January 2015


AFCON 2015: Ghana 1-0 Algeria…

Commeth the hour, Commeth the Gyan!

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Asamoah Gyan came off his sickbed to secure a dramatic late win for Ghana against Algeria in their second match in Group C. Ghana’s captain who had missed their opening game defeat to Senegal with a bout Malaria came up trumps again for the Black Stars with a goal which has breathed life into Ghana’s hopes of reaching quarter finals.

In a game of very few chances, Gyan snatched an unlikely victory when he latched on to a long ball from Mubarak Wakaso and angled in a drive in stoppage time.

Algeria missed the only other clear chance when Nabil Bentaleb side-footed well wide from 12 yards in the first half. The game had looked set to remain goalless until Gyan’s late strike. The striker has now scored in each of his last six games for the Black Stars,

In a very scrappy game Ghana failed to muster a single effort at goal in the opening period as the Algerian defence, well marshalled by returning captain Madjid Bougherra. Algeria were the better team in the first half but Ghana improved after the breaks. Howveer Gyan  could not direct a difficult diving header on target and dragged another shot well wide and Ghana striker Jordan Ayew flicked over an improvised volley at the near post after being set up by his brother Andre.

Algeria missed a Bentaleb fizzed a low shot wide of the right post after being played in by Brahimi. Thus it was left to Gyan to score the winner with a couple minutes to go in injury time

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At his post match press conference Ghana coach Avram Grant stated: Asamoah Gyan was not fit – he didn’t train like he needed to – but he’s Asamoah Gyan, if you look at the stats and his behaviour in the dressing room.

 

“You know I have been coach of some of the great players – he’s one of the greatest. First – he always scores when you need him. Second – he’s good for the spirit of the team – he’s a very good captain.”

So it’s all play to for on the last day in Group C with Ghana facing South Africa and Algeria up against Senegal. A win would secure a place in the quarter finals but a draw may still be enough.

In the Black Stars we trust!

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

 

Introducing Peniel Enchill….

The illustrator who took the world by storm at the turn of the year

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We’ve all seen it. As an Instagram post. Or a profile picture. Endlessly retweeted on your twitter timeline, or extolled to the heavens by celebrity. The epitome of a viral sensation. Sometimes, something goes viral for no reason at all. But a lot of the time, something goes viral because it is fuelled by exceptional talent and its essence contains something that captivates the masses.

This is what most accurately describes the much-acclaimed 2014 piece titled ‘Self Worth’ drawn by Peniel Enchill – a wonderful summary illustration of the hopes and dreams of many as we made the big step from one year to another; a beautiful depiction which gave much-deserved attention to a wide-ranging portfolio of incredible artwork.

So who is the young lady behind the sensation? Peniel Ewurama Enchill is a 22 year old Ghanaian-born fashion designer and illustrator who moved to the UK at the age of 12 and settled in the city of Sheffield. Drawing and Illustrating has been a part of Peniel’s life for as long as she can remember. Super-gifted with artistic talent, Ms. Enchill also holds an MSc in International Fashion Retail and a BA Hons in Business Management & Economics.

A proponent of a personal ‘Afropolitan’ style, Peniel is open to various influences. Her current inspirations include Aisha Ayensu of Christie Brown (mefirighana.com/introducingaisha-ayensu/), Deola Sagoe (Nigerian haute couture fashion designer), Andrea Iyamah (custom couture & swimwear) and Kobe Adu (Illustrator and Fashion Designer) amongst many others – all whom inspire Ms. Enchill in different ways. However, one forever looms large in the landscape of her life. Her biggest Role Model is her father, Dr Stephen Enchill, with her portrait of the great man standing proud as her most favourite piece of work to date!

Scrolling down Peniel’s Instagram account, you realise that much of her work is familiar! The long-distance relationship piece is one example, and her various illustrations which have centred on style, love and ambition have gained acclaim over the years. However this past Christmas season, she published a piece which touched hearts across the globe and caused her reputation to catch fire…

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As 2014 began to give way to 2015, Peniel published a piece titled ‘Self Worth’. It depicted a beautiful black woman, stepping over the obstacles of 2014 and carrying the good of the previous year into the next, embracing a bold & beautiful new year. The reaction to the illustration was mind-blowing, with the picture spreading like wildfire! “I really never expected it!” Peniel exclaims. “The response blew my mind and taught me so many lessons.” So what was the thinking behind the famous illustration? “I’m a staunch believer in goals and practically achieving them. What better way to start a new year than to set goals. The piece was meant to inspire people to evaluate the 2014 they’d had, and consider what they would want to see change in 2015.” Peniel felt that this exercise in introspection was something that people routinely underestimated. Her artwork ensured that at the end of 2014, thousands upon thousands took the time to indulge and celebrate it. However, shortly after publication, attempts were made by various people to degrade the message of the Self Worth piece – attempts which will not be glorified in this post by precise identification. Exercises which were damned in various sectors as expressions of ‘misogyny’, further examples of ‘black self-hate’ which I personally thought were inflammatory in the name of ‘trolling/banter/keeping-it-real’.

“I was initially very bothered and hurt as I spent so much time on it with the aim to inspire, but somehow, not only had that been ignored, it had become an object of ridicule and vessel of hate,” Ms. Enchill reflects. “Any artist would agree that is a hard pill to swallow. But that’s life and that’s art. No one piece of art is appreciated and interpreted in the exact same way by all its viewers.”

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This whole experience has been an education for Peniel. “Every single day is a learning curve. Increased attention is not as glamorous as many may feel. It comes with a lot of responsibility!” Ms. Enchill is a one-man band at present, and so the extraordinary levels of attention via all kinds of sources can be difficult to balance at times. However, she states “It’s a challenge I gladly welcome, and I’m in the process of building a small team to help me reach my vision.

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“ And a team will be needed to keep the Enchill machine ascending into the stratosphere. She plans to branch out into products such as stationery (e.g. Calendars – I can’t even begin to imagine the extreme demand there would be for Peniel Enchill calendars!), hold exhibitions and possibly run classes to give back to the community at large. In essence, her biggest desire remains true – Peniel aims to keep on being a force of inspiration, reaching out to people near and far through her illustrations.

Just like the lady in the ‘Self Worth’ picture, Peniel remains unperturbed. She is stepping boldly into a bright and beautiful 2015, and into an even brighter future which stretches beyond the borders of a piece of paper. She on a mission to keep inspiring, keep reaching out. The sky is the limit. The best is still to come.

Please follow Peniel Enchill’s Instagram account @Peniel_Enchill

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Introducing Veronica Nyantakyiwaa…….

Founder of Starlight Enterprise on a mission to showcase the luxury within Africa

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Some people I dentify a need but do nothing to meet it….. Veronica Nyantakyiwaa is not such a person . The founder of Starlight Enterprise was so moved on  a trip to Ghana and decided there was  need to showcase its development and the experiecne it can offer.. Thus Starlight Enterprise was born.

The main aim of StarLight Enterprise (S.L.E.) is to establish itself as the leading web portal for luxury news as well as providing bespoke event management and PR services to their clients.

Travel, Lifestyle, Fashion, PR & Events  all  come under the S.L.E umbrella and they  keep their followers and clients updated with the latest news, trends and tailored event packages.

Me Firi Ghana recently caught up with  Veronica for a candid interview on What drivers her, Ghanaian culture and what’s next for starlight enterprise. Details below;

MFG: Describe Veronica Nyantakyiwaa  in 3 words?

VN:Self-motivated, tenacious, respectful

MFG: What motivates you?

VN:My family

Why did you decide to establish Starlight Enterprise?

VN:It was on my much awaited two week Easter break of 2012 that I decided (after eight long years) to head back and see the Motherland once again, where I was completely taken aback with Ghana’s development compared to my previous visits.

Consumerism, very much like the West was now flourishing in Ghana with boutique villas, hotels, resorts, eateries and the likes sprouting all over the city, however I was disappointed that I hadn’t found out about these earlier on.

So once I returned to London, my research began and this brought to light a very lucrative gap in the market, with not only the opportunity to showcase what Ghana has to offer but what West Africa has to offer.

And so with much prayer StarLight Enterprise was born to showcase “West Africa’s Hidden Gems” but with more of an emphasis on the luxury industry in West Africa; from travel, lifestyle, arts, news and fashion.

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How important are the diaspora to the development of Ghana?

VN:The diaspora’s involvement to the development of Ghana is absolutely fundamental. In some ways there may be the fear of ‘Westernising’ Ghana and it losing its identity, however, when you understand that we are a collective of first/second generation immigrants, the culture, traditions and upbringings of Ghana are still embedded within us.

Where the diaspora are able to apply their own knowledge, skills, and experiences in the aim of bettering Ghana it will always be a win-win situation. With the likes of Fuse ODG, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi of A A K S Handcrafted, and Zoe from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, all using their talents to showcase Ghanaian-inspired products, services, and entertainment.

MFG: If you could change one thing about Ghana what would it be?

VN:The mind-set of our people. Being a firm believer in the power in unity, there are some things the people of Ghana should not tolerate yet it seems many things are being swept under the carpet later leading the underlying issues the vulnerable are left to pick up on and clear up.

The concept of ‘Together we stand, but divided we fall’ is what in more recent times, the masses are becoming aware of and God-willing with time the right change will happen.

MFG:What advice would you give to anyone starting their own business?

VN: Never give up. Creating StarLight Enterprise has been a complete challenge and still is, where new things are being learnt constantly it’s very important to remain focused on your goals but most important to strategise your plans carefully and remain on track

MFG:What is your favourite Ghanaian food?

VN:Tuo Zaafi.

MFG:What does the future hold for Starlight Enterprise?

VN:This year is going to be very exciting for StarLight Enterprise not only with the blogging aspect continue with full force, but we are also introducing luxury holiday packages tailored to all, ensuring our clients have the ultimate travel experience West Africa has to offer.

We’ll also be creating platforms such as workshops, and online space where the industry’s best will come together making their products and services accessible to all in Ghana and various locations across West Africa.

You can connect with MissNyantakyiwaa via twitter @v_owusu and check out the work of Starlight Enterprise via their website –http://starlightenterprise.org/

Veronica Nyantakyiwaa Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi (@kwesitheauthor)