Showing posts from July, 2013

#WaakyeWednesday - Whither Waakye Wednesdays?

Waakye ooo waakye!
Where from this whole #WaakyeWednesday business?

I could eat waakye every day. In fact, I used to eat waakye every day for lunch at a point in time.
I like waakye so much that while in the US I had to learn to prepare & cook it just so I could have it whenever I wanted. I learnt how to do so from my friend and eventually learnt how to make shito too via my Mum. I once cooked a waakye meal for like 23 people at Stanford and they loved it. I will never forget one statement a friend made. She said "Ato, you've been single for too long, you should not know how to cook this good". Yes, I can cook. At least, I can make delicious waakye that you might mistake for that from Auntie Muni. Waakye is just so all around me in Accra and Ghana that I don't have to bother making it. I'm not complaining.

I will do a blog post about places to eat waakye in Accra later. Waakye is the fastest selling food in the whole wide world. There are many times where I&…

Participate in Barcamp Tema 2013 #bctema

Below is the press release for Barcamp Tema 2013. Register to attend this august event at It will be happening at the Rotary Centre in Tema on Saturday, August 10. The hashtag for the event is #bctema.

BarCamp Tema 2013 is a free networking forum bringing people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue on Tema, Ghana and beyond. It takes place on August 10, 2013 at the Rotary Centre in Tema. The theme is “Building new industries for our communities”. This Barcamp will be the 21st organized by the GhanaThink Foundation as it builds a netowrk of young change makers, doers and entrepreneurs in Ghana. It's being organized in conjunction with the Rotaract Club of Tema.
Tema is well known for its music and entertainment stars which is supporting a local music industry. This Barcamp would focus on how to grow more industries for various entreprising communitie…

Shaping what Barcamp Tema 2013 will be #bctema

The very first +Barcamp Tema happened on October 27, 2012 at the Central University College (CUC) campus, just outside Tema. Some students from CUC had attended Barcamp Ghana 2011 and were enthused about the event. So their wish to have a Barcamp at their school and the GhanaThink Foundation's want to have a Barcamp for Tema gave birth to this event. The Barcamp went well, we had over 150 attendees who networked and continue to build together. 31 students from Keta Secondary Technical School (Ketasco) attended the event and their experience led to us partnering on a mentoring event at their school and the start of the Junior Camp Ghana initiative. We wanted to do some work around Tema's communities but that never took off. I'm believing Barcamp Tema 2013 would ensure this starts after August.

It was very important to have Barcamp Tema happen in Tema proper this time. The Tema-based tertiary institutions are not big enough to host the numbers we want. Hotels are expensive …

How I wrote a 233 word poem on... not Ghana but... Zouk

I had not written a full poem in over 2 years. Every time I started to write one, I would stop at some point thinking it's not as good as the last few poems I had written. However, over the course of this year, I've had this idea of writing a poem to celebrate zouk. Over hiplife. Let's be real. I've been listening to zouk (and kizomba) music much more than Ghanaian music - hiplife, highlife, raglife, poplife, etc - recently. I still love Ghana, if you ever doubt it, study how much I use the number 233. If you can't figure out and understand the significance of the number 233 like that lady teller at UBA bank yesterday or the other GT bank teller in East Legon, then become aware. Everywhere.

So I went ahead to write a poem tonight. I intentionally put on a Zouk music playlist to get me in the mood. Not in the mood for 'you know what' but in the mood for inspiration to zouk the board by the keys and type up a Zouk poem. The idea was to write an ode to Zouk, …

A look into my zouk hook (poem)

I used to live life from the hip
And then something came and really zouked me
The familiar got different
The life on a change
The peculiar got consistent
The thing don't change
So I got into a relationship
By then, the something had already hooked me

Elles demandent attention to give, we know
L's provident affection to give, follow
Ma cherie as we demonstrate one love, that
Is telepathy of doves above, phat
Together, we are melodies that make music
With another, we’re diversities tryna sync
Danced to every cranny and nook
Still got the naivety of a rook
Lifes still contained in book after book
Versus high-fives as open as zouk

I stayed true to the homegrown beat
I swayed anew to the exotic rhythm
True, the outer enjoyment got hipper and livelier
But the inner excitement got deeper and deeper
The high life was all over amiss, true
The zouk made me say I miss you
I yearned for more
Amor amor amor

What I knew intoto was hip
What was new was at my hip
Something going o…

Inspiration coming from Lira and Nelson Mandela

Due to Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday falling on Thursday, July 18, I started listening to South African music a lot. I even changed my Twitter name to that of my South African alter-ego, Siyabonga Mthimkhulu. I listened to some house, kwaito, hip hop, jazz, R&B and gospel music from Mzansi. Heavy on the rotation was music from Lira. Yeap, the one I met in South Africa. She's simply the rockas. My father is also in town and he's been listening to me rock Lira in the car all the time. Yesterday, I made him watch Tsotsi, my favorite movie of all time. But these occurrences didn't drive me to write this blog post quite like what happened this morning. I was listening to Lira's Captured Tour CD along with my father on the way to work. And then the song started ---
"I have a dream, a dream that lives in me. A gift that is given to the uniqueness of me. There is a path, a path made just for me and I walk it faithfully, though not certain where it leads. Bu…

Learning more about Lagos, the state of

I had gone to, or err... travelled to, Ikeja from VI and upon arrival, I was seeing all these "Welcome to Lagos" signboards. So I wondered and then it finally dawned on me that Lagos was actually a state. We know it as the biggest city in Africa, but Lagos is also the name of a state. Did you know Ikeja was the capital of Lagos State? I didn't know until this week, my fifth time in Lagos. I am beginning to know more about Lagos. Ayooluwaato Eze is becoming more comfortable with his true home.

While in Lagos, a friend took me on a small driveby tour of Ikeja. I had been to Ikeja a couple of times before, once to go chill and party when I had "point and kill" for the first time. The second time, I visited the Shrine. I need to go check out Computer Village the next time though. In Ikeja, we drove past the Ikeja mall which had a Shoprite and looked pretty big, bigger than the Accra Mall. We'd see what West Hills Mall does when it arrives. The Lagos mainland …

Wa-zo-bia to Lagos!

I was in Lagos earlier this week for the third time this year. This time, I could clearly tell when I was on the 3rd mainland bridge, when I had gotten into VI versus Ikoyi, etc. Almost every single time I was going somewhere, I was not in heavy traffic. I planned it really well. NOT. It just happened. I didn't parade around as Ayooluwaato Eze but I was interested in the subjects I tweeted about and will talk through in this blog post.

The first night I had gone to Man of Steel in 3D which was a blog worthy experience. After spending some time at the Rancard office, I had to go to Ikeja for some meeting like that. After bargaining a price of 2000 Naira, we set off.
Enjoying the non-existent traffic on Oworoshoki highway in #Lagos to #Ikeja. We jos dey go. Now, the taxi driver is showing me bus stops.
— Mighty African (@mightyafrican) July 16, 2013 Did you hear about the Nigerian traffic app (Traffix) that's looking to get bought by Google? Got to love their vim. There's al…

#VimTechList: 11 young female African technology leaders to know about

It's a glaring fact that African women are not as much involved in the tech space as much as their male counterparts. In this #VimTechList, I'd like to recognize some African women who are doing a lot to drum up interest in technology locally and elsewhere on the continent. They are developers, content creators, and thought leaders. These are a few I know about. Let me say I am disappointed in myself that there's no one in this list from Lusophone Africa. I need that Angola trip. Anyway, on to the people who must be celebrated. Tech Needs Girls in Africa. And it's just because we want more women at tech events in Africa. We need to embrace & create more technological solutions on the continent. We need influential women across the board. Here are the bubbling +Ory Okollohs, +Estelle Akofio-Sowahs, and +Nnenna Nwakanmas.

Doris Anson-Yevu - Ghana: I've known +Doris Anson-Yevu for a long time, I am not sure I remember where and how I met her. She had joined Suuch …

A for Africa – Introducing the Tecno Phantom A

I first learnt about Tecno phones via my twin sisters. They had both gotten Tecno phones that run on the Symbian technology. They liked the sturdiness, easy to use and versatile nature of those phones. It could browse the internet and could take multiple chips. The phone was affordable with a very reasonable price. No wonder Tecno phones were and are still selling off the charts in Ghana. I was carrying a Nexus phone at the time and though my sisters liked their Tecno phones, they salivated over the cool Android device I had. After learning about the Tecno Phantom A and its price (wait for it), my sisters have to revisit using Tecno phones. I am already a new fan!
My sisters would especially love the DUAL SIM functionality. This was clearly built for Africa. The Phantom A is well packaged and there are a number of pluses straight away. I love how the Facebook page for Tecno in Africa is embossed on the box, sending the message that Tecno takes its African customers (which includes me…

Watching Man Of Steel in 3D in Las Gidi

While in Nairobi last month, I learnt about the opportunity to watch the Man of Steel movie in 3D. I had never seen a movie in 3D for almost 2 years, since I returned home from the US. The Man of Steel 3D experience was oversubscribed. A friend had gone to watch an earlier screening and the cinema area was packed. Turned out it wouldn't be that easy to get a ticket. Went bowling the next Nairobi day and then left for Accra. So being in Lagos with the same opportunity? I was leaving no stone unturned. Glad I did. I am blogging about it hehe. So aren't you too?
Do Nigerian movie theatres start showing movies later like their flights do? Cos I really wanna watch Man of steel 3D tonight. #lagos
— Mighty African (@mightyafrican) July 15, 2013
Give me 3D cinema even if I've 2 miss 23.4 minutes of a 149 minute movie. Off to Genesis Deluxe Cinemas in lekki, #Lagos. #leggo#manofsteel
— Mighty African (@mightyafrican) July 15, 2013 First, arriving in Lagos later than expected was no…

Recounting ages of mass massages

I love massages. I love giving them and receiving them. When I used to play football aka soccer regularly at Stanford, I'd feel really tired and in some good amount of pain. I'd long for a massage but normally, I wouldn't get it. I should get massages more often like I got today in Ghana.
2:33pm in #Accra. Getting a free massage courtesy a blog post I wrote promoting my neighbourhood salon.
— Ato Ulzen-Appiah (@Abocco) July 14, 2013
I believe the very first massage I got was delivered by my first girlfriend. Maybe this is a false but if there were any before that one in the summer of 2007 in Baltimore, they were not that memorable. That was the day I learnt about the art of drumming while giving massages. It was sweet roff. I took some tips from Phelele and administered them back. From then till I left the US in 2011, I gave and received massages, and sharpened and ironed my skills lol.

When I was in Addis Ababa for the first time, I as…

Attending the Agape House Church in Ghana #agapehouse

I went to church today. I don't go any given Sunday by the way. My cousin, Efibah, was telling me, "I pass through your neighbourhood to go to church all the time, and I know you don't go to (any) church". So, she passed by again and I tagged along with her. To Agape House New Testament Church. 10:30am? No problemo. Even if I slept at 4am after a partycrewgh outing, I could make that. I need to renew my faith anyway. Let's just say that once I entered the church and looked around, it only took me 2.33 seconds to decide I'd be blogging about being at #AgapeHouse. So here goes.
I spent all the blog write up time tweeting. So I'm going to let the tweets speak for themselves.  Am at the Agape House in East Legon for church today. My cousin brought me here. Lovely church on all levels.
— Ato Ulzen-Appiah (@Abocco) July 14, 2013 The Agape House pastor is white. I was surprised but I shouldn't be. The Christ the King priest is white 2. Hope he doesn't s…

The rings that got away spurred San Antonio on

I have been a fan of the San Antonio Spurs ever since I started watching basketball religiously in 2003. I liked the unassuming nature of Tim Duncan and the way about which the Spurs went about their business. I appreciate the nuances and tactics of sport, unlike many others, I don't follow sports mostly for the entertainment. I could literally succeed at coaching basketball teams. I've watched enough bball to do X's and O's to make my team earn multiple team hugs and several kisses from cheerleaders :-) The Spurs have been organizing basketball clinics on NBA courts for years now with super results. However, as much as they have won, they have also lost some big ones. They lost none bigger than this year's NBA Finals. It's just one of those that got away.

From about 1994 up until 2003, two men had been part of every single NBA championship team. Robert Horry & Steve Kerr.Read about them here. After seeing Robert Horry's Lakers win three straight ring…