Tag: Afia English


Message From the Editor: MFG Blog is a finalist for UK Blog Awards 2014

Thank you for your votes!

 

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It is with great pleasure that I can announce that the Me Firi Ghana blog has made the final shortlist for  UK Blog Awards 2014 in two categories. We are shortlisted for best organisation blog in the Arts & Culture and Most Innovative blog categories. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers who voted for us. I would also like to thank all of our talented writers/bloggers; Maclean Arthur, Jermaine Bamfo, Tracey Kusi, Adwoa Asiedu, Nora Mitersky, Myriam Osei and Afia Sarpong who continue to produce informative, engaging and relevant content. Our fate is now in the hands of the judges.

All shortlisted blogs will  be judged by a panel of respected individuals in each industry category from Monday 3rd February 2014 – Monday 24th February 2014.  The winners will be announced during the Awards Ceremony on Friday 25 April 2014.

To see whom we are up against in our categories and who will be judging them, the full shortlist is on the UKBA website and can be accessed using the following links;

Arts & Culture final shortlist – http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/arts-culture-organisation-blogs/

Most Innovative Blog final shortlist – http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/most-innovative-organisation-blogs/

Thanks again for all your support!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@kwesitheuthor)

Why is the Ghanaian Musician not Penetrating the African Music scene ?

What do Ghanaian Artists need to do to enjoy the same kind of exposure of their Nigerian and South African counterparts?

Over the years, I have decided to broaden my tentacles and research into why some particular countries in Africa has it artists playing
shows in other African countries more than  others. It is quite obvious that Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana have been rated as countries that are musically active. South Africa’s Angelique Kidjoe,Hugh Masekela,HHP, are just few names that immediately come to mind when talking about stars who have played shows across the continent.

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Nigeria has a long list of artists that has been booked by head of states and cooperate bodies over the years to play big concerts. Ranging from Fela Kuti, Asa and in recent times D-Banj , Wizkid, Davido, Banky W,Tiwa Savage,Timaya and Ice Prince. Burna boy ,Selebobo and Kcee are few of the latest additions to have headlined. However in Ghana the story is totally different as compared to the days of Amandzeba Nat Brew Koo,Osibisa when they also enjoyed some diplomacy, playing gigs for head of states in neighbouring countries.

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In Ghana we can only point out Fuse ODG courtesy of his hit song “Antenna”, R2bees, Sarkodie, Samini, Wanlov and Mensa (Fokn Bois), who at times get invited. It is worth noting that these are the same old names we have heard over the years. Though the Ghanaian dancehall fraternity is gradually creating a buzz for themselves.

The big question here is; what exactly are the South African and Nigeria artists doing that Ghanaians cannot or are not doing to help them penetrate through Africa? Secondly, what is forcing Ghanaian radio presenters and Djs to be playing more Nigerian & South African songs than the songs produced by Ghanaians?.

The system is different in Nigeria and other countries. Ghanaian music does not enjoy massive airplay in those countries like theirs do in Ghana. I don’t necessarily believe that the size of your countries economy matters in this perspective. Good music paves ways to its lovers. I believe Ghana has versatile song writers and sound engineers that can push out a better production that can equally sell across the continent like how Kukere and Davido’s ‘Dami Duro’ took African by surprise.

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If language was truly a barrier, then Cabo Snoops ‘Windeck’ and Mafikizolo’s ‘Kona’ will not be the number one African song for virtually six months to the extent of winning an Award at the 2013 4syte Music Video Awards in Ghana and other Awards respectively? The only way Ghanaians can commercially breakthrough the music industry in Africa is to research properly, write lyrics, invest, be ready to learn how to play shows live and produce songs that are more African than Ghanaian.

Most musicians are scared of branding themselves and that is the comparative advantage others have over them. So why not think of professional branding? That is also not to say they should deviate from the indigenous style. There is a borderline. Afrobeat (African beat) has evolved and has presented itself in a dynamic way and artistes who are digging into it achieves are touching the heart of their fans. Least of songs that can be considered as Afrobeat includes Kcee ft Wizkid’s Pull Over, Sarkodie ft Mugeez “Give it to me, Inyanya’s Kukure,Wizkid ft Fela ” Jaiye, Samini ft Mugeez “Sweet Mistake ,SK Original “Famame, Fuse ODG’s Antenna,R2bees “Kiss your hands and Someone like you and the latest production by Ghanaian group Gallaxy called BokoBoko.

Technically these songs have the feel of the authentic African drums in the instrumentation live and arrangement by the respective sound
engineers. Moreover the languages cut Francophone and Anglophone jurisdiction which is a dominant element of an Afrobeat. This is the
trend which will not fade away. Some known Africans have been tolling this direction over decades now and are still selling commercially
across the continent. Rhythms does not die, they evolve and present themselves in different way to suit the new world. That is what the new generation is calling “contemporary”which quite debatable. Locally we can all testify to the evolution of Ghanaian highlife music.

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EL,D-Black, Sarkodie,R2bees,Castro who came into the industry as Hiplife artistes are producing highlife now because that is what is more commercial now. So it about time they expand their capacity to reach the African Audiences who are waiting to hear them.

If reaching the global community is the focus of the business minded Ghanaian musician then we should restructure our production and marketing policies.

Afia English (@AfiaEnglish)

Message From The Editor: Vote Me Firi Ghana for the UK Blog Awards 2014

We Need your vote!

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I have been involved with the Me Firi Blog blog from its inception and I can honestly say that this year the quality of the content being published and the frequency of posts is at its highest level since its creation. This is due to the fantastic team of bloggers we have at our disposal. They have pushed the boundaries of  our content and delivered the stories and information you want to know/hear in order to facilitate the conversations that need to be had within the Ghanaian community in the UK and beyond.

Put simply the blog exists to connect the UK and the wider world with Ghana through relevant news and information. We do this in four ways;

Through our GHRBS (Ghana Rising Black Star) section we profile, highlight and interview Ghanaians under 35 who are pioneering in their field or simply doing great things in their community bringing you inspiring stories wherever we may find them. Our NEWS section reports on current news & sport headlines, promotes events all over the world and ensures you receive the information you require. Within REVIEWS our bloggers review books, music albums, restaurants and attend Ghanaian/afrocentric events to report on these also. Lastly within the FEATURES section we give our bloggers the freedom to write about absolutely anything and regularly touch in local and national issues affecting people in Ghana and UK. This is definitely the most emotive section and posts are written to entertain and or inform the reader in a conversational tone to present the reader to evoke an emotional response.

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Next year is set to be an even bigger year of for the blog as we continue to challenge ourselves to improve our content. Thus we have entered the UK Blog Awards 2014 for  best Art & Culture and Most Innovative blog categories for a company/organisation blog. The public vote is now under way from now until 26th January 2014. The shortlisted blogs with most votes will then be judged by a panel in each industry category from Monday 3rd February 2014 – Monday 24th February 2014.  With the Awards Ceremony on Friday 25th April 2014 and god willing we will be there to pick up an award but in order for that to happen we need your votes!

You can vote by clicking the following URL links;

http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/?s=Me+Firi+Ghana+Blog – Lists both entries so you will need to vote twice

Your support is much appreciated as we continue to make Ghana relevant in 2014!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Social Networks…..

A​re They a Blessing or a Curse?

 

Social networks like facebook, twitter, whatsapp and others have provided a platform where people communicate, make friends, meet old friends, share ideas, share photos and so on. Social Media is all around us and it has come to encompass every aspect of our lives. Social networks has been very useful to almost everyone across the Globe especially the Youth.

These social sites has created the platform for both the young and old to do so many things which would have been impossible without the presence of these sites. Many making new friends, others finding old friends and reconnecting. Some have found boyfriends and girlfriends and even life partners thus to talk of a few.

Business men and women are using these sites to advertise and market their products and services with ease. Social media has contributed
immensely to the development of Arts especially musicians. Musicians are using social media sites to interact with their fans and also
putting up download links for people to download their music. Aside Musicians, prominent Pastors also use these sites to win souls for Christ. In the recently held general elections, facebook and twitter were particularly the dominant social sites where various aspiring candidates in both Presidential and Parliamentary elections campaigned massively via these platforms and I must say, it was worth
it. Right now it’s like almost everyone is on either one or more of these social networks, so you can imagine!

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Generally, a whole lot of interesting stuff takes place on these social sites each second, minute, hour and day. Among all these advantages lies the bad side of social networks. Yeah social media have been of very good use to society since its invention but there have been some abuses or disadvantages in relation to these sites. Talk of impersonation, the common abuse of the social media has been the ease at which people misrepresent themselves to others especially celebrities to perpetrate fraud on others.

Also social vices such as prostitution, fraud among others have always existed but it seems these vices have sprawled especially in Ghana. Social networks have made things so easier to the extent that, anything good or bad could be done through this medium. In addition, relationship breakups have become very rampant notwithstanding the fact that such things have always existed.

Everyone faces challenges in their personal intimate relationship but social media have become one major challenge for most couples. Imagine
your partner always liking or commenting on one particular opposite sex photos or one particular person always trying to get your partners
attention with titles like; babe ,honey and so on. As humans as many questions will run through your mind.
When used correctly, some think the benefits of social networks can far outweigh some of its downfall but weighing both sides, what do you
think?. WOULD YOU SAY SOCIAL NETWORKS IS A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

Afia English (@AfiaEnglish)

Marriage Must Not Be Underrated !

Is Marriage Underrated these days?

Marriage is a union between a Man and a Woman to live together as  Husband and Wife and bring forth Children, thus building a Family. Most Christian Teachings and Islamic Teachings make us well informed  about marriage, and tell us how important this union is and thus should  be encouraged.

Traditionally each individual regardless of where he or she is coming from is made aware of marriage as an institution and its importance in every one’s life.

Gone are the days when marriage was so important to the Youth. In  those days, a young woman stay chaste until her suitor comes to ask for  her Hand from her Parents. As a result, most youth got married  beautifully and thereby creating a suitable and comfortable environment  for their unborn children.

Undoubtedly, there are so many benefits derived from having a family, thus having babies under marriage and giving them a respectable future  full of good home training unlike single parenting. The Security, Care and much Attention which will be given to the  children by both parents unlike when you are a single parent is what  makes marriage so essential.

It is mind-boggling to know that, gone are days when Virgins were  cherished and highly respected. These days things have changed, virgins  are considered morons and inexperience for marriage. It is however not surprising that even the few matured virgins in the  system now are shy to open up or proudly say they are virgins because of the fear that they may be mocked with the branded name ‘KOLO’, yet  these same people who normally make such mockery statements always wish  to be virgins, is it not funny? IF VIRGINITY IS A LACK OF OPPORTUNITY, WHY WOULD YOU WISH TO BE ONE?

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Referring to some instances, I recall one incident on one of the  social networks when in a conversation a girl said ‘she was proud to be a virgin’ and in response a guy sitting beside her laughed and said  “but you paa, whiles others are enjoying themselves by having sex, you are  abstaining and you are not even ashamed.’’  So the question is, since  when did ‘PURITY’ became a shameful thing?  It is such a pity to hear a  young guy boast about fornication. It is very obvious some of these reactions are the reasons why young  girls of today do not seem to see the importance of staying chaste till  marriage. Relationships now in my opinion are indirect marriages. Most young  unmarried men and women even have sex many times in a week, month and  some instances even worst.

Honestly, youth of today do not seem to see the significance of  marriage. Fornicating rate keep rising and it’s getting out of hand.  Abortion rate keep spiraling with most of the females being teenagers.  So many factors contribute to these changes in our society but who can  you blame?

When you watch television commercials, all you see lately is condom  adverts and not even one instance when you will see abstinence advert. But come to think of it, promoting of condom is of great importance  considering the kind of environment we find ourselves in now.

Is it not about time the Media do something to also encourage those  unmarried people who are abstaining from sex until they find suitors?

In order to have a save and sound environment, I suggest that we  rather have adverts that promote the use of condoms and abstinence,  coupled with more education should be made available to the youth not  only on television but on radio, in magazines and even in our homes.

It all bounces back to the questions surrounding marriage being underrated. IS SOCIETY NOT DOING IT BEST?  WHO IS TO BE BLAMED NOW? IS IT THE MASS MEDIA, PARENTS OR THE YOUTH THEMSELVES? Whiles shifting blames, I want you to put at the back of your mind that  each and every one of us has it as a duty to look after our own selves  better.  Learn to make decisions on your own without allowing your  decision to be influence by others. After all, it is your life and your own choices.

Afia English (@AfiaEnglish)

Afia English is Ghana’s youngest female blogger and publicist. Check out more content from her right here on the Me Firi Ghana Blog,  her website –http://www.afiaenglish.com/  and individual blog http://afiaenglish.wordpress.com/afia-english-1-on-1/