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abocco's blog

Agya Koo - Ghanaian films (movies) are back!

Posted by abocco on Mon, 01/22/2007 - 10:57 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

When I first heard about the 'Ka wo nan to so' movie, the first thing that came to my mind was Okomfour Kwaadee's song of the same name. It warmed my heart to think that the work of hiplife artistes was making its way into the film and movie industry. Once I got to Ghana and saw the many flyers and posters for Ghanaian movies, I had to watch 'Ka wo nan to so' to satisfy my curiosity. The soundtrack was not Kwaadee's 2006 hit and I discovered something else - Agya Koo. He's not exactly the one Praye sings about in their Agya Koo song either. Meet Kofi Adu, the guy leading the surge of Ghanaian films getting back on the market.

Jacket - what you come back for, the Diasporean Ghanaian

Posted by abocco on Sun, 01/21/2007 - 15:00 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

One of the songs my cousin used to sing frequently when I was in Ghana last Christmas was Jacket by Praye (wOama yEayi me jacket). I got hooked onto the song for a bit, but I only started listening to it a lot when I came back to the USA. There's this line that is now synonymous with the song, 'What you come back for'. A lot of my friends in Ghana constanly ask me when I would be returning to Ghana, for good. I have thought about this question many times but when I have to give a response, I am not articulate aout it. So really, why haven't I gone back to Ghana already and what's stopping me?

Letter to Ghana - looking from the outside in - Diaspora

Posted by abocco on Fri, 12/15/2006 - 10:41 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

One song I cannot get enough of lately is Nana Kwabena's Letter to Ghana. It reminds me of this particular opinion piece in the Daily Graphic that I really love, Letter to Jomo and its brother online, Letter to Osagyefo written by one Maximus Ojah. It's been awhile since I wrote a letter, email (and Facebook) have taken over as the mediums of communication but nothing beats the thought and preparation that goes into a letter. Nana Kwabena's letter is full of deep thought and when it is made into music, it's just that more attractive.

I want to see you my father - family and national priorities

Posted by abocco on Mon, 11/20/2006 - 12:11 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

King Ayisoba's I want to see you my father is probably most talked about song in Ghana at the moment. I am not sure why this is the case, but Ayisoba's sound is different and quite traditional. Maybe it is because the song's in English? Talking about English, our teachers mounted a two month strike that brought secondary education to a standstill. The issue of strikes is probably the biggest news out of Ghana and right after the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) decided to call it off, the health workers are threathening positive action as well. Ayisoba's major hit is not a silly song with strange instrumentals, it is quite deep when you pay attention to the lyrics.

Ako (war) - politics, verbal battles and heavy lyrics

Posted by abocco on Mon, 10/09/2006 - 02:21 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

It's two years to Ghana's next presidential election, and the race to govern/lead Ghana is heating up. Candidates have started campaigning and others are rallying support. I watched 'Good Evening Ghana' with Paul Adom Otchere on Africast recently and he was interviewing Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, an aspiring presidential candidate who doubles as Korle Bu's CEO. One major issue raised in the interview was that the professor was too 'cool' and didn't want to get involved in the dirty aspect of politics - verbal assaults, character defamation, etc. The other candidates are already resorting to criticizing their opponents, but our favourite cardiothoracic surgeon is trying to stay away. It's a political battle and the language used is not pretty. Well, maybe one person can battle and use pretty language, and that is none other than my favourite musician, Obrafour.

Mete ase yi - living to do God's work

Posted by abocco on Thu, 09/21/2006 - 10:10 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

I have encountered a few disabled people recently (as well as mental patients) who live in the US and have a lot of financial and medical support. I have been listening to Noble Nketsia's 'Mete ase yi' - which has been my favourite Ghanaian gospel song recently. The lyrics reminded me of disabled people in Ghana who do not have the support that their counterparts in the USA enjoy and the kind of treatment we meted out to them as a society. What can we do about this sad situation?

Honeymoon is over - time to love Ghana again

Posted by abocco on Thu, 09/07/2006 - 07:25 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

A lot of people have attributed the relative lack of success of Kojo Antwi's latest album, "Tattoo' to its slow-paced songs. Listening to the album, even though it is short of club bangers, the songs would grow on you the more you listen to them. Kojo was queried about these concerns by a Peace FM DJ and he pointed out that he wanted to make music more for the ears (and heart) and not the feet. They discussed one of his new tracks, 'Honeymoon is over'. After listening to this song a couple of times, I agree perfectly with Quajo-Quajo.

Condom - sex education - Stop AIDS, Love Life

Posted by abocco on Wed, 09/06/2006 - 08:37 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

What would you do if a young child asked you about a condom? Who is a young child anyway? Well, we know one possibility, thanks to Bright Bling Sparkles, one of Ghana's premier musical voices. A father would tell his son that a condom is a balloon for adults who have the exclusive right to blow it. Hearing this song drew my attention to sex education in Ghana and the fight against AIDS. I am not an expert on the subjects but here goes.

P1 (Class 1) - Making sure everybody goes to school

Posted by abocco on Fri, 09/01/2006 - 15:00 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

It's that time of year again; first-year students are thronging the campuses of Tech (KNUST), Legon, UCC, etc while last-year senior secondary students have just completed their SSCE exams. Inevitably, some students would fail to make the cut to enter the tertiary institutions and this realisation hit me when I was listening to Okomfo Kwaadee's 'P1', a song on his latest album, 'Nsem pii'. P1 stands for 'primary 1' or the very first year in elementary school. Take a moment to think about the number of youth in Ghana who will be unable to go to school because they are unable to pay. And picture what the idle minds and hands are doing with their time.

God bless our homeland Ghana - victory brings unity

Posted by abocco on Wed, 07/26/2006 - 20:18 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

It's been almost three weeks since the World Cup in Germany came to an end. The Black Stars' dream ended earlier, as 'the boys' bowed out to defending champions, Brazil. The other team that managed to emerge victors over Ghana's golden footballers, Italy, won the tournament (for the fourth time). Watching ESPN, Univision and ABC's telecasts of the mundial, I couldn't hear the Ghanaian contingent's cheers. I managed to watch Ghana's games again on Africast and I especially loved the way Black Star cheer songs were played when Ghana scored goals. Unfortunately, I have none of the Black Star cheer songs, but I have and know one particular song that was played everytime Ghana played - the famous national anthem. It's time to pay some respect to its lyrics my people.

Jama - Osee, osee, Black Stars ei, forward ever!

Posted by abocco on Sat, 06/24/2006 - 06:09 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

I have been wanting to blog about Ghana's World Cup participation ever since October 8, 2005, when Ghana qualified. Now that we've been to the tournament and are still riding strong, the time is right. The Black Stars have shown some gallant displays, especially after a terrible African Nations' Cup campaign. They fought against the Italians and fell short, completely gave the Czechs (and the rest of the world) a reality check and outlasted the USA. Appropriately, Ghana has thrown its weight behind its Black Stars and have been celebrating this piece of history. Ghana hasn't just been celebrating, it has done its part in motivating the 'boys' to be successful. The government has contributed its quota, private industry has sponsored the preparations, the citizenry has offered support and prayers and the musicians have helped us all cheer them on. Just like the good old days when we cheered on our secondary school teams with resounding 'jama', Ghanaians now have songs to sing at the World Cup too. 4x4's 'Jama' is just one of them.

Efie nipa - idle minds and working hands

Posted by abocco on Wed, 06/21/2006 - 22:41 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

Almost every month, we hear about workers' strikes, people calling for increased wages, better terms of service, etc, etc. These calls come from the brains that make our economies tick - the doctors, the lecturers, the civil servants, etc. Granted, the cost of living in Ghana is high and the wages of the middle-class do not seem to allow for a good standard of living. However, what about the Ghanaians who have no jobs? And those who have jobs which do not necessarily exercise their brains but keep their hands busy? Have we stopped to think about what our idle minds are up to these days? This realization hit me when I was listening to Okomfo Kwaadee's 'Efie nipa' recently. It shouldn't surprise you to hear the lyrics of the voice of the streets which is increasingly becoming Okomfo Kwaadee's tag.

Anansesem - the culture of storytelling

Posted by abocco on Thu, 06/15/2006 - 07:57 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

One of the Ghanaian TV shows I truly miss is 'By the fireside'. This show consisted of popular actors like Maame Dokono (Grace Omaboe), Wofa Yaw, Dr. Rokoto and others telling Ananse and folktale stories which were acted out by enthusiastic children with singing and dancing. I never got the chance to act in any of these 'By the firesides' but at one point in my life, I never missed an episode. As I grew older, I wasn't too excited to watch the show, maybe because I felt I was growing out of the 'storytelling audience bracket'. However, after listening to Pope Skinnie's Anansesem and admiring the storytelling prowess of Okomfour Kwaadee time and time again, I really miss the show and would absolutely love an Ananse story by the fire side on a quiet evening in some random Ghanaian village. And in Twi, of course.

Big dreams - sometimes I try to make them true

Posted by abocco on Thu, 06/08/2006 - 06:09 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

I have always had great ambition, big dreams and difficult goals I set for myself. Maybe it stems from the heights people around me have reached or the joy that comes with accomplishment. These traits could have been embedded in my personality because of the environment I grew up in and other situations I found myself in. So when I heard the 'lyrics' of Wutah's 'Big dreams' the other day, I wondered if other people who may not have been academically, socially and financially fortunate like me also had 'big dreams'. If they did, how did they realise them?

Wo kunu kotebea mu - Supporting our own through thick and thin

Posted by abocco on Fri, 04/14/2006 - 13:12 GhanaThink Managing Executive

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

That read funny when you read it huh, Wo kunu kɔtebea mu. This piece of Twi translates to 'When your husband enters a challenge or goes through difficult times...." This is the name of Sidney's (Nananom fame) latest album, the same one that has 'Obia nye obia'. In the title track, 'Wo kunu kotebea', it implores the nation (Ghana) to stand behind the president in times of difficulty and also encourages wives to defend their husbands and vice versa in times of trouble. The play on words during the song makes it clear Sidney wanted to use the controversial aspect of the way 'Wo kunu kotebea' sounds to sell the track, however, it has very good messages in it.