Nothing Even Matters

Ghana Rising: Meet Young Denim Label Duafe

Hello? It seems we can make our own jeans now. Or at least brand them. I smell a revolution.

What Africa's Entrepreneurs Can Teach the World

By BRIGHT B. SIMONS

Bright B. Simons invented the SMS shortcode system for authenticating pharmaceuticals, and currently leads the effort by the company he founded, mPedigree Network, to deploy the system across Africa and South Asia. He is based in Accra, Ghana.

Source: hbr.org

TEDxSaintGeorgesSchool - Amowi Phillips - Virtual Service

Does Ghana have a vision for the youth?

"Really, I wonder how people as clueless as they are could be given such important jobs in the country. I think we can find others out of 25 million who could do the Ministers’ jobs much better. They have in my eyes declared their negligence over issues concerning young people. If this was not President Mills’ views then at best he is guilty of not knowing how to pick the best team for such an important part of Ghana’s development. At worst he is trying to sabotage development from the bottom-up. Yes, Ken Agyapong was wrong with his comments and in an ideal political world the NPP would have abandoned him for the year and allowed him to make amends in other ways out of the spotlight. But, what danger is Ken words, when Sam, Elvis and Moses aren’t even planning to build a Ghana for anyone to destroy?"

- Bello (blogger), in reference to certain Ghanaian Ministers speaking about education and unemployment

LOL. She snatched my heart and spread its words all over the page. MY goodness. Reading some of the politicians’ quotes just re-ignited vim for this Minister thing…hm.

This love is REAL!

You have to be good at home first before becoming good elsewhere.

Blitz the Ambassador, Ghanaian musician

So true.

Is it that I haven’t been hearing these stories?

(Maybe I’m ignorant?) And I’m being too suspicious? Or does a certain government want to seem very effective right now, as December elections approach? Either that or people don’t want to lose their jobs if the government changes? All of a sudden I’m seeing all these cases of people being arrested all over Facebook, and I’m just like e_e ….I just don’t know. I’ve never head of a teacher being arrested during BECE, or heard of it making the news, because WE ALL KNOW how often the cheating, etc actually happens. And for traders to actually be fined? They’re always warned and maybe they sack them..but really, I mean, generally - Ghana has never seemed to enforce any law (that we also know) and now all of a sudden, there are all these scapegoats. Na wa for our politics. Kmt. Please tell me if I’m wrong, though. I beg.

First, Ken Agyapong’s arrest. Then in one night I saw these things:

Teacher arrested for assisting students during BECE (NB: The Education Minister was visiting the area and the WAEC officer who caught the teacher “made this known” to her. If she wasn’t there would he have said it? I personally feel some type of way about it.) http://news.peacefmonline.com/education/201204/109085.php

Someone being convicted for stealing a pen drive from the Electoral Commission: http://news.peacefmonline.com/social/201204/109132.php

Traders fined GHC 1,400: http://www.ghananewsagency.org/details/Human-Interest/Court-fines-four-traders-GH-1-400-for-selling-at-unauthorised-places/?ci=6&ai=42272

Man fined GHC 1,200 for double registration: http://www.ghananewsagency.org/details/Human-Interest/Court-fines-an-unemployed-man-GH-1-200-for-double-registration/?ci=6&ai=42281

Then some random suspected robbers arrested: http://edition.radioxyzonline.com/pages/latest-stories-news/wed-04182012-2328/two-suspected-robbers-nabbed-tema-motorway
Interesting how the real thieves were actually chased into the bush and were caught the same night. An unusually fast response. Beside the point, I didn’t know there was a “Highway Patrol Team.”

I’m not saying these arrests are wrong, or what the people did is okay (not at all), but I don’t want to see any false pretense of justice if it’s not going to be real or pervasive and it’s not going to last long. That’s just some kind of childish politics. They can catch 10,000 thieves but when I go to Ghana in December I’ll still find police officers asking me for Christmas “bonus”.

Regardless of all this, I just HOPE that these are signs that Ghana is moving forward with its rule of law. I will just take it all in good faith. May3 dinn, may3 komm, may3 calm. (Thank you, Mzbel for your lyrics.)

But how I wish I could register to vote.

Literature

That post I reblogged from Debbie about Jane Eyre made me think about what I was reading in middle (primary) school. I had to go and look for African literature. Does that make sense to you? The Canterbury Tales is an amazing book and I thoroughly enjoyed studying it, but when I found The Lion and the Jewel and The Blinkards at home in Class 6, I was wondering: where in the WORLD were other books like this, and how come I hadn’t found them earlier? I loved them. I wanted us to act Ama Ataa Aidoo’s play out in school (I still wanted us to do it when I went to HGIC, but nooo, of courrrrse…the plays staged were As You Like It and The Miser…another story for a different day). The Blinkards is still my favourite book, maybe of all time (well, mayybe tied with Ella Enchanted and some Eric Carle books and Frog and Toad books and I could go on and on lool…those in particular are children’s books, but I don’t care :D) and along with The Lion and The Jewel, it’s my favourite piece of Ghanaian literature I’ve read so far. If not for my father and his wonderful taste in books…I mean? At the time I wondered whether I would’ve appreciated life as much if I didn’t get exposed to reading like that (lol extreme extension of the importance of reading, but whatever). Ever since that time I’ve been extremely grateful for how many books my dad allowed me to buy and how many he already had. I used to enjoy just searching for books I could read next. I knew the average Ghanaian kid doesn’t even get the chance to read as much. Even though they most likely want to. And that is the saddest thing. But more shameful of the literature matter: I didn’t even get to read Things Fall Apart till IG1 (10th grade). Something I don’t even like admitting. My previous school didn’t study it (though it was an option they turned down in Form 2 -_-), and somehow we just didn’t have it at home. Though we had Anthills of the Savannah.

LOL But if it weren’t for my big sister and my dad worrying about the adult content in the book I would’ve read Changes in Form 2, too. haha (wish I did -_- I mean, I had been exposed to a lot in this world by then hahaha…But yeah, maybe it wasn’t the right time.)

Education reform. I am so convinced right now. Hei! Hm.

I Will Go Home To My Oldd Boyfriendd

In like two hours (if I’m not wrong) the boys will be waking up the girls in the hostels :(

Then they’ll do gyama :(

Lol just last night I was listening to Sidney and Tinny and Ahomka Wo Mu and things. Hahaha.

Reasons why I wish I was in Ghana at such times.
lol Even just to be at home and watch those happy independence things on TV LOL. Oh chale.

Lmao I’m feeling ambitious. I want to make a video of us tumblr people singing the Ghanaian national anthem :/ lool :/ Oh just record it and send it to me and I’ll do the rest :/ haha…It will be fun/funny

What I wouldn’t do for jollof right now. Or even someone just running and shouting “Heyyy” because Ghana is 55.

Million Download Campaign - Global Gangstas

(By Derrick Ashong)
Last week I wrote about how the Recording Industry has systematically targeted Black communities as a way of testing talent designed for marketing to a broader demographic.  In a nutshell, they promote artists who can develop “street cred” in the Black community but will be acceptable to White people.  This doesn’t come from an understanding of a globalizing society where the classic walls of race, ethnicity etc that have historically divided us are finally crumbling in the face of transcendent, uplifting artistry. Rather, it plays upon an understanding that you can reduce your risk of investing in new talent if you focus on what’s easy to sell (ie. sex & violence), and tough-looking Black dudes from the “hood” are impressive to rebellious suburban teens.
 
Thus Hip Hop has been transformed from the voice of urban youth rebelling against a system that didn’t provide them the opportunity to learn to play instruments, much less respect their humanity and artistry - to a caricature of what White suburban kids think hardcore Ghetto youth must be like.
 
Sounds like a domestic problem, but it’s not.  It goes way further  than the borders of the United States and the implications are far more insidious than some suburban kids patterning their rebellion on the actions of some fake gangstas.
 
A few years ago I was on a trip home to Ghana & had an experience that put a lot of this in a new perspective for me. I was walking along when a young bruh approached me & apparently prompted by my manner of speech or maybe the way I was dressed, rolls up and says “wassup my nigga” in a full Accra accent.  I was stunned. That isn’t a word used in my home culture, and I couldn’t remember ever having heard it there before.  In that moment it ight as well have started snowing in our equatorial hometown, it was that out-of-sorts.

Why would a young Ghanaian kid in Accra, address me using an American racial epithet? Maybe for the same reason why other dudes were walking around town wearing baggy jeans, timberlands & Triple Phat Geese, in the 90 degree heat. The cultural influence of Hip Hop has been pervasive worldwide. And for good reason - it’s a music that lends itself to people literally “making it their own.”

But what happens when the template for “what’s cool,” “what’s authentic” and ultimately “what’s ‘Black’” is based on a stereotype manufactured for sale by a company looking to make a buck off the Black community? It sounds sinister, even hyperbolic, but the implications are real & they are serious. For years I’d travel around the world & the dominant image I’d see of young Black men would be of Gangsters & thugs. And so for young Black men, growing up in such a world the archetype of “authenticity” has actually been a stereotype marketed by industry executives who most likely, don’t live anywhere near the “hood.”
 
Sometimes keepin’ it real goes wrong on a global scale. But the real gangstas aren’t necessarily the ones you hear in rap songs. If you want to hear artists promoting something more than guns & girls, perhaps it’s time to take the beef out of the streets and into the board rooms…
 
 
D.N.A
Source: http://www.derrickashong.com/dnablog/2012/3/1/million-download-campaign-global-gangstas.html

Lol I’m not even going to lie, I’m reeeally liking Ashesi graduates right now. Reeeeally liking them.
:) There is hope. :)

I would’ve gone if they offered more of the classes I’d like to study.

A post for Leila Djansi

I was extremely sad when I read what she had to say. I actually don’t know what to say, because if (and only IF) Ghanaians were insulting her and/or her movies, I understand where she’s coming from and I wouldn’t blame her. And I also feel like because I am a Ghanaian it MAY be biased for me to have the urge to say that her reaction was a little extreme… But the matter doesn’t seem clear to me at all. As for voting for awards, oh that’s out. But if it wasn’t released to the public, ummm I’m not really in agreement. And her movies seem good. But the Oscars and the Emmy’s don’t give awards to about-to-premiere or consumed productions. THEN again lol, I mean, Ghanaians have been exposed to local productions of terrible taste for years so can we always trust people’s judgment…? it’s a somewhat complex issue.

But I know people talk. Ghanaians definitely talk. Half the time, it’s either unnecessary or very foolish.

She should just take her own advice. THE BOTTOM LINE, for me: if in your heart of hearts you have the desire to tell GOOD African stories, you will tell them, and you will educate people. Even if you have to take your stories elsewhere for a WHILE. The stories need to be told, and by the people who need to tell them - ourselves. No one opinion (or thousand opinions) is the law. Cases like this are almost certainly one (nb: one) of the reasons why Ghanaians, Nigerians, etc. go outside to publish and promote their work. Before they even come to Africa.

lol This even reminds me of Asamoah Gyan. What Yasmin (Fuseini) put in the comments on her Facebook status was so true (not insulting him because she knows she wouldn’t want that happening to her and she knows it’s not easy) and I felt guilty even though I never went as far in the insults as many Ghanaians did, in his career. (In fact I can’t remember feeling any animosity towards him; I may be wrong but I strongly think the most I would say is “Oh, he likes taking penalties too much ah” or laugh at his music or something which I actually LOVE) But it’s terrible. When he actually took whatever little courage he may have had to tell Ghanaians on twitter (to be truthful, a relatively cowardly place to say it, forgive me to say) that he knew he had disappointed them and that he needed encouragement to come back because he WANTED to come back, a lot of people just showed they didn’t give a microscopic damn. There was a particular tweet I can’t remember, that I KNEW if Asamoah Gyan read, he’d probably go into exile. I was so disgusted. ESPECIALLY because it is only FOOTBALL. He did not make a stupid error in war or something. He did not go and kill someone. And this small CAN, it happens every two years. I mean…?!

Regardless, I felt he shouldn’t have let everything just shut his Ghanaian career down. It’s a very serious decision. Whether I’m Ghanaian or not. And also for whatever you do in life, wiser people aaaalways tell you that you can’t let one mistake hold you down or let what others say TAKE AWAY what you’ve worked so hard to build. They weren’t physically there with you when you were working so hard to get to the level that you got to before your mishap, they definitely don’t know about your trials, but whenever a mishap happens, TRUST. People always pay special attention. (Michael Jackson? Whitney Houston?)

So of course, he needs time to probably forgive himself (though there’s nothing to forgive! It’s only football. A disappointing MOMENT. And it’s never that serious.) and clear his head and feel better about himself. Football is so highly…valued in Ghana that when you’re on a field it’s like you’re President. SO. MUCH. PRESSURE. I feel like there’s even more pressure than if you were president. Because Ghanaians all over the world make the effort to watch you and pay close attention. And then wait for that moment to brag about their country’s win. And they will talk about it all over social media. I personally doubt that everybody (especially the average Ghanaian) outside the country cares AS MUCH about Ghana’s internal issues.

Ghanaians seem to like driving people away, especially the good ones. lol I don’t even want to start bringing any politics here (LOL). But yes. We’re way too hard on people who help us, especially when they make ONE mistake, and we never see people as human. Look at the talkofgh pictures. I know that the person is either not going to read it, or going to LISTEN if I say how terrible his/her dressing was, plus I am not their mother to teach them what they should’ve been taught a long time ago or their friend to tell them what the people around them should have let them know. But just because people are behind computer screens, they will open their mouths (as teachers say) byorr byorr byorr. And from their facebook names and pictures, I wonder if they should even be writing ‘.’ over there.

You can also see it in the way people treat prostitutes, women they think are promiscuous or women who dress provocatively. They beat them up to pieces.

I’m guilty, for sure, though. I laughed for so long at ‘ecomini’ and took it to heart as strong evidence of the quality of Atta Mills as president. I’m NPP. I’m biased. But I’ll try not to be anymore :)

lol This isn’t to say these are all good people. I’m just relating the reactions.

But this woman needs to come back. lol I’m not going to let Shirley-Frimpong Manso be the only one showing what Ghana or Africa looks like.

Paapa - Dear Grace (with loop station)

It GREATLY pains me

When people go to “Africa” and have the rare opportunity to experience a part of it, and yet come back unchanged/only to SPREAD their ignorance. Making their trip absolutely useless. To me, anyway. And making the situation worse for Africans outside of their countries.

And ANOTHER thing, I don’t know WHO to blame for this, but if you go to “Africa” and only notice the bad things/things you DEFINITELY do not understand or would not know about, to support your annoying preconceived notions, I just don’t know for you.

lmao and on another note lol, look at this response to that “In Ghana” video that girl Nichole did:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfpGm3eKXhE&feature=youtube_gdata_player
(lol notice how he does the total opposite of what he says..lol. but I found it hilarious).

I felt I had to properly document this. It’s been fun.

So many things I learned in 3 weeks. And it’s not even over yet.

No, I’ve never been to Heathrow. The long line made me think of how my dad would react to this. By now he would’ve ran already and been holding his shoes (well, that’s an exaggeration), waiting so he could just rush and check the flight. And find out that we had 3 more hours of free time. And then he’d say “Better than getting there and being sorry” or something like that. Thank God for patience. It’s funny, I don’t even remember the flight to Heathrow. I so desperately wanted to get out of that country.

I walk around and as usual, look for the Ghanaians. (Everyone does.) And of course, the first thing I’m really looking for is the food. I see Agyare, I walk around some more, figure I’m not so hungry and change my mind to just get something light and not disgusting, like a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. I see Jamie while I’m walking, think it’s not him, look back and stare a few seconds more and realize it is. {Woww, Jamie, I forgot about that boy. Oh yeah, he’s one of those British people who go to school in the UK…} I find a cafe, drink a large cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, then walk all the way back and sit down.
About 30 minutes to call time I, all of a sudden, see a fair boy [name withheld] and his girlfriend walking around, while in conversation. I look for a while to make sure it is who I think it is, and yes, it’s them. {Ei, so this one too, you’ve flown with your girlfriend? Haha, hei…} I think to myself. I look away a split second after the girl looks in my direction, hoping she wouldn’t notice me looking at her. Either way, my head is down and I’m not about to acknowledge that I recognize them. From the corner of my eye I can see them walking somewhat towards my direction. After 2 minutes or so I look up again, and they’re gone. {They’re probably on my flight…} Eventually they come back, ({Oh, snap…}) probably because there were no seats at other parts of the airport. I just listen to my music and look straight ahead until they sit down.

I don’t see them at the gate, however. And the gate happens to be the area I had walked all the way to, to find the cafe. -_- But I do see Christian on my way there, who recognises me, and Jamie, again. And a boy I had seen at JFK who gave me the stroong instinct that he was Ghanaian. He was with his sister, who I recognize to have gone to a certain school. And then of course there’s one boga, with the standard chain and leather jacket. I always look out for them. For entertainment. But it also assures me I’m in the right place. Luckily he’s right in front of the seat I choose, and thankfully, he’s not on the phone.

They make everyone with carry-on luggage check it in, and I think, {only with Ghanaians. If it was America they would never do this thing. Ghanaians like bringing too much stuff.} Lmao when they finally call us, one guy holds up the line for quite some time because he’s waiting for them to call, I guess, the regular passengers, as they had already called priority passengers to board. His face has all the seriousness in the world. Well, the priority people had gone for some time and nobody had gotten up. I was very thankful I had just gotten fed up and joined the line with a shrug; there were quite a few behind him. And I hate being last to board. When I turn around to look, another guy just says, “Why are you standing here waiting? *vigorous hand movement asking why* You’re delaying the line! Mtchew.” and crosses. Haha. Mad jokes. The guy in the line, of course, gives his serious explanation [to deaf ears] before moving slowly behind the man who confronted him. I couldn’t WAIT to get to Ghana. :)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." -Jesus (John 14:27)

"...but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here." John 14:31

Trying to see beyond this world. Nice to meet you, I'm Andrea.
"Cento" Copyright © Andrew Brinker 2011.