May 2013


Inspiring Ghanaians – Sam Gyimah

Sam Gyimah – rising star in politics

 

Sam gyimah

 

How many black male UK politicians do you know? Well, you should know of Kwasi Kwarteng whom I blogged about last year (Profile: Kwasi Kwarteng, 17/05/2012), and there is also the Labour politician Chuka Umunna who has been labelled the “British Obama”. Apart from those two most people would struggle to name many others. However there is another equally talented politician of Ghanaian descent currently making waves in British politics.

Sam Gyimah is a British Conservative Party politician. He was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Surrey at the 2010 general election.

Gyimah was born in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, in southern England. He was educated at Achimota School in Ghana and later Freman College, a state school in Hertfordshire, followed by Somerville College at the University of Oxford, where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and where he was elected President of the Oxford Union. On graduation from University, Gyimah joined Goldman Sachs as an investment banker; he left the company in 2003 to set up his own businesses in the recruitment and internet sectors. In 2005, he was awarded the Real Business/CBI Entrepreneur of the Future award.

In September 2005 Gyimah edited a Bow Group report, From the Ashes: the future of the Conservative Party. He subsequently was elected chairman of the Conservative think tank, the Bow Group from 2006 to 2007.Gyimah stood unsuccessfully for election in Kilburn ward in the Camden Council election in 2006.

Elected as the MP for East Surrey at the 2010 general election, Gyimah made his maiden speech on 29 July 2010. Gyimah sits on the International Development Select Committee, having stated an interest in harnessing the private sector towards achieving international development goals. Gyimah has also been active in debates on education and employment, as well as a number of local campaigns to protect the greenbelt in Surrey.

In 2011 Gyimah produced a report with think-tank NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts), titled Beyond the Banks, in support of non-bank alternatives for businesses seeking finance. He was the first MP to call for credit easing as a means of accelerating Britain’s economic recovery.

In October last year Gyimah was chosen as the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Private Secretary. He will now be relied upon to keep the PM abreast of feelings towards the Government’s agenda within the party, and helping with prep for Prime Minister’s Questions.

So just two-and-a-half years since entering parliament at the 2010 election, Sam Gyimah is rising through the ranks and has been hand-picked by the Prime Minister to be his eyes and ears in the hallowed halls of Westminster. That is some achievement!

Thus Sam Phillip Gyimah; Me Firi Ghana salutes you! You can find out more about Sam on his official website – www.samgyimah.com

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

 

 

Fashion with a cause

 FashionMist 2013 – Let’s Go!

Fashionmist-Season-3

 

For all of you out there who love African inspired designs, make sure you mark the 1st of June on your calendars! FashionMist is back, and this year’s event is going to be bigger and better than ever before!


Taking place at the Russel Hotel in London, FashionMist will be showcasing the best that Africa has to offer in the form of beauty products, womens/menswear, accessories, footwear, and children’s wear.

 

The event will feature a free exhibition showcasing the designs of Gita’s Portal, Kizmet Designer Jewellery, Ayikai Couture, Arhin Armah, Heritage, House of Loulee and many more. A seminar will also be hosted by YouTube make-up guru Chanel Boateng, offering beauty and styling tips as well advice on breaking into the industry. The fashion show, which will be a ticketed event will showcase the extraordinary talents of designers such as Afriqan Apeiron, N’kya Designs, Miss Ray Couture, Kolture Apparel, Wusuwaah’s Diary, Acote Design, Sa4a, Triballery, and M.A.F Couture.


Celebrating the creativity that Africa has to offer as well as championing a cause, FashionMist has teamed up with international commercial model Rachel Williams as an ambassador to raise funds for the WAM Campaign, a charity established in the UK that aims to help vulnerable children as well as orphans in Ghana. Raffles will be held throughout the day, of which proceeds will go the charity.


With A-Dot the comedian hosting alongside Rachel and Twi Teacher among those providing entertainment for the night, FashionMist 2013 is an event you do not want to miss!

 

Tickets for the fashion show can be bought  here 

For more info on FashionMist visit:

www.fashionmist-online.com

www.fashionmistonline.blogspot.com

By Yaa Nyarko

Inspirational people – Ozwald Boateng

10 Things you didn’t know about Ozwald Boateng

 

British-Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng

British-Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng

 

 

Ozwald Boateng is a name and powerhouse fiercely to be reckoned with. Having survived two divorces and bankruptcy, Ozwald has firmly cemented his place in British fashion and is now setting his sight on establishing his brand as a global fashion house.

Here are 10 interesting facts you may or may not have known about the flamboyant designer…

*Ozwald had his first job at the age of 14, sewing lining into suits at a factory

*When he was at university, Ozwald started designing and selling suits to his fellow students and went on to sell his first collection to a menswear shop in Convent Garden

*Boateng was the first tailor to showcase a collection at Paris Fashion Week in 1994

*In 2007, Ozwald was commissioned by former Ghanaian president John Agyekumn Kuffour to design a show for the Annual African Union Summit held in Accra

*At just 23, Ozwald opened his first studio on Portobello Road

*Ozwald was mentored by Tommy Nutter, a British tailor credited with reinventing the Savile Row in the 1960s

*In 1994 Ozwald became the youngest and first black tailor to have a store in Vigo Street, just off Savile Row

*Ozwald launched a bespoke perfume for women, consisting of two different fragrances that can be worn individually or mixed to suit mood or personality

*Ozwald Boateng flagship store and headquarters at no.30 Savile Row was designed by world-renowned British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye

*Will Smith, Lawrence Fishburne, Jamie Fox, Richard Branson and Gerard Butler are  some of the famous people Ozwald has dressed

*

By Yaa Nyarko

Inspiring Ghanaians – Charles Kumi Gyamfi

C.K Gyamfi: Ghana’s greatest ever football manager

 

ck gyamfi

Former Ghanaian coach Charles Kumi Gyamfi


 In a week where the greatest British and arguably the world’s greatest ever manager, Sir Alex Ferguson retired, I thought it apt to pay homage to Ghana’s and arguably Africa’s greatest ever football manager.

 

The man I speak of is Charles Kumi Gyamfi. After retiring as a player he became a coach, and career highlights include leading Ghana to the African Cup of Nations three times. At the time this made him the most successful coach in ACN history. Gyamfi was already setting records as a player when he became the first African player to play in Germany, having joined Fortuna Düsseldorf in 1960. Before that he enjoyed a distinguished career in Ghana playing for the likes of Asante Kotoko and Accra’s premier club, Hearts of Oak.

 

However it was his exploits as manager where he secured legendary status amongst Ghanaians. After retiring as a player it seemed the natural transition for Gyamfi to become coach after showing a number of the traits needed to be a manager during his playing days. Thus having taken over as coach in 1963 he secured his and Ghana’s first African title after a 3-0 win over Sudan in Ghana which made victory all the more sweeter.

 

But the real challenge was to come in 1965, when Gyamfi was faced with building a new squad to replace the aging first generation of stars to defend their status as champions of Africa in Tunisia. During the tournament Gymafi would often play with three strikers, with goals now coming from the likes of emerging Ghanaian stars such as Frank Odoi, Ben Acheampong and Osei Kofi providing as many as 12 goals in their 3 games as Ghana went on to beat hosts Tunisia 3-2 in extra time after being down 1-2. Ghana had become the first nation to successfully defend the African Cup of Nations, but Gyamfi would leave his post the same year.

 

He would return as manager in 1982 to lead Ghana into the African Nations cup in Libya. It would prove an inspired return as Ghana would go on to be crowned African champions again for the fourth time after beating the hosts Libya 7-6 on penalties in a pulsating match. This remains the last time Ghana have won the CAN title and cemented Gyamfi’s name in Ghana’s football history.

 

Always respected for his “old school” approach to the game, in January 2008 Gyamfi publicly lamented the modern obsession of players with money rather than the love of the game. He was quoted as saying, “Today’s players don’t know the value of the national jersey but my players were prepared to die for their country.” This statement is not far from the truth from a real Ghanaian and African legend who has garnered respect all over the continent from his peers. He achieved a feat that I don’t believe another Ghanaian coach will ever achieve again.

Charles Kumi Gyamfi Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

 

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)