May 2012


Ghana Rising Black Star…

Uprising Ghanaian Rapper – Introducing: Young Ice

Young Ice, hailing from both Ghanaian parents, was born as Amon Ogyiri. However he uses the stage name Young Ice, due to Ice being his nickname. The 23 year old was born in Accra, GHANA, but is currently based in New York USA.

MeFiRi GHANA meets the man himself, an up and coming rapper who tells us a little about himself and what he has to offer Ghana…

 

1.  MeFiRi GHANA: What Are You About?

Young Ice: I am an unsigned artist, currently pushing my movement GMH (Ghana Made Hustlers) which promotes the culture of Ghana through entertainment. I have a strong passion for what I do as at the end of the day, it’s beyond music.  My passion for music, entertainment and the Ghanaian culture will hopefully help develop Ghana into a better country.

 

2.  MeFiRi GHANA: What influenced you to start rapping?

Young Ice: I am Ghanaian Hip-hop artist, the influence to my rapping was in fact, my love and passion with poetry from an early age. Writing poetry helped me release my emotions and thoughts onto paper, and transferring poetry on to a beat simply made it music.

I would say the likes of Maya Angelou and 2pac Shakur inspired me to write.

 

3.  MeFiRi GHANA: Which Ghanaian Artists Are You Currently FEELING?

Young Ice: I tell you I’m feeling a lot of GH artists out there, there is huge talent coming out of GH, which is being recognized over in the states. At the moment I am feeling music coming from El, Sarkodie, and Efya just to name a few.

I would like to work with many of the talents out of GH. If to choose, I artists such as E.L, Efya, Sarkodie, Edem, Raquel, Blitz the Ambassador, just to name a few. They are very innovative and creative when it comes to music and I am the same way.

4.  MeFiRi Ghana: Has Our Culture Influenced Your Talents?

Young Ice: Yes indeed, I would say my culture has influenced my talents in many ways. Being exposed to African music has helped me to be very versatile, it has also given me the ability to story tell which is very familiar in the African culture.

 

5.  MeFiRi GHANA: What Have You To Offer GHANA?

Young Ice: I have a lot to offer to Ghana. For starters I recently designed a bracelet called Ashanti Beads. This bracelet was designed to help bring change & help to Africa. A percentage from the sales of the Ashanti Bracelets will be donated to the Youth Icons of Ghana, a Non Profit foundation; hopefully this will bring better understanding and the importance of education.

I don’t want to let you guys know all the details so I guess Ghana will have to wait and see what I have in store for us, Knowing that Ghanaians are hard to impress, I have a great deal ahead of. (Chuckle)

 

6.  MeFiRi GHANA: ‘WO DOR GHANA’- (Do You Love GHANA)??

Young Ice: Of Course, I strongly love Ghana as it is my place of origin.

I enjoy everything within our Ghanaian culture, our music, our food, our child hood games, stories told by the elders and it being passed are all elements of the Ghanaian culture that I love.

 

7. MeFiRi GHANA: Have You Heard Of US Before?

Young Ice: Yes of course, through Twitter

 

8.  MeFiRi GHANA: Where Can we catch up with you, On updates & latest movements

Young Ice: Check Me Out Below;

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/YoungIce_GMH

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/YoungiceGMH

Tumblr:  http://therealyoungice.tumblr.com/, http://gmhlyfestyle.bigcartel.com/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?feature=mhee

 

MeFiRi GHANA

A Huge thank to Young Ice, a true Rep of a Ghanaian Rising Black Star, We Welcome you warmly on board.

MeFiRi GHANA Love the Ghanaianism you bring to the community, both to GHANA as well as in the States. We love the act of sheer kindness you create in helping our Country through charitable creative ideas.

We can already see you shooting off like a black star, with sprinkles of success showering you.

With yet more success to follow, we wish you the best.

By: Trey’ C

Introducing you to…

Rachel Yankey

 

Who is arguably the most successful English female footballer?  Any ideas? Well I am proud to say the lady I speak of is of Ghanaian descent from her father’s side.  Rachel Aba Yankey MBE is the most-capped player currently in the England team. She was the second English female player, after Gillian Coultard, to win 100 caps.

Rachel began playing football as the only girl in a boy’s team, before joining Mill Hill United at youth level. She represented Brent in the London Youth Games as a youngster, and was inducted in to their Hall of Fame in 2011. She was registered as the first professional female footballer in England at 16 and started at Fulham FC then later played for Arsenal and Birmingham City.

In August 1997 Rachel made her senior England debut in a 4–0 win over Scotland. In 2009, Yankey was one of the first 17 female players to be given central contracts by the Football Association. However, in August 2009 she was surprisingly left out of coach Hope Powell’s 22–player squad for Euro 2009with Powell believing that her form did not justify a call–up. But after a return to form with Arsenal Ladies, she was recalled by Powell for the 2010 Cyprus Cup and won her 90th and 91st caps. On 29 July 2010 Yankey became the second Englishwoman after Gillian Coultard to earn 100 caps during a home World Cup qualifier against Turkey.

Outside of football one of her proudest honours came in 2006, when was awarded an MBE for services to football in the Queen’s New Year honours list.

Although Rachel Yankey decided to play for the country of her mother’s birth – England – she is of Ghanaian heritage and has openly stated she is proud of her heritage.

Rachel Aba Yankey MBE, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

 Ben JK Anim-Antwi (Kwesi)

GH Stand Up Concert

CHEMPHE’S GRAND OPENING HYPED “GH STAND UP” CONCERT

 

Ghanaian RnB singer Chemphe

 

Last weekend saw the Accra International Concert Center packed again for a remarkable GH Stand Up concert which staged American artistes Keri Hilson, Bow Wow and seasoned Ghanaian artistes Chemphe, Kwaw Kesse, Rana, Buk Bak, Edem, Kaakie and Guru. The show was well organized and had a very good attendance with security and coordination at its best.

The media also had a fair share of its representation for pre-programme and post-event analysis. The Ghanaian artistes were at their best in performance to spice the show up for the key artistes from American artistes who were playing for the first time in Ghana.

Chemphe gave a grand opening to the event with performance of his Peace Song “One People” which proceeded with dance demonstrations. He further performed Number 1 and closed with “Kiss Me”, which saw 4×4’s Captain Planet jump on stage after the impressive bicycle works to finish his verse.

Chemphe’s opening was necessary to carry the peace message across and also allowed the fans to settle and get carried away with the groove. It was the first time Chemphe performed his new hit “Kiss Me” on stage but really had the crowed dance along to it. The Ghanaian RnB champ in an interview expressed appreciation to the crowed for the support.

 

MeFiRi Ghana’s Future of Ghana Debate

 THE FUTURE OF GHANA DEBATE

 

If you’re passionate about all things Ghanaian, especially about Ghana moving forward then make sure you mark the 7th June in your diary to attend Mefiri Ghana’s Future of Ghana Debate in London.

The Future of Ghana debate will be hosted by Kiss FM’s host Clara Amfo (http://claraamfo.com).  

The confirmed panellists for the debate are:
1. Twi Teacher (@Twi_twiteacher)
2. Mista Silva (@mistaf2dsilva)
3. Ben JK Anim (@KwesiTheAuthor) and
4. Mr Kobby Kuma (Architect & Chairman of Ghana Youth Forum).

Guest speaker for the night is Benjamin Fletcher (Co-Founder of the Ghanaian Language School).

To attend, please email us at info@mefirighana.com the following details:
Full Name:
Email Address

Tel
Your response to this question: As Ghanaians do we have an obligation to keep our Culture relevant whilst living in the Diaspora?

 

Event details:

Our country Ghana is blessed in so many ways, but we still have a long way to go. If we want to see Ghana move forward, then it starts with us. As young people we ARE the future of Ghana, so if you feel strongly about certain issues that need to be addressed then this is for you – we would love to hear your views!

Date: Thursday 7th June 2012

Location: London, Shorditch Area (specific theatre venue will be revealed once registered)

Time: 6PM-10PM

Again, this is a test event so spaces are limited. You will need to register your interest if you would like to attend this exclusive event.

Let’s help move Ghana forward!

By Yaa Nyarko

Check out the promo video for the debate:

The Future of Dolls…

A Girl Like Me……and oh speaks like me too!

 

My little nephew once sketched a pretty impressive image of himself. A young artist in the making I thought to myself. But something else caught my attention on his drawing. He had drawn himself with a mop top hairstyle. I asked him why he had a Mohawk hairstyle while his picture had a mop top. I already knew what his answer would be, but I just wanted to hear it from him. “Because I want to look like Ben 10” he said. He grew up watching Ben 10 all the time. He would not watch anything else. On his birthdays, he would not appreciate anything more than a Ben 10 watch or pyjamas. Anything that did not have a Ben 10 picture on it would not have much of his attention. He once asked his dad to call him Ben!

This sort of behaviour is admittedly common in growing children. This is when they begin to develop concepts and ideas of what is right and what is wrong, that which is acceptable and that which is not, what is beautiful and what is not. And they do so by watching and observing what they see other people do. They also learn from the books they read, the things they see on TV and the toys they play with. These are the things that influence the way our children see themselves and the world they find themselves in. Children between the ages of 5 and 8 have been found to have a concept of beauty based on the kind of dolls they play with. Beauty for them is the tall, slender, long straight hair, icy blue eye doll mummy and daddy bought for them. That is what they play with day and night. And that is how they want to look! That little girl will have no other hair style but the ponytail her doll has. And can you blame her?! She spends hours caring for her precious little doll. She bathes it, styles its hair and clothes it. She sleeps with it and would carry it everywhere if mummy lets her. She loves it and loves the look of it. That for her is the pinnacle of beauty!

This issue is even more complex with black children. They are caught up in a perplexity of how their skin and eye colour and their hair look so different to that of their elegant dolls. In 2006, Kiri Davies, a black teenage girl recreated the famous Clarke’s doll experiment and documented it in a film called “A Girl Like Me”. This experiment sort to explore black children’s idea of beauty in relation to the colour of the skin. The children were presented with two dolls. Both dolls were identical except for the skin and hair colour. One was brown with black hair while the other was white with yellow hair. These children were asked questions like- which doll they would want to play with, which one they thought was nicer and which one looked bad. 15 out of the 21 black children questioned in this experiment preferred the white doll.

The result from this experiment is quite surprising. But why is this the case? This is why- Children turn to stick to what they are used to and have grown to like. If daddy teaches him to tie his shoe laces in a double knot, that is how he will do it, and he would not have it any other way! If uncle tries to tie it in a different way, he will let uncle know that is not the way to do it! If a child grows up watching Ben 10, that is what he will choose if he is asked to make a  to choice between that and SpongeBob SquarePants. Likewise, if a black child grows up playing with a white skin doll, that is going to be her of standard of beauty. And if asked to tell which one is prettier, a white doll or a black one, she will inadvertently choose the white one! So how do we as a people try to get our children to appreciate the beauty of their own skin colour? How do we make sure at an early age they appreciate and become comfortable in their skin?


Now will you please step forward Rooti Dolls! Created by Mr. Chris Chidi Ngoforo, these dolls are the answer to our problem. They are created as a real image and identity of us as black people- African, African Caribbean and African American. They have wider noses, fuller lips, long curly hair and they come in various shades of black. And these Rooti Creations Ltd dolls also come dressed in a mix of elegant African fabric and western fashion styles. So from an early age, we are getting our children to appreciate the beauty of African products and fashion trends as opposed to all the negative images we see in the media about Africa.

The genius of this product, however, lies in the fact that it speaks, and it does not just speak. It speaks a wide range of African languages! Its interactive! This doll is like Siri and Barbie moulded in a black skin. The children of many African parents are growing up with very little or no knowledge of their parents’ mother tongue. This is even more horrifying in cases where children grow up in Africa but do not speak any local dialect! They can only speak English! This product is the potential solution to the danger of the demise of Africa’s ethnic languages. Children can pick up words and phrases from playing with these dolls and this will serve as a building block to learn to speak and preserve our rich and beautiful African languages.

Rooti Creations Ltd have a range of dolls for every African country and can teach your children words and phrases in the ethnic languages of each particular country. So Ama, the Ghanaian doll can speak words and phrases in Twi, Ga, Danmgbe, Ewe, Hausa and many other dialects. If they demand is high enough, they may make one that can azonto! And the Afro Caribbean dolls can also interact and teach your child Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch and other European languages. Eastern European parent can also have dolls that can teach and interact with their children in Polish, Romanian, Russian and a host of other languages.

Now the solution is before us, so let’s start putting things right! Let us as a people save and preserve our identity as well as our rich and diverse languages. Let’s all root for Rooti Dolls!!

By Maclean Arthur

Another Ghanaian Rising Black Star!

THE CATE SCHOOL’S EMA BOATENG NAMED

GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Former U.S. National Team Star and Gatorade Michigan Boys Soccer Player of the Year Alexi Lalas Surprises Standout with Elite Honor

Gatorade National Player of the Year Ema Boateng

 

Native Ghanaian Ema Boateng of the Cate School in Carpinteria, California was named the 2011-12 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year during a press conference held at the Cate School on 17th May. Former U.S. National Team Star and former Gatorade Michigan Boys Soccer Player of the Year Alexi Lalas surprised him with the award during class.

Who:

Ema Boateng (2011-12 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year)

  •   Scored 32 goals and passed for 19 assists this season
  •   Led the Rams to a 20-2-1 record and the CIF-Southern Section Division VII tournament championship this past season
  •   Was a repeat selection as the Southern Section Division VII Player of the Year
  •   Concluded his prep soccer career with 79 goals and 49 assists
  •   Two-time Division VII First Team All-State honoree
  •   Maintains a 3.75 GPA in the classroom
  •   Signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the UC Santa Barbara this fall

Background

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. In addition to athletic excellence, the award recognizes academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.

This year celebrates the program’s 27th anniversary. In that time, Gatorade has honored more than 11,000 State Players of the Year and 234 National Players of the Year, including many of today’s top professional athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker, Kerri Walsh, Derek Jeter, and Emmitt Smith. For more information, visit www.playeroftheyear.gatorade.com

Watch the video Ema Boateng being honoured below:

 

Rocky Dawuni has done it again!

Rocky Dawuni Nominated in Best African Entertainer at IRAWMA

 

Ghana's 'Bob Marley' Rocky Dawuni

 

Ghana’s Reggae Music Legend

For the second time Ghanaian international reggae music legend Rocky Dawuni has been nominated in the Best African Entertainer category of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) which are scheduled to be held on July 5th this year in Chicago. For Last year’s event which was held in Trinidad, the star, who has been dubbed the ‘African Bob Marley’, was nominated in the Best Entertainer and Best Album sections.

 

Honoured by the recognition

In a recent interview the internationally acclaimed musician has stated that he feels “honoured” that the organizers of the event continue to recognize the value of his contribution to international reggae music. He also stated that it was rewarding to know that his own unique, and distinctly African brand of reggae music, was being recognized in this way.

 

Winner in 2011

Having been nominated in two categories last year in came as no surprise when he won the award for the Best African Entertainer. Although there was some strong opposition in that category, Dawuni was cited by the judges as being the ‘stand-out’ entertainer and a clear winner of the award. Of his current nomination Rocky believes it has come as a result of the hard work he has put in to touring in the past twelve months. It is fair to say that Rocky has richly earned the accolade of the hardest working man on the reggae music scene, having fulfilled a massive catalogue of events, which have taken him to a diverse set of locations, all over the planet.

As a consequence of the international flavour of his touring his management team needed to ensure that they had a really secure system to transfer money abroad so that the reggae star could get access to finances wherever his touring took him.

 

New Album Due for Release This Summer

Having fulfilled the massive catalogue of events, and getting to meet his fans from around the world, it seems amazing that Rocky has also managed to get back into the studio, but the good news is that he has, and a new album is now due for release this summer. It is almost two years since the release of his last album in 2010 so the next record is long overdue as far as his loyal fan base is concerned. By all accounts the new work is said to be is worth the wait, and there is a royal treat for Dawuni devotees on the upcoming release as he revealed he has been granted the rights to record a previously unreleased track, penned by the legendary Bob Marley, which will be included on the record. There is no title for the album yet and although he has some ideas, Rocky said that he does not want to commit to one yet, and have to change it when it comes closer to the release date.

 

Potential for Future Stars

The star was keen that Ghanaians should be aware that Ghanaian music, the Ghanaian flag and what Ghanaian’s stand for is being heard all over the world. He also added that he is putting in every effort to take Ghanaian music to the world. In terms of what the nomination represents the reggae music singer explained that he believes it should be an inspiration to all aspiring musicians. He continued by stating that it showed that once someone set out their sights and was ready to work and put in what is required, they could achieve the highest goals. He said, “I think my music and its impact globally is a testament, that once any child of Ghana has a big dream and be able to go forth, will achieve it.”

 

Peace in Ghana

In addition to his work as a musician Rocky has work as an ambassador for peace and was keen to offer some advice for his fellow citizens in advance of the upcoming elections in the country. His concerns were that Ghanaians should not take the peace and stability for granted. He felt that it was important that all Ghanaians could work together to ensure that there is a continued peace through what is likely to be a period of tension and heightened emotion nationally.

By Penny Lancaster

Guess who’s famous in China?

CHEMPHE’S “CHANGE IS GONNA COME HITS CHINESE MARKET

 

Ghanaian RnB singer Chemphe

 

Ghana’s Pan African R n B artiste Chemphe has successfully penetrated the Chinese music market. He had his “Change is Gonna Come” single which happens to be on the New Day album last year in Norway go officially on Chinese TV over the weekend. Chemphe who is currently the YMCA Ambassador for Africa has performed in Hong Kong, Kenya, South Africa and the Scandinavia. Chemphe who is used to the Asian market due to services rendered previously revealed that he is impressed with the song going commercial and looks forward to further business with the Chinese people.

Chemphe is billed for the GH Stand Up concert coming off this weekend at the Conference Center Dome in Accra, which will feature Bow Wow and Keri Hilson. The CEO of E-Jam Records Korsah-Brown disclosed that the company is really working on good stage production for the artiste since it is his first major concert in Ghana after his return from the album launch in Norway. He also mentioned that Chemphe’s new single is currently getting good airplay in Africa especially in the Big Brother Africa house and housemates really love it. Chemphe’s “Purple Kiss” album will be available on August 4th 2012 together with the inspirational New Day album. Chemphe is also set to perform at the upcoming Ghana meets Naija concert later in June.

Something about football you didn’t know…

Just a reminder:  The world’s first Black Footballer came from Ghana!

 

Here at Me Firi Ghana we of course like to celebrate all things Ghanaian and nothing brings us more joy than showcasing true pioneers.

Well, how many of you knew that the first ever black footballer originated from Ghana? Yep, you heard right, Arthur Wharton is that such person. Born in Ghana in 1865, when it was known as the Gold Coast, he sailed to Britain as a trainee missionary but sensed a different vocation after winning the Amateur Athletic Association‘s 100-yard sprint at Stamford Bridge in a world record 10 seconds.

He was first signed as a semi professional player with Preston North End in 1886, as goalkeeper. His highpoint with Preston was to make it to the FA Cup semi finals in 1887 where they lost 3-1 to West Bromwich Albion. There was speculation at the time that Arthur was good enough to play for England, but he was never considered for the position by the FA, due in part to the racial prejudice of the time.

He was a multi-talented sportsman, and football became his main interest and he was Preston’s goalkeeper in the year before their unbeaten 1888-89 season. He was also understudy to the celebrated William ‘Fatty’ Foulke at Sheffield United, and played for Darlington. When Wharton died in 1930, he was buried in an unmarked grave, but a campaign to recognise his achievements, led by his grand-daughter Sheila Leeson, the Football Unites Racism Divides group and the Arthur Wharton Foundation, has gathered pace. It is incredible to think that 121 years ago an African footballer was playing his trade in England. Thus in a season where racism has reared its ugly head on a couple of occasions, it is refreshing to reflect on the impact a black footballer was having on the English game all those years ago.

Arthur Wharton paved the way for the Viv Andersons and John Barnes of this world who were among the first black players to play for the England national team. His was riches to rags story. His mother was a member of the Gold Coast royal family, and they paid for him not only to come to England but to be educated privately. He was supposed to train as a missionary but soon realised he was an exceptional athlete. What a story!

Therefore Mr Arthur Wharton; Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi(Kwesi)

Let’s all support…

The Meet Kate Foundation

 

 

The Meet Kate Foundation officially opened the Meet Kate Children’s Home in August 2010 in Ekwamkrom in the Central Region in Ghana.  The Children’s Home is a collaboration between the Ghanaian Philomena Fynn and the Dutch Kelly de Vries. Initially, it was meant to provide children with temporarily shelter, food and education, especially to those children whose parents were not able to take care of them financially or for other reasons. However they also started with a day care facility during school hours, providing care for approximately 65 Children in the age of 0-5 years. Furthermore, primary school education was offered for children of 6 years and older, in the hope that they eventually will be able to offer day care en education to a maximum of 200 children.

Unfortunately, the Meet Kate Foundation cannot facilitate this primary school extension in the present building of the Meet Kate Children’s Home and day care centre. Therefore, they bought a piece of land in front of the current accommodation, to be able to start the implementation of primary education. These facilities include a building consisting of six classrooms, an office and a computer/library spot, the placement of outside toilets and the construction of a sport/play area.

The realization of the new accommodation and the additional activities are taking place in three phases over the period February 2012 to November 2012. In the meantime a curriculum for the entire target group (children between 1-12 years) will be established, in order to improve the provided day care and to introduce a complete program for the primary school. In September 2012 the entire program can be put into practice since part of the new building will be finished and in use.

In order to achieve their expansion plans, the Meet Kate Foundation are applying for funds and getting involved in corporate social responsibility projects in order to raise donations for this project. With a contribution of €2.500 or more they will mention the company or firm on their website, social media and in our monthly newsletter.

If you have any questions or you would like to receive further information, please contact them by sending an email to: info@meetkate.nl or visit thier website: www.meetkate.org.

Make sure you also like their page (link below). “EVERY “LIKE” WILL TAKE THEM ONE STEP CLOSER TO BETTER EDUCATION FOR 200 GHANAIAN CHILDREN! This will take a second! Please like this page!

http://www.facebook.com/Getteachertrainingdone