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abocco's blog

Heavy, heavy - weight and obesity in Ghana

Posted by abocco on Tue, 01/15/2008 - 18:22 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

I am one of Obrafour's biggest fans. I travelled a number of miles away to buy his latest album, Heavy. The title track dominated the Ghanaian charts in 2006 and rightly so. I hadn't paid much attention to what he meant by 'heavy, heavy', until my little cousin passed a comment about her fears in becoming fat if she eats too much. Then it dawned on me. Obrafour uses 'heavy' to mean 'great, nice', etc. But in today's 'watch your weight world', who wants to be 'heavy'?


Human being - ensuring, maintaining and relocating to peace

Posted by abocco on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 13:07 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

Home is where I find the most peace but all is not peaceful. News broadcasts in Ghana are as common as every top of the hour. I have known Ghanaian news broadcasts to provide good news; hospital building commissionings, speech and prize giving days, and price increases. Call it boring if yu may please but once in a while we have news to 'tickle' you. My friends in Bawku have some 'tickling' news to report, some of their friends have taken to the streets and have left in their wake some dead bodies. "If my brother dey struggle for Kenya, I be Kenyan oh" - Wanlov sang about it, but if my brother is suffering in Kenya, I feel the ripples, I feel the pain. It could happen in my backyard, Bawku is not exactly my backyard, but it is.


In Ghana - selling the golden experience

Posted by abocco on Thu, 01/03/2008 - 20:22 GhanaThink Managing Executive

In Ghana - talking about issues, ideas and not people

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

I can't tell you how happy I feel to be in Ghana. Yes, it is home, but it is where I find the most peace. When there is a boring moment, I am thinking. When there is a sad moment, I am thinking. When there is a happy moment, I am not thanking anyone, because it is just routine when I am in Ghana. I must be selling Ghana to you and it's no secret why I may be doing so at this particular time, with the African Cup of Nations underway in Ghana in just over two weeks, every inch of Ghana is being sold. On the back of Ghana's golden jubilee, Ghana wants as many people to be in Ghana. Wanlov is no different.

Wanlov aka One love aka Odo Baako aka Sumo ekome is a Ghanaian musician. The son of Ghanaian father and Romanian mother, he wouldn't strike you as Ghanaian on first glance. You will find it difficult to place him under one genre - he's that good. Wanlov had been stationed in the US for awhile now and just returned to Ghana late last year. He had spent the most of his time abroad making singles, touring the US and performing. I vividly remember him doing a show in a college in Connecticut and then performing in California the next weekend. 'In Ghana' is one of the tracks on his debut release, Green card' which is out now. 'In Ghana' gained popularity in late 2006 after Ghana's debut at the World Cup, it was one of the songs promoting Ghana. Read the lyrics and it's easy to see why, the Ministry of Tourism must hear this one.


Buum buum waa waa - talking about issues, ideas and not people

Posted by abocco on Thu, 12/20/2007 - 22:36 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins
I have been thinking about the run-up to next year's election. Atta Mills already won the NDC candidacy. People are already saying buy Mills, get Rawlings free. Hmmm. What about their nemesis the NPP? If radio airplay is anything to go by, you have to go with Alan Cash, the man who has promised Ghanaians cash. Guess who is believed to have anointed him 'class prefect'? Yes, John Agyekum Kuffour. Up till today, Ghana politics is still about J A Kuffour and J J Rawlings. Don't let the lack of Boom speeches and Waa waa press conferences deceive you, advises the Ghanaian music monk aka Shasha Marley.


Pioto - challenging and setting up ourselves to do better

Posted by abocco on Fri, 12/07/2007 - 10:45 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

It's been a while since I blogged here and I am ashamed. Anyway, I am back. :-) What's driven me back? The upcoming African Cup of Nations Football tournament in Ghana - yes, I am excited. It is expected to draw 1 million tourists to Ghana, which is more than we got all through 2007 probably and it is bound to infuse a lot into our economy. Ghana has rehabilitated two stadiums and built two new ones for the tournament and there have been some infrastructural developments as well. You can ask around, even though people are excited about these developments, a lot of people feel the government could and should have done more. Why can't we do something great while we are at it? Who is asking? Amandzeba Nat Brew does in his Pioto song, his most recent hit.


Wafom - promises, politics, information and accountability

Posted by abocco on Tue, 05/29/2007 - 09:20 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

You know I love Bernard Avle's CITI FM breakfast show. Guess what? It just won an award as the best talk show in the whole of Africa. So you've got to listen as often as I do, ;-) Anyway, Daasebre Dwamena was recently freed from prison and declared innocent in his London cocaine trial. A lot of people have welcomed this news and Daasebre arrived in Ghana to a hero's welcome. His latest hit, Wafom (you have wronged), has been played on CITI FM regularly and recently, Bernard passed a comment saying that the Electricity corporation of Ghana has wronged the Ghanaian populace for reneging on their promises to provide electricity to certain parts of the population as part of their load shedding exercise. They are not only ones failing to do deliver on their promises, politicians are equally at fault. Is there anything we can do as a populace to ensure better accountability? Are we too naive to get hooked onto promises?


Kookoo aduro - traditional, herbal medicine and curing AIDS

Posted by abocco on Tue, 05/15/2007 - 10:58 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

My first reaction was to laugh it off. Ghanaweb is at it again, sensationalising another headline. But as I continued to read, it sounded more 'authentic'. Besides, I have strong beliefs in traditional medicine and KNUST was ever present in this scenario. We have heard all the facts about HIV-AIDS but with the recent pronouncement from Gambia about a cure/treatment and now with this revelation from Kumasi (Ghana), should we paying some more attention and giving more credit to traditional medicine? 4x4's Kookoo Aduro is a tribute to our herbalists and medicine men.


Where I'm from - knowing and developing our hometowns

Posted by abocco on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 11:42 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins
One of the first things I learnt in my Kiswahili class was how to say where I come from (kutoka). My American colleagues mentioned the cities and towns they live in as their hometowns but my situation is different. Like many Ghanaians, our hometowns are the towns where our families trace their roots, heritage, culture or language. Well, maybe some Ghanaians would disagree with me and say they come from Accra because that is all they can associate with. Heck, some may even say they are from the Bronx. Amidst this confusion, maybe the Oseikrom president, Reggie Rockstone could help us answer the hometown question with his "Where I'm from" song.


A letter to parliament - Reflecting on Ghana@50, government and the nation

Posted by abocco on Wed, 04/18/2007 - 06:05 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

A lot of people have discussed Ghana's golden jubilee celebrations with the discussion centering on the cost and amount of money being spent, the present state of the nation, how our age-mates are more industrialized than we are, etc. I doubt our voices were heard by the people in power but I know one person whose voice has been heard loud and clear. When the said person receives "death threats", you know that is some serious business. Kwame Asare Obeng aka A-Plus is serious about his song as well and he calls it A Letter to Parliament. A-Plus has been singing and rapping about politics in Ghana for a number of years now, but what is different about this song?


Anyen (devil) - positive wizardry, championing excellence and unity

Posted by abocco on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 17:42 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

This week, I have been listening a lot to Ghanaian radio (my Africast link has been failing me) and I have used it to stay up to speed on the celebrations of Ghana's golden jubilee back home. I caught Bernard Avle's CITI FM Breakfast show on Wednesday and he played an excerpt of his discussion with Kwaku Sintim-Misa (from Monday) which generated some controversy, with some people agreeing and disagreeing with Ghana's most foremost stand-up comedian. Basically, KSM had said that black people have not been using their brains like white people have, that's why black people are "lagging behind" all over the world. Instantly, I linked this discussion to one of my favourite songs this year, Anyen (devil) by Obour and A.B. Crentsil. Hey, the two musicians call it the anthem for Ghana's golden jubilee.


Akosombo kanea - reliable electricity and energy at Ghana@50

Posted by abocco on Mon, 03/05/2007 - 22:12 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

I've talked to a lot of Ghanaians back home about the excitement regarding the celebration of Ghana's golden jubilee. A lot of them have complained about the amount of money being spent to celebrate Ghana's golden anniversary of independence when they do not have reliable power (electricity) and constantly have 'lights off'. Ghana has outgrown the Akosombo dam and it cannot produce enough energy for its population. When I heard Obibini Takyi's Akosombo Kanea on radio a week ago, I had found the perfect song for a blog entry about Ghana's energy crisis, a topic I haven't touched yet. What a perfect time to do that in the midst of the Ghana government's promise to give its resident citizens uninterrupted power supply for almost two weeks to commemorate Ghana's 50th anniversary of independence?


Africa unite - economic solidarity, Diasporean relations and Bob Nesta Marley

Posted by abocco on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 09:40 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

It's getting closer and closer to Ghana's 50th birthday and I am getting excited and excited. This kind of excitement makes me dedicate extra time to African events and one of those was a recent African open mic event on campus. I did a couple of spoken word pieces, and appreciated the talent of other students on campus. Two friends (not from the continent) performed Bob Marley's Africa Unite. In the midst of the hype and excitement about Ghana's golden anniversary, should we address the notion of African unity more seriously? And why is the most popular song about the topic by a non-African?


Yen ara asase ni - national anthems, music icons and Bob Nesta Marley

Posted by abocco on Thu, 02/08/2007 - 10:07 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

Tuesday was Bob Nesta Marley's birthday. It was also the day the 'friendly' game between Ghana and Nigeria produced a shocking result. This blog is coming a bit late because I had an exam to study for. I have decided to attend more Diasporean events this year so I attended a celebration of Bob Marley organized by some Carribean students on campus. During the event, I watched how these people sang Nesta's songs with so much passion and seemed united. Then I thought to myself, "Does Ghana have a Bob Marley?" Is there any musician in Ghana whose music, message and personality is cherished by the majority of Ghanaians? I thought about Ephraim Amu almost at once. Shortly after, I remembered the issues surrounding the most recent time that had Dr. Amu in the public eye.


Comm centre - cell phones and the business of communication in Ghana

Posted by abocco on Sat, 01/27/2007 - 00:35 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

The last few times I have been at home, a lot of my expenses have been eaten up by communication. Buying Areeba scratch cards every other day adds up. Almost every young person in Ghana has a mobile phone now which has aided communication a lot even though the costs involved are still quite high. In Comm centre, Castro Destroyer sings about a poor girl he met at the communication center and he loves her in spite of her poverty. Of course, the song is not about comm centers but what happened to the them? Have they been driven into obscurity by the emergence of cell phones?


Okoaba - Road safety, driver discipline and transport in Ghana

Posted by abocco on Tue, 01/23/2007 - 08:24 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

In the summer of 2004, Obour embarked on a road safety campaign as part of promoting his album and havng a nationwide concert tour all over Ghana to about 35 towns. It was unprecedented, very successful and well publicized. I happened to catch the Cape Coast show. The lead single was Menwu biom meaning 'I will not die again' talking about how he had escaped death on many occasions. I was not surprised to see him continue his road safety campaign to this day, presently partnering with the government, and having a music video/ad preaching road safety. Okoaba is not just a song, it is a socially conscious project as well.