Saturday, February 28, 2009

Biggest rivalries in the NBA today and fantastic playoff matchups

I watch a lot of basketball. In fact, it's about the only thing I've watched on American TV in the last 6 years. I even watch games on atdhe.net, myp2p.eu, channelsurfing.net when some mouth-watering games are not on TV. There is the added bonus of catching Golden State Warriors games, the team might not be that good but every single I seem to watch of theirs is a good one. I'll like to discuss what I think are the biggest rivalries in the NBA today, circa my time of sustained basketball interest. It's easy to identify some rivalries but to rank them was definitely not easy. Here we go.

1. Los Angeles Lakers - San Antonio Spurs
These two teams have the most dominant in the NBA this millenium with 3 and 4 championships respectively. The Spurs lost to the Lakers in the 2001 and 2002 playoffs and the latter went on to win the title both years. In 2003, in David Robinson's last season and Manu Ginobli's first season, the Spurs broke their duck against the Lakers and went on to win the title. In 2004, Derek Fisher's famous .4 shot effectively ended the Spurs' reign but the Lakers fell apart during the NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons and the Shaq-Kobe tandem was broken. The Lakers were never really good after that and these teams didn't meet in the playoffs till the 2008 Conference finals where the Bynum-less Lakers beat an half-fit Manu Ginobli and the Spurs only to lose to Boston in the Finals. We had the Shaq-Duncan matchup, and the Kobe-Bowen matchup. And don't forget the NBA's leader in charges, Derek Fisher against Tony Parker. They may resume their rivalry this year.

2. Phoenix Suns - San Antonio Spurs
This rivalry gets beat by the Lakers-Suns one because of Shaq-Kobe, but by a whisker. I remember when Stephon Marbury made that shot to beat the Spurs in the first game of the 2003 playoff matchup which they ultimately lost. They met again in 2005 in the Conference finals and the Spurs prevailed. In 2006, the Mavericks prevented their impending matchups and they beat both the Spurs and Suns only to lose to the Heat in the Finals. 2007 was the height of the rivalry. Game 4 of the Western Conference semi-finals featured Robert Horry knocking Steve Nash into the scorer's table at mid-court. Boris Diaw and Amare Stoudemire got off the bench and were suspended for the pivotal Game 5. The Spurs went on to win that series and pretty won the championship with that series. 2008 saw Marion leave the Suns and Shaqtus came to town, initiating his own playoff rivalry with Tim Duncan. Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich worked the 'Hack-a-Shaq' to perfection and the series was over in 5 games.

3. Los Angeles Lakers - Phoenix Suns
Three teams own the three biggest rivalries. The Lakers and the Suns met in the playoffs in the 2006 and 2007 post-seasons. Can you forget the series where Kobe and the Lakers went up 3-1 only for them to be whitewashed in Game 7? You had Kobe going up against his nemesis, Raja Bell and well, the whole Suns team. Phil Jackson and Mike D'Antoni had a lot of disagreements including a time when Mike said Phil called a timeout after he had called one and 'disrespected his players'. The rivalry has lost most of the Suns suspects; Marion, Bell, Diaw and D'Antoni are gone but their absence is made up by the presence of Shaq. Shaq against Kobe four times a year? No one on the Lakers can guard Shaq even though he's not the same. Both teams are running squads, so more often than not, their games will be fun.

4. Detroit Pistons - Cleveland Cavaliers
Michigan and Ohio are basically rivalry states in sports. You have the famous Buckeyes-Wolverines duels. Ever since Lebron James came to the NBA, Ohio has had an NBA team to match Michigan's. They met in the 2006 conference semi-finals where they lost in seven games, even after winning three consecutive games. Lebron means more to this team than any other NBA player and his Cavs could not overcome the best NBA 'team' in Detroit. The next year, Lebron led his Cavs to beat the Pistons in the conference finals. Who can forget his heroic Game 5 performance where he scored the last 25 Cavs points?

5. Cavaliers - Washington Wizards
This rivalry is probably unlikely because the teams met early in the playoffs multiple times, to be specific, three straight years. The Cavs returned to the playoffs in 2006 and beat the Arenas-led Wizards. Both Lebron and Arenas were emerging. The 2007 was not close as the Cavs swept the Wizards. The 2008 first -round matchup was famous for the Lebron James - Deshawn Stevenson (who?) duel. First, Deshawn called Lebron 'overrated'. Lebron responded saying he responding to Stevenson would be like rap icon Jay-Z responding to a one-hit wonder like Soulja Boy. The Wizards stayed alive in the series with a Game 3 blowout which had Stevenson doing Soulja Boy's 'I can't feel my face' routine with Soulja Boy himself in attendance while his song was blared from the rafters gym. Jay-Z got involved in the feud himself, releasing a Deshawn Stevenson diss track at a DC club (Love) nonetheless in the presence of Caron Butler! singing 'Blow the whistle'. The Cavs finished the Wizards off in 5 games.

Others: Spurs - Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets - Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic - Detroit Pistons and a bonus, Boston Celtics - Lakers

Playoff matchups I'll like to see -
First round: Lakers vrs Suns, Cavs/Magic-Pistons, Miami-Hawks, Houston-Portland
Second round: Lakers/Suns vrs Houston, Spurs vrs Nuggets
Conference finals: Lakers/Suns/Houston vrs Spurs, Celtics vrs Cavs
NBA Finals matchup I'll love - Celtics vrs Spurs/Lakers. :-D

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

'Run Baby Run' and 'Kwame' win at Pan-African Film Festival (PAFF)

Before I fell in love with 'Life and Living It', there was 'Run Baby Run'. The folks from Revele Films, who produce the local television series 'Home Sweet Home', hit a home run with their first feature film, 'Run Baby Run' on the Ghanaian market. 'Run Baby Run' just won the best narrative film at the 17th PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL (Programmer's award). This follows its success at the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2008 (held in Nigeria) where it picked up the Best Director (Emmanuel Apea Jnr), Best Screenplay (Emmanuel Apea Jnr and John Apea), Best Child Actor (Evelyn Addo - 'Nina') and Best Film. Edward Osei-Gyimah's Kwame won the Best Narrative Short at the PAFF as well. Congratulations to Emmanuel Apea (and the Revele Films Crew) as well Edward Osei-Gyimah for making Ghana proud.

'Run Baby Run' as a movie scores on many levels. It addresses the drug trade that is throwing dust on the goodwill Ghana is building, and it combines scenes shot abroad (London) and at home (Accra, Kumasi, Tamale) really well. One thing I love about the movie is the way it includes English and Twi lines. Think of it combining the best of both worlds (The Van Vicker-Nadia Buari movies and the Agya Koo movies). The movie is definitely more hilarious than Scorned and Life n Living it as well.

The acting is great as well, Evelyn Addo especially shined in her role and the others gave a great account of themselves. I really loved the Cephas character as well. "Mountanious climate"? "Geographical ambiance"? Reminds me of the Pappington Papa Nii Papafio character in Village Productions' Taxi Driver. Jackie Appiah, one of Ghallywood (Gollywood's) major stars appears in this movie, though she has a relatively small role. Other actors in the movie are Kofi Bucknor, Rama Brew, Emmanuel Apea, Kojo Dadson, Collins Agyeman Sarpong, Fred Johnson, Monica Effah, Vivienne Acho, etc.

'Run Baby Run' does have its own soundtrack, though I am not feeling the song so much. It had some great quotes too. "Lean mean killing machine?" Lol

You can also watch 'Run Baby Run' on various websites like onlinenigeria.com and ghananation.com
Watch the trailer for the movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3dcjJPVThk


Watch the trailer for the 'Kwame' short film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzwfm3LbEHo


I really want to watch South Africa's Jerusalema after hearing some rave reviews. Apparently, it's even better than Tsotsi. Now if you remember, Tsotsi won the best foreign language film at the Oscars. I've watched Tsotsi a couple of times and it's one of my favorite movies ever. Jerusalema was nominated at the PAFF but it didn't win anything. It features Rapulana Seiphemo, Jeffrey Sekele, Ronnie Nykale, amongst others. See the website here.

We at GhanaThink have been asking for epic movies about Ghanaian legends and it seems someone finally made one about Yaa Asantewaa. But I never heard of it till today. Why? Warrior Queen was nominated at the PAFF too. Check out the movie's website here. There are many stories to be told out of Ghana, I hope our movie producers would attempt putting some of them on the big screen. We shouldn't have to wait for Hollywood.

Other notable African movies nominated were Bongoland II: There’s No Place Like Home (Tanzania), Grey Focus (Nigeria), Moroko (Nigeria), African Underground: Democracy in Dakar (Senegal), etc. See the full list of nominees by country here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

African commercials/adverts - in the spirit of Valentine

I know Valentine's day has already passed but this is never late. Besides, everyday should be valentine's don't you think? It is pretty commercialized now. It's even National Chocolate Day in Ghana. I didn't get the chance to munch on some Golden Tree on Saturday but I did get some on Sunday. That right there is fulfillment for the weekend. A friend and I happened to be checking out commercials and it reminded me about some African commercials I had found and was going to share with y'all. Well, here they are. I picked up some that revolve around the Valentine Day themes. Please don't tell me I have to tell you what those themes are.

First up, we have an ad from MTN Nigeria. I fell in love with this advert when I first saw it. For all the long-distance lovers, this is for you. You need to be in Africa and have MTN though - so that even when you're apart, you're still together. In fact, the Nigerians force on this one. More props. They should have chosen some Naija song though - maybe Angel of my life, Ifeoma, or Right here (yes, brilliant)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiEDt742V4k


I believe this ad is from MTN South Africa. I chose this one because it's cute. I just can't believe I actually said cute. I never say it in real life. They made a video from just under 4000 photos. Must have been a lot of work, but you'll do anything for love, won't you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzQrWMndgY0


We've done West and South, let's go to the East. Mamamikes is an awesome service, where East Africans abroad (especially Kenyans) can buy services for their loved ones back home. So you can get that rose delivered or even order a couple of Tuskers for your buddies. Yes, I can't mention Kenya without mentioning Tusker. What you gonna do about it? Stare me down and demand Nyama choma? :-) Mamamikes is partnering with Suuch Solutions to bring their services to West Africa through Kikwe.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxsE1hv64EM


For a bonus ad, we'll stay in Tusker country. Because if you are going to crown off your Valentine's/Chocolate/Busy/Love day with the ultimate form of love-making, you should be protected. "If it's not on, it's not in" - as someone will say. Can I stay under your umbrella, ella, ella, ay ay ay! Did Jay-Z actually say Rain man in that song? Anyway, here we go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ociFy9lFffc


One love.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Different kangaroo dances all over Africa - Black Stars, NPP, Kenya

The Kangaroo dance was probably the most popular dance in Ghana in 2008. First the Black Stars unveiled it when Michael Essien got on the end of Sulley Muntari's freekick to score Ghana's first goal against Morocco in the African Cup of Nations at Accra's Ohene Djan sports stadium. I was at the stadium that day and believe you me, I was so ecstatic to see the goal that I was making so much noise jumping up and down to pay any attention to the Black Stars' celebration. They did the dance again after Sulley Muntari scored Ghana's second and the next day, a new dance craze was born. The NPP employed it in their Election 2008 campaign as well. Do you know where the dance originated from? Do you even know that it was a dance craze in Kenya as well? Now you know.

The Kangaroo dance celebration became a phenomenon during the CAN 2008. In fact, Ghana's dreaded rivals, the Super Eagles, actually used that same celebration when they drew first blood in the quarter-final against Ghana. They mocked us with our own patented celebration. Thank heavens, the Black Stars came back (even with a man down) to win the game 2-1 and send the Super chickens in a flying coffin to Agege. All you Naija people know it's all love. :-) Sulley Muntari disclosed to the media that the Kangaroo dance was inspired by Tic Tac's Kangaroo song, which was a hit the year before. The Black Stars have hiplife in their iPods; for real. The Kangaroo goal celebration and the dance Tic Tac and Samini did in the Kangaroo video are not exactly the same, but hey, who's going to doubt Sulley Muntari? The Black Stars' dance was called the 'dabodabo' when it was premiered. 'Dabodabo' aka the Duck dance.

You can judge for yourself by watching this video (watch at 0:39)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_bJl0XdRQs

You can also sing along to Tic Tac's Kangaroo here and watch the video that was sponsored by MTV (yup, bingi things aguan for hiplife)

The Nigerian mockery of the Black Stars wasn't the end. The Black Stars use the celebration up till today. In fact, the Black Starlets and Satellites do as well. John Paintsil, Ghana's most controversial footballer, encouraged his teammates at West Ham to do the dance once. He made sure those of us watching on TV saw it. Ghanaian footballers are spreading the kangaroo craze and hey, other African teams and players are following suit.

Anyway, Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP championed the 'We are moving forward' message in their campaign. What better way to show 'moving forward' than a kangaroo style progression with the hands? If you asked a Ghanaian who he was voting for, and the answer was the NPP, he'll have his hands in a 7 shape and would move them forwards and backwards. If the style was loved by Ghanaians in times of national support for the Black Stars, it had to do it for the NPP. Eventually, the NPP lost out in the election to the NDC, led by the Yeresesamu dance craze. Some anti-NPP people joked about how Nana Akufo Addo's hands were too short and he could not execute the Kangaroo dance well enough. You can see the NPP's Kangaroo movements in this video below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5j2o5Y4tOg


But here's the juicy part. The kangaroo dance craze was hand in hand with the Tusker-drinking Kenyan populace in the late 90's even before Tic Tac introduced us to the Australian animal. I don't know the story but my Kenyan friend who went to high school in Ghana and is supposedly dating a Ghanaian (you see how this story comes full circle) provided me with some videos.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UgK7r3xl48


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l_XtJPwGBs&e


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flGFQr76Xrg&NR=1


I must say that Churchill video is hilarious. Big ups to Kenya's NTV though for putting their news, shows, etc online. The Kangaroo dance in Kenya is different from the one in Ghana but hey, from the East to the West, Africans love to dance and even the Kangaroo is not spared.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Embed Museke playlists on your site, blog, homepage, etc

Museke.com is working on releasing widgets and giving users the ability to embed playlists from Museke on various sites.

Museke.com is an African music website, seeks to be the home for all African music fans and has lyrics, audio, video, playlists (like those below), interviews, blogs, forums, polls, artiste information, etc.

Here are a few playlists I tried to embed
Seems the full window did not embed, use the back and forth options to choose different songs.

Conscious music from Africa - patriotic, nationalistic, socially conscious songs collection



It's Valentine's Day soon, so celebrate the time with some African love songs



And if you need some slow jams, easy listening, soothing songs - Africa got some for you too




More playlists coming, the embedding is still a work in progress.

If you are interested in getting some of these playlists, contact the people at Museke.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dangerous Highway – a short story

So I've given you guys some poems to read on this blog, but how about a short story? I was going through my stuff and came across a short story I wrote shortly after I finished Presec. I was a new Odadee. It's titled - Dangerous Highway. Reading it reminded me of how we used to write when we were in secondary (high) school, using all the biggest English we could find and playing with the language to prove we had an excellent command of the Queen's language. In fact, some of the words and phrases I used had me laughing hysterically and I don't understand some of the words (anymore). Well, here it is for you to enjoy.

"Dangerous Highway" - I am not going to give the story away. Just read. This piece has never been edited, it's important for us to read it at its untouched stage to appreciate the beauty of the writing. Or the horror, if you may. I wrote this piece on paper, in 2001, I wasn't used to Microsoft word so this piece doesn't have the benefit of Microsoft spell checker. Just enjoy the choice of words and the ridiculousness of high school writing.

Dangerous Highway – a short story

She was waiting impatiently. Beads of perspiration trailed her face as uneasy lied the head that was eager to wear an untouched crown. Minutes turned into hours and not even a sign of a private automobile was in sight whence having one wheel past her.

Blisters of uncertainty and sores of bankruptcy disallowed her in taking a decision. All she could do was, herald her catchy dress and avidly pin her hope on Jojo. She heaved a sigh, though in difficulty like a fish out of water, when a sleek BMW 7-series pulled up beside her.

“Sorry to keep you waiting”, he said when their eyes paralleled. Esi, comprehensively, answered, “Don’t worry”. A kiss was enough to send her back to ecstasy. Soon, the car was on its way to the latest attraction in town, the Plaza Hotel. That night, before the sun’s rays penetrated the hotel room, the jack of this trade was no more.

Two months ago, Esi contemplated on her future that lay ahead after passing through second – cycle schooling. Her fidus, Eyra in her own romantica, was already making fast money through the ‘night train’. From girl through damsel to a prostitute, busy rooms and nights willed away her time.

The business was good. Perilous parenting overlooked her new ‘joie de vivre’ as she stocked her lockers with elegant and expensive wear drained from pot-bellied and big-pocketed old men. Jollying was the way, soiling the neatness of men was the order of the day, more perfectly, night.

The hen began laying golden eggs. Hellbent on daring money, she joined a workforce of gals. The bevy milled along the sidepaths of ‘Acapulco Base’, an area where night activities furrowed into the depths of the legal tender. Music boomed now and then, enlivening the atmosphere the bevy needed to subdue the conscience of happy-go-lucky men.

Three weeks before Jojo’s encounter, her engraved Madonna-like body caught the attention of Mr. Adjei. This businessman owned almost all the casinos at the base. Belching over the absence of the wife on trek to Sunyani, he rolled his automobile unto the highway and experience applied the brakes in a near accident on feasting his eyes on an image in skirt.

“Any help?”, he sounded. The sonar waves met Esi with appreciation and for the umpteenth time, she said, “Away to Osu, if you don’t mind”. “Fine, why don’t you cool off a tiring day at the Plaza?”. “I can spare such time, notwithstanding the growing worries of my old in keeping late”.

“Don’t worry, as soon as you are mended, I will send you home”. That statement was the thing that broke the camel’s back, Esi all tucked in agreement.

The car rolled into a mansion as the watch alarmed ten. Mr. Adjei exhibited protocol that not even his partner had found such warmth in his bosom. He led her to an aircon room which would incite a lady into a world of ecstasy.

Deep into the night, romant.. platon.. ic bonds prevailed through the time when the moon brightly shone to sunrise. “The growing worries of my old in keeping late” had been usurped. She did her toilet in her immediate home before reaching her modest two-bedroom house in Cantonments.

The unexpected was to unveil through the blinding day amidst the dying sun into the cricketing of dawn. Eyra had clutched a new straw that fateful evening with her accomplices eagerly ogled in expectation of customers.

Premonitions that were nestled clawed at the hearts of all prostitutes. Eyra’s body drenched in blood was uncovered near an uncompleted building. Another killing was reported the next day. “Things are bad”, said the ringleader at the Maja restaurant at a scheming meeting after two more catastrophes fleeting gloomily in their brains were aired.

The nights that unraveled were devoid of booming music, occasional hooting of cabs and the vivacity of casino life. It was at its nadir, fear gripped the money-makers. The tumultuous evenings were now reduced to blood chilling quietness.

Esi and a few others pricked the spell that bedeviled their activities. Customers seldom came by and all was well with Esi. Others shyed away from the trade that thunder could strike them dead out of timidness and tensed, tepid throes.

Jojo was just one of such men who had a playground to soil himself. He was one man who could win the faintest lady. His charisma and character was however a mirage of the opposite’s ostentation. His links with the Nima oracle was well within the scope of a blatant lie or allegation. A great Adonis, he was.

That was the avenue Esi had explored the night before. The lights dimmed out and the two lovebirds were in a different world. Moments after, the transition of dark to bright disturbed the lustful eyes of the gal and she arose to sip wine Jojo had prepared. Osculation followed and everything had been masterminded and ready.

The wine weakened the weary Esi and she was hapless and helpless as he executed a life-ending job on the teenager. Now henpecked and deprived of parts suited for the fetish practices of the day, her body lay amidst frantic flies as other subordinates and onlookers lamented a harlot’s misfortune.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

African football team of the 90's and beyond: Africa XI

I am a big sports fan. I remember as far back as 1992, I started following football (soccer) very keenly. Yes, I know I started the other blog with that statement but hey, it's worth saying again. I presented my first eleven of players I have seen play. In this post, I will present my winning eleven first-team squad (with 5 reserves) of African players I've seen play. Positioning in football has changed, where we have players wearing jerseys 80, but we have the 11 positions on the field of play.

I think it's great we have African players challenging for world best these days. George Weah is still the only guy to do it (in 1995), but Abedi Pele, and Roger Milla were very good in their heyday as well. Samuel Eto'o was adjudged top 3 in 2005 too. Aight, first 11 is up.

#1 - Goalkeeper: Africa has always had some great goalies, but none have really gone to the pinnacle of club soccer (at least in Europe). Essam El-Hadary has been excellent though and he's been doing it for years. Honorable mention: Idriss Kameni, Tony Sylva, Richard Kingston. I was going to add Vincent Enyeama, but after he took 4 goals from the Black Stars at Brentford, he drops out. Wait, I still mentioned him abi? Great goalkeeper. :-)

#2 - Right-back: This one is a close one between Hatem Trabelsi, Geremi Njitap, and Celestine Babayaro. I will go with Geremi because he won more and he can take freekicks. Others - Frank Amankwah, etc

#3 - Left back: I am very tempted to take Taye Taiwo, I believe he's one of the best left-backs in the world right now though he's been in the spotlight much this year. I've always like Habib Beye since he emerged in the 2002 World Cup too. I'll go with Pierre Wome though. People remember him for missing the penalty that cost Cameroun a place in the 2006 World Cup but he's been one of Cameroun's mainstays this century and has played at the highest level.

#4 - Centre back: Samuei Osei Kuffour is the most celebrated African defender in recent times. He scored the goal to win Bayern Munich the World Club Cup in 2001. Others: Kolo Toure, Stephen Keshi, Mark Fish.

#5 - Centre back: The sweeper position has to be given to the no-nonsense Rigobert Song. He's been playing at a high level for a really long time and is one of the best captains/leaders out there. He'll be captaining this team too. He beats out Lucas Radebe, Taribo West, Noureddine Naybet, etc

#6 - Defensive midfielder: Michael Essien may be the most popular but I don't think he deserves this position over Sunday Oliseh. Or does he? He did win the best footballer in France a number of times. I'll take Essien because of his versatility though. Others: Papa Bouba Diop, Mahamadou Diarra, Marc Vivien-Foe, etc

#7 - Right-winger: Nigeria has produced a bunch of number 7's. I'll go with George Finidi. Moustafa Hadji was spectacular in 1998 and enjoyed a great career as well. Others: Tijani Babangida.

#8 - Attacking midfielder: Jay Jay Okocha is the man here. He is probably the best African player ever not to win the African footballer of the year award. He was a magician on the ball. I think we can have two magicians in the squad because we don't have that many creative midfielders in the wings. He beats out Mohammed Aboutrika, Doctor Khumalo,

#9 - Striker: This is definitely the toughest position to fill. Samuel Eto'o has been one of the most consistent strikers the world over the last few years. Tony Yeboah lit up the Bundesliga and the Premier league. Didier Drogba has been a mainstay in Chelsea's recent success. Roger Milla led Cameroun to Africa's best ever showing at the World Cup. They all lose out to George Weah though. George couldn't make much noise with Liberia but he did win the world's best player. For someone who plays for such a bad national team, this is quite an accomplishment. Coaches all over the world voted for him. Enough said. Others considered: Nwankwo Kanu, Benedict MacCarthy, Rashid Yekini, etc

#10 - Maestro (striker): This is for the creative midfielder, the dazzling trickster, the guy with the magic. We've seen a few magicians from Africa, but none have excelled like Abedi Pele. Before Samuel Eto'o did it, he won Africa's best player three times in a row (French award). With all the politics about adjudging Africa's best player, that's quite a statement. Other candidates: Rabah Madjer, Kalusha Bwalya, Hossam Hassan, etc

#11 - Left winger: Hate him if you want, but El Hadji-Diouf is one of the best African players I've seen and maybe the best winger. Others: Can't think of any.

Final list in a 4-4-2 formation - Hadary; Geremi, Kuffour, Song, Wome; Finidi, Essien, Okocha, Diouf; Weah, Abedi

Coach: Hassan Shehata has won his second straight African Nations Cup. In the era, where most African teams look to foreign coaches to lead them to glory, Egypt has stuck with Shehata and though he hasn't gotten them to the World Cup yet. Assistant coach will be Stephen Keshi.

Bench: Tony Sylva, Noureddine Naybet, Sunday Oliseh, Roger Milla, Rabah Madjer, Samuel Eto'o

Whew, this was really tough. Help me fill in with some of the other deserved names. Who do you think deserves a place in my starting eleven? What's yours? Watch out for the African winning eleven.

Also, who do you guys think is the best African player ever?
I am tempted to say George Weah but well all is said and done, it's going to be Samuel Eto'o.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 random things about me

This is for my Facebook notes really - nice excuse to blog anyway

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. (To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish


1. I used to cry a whole lot when I was young. I was a crybaby proper. I cried mostly because I was very remorseful and because I couldn't handle punishment well. From about 2001 to 2007, I never cried (or don't remember doing so). That one time in 2007 that I cried, I remember it vividly. I was watching Coach Carter and it was the time that the Timo Cruz character started reciting "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate" - very powerful scene. By the way, I did cry like three times in the space of a week last year. I cried on national tv when my school got eliminated in the semi-finals of Kiddie Quiz (National JSS/middle school quiz).

2. I feel a huge responsibility to be excellent, ambitious, prosperous, etc because I am the first-born child. I feel I should be sending monthly remittances home right now. It really got to me last year.

3. I think I can count the number of 'best friends' I've had in my life on more than two hands. Basically, I change best friends maybe once every two years. I am not very good with keeping friends.

4. In football, I support Ghana, Accra Hearts of Oak and Manchester United (David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Abedi Pele are my favorite players ever). I once had a ponytail like Abedi's when I was in like class 3,4. I have teams I love in almost every major footballing country and teams I don't like as well to this day.

5. I waver on which teams I support in the NBA almost every year. Right now, I am with the Celtics, Magic, Spurs and Blazers. Am a huge fan of basketball and soccer, they are the only things I watch on TV in the US regularly.

6. I almost did General Arts in Presec because I loved current affairs/geography, etc. I succumbed to peer pressure and did Science instead. I also went to Presec because I wanted to be independent from my parents. I however didn't go to a Cape Coast school because I didn't know my family there and wanted to be assured 'good food'. Yes, free food and its siblings entered my psyche a long time ago.

7. I don't like reading books with 'chao/plenty/bunch' pages. I've never been a fan of novels. I'll rather read a newspaper, magazine or journal. I collected both of Obama's books and still haven't finished reading them. Of course, I haven't read any of Nkrumah's books either. Sad eh?

8. I have some pretty wild fantasies and every day I keep on believing they shall actually happen. This one is probably not going to happen so I'll tell you all - I've always wanted to don the Manchester United shirt (read: play for Manchester United professionally). At first, I thought I will play for Hearts of Oak, be a spectacular player and MAN U would sign me. And then I came to the US, and thought one day, while playing pick-up soccer at MIT, a scout will get me into an MLS team, and then MAN U would discover me from there. (Loler at me)

9. I didn't care at all about Pan-Africanism (or being interested much in stuff about other African countries) until I went to MIT. Seriously, I don't remember otherwise.

10. I love traveling and visiting friends and family, making new friends and family, reuniting with old friends, finally meeting Facebook friends, etc. Last Thanksgiving, I was in four different states in a week.

11. When I left for senior secondary school, I thought computer/video games were for JSS kids and never got interested in them again up till this day. I am surprised my age-mates play them but hey, I don't fault them for loving it. I'll rather play scrabble, taboo or sudoku. I do get addicted to games like hearts, Solitaire and free cell though.

12. When I was young, my heroes were He-man, Michael Jackson and Carl Lewis.

13. I used to be a really good artist. I chose to do catering instead of art in JSS because I thought the art class students would be drawing for the school. I eventually switched back to art class but the interest in art waned and now, I can't say I am a good artist. Talent lost.

14. I had my first real kiss when I was 20. Dayum!!!

15. My father taught me how to cook when I was living with him for a year before I went to MIT. I mention it almost every time I get a chance because I absolutely love him for this.

16. I think/fantasize/strategize about random stuff for about 15-30 minutes-to whenever I fall asleep every night before I go to bed. My brain hardly takes a thinking break.

17. I absolutely love music. I listen to it at every opportunity, and even when I am studying, I probably have some music playing in the background.

18. I once kept a book of general knowledge (from about primary 6 till JSS 3) where I filled it with random information/general affairs. My friends thought I was going crazy, all I'll do is number each piece of information; I think I got to about 10,000. I knew the capitals of almost every country in the world. I implored my friends to do the same and ended up organizing 'general knowledge quizzes' amongst them all of JSS.

19. One of my biggest regrets is the number of African countries I have been to so far. Take a guess. It's just Ghana.

20. I love food! I eat everything, there's nothing I don't eat. I've even eaten bat meat before. Yummy.

21. I've never been president of anything in my life. Well, if you don't count Managing Chair of the GhanaThink Foundation and class prefect positions.

22. I didn't lose in any competition in which I represented Presec. But I never won anything in MIT either. I used to detest falling short in intramural soccer tournaments playing for the African team. Hehe, yawa. Oh wait, I did score a goal like Beckham's once. This kind of goal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiyG0num_0Q Mine was a free-kick though :-)

23. I actually wish I had grown up in a village in Ghana somewhere and made it all the way to where I am now (wherever that is) or made it period. I think my life story is not remarkable enough. (No offence to my family, etc) 23b. I actually wish I was 21 right now because I am not happy with how much I've done with my 25 years.

24. I refused to do anything related to Biology (medicine, biochem, etc) after Presec because my biology teacher made me hate it. She made me (and my mates) feel Biology was so hard that we had to learn harder to get a good score. In fact, I learnt so much for my Biology SSCE that I surprised myself with an A while I had a B in Elective Maths. Now that was a shock.

25. I had forgotten this, but over the Christmas break, my father reminded me. I once called myself 'Destiny's child'. I still believe God granted me favour when MIT and Stanford accepted me into their programs. Kai, am pumped. :-D

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