January 2012

Christmas in Ghana: My Journey…

My West African Experience December 2011

Picture the scene:
“The bags are packed, you give your house the ‘once over’ to make sure that you have not left the iron on & then the only thing left to do is await the cab to transport you to the airport.”


Well this is exactly what I did. Once I arrived at Heathrow then got through the formalities of checking my luggage in & going through security I was more than ready to start my Ghana 2011 adventure. Suffice to say, Ghana our beautiful homeland did not disappoint.


Upon landing at Kotoka International Airport an overwhelming sense of being ‘at home’ came over me. I had truly returned to my roots.

Plantain_Chips_Ghana_Me_FiRi_GHANABeing as it was Boxing Day, Ghana possessed that ‘Buronya’ vibe which was cultivating in the air. Much has improved since my last visit to Ghana but there is still work to be done. The vast numbers of Street hawkers appear to be a big problem throughout Central Accra. That being said they are one of the most convenient ways to grab some plantain chips & other items whilst on the go. The main roads have had a much needed make over. However, once you come off the main roads you’re met with the familiar dust & pot holes.

Anyone who has ever been to Ghana will be familiar with the dreaded ‘light off’ situation.

Taxi_in_Ghana_Me_FiRi_GHANAIn my own personal experience this has certainly improved, having only been subjected to it on two occasions during my stay. Negotiating fare prices with taxi drivers was always entertaining. This is where the ability to speak Twi comes in handy. It is proven that taxi drivers are less likely to rip you off if you can communicate with them in the native tongue. Once inside the cab the incessant beeping of the horn to alert other drivers that the cab is approaching coupled with the inability to actually slow down would have you comparing your experience to that of being on a roller coaster. Complain as much as you want………….  These features give Ghana their charm. It is all part of the West African experience!

However, this is only half of the story.

It was so refreshing to meet other British born & American born Ghanaians who have moved back home to create a life for themselves in Mama Africa. The emergence of shops such as Bow Boutique located within the capital (1st Floor, Movenpick Hotel Ridge Accra to be exact) set up by British born Ghanaians shows that with determination & hard work one’s dreams can be realised if settling back home looks like an attractive option to you.

Ghana’s economy is growing at a rapid rate. The rest of the world has been taking notice of Ghana & our commodities for a long time now.


Asamoah_Gyan_Azonto_DancingIt has been ranked as one of the best countries to conduct business within West Africa. Not to mention the third best country to live in Sub Saharan Africa & the best in West Africa. The Azonto dance has gained huge momentum with hip-life stars such as Sarkodie, Guru & Buk Back producing songs to enable you to dance the Azonto. This has contributed to raising Ghana’s profile. Lest we forget that the success of the Black Stars has also helped to raise Ghana’s international platform. Ghana along with Botswana, are two of the safest countries within the continent to visit.

We’re making great strides where education is concerned but more can be done.
There is still hardship in our beloved country. The rich/poor divide is self evident. However, I couldn’t help but take away many positives from my visit.

My Ghana 2012 experience awaits me………………Mama Africa is calling.

By Caroline N. Mensah

African Cup of Nations: Ghana to win…

The Challenge that awaits the Blackstars at CAN 2012

The African Nations Cup 2012 kicks off on 21 January in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Ghana have been installed by bookmakers and football experts as joined favourites to win the tournament. Thus hopes our high that this year could be the year that the Blackstar’s finally land their first African title since 1982.

Ghana_Football_Team_African_Cup_of_Nations_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_comHowever we all know that in Football that to underestimate your opponents can be perilous. So who will Ghana need to beat to get their hands on the trophy? Well one would assume to win the tournament the Blackstars will need to beat Didier Drogba & co (Ivory Coast), but who knows we may not even play them. First things first though, and Ghana will need get through their group before we can even think about winning the Cup. 

We have been drawn in Group D alongside Guinea, Mali and Botswana.

Guinea_National_FlagGuinea: Guinea finished top of Group B during the qualifying campaign, edging out giants Nigeria as well as Ethiopia and Madagascar. The Guineans went unbeaten in the process, winning four and drawing two matches. The Syli Nationale (as they are known) defeated Nigeria in Conakry and drew the all-important return clash in Abuja to ensure that the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the finals. Their star player is Ismael Bangoura. He has scored 12 goals in 42 appearances for the Syli Nationale, and will be making his second appearance in the Afcon

Mali_National_Football_Team_FlagMali: Composed essentially of young and unknown players, Mali were able to scramble a ticket for the 2012 Afcon after gathering three wins, two losses and a draw in Group A against obstinate challenges from Cape Verde, Zimbabwe and Liberia. A slim three-goal difference handed the Eagles top spot in the group. Their Star player is Seydou Keita, the Barcelona midfielder has been deemed by the Mali FA as an indispensable member of the squad. His return after quitting the set-up following the 2010 washout in Angola has transformed the struggling team. His defensive input and ball distribution will be invaluable to Mali.

botswana-flagBotswana: The Zebras were the first team to secure a place at the 2012 Afcon after finishing top of Group K, which included Chad, Tunisia, Malawi and Togo. This will be their first time at the finals, and they made their intentions for the tournament clear by defeating Tunisia 1-0 home and away while also beating Togo 2-1 in Gaborone. Their star player is Jerome Ramtlhakwane, the talented striker has played in the South African PSL for Santos and Vasco da Gama. His goal poaching skills saw him being courted by English League Two club Bradford City, but the deal fell through. His solitary goal in Botswana’s 1-0 win over Chad ensured their first ever Afcon qualification

If (or should I say when!J) Ghana do make it out of their group they will face the winners or runners-up of Group C (Gabon, Tunisia, Morocco or Niger) depending on whether the blackstars finish first or second in their group.

There will be sterner challenges ahead for Ghana as the tournament progresses. But in the Black Stars we trust!

Leave any comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi

John Dumelo Launches Fashion Brand


John_Dumelo_Me_FiRi_Ghana_dot_comGhanaian actor John Dumelo, who has appeared in films such as The Game, Ties that Bind, Hidden Passion, and Rough Game, to name a few , has launched his own fashion brand in the US to aid development in Ghana. The actor who already launched his label in Ghana in December last year reportedly left for the US on Friday to launch his brand, J Melo, which will consists of a clothing line, jewellery line, accessories and hair pieces. Before his departure, the actor declared, “Hopefully, everything will go well and yield the necessary results that myself and my team wanted. I will update you on whatever happens out there”. An actor that clearly believes in giving back to society, John Dumelo’s decision to expand overseas is for a good cause. The actor who has his own foundation, the John Dumelo Foundation, will use profits from his new business venture to fund the foundation, which recently has embarked on a school building project in the northern parts of Ghana.

I’m sure the fashion label will popular among female fans, as the jewellery line includes necklaces, rings, earrings and bangles. Apparently, the actor got several designers to design his products, which will no doubt be fabulous. We at Mefiri Ghana wish him the best of luck, but my question is, when is J Melo hitting UK shores?

Check out the J Melo launch at the Accra Tulip Hotel below:

By Yaa Nyarko


Emmanuel_Abrompah_Botchwey_Kwaw_KeseEmmanuel Abrompah Botchwey, popularly known as Kwaw Kese was apparently robbed at his home in Spintex, with robbers making away with important personal items. The robbery took place in the early hours of Sunday when Kwaw and four other people were asleep at his residence. Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident. Kwaw told myjoyonline.com that the robbers had broken a window and made away with some important personal items, including a Mac book and an iPod. But instead of reporting the robbery to the police, the abodam rapper is calling on his fans and the general public to help catch the assailants, as he believes them to be from the Spintex area. The mad rapper, who is desperate for his items back, especially his laptops, pleaded to the public for help, stating “I want my thing now … the world should help me find it.”

The stolen laptops apparently contain several unreleased songs and videos. However Kwaw stands to lose a lot of money if these are leaked to the public by the robbers.

Let’s hope they’re caught before that happens…

By Yaa Nyarko

Tinchy Stryder’s Wish List…

Tinchy_Stryder_Me_FiRi_GHANAWhen Music Artists and Sport Stars come together we all know we are in for something big, and it cannot get any bigger than a song dedicated to the controversial Man City’s striker Mario Ballotelli. On Christmas Eve UK artist Tinchy Stryder released a free EP exclusively to fans called the ‘Wish List’ which includes the track ‘Mario Ballotelli (featuring Ruff Sqwad)’ devoted to the Italian born Ghanaian star. The song uses a range of interview clips from Ballotelli himself and the t-shirt slogan for the chorus. ‘Why always me, why always me, why always me… Mario Ballotelli!’  Ballotelli is not the first player to make a t-shirt statement and in October he revealed the infamous slogan ‘Why Always Me’ during the 6-1 victory over Manchester United. The footballer’s antics have clearly been the inspiration behind the song.

Mario_Ballotelli_Me_FiRi_GHANAStryder is not the only one to take a liking to the striker, as other high profile fans include Noel and Liam Gallagher. Since the £24million switch from Inter Milan to City last year, the football star has built himself a reputation both on and off the field. In November, his Cheshire mansion was set on fire after he and friends allegedly set off fireworks inside. However on a positive note it’s reported that during the festive period he enthralled drinkers at a local pub in Manchester where he put £1,000 behind the bar as a Christmas treat for the patrons. Also a generous donation of £200 was given to a local church where he attended Midnight Mass with his girlfriend and family. Well despite recent incidents Ballotelli this time round has hit the charts rather than the headlines and the track definitely scores a 10 out of 10 from me.

 If you have not already heard the song, make sure to check it out now:

Donae’o & Sarkodie want to move to…

Donae’o has come back bigger and better and this time teaming up with GH’s fastest rapper Sarkodie, in a brand new music video for ‘Move To Da Gyal Dem’. The British Ghanaian artist who has produced club bangers such as ‘Devil in a blue dress’ and ‘African Warrior’ incorporates the funky house genre into his hot new video. The single which is scheduled for release on January 23, 2012 encourages guys to step up and make a move on the girls who catch their attention.  ‘Move To Da Gyal Dem’ is no doubt a club banger, so ladies be aware of the Mandem.

You have been warned!

Make sure you check it out now:

Connecting YOU with Kwame Augustine…

Johnny_Kwame_Augustine_Me_FiRi_GHANAKwame Augustine a Ghanaian British actor has become the nation’s favourite cheeky chap. Augustine also known as Johnny was firstly introduced to us in a monologue where we got to see the defiant, disturbed and controversial character, clearly far from your stereotypical black boy. Under a minute Johnny left many people at the end of their seats wanting to see more.

Now with his own mini drama series on Grime Daily, the life of Johnny just gets better and better as we follow him on his journey. For every episode that takes place we get to find out more about the character and more of his life experiences on subjects that will definitely spark a reaction and get people talking.

Buzzing with questions I was able to catch up with Kwame to find out how these past couple of months have been for him and his future plans for 2012.

Me FiRi GHANA: How was the hit character ‘Johnny’ created because it doesn’t follow the conventional stereotype of a typical ‘black boy’, from the whole image to the cockney accent and even the name? 

Kwame Augustine: It was an idea that I randomly thought of. I wanted to showcase my talents as an actor by doing something very different from your stereotypical urban black boy image.

Me FiRi GHANA: What is the story behind Johnny?

Kwame Augustine: He is Black British, born and raised in East London, Custom House to be specific. He was raised by a white working class family from the age of 6. He lost his biological mother at a young age. These are just some of the reasons why he behaves like he does.

Me FiRi GHANA: Did you expect Johnny to become this big, because now ‘Johnny’ is the main star on grime daily with his own mini drama series. How did this come about?

Kwame Augustine: Initially, Jonny was just a short introduction to display my acting talents. A few individuals’ within the industry warmly received it and this led to the development of the mini series.


Me FiRi GHANA: You’re often compared to Idris Elba especially with the character Luther. How does it feel to have your work compared to an A-list actor?

Kwame Augustine: (laughs) it is obviously a great compliment. Idris is a great actor and an inspiration to many. However I want to be always known as the individual Kwame Augustine the actor and hopefully emulate, if not further the success of greats like Idris Elba.

Me FiRi GHANA: Which actors do you look up to who have been the inspiration for some of your work?

Kwame Augustine: There is so many names, that I can’t begin to name. However, just a few in my mind at this very moment are Christian Bell, Heath Ledger, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Jason Statham. The list is endless.

Me FiRi GHANA: Do you hope to star one day in any Ghanaian films?

Kwame Augustine: Of-course. I have Ghanaian heritage and the Ghanaian culture is very influential in my life and has shaped who I am today.

Me FiRi GHANA: What can we expect from you for 2012 – Any exclusives for Me Firi Ghana?

Kwame Augustine: I believe that actions speak louder than words, so all I can say is keep posted as you will be seeing a lot more of me in 2012.

Me FiRi GHANA: If people want to follow or find out more about you, how could they do so?

Kwame Augustine: Check my twitter. @KwameAugustine1 and subscribe to my Youtube account:http://www.youtube.com/user/KWAMEtheACTOR

This South London lad pushes all the boundaries and gives us a refreshing and unpredictable character that we can’t help but fall in love with. However as well as the legendary character of Johnny, the up and coming actor has also starred in MTV’s 2011 summer adverts and is the lead for a short film ‘Chase n Status’ which is a must watch. Augustine is a name that you should keep an eye out for this year as I have a good feeling that the next time we catch up with him it would be because of something EPIC.

Ghana Football Team: 25 Man Squad…

Coach Pavi names his 25-man Blackstar Squad

Ghana National team coach, Goran Stevanovic names his Ghana 23 to represent @ AFCON2012

Here is the official 23 man list name and squad numbers as they seek to end their 30 year drought;

1 – Daniel Agyei

2 – Daniel Opare

3 – Asamoah Gyan

4 – John Paintsil

5 – John Mensah

6 – Anthony Annan

7 – Samuel Inkoom

8 – Agyemang Badu

9 – Derek Boateng

10 – Andre Ayew

11 – Sulley Muntari

12 – Prince Tagoe

13 – Jordan Ayew

14 – Masahudu Alhassan

15 – Isaac Vorsah

16 – Adam Kwarasey

17 – Lee Addy

18 – Jonathan Mensah

19 – Charles Takyi

20 – Kwadwo Asamoah

21 – John Boye

22 – Ernest Sowah

23 – Mohammed Abu

Coach Pavi has submitted his 23-man list for AFCON2012 to Confederation of African football (CAF) on Wednesday.

The two man that where axed form the squad are;
New Edubuiase striker Emmauel Baffoe and South Korean based striker, Derek Asamoah.
They have both returned to their respective club teams.

Tournament debuts:
Derek Boateng, Adam Kawarsey, Charles Takyi, Ernest Sowah, Mohammed Abu, John Boye, Daniel Opare, Jordan Ayew

Andre Ayew will don the famous #10 his father wore 30 years ago when Ghana won their last nation’s cup.

Jordan Ayew will don his brother’s old number #1, as they keep it in the family.

When the Ayew brother’s line up for 1st time at AFCON2012 they will be the 1st family to all play for the Ghana national side at the African Cup of Nations (dad, bothers, and sons)

Abedi Pele {AFCON-1982}
Andre Ayew & Rahim Ayew {AFCON-2010}
Andre Ayew & Jordan Ayew {AFCON- 2012}

Kwadawo Asamoah has given up #10 to wear the #20 instead. He feels that a pressure will be lifted off him and wants to respect this history behind the jersey.

Ghanaian-Norwegian goalkeeper will make his debut at the African Cup of nation’s tournament and will wear the #16 jersey.

Ghanaian midfielder, Michael ESSIEN will miss the tournament due his knee injury and won’t be able to cover effectively in time.

The Nations Cup run begins for Nkrumah’s boys on Tues. January 24th v. Botswana

Follow me on twitter @IamMarfioso
AFCON2012 Blog on facebook www.facebook.com/GHBlackstarsQuest.2012
Follow on tumblr www.marfiosoblackstarblogg.tumblr.com


Weekly Insight: Ola the Poet

“Modes of Transport”

Understanding that life is what you make it and the meaning of success is how you define it.

Education of the mind whether academic or self taught via experience is not measured by your grades or what you’ve been through but by your persistence.

You see Wisdom hails where faith begins and mental strength comes from those who endure through struggle.

If what is said to be responsibility the ability to respond to situations effectively then problems shouldn’t be in existence.

There comes a time when realisation hits the frontal lobe and faces you head on with reality.

Worrying about how you’re going to reach your destination with no materialistic view of getting there, we forget that we have been given a pair of limbs which translate to modes of transport.

 So see your destination in sight and pave through your journey because as much as life has become difficult even in daily living at least we have a pair of mode of transport to get us from seeing to achieving.

By Ola the Poet