Thursday, February 28, 2013

I donated blood to save (233) lives in Ghana

Last weekend, I donated blood for the first time. Well, my blood had been "pulled" before but for checking if I had malaria, etc. I had traveled to Lagos last week but I made sure I was back in Accra before Saturday so I could join the Blood Donation Drives happening. 2 events happened on 23rd February, both supported by Blogging Ghana. 1 happened at the Accra Mall (Clinic) run by the National Blood Service and another at Block A of the Pentagon Hostel at the University of Ghana run by the Rotaract Club of Adentan. STACC was also involved.

I had a lot of work to do on Saturday. So sometime, after 2:33pm, I headed to the mall.
I needed for it to not take long, because I wanted to watch the Manchester United game. I am a huge football fan. Traffic had other ideas. I went to the mall cos I thought the blood donation line would be short. My trip was longer, cos the police stopped me for trying to buy some time in getting to my destination. When I told the police, I was going to donate blood, he let me off. Shouldn't he have? :-)
I had enough blood for the donation. What else did you want me to hear? Hehe. Nice, I really had a lot to give. But who is Dr. mensah?
Oh, him? Yeah, Aba mentioned her name in some of the emails. Big ups to the National Blood Service! They were really professional, calmed down any fears and did their work efficiently and quickly. They gave me this form (questionnaire) I needed to fill before I gave blood. Check it out for yourself, quite an interesting one. :-)
Once, the registration were through, the wait didn't take too long. I was there with Qwophi Cedi who was rather nervous. I laid on the bed, they gently 'punched' a needle into my hand and the blood was being donated. I had underestimated how much blood I would be giving. It was taking long. So I had time to....
 Yes, tweet with one hand. I'm so bloody good at tweeting! I should be named the top tweeter. I wasn't nominated for that but I was for "best blog", so go and vote. My friend Josiah supports me.
My friends Seyram, Ali, Qwophi had some good laughs after we had donated blood. We were the Vim donors!
Big ups to Edward and Samuel for their hard work on this drive. Blood donations should happen 3 months at a time. To learn more, see blog entries on and the National Blood Service website. #GiveBlood

PS: Was my blood going to save 233 lives in Ghana? Maybe less. But for the amount of blood they took, it had to cut close to that number. Okay, I exaggerated the number. Let's reduce the sensation to 23...... .3. How about that? :-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Support Kofi Yeboah to become a global leader - #morevim

I've known Kofi Yeboah well since we worked together on Barcamp Cape Coast 2011. In 2012, he helped organize 8 Barcamps in various capacities. 

He was named one African to watch for in 2013 and I personally love how he is taking up opportunities and building a profile as a leader. He's the kind of changemaker that we must celebrate.

He's been selected to join people from Africa, Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and the United States in a Preparing Global Leaders Academy (PGLA) in April in Jordan. 

This year, I am looking for the GhanaThink Foundation to do various easy things
I will like to crave your indulgence to support Kofi in covering his costs in getting to Jordan via the link below. Ketewa biara nsua.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vote for me with vim at the Ghana Social Media Awards #blogcamp13

Last year, Ghana's first Social Media Awards was launched. It aims to award Ghana's best bloggers from 2012 (not from time immemorial) and the major Ghanaian entities on social media. It's being organized by Blogging Ghana (Ghana's Association of Bloggers) of which I am a member and as part of BlogCamp Ghana 2013, a social media focused conference. Yeah, it looks like I wrote Barcamp but that's the beauty of it, a Barcamp can be used in any way for any kind of event on any topic. There are health or law camps out there, see a list of past Barcamp type events worldwide. This blog post is not about BlogCamps or BarCamps, but a request to support this particular blog that you've been reading. Or if it's your first time here, check out some blog posts before you continue (go on and click it o!). 

Now that we are on the same page. This blog has been nominated for best blog in Ghana at the Ghana Social Media Awards. I am very honoured to have been nominated, since there are so many other blogs by Ghanaians in Ghana, Ghanaians elsewhere and by people who live in Ghana. I have already set myself a goal of 233 blog posts for 2013, and this nomination gives me #morevim to meet that target. I'm not joking about the number 233, I am keen to meet this, no matter the fact that I have only published 7 blog posts in 2013 so far as of February 26th. Damn, I should have written this post on the 23rd of February.

I've always loved writing ever since I entered Presec for high (senior secondary) school. I started writing opinion pieces when I got to MIT for university, wrote very regularly as Abocco & Nwia on GhanaThink's GhanaConscious platform (yea, it was me) and started this blog when I got to Stanford for my Master's. From the comments on my blog posts, following my blog in your Readers, sharing my blog posts, blogging about my blog posts, linking to them in other posts, sharing them on social media, discussing them offline, you've supported me from Day One. You have spurred on to be a better blogger and put up posts I know you would enjoy, like and drive you to action.

So without further ado, please continue supporting me by voting under the category Best Blog. Help me win this. Voting results would help adjudge the winner as the judges will also have their way. But also check out the various blogs that are nominated and vote in the other categories.
Voting closes on March 8, 2013. So go and vote for me today at!
I nominated this blog for Best Blog,
Personality with Best Social Media Presence, Best Citizen Journalism and News Blog and Best Original Content alongside nominating many other Ghana blogs. Someone asked me the other day why I don't blog about a particular niche. It's because I do what I want. I have so much to say. I write about personal experiences, music, events & conferences, movies, technology, politics, engineering and even host press releases. My interests vary, hence my blog varying as well with the title - "The Vim Views & Versions"This is a difficult post to write because I am as modest as they come. But I'd love to win this award and the least you can do is help me win it. And if I win it, I promise to do a couple of things on my blog. That can be decided by you, so write a comment to demand what you want from me on my blog when I win the Best Blog nod :-)
Follow all the BlogCamp goodness on #blogcamp and #blogcamp13 on Twitter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Surviving a major accident - a story of triumph

A few moments after the accident happened, I thought of two major things. First, thank God for my life. God has really blessed me and continues to be there for me. It was just a few hours before my birthday too o! Stacey, my sister, came to the accident scene and said something I'd never forget. "You've been getting so many birthday wishes on your Facebook Timeline (Wall). People love you a lot and that love has saved you right now". Isn't that just beautiful? Second thought? I have triumphed. I've just had an accident with my car seriously damaged and I have no injuries, I am not in shock and I feel extremely normal. Now let me tell you the story of this major car accident.

It's 30th December 2012. 7:30pm. After leaving a pool party organized by my friend Mac-Jordan with my sister and my friend Lydia, I drove to the airport to drop off Lydia for her flight. We were running late in going to see Uncle Ebo Whyte's "Trials of the Ghanaian". I hurried to pick my other sister, Tracey and we headed to the National Theatre where we joined one of my best Stanford buddies Nii Okai and his sister Didi. Trials of the Ghanaian was a great play. It talked about a Ghanaian returnee and all he went through, set around the life of KSM. My sisters and I left for Vienna City near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to meet my cousin who had just arrived from Yonkee and another cousin. My sisters joined them in the car so they could catch up. So, I was riding solo leading the way back to the pool party I'd been at earlier.

I came up the Ako Adjei Interchange roundabout around 10:30pm and turned into the path leading towards Airport Residential Area. As I was leaving the roundabout, a car was joining it from the Osu ramp with speed that shockprised me. Boom! I could see my car turning with its front rear smashed. It wasn't really scary because I thought the impact would not be that much and the cars would just come off a little damaged. "Thank God I was wearing a seat belt!" The airbags stayed put, but my glasses didn't. I couldn't find it initally. I got out of the car to assess the damage and saw the #VimRide lying around on the road. Damn. This is going to cost me. I went over to the other car to check if the driver was alright. He was, his car was seriously damaged too. He looked fine though. I was fine as well. Not trauma, no injuries, just plain old normal me.

And then I remembered my sisters were in the car behind me. Thank God they had joined the other car. They might not have come off as well as I did in the accident. Stacey came and delivered the statement I would never forget, along with Leon, Leo and Tracey. They checked with me to see if I was fine and helped me find my spectacles. It was then that I could witness the spectacle my car had become. Or the eyesore it had become that would have given my bank account an eye sore. The other guy was at fault though so I expected that he would cover all the costs involved. Hey, my car needed some straightening and spraying anyway. Daddy Pay All don come. This guy was going to repair my car for me. Albeit through an accident but the thought of him covering car costs I owed made me happy. Yea, I am like that. (Did he just wink? Ato Paa!!!)

My cousins called the police because that's you do when accidents happen. Erm, not really, in Ghana. "Involving the police will just get both of us in trouble and waste our time", the other guy said. He was right. We'd have to go keep the cars at the police unit, spend days explaining the situation and paying one fee after the other, with even court time to come. It was just a few hours to my birthday. I was supposed to travel to Kumasi to spend my birthday and New Year's in Kumasi with my family. I understood the other guy's reasoning. Besides, he was at fault, the police will bring him to book. "My mother is a police woman, I was going to sell this car tomorrow, I'd be in deep trouble", he said. Fair enough. We needed the police there though to make sure the dude would keep his side of the bargain and pay for all the costs involved in getting my car back to new and back on the road. So Leo called the police and they were on their way. They'd delay alright but these cars were not moving any time soon.

Leo got the dude on video confirming that he was at fault and he'd cover the costs. The dude's mechanic came by and started assessing the damage and a tow car was on the way. We talked about some costs involved and decided that the best thing to do was to tow both cars to my house and keep them there until the dude came over to pay me the negotiated amount blessed by my mechanic. Only then could he take his car away. The tow car came and the driver (as well as some friends of the dude and onlookers) started getting the cars together. That's when a police patrol team arrived at the scene. Snap! We talked to the police and he was ready to "punish the culprit" and get bad drivers off the road. I pleaded with the police to let him go scot free and that I would handle everything with him, he'd pay etc. Of course, I knew this dude from nowhere. He didn't even have his license in the car. He wasn't drunk though. I saved him the trouble but I did it for me too, I couldn't be paying multiple visits to the police station.

The police left, and the cars were attached to the tow car, en route to East Legon. My cousins went to drop off my sisters and left me alone with the dude and his friends and other people. Shortly after, the police we had called, finally showed up. Talk about being late. They were not taking the "we'll settle this matter ourselves story" and were even angry that the police patrol team had not taken any actions with us. That's when my voices of reason took charge again and I convinced the police to let us be. The leader of the police team took my number, I took his, and he told the dude to ensure he paid me for the car services or he'd be in big trouble. In a few minutes, we'd driven away another set of police.

In a few more minutes, we were preparing to tow away to East Legon. That's when I realized I was outnumbered. I didn't know any of these guys. I had no family member or friend with me and the dude had like 7 of his friends with other people. What if they just decided to beat me and towed away their car and left me and VimRide unable to go anywhere? Yes, I thought of that lol. I called some friends of mine (close to 2:33am) to come to my aid. One was able to come but couldn't come sooner. Anyway, they didn't beat me up. I greeted every one of them, made them understand I did all I could to save the dude's ass and that they should be better citizens of Ghana. I must have said "morevim" to you. Triumph. I came out unscathed out of an accident, made some friends and showed them there are some really good people in Ghana. Testimony.

On that slow ride home on the Liberation Road, I chatted up the tow car driver and the dude. At the Shiashie junction off the Madina road, the #vimride got detached for the array of cars and we had to fix the array again. That's when my friend Dzifa drove by, saw me and stopped and the same time Donald who I'd called reached there. I joined Dzifa's car and told them the story. Like I just told you :-)

The next morning, the dude came by the house with his friend and tow car. My mechanic and another friend was there as we negotiated a 'price'. He paid up and towed his car away. I went to Abossey Okai with my friend (a taxi driver) and the mechanic and bought new parts for the car. After that, I didn't see the car again for 3 weeks. When I finally was able to ride it, it had problem after problem that needed to be fixed. Dude didn't pay me enough. Right now, the car is in great condition and I just had yet another I Made Ghana Better Today (#IMGBT) story. Once I stopped to pick up people at a bus stop, one I had waited for a trotro many times. I parked and the #vimride wouldn't move. My mechanic came to save the day. But hey, that didn't stop me from giving more free rides to people. The #VimRide will be fine. We triumphed.

#VimRide - the story of my first car so far

In October 2012, I bought my very first car. I hadn't planned on buying one but a Google colleague was leaving for a different job in Europe and was selling his car. The car didn't make it to Google Trader, the news was spread amongst a few people and when I knew of the price, I just had to buy it. It was a great deal. Nissan Sentra 2006 model with a new engine and shocks for a shockprised price of 9500 GhC. Yeap, I am one lucky SOB. This car has had quite the interesting and dramatic relationship with me. I want to share its story, the story of the #VimRide. I'm still looking for a cool name for my car, I'm taking suggestions. My friend Fiifi already has taken Vera for his, so that's eliminated. My friends don't like Vero or Victoria. If you win this car-naming contest, I'd take you for the ride of your life. Ask about me, I can really take you for the ride of your life ;-)

Judging from driving my mother's 4x4 many times, this Nissan Sentra doesn't chop as much petrol. So bizzie bee! I could care much less about fuel price hikes. But I do empathise with my fellow Ghanaians on the fuel prices we have in Ghana, I wish they could be nicer on our pockets. But seriously, taxis dey cost! Transportation used to poke many holes in my pocket but those costs are under control cos of the VimRide. When my car was at the mechanic for one reason or the other, I took trotros. Yes, I take trotros.  I am a man of the people, I love taking trotros. Kwame Nkrumah would have done the same thing, and I bet Nelson Mandela did too. So there :-)

If I didn't appreciate the traffic go-slow situation in Accra, I fully appreciate it now that I drive myself. At least, I could whatsapp and tweet all through the journeys in the Google car but I can't really do that when I am driving. Where's the voice-enabled whatsapp app? Where's the "speak and we'll summarize your speech in a tweet" app? Someone should please work on this at the next Startup Weekend event. Since I am always in a hurry, I am particularly annoyed by traffic. Hence, I have studied all journeys I take regularly and figured out the quickest less traffic routes to save time. I'm so calculating, I am inculcating angles, traffic patterns, etc into my drives. Booya! Booyaka! Oh shoot, wait, I just bumped into a car!

People always talk about how it's scary and difficult to drive in Accra. Cos inadequate road infrastructure, traffic and indiscipline do am. So I am guilty of cutting corners to get where I need to get to quicker. It's gotten me in a couple of accidents, but hey, I've learnt my lessons. No more jungle ball with the car :-) Yeah, I can see some of my family members and friends nodding their heads and smiling from ear to ear. If you come and say one more bad thing about my driving, you won't drive in my car you hear! Obiba JK. Just Kidding. I'd drive much better. A major thing happened in my life which has literally forced me to decide to do so. You can read about it here.

I've been caught by the police a number of times. Thankfully, Ghanaian police don't write tickets like their American counterparts do. I was once driving around Labone and I came up on the Morning Star junction and I thought, "Wait, my sister might be closing from work at Police hospital now, lemme pick her up". I whipped out my Nexus to call her and a policeman saw me. He told me to pack by the roadside. I couldn't even bring myself to say the F word. I was so sad and apologetic. The policeman sat in the car and made it known to me my offence. I told him I was in a hurry to get home. I asked him for a "spot fine". He had no idea what that was. "Spot Fine, Spot Fine!" (Isn't that what you people collect? Or should I say bribe?) Eventually, he accepted to take 5 GhC from me but he didn't get out of the car. He said he'd show me where to pass so I didn't face much traffic. He rode with me for a good 20 minutes and got down to join more policemen. We chatted heartily and I took his number. Ekyena bio. I've had 2 other police stoppages which didn't go as well but still cost me about 5 GhC each.

My good friend Paa Kwesi came up with this idea of "I Made Ghana Better Today" after we had done of our Google visits to an organization and given them a lot of free advice and consultation. One great way to showcase IMGBT is to give passengers free rides to save money and time spent waiting for public transport. I love doing this. I must have given rides to more than 23 people since I came to Ghana. I love giving people rides. Because when I am waiting for public transport, I wish someone would stop and give me a ride. I was running late for a meeting tonight but I stopped at a bus stop to pick up folks who were going near my destination. I made one or two calls and continued and waited for folks to board my car. 3 people joined, and the front seat was open. I waited for the last person to join before I set off. #IMGBT.

One good turn deserves another. I've had a couple of cases where people have helped me when my car wouldn't start cos I left the lights on etc, etc. It's been a storied experience having this car. I suspect it's going to continue but I hope for more #IMGBT stories and very very very few bad stories. So you're reading this as attentively as I am watching this Reading FA Cup versus Manchester United, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Goal!!!!! And I'm not lying about this one, but ManUtd finally scored the very first goal of this game. I just knew it would happen when I started typing the previous sentence. Lemme finish this game as it has less than 23 minutes left. Be safe out there, folks. :-)

Oh wait, Manchester United just scored again. Maybe I should keep on writing hehe. Yeap, another blog post on the way. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recapping a Mighty African Cup of Nations

I was extra excited for this year's African Cup of Nations (AFCON). I felt South Africa would host a good tournament but mostly because Ghana's Black Stars were returning to the scenes of the Mzansi Mundial where they captured the imagination of football fans everywhere. Sadly, the Black Stars came away without the trophy which was very disappointing. The Orange African Cup of Nations did give us a lot of stories though which I would like to recap through my various lenses. I'd leave the Ghanaian point of view to another blog post.

I've been introducing my various alter-egos to the world. East African nations don't do as well at football so Uganda's Richard Nshuti Mayanja, Kenya's David Ochieng Mwangi and Tanzania's Hamis Ambwene Massawe had to find other countries to support. The Cranes have been getting Ugandans excited about their football but ultimately fell short. Victor Wanyama is tipped to join Manchester United and McDonald Mariga is a baller, but the Harambee Stars haven't put together a stretch of games to qualify for the AFCON. The Taifa Stars probably excite Tanzania less than their coaches. This is really sad to see because many African soccer minnows have been qualifying for the AFCON but these East African countries have not been able to be counted amongst them.

Ayooluwaato Eze was pleased to see his Super Eagles qualify for another AFCON after missing the previous edition. We had another local coach in Stephen Keshi who seemed to be building for the future by bringing in many new faces. The man whose name has changed from Odemwingie to Odemwinger to Odemwhinger was dropped and a Nigerian who scores for Chelsea - Victor Moses - took his place as the shining star. Girma Goitom Gemechu was ecstatic that the Walia Antelopes had given Ethiopia the chance to play in an AFCON after many Ethiopian years and the watching world would enjoy the eye candy that exists in the form of Habesha women. Even though Ethiopia had fewer celebrated footballers than their neighbours, they would be on the big screen.

I haven't introduced Siyabonga Mandela and Roberto Saudades to the world yet. They are my alter-egos from South Africa and Angola respectively. After missing out in 2012, the Bafana Bafana were back on the big stage and to summon the angels of 1996 and possibly win another AFCON on home soil. Tshabalala wasn't the same, Steven Pienaar had 'retired' from the team and the Mzansi men had it all to do. The Rainbow nation also had a show to put on after the greatness of the Mzansi Mundial in 2010. Roberto Saudades aka my real alter-ego like many other Angolans were hoping that the Palancas Negras would gallop their way Cinderella 2006 style to a major trophy after the disappointments of 2010.

Cote d'Ivoire were the favorites and the Elephants were expected to stamp their way to glory. Zambia's Chipolopolo were the defending champs and they came to South Africa with reloaded ammunition in copper bullets. Cameroun didn't qualify, but Niger did. Egypt didn't qualify, but Ethiopia did. Senegal didn't qualify, but Cape Verde did. Yeah, a country of less than a million people. Bafana Bafana found out why the Blue Sharks were participating too late, as they failed to score against them. In fact, 2 games went without goals until Ghana's Agyemang Badu broke the scoring duck and provided some (goal) meat for all African football fans to enjoy.

The Black Stars also broke the spirit of the Blue Sharks even after a gallant performance by the latter. Cape Verde was bundled out of the AFCON through 2 Mubarak Wakaso goals. Roberto Saudades would have thought Angola would be the better Lusophone country but Manucho and co couldn't make a good impression at the tournament, going home early from Group A with Morocco. Siyabonga Mandela's team scored goals eventually and gave the hosts for lekker moments till their march to glory was halted by the cruelty of penalties at the hands of Mali. Mali was going through political strife and the Eagles were playing to unite and excite the West African nation. It looked like the Zambia of 2012. They emerged from Group B with Ghana, leaving out DR Congo and Niger.

Girma Gemechu's Walia Antelopes had some great games in the tournament but a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Burkina Faso was fatal. The Stallions of Burkina Faso displayed excellent stamina throughout the tournament, playing 2 extra-time games. They (along with Nigeria) had more arsenal than the copper bullets Zambia brought as the Chipolopolo bowed out early. They overcame Togo (led by Adjoa Bayor Adebayor) in the quarter-finals. Togo had come out of Group of Death (beating out Algeria and Tunisia) alongside Ivory Coast who had marched through with gusto, cutting and shifting the opposition. In the midst of "Babade" Didier Drogba being benched and all. That made Emmanuel Eboue say things like the below and talked bigger than the 150 million Nigerian fans in the buildup to the quarter-final clash with Nigeria. Ayooluwaato Eze and his fellow Nigerians sought God's favour that Sunday and a Sunday delivered a massive win.
Eboue became the Super Eagles' newest fan. Nigeria met Mali in the semi-finals. This was an example of a superior version of Eagles beating another and stopping further flight up for the Malian Eagles at the semi-final stage. 4-1. Nigeria spelt Mali. After beating Mali, they awaited a potential final date with their arch-rivals, Ghana. The stage was to be different. The Stallions' stamina starred over the Black Stars's shine and stagnated the stalwarts march to Soccer City Stadium. The most famous African penalty taker Asamoah Gyan didn't even get the chance to take a penalty in the shoot-out as Burkina Faso ended their Southern neighbours interest in the competition. That showed because Ghana took their disappointment into the third place match and Mali beat them to claim bronze medals and give the Malian people another reason to be in solidarity.

Nigeria-Burkina Faso. Such an unlikely final. Jonathan Pitriopa (later be named the player of the tournament) had a red card rescinded and would play. That line shows how much of a raw deal 'Les Etalons' had to overcome versus Ghana with the help of the Tunisian referee. This and that must have blared on Ouaga's streets with that news. Unfortunately for the Burkinabes, they were facing arguably the world's most religious country on a Sunday. Sunday mba, Sunday has come. Sunday Mba settled the final in Nigeria's favour in Emmanuel Emenike's absence and Ayooluwaato Eze and his Naija people went gaga crazy and did ginger-swagger alanta all through the night. After not participating in the 1996 African Cup in South Africa due to political reasons, they were back for the 2013 edition and won the cup many believe its golden generation would have won 17 years before. In dramatic fashion, Stephen Keshi resigned after winning the trophy only to be convinced back. So he'd be around to guide the Super Eagles to the Confederations Cup in Brazil. Ayooluwaato Eze is hoping that will be a dress rehearsal for World Cup participation in 2014.

Male grooming in Ghana - 1 of mani-stories

Good customer service dey cure for business, you dey barb? Make I show you some facial with my mani fingers so you go pedistrain your way go get some :-)
After leaving my car with my mechanic for the 23rd (exaggerated but important number) time already this year, I had some time to burn. It's a Saturday, none of my favorite football teams are playing at this time, so let me go get that haircut and chillax after. I must note here that Arsenal happened to play within this period and lost to a lower league team in the FA Cup. This spurred a whole lot of "Since Arsenal last won a trophy" jokes and articles. There is even a website for this phenomenon. Maybe by the time, I mention Arsenal in another blog post, they'd still be trophyless since 2005. I mean 2 new Popes would have been appointed during Arsenal's trophy drought. I will be hoping the second Pope will be Ghana's Peter Turkson. But back to what was happening to me when Arsenal fans were suffering another improbable result. I was "spoiling myself".

The last time I had a haircut at Relevations Unisex Salon, I enjoyed the experience so much and thought it was well worth the 5 GhC I spent. This doesn't mean the price should be increased. So I gladly walked to the second experience. The gentleman who delivered the first barbering session was not there. No fretting. The lights were out. ECG at it again. You know, Electricity Comes and Goes. Since this was broad daylight, no candles needed. Cos you know ECG does stand for "Either Candle or Generator". Was it hot yesterday afternoon though? Kaish. The salon provided a fan because I was sweating profusely. That's a good business that cares about its customers.

I was lucky to meet the manager of the salon. She did a sales pitch around the different services they offered men. Body massage, facials, pedicure, manicure. I had never had any of the latter 3 services in Ghana. A few exchanged smiles later, I had committed to doing a pedicure. For 20 GhC. I thought it was a little expensive. 5 GhC for a haircut is cool. Since 'barbering' is not an imported service in Ghana, it has reasonable prices so no need to do it myself. :-)

Not sure why, but it took longer than needed to let the barber know what kind of haircut I wanted. I once learnt that barbering cuts are measured, half, quarter etc. If there was a one-eighth and every barber anywhere understood that, I'd settle in the chair, mention "one-eighth", not to have to say another word and enjoy the haircut. We need something like that. "Just cut it really low but don't give me a Sakora (like Lord Kenya)". "Erm okay, yea, barber it to the skin". "I want it such that, when I pass my palms over my head, I want to feel nothing". "Yes, I want to feel gbesh when some chic rubs my head". "Yes, I want to look a fine bwoy, thank you very much". I joked about getting a mohawk and the barber said I would look like a "ruffian". I told those around that nah, I would rather be looking like a soccer star which would help me get more ladies. Or something like that.

I mulled over the pedicure during the barbering session and decided I might as well add the manicure. The discount offered me settled me. I settled into a couch and was joined by two ladies, one for the manicure and the other for the pedicure. I flipped through a local magazine and funny enough, I came upon a page talking about"grooming of men". Nah, I'm not mentioning the name of the magazine. Since my hands were busy, one of the ladies was so kind to flip through the magazine for me so I could read and feast my eyes on the cool pictures with which magazines are sold.

I was enjoying the pedicure and manicure paa! ɛsɛ w'ani na ɛnsɛ wokakyerɛ. You should have been there. One of my friends was. Dzifa came in briefly. The "keche" the ladies were doing to my hands and feet eh? Sɔkɔdɛ, dɛ, dɛ, wobɛte sɔkɔdɛ! I picked up some massage tips. When the lady applied the body lotion in a rather not slow motion, I ..... kaish, let me stop myself. These pedicure and manicure sessions were revelations to me. Halfway during them, I decided I would just pay the full price and remove the discount. The ladies were working hard, I thought it would be an injustice to not pay the full price. In fact, I decided to get a facial too. I might as well go for that too. As for the body massage, it would have to be delivered at my home. Cue the memories from my experience at the Boston Day Spa in Addis Ababa on February 9, 2012. :-)

I closed my eyes and settled into another seat for the facial. My eyes remained close for more than a hour. If I thought the pedicure and manicure was for a long time, the facial was long (or good) enough to make me fall asleep. In fact, I woke up to some rather loud voices and hoped it wasn't 6 pm already. We were damn close to it. In fact, (wait, did I just mention "In fact" in the space of 3 sentences?) I wish someone recorded a video of this facial session. Basketball facials are Youtube hits, sexual facials are Porn collectibles. Yes, I just wrote that. I had really "spoiled myself". Okay folks, this is a literal translation from a Ghanaian local language. It means to say "I have really given myself a treat". Turns out Dzifa's mum who I've known for years was in the salon having her hair did. She said, "so it was you giving yourself a treat over there eh?" Sure nuff! :-)

I ended up spending more than 2 hours, 33 minutes at Revelations Unisex Salon. I had just gone there for a simple haircut and they 'made' me stay there. In fact, I had plans for that time o. But I went down the slippery slope of good services. We complain about bad customer service in Ghana but this was a case of good customer service paying off for a business. Abena, the manager, was on hand to ask me how I enjoyed the services. I told her I would write about them. One guy she was chatting with asked if I was a journalist, I told him I was a blogger. A blogger who loves to write about experiences and original content. And that's what I just did.

PS: Revelations Unisex Salon needs a website. You can call them at 0244-785941. But in the mean time in between time, you can find them on Abotsima Street near MJ Grand Hotel. Or around the corner from my house. :-)

PPS: Why are there no pictures in this blog post? Cos all the images I could find are of "women". Hmm, thought for another day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Happy Valentine's Day story

It's February 14 today. Many people around the world know it as Valentine's Day. I am getting closer and closer to my wedding date. So forgive me, if I talk about 'love' more and more on my blog. Because I am capable :-)

Love is in the air today. I'd been listening to as many zouk, kizomba and love songs as possible to keep me in the Valentine spirit. The point of this blog post is to share some relevant tweets which would be posted today.
I caught YFM (107.9) doing a short prose competition where folks call in and add something to "roses are red, violets are blue". The above and below are my creations. :-)

Back in the days when I used to write poems, I wrote a really beautiful love poem. I took out a couple of lines and reviewed it for today's tweeting purposes. Actually, 3 years ago, I shared the whole poem for the whole wide world (WWW) to see.
1 of my favorite songs ever is "Don't change" by Kaysha. It makes me think about a certain kind of woman (that I like and love). I can't listen to this song without repeating it. Become a fan of this legendary song today ;-)

Viviane Chidid is one of most beautiful women ever. I will never forget the day Museke gave her award and I met and took (many) pictures with her. Photo evidence is in my Moamas facebook album. She does make excellent music too. Check out this heavenly line from her "Amor" song with Philippe Monteiro.
 I wrote a blog post of my favorite African wedding songs once. This was before my infatuation with Zouk and Kizomba music though. In fact, my wife must love Zouk & Kizomba. :-) So I would have to do a "take 2" on that post.

I spent the day like I do most weekdays - working, browsing, talking, etc. I bought some Golden Tree Chocolate which I shared amongst my workmates and also gave my sister a couple. I call some loved ones, texted some others, tweeted and facebooked others, etc. I really missed using whatsapp today though. All the cool things I would have sent around paa eh?

I learnt how to say a number of things in the Sissala language.

We learnt enough things in Sissala so we could reproduce this story :-)
The funniest part of the day was when I saw some chic as I was leaving Tavern. The girl looked really familiar. I thought, "this must be the girl I met at the Ghana Fashion Awards who was Genie's friend". We stopped the car, I got out and approached her. "Genie, Genie". She looked at me funny. She wasn't Genie's friend yet she bore a stark resemblance to the lady. Same short hair cut too. I said, "Sorry, but you looked like someone I met". She replied, "but we've met before". "Huh? We've met where?" "We met at Aphrodisiac. I'm Katie". And then I remembered. "You disappeared that night". She did, I bought her a drink, danced with her a couple of times and then "she do me antenna". But here she was, I had her in my grasp now, on Valentine's Day. I couldn't take her phone number then, but exactky 5 weeks on, I got it. So, I have every reason to believe I shall see "this very hot chic" one of these days. ;-)

I've been in Valentine mood all day. Even this very blog post knows that. see :-)

The day is ending. I'm ending it very happy. I'm gonna think about my Valentine as I fall asleep. Good night y'all :-)

Monday, February 11, 2013

I go party and some African chics do me Antenna!

This is the umpteenth time I've started writing a post on Facebook and then I realise this post is too long, I might as well put it in a blog post. And almost every single time, it's a true story. I love writing these types of blog posts. Citizen journalism lol. Original content ;-) This post is about women - juicy.

So, my MIT buddy Tawanda was in town visiting Accra while doing some work for McKinsey in Togo. I went out this past Saturday night to Monsoon (I'd never been there before) to meet him and saw my Odadee colleague Yaw too who's also at McKinsey. We had some good convos, I caught up with Tawanda, we talked "women". We disagreed on whether folks should talk to their exes. I maintained that I wouldn't want the situation whereby me and my ex (or anyone for that matter) were not on talking terms. Not me ze Mighty African. When I was leaving Monsoon to go meet my Stanford buddy Ken who was also in town, some dude asked me where I was "going out" tonight. No, I didn't have PartyCrewGh written on my forehead. I gave him a few options but we ended up chatting like for 30 good minutes on entrepreneurship in Ghana. He's UK based and is looking to settle in GH. Surely, he would join the @partycrewgh.

For those of my Party Crew GH friends whose numbers I could remember, I called them to see whatsapp. Since I couldn't whatsapp them with my "canttakepicturesanddonthaveaearpiecejack" phone. They were sleeping or unavailable. So I headed to Niagara Plus Hotel to seek out Ken but apparently, he had checked out. Nah, I won't blame the dude who I chatted with for 30 minutes. Ken wasn't picking his calls either. But I did see this very hot chic at the hotel with her friends chatting. I think they were smoking 'shisha' but I can't confirm that now. (No, I wasn't high).That's maybe reason number one I didn't approach her. You'd think I'd learnt something from watching "Single Ladies" and "The Game". I had a feeling I would see her again sometime though. If we are meant to be (friends), we would meet again. (Yeah right!) African lady, you know that you drive me crazy!

I set out to go party. I hadn't danced azonto in a club for the longest time. After doing a hello and bye to Tavern (there was like one car parked there), I set out for The Republic. I saw Panji Anoff there, another buddy whose name I forget and then SliceBiz's William chilling with some white chic who I tried to guess which country she was from unsuccessfully. If you had heard her name, you'd think "Yankah" before you remember some Europeans look at "J" and see "Y". Why? I dunno. Anyway, after leaving Republic and getting fuel for my car (#vimride), some chic called Sarah I met recommended I go check out Duplex. I obliged.

After an hour or so there, I saw this "very hot chic" come in. Yea, the one at Niagara Plus. I made it known to her that I saw her earlier and asked for her name. "Tell me your name..... maybe your number, I go chase call ya, I don't want no drama". She said she was called "Haile" or "Helen" or something like that. She didn't look Ghanaian (I hate saying things like this but hey, people tell me that sometimes too) so the name didn't register proper. It didn't have a Yankah-Janka type wing to it. Even if I switched to my Ethiopian alter-ego, I still wouldn't have grasped the name. That said, she could pass for Habesha. Goitom!

After doing some small talk, I asked her if I could buy her a drink cos she was the most beautiful chic (that I didn't know already) that I'd seen this weekend. She said she wanted a "Red Bull". I bought the Red Bull with the last money in my wallet -7 Cedis pɛpɛɛpɛ! In fact, things at Duplex are expensive. Red Bull costs cheaper at Farenheit. I'm not gonna say it cost more at Duplex cos there are many more White people there. I looked for the chic on the dance floor, in the VIP seating area, outside the club, and in the queue to the washrooms. I never saw the chic again. She do me Antenna!

I waited aaaa... I sat down chillaxing in one spot thinking she might come find me and take what was rightfully hers. It didn't happen. While sitting down waiting, I chatted up some chic seated next to me who was having a jolly good time with her friends. She said she was called Raina and she was from Niger. I should have told her the Black Stars gave the Nigerien team a beat down but it didn't come to mind. What, you think cos I wanted to be her friend, I wouldn't say something like that? I would papa! Raina lives in Accra now and is studying English. If you've met her before, get in touch with me pronto. I didn't get to dance with her. I did think about giving her the Red Bull though. But I held out hope for "this very hot chic".

Raina left to go outside and said she'd be back. I had taken pictures with her, yeap. She wasn't going to forget about me like that. But apparently, she did. She never came back. Her friend said she wasn't coming back. And she didn't have her contact. Some 'friend'. Raina owes me some pictures o! She better not go and flaunt it on Facebook cos this world is very small. I know people who know people. She could have been my very first friend who's a girl from Niger. I do know a Camerounian chic who spends a lot of time in Niger though. How I met this "Mboa chic" is material for another blog post.

So, I eventually decided I'd rather take the energy drink home than try give it to some chic. I didn't, I ended up giving it to the dude on the street who "helped" me pack my car. I should have asked her if he saw some "this very hot chic" leave the club earlier. But no shaking, I am gonna see the "very hot chic" again. And this time, the first thing I am doing is taking her number. She and Raina. :-)

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