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Showing posts from March, 2010

RED CARD CAMPAIGN WORLD CUP 2010: Disqualifying Human Trafficking in Africa

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Human trafficking is a big problem in Africa that doesn't get the publicity it deserves. Yvonne Yonas and Free Generation International are embarking on a Red Card Campaign to shed light on this issue.

The symbol of the campaign, a “red card” represents cards shown to soccer players who severely violate the rules of the game, and are disqualified. By using this symbol, we are sending a simple message:“human trafficking has no place at SA 2010.

Free Generation International is an abolitionist organization committed to addressing capacity gaps in the field of human trafficking and its linkages with gender-based violence. We seek to eradicate trafficking through the development of innovative and diverse prevention, protection, prosecution and victim aftercare strategies that are culturally-tailored, relevant and responsive. Recognizing that trafficking manifests in different contexts all over the world, FGI works to understand and respond to the unique and particularized trafficking …

Living an African success story - Eyram Akofa Tawia

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When the VentureBeat reporter started getting the hang of iWarrior while playing it and pouring all his efforts into the game, I knew this was a great moment. A Wuzu moment. Eyram Akofa Tawia's game was on the iPhone and a Stanford-educated tech journalist was getting addicted to a computer game Eyram had made. I looked on smiling and thinking, this is the beginning of great things to come. And this was just March 24th. Eyram Akofa Tawia had come very far from the day he fell in love with playing computer games, he now owned his own computer game company, LetiGames, which was going to be the Star of Africa. He was being interviewed by VentureBeat, a blog whose mission is to provide news about innovation for forward-thinking executives. Earlier that week, Eyram had been interviewed by the San Jose Mercury for a feature. He had been spending the better part of March attending the Game Developers' Conference and having business meetings at Google amongst other places in the Silic…

Shakira samples Camerounian music, Zangelewa, for her World Cup song

We are only about 73 days to the World Cup in South Africa. Like many other soccer fans, I can't wait. A friend of mine claims to be listening to K'Naan's Waving Flag (the official Mundial song) everyday. Recently, I heard some news about Shakira composing a song for the upcoming World Cup. Of course, many international (non-African) artistes are recording songs for the World Cup, to support their teams, amongst others. Shakira's Colombia won't be at the Mzansi Mundial but I could make an educated guess that she'll be supporting Cameroun. Why? Because, her World Cup song has Camerounian roots. Now, isn't that cool?

Shakira, The Black Eyed Peas, and Alicia Keys will all be performing at a Soweto concert on the eve of the World Cup in South Africa. Shakira's 'Saminamina' samples Zangelewa, an army/marching song popular from the 80's in Cameroon. The song's lyrics are in the Fang language.

Listen to Shakira's Saminamina here
http://www.yo…

Tasting the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Ghana

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Late last year as we were planning BarCamp Ghana 2009, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) agreed to host our event for free. I was so excited! I was already a big fan of MEST but this made me love them even more. I knew about MEST when it started operating in Ghana through a good friend, Eyram Akofa Tawia. He had been taken as a Teaching Fellow in 2008. MEST is a training program owned by the Meltwater group founded in Norway in 2001 (a firm that provides Software as a Service solutions to over 15,000 clients worldwide. MEST was their social corporate part which they run as a non-profit. I have learnt about MEST throughout the last few months and wanted to show some appreciation for their helping the BarCamp on my blog.

I once asked one of the main MEST gurus why they chose Ghana as the location for their training program. They said they looked at the globe and Ghana looked like it was in the middle of the world. Simply put. Basically MEST is a two-year training…

King Ampaw's No Time To Die: a review

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Have I become a movie critic? Maybe. I am just spreading the good news about some great Ghanaian movies you should see. One of those is King Ampaw's "No Time To Die" (NTTD). It has a star-studded cast and it is an African romantic comedy. I had been seeking to watch this movie since 2007 and finally early this year, I got the chance to watch it. I loved it and those I watched it with loved it too. I talk about that experience in this previous post. Also known as L'ultime hommage (Ghanaian-German production), NTTD is a great Ghanaian movie. It was partly founded by Germans but the whole movie is set in Ghana with a star-studded Ghanaian movie cast. Let's delve a little bit more into NTTD.

"No Time To Die" is a two-hour full length feature film which portrays love and comedy, directed by Ampaw, a renowned Ghanaian film maker. It was produced by Wolfgang Panzer, a German. It is supported financially by the European Union, the French government and Afro Movi…

Watching and fanning the flames of African movies

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Sometime in 2007, I heard about a Ghanaian movie called 'No Time to die' (NTTD). It had been directed by one King Ampaw (the same man behind Road to Kukurantumi) and starred David Dontoh. Now, the Agoro w'aso twann man is one of Ghana's foremost actors and hadn't been in a movie in awhile. For him to be cast in a leading role had to be a big deal. Big deal it was, because 'No Time to Die' won international awards. The movie went under the radar, was not unable on Youtube or the many websites to watch Ghanaian movies for free. I sought an opportunity to see it. Sometime at the end of January, I saw the movie. It was a surprise. The movie was awesome. So awesome that my other African friends ended up talking about it like I had never heard them talk about another Ghanaian movie. Kudos, King Ampaw!

Sometime last summer, I was appalled at the number of African movies available to be borrowed from the Stanford Libraries' movie collection. I decided to right t…

K'Naan's Waving Flag "Coca Cola Celebration mix" - official World Cup 2010 anthem + lyrics

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The Dusty Foot Philosopher and Troubadour man, @iamknaan, is the singer behind the official anthem for the Mzansi Mundial in June this year. Waving Flag, probably K'Naan's most popular song to date, is undoubtedly an African song and calls on us to "release our African rhythm all over the world".

The Somalian rapper, K'Naan Warsame, is based in Toronto, Canada and Los Angeles, USA. The video is directed by Nabil Elderkin and produced by Sol Guy. There is a cameo by Damian Marley. The original lyrics for Waving Flag can be found here. Here are the lyrics for the remix.

Ooooooh Wooooooh, Ooooooh Wooooooh

Give me freedom, give me fire, give me reason, take me higher
See the champions, take the field now, you define us, make us feel proud
In the streets our heads are lifting, as we lose our inhibition,
Celebration, its around us, every nations, all around us

Singing forever young, singing songs underneath that sun
Lets rejoice in the beautiful game,
And together at the end …

Kojo Antwi features Yvonne Nelson in his Adiepena video (Museke)

Mr. Music man, Kwadwo Antwi, has always had great music videos. In the first music video from his latest Mwaah album, Adiepena, he features renowned Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, in it.

Kojo Antwi features Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson in his newest video, Adiepena. This is not the first time Ghanaian actresses have played major roles in Ghanaian music videos. The late Suzzy Williams featured in VIP's continental hit, Ahomka womu as well as Reggie Rockstone's Channel O award-winning video for Fame bone kye me (Ah) featuring K. K. Fosu. I'll like to see more of these where Ghanaian music and movies combine. We've seen the musicians contributing greatly to soundtracks and it would be great to see the actors and actresses play important roles in the music videos. It will go hand in hand to make both industries more popular in Africa and beyond.

In the video, Yvonne plays Kojo's love interest. The storyline follows most of the song's lyrics, which you can find

Sparrow Productions' back with CheckMate; trailer inside

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Sparrow Productions is back with another movie called 'Checkmate'. And this time, they feature Nadia Buari for the first time. The movie's tag line is "play smart or lose everything". The movie seems to be centered around a 'chess game' which is nice. "Life is like a big game of chess, it really depends on the move you make". In the trailer, we hear KSM say "One more catch like this and your promotion is sealed!" How about that for encouraging the Ghanaian police force?

The movie stars Nadia Buari, Ekow Blankson, Naa Ashorkor Mensah Doku, KSM and introducing Khareema Aguiar, Kwaku Boateng and Senanu Gbedawo. I'm excited to see KSM in this movie as well. Which reminds me, is 'Double' out on DVD yet? In ASIAT, we saw Shirley Frimpong-Manso in a cameo which came as a surprise. Are we going to be surprised again with another famous Ghanaian actor? Actually, that surprise is Veeda. Yes, I saw her in one of the Checkmate photos. …

TEDxYouthInspire 2010 Press Release

Am excited about this event though I won't be in Ghana to attend. Will try and follow it on Twitter and through live streaming. You should also follow it on April 10. Ever heard of TED conferences? Now think of African youth. Bulls eye! :-)

Here's a press release from the organising team of TEDxYouthInspire 2010. Take time to read and enjoy, as you brace yourselves for this exciting African youth-focused conference

YOUNG SPEAKERS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT FIRST TEDx CONFERENCE EXCLUSIVELY FOR AFRICAN YOUTH

Inaugural TEDxYouthInspire will bring together those with "A Good Head & a Good Heart"

Accra, Ghana, March 15, 2010 – On Saturday, April 10, 2010, from 8:00AM – 6PM GMT, the inaugural TEDxYouthInspire conference will be held at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of
Excellence in ICT in Accra, Ghana. The free one-day event, a first for young African visionaries ages 14-25, will welcome a host of youth speakers, a Ghanaian dance ensemble and an Academy Award-nominated short…

My predictions for the Ghana Music Awards 2010 (Museke)

The nominees for the #GhanaMusicAwards 2010 are out and Sarkodie, Ayigbe Edem, Wutah, 4x4, Bradez, Becca, Ohemaa Mercy and Obrafour lead the number of nominations for the awards ceremony slated for April 10. Music fans have asked many questions about them and asked why artistes like Samini, Ofori Amponsah and Kwabena Kwabena missed out. CharterHouse, the organizers, released a press statement responding to various criticisms as well. In this post, I'll offer thoughts on who should win or who would win when the winners are announced next month.

You can click the songs and artistes below to learn more about them.

Artist of the year
This is a very closely contested one. I am not sure of the best way to judge this category. Sarkodie will win because he has the biggest following these days this but I think the winner should be 4x4. They had two surefire hits and featured on other big songs as well. I'll like to see Bradez win it too. I was surprised Samini wasn't nominated. Surel…

A selection of Africa Movie Academy Award nominee trailers

We've been having some discussions about some of the tasteless trailers for some Ghanaian movies recently. It's sad that that's the way some movie producers are choosing to sell their movies. It's almost like we have to get it wrong before we can get it right or the industry is just not that mature. Watching trailers for some of the other African movies nominated for the Africa Movie Academy Awards, you can see the best ways to sell movies can be the trailers and they can be done in tasteful ways. See what award winning movie trailers look like. Watch some of these below.

See info about Perfect Picture, I Sing Of a Well (ISOAW), A Sting In a Tale" (ASIAT), Heart of Men (HOM), Sin of the Soul (SOTS), reviewed on this blog.

Figurine aka Araromire (Nigeria) directed by Kunle Afolayan
From IMDB - "The synopsis of Figurine (Araromire) shows that it is a story of two buddies and a girl...all down on their luck have their lives changed when one of them discovers 'A…

My 23 man Black Stars squad for the South Africa 2010 World Cup

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I'm on a roll, I've already published three blog posts today. Let's talk about sports for a bit. Last week, with little publicity, the Black Stars of Ghana faced Bosnia-Herzegovina in a friendly in Sarajevo. The Black Stars lost 2-1. As usual, while some fingers were pointed, some fingers were crossed, some toes were crossed and some toes were giddy. It's about 3 months to the start of this year's World Cup in South Africa and I can't wait. I am fully confident that the Black Stars team will get their act together before the World Cup and make Ghanaians and Africans proud. A few things need to be done and I want to offer a few thoughts and suggestions.

Goalkeeping
Richard Olele Kingston may be warming the bench at Wigan Athletic in cold England but he's still the undisputed number one Ghanaian goalie. In fact, he's right up there with all African goalkeepers. He's lost some of his agility but a goalkeeper must command respect and he does this best am…

Ghanaian movies earn many 2010 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) nominations

Two of my favorite movies ever, Shirley Frimpong-Manso's Perfect Picture and Leila Djansi's I Sing Of a Well (ISOAW) have been nominated for multiple categories at the 2010 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). The nominations party was held in Accra, Ghana on March 6th. I have been a huge fan of (great) African movies recently and can't wait to see some of these movies. It's great to see the African movie industry blossoming, with actors and actresses acting in different countries, African cinema spreading to different nations, burgeoning sales in African film and respectable awards ceremonies.

Shirley had two movies nominated, Perfect Picture and "A Sting In a Tale" (ASIAT). Perfect Picture is still one of the best Ghanaian movies ever made imho and deserves to win a couple of awards. It's funny how the three leading ladies in the movie, Jackie, Lydia and Naa all got nominated for Best Actress - together. Who does that? This would surely lower the reputat…

Happy International Women's day!

I woke up to mentions of Happy Women's Day all over the internet and thought to myself, "What a coincidence?" The first ever woman nominee for Best Director at the Oscars had just won it last night for 'Hurt Locker', a movie which is a masculine as they come. What men can do, women can do better. It really is a woman's world, :-) Happy Women's Day!

International Women's Day (IWD) is not about firsts for women, it's about a celebration of women. From its Wiki page, the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. It's a day for YOU (not just men) to let that those women know how much you adore them and cherish them for all they do for YOU.

The Wiki page also states that this 'day' was started as a Socialist event. I learnt this from a friend of mine when we had texted back and forth about the issue. I called my mo…

African language translations gadget for iGoogle

Recently, a friend asked me how to say Independence in Akan Twi. I didn't know the word so I sought my favorite source for such matters Kasahorow's Akan dictionary on Fienipa.com. Found out the word was 'Ahofadi'. A friend on Facebook mentioned it may have been 'fawohodi' instead. Ahofadi is a noun, fawohodi or 'fa wo ho di' is more like a sentence, as so nicely put by one of the Kasahorow gurus. It's great to know this translation service is around. That's why you should help publicize it.

Publish this widget on your homepage or blog that allows people to translate amongst English, Akan, Ewegbe, Hausa, Yoruba, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda.

Brought to you by the awesome folks at Fienipa.com and Kasahorow.com




You can get the code from here:

http://www.gmodules.com/ig/creator?synd=open&url=http%3A//apps.fienipa.com/igoogle.xml&pt=%26context%3Dd%26type%3Dgadgets%26synd%3Dig%26lang%3Den%26.lang%3Den%26country%3Dus%26.country%3Dus%26start%3D0%26num%…