March 2011


More Than Just A Game Part 4…Oh What A Night!

Where do I begin? Well let me firstly say how relieved I am that we did not lose. However Asamoah Gyan dancing his way through the England penalty box before placing a pinpoint shot past the keeper in the 92nd minute was only half the story on what was a memorable night at Wembley.

The evening began with ecstatic noise from the crowd which could be heard all the way from Wembley Park tube station as the vibrant and colourful Ghanaian contingent made their way up Wembley and into the stadium. I was actually running late myself and got to my seat just in time to hear the last 30 seconds of the national anthem which I was quite disappointed about ( as I wanted to beat my chest with pride throughout whilst singing along !) but the 93 minutes of action which was to follow more than made up for that disappointment.

As the game kicked off you would have been forgiven for thinking this was a ‘friendly’ game. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and the players on both sides rose to this as the game was played at a blistering high tempo. The 21,000 Ghanaian fans played a huge part in the atmosphere with chants of “go Ghana, Ghana must goal & put pepper in their eyes” and the English came back with chants of “England, England”.

On the pitch the players did an excellent job of keeping us entertained with chances for both sides. In truth it was a game of two halves with England having the better of the first half and Ghana coming back in the second. When the half time whistle blew the Ghanaian fans were still in good spirits even though we were 1-0 down and the sight of Andre Ayew warming up brought cheers and optimism from the crowd.

Throughout the second half the atmosphere was immense as the players kept up the high tempo. Ghana had really settled into the game and were creating chances, surely it was only a matter of time. Then on 92 Minutes Mr Gyan stepped up to the plate and produced a piece of individual skill that was worth the entrance fee alone, it was sheer pandemonium on the terraces as we celebrated wildly,  there were high fives all round and I saw strangers hugging each other, it was truly a moment to savour. Celebrations continued after the final whistle as the players saluted the crowd and I struggled to find my camera to get some pictures of the players.

As the fans left the stadium nobody, English or Ghanaian left with the feeling of being ‘short changed’ as is the case a lot of the time with International friendlies.  Ghana have raised the bar for future friendly games at Wembley with such a committed and passionate display. One English fan even came up to me and suggested that England v Ghana should be an annual fixture as it was such an enjoyable watch and with talk of a return match in Accra who knows.

Although Gyan will inevitably take all the plaudits, credit should go to the whole team and to the fans who were brilliant and conducted themselves brilliantly throughout the night I was truly proud to be Ghanaian last night and thousands more were too.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi

Chale We Did It Couldn’t Have Asa For Moah!

If there’s one thing you can say about the Ghana vs England match last night it’s that the Black Stars where not short of supporters. Over 21,000 Ghanaians turned up to watch the game at Wembley stadium and from my sofa at home the display of black, yellow, green and red in the crowds was remarkable.

Now the score may have resulted in a draw but nevertheless the feeling of unity and togetherness didn’t go unrecognised even by England fans. When Asamoah Gyan scored the equalizing goal in the 90th minute of the game the excitement of the crowd was as if we had won the World Cup and why not.

To those who aren’t interested in football or are not Ghanaian you may not have been able to understand the importance of yesterday or why we were so excited about what took place but I’m sure for many it wasn’t even about football or even the final score but the opportunity to celebrate something that brings everyone together. Football is one of the biggest sports in the whole world and our country was part of that and for all those who bought a ticket to watch our boys play their heart out definitely got a gripping game.

When Gyan scored at the very last minute I can embarrassingly say I threw myself to the ground and flew into the corner table ALL Ghanaians have in their houses, you all know which ones I’m talking about the three tables small, medium, large which cup each other. Throughout the game my heart was beating like crazy,so when we finally got one in the back of the net all I was thinking is Thank God we didn’t lose.

Share your reactions with us here on Mefiri Ghana.com/Blog

Ghanaian Culture: Ghana National Anthem

The Ghanaian National Anthem
God bless our homeland Ghana,
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend forever
The cause of Freedom and of Right.
Fill our hearts with true humility
Make us cherish fearless honesty,
And help us to resist oppressors’ rule
With all our will and might evermore.

Hail to thy name, O Ghana
To thee we make our solemn vow;
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in Unity;
With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,
Whether night or day, in the midst of storm,
In every need whate’er the call may be,
To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore.

Raise high the flag of Ghana,
And one with Africa advance;
Black star of hope and honor,
To all who thirst for liberty;
Where the banner of Ghana free flies,
May the way to freedom truly lie
Arise, arise, O sons of Ghanaland,
And under God march on forevermore.

More than just a game…… Part 3

The wait is almost over and in just under 48 hours England will take to the field to play Ghana at Wembley. Both teams warmed up for the game with comfortable wins in their respective continental qualifying games. Ghana were quite Impressive in beating Congo 3-0 in Brazzaville whilst England were expected to beat Wales and did so without much fuss.

With the qualifiers out of the way both teams can concentrate on tomorrow’s game. But which players are likely to be playing? Well we already know that five English players (John Terry, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Michael Dawson & Frank Lampard) have been released by manager Fabio Capello and will not feature in the match.

This news may disappoint some Ghanaian fans as they would want to see the ‘best’ English players play. However established premier league players such as Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Barry (who has just been named captain) will feature and the cream of young English talent; Jack Wilshire, Ashley Young and Joe Hart are still in the squad so it will still be a test for the Black stars.

So what about the Black stars? Michael Essien we know is out of the party as he continues his controversial exile from International football.  Whilst KPB (Kevin Prince Boateng) has not yet recovered from an ankle injury so will also miss out. So Black stars Coach Goran Stevanovic will have to name his starting 11 from the following pool of players;

Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Blackpool, England), Sammy Adjei (Hearts of Oak, Ghana) Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea, Ghana)

Defenders: John Paintsil (Fulham, England) Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium) David Addy (Academica Coimbra, Portugal) Jonathan Mensah (Granada, Spain) Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim, Germany) John Mensah (Sunderland, England) Lee Addy (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia)

Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Schalke 04, Germany), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Bernard Kumordzi (Panionios, Greece) Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy) Sulley Muntari (Sunderland, England) Derek Boateng (Getafe, Spain)  Andre Ayew (Marseille, France) Opoku Agyemang (Al-Ahli, Saudi Arabia)

Attackers: Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland, England) Prince Tagoe (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia) Dominic Adiyiah (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia) Nathaniel Asamoah (Asante Kotoko, Ghana)

As you can see that is a pretty strong squad and I am tipping the boss to start with Gyan and Prince Tagoe (Who scored against Congo) alongside him in attack. I am also excited to see my two favourite players, Anthony Annan and Kwadwo Asamoah playing as for me they are the heart beat of the Ghanaian side.

There is sure to be a lot of young footballing talent on show on both sides and it could be an open and exciting match. My Money is on a Ghana victory (obviously!) though I am sure we won’t lose whatever the result it’s gonna be a celebration regardless. If not for the result of the match, then a celebration of how far the national squad has come over the last five years since our very first world cup in 2006.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi.

Win 2 Tickets To England v Ghana with MeFiRi GHANA!

Were you one of the unlucky ones who couldn’t get a ticket to the England v GHANA game?

Do you want to be a part of a historic footballing event?

Do you want to support GHANA and be a part of this momentous occasion at Wembley Stadium?

Well, you have the chance to win 2 FREE Tickets to the match here at Me FiRi Ghana.com by taking part in this simple competition courtesy of Winkball.

All you have to do to have a chance of winning is upload a 10 second video of yourself telling us how much you LOVE GHANA and why you deserve to be at the game on March 29th.

Be as creative and crazy as you like because remember, the best video will win.

Just visit http://www.winkball.com/register and send your video message to info@mefirighana.com.

After you register it will take you to your own personal page. This process will take only 1 mins 38 seconds.
– Click on record a wink
– After you have recorded your video click next,
– Click on the tab send to friend,
– Give your video a title and type your:
name age,
email address and
contact number into the description space,
– Type in our email address: info@mefirighana.com,
– Click add
– Click send
– Then your video entry will be sent to us! Simples…

Good Luck

Terms and conditions apply

To enter a competition you must be:
1.(a) UK resident; and
(b) 16 years old or over at the time of entry.
2. Competitions are not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of Me FiRi GHANA
3. No purchase necessary.
4. Only one entry per person.
5. If you want to enter a competition you may enter via the Winkball website. Email, Facebook or Twitter entries are NOT valid
6. Sending an e-mail is not proof that we have received your entry. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are lost or delayed, or which are not received for any reason.
7. The winner will be the entrant who is deemed to have the best video entry selected by the managing director of Winkball, Dr James Ohene-Djan
8. The closing date is as specified in each competition, and MeFiRi GHANA reserves the right to amend the competition end date at any time
9. If you win a competition, we will notify you by post and e-mail. The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
10. All video entries will be judged on the 1st 10 seconds, any footage after 10 seconds will be disregarded
11. By entering the competition you agree to participate in such promotional activity and material as MeFiRi GHANA may require.
12. By entering this competition you agree to be added to MeFiRi GHANA and Winkball’s mailing list.
13. Winner is responsible for transport to and from the game
14. No part of a prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize.
15. If an advertised prize is not available, we reserve the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.
16. Incorrectly completed entries will be disqualified.
17. MeFiRi GHANA reserves the right to amend these rules at any time. MeFiRi GHANA may also create rules which will apply to a specific competition only. If we do this we will publish the amended competition rules and/or specific competition rules on the relevant competition page

More Than Just A Game…….Part 2

It’s party time why? Because the Black stars are in town on the 29th and celebration is one of the things we Ghanaians do best.

Ghanafuo we know how to party and Tuesday 29th March at Wembley stadium will be no exception. We have a responsibility of making the occasion a special one and the Black stars are counting on our support.

No disrespect to the England fans as we all know they are very passionate about football. However it’s going to be interesting to see the contrast between the two sets of fans on the night. The Ghanaian fans awash with the bright colours of our flag (green, red & gold), bringing a carnival atmosphere to the stadium, as opposed to the traditional England way of chants and applause.  For me there is only going to be one winner.

There is a good possibility that the English might get out sung on their own patch! We will have to wait and see but the showdown on the pitch will not be the only battle commencing that evening. Those of you who have bought tickets in the England section how confident of you are standing up and cheering amongst the home fans if Ghana scores?, decisions, decisions, decisons…..

The festivities are likely to continue after the match and I have already heard whispers through the grapevine about several spontaneous after parties happening in the area. However one after party which is definitely on is the the Ghana UK Based Achievements Awards (GUBA) Celebration Event, to honour the Ghana Black Stars at the Abacus bar, 24 Cornhill London EC3V 3ND. Some members of the Ghana squad will be in attendance so should be really good night.

I am sure whatever we do before, during and after the game, we (the fans) will represent all that is good about Ghanaian culture and leave a positive mark on Wembley and the English fans as a whole.

You can rest assured that whatever the result of the match: win, lose or draw. It’s going be one big celebration regardless, Ghana Style !. Let’s make this a day to remember.

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi

Ghana News: Crisis of the Coast

Politicians in the developing world seem to want the best of both worlds; the logic and ideals of democracy, and the convenience and one-sidedness of traditional rule. Over the last few months scenes of revolt have unfolded all over the continent with down-trodden citizens crying for an end to this outdated way of government which seems to favour either tribes, or the inner circle of the person in power.

These “presidents” treat the country and the presidential seat as something they are entitled to and live in wealth while most of their citizens live in relative squalor. Ivory Coast has been in the headlines the most being the largest exporter of cocoa. The country had a standard of living much higher than most of Africa and has been governed by the now embattled Laurent Gbagbo since 2000. Ivory Coast has been plagued by instability in the past, with a civil war between the rebels in the north of the country and government troops in the south, caused by rulings by Former president Robert Guei, which effectively ruled out candidates from the Muslim north of the country. The fighting continued well into 2004, further bolstered by the ascension to power of Mr. Gbabo after a dispute over the 2000 elections in which President Guei was forced to flee after vote rigging accusations. This was somewhat ended when the nation united after the national team qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 2006. A peace agreement was brokered in 2007, with the promise of a democratic election to follow to put an end to the fighting. Three years and six postponements later the elections took place in October 2010 and Alhassan Ouattara, was recognised as the victor.

However President Gbabo has refused to hand over the power and as recently as  February 24th 2011 the fighting had once again started between forces loyal to Mr. Ouattara in the west and President Gbabo’s East of the country. Charles Ble Goude has issued a call to arms to the youth in the country, urging them to enlist in the army and fight the progress of the forces to the west.

Estimates show up to 90, 000 refugees have fled into Liberia and Ghana. This causes major concerns due to the fact Liberia is itself a country recovering from devastating civil war. There are fears that the fighting in the Ivory Coast poses a threat to the stability of the whole of West Africa.

Since the UN-organised elections in November, over 450 people are estimated to have been killed largely due to the increased number of youth militia on the streets. The Young Patriots as they are called have set up road-blocks all around the capital Abidjan, under orders from Mr. Goude, himself under sanctions by the UN for inciting violence. This recent development has led to an extra 400 000 fleeing the capital as the violence intensifies, the worst of which resulted in the shelling of a market in a pro-Ouattara district of the capital. This, according to the UN could possibly constitute a crime against humanity.

The African Union as well as the UN endorse Mr. Ouattara as the winner of the elections and have issued a mandate for President Gbagbo to step down by the 24th of March. President Gbagbo fiercely claims the voting was rigged-.This seems to be the default position for any president who loses an election.

For now, Ivorians can only wait and see if the president who claims to have their best interests at heart will do what is right and step down to bring peace.

 Kwaku Kyei Manu

MFG: Quote of the Day

Action requires traction, but the enemy brings distraction.”

So after watching this, the question is:
Are you living your life? or are you just existing…

If the above MFG Quote of the Day has inspired you, made you realise something new or just motivated you today, please do share how your experience by posting your comment below…

England v Ghana: GUBA Celebration Event

On Tuesday 29th March 2011 the Ghana Uk Based Achievements Awards (GUBA) will be hosting a Celebration Event, to honour the Ghana Black Stars Football Team for their outstanding performance in during the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup in South Africa.

This event will be held at Abacus in bank two minutes from BANK station (24 Cornhill London EC3V 3ND). The GUBA Team have arranged viewing to take place at the venue from 5pm -10pm for people who wish to watch the international friendly involving Ghana on that day; with a celebration event commencing thereafter at Abacus.

Members of the Ghana Football Team will be in attendance to receive their Award. Dj’s on the night will include Fiifi Pratt, DJ BiBi, DJ Alordia, DJ Makkossa, DJ Billy and Neptizzle. For tickets/press information please call 07949852428/07405343406 or email info @gubaawards.co.uk.

This event is supported by the CARGO VISIONS, JN MONEY TRANSFER, DYNASTY LONDON AND Me FiRi GHANA.

Video Advert:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwuC3OF8El0&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

England v Ghana

England v Ghana after party

Oswald Boateng: Profile

Having ruffled through my wardrobe this weekend I suddenly realised I could do with a new suit. I have a number of functions to attend this month and my suit collection is not what it used to be.

Swift action needed to be taken and I made my way to the House of Fraser store on Oxford Street in London on the Sunday afternoon. I was 20 minutes into wandering around the men’s suit section when I clapped eyes on my desired ensemble; an Ozwald Boateng bespoke suit!

I’ve never purchased a Boateng suit, but I was glad I did (thank god it was on sale!), The style and design was really something to admire, had me thinking style just runs through Ghanaians genes.  So happy was I with my purchase I have decided to pay homage to Mr Boateng, here is his story;

Ozwald was born in Muswell Hill, North London; his parents had emigrated from Ghana in the 1950s. His father continued his career as a teacher, while his mother who was in the fabric trade in Ghana became a seamstress in London. Boateng was inspired by the immaculate suits his father wore, and received his first suit from his mother aged 5. At fourteen, he found a summer job sewing linings into suits.

While studying computing at Southgate College aged sixteen, he was introduced to cutting and designing clothes by his girlfriend. Using his mother’s old sewing machine, he started designing and selling clothes to his fellow students, and switched to graduate in fashion and design. Boateng helped a friend to make clothes for a fashion show, and after receiving praise for his work, sold his first collection to a menswear shop in Covent Garden. This enabled him to open his first studio in Portobello Road in 1991. In 1994, Boateng staged his first catwalk presentation during Paris Fashion Week in 1994, the first tailor to stage a catwalk show in Paris.

The Paris success enabled Boateng to open his boutique on Vigo Street, the south end of Savile Row (world famous shopping street in Mayfair, London), in 1995.His ready-to-wear business went into receivership in the spring of 1998, but he saved it by entering into a deal with a Debenhams to design a moderately priced line of men’s clothing. Boateng’s contemporary approach to menswear design helped to forge a new appreciation for Savile Row, and draw in a younger demographic. Boateng moved fully into Savile Row in June 2002 with London Mayor Ken Livingstone crediting him with making a vital contribution to the promotion of creative talents in the capital.

In 2004, Boateng designed new amenity kits for Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class. Critically claimed to be the most stylish first class kits available to travelers on any airline, the design increased pick rate fivefold.

In 2005, Boateng was honoured with a major 20 year retrospective event at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition recognized that Boateng had by combining the highest standards of execution with a fresh, vibrant design philosophy, successfully captured the imagination of both the media and the public.

2006 saw Boateng awarded an OBE, for his contributions to the tailoring industry. Boateng was later commissioned by John Agyekum Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana, to design and orchestrate a show at the 9th Annual African Union summit in 2007. Held in Accra, it coincided with 200 years since the cessation of the transatlantic slave trade, and 50 years of independence for Ghana.

In 2008, Boateng was appointed to the REACH committee, as part of an independent panel to identify and recruit national role models who work to help raise aspirations of black boys.

A man whose extrovert persona and flamboyant tailoring have drawn a stellar list of clients (Samuel L Jackson, Lennox Lewis & Michael Essien to name a few) and huge fan base (which now includes me). There can be no doubt that Ozwald Boateng is among British menswear’s most influential names.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi