March 2014


Introducing Jeffrey Appiah Smith…

 Making his dreams a reality!

Aspiring Film director Jeffrey Appiah Smith is doing things his way. After starting his own company JointSight Productions he is on the way to. He has an impressive portfolio which includes music videos for UK artist D Dark and International reggae artist Fadah Noah. His work doesn’t stop at music video’s. He has also covered events such as the Commonwealth Youth Awards, World Series Boxing & GB Women’s Handball. He is accomplished a lot in a short space of time but his story may have been different had he not gambled on his dreams.

Jeffrey got into the production game by chance. He enjoyed editing in his early years in college but was not too sure on what he wanted to do until he started university and started gaining experiences in the film industry as a runner. He then realised from working as a runner and getting advice from talking to work colleagues that he needed to learn more and practice on a smaller scale in order to gain experience and be credible in the future.

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He knew he had ideas and knew he wanted to share them through music promos and film however in order to be credible he had to be patient, gain as much experience as a runner in big budget features and music promos as well as working on his own stuff. He is still progressing gradually in achieving his goals as a Director/Editor in the mainstream and dreams of going  back to Ghana to shoot a feature film.

Beforehand then he was a one man band and initially named  his company JSVP (Jeffrey smith video production) which he says is hilarious now with hindsight, but nothing was really progressing to the heights he had imagined and that’s when his partner Ade came on board to help restructure things and really help JointSight stands out as a business. Their aim now is deliver high quality work with at a decent budget for their clients.

The name JointSight came about when he was on my placement at a PR firm and was in conversation with God, and he spoke to him, although not sure of the exact words he remembers they were something like “If me (God) and you are one and I am the master of all ideas then we should join our visions into one and create the most unique videos”, and that’s how JointSight Productions was birthed.

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In October 2013 Jeffrey was selected for GQ Magazines Project Upgrade series featuring legendary designer Tom Ford . See Mr Smith getting a makeover and what else went down here – http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2013/11/project-upgrade-tom-ford-film-director.html?mbid=social_twitter_gqfashion

For further information on the services Jointsight provide visit their website – http://www.jointsight.co.uk/#

Jeffrey Appiah Smith, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@kwesitheauthor)

Ghana UK Youth Enrichment Ball 5/4/14

Celebrating Youth Excellence & Cultural Richness

 

The Ghana Society in the UK presents Ghana Youth Enrichment ball under the auspices of the Ghana High Commissioner in the UK, the Mayor of Luton, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and other VIPs.

The event takes place on Saturday, 5th April 2014 at UK Centre for Carnival Arts, 3 St. Mary’s Road, Luton, LU1 3JA from
8pm – till late.

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This is the first ever event of it’s kind to acknowledge  young children/youths whom have achieved  great things in the UK. The theme for the ball is; ‘ Our Youth, Our Future’

There will be special guest dignitaries, words of encouragement, spoken word, drama, performances by a Gospel Youth Choir, fashion show by Akua Sei and a  headline performance by the Luton 2013 Carnival winners ‘The GS Girls’

Tickets are £5 for Early Bird, £10 in advance. £15 at the door (including 3 course meal)

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As it’s a event designed for youth it is strictly for the under 30’s with the aim of creating the right atmosphere to appreciate the hard work young people are putting towards their nation. The attire for this evening will be classy and elegant with a touch of tradition.

Why not go down and see the leaders of the future! Should be a good evening…

For tickets and more information contact , Saks Bar & Restaurant  39-41 New Bedford Road, LU1 1SE Luton, Tel 01582 965512 or  UK Centre for Carnival Arts, St Mary’s Rd, Luton LU1 3JA, Tel: 01582 437100

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

 

Introducing Cortez Treats…. Confectionary with a twist!

Do You have a Sweet tooth ?

 

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There are many Ghanaian food companies who offer quality delicasies. However few of them are like Cortez Treats who are  a unique confectionary company providing you with everything to indulge your sweet tooth.  Their creative cake and sweet designs are guaranteed to catch the eye and light up any special occasion.

Their mission is;

  • To put an innovative spin on modern day classics
  • To provide delectable treats for everyone to enjoy
  • To create a homely atmosphere for everyone to feel welcome
  • To provide a service that is second to none

Me Firi Ghana recently caught up with Vanessa Boadu aka Ms. Cortez the founder CEO of Cortez Treats. Who reveals her thoughts on Ghanaian food and culture as well as her future plans for the company. Check out the interview below;

Why/How did you decide to start Cortez Treats?

My passion for cakes and the way in which they can be crafted to form masterpieces  firstly drew my attention. I started off baking as a hobby, yet I soon saw the potential to use my talent to provide a service. In short, to be able to create something, whilst enjoying what I do. Since then, the business has expanded to the extent that we now not only provide cakes for occasions, but we offer treats for corporate events, luncheons, galas and dinner parties.

Speaking of treats, what is your favourite food?

You might have to laugh at this one but my favourite food is pizza. I should have really said something like an exotic avocado and mango mix, yet I cannot pull away from a good old slice of dough, tomato sauce and lots of cheese (I guess it’s all about good taste and simplicity)

How sweet is your sweet tooth?

Incredibly sweet! I suppose I have used this to my advantage as it means I can forever try out new recipes and not treat the wonderful world of confectionery treats as a chore. I especially love creating carved cakes because I get to nibble on the shavings, but do not tell anyone that! Haha!

What is your favourite cake design you have personalised?

What a difficult question, so many cakes, so many designs.  I find that each cake is individual to the clientele’s requirements and undoubtedly; I always try to add my own twist on their design to give it that authentic Cortez Treats feel. However, if I was forced to pick a winner, I would say the 4-tier navy blue wedding cake we created with a white rose cascade 

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 How important is it for Ghanaian culture in the UK that Ghanaians establish their own businesses here?

I feel that for every nationality it is good to represent an aspect of their heritage. Ghanaians have an incredible sense of solidarity and it would be good to see more of that as Ghanaian entrepreneurs rise up and network effectively to produce businesses of longevity. 

What do you love about the Ghanaian culture and what has motivated/led you to be involved with the WAM Campaign?

The Ghanaian culture is incredibly colourful and vibrant, yet humble and pure at the same time. Having volunteered with the WAM Campaign in the past, it was a pleasure to have met Ghanaians, and other nationalities alike that possess a deep-rooted allegiance of patriotism, focusing on advancing the country.

What are your future plans for Cortez treats?

There are so many great ideas that my phenomenal team and myself have planned for Cortez Treats. Let’s just say you might be seeing our name on a global scale very soon. Watch this space…

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Any words of wisdom?

One thing I have learnt is that you have to be yourself. The market is saturated with people trying to make a name for themselves, yet individuality, focus and of course amazing tasting goodies will get you a long way!

How can people get in contact with you?

People can find, follow and share on our social media pages, as shown below.

facebook.com/CortezTreats

instagram.com/corteztreats

twitter.com/CortezTreats

pinterest.com/msvcortez/cortez-treats/

For queries,orders, comments and reviews, we can be contacted by email: corteztreats@gmail.com

Final words from VanessaTo all Ghanaians and the diaspora, I would like to say to  keep being proud of your fantastic heritage, hospitable and friendly nature. Also, never forget the example and the inspiration provided by the great Cortez, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, whose tenacity,resilience and determination has changed and shaped the world. We’ve learnt to fight, win and demonstrate to the world that we are prepared to lay our foundation.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

 

J Appiah ‘Rabbit Hole’ Single Review

Discovering a new sound. His name is J Appiah

 

East London rising star J Appiah is making waves in the music scene with his smooth vocals, musical talent and raw lyrics.

Drawing on his folk, RnB, rap and reggae influences, J Appiah offers 4 exclusive tracks in his classic sophomore E.P: Travelight which includes the lead single ‘Rabbit Hole’.

The music video for ‘Rabbit Hole’ is thoughtful and engaging. The visual concept of the video is impressive as the video shows a determined Appiah running a steady pace for 3 minutes through deserted London streets. The video begins with viewings of London estates, and then we see J Appiah running across the street and running facing the camera. After some time, we see J Appiah facing the camera singing whilst running in a much slower pace. The effects of Appiah running close to the camera and further away are obvious. It all adds for dramatic effect and projects the emotion of the song very well.

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The hackney born singer and song writer takes the listener on a journey with his captivating single. The song is stunning and simple. It is also thought provoking. I see the song and video as a story of running towards a goal or dream and running away from that place of comfort which is a hindrance to our progress. J Appiah’s transparency is what sets him apart. He is an authentic artist who has grasped the key of connecting through his vocals and lyrics by simply being honest about who he is and that comes across in his music.

Check out the video for yourself. What message do you think he is trying to convey.

 

Adwoa Asiedu (@AdwoaAsiedu777)

Africa: Changing Perceptions, Making Impact…

Africa is not poor

It is a continent rich with colour, with flavour. It is rich with history, with tradition, rich with the purest minerals and jewels on earth, flowing with incredible produce, reverberating with magical sounds of drums thudding to infectious beats.

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And yet around the world, the richness of the continent is overshadowed by another perception. Magnified beyond realistic proportion and ran across our screens with relentless regularity, are images of degrading and humiliating quality. Yes, Africa’s dark corners are amongst the darkest in the world. Our core remains rotten and broken from years of yesterday’s slavery, and years of today’s corruption. And yes, poverty strikes colder in Africa than anywhere else. But that is only part of our story. We have so much to give. Images projected by charities which proclaim they are doing us good, may actually be deemed to psychologically be doing more damage to us than those charities realise.

The same media which won’t show images of the dead and wounded Brits over in Afghanistan because they are ‘shocking’ and ‘don’t respect human dignity’, replay images of the lowest of our low with worrying regularity. I can even categorise them for you. The pot-bellied kwashiorkor child being cradled in its mother’s arms, flies swarming uncomfortable like vultures circling an imminent corpse. A child reaching to drink rancid brown water, blissfully unaware of the verminous parasites swimming beneath the surface. Et-cetera. Et-cetera. Same. Same. Aren’t these images just as shocking? Is this showing respect to those who are in desperate need of aid? Or is this just another example of something losing value and impact, the more it is used…

Africa is not poor. Poverty exists worldwide, regardless of the difference in the height of the poverty line as you navigate across the world map. But poverty does not deserve to be our identity.

Media is a powerful tool. And the youth of today are worryingly vulnerable to dancing unconsciously to its beat.

We shouldn’t wait for the Western Media to portray images of Caucasian celebrities visiting the ‘worse-off Ghanaians who cannot fend for themselves’, fortifying subtly the images of the white saviours coming to our wretched shores to show us the light and cause us to be forever indebted to their superiority. We should take the initiative to show ourselves in a better light. To do more for our own.

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There are two kinds of people in Africa, those who can’t make a living regardless of how much they put in, and those who find themselves overwhelmed with privileges regardless of the little they contribute. This balance needs to change – the latter needs to help out the former, and change outside perceptions in the process. We who have been blessed with iPhones and internet access should put it to better use than filling our blogs and timelines with celeb-sensational nonsense and glorifying decrepit behaviour. We’ve got our priorities wrong, whilst day after day we unwittingly remain stationary in the eyes of the watching world because none of our collective energies are put towards creating a better world view and promoting the best of the continent.

A new generation of African who doesn’t just whine about the problems of the continent but rather backs up their complaints with solutions  – especially when it’s within our means to provide and we have been gifted with far more powerful tools of influence than our parents ever had. We can talk about how Africa is portrayed badly in the media – but in today’s world where it doesn’t cost anything to set up a facebook page, and tweets can be sent in seconds, and opinions can be posted on blogs such as this one, we all have the ability to not just talk about sex and raves, but actually utilise our social media powers to rewrite the African Story.

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We can complain until we are blue in the face, and hurl proclaimations about how ‘they never talk about our mansions or show the good side of Ghana’ until Jesus returns. But the key can be found in one of my favourite quotes, uttered by President Barack Obama: ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’

Africa is not poor.

What are you going to do about that view?

Dr Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

 

Calling all Ghanaian Youth: INDIAFRICA Poster Design Competition

Do you live in Ghana?

Are you an established or aspiring creative designer?

Do you need funding to develop or grow or would you like to showcase your work?

Enter the INDIAFRICA Youth Poster Design Competition – see more details below

Calling all Ghanaian Youth Photographers: INDIAFRICA Photography Competition

Do you live in Ghana?

Are you an established or aspiring dynamic photographer?

Do you need funding to develop or grow or would you like to showcase your work?

Enter the INDIAFRICA Youth Photography Competition – see more details below

Calling all Ghanaian Youth: INDIAFRICA Business Venture Competition

Do you live in Ghana?

Do you have a new or existing business idea?

Do you need funding to develop or grow your idea or existing business?

Enter the INDIAFRICA Youth Exchange Business Venture Competition – see more details below

Ghana @57: The significance of an independent Ghana

INDEPENDENCE [Dictionary definition] not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence; not relying on another or others for aid or support; to self-govern; to not be subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free…

Independence is a strong word, and one which holds much significance and importance in many countries across the world. From the land of the Stars and Stripes, to the land of Kilts and Shortbread, the issue and sentiment of independence is one which triggers great emotion – whether it refers to success achieved in the past, or the present end-game desire a people have for their future.

For Ghana, the word independence is as significant to our cultural and historical fabric as the black star which resides dead-centre in our national flag. The sentiment of independence forms the very foundation of our being. We are known for our gold, known for our cocoa – but our claim to independence is one which triggers immense pride.

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In black sub-saharan Africa, it was we who shone forth as a beacon of light across the continent, showing others the way to freedom, showing that we didn’t need to rely on colonial rulers for our wellbeing but we were more than capable to govern ourselves. Nkrumah saw an independent Ghana as being a spearhead for the liberation of the rest of Africa from colonial rule – the pioneers, the example, the spark to ignite the touchpaper of African potential. From the shores of the Gold Coast, Ghana, the lighthouse of Africa, beamed its light far and wide across the plains of Mother Africa. Kwame Nkrumah’s voice boomed. His ideals infiltrated the fabric of nation upon nation, a domino effect set in motion on that dark morning of 6th March 1957. Africa slowly woke up from its slumber, woken by the victorious cries and startled by the momentous effort of those who went to sleep in the Gold Coast one day and woke up in Ghana the next.

The name ‘Ghana’ means ‘Warrior King’, and so it should be no surprise that it was the nation which was christened Ghana would be the one to step out and take back its heritage and reclaim its name. The fight was not easy, and reached further back than the days of Yaa Asantewaa, a woman who epitomised the core zeal and strength of the African female as she led the Ashanti rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism.

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Yes, if we’re going to take our rose-tinted glasses off, our time under colonial rule was greatly a result of our own doing, as tribes signed agreements with the British. Also, despite the best efforts of others, Great Britain were victorious in a series of campaigns to take over territories, especially against the Ashanti’s. There were many casualties along the way in our fight to have the authority to self-govern, their blood mixed into the red banner which sits atop our flag today. But those core qualities of strength, fortitude, resilience, faith and sacrifice were the fuel which drove our relentless race to independence to completion. Regardless of defeat, or setback, we refused to go backwards. And eventually, on 6th March 1957, we made the dream possible. As Kwame Nkrumah once proclaimed, ‘Forwards Ever; Backwards Never!’

Now, here in the present an independent Ghana is being celebrated as the model for African progress and development, a poster child for economic success, anti-imperialism, stability and democracy in Africa; celebrated within the continent for being at the center of the liberation struggle and therefore holding a special place in pan-African history.

So as we celebrate 57 years of independence, 57 years of standing on our own two feet, proud and free, what is the mantra of a free Ghana as we look to the future? I think Mr. Michael Kwame Gbordzoe said it best when he wrote the following to assist the composition created by Philip Gbeho:

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 forevermore!

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)