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Showing posts from May, 2009

Falling short of Champions league glory and the future of Manchester United

Congratulations to the Blaugrana for winning the 2009 Champions league. Barcelona outplayed my favorite Manchester United and this triumph will bring joy to the Catalan support. Barcelona played very well all year and I had predicted that they would probably win the UEFA Champions League when MAN U was struggling at the beginning of the year. It was meant to be. For Pep Guardiola to win a treble in his first year in charge is magnificent. Barcelona has a great future, but so does Manchester United. The Red Devils will be back and even stronger if they do a few things. The first one would be to replace Sir Alex Ferguson with me. :-)

I am very happy for Thierry Henry. I think it's a crime he's never been crowned the world's best player. He should have won in 2003 but it was given to Zinedine Zidane and in 2006 if Zidane had kept his cool in the World Cup final. Henry went to Barcelona to win the Champs league and today, he's a winner. He had a bad season last year but he …

10 African songs I think you should know about

I absolutely love African music and it is almost by coincidence. The day I promised to be a Pan-African and take interest in learning many things about different African countries, it started with the music. I haven't stopped since and I have collected a large database of songs from all over the continent, from kwaito to coupe decale, from genge to mbalax and from bongo flava to zouk. I am going to use this blog entry to talk about 10 African songs that I love and listen to consistently even though I don't know 100% what the lyrics are about (in no particular order). None of them are in English (obviously). None of them are from Ghana (syke). None of them are from Nigeria either (because chances are you've already heard about them). I hope you will check them out and listen to them. You may discover your next favorite song or artiste. Click the songs to find the lyrics, video, audio, etc.

High I go - Kabelo (Kwaito/gospel from South Africa)
The first Kwaito songs I heard wer…

Gbaa (gaffe) of the year - Ecomini by John Evans Atta Mills

I couldn't resist this. Ghanaians, I am sorry. After praising Paul Kagame as an entrepreneur president and salivating over Jacob Zuma's dancing skills, this is what I have to say about Asomdwoe hene Professor John Evans Atta Mills.

John Atta Mills became the third consecutive Ghanaian presido called John on January 7, 2009 after edging Nana Akufo Addo in the slimmest of margins. Since then, there hasn't been much he has done to forecast what his presidency will do for Ghana in the next four years. If I have missed this, please let me know. But when many Ghanaians talk about him today, it's about his 'slip of the tongue' sayings when he delivered his first sessional address to parliament. I don't have the full speech yet but you can listen at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mit_SJPUCcU


http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=77167219973

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=151604695091

Some soundbites from the speech - "Our ecomony, our ecomini is re…

Jacob Zuma - the dancing president

A lot of people are wary about South Africa under a Jacob Zuma presidency. If you have followed Zuma's life, you know he's been in the news for many wrong reasons. I haven't seen anyone mention his dancing exploits though, I guess that's not 'good news' enough. I know I praised Paul Kagame as an entrepreneur president but calling Zuma a dancing president is not a knock on him. It's a feather in his cap. Jacob Zuma is a man of the people.

I just discovered a video of his sharing the stage with South African artistes - dancing. The man can move! I wish I had a president who could dance like him. While President Professor Atta Mills is busily 'gbaaing' (tripping over words), Jacob Zuma is showing his youth. Lekker.

See the video here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AiKyHhqYLk


In fact, the guys sings as well. Watch him sing Umshini Wami below. Full name Awuleth' Umshini Wami, it means "Bring me my machine gun" and is a popular Zulu language …

Kasahorow & Fienipa - Creating a home for African languages on the web

Content in African languages is very dear to my heart. I love seeing websites in African languages. Tanzania is the leader in this category, there are many major Bongo websites that are in Kiswahili. These include blogs, news sites and entertainment sites too. My friends at Kasahorow.com have been a leader in enabling African languages on the web. They have been designing various greeting cards in African languages. You can send graduation cards to congratulate your graduating friends, as well as birthday and those for other milestones. Send one today by going to greetings.fienipa.com. Fienipa.com is a Cooperative provides technology services for its member businesses to run some of their operations on the Internet. Other than greetings, it has lyrics to African songs, African language dictionaries, information about African food and restaurants amongst others.

Julius Nyerere championed the use of Swahili as a national and official language and it has worked in uniting the country. For…

African basketball players in the NBA - past, present and future

One day in 2001, I woke up and realised I was pretty tall. When I came to the NBA USA, people will look at me and ask if I played basketball. I guess tall black boys were supposed to be basketball players if they lived in Syracuse, New York. Like I was telling a high school friend earlier today, the 'gaso' the caterers fed us in Presec did me some good. Either that or I was meant to shoot a number of inches in my teenage years. Anyway, I've been a huge fan of the NBA since I started schooling in the US. I never played basketball growing up and haven't been able to pick it up since. I can't shoot, dribble or dunk. I can play some inspired Kobe-like defense for a couple of possessions but even that will be mistaken for Bruce Bowen scissorhands work. I have made a momentum-swinging shot in an intramural game though. Wink wink. "Not all of us can play bball". Not all of us can play bball. Some other Africans have proved they can though, and they made to the N…

Discussing Dambisa Moyo's Dead Aid - the way forward

I was checking my favorite news feed source yesterday - Africagoodnews.com. Yes, the name is self-explanatory. They try to aggregate good news about Africa. One story which struck me was that 5 Africans had been named in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Year 2009. I was not surprised to see President Paul Kagame in there, I just blogged about him a few days ago. The other name that struck me was Dambisa Moyo's. I thought to myself, this lady is doing it big. Her 'Dead Aid' book is probably the most important book written by an African in the last few years, and no, it is not a novel. Dambisa and Paul are joined by William Kentridge,(South African artist), Hadizatou Mani (Niger), Barbara Hogan (South Africa's current health minister). Congrats to all these individuals and may they spur us all on to become as influential. I want to dwell on Dambisa Moyo, her Dead Aid book and the chatter it has generated at the water coolers in the blogosphere.

I fir…

Leti Games - building computer games in Africa

I don't remember when exactly I got my first computer game. I was young and it was a Nintendo. It was the thing to have as a young boy. After school (from about class 4/4th grade till about the end of JSS/middle school), setting up shop in front of the TV playing Mario, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat was the 'joie de vivre'. The funniest part was how we'll simulate jumping if the game character was jumping; kicking, screaming, punching, you name it. Around the same time, when most of us youngsters were looking out for the thrills of puberty,focusing on passing exams, getting the newest gadgets and attending all the birthday parties, Eyram Akofa Tawia was busy learning computer programming. Visual Basic to be precise. This is 1997 and 1998 in a pre-internet cafe Ghana. There's only one way this story could end. Today, Eyram (or Wuzu as his close friends know him), has started his own computer game company called Leti Games with backing capital.

Wuzu meant the "…

Patrick Awuah, founder of Ashesi University and educating a new generation of African leaders

When my friend sent me an email asking if I wanted to attend a lunch with Patrick Awuah, I was ecstatic. I had met Patrick before, at the Harvard Business School African Business Conference in 2005 but being able to get this face-to-face time over a free meal was too good to pass up. Patrick Awuah is my hero. I tried to tell him when I saw him but I don't know if he understood the gravity of my statement. Patrick is the kind of person most of us must aspire to; an individual whose heart is set on Africa's development, has taken, continues to take steps to realise the African dream. What has Patrick done to deserve my awe? He started the Ashesi University, a model university in Accra which is setting the pace for educating the next generation of African leaders, entrepreneurs, etc.

Achimota alum (Akora) Patrick Awuah left the shores of Ghana in the 80's to pursue his undergraduate education at Swarthmore College. He loved the experience there so much that he broadcasts what …

Paul Kagame, the Entrepreneur President

This year is the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Personally, I didn't know much about the genocide until the Hotel Rwanda movie came out. I was amazed by the courage and bravery of Paul Rusesabagina and learnt some more about the events surrounding the events of 1994. A couple of years ago, I wrote a poem commemorating the anniversary which you can read here. Recently, I have fallen in love with the work Paul Kagame is doing in Rwanda but also more importantly, the work Rwandans are putting in to support him. A few months ago, Obama was all the buzz, but now he's in DC doing his thing while I pay more attention to Paul Kagame. Uganda's Sunna sang about Obama as an African hero, but Paul Kagame is ours, and is a leader we must begin to celebrate.

Paul Kagame was in MIT as an the first African leader to deliver MIT's prestiguous Compton lecture. Not George Bush's best friend J. A. Kuffour, or Thabo Mbeki, or Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, but a former guerilla warlo…