Thursday, December 20, 2012

Auntie Muni Waakye, and Aboodatoi at Barcamp Accra? Yes! #BcAccra

It's been an even better year for Barcamps in Ghana in 2012. After 5 events in 2011, 2012 will see 8. Barcamp Accra will happen this Saturday at the Methodist University College campus in Dansoman. This is a burgeoning private university with a star student in Raindolf Owusu. It also has great young people like Jeffery Abas who is part of the Barcamp Accra organizing team. The press release for the event is below. You might be interested in the impressive line-up of mentors Barcamp Accra will have. Gasmilla, the Azonto King, and singer of Aboodatoi is coming. And we'll be having Auntie Muni Waakye for lunch! Auntie Muni herself will be there to share her story. Yea, these Barcamps are getting better and better and more interesting. Oh, the currrent Miss Ghana might not be there, but the former Miss Ghana who organized this year's event will be - Inna Patty.
The theme is "Removing the fear of failure as a start of success". This idea was first meeted by Edward Tagoe, one of the GhanaThink team members. The theme was finally chosen by public vote and the public also suggested some of our mentors like Herman Chinery-Hesse, Mac-Jordan Degadjor and Dorothy Gordon.
Be there or be square! Press Release below


Feedback from past Barcamp participants …....It brings people from all walks of life together to share ideas and create new ones
…....The Can-Do atmosphere I experienced
…....I liked everything

BarCamp Accra 2012 is a free networking event to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue about Accra, Ghana and beyond. The event shall be held at the Methodist University College Campus on December 22. The theme is “Removing fear of failure as a start of success”. This shall be the 19th Barcamp in Ghana organized by the GhanaThink Foundation since 2008 as part of building a movement of Ghanaian young changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs.

About Barcamp Accra 2012 will be organized in conjunction with the Methodist University College, Ghana (MUCG) Google Developer Group (GDG). In 2012, the Barcamp train has been to Takoradi, Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale, Cape Coast, Ho, and Tema. The Accra event will take a national stature with a large number of attendees also expected to be Ghanaians who live abroad. We hope to assemble Accra stakeholders to network, build a supportive enterprising community and partner to build together.
Mentors
We will start with the popular speed mentoring sessions with various young Ghanaian achievers. Selected resource personnel will be sharing and leading discussions on failure, removing the fear of failure and how we can fail our way to success in our newly introduced success sessions. We will have breakout sessions on topics of your choice as usual. Various confirmed mentors include Dorothy Gordon, Herman Chinery-Hesse, Leila Djansi, Rodney Quarcoo, Anita Erskine, Fred Deegbe, Farida Bedwei, Eunice Ogbogu, Derrydean Dadzie, John Armah, Elizabeth Hagan, Bernard Kelvin Clive, Nadia Zeine, Aisha Obuobi, Mac-Jordan Degadjor, Yawa Hansen-Quao, Deborah Ahenkorah, Nikki Boaponsem, Jerry Smith, Sam Paul, Michael Somuah, Inna Patty, Gasmilla, Elsie Kaufmann, DK Osseo-Asare, amongst others.
Registration
Register at
http://barcampaccra12.eventbrite.com/. You can also register by sending “Barcamp Accra, Your Name, Your Email Address” to 1945 on all mobile networks. See you there! You may contact the BarCamp Accra organising 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.

Sponsors
BarCamp Accra 2012 is sponsored by the Methodist University College Ghana, Google Ghana, GhanaDecides, BloggingGhana, MUCG-GDG, Hatua Solutions, Nandimobile, Leti Games and Fienipa. Our media partners are SpyGhana, Ghana News Agency, Modern Ghana, Joy 99.7 FM and CITI FM.
Get additional info at: http://barcampghana.org/contact or email, barcamp at ghanathink.org

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Why John Mahama won Ghana's 2012 Elections - #GhanaDecides

I shared some quick thoughts on why John Mahama even after campaigning for a few months beat out Nana Akufo Addo who campaigned for 2+ years on my Facebook profile and a friend encouraged me to write a blog post. I wanted to share my analysis of why Johnny Digital Mahama won. Some of the points are serious and some aren't so serious. Cos Why So Serious? If you followed my blog from the start, you'd know I named my blog "Why So Serious". Yeap, picked it from the Batman movie.

It's clear many people voted for John Mahama the person vrs Nana Akufo-Addo rather than the NDC versus the NPP. Nana Akufo Addo is not liked very much in Ghana for his "arrogance and elitism". Ask around.
I'll allow my namesake to share a quick Nana story (
(8th paragraph) on the arrogance bit. He might have gone around the country 3 times but I bet Ghanaians could see through him as they met him. The NPP with its property-owning democracy and Republican-ish ness makes it appeal more to the rich and elitist folks in Ghana. The poorer folks, not so much? And we all know who makes the majority. 

Many might not agree but the NDC really is a people's party. Hey, it's in their manifesto. We will remember the NPP for being loud about Free SHS but when you hear the NDC bigwigs speak, they put people first. They focused on attainable goals and delivered mostly on them. Maybe people finally figured out the NPP was trying to win an election with the Free SHS message and rejected that as well. By the way.....
Many people think about the NDC and think of JJ Rawlings and his 'military tactics'. Some of you might know JJ has not seen eye to eye with Atta Mills and the NDC since they came into power again in 2008. In fact, he campaigned for his wife Nana Konadu for the flagbearership and she lost to Mills with only 3% of the vote. The NDC has reinvented itself. Atta Mills finalized that. 

The NDC focused on doing more around the country. If you don't go around the country and sit in Accra or come to Ghana on holiday and sit around Accra, you wouldn't know. Next time, travel around Ghana more. It's quite clear that the NPP won in the urban areas. If you believe then they should be the true winner, . The real Ghana happens in the rural areas and those are the places that can really drive our economic development when they are up to speed with what we need to enjoy the Ghana we crave. I will suggest you pay more attention to these places if you care deeply about Ghana. 


It hasn't been mentioned a lot during this weekend but the sympathy vote probably helped John Mahama.
And yes, being a Northerner also helped. I mean, what do you expect? It had become nice to elect a Northerner as a running mate to support a Southerner for the presidency. (Yes, people in the North call people in the South Southerners, after all, we started it :-D). 'Floating' Northerners would have surely voted for the NDC.

As much as I will like to think he won because he read his speeches from iPads, I don't thin that made a huge difference. But hey, 
Johnny Digital Mahama should continue to push technology, I love how the NDC government is working with RLG too.
 

More vim to John Mahama. When he was chosen as Mills' veep in 2008, I liked that. Because out of all the NPP and NDC presidential candidates since 2008, I liked him the most. Congrats to JDM. This is the message I have for John Mahama.
We saw how Ghanaians lined up the night before to go and vote. We keep on celebrating our democracy. We see our democrazy selves demonstrate in the streets against politicians and policies. You know the demonstration of democrazy democracy I want to see? That we will hit the streets and demonstrate against indiscipline, corruption, bad mindset and the backward-thinking attitudes of Ghanaians. You know the beauty of this, you can actually make a difference here by influencing and impressing upon others.
 
Let me give him a few pointers on being a great leader for Ghana and not just a president.  John Mahama should get the average Ghanaian to do more for him or herself and the community. Encourage us to work harder. Encourage us to take time off to help a child (and adult) learn to read and count, educate on health and cleanliness, teach people to be more efficient with time and resource, etc. He should motivate us to work for Ghana. Institute a volunteer day (preferably the Founder's Day). That's what I want from my president. Oh yeah, and leave a legacy. Like solving our electricity problems, once and for all. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sarkodie brings #youknowwhattimeitis to a concert on 10.11.12



Given that I have met many African musicians in my lifetime, it's interesting that I have never really met Sarkodie before. The first time I did hear about him, I was listening to Dr. Duncan's Kasahare level on Adom FM. This radio show featured rap battles with serious punchlines thrown. Sarkodie wasn't the only one making a name in the underground rap scene. Yaa Pono, Kofi Korea and Burbon Fly also featured. And then Sarkodie struck commercial gold with Babe featuring Mugeez. The rest has been achievement after achievement. On 10.11.12, which is tomorrow, Sarkodie and his fans will be celebrating how far we have come together in  a #Youknowwhattimeitis concert at Pentagon on the Legon campus in Accra. I'll be there!

Sarkodie released freestyle after mixtape after freestyle in 2009. His Politics track, circa the elections of 2008, was an underground hit. His debut album, dubbed Makye, seemed to say his "success" was a long time coming. We heard news of Akon signing him as if to say he had transcended and entered new levels as an artist. Sarkodie then became maybe the first artiste in recent to defend the Artiste of the Year awards at the Ghana Music Awards. He has the most dedicated fans in Ghana. I told a friend about the upcoming concert this week and he said, "I don't care much for Ghanaian artistes but Sarkodie is one person, I will always check out". You may have also heard that he won the Best International Act (Africa) at the BET Awards this year as well.

And then when you look around the Ghanaian music scene and realize that it's been taking over by Azonto, you might want to know Sarkodie was the major reason for its initial popularity. He dropped "You go kill me" and rapped saying "even if she is an Azonto girl, I like her". BAM! Azonto dance craze followed with viral videos on YouTube. The girls were really into the dance too. I am of the opinion, the ladies are better azonto dancers than guys. "To all my honeys on the block", azonto to that :-)
#youknowwhattimeitis

10.11.12. Beautiful set of numbers. It's tomorrow. A certain time. Youknowwhattimeitis? Sarkodie's concert. This concert is free and open to the public. On the http://youknowwhattimeitisghana.com/ website, you have to "earn a ticket". Earning sounds like a task but it really isn't.   If you are in Accra, you could win a ticket to the 10.11.12 concert. Stay tuned to the http://youknowwhattimeitisghana.com/ for info on the concert and participating in it. 

There's also #youknowwhattimeitis campaign ongoing, celebrating achievements and proposing future achievements. Because the time now is about "our time". It's our time, Ghana.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ghana National Youth Achievers Awards 2012 - The Winners

The very first Ghana National Youth Achievers Awards (NYAA) were held under the auspices of President John Dramani Mahama on October 25 this year. Congratulations to all the winners, some of which I am proud to know personally. I already reacted to the whole NYAA, but let's dig into the winners proper. Because just giving you the list is boring. If you wanna learn some more, say #morevim!

Sarkodie and Becca won for Music. BET Award wins, Channel O nominations, Museke Awards wins, they deserved it. Jackie Appiah won for Performing Arts, she's not the fairest Ghanaian, so she must be doing very well as an actress because of her acting skills :-p. She's still cute too, those IPMC billboards do her some good justice. Jackie's best ever casting was in The Perfect Picture, arguably one of Ghana's best ever movies. The director of that movie, Shirley Frimpong-Manso won for film. 
The Fashion winner is surprising as it is refreshing, Fred Deegbe's Heel the World won (Ashesi bred). First met Fred at TEDxDzorwulu, he had an awesome story around HTW. As I'm working with him on an exciting project now, I have even more respect for him. 
Anas Aremeyaw Anas simply had to be a winner for Media Excellence. The day I realize what his face looks like, I will rejoice. Watch this Youtube video! He was co-awarded with reigning Ghana journalist of the year, Manesseh Azure Awuni. Love how he has many articles on GhanaWebMichael Kweku Kesse Somuah won for Literary Arts. In his impressive CV, RLG's Roland Agambire is one of his referees alongside Atukwei Okai. Good company. Most Presecans and Odadee might know of Bernard Akoi Jackson, one of the best artists of our time. He won for Visual Arts together with Ignace Hego, the CEO of 4Syte. Insert 4Syte Music Video Awards Ceremony Event Visual joke here. 

Eunice Ogbogu won for Business Excellence for her work with Eugo Terrano, which is a highly rated construction firm in Ghana. Pretty neat! Abena Asomaning Antwi of the Angel-Zoe Foundation which works with women and juvenile prisoners won for Advocacy. Jerry Harrison of Legon's Chemistry Department and Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi of Noguchi also won for Science. 
Jemima Kugblenu, arguably the youngest Chartered Accountant in Ghana, won for Academic Excellence. Her co-winner was Emmanuel Boafo Twum whose story I heard on CITI FM's Breakfast Show recently after the awards. Apparently, he was discovered by CITI FM's Richard Skyy who helped him go to Legon where he graduated with a 3.97 GPA. Emmanuel hails from Nkroful just like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Watch out for him.

I met the ICT winner, DreamOval's Derrydean Dadzie, in 2004 when I went to speak to students at the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence. My encounter with him made me respect Patrick Awuah very much and rate Ashesi extremely highly. When he had our first Barcamp Ghana in December 2008, Derrydean was one of our 4 panelists under 26. 
Kwabena Danso is my mate from Presec and he's been making waves with his Yonso Project. We had discussed earlier this year how he wasn't being recognized adequately for his work and this award must surely be a watershed moment for him. He's also been featured on the marvelous program, Airtel Touching Lives. He also came to Barcamp Kumasi in 2011. 

Stephen Appiah is generally seen as Ghana's best ever captain and he won for Leadership. This should encourage us all to StepApp. We have a leadership problem in Ghana, maybe we should look to football captains for answers? Is Dede Ayew winning this award next year? :-) 
The Black Maidens football team won for Sports as they won Ghana's first medal in women's soccer at the U-17 World Cup recently. Another sports person awarded was Ajara Mohammed who won Special Awards with Farida Bedwei, my co-winner for the inaugural IDEAS AwardsAjara, a 'disabled' power cyclist, won gold medals at the All Africa Games in 2011. Farida is tres awesome, read about her bestseller, Definition of a Miracle. 

Mike Nyinaku, CEO of Beige Capital, and recent Young Entrepreneur of the award winner, won for Financial Excellence. Ejisu based Dr. Frederick Osei Owusu won for Health. 
Young Professionals winners were Isaac Agyiri Danso, a Chartered Accountant and Patricia Mawuli who's Ghana's first female pilot and is involved in training more. Solomon Sarkodie was honoured for Entrepreneurship and Development while Gideon Agyare (for his inventions in alternative energy) won for Invention and innovation. 

Mike Nyinaku & Eunice Ogbogu went home with the most prestigious awards, adding Youth Personality of the Year gong to their other awards. #Youknowwhattimeitis? Like Mike Nyinaku himself said, "It's our time, Ghana". Let's go on out and achieve. #Morevim!

Ghana's National Youth Achievers' Awards - The Reaction

The manner in which I first heard about the Ghana National Youth Achievers Awards (NYAA) were  some interesting circumstances. First, they was the notion that some of the organizers behind it should not have been behind it or should have been supporting something else that I support. And then my mother also called me about it saying my aunt was encouraging me to apply. The Awards were held recently and many deserving people that I know of won but I never ended up applying. But the latter part is not the point, the former - celebrating Ghanaian youth achievement is the point of this blog post.

But I still have to tell you why I didn't apply. First, I wasn't excited by the involvement of CharterHouse (which organizes entertainment type awards shows, what would that mean for these awards?) and RLG (who as a tech company is not exactly supporting innovation in Ghana like it should, yeah I said it). And then you have the government angle, endorsed by the sitting president, Johnny "Digital" Mahama. The long application form with its three required letters of recommendation was just too much to ask of applicants and that also put me off. Was the awards going to be used to award NDC youth? Apparently, it wasn't a far cry from some people's expectations.

When the awards finally happened on a Thursday, October 25th (all Saturdays had been booked?), I was listening on radio, CITI FM. I believe it was also broadcast on TV. Well done to the organizers. I only caught a few winners being mentioned. Sarkodie (of #Youknowhattimeitis fame) and Becca (who I have some interesting history with) won deservedly for music. I mean, #WhatElse? The Black Maidens won for sports for placing 3rd in the Under-17 age FIFA Women's World Cup in October. Wait, who filled that long application form for them and did they not achieve this feat way after the application deadline on August 29? Things that make you go hmmm. Stephen Appiah won for leadership, he's also less than 35. We love you, Tornado! When I travel around Africa, and I say my last name is Appiah, am asked whether I am related to Stephen Appiah and Jackie Appiah. I am looking for the best lie to tell, someone give me some ideas please? ;-)

I also heard in real-time of Sarkodie and Becca winning. I had heard Sarkodie wasn't in the country before because we were seeking to bring him to Barcamp Tema, if he had magically shown up to collect that award, I would have been like 'whoa!'. He could have accepted it live via Google Hangout or Skype though. I am a big fan of Becca, in fact, I hope she is able to come for Barcamp Accra. Both musicians have transcended Ghana and had short and remarkable music careers. As for Jackie Appiah, the number of Facebook fans alone that she has, can tell you how well she has done. She's the same age as me too o. Lie generator machine, where you dey? :-)

Disability is not Inability. When I heard on radio that they were about to present special awards for people who have 'disabilities', I knew there had to be one particular winner. Farida Bedwei was one of the inaugural winners of the IDEAS Awards organized by Legacy and Legacy alongside yours truly and Bright Simmons. Funny how I never blogged about winning that award. I collected that award on the same day I arrived in Ghana to begin my working life with my dream employer, Google. Once Farida had been adjudged a winner, I had newfound respect for the NYAA. Well deserved! The full list of winners also gave the NYAA a lot of credence. Didn't see the NDC Youth being awarded like rumoured before.

There are many other winners who I will dig into more in this blog post. I think you might have read enough for now. :-) I told you why I didn't apply for the NYAAs, but I just might apply next year. Or do something awesome like the Black Maidens to override the whole process :-)

#Morevim to all Ghanaian youth achievers! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

#ThePowerofWe - Shaping Ghanaian and African perception #bad12


The picture above has been making the rounds in my Facebook circles. Suggestions that Google gives for a "Ghana is" search won't make Ghanaians happy. Folks have been asking me (as a resident Google guy) how this could happen. Google doesn't make this happen. People who are Googling make this happen. But why are they typing the above? And apart from why, why are so many people typing the above? Oh wait, Ghana's population and the population of those who will say great things about Ghana doesn't seem to be that big.

I mean really, what does Ghana have to do? Win the World Cup? Discover the cure for AIDS? Export many pastors to many countries? Because we sure don't want to make the headlines through war and tragedy. You would have thought eliminating the US from two consecutive World Cups would do something. Yeah, I just had to go there :-)

The Google search is happening because of what people perceive Ghana to be. We can help solve this problem. If you know anyone or have access to someone who is not Ghanaian.. tell them what Ghana really is. They will really know and they will stop typing rubbish in Google or they might type the good stuff in Google to see if it's true and ultimately affect the result. The power of we :-)

After I wrote the above paragraph as a comment on friend's Facebook post, I knew I had a blog entry. And yesterday was Blog Action Day around the "Power of We". Too bad I am a day late but better late than never. Too many of my thoughts have gotten stuck and lost in Twitter and micro blogs. I couldn't let this one stay in a social media post. So here is my blog post too on the subject.

You can make a difference. We can make a difference. Be bullish about the great things happening in Ghana. Shout out it from everywhere you can. Let your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, pen pals, followers and etc pick it up. They will have to listen to you because they know you know better. Don't worry about the numbers, they will only grow if we do something about it. Let we be about it. We need to build a critical mass of people who care about these things so much and will do something about it. In my small corner, me and some people are building one. Keep building yours. Learn about others. Gather others. The critical mass is building. More vim to us all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Strengthening a foundation of youth taking charge of development via Barcamp Ho #bcho


Over the past weekend, I attended the 2nd Barcamp Ho event. This was also the 6th Barcamp to held in Ghana this year. Yeap, the Barcamp Ghana project has been highly visible and the GhanaThink team has been tres busy. The event happened Friday, 21st September at the Ho Polytechnic SRC Junior Common Room. A major Asogli Yam Festival was happening in Ho on the Saturday, 22nd and luckily the 21st was a holiday in Ghana - Founder's Day. This was the first ever Barcamp on a holiday or Friday and it turned out to be a great decision.

"We are not allowed to talk about the problems and not offer solutions, especially solutions we can implement ourselves". Before the Barcamp started, I walked upon a heated discussion on "Free senior high school education" amongst some guys who had just finished a game of football. I had just one question for them "How are you going to solve the various problems you are talking about?"
As is becoming the nature of Barcamp Ghana events, the first major session was a speed mentoring session where various selected and invited resource personnel served to mentor and share insights with attendees over a 10 minute (or less) period. This speed mentoring initiative was a major hit at Barcamp Ghana and has been made a feature at subsequent events. By doing it early, it ensures that the resource personnel are there early too. Many Ghanaian events don't start on time and/or have the attendees come late. By having a mentoring session early, it takes advantage of the small numbers to give the early birds some quality time and value. Now that's a smart thing to do.

The mentors included Eyram Tawia (Leti Games), Florence Toffa (Mobile Web Ghana), Anne Amuzu (Nandimobile), Maximus Ametorgoh (PopOut), Tsonam Akpeloo (Techcom Visions), Sheila Bartels-Sam (InCharge Global) and myself. Donald Ward Diaba, the emcee, shared their various disciplines and topics we could share insights on and we talked to about 6 attendees each. I loved understanding what the passions for these people were and sharing with them some moves and plans they could make to improve what they are presently doing and what they might want to get up to.






It was refreshing to hear Charles Nyante from Voice Ghana talk about the importance and relevance of supporting the disabled to contribute greatly to national development. What struck me were the stats and info he shared, especially around how 737,000 Ghanaians were persons with disabilties, such a telling stat. He didn't stop at the challenges facing disabled people in Ghana but how Voice Ghana was working to meet and surpass those challenges. This communicated the event's theme well. The theme for the event was "Youth Taking Charge of Development". This was front and center of the panel moderated by Donald which featured panelists as Shirley Bartels-Sam, Maximus Ametorgoh and Anne Amuzu. 

Various sponsors and partners made the event possible. Big brother Google supported with funds with messages about the "Africa, Get Your Business Online" program, Google+ and the Outreach Work. We run a number of Google+ Hangouts On Air to afford various people the opportunity to watch the Barcamp live! It worked pretty well off a mobile internet dongle. Voice Ghana supported with some funds while the Centre for Creative Youth supported with some funds and countless hours of service. Nandimobile managed the SMS registrations, while DonaldWard Initiatives, Leti Games, Fienipa contributed too. A new private station, US FM, gave some publicity while the MyJoyOnline & the Ghana News Agency came aboard the Barcamp Ghana train for the first time, with extra support from Modern Ghana.com.
As we waited for lunch to arrive, we got into celebrations and reverence of the Founder's Day Holiday itself. Kwabena Akuamoah-Boateng, 1 of the true Ghanaian patriots, gave a speech about Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, talking about some of his achievements. We then sang the Ghana National Anthem which thankfully most of the attendees could sing. At other Barcamps, we sang "Yen Ara Asaase Ni" which is a popular patriotic song composed by Dr. Ephraim Amu. But at this Barcamp, we tried something different, singing "Miadenyigba lɔlɔla" which is the Ewe (or the original) version of "Yen Ara Asaase Ni". Personally, I have always known of the lyrics of the song as we've had it on Museke.com but I never knew to sing it. Seeing various attendees of Barcamp Ho sing "Miade Nyigba Lolo La" was a very powerful moment. I am going to take a stab at singing the song in private too. We rounded up the singing with "Arise Ghana Youth (for your country)", a song I hadn't sang in years since my primary school days.

The breakout sessions are always my favorite parts of Barcamps as it offers a voice to everyone who's attending. It's almost an opportunity to notice those who are taking charge and want to address the issues and projects for development. The sessions were about reversing the poor performance in BECE exams;  environmental sanitation; technology entrepreneurs solving problems; risk management in entrepreneurship and drama as an educational tool. When the sessions were ended, reps of each group who weren't those leading the sessions provided brief summaries and action items to the full audience. 


The Barcamp ended with another rendition of Miadenyigba lɔlɔla, this time with the lyrics on the screen which hitherto was showing real-time Twitter updates from the #bcho hashtag. This time I could help sing, though I realized I can't read Ewe as much as I would like. So Ewe language, I am officially coming for you.  with vim. Just the way Volta Is Moving with VIM. A young gentleman showed me a Volta Region focused magazine he had published. A couple of people I met at Barcamp Ho 2011 talked to me about seminars and events they had been working on since. 3 of the Barcamp Ho 2011 attendees volunteered and help with the organization for Barcamp Ho 2012. The Centre for Creative Youth had made progress towards their community centre in Ho. Others offered to make the Volta Crusader blog more active. And we had our various breakout action items. Now, that is the "youth taking charge of development".

#Dzolali! Now or never! More vim to all youth taking charge of development, especially in the Volta Region of Ghana. I have to leave you with a video that should go viral. 3 Patriotic songs renditions. We livestreamed Barcamp Ho via Youtube and Google+ hangouts. Groundbreaking. Taking charge. It's the vim.
Photos from the Volta Crusader blog post.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Not your regular party night #partycrew


What a night I had last night! I have a lot of nights like but this one was good to write home about :-)

After spending the last weekend in Africa's unofficial party capital, Kampala, I was back in Accra and ready to show my sister and a couple of friends who were in Ghana for a short time a good time. Before I proceed to tell you about last night, let me tell about my last night in Kampala, Sunday September 9. I finally found a "popping club" to enter - Ange-Mystique and they (bouncers and all) wanted to charge me to enter. But I don't pay to enter clubs so I made them know it. So I left but on my way out, I saw a couple of ladies who were coming in. I asked them which other club would be lively now (and free) so I could go there. They said Ange-Mystique was the only one. After I told them I was from out of town, one of the ladies gave me a complementary pass to enter the club. The bouncers couldn't believe it. They were like "Where did you get this?" Them "bera-mu-class" people, they don't know I'm "kyaba-too-much" eh? :-)

So for last night. First, I told a friend (guy) we were going to the Farenheit night club (in the Best Western Hotel premises) in #Accra & we might be charged. He replied: "I don't have heels". He seemed to say "this girl here doesn't have heels so they won't let her in so let's not go". She must be wearing sandals so not to bother with Farenheit. But I'm really not paying that money so let's say I don't have heels either. Best ever excuse! :)

They were charging 20 GhC (only for guys) at Farenheit. My #Partycrew collectively agreed it wasn't worth it. So we left for Firefly in Osu. At Firefly, we had to wait outside because it was packed. Of course, folks who probably given the bouncers money in previous times were allowed to go in, but I'm not to indulge in such things. The bouncers almost didn't let me into Firefly because I said I wanted to come azonto & that they thought that meant I only wanted to dance for a bit and I wouldn't buy drinks. Wow! Maybe they decided that's what I meant because I took the liberty to announce to a merry-goer that Firefly is free to enter.


Well, I eventually entered and bought a drink, but not enough. I mean, was the bouncer going to leave his post and come and check if I was buying enough drinks? Lol. There's always a 1st time. At one point while at Firefly, there was no deejay @ the DJ booth. A playlist of old American songs was left to play. I could have easily turned the tables at that moment, in fact I pretended to. The music sucked. I didn't dance once while at Firefly (no azonto) and they didn't play a single African song for the hour I was there. Shame.

And then when we were leaving, I found out that Firefly makes a big deal of buying drinks because some people go to Firefly & get tables and don't pay and leave? How can the bar people allow that to happen? So a number of the VIP people at Firefly actually don't pay for their drinks when they must be doing so? Lwkmd! Fake! Take!

I had decided to never go to Twist cos it's always packed and they 'charge'. We still left for Twist after 2:33am to go see what was happening there. And then I found out that they actually don't charge. Don't get it twisted. They only charge to enter in December when all the Bogas are in town :-). I am twisting my tongue now. Twist might just become my favorite club. I caught them playing "Chop my money". I do care but Twist can chop my money small.

In the other news, Phelele called me from Kenya when I was leaving Twist. I could have gotten down from the car and done some "Twist dances". Just super. In fact, I was thoroughly entertained by Firefly especially tonight. That's what I paid for (in drinks). Thanks everyone :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Barcamp Ho implores us to take charge #bcho


The first time I went to Ho was last December for Barcamp Ho. Whadyaknow? Barcamp Ho is here again. I learnt a lot about the tourism potential of the Volta region. In fact, it's passed by the Central region in terms of revenue generated in terms of tourism. That's really a big deal. So last year, it was clear, the tourism potential exists and the strengths and peculiarities of the region are there for all to see. 

Click this link for pictures on Google+ and Facebook.

This year at Barcamp Ho, the theme is “Youth taking charge of development”. We have to take charge of realizing that tourism potential and making many cedis for ourselves and Ghana. And we need to start this by having other Ghanaians visit the region more. Maybe get 233 people within the next year to say they climbed Mount Afadjato?



The press release for Barcamp Ho 2012 is below. The event is next Friday. If you have access to Ho, join us. Let's network, share and learn. Let's visit some tourist attractions right here in Ghana. Your life will never be the same.


The GhanaThink Foundation has successfully organized 16 BarCamps in Ghana. BarCamp Ho 2012 is being organized in conjunction with Centre for Creative Youth. The event will be a showcase of how Ghana’s youth are taking charge of its development and how they can be spurred on to do more. The spotlight will be on demonstrating how youth-led initiatives can bring change in different facets of development.




Some of the confirmed speakers and mentors, based both within and outside the Volta region, are: Francis Asong (VOICE Ghana), Makafui Nyamadi (GCOM Pre-University), Tsonam Akpeloo (Techcom Visions), Florence Toffa (Mobile Web Ghana), Anne Amuzu (Nandimobile), Penelope Sheila Bartels-Sam (inCharge Global), Nehemiah Attigah (Hatua Solutions), Regina Agyare (Soronko Solutions), Alloysius Attah (Farmerline) and Eyram Tawia (Leti Games).


The Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about business, social entrepreneurship, technology and development, alongside topics relevant to the Volta Region and beyond. There will be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. We are also organizing a start-up bazaar  where young entrepreneurs and innovators can showcase their products and services.


Register/RSVP at the BarCamp Ho eventbrite website (barcampho12.eventbrite.com) or text "Barcamp Ho [name] [email address] to 1945 through any mobile network.. You may also contact the BarCamp Ho team through the eventbrite page for sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs.


BarCamp Ho 2012 is sponsored by the Ho Polytechnic, GhanaThink Foundation, Google Ghana, CCY Ghana, VOICE Ghana, Nandimobile, Fienipa Group, etc. Our media partners are US FM, Spy Ghana and the Ghana News Agency. Join us to move Ghana and the Volta Region forward.

Press release shared by Teresa Lemaire & Gameli Adzaho.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Follow Barcamp Cape Coast happening September 8 #bccapecoast


I will be missing Barcamp Cape Coast as I am on a work trip to Uganda but I will surely be following proceedings from #bccapecoast. It should be a great second event in the Central region with new learnings, new networks, new stories, and new partnerships. More vim!

Press release below.

BarCamp Cape Coast 2012 is a free networking forum to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue on Cape Coast, Ghana and beyond. BarCamp Cape Coast 2012 will take place on September 08, 2012 at the New Lecture Theatre at the University of Cape Coast. It follows last year’s event on November 12 where the theme was “Harnessing IT education for local innovation and tourism development”. The theme for this year is “Revolutionizing Education through Arts & Technology”. This Barcamp hopes to assemble Cape Coast stakeholders to network, build a supportive enterprising community and partner to build together.

The GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA, has successfully organized 15 BarCamps in Ghana. Barcamp Cape Coast 2012 will be organized in conjunction with the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Google Developer Group (GDG). The Barcamp build knowledge on how to improve education using the arts and technology. It will also investigate how to incorporate technology into teaching and education.

The Barcamp will feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions about business, fashion, arts, social entrepreneurship, web tools and products, entrepreneurship driven sessions as well as breakout sessions on topics relevant to Cape Coast and beyond. There will also be a speed mentoring session where mentors will give insights and answers to questions from attendees. We are also bringing a start-up bazaar to the Barcamp where young entrepreneurs and innovators can showcase their products. Some of the mentors and invited speakers include Mabel Simpson (mSimps), Regina Agyare (Soronko Solutions), Kwame Boohene, etc.

Register/RSVP today at the BarCamp Cape Coast eventbrite website. You can also register by sending “Barcamp Cape Coast, Name & Email” to 1945 on all networks (via Nandimobile). You may also contact the BarCamp Cape Coast 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 Cape Coast 2012 is sponsored by the
University of Cape Coast, GhanaDecides (a BloGh project), Google Ghana, UCC-GDG, GhanaThink Foundation, Fienipa Group, Nandimobile, etc. Our media partners are Cranchon, ATL FM (100.5), etc.

Disqus for The Vim Views & Versions - Blogs of a MIghTy African