November 2011

Ghanaian Culture: How Patriotic Are You?

Individualism V Patriotism

Luis_suarez_Ghana_Football_TeamI have been stuck in a hellhole for several weeks now. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Sky Sports, no Match of the Day, no Hollyoaks, no X Factor and no Come Dine with Me! The only phone is broke, so the main means of communication with the outside world is the dying art of letter writing. Being here however has its positives. None of the variety associated with the modern way of life – struggling to come up with a clever status update for your Facebook or Twitter profile every minute and definitely none of the stress of having to dig into your wallet and pay for extortionate train fares, but there’s also a downside from being away from all of this.

We are starved for news. Newspapers and magazines are delivered to us but they are always weeks out of date. It’s practically history by the time it comes through but I devour every bit of news article, which seems to be full of doom and gloom every time. Economic recession continues, Steve Job passes away – and I am told the iPhone 4S is well disappointing! Tevez refuses to come off the bench to play, yet he his paid thousands of pounds a week!

And the saga continues in Libya. You will find only a handful of good news and the page 3 girls seem to be getting fitter every week! One positive article in “The Week” caught my attention. Warren Buffet has injected $5bn of his own money into the beleaguered Bank of America. He only gets a meagre 6% annual return. With his investment process, he could be making a killing elsewhere but he chose to save one of America’s largest banks! This is a free act of patriotism.

I could not help but take a look at my beloved Ghana. Most Ghanaians have a great sense of national pride. We would hoist the flag of Ghana anywhere in the world.

We will scream our heads off cheering the Black stars and even in defeat but how many of us will put our money where our mouths is?

How many will make the ultimate sacrifice for Ghana’s sake?

How many will do a “Luis Suarez” for Ghana?

barack-obama-warren-buffett-Me-FiRi-GHANAPatriotism” has become a colloquial word to many Ghanaians. It is seen as a word that belongs to the era of the independence struggle and the immediate aftermath. We have increasingly become a very individualistic nation. Each man for himself, the national good is left to second place. In this capitalistic world it is easy for people to put their own interest before that of their country. This is to be expected in a world where individual integrity and enterprise is held in high esteem and even in a country where many feel their share of the national cake is being munched by the big bellied government official at the top. Some may argue a collection of individual success may ultimately lead to national success. This may be true but excessive individualism will only suffocate patriotism. It is a hard balancing act but let John F Kennedy’s words be our guiding principle in all situations.

“Ask not what YOUR country can do for you, ask what YOU can do for your country”

By Maclean Arthur

Ghana Football News: Weekly Update

In this week news update,

1. Prince Boateng ends marriage
2. Ghana Amputee National team claim Silver
3. Goalkeeper Daniel Adjei is in France on trials
4. Ghana Blackstars Football Coach  is ready to make a big announcement, and
5. Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien returns to training.

1. Ghana Midfielder, Kevin-Prince Boateng has divorced his Wife after 4 years of marriage. The reason for the split was a series of arguments that cause them to go their separate ways. His wife and son have returned to Berlin, Germany to live with her mother.

2. Congrats to the Ghana Amputee football team who finished in 2nd place at the Amputee Nations cup in Accra, after losing 4-3 via penalties.

3. Ghana International Goalkeeper Daniel Adjei is in France on trials with French Division 2 side RC Lens. The young Ghanaian is looking to secure a contract with the side that was relegated from top flight last year.

4. Ghana national team coach Goran Stevanovic will hold a press conference to release his full and final squad for the African nation’s cup on December 15, 2011 in Accra, Ghana.

5. Chelsea midfielder, MICHAEL Essien, returned to training on Friday. Essien took part in various and dribbling drills. His road to recovery is looking impressive. He will return to full training with his teammates at the end of December.

Don’t forget to Vote Andre Ayew for the 2011 BBC African Player of the Year. To cast your vote click on the following link:

This is the week’s news for Ghanaian footballers in Europe.

You can follow Ghana’s #1Blogger on twitter @IamMarfioso

Ghana’s Number 1 Rapper Sarkodie…

Sarkodie Kicks Off Tour in UK with Amazing Performance in London

Sarkodie_Afrobeats_Ghana_Music_Ghanaian_Culture_Me_FiRi_GHANAOn Friday night I had the pleasure of witnessing Ghana’s biggest rapper Sarkodie in action at the Cape Bar in London and I was not disappointed! Sarkodie is currently in the UK doing a series of shows in various cities and he kicked off his tour in London on Friday night. The night overall was a huge success. The venue was amazing and fans of Sarkodie turned up dressed to impress and also armed with their various azonto moves to impress the man of the night. Michael Essien even made an appearance. Djs for the show included DJ Dice, DJ Jobo, DJ Invisible, DJ Mensah and they did a fantastic job. They played some absolute bangers that got the crowd in the mood before the show got underway and afterwards.

The theme for the night being azonto, the stage was warmed up by UK artists representing azonto in the UK, Fuse ODG, Mista Silva, Kwamz and Flava, who all gave energetic and worthy performances.  Mista Silva opened the show, performing his azonto track ‘Bo Wo Nsem Ma Me’. The MC gave an exciting performance accompanied by Flava, Kwamz and others. Fuse ODG also gave an impressive performance, performing his highly popular song ‘Azonto’.

Amid screaming fans, Sarkodie stepped on the stage, the rapper did not let up. We all know that Sarkodie is the fastest rapper in Ghana, but to actually witness him deliver his lines with such dexterity and at such a fast pace blew my mind! He completely owned the stage and mesmerised everyone with his performances of You Go Kill Me, Babe, Young Young Girls, Ajei, The Last Don, Borga Borga among others and got the crowd singing along with him. Well those who could match his pace anyway! Not only that but he bigged up other artists doing it big in Ghana such as Castro, Dr Cryme, R2Bees, Stay Jay and Nana Boroo. During the show he invited some lucky fans up on the stage to azonto, which was pretty amazing! (What a guy…)

At the end of the show I was able to grab him for just a few minutes to ask him some questions:

Me FiRi GHANA: If you were president how would you help young people in Ghana?

Sarkodie: I really need to think about that question. I might say something that might be incorrect!

Me FiRi GHANA: Just from the top of your head…

Sarkodie: Umm ok the first thing I think I’ll do is to set policies. We don’t have policies in Ghana and that makes it very hard. And also we don’t have one goal and that’s very bad. Not everyone gets the opportunity to work in a bank you know. It’s not easy. You need music as well. You need different types of jobs. You know a diversity of jobs. It’s a bit of a ‘one way’ in Ghana so if I was president I’ll make policies that will allow people to end up as what they want to be.

Me FiRi GHANA: Soon after graduating you left a 9-5 job to pursue a career in music. What would say to young Ghanaians who want to achieve their dreams?

Sarkodie: Umm I think there’s more time. You might think that you’re wasting time but I think there’s more time. You know I made a mistake and I want to tell all the young ones coming up you know don’t make that mistake because there’s time. Because when you’re in school, that’s school time. You just have to concentrate on your studies and finish. With me I was combining music and education as well and that was a bad combination. But finally I’m here now and that’s what’s important. But you really have to take your education very seriously.

Me FiRi GHANA: What would you say to Ghanaians in the Diaspora to encourage them to come back to Ghana and use their skills to benefit the country?

Sarkodie: Yeah they have to. I don’t even have to push them to come you know they don’t even need to think twice about it. Ghana is where you come from and one day you have to send your children back home. And you’re limiting it to Ghana in general.  You know support your artists, like Sarkodie. When talking to others and you want to boast about an artist in Ghana tell them about Sarkodie. You’re not doing it for yourself but you’re doing it for Sarkodie. So wherever Ghanaians are start promoting your artists, your music, and your culture. Represent your country. So no matter where you are if you’re Ghanaian rep Ghana, Mefiri Ghana.

Me FiRi GHANA: Ok finally tell us 3 things you do when you’re not in the studio.

Sarkodie: Um actually I don’t have a life. Its music music music! Seriously I don’t do anything else.

Everybody, Sarkodie is one of the most talented artists to emerge from the music scene in Africa. Me FiRi GHANA encourages you all to support him and other artist as they make music relevant to our culture for the rest of the world and us to embrace. Catch Sarkodie on his tour in an area near you from now till the 10th…

By Yaa Nyarko

Weekly Insight: Ola the Poet – Lay!

“Lay your head down on my pillow. Feel the comfort caressing you into a state of  peace.

No longer feeling monogamous about your daily routines.
But falling in sync with the universe.

Connecting to synergy and exfoliating with passion.
Let it be that the lies you told are wiped into thin air as reality sets in and takes precedent.

As you inhale breaths of life and the scent of cold air and mist brushes your nasal.

Be aware that the seas of which your life wiped away are an exhibition in the sand of footprints and souls.

In front of s a fire place you burn your perplexed aura. Anticipating ease and warmth.

Like water on the verge of boiling point you see no reaction till steam evaporates and then only then does your inscription of history become evident and pure  oxygen becomes toxic.

Laughing gas becomes tear gas and you realise that NOBODY IS PERFECT.

Lay your head down on my pillow. Don’t close your eyes if you want to see your dreams come alive.

But you have to close your eyes to face your fears and live through the nightmares.

Be like the blind man who senses and reacts. Not like the privileged who see and procrastinate”

By Ola the Poet

Ghanaian Culture: Think Chocolate…

Think Chocolate, Think Ghana!

This winter everybody is deciding on what to buy each other and what they get in return. Christmas is believed to be the time Jesus was born so Christians generally come to commemorate this day.

My dear Friend, has it ever occurred to you of giving to a complete stranger for a good cause. When you stroll into a shop and spot a yummy chocolate on the shop shelf:

Do you think about the farmers who produce the chocolate?

Do you think about the child who misses school each day to earn a living?

Do you THINK…..?

Ghana_Chocolate_Cocoa_Farmer_Me_FiRi_GHANABy buying a fair trade chocolate bar or a fair trade product you are supporting a fair cause. As fellow Africans/Ghanaians or lovers of Africa/Ghana this should be a cause for concern. The annual cocoa beans production in Ghana has grown from around 400, 000 tonnes during the period 1995- 2003 to a record 737, 000 tonnes in 2004. I remember 2 years ago when the Zingolo advert came out, it caught everybody’s attention since then we’ve gone back to not thinking deeply before we buy. When you buy a fair trade chocolate you’re helping give farmers a equal share.

“Since I heard about cocoa beans being produced in Africa and the unfair treatment cocoa farmers were getting, this pushed me to get into the habit of buying fair trade goods.”

As a Ghanaian community if we get into the habit of doing this, the change and impact will be MAGNIFICENT!



Introducing YOU to Yaa Ohenewa Textiles…

With the first Ghana/UK Fashion show coming up Me FiRi GHANA catches with one of the designers taking part Yaa Ohenewa Textiles, who tells us more about her designs, her label and how motherhood has impacted on her work…

1) Your creations are bold and colourful. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My main inspiration is Ghanaian Fabrics. I love and I’m in awe of all the vibrant prints, textures & stories behind each pattern. I always start a creation with the fabric in mind and then decide what I want to transform it into…

2) How do your designs reflect fashion trends today?

When designing I tend to incorporate snippets of a trend but will always look to make it unique in some way

3) When was the brand ‘Yaa Ohenewa Textiles’ created?

I launched my website late 2010

4) How has motherhood impacted on your career?

Well for me Motherhood is a full time job which I have embraced and absolutely love. It has made me more driven and determined to follow my passions and ambitions as opposed to taking a back seat. It is hard work balancing work and family and I generally work around my kids which means a lot of late nights… But I wouldn’t change a thing.

5) What essential qualities do you believe a fashion designer needs to posses in order to be successful?

Most definitely having a Passion, I truly believe this is reflected in your work

6) Looking at some of your work, how do you strike that balance of creating traditional but modern outfits?

I wouldn’t really say my designs are that traditional but I think incorporating the use of other textures/fabrics makes for an edgier look that is relevant to today

7) What tips/advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers who want to market themselves better?

Networking is key. It can open a lot of doors. A lot of hard work and I guess also just having that belief and confidence in yourself and brand will eventually take you where you want to be.

8) Describe your personal style in 3 words.

Minimalistic yet edgy & vibrant

9) You have worked with fashion companies before. What prompted you to finally set up your own label?

I would sew for friends and family etc and I really enjoyed being able to have that time and freedom to create again so, after a while things just organically developed into Yaa Ohenewa Textiles.

10) In your view what sets you and your work apart from other fashion designers?

What makes me different is that I design for both Women and Children, my designs are versatile yet eye catching, allowing the wearer to take any item from day into night. I also offer bespoke services so my clients can personalise an outfit and co-ordinate with their child!

By Yaa Nyarko

Afrobeats: Ghanaian Musician Photos Leaked

Tiffany’s leaked photo: Is she to blame?

It seems that being a celebrity sometimes comes at a price, and Tiffany unfortunately paid for it when nude pictures of her topless were leaked on the internet last week.

Tiffany_Afrobeats_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_ComThe female rapper who’s had popular hits with ‘Fake London Boy’ and ‘Last One’ reportedly had her house robbed, where many personal items were stolen, including her mobile phone. After failing to exhort money from the rapper through blackmail upon discovering nude pictures on her blackberry, the perpetrator then leaked a picture of Tiffany topless on various social networks. The perpetrator has threatened to leak more pictures if his demands are not met.

As a fan of Tiffany I really felt for her when I heard the story, as something like this has the potential of really damaging her musical career when she’s doing so well at the moment. Tiffany has since apologized to fans on Facebook for the incident. Which brings me to the question: why did she even have those pictures on her phone? As unfair as it seems, sometimes having a career in the public eye means you have no private life.

Everything you do is scrutinized and things you don’t want people knowing about you are made public knowledge. Knowing this shouldn’t someone in the public eye take precautions to prevent things like that from happening?

Tiffany_Afrobeats_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_ComEveryone has the right to do whatever they want in their privacy, however as someone in the public eye, having nude pictures of yourself on your phone is something you need to seriously think twice about. My problem is not why Tiffany took those nude pictures of herself but rather why she left the images on her phone. I feel that perhaps Tiffany should have realized the risk factor involved in carrying such pictures of herself around. People around you can easily access your phone, and when not careful you expose personal information and in Tiffany’s case images of yourself when you lose or have your phone stolen. As harsh it may sound, she could have prevented this from happening.

With the guy in question now threatening to release more nude pictures, I bet she’s wishing she’d never had those pictures on her phone. I really hope they catch the guy responsible for this before he leaks more nude pictures of her on the internet. It would be a shame to see her career badly affected because of this.

By Yaa Nyarko

UK Chale Show: Eddie Kadi & Neptizzle

233Connect presents “The UK Chale Show” with Eddie Kadi & DJ Neptizzle on XFM 95.1

From the UK straight to the Accra-based station ‘XFM’ a new radio show called “UK Chale” is set to hit the Ghanaian airwaves.

Eddie_Kadi_DJ_Neptizzile_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_ComGUBA Award winning DJ ‘Neptizzle’ and leading UK comedian ‘Eddie Kadi’ are teaming up together to provide the latest music from around the world including exclusive mixes from Neptizzle, interviews with celebrities, prank phone calls and priceless comedy by Kadi amongst his guests.

The ‘UK Chale’ show according to 233Connect, is to be aired on Saturdays between the hours of 10pm and 12am. The late night show is targeted at both male and females, aged between 16-40. Aiming to attract trendy, up-market individuals who are quite knowledgeable about the different genres of music, 233Connect hopes to keep the audience one step ahead of the music industry.

Despite the fact both presenters are not Ghanaians, Kadi who is currently a presenter at the number one urban station CHOICE FM has visited Ghana on countless occasions and has an excellent rapport with international acts.

Neptizzle on the other hand is linked to the mega growth of Afro beats in the UK and has recently been awarded for his contribution and talent.

I feel both Kadi and Neptizle couldn’t have been a more perfect match. Even from the name of the show, demonstrates their knowledge and interaction with the Ghanaian listeners. In Ghana the word ‘Chale’ is commonly used when addressing a friend and the duo has used this term to state they are friends from the UK.

The ‘UK Chale’ show is a 233Connect production, with all work handled by Paper4Life studious in the UK.

By Kimberley Osei-Abeyie

Afrobeats: Ghanaian’s Atumpan & Stay Jay

Atumpan is back with a hot new track called ‘Sisimuden’. This time ‘the teacher’, who brought us the massive hit ‘The Thing’ has teamed up with shashee wowo rapper Stay Jay. Atumpan, who has described himself as an ‘underground dancehallist’ does not disappoint on this track. ‘Sisimuden’ is definitely something to write home about and a great follow up single to the highly popular ‘The Thing’. Having just released his album ‘The Talking Drum’, this will be the second single off the 15 track album.

Sisimuden’ is a high energy song that will get you off your feet and dancing in no time. Atumpan and Stay Jay have done an excellent job on this track! Their lyrics are on point and with such a banging beat, I’m sure this track is going to be big! Check the song out!

By Yaa Nyarko

Ghana National Anthem

Ghana National Anthem

One ,Two, Three Sing it……

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…

Source (Ghana Web)

I remember some time back when my parents would sing to me the, Ghana national Anthem. I enjoyed every moment, I would always burst out with questions to my parents on what some of the lines meant.

But now I am much older, have matured a little, and I am now asking in depth questions – such as

What is a National Anthem?

According to the ‘free online dictionary’, a national anthem is a song formally adopted as the anthem of a nation.

What was a National Anthem created for?

A national Anthem is created to show the Devotion and loyalty of love the citizens have for their nation, the national anthem is created for the citizens to express and display their feelings and emotions they have for their nation.

Personally I believe it is a fabulous way to show the compassion and sheer adoration one has for their nation.

It would be fantastic to find some time out of our daily lives, and actually sing the national anthem with friends, or alone with a composed beat in the background, or even to an audience, remember to place your right had over your heart, and sing it with sheer pride!.

Why not add it to your Daily prayer before going to bed, as well as every morning!

Check out these children at school singing the Ghana National Anthem, the children sing the national anthem before the start of he day.

By Trey’C