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 food. In the short time I was there, the guest speaker led the students in a short meditation session. Problem then was, I had just started eating. No, can't be munching in a time of meditation, so I excused myself. "While others are mediating at the black students meeting, I am eating".

After staying at the BGSA meeting for a minute, I went to watch the last film in the Stanford African film series - "Welcome to Nollywood". Will blog about that in detail later, good documentary. I facilitated a discussion afterwards and we managed to talk about Nollywood without a single Nigerian being there. Shame! I learnt that Nollywood produces 2400 movies per year. It was non-existent in 1990 and is now the 2nd biggest movie industry in the world. It akes $286 million each year for the Nigerian economy. There's an action film academy in Nigeria where people learn head snaps, firearm safety, brave falls, etc. The documentary talked about a Nollywood film called Laviva which reproduces war times in Liberia. Will love to see it.

I caught the tail end of the Miami Heat-San Antonio Spurs game. The Heatles were not on the floor. Why? They were not needed. It was a blowout in the Alamodome. Lebron, Wade and Bosh joined the rest of the Miami team and all the spectators to watch Los Suprs play basketball for 48 minutes. Meanwhile, my Celtics were winning, the atrocious Cleveland Cavaliers were winning their straight against the Knicks, and the Lakers and Mavericks were winning too. I returned home, and wondered how I was going to spend my night and ended up chillaxing at home. All this while, I had forgotten I had rsvped to attend a good friend's birthday dinner. Sadness.

I woke up on Saturday not so sad though. It was only a day to March 6th. I watched three Black Stars - Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari and John Mensah join the Black Stars, ahem Cats of Sunderland to frustrate Arsenal to a goalless draw, a result that had Manchester United fans feeling tres bien. I spent the next few hours working, browsing, making phone calls, and sleeping. Oh, my good friend, Nii, sent me a text saying there was free breakfast in my neighbourhood. So I majestically made it there. I ate till I was as satisfied as Saturday and could say "mamen te sɛ Memeneda". Nii and I, like true grad students, took some food away.

I really wanted to eat fufu or some Ghanaian food this weekend. But I don't have any pots and pans in my possession now. Still I hoped. Later, a friend called me saying he was going to throw a little party at his house in honour of Ghana's 54th. So I went. It was a chillaxed party, and there was food! Fried plantain along with rice and stew. Yup, it's Ghanaian enough. My friend Fiifi played the sounds of Ghana through the years, from the 70's and up. It was extremely nostalgic and made me think about my father, and how superb true Ghanaian highlife is. We also listened to Kwame Nkrumah's Independence speech when it hit midnight. Download the speech here.

More VIM to all Ghanaians and lovers of Ghana!


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