and countless Ghanaian chiefs to reconcile them. They have not been in the news lately as attention has turned to their successors though, but stay tuned."

Cost of living gets so high, Rich and poor dem start to cry". But Ghana Politics is all about Rawlings and Kuffuor, NDC and NPP. Instead of battling ideas and ways to move Ghana forward, we find ourselves discussing political parties, attacking personalities and likening every situation to two people. "It’s a shame". Do you know that there is a Boom boom junction and a Hotel de Waa Waa in Accra? We need to focus on the average Ghanaian who is hungry and hungry for some opportunity.

We need our press to focus on more pressing issues. Focus on constructive criticisms and pushing the agendas of our leaders so that our citizens can be aware of where Ghana is as a nation and where we are going. "Writer man, change your headline news". The media must not use the liberty accorded them to disrupt the political landscape in Ghana. We must move away from sensational journalism to selling the news of development, excellence, ambition, patriotism and service.

According to Shasha Marley, GHANA stands for "God has a nation ahead". I am amongst the few who believe Ghana will take its place on the world map and become a beacon of greatness and prosperity. We have the people to make this happen, we have to encourage them and not discourage them by pitting every 'boom' against 'waa'. Shasha Marley signs off by saying "Asem beba dabi, Asem beba dabi". If we don't change, we shall face the consequences. I believe we can change, it is the only thing that is constant, and Ghana shall prosper.

Nkran Abrabor ( Accra LIfe). Part 1.

Let me tell you what’s been going on in the Nkran (Accra). I must say the African cup of nations was quite a spectacle, the whole world had cameras and satellites of all sorts focused on Ghana. It was all about colors, colors and colors as Sean Kingston sang about colors... The Ghana flag did fly everywhere; it flew on cars, on hats, on faces, on t-shirts, on goats, and on babies who had no clue of what was going on.

With all the noise about Ghana’s chances of lifting the Golden trophy on both local and international TV, radio, print, taxis and bars, the stalwart men, the Black stars could not, but they still brought a cup, it was just of a different color. If you are a Ghanaian reading this, you missed a whole lot of action, passion and crying. There were those proud Ghanaian moments when you just thanked the good lord that your flag indeed was a red, gold, and green with a black star in the middle. Anyway, the Pharaohs of Egypt took the trophy back for the sixth time.

Congrats guys, you put a lot of balls in there but I don’t understand, why the Egyptians had to kill cows and share to our folks in Kumasi in the name free giving after they qualified from their group. People, we need to look into some of these things because, they have spirito’s backing them.. I find it funny anytime head of states try to tell the nation what state it is in. You may disagree with me, but these dudes in power no nothing of the state of the nation currently.

Last Saturday a DJ friend of mine, (would like to stay anonymous on his identity) was robbed at cutlass point and his hard earned iphone taken from him by some motor-bike boys just like that. They are called the “kwashee boys” because; they will forcibly take anything you have on you if they chance on you walking alone. Reporting it to the police did not do anything, as he’s still not got any call from the police to say, ‘Mr. DJ, we have the bandits in our custody, and your phone retrieved’.

Instead the police man looked at us without a care in the world and it was as if we were disturbing him. Talk about the state of the nation. Robbery is on the rise, water and electricity supply is on the decline but we pride ourselves with these words-‘the future is bright’. Let’s all pray and hope that the Ghana we wish for will materialize and be free from all these crime and “gangsterism”.

The construction firm working on the Madina-Legon-Shiashie-Tetteh Quarshie double lane is really doing a great job but I really would be glad if he could at least speed up a bit. These days, the lungu-lungu’s are kind of getting free because, the tro-tro drivers have resorted to using the main roads instead of the lungu-lungu’s.

When I starts my journey from the house to work early in the mornings, the road is usually free till when I get to the Shiashe where our insane-go-let-me-come tro-tro drivers decides to outwit each other in search of commuters thereby causing so much traffic for about 30minutes just at that point. I normal curse my day when I get to this point but I am always assuring myself that, when the second is finished and joined, we shall see less of these.

Folks, these days, we have our sisters and brothers in yellow & black known as the community police helping our able-bodied police force in discharging their traffic duties. You’ll find them at faulty traffic joints, applying their common-sense to helping drivers and pedestrians use the road safely but its becoming a nuisance because, they are at every traffic junction. Whether the traffic is working or not, they are there. Unemployment is making all these and more happen.

I would like to know, if they have also been given the permission to arrest anybody who flaws the law because, a cab driver friend of mine was apprehended by one for making a U-Turn at an unauthorized location. The yellow-and-black dressed gentleman just hopped into the cab and asked the driver to drive to the Cantonment Police Station. My good friend obeyed and started the cab towards the said direction but along the way, he made a turn towards a friend’s house where he knew, he’s going to get support from them.

Reaching the friends house, the cab driver went in to call his friends who came to nicely to interrogate the yellow-and-black dressed community police gentleman. According to one, he said, you’ve sat in this cab all the way from 37 Hospital Area, enjoying the cool air-condition, all for free and you still want to take my friend to the police? Hell No.

Massa, get down and get going before my temper gets to its peak” was what the cab driver’s friend told the yellow-and-black dressed gentleman. The friend saying this is a huge looking stout guy standing at 6’6”. Before we could say jack, the yellow-and-black dressed gentleman was on his way running.

He shall regret ever apprehending the cab driver and even facing his ordeal. Imagine, he never had any notepad or pen on himself to at least jot down the cab’s registration number. Well, folks out there don’t be disturbed about these things happening in GH, Ghana is sure the best to be on earth. You wouldn’t experience the type of hospitality Ghanaians accord to foreigners when we travel to their countries.

It’s Hell! In our neighboring Cote D’Ivoire, at every police post-cum- check point, whether a citizen or a non-citizen, you need to produce your “carte-de-identifique” or you shall end up paying a fine at least a CFA1000.00. Ooopps! People, I have to run, watch out for more news, gossips, rumors and the latest info from Nkran, I-Cry (Accra).

Boy, 12, defiles girl, 9.

A 12 year-old boy was on Thursday, March 27, 2008 arraigned for defiling a nine year-old girl at Tetegu, near Kasoa, in the Central Region. I never wanted to believe my ears when I heard it but my fellow bloggers, this is very true. What on earth would trigger a boy of that age to go defiling a minor???

According to Inspector Irene Oppong, Public Relations Officer of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Police Service, both the victim and the accused live in the same area. She said on March 20 this year, the victim went to ease herself near an uncompleted building where she saw the accused passing by and called him by his nickname "Joe Blackie".

Inspector Oppong said the boy gave her a hot chase and she fled into the uncompleted building where he got hold of her, stripped her naked and forcibly had unprotected sexual intercourse with her.

A man passing by heard the victim shouting for help amidst moaning and went to her aid. The PRO said the man reported the case to the victim's mother who lodged a complaint at the DOVVSU Desk at Odorkor in Accra. The case is still with the police and I shall keep you updated on the outcome.

Where is our smooth and peaceful world heading to? We need to educate our youngers on the need to stay away from all troubles and also be at the right place at the right time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thinking Outside The Box

For Ghana to achieve middle-income-status by 2015, there is an urgent need to diversify the economy. As a nation, we need to go beyond the restrictive confines of Ghana’s traditional exports namely cocoa, gold and timber by creating new opportunities and markets which will radically diversify and transform the economy. New export opportunities and markets could help grow the economy in the same way as cocoa, timber and gold have done over the last decades as far back as the colonial days. As a proviso, the best way to achieve economic progress within an economy is through diversification.

After 51 years of independence, Ghana has made little progress in economic diversification and there is still heavy dependence on raw materials such as cocoa, timber and gold. For example, cocoa accounts for about 35 percent Ghana’s export value. The dependence of a nation on three commodities gives cause for concern especially, when all three commodities are primary products. It is a well established fact that, the prices of primary commodities are volatile and susceptible to exogenous shocks hence; a downturn in prices can adversely affect Ghana and significantly thwart our development efforts.

Currently, Ghana’s economic growth is being driven by the agricultural sector due to higher prices on the international market for cocoa and gold rather than the manufacturing sector. Last year, cocoa production was down due to lack of adequate rain. Question is, if world prices for our main three export commodities are to fall, will we as a nation be able to insulate the economy from such severe exogenous shocks? Dr. Kwame Nkrumah attempted to use our wealth in raw materials as a springboard for the country’s overall economic development and industrialisation, and when commodity prices fell, accumulation of exorbitant external debt became the order of the day and has continued till today.

For sustained economic development, it is necessary to have multiple sources of export revenue so that a temporary disruption in one product or service does not jeopardize the funding of the country’s development efforts. For the vision of achieving middle-income-status and industrialisation to become a reality, the manufacturing sector which is a more efficient vehicle for rapid and sustained economic progress is the best way forward but, has yet to attain a large scale in Ghana.

For example, in 1958 if my history serves me right, Malaysia’s main export items were rubber, which contributed almost 60 percent to the total export value, and tin, contributed about 12 percent. The government of Malaysia after independence, made a strong effort to diversify not only the agricultural sector but, branched out and made great inroads into manufacturing. Rubber’s dominance at independence has been reduced to about one percent of Malaysia’s total export value.

Manufacturing products have overtaken agricultural products as the main foreign exchange earner. For example, Malaysia has become one of the largest producers of semiconductors devices in the world. I am a fervent believer of the school of thought that says that, only a robust, competitive, innovative, creative and technologically driven manufacturing sector can take Ghana to the promise land to achieve middle-income-status via industrialisation.

However, we need to develop a progressive, dynamic and viable agricultural economy which will form the basis of our industrialisation in order to ensure food self sufficiency, food security, increased foreign exchange earnings through diversification of export crops and production of raw materials to feed our industries.

Presently, China is roaming Africa like a lion with an FDI budget totalling about $200 billion dollars seeking to devour and exploit Africa’s raw materials and natural resources into oblivion and extinction in order to feed its incessant quest and drive towards industrialisation. Adding value to primary commodities forms the basis of industrialisation.

The thrust of my article is to advance a case for the diversification of our export commodities by exploiting our comparative advantage in palm oil, salt and cassava. This article will specifically deal with the issue of palm oil. Elsewhere in the world, palm oil is big business that earns massive foreign exchange for the interested countries. Palm oil which is called “Red Gold” is one of the most widely used industrial raw materials in the world today. It is found in at least 10 percent of supermarket products. It is a well known fact that, palm oil from Ghana has been described as being of the highest quality and allegedly, the Malaysians like the three wise oriental Kings followed the scent of palm oil to Ghana to learn the fine art of palm oil production. As the saying goes “the rest is history”.

Unfortunately, Ghana has failed to exploit the great potentials of palm oil and as a nation, we have thrown away a great chance of earning an enviable place in the great economies of the world. However, it is never to late to make a fresh start. Currently, Malaysia which came to Ghana to learn about palm oil production is the world’s number one producer and exporter of crude palm oil closely followed by Indonesia.

Having discovered the unparalleled productivity and huge benefits of investing in palm oil production, reports indicate that currently almost half of Malaysia’s cultivated land consists of oil palm. Now the basic questions are; why has palm oil become the world’s number one fruit crop? Why the sudden surge in the demand for palm oil? How did something Ghanaians virtually threw away and failed woefully to exploit has become so valued in the world market today? Apart from being a major ingredient for food, palm oil has other myriad uses.

Palm oil is found in products such as ice cream, chocolate, biscuits, shampoos, tooth paste, paint, and detergents etc. Importantly, palm oil is one of the raw materials used in biodiesal production. As per experts, biodiesals are biodegradable and, when burnt, have fewer emissions than petroleum based fuels.

Malaysia currently accounts for 51 percent of world palm oil production and 62 percent of world exports. Last year, Malaysia’s export revenue from palm oil was $12.2 billion dollars, the biggest foreign exchange earner after manufacturing, tourism and petroleum and gas. The revenue earned by Malaysia through palm oil is nearly the entire total GDP of the Republic of Ghana.. Palm oil production can be an important factor in our current strives towards poverty alleviation.

Employment opportunities through palm oil production can offset the pressure on rural to urban migration. As a country, with a humid tropical climate with rich and fertile lands, Ghana has a great comparative advantage for developing an oil palm industry. Currently, palm oil production is characterised by low production. The role of oil palm in the agro-based industries in Ghana has a significant potential. As a nation, we definitely need to achieve agricultural diversification by making oil palm one of the crops for expansion.

Ghana needs to pursue new strategic pillars of growth if we are to transform the economy and palm oil production offers us a golden opportunity.
Potentially, Ghana can use palm oil production to create an alternative economic revenue base and laying a solid foundation for agri-business. We need to seize the opportunity and tap into the world demand for palm oil.

First Pregnant Male! Incredible .....;)

This pic is for real peeps! Disturbing, I know….The first time I saw this photo I thought, how could this be? It’s not physically possible for a man to carry a baby. And then I read that the 22 week pregnant man, Thomas Beatie, is a transgendered male. Now it all makes since. Although the image is still a little startling, I’ve got to say, good for him.

Thomas Beatie recently gave an interview to the Advocate explaining who he is, his situation, and why he wanted to carry his own baby.

“I am transgender, legally male, and legally married to Nancy. Unlike those in same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, or civil unions, Nancy and I are afforded the more than 1,100 federal rights of marriage. Sterilization is not a requirement for sex reassignment, so I decided to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my reproductive rights. Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire.

Our situation sparks legal, political, and social unknowns. We have only begun experiencing opposition from people who are upset by our situation. Doctors have discriminated against us, turning us away due to their religious beliefs. Health care professionals have refused to call me by a male pronoun or recognize Nancy as my wife. Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive; most of Nancy’s family doesn’t even know I’m transgender.”

Why he decided to carry his child:

Ten years ago, when Nancy and I became a couple, the idea of us having a child was more dream than plan. I always wanted to have children. However, due to severe endometriosis 20 years ago, Nancy had to undergo a hysterectomy and is unable to carry a child. But after the success of our custom screen-printing business and a move from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest two years ago, the timing finally seemed right. I stopped taking my bimonthly testosterone injections. It had been roughly eight years since I had my last menstrual cycle, so this wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. My body regulated itself after about four months, and I didn’t have to take any exogenous estrogen, progesterone, or fertility drugs to aid my pregnancy.”

When Thomas got pregnant for the first time he said:

“I ended up having an ectopic pregnancy with triplets. It was a life-threatening event that required surgical intervention, resulting in the loss of all embryos and my right fallopian tube. When my brother found out about my loss, he said, ‘It’s a good thing that happened. Who knows what kind of monster it would have been.’”

Now he’s five months pregnant and said:

“On successfully getting pregnant a second time, we are proud to announce that this pregnancy is free of complications and our baby girl has a clean bill of health. We are happily awaiting her birth, with an estimated due date of July 3, 2008.”

A lot of sites are reporting that this is the world’s first pregnant male–in some ways this is true and in other ways not–it gets kinda complicated. As a transgender, Beatie is genetically and physiologically female (& male)…but his self-identity is male. The world has actually seen transgender pregnancy before. In California, Matt Rice, bore a child by artificial insemination; however, California refused to recognize Rice as a man. In Beatie’s case, his state of Oregon, is recognizing him as a male–thus, in the technicality of it all, it’s the first recognized male pregnancy, but not necessarily the first pregnant man in the world.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who Do You Think You Are?!!

This may sound like a rude question, right? It’s not really; if you think it is, you need to think about the answer to it some more. Sometimes I do forget who I think I am. Let me tell me who I feel I am at the moment....

I think I’m a global citizen, a human being first of all. African with ties to 3 continents so far by way of residence; with friends and people that I consider family from all backgrounds, creeds and places. I think I’m an international social chameleon; a quiet giant with a versatile, open mentality on any social issue.

As a 24-year-old man born and bred in Accra, Ghana by Ghanaian parents, the question of who I am is closely associated with who I should be. Ethnic or religious identity has never been my trademark. Although having lived in Ukraine since 2003 - my whole young adult life - I have developed a strong identity of a black man and an African with all it means. I have created my own country, "Humania".

It lies between the heart and the mind with no territorial claim and I feel the whole planet is my home. The complexity of being human and our obsessions with fixed identities and categorizations mesmerizes me more than anything else.

As a psychology and computer science student, I do believe that African union is the only way out of the quagmire. People should be able to move freely and transcend all forms of mental and physical boundaries.

Family and national belongings should not be used to divide us but to better understand each other and bridge our gaps because we have a lot that unites us. I have become a black man in Europe but I try to move beyond that and not to let others impose their will on me.

I am what I am because of circumstances and choices I make in life. I believe I am my own country: the clothes I wear are my national flag; the song I sing in the shower is my national anthem and all my body parts are the different departments and ministries of my government.

The social ministry goes to the eyes, mouth and ears. The home affairs ministry functions through the heart and the brain and my sexual organs have the most important portfolio covering foreign affairs.

To be a human being is to understand oneself by understanding others. This can only be achieved by creating relationships with other fellow humans on the basis of true humanism: one love; one heart and one destiny.

All this is subject to change though. So now I ask you again, who are you? Who do you think you are?!! Express yourself!!! If you don't other people will do it for you; and that is where the stereotypes set in.

Nigeria Airways Joke!

Since I have been moving and travelling I just thought I would make you smile a little before things got back on track again. Traveling is fun and gets more funnier when you encounter these days on your way out..

Nigeria Airways Flight 126 from Lagos to Cairo!

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is your captain (Boniface Adenkule) welcoming you on board of Nigeria Airways. We apologize for the four-day delay in taking off, it was due to bad weather and some overtime I had to put in at the bakery. This is flight 126 to Lagos. Landing in Lagos is not guaranteed, but we will end up somewhere in the south. If luck is in our favor, we may even be landing on your village!

Nigeria Airways has an excellent safety-record. In fact our safety standards are so high that even terrorists are afraid to fly with us!

It is with great pleasure; I announce that since starting this year over 50% of our passengers have reached their destination. If our engines are too noisy for you, on passenger request, we can arrange to turn them off!

To make your free fall to earth pleasant and memorable, we serve complimentary Bongo tea and Okin biscuits! For our not-so-religious passengers, we are the only airline who can help you find out if there really is a God!

We regret to inform you, that today’s in-flight movie will not be shown as we forgot to record it from the television. But for our movie buffs, we will be flying right next to Al Barka, where their movie will be visible from the right side of the cabin window.

There is no smoking allowed in this plane. Any smoke you see in the cabin is only the early warning system on the engines telling us to slow down! In order to catch important landmarks, we try to fly as close as possible for the best view. If, however, we go a little too close, do let us know. Our enthusiastic co-pilot sometimes flies right through the landmark!

Kindly be seated, keep your seat in an upright position for take-off and fasten your seatbelt. For those of you who can’t find a seatbelt, kindly fasten your own belt to the arm of your seat …and for those of you who can’t find a seat, do not hesitate to get in touch with a stewardess who will explain how to fasten yourself to your suitcase."

Enjoy Nigeria Airways. Oga, oya. Make we dey go now.. !