Sunday, April 28, 2013

#MusicMonday makes my Monday mood more motivated- #Morevim!


It's yet another Monday.
You might be thinking this .... ----> "Oh NOOOO, It's Monday Again!




But you can have a different outlook.
Listen to music you love.
Make it a #MusicMonday.

I love to listen to this YouTube playlist.



Enjoy!
Morevim!

23 versions of Merry Christmas in African languages

Can't wait till Christmas. Can wait to see the year move a little slower so I achieve a lot more in 2013 though. But when the holiday season does come, here are a number of ways you can send and say holiday greetings :-)



















So there you have it. Now you can say your holiday greetings in Akan (Twi, Akuapem and Fante), Dagbani, Ga (& Adangbe), Ewe and Dagaati which are all languages spoken in Ghana. You can also say it in Hausa which is spoken in multiple West African countries. You can also say it in Igbo or Yoruba and show your Naija dexterity like Ayooluwaato Eze does in Nigeria. You can also bring a smile out of a Burkinabe by saying a holiday greeting in Moore in Burkina Faso.

No, Africa is not a country that speaks Swahili and is ruled by Nelson Mandela. But you can still show off some small Swahili at Christmas time with a holiday greeting. That will make Kenya's David Ochieng Mwangi and Tanzania's Hamis Ambwene Massawe proud. Whether you are in Ethiopia during their 13th month or not, you could show off your Amharic with the greeting above. Tell them Girma Goitom Gemechu taught you. You can learn to say it in Luganda while in the Pearl of Africa, and best believe Uganda's Richard Nshuti Mayanja will be giving you moral support.

Nshuti will also shoot praises your way when you give a Kinyarwanda holiday greeting in Rwanda. Yeah, we know the Lingala holiday greeting now too for the times you are in the Congo. Many of you might not have heard of the Beti language in Cameroun, but when you are in Cameroon, you can find the Beti people and let them know you are ready to visit again during Xmas time.

When you're in Zambia, you can say it in Nyanja and Bemba too. If you are in South Africa, you can show the locals you are lekker by saying it in Xhosa, Pedi, or Zulu and even crossing the small border into Swaziland and stealing the hearts of one of Mswati's wives at Christmas by saying it in Siswati.

I miss those greeting cards by Kasahorow. Hope to see them come back soon :-)





I am a Toofan fan too: Got to go to Togo!

This wasn't quite a Togolese weekend, but then again Togo's independence day was April 27. While browsing my Gabonese friend's Facebook page, I discovered that one of Africa's top music groups, Toofan, were going to be performing in Accra at a concert. Cool Catch eh? We were going to have a dose of Togolese music in Accra. Blog post material be that. But first, I said

After getting to the concert, it struck me. I was going to hear a lot of French (that I didn't understand). Was a good opportunity to learn a few more French phrases et al. There were so many Francophone Africans at Alliance Francaise, all assembled to see Toofan and other groups perform. Joining Toofan were Sir Okoss (Gabon), Abou Mala (Congo), S. K Blinkz of Aha ye de fame as well. I absolutely love Aha ye de and how S K Blinz has brought a serving of Coupe Decale to the Ghanaian music scene. My mate from Presec, EL, was probably the only Ghanaian to perform there. After his performance, I told him I liked how he was being smart and using this opportunity to expand his fanbase into Francophone Africa. Smart guy! Odadee for real :-)





After a night of various performances (some of which were not that great), there was a pretty fun dance-off. An endowed lady showed off some great Azonto moves on stage while another gentleman showcased what cool catché was about. Toofan finally appeared on stage and because I had renewed my fandom too and been fed other Toofan videos by my friends Francis, Sarah and Tatiana, I was prepared to sing and dance along to all their songs. 




Toofan started out miming a lot but quickly moved into "performance" mode. They danced. They performed. For more than an hour. I was having too much fun to realise midnight was approaching. That was appropriate because midnight signalled the arrival of April 27, which coincidentally was the day of Togo's independence. Toofan led the Togolese present to sing the Togolese national anthem. C'est bon!


I almost went to Togo last year for Barcamp Lome. Looking to attend a similar event there this year. I also need to get a Togolese name. Any suggestions? :-)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Barring any challenges, let's come camp at Kasoa on April 27


3 reasons why you should come to Barcamp Kasoa - It will assemble many aspirational, inspirational and conversational people - It will be an eye-opener into what Kasoa really is about - It will be a fun, informal networking event Register here. Or read the press release and do so after :-) Barcamp Kasoa aims to assemble Kasoa stakeholders to network, build a supportive entreprising community and give birth to lasting professional partnerships. We would discuss the present state of Kasoa, its emerging growth and how it will be affected by many projects happening around it - Hope

BarCamp Kasoa 2013 is a free networking event to bring people together for a day of discussion, demos and dialogue about Kasoa, Ghana and beyond. The event will happen at the ICGC Transformation Temple in Kasoa on April 27, 2013. The theme is 'Making an entreprising environment for an emerging market'. Barcamp Kasoa is organized primarily by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA, which has successfully organized 19 BarCamps in Ghana.

Barcamp Kasoa aims to assemble Kasoa stakeholders to network, build a supportive entreprising community and give birth to lasting professional partnerships. We would discuss the present state of Kasoa, its emerging growth and how it will be affected by many projects happening around it - Hope City, West Hills Mall, Millenium City, etc. We would also discuss how Kasoa and its surrounding areas can be positively affected by youth.
Some winners of the Ghana National Youth Achievers Awardswill join other young achievers to participate in our speed mentoring session. Confirmed speed mentors include Bernard Akoi Jackson, Jerry Smith, Sam Paul, Akua Akyaa Nkrumah, Kate Nkansah-Dwamena, Gideon Commey, etc. We shall have a special panel discussing Kasoa. This shall include the insight of local Kasoa stakeholders. Confirmed panelists include Nuhu Nuhu Adams, Lawrencia Owusu, etc. It will also feature multiple user-generated breakout sessions on topics relevant to Kasoa and beyond. Major topics to focus on will include keeping Kasoa clean, urban planning and traffic as well as growing small and medium-sized business.
Register at http://barcampkasoa13.eventbrite.com/. You can also register by sending “Barcamp Kasoa, Your Name, Your Email Address” to 1945 on all mobile networks. See you there!You may contact the BarCamp Kasoa organising team throughthis website for sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in organizing a breakout session, let us know, especially if you have special needs.BarCamp Kasoa 2013 is sponsored by the GhanaThink Foundation, Google Ghana, Fiesta Condoms, and Nandimobile. Get additional info at: http://barcampghana.org/contact or email, barcamp at ghanathink.org

Indulge in the emergence of an entreprising Kasoa

The first time I was in Kasoa, I had actually gone to Buduburam to visit some family members. From what I know about Kasoa today, it might be the real melting pot in Ghana. It is home to many cultures, people from many countries, many businesses and many hopes and aspirations. My buddy Elorm claims that "almost every tribe in Ghana can be found in Kasoa". Given the tertiary institutions and the presence of Buduburam, it might be home to many more West African tribes too. If some pronouncements are to be believed, Kasoa is seeing more than 40 families move in every week. It is one of the fastest growing towns (if not cities) in West Africa. Given some of the news around it, it is also going to become very relevant in the sub-region very soon.

By the end of 2011, the Barcamp Ghana movement had seen events in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi, Cape Coast, and Ho. While at Blogcamp Ghana (a Barcamp type event with a focus on blogging and social media), two separate people approached me about organizing a Barcamp at Kasoa. A third group approached me about organizing a Barcamp at their school - Methodist University College. Because we need to synergise energies, we came up with this not-so-brilliant idea of organizing a Barcamp Kasoa at MUC. That didn't work out so well. Kasoa is actually in the Central Region while MUC is in Dansoman, in Accra. Thankfully, though it's been more than 8 months in the making, Barcamp Kasoa will happen this month. In Kasoa. In the town also known as Oduponkpehe (which I learnt from Krystabel).

What else do we know about Kasoa? Traffic. Kasoa is famous in Ghana for traffic jams and go-slows. Travelers who ply the western route of Accra always dread passing through Kasoa traffic. Kasoa is seeing a lot of migration into it as it is attractive for new home owners. The Kasoa toll booth is not very attractive to these people but the money raised for its fees are important to maintain the transport infrastructure there. That hasn't stopped the occurrence of accidents though. It also begs the question, "how much money is raised for the Kasoa toll booths each day?" My buddy Edmund will like to go to Kasoa as much as possible, but the traffic can deter that.

According to my friend Emelia, Kasoa is also known to have many block factories. My friend Ali joked that because of the block factory presence, that's why RLG is moving to build Hope City near Kasoa, in the hope of getting cheap building material. :-) I am yet to find out why a technology city that will house 50,000 people with the presence of 6 skyscrapers is being built near Kasoa. As far as I know Roland Agambire doesn't live or hail from there. That's not all, the West Hills Mall project, which would douse the hype the Accra Mall enjoys, is also being built close to Kasoa. These, among other building projects, will make Kasoa a destination and even more importantly, a self-supporting city. Kasoa is growing so fast and seeing so many changes that it has undergone many administrative changes, something my buddy Mawuli will know a lot about.

Kasoa is also a Hausa word that means "market". It is bustling with activity. The presence of the market so close to the main road is a major culprit for the Kasoa traffic. The culture of too many small businesses in Ghana needs to change, as we need to scale what we do and get bigger and more efficient institutions and bigger profitable businesses. In essence, Kasoa is an emerging market with many entreprising people and it is expanding in an environment that needs proper maintenance and guidance. Hence the Barcamp Kasoa theme being "Making an entreprising environment for an emerging market".

There's more to learn about Kasoa. So join us at Barcamp Kasoa to learn this and more. Come and see how you can leverage Kasoa's growth and profile to make things happen for you. The event is happening at a church - an ICGC branch. Yeap, this will be the first time a Barcamp in Ghana will happen at a church. Kasoa is home to many Moslems too and from what I hear and what we've seen in Ghana, Christians and Moslems get along very well. Barcamp Kasoa is on April 27 at the ICGC Transformation Temple on the Bawjiase road in Kasoa. Come one, come all. It will be a very fulfilling experience. You would be anxious for the next one after attending this one so don't miss this one. If you have a friend or family member in Kasoa, don't allow them to miss this event. Did I say it's free? :-) Register here!

Barcamp Ghana - It's a #morevim movement!

Every time I tell people "We've done 19 Barcamps" since December 2008, they are surprised and impressed. Interestingly, I am not. Dorothy Gordon, the Director-General of the KACE-AITI, generously gave the venue for free when she understood what we wanted to do with the Barcamps. After the first Barcamp in Ghana happened, she charged us to have the events in every single region. 2009 saw 1 event, 2010 saw 4, 2011 saw 5, and 2012 saw 8. 2013 will hopefully see 10 Barcamps in Ghana, but not in every single region. It might very well happen.

What is a Barcamp? A Barcamp is a ad-hoc informal gathering of people. It is not peculiar to just 'us', it happens around the world. Google "Barcamp" and you would see. Check out barcamp.org and learn more. Like one of the Barcamp Ghana teammates said, "We have taken Barcamps personal". Barcamps in Ghana are an evolution of what regular Barcamps are and a revolution around which certain goals are being met. Barcamps in Ghana have become "networking forums". Events where serious discussions happen in an informal and open environment. So yes, it's liking camping in a bar without the loud music and the alcohol. The aim is to bring people together to learn from each other, share with each other and network. Attendees must leave the Barcamps highly motivated, inspired and entreprising. It's that "can-do" attitude.

The Barcamp Ghana program is a GhanaThink Foundation initiative. Some of you might have chanced upon GhanaConscious before. Or seen the projects that have emerged from GhanaThink's Tsooboi arm - like Museke and Kasahorow. GhanaThink used to be wholly online and was dominated by the Ghanaian Diaspora, the switch has been flipped and it is wholly footed in Ghana with a heavy online presence and a growing offline movement. GhanaThink's mission is to mobilize and organize talent towards the service of Ghana. After online forums were dying out and Facebook was taking over, we increasingly looked to moving discussions to physical events and bringing people together.

Barcamps in Ghana have mostly attracted the youth, especially the aspirational types. When we organized the first Barcamp Ghana event, we intentionally had panelists who were 'young'. 4 of the 8 panelists were around 25 years old. How many panels have you been to anywhere that have panelists who are under 30? If we were going to drive Ghana's youth to be empowered, motivated and make them take charge, we were going to have to show ourselves and everybody else that there are youth who were already doing so. This has continued, Barcamps in Ghana don't seek out the 'big names who people want to see', it seeks out the younger changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs that people need to know and understand what they do.

What are Barcamps for? Quite simply, we are building a movement of Ghanaian changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs who all know each other. We are fueling the fire of "it's not who you know, but who knows what you know". Through the events and its attendant relationships that are built, we are helping people find business ideas, partners and skills. Projects that have come out of Barcamps haven't been encapsulated and captured adequately but they exist and happen. Through the various breakout sessions, Barcamps have given birth to ideas that were implemented, groups that were finally formed, partnerships that were ironed. Check out 5 things somebody learnt after one event.

Barcamps in Ghana are a "labor of love". The events are free, with free food and drinks all day. They are for everybody, because we need all Ghanaians to buy into the ideals of making (positive) change, doing and entrepreneurship. It's not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. And while you are at it, you must realize value in terms of money, resources, network, reputation, etc. Barcamps have become a spectacle of patriotism, a place where politics is not invited. Ghanaians need to be assembled, to share and build with each other. It is the satisfaction that there is support for what I am doing or what I really want to do. Because others are doing just that.

"More vim" has become a defacto statement at Barcamps in Ghana and around the people who have had access to them. "More vim" in Ghanaian parlance today is used in many ways - to congratulate, encourage, celebrate, etc. It can be the difference between not doing and doing. Barcamp Ghana events - in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Cape Coast, Ho, Sunyani, Tema - have built a "morevim movement", a number of people who are interested in Ghana's development as well as their own and won't leave that in the hands of the government or others. The movement is moving across the length and breadth of Ghana and multiplying outside of its borders and catching up to the next of kin in the Diaspora. Kasoa is the next location and the Barcamp Ghana would dig deeper into Ghana's landscape till it reaches Tain, Tumu and Tuabodom.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Burkinabe Day - Troisième

Wow, so now I have a new wallet! Did I have money to put into the wallet? Yes. What to use the money for? "Let's go buy some bissap or sobolo to make this day fully Burkinabe!". Tatiana didn't have any in store, so I had to go on a hunt in Osu. I was also getting hungry. La Creperie Terrasse would have been closed by the time I passed by on my way home so that wasn't an option. I thought of a French restaurant near Honeysuckle and headed there. You know how much I love bissap already. The thrill of searching and finding bissap in Osu after 23:33pm was enthralling.
While navigating Danquah Circle, it struck me. Bissap is cool, but Burkina is cooler. There is a drink sold in Ghana that is called Burkina. It would be 226 times more appropriate to have that than Bissap, on this day. I met a number of women speaking French at Grand Ecuyer but the restaurant had no bissap or Burkina. So I cut my losses and headed for Oxford Street, not sure where to pass. That's when I remembered that I had bought some nicely packaged Burkina drink (a yoghurt) at Freshers in East Legon on Sunday. Smoothies didn't have it, and Container didn't contain it. I ended up buying indomie from a nearby seller who told me to check around Danquah Circle. Anyemo! Ole seke ni woye!

I parked by Danquah Circle and picked the most probable seller of Burkina or Bissap. The lady told me all the sellers had closed and gone home, including one of her close friends. To Nima. Should I call up Dominique Werner? Maybe not. Should I call up that hot Gabonese chic who lives in Nima? Non. Should I drive to Nima and look for bissap or Burkina? Better idea but that's a little too far for right now. I decided to throng the shops at the petrol stations and buy the yoghurt - which we shall call "Burkina With Swag". The lady asked, "Are you sure you want to only buy sobolo or burkina?" "Yes, I am". I would not be swayed by what she was selling no matter how hard she tried because I am treading these parts for very specific reasons.

The Osu Total shop had a yoghurt made from millet. While waiting for Tatiana to verify it as Burkina, I googled "burkina drink millet". The Burkinabé cuisine Wikipedia had Bissap as the first "common beverage" with no mention of "Burkina". "I have to get Bissap then?" "Focus, focus". I went to pick up my Indomie and while heading towards to Shell on Oxford Street to get "Brukina With Swag", another policeman stopped me about my light. This time, he didn't let me scot free after I had bought the "Creamy Yoghurt Meal" but couldn't get the petrol I needed to shell into my #vimride. I found the nearest Shell station and bought the fuel. Fueled by my excitement, Tatiana also wanted some Burkina and sadly this other Shell station didn't have it though, though it had Yomi. Yummy but not correct.

After getting the second "Creamy Yoghurt Meal", I bypassed all police checkpoints till I arrived at OUWA again. That's when Tatiana informed me that the drink Burkina is really called "Degue". Yea, it's on this Wikipedia page, I just edited it 2:26 minutes ago. I gave the drink to Cecil and William to taste and enjoyed that with my Indomie. As you might know, Indomie is the prize that Ghana won at the African Cup of Nations after Nigeria won gold, Burkina Faso won silver and Mali won bronze. That's when I wondered, "Is there Indomie in Burkina Faso too?" Because if it is so, then I would have had a 'Burkinabe meal' too. Sadly, it doesn't exist in that market yet. I had met one gentlemen at OUWA called Tambi. I tried to guess his country, but while I guessed Benin, he was from Burkina Faso. Of course, the gods have aligned to make this day as Burkinabe as possible. Tambi wasn't a big fan of Indomie, he probably felt the same way I felt about McDonalds coming to Ghana. Except Indomie is a localized product that is not very different from the 'spaghetti-shito-corned beef' dish we'd have at Presec.

I spent the time typing up this 3-part series listening to Burkinabe songs and chatting with Tatiana, Tambi, William and co. After paying homage to Jonathan Pitriopa using this and that, we listened to a selection of Burkinabe songs from Yeleen, Sissao, Alif Naaba, Smockey, and Pamika. The next thing I would do is choose the name for my Burkinabe alter-ego. Watch this space. A bientot!

A Burkinabe Day - Deuxième

La premiere ici. I set out to go home, started singing the song that had been repeating in the car - Lira's Ngiyazifela. "I can't help loving you". Can you tell I am in love?

Instead of going home, I thought to myself. "Let's make this a Burkinabe day!" I would call up Stephanie, the lady who organized the Francophone Film Festival in Accra and collect that Burkinabe movie. I would also go to see Tatiana, my OUWA friend, and collect the souvenir she got me from Burkina. Stephanie wasn't picking my calls and Tatiana wasn't replying my whatsapp messages. When I called Tatiana, the phone didn't even ring and I had a voice playback in French. Turns out I was calling a +226 Burkinabe number. I stopped at the 37 Shell (didn't buy fuel) and bought Airtel credit. Except I didn't leave the car cos I was afraid the car wouldn't spark after a park and one of the workers went to buy me the credit. I scratched the card, went through instructions and the USSD message said the voucher was wrong. I had been brought some Vodafone credit instead. After getting the correct Airtel credit, I called and talked to Stephanie. She was traveling the next day and couldn't give me the original copy of Notre étrangère movie to watch. Her friend who had the copy she could give me was in Kumasi. I had to wait 2 weeks for her to come back from vacation so I could watch it. I was going to wait impatiently but I could not wait to get that souvenir.

Tatiana finally replied my whatsapp message as I was about to leave the Shell Station near 37. My last but one Whatsapp message was "Coucou" :-) Apparently, she had Whatsapp on her PC. Yes, you can get that. After she had confirmed that she had the souvenir she had brought me from Ouagadougou with her, I was headed to OUWA. OUWA stands for Open University of West Africa. Yeap, they have many students from West Africa. On my way to OUWA, I passed by 37 through to the front of GIS, Akuffo-Addo circle and down into Osu. I remembered the day I walked from Oxford Street to 37 with a Burkinababe. I will never forget that day. January 26th 2008. That day and around that time, there were no damsels parading themselves whistling at bypassing cars at Akuffo Addo circle. How times change. Tonight, some policeman stopped me on my way because the vimride didn't have one headlight working. He told me to park and take a look at it but I just kept on going. I had seen the 'light'.

OUWA & SliceBiz had launched HubAccra earlier last week so I thought maybe they may have moved to a new location. While there, Tatiana had confirmed that OUWA was in its older Osu location so I went there. There, I met my namesake Ato who we shall call Cecil, William of the award-winning SliceBiz and Gbenga of AgriPro fame. I was very curious to see what Tatiana had brought me from the former Upper Volta. She handed me a black polythene bag and I felt the item in it and recognised it. "Is this what I think it is?" Tatiana wasn't following. I knew what the item was. It was a wallet. Of course, it wasn't the wallet I lost. Because Tatiana would not be buying a wallet I had lost in Accra that Nima boys had transported to Ouaga.

I took the wallet out. I showed it to William and said, "Take this, all of it, and take from it. This is my blaahh... (did I get you! lol)". I actually said, "What is this?" He responded, "A wallet". "Do I have one?" "I don't know". I did the same with Gbenga who gave a similar answer. Then I showed it to Cecil. "What is this?" He responded, "A wallet". "Do I have one?" "No". Yes! I didn't have a wallet. In fact, I hadn't bought a wallet since it was stolen on March 6th. How coincidental that Tatiana got a gift for me from Ouagadougou and it was the very thing I needed but hadn't bothered to get. Awesome eh? She had bought it at Le Village Artisanal in Ouagadougou where artisans sell a lot of their products - everything being traditional and locally made. Funny thing is, the wallet doesn't have credit card or ID card compartments. Is it because Burkina Faso is a cash and carry society? And Burkinabes don't use cards? Hehe, maybe. The artisan obviously made this wallet for himself and not his potential customers. :-)

So now I can carry some Burkinabe with me everywhere I go. Just lovely. But the story hasn't ended. Continue. A suivre.

A Burkinabe Day - Première

When I was heading home today, I needed to send some whatsapp messages so I needed to park the car and do so. The only choice on this route was going to be the Burkinabe embassy. The first time I had I stopped there, it was February 6th. I was so saddened by the Black Stars' loss to the Stallions of Burkina Faso that I just had to stop by the embassy and 'pay my respects'. I had told the security guy "look at how your country has made all of Accra sad". I was rooting for the Burkinabe team in addition to our darling Black Stars but if I knew they were going to end Ghana's interest in the Orange African Cup of Nations, I would have refrained from that. Ghanaians were taunting Burkinabes saying "we are going to drink burkina" but after that penalty-shoot out loss, Ghanaians were caught saying "we are going to stop providing electricity for Burkina Faso". Given the current load shedding exercises in Ghana, I am surprised we haven't gone ahead with those threats. Anyway, back to the story of today.

While sending whatsapp messages in front of the Burkinabe Embassy, the security guy came to say whatsup. "Do you remember me?"
"Oui, you were here the day we beat you".
"Yes, allow me to park here small. What's your name?"
"Alhassan Traore".
"Oh, two very common names. Is Traore a Mossi name?"
"No, it is Diula".
"Oh yeah, that's why there are Traores in Ivory Coast too". "Oh, I know what 'I ni che' is". Find out here. Alhassan continued, "I am from Bobo-Dioulasso". That's when I learnt that Bobo Dioulasso is home to the Dioula people in Burkina Faso and that Ouagadougou is home to Mossi people. Mossi is the biggest tribe, followed by Dioula and Fufude (Fulanis). I have some good friends who are San. I said 'barka' and showed off some Mossi I knew. I also said "Maam nonga Burkina Faso" which means "I love Burkina Faso".

I told Alhassan I knew one Burkinabe guy who works at Busy Internet and a lady who studies at OUWA. For some reason, I asked Alhassan what Bobo Dioulasso meant. This is where I wished I knew more French and I wished he knew more English. I unsuccessfully spent over 10 minutes getting him to tell me what Bobo Dioulasso meant in Diula. I even called upon Google Translate to make me speak French but we still didn't make headway. He eventually wrote the word "Sia" on a piece of paper. No, he didn't mean 'kwasia'. His Twi is not even elementary, it's nursery. And it was then that I thought to check out Bobo-Dioulasso on Wikipedia as it might have the meaning of the word. "Sia!" It was there. It meant "home of the Bobo-Dioula". Bobo and Diula are ethnic groups that both speak Diula.

I would have stayed with Alhassan to learn more Diula but I had to rush home to have a meeting. But the freakin #vimride would not spark! I had it parked a little too long so it continued to park and wouldn't generate a spark. There was no one to excuse my French so I yelled many obscenities that would make El Hadj Diouf proud. Alhassan came to see whatsup again but he couldn't help me. A neighbor also came by and after failing to spark the car, stopped the next taxi driver. He tried many things and I unsuccessfully sparked many times. I said a prayer and the car didn't answer. Because I am ridiculous like that, my next prayer was a bunch of jibberish and "Mon Dieu". Vroom vroom vroom! Car sparked! I gave the taxi driver 5 GhC for his time. The neighbour was called Glibert Gilbert and he was a Kasem from Paga. "Where the crocodiles are?" "Yes, very close to Burkina Faso".

I set off for East Legon via Kawukudi junction like I normally do. When I got to Jack And Jill, I thought to myself - "I was just at the Burkinabe embassy, let's go visit the Burkinabe ambassador too". Since his residence was near, I changed my route and went to park at his gate. I parked there so that if he was coming home soon, he will be forced to talk to me. After 2:26 minutes, I blew my car horn. Expectedly, the security man came outside and wondered whatsup. I told him I loved Burkina Faso and I just wanted to come say hi to the ambassador if he was there. No, the security man didn't say "Il est ici", he said "he is here" because he is actually from Ghana. His name was Ismail, from the Busanga tribe and hails from Bawku.

I told him that if I came to meet the ambassador, we'd have to exchange pleasantries, talk about what I know about Burkina Faso, what he thinks of Ghana, etc and that I would be delayed in going to my meeting. I even told him I was a Burkinabe after all and my name was "....." Let me desist from announcing that name before you all start calling me by it. My proper Burkinabe name will come later. I promised to come by again. "I will come with some Burkinabe friends of mine". When I was leaving the area, I saw the Chinese embassy and wondered. why is the Burkinabe's ambassador residence so close to the Chinese embassy? Mere coincidence. I think I already said that Aristide Bancé should go and play in China like Didier Drogba and Seydou Keita did. He will be such a huge star and he shall pound his opposition. Not literally. Figuratively.

Oui, we have part deux. Click ici.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why defence (defenders) is more imporant than attack (attackers) in a game

After watching yet another fine game of football, my buddy Francis and I got into a conversation around what was more important - defenders or attackers? Since, this is sports-related, this debate is a little more relevant to guys. The debate topic (also asked on Twitter) was/is "What is more important to the success of a team in a sporting or physical activity? A good defence or a good attack?" Francis and I agreed that 'defence' is more important and critical. Here are some points that illustrate our point; series of tweets coming up :-)












Francis defended the point and pretty much won the debate with this statement and tweet.
Are you convinced? ;-)

PS: #discos is some hashtag supposed to be for a debate and discussion. Might choose another appropriate hash tag later.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hanging with Naija babes in Accra

I have decided to party less in 2013. So after partying on Friday night, I was sure to spend Saturday night at home. Especially, if I would have light at home. But after being visited by Nii, Obinna, Stephen and Ali, I entertained second thoughts. While writing one blog post, I received a call around 9:30pm from a friend, Brian, inviting me to a house party. After missing the few hours of last night’s house party, I was keen on this one. A couple of friends were not responsive and some others wanted to stay in, but I decided to honour Brian’s invitation. Because the last time I attended one of his parties, I ended up drinking Vimto and meeting Francophone women who would make you say “Oh la la”.

When I arrived at the AU Village, the ‘gateman’ directed me to Brian’s. "You will see a place with many cars packed". Fair enough. I had seen a Asian-looking lady walking down the road and asked her “Are you going to Brian’s place?” “Sorry, I don’t know Brian”. Like tonight, we go party plus Asian women, but too bad, she wasn’t heading my way. I finally found Brian’s residence and though the numbers were fewer than expected, I took a bold step and went into the house. I was greeted by 3 guys and 6 babes. If you are scoring at home, that is 1:2. If there was one less guy, that would be three threesomes. S
ɔɔɔɔɔɔme! Awesome! The ladies were chillaxing, this was a sit-down party. I got some berry good juice punched by some absolut vodka and found a seat in between three girls, one of which was sleeping.

I started talking to the less prettier chic who we shall call Joyce and it turned out she was a Nigerian who was studying at the Joyce Ababio House of Fashion. I talked about some friends of mine who had been there and we entered a conversation about the local fashion industry in Ghana, focusing on young fashion designers in Ghana and Nigeria. The only Naija fashion name I recognized in the list she talked about was Deola Sagoe. Thank you, Bella Naija. I eventually learnt that the prettier chic was visiting from Lagos (where she works with a family member in an engineering company and who we shall call Lulu) while the third one was a student at Central University who we shall call Tonia. There was one Ghanaian lady and two other Naija babes.

I didn’t get the chance to talk about Ayooluwaato Eze (my Naija alter-ego) in Lagos, but I did talk to these Naija girls about him. They were having a ball with my stories, or maybe they were really thinking “this bros na complete joker jor!” Around this time, Nii had arrived with 2 white guys, a white lady and a Ghanaian lady to up the ‘chillaxed party’ numbers. I told the ladies my father was Igbo and my mother was Yoruba from Anambra and Kwara state respectively. When they asked me about a hometown, I realized I had not formed a good section of the story. Turns out they were all Igbo ladies so I asked the fashion lady to mention a few towns in Anambra state so I could choose one as a hometown. They were all from Akwa but I chose Onitsha since I knew about it prior. Turns out that many Nigerian tribes, including Igbo, are patrilineal, so I hail from my father’s side. Onitsha, am coming to see you one of the fine days.

This was Lulu’s second time in Accra and we started sharing experiences; me in Lagos, she in Accra. I spoke about how the Lagos party goodness was still hype and no substance for me and she gave the same old answer “it depends on who you are hanging with”. After 4 trips, I beg to differ. She shared some info about Rodizzio after which we agreed that the Lagos mainland is a better all-weather party destination than the islands. We had a good conversation. She had wanted to go home with her sisters and friends but us guys were not buying that. “We’re going to Shaka Zulu!” “Oh, do you know the Zulu people? Their king is called Shaka?” Funny enough, I was spotting a Google Lacoste shirt cos I was prepared for the Shaka Zulu dress code. My buddy Obinna was not and he had to borrow a shirt from Brian. The ladies were going to ride solo and leave me and Obinna to the #vimride. “Not my portion (with the hand movement)!” We made sure there was gender-balance in the cars and rode off. Not like ride off, but ride off to a location. I mean a physical building where clubbing happens lol. Doing the gender balance thing made sure the ladies didn’t take the other turn at 37 and head home.

Shaka Zulu was mad fun! I like the club and I think I will be visiting it more often. Erm, I am not saying it was fun because I was with plenty babes but they did make it more fun. Shaka Zulu might just shaka zulu on em! They played a great selection of Ghanaian and Nigerian while we were there. So it’s good to get to Shaka Zulu (in Dzorwulu) past 1:30am. Lulu taught me small alanta o! Tonia was breaking down the #azonto moves while Joyce was getting it. I danced with their friend Portia too small. I also saw my Presec mate Pierre who was leaving as we were arriving. Once the ladies wanted to go home, the partying had ended for me, especially because they lived near me in East Legon. Yup, yet another sets of rides home. ;-)

Obinna and I dropped them off to their house and went on to look for some munchies. We had a couple of conversations around women and here are your takeaways.


PS: All my ladies! Nse nse decale (oya decale)! Iye iye iye iye! Kukere!
There's a Naija movie called 'All My Ladies' o! ---> Watch on YouTube!

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