Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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

It's always interesting when I get questions like - Are you Chale of museke.com, 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 school magazine and maintaining the school's Filla Board. The Filla Board was a notice board at a heavy-human traffic location which featured articles talking about school life, announcements, amongst other things. Each writer chose a pseudonym. Mine was Aristocrates. I had a friend called Aristotle, and came up with Aristocrates as a result. If I wrote an article lambasting somebody, especially someone in a high position, I had the comfort of no one really knowing it was me. It was fun. It was also exciting to listen on conversations of friends praising a certain article I wrote, but they wouldn't know it was me. Eventually, some people figured out who Aristocrates was but the mystery was kinda cool. If you don't believe me, ask some Presecans.

When I came to the US in 2001 and eventually became a major poster on the Odadee (old Presec students) forum, I chose a username - Clue. I could have used my yahoo email username which would easily give me away, but why do that? I followed the Presec-thing. Clue was a nickname I got from junior secondary school (middle school) because I'd organize all these general knowledge quizzes amongst friends and give them clues in case they couldn't answer questions. Most Presecans/Odadees didn't know I was called Clue, because I was never called that as Presec so many people on the Odadee forum didn't know 'Clue' was me. I loved that. The Odadee forum is extinct now but you can find Clue as the pseudonym for my abocco gmail blogger account here.

So what's this Abocco word anyway? Well, I first heard it in middle school (KNUST JSS). It was supposed to mean 'something good or great or super'. For the Ghanaians, it's a synonym to 'JƐ'. I liked the name and used it as 'mine'. So, when I joined the GhanaThink forums in 2003, I used Abocco as my username. It's what I still use today, on the GhanaConscious forums. I'm also @Abocco on Twitter. A lot of people ave their real names in addition to their Twitter name, but not me. Every now and then, I google Abocco to see where it's landing and going and I'm pleasantly surprised with results. Abocco's blog is my blog on GhanaConscious.

Ever come across Maximus Ojah? That will be me too. I am a big fan of the movie, Gladiator and Ojah, well, it means 'fire' in Twi (correct spelling is Ogya). I made up this name when I started to write articles on Ghanaweb and places other than GhanaThink.org. I used this moniker to write the 'Letters to Osagyefo'. Some of you may know that Osagyefo refers to Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president and one of my idols. One letter I wrote to Osagyefo about hiplife called the "Hiplife Story" became really famous. Hiplife's page on Facebook has the story at its Hiplife info section. A comment on GhanaMusic.com said "it was the best hiplife article I've ever read'. Who wrote that? Maximus Ojah. Who the heck is Maximus Ojah? Where can we find him? You can't. I actually had a username Abocco on GhanaMusic too, but the site owners never really put 2 & 2 together to realise Abocco and Maximus Ojah were the same person. I had written a lot of Osagyefo letters and one April day in 2007, I decided to revive the letters after a long hiatus, only this time, I'd publish them on GhanaConscious. This is where I came up with 'Nwia', which is Kwame Nkrumah's middle name. I still signed off with Maximus Ojah and when I sent the articles to be published by other websites, I sent it as the MIghTy African from my MIghTy African gmail address.

Oh, MIghTy African is the guy who writes this blog right? Right. As you can see, MIghTy features MIT and yup, I call myself the MIghTy African. How selfish of me! I am not the only African who's attended MIT and even if I helped coin the name MIghTy Africans for Africans@MIT, what right do I have to name myself the MIghTy African? Twiaaa! Well, guess what. Someone actually called me that and that's why I took the name. I shouldn't make any apologies, if you think I should, chastise me. Yeah, so when I sent articles I'd written on this blog or somewhere else to different websites for publication, I sent it as the MIghTy African. Some of you may have seen the MIghTy African Music Video program clips on Youtube, where I was interviewed by my friend, Melanie Reynard. When she posted the video, she said my real name, where I went to school and the website museke.com. Big crime! She gave my identity away. Now, I am not only trying to battle with my name being out there, but people could see what I actually look like. And find out I am (one of the) guy(s) behind museke.com.

This brings us to Museke.com. Having people not know I am the one being behind this website which is being called the "African music bible" is my best magic trick yet. A while ago, a friend said she felt I only just loved to promote the site. Of course! Isn't it spectacular? Y'all should be doing the same. :-) My name on Museke is Chale, which is pretty easy to figure out if you know me and you know I am part of the Museke crew. How did I come up with Chale? I said Chale a zillion times at my time at MIT, that people ended up calling me by the name. Chale became a filler word for me. Where are you going, chale? What you did wasn't cool, chale. Exasperation was replaced with "chale, chale, chale". If you've hanged around Ghanaians a lot, you'll know what Chale/Chalay/Charlie/Chaley/Charley means. It's basically a name to address a friend with. Comes from the coolest language on earth - Pidgin. I know the Mexicans are stealing my shine because they have some chale word like that, but next time you see something wrote by Chale or a Chale reference on or to Museke.com, remember that yours truly is behind it. Once, someone mentioned my real name on the site, and it got to me so much.

Talking about my real name, I am not really happy to see people address me as such on this blog. My blogger profile doesn't have my name and I haven't (really) mentioned my name yet, have I? Well, people, I am Ato Ulzen-Appiah. There, whew, that was difficult. I may not have mentioned my name but I do I feed my blog entries into my Facebook notes and everyone who reads those knows I am the one writing them. But if someone happened to end up on my blog and read my entries, would they know it is 'me' writing these? Maybe. Maybe not. Truthfully, I don't really want people to know this is me, I don't want to be popular like that. I'll take more pride in people loving some Maximus Ojah guy's articles than associating those pieces with 'me' and having my name all over the place. Obviously, it is kind of contradictory with the kind of things I've been up to over the years and the number of Facebook friends I have. I am not telling you the number, go find out. That's fodder for another blog entry too.

Every now and then, I google myself to see where I am appearing. I also google my 'names'. I can't control people getting know to I am this or that any longer. I am beginning to accept I cannot hide for too long. I will continue to use these pseudonyms and leave the figuring out to everyone. I think it may be good for me to use my real name because it helps build my profile and may open up some opportunities. That said, the thrill of people looking for Museke's Chale and then realising it's me is pretty cool. I am all for cool, I don't like to do things the traditional way. It makes my day for someone to say - "Oh, so you are Abocco? I kind of thought it was you. I liked that article you wrote. Good stuff". Lekker. Abocco. JƐ. Ebe so! Super. Now that's what's up :-D

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

Culled from Chale's blog on Museke.com

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". Like most radio presenters, Guru calls the subject of the news item, Obrafour, to seek his opinion on matters. They discuss how the hiplife game has changed and Obrafour offers advice amongst other things. The song gets controversial when Guru mentions a Kumasi-based rapper called OK raping a young girl. He also mentions how those behind the "Killing the game" song could try to resurrect hiplife with a song like Atopa Jenjen. He also queries how someone who has less than 5 solo albums can call himself the best rapper alive. "Obi agye abɔso 'Best Rapper Alive', nanso yɛhwehwɛɛ mu, ne albums mpo nduruu five". These lines have been seen as direct attacks on Okyeame Kwame (who calls himself best rapper alive) and Obour (singer of Atopa Jenjen), who both released the "Killing the game" song with Richie, Ghana's most prolific beatmaker at the moment.

The song is very creative with the radio call-in conversation, the beat is excellent, the hook and choruses are on point and Obrafour's lyrics are timeless as usual. In response to the controversy, Obrafour has said OK doesn't necessarily refer to Okyeame Kwame like people believe. He has an issue with the Rap Doctor's assertion that he is the best rapper alive. DJ Black, one of Ghana's best deejays tried to get Obrafour and Okyeame Kwame in the same studio to do battle and settle their differences. Only the latter showed up, and Obrafour has called on him to do a reply song. We've not heard much from Obour but Reggie Rockstone has also said Okyeame Kwame should do a reply song. Okyeame sees no reason in doing so, not wanting to stoop that level. It seems most Ghanaian music fans side with Obrafour though, he commands a lot of respect amongst hiplife fans.

This is not the first time Obrafour has seemed to stoke fires with other artists. He has well-chronicled 'battles' with Lord Kenya. Lord Kenya had lines in 'Aka esi ani', Obrafour had lines in 'Oye Ohene remix'. Obrafour even called out the legendary Reggie Rockstone in 'Bra be hwe' saying "Yɛanwo obiara a, microphone da n'ano; Insha Allahu, w'anka no yie a, mɛte wo to". Can't think of any response from Rockstone though. Kontihene got involved with Kwaw Kese concerning Migizigi and when Obrafour returned from a short hiatus with 'Ako', he went at Kontihene. You may criticize him for stirring up beef, but the way he does it is genius. Personally, I think, it's good for hiplife, so far as it doesn't generate any violence or useless banter. These musicians are still friends, they just battle with their words in music. You won't see them on radio insulting each other, that's not what we want.

People may feel Obrafour's taking advantage of the popularity and goodwill that Okyeame Kwame has now and I'll agree with that. He also made passes at him in his single, Asem beba dabi, talking about "wodi mmaa yi mu sɛ woyɛ Opabeni". Obrafour featured Okyeame Kwame as one of the established hiplife artists in his Execution Diary compilation in 2004, so why is he going at him so much now? Inquiring minds want to know. I've met and interviewed Okyeame Kwame and he is really a great guy. In fact, he and Obrafour are my two favorite Ghanaian rappers now. I really hope they come together to make a track soon.

Back to Kasiebo and The Game controversy, do you guys know Shatta Rako, a Kumasi-based musician has recored a song called "Da shame of the game" which is an answer to "the Game". Shatta Rako worked on Okyeame Kwame's award-winning "M'awensem" album so for him to criticize him is very interesting. He actually makes reference to a paedophile, referring to a rapper with no style and telling One Mic to "cry your own cry". Read the lyrics here. I am yet to hear from Shatta or Okyeame Kwame (both good friends of mine) about these issues. I think Okyeame, Obour and Richie's song was great and needed when it was released. A remix has been released and you can listen to it here. Will report back later.

I believe Obrafour's newest album would be legendary. His single, "In hiplife (In this life)", featuring Sarkodie, is a marvelous track. Here, he gives Sarkodie (who's seen as the most promising hiplife artiste today), advice on a long-lasting career and seems to pass the hiplife mantle onto him. It's nicely done. He also has a track called "My praises", which is a gospel one and he promises to release a video for it. He talked about how radio never really pushed his gospel-related tracks. If you've followed his Facebook page, Obrafour has a new-found religious attitude and vigour and plans to praise God for all He's done for him, especially in the last few year when Ghanaians didn't hear much about Obrafour. He has other tracks with Samini (How will I know) and some other upcoming musicians. And yes, he's working with Hammer of the Last 2 as well, though none of the three released singles feature him, but JMJ and Kaywah.

It's great to have Obrafour back. Hiplife is alive!

Friday, November 13, 2009

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 will go a long way. It felt quite good to congratulate him in person, just a week after I had heard of his award from an Ashesi mailing list. The prize was in the conscience of most of the 30 or so students who gathered earlier tonight to have an evening with Patrick and Patrick started the night off with a short film prepared about Ashesi University which won him the prize. The film told a few stories Patrick had mentioned when I met him earlier this year and this is a time to share.

Araba Amuasi was one of the brightest students (computer science) graduating from Ashesi in 2007. Judging by the kinds of job offers her colleagues got, she could have landed a very lucrative job and a great career. Her community service project through Ashesi University was heavy on her heart and she knew she could positively impact many lives in a different way. She chose to go into management; become Operations Officer at an orphanage. She plans to use her computer science skills to completely overhaul the orphanage curriculum and to one day lead a transformation of primary education in Ghana. Ghana doesn't have a culture of community service, but here, you have a lady in her mid-twenties, spurning conventional Ghanaian wisdom to face some of Ghana's problems head on. No wonder Patrick speaks so highly of her. Patrick didn't mention his alumni who work at the McKinsey's, DataBanks and other reputable firms, he mentioned the societal change makers. You can tell this man is very different in a very good way. He cares deeply about our society and celebrates those who do the same.

Patrick's goal with Ashesi is to build ethical leaders, people who will change the status quo in Ghana and Africa. He identifies leadership failures as the biggest problem Ghana faces and that is what he's tackling. He's doing it in the most challenging way possible, in education. BarCamps, workshops and conferences may do the same thing, but educating a generation is much more powerful. Like Patrick mentions, at Ashesi, community service is not an extra-curricular activity. It is part of the curriculum. Think about that for a second. He understands what we need to do as a people and all those things are littered over an education that we will begin to cherish and revere in the years to come. To him, Ghanaian universities should be competing on whose students are the most ethical. Call us crazy, but isn't that one way to solve corruption? We have to start from somewhere. Patrick and Ashesi have started it.

It gave me extra thrills to see a couple of people I had met in the Ashesi McNulty Prize video. I have mad love for Ashesi and all the people associated with it. All these people are awesome and Ashesi students are top-notch, and have most of the traits you'll want in a young African that will make our continent a better place. Patrick told a story about his interactions with a beggar when he was young that made a difference in his life. The takeaway was to talk more with people. If I have been doing a lot of talking, "social animalism", networking, etc, I am about to take it to a whole new level, especially with people who may be of a lower class. We have to care deeply about our society. I don't know if our political leaders get it, but I know Patrick does. Recently, Ghana's ministers decided to use the public transport to experience it. I heard this from a fellow blogger. To me, this was a big deal. Did the media pick it up? Maybe. We have to care more about our environs. Like Patrick argued, aid may not be that bad, but it has to be aid with compassion. Our leaders don't get it, but Araba Amuasi does. Thank Ashesi.

Patrick also talked about his worries about the future. Other institutions in Ghana have been started with strong driving visions, great support and enthusiasm. Their founders may not like the state in which their 'babies' are today. Patrick worries about his handiwork, will it really pay off in the end? Will we have a better future and Ghana and Africa? Would his honor code experiment yield spectacular results? I choose to be optimistic and like Patrick, I have faith too. We can make a difference. It only takes a few committed citizens to make a change. And they don't have to be politicians. They can be computer scientists who choose to ensure a better education for kids who wouldn't have gotten it. They can be sportsmen who dedicate their free time to teach their neighbours about keeping in shape. They can be bankers who spearhead market clean-up campaigns because they believe the market women must work in better conditions. That's the vision.

Here are a few must-watch videos.
http://www.mcnultyprize.org/awuah.html
http://www.mcnultyprize.org/winner2009video.html

PS: Just remembered a soundbite by Patrick that I want to share
Ashesi can be the most expensive university in Ghana and the least expensive university in Ghana. This was in reference to Ashesi's higher costs of attendance and the financial aid options they had for students

Thursday, November 12, 2009

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 Queen, etc films. I've always argued they've been outdone by movies from the stable of Sparrow Productions, the latter whose movies I've spent time to review and publicize on this blog. Personally, Sparrow's movies are better quality, better made and deserved my money. Heroes Productions, I believe "Heart of Men" is their first movie, probably will join my good books if they build on this.

People will criticize me for watching "Heart of men" for the soft-porn scenes. Well, you'll be disappointed, because I had to wait 32 minutes (and countless movie drama) to see anything of that sort. In fact, the trailer just picked scenes that would get Ghanaians (and Africans) boiling, because it doesn't communicate what happens in the movie at all. I think Heroes' did a spectacular job concealing the movie's story. It's an amateur and shameless way to do it, but it worked. That doesn't mean I am applauding the way they did it, they can definitely do better.

I don't rate these Accra movies highly. Especially when you have the usual crew of Majid Michel, Nadia Buari, Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson, John Dumelo, etc, in the same movie, I don't expect much for those films. I'm sorry, but I am talking about their body of work. The whole Beyonce movie euphoria is so yesterday. I must admit that Majid Michel is one of the best actors we have in Ghana now and I am very happy he had a role in Shrley Frimpong-Manso's latest movie, "A Sting in a Tale".

One big plus I give to this movie is the different locations used. They shot scenes in Northern Ghana and Kumasi. If you've followed Ghanaian movies recently, you know if a movie got shot in Kumasi, it's a Twi movie with various Agya Koo related antics. Way to unite Ghana in this movie. Just when you thought they had reconciled the Accra-Kumasi crews, you have this: "Accra is fun you know, each time I come from Kumasi, I just never want to go to Kumasi". Sigh. John Dumelo even spoke some Twi lines, isn't that just super? It was interesting that the language of choice in the Northern Ghana scenes was Twi, I would have wished it was Dagbani or Hausa for a change. Can't blame them though, Twi is spoken all over the country, and arguably it's more widely spoken than English. Talking about English, is it okay for people to be speaking grammatically incorrect English in a Ghanaian English movie? Were they just telling us that it happens or they couldn't bother to edit it?

The sex and romantic scenes were a little bit tacky. Was Jackie Appiah crying or moaning in her scene? Looked like she was trying too hard to carry across an obvious point. Compare that to the famous scene in "the Perfect Picture". I thought we were not supposed to be touching black women's hair. Are we not in the "Good hair" discussion days?

Let's talk about a few things I loved. I loved the work they did with the soundtrack. They had me singing along when Samini's African lady was played in the club scene. "I like the way the girl a praka praka; From West Africa, she blacka blacka; Check the way the girl a rocka; Pull up the truck, she dance like shaka shaka;. The Heart of Men soundtrack by Dela was nice too and they went through the effort to make a music video as well. I thought it was interesting when the ladies were singing "Scrubs". That wasn't a truer statement uttered in the whole movie :-)

I thought some of the quotes were marvelous! Man: "You want to tell me no one has been going in there from time to time?" Young lady: "Going where uncle. Man: "Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about. Come here Lmao. "My mum of blessed memory has taught me to wake up for 3am prayers; I've not been able to grow out of it; Do you pray?". Classic. "Is it a phone call or your pants down?". Pants down? not so fast, you'll want to watch this movie.

Concerning the movie's production itself, the video and sound quality was still reminiscent of movies in this stable. Jackie Appiah played two separate character, who happened to be in the same room. Showing off huh? Nice. A few times I couldn't hear the dialogue, I think they were churning the lines a bit too fast and they weren't that audible. There were some really nice twists in the movie, the suspense was there and they passed the major test for new Ghanaian movies, it must be unpredictable. A few times, I was confused about which places the scenes were set - Accra versus Kumasi, etc. The scene at the end of Part 1 was excellent. Just when we thought we had found a great Ghanaian detective, he shows his worst side at the climax. Yes, the movie is in two parts, this is nothing new. Movie automatically falls behind Sparrow's work with a prequel and sequel concurrent release.

We see the worst things that men can do, but I wonder if 'men' hears refers to human beings in general. Because, kai, like the movie showed, some women can get up to some pretty bad things. A few other things caught my attention. Does Ghana have that many policemen who smoke? Ghanaian movies do a great job hiding traffic problems in Accra. The movie covered a whole lot of issues in this movie, which would probably require another blog entry. That's what makes the movie great. Trashy trailer aside, the movie breeds a lot of talking points, features great acting performances, a variety of locations and sounds, and a great story. Kudos Heroes Productions and Frank Rajah Arase. I expect better from y'all from now on.

Friday, November 6, 2009

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 'you can be president' talk till I entered college and found myself acting/pretending to be/representing Ghana and Africa all day everyday. The other day, a classmate told me I was really patriotic because I was always wearing some African shirt or some African-themed shirt. The secret is, most of what I wear was given to me by my mother or relatives as presents or I got them for free. So I wear them because I can't afford to buy new shirts really love to wear them and represent Africa all day everyday. Obviously, if you care so much about something, you'll be the most likely to give your all for it. That may be true, but being a leader is an entirely different ballgame. Discuss.

"But you koraa, no one has called on you to be a leader or president or whatever the F!" Yes and no. If you were in my ear, you'll know I ain't lying, but standing on the truth. People joke around all the time, and we can't always take them seriously. For the 244 strong group, maybe some people joined the group because like myself when dealing with Facebook friend requests, am/we are too nice. Heck, I marvel at Yaa Pono's freestyles and though, I am not his Facebook friend, he has joined "the group". He's not the only one in the group who doesn't "know" me. I could argue many of my friends don't even know me that well but that's a story for another day. I frankly don't know what I've even done to win votes already.

It's only last year that Obour went around Ghana talking about the need to allow Ghanaian youth to run for President. There is some buzz about having African youth taking charge now. I know African youth are eager to create and effect change, but we have to wait our turn. At least politically. But maybe not, maybe with some united front, we could have a voice to push whatever agenda we believe is awesome for Africa. It is possible to be patriotic without being political right? It's been argued that all the NGO, goodwill, volunteer stuff that we are doing is politics anyway, even if if it's not in the name of some political party. Ghana eats, drinks and breathes politics, but inherently, a lot of Ghanaians also hate politics. How do we reconcile that?

There is even talk of a "youth political party". I was very surprised when my uncle called me Obama, Obama last Christmas. But why should I be? I am the member of the family who lives in America and is holidaying in Ghana (a country still high on Obama fever). Nothing doing. Around this same period, I addressed these presidency/political issues with my advisor, my father. His message was simple. Make your money/success/name before you take on such a venture. We've seen some Africans make their money/success/name by entering politics and becoming millionaires but y'all understand my father's point. It's true. My father is never wrong. He went on to use Paa Kwesi Nduom as an example, how we made his money and success and was now seeking office at the time. Like we realized in Ghana's December elections, "Yeresesamu Nduom" didn't quite have the popularity and Ghana wasn't ready for him either.

I didn't start the Facebook group and I can't end it. I didn't start the presidential talk and I can't end it either. I've heard all your requests to be made ambassador of this, minister of that, awardee of contracts, etc but time will surely tell. "Beh you, why you dey take this seriously?" If I take this seriously, it's because we need to be serious about Ghana/Africa. If I rep Africa as hard as I do, I do it because most Africans don't bother. I felt some folks didn't care about being proud from where they were from so I made it my job to show them that they could care and be about being proud. I wear my culture, origins and home on my sleeve. It was never meant to make a political statement but in the eyes of many friends and loved ones, it seemed to make one - the boy wants to be president or will make a fine one. If we all followed this lead, that assumption could be thrown out of the window. This is the price to pay for being different. And I'll keep on being different. The talk won't go away but like I said before, time will tell.

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