April 2012


Music news…

CHEMPHE PACKS TAKORADI PARAGON FOR R n B OIL CITY RAVE

 

Ghanaian RnB singer Chemphe

Chemphe successfully packed the posh Paragon Night Club in Takoradi last Saturday 21st April 2012 for the primary edition of the Oil City R n B rave. The programme was supported by Hiplife duo FOI, Nkyiraba Kojo, Yaw Berma, Stommi, DJ Nyaami and more. Prior to the event there was numerous radio interviews on various radio stations, namely Paragon Radio, Aseda FM, Twin City Radio and more.

Chemphe’s new hit single “Kiss Me”, which was officially released last week, has already started enjoying great airplay and saw the R n B artiste leverage to perform amid cheers from fans during the night. Chemphe took to the stage for over an hour on the night, performing some of his biggest hits including Why You They Beat Am, No Pampanaa, Hidden Emotions, Number 1, Deuces Mixtape, Can I Be, Charley Charley, Independent Lady, Left over and Kiss Me.

It was the first time Chemphe had performed for over an hour in Ghana, and the event, organized by E-Jam Records received a very high turnout from fans excited to see their favourite artist perform. The CEO of the record label, Korsah, expressed appreciation to all media companies and individuals who worked so hard to make the programme successful.

The Future of Ghana…

Talk Shop

 

On Friday the 20th of April, whilst our very honourable politicians and the knowledgeable “social commentators” were busy discussing the very important issue of who said what and the meaning of treason, about 50 youths gathered at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT to brainstorm on the very unimportant issue of youth unemployment.

I went into this brainstorming session with a lot of scepticism. A World Bank sponsored program in collaboration with a group called Africa Gathering, the task was to come out with a report with recommendations at the end of the session for the World Bank to forward to policy makers across the continent. It sounded like it was going to be just like one of those talk shops NGOs and other international aid agencies organise just so they are seen to be doing something. It ends up being nothing but just talk, talk and talk. No action.
But I walked out of this session with a big smile across my face and a deep hope in my heart for the youth of Ghana. And it’s not because it did not end up being just another talk shop – there was lots of talking and I believe the report will be completed and sent up to the World Bank. I’m just not sure what will come of it. It may be acted upon or it may be locked up in a cabinet and forgotten about, but either way this program, for me, was a big success!

The program brought together a collection of articulate and ambitious youths from diverse backgrounds and they talked and talked. My initial fear was that, no one in a position of authority would hear them. But they were not discouraged. They talked among themselves and listened to each other. They bounced ideas off each other and at the end, they all left the conference room motivated. Motivated to go out there and make a difference, in their personal lives and in the community. They came up with brilliant ideas about starting their own businesses to tackle local needs. Young entrepreneurs linked up with the aim of collaborating and tapping into each other’s resources to advance their young businesses.

In a week when it seemed like all people cared about was petty politics, these ambitious young men and women gave me hope! And it felt very refreshing. Before I end, I must say it was not all the youngsters. Ms Eva Lokko, Director General of GBC, joined in on the brainstorming session and was a great addition to the discussion. If any of my readers ever meet her, tell her we all say “thank you” and that I will do articles on the educational system. Hopefully someone somewhere may read it and kick start the much needed reforms.

By Maclean Arthur

New hiplife track…

Nubian Stunnaz – PumPapa

 

It’s fair to say that to say that azonto has taken over Ghanaian music to the extent that some music genres such as hiplife have been forced to take a backseat. But there are still the few musicians out there that are flying the hiplife banner.

Hiplife duo Nubian Stunnaz, made up of Kwame Species and Jay Mettler have released a hot video to their brand new single ‘PumPapa’. Hailing from Dansoman, the boys take it old school by making a track reminiscent of 1990s/early 2000 hiplife heard from the likes of Obrafour.

A quite homourous video, ‘PumPapa’ was shot on real locations in Dansoman. The boys mix it up by rapping in English as well as other Ghanaian local dialects – Kwame Species switches from Twi to Pidgin English whilst Jay Mettler raps in Ga and Pidgin. With funny lyrics that will definitely raise a smile or two, ‘PumPapa’ is definitely an enjoyable video to watch.

Check it out below!

 

By Yaa Nyarko

MeFiRi Ghana announcement…

Ghana’s#1Blogger’s Father’s Visitation Arrangements in Toronto, Canada

 

VIEWING: 

(Sat. April 21, 2012) Time: 4pm- 7pm

FUNERAL DETAILS  of Emmanuel Opoku Marfo

(Toronto, Canada) Uncle Marfo

Emmanuel Opoku MARFO: 51 years old

(Nov 30th, 1960 – March 16th 2012)

 

VIEWING

LOCATION: Demarco Funeral Home 3725 Keele St.

MAIN INTERSECTION: Keele and Finch

——————

PART 2 OF THE Funeral:

TIME: 8:00pm

VENUE: Apostles Continuation Church Hall

LOCATION: 10 Belfield Street, Rexdale M9W 1G1

————————————

For more info contact

Marfioso             (647)262-2740       {Mobile} (416) 635- 8957 {home}

Lydie Kyeame             416 844 5571

Lydia Achempong             416 748 2816

George Owusu             416 836 9073

Kwasi Kyeame             647 654 6911

Nana Kwasi Kyeame             647 668 5312

Music news…

CHEMPHE RECEIVES MASSIVE SUPPORT FOR TAKORADI OIL RAVE

 

Ghanaian RnB singer Chemphe

R n B is currently on a very slow pace due to few involvements as compared to Hip life and Hip-hop, and has led to the genre being sidelined by most award concerts in the country. Chemphe is very passionate about the growth of R n B in the country and has pledged to boost it to a greater height in the country this year by various R n B rave concerts. He is expected to release his double album in summer 2012. The ‘New Day’ album which was released in Norway last year was one of the fastest selling on iTunes in the YMCAs calendar.

 

Chemphe is set to release a full album entitled ‘Purple Kiss’ which has hit singles ‘Number 1’ featuring Dr Cryme, ‘Kiss Me’ featuring 4×4 and Funny Face, ‘Left Over’ featuring Laxio, ‘Independent Lady’ featuring
Ball J
and more. E-Jam Records, the official management team addressed the public in a separate interview that Chemphe will concentrate on performances in Ghana this year since the artiste spent most of his time performing on international platforms in 2010 and 2011. They added that the artiste has really improved on his stage performances and will be a very good addition to any world-class event.

This Saturday 21st April 2012 at the Paragon Night Club in Takoradi (Western Region, Ghana), the public will witness the official launch of the first ever R n B rave in Ghana dubbed Oil City Rave. E-Jam Records mentioned that it’s about time the country gets used to rhythm and blues to help grow and put Ghana on the International platform. Adez, FOI and Scooby Seela are just few of the artists scheduled to perform, with DJ Nyaami providing great songs for the night. The programme is powered by Jamming Spot on Zepto, Bongani Jewels, Paragon Fm, Viasat 1, stepoutghana.com, ameyawdebrah.com, ghanamusic.com, ghanacelebrities.com, Gino xxl Amsterdam and more.

By Yaa Nyarko

Language mistranslation or…

Lost In Translation

 

In the ‘90s when the airwaves was liberalised in Ghana, scores of private radio stations sprung up as a consequence. With talk shows everywhere, people who had been unable to publicly express their views now had an avenue to make their thoughts known. Peoples’ views on the radio were raw and unchecked. But we could allow that to pass, but only for a period of time. People had just been given that freedom, so it was understandable people would initially abuse it.

Fast forward to 2012 and politicians and “social commentators” (whatever the hell that job title is!), have not improved their decorum on radio one single bit. Apart from parading themselves as experts on every issue under the sun, their choice of words shows very little respect for each other and their listeners, and the issues they discuss are petty. They are constantly on radio at each other’s throat, and they tend to speak in a combination of English and Twi. Now that’s a very deadly combination when you think of the dangers of improper translation of words and phrases and the consequences it brings.

Not long ago a politician made pronouncements on radio that the law enforcement authorities deemed to amount to treason and was charged as such. Various supporters of this politician thronged the HQ of the Ghana Police and got in a scuffle with the law enforcers. This is not an issue you would expect people to be fighting over. It’s one for the law to decide if he’s guilty or not. I tried to understand why the supporters would go fight the police like it would cause them to release this politician.

I wanted to understand the supporters, so I used a method I’ve found quite effective. I engaged a couple of taxi drivers in conversation over a period. Three different taxi drivers from Osu to Ofankor Barrier. They all had their radios on and this particular issue was under discussion. I asked all three the same question. So why was this politician arrested? The first and third driver shocked me with their answers. They told me the politician had said if people keep beating up supporters of the opposition parties it would cause a civil war in Ghana! They argued many other politicians had said words to this effect and had not been arrested so why has this man been held up in custody? This was what had infuriated supporters to rebel against the law enforcement authorities.

But that was hardly the charge against this politician. Do I blame the supporters? Yes! But I do blame these “social commentators” even more. They have unwittingly incited people into violence. They had translated “I declare war”- from the words this politician is said to have uttered, which was “there would be war” in Twi!! These people on radio have created a very volatile situation for violence to occur with their loose translation. As the news passes from one person to the other, the meaning of the treasonable words uttered has been entirely changed. This is dangerous, especially in an election year. I would hate to wake up one morning see Ghana appear on BBC or Sky News for all the wrong reasons. Let’s watch how we translate words in-between the languages we speak.

By Maclean Arthur

MeFiRi Ghana’s Political Corner…

Here is the third edition of Political Corner:

 

‘Democracy’

 

It was recently announced that Ghana will receiving GhC17 million,

By the British government to ensure fair elections for all civilians.

According to the UK’s Department for International Development,

The money will help provide a fair election in the former British settlement.

Agencies set to benefit include Star Ghana, the Judiciary,

The Centre for Democratic Development and others in line for beneficiary.

In a statement by the British High Commissioner, Peter Jones said,

“Ghana has shown…strides forward for democracy in West Africa” and it must spread.

He added “The UK remain extremely committed to Ghana’s democratic success”,

So it’s essential that The Gold Coast lives up to its praise in the 2012 congress.

In response, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan expressed the Commission’s appreciation,

Saying that “all who have received the support must endeavour to work for the entire nation”.

And that’s the latest Me FiRi Ghana Political Poetry.

By Anthony Lyrics

Another azonto banger!!

T.O & Stunna Kid – ‘Shigege’

 

As we all know azonto is reigning supreme in Ghana music scene at the moment, and over the past few months we’ve seen the azonto flag being raised by Ghanaians everywhere, be it in the UK, Europe or US.

Two artists currently representing Ghana music and azonto in Germany is T.O and Stunna Kid with their latest video ‘Shigege’. With a banging beat by Mox Kito and production by DannySoundz, ‘Shigege’ is a very catchy azonto banger that is guaranteed to get you moving wherever you are! The azonto track is set to be very popular indeed, having received over 3000 views on YouTube in just one day.

In the video, we see T.O and Stunna Kid hit the streets of Hamburg doing the azonto! They even have a ‘shigege’ dance for chorus which one can easily learn in no time. As artists the boys also have great chemistry and their swagger in the video is on point! ‘Shigege’ also features cameos from Ghanaian/UK artists Mista Silva, Kwamz, Flava and Skob, who are currently flying the flag for Afrobeats in the UK.

A Mefiri Ghana interview with the boys will be coming soon but in the meantime check out the video below!

Downlaod ‘Shigege’ on Soundcloud:

By Yaa Nyarko

Ghana’s newest rock band!

Faint Medal – ‘I Dey Feel You Die’

 

Faint Medal performing with Yaa Pono

There’s a new rock band on the block and they’re Faint Medal! Hailing from Accra, Faint Medal, consisting of singer/songwriter Syn and guitarist Kyekyeku have been attracting the attention of music lovers in Ghana with their distinctively unique sound.

Ghanaians playing heartfelt rock music infused with African rhythms is not something you hear every day, at least not since the days of Afro-rock group Osibisa; however Syn and Kyekyeku have proved that they have the makings of true rock stars with the debut of their new track ‘I Dey Feel You Die’. ‘I Dey Feel You Die’ truly captures the sound that is Faint Medal. Produced by Kilo, and featuring Tema rapper Yaa Pono, the guitar-led mid tempo song is an excellent debut from the boys.

The energetic guitar opening from Kyekyeku sets the tone of the song. Syn’s vocals can be described as being hard and gravelly, which definitely lends a ‘rock’ feel to the track. However, his voice is at the same time tender, capturing the lonely subject matter of the song.  Kyekyeku’s incredible efforts on the guitar are to be noted – he switches from hard to soft guitar chords the same way Syn switches from hard to tender on vocals, and this captures the frenetic emotions that come with missing or losing someone.

Other instruments such as the African drums that can be heard give this rock song its distinctively African sound. The talents of Yaa Pono are also borrowed on the track, and rapper certainly lives up to his energetic signature style of rapping, which blends really well with the mid tempo beat of the song.

Overall this is an excellent debut effort from Faint Medal. There’s no question about the talent that this group possesses, and if ‘I Dey Feel You Die’s anything to go by, then Mefiri Ghana can’t wait to hear what releases they’ve got coming up this year!

Check out Faint Medal’s Facebook page or follow them on Twitter:

https://www.facebook.com/faintmedal                               @faintmedal

Listen to ‘I Dey Feel You Die’ here:

By Yaa Nyarko

Introducing you to…

Profile: Nii Ayikwei Parkes

 

Nii Ayikwei Parkes in performance

 

As a budding writer myself I thought I would bring to the attention one writer of Ghanaian descent who has inspired me. The man I speak of is Nii Ayikwei Parkes. He is a performance poet, writer and sociocultural commentator and an all round man of substance and conviction.

Born in the UK, in 1974, and raised in Ghana, where he attended Achimota School, Nii Ayikwei is a veteran of several poetry festivals, and former Poet-In-Residence at the Poetry Cafe in London, he has performed poetry in the UK, Europe, Ghana and the US, and was a 2005 Associate Artist-In-Residence with BBC Radio 3. In 2007 he was British Council writer-in-residence at California State University, Los Angeles and became one of the youngest living writers featured in the Poems on the Underground programme in London for his poem “Tin Roof”.

Nii runs regular workshops in the UK and has set up a Writer’s Fund in Ghana to promote writing among the country’s youth. He has recorded two CDs of his spoken-word poetry, Incredible Blues and Nocturne of Phrase, and has published three chapbooks of poetry – Eyes of a Boy, Lips of a Man, M is for Madrigal, and the self-published Shorter!, which was put together to raise money for the Writers’ Fund initiative. Nii is also the Senior Editor at Flipped Eye Publishing, for whom he has edited Fourteen, Two (editor), Dance the Guns to Silence and x-24: Unclassified (co-editor with Tash Aw). Nii’s short stories can be found in Tell Tales: Volume I (Tell Tales) and Mechanics Institute Review (Birkbeck).His debut novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, was published by Jonathan Cape in June 2009, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

An experienced performer of his work, Nii has appeared at readings all over the world, including the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York, the Royal Festival Hall in London and Java in Paris, and often leads writing and performance workshops. He was the Resident poet at Borders Bookstores where he hosted the monthly open mike at Charing Cross Road between 2001 and 2005.

If you have not already read Nii’s debut novel Tail of the Blue Bird, please make sure you do. It’s a detective story that combines the basic tug of the whodunit with the more elegant pleasures of the literary novel. The effect the Ghanaian dialogue has in the story adds to the entertainment and insight.

To have your first ever novel shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers Prize is a huge acheivement, Mr. Parkes Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

You can find more about Nii and his work here or follow him on Twitter:

http://www.niiparkes.com/           @BlueBirdTail

 

By Ben JK Anim-Antwi (Kwesi)