Showing posts from March, 2011

Nollywood's Blackberry Babes documents the Sub-Saharan African BBM craze

By now you should have heard there is a Blackberry Craze sweeping West Africa. Blackberry Messenger (BBM) is all the rage. BBM is the new sms and guess what, if you have a Blackberry, it's free. BBM and smart phones may spell the death of sms messaging in Africa. Just watch. What better way to document the Blackberry craze than to do a Nollywood movie about it? Yup, get ready for some cultural education. With many laughs to boot. If dull moments do not exist in Ghana, the word dull is a Tagalog word to Nigerians.
I just got a Blackberry for my brother last weekend. With it, he can communicate with his friends for free, at anytime. All he needs is 'data' and BBM. After getting to Ghana last December, I realised I may have faulted in buying an Android phone instead of a Blackberry. I thought hard and long about it, but really went for the Android cos the phone was cooler and it runs on Google technology. Uh huh. Another friend of mine who lives in Boston has been encouraging…

DR Congo's Viva Riva and Ghana's Sinking Sands win big at Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA)

It's an open secret that I pay more attention to African movies that are gunning for awards and film festivals. I did watch Blackberry Babes 1 & 2 recently because I was in an email conversation about the movie and decided to pique my interest. Blackberry Babes probably can't hold a candle to the movies I will be talking about in this blog post. However, if you know about the Blackberry craze sweeping Sub-Saharan Africa, then you should watch it. It's there on Youtube. But this post is really about the 2011 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), fast becoming Africa's Oscars as FESPACO goes through some soul searching. Viva Riva, a film from the Democratic Republic of Congo (yes, they make films there too and they ain't always about rape) was the big winner at the Africa Movie Academy Awards held last weekend in Bayelsa State. It was directed by Djo Tunda Wa Munga. Set in Congo (DRC) and Angola, it tells the story of Riva (played by Patsha Bay) who has ruthless …

Just a regular newsletter from the African Leadership Academy @ALAcademy

Received the latest newsletter from the African Leadership Academy and it was full of news that made me shout #vim!. I started tweeting some of them and then I was like ermm, I need a link to share all of it. Was finding trouble finding some so decided to create a link. Going to find a link for you to subscribe to their newsletter so you hear the next round of news at the same time I do. :-)
Preparing Leaders for Changing Times ~ March 2011 In This IssueAnnouncing the Anzisha PrizeALA Students Learn from Global LuminariesALA Alumni Invited to World Economic and Skoll ForumsALA Students Give Bono HopeRecord Number of Applications for AdmissionGlobal Scholars Program Launches in JulySupport Africa's FutureQuick Links ALA Website

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Dear Friend,

The past several months have served as a powerful reminder of the importance of leadership on the African continent. The year began with a crisis of leader…

The future is here! More vim to the young African leaders and change makers out there!

After a recent discussion with @MacJordan and Henry of @disterics, I started thinking about Africa's shining stars and the young African change makers and real leaders. I have featured some on my blog and in due time, more shall be blogged about. I can say a whole lot in this blog post but I'll allow Nigeria's Ty Bello to sing my thoughts to you.

Listen to 'The Future' by Ty Bello. Props to and for the info.

Lyrics below
We are the Future, we are the dream
We are the nation, we are part of this
Yes we are so amazing, that’s the least we shall be
At the heart of the nation changing history

How can they say that we are finished, we have just begun
When we have nowhere else to run to, when we have nowhere else to go
So get out of the way, out of the way of the land of our dreams
We are the nation, we are part of this
We are the nation, we are part of this

(Chorus) Carry the song, carry the sound
The future is here, …

Disability is not inability - the inspiration that is Farida Bedwei

I first heard about Farida Bedwei when Edward Tagoe emailed our Barcamp team asking for her contacts and encouraging us to bring her to Barcamp Ghana 2010 at Ashesi. This is the news story he read. It was about the inspiring story of Farida Bedwei, overcoming the challenges of having cerebral palsy to become one of the top software engineers in Ghana and writing her own book 'Definition of a Miracle'. Cerebral palsy refers to a family of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement, posture and muscle coordination.

Speaking on Joy FM’s religious programme A Walk with Jesus, Farida said she has never allowed her disability to limit her ability. “All my life I’ve been told by my mom to remove the word ‘I can’t’ from my vocabulary and replace it with ‘I’ll try’ and so whatever I’ve done my entire life, I’ve tried and by the grace of God everything that I’ve tried, I’ve been successful at,” she said.

Farida entered mainstrea…

Google launches tech incubator called Umbono in South Africa

I love incubators and the many other programs out there geared towards launching small to medium scale enterprises. There are bunch in Africa, including the MEST incubator I've blogged about and the BusyLabs one I will blog about at some point. They are both in Accra. Saw info about Google launching a Tech incubator in South Africa called Umbono. Learn more about at this website.

Their website says ---

Have a great tech idea?The Umbono program will help transform your vision into a business. Your idea – probably web or mobile deployed – is exciting on many levels: for your future users, potential investors, and for the people on your team building it.Funding$25k to $50k seed capital, so that your team can focus on developing your idea.SpaceFree collaborative work space and bandwidth in Cape Town.Business 101A full curriculum to help with business strategy and planning. You decide which skills you'd like to hone.Mentor BaseOur deep bench of mentors includes Googlers, VCs, an…

Some African movies I still want to see

I have become a big fan of African cinema - well, not all the movies, but the really good ones. I have bought a bunch of Ghanaian and South African movies in the last couple of years. You can also search for many African movies at the Fienipa site.
Here are some others I wanna buy and watch.
Movie: Africa United Country: Rwanda
Movie: Figurine Country: South Africa
Movie: From a Whisper Country: Kenya
Togetherness Supreme Country: Kenya
Seasons of a Life Country: Malawi
Teza Country: Ethiopia
Movie: Rwanda, Le Jour Où Dieu est Parti en Voyage (Rwanda, the Day God Went on a Trip) Country: Rwanda
Movie: Beat the drum Country: South Africa
Movie: Mafrika Country: South Africa/…

Vodafone Ghana says "Power to you"

So the last time I was in Ghana, I succeeded in not using an MTN chip. Good riddance. With number portability coming to GH this summer, perfect timing. I switched to Vodafone. I won't lie. I chose Vodafone for two reasons. 1: They sponsored Barcamp Ghana. 2: They bought Ghana Telecom and my mother used Vodafone too. I enjoyed their services for the most part and moving forward, I think I'll be sticking with them. Besides, their marketing tagline is 'Power to You'. Doesn't that shout VIM to you?

I was encouraged by how Vodafone was marketing itself while I was in Ghana. It seemed they had realised they needed to push the envelope with reaching the Blackberry and texting-crazy Ghanaian youth in order to increase their market share. I saw a friend get a Vodafone Blackberry phone locally for an affordable price. By the way, have you seen their new ultra modern headquarters located in Airport City?

See some ads - Power to You


Google and Ghana is a match-made in vim-heaven

Hopefully, you know this already, but Google is doing stuff in Ghana. Last year, they organized their first conference there called G-Ghana. If you missed it, not to worry, I blogged about it. Click here. I wasn't even there, but with Twitter and hashtags like #gghana, who said I needed to be? 2011's G-Ghana is coming up soon. Before I give you details, let me give you a few reasons why you should attend it.

At least you know that there is Yeap, Google's Ghana version. Tired of Ghanaweb? Try out Google's Ghana homepage also offers search in Twi, Ewe, Ga and Hausa. And on March 6th, it celebrated Ghana's 54th by adorning the doodle in Kente

Looking for directions from Auntie Muni Waakye in Labone to Katawodieso in Osu because the former run out of waakye? Map it in Google. I be fienipa like that, I dey love nududu.

For those in Ghana who use GMAIL, you can use it to text messages to local phone numbers in Ghana. …

TransTales animates African characters and tales

Info about this arrived in my Facebook inbox and I said 'vim!'. TransTales Entertainment is a company devoted to telling great and interesting stories using inspiring visuals. Check them out at Think of them as bringing African tales, or tales with African characters to life with animation.

Read a press release about Trans Tales from where else ""

An African film company is gaining global attention by producing award-winning 3D animation titles made from an African perspective. TransTales Entertainment was started in 2005 on a budget of less than 5 000 dollars by Segun Williams and Obinna Onwuekwe, and is the first film company to produce African themed 3D animation films to fill the void in animation with myriads of authentic African stories.

The titles produced by TransTales are widely acclaimed by industry experts and the animated series "Mark of Uru" recently won the United Nations World Summit Award for the use of…

First ever Ghana Women of Excellence Awards 2011

While busily following proceedings of a Champions League match in which Barcelona ended Arsenal's interest, a friend on Twitter @nnenna was at the Accra International Conference Center for Ghana Women of Excellence Awards on the occasion of the International Women's day. This first edition was a major success. Through her tweets, several of them which I retweeted @Abocco - I present you the awardees of the First ever Ghana Women of ExcellenceAwards.

From the Facebook event - In Ghana, the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs has mandated that the Day should be commemorated with the Ghana Women of Excellence Awards Scheme. The theme for the Awards Scheme is “Empowering the Ghanaian Woman for National Development”, the primary objective of the Scheme is “to motivate Ghanaian women to strive for excellence in their various walks of life ...and to take their rightful places in the national development process”. The Awards Scheme will form part of the celebration in Ghana …

Celebrating Internatonal women's day with some African music (Museke) #internationalwomensday

Today is International Women's Day. Happy Women's Day! Last year, I blogged about this too. Check it out here - I had a lot to say. This year, I am going to do something different. I am going to share some good and great African songs about women. The music says a lot of what I, and hopefully many people want to say to African women and women all over.

Ghana's Becca recently released her newest music video and it celebrates the African woman. Only one word describes the video and song. "And every time I look at my mama, I see that woman". We can't talk about women without mentioning our mothers and how awesome they are. I love how she pays tribute to the late Miriam Makeba.

Watch the music video here

"I am a strong woman (strong woman); Bold woman; I am a wise woman; Ima let everybody get to know that". 3 Black Ladies from Uganda (Blu3) sing about strong women. Mya, Lilian and Jackie are successful women in th…

Ghana's 54th birthday weekend - #6thMarch

Ghana's 54th birthday happened this past weekend. As expected, it didn't have as much fanfare as four years ago. President Atta Mills gave a speech. The nation's teachers threatened to remove any single spines of any celebrations. Ghanaians all over the world found an excuse to party. Folks wore Ghanaian colours when they normally wouldn't. Others learnt how to recite the Ghanaian pledge and sing the national anthem again. Many things happened. How did I spend/celebrate/reflect upon the 54th anniversary of Ghana's independence's weekend? Let's find out.

I woke up late on 6th March, Sunday, to watch my team, Manchester United, versus Liverpool. I was over 30 minutes late and I was greeted with the punishment of a two goal deficit. Ah, if I had woken up early! Like all of Red Devil nation, we all believed MANUtd will make a comeback but it was not meant to be. So I congratulated Liverpool on their win and because the heavens were impressed with my honesty/humi…

Ghana's 54th birthday weekend - pre 6th March

Ghana's 54th birthday happened this past weekend. As expected, it didn't have as much fanfare as four years ago. President Atta Mills gave a speech. The nation's teachers threatened to remove any single spines of any celebrations. Ghanaians all over the world found an excuse to party. Folks wore Ghanaian colours when they normally wouldn't. Others learnt how to recite the Ghanaian pledge and sing the national anthem again. Many things happened. How did I spend/celebrate/reflect upon the 54th anniversary of Ghana's independence's weekend? Let's find out.

On Friday March 4th, like everyone other Friday, I wore an African shirt. After finishing school work, etc, I watched some of the Chicago Bulls-Orlando Magic game. Y'all know Dwight Howard aka Superman aka Chocolate Shoulders is Ghanaian right? Yes, because people say we look alike. I left the game to the Black Grad Students Association meeting with a couple of things on mind but the primary one being foo…

A mwananchi from Kenya, Gabriel Nderitu, builds plane in his front yard

I once shared a story of Morris Mbetsa - an 18 year old African self-taught electronics genius. Well, another Kenyan makes an appearance here. I saw my friend Henry @disterics share this info - "Kenyan builds plane in front yard" on Google Buzz and I didn't waste any time in killing my curiosity. Mwananchi is a Swahili word meaning the common man.

A Kenyan man has used the internet and some books on engineering to build his own aircraft. Gabriel Nderitu has dreamt of flying since he was a child and has spent a huge amount of money building the plane in his front yard. But his dream may be grounded as the authorities say it is not airworthy.

Click the link to watch the video

I think it is really sad I could not embed the video from the BBC link to this blogpost. I already am not a fan of the BBC Africa site and not allowing folks to embed such a great vimacious video is sad. So I went to Youtube to see if I'd have any luck. And I found these videos.…