Monday, August 30, 2010
Before BarCamp Accra happens on October 2, you should attend TEDxAccra as well. It is one of the TEDxChange events which are happening all over the world on September 20, 2001. The Accra event will be held from 9am to 7pm at The African Regent Hotel at the Nhyiemu (what a cool name huh?) Conference Hall, 237/238 Airport West, in Accra. See the programme at this link. You can join the event here. Partners for the event include Google, AfricaGathering, BBC World Service, Spot One Global Solutions Group and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of our favoritest people, Estelle Sowah is listed as a speaker.
On September 20, 2010, more than 150 of the world’s leading thinkers and doers will come together in New York for TEDxChange. Convened by Melinda French Gates on the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals, this event will explore what the future holds for health and development around the world. What changes have taken place in the last decade? And what more needs be done to ensure the health and well-being of future generations?
Hosted by TED curator Chris Anderson, a global audience will be participating on September 20 as TEDx communities around the world, including TEDxAccra, will be hosting events around the live webcast. To learn more, visit TEDxChange.org.
Watch a Youtube video
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
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Nududu is the Ewe word for food (Ewe is a popular language in Ghana and Togo). Nududu.com aka food.fienipa.com is a website for African food recipes and places to eat. It's an African food lover's dream and paradise. The website is the brainchild of Esi Cleland and it's being worked on by the lovely people at Fienipa.com. (abinci - eduane - riziki - food - nourriture : Eat well)
Their little blurb proves it -
We know all about African food. We know it is good. And we love it! We also know you want it so we show you where you can get it, or if you're feeling happy, we show you how you can make it yourself. We just started and we're going all the way so come back for more, read our blog, trade tips about technique in our forums or simply print out your favorite recipes and stick them on your fridge for reference. In short demand more of great food. After all if you are eating, you must eat well!
In fact, going through the recipes and seeing the pictures of food just make me hungry. My favorite dish is waakye with shito and goat meat stew. If you know me well, you know I am extremely biased towards African food and restaurants. They don't call me MIghTy African by mistake. If I sway, I go to Asian restaurants because I feel they are closest to African ones. I do like some Carribean joints too, since they tend to serve fried plantains.
Asanka Restaurant, (in Osu or Madina, take your pick), is my favorite restaurant in the whole world! It's great to be there on Sundays when they have a live-band playing. It was magical that one time when the live-band was playing tunes like 'Ahomka womu'. I was disappointed with the lack of information on the Waakye page. Since I am a Waakye expert, I guess I'll go update it with a recipe and instructions. Because canned waakye will not cut it. I am also a schooled shito maker. One day I made the decision I would not allow shito to soil my clothes while they were jollying around in my luggage as I flew across the Atlantic, so I would bring the ingredients for making shito and conjure the famous black pepper sauce myself. My mother gave me instructions and the rest they say is history. I don't buy shito anymore. I make my own. I've actually been thinking of making them at home and selling them at local African stores.
So you must want to know how to make Akrakro, Basque Chicken Yassa, Peanut sauce, Chin chin, Ceebu (Senegalese dish), Apapransa, Akyeke/Attieke, etc. Since I am quite smitten with Angola, I should learn to make some Angolan Feijoada too. They also have this one, Camarao Grelhado com Molho cru, that I'll love to try. If you didn't now how much to make jollof, wonder no more, because here is your recipe. For those of you who love fried plantains, try something different, make some plantain fritters. There are many other recipes at Nududu.com and if they don't have the one you are looking for, please request it.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Download this (it's a zip file) to get the Kasahorow installer application.
Then you can check out this PDF for instructions on Windows computers. If you use a mac, download this (it's a zip file) to get the Kasahorow installer application and here are your instructions - this link (another PDF).
You can also check this presentation for a step-by-step process.
Now, isn't this cool? The folks at Kasahorow.com are so inspiring. Support them today. Support African languages. Support Africa.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It wasn't one week after the end of the World Cup that media headlines turned our attention to the looming strike action and the Agliotti and Selebi trials. The World Cup was a welcome relief from many of the underlying challenges facing South Africa. We were united as never before. But life quickly returned to what it was before the historic event.
Or did it?
Since the end of the World Cup, we've seen the launch of the International Marketing Council's (IMC) Fly the Flag Fridays campaign, Draftfcb's Keep Flying campaign, the Primedia and Independent Newspaper's LeadSA initiative and the SABC's Social Investment Campaign starting with the clean-up of Hillbrow. Clearly, these campaigns have been inspired and initiated to keep the patriotic spirit of the World Cup alive.
South African tourism has received a considerable boost as an overwhelming number of World Cup tourists have said they'd recommend South Africa to family and friends (http://bit.ly/dwAXaB). Just this week, thousands of citizens, spurred on by LeadSA, stepped in to 'fill the gap' as Public Sector strikes overwhelmed the nation (http://bit.ly/a0oShG).
Every South African adult is currently being faced with two choices: the 'entitlement' choice to demand from our nation its money and resources for ourselves; or the 'service' choice to give to our nation our energy and resources, the choice to "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" as JFK once said.
The IMC, on the back of this wave of goodwill, is committed to encouraging South Africans to build on the World Cup legacy. On Monday evening, 23rd August 2010 "Brand South Africa", the IMC's nation-branding initiative, launched its Legacy Campaign to champion the cause of six specific projects every Friday until the 24th September 2010.
The campaign kicked off last Friday with the "Support the Springboks" initiative encouraging South Africans to wear their Springbok jerseys ahead of the All Blacks clash at Orlando Stadium last Saturday. This also culminated in the Keep Flying Guinness World Record attempt for the most number of national flags flown at one sporting event (http://bit.ly/cMEbup).
"The 2010 FIFA World Cup may be over, but its legacy remains... put your soul into it," says Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa. "Our success was mainly about people - ordinary South Africans who came together to make the tournament the most successful in its history."
The campaign is charging South Africans to "put your soul into it" and define and celebrate what Brand South Africa says is our nation's "unique culture of success". It's about building on the legacy that resulted from hosting a successful World Cup and entrenching the principles of pride, patriotism and solid citizenship that have been established over the past year. "We will be providing platforms that will enable us all to continue to achieve and showcase our 'South Africanness' to the world," says Matola.
The campaign is founded on the South African values of Ubuntu, sustainability, possibility, diversity, innovation and creativity and themes for the campaign will include the 'Class of 2010', 'do something different', 'our beautiful country' and 'celebrate your South African heritage'.
According to the IMC, "Each Friday, South Africans will celebrate all the things that make us who we are, the unique values displayed during the World Cup and enable us to be proud of our nation, culture and heritage."
Thankfully, there are a number of events, initiatives and campaigns running; we all have the choice to support and participate. So if any one of them is not to your liking, choose one that is!
Supporting the "Class of 2010" - 27 August 2010
This Friday, 27th August, the campaign will focus on the Department of Education's 'Class of 2010' initiative, which encourages ordinary South Africans to support matric students through extra lessons or donating books. With Public Sector strikes still underway across the country, many students have been left at a disadvantage with their final exams looming. The IMC donates several hours on Fridays to distribute stationery and help post-matrics with career choices in line with this initiative. There is also a pledge that can be taken to support education in South Africa on www.southafrica.info.
Do Something Different - 3 September 2010
The 2010 FIFA World Cup marked a dramatic change in the way we experienced our country, the way we saw our fellow citizens and the way the world saw us. In order to see our nation differently, we need to start doing things differently. As Albert Einstein said, doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Part of the success of the World Cup was that ordinary South Africans were doing things that they weren't normally doing, and seeing great returns. The 'Do Something Different' initiative is about ensuring that we keep the patriotic spirit alive through being innovative and creative in our everyday lives:
* Instead of sending an email, pick up the phone
* Call an old friend
* Join those who are making a difference in your community on this particular Friday
* Visit a neighbour you have never met before
* Visit a community you have never been to before
* Put up a suggestion box where people can share their ideas about doing things differently
Our Beautiful Country - 10 September 2010
South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Let's preserve what we have by making sure we protect and conserve the environment.
Some suggestions include:
* Whenever you walk take a plastic bag and pick up litter, people will follow your lead
* Host a recycling day. Ask everyone to bring in paper, glass, plastic and tins to be recycled
* Plant a tree at home, school, your office or in a community space
* Support anti-rhino poaching initiatives and causes
* Plan to visit a part of South Africa you have never been to before
Do It Day - 18 September 2010
When we stand together as one, we can do anything. We have built magnificent stadiums, world-class hotels and a Gautrain. We have hosted the world's most successful FIFA World Cup. If we all came together, what good could we do for our country and each other now?
* Visit www.doitday.co.za for causes you can volunteer for in your community
* Volunteer for an existing project
* Get your company or school to endorse 'Do It Day'
Celebrate your South African heritage - 24 September 2010
If we were asked how we achieved what we have as a nation, the answer would be easy -"We are South Africans, can't you tell?"
Fly the Flag on this Friday for our South African heritage and celebrate our diversity, our source of strength and resilience. We are the soul of South Africa.
* Have a braai and celebrate your South African heritage on 24th September (public holiday)
* Wear clothes reflecting your culture
* Spend time with someone from a different culture and learn about their customs
The challenge of course with all these campaigns is that they run the risk of being a once-off, and like the World Cup, remain a month-long memory rather than a lifetime journey of discovery and service. There's the chance that we remain 'watchers' and not transform ourselves into 'doers'; adept at hearing the call to volunteer, and yet choosing to remain apathetic. We need to come together and commit to creating a culture of volunteerism in our country, where we, civil society, with government and companies encourage fellow citizens to donate of their time to being responsible, where the norm is us talking to one another about what we've done to "put our soul into it".
At South Africa - The Good News we want to be part of creating this culture of volunteerism by supporting the Legacy Campaign and doing something for each of the five remaining initiatives described above. If you live in Johannesburg and would like to join the South Africa - The Good News team on one of these initiatives, or you have some ideas on other initiatives we can support, send us an email. Together, doing good, we can create a future we will all be proud of.
Remember there are three kinds of people in the world: "Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened!" South Africans are globally regarded as a "can do" nation. Come on fellow compatriots - "let's put our soul into it!"
Editor's note:// Are you joining one of the campaigns? Or have you been volunteering during the strikes? Email us your story.
By Julie Cunningham of www.sagoodnews.co.za
It doesn't just apply to South Africa, it can apply to you. I am talking to you, Africa. Let's go dier. Ke nako!
After a recent conversation with a friend in South Africa, I have come to learn that xenophobia in South Africa towards other Africans is quite real. It disappoints me. I love Mzansi, but such news troubles me greatly. To think that black South Africans would treat other black Africans with contempt is atrocious. We see South Africa opening up to the rest of Africa through Channel O, etc, but we need more than that. C'mon, South Africa, no one is coming to take your 'jobs'. Africa is uniting and this is part of the process. Yes, we know local is lekker but You are making beautiful movies and doing well economically, who else would you have helping you out other than the same people who supported you in the apartheid days? Make a positive film about condemning this xenophobia stuff, celebrating other Africans, and give us reason to believe you can accept other Africans wholeheartedly. Like you did with BaGhana baGhana. :-)
We've seen the 'xenophobia' at work in various South African movies. Tsotsi is one of my favorite movies ever. I watched it for the first time in Spring 2006 and loved it. One thing that didn't dawn on me was the name of the 'gangster' character Zola played - Fela. The biggest gangster in Soweto had a Nigerian name. I have heard that many drug dealers in South Africa are Nigerian but that's not good reasoning for naming South African movie gangsters Nigerian names.
The negative portrayal of Nigerians in South African movies reached its height in the movie, District 9. It didn't win an Oscar like Tsotsi but it had many nominations. Nigeria had to ban the movie's screenings in Nigeria because of this portrayal. This is what I had to say -
I thought South Africa and Nigeria were cool now? In the movie, Nigerians run a cat food 419 scam in the slums of District 9. As if internet fraud was not enough, they were being portrayed as people who would also deceive aliens. We know about ABC 20/20's special on Nigerian 419, but you got to give it to these guys, they are hustlers and have the entrepreneurial spirit. What I didn't enjoy was the portrayal of the Nigerians as slumlords, criminals and drug dealers. Now, from prior knowledge, Nigerians may be running drug cartels and prostitution rings in South Africa, but in the slums? Why would they travel all the way to Nigeria and live in the slums? Besides, the South African anti-apartheid fighters have a whole bunch of weapons, which is partly the reason for the high incidence of crime in Mzansi, so how could the Nigerians be portrayed as the criminals? I suppose Neill Blomkamp couldn't portray South Africans that way and the easiest targets were the Nigerians. This must stop! I demand someone make a movie that portrays Nigerians in South Africa in a good light. Because such people do exist in real life.
Jerusalema was nominated for best foreign language film at the Oscars but it didn't win. This South African mafia movie did not take kindly to Nigerians either. It made people think of 'Makwerekwere' when they heard BaGhana baGhana. I wrote -
My Nigerian friend borrowed the movie to watch and didn't miss the Nigerian references in the movie. The Nigerians in the movie were portrayed as drug dealers and pimps. I don't know why they had to choose Nigerians to play such roles in this script but that wasn't cool. Could this be the life some of the Nigerians in South Africa are living? Yes, it turns out some. Lucky Kunene had a line where he claimed Tony Ngu's people had messed up their own country and came to South Africa to mess up theirs as well. Tony Ngu in turn talks about 'entitlement' from Mandela. In 2008, news of xenophobia attacks in South Africa made the rounds and some foreigners there lost their lives. Some people argue the South African government is not doing enough to empower the blacks as their jobs are taken by the 'makwerekwere'. One other thing to note here is that these Nigerian roles are not played by Nigerians.
It's not all bad though. MTN and other huge African companies have come from South Africa and continue to do great work in Africa and beyond. It made me proud to see MTN as the primary sponsor for the Mzansi Mundial, the very first World Cup held on African soil. MTN has built its business by expanding into other African countries and these nations accepting them. Most of its business is from Nigeria, the same country that's been getting the raw deal in the aforementioned movies. We have South Africans investing in business across the continent and their businesses starting franchises all over. I think it's beautiful and encouraging. The South African economy is still developing and at stages where other African ones are not at yet. Other Africans would seek better jobs in the South African economy and seek to attend the better universities that are in South Africa. It's a win-win for all parties.
The immigrant problem in South Africa is not very different from that in developed countries. You have many African immigrants doing menial jobs and resorting to social vices to survive, etc. Hillbrow in Johannesburg is noted for having African immigrants who are criminals and drug dealers. However, other parts of South Africa are inhabited by other Africans who are well-meaning residents of Mzansi. They are contributing the cultural and economic diversity by operating restaurants, shops and starting entrepreneurial ventures. The onus is on both local South African authorities and African embassies to make sure that these immigrants contribute positively to the South African lifestyle and economy.
While looking for more recent acting info on the lovely Terry Pheto, I came across a few movies. I had just seen the South African award-winning Oscar movie, Tsotsi, for the 27th time. Terry Pheto is something else. I wanna marry her. "You're having an affair with Amos?" Terry, Thando Iwam (Marry me). I went to her Twitter page and in response to a tweet directed at her about her next movie, she had tweeted - "Hopeville The Movie opening 3rd of Sept nationwide." Excitement! Cheza cheza! Woza woza! I went on a Hopeville trailer hunt and found it. And then this blog post was birthed. Ke nako!
Seriously, the fact that Terry Pheto is in a new movie, Hopeville, makes me want to clap. Applause. Hopeville is a TV series she's been in lately. If you can't make her out, she's the character called Fikile. I saw her in Goodbye Bafana and have been waiting for more movies with her. She's heavenly. I was almost going to change my facebook profile picture to show how celestial she was. To think she was undiscovered as an actress before Tsotsi was made, and she used to live in a shack with a roof of corrugated iron, in a township just outside Johannesburg just 7 years ago. Rags to riches. She's so beautiful she can make a thug become like a baby.
Hopeville - One man's courage to live out his values. - This movie looks great! The trailer is awesome and it looks like an inspirational movie. I'm a little sad because it seems Terry Pheto has a small role in the movie. I am sure she
Synopsis - Hopeville tells the story of Amos, a reformed alcoholic on a mission to forge a relationship with his estranged son, Themba. When father and son arrive in the dusty town of Hopeville, they discover a mean little community where apathy, fear and suspicion are the order of the day. When Amos decides to restore the public swimming pool so that the young people of the town can enjoy some recreation and his son can pursue a swimming career, he is met with scepticism and resistance from the town's authorities and its inhabitants. Through patience, determination and courage, Amos' selfless act ripples through Hopeville, inspiring others to take action and to do what they know is right. Slowly but surely, good ripples through Hopeville, transforming the town and its inhabitants for good.
Jozi - Screwing up can be addictive. - This movie has been showing for a while so someone please buy it for me already, I'll pay back. The movie does feature a lot of white South African actors. There's no burger like a Jo'burger. Really? Cast: Carl Beukes, Lionel Newton, Nick Boraine, Moshidi Motshegwa, Jena Dover, Lindi Matshikiza. Director: Craig Freimond. Music: Warrick Sony. Genre: Comedy
Synopsis - James is a successful comedy writer. There is only one small problem: He lives in Johannesburg and has completely lost his sense of humour. Crime, politics, pessimism and feather-duster salesmen have invaded every cell of his body causing him to lose the very spark of humour which enables him to earn his living. He has other problems too his girlfriend has left him for the most boring man in the world; his entire family has emigrated; he has thrown his producers computer out the window and developed a serious drug problem. In the maddest of madcap journeys, James must travel through the highways and byways of South Africa from Daspoort Rehab back to Johannesburg to try and find his elusive sense of humour as well as his ability to love and laugh again.
Life, Above All - Nothing is more contagious than lies. - The trailer starts with the song Obrigado being sang. I discovered this song, the Solly Mahlangu version, this year, and it was adjudged best gospel song at the South African Music Awards. That is reason enough to see the movie. The movie is about loyalty and courage. Cast: Khomotso Manyaka, Lerato Mvelase, Harriet Manamela, Keobaka Makanyane, Tinah Mnumzana. Director: Oliver Schmitz. Music: Ali N. Askin. Genre: Drama
Synopsis - Just after the death of her newly-born baby sister, Chanda, 12 years old, learns of a rumour that spreads like wildfire through her small, dust-ridden village near Johannesburg. It destroys her family and forces her mother to flee. Sensing that the gossip stems from prejudice and superstition, Chanda leaves home and school in search of her mother and the truth. This is a universal, emotional drama about a young girl who fights the fear and shame that have poisoned her community. The film captures the enduring strength of loyalty and a courage powered by the heart.
Terry Pheto, follow me abeg.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Register today at http://barcampaccra10.eventbrite.com/
BarCampAccra 2010, ad-hoc gathering where attendees meet for discussions, demos and networking, will take place on October 2nd, 2010 at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) campus at 20 Aluguntuguntu Street in East Legon, Accra. The theme is be “Creating wealth and employment in a challenging environment”. Following the successes of BarCamp Ghana '08 and BarCamp Ghana '09, regional BarCamp events will be organized in selected regions in Ghana to enable as many people as possible partake in BarCamps before the main national event in December.
On December 22, 2008, over a hundred young Ghanaians met in Accra for BarCamp Ghana '08 to exchange ideas on entrepreneurship, innovation and development for a rising Ghana. BarCamp Ghana '09 followed on December 21, 2009, in Accra, under the theme "Leadership for our times - cultivating change makers". BarCamp Accra 2010 will bring together stakeholders in Accra to for a day of dialogue, demos and discussions about how to navigate the challenges of doing business and building ventures in Accra.
BarCamps all over the world have brought together individuals and organizations to collaborate on various projects and businesses. BarCamp Accra ’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.
Panelists and speakers will include Eve Andersson of Google, Esi Ansah of Ashesi University, Derrydean Dadzie of DreamOval, Shika Acolatse of Enablis, Esi Cleland of AfroChic, Emmanuel Dogbevi of Ghana Busines News amongst others. There will be sessions organized by Google representatives and as well as other breakout sessions on various topics and interests as put forth by the attendees.
Register/RSVP today at the BarCamp Accra Eventbrite website. You may also contact the BarCamp Accra team through this website for sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs.
BarCamp Accra 2010 is sponsored by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), WorldWideWeb Foundation, Google, GhanaThink Foundation, etc. Our media partners are CitiFm, Ghana Business News and Radio Universe. The customer support hotline is 0543-288099. You can send questions, comments, and feedback by SMS and get responses.
See you there!
Register today at http://barcampkumasi10.eventbrite.com/
BarCamp Kumasi 2010 will take place on September 18, 2010 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Engineering Department at the KNUST campus in Kumasi, Ghana. The theme is be “Collaboration: The key for opportunity and development”. Following the successes of BarCamp Ghana '08 and BarCamp Ghana '09, regional BarCamp events will be organized in selected regions in Ghana to enable as many people as possible partake in BarCamps before the main national event in December.
On December 22, 2008, over a hundred young Ghanaians met in Accra for BarCamp Ghana '08 to exchange ideas on entrepreneurship, innovation and development for a rising Ghana. BarCamp Ghana '09 followed on December 21, 2009, in Accra, under the theme "Leadership for our times - cultivating change makers". BarCamp Kumasi 2010 will bring together stakeholders in Kumasi to for a day of dialogue, demos and discussions about how collaboration amongst different institutions can spearhead socio-economic development in Kumasi and beyond.
A BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering where attendees meet for discussions, demos and networking. Unlike a typical conference, at a BarCamp everyone is both a speaker and a participant. The content is provided by all attendees based on their interests, unified under the theme. BarCamp Kumasi ’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.
Register/RSVP today at the BarCamp Kumasi eventbrite website. You may also contact the BarCamp Kumasi team through this website for sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs.
BarCamp Kumasi 2010 is sponsored by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), National Society of Black Engineers (KNUST chapter), GhanaThink Foundation, etc.
See you there!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I find the results to be unrevealing since it merely concludes that Ghana doesn't lose much from having a large portion of its 'brightest' formally-trained bɔgas spend their productive years abroad. Note that the survey only asked 238 people for their opinions so take care in extrapolating the results.
The data points themselves are more interesting:
- 47% of all Ghana university grads live abroad.
- there are nearly 3 times as many Ghanaians living in the US than the UK (the 2nd top destination)
- on average each bɔga makes about $74k every year
- on average each bɔga sends about $5k to Ghana every year
- the value of the cash those who live abroad make in their entire working life is greater $1m
- there is no significant difference in income by age group for those who left and return to Ghana and those stayed at home all the time [it seems this is for people who return to find some job]
- a lot of people return to Ghana when they're over 45years
These facts make it seem as if young people prefer being abroad because their jobs abroad pay them much more. It doesn't address those who start a business (who are more important to Ghana as a country than those who merely want a job).
It also seems that the folks who stay at home do not benefit all that much from those abroad. Given that the average per capita income of the USA is around $50k, you can see that our surveyed bɔgas are definitely in the higher income brackets than their host country and have at least $70k-50k=24k/yr to invest roughly speaking. They send *only* $5k home (which probably seems a lot to the folks in Ghana). If there are any Ghana-based finance entrepreneurs/policy-makers lurking on this list, it looks like you could get folks abroad to save more of their free cash in Ghana (it helps the cedi economy even if it's not spent in case you're wondering why).
Enjoy and ruminate some more on this if you wish.
paa.kwesi Odadee '98
This is the info sent by David McKenzie of the Development Research Group, World Bank
We attach here a specific summary of the results from Ghana.
The World Bank's facebook site has a discussion forum of the results:
More general summaries of the full work in 5 countries are as follows:
1) A non-technical summary of the findings is provided in this Vox column:
2) A blog on the findings is on the World Bank's migration blog:
3) The formal academic paper looking at the consequences of
high-skilled migration is at:
Thursday, August 19, 2010
A few African party songs made the list together with some usual suspect Yankee songs. It was a wedding between a Ghanaian born in Canada and an African-American. At Ernest and Kai's reception, Kofi B's popular Koforidua Flowers was played. So I figure. It's about the only song on my own list that made it to DJ Fiifi's rotation. My list is African songs only. Then again, my partner may have something to say about that. If she thinks different, I might just 'incept' an idea into her head. Until then, I can dream. A full blog post about the wedding will come soon but when my friend, Dami, sent me an email requesting some African wedding songs, I knew this entry had to come first.
Of course, before I let you know my own list, you have to check African wedding and marriage songs. Here's a post about African wedding songs. On to my list proper, had to choose lucky 13...... Drumroll, wedding music, dondoooo.....
No One Like You - P-Square (Nigeria)
No other song could have come first. This P-Square hit is just too magnificent. Even the P-Square brothers sing in concert saying "this is my favorite song". Starting a song with the line "Hello, how you doing" is classic. The music video is fantastic and joyous. This is arguably the best and most popular African wedding song. You should play it at yours.
Marry me (thando lwam) - Bojo Mujo (South Africa) & Tequila (Namibia)
One of my best friends sent me this song and she says her fiance proposed to her with it. How cute! He picked a great song. I don't understand all the lyrics but this is just one of the songs that has made me fall in love with South African house music. This is a wicked Southern African collabo and it's a shame it wasn't more popular.
Meye - Kwabena Kwabena (Ghana)
You need to sit down someone who understands Twi to teach you what this song is saying verbatim and intoto. Kwabena sings that "he will do everything his lover wants". Kwabena is one of the best singers ever from Ghana. He was made for love songs and weddings. I want him to be at mine. Heaven doesn't even know Kwabena never made a music video for this song.
Puduo - Ofori Amponsah, Kofi Nti, Barosky, King Khoruz (Ghana)
This is one of All4Real's most underrated songs. He used to dominate the Ghanaian music scene. Otoolege is one of my favorite songs but it's surely not a song to play at a wedding. Here are some translations; "Akyaa, papa ei" - Father of Akyaa; "Wo ba no ahoɔfɛ deɛ, matɔ atua ka" - I have fully bought and paid for the beauty of your daughter; "Merema wo puduo na mafa no o, ayɛ me dɔ" - In exchange of having her as my love, I’ll give you a special vessel made of brass/bronze. "I've tried (4x), agye me nsa mu" - I’ve tried(4x) but it’s out of my control; "Menim sɛ ɔnyi me mma o, ɔdɔ me nko ara" - I know she won’t betray my love because she loves only me (and no one else). Great song.
Never change my mind - Malaika (South Africa)
Malaika is one of my favorite African groups. They scored a continental hit with this one. The music video is just beautiful too! The only English line in the song is "I will never ever change my mind" and it's enough. The rest of the time you can say 'Ke nako' in your head and feel the rhythm in your bones. How much will it cost to fly Malaika in for my wedding too? The song just oozes happiness.
Vul'indlela - Brenda Fassie (South Africa)
This is one of the most popular African songs of all time. I am not such a huge fan but the song just happens to be about marriage as well so why not? Here are some of the translations; "Vul'indlela wemamgobhozi" - Open the gates, Miss Gossip; "He unyana wam" - My baby boy; "Helele uyashada namhlanje" - Is getting married today; "Vul'indlela wela ma ngiyabuza" - Open the gates please; "Msuba nomona" - Don't be jealous; "Unyana wami uthathile" - My son has had a good catch; "Bengingazi ngiyombon'umakoti" - I never thought I'd see a daughter in law; "Unyana wam eh ujongile this time" - My son has been accepted (woman said yes). Mabrr rocks.
With this woman - Darey (Nigeria)
"See, I wanna tell you about this girl in my life". Listening with rapt attention eh? How about I tell you about a bunch of girls in my life for now? But on that wedding day, with this woman, I'll tell you a whole lot more. I mean seriously, "Have you ever had a girl who would make you cry? (cry like a baby); You'll become so lucky you'll be asking why?". This is the song Darey wrote for his wife, Deola. Maybe I'll write my own song before my wedding. I pretty much have a poem to that effect lying somewhere anyway.
Wedding day - 9ice (Nigeria)
9ice of Gongo Aso fame also wrote a song for his wife. Except the marriage didn't end and then 9ice had to write some break-up type songs. Tofiakwa! Not my portion! The song is still good though. It's a song for the wedding day and a promise for before and after. Maybe 9ice should have made a video for the song? Maybe that investment would have prevented him from calling it quits later on? Maybe. This is a definite yes though.
Ololufe - Wande Coal (Nigeria)
Before Wande Coal took Africa by storm asking who's bad and encouraging bumper to bumper, he had this underground hit. The guy is a pop-star akin to T-Pain, but he can sang too. Hey, he even freakin became the number one trending topic on Twitter. "Baby, look at this picture; It's about our future; I want you to be my wife, my bride; And I want you to have my child, my life". Don't you just love this song? "And the only thing that I want you is to say - I do, I do, I do, I do, I do"
You may kiss the bride - Bollie (Ghana)
Just because we'll need some fast-paced song to shekete plenty, this massive jam makes the cut. Who wouldn't want an excuse to be saying "muah/mweh/mwah/mncwa" on their wedding day? "I was in my element; When we were playing the other song; But I am still feeling this one though". The song is not the best wedding story but hey, what else do you wait for on such a day than "You may kiss the bride?" Check it out.
If love is a crime - 2Face Idibia (Nigeria)
Tuface has to represent at my wedding in some form. This will be his contribution. The song does mention wedding saying that the lady in question will be saving herself up for her husband on her wedding night. That's a nice line but this song is about love, more than weddings and marriages. People may argue marriages should not be necessarily built solely on love (discuss). Because in fact, "If love is a crime;
Then I'd like to dey go jail; I said if love is a crime; Then I'll prefer to dey stay jail". 2Baba no lele!
Teu grande amor - Ary (Angola)
We have to have a zouk/kizomba song on the list. I don't understand Portuguese so I can't explain this song fully. I do know that Teu Grande Amor means Your Great Love. That would have been good enough to make the list, except Ary is too beautiful, the music is Kizomba and she hails from Angola. If I was Roberto, this song would be number one on my list. Aish, where's my Portuguese?
Heavy - Obrafour (Ghana)
The wedding cannot end without an Obrafour song. No, it won't be Sete. It's this awesome collabo between Rap Sofour and Kofi B. It even borrows a word from Soul Tee's Oniee (another favorite). Here are some translations; Sɛ menya wo a - if I get you; Sɛ neɛ ɔdɔ bɛyɛ ɔdɔ biara - whatever a lover would do for a lover; Sɛ wotwe ma me - if you allow me; Sɛ neɛ ɔkunu bɛyɛ ɔyere biara - whatever a husband would do for a wife; Sɛ ɛben ma me a - if it is given to me". In fact, I like the song so much that when I sing the rap verses. Yes. And then I repeat this line "Mɛhwɛ no ama nipa aka 'oh oh'"like three times before proceeding. The song is heavy (on my heart).
For those of you who are already married, you can always play some of these songs and this new song by Kojo Antwi made especially for you - Happy anniversary. Other songs that just missed the cut are Oruka - Sunny Nneji (Nigeria), Queen - Longombas (Kenya), True love (2Face Idibia) - Nigeria, Dali wami - Loyiso (South Africa), Obaa ben ni - Daasebre Gyamena (Ghana), Umphathe Kahle - Theo of Mafikizolo (South Africa), Amor - Viviane (Senegal) & Philippe Monteiro (Cape Verde), Don't change - Kaysha (DR Congo), I love you - Yola Araujo (Angola) & Ali Angel (Mexico), Esikyire (Don't change your style) - Wutah (Ghana), African Queen - 2Face Idibia (Nigeria), Till my dying day - Banky W (Nigeria), Sigi kourouni - Sangaré Oumou (Mali), Kotosa - Wutah (Ghana), etc.
I hope you found your next favorite song. You were not clicking alone? W'abɔ loss. Your loss. Either way, I am sure you have your own list. Please share.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Asamoah Gyan aka Baby Jet was the first Ghanaian to score in a World Cup and he's scored another first, by becoming the first footballer to venture into hiplife music. He features with popular hiplife star, Castro the Destroyer, in a classic video, African Girls. Asamoah Gyan is also very popular for his goal celebration dances, some of which he performs in the music video. The song and music video has been greeted positively by music fans as it is becoming very popular.
The song is produced by Castro's Wondzie Entertainment. The Takoradi native has been struggling to enjoy the same success he had during the times of hit songs like Sradenam and Toffee, and this Asamoah Gyan collaboration might just do the trick. The idea of singing about African women is not as fashionable as of 2005 but it is the focus of the song. Castro and Asamoah Gyan sing about Ghanaian and African women. The song mentions "African girls dey be, dance to the groove and feel the heat". "African girls dey be, them be weet, them be sexy like cheese". It's a party type track and not exactly one that empowers women. Then again, how many African songs do that?
A lot of music fans love the song and the dances but are not very impressed with Asamoah Gyan's rap. Some believe he should learn to take better penalty kicks and not worry about rapping and doing music. Baby Jet claims Ghanaian women are beautiful and that they should use their sweet thing to do 'kekye'. 'Kekye' is a popular Ghanaian term for dribbling and football showmanship.
The video was directed and edited by Egya Bucknor, with camera by Virus Agyare, art direction by Dela Sanaki, make-up by Eunice Mould. The team is known as NAS (Nuquari Arts Studio). There is a cameo by Asamoah Gyan's brother, Baffour Gyan, himself, a former Black Stars regular. It would have been nice to have seen some other Black Star players join in the 'Asamoah Gyan dance' in the music video, especially players like Anthony Annan, John Paintsil and Kwadwo Asamoah.
Watch the music video
Lyrics for the song coming to this Museke.com link. African girls is not the only song Asamoah Gyan has been working on. He also has ‘Baby’ which also features Nigeria born Soli Baba. Dancing and music is surely in Gyan’s blood. He plans to record a hiplife album after he finishes his football career.
Monday, August 16, 2010
The event helped me learn about a lot of awesome young Africans, including Johannes Arthur who built sofas using water bottles and, Alfred Sirleaf who is the Liberian analogue (blackboard news) reporter, amongst others.
Some info from the Maker Faire Africa website.
The key words here are to celebrate and have fun while absorbing,interacting and learning from the creativity of others.
The core of the Maker Faire Africa is ‘Makers’ showing their work.
We expect 100 / 120 Makers who ‘Make or Produce with care, skill & ingenuity’ across the following disciplines:
Artisan crafts: Metals, Textiles, Wood, Ceramics, Glass,
Engineering: Chemical, Electrical, Materials, Mechanical, Software, Hardware
Design: Architecture, Environmental, Fashion, Graphics, Industrial, Interior
The public and other makers should be able to see and interact with the works, it’s not a case of look and don’t touch. Inventions will be demonstrated and put to work, explained, discussed, tips shared for improvement.
See some photos from Maker Faire Africa.
See a news feature Africannews.com made about last year's event
Before you see the movie, you should see the trailer. A good trailer can 'make' a movie. Like this blog post proves. So let's start you off with the trailer for this movie:
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you - A Sting In A Tale. Watch it right here (Unless, you are reading this on bloody Facebook that won't feed in my Youtube links. #FAIL). MIghTyAfrican blog fans, enjoy!
Watching the movie, you may see a lot of ads. They may annoy you, they may entice you, they may enchant you enough for you to click them. They are there to support Sribuo and Sparrow Productions, who are bringing you this masterpiece. Bear with them small. The game is changing. Some entities are taking advantage illegally while others are staying within the legal confines. I have always said I love how Sparrow Productions helped re-birth the movie going experience in Ghana and they are pioneering the idea of movie screenings online for free. They are forward-thinking. Sribuo has put a lot of effort into getting popular Ghanaian music on iTunes, Amazon.com, so now you can easily buy popular Ghanaian music. Let's support the music and movie industries.
After I posted the movie, many people asked me how it was possible to have a Youtube video that's almost 2 hours long. Well, Youtube launched their movies section earlier this year with full-length features. It's mostly populated by no-name movies and documentaries. :-) The more recent and popular movies seem to be for sale. According to the guys at George Armah at Sribuo, to be able to upload full length features on Youtube, "you need to become a partner and in order to do that you need to prove to them that you own copyrights to every single video in your channel. They (Youtube) are pretty hardcore about it". You may even have to jump through a few more hoola hoops to even get that done. I mean before Sribuo could get there, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios, better known as MGM, was the first major movie studio to post full-length feature films on YouTube. Serious business.
Anyway, I am hoping more movies join the train, though movies like "A Sting In A Tale" are so good, I'll rather also just buy them and add them to my movie collection. Kudos to everyone involved.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Following the successes of BarCamp Ghana '08 and BarCamp Ghana '09, regional BarCamp events will be organized in selected regions in Ghana to enable as many people as possible partake in BarCamps before the main national event in December.
We are lining up BarCamp Accra 2010 which will take place on October 2nd, 2010 at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) campus at 20 Aluguntuguntu Street in East Legon, Accra. The theme is be “Creating wealth and employment in a challenging environment”.
On December 22, 2008, over a hundred young Ghanaians met in Accra forBarCamp Ghana '08 to exchange ideas on entrepreneurship, innovation and development for a rising Ghana. BarCamp Ghana '09 followed on December 21, 2009, in Accra, under the theme "Leadership for our times - cultivating change makers". BarCamp Accra 2010 will bring together stakeholders in Accra to for a day of dialogue, demos and discussions about how to navigate the challenges of doing business and building ventures in Accra.
You can become a fan today on facebook, www.facebook.com/BarCampAccra
Follow us on Twitter - twitter.com/Barcampaccra
BarCamp Kumasi with the theme - Collaboration: The key for opportunity and development. This will most probably be at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology campus.
Become a fan today - www.facebook.com/BarCampKumasi
Follow on twitter: twitter.com/barcampkumasi
We'll round up with BarCamp Ghana in December
Become a fan today - www.facebook.com/BarCampGhana
Follow on twitter: twitter.com/barcampGhana
For any inquiries, or suggestion get in touch by sending us an e-mail through barcamp at ghanthink dot org. Hope to hear from you soon!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In her own words, Me Broni Ba is definitely not your typical Ghanaian/nigerian film. It doesn't look typical. It's a short film, the trailers hardly have any dialogue. It talks about a subject I haven't seen any Ghanaian film touch - hair, hair salons. It's not the Ghanaian version of Chris Rock's Good Hair either. The synpsis reads - "Me Broni Ba is a lyrical portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana. The tangled legacy of European colonialism in Africa is evoked through images of women practicing hair braiding on discarded white baby dolls from the West. The film unfolds through a series of vignettes, set against a child's story of migrating from Ghana to the United States. The film uncovers the meaning behind the Akan term of endearment, me broni ba, which means “my white baby."
Akosua attended art and film school at CalArts in California. What 'trips' her is that her film is being shown and written about at all the reputable film festivals and publications but few Blacks or Africans even know about it. I'm not surprised. How many Ghanaians know a movie like No time to die exists? If you are not advertising the movie in Ghana or distributing it through channels that will see your movie end up on Youtube or being watched on ghananation or onlinenigeria for free, your film is probably not going to be too popular. However, our forefathers did say that a good name is better than riches. A great film will find its viewers and the makers of the film will be rewarded. Rewarded? Akosua has. Her film has gone to the Rotterdam, Athens, and Atlanta Film Festivals. It was also the best documentary short at the Chicago Underground Film Festival last year. In fact, the official selections are too much for me to list here so see them beautifully displayed on the "Me Broni Ba" site.
The movie has an interesting title, Me Broni Ba. We always complain how we (Ghanaians) see everything of the white man as great and better. When we sing about our lovers, we call them "Me broni" (my white person). Nan-sains? Maybe, but it's in our culture and our language. Me Broni Ba could also refer to dolls. I see a lot of my 'sisters' going natural these days, as if to say, let's shun the whole 'white'-long hair-perms-weaves movement. It costs our 'sisters' time and money to look beautiful in this way. I won't lie, those weaves sure do look seizy and tight but some of our 'sisters' also look gorgeous with those natural hairstyles. This movie may have an interesting take on it.
See two official trailers here
I hope to watch the movie soon so I can review it. The trailers are interesting enough. I want to learn about hair salons. In Kumasi, no less. No, really.
Friday, August 6, 2010
First off, we start with Mzansi. Themba is a South African movie with the tag line - A boy called Hope. Filmed on location against the stunning rural landscapes of the Eastern Cape, Themba tells the story of a local boy who triumphs against adversity and proves that with talent and determination dreams can come true. Themba depicts the triumph of the human spirit and how belief in oneself and ones talent is tantamount to never giving up. Themba goes behind the pin-up posters of soccer stars and shows us what really makes for a hero.
Next up, we move to Kenya where we have a German-Kenyan collabo called Soul Boy.
A German crew, lead by Tom Twyker, collaborated with a Kenyan production company to host production workshops in Kibera, Nairobi, one of the largest slums in East Africa. In the joyous, compelling film that resulted, a teenage boy discovers his father is dying, tracks down the witch who stole his soul and then embarks on a quest to save him. The movie was directed by Hawa Essuman.
I am not sure I blogged about this Nigerian movie that's receiving a lot of buzz called Ije (The Journey). It does feature both Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde aka OmoSexy. I really hope I can see this one soon, maybe before the summer is over. The movie has already won a bunch of international awards. See at their website. The movie's soundtrack is an Asa song (Awe). Supremo! Synopsis - Unprecedented in scope, IJE tells a tale of Chioma, a child growing up in the Nigerian countryside, who warned her restless sister, Anya, about the trappings of the American Dream. Now ten years later, Anya is accused of killing three men in a Hollywood Hills mansion-one of them her record producer-husband. Chioma travels from Nigeria to Los Angeles, and with the help of a young, unproven attorney, discovers that the dark secret her sister wants to keep hidden might be the only thing that can win her freedom.
On to Bongo land, we have Lovely Gamble. £ovely Gamble is a Tanzanian film directed by Renisson Okemwa and starring Steve Kanumba. Ali Kiba's Sexy Mama featuring Mkazuzu & Big Ayoub was used as a promotional video. Lovely Gamble is an experimental film based on music love and unfaithfulness. staring steve Kanumba aka the great, from tanzania. along side up and coming UK actors, Kisiri Elly, Mekckisha Macha, and Linda Kapinga.
Is ZIMOLLYWOOD the worst name yet? O M G. Here's one from Zimbabwe. The Blood suckers? For real.
Synopsis - The movie is about a lady, Katrina who had been raped by a thug, called James. James also attacked her husband Philip and left him in a coma and brain dead. The doctors were now waiting for Katrina's decision to switch off the machines which were helping Philip to breath. Also in the same hospital was James' son Bernard who was seriuosly ill needing a heart transplant. The only heart donor available was Philip. If it were you, what would you have done? Would you have helped the family who had caused you so much misery? This is a movie with alot of suspense painfull twist and turns.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Kuweni Serious - Fighting the EVIL powers of apathy
Featuring a random sampling of Kenyans. Produced/Directed by Mbithi Masya and Jim Chuchu for Kuweni Serious. Edited by Mbithi Masya. Narration by Bill Sellanga, words and music by Jim Chuchu.
There is a difference between the one who rents a house, and the one who owns a house. The one who rents a house doesn't care if the walls crack and crumble, they can always move to another house.
The one who owns a house knows that no one else will take care of it, thus they paint the walls and mend the cracks.
More than 60% of Kenya's population consists of young men and women like us.
The problem is that we behave like tenants of Kenya. We have let the older generation tear this country apart. We have let them use us to fight their battles. We have let them loot this country. We have let them fool us into thinking that we're not fit to run this country ourselves.
So we hide in our alcohol, in our religions and on the Internet as if there is some other Kenya out there that we shall move to when this one crumbles. We sit at home and wait for others to fight for us on the streets.
We want green cards instead of voter's cards. We are angry, but we are too scared to do anything about it. It is not Obama's job to save this country. It is not the donors' job, and the government has shown that it is not their job, either. Responsibility is not shared, it is earned.
Freedom is not given, it is taken. When we decide we want freedom, we will have to get it ourselves.
Because if this country burns, we burn with it.
An angry father asks the government for help - featuring Rapcha the Sayantist. Produced by Mwafrika and Kuweni Serious.
http://www.kuweniserious.org - Fighting the EVIL powers of apathy.
Licensed by Kuweni Serious from Just A Band (2010). All Rights Reserved.
Kuweni Serious visited the Ziwani and Majengo neighborhoods to ask random people a couple of questions. Here's what they said when we asked them, "Do you think your vote counts? And do you plan to continue voting?".
Note: The guy at the end, he's just joking...