May 2014


Ghana v Netherlands 31/05 Preview

Blackstars to take on Oranje in Rotterdam Friendly

The Black Stars plans for the World Cup in Brazil are in full swing and this Saturday 31 May 2014 the team get to to put their plans into ractice against the Netherlands  who of course are coached by Manchester Uniteds new manager, Louis Van Gaal. They also boast the World class talents of Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie. Ghana will need to be on their guard and their will be many players looking to put in a good performance to secure a starring role in Brazil.

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The Netherlands will provide a stern test for Ghana.Similiar to what awaits them in Group  G. Tackling a side who finished runners-up in South Africa will give Ghana an opportunity to test their mettle before heading into what, according to the latest FIFA rankings, is the toughest group at the World Cup.

But head coach Kwesi  Appiah is taking heart from his side’s attitude to the task that awaits them in Brazil

“The unity is so great and discipline is very high,” he said ahead of Saturday’s match against the Dutch in Rotterdam. “Discipline plays a big role, if you want to be successful, 100 per cent lies with the players’ behaviour and so far it has been good.

“There is this kind of competition, no one is sure of himself at the moment. Everybody is attentive to whatever is taught in training. Everyone tries to do whatever he can and for and for me, it’s good for the team and I am really impressed.”

Both Ghana and the Netherlands are yet to announce their final 23-man squads and a number of players will be keen to stake their claim for a place

Saturday’s game kicks off at 19:30 BST with MUTV‘s live programme beginning at 19:15 BST.

To Subscribe to MUTV :

Sky customers – call 08442 410 255 or visit www.sky.com/united to upgrade.

Virgin Media customers – call 08708 48 68 88.

UPC Ireland customers – call 0890 940 624 or visit www.upc.ie/television/premium/

#LetsGoalGhana

Tinchy Stryder New Single Review ‘Misunderstood’

The Star in the Hood is back!

Kwasi Danquah better known as Tinchy Stryder may have had his brief moment of silence but take heart all you dedicated fans, the king of grime is back and will be gracing us with new music this year.

Let’s take it back to his signature singles such as ‘Number 1’ ‘Never leave you’ ‘Spaceship’ and ‘Bright Lights’ which were major hits and are still classic songs which we still appreciate.

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Expect a new vision with his highly-anticipated fourth studio album entitled 360º. Produced by Pink & Brain , ‘Misunderstood’ is a creative unique sound that is full of style and substance with excellent beat and song delivery. His message quite frankly is ‘Don’t put me in a box’. My interpretation of the song is that we’re not meant to be understood by everyone because we are all unique in our own ways. Being misunderstood is ok and can be seen as a blessing in disguise because you’re free from being labelled. You’re free from being limited with the skills, gifts and talents you possess. Think about it…

Prepare to be surprised with this new smash hit single. All that remains is to embrace Tinchy embarking on a new musical journey.

Have a listen to his new single below and make sure you grab yourself a copy. It is Available to buy on iTunes now: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/misunderstood-single/id854402981

Check out the official video for Misunderstood below..

Adwoa Asiedu (@AdwoaAsiedu777)

Kwesi Appiah names Ghana World Cup Squad….

Jeffrey Schlupp the surprise inclusion in Provisional 26 man squad

 

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Leicester City’s Jeffrey Schlupp was the only real surprise inclusion in Kwesi Appiah’s provisional World Cup Squad of 26 players. The defender who joins Albert Adomah as the only UK based player in the squad has a real chance of making an appearance at his first world cup finals.

Michael Essien has been selected for his second World Cup after missing the 2010 tournament through injury, while Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari are the only two players to have been in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup Squads.

Former captain John Mensah was a notable absentee as well as former defensive partner Isaac Vorsah. Emmanuel Frimpong who after finding first team oppurtunities restricted at Arsenal moved to Championship side, Barnsley was also left out.

The Black Stars will begin training in Accra on 20 May before travelling to Amsterdam for a friendly against Netherlands on 30 May. Kwesi Appiah will then cut down his squad to a final 23 players before heading to the US for their final pre-World cup friendly w against South Korea in Miami. The team will then arrive in Brazil on 11 June, five days before their world cup opener against USA.

The full squad is as follows;

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars).

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Jerry Akaminko (Kisehirspor), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns).

Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan).

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux), David Accam (Helsingborg).

What are your thoughts on the squad; Is leaving out experienced campaigners such as Mensah and Isaac Vorsah going to prove costly ? and which 3 players should be omitted from final squad?

Ben JK Anim-Antwi @Kwesitheauthor)

Mama Africa Wants Her Girls Back

Bring Back Our Girls!

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The Me Firi Ghana Blog is a wonderful space where we celebrate the uniqueness of our homeland Ghana. However, it is also a place for intelligent conversation regarding events which resound with all of us, regardless of our National allegiance. A sounding board for members of our acclaimed team to give thought to issues which resonate with us.

As a young doctor, I am especially aware & grateful that I have been afforded educational tools to make the best of this life – tools that others may never have the chance to use. As a big brother to two young ladies who excel in education, I appreciate the grace they have in terms of being able to study and try and make it in this world without clamour, without fuss. Which is why a particular story agitated me as April began to gently fade into May:

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Over 200 schoolgirls aged between 12-15 years of age were abducted from their boarding school in Nigeria by the notorious Boko Haram sect.

Initially, the social media campaign sparked because there seemed to be an indifference in the media regarding this matter. Major news outlets seemingly ignored the story altogether while the eyes of the world were focused on missing planes and sinking ships. The media loves a good old-fashioned hunt. When the daughter of two English doctors was snatched from their unsecured apartment a few years ago after being left unsupervised, the story was headline news for years. However when it came to finding these kidnapped African schoolgirls, the media were surprisingly slow to catch on (how surprisingly is arguable, but that’s another discussion for another day…).

Once the clamour reached fever pitch and the Western World’s media powerhouses began to appreciate the gravity of the situation, the true horrors of the story began to resonate. More than 50 girls had fortunately managed to escape. However, at least 17 girls had become sick. A number had passed away. Reports began to leak of the group being split up, with girls being offered at a bride-price of less than £10. £10… Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who runs a shelter for girls who have been abducted by Kony’s notorious group in Uganda has stated ‘this is not marriage. They are being given into sex slavery. We should call evil by its name.’ Research suggests that the girls had probably been subjected to ‘extreme sexual violence’.

Let all of that simmer in the recesses of your mind and soul for a few seconds. Appreciate the rosy-tint, which had shielded you and aimed to grant you some comfort regarding this story, begin to fade unerringly into devastating black…

My issue once these horrifying details came out was that the naked horrors of the story triviallised initial attempts at what I saw as ‘bandwagoning’ by people posting up videos saying ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ as it was the ‘in-thing’ to do, without actually DOING anything – just like those who posted up ‘no-make-up-selfies’ without making any attempt to educate about breast cancer or providing any links to support the cause.

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Now thankfully, instead of frivolous attempts at attracting more ‘likes’ on facebook and Instagram, we are seeing powerful and inspirational women all over the globe utilising the VOICE which social media has rendered a powerful weapon, to move the hands of governments to action – from US First Lady Michelle Obama, to Malala Yousafzai – the young Pakistani educational activist who survived a shot to the head at point blank range by Taliban as she boarded a school ; another example of education being seen as a privilege to be denied young women, rather than a human right.

The story of the Nigerian Schoolgirls resonates with me because all these girls were doing was to try and pursue an education. Something which the West sees as a human right, but unfortunately still remains a ‘privilege’ in many parts of Africa and as noted previously in other parts of the world too. Something which, even more heinously, is regarded by Boko Haram to be an abomination – a sect whose very name means ‘Western Education Is Forbidden’. How feeding our young women intellectually could ever be a crime is beyond me. Why you would steal them away and cut short their progress in their pursuit to become something in this world other than a sex object is breathtakingly inconceivable. Thankfully, the eyes of the world now rest upon the matter at hand, and governments are ready to move this to a satisfactory conclusion.

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We are all praying for a happy ending, despite the fact that in a just world, such an abduction would never have happened in the first place. Let’s continue to do our bit to get these girls home by joining protests, continue to make petitions which have already proved successful – do whatever we can, however we can. These girls need to be brought back home, ASAP. And that is something I believe the vast majority of us desire, regardless of the colour of the flag we wave.

The world has finally taken notice of the silent screams of our African sisters.

The world is now ready to help.

It’s finally Game Time: Mama Africa wants her girls back.

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Introducin​g Emma Amoafo & Friday Born Designs

That Friday Feeling !

Emma Amoafo is a 23 year old Ghanaian brought up in Hampshire who is an amalgamation of brains, beauty, style, charity and creativity – a medical student at the prestigious Imperial College School of Medicine, entering her final year of study, she is also the founder and lead designer of burgeoning fashion house Friday Born Designs.

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Ms. Emma has been fortunate enough and wise enough to make the most of her inherent passion. Sewing had been a longstanding hobby, with Emma making and designing clothes for herself in her teenage years. The hobby found itself dulled and eventually lost as Emma began to make headway in the trialling terrain of medical study.

The spark which re-lit the flame which was to eventually birth Friday Born Designs came from a visit to Ghana in 2011, when Emma visited the Bless the Children International Home orphanage in Kwahu to present a donation from her father’s church. During a frank meeting with the Minister who ran the orphanage, a young Emma listened to how the orphanage lived on donations only, with no active support from the government. This story, plus a feeling at the time that studies were smothering her creative talents, sparked an epiphany. Emma decided to start designing and making accessories in January 2012 in an attempt to start giving back to the community back in Ghana, and at the same time reawaken her inherent creative spirit.

A Facebook page was constructed and before you could blink, Friday Born its rapid ascent. The vision of Friday Born Designs was clear – to pay homage to the motherland by using ‘African fabrics disguised in a British silhouette’ while simultaneously supporting the community back home in Ghana. Afro-Caribbean societies across London began to clamour for Friday Born designs to showcase at their gala shows, and Friday Born items were made available on stores such as ASOS Marketplace. The newest addition to the Friday Born family is a brand-new innovative flagship website – fridayborndesigns.com, a vibrant mix of Afromodern-styles and home of its very own blog!

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Balancing a high-powered medical degree with a demanding pursuit such as Friday Born Designs has not been easy. Emma’s time-management skill has been cultivated over the years and she has learned to delegate and build a flagship which is the sum of its parts. Initially making all of Friday Born’s clothes herself, she now has seamstresses and tailors in Ghana who help supply meet demand. In the same vein, it ensures a strong bond of co-operation and support exists between the UK and Ghana.

Friday Born Designs has opened some incredible doors for Emma, allowing her to style two music videos (SneakboHer Name, and Lola Rae feat. Iyanya – Fi Mi Le) as well as costumes for the first afrobeats musical to show in the West End, Oliva Tweest! And Friday Born shows no signs of slowing down – an incredible fashion world success story, made even more special by the fact that Emma has never had any formal fashion training.

So if you so happen to be passing through a top hospital this time next year, keep an eye out for a gorgeous young black doctor, clothes trimmed in stylish African print. And revel in the glow of her story that regardless of your academic pursuits, there is always time and space to pursue your passions too!

And what a warm glow it is! That Friday feeling is here to stay.

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

GUBA Foundation Autism Awareness Seminar 17/05/2014

GUBA Foundation Supporting the community!

With three successful events already in pocket, the GUBA Foundation has responded to high demand from those living with autism for more opportunities to spread awareness. On Saturday 17th May, the GUBA Foundation will hold its fourth awareness event – a forum where specialists in child behaviour and development will engage with families living with autism.

Autism affects one in every 100 people in the UK, with over 100,000 people living with the condition come from black or ethnic minority (BME) communities. Despite this substantial figure, people from the BME community are typically diagnosed later than their Caucasian counterparts, and face an increased uphill struggle trying to seek support.

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The aforementioned awareness event will connect those affected to specialists and service providers, allowing families and loved ones to share their experiences with experts in the field, share inspirational and motivational testimonials with an attentive crowd, and also help throw more light on the developmental condition. This is something that is especially required in a BME community rife with stigma and misconceptions about Autism – misconceptions which hinder efforts to manage autistic people effectively in the community.

The GUBA Foundation stands upon four defining objectives:

To connect families living with autism within the community to each other, encouraging networks of support.

To provide support and guidance to parents and carers, connecting them to services that can help.

To deliver culturally sensitive Autism training and provide awareness to the specified community

To highlight the achievements, gifts and unknown talents of people with Autism

Events such as this fourth awareness event bring the foundation even closer to achieving these goals.

While all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. And events like this aim to dispel harmful ideologies by showing as Dentaa proclaimed after the successful previous event that ‘having autism is not the end of the world, but just the beginning…and the inspirational testimonials from our speakers are living proof of that!’ Every autistic child is unique with a wealth of talent that needs to be identified and supported. With good coordinated support between education, family and supporting agencies, fostered by events such as this one, autistic children can thrive and achieve excellence.

This new instalment of what has historically proved to be a fascinating and engaging event will take place at the Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA, with proceedings starting at midday on Saturday 17th May. Entry to the event will be FREE.

So if you or someone you know lives with autism, please don’t miss this opportunity to attend what will be a fulfilling and extraordinary event. Visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/guba-foundation-seminar-for-parents-and-carers-affected-by-autism-tickets-11064246459 to book tickets, and please patronise the opportunity to spread awareness of the event amongst friends and family members.

www.gubafoundation.org

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Are Children really considered the future of Ghana?…

Children too must be free to express themselves!

Children are a gift from God”, it is not necessarily a Ghanaian saying but a Bible verse that is almost used as a proverb in our world today. You may have heard it from family members, friends, or even people you don’t know, through eavesdropping. In fact, the sentence is so perfectly structured, that hearing it, we might forget it is to be understood literally.

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I’m extremely fond of children, though I admit their sizes and personalities holds a large role in determining how ‘adoring’ others may find them. Nonetheless, children are a gift from God. They reflect innocence, purity. Just like the sparrows, they are nurtured, embraced, and cared for in the bosom of their carers until they’re grown enough to move out and purposefully share on the love and values received from a warm home.

There are children, however, that have had their very own nature stand as a curse against their life; children that have had their innocence snatched away and stamped upon, through abuse, violence and exploitation. For such cases in Ghana, there are emergency lines and police services ready to act on any indication or calls received, although the lack of awareness on abuse in the Ghanaian culture makes it difficult for one to even recognise when they’re being victims, attached with the fear to admit and seek help. But fortunately, child protection laws exist to minimize such unfortunate cases.

Now, I want to touch on an underlying subject, which is: the relationship between the adult and the child. We say “Children are the next generation” that’s all so true, but how much are we invested in building a loving relationship with our younger ones? Having travelled to Ghana many times, I often interact with children, as they excitedly use the opportunity to ask questions, speak, and laugh with me. Unfortunately, this sight of an adult pleasantly interacting with a child is something I rarely come across to there. I once asked an adult why the lack of interaction, he answered: “Otherwise they won’t respect you.” His view may not reflect the general opinion of all, but there and then, I couldn’t help but wonder if as adults, the fear of a child going off boundaries should be an excuse in not taking steps to create a comfortable relationship with them? And logically, I knew it shouldn’t.

Why should a casual relationship between a child and an adult be seen as a threat to the culture? I believe this sort of mind-set and view exists and should be changed, as it is unhealthy. In a society where children are fortunately brought up to respect their elders and the people surrounding them, it is also important to build an environment where the child would feel respected and comfortable enough to express themselves as they grow and learn; an environment where they would feel confident to confide in their parents as they go through different stages. That new environment could simply turn out to be the solution of many problems of today, as a new generation filled with vibrant and confident adults will go on impact their society while using the knowledge and values learnt from a society that listened and valued them first.

Myriam Osei @AngelPeaceJoy)