Thursday, 29 April 2010

Judith Aidoo (Investing in Africa)

Judith Aidoo [on the left] with a friend
Judith Aidoo is a private investor, and Chief Executive of both Caswell Communications, Inc., a radio broadcast company based in Charleston, SC (the 85th largest city in the US), and The Aidoo Group Ltd., a Wall Street based merchant bank founded in 1991, and its African regional affiliate, Capital Alliance Company Ltd., with representative offices in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. She began her career as an investment banker in 1987 with Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she specialized in structured finance and asset securitization. Upon leaving Goldman, she started her own firm to both advise and invest in technology; telecommunications and media; real estate; and financial services. Her clients have included sovereign governments, global corporations and large institutional investors.

For one commercial bank, Ms. Aidoo developed and managed an innovative securitization program that raised $500 million to refinance dollar-denominated trade loans of large exporters in 22 African countries. This deal was historic in its structure and it received the highest possible short-term credit rating from Standard & Poor's (A1+) and Fitch Investor Service (F1+). More recently, Judith was responsible for identifying and executing mergers and acquisitions in certain emerging markets for Titan Wireless, Inc., a subsidiary of Titan Corporation, the NYSE listed technology company (ticker: TTN).

Ms. Aidoo has been honored for her business accomplishments as a former board member of WNYC, the City of New York's public radio station group chaired by Mrs. Billie Tisch; a member of President Clinton's Transition Team, responsible for covering the Federal Reserve System of the US, and as a member of his U.S. Trade Advisory Committee chaired by the US Trade Representative at the time, Ms. Charlene Barshefsky; a member of the US-South Africa Business Development Committee co-chaired by the US Secretary of Commerce; and was nominated to be a member of the 2001 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute.

Ms. Aidoo is currently a member of the Dean of Rutgers College Advisory Board, and an investor and board member of Capital Alliance Co., a merchant bank and member of the Ghana Stock Exchange, with representative offices throughout sub-Saharan Africa; Caswell Communications, Inc., the operator of WPAL-FM (100.9 FM) and joint operator of WZJY (1480 AM) in Charleston, SC; and the Africa Financing Review, of which she is the publisher. Judith graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with high honors from Rutgers College in 1984 and from Harvard Law School in 1987. She has been a television contributor for MSNBC and CNN, and has been featured and quoted in major business publications on investment matters including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Financial Times and Black Enterprise. She also taught a summer course on investing in emerging markets at the International Business Institute at the University of Vermont. [Credit:]

Entertainment : Peter Mensah plays Akwey [the Horse Clan Leader] in Avatar

Did you know that Akwey –who is the clan leader of the Horse Clan -of the Plains [and is witnessed fighting in the final battle on his Direhorse] in Avatar is played by Ghanaian born actor -Peter Mensah?  I’m so impressed by this handsome brother’s acting -and somewhat surprised that I haven’t heard of him sooner –anyway, the following is more information about Peter Mensah from wikipedia.

Peter Mensah (born on 12 November 1970 in Accra, Ghana as Enzo Patnogon) is a Canadian actor, best known for his role in Tears of the Sun and more recently "Doctore" on the Starz original series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Mensah comes from an academic family. He was born in Ghana, to parents of the Asante tribe. At a young age, he moved to Hertfordshire, England with his father, an engineer, and his mother, a writer and 2 younger sisters. Mensah moved to Canada 11 years ago. He emigrated from Britain to see the world and it was a toss up whether his destination would be Canada or Australia.

Acting career
He appeared in such films as 300, Hidalgo, Tears of the Sun, Jason X, Harvard Man, Bless the Child and has made television appearances in Star Trek: Enterprise, Tracker, Witchblade, Blue Murder, Relic Hunter, Earth: Final Conflict, Highlander: The Raven and La Femme Nikita.Mensah also stars in the short film "The Seed", produced and directed by Linkin Park's DJ Joe Hahn, and recently in The Incredible Hulk and Avatar.

Recently, he did the voice and likeness of Sgt. Zach Hammond in EA's video game Dead Space. Mensah, who has practiced martial arts since he was 6, is now playing the character "Doctore" in Spartacus: Blood and Sand and was on the Spartacus Panel at Comic Con 2009. [Credit:]

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Culture: Nana Oforiatta Ayim

Nana Oforiatta Ayim is a cultural historian, writer and filmmaker based in Accra and London. She is currently working on a research publication and exhibition for the EU/AU on cultural heritage and contemporary arts institutions in Africa with architect David Adjaye (2011, Bozar, Brussels) and a book on Ghanaian photographer James Barnor (2010, Trolley Books, London). Her writing has appeared in publications such as The National Geographic, The Statesman, The Dubliner and Time Out. She has lectured and presented her scholarship at Universities, including Cambridge, Kumasi, London and Oxford. She has curated exhibitions and events for institutions such as The British Council, The British Museum, The Liverpool Biennial, The Royal Festival Hall and The Victoria and Albert Museum. In her fiction and short films she deals with the themes of translation and the gaps within language. Her first fiction book 'The Tightrope Walker' will be published in May 2010. Her films have been nominated for awards at various festivals, such as The Milan African Film Festival, The RAI Ethnographic Film Festival and The Real Life Documentary Film Festival. They have also been shown at venues such as The Museum of African Diaspora and used in university curricula. She is a founding director of ANO, a non-profit organization dedicated to the interface of culture and development in Africa and its Diaspora. She has an MA in African Art History and is completing a PhD in African Languages and Cultures at the University of London. [Credit:]

Film: John Akomfrah OBE

John Akomfrah OBE is a film-maker and video artist. He was born in Accra and is one of five children of Ghanaian political activists. Akomfrah is best known for being one of the founding members of Black Audio Film Collective, an artist group that addressed issues of Black British identity. Besides making theatrical films, Akomfrah has directed many television programmes, including one about Martin Luther King and another on Louis Armstrong for the BBC. A critic as well as a film-maker, Akomfrah has written widely about African cinema. He has been a member of the Arts Council Film Committee, and is currently a Governor of the British Film Institute. In 2008 he was made an OBE.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Fashion: Is Faustina Agolley the most fashionable Ghanaian woman in the world?

Wow ...feast your eyes on the ever fabulous, TV presenter Faustina Agolley! Looking exquisite in David Jones at the David Jones A/W2010 Fashion Launch [at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia] –Ms Agolley is proving to be Ghana’s hottest fashionista...

Coming Soon to the BBC, Idris Elba in Crime Thriller -Luther

Watch out for Luther -a six part psychological crime drama coming to the BBC this May and starring Hollywood star Idris Elba as John Luther, a mastermind murder detective whose brilliant mind can't always save him from danger. Luther is a different kind of crime thriller; -each episode starts with the murderer’s identity – leaving the drama wholly focused the on the psychic duel between hunter and prey, who sometimes have more in common than either would like to think. This fervent drama [filmed in London] was created and written by Neil Cross, an acclaimed suspense novelist and lead writer for the last two series of the award-winning Spooks.

Sports: Kevin Prince Boateng & Adam Kwarasey to switch nationalities –and play for Ghana at World Cup 2010

Kevin Prince Boateng

Adam Kwarasey

**I won’t pretend for a second that I know anything about football, all I know is that the two brothers in question -Kevin Prince Boateng and Adam Kwarasey are gorgeous and they want to play for Ghana’s national team in the world Cup [and that’s fine with me]. The following is a more information about said footballers –and the upcoming World Cup from:

Title: Fifa set to approve Boateng to play for Ghana at World Cup
Date: Thursday, 22nd April 2010

Fifa is expected to approve the nationality switch of Kevin Prince Boateng in the coming days as the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has finally produced documents to back the ex-Germany star’s nationality switch.

The world governing body has started investigating the issue to approve the player’s desire to play for the Black Stars at the World Cup and beyond, Ghanasoccernet can exclusively reveal.

But the nationality switch of Norway U21 goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey is still hanging by a thread as the documents required have still not been provided by the GFA.

Some members of the GFA vehemently denied a BBC report quoting Fifa last month that the extremely long delay in approving the nationality switches of the two players was because the federation did not provide all the documents needed for the approval.

Yet sneeringly, the GFA has now come up with the papers needed to approve Boateng’s quest to play for Ghana where his father hails from instead of Germany.

“The request from the Ghana Football Association concerning the player Boateng is now pending with FIFA and currently being investigated,” Fifa said in an exclusive statement to

This means if the player status committee sits within one month, the ex-Germany star will be approved to play for Ghana well in time for the World Cup which starts in South Africa on 11 June.

But the desperation of Kwarasey is expected to prolong as no papers have been provided for Fifa to clear him to compete for a place at the World Cup, Fifa told

“With respect to the player, Kwarasay, in summer 2009 the player personally contacted our services with regard to his possible change of association,” the Fifa statement read.

“However, since then no follow-up was ever received by the association concerned. As a result, there is no current pending case involving him, with FIFA.”

With the GFA delaying in providing the documents to back the goalkeeper’s switch, Ghana quest for a good replacement for Richard Kingson could be scuppered because of the GFA’s apparent lack of interest.

According to Fifa regulations on international switches, the player wishing to represent a new country must ONLY submit a written request to the world governing body seeking to player for another country.

But the federation the player wishes to represent must satisfy FOUR CONDITIONS including evidence of the player’s link to the country with a passport.

The GFA provided only a Boateng’s father’s birth certificate in its initial application which was rejected by Fifa on grounds that it does not prove his father is a Ghanaian.

Boateng’s father’s Ghanaian passport has now been provided which enabled the case to be opened by Fifa.

This means if the GFA had provided all the documents seven months ago when it applied for the switch, the Portsmouth start could have played for the Black Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

This is because it took Mali only THREE WEEKS to secure ex-France U21 striker Mamadou Samassa switch to play for the West Africans.[Credit:]

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Fashion: Is June Sarpong the most fashionable Ghanaian woman in the world?

    I love everything about this look, -June Sarpong looks fabulously ‘on trend’ in this sequined jacket, rock’n’roll t-shirt and feathered skirt combo....

OSEADEEYO ADDO DANKWA III -King of Akropong-Akuapem [From ‘African Kings” by Daniel LAINÉ]

A graduate from the University of London and an economic advisor for the Ghanaian administration, The King of Akropong holds for the last sixteen years the “sacred seat” of the Akuapem-Asona, one of the seven major Akan clans.

To his right, his “spokesman” carries the royal emblem, the elephant, a remembrance that his kingdom was founded by force.

In 1733, Akwamu launched his army against the city-State of Akropong, which had been spared from the Ashanti conquests. To defend itself, the city called upon soldiers who liked war, the Akim, and who are also the hereditary enemies of the Ashanti. Akropong was saved, and as a reward, the chief of the Akim was enthroned as the King of Akropong.

At the feet of the king sits a young child, his “okra”, meaning his soul. Protected by fetishs, the Okra plays the role of a human shield, who has to defend the King from evil spirits, sickness and death. The King is the Nation. He should never be wounded or sick, or the entire nation will weaken. The Okra diverts all evil forces upon himself. He, therefore, must die with his master.

During battles, the Okra would ring the small bells suspended on his neck, to show the king’s presence and to stimulate the warriors’ bravery. If the king was frightened and did not want to attract the enemy’s attention he would stifle the ringing bells; his soldiers interpreted this as desertion and would abandon the battle. [Credit:]

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Fashion: Anita Quansah's jewellery collection is 'to-live-for'......

There is something about quality isn't there [especially quality jewellery]? You can spot it a mile off -and the older I get the less I'm prepared to compromise it....and that's why I'm soo excited by jewellery/fashion/textile/designer -Anita Quansah's beautifully embellished neckpieces, -Theda and Adaeze [above] featured in the latest German Vogue. Lovingly made by hand with vintage and recycled fabrics; -bound with chains and pearls -these neckpieces are works of art. Once a fashion insider secret [British Vogue refers to Anita Quansah's neckpieces as “Best Buys”] -these coveted neckpieces have been featured in high-end glossies including: British and German vogue, Muse, German Tush and Vision Magazine. I can't get over them -I seriously covet every single piece in Anita's latest collection -they are fabulously ‘on-trend’. For more information about Anita [she also has a fashion and interior collection] please visit:

More from Anita Quansah's latest jewellery collection
I want this one -now


I started Ghana Rising –primarily because I love Ghana and the Ghanaian Community -and wanted to write about things that interest me. Also, there were no publications, websites or blogs that truly celebrated the yummy goodness of Ghana /Ghanaian community –and thus Ghana Rising was born. I have encompassed my love of [and my experiences of working for various] glossy magazines; my love [and knowledge] of the Ghanaian Glitterati, innovative people of Ghanaian heritage, the significant influences of the Ghanaian culture and the warmth of our community –to create Ghana Rising. I love it! And according to your emails and messages –you love it too! I’ll like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers [especially my subscribers]. Thank you and stay Blessed.... Paulina xx

Kate Tachie-Menson and Belinda Baidoo on the cover of CANOE Africa Magazine....

I’m loving these images of Kate Tachie-Menson [one of Ghana Rising’s most beautiful 2010] on the latest cover of CANOE Africa Magazine. Produced in Ghana and sold throughout Africa, -CANOE Africa magazine [a quarterly magazine]'s covers are pretty impressive! Past cover stars include Ghana Rising’s favorite model – Belinda Baidoo [below]. For more information about CANOE Africa magazine please visit:

Fashion: Yvonne Nelson

I stumbled across this lovely photograph of [one of Ghana Rising’s favourite fashionistas] actress Yvonne Nelson -off duty [out shopping] and just had to share it! She looks fabulous.....Go Yvonne.....x

Art: Reiner Opoku

As an international curator and contemporary art dealer, Reiner Opoku has been a leading figure on the global art market since 1983. He has managed some of this era’s premiere avant-garde artists such as Georg Dokopil and Martin Kippenberger and has worked on projects with Julian Schnabel and Sigmar Polke. Through his role as artist manager, he has successfully established a broad network of contacts which has bolstered his capacity as both curator and developer.

The projects to which he has contributed, include the establishment of the Asian sales network of Benedikt Taschen’s publishing house as well as the founding of KUNSTHAUS- Europe's first art department store. KUNSTHAUS of which he is co-owner, offers high quality art including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and photographs of numerous artists.

As curator, Reiner Opoku has delivered numerous exhibitions of principal artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Josef Beuys as far a field as Tokyo, Prague, Vienna, Berlin and Hamburg. He was recently the curator of the prestigious St. Moritz Art Masters (SAM). The St. Moritz Arts Masters gave visitors a taste of the varied mediums of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, photography, video and audio installations. Works from more than 250 international artists including Pablo Picasso, David Duncan Douglas, David LaChapelle, Carl Andre, Leiko Ikemura, Helmut Newton, Yves Klein, Joseph Beuys were just a few of the artists showcased.

Opoku’s reputation, acquaintances and extensive industry knowledge combine give Wolfgang Roth & Partners, Fine Art a platform for confident dealing and a clear view of the marketplace. [Credit:]

**I’m so happy to share uber curator, Reiner Opoku with you. I heard about him -a while back and thought he was [and continues to be] a great asset to the Ghanaian community. I don’t know if he has worked in Ghana [or is planning to] but wouldn’t it be fabulous to see him working with Ghanaian artists?

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Most Beautiful Women of Ghanaian Origin 2010…..

Krystle Awura Amma Simpson [Model/Miss Ghana USA 2008]

Rosemary Frimpong [Model / Miss Ghana Canada 2003]

Soraya Khalil [Model]

Grace Sarfo [Ghana’s Next Super Model]

Caroline Mills-Davies  [Model/Socialite]

Meyane Donkor [Model/Miss Universe Ghana 2004/Socialite]

Belinda Baidoo [Model/Entrepreneur]

Kate Tachie-Menson [Model /Face of Africa 2008]

Adwoa Aboah [Model]

Deborah Ababio [Model/ former Miss Ghana UK/Designer]

Faustina Agolley [TV Presenter/Fashionista]

Esther Owusu [Entrepreneur/Former Model]

Sheila Boakye Agyemang [Model]

Billie-Richael Kwayie [Fashionista]

Chantell Dapaah [Model]

Shirley Selase [Model]

Daisy Kuorkor [Model]

Georgina Bediako-Kwakye [[Model/TV Presenter]

Adwoa Yamoah [Model/Miss Universe Canada 2009 Contestant]

June Sarpong [TV Presenter /Producer]

Freema Agyeman – [Iranian-Ghanaian Actress/Fashionista]

Dayan Kodua [Actress/Socialite]

Jacqui Akrofi [Model]

Awai Amidu [Model/Blogger]

Eileen Quashie [Musician]

Joan Amorin [Model/Socialite]

Victoria Massoud [Model]

Rachel Ritfeld [Model/Entrepreneur/Socialite]

Vicky Boateng [Romanian-Ghanaian Model]

Agnes Ntow [Representing Ghana in Miss Africa USA 2010]

Bernice Thia Quaye [Model]

Vera [Model]

Samata X [Designer/ Musician/ fashionista/Socialite]

Claire-Hope Ashitey [Actress]

Yvette Nsiah [Model/Musician/Miss Universe Ghana 2008]

Annette [Model]


Adwoa Hackman [Musician]

Zandile Blay [Fashion journalist/Socialite/ Blogger]

Leila Adu [Musician]

Alethea Van Der Puije Quartey [Model]

Amy Ceder [Miss Ghana Germany 2008]

Angela Asare [Model]

Brie Boateng [Musician]

Aa'kosya [Musician]

Anna Reynolds [Musician/Fashionista]

Rebecca Abena Yeboah Garton [Model]

Florence [DJ] 

Priscilla Opoku [Model]

Jennifer Victoria Koranteng [Model/Miss Universe Ghana 2009/Socialite]

Akua Boateng [Musician]

Aya Brace [Fashionista]

Actor Majid Michel's beautiful wife..

Yvonne Nelson [Actress]

Nadia Buari [Actress]

Malou Hansson [Swedish-Ghanaian Model/ Miss Sweden 2002/ Musician]

Christie Brown [Fashion Designer]

Naomi Antiede Ni Lartey [Model]