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Showing posts from June, 2013

Sparring steam room & sauna sessions at Sarova

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What the heck does this title mean? Chill, don't get so hot. I wanted to make an alliteration. If you want to get hot, go find some steam room and burn enjoy yasef.

So I arrived at Sarova Stanley in Nairobi at 7am ready to take a nap because I had hardly slept the night before watching a nameless movie on Kenya Airways and generally not having the best flight. I had never heard of this 5-Star Hotel until a room was booked for me there. The 3 previous times I was in Nairobi, I stayed at Hotel Sankara. Best hotel I've been to ever, anywhere. The hotel wouldn't check me in to a room until 12 noon, as per hotel policy. But I wanted an exception to be made for me because (a) I needed to sleep, (b) I needed to use the wi-fi, (c) Sankara has done it before :-) I hadn't booked my room, someone else had, and I was not about to pay extra money to get this. We arrived at a good compromise though.

The receptionist said I could go to the health club and wait there, take a nap ther…

Small observations of Nairobi Kenya

I arrived in Nairobi yesterday morning. It's my 4th time being here. As always when I visit an African country, I try to be observant and learn different things. Here are a few thoughts below and some concluding thoughts.

Kenya does a good job on tourism. But then again, with all the Lion King memories and the safaris, it shouldn't be that difficult. I do love how much Safaricom does to support Kenya too. At the Jomo Kenyatta Airport, there are several boards teaching visitors how to say popular phrases in Swahili. That is such a good move!
Love the welcome to #Kenya wallboards at JKIA's immigration walkway. Reps Kenya's ethnicities and #KiSwahili. Great work by #Safaricom.
— Mighty African (@mightyafrican) June 28, 2013 Kenya Airways, on the other hand, has to do more. I missed my flight to Nairobi because my ticket was never issued as per a rejected payment. The Kenya Airways offices in Accra don't take debit or credit cards and online booking via third-party is …

#VimTechList: 5 top African built Android games on Google Play

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It's been a long time since I did regular posts on things related to technology. Thanks to a recent Facebook post and some comments from friends, I am expecting to birth a series. We're calling it the "Vim Tech List". Yup, it has a hashtag too #VimTechList. You know what Vim is already from regularly reading this blog or from here. Tech is tech, list is list. For the first instalment, I want to delve into games. I'd list 5 great games you can get from the Google Play Store which are all built by Africans. Say #morevim to that.

I've always used an Android phone since December 2010. Once I joined Google, I became more interested in using apps that were African. Thankfully, the Android Developer Challenge (ADC) was concluding and many great African Android apps had been built. The Android Africa Challenge (AAC), led by tech community leaders on the continent, also followed. When I got my recent Nexus 4, I wanted to download even more new African Android apps to…

Recapping my What Do You Know quiz win via Twitter

Since I had to turn my off phone during today's What Do You Know quiz or have it in airplane mode because I am so fly, I couldn't tweet or post updates. Trust my tweeps to do so though. So here's their collective account :-) RT @Abocco: Blood donation what do you know quiz compt'n live on GTV yet to start. Prod giving tips. #wbdd#giveblood cc @nbsghana#ghhealth
— Ghana Health Nest (@ghHealth) June 16, 2013 The producer of the show Alfred Hughes gave many tips to the audience on audible clapping, etc. I had thought the quiz would start at 1, we started at 1:30. So whichever minutes of watching the Black Stars take on and beat Lesotho's national football team in a World Cup qualifier were gone.
So what do u know is on with @Abocco on GTV. He will be repping @BloggingGhana on World Blood Donor Day festivities
— ragyare (@ragyare) June 16, 2013 I repped Blogging Ghana - the association of Ghana bloggers in this quiz. I showed up at the quiz venue wearing my BlogCamp

#Winning a What Do You Know quiz contest on #blooddonation

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Earlier this month, I was nominated by my buddy +Edward Amartey-Tagoe to represent Blogging Ghana in a special What Do You Know Quiz to celebrate World Blood Donor Day. I donated blood for the first time in my life but biology has always been my least favorite subject since Presec, I don't follow current affairs even a 233rd of what I used to do in KNUST JSS and I knew very little about blood in general. I clutched at straws looking for what material to focus on in this quiz and looked for motivation via prizes available. In fact, it became too late for me to but I would have likely backed out. I had won 2 What Do You Know quizzes while in Presec but this was different. I stayed the course, but still didn't study anything until the wee hours of the night before for like 23.3 minutes. Today, I participated in the quiz and emerged victorious. #Winning!

When I was in KNUST JSS, I represented the school at Kiddie Quiz where we lost in the semi-finals. I got my nickname Clue cos I…

Watching Presec at the National Science & Maths quiz competition

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Earlier today, I attended my first ever National Science & Maths quiz (NSMQ) contest viewing. I was not a part of the Presec team when I was there and when my mates were repping Presby Boys Secondary School - Legon in the Brilla, I was in the US at the time. After vim visiting the Presec NSMQ team on Thursday and encouraging them, I took some time off today to see them in action versus Wesley Girls High Schooland St. Augustine's College, 2 other great public high schools in Ghana. The competition is ongoing at the Legon N-Block. Presec is being represented by Bernard (front) and Baidoo (behind him). I captured what happened via tweets (as usual) and wanted to share them with you. At Legon N-block for National Science & Maths quiz quarterfinal, competing are #Presec, Wey Gey Hey & Augusco. 1st round. #NSMQ#teampresec
— Ato Ulzen-Appiah (@Abocco) June 15, 2013I like Wesley Girls much more than I used while in Presec. There was some small friendly banter between the Pres…

Presec of my day, Presec of today

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When I used to have my mailing address in the US and I was in Ghana, I would almost always go to Presec. But my surprise, since I moved to Ghana on August 17, 2011, I had never been to Presec. Tonight, I was there for the first time in a long time, visiting the National Science and Maths quiz (NSMQ) team. The visit had been warranted by some turn of events. Read about that here. As usual, I did some comparisons of Presec of today to that of when I was there, and I had a number of Presecans to discuss that with. Here goes.

I used to shii impre aka sleep in class during prep aka evening study period in Presec a lot. I used to get tired easily. Tonight, there was a student who was wearing a white lacoste tonight. Yea, Presecans wear lacostes in school now. I met the assistant school prefect (1st) and he was wearing a lacoste too. He could, this other student couldn't. The latter's oje was gonna land him on trouble.  The Presec boys are at prep as usual. I haven't seen any st…

Vim visiting the Presec National Science & Maths Quiz team

Last week, we heard news of our alma mater Presby Boys' Secondary School (Legon) Presec losing to Mfantsiman (Mansite) in the National Science and Maths quiz (NSMQ). The 5-time champs had suffered an unexpected loss. But there was a silver lining. Presec could still get the chance to proceed to the next round by being one of the highest losers. Not a good look, but we'll take it. I was told of this mishap and asked to go visit the team and offer some words of encouragement. I didn't get the chance until today. But before that happened, we took that chance! Presec was slotted into a qualifier with St. Roses and HOTCASS and 'destroyed' the chance! The Presec squad did not get a single question wrong on their way to 76 points, a record haul! Earlier tonight, I was at Presec for the first time since I returned to Ghana to the land of vim. I had gone with vim to give some more vim. Anyway.... to the blog post. At #Presec, for the 1st time in a long time. Here to come s…

My South African alter-ego

This has been a long time coming. I have known a lot about South Africa for a while now, but it took 3 separate trips into the Rainbow Nation to finally introduce my South African alter-ego. I have never had many South African friends like other countries, in fact most of people I've hanged out with in Mzansi have not been from South Africa. South Africa is quite diverse for an African country so it also took a while to establish the diversity that the subject of this blog post would carry.  So afterAyooluwaato Ezefrom Nigeria,Richard Nshuti Mayanjafrom Uganda,David Ochieng Mwangifrom Kenya, Hamis Ambwene Massawefrom Tanzania and Girma Goitom Gemechu, I introduce to you all, Siyabonga Andile Mthimkhulu, my South African alter-ego.

"Ika ma lang Siyabonga" translates to "My name is Siyabonga". For short, just call me Siya. Zulu women are the finest in Mzansi. My mother hails from Durban in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province and was born to a Zulu father and Siswati mo…