Earlier tonight, I met Patrick Awuah. Again. Up close. This is the second time I am dedicating a blog entry to him. Why not? He's awesome. He gives me goosebumps when I meet him. Yes. Sounds weird. I told my roommates I had a crush on him. Oui. Of course, I am straight and straight up drumming home the point that we need more Patrick Awuahs in this world. If you didn't know already. But the focus of this entry is really about what he talked about tonight. What brought him to this area so I could be in the same room as him is not important. His words, actions, character are. Let's dig into what he said.
As some of you may know, Patrick and Ashesi University just won the Aspen Institute's McNulty Prize for 2009. Doesn't matter to me how relevant or prestiguous the prize is, but the fact that Patrick has yet another honour. Judges choosing the McNulty Prize included Madeleine Albright, Bill Gates, and Olara Otunnu; go figure. He won $100,000, a nice sum of money that will go a long way. It felt quite good to congratulate him in person, just a week after I had heard of his award from an Ashesi mailing list. The prize was in the conscience of most of the 30 or so students who gathered earlier tonight to have an evening with Patrick and Patrick started the night off with a short film prepared about Ashesi University which won him the prize. The film told a few stories Patrick had mentioned when I met him earlier this year and this is a time to share.
The current trend in Ghanaian politics with regards to the TWO MAIN parties can be likened to a parent trying to seperate two warring siblings and getting bruised in the process. A heated argument here, a punch thrown there, accusations flying everywhere and a parent (AN ELECTORATE) caught between the two. Such is the cacophony that whether you support the one and not the other or if you dont belong to either and do not blindly support them either and are prepared to judge them on their merits without any fear or favour then you are certainly going to find it hard to keep up as each faction; from party leaders to supporters are so loud in their bid to be seen as the best and not as biased as the other it is getting deafening and a tad annoying.
It's been a week since we celebrated your 100th birthday. It's been ages since I last wrote to you. Coincidentally, my last letter was about your birthday and the debate about the Founder's Day celebration and holiday. No one listened to my suggestion and you were celebrated (alone) on your centenary with good measure. Everyone was talking about you, including the folks at Ghanablogging.com. How did you spend the day? Reflect on your regrets and achievements. Kwame, I find myself regretting way too much in my life these days. If it will make me grow old quicker than I want, please warn me. I am already worried about my age, but let's leave that for another day. What I want to know is, were you a little lucky to be born in 1909? In essence, were you a little lucky to be Ghana's first president instead of its 4th? Is there a little luck involved in creating and leaving a legacy? I will like to argue so.
This is a little late but September 21 was the 100th birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He's being honoured in Ghana with September 21 instituted as Founder's Day, a national holiday. Many people travelled to Ghana to celebrate his centenary. I wanted to take this opportunity to honour Ghana's founding father and remember him once again. I don't really have much to say about Nkrumah today, but I will talk about him later on. So I'll use this blog to recap a bunch of recent Nkrumah related blog posts.
A universally recognised part of the democratic process, Pressure groups are by definition the collection of people with a common interest who influence socio-political structures and strengthen the democratic process by giving a voice to a variety of the citizenry.
These they achieve through advocacy, public awareness programs, policy research, lobbying of parliament, public opinion polls and organised protests.
A well intentioned but otherwise badly timed speech by our deputy minister of health Dr Benjamin Kumbour has gone and opened up some old wounds in the eyes, minds, thoughts and sentiments of most diasporean doctors, health workers and other proffessional work groups for that matter.
His charge? Well speaking at a four day health conference at the KATH, he asked all diasporean doctors to come back home and help with the emerging challenges and environments facing health care delivery in Ghana today. To say this has incensed the majority of the diasporean fraternity is an understatement and i will stress on the most notable points most people have raised.
CITIZENRY RIGHTS...DUAL NATIONALITY.
Does anyone know where I can find photos of the FOOD served to the Obama entourage at the Castle in July (see blog postings at betumi.com/blog.html for Sept. 2 and 3). Thanks.
I am very interested in learning TWI and have volunteered in Ghana twice and would like to be able to converse with Ghanaian people in TWI when I visit again. I wanted to ask if you migt have any materials I could borrow in this endeavour and any tips you may have.
My email add: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can't wait for Shirley Frimpong-Manso's next movie. It's been almost 5 months since Perfect Picture came out. She's not the only one making Ghanaian movies though, some of the other movie houses churn out movies as frequently as once a month. I'll like to touch on a few issues in Ghanaian movies and offer some thoughts and advice. See my previous post about the emergence of Ghanaian movies and some thoughts on working towards more excellence. I know some people don't like the idea of calling Ghana's movie industry Ghallywood or Gollywood and they have a point. Let's do something different. How about we call it Sinikrom? Oh wait, Phamous People has the 'Cinekrom' show. I am a huge fan of Phamous People, will love to see them get involved in the movie industry.
Blog culled from the MIghTy African
Last September, I wrote an article on the story of the Ghanaian movie industry which talked about its recent history as well. Since then, there have been many Ghanaian movies that have come out, some of which I've seen and the industry continues to grow. I've been in a number of good discussions about Ghanaian movies, the latest of which transpired at BarCamp Diaspora. The conversations haven't changed much but the ideas for improvements have been refined and I will be touching on a few in this entry.
After the success of BarCamp Ghana '08, I dreamt of a similar event in the US. It took a while to bring the planning and organization together and last weekend, the dream came true in the form of BarCamp Diaspora '09. The event, themed 'Investing our talent where it counts', took place at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins' University in Washington, DC on July 25. BarCamp Diaspora was a free event that brought together people interested in using their skills, talent, and resources to benefit Africa. The event went on smoothly and judging from the feedback of the attendees, I can call it a success as well.
The advent of Swine Flu in Mexico (where it is thought to have first reared its ugly head) in the past few months was something that most people thought would go away quickly but at the moment it seems to be taking a global dimension with every country (you do hope so don’t you?) jumping to action and preparing for a pandemic. If the reports flashing across the International news sites are anything to go by, then the situation is growing into worrying proportions and taking on wider dimensions.
On July 11, around 12:40pm GMT, I was rounding off a night of partying in Las Vegas. To me, life was good. What was I missing? Barack Obama's address to the Ghanaian Parliament in Accra. Obama is building a legacy of great speeches and this was also bound to be a historic one. Hussein did not disappoint. He was speaking the capacity as the 'leader of the free world' and president of the great US of A. As I read the speech more carefully today, I felt America's first Black president seemed to be speaking for Africans and Africa, even more than for America. He did show a lot of tough love to Africa in there but his tone was one of - this is what Africa needs and desires, this is the way 'we can do it', and this is the way the rest of the world (America, etc) should help. Obama has some Africa in him and for those of us Africans who wondered how much help he'll be to us, I believe we should sleep well at night because he does mean business.
Deborah Ahenkorah sent some info about Baobab Prize 2009 out recently and it has inspired me to write about African writers and African stories. Growing up, my favorite novels to read were the JAWS (Junior African Writers Series) books as well as those from AWS (African Writers Series). I used to be really intrigued by them and this followed into my love for books like Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe), Half of a Yellow Sun (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) and Our Sister Killjoy (Ama Ata Aidoo). Many of the famous African novelists are still writing but a whole new generation of writers are starting to join the gang and the Baobab Prize is encouraging that. Maybe, I'll also write a novel soon, who knows.
This past weekend marked the visit of Barack Obama to Ghana. A lot has been said about the significance of this visit, this being the first trip to a sub-Saharan African nation by the first Black American president. I missed most of the speeches and festivities since I had 'gotten away' for the weekend and have been reading up on some blogs written by various Ghanaians on the Obama trip. I will like to share some thoughts from these awesome people.
GhanaConscious' own Omanba critiqued Barack's speech. She broke it down into four major parts - democracy, health care, conflict resolution and doing it yourself. I personally think too much mention is made of democracy but Omanba spells it out nicely - "An era of tyranny, gagging, misuse of power and governing with impunity sprinkled with a dash of Elections every so often, does not constitute democracy. Africa must take note!" She stresses the fight against HIV-AIDS and Malaria and also mentions drug counterfeiting which leads to a shameless plug about the fantastic work of Mpedigree.