Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter Sunday In Keta

I returned to Keta again last weekend on Easter Sunday to attend the one year anniversary of my cousin, Courage Elikplim Beckely aka Abichi’s funeral and also took a tour to Keta Secondary School where I took shots of the school; I just had to because, I manage the Ketasco Alumni (Dzo Lali) Group on Facebook. Earlier on, I had promised the group, I shall try my possible best to bring some current photos of the state of the school.

Well, a lot of change has occurred over the past years. The church service was kind of very long because, about three other families were present in the same church for the Thanksgiving Service of their past relatives or friends. I couldn’t stand the stress in sitting down whiles I had other stuffs to do. I quickly dashed out after the offertory was taken.

Keta now appears to be a ghost town, deserted by her children, most of whom have left her shores in search of greener or maybe browner pastures. The town seems quite empty, compared to what it used to be and those who remain, wander around with a strange look of restless on their faces. The Keta market which once served as the heart of the town no longer bustles with the same energy it once did. Now all the merchants (and their customers) have aged; they no longer frequent the market or have completely closed up their stalls. The younger generation who might have taken up their trade, are now too few in number to restore the life and vitality of the market.

The buildings all stand in a melancholic state. Their grayish, brown walls tell the story of their neglect - decades gone by without renovation. But stubbornly they remaining standing; strong solid structures, grand in style and stature. The architecture is closely European, reminiscent of the colonial era in which they were built. My first point of dashing to was the slave Fort Prinzensteinthe mightylocated near the Late Togbui James Ocloo’s Residence. I took a couple of shots of the Fort and later moved to the old E.P. Church compound. The Sea had washed almost everything away if not for the Keta Sea-Defense Project; there wouldn’t be any evidence ofchurch and school that once stood on that compound.

My grandmother was and still an avid member of the E.P. Church and so was everyone. It was more like a family church, almost everyone in my maternal and paternal families were members of the church. So you could imagine the effect it had on me. Just adjacent to the church is the Amegashie Family Palace which the sea took almost all of it away leaving the front huge gates which have now been changed. The remaining of the church and Amegashie’s Palace has been painted in white-wash.

Thanks to the good Samaritans who want to keep history alive. I took a couple of shots of both buildings for evidence sake. Alas, church was over and I had to return to the house where friends, families and other members from the church were to be refreshed. I met a couple of friends from my kiddy time who came around to say hello to me and find out, where I’ve been hiding all these whiles. Well, it was good seeing them again, though but I was very careful in dealing with some of then.

The greatest obligation when visiting one’s hometown is the number of people you must greet. First stops were made to some of my ancestral family homes; Adadevoh-Beckely-Degadjor, Fumey-Setordjie, Tamakloe and Acolatsey households where I was warmly met by several relatives, many of whom I had never met before (or only remember vaguely from my childhood) yet they all seemed to know me just at the mention of my mum or dad’s name..

Altogether that weekend, I was able to visit and see some places and people in the town. I visited my aged great-great-grandmother who normally holds my arms and touches my face to see if I’m growing in flesh. That’s hilarious, init? I also saw how the main street coming from Tamakloe Gardens through the A.M.E Zion Church and Tay-Agbozo’s Residence has been paved.

Later that afternoon I roamed the streets of Keta and Dzelukope with my cousins. I was amazed at the number of people who ran up to welcome me. Word travels very fast in small towns and everyone knew who I was. People told me how they were related to me “hey, don’t you know me, I am your mother’s cousin’s wife!” or “your dad and I used to best friends, we went to elementary school together!” Those who happened to have seen me as an infant before I finally left the town, put on a greater display; screams of “Oh my God”, hugs, kisses, “Oh look how much you’ve grown, you were just a baby when you left!” It was all pretty overwhelming, but also very nice being among people who are so welcoming and really take you as their own.

As the sun began to set, my cousins and I headed towards the beach; we wanted to see the sun melt into the ocean. The waters were very calm that evening; nothing like the angry crashing waves I remember from my childhood. It was then that I began to see some of the progress made by the Sea Defense Project. Once upon a time the beach was considered too dangerous a place to be and only fishermen ever ventured into the waters. But now people also frequent the beach for leisure. I couldn’t believe seeing some guys coming to defecate around the shore. The moment, I pointed my camera to them, they hurriedly wore their trousers and took their heels without cleaning their a**… ha aha ah.!

My impressions of Keta last weekend left me feeling depressed, but that is because my attention focused only on the losses of the town. All I could think of was things that were no more; the people who had left, the market that had slowed, the buildings that were crumbling. But my time here this weekend has shown me other things.True, the Keta of today is not the same as it was when I was born or the other years when I came back to school in Keta Secondary School nor is it the same Keta my parents knew as children. But the strong sense of attachment and belonging that I felt towards the town has shown me that despite all the changes, in essence, the Keta of yesterday is still the same Keta of today. It still bears the same soul.

The spirit of Keta has not left. Long Live Keta. Long Live Everyone from there...!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

GMA's Shocks and Surprises...!

My dear followers, Readers and Critics, yours truly AccraConsciousForever is here again with yet another weekend fila-gossip-cum-news for y'all music lovers and fans.

The Annual MTN Ghana Music Awards was held on a grand scale last night at the Dome of the Accra Conference Centre to a capacity of over 6,000 music lovers. I guess, it
was the 10th edition. The night for the Ghanaian Music industry saw Okyeame Kwame of "Woso" fame winning the big one, the Artiste of the Year. Well, there are more shocks and surprises as well.

In, what many analysts and pro's of the industry described as the most competitive year for the GMA's, favourites Okyeame Kwame, Praye and Christiana Love were the top winners on the night filled with excitement, cheers and some few surprises.

Kojo Antwi won the Artist of the Decade; Obour also won a World Bank sponsored category dubbed Best Music for Development for his campaign on Road safety which I believe you all will agree did help in the mass education on safety on our roads; and the late Micheal Dwamena winning a posthumous award for Nest Contemporary Highlife Song of the Year with his hit song, 'Ngozi' were the main highlights of the night.

The 2009 Ghana Music Awards also boasted of performance across the past decade. Among the performers on the night were Cindy Thompson, Pat Thomas, Kwabena Kwabena, Akyeame/Okyeame Kwame, Lord Kenya, Irene, Asem, Tinny, Josh Laryea, Sway, D'banj [kokomaster], Ikwechuku of "whine am well" fame and a Praye.

The trio did the "Angelina" song which shooked the whole stage with the introduction of their big-boobs female dance.
See photo below..

The shock and surprises finally here...

Wanlov Kubolor got nominated in most of the categories but he didn't win any award at all. At the later part of the show, I happen to chance on him just at the entrance of the Dome, arguing with a GMA attendee. The reason was, Wanlov claims to be more African than any of the artistes who sings about Africa but the dude said, he didn't understand, why Wanlov was bare-footed claiming all African and yet, he's got a dark-sunglasses on @ 0235gmt. Is the sunglasses too African? Lol.

In my opinion, I believe the Discovery Of The Year Ward should have gone to R2Bees instead of Asem. The guys came in the later part of the season and took everybody by surprise with their hit single, "I Dey Mad Ooo". Its currently a household song that every kid can sing to if been played on the airwaves.

I'm going to have a poll about this. Kindly feel free and express hyout thoughts on this particular subject.
The GMAs w
as hosted by Obour, Batman Samini and Dentaa under the theme, “IT'S A BIG DEAL!"
Complete list of winners is below;

Gospel song of the year – Me Ma Mewere Firi by Christina Love
Gospel Artistes of the year – Christina Love
Contemporary highlife song of the year- Ngozi by Michael Dwamena
Hiplife song of the year – Mercy Lokko by C-zar
Hip-hop song of the year – Woso by Okyeame Kwame
Afro-pop Song of the year – "Angelina" by Praye
Hiplife/hiplife artiste of the year – Okyeame Kwame
Best Reggae song of the year- Change your constitution by Chizzy Waler
Instrumentalist of the year – Ackah Blay
Merit Award – Paapa Yankson
Traditional Artist of the year – Hewale Sounds
Best Collaboration – Adea Akye bia by Christiana Love and Kweku Gyasi
Contemporary highlife artist of the year – Kwabena Kwabena
Songwriter of the year - Bernice Offei for 'Life'
Best Video of the year – Woso directed by Abraham Ohene Djan
African Artist of the year – D'banj
Producer of the Year –Richie Mensah
Best female vocal performance- Bernice offei
Best Male Vocal performance – OJ
Record label of the year – Lynx Entertainment
Best Music for development – Road safety song by Obuor
Album of the year – Roll Kall by Praye
Record of the year – Emere by Josh Laryea
Discovery of the year – Asem
Song of the Year – Angelina
Artist of the decade – Kojo Antwi

and finally, the Big one....

Artist of the Year- Okyeame Kwame

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tilapia Party [31032009107]

On Wednesday, I happened to chanced on a small party-cum-drink down of a friends roomie on the campus of the University of Ghana. I guess, the right location was Mensah Sarbah Hall Annex A.

As a matter of fact, I wasn't invited or let me say, I wasn't known to be coming around that day. I just thought of passing through and Lo and Behold, there's a is loud music on the floor, drinks been served and girls in party attires everywhere.. Well, when I talk about girls, I don't mean the type that you'll find at most parties in GH these days.

These are well-wishers, gossips and rumour mongers who were there for various reasons ranging from, "how does her cake looks like", "What food will she serve", "Which people would attend" and lastly, "would there be anything special about her b'day"?

I have been to a couple of parties-cum-drink ups [downs] but this one was briefly nice and easy going except for one old looking girl, who by virtue of age, fell out of place. She's the type, we would call, "Opanyin Toto" [tr: an elder who has relinquished his/her status and would roll with his/her lesser peers/mates]. Just because she wasn't looking beautiful, she decided to have an issue with me for been an un-wanted paparazzi that nite.

At most drink-ups[downs], rice in different forms are served but at this one, it was Banku and grilled tilapia. Man, its not just anything tilapia ooo, its the very big ones with enough flesh. The picture above says it all.

It was not a well attended event but it did creat a lasting impression on the mind of the "party-gbee's" [tr: party freaks]. Happy Belated B'day to Cisca....!

Posted by ShoZu