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Showing posts from August, 2009

Know where to sow (a poem)

This poem was inspired by the Parable of the Sower - Matthew 13:18-23. Poem's called Know where to sow. Enjoy.

Sown and grown on the wayside
Well, it fell on rocks
Thrown and grown along paths
Trodden under by impact
Shown and grown in good soil
To reap the harvest of toil
Rooted in filth and guilt
Stemming from temptation
Leaving the margin of right
Nothing good for the receptacle
The rains were mad last time
This time, they made one sad
Good fruit was borne however
Through the nurturing of culture
Fruit from good seeds grew
Into yet another flicker of hope
Favourable grounds helped to cope
Into hearers and doers
If oaks from little acorns should grow
Then know where to sow

KSM dances to Oluman Boogie at Nifty @Fifty show

KSM's Nifty@Fifty concert in December 2007 was superb. I had heard about his exploits dancing to FBS' Oluman Boogie through the internet and TV. So when I was in Ghana, I decided to spend my Christmas Day in Accra (instead of Kumasi) so I could catch his show. It was terrible not spending it with my nuclear family at home but the show was great. I took a bunch of videos so that my family could watch what transpired. Finally, I have some for you to view. If you missed KSM getting jiggy with a girl half her age, you can see those videos here.

Oluman Boogie was released in by the Function Boy Squad. The song quickly made an impression and FBS became one of the most wanted performers due to their dancing prowess. The song talked about Sugar Daddies. If you live in Ghana, you'll know that this is common there. In University of Ghana (Legon), we have what we call 'Inte' and 'Exte'. 'Inte' is the Legon male student who's the boyfriend and 'Exte'…

My Top 10 Ghanaian songs of 2009 (so far)

Here's another one. Just like the other one. Ghanaian music is at a crisis. People feel we are sounding too much like Western artistes. Okyeame Kwame and Obour recorded a song 'The Game' which addressed this. Me, am loving all of this. It's good we are talking about this. In fact, hiplife & GH Rap are taking over. We can still get down to the old jams, and appreciate the new. So in case VIP's Ahomka womu is still the Gh song you jam to or you stopped paying attention after Obrafour's last album or you are just waiting to hear Kojo Antwi's latest album, you should get up-to-date with the jams of today. I know 2009 hasn't ended yet, but here are 10 of my favorite Ghanaian songs this year. I'll tell you which song didn't make it unfortunately. Kwabena Kwabena's Do ne bi is an all-time favorite, but for me, it made its rounds in 2008.

Before that, you have to check out my 10 songs dedicated to African women, my favorite Ghanaian songs, 10 fa…

KSM dances with random girl at Nifty @Fifty show

Those of you who know me know am all over social media networks. Yes, I am on Twitter too. Follow me @Abocco. Yup, that's me. More on my many web names later. Earlier, I opened a Youtube account too, to share videos. The terrible part is that some dude had already taken the 'MIghTyAfrican' account (which is inactive now) so I had to settle with 'MIghTyAfrican1'. Bummer. I almost made up a new name but I am growing old now, can't keep track of all of my pseudonyms.

I uploaded a bunch of videos I recorded from attending KSM's Nifty @ Fifty concert. I love KSM, he's awesome. I interviewed him once and came away with a lot of respect for him. Other than being an entertainer, he is a great personality, statesman and leader. He mentioned that he may want to go into politics. At his show, which coincided with Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebration, he mentioned that Ghana could use a 'funky president'. Who wouldn't want KSM as his president? I was s…

Two women (a poem)

I remember writing this poem at a bus station somewhere in Upstate New York. I was thinking about a couple of girls and I decided to express those thoughts on paper. So it became a poem. I decided to try my hand at some Twi poetry as well though it didn't turn out too good. I just translated the English lines to Twi so if some of the translations are off, forgive and then correct me. I had titled this poem 'Who is me' but it really should be something like two women. So there, I present to y'all 'two women'. Enjoy.

She is me
She mirrors me
But she is a mirage
And she is just an image of me

She is not me
She shadows me
But she is a window
And her mirror doesn’t know me

I follow the mirror
My shadow follows me
The mirror tells me I am fair
My shadow tells me I am dark
My mirror lets out my secrets
My shadow is my best kept secret
My mirror overshadows me
My shadow mirrors my shade

Sankofa sees my shadow
Nkoso notices my mirror
Do I want me
Or do I want my shadow
Do I want comfort
Or d…

10 songs dedicated to African women

Happy Women's Month! I promised myself to talk more about women this August and sadly, it's ending already. I only managed to talk about pick-up lines and their use. It's all going to be remedied with this post (I hope). We all love African Queen and how it became a phenomenon in the Diaspora. There are many more songs like that and I'll like to share some with y'all.
Because If I could glow like an African beauty;
I would show the make up of an African beauty;
And not make up make up to show African beauty;
Because before make up, there was African beauty.

This is from a poem I wrote, which I could consider my best to date.

Before that, you have to check out my favorite Ghanaian songs, 10 favorite songs from Kenya, 10 favorite songs from South Africa, my 10 favorite Nigerian songs and 10 African songs I think you should know about. So these songs are for all the African women out there and for all who love them. Click the songs to find the lyrics, video, audio, et…

Homicide (a poem)

Wanted to blog today but I don't have time so I will do what do when this happens. Put up an old poem. This poem is called Homicide. Wrote it a while ago. You can try and decipher what it means, that's the beauty of the language abi? Enjoy


Like a masked murderer
Radiant with love
Knifing the apron strings
That bound us to custom
Like a patient poacher
Endangering a life
Leaving an ancestral stump
After draining the sap
Like a settling seed
Seeking to rule the natives
To improve its diversity
Killing softly the inbred society
Like a caring cutthroat
To say a soothing prayer
With a temporary temerity
Enslaving the rich
Like a pestering preacher
To liberate the naïve yet
Who came and taught nothing
And burgled society’s education

The race for the 19th EPL title - Manchester United

It's nice to have ESPN show English Premier League games in the US these days. Just saw Aston Villa pull off an industrious away win and break Liverpool's impenetrable fortress with a 3-1 win. They aren't the only Big 4 team to lose; my own Manchester United lost by a lone goal to the promoted Burnley. It's not going to same MAN U without CR7 and Tevez but there's no reason why we can't be successful. A lot has happened since we lifted our 18th league title to knock Liverpool off their perch, and we can get that 19th to do them one better. Chelsea may prevent that from happening because to me, they are favorites. It's gonna be one long and exciting EPL season.

I was resigned to seeing Cristiano Ronaldo leave. He was our matchwinner but his heart was somewhere else. I was obviously delighted to see him go for 80 million pounds. When Beckham and Van Nistelrooy left, it was because Sir Alex Ferguson wanted them to go. I believe he wanted to hold on to CR7 but t…

My 10 favorite Ghanaian gospel songs

Today, I went to church. For the first time in a long time. In fact, I went to a Catholic service in the US for the first time in the longest time. I feel good, still do. I have my favorite African gospel songs iTunes playlist playing. Right now. I already talked about the power of gospel music and you can see my 10 favorite African gospel songs list here. Church services in the US are more mellow and boring compared to those back home and the difference is really in the singing, dancing and 'Kofi & Ama' collections. Ghana is a religious country, the names of various small businesses would confirm that. Our whole religious culture is somewhat superficial but that's for another entry. For now, let's appreciate the beauty of gospel music.

Before that, you have to check out my favorite Ghanaian songs, 10 favorite songs from Kenya, 10 favorite songs from South Africa, my 10 favorite Nigerian songs and 10 African songs I think you should know about. Hope you discover yo…

Reviewing District 9 - South African sci-fi flick

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The first time I saw an African-made movie production in American theatres, it was Tsotsi. It was at a random cinema in Cambridge that showed mostly 'indie' movies. Yesterday, I saw my second, but this time in a more popular theatre (Century Cinema) and the movie was District 9. It's African-made alright but it has the influence of American Peter Jackson, so maybe that's why it made it to the giant Hollywood theatre circuit? District 9 has been the most talked about movie all week, and it's been a trending topic on Twitter for a week now. I was excited to see it and after seeing it, I agree it was a good movie. Don't listen to me though, listen to IMDB, they list it as the 31st best movie of all-time and clearly this year's best.

I sent an email to the Stanford Africans encouraging people to go see this African production. Before we could get to rallying the troops, someone had sent an email to Black Diaspora list calling District 9 the 'most abominabl…

Some related MakerFaire Africa videos

I really wish I could have gone to be a part of MakerFaire Africa. MakerFaire Africa brought together African inventors, makers and other people for a three-day fair last weekend at the Kofi Annan Center of Excellence for ICT in Accra. It featured the showcasing of different products, services, projects and technologies as well as some panels and speakers. It showed the ingenuity of Africans, especially when it came to using local materials to solve local problems.

A couple of friends, Nii Simmonds of Nubian Cheetah, Emeka Okafor of Timbuktu Chronicles and Henry Barnor of the GhanaThink Foundation and the BarCamp Ghana team were amongst the organizer. Much props to them for organizing such a spectacular fair.

Ameyaw Debrah of the Jaded Renegade also attended MakerFaire Africa. He's a great citizen journalist who reports about different events and happenings in Ghana. You can check out his Youtube channel for a wide variety of interviews, and videos, especially about Ghanaian entert…

Translate between some African languages & English (Kasahorow)

I've gotten some questions recently about an online Twi resource. What exactly are people looking for in a Twi resource? An online dictionary? Check. Check Kasahorow.com and words.fienipa.com. You can also check websites like africanlanguages.com and kamusi.org. The folks at Kasahorow have this cool feature which allows you to translate words between Akan, English, Hausa, Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili.


While I figure out how to get the embed code to work, you can always go their website or the fienipa site and translate different words.
It's very simple: "enter a word in the search box in the language you want to translate from. Then select the language name in the first drop-down menu. In the second drop-down menu, select the language you want to translate to."

And if you haven't seen the awesome Ghana keyboard that allows you to type in Twi, Ga, Ewe characters, etc, don't miss out anymore.
Get it at this Kasahorow link.

Kasahorow foɔ deɛ, wɔn yɛ ade paa!
They…

Before we call it Gollywood, Ghallywood, Sinikrom, etc - let's get our house in order

I can't wait for Shirley Frimpong-Manso's next movie. It's been almost 5 months since Perfect Picture came out. She's not the only one making Ghanaian movies though, some of the other movie houses churn out movies as frequently as once a month. I'll like to touch on a few issues in Ghanaian movies and offer some thoughts and advice. See my previous post about the emergence of Ghanaian movies and some thoughts on working towards more excellence. I know some people don't like the idea of calling Ghana's movie industry Ghallywood or Gollywood and they have a point. Let's do something different. How about we call it Sinikrom? Oh wait, Phamous People has the 'Cinekrom' show. I am a huge fan of Phamous People, will love to see them get involved in the movie industry.

I call the 'Nadia Buari-Van Vicker-Jackie Appiah-Majid Michel' movies the Accra movies. They feature English lines and are set in Accra Takoradi. Owners of magnificent homes in Acc…

My 10 favorite Ghanaian songs

For one reason or the other, I have become a deejay. I have amassed an impressive collection of African music, especially Ghanaian over the last 7 years. It's been a long while since I attended a Ghanaian party, seen myself at Kenyan, Nigerian, and Senegalese parties this year. Maybe I should organize one? Create an afrodisiac boomerang atmosphere right in the thick of aburokyire. It can be done, I gots the music to back it up. Today, I am going to share my favorite 10 Ghanaian songs which will be first in Ghanaian song series. I'll leave out gospel songs here, will dedicate a post to that.

Before that, you have to check out my 10 favorite African gospel songs, 10 favorite songs from Kenya, 10 favorite songs from South Africa, my 10 favorite Nigerian songs and 10 African songs I think you should know about. Hope you discover your next favorite morning song or find a new jam for your church's next "Kofi and Ama" collection. Click the songs to find the lyrics, vid…

My BarCamp Diaspora '09 interview with Shara Karasic

BarCamp Diaspora '09 (Investing our talent where it counts) took place on July 25 at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies. The event was a success and drew about 80 participants and had many more following proceedings through Twitter, Ustream and Facebook.

After the event, Shara Karasic (one of the organizers of the awesome BarCampAfrica at Google in October 2008) asked me a few questions about the BarCamp and how it had gone. This is what I had to say

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3LrVRB_-OU


I already reviewed the event on my blog at this link. Initiatives are coming out of the BarCamp already and as they became more structured, we'll let you know. It's taking awhile to consolidate the action items but once that is done, more initiatives shall follow. The initiatives that existed before BarCamp are only going to get stronger with new partnerships and support.

It's not easy organizing events at all and once you do it, you have more respect for th…

More BarCamp Diaspora '09 interviews

BarCamp Diaspora '09 (Investing our talent where it counts) took place on July 25 at Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies. The event was a success and drew about 80 participants and had many more following proceedings through Twitter, Ustream and Facebook.

Shara Karasic, who was one of the attendees, interviewed Akua Akyaa Nkrumah (an attendant who organized the scientifc research breakout session), Melanie Dickson (another attendee) and Ato Ulzen-Appiah (one of the organizers) - will feature that interview in a longer post. She also took two videos of the CreditSms (Mobile banking & Microfinance) session with Benjamin Lyon.

Akua Nkrumah tells us how BarCamp Diaspora inspires her to contribute to the future of Africa. BarCamp Diaspora took place on July 25, 2009 at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC and was organized by GhanaThink.org.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsiav7BuLbE


Law student Melanie Dickson talks about how she will get involved in Africa&#…

I'm on TV! MIghTy African Music Video Program - Featuring VIP & TuFace's 'My love'

Most of you loved the first episode of the MIghTy African Music Video Program (MAMVP). Well guess what, thanks to Melanie Reynard, we have a second episode. This time we talked about a Ghana-Nigeria collabo between VIP and TuFace Idibia called 'My love'. This feature is for a TV program on KMTP TV (a non-profit public TV station in Palo Alto) The MAMVP will feature me talking about various African music videos, the artistes behind them, discussing the song and music, etc. All these videos are by Phamous People. The very first feature was on VIP's Manenko. You can see the video for this second webisode/episode below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pP4IStiBZg



The opening music was by Jonathan Ford and the video was edited by Melanie Reynard. I think this video is funnier than the last one though it's shorter. Melanie advises that people's attention spans are too short to do longer videos. So if you are reading this and you want to sponsor an awesome promotion of Africa…

Not your average Saturday - Picking up and pick-up lines

The more interesting part of my Saturday was bound to come from my experiment with pick-up lines. Yes, I like to have some fun every now and then. I've always wanted to try some lines to see if they work, how they work and who they work on. When my cousin wrote a Facebook note called "official...Pick Up Lines....to all ya brothas without game...", he tagged me first. He tagged me first. Sadness eh? The lines were hilarious and I had decided to entrust my Saturday evening enjoyment in these sentences. What did I have to lose o? Kowtow. So, here we go. This is what happened o!

You already know I went to see FC Barcelona play in San Francisco. After I left the stadium with my friends, they dropped me off around the block where the venue for the picking-up testing would take place. I was starving so I walked around looking for chicken fried rice. Okay, am talking about chicken fried rice, not Asian girls. Besides, I decided not to test out the lines before I went to the club,…

Not your average Saturday - Watching FC Barcelona

I have had a bunch of interesting Saturdays recently but this last one, I knew it was going to be interesting. It's been a while since I filed in a diary entry. What was special about this Saturday? FC Barcelona was in town to play Chivas, a Mexican team. This was going to follow an MLS game involving the San Jose Earthquakes and Columbus Crew. As it was the second Saturday of the month, all roads would end up at the End Up for Reggae Gold which I wasn't going to miss for nothing. True to form, it was a memorable day and though it doesn't make a juicy entry like "Eye candy, free candy, and candy I don't have". I have so much to say I have to do it in two entries.

I've been having a sore throat recently so I woke up Saturday not feeling too well. Too bad the Ovaltine I have is solid block and I don't have the patience to figure out how to make it presentable for consumption. The only food I owned was some dish of spaghetti, corned beef and a little shi…