Monday, 30 January 2012

GQ Magazine’s 50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2012.…

2. Mario Balotelli

 7. Idris Elba

12.  Dizzee Rascal

44. Adrien Sauvage

I’m compiling a list of the best dressed men of Ghanaian descent and whilst doing research, -stumbled across GQ magazine’s 50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2012.… -And I’m chuffed to bits as it includes four of the men on my list….

Fashion designer Adrien Sauvage came in at number 44, Rapper Dizzee Rascal at 12, actor Idris Elba at number 7 and Ghana Rising fave, footballer Mario Balotelli at number 2.

***Read more about all the men who made the best-dressed list, plus the ten worst-dressed men in the world, in the new issue of British GQ, priced £3.99, available from Thursday.


Mario Balotelli and Tincy Stryder collaborate on charity T-shirt

The following is from the Sun...

Tinchy Stryder and Mario Balotelli: Why always tee? Rapper and City ace design charity T-shirt....

Creative ... Mario Balotelli and Tincy Stryder show off their charity creation

By GORDON SMART, Showbiz EditorPublished: 18th January 2012

THE song Tinchy Stryder penned about Mario Balotelli has led to a collaboration between the pair.

14 comments Related StoriesMario Balotelli’s footie kitty

ITALIAN striker’s taken a shine to a stray cat who frequents Man City training ground

Mario Balotelli’s main Man ... CityBalotelli: I'm just misunderstoodMario punched out... by Utd fanPoor throws, Mario BalotelliSadly not on stage, but in the Umbro design studio in Manchester.

They have produced a T-shirt based on the Man City striker's "Why Always Me?" slogan and all proceeds will go to a charity of Mario's choosing.

Tinchy said: "He's a real cool guy and he likes his music, too.

"Mario's the type of character we haven't really had in the Premier League. He's got a good heart and does a lot of good things."

Tinchy's track, simply titled Mario Balotelli and featuring Ruff Sqwad, accompanies the ad campaign and you can see the video below.


Ghana Rising Hearts Jasmine Jamila Baroudi…..

Jasmine Jamila Baroudi (on the right) with a friend at the Ghana Movie Awards 2011

Is Jasmine Jamila Baroudi the most fashionable woman in Ghana? Anxiously flicking through the photographs from the Ghana Movie Awards, they are sooo disappointing and uber pedestrian /underwhelming -I was blown away Jasmine Jamila Baroudi beauty and style.

Glossy healthy hair? Check. Lovely clear skin? Check. Fabulous make-up? Check. Dressed to kill? Check. Looking amazing in a lovely feminine sheer black maxi dress with a floral bodice by an unidentified fashion designer/label, -Jasmine Jamila Baroudi (bar Helen Asante -she also looked lovely in a maxi gold dress) blew away the competition!!

New to Ghana Rising’s radar, I don’t know much about Jasmine Jamila Baroudi, -only that she might be the actress in Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s Adam’s Apples 7 Movie, -where she plays Albert’s love interest.

Anyway according to the net -Ms Baroudi is half Ghanaian and half Lebanese and lives in the Accra metropolis. Not just a pretty face, Ms Baroudi has a degree in psychology and sociology -and if my sixth sense serves me right -is about to become Ghana’s next big media darling and Ghana Rising’s next big style Icon…..

Photo Credit: Talk of Gh…

Yippee…. Afia’s S/S 12 Collection can be ordered early next month….

S/S 12 - Peplum skirt

Afia’s S/S 12 Collection

"Afia is an award-winning sustainable women's clothing line sourced and sewn in Ghana, West Africa. This social business facilitates growth by connecting the textile and fashion production industries in Ghana, Africa with the American retail market. We value the craft behind every step of the production process: Sebold handpicks the cotton wax fabric from small distributors in the markets of Ghana, which is then sewn by a women's cooperative paid a fair wage. Afia is an accessible and stylish option for supporting handcrafted goods, fair wage labor, and international collaboration. Afia is geared toward fashion’s tastemakers and conscious consumers. The coined "urban indigenous" aesthetic honors the vibrant, traditional textiles of West Africa and fuses them into American trends." Afia

As a fan of uber fabulous award-winning sustainable fashion label Afia on FaceBook, I was treated to a sneaky look at some of its yummy S/S12 pieces and I just had to share them with you!! Founded by fashion designers Meghan Sebold and Emma Grady, the above pieces will be available for purchase from the beginning of February -so not too long to wait!!! For more info about Afia visit: and
The following pieces are some of Afia’s past collections, some are still available -so do get in touch with the good people at Afia..

Arthur Wharton – the first black professional footballer

Arthur Wharton’s blue plaque.

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I first read about Arthur Wharton, the UK’s first black football player a hundred years ago in The Voice newspaper and I’ve been meaning to celebrate him -forever…

Title: Arthur Wharton – the first black professional footballer

By Ian Volans Dated: March 29, 2011 18:11

Ghana becomes the 84th country to play a football international against England today. A few days ago, Henry Winter, the Telegraph’s excellent football correspondent, profiled Arthur Wharton the first black professional footballer in England and probably the world. Wharton was born in Jamestown in the Gold Coast – what is now Ghana – on 28 October 1865.

The son of the first Afro-Caribbean to be ordained as a Wesleyan Methodist missionary in Africa, Arthur was educated in England with the intention of becoming a minister or teacher.

His remarkable sporting career has been chronicled by Football Unites Racism Divides. As an amateur footballer, Arthur played for Cannock & White Cross FC, Darlington, representative teams in Newcastle and Durham, Preston North End – where he appeared in the 1887 FA Cup Semi-Final – and S heffield United.

Wharton’s talents were not confined to football. In July 1886, competing for Birchfield Harriers, Wharton won the 100 yards at the AAAs championship at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea. His time of exactly 10 seconds was later ratified as the first world record in athletics. In 1888, just as the Football League was being established, he achieved success in pedestrianism – professional running – winning the prestigious September Sprint Handicap at the Queen’s Ground, Sheffield.

He is also known to have played rugby at Heckmondwyke and was also a professional cricketer at various times, playing for the Rotherham clubs of Greaseborough and Rawmarsh, the Borough Police and, later, Stalybridge.

He became the first black professional footballer when he signed for Rotherham Town in September 1889.

He supplemented his footballing income as licensee of the Albert Tavern, at 53 Old Street, Masbrough (where he was living on census day 1891) and the Plough Inn, Greasborough, in 1892.

He was also to play for Sheffield United between 1894-6, becoming the first black professional to play in the top flight of English football in a match against Sunderland in Februray 1895. Later, he went on to play for Stalybridge Rovers, Ashton North End and finally, in 1901, Stockport County. His 1901 home was at 158 Old Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne. He retired from professional sport in 1902. Judging by Google Street Map, Arthur’s 1891 and 1901 homes stood in areas that have been significantly redeveloped in recent years.

From 1913, Wharton worked at the Yorkshire Main Colliery at Edlington near Doncaster. He died, after a long illness on 13 December 1930 at 54 Staveley Street, Edlington.

For 67 years, his grave was unmarked. Arthur had married Emma Lister on 21 September 1890 but the couple had no children. According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Emma may have felt disinclined to erect a headstone on the grounds that Arthur was believed to have fathered her own sister’s daughters Minnie and Nora.

Thanks to the efforts of Football Unites, which is based in Sheffield, and the generosity of the Professional Footballers’ Association and other benefactors, the last resting place of the first professional footballer is now commemorated.

A campaign to erect a statue of Arthur in Darlington received a donation of £20,000 in October 2010.

Film: Mikey Hart captures the Bike Lordz of Ghana

Bikelordz : Stunts and Styles from Accra, Ghana from Bikelordz on Vimeo.

You can read all about it via:

Art, Fashion & History: Glass Beads of Ghana. The Newark Museum

“Akosu” and “bodom” powder-glass beads, 1999
Nomoda E. Djaba (“Cedi”), Cedi Beads Industry
Odumase-Krobo, Ghana
Collection of The Newark Museum

Painted beads imitating Venetian millefiori, early 21st century
Recycled glass and ceramic dye pigments
Collection of The Newark Museum

Woman’s waist beads, 1980s
Recycled powder-glass beads
Collection of The Newark Museum

Woman wearing beads, Akosombo, Ghana, January 2005
Photograph by Christa Clarke

Powder-glass adjagba beads, 1990s
Recycled glass
Collection of The Newark Museum

Powder-glass “bicone” beads with Ananse design, 1990s

Recycled glass
Collection of The Newark Museum

"Glass Beads of Ghana is the first exhibition to look closely at the distinctive art form of glass bead-making and is drawn largely from The Newark Museum's own extensive collection, one of the few such collections in the world. The exhibition focuses primarily on the contemporary creation and use of glass beads in southern Ghana, with an emphasis on recent innovations. Video footage and contextual photographs, along with examples of bead molds and tools, highlight the technological process of making beads. The exhibition also includes a recreation of a Ghanaian market stall, complete with touchable examples of these colourful beads." Joanne Molina

For more information please visit: The Newark Museum ( -Joanne Molina
Text & Images credit:

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: surly we don’t have to wait until a prestigious museum in the west tells us that our glass beads are beautiful before we love or celebrate them. I was researching stuff on the net as I’m really interested in working with interested folk to open a fashion museum in Ghana. I can’t do it alone and don’t mind if anyone steals this idea -or as is usually hinted -inspired to do it, -as long as it done beautifully. Anyway I stumbled across the above piece about an exhibition that took place in January 31, 2008 - June 2009 at the Newark Museum, they have an “'extensive collection, one of the few such collections in the world” and it got me thinking……why can’t we [Ghanaians] celebrate the things we are good at -like making like making beautiful glass beads? Why do we only get excited once the West celebrate our stuff/goods/services etc etc? Anyway I wanted to share this piece with you because its right up my street. Beautiful objects of art, with many originating from the 60’s and fabulously shot -I bet there isn’t a museum in Ghana that has held such an exhibition??? Shame on us!!!


“Following up on the recent dance craze of the "azonto"...I prance around central London with what Ive learnt in a short space of time.” TheVujanic

**What can I say, Azonto has caught the worlds imagination and I can’t wait for the Vatican to catch on and Azonto -wouldn’t that be fabulous? Anyway I’m loving this clip by TheVujanic -do watch it via YouTube….at:

We need to fly him to Ghana….he would love it.


“Just me, a Hispanic boy, swaggin' out to some AZONTO! I dedicate this video to a peer of mine who passed away at the high school I attend. He was Ghanaian. RIP Marcum Asiamah.”  iAlexitooo

I love this video and would love you to support its creator,  iAlexitooo -and watch it via YouTube at:


My little man and I love this clip….its pure enjoyment… I truly can’t wait for the day I walk into my local Sainsbury’s or Marks’ and hear an Azonto tune playing, -my Jojo and I will dance and upload it for yaaaaa (laughter). Big thanks to all in this clip -and for uploading it. So much fun… Its got me thinking …. I guess we’ll know Azonto is over -the day we see it being done in Harrods Food hall!!!! xxx

P.s …that beautiful girl in the video is going to marry well oOOoOO!!!


“Ever since I left Ghana I have missed the drums. The way some guy a few houses away might just pick one up and start to play, or kids across the street, or a funeral in full swing for the last couple of weeks. Here there is such silence it took a while to accept.” Catherine McNamara (Author & Blogger)

Catherine McNamara, “grew up in Sydney and studied visual communication and African and Asian modern history before moving to Paris. She worked in pre-war Mogadishu and later lived nine years in Accra, Ghana, where she ended up running a bar and traditional art gallery. She moved to northern Italy several years ago, where her jobs have included translating welding manuals and modelling shoes. She has impressive collections of African sculpture and Italian heels.” Her blog is fabulously eclectic, she has many interests and is littered with stories of time spent in Ghana -which makes for very yummy reading. Check out it out via:

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Rachel Roy designs this season’s hottest accessory, -the ‘Kindness is Always Fashionable’ Ghana Clutch for OrphanAid Africa

Regular Ghana Rising readers will remember that the ever beautiful fashion designer, Rachel Roy visited Ghana sometime back and wrote about how profoundly it effected her in American Vogue.. True to her words she hasn’t forgotten Ghana or the children of OrphanAid Africa -and has designed this delectable ‘Kindness is Always Fashionable’ Ghana Clutch for said charity.. and it has some uber fans including: Margherita Missoni, Franca Sozzani, Hilary Swank and Annalynne McCord.

A very reasonable $49 from:,default,pd.htmlep_tag=HPfeature1 -not only will it make you pop but all proceeds from the sell of this yummy clutch -goes to OrphanAid Africa.

Please note that the ‘Kindness is Always Fashionable’ Ghana Clutch will also be available for purchase via:, and from the 15th February 2012.
For more information about Rachel Roy visit: &

Emerging Ghana Affordable Housing Concept.....

I stumbled across the following piece about eco/sustainable housing in Ghana via and had to share.. Not only do I want this house but I would love to see more of this type of eco-friendly/environmentally sound/sustainable homes in Ghana… It truly blows my mind that we have all this sun but no solar powered houses in Ghana -I’m I missing something??? The piece is dated 06/29/10 -and I have no idea if this innovative house was ever built.. If you have more information -do get in touch. Thanks…

The winner of the Open Source House Ghanaian competition which will be built as a pilot project in Ghana and the start of the great challenge that Open Source House provides.

Title: Local, Modular and Efficient Eco-Affordable Housing For Ghana

By Bridgette Meihold -Dated: 06/29/10

A lot of concept houses come across our desk here at Inhabitat, but we were really impressed with this design for eco-housing in Ghana. Designed by Lisbon-based Blaanc in collaboration with Architect João Caeiro, Emerging Ghana is a plan for an eco-affordable single family house for the emerging middle class of Ghana. The design recently won first place in the international design competition Open Source House, a non-profit organization that aims to provide better, more sustainable housing in low-income countries. Emerging Ghana is modular single-family home design to be built with local materials, local labor, and with all the best sustainable design strategies you can imagine, all for a low cost of about $12,500 USD.

The Open Source House competition challenged architects to design an affordable, flexible and sustainable house that will be made available to people living in poor housing conditions. Blaanc and João Caeiro responded with their completely practical and well-considered concept for a single-family home based on the Ashanti compound, a courtyard building with a deep structure and large overhangs that encourage natural ventilation. Modular by nature, the home can grow as funds allow and as the family expands. Construction materials are all locally sourced – rammed earth walls, dahoma wood, and bamboo can all be found nearby to construct the home. Meanwhile, local people would be taught how to build the homes, giving them a new skill set and boosting the economy.

Energy efficiency was a primary design goal to improve the home’s overall sustainability, but more importantly to create a more comfortable living environment with minimal costs. Low-tech energy solutions would be capitalized on to minimize energy use and maximize comfort. Solar passive design with a south-facing structure and large overhangs provides shade for the interior. A solar hot water tank on the large roof provides hot water for the kitchen and bathroom. Orientation of the home improves natural ventilation, while rain water is collected for use within the home and for the garden in the courtyard, which helps provide some of the family’s food. A small scale septic tank manages the household’s waste, while organic waste is composted in the yard. The concept will be built sometime in 2010.

Text & Images credit:

The African Cup of Nations……………The scores so far

Ghana 2 - 0 Mali

***Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew scored a goal each…

Ghana 1 - 0 Botswana

****John Mensah scored….

Ghana Rising’s sooo proud of the Black Stars!! Our boys are on top form and playing well. God Bless them and see them through to the finals… The next game is Ghana V’s Guinea -on Wednesday…The following is taken from

Ghana defeated Mali 2-0 here on Saturday night to leave Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations wide open after Guinea earlier hammered Botswana 6-1.

The 2010 World Cup participants are now top of the group on six points from two matches, while Guinea and their opening-day conquerors Mali are on three points, with all three teams still in the reckoning to advance to the knockout stage.
To add to the suspense, even point-less Botswana are not mathematically out of contention.

On Wednesday, Mali will battle Botswana in Libreville and Ghana take on Guinea in Franceville in the final throw of the Group D dice.
Star striker Asamoah Gyan opened the scoring for Ghana in the 63rd minute with a well-struck free-kick from the edge of the Mali box after Andre Ayew was brought down by Bakaye Traore.

Baby Jet Gyan had struggled with an ankle injury leading up to the game but Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic insisted on fielding the UAE-based star and it paid handsome dividends.

Mali came close to restoring parity two minutes after Gyans opener through Sochaux forward Modibo Maiga, who perfectly met a header from a corner only for the ball to roll out for a goal-kick.

Ayew doubled Ghana's lead in the 76th minute when he was stylishly set up by Gyan on the edge of the Mali goal area and drove in to unleash an unstoppable pile-driver past Soumaila Diakite in the Mali goal.

This was a typical derby with no fewer than six bookings as both teams cancelled each other out in a packed midfield with tough tackles flying in all directions.

Big Mali striker Cheick Diabate proved in the first half to be a thorn in the flesh of the young Black Stars central defence of Jonathan Mensah and John Boye, playing in the absence of the more experienced John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah. It was a cagey start by both teams and it was not until the 25th minute that Asamoah Kwadwo made the first real attempt at goal.

The Udinese midfielder, who was starting his first game of the tournament, fired from distance only for Diakite to parry into the path of Sulley Muntari, who shot wide.
Ten minutes later, the same player blasted another fierce shot from the edge of the Mali goal area, but again it was off-target.

On 38 minutes, Mali responded nicely with a Diabate free-kick on the edge of the box that struck both posts with diving Ghana goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey beaten.
In first-half additional time, Ayew rose above two Mali defenders to meet a cross from the right by stand-in skipper John Pantsil, but again it was off the mark.
The hard-working Ayew then forced a fine save from the Mali goalkeeper with a low drive from well outside the box in the 54th minute.   Words/Credit:

Team Black Star -singing before a game….

Absolutely fabulous…..just joyous -You can keep up with all the games via:

Friday, 27 January 2012

Fashion: Marion Kihogo is interviewed by Grazia magazine….

“I inherited my mother’s love of the scarf; a girl can do so many things with one.” Marion Kihogo

You can keep up with all of Marion’s fashionable happenings via her website at:

Emerge Magazine (Ghana)

“We are a bi-monthly women's magazine that seeks to let your strength, beauty, and confidence Emerge…..Come forth, rise up, break through, Emerge.” Emerge Magazine

Just checking out my last remaining FaceBook account (I got rid of the one that had five thousand friends…it was no longer enjoyable and had to many jagger-jaggerness passing through it) and spied fashion designer Kayda Nana Afriyie Frimpong on the cover of Emerge Magazine -a publication that’s uber new to Ghana Rising’s radar..

I don’t know much about Emerge Magazine, I have never seen an ad or promotion, but I like the concept and as you all know, -I want to see more Ghanaian owned publications. Plus -the more the merrier, me thinks and because its also go for competition -as it makes publishers up their game and produce better magazines… For more information about Emerge Magazine visit:

Politics: Could Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo’s daughter Lawyer Adwoa Safo become Ghana’s first female President?

“I am aware of the grave sacrifice and courage involved in electing me as the Parliamentary Candidate of the Constituency and I sincerely appreciate the efforts of all and sundry...... However this is merely the beginning of the struggle that must continue into Next Year – 2012, when the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections will take place.... I have noted the growth in participation by the public in such political activities. I intend to boost our public information and education programmes so that the constituents engagement in this struggle for democracy, good governance, development and progress will strengthen in the constituency.   At the end of the day, success will be for the NPP.” 
Lawyer Adwoa Safo

A beautiful young mother and lawyer and the NPP parliamentary candidate for Dome-Kwabenya, -Lawyer Adwoa Safo is a tour de force -and Ghana Rising is watching. As you all know, I find Ghanaian politics very disappointing, thus don’t support any party in particular -but I’m watching this lady and hope she stays true to her words with regards to the promises made to the people of Dome-Kwabenya …-and who knows, -maybe Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo’s daughter, Lawyer Adwoa Safo -may yet become Ghana’s first female President?

You can read all about Lawyer Adwoa Safo’s political happenings via her website at:

Art & History: Ashanti Yam Ceremony (1817)

Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (1819)

Source: (Wikipedia images of ghana -ghanaians history art)

Apostle Kwadwo Safo kantanka -God’s Inventor gives hope and employment to the people of Ghana…

If all I’m reading about Kwadwo Safo kantanka is true -then he is probably the greatest Ghanaian -that ever lived!! I can’t believe what I’m seeing above!!! Is it possible that if we [Ghana] get behind this man…can …build our own cars and aeroplanes etc?

The thing is……past experiences have unfortunately left me feeling that Ghanaians -no ,make that African …men and women (of God) don’t really care about people, never mind their own (mostly poor) congregation etc and certainly never do much to help trhem apart from collecting their monies… but Kwadwo Safo kantanka (my goodness) is bucking this trend and is actually helping.. He’s not only an inventor (see above clips), investor or teacher but has founded numerous businesses as a means of helping people and his congregation. He also appears to be a fun and loving eccentric -my favourite kind of people!!!! But mostly, he helps and gives to the poor, providing work, medicine and places of learning especially with regards to science etc …I don’t know why but he and his various organizations -have left me speechless and quiet emotional!!!!!!!

I can’t believe that after years of reading about caring foreigners who set up various NGO’s and children‘s homes, and the numerous young students from abroad who volunteer at said places in Ghana etc ----its only now that I‘m I reading about a Ghanaians doing the same… thus, we must celebrate him and encourage others to do the same…

The following are just a few of the businesses founded by Kwadwo Safo kantanka as a means of helping his people and his congregation:

Safo Nyame Coldstore Limited
Safo Nyame Coldstore Limited is a dealer in frozen food in Ghana. Established in 1999 with a workforce of 5, and resgistered as a limited liability company in 2007, under the Ghana company registration law with registration number CA-33407, the company has grown tremendously over the years and has become the main supply hub of frozen food within the Ashanti regions and the northen part of Ghana. It currently has a total workforce of 70 personnel.

With the existing 2,000 metric tons storage facility plus 4,000 tons expandable area, Safo Nyame Cold Store has the capacity to supply frozen meat products to the ever increasing population in Kumasi and the northern sector of the country.

We have a number of refrigerated chambers which are constructed under very hygienic subscturcural conditions and that have enabled our storage room to chill, freeze and store any perishable product.

Our location, Asafo Market, is in the heart of the Garden City, Kumasi, and it is accessible by road to all walks of life in the metropolis. The facility is on a terrain of good erosion resistance without problem of surface water run, good supply of portable and industrial water, electricity and drainage facilities. We have a robust standby generator which takes care of our electricity needs in case of power cut.

We have taken into accounts the general operations of our cold rooms with particular attention to the storage requirements of our products, rules for loading, maintenance and hygiene, and the running and maintenance of the refrigeration equipment. As well, the local availability of labour (technical personnel, skilled labour for maintenance and general labourers) has contributed to the successful running, maintenance and expansion of our business and this has made Safo Nyame Cold Store the best in the frozen food industry in the metropolis.

We deal in fish, chicken, cow meat, mutton, pork and other frozen food products. We do import these products from other countries and have agents at the Tema Fishing Harbour who supply us constantly with our products.

We operate both retail and wholesale sales and have a wide clientele base in the metropolis. We have efficient management and stock control system that allows loading and unloading operation to be obviously recorded on the control table including all relevant data. Forklifts are used in loading and unloading pallets and refrigerated distribution trucks are always available for our clients.

We do care about the environment as we do our best to remain cognizance to the environmental imperatives of our operations. Our cold chambers are kept in a strictly hygienic condition to avoid microbial invasion. We maintain hygiene before and after storage, during transport and distribution. Transports over long distances are carried in refrigerated vehicles which are cleaned and disinfected after every day's duty.

For purchases and any other information contact:
Plot No. 36, Asafo Market, Kumasi
Box T178, Old-Tafo, Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Ghana
Tel / Fax: +233 322 083 313
Mobile: +233 244 831 939


The Great Kosa Clinic
The Great Kosa Clinic was established in 1987 to respond to the health needs of the society and to treat common diseases using African healing methods and traditions in a modern clinical environment.

Apostle Safo School of Arts and Sciences
Apostle Safo School of Arts and Sciences (GREAT ASSAS) was established to provide excellent education with achievable outcome to the community. ASSAS in patrnership with parents and the community, is dedicated to educating students from a variety of backgrounds through the collaboration of highly qualified teachers, rigorous data-driven instruction and student-centered activities. These initiatives enable students to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in an ever-challenging society in a safe and orderly environment and a climate of high expectations.

You can read more about the impressive Kwadwo Safo kantanka -God’s inventor by visiting his website at:

An African Election by Jarreth Merz

Title: Inside An African Election
Date: 2 months ago By: Carinya Sharples

"What we do we know about African elections other than they mostly go wrong?" It was this rather depressing question that drove director Jarreth Merz to go behind the camera and find out what an African election – a Ghanaian election, to be specific – really looks like on the ground.

The remarkable thing about the resulting film, An African Election, though, is not what goes right or wrong but the unprecedented access Merz and his team have to the two main candidates, their people and (a first for any film crew) the Strong Room – where all Ghana's election results are sent, where accusations fly and where presidents are made. Eventually.

How easy was it to get the politicians on board? "I think they are hungry to be shown and seen in a different light, bottom line," says Merz. "They understood very early that this was different ... We were embedded in all the major political parties and we built trust over time. So I think they got this sense of 'they're not in here to make us look bad'. That wasn't the case but at the same time I told them they had no control of the footage … I didn't want to make a political movie, so to speak."

Director of An African Election, Jarreth Merz

Another point in Merz’s favour was his Swiss-Ghanaian stepdad’s connections to Ghanaian society and family links to the king of Ashante. Merz himself grew up between Ghana, Germany and Switzerland, later moving to the US to study directing and go in front of the lens in hit US TV series ER (as Charles Baruani) and The Passion of the Christ. But it was the death of his Nigerian father in 2007 that put into motion the chain of events that would lead to An African Election.

"I was the first born so I had to attend the funeral otherwise he couldn't be buried ... my brother [Kevin Merz, co-director of An African Election] came and we started a diary – just a family diary – which turned into a documentary called Glorious Exit. And I just realised I didn't know anything about Nigeria. And then I wondered well, what do I know about Ghana where I spent my childhood? What do I know about Africa? The debates are always about colonialism and neo-colonialism… what about day to day life?" Returning to Ghana in search of his "roots", Merz instead found a country on the brink of an all-important presidential election – and, quickly, the idea for the film was born.

An African Election begins with just 28 days to go until the elections. The two main candidates are swiftly introduced – John Atta Mills of the NDC and Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling NPP – and the boxing match begins, each contender trying to knock out the opposition and give the crowds something to cheer about. It is the fifth election since multi-party democracy was re-introduced in 1992, so the Ghanaian people are not new to this sort of thing. Yet they're anything but apathetic – something clear throughout the film, from the initial rallies to the vote counting, when crowds of observers watch the election officials hawk-eyed to make sure not a single vote is miscounted. "Politics is embedded in families [in Ghana]," explains Merz. "People speak about politics, they're engaged. There's an amazing political sensitivity. They understood very early on that they were the ones to decide, they wouldn't let the politicians decide."

Perhaps inevitably – for a documentary, not for Africa – the film cranks up the tension as accusations are made about electoral fraud. A car is suddenly pictured in flames, crowds gather on the darkened streets, rumours spread of "macho men" on motorbikes snatching ballot boxes before they’re counted. Is it real or exaggerated for impact? For Merz, his presence as a filmmaker obviously made him more aware of events: "This was like wow, the shit’s going to hit to fan. Other people were in their homes, they were having dinner. People watched the film and said there was no violence. I think that's dangerous – we cannot take democracy in Ghana for granted."

Now the film is out, Merz’s focus is getting it seen – not just at Western film festivals and cinemas but across Africa. When we spoke, Merz had just got back from Zimbabwe where An African Election had passed the censors and was being screened. "Harare Gardens open air was packed," says Merz. "People were laughing. It was just insane. I think they thought it was an inspiring story, an African success story. It wasn't just the good, it wasn't just the bad – people recognised their own political leadership."

The important role played by the unshakeable Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, has also been commended far beyond African. "I got an email from a Superior Court judge in California who said he was a hero to him and his colleagues," says Merz.

The focus now is on sourcing funding to take the film to Ghana and planning a "political safari project" to engage people at a grassroots level, using the film as a platform to start debates about democracy in, for example, universities. Then there’s Merz's planned biopic on the famed Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (who was of African descent) and a documentary on how love is seen across Africa.

So how does Merz think the presidential winner, Atta Mills (surely not a spoiler?), is faring. "I think he's doing pretty much the right things, he's trying to stop this conscience of vengeance. He's not the most sexy politician on this planet, the most charismatic, but he's trying to reason with his party to consolidate." With the next round of elections due next year, Atta Mills's got another fight on his hands.

An African Election is out in UK cinemas now. For more information visit

**Text and Photographs courtesy of Arise Magazine…
An African Election film by Jarreth Merz

An African Election is a film by Jarreth Merz. The 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, West Africa, serve as a backdrop for this feature documentary, which looks behind the scenes of a complex, political machinery of a third world country trying to catch up with the first world. Merz embarks on a once in a lifetime political journey. For more information visit:

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Music: Ammasu Akapoma Group

Title: The Music of Ammasu - Ghana
Label: Country & Eastern

Our price £ 13.49 Free UK Delivery -Discovery Records

• A rich musical portrait of the village of Ammasu in the Brong-Ahafu region of Ghana, produced & recorded in 1976 by Swedish musician Bengt Berger, who was based there researching African music, while his wife conducted fieldwork in social anthropology.

• The Ammasu Akapoma Band was the hottest funeral band in the region. On this album you will find ritual and recreational drumming, singing (in sorrow and happiness), children's music, a brass band and more.

• There are call & response songs, dirges, an ivory trumpet, bells, and a wide spectrum of percussion instruments. A musical archive of an African region that now, 30 years later, would be virtually impossible to find, unchanged.

• This release includes an excellent 28-page booklet with full notes and many photos, and comes in a special double gatefold digipak.

Track Listing for The Music of Ammasu - Ghana

01 - Who Is The Chief - Greeting on Atumpan (0:23)

02 - When I Die There Will Be Peace In The House - Aweso (10:12)

03 - Proverbs on the Atumpan (1:41)

04 - Fontomfrom - The Royal Drums (6:16)

05 - The Royal Horn (0:23)

06 - You Are So Brave - Funeral Dirge (3:26)

07 - My Lover Is Stranded At The Opposite Side of the River - Funeral Dirge (3:05)

08 - My Eyes Are Flooded With Tears - Funeral Dirge (1:32)

09 - Akapoma (5:32)

10 - Let Us Say Goodbye - Kununku (15:33)

11 - Denseuo (2:57)

12 - New Love Is More Than Madness - Love Song (2:20)

13 - If I Don't Marry You I'll Feel Embarrased - Love Song (2:34)

14 - Nana Yago - Cantata (5:14)

15 - Tana Tinana - Cantata (5:05)

16 - The Brass Band (9:22)

17 - Eggs Are Eggs - Proverb on the Atumpan (0:24)

To listen to or buy the CD visit: :

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Music: The Yaa Amponsah Movement -and the artists and countries it inspired…..

Ogyatanaa- Yaa Amponsah (Classic Ghanaian Highlife)

This is my absolute fave of all the Yaa Amponsah versions…. I still can’t get enough of it….

Mac Tontoh One-Year Tribute - Yaa Amponsah

This version is very sweet….

“According to my Ghanaian friend, the Yaa Amponsah rhythm is the root rhythm for all West and Central African pop. Many forget that highlife dominated Africa before the rumba Congolese.” Kenyatta Mineur (

Various Artistes - Yaa Amponsah Unplugged (Audio)

“Both old and new, all the 'Yaa Amponsah' highlife melodies you'll ever need in one place. Enjoy these heady compilation of the most famous highlife composition of all times.” Planetolusola (

Track Lisitng:
00:00 Queen Oladunni Decency (Nigeria) - Yaa Amponsah Guitar Intro
00:48 Kwame Asare - Ghana (1945)
03:32 E.T. Mensah (Ghana)
06:10 Congo Abana Band with Piccolo Pete Sunday - Sierra Leone (1948)
08:45 African Brothers Band International (Ghana)
16:45 Victor Olaiya (Nigeria)
19:37 Jolly Orchestra, Nigeria (1955)
22:18 Ogyatanaa Show Band - Ghana (1960's)
27:03 Koo Nimo - Yaa Amposah (Ghana)
32:03 Ebo Taylor and Ambolley - Bosue! Yaa Amponsah Life (Ghana)

Credit & Link:

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: A big thanks to Planetolusola for this superb compilation -it’s a historical journey of Yaa Amponsah fabulousness, my only fear is…..some young up-starts will Azonto it (laughter)!!! -Actually that would be great -and will help to introduce this fabulous piece of music to a new generation.

Yaa amponsah with sebene

Kwame Asare: 01 - Yaa Amponsah Pt 1


Koo Nimo - Yaa Amposah

Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I, whose original throne name was Kwaku Dua III Asamu (1870 - May 12, 1931) was an Asantehene ruler of the Oyoko Abohyen Dynasty of the Akan state of Ashanti. He ruled from March 26, 1888 until his death in 1939, and fought a war against the British in 1893 [no : in Dec. 1895 - Feb. 1896 and no fighting took place].

However, the Ashante were defeated in this war and Prempeh I was deposed as the asantehene of the Ashante people and a British resident was installed by the British colonial authorities in Kumasi. However, the British colonial authorities over extended themselves on the Gold Coast, when, in 1900, Governor Hodgson demanded that the Ashante people turn over the "golden stool"-- the very symbol of governance to the Ashante people. Another Ashante uprising against the British colonial authorities occurred as the result of this demand. This uprising became known as the War of the Golden Stool or Yaa Asantewaa war which took place from 1900 until 1901. He was captured and pardoned by Robert Baden-Powel.He was arrested outside of British jurisdiction in a rogue action by W.E. Maxwell and not charged with any crime, hence pardon is the wrong term. The British exiled him to the Seychelles in 1896, along with Yaa Asantewaa[Yaa Asantewaa was not exiled in 1896 but five years later after leading the War of the Golden Stool]and other members of the Asante government.

Early life
In 1874, the British had declared the Gold Coast, located south of Asante, a British colony. In 1888 the Ashante enthroned 16-year-old Agyemang Prempeh I as king of the Asante, and he assumed the stool name Kwaku Dua III. Prempeh's kingship was beset by difficulties from the very onset of his reign. He tried to defend against British intentions of bringing Asante under its protectorate. When Prempeh I was asked by the British to accept a protectorate over his state, he rejected it and stated in his reply that the Governor had misjudged the situation. Ashantehemaa Yaa Akyaa, Prempeh I's mother and queen mother since 1884, had through strategic political marriages built the military power to secure the Golden Stool for her son. Prempeh I began an active campaign of reunification of the Asante. The British offered to take the Ashanti Empire under their protection, but Prempeh I refused each request. In one of his replies Prempeh stated, "My kingdom of Asante will never commit itself to any such policy of protection; Asante must remain independent as of old, and at the same time be friends with all white men."

Capture and exile
By 1895 Prempeh had formed an alliance with Samori Ture[dubious – discuss][19th Century Colonial Office Conjecture, See Wilks, 1975 & 2000], a Muslim warrior who had conquered large neighboring regions, resisting British and French forces. It was during this campaign that men of the Royal Engineer Telegraph Battalion(later Royal Signals) hacked a path for an overhead line from the Cape coast to Prahsu, covering 72 miles through the jungle. Men of the Telegraph Company staggered out of the jungle[dubious – discuss][False, see any account written after 1967 - e.g. Tordoff, Wilks, McCaskie, Adjaye, et al.], confronted King Prempeh and accepted the surrender of his army.[They faced no resistance, the army did not surrender and was therefore able to fight the War of the Golden Stool or Yaa Asantewaa war in 1900-01]. King Prempeh's throne is now displayed in the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford[dubious – discuss][It was not recovered, and consequently provoked the above mentioned war four years later, again see any text on this subject]. On January 20, 1896, British authorities, referring to a debt incurred twenty years earlier invaded Kumasi and arrested Prempeh I, his mother Asantehemaa Yaa Akayaa, his father, the heir apparent (Prempeh's younger brother) and several Asante chiefs. Women, children, and attendants were also taken captive by the British. Prempeh offered no resistance, and he and other captives were taken to the coast and detained at Elmina Castle until in 1897 they were moved to Freetown, Sierra Leone. In 1900 he and the other captives were exiled to the Seychelles and kept at what became known as "Asante Camp" on Mahe, the largest of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The camp was formerly a huge plantation, covered with coconut trees, mango, breadfruit and orange trees as well as a two-story villa. Prempeh I was assigned the villa, and 16 new wooden houses with sandy floors and roofed with corrugated iron-sheets were built and allocated to the various Asante chiefs.

Prempeh made an effort to educate himself in English and to make certain that the children received education, and nominally converted to Christianity.

By the early 1920s, the British authorities, perceiving less threat in Prempeh's return to Ghana, released Prempeh and fifty-four other exiles on September 12, 1924. Prempeh I returned to Kumasi as a private citizen.

One of the legends is attributed to Prempeh is the left-handed Scout handshake; various versions of this story all center around African warriors using the left hand to hold their shields and to lower it showed they trusted each other. The left hanshake was used by the Krobos, a special unit of the Ashanti. Prempeh became a founder member and president of Scouting in Ghana in 1919.

Text & Credit:

Friday, 20 January 2012

Ghana Rising Hearts: Joy Frempong aka OY

Just stumbled across Swiss-Ghanaian singer-songwriter, Joy Frempong aka OY and had to share her fabulous experimental-music-as-art …music with you. For more information about Joy visit:

The following info about about Joy Frempong. It was taken from:

Originally from Ghana, but now residing in Switzerland, Joy Frempong a.k.a. ‘OY’ has lived in many places and dabbled in a variety of different musical circles, working with Jazz ensembles, Hip hop acts and improvisational musicians, but it has only been in the past year or so that she has really began to develop, nurture and solidify her own signature sound.
In the fall of 2009 Frempong’s distinct and truly unique acrobatic voice was featured on a full length release when she collaborated with fellow Swiss musicians ‘Filewile’, on their dub-laced, electro-pop record ‘Blueskywell’. Joy’s experimental lyrics, her poignant words that swing from childish rants, to state of the world commentary, helped to set the band apart, and they’ve since been nominated for the Jury Prize at the 2010 Swiss Music awards.

In February of this year Frempong, under the handle ‘OY’, released a wondrous debut album. This project of epic proportions was mixed by Berlin based electronic producer and musician Frederik Knop a.k.a. pOnk, and was mastered by NYC’s Tidy Kid.

The cheekily titled ‘First Box Then Walk’, was released on Swiss label ‘Creaked Records’, and is home to twenty-seven beautifully crafted, nostalgia-riddled tracks.

In regards to the albums theme, Joy says “I asked my friends to mail me some childhood memories. I received many funny and beautiful, poetic and absurd stories”. These stories included one about a girl “who would box around the corner before walking because it might be dangerous to walk and bump into some dangerous being”, this memory became the album’s namesake.

The collection of other people’s memories, as well as her own childhood stories were the inspiration for the songs that became a brilliant, and at times eerie full length record brimming with bright, fun lyrics but also managing to successfully capture the insecurities and world-weary air of the little child within us all.

Frempong’s sensibility and attention to detail are a key part of this release; her carefully crafted lyrics exude innocence and some serious emotional depth. The album features stories about being scared of snakes under the bed, biting kittens, witches who live in the toilet and wild Trolls living in the forest.

The exceptional music, created using samples, toys, piano and synths, pairs well with Joy’s thick, rich vocals. The music is wildly eclectic, constantly switching genres from Jazz, to hip hop, to electronica, but still managing to maintain a solid tone throughout.

OY is a stand-alone vocalist and producer; her live performances are captivating and refreshingly experimental. Over the next year she will be touring in support of her new album, so be sure to catch her when she hits your city.

The Next Big Thing: Gwyneth Shoes by Gwen Frempong Boadu…

If like me you can’t abide the cheap, disposable, land filled clogging -wannabe fake leatherette shoes that’s been flooding the markets of late -you’ll love Gwen Frempong Boadu’s Gwyneth shoes.. Sexy and feminine and made from real quality leathers; including pony skin and suede, -Gwen Frempong Boadu’s Gwyneth shoes are made for real women and go up to size 14. Having honed her talents at: Sam Edelman ( Sam&Libby) , Kenneth Cole Reaction and Steven by Steve Madden over the last 20 years -Gwen Frempong Boadu knows her stuff and most importantly -what women want -and it shows.

Offering the discerning shopper quality, on-trend, comfortable shoes (each shoe has a sock cushion and flexible soles) -at reasonable prices; Gwyneth shoes also has a new Bridal and Special Occasion shoes called, ‘Something Blue by Gwyneth shoes’ -coming out soon.  To purchase any of the above or see the Gwyneth shoes collection in its entirety visit:

Business: Zoomlion gives thanks to God as its work forces hits 70’000

The JOSPONG group of companies over the weekend observed its annual thanks-giving service in Accra to praise and thank God for His mercies throughout the year.

Dr. Siaw Agyepong, CEO of Jospong Group of Companies, addressing the gathering

Dr. Siaw Agyepong- 2nd in the queue and wife- dancing to the glory of God

From a humble beginning with just 100 workers, Zoomlion can now boast of a workforce of 70,000.

This was disclosed by the group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong at a thanks-giving service which was held over the weekend. According to Mr. Siaw Agyepong, God has been gracious to the JOSPONG group of companies.

He also thanked President Mills for his unflinching support to the private sector, stressing that without his support they could not have expanded and employed all the staff present.

The chief executive went on to express his heartfelt gratitude to all their stakeholders, especially the sector ministries and MMDAs, for their excellent collaboration and support.

Mr. Agyepong remarked that the year 2011 will go down as an unforgettable one in the annals of Zoomlion which also coincides with the company’s 5th anniversary.

He explained that the year saw the company soaring on the International front as they moved their expansion drive into higher gear.

The CEO intimated that they had made positive inroads into countries like Zambia, Liberia and Equatorial Guinea.

He further explained that the year saw the Group winning eight very prestigious awards such as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Award, the Chartered Institute of marketing Award, the Times of Africa Excellence Awards and the Ghana Customer Service Awards Foundation among others.

Mr. Agyepong stressed that the company also gained the honour to participate in and make presentations at very high profile conferences including the UN Conference on “Zero Waste” held in Japan in February and at the World Congress of International Solid Waste Association held in Korea in October.

The group chief executive officer went on to commend the organizations that awarded Zoomlion in one way or the other adding that “we promise to uphold these awards.”

He specifically mentioned the Chancellor of KNUST, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, The Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Otoo Ellis, and the members of convocation of KNUST for nominating him out of the many qualified Ghanaians to confer a doctorate degree on him.

He further acknowledged that wining the above awards was done together with the management and staff.

Credit/ Link:

More information about JOSPONG group of companies

Jospong Group of Companies currently represents 16 Chinese companies, 8 Indian companies and 5 European companies in Ghana. Our trade volume with these companies is worth US$4,360,000,000.

The Group has generated over 98,000 jobs under various innovative collaborations with Governments and the private sector all over Africa. Indeed, our experience in China and beyond gives us the cause to believe that most trade and business cooperation is mainly focused on the Government sector with little collaboration with the private sector; which is indeed the engine of growth and job creation in Africa.

We have no doubt that most African private businesses would want to see an expanded cooperation in Africa that is geared towards strengthening the Private Sector; Private (African)-to-Private investor or venture, partnerships, Private Business Grants or special business loans from Government and similar types of business cooperation.

Jospong Group of Companies has initiated and successfully grown businesses in Ghana and across Africa. The secret of our success that we want to share with other potential partner international companies include being situated in a peaceful and stable political climate which boasts of a vibrant human resource and a government willing to pursue economic growth led by the private sector.

We wish to invite any strategic partner or investor to come join forces with us to make the most of the business potentials in Ghana. Our investment and partnership interests lie in financial, managerial, infrastructural, technical and operational support

For more information about the JOSPONG group of companies visit: