Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BarCamp Ghana 2010 comes off on December 18th at Ashesi University


BarCamp Ghana 2010

BarCamp Ghana 2010, an ad-hoc gathering where attendees meet for discussions, demos and networking, will take place on December 18 2010 at the Ashesi University campus in Accra. The theme is “Create dreams, work smart and shape the future”. Following the successes of BarCamp Ghana '08 and BarCamp Ghana '09, regional BarCamp events were organized in Kumasi, Accra and Takoradi and Barcamp Ghana 2010 will crown the year as the national event.

BarCamps all over the world have brought together individuals and organizations to collaborate on various projects and businesses. BarCamp Ghana’10 is a FREE event for anyone who is interested in using their skills, talent, and resources to benefit Ghana and Africa as a whole. This year, the focus is on telling stories and discussing ways of how entrepreneurs and businessmen can create wealth in a burgeoning Accra metropolis faced with a myriad of challenges.

Unusually, the pivot of this year’s event revolves around breakout sessions instead of the usual mix of discussions and expert panelist presentations - regardless, experts will be seated in each breakout discussion to facilitate the coherence of relevant facts and knowledge on all respective items for deliberation. This strategy was inspired by the desired outcome of this year’s gathering which is to stimulate an engaging conference between industry stakeholders, consumers and prospective entrepreneurs on the workings and current realities of industries and services in Ghana.

Impressive yet poignant is our bill of facilitating experts, all of which effect the changes and growing definition of their industries worth and direction in this era. Our confirmed list includes
  • Bernard Avle of CITI 07.3 FM,
  • Leila Djansi of Turning Point Pictures,
  • Oluniyi Ajao of Web4Africa,
  • Solomon Adu-Atefoe of Agric Development Bank,
  • Golda Addo of Energy Solutions Foundation,
  • Mohamed Amin Adam of Publish What You Pay,
  • Philip Gamey of Web & Software,
  • DK Osseo-Asare of Anamcity,
  • Paul Tenejou of ROI-MOB-Lang,
  • Ronke Ampiah of Smiles for Christmas

Register or RSVP your participation today at the BarCamp Ghana Eventbrite website. You may also contact the BarCamp Ghana team through the Eventbrite website for sponsorship opportunities. Also, If you are interested in proposing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs.

BarCamp Ghana 2010 is proudly sponsored by the Ashesi University, Vodafone Ghana, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) , GhanaThink Foundation, Google Ghana, Mobile Web Ghana, Fie.nipa, NandiMobile. Our media partners are CITI FM, Radio Univers, ModernGhana, GhanaBlogging, Sunlight Radio America, The New Ghanaian, and Skyy Digital. The customer support hotline is 020-1500033. You can send questions, comments, and feedback by SMS and get responses.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Relationship challenges - issues in Sinking Sands movie

'Sinking Sands' follows 'I Sing Of A Well' (ISOAW), from the stable of director, Leila Djansi from Ghana. I had been really excited about this movie with the casting of Haiti's Jimmy Jean-Louis and Ama Abrebrese. After watching Sinking Sands, I had one word. Unique. It was unlike any Ghanaian movie I had ever seen. And that's the major reason why you should see it. I already wrote a movie review but in this post, I want to talk about some of the issues the movie raises.

The movie also reminds me of a great blog post my friend wrote about relationships. How much of one's dreams and wants must one sacrifice to be in a serious relationship? Do we lose ourselves by becoming 'attached'? Do we have to sacrifice our own happiness and does happiness take a new meaning? Do partners take out their frustrations (whether borne from inside the home or out of it) on each other? Obviously, they share the good times as well.

Does the Ghanaian society consider mature women who are single as strong women? I felt our society respects women who are married more. It's almost like women have to be married to be taken seriously in many spheres of Ghanaian life. Do we see them as such because they are dealing with the challenges of their careers alongside the challenges of raising and keeping a family together?

Perfect Picture dealt with a couple who had trouble making love, Scorned dealt with a couple not in love, Sinking Sands deals with another couple where loves goes sour. Its couple is in distress with abuse involved. This occurence is not foreign to Ghanaian families and many people will be able to relate. The movie will get many people thinking about how long people can sustain abuse. The question of divorce and separation also comes up. I personally am not a fan of both but the movie seems to make a case for them. Watching this movie gives us an example to make the debate rage on.

When relationships go sour, where do people seek refuge? Do they seek refuge by sleeping with others. Is it sex that people want and something they need to find? Some people claim 'angry sex' is the best kind, but is 'make up sex' critical in a relationship? I always thought how it was interesting for people to address the problems in the relationship with others and not themselves. It's almost as if it's impossible to do the latter.

This begs another question. It's been said since time immemorial that men like to cheat. But do men cheat because their relationships are being problematic as opposed to them just wanting 'something' different? Another interesting subplot here is who do men cheat with? Their girl friends whose identities are unknown to their partners? Prostitutes? Someone they meet at a bar where they have gone to drink their problems away? Let's not leave the women out, because like I heard on a TV show recently, "women also have their needs".

At what point is enough enough? What will people say? Ghanaian relationships, especially marriages, tend to involve more than two people. What people make of it becomes really important. People will talk but they are not suffering the problems in the relationship. The people who do are the families and that's why they have the ability to keep these relationships together. I am beginning to realise a lot of Ghanaians families that are separated or divorced. Interestingly, it happens mostly with upper class families. Is this correlated to the career and family business? Are upper class and educated couples too smart to co-exist?

Do new entrants into the relationship - like kids - change the game and force the relationship to remain? A friend told me the other time, you don't have to marry someone simply because you have a kid with them. I guess that equates to, you don't have to stay with someone simply because you have a kid or would have one with them as well. I am a fan of broken homes. I will love to see all families happy but it's a reach with this world that we live in. Abortion, let's leave that debate for another time. It does come in Sinking Sands as well with some interesting scenes.

How the movie ends is for you to find out. In my opinion, I would like to see our marriages last and work out. Marriages are not only built on love, they are built on companionship and longevity. Domestic abuse departs from all these building blocks. Love alone can not solve all, neither do apologies. I don't know what it is but sometimes the solutions to some problems require more than love. Maybe that's what the Love Guru and folks like Oprah can tell us. Mensa Otabil? Akumaa Mama Zimbi? Leila Djansi? :-) She did write Facebook page. I'm not saying the movie is her answer but the movie, Sinking Sands, does have an answer. Go and see it. Follow on Twitter @sinkingsands

Turning Point Pictures' Sinking Sands - a movie review

After watching 'I Sing Of A Well' (ISOAW), loving it and writing a review, I eagerly anticipated the next movie from Leila Djansi's stable. I also interviewed her about ISOAW and when Sinking Sands was being made ready for its Ghana premiere, I was offered the chance to preview Leila's 'Sinking Sands'. I had been really excited about this movie with the casting of Haiti's Jimmy Jean-Louis and Ama Abrebrese. After watching Sinking Sands, I had one word. Unique. It was unlike any Ghanaian movie I had ever seen. And that's the major reason why you should see it.

The movie centers around domestic abuse but this only comes about because some changes come in the relationship between Gyimah (Jimmy's character) and Pabi (Ama's character). I think Jimmy does well in his African movie debut. Well, unless you want to count Phat Girlz (which featured Moqniue Parker) as the debut. It wasn't too difficult for him to fit in as his Haitian accent is not a marked departure from a Ghanaian one. On the other hand, Ama has been in the UK a long while, being the face of OBE TV and I found myself being more critical of her accent. She was very 'Ghanaian' with how she intertwined her English with Twi and Ghanaian words like 'wae', etc. I think Leila did a great job with using the dialogue to make the movie as Ghanaian as possible. Both Jimmy and Ama shined in their roles and their on screen chemistry was not forced.

The shortcomings of the movie can be found in the subject matter. Domestic abuse is a tough and interesting subject for the average Ghanaian movie goer. Sinking Sands is what you'd call a 'serious movie'. It's the kind of movie that wins Oscars but doesn't do well at the box office. I think Sinking Sands will become a hit off the shelves but not ncessarily on the big screen. The movie has its funny lines and superb dialogue but once the movie takes the turn and becomes 'serious', we see a dearth of those.

ISOAW was a movie set before the colonial times, Sinking Sands is set in the present day. Leila and her crew ensured the realities of the script and the movie coming to life. It's important for movies to showcase different things to make viewers realise how the movie signifies the people it portrays. Some scenes may not be relevant in the grand scheme of the movie but they convey the culture and lifestyle of the characters involved. This is another feather in Sinking Sands' cap. As if the movie wasn't not Ghanaian enough, we see the Ghanaian flag flying at the local school, a lady using it as a headwrap, a guy wearing it, amongst other things. I guess you can't really incorporate a Ghanaian flag into a corn mill scene :-)

I love movies with great dialogue and Sinking Sands is one of them. I'd dissect the dialogue in another post. It's not forced, not like in other Ghanaian movies which seem to try hard to impress viewers with Big English. Yes, I am talking about those movies. The dialogue in Sinking Sands is a mixture of English and Twi and the viewers don't need subtitles to realise what is going on. The score and soundtrack is also great. If you think about a lot of the Ghanaian songs out there, it's tough to get appropriate tracks for the movie's subject matter so it falls on a lot of foreign tracks, even Spanish ones, to set the mood of the scenes. More about that in another post.

The movie has a good number of romantic scenes. They have come to stay, my people. Don't act surprised when you see them. Africans make love too. Ghanaians want to see these scenes, but the way these scenes are presented makes a wealth of difference. Sinking Sands does them well and they are relevant and timely when they appear.

The movie's storyline can be thought of as a rainy day. First the sun sets, right when the first signs of infidelity (trouble) appear. The tricky thing is you don't see the clouds forming. What comes to your mind when you think of clouds? It's going to rain. And when it rains, it pours. Clouds are premonitions of trouble to come. And then the rains fall. In Sinking Sands, they fall hard and you know sandy soil doesn't hold up rain really well. When you consider the major relationship in the movie, there's a whole lot of sinking involved. The movie doesn't sink though, each scene gets better and better and it makes you wonder how it would end.

I am not one to rate the movie out of 10 or whatever. The fact that I am reviewing the movie and will blog about it a couple more times means that I am recommending it. Support great Ghanaian and African cinema. Especially those that generate discussions that we must have as a people. You can catch the movie showing somewhere in Ghana. Follow updates on its Facebook page. Follow on Twitter @sinkingsands. Turning Point Pictures.

Buy ISOAW today!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Barcamp Takoradi is coming November 27 at the Takoradi Technical Institute #bctdi @barcamptakoradi

While organizing the very first Barcamp Ghana in December 2008, Dorothy Gordon, the CEO of the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (Accra), encouraged to us that we should take the barcamp event to other places in Ghana. We made a promise to ourselves. Two years on, the dream is materializing. We had an actual Barcamp Accra in October and before we had Barcamp Kumasi. This month, we'd have Barcamp Takoradi on the 27th at the Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI), . And we won't stop till we have Barcamps in Tuabodom, Tain and (Cape) Three Points. #VIM! #Tsooboi!

BarCamp Takoradi 2010, an ad-hoc gathering where attendees will meet for discussions, demos and networking, will take place on November 27, 2010 at the Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI), campus in Takoradi, Ghana. The theme will be “Leading & Entreprising in an Oil & Technology Fuelled Economy”. BarCamp Takoradi is building on the success of Ghanaian BarCamp events to ignite Sekondi/Takoradi & Western Region's focused discussions and actions in order to bring about much-needed change. It is being organized by the BarCamp Takoradi team which is convened under the GhanaThink Foundation. It has the experience of successfully organizing four BarCamps in Ghana: Barcamp Ghana 08 and 09, Barcamp Kumasi 2010 and Barcamp Accra 2010.

The BarCamp Ghana team which is convened under the GhanaThink Foundation has successfully organized four BarCamps in Ghana. Barcamp Ghana 2008 at the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in IT (KACE-AITI) on December 22, 2008; Barcamp Ghana 2009 at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in East Legon in Accra on December 21, 2009; Barcamp Kumasi 2010 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on September 18, 2010 and BarCamp Accra 2010 at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in East Legon in Accra on October 2, 2010. The events have brought together over a thousand leaders and change makers.

Barcamp Takoradi’s goals include facilitating organic networking and help attendees identify business partners for future projects and ventures. It will also offer local businessmen and women the chance to promote and get feedback on their entreprises and ventures. It will also help build a local community and network of entrepreneurs, leaders and businessmen after the Barcamp. The Barcamp will also identify business opportunities in the oil and gas industry and attendant opportunities for a growing local economy.

BarCamps all over the world have brought together individuals and organizations to collaborate on various projects and businesses. BarCamp Takoradi ’10 is a FREE event for anyone who is interested in using their skills, talent, and resources to benefit Ghana and Africa as a whole. This year, the focus is on discussing how important collaboration between different industries, business, academia and public institutions is key for opportunity and development.

Takoradi Technical Institute is the only school in West Africa to have a fab lab (fabrication laboratory). The Fab Lab program was started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). There will be an exhibition of work from the Takoradi Fab Lab. The speakers will include Nana Kobina Nketsia, Wilson Arthur, Amos Anyimadu, amongst others.

Register/RSVP today at the BarCamp Takoradi eventbrite website. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session or promoting a business or venture, let us know, especially if you have special needs. You may also contact the BarCamp Takoradi team through this website for sponsorship opportunities. BarCamp Takoradi 2010 is sponsored by the Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI), Google Ghana, GhanaThink Foundation, Fie.nipa, etc.

See you there!

New Ghanaian movie, Elmina, centers around oil and colonialism

I have blogged a whole lot about the folks at Fienipa but why shouldn't I? They are doing an awesome job with getting African content online and you should join me in supporting them. Their latest project is movies.fienipa.com, sort of an African IMDB. What prompted this post was an entry about the new Ghanaian movie called Elmina. Does Elmina sound familiar? It's the hometown of the MIghTy African, the guy writing this very post. It's also the first point and spot the Europeans landed at when they came to Africa. Yup, on 19th January 1482, 600 men lead by Don Diego d'Azambuja arrived in Elmina. Elmina is historical and important like that. And now Elmina is on the big screen? Thanks to Revele Films, the folks who brought you the award-winning 'Run, Baby, Run' movie.

The producers of the two hit mini-series ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Hotel St. James’, alongside the popular movie "Fire to Fire’ that featured local comedian Agya Koo, and ‘Agyapadie’, are back. The movie 'Elmina' was set and shot in the Central and Western regions of Ghana. From the Fienipa link, it says "‘Elmina’ tells a story of colonialism, greed, hatred, love and betrayal.". The story is about a family in crisis and the main theme is centered on colonialism and the oil which has been discovered in commercial quantities. Wow, someone made a movie about oil as well as colonialism? How brilliant!

The movie was premiered in Tate Gallery in the UK in October 2010 before making appearance in Ghana in December 2010. Some of the actors in the movie are Kofi Bucknor, Akorfa Asiedu, Ama K. Abebrese, John Apea, Kojo Dadson, Redeemer Mensah, amongst others, including Douglas Fishbone from England.

Watch the trailer here

It seems the hero in the movie is a white man? We see him questioning the higher authorities for them making their community members to sell their land. We see him say "We are being cheated by the white people", while he himself is White. And is he the character called 'Ato'? Agya wadwo! I hope he doesn't overshadow the movie, After all, in the trailer, he (Doug Fishbone) is mentioned even before Revele Films. Or is this a Flatbush Films venture whose local partner is Revele Films? Plenty questions.

Anyway, I am so excited about the movie! I have been to Elmina a number of times and hope to identify various places in the movie. There's also Barcamp Takoradi coming up in November which will talk about oil. Ghana's excited about the oil find and as much as Revele Films is excited about this too, the Elmina movie is meant to educate folks about the oil find. Just like what Barcamp Takoradi will be doing. Hey, maybe the Apeas can come to the Barcamp and discuss the movie. Imagine if we did find oil in those colonial times, how different would Ghana be now? Maybe the movie 'Elmina' will offer some answers.

Actor John Apea is interviewed by Ameyaw Debrah about the movie. Dude went to Presec? In lumine tuo, videbimus lumen!


Q&A about African movie, Paparazzi - Eye in the Dark

I already blogged about upcoming Paparazzi - Eye in the Dark movie here when the trailer came out. The movie features Ghana's Koby Maxwell who also sings the lead single in the soundtrack called "Do it". After I saw the trailer for the movie, I was very excited and proclaimed it the best movie Van Vicker has been in. Yes, @theRealVanVicker. I decided to ask Koby Maxwell and other people behind the movie a few questions about it. Below is the interview transcript.

MightyAfrican: Who birthed the idea for the movie?
Koby Maxwell: I came up with this story. My brother Kojo Adu Ansah and the director worked on it to put it together.

MightyAfrican: Why was Van Vicker chosen for the lead role? Who else was considered?
Koby Maxwell: Van Vicker is currently the hottest Actor in the business and the industry. I did carry out a survey on a cross-section of the Nollywood movie fans about who they would like to see in my production. Many responded and made mention of Van Vicker and Majid Michel. Unfortunately, Majid Michel was not available because he had other commitments. Van Vicker is a personal friend who wanted to help me make it work. He liked the story from the start and was the first actor I did cast.

MightyAfrican: How was the rest of the cast chosen?
Koby Maxwell: My director was very much involved. After the initial audition, the director and I took a look at the caliber of actors we had available and decided to give it further review. After much deliberation, it was decided to conduct a second audition, this time to cast the net even much wider and bring around a lot more seasoned actors. That’s how we arrived at the cast we presently have.

MightyAfrican: The movie showcases the life of an African musician based in the US. Is the movie purely fiction?
Koby Maxwell: The premise of the plot is purely fictional. You and I are living in a time where the lives of our celebrities are under the scrutiny of peeping Toms. Our African actors are no different. Thanks to the internet and other forms of media, we get to hear salacious stories, often untrue about African musicians.

MightyAfrican: Based on your experiences as an African musician based in the US, how much paparazzi have you had to deal with?
Koby Maxwell: I have not had to deal with too much of the paparazzo. What I have experienced occasionally are certain characters who try to pry inti my private life

MightyAfrican: The movie’s cast features actors from many African countries. Is this intentional?
Koby Maxwell: Yes. The cast is mainly made up of African actors although it also features Syr Law (Tyler Perry, Diary of a Mad Black Woman).

MightyAfrican: Which musicians are featured on the soundtrack for the movie?
Koby Maxwell: I worked with Chris Deshield, Paco Colling, LA Sting and Don Mike on a number of the soundtracks

MightyAfrican: What is the timeline for the movie premieres and which cities will be the first to watch the movie?
Koby Maxwell: My production company and I are tentatively are planning for a late January 2011 premiere in the Washington D.C and Atlanta metropolitan areas. There are also plans for full screenings in 25-30 cities in the North America and in the Caribbean. So please stay tuned for further details!

MightyAfrican: Many Nollywood movies are shot very quickly, some as quickly as a month or less. How long did it take to shoot Paparazzi –Eye in the Dark? And how long did it take to edit it and make it ready?
Koby Maxwell: You are correct to an extent about the short filming schedules of many
Nollywood movies. However, do bear in mind that although this movie has a number of well-known Nigeria actors, it is far from being labeled a Nollywood type movie. This movie was filmed stateside, and benefited from advanced industry equipment as well as top-notch technical personnel. It took nearly 23 days to shoot this movie and an additional 3 months to edit it. This is far in excess of the average time shoot time for a Nollywood movie and speaks to the deliberation given to this movie.

MightyAfrican: In which locations were the movie shot and why were those chosen?
Koby Maxwell: The movie was shot on locations in the Atlanta area. Our locations scouts chose the city of Atlanta to film the movie since there is less traffic, yet it is still visually stimulating.

MightyAfrican: When and where was the Do it song born? Where and when was the video shot?
Koby Maxwell: The “Do IT” video was shot in September 2010 and featured location scenes of the Washington D.C areas. The video also features extra scenes from the movie “Paparazzi–Eye in the Dark”. The music video is on rotation on a number of T.V stations and can be viewed on YouTube.

MightyAfrican: In the movie’s trailer, we see that Max’s single is first on the Billboard charts. What do you think needs to happen for us to see African musicians get to those heights in the US?
Koby Maxwell: To paraphrase a statement from an article by Neela Bannerjee I read in the online publication The Root, “African music would need to get someone else's seal of approval before American consumers tune in”. Take the case of Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour. In all these instances, the African artistes or acts have had to collaborate to attain that hard-won reputation. That’s not to say that an African musician cannot reach such heights on his own merits. It will certainly require a great deal of effort on the part of the musician’s record label and incorporation of a lot of western styles of music. Although the final product (sound) might be distinct, it comes at the risk of the African artiste sacrificing his traditional arrangements and instrumentality on the altar of compromise.

MightyAfrican: Paparazzis’ Tagline is “There’s always an eye in the dark”. Do you think African celebrities live their lives with utmost care because of the paparazzi?
Koby Maxwell: To some extent they do. Fortunately for African celebrities, they do not have to live their lives mercilessly exposed to the glaring spotlight of unwanted publicity as it occurs in Europe and in America. That said, I believe when an individual comes into the public eye, his/her every action or statement is carefully scrutinized especially because of technology and the Internet.

MightyAfrican: The Paparazzi movie will showcase a lot of photography. How important are photographers in the African media industry with the advent of all these bloggers, and many people having access to good cameras?
Koby Maxwell: In many places of Africa, photographers are seen as just important as the writers we have. There is a long history of struggling towards democracy that has established a strong tradition of documentary photography. Photographers offer the rest of the world an unfiltered view of the continent through their camera lenses.

MightyAfrican: What measures have to be taken to see the movie premiered or shown in different parts of the US?
Koby Maxwell: Currently, there plans underway to ensure that the movie is premiered in 25-30 cities across the US and Canada. A number of organizations have been contacted and are working with my production company to make this happen. In the mean time, if a group or organization is interested in having this movie premiered in their part of this country, they can simply contact us via the film’s website http://www.eyeinthedark.com/ and we will try our utmost best to make it possible.

MightyAfrican: What measures have to be taken to see the movie premiered or shown in different parts of Africa?
Koby Maxwell: My production company and I are working on a number of fronts to make this possible. A number of cinema houses in a couple of African countries have approached us and expressed interest in premiering the movie at their stablishments. Due to logistical concerns, we are taking such offers on a case-by-case basis. Again, I ask that movie houses interested to contact us via the movie’s website and for movie patrons on the African continent to reach out to the management of their local cinema houses and demand it to be shown. We will also keep you and your readers abreast on any finalized details as they become available.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Naija state of mind - Naija Boyz remix the late Da-Grin's Pon Pon (Museke)

My alter ago, Ayooluwaato Eze is back again. This time talking about Nigeria :-)
The African Remix boys from Nigeria are back again! After remixing Soulja Boy's Crank that Soulja boy, Chris Brown's Kiss Kiss, Lil Wayne's Lollipop, and Beyonce's Single Ladies, they are remixing a Nigerian hip-hop classic, Pon pon pon by the famous Yoruba rapper, Da-Grin. Da-Grin passed away on Thursday, April 22. Many tributes poured his way from various Nigerian artistes, including this one called My pain which featured multiple Nigerian all-stars.

Check out the lyrics for song coming soon here. As usual, the Naija Boyz are at their funniest best. They mention that they still have the Naija swagger. They make fun of children born to Nigerian parents in the US who have 'forgotten their upbringing'. The video featured a Nigerian-American kid insulting his mum and who is going to call 911. Nigerian mothers won't take that nonsense and 'go remind you why we come here'.

Watch the Naija State of Mind video


The Naija Boyz also disassociate themselves from the Nigerian underwear suicide bomber (Mutaala) whose crime caused Nigeria to be seen in a bad light. O & Teju claim Nigeria didn't train him (because he had a lot of his upbringing in the UK) and also claiming that Nigerians would never love to die as they like 'enjoyment'. The video shows a white newscaster saying that 'kind of lifestyle' is the root of all evil and then he goes to rave about (Nigerian) booty, saying it is a problem as bad as Yahooze.

The Boyz also make fun of Nigerian girls who take 'cool' American names and claiming they are African-Americans born to Nigerian parents while their name is actually 'Mgbeke Okoronkwo Apkode'. They say they never embarass and they are proud and how they have a say even in America. Can't hate their shine, all their music video parodies have a million views each and the new one is on its way there.

The song celebrates Nigeria's golden jubilee. We see the music video being shown on Youtube's Golden Jubilee channel and the Youtube theme changed with a dominant green to match Nigeria's national colours. We also see pictures and videos from the Nigerian Independence Parade Party. We see a cameo from another famous Nigerian Youtube sensation, T-Boy from Don't Jealous Me.

They released the song on Da-Grin's birthday as a tribute to him. Da-Grin's first verse from Pon Pon is used in the video. This Naija State of Mind video will help a lot of the CEO's fans nostalgic.

I love these boys. Their Lollipop remix aka "Lick my fingers (Lollipop remix)" is my favorite and I definitely love it more than Lil Wayne's original. I am a huge African food lover. Many people have loved O & Teju since they released Crank dat Naija boy. I hope to see more remixes from them. They are too gbaski!

Download free mp3s of our remixes at http://www.AfricanRemix.com/

Culled from alter ego Chale's post on Museke.com - home of the African music fan

Asem gives the 2010 Ghana show business fylla (news) (Museke)

Ghanaian rapper Asem is now a Journalist, and his latest single describes all the events and occurances in the Ghana Showbiz Industry during 2010.

Okay, fylla, fylla o fylla!; A S E M with the fylla; This be the 2010 fylla; Ghana showbizness, 2010 I dey come summarize from beginning to the end

He mentioned Obrafour (Rastaman) bouncing back on Okyeame Kwame's (Jerry Curls) back and how the song's hype didn't last long because the guy Obrafour featured, Guru, slacked. You'll remember Obrafour's Kasiebo track was a response to Okyeame Kwame and Obour's Killing the game. He also takes a shot at Kwaw Kese saying he's become his PRO, mentioning his name everywhere he goes. Kwaw Kese recently released his Killa bewu last show which dissed Asem, KOD and Jon Germain.

He acknowledges that Tema is the home of great rap fever but stipulates that the money is still in Accra. He says even Tema boys stole the show at the Ghana Music Awards, it's he Asem whose School Dey Be song that got the World Bank dough (money). According to Asem, Appietus claims that Charterhouse stole the producer of the year award for Richie. According to the No more kpayor hit man, Appietus was so angry that Richie the Yaaro won that he started singing.

He rapped about Nana Boroo borrowing the SK Blinks song which became a hit. Apparently, SK Blinks was going to make a remix with Freddy Meiway. Did anyone hear it? He also mentioned Guru, Iwan, Stonebwoy and Trigmatic as rappers Ghana is digging today, most of whom remixed Gyptian's Hold Yuh.

He had a funny comment about Asamoah Gyan aka Baby Jet not scoring the important penalty but instead he was using his buttocks to do the famous dance that helped make Castro Destroyer's African girls track a hit. He mentioned the BET Cypher video, but mentioned that many Ghanaians could not watch on DSTV. Though, they could watch on Youtube. The video has become a viral video sensation.

He closes the song by saying his new album is coming out and acknowledges that his fans miss him. He concludes "get ready for the album, I am back next year". As always, it's Richie on the beat! You know the name right?


Culled from alter ego Chale's post on Museke.com - home of the African music fan

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's meet at Google's Baraza and answer Africa's questions

I received some invites from a couple of people to test out Google's Baraza earlier. Just recently, Google Baraza was launched in different places in Africa. Baraza, which means ‘taskforce’ or ‘council’ in Swahili, is a newly launched question and answer service that will also be integrated into search results on Google Search.

From the earlier notice
One of Google’s goals in Africa is to make the internet more locally relevant and bring more people online. One of the challenges of the internet in Africa is that there is a lack of local content online. At Google, we find that users search for information about local businesses, entertainment, health, etc but often don’t find it because the information is not yet available online. In order to help bring more local content online, Google engineers have created Baraza to allow people in countries across Africa to ask questions and post answers to questions from others.

If you have any questions about Africa, go and ask it through Baraza. If you've been wondering something go find the answer there as well.

To celebrate the launch in Ghana, Joy FM's Wednesday’s Drive Time would feature Executive Director of Databank, Yofi Grant and Estelle Akofio-Sowah, Country Manager of Google Ghana. They'd be in the studio with presenter Bola Ray between 3.30pm and 5pm to share their expertise with the public. Interestingly enough, they were both at Barcamp Accra 2010, an event where many of Google Baraza users were at. Busy Internet is also being reported as going to offer free internet to Baraza users on Wednesday. They provided free internet at Barcamp Accra #bcaccra too. In this effort to increase online local African knowledge, BusyInternet, with three branches in Accra and Tema is opening its doors to Baraza users for free during Drive Time on Joy on Wednesday between 3pm and 6pm.

In the meantime, you can always access www.google.com.gh/baraza from today to start asking questions and receive answers from the public. Local domains of the forum will also be made available in 40 African countries, including Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal.

Google is also hosting an exclusive networking event for Ghana’s active blogger community together with the GhanaBlogging group at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT on Thursday evening.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

African Leadership Network gathering press release

Last month, I blogged about the upcoming The first African Leadership Network gathering. My thoughts dey there. This week, I received a press release from one of the organizers and wanted to share with you. It's in about two weeks. How times flies. I am personally excited about this though.

Africa’s Top Emerging Leaders Gather in Ethiopia for Invitation-Only Meeting of the African Leadership Network

Johannesburg, South Africa – October 15, 2010 – The African Leadership Network (ALN),
today announced a first-of-its kind, invitation-only gathering of Africa’s top emerging leaders. Chosen from across Africa for their distinguished leadership in the business, government, and non-profit sectors, these young leaders will come together in the spirit of problem solving and action, focusing their combined passion and expertise on addressing the opportunities and challenges facing Africa.

“We will rise beyond our challenges and capture our opportunities only if our continent’s top young leaders come together for the common good of Africa. Not the usual suspects, but the continent’s new generation of young, dynamic leaders who will shape Africa’s next 25 years,” said Fred Swaniker, African Leadership Network co-founder. “It is urgent that Africa’s emerging leaders actively collaborate, create, and take action. ALN will provide the first-ever platform for these emerging leaders to do just that – with a vision no less than the transformation of Africa.”

“The key aim of the Network is to collaborate towards addressing the big challenge of our time, which we believe, is the challenge of creating prosperity for Africa’s masses” said Acha Leke, McKinsey Director and ALN co-founder. “Prior generations of African leaders brought us political independence. But we are far from being economically independent. This emerging generation of leaders must be the one that brings prosperity to the continent”.

The historic city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be host to the inaugural gathering and initiation of this premier leadership network, which will run from November 3-6, 2010. This year’s gathering is co-chaired by Sim Tshabalala, CEO of Standard Bank South Africa; Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Founder and CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange; and Bill Egbe, President of Coca-Cola South Africa.

Approximately 200 attendees will meet in Addis Ababa to share ideas aimed at answering one central question: “how does Africa become prosperous?” In addition to sharing ideas, members are expected to build concrete partnerships between their countries, companies and organizations, and to further the aim of creating prosperity for Africa.

Some of the network’s distinguished members include Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe; Khumo Shuenyane, Head of M&A for African cellular giant MTN; Ngozi Edozien, Head of West Africa at Actis, one of the largest Private Equity firms in Africa; Amara Konneh, Liberian Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs; Alex Okosi, Head of MTV Africa; Titus Gitau, Director of MEA Fertilizers (which controls 43% of the Fertilizer market in Kenya); and award-winning South-African musician Lira.

Sessions will focus on understanding the current landscape of prosperity in Africa, crafting a vision for Africa’s prosperity, outlining practical steps towards prosperity, and how a prosperous Africa can be better managed. Delegates are expected to walk away with practical solutions to be implemented well after the conference. One prominent speaker on the agenda is Paul Romer, a world-famous economist who will share his ideas of creating “Charter Cities” in Africa as a way of kick-starting development, similar to how China used Hong-Kong to kick-start its development. The annual three-day gathering will be supplemented by regional gatherings throughout the year, providing continued momentum for collaboration, problem solving and action.

Key sponsors of the inaugural gathering include the MTN Group, Goldman Sachs, the World Bank, TBWA, and Ethiopian Airlines. McKinsey & Company and Insead Business School are serving as Knowledge Partners for the Network, providing research and knowledge for the members.

About the African Leadership Network
The African Leadership Network (ALN) is an invitation-only network of influential and
dynamic leaders who are poised to shape the future of Africa over the next 50 years. The ALN aims to bring leaders together as a catalyst for development and change across the private and public sectors throughout Africa.

In addition to research and publications on key topics, members will receive two books each quarter about creating prosperity in Africa. Members will also be invited to participate in ‘Learning Missions’ to countries outside of Africa, where participants will observe business models, meet officials and develop partnerships in countries like Malaysia, China and Brazil in 2010-2011. Partnerships will be cultivated through periodic gatherings and practical tools for connecting members such as a members-only online portal known as ALN Connect®

For more information about the - www.africanleadershipnetwork.com.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Nigerian alter-ego

At different times in my life, people meet me and say I look Nigerian. They say I look Igbo, sorry my Yoruba brethren and Hausa sistren. I didn't choose that and personally I don't like Igbos more than other Naija tribes. So, I play along and claim that I am actually Nigerian. Of course, you all know I am a Ghanaian. If you didn't, now you know. Especially when I meet some new Nigerians, I 'lie' and say I am Nigerian and my name is ..... I used to say Oluwadeyoato. Apparently, it doesn't make much sense, so I consulted with some Nigerian friends to come up with a new one. This is what we settled on - Ayooluwaato Eze. Yes, my Naija alter ego has a last name too. And I am from Kwara State. :-)

Before I tell you about me, let me tell you a funny story. When attending the local Nigeriaat50 party, I was with a Naija girl and we met some of her friends. I introduced myself as Oluwadeyoato to them. I said I was from Kwara state. I was wearing green. Gotto rep my country now. You know o! They almost believed me o. In fact, everyone else I try this thing on believe me. I don jazz them easy. But sometimes edey make hard o. Wetin I fit tell them o? So I decide say I go make some tori o. You want hear am? Let's go dier. :-)

I am called Ayooluwaato, Ato for short. You see, now I can easily switch from my Naija identity to my real one when things are getting tough. I always took issue with my Nigerian friends shortening their names so some foreigner could call them easily. Why buckle to outside pressure? Let your name be long and strong. Loud and proud. Cumbersome and awesome. 12 letters. Three different words. Yes boss! 'Eze' in Igbo means kings. You see, am royalty and blessed by the most High in addition. And this fine Naija chic called Chelsea Eze is my cousin. We rule. Actually, I think she's really hot (from when I saw her in Silent Scandals) and wanted to take her last name. No, we are not married. And my Naija alter ego can't marry, "I" am the only who can, lol. Ayooluwaato Eze doesn't have an English name. I'd rather take a Hausa name. I'm taking suggestions :-). Back to my first name, Ayooluwato means "The joy of the Lord is enough". Cute huh? I was named right. In fact, I gbadun that name. I just have to figure out how to pronounce it right and be on point every single time.

Because if I don't pronounce it right, I'll be 'found out' by the real Nigerians or Yorubas (if you may). But I have a counter --- I just have a Yoruba name but I am fully Naija. My father is Igbo from Abia state and my mother is Yoruba from Kwara State. Have you heard the Abia State anthem? Yes, I rep them! I'm that, nigga, raw! We folks from Abia are so rugged, man, we'll give you 2shotz! Don't joke with us, onu. We like to make that money. But I rep Kwara state more because of my mum. I was so honoured when we brought Akon to Nigeria for the 10/10 concert for Naija's 50th anniversary of independence. Major props to my friends at Storm (360) Records, with a special shout out to my sister, Sasha P. Like my Naija alter ego, they also rep Naija all day!

You see, I don't bother too much with Yoruba - Igbo issues, because I come from both places. We also lived for a short while in Kano. And I'd rather have a Hausa name. So you see, I am a "united Nigerian", and love the South as much as I love the North. When you think of next year's Naija elections, think of me. Cos Naija dey bam. And vote wisely cos One day, one day e go better. And I support Nuhu Ribadu. It's not just only me. We have Team Ribadu. We should all be a united Naija. We shouldn't do nigeria jaga jaga because Naija na our area and motherland. This is 2010, we are 50 years old, we gots to #lightupNigeria. I implore all my fellow Nigerians to listen to this Tubaba song though as we are in election season, Ebe like say. Me, I go yarn.

So why don't I know much about Nigeria or even Lagos (las gidi)? Because I also lived in Yankee and Jand. Yes, Jand, as in Longdon. My parents are diplomats so we've lived everywhere. I was born in Yankee, right in the heart of Nigeriacity. "Houston, we have a problem. Too many Nigerians, can't be a good thing for us." Of course, I am kidding, you know I like to make fun of my people. Sometimes, we get so jealous of others that we turn "green-white-green". But we know and you know that the greenest pastures are in Naija. Super Eagles all day! Because everything is bigger in Texas, that why we then my Naija family dey there. I also lived in Jand a bit, some in South Africa, some in Kenya, some in Angola and most of my teenage life in Ghana. It was cool living in Ghana, it's almost like Nigeria. My parents loved it there so we remained there for a long time. So you see, I didn't really live that much in Lagos or Abuja or Kano or Port Hartcourt to remember what happens there. I do love Warri though. My pops always said I'd get gidi when we were going there. Since high school in Ghana (I went to Presec by the way) I've been in Yankee. Odadee! In lumine tuo..... videbimus lumen.

What kind of Nigerian am I? What a question! What kind of Nigerian are you? I am not a yahoo-yahoo boy. I am just me. I am a true Naija boy. I love eba and egusi stew and moimoi. I don't watch Nollywood movies unless they are recommended. I pick Genevieve Nnaji over Omotola. I celebrate people like Chimamanda Adichie, John Dabiri, and Jay Jay Okocha. I think Nwankwo Kanu should retire and Mikel Obi should leave Chelsea so he can score some goals. I know a lot about Nigerian girls, so if you wanna date one of my flygerian sisters, holla at your boss.

Yes, I hate the underwear bomber. I am 50-50 about yahoo-yahoo boys, I think they have shown we can use our ingenuity to get back at our 'oppresors'. Because For One Nine to become ten, you have to make an effort. Like all Nigerians, I hope we can channel those energies to make Naija better. Arise, o compatriots, Nigeria's call obey. Ebenezer Obey might have sung 'Africa is my home' but this is 'operation feed the nation'. The nation comes first before everything. We are Nigerians! 1 in 5 of all black people. You can't escape from us. We are unique and there's no one like us.

And there's no one like me. So next time you meet Ayooluwaato Eze, that will be me. And I'm not on Facebook. I normally check some other guy's facebook to stalk all the pretty Naija girls from time to time. I am considering joining Twitter though. Tweeps, I am taking Twitter username suggestions. In fact, I am so cool, I will get more twollowers than Patrick Obahiagbon @HonPatrickO. If you don't know him, check him out here. In the meantime, you can catch me here on this blog. Because khaki no be leather. Ayooluwaato Eze says "Naija, until I die".

Friday, October 15, 2010

Good water in Ghana

Earlier this month, fellow blogger and Ghanaian, Jemila of Cicrumspecte.com informed me about Blog Action Day on October 15. I looked forward to this day and earlier, realised that Edward of Tagoe Blogger had blogged about MoneyGram quenching Asuboi's thirst. Blog action Day 2010 (BAD2010) tackles 'water' with the premise "Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us." Let's spread the word about providing cleaner and safer water, especially in Africa where water-borne diseases are a menace still.

I've had some battles with unsafe water. In the final year in Presec, I had some 'traces' of Typhoid fever which drove me to the hospital for a couple of check-ups. I was given some medication and told to check the water I used. There had been a typhoid outbreak in Accra and a few people had died. So I wasn't going to joke around. Accra has a lot of documented water problems. I was speaking a Ghanaian friend, who spent most of the life in the US, and is now in Accra working. She complained about there being no water in East Legon. A whole East Legon! In Adenta, where my aunt lives, there's no water. We buy water from different sources and even if the water is clean, you can't 100% trust the water to travel safely as well. So the metropolitan areas of Ghana need some water work done.

Kumasi on the other hand is great. People in Accra routinely boil their tap water before drinking, just because. In Kumasi, such worries don't exist. I can't tell why but it seems the Barekese dam is a better service provider than whatever is nearest Accra. Many people buy 'mineral water' in plastic bags which are not very trustworthy these days either. The surest source is the Voltic bottles, because Voltic is a trustworthy brand with a Western name. :-) You see the mentality? Even the 'careless' me has bought into it as well. Because you definitely do not want to mess with unclean and unsafe water.

Unless you live in a random village in the Brong Ahafo Region near New Longoro (where?) and you have no access to pipe-borne water then you have no choice but to mess with unsafe water. People do this everyday in parts of Africa. They drink from pitch-brown rivers and don't fall 'sick'. They've developed anti-bodies to fight the unsafe water that this water is 'safe' for them. Strangers and guests don't get that luxury though, not that it's one they want to have. There are many ways to get safe drinking water if pipe infrastructure is not laid. I stayed in this village for a week and me and my MIT friends survived on bore-hole water.

We had filters. We had gone to these villages to preach the dangers of dirty infiltration and the cures of clean filtration. We provided cheap and ingenious ways to ensure water was safe. We need to see more of this. We need individual and little efforts like these that can empower those affected by unsafe water to fend for themselves. Because the millenium development goals are some years' away and cost a lot of money. Someone tell me it's not true. It's not? Great news. Problems solved. But here's to all the volunteers, engineers and civil servants who are striving to solve the problems facing clean, safe, drinking water in their own way. We salute you. This blog is to announce and celebrate that you exist and that help is on the way. #VIM!

And if you want to keep up on all the BAD2010 happenings, you can follow us at www.twitter.com/blogactionday.

Here's a flickr slideshow of water related photos
Change.org|Start Petition

see a vimeo video and join the global conversation around water today.

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

South Africa TV show Hopeville featuring @TerryPheto nominated for International Emmy

I found some exciting news from @TerryPheto's twitter yesterday. She tweeted on October 6th - Great News... HOPEVILLE has been nominated for an EMMY AWARD. Best TV Movie/Mini-Series. I had already blogged about the HOPEVILLE movie, which was released in South African theatres September 3rd. I am waiting patiently for it to be on DVD, which will take a while. The movie's trailer speaks volumes and am personally not surprised that the television show has been nominated for an International Emmy in the TV Movie/Mini-Series category. I have never heard of any African television show being nominated for an International Emmy. This is big! Local is lekker!

Hopeville has already won an international award, it won for best drama and mini-series at the Rose d’Or Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland on 22 September, where it beat 85 other TV dramas. In the International Emmy competition Hopeville is competing against three other nominees: Germany’s The Author of Himself, the UK’s Small Island and Brazil’s Sound & Fury. The 38th International Emmys take place on 22 November at the Hilton Hotel in New York.

Terry Pheto already has an Oscar to her name for Tsotsi. That alone guarantees that Hopeville will win. She has a smaller role in Hopeville though but the other actors in the show are excellent as well. You can find out about other movies she's been in on IMDB.

Hopeville is produced by Johannesburg-based Curious Pictures for the Heartlines NGO and SABC Education. It was broadcast on South Africa's SABC2. Hopefully like other South African dramas, the rest of Africa could see the series on MNET at some point soon. Hopeville tells the story of an alcoholic father played by Themba Ndaba who tries to win the love of his son (Junior Singo) by fixing the local swimming pool. It's a feel good story. It highlights a community leader and how he stops at nothing to accomplish his goals.

The Hopeville series was directed by John Trengrove. It features Terry Pheto (of course), Desmond Dube, Fana Mokoena, Terry Pheto, Mary Twala, Jonathan Pienaar and Wilmien Roussouw. Credits include co-producers Harriet Gavshon and Mariki van der Walt; cinematographer Willie Nel; art director Karel Flint; and line producer Daphne Williams. Hopeville is based on a story by Roger Smith and Michele Rowe.

You can watch the trailer for the movie here

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Madiba book - Conversations with Myself

One of my Presec mates (Odadee) posted on my wall this week "I hope I'm not the only one getting Conversations With Myself". Then I conf pass corn flakes dem conference for corn inside. After I asked him about it, he said "New Madiba book...heard about it on 60 minutes...I get chills whenever i hear about this man...same feeling i had when i watched Invictus i had today". Yep, same feeling I also had when I watched Invictus with a dear one last December. I can't even begin to describe Nelson Mandela in one blog post. That makes me think, why didn't I even blog about Invictus? I think I should. Then again, I am a bigger fan of movies than books. Dont judge me. I'll read this one. Because a book called "Conversations with Myself" is too good to pass up. Ayoba.

I stumbled upon the story again on one of my favorite websites, Africagoodnews.com. Seriously, follow them on Twitter @sagoodnews. Yes, it started as sagoodnews.co.za and now they have an African version. A new book by Nelson Mandela is surely good news. It's kind of sad I learnt a more about Nelson Mandela from Invictus. Thank you Hollywood. This new book is an 'autobiography' though so it will be from the horses' own mouth. Ayibo! That information makes me want to say 'Ayobaness'.

Africagoodnews.com- New Mandela book released worldwide reads

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has announced that a new book by former South Africa President and global icon Nelson Mandela, "Conversations with Myself", will be released in 22 editions and 20 languages. "Conversations with Myself" is a new book by former South Africa President and global icon Nelson Mandela. According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation the book, released today, "is an intimate journey from the first stirrings of Mr Mandela's political consciousness to his galvanising role on the world stage. It is a rare chance to spend time with Nelson Mandela the man, in his own voice: direct, clear and private".

United States President Barack Obama wrote in the foreword that Mandela, who largely retired from public life in 2004, is inspiring even if he is no saint. "Underneath the history that has been made, there is a human being who chose hope over fear - progress over the prisons of the past," Obama wrote. "And I am reminded that even as he has become a legend, to know the man ... is to respect him even more."

"Conversations" is best read as a companion to Mandela's autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom," which was in part calculated by Mandela and other members of his African National Congress party to stir support for anti-apartheid activists as they stepped into new roles as leaders trying to heal and develop a divided, impoverished nation.

Wait, Barack Obama wrote the foreword? A Black President writing it for another Black President? Say it ain't so. I haven't even read "Long Walk to Freedom". I still want to meet you, Madiba. You are a great inspiration. If only 50% of Africa's leaders were like you. Is it really difficult to be like Madiba? Really? Someone tell me.

Either way, go get the book. There's even an audio CD. Lekker. Can someone buy it for me as my Christmas present? Edey Amazon. Amandla!

CNN video about the book

Apostle Kwadwo Safo's website!

My favorite African re-engineer/inventor/ingenious maker/technologist Apostle Kwadwo Safo has a website. Kantanka DOT COM! Check it out today.

Sorry, I was too excited that I wouldn't even bother telling you more. Everything is on the website anyway. This information is too much for a tweet so we blogged it. Yes, me, myself and I. Well, maybe' we'll update this post later.

Thanks to Esi Ansah, Barcamp Accra for the link. She is planning to go visit Apostle's site with her Ashesi students.


New Rwandan movie, Africa United

My friend, @Skyllie of Afroziky sent me this movie trailer today. It was for a movie called Africa United. We saw a lot of 'AfricaUnited' around the Mzansi Mundial aka FIFA World Cup in South Africa in June-July 2010. There was even some images that many people used as profile pictures on Facebook. It seemed that Ghana's Black Stars, Nigeria's Super Eagles, Cote D'Ivoire Les Elephants, Cameroun's Indomitable Lions, Algeria's Desert Warriors and South Africa's Bafana Bafana were all playing for Africa. So once the Black Stars of Ghana were left standing, it was still Africa United. Or BaGhana BaGhana if you like. So a movie about football called Africa United is easily a must-promote, must-buy and must-watch for me.

Africa United is an adventure drama from first-time feature director Debs Gardner-Paterson. Young Rwandan Dudu (Eriya Ndayambaje) heads to the football World Cup in Johannesburg with his sister, Beatrice (Sanyu Joanita Kintu), and his friend, Fabrice (Roger Nsengiyumva). To get there, they must go on a monumental journey through seven countries in the African continent. On their travels they witness crime, make new friends and deal with issues such as Aids and child prostitution.

From IMDB.
The extraordinary story of three Rwandan kids who walk 3000 miles to the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. Using a sack load of ingenuity and sass (and a World Cup wall chart for a map), our pint-sized protagonists set off through the endless horizons of Africa in pursuit of an unlikely dream. And as they walk they gather a tribe - a ragamuffin team - of broken and brilliant characters who help them negotiate a way through a series of glorious, dangerous, hilarious and often bizarre situations. Through these kids, we will encounter an Africa few people ever get to see; experience the hard reality of an epic walk through seven countries; as well as the joy, laughter and hope - 'the ubuntu' - that comes from making an incredible journey together. Written by Rhidian Brook

There's a lady in there who looks like Jackie Appiah. I was just about to say this will be the best movie she's been in, but it's not her. That title still remains with Sparrow Productions' Perfect Picture. The movie features a lot of kids, which always helps 'sell' a movie. We've seen a lot of football themed movies coming out of Africa these days. Sorry, Ghanaians, Agya Koo's Black Stars doesn't count. I am talking about movies like Themba :-) By the way, we really need an IMDB for African movies. Fienipa has started it, contribute today.

Debra in a Guardian article wrote:
I am so proud to have been part of Africa United – whose heroes are African kids, but whose themes are the universal ones of friendship, fun, hope, creativity and determination. These kids are heroes, and we mustn't let them forget that. We are all Rwandans. We are capable of anything. And, yes, we can.

"It's not about you, it's not about me, it's about us. We are a team, Africa United!" Lovely. I can't wait to see this movie. Movie opens in UK theatres October 22, 2010.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Help support our cause and the making of M3nsa's No one knows music video

Sankofa Pictures sent me info about their shooting Mensa's new music video, No One Knows. Check this story out and visit this site to support the production of this music video.

M3NSA recorded his 2nd Album ‘No. 1 MANGO STREET’ (which launches October 2, 2010), as a yearning shout out to the land of his birth. He pays homage and takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane, vividly depicting the rich, varied nuances of Ghanaian life from an adult, almost outsider perspective. This album, mixed and mastered by GRAMMY AWARD WINNING engineer Ed Reed, features a perfect blend of well-known and upcoming gifted artists with an authentic feel of West African high-life, beautifully fused with an organic hip-hop sound. This unique 14 track collection is excitingly new yet strangely familiar. From No. 1 Mango Street, we introduce to you, his 1st international single, ‘No One Knows'.

Our Cause
"I believe it is impossible to make sense of life in this world except through art."- Daniel Pinkwater

In the spirit of the world of fantasy and storytelling, we are committed to help making as many fantasies, dreams and hopes come true for children. Through the magically work of art, (video and music) we will aim to donate a portion the proceeds from our video projects’ profits to a cause that enhances a child’s life, like arts education. Ghana is a creative and vibrant nation and it's time for us to let our presence through our art be seen and heard. 

We hope through our commitment, we can help impact the less fortunate and less encouraged in some way through building arts education awareness.

Making of the Video
The message of this song is pretty simple; not to worry too much about tomorrow and precisely what it’s going to bring, but living in TODAY, to the fullest. Doing what is right for yourself, for humanity, and fulfilling your soul’s purest purpose will almost always ensure a tomorrow worth looking forward to!
The amazing crew and talent on this project are donating their time, energy and experience to this video and for this we thank and appreciate them sincerely.
This is where your help comes in.

Our music video budget of $2,500 is to cover costs of some equipment rental, locations, production insurance, post production and food for the crew, as well as odds and ends that tend to come up during production.
We really appreciate any support at all. If you can’t help monetarily, please help by passing this along to others, as we would like to spread the message and our cause to as many people as possible.
We hope this video will help lead the way in pushing these independent African artists into the mainstream.

No One Knows

To follow the Making of the video No One Knows

Words from M3NSA(Artist)
I heard a song by Asa called “No One Knows Tomorrow’’ and I felt that statement was so true! No one ever really knows what the future will bring; things can always take a turn for the better, or be disastrous. The idea is to enjoy the present to the fullest and be prepared for what the future may bring.
Looking back at my life, I would have never believed it if someone told me ten years ago that this is where I would be. Life has been good to me, not with material things like physical wealth, but rich experiences, great opportunities to work with talented people, travel to places I’d never dreamt of seeing, and a wealth of knowledge from interacting with people from all walks of life. All this happened by me just deciding to follow my heart and my true passion! But I never anticipated this.
Hearing Asa sing lyrics along those lines made me want to bring myself to it and be a part of that energy. So I used her vocals for the chorus because she sang so beautifully and it always hit me in the right spot every time I heard the song.
The powerful message in this song couldn’t be complete without a video. Visuals can always help tell a story more vibrantly, with pictures, colors, scenery and action, to fulfill all the things missed out sonically. Not only does a video enhance sound or music for that matter, we’re in an age where people always what to connect music with images. The video tells the story of a man looking to find what exactly the future will bring, by consulting soothsayers, fortune tellers etc. However, what they predict is often inaccurate and he has to alter the future himself. For instance he sees a weatherman, on TV, predicting the weather in the future, and it seems gloomy, so he hits the side of the television and the weatherman switches his forecast to something more positive. This is to signify that sometimes we have to take action to alter the future!

Words from Sankofa Pictures LLC
The youth these days listen to a lot of music and having creative videos that send a great message as well as a powerful image, I believe is a way that can bring about initial change to my country as well as Africa as a whole and even the world.
As a child, I got to see many positive music videos that had very strong messages and these have influenced me and made me a better person. I have steadily seen a decline in this amongst our youth in Ghana, especially with some of the types of materialistic videos being produced.
‘No One Know’ gives me a unique opportunity to send a strong, positive and fun message to people about determination, faith, and comfort knowing that life as we know is unknown for tomorrow but living today to the fullest because no one ever knows what the future holds for us. We can work towards what we want for our future today and be great at it.
I am believer in creating your own future. Take the words from this song, and hopefully very soon the visual will be able to enhance what this beautiful message has to say. One of my favorite parts of this song is such a beautiful simple summation of how and what many of us wait and hope for.
I won’t stop to live my life to wait for better days

And if you think its wrong then show me a better way

Life is hard! We’re not happy, we’re trying to get away

We keep on waiting for tomorrow

But it seems it never comes

Procrastinate, we wait…

So the job… is never done

Remember, you can shape your own tomorrow.

Thank you,
Sankofa Pictures LLC and M3NSA

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