Showing posts from 2009

Happy birthday to me and closing Kasiebo

Yee, onwunu adwo, my people, yɛrebɔ dawuro, nti monyaa aso (2x); Yɛkyiakyia mo nyinaa, yɛde nkaseɛbɔ brɛbrɛ mo nyinaa (2x); La la la la la, mmiɛnsa, mmienu, baako, hwii dum; La la la la la, sɛ wɔapie, sɛ asa, afei, ka w'ano to mu;

This is the chorus of Obrafour’s Kasiebo hit single. Kasiebo means ‘news’. This is not exactly the nuz, but it’s just a little write-up of things that have been on my mind lately. Full blog posts will follow sometime in the New Year when I ‘boga’ again to my address in America. If you can't read Twi, ask a friend or learn some at

BarCamp Ghana 2009 went well. We had more than 300 attendees and great breakout sessions and panels. Patrick Awuah’s keynote speech was awesome too. The notes and feedback are rolling in. Look out for a comprehensive report soon. You can always google to find out what people are saying as well. Or hit up the #bcghana09 hashtag on Twitter. Shout out to our sponsors – GhanaThink Foundation, MEST, Google, Web4Afri…

BarCamp Ghana 2009 - Leadership for our times - cultivating change makers (Press release)

I am very excited about this event. If you have a story of youth making/creating change and leading in Ghana, please come and share it here. Or get in touch.

On December 22, 2008, over a hundred young Ghanaians met in Accra for BarCamp Ghana '08 to exchange ideas on entrepreneurship, innovation and development for a rising Ghana. This summer, the conversations moved to Washington, DC on July 25, 2009 where BarCamp Diaspora '09 brought together the African Diaspora to exchange ideas on doing business in Africa.

This December 21st in Accra, the BarCamp Ghana team, made up of passionate young Ghanaians, presents BarCamp Ghana '09, under the theme "Leadership for our times - cultivating change makers". The event will take place on December 21, 2009 from 8am - 6pm at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) campus at 20 Aluguntuguntu Street in East Legon, Accra.

A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering where attendees meet for discussions, demos and networking…

Introducing REACH-Ghana on the occasion of World AIDS day

I was notified about the website for REACH-Ghana today and I must say I am impressed with how far this organization has come in the last 4 months following BarCamp Diaspora at JHU-SAIS in Washington, DC. A few young passionate Ghanaians with interest in the health sector came together after a healthcare breakout session during July's BarCamp Diaspora and started investigating how they could contribute to Ghana's health sector. Their enthusiasm has given birth to Representatives for Equal Access to Community Health-care (Ghana).

I love the use of the Adinkra symbol in the REACH logo. After my previous experience with Kasahorow, Museke & GhanaThink, I am a big fan of incorporating Ghanaian symbols in every way. REACH's logo uses the Adinkra symbol "Boa Me Na Menboa Wo" (Help me to help you), which represents cooperation, interdependence and community. You can see the tenets of REACH's vision in this symbol and the name itself. The symbol embodies the organi…

The MIghTy African's real identity and his other online names

It's always interesting when I get questions like - Are you Chale of, or Abocco, or this, or that. Yes, I am those and more. Ever since I got introduced to the world of the internet, I have tried to conceal my identity behind countless pseudonyms and names. In fact, hand in hand with this 'decision', I don't like to see my real name on-line in certain instances. This year, I have been fished out, because I've had to reveal myself in different ways because of some little publicity I got here and there. Why would I want to conceal my identity? Why would I use all these names and where do they even come from? It's time to answer some of these questions and bring y'all up to speed on these names. So just in case, you happen to find these names somewhere, you know who is really behind those.

The fascination with pseudonyms began in high school - Presec. I had joined the the school's media outlet, Editorial Board. We were in charge of publishing the…

"Kasiebo" and the issues surrounding Obrafour's "Asem beba dabi" return "in hip-life"

Culled from Chale's blog on

I was so excited when I heard Obrafour was releasing some new singles after his Heavy album in 2006. Obrafour is my favorite rapper and through the years, he's faced a lot of criticism, but I don't think he has hardly put a foot wrong. Obrafour is a wise man, like we see from his lyrics and he knew he was re-entering the music industry at an interesting time that called for some creativity and hard work. He delivered his singles and he has quickly become the talk of the town. I am really looking forward to getting his "Asem beba dabi" album and I hope it does really well and Obrafour becomes an international superstar. It's about time. His singles have caused some controversy and I'll like to discuss the issues arising.

Obrafuor's first single is Kasiebo (Nkasiabo). Kasiebo in Twi means news. In the song, an Execution FM radio presenter called Guru (who's a new hiplife artist) talks about "hiplife news&qu…

I ask for more Patrick Awuahs and more Ashesis in this life

Earlier tonight, I met Patrick Awuah. Again. Up close. This is the second time I am dedicating a blog entry to him. Why not? He's awesome. He gives me goosebumps when I meet him. Yes. Sounds weird. I told my roommates I had a crush on him. Oui. Of course, I am straight and straight up drumming home the point that we need more Patrick Awuahs in this world. If you didn't know already. But the focus of this entry is really about what he talked about tonight. What brought him to this area so I could be in the same room as him is not important. His words, actions, character are. Let's dig into what he said.

As some of you may know, Patrick and Ashesi University just won the Aspen Institute's McNulty Prize for 2009. Doesn't matter to me how relevant or prestiguous the prize is, but the fact that Patrick has yet another honour. Judges choosing the McNulty Prize included Madeleine Albright, Bill Gates, and Olara Otunnu; go figure. He won $100,000, a nice sum of money that w…

The much publicized Ghanaian movie, "The Heart of Men": A review

Majid Michel said "The Heart of Men" was his best movie ever. I agree. I watched the movie just recently and I was impressed. At some point, I was saying, "haha, this movie is freakin awesome!" Frank Rajah Arase's latest movie was introduced to us with a movie website and a trailer that became to the talk of African cinema. I was one of those who lambasted the trailer which looked 'soft-porn' ish and how the production team was just buying publicity so people would watch their 'poor' movie. Well, the publicity stunt worked. I only watched the movie because a few other friends satisfied their curiousity and gave it good reviews. Kudos to Heroes Productions for a great film but shame on them for that trailer.

Frank Rajah Arase is synonymous with what I call the 'Accra movies'. These are the Ghanaian movies set in English, shot mainly in Accra and Takoradi; the Beyonce President's Daughter, Passion of the Soul, Crime to Christ, Pretty Qu…

Now, about that campaign for president...

It's been very difficult for me to write this particular blog entry. It's about the Facebook presidency campaign. Some of you might have cross it searching for me on Facebook, invited by a friend (not me), or seen it in Google results about me. On the one hand, I don't really want to be a president and thought writing about this group will only fuel rumours that I am actively looking to stage a run in the future. Some of you have seen me battle with leadership through these entries anyway. On the other hand, talking about this campaign could be taken as a publicity move to get more people to join my self-serving Facebook campaign for President. That will ultimately cast me as selfish, full of pride, boastful, etc. I can't win here. But it won't stop me from talking about the subject. So here goes the blog entry.

Like I wrote earlier, people likened me to Kwame Nkrumah when I was in elementary school because I had a similar forehead. I didn't get the whole '…

South African movie, White Wedding: A review

I just watched the South African movie, White Wedding again. After going through Tsotsi, Yesterday, Catch a Fire, Jerusalema and District 9, it was nice to watch an Mzansi movie that didn't deal with crime, AIDS or apartheid. Not that all super South Africans are about those subjects but you get my point. Local is indeed lekker and am loving South African cinema. I've been looking forward to see White Wedding ever since my friend told me about it and I had to have a friend who was in South Africa over the summer get me a copy. I've not been disappointed. The movie is great, maybe not spectacular like I thought, but great. And as usual, I got a whole lot to say about it, which is an even greater thing. Sharp, sharp!

"Marriage is one of the things God got right". White wedding is a movie about Ayanda and Elvis' wedding, though it doesn't happen the same way as originally planned. The movie takes us through what goes wrong leading up to the wedding day, amids…

Political satire by KSM (Kwaku Sintim-Misa)

I was at KSM's Nifty @ Fifty concert held in Accra in December 2006. I recorded a bunch of videos and the ones I am posting on the blog today are about politics. KSM is arguably Ghana's best stand-up comedian and if you haven't seen him perform live, you are missing out. Well, not exactly, because with friends like Youtube, we can all revel in KSM's talent and artistry. :-)

First, he prays for a funky president. Can you imagine Ghana having a leader making a speech and everyone is bumping their heads because they are enjoying the speech so much? I know I want a funky president for Ghana. No more old heads taking up these positions because they need something else to do after retiring. Let's get some youth in here.

I think we had a funky president once, by the name of Jerry John Rawlings. KSM proves this by describing the scenes of a taxi driver overtaking the former president's motorcade.…

Ghana's Black Satellites - FIFA U-20 World Champions

Last Friday, the Black Satellites put in a finale to cap an impressive outing in the FIFA U-20 World Cup by beating mighty Brazil on penalties to emerge champions. I had watched every single Ghanaian game in the tournament, following the boys' men's progress. It was such an awesome feeling to finally win another World championship after the Black Starlets ruled the world at the U-17 level in 1991 and 1995. Congratulations to the whole squad, the technical team, and the fans who supported the Satellites with their prayers, and encouragement. This world triumph has not been without talking points and I'll seek to address some in this post. Being world champions at youth level is not the end, we have to build on this and become a world-class footballing nation at every level. The name Ghana should be on the lips of football fanatics all year round, forever.

This class has been magnificent from the get-go. Two years ago, they lit the FIFA U-17 World Cup and just fell short at t…

Leti Games unveils iWarrior (iPhone App) & Kijiji (J2Me)

Earlier this year, I blogged about my friend, Eyram Tawia's work on Leti Games. Together with Wesley Kirinya, from Kenya, they've launched a couple of games produced in Africa. The major one is iWarrior which is receiving a lot of buzz and is an iPhone app (game). So if you have an iPhone, pick up the app today from the Apple appstore and support African-made. I haven't been able to play the game yet but from what I hear, it's a lot of fun. What else do you want in a game? And it's an African-made too :-)

I've already blogged about Eyram Tawia and his work on Leti Games. I am excited for both these guys. We had tried working on a computer game for the African Cup of Nations in Ghana in 2008. Through my working experience with them, I knew they would go on to do bigger and better things and are quite capable of competing worldwide. Eyram had already proven his mettle by winning GhanaThink'sProgramming Contest while a final-year student at the Kwame Nkrumah U…

The Africa they never show you - African cities

I've seen a couple of friends post this video on Facebook and I finally decided to watch it this week. I was impressed. I knew some African cities had some nice 'buildings' and all but this video was a little eye-opening. This is because it didn't show just Johannesburg, Nairobi and Abuja. It's the Africa they never show you in the media. It's the Africa Africans themselves never really see on their televisions as well. It's the Africa we don't talk enough about. It's not the real Africa, but it's a part of Africa.

When I first came to the USA in 2001, the big things were the big things that impressed me. The big buildings, large roads, highways, interchanges, etc. There are many differences between the US and Ghana, but I must say the skyscrapers and infrastructure takes the cake. I had thought of doing some form of engineering for undergrad, but the awe of the infrastructure wowed me and I settled on t…

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Issues, reviews and Botswana

Dumela Mma! Rra! Kea leboha! If something's nice, you do it twice. Completed the first season of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. It's highly recommended. Alexander McCall Smith is a great writer, maybe I should break my novel reading duck and get hooked onto his stuff. For real though, I'll rather find out the story on the big screen. Here's hoping for more of Africa's stories to be told through film or television. This story is set in Botswana. For people like me, who've never been to Botswana but heard about the nation, this was a chance to continue learning. At the start of every episode, we saw a map of Africa and then exactly the location of Botswana. And then we've have to sit through 55 minutes plus of life in Botswana. Or not. Or just whatever stories the writer/producer wanted to tell. Or maybe what I have to say today :-)

I already talked about the TV series on HBO, BBC, and DSTV in this blog entry. You can find out more info on HBO's w…

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: selling Africa through feel-good television

I have only watched a couple episodes of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency but I am so excited I had to write about it already. This series is adapted for television from a bestselling novel. It features Jill Scott as the major actor and is set in Botswana. It's not exactly produced by Motswana or Africans but it is pretty 'African'. I have only seen two episodes but it didn't mention one thing synonymous with Botswana - HIV-AIDS. We also know Botswana has one of the best performing African economies and is one African country with no record of military rule. The series doesn't broadcast these, but celebrates Africa. You have to watch to understand. I had heard about this series before but while I was populating a list of African-themed films I wanted the Stanford libraries to have, someone suggested this addition.

From Wikipedia, we learn about the novels. "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a series of ten novels by British author Alexander McCal…

Leading into leadership – the MIT years

I've been meaning to write this entry for about a month. After the facebook campaign for presidency got its 233rd member, I decided it was time. If you didn't know, 233 is Ghana's country code (phone). It's of major significance to me. I've been honoured to see people speak highly of my leadership skills, etc and it's been making me wonder if I am up for such things. This is the 4th in my leading to leadership series, if you missed earlier entries, here they are: Tech/KNUST Primary & JSS (pre-high school), Presec (high school), and Syracuse (pre-college). In this entry, I will talk about the MIghTy years. A dream to attend the best engineering school had come alive. A prayer to be in a world-class institution had been answered. How did I deal with leading? Let's find out.

Before we get into the stories surrounding 77 Massachusetts Avenue, we must understand how we got there. One joyous day in March 2002, I received a phone call. It was from MIT. I had be…

Ghanaian films - A Sting in a tale, I sing of a well, Heart of men

My current favorite movie house, Sparrow Productions, is back with another movie called 'A Sting in a Tale'. A few other new Ghanaian movies are making the rounds. Haven't seen any of these films but wanted to keep y'all posted. We still haven't settled on a name for the Ghanaian film industry, don't give me any Gollywood (already taken by Johannesburg anyway), or Ghallywood, etc.

A Sting in a Tale is Shirley Frimpong-Manso's fourth film after Life & Living It, Scorned & the Perfect Picture. I have been crying for her to feature Agya Koo in a movie but this time she chose Majid Michel. Most Ghanaian movie enthusiasts would tell you Majid's a better actor than the big celebrities like Van Vicker, Nadia Buari and Jackie Appiah. I agree. We'll see how he does in this production. The movie also features probably the best female actor in Ghana now - Lydia Forson, arguably Ghana's best in Adjetey Annan (Pusher), as well as Doris Sackitey, who w…