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!