Tag: Ernest Simons


Introducing Ernest Simons…..

 Talented Photographer Currently showcasing his work at first Exhibition

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Ernest Simons is a London based photographer specialising in sports, fashion & portraits.He has worked with a wide range of clients including Content by Conran,  Nico Didonna New African Woman, The GFA (Ghana Football Association), ISG and Macmillan Cancer, Tekkers, & Borrow.

After establishing a proven track record of expertise spanning 8 years. Ernest has now embarked on putting on his first exhibition, The Black & White Exhibition which was inspired by his trip to a Ghanaian village earlier this year and the inhabitants going about their daily lives. Me Firi Ghana’s Director, Arnold Sarfo Kantanka and Editor/Head of Communications, Ben Anim-Antwi were in attendance for the private viewing of the exhibition on the evening of Tuesday 21 October.

The Exhibition is open to the public  from 22 Ocober – 20 November 2014 at Stephen Lawrence Centre, 39 Brookmill Rd, London SE8 4HU and promises to be an engaging and thought provoking experience. Make sure you get down there to check it out!

To wet your appetite view the trailer below;

 

MFG caught up with the talented photographer for a quick chat about the Black & White Exhibition amongst other things… See below!

MFG: Describe Ernest Simons in 3 words?

ES:” Creative, Opportunist with a big loving heart.”

How did you get involved in photography?

ES: “Fell into it really. I am also a graphic designer, went to University  but when I worked for design agencies laying out magazines ,adverts etc for companies sometimes they wanted photographs retaken by me. That’s when I realized I had a talent. I always had a love for sports & Fashion photography . I was asked to embark on a basketball project back in the day called Rough n Ready where I had to photograph an advert and photograph the tournament. I did not realize that this event was sponsored by Nike and the whole campaign was the birth to showcase elite basketball players in the U.K. those was some fantastic years, got a lot of people talking about my work. At that point I knew I would always take photographs”

MFG: What inspired the Black & White Exhibition?

ES:” My grandmother passed recently and the attire was all in black and white. I was taking pictures and felt more drawn to the pictures emotionally when I converted the images to monochrome. So I selected certain images to showcase at the Exhibition and other passed pictures also what give emotion.”

MFG:What is your favourite Ghanaian food?

ES: Jellof / fried yam and tilapia. sorry can never decided. ( How can you just say one food that’s not correct!)

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

ES: “Making our economy stable! – (but please don’t ask me how I just know not one person or party can do this alone and if the Community cant do it we need to seek advice and make sure the people benefit from this. Ghana is a rich country and the mass of people have values. Its only fitting we give them what they deserve its the birth right.”

What does the future hold for Ernest Simons?

ES: “Chale at the moment I am in a state of Sankofa. This exhibition is a turning point in my life where I should have done this before, but it is well. Its time to exert my work on to companies and people to start creating a brand. With my studio opening soon there is such a bonus to my business and you will be invited to the launch of that also!”

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_Ghana)

WAM-tastic! – WAM Campaign 2011 launched

Friday 03 June 2011 was the day and the Ghana High Commission in London was the setting for the official launch of MeFiRi GHANA’s WAM Campaign for 2011. For those of you who don’t know by now, the WAM Campaign is a Project designed to provide a gateway which connects young people to Ghana. The aim is to provide an accessible gateway to connect young people with Ghana and to give back and develop opportunities for orphans and less fortunate young people in Ghana through participating in the development programme in December in Ghana and through organizing volunteering/fundraising activities. The word WAM is an acronym which stands for What About Me and the slogan for the WAM Campaign is What About Me? It’s Not about ME”.

The evening started with the arrival of guests from 5pm and the serving of Canapés in the main foyer. I was actually running on “black peoples time” and arrived a little after half 5 but was greeted warmly by Joseph Aninakwa of the MeFiRi GHANA team.

There was such a good vibe in the foyer; everybody was all smiles and full of conversation. As I left my bag at the cloakroom I made a beeline for the drinks table for a glass of juice, there I was greeted by Jacqueline Manu (who I must say was looking on point in her outfit!) of the MeFiRi GHANA team and Project manager for the Wam Campaign 2011. We had a brief chat and by the time I spotted my cousin in the foyer we were being ushered into the main hall for the start of the event.

Whilst inside the hall there was almost an air of anticipation and excitement amongst the audience for what was to follow. I noticed the Ghana High Commissioner to the UK H.E Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo enter the room and make his way to the front of the hall which added to the anticipation.

The event was opened by the poet Chaleboy aka Benjamin Bennett who recited a piece of his work which would set the tone for the evening. Then it was the turn of Ras Kwame, sporting a t-shirt that had the words ‘Me Dor Ghana’ (I love Ghana) emblazoned on the front of it to introduce the event.

Arnold Sarfo-Kantanka (Co-Founder of MeFiRi GHANA) was next to take to the stage and as he greeted the audience he quickly introduced the High Commissioner Prof Danso-Boafo to take to the stage and say a few words. The High Commissioner made a point of heaping praise on the Mefiri GHANA team and encouraging everybody to get involved in the forthcoming WAM Campaign. Arnold proceeded to share a few words and then we were invited to watch a clip of the previous Wam campaign that took place in December 2010 in Accra. It was a moving and inspiring clip as it illustrated firsthand the work of MeFiRi GHANA and their volunteers with the children at the orphanage. Though there was also some light entertainment as the clip – produced by the creative Ernest Simons – also showed Arnold’s rendition of the “migraine skank”! which drew smiles and laughter from the audience.

The theme of WAM 2010 continued as Nancy Blake-Sarkodie (a university student who volunteered as part of WAM 2010) took to the stage to relive her experience as a volunteer. She was beaming with pride and it was obvious to everyone that she had got a lot out of the experience. Our attention was then drawn to the TV once more as another clip was played, this time featuring Emmanuel Frimpong a rising star at Arsenal FC and the WAM campaign Ambassador.  He reiterated how proud he was to be Ghanaian and the pride he felt when playing for Arsenal.

Fifi Atta Mills (son of President John Atta Mills & WAM Youth Patron) was next up to say a few words about what inspired him to get involved in the WAM campaign. His words were received warmly by the audience and by the time he had left the stage it was time for a Q&A session which brought the MeFiri GHANA team led by Nana Adu-Sarfo (Co-Founder of MeFiRi GHANA) to answer any questions the audience had.

We were then treated to a rendition of the Destiny Child’s song –‘Stand up for love’ by Akua Busia (who I heard was only 17!). Akua showed maturity beyond her years as she serenaded us with her powerful vocals, she was very impressive and may be a name to look out for the future. She received huge applause as she left the stage and it was then left to the host Ras Kwame to close the event, he did so by thanking everybody for their attendance and inviting everyone to stay behind for more canapés and networking.

I stayed behind afterwards to mingle with the crowd and noticed a few recognisable faces such as Sway, Andy Ansah, Nii Sackey, Melvin Odoom, Eddie Kadi and Vivian “Dentaa” Boateng.  The evening was an overwhelming success and as I left the venue with my cousin we had the feeling that we attended something truly worthwhile and that the event would surely act as catalyst to encourage the Ghanaian community and friends of Ghana to get involved in WAM 2011.

Remember people it’s not about YOU but what YOU can do to help others!

Written by Ben JK Anim-Antwi

If you would like to get involved with the WAM Campaign, please email Jacqueline at: Jacqueline@mefirighana.com

For any press related content or enquiries, please contact Rickie at: rickie@mefirighana.com

WAM Campaign: Christmas in GHANA Pt 2

The Week Before – Part 1

So we are in Accra and are ready to start reaching out to people living in Ghana and on holiday in Ghana to see who would be able to spend some of their time with the kids in the school when we see a blackberry status update from one of the Team Members saying “Flight Cancelled!”

Okay, so we are sooo confused because every day in Ghana felt like a day trapped in a sauna. The mornings were greeted with the sound of those annoying cockerels and a wave of heat which a cool bucket bath usually helped to neutralise loool. But unbeknown to us London was having one of the coldest winters it’s ever had in 100 years with heavy snow storms. The team member informed us how their airline had rescheduled their flight to

WAM Campaign: Christmas in GHANA

DAY 1: The beginning – “Everybody hates Chris”

As you may be aware, Me FiRi GHANA went to Accra and Tamale to pursue their WAM Project; a Project designed to support and help develop the lives and opportunities for orphans and less fortunate kids in Ghana. The Project was established in partnership with the creative Ernest Simons and our youth Patron Fiifi Atta Mills.

But what is WAM all about? Well, WAM is an acronym which stands for “What About Me” and the slogan for the WAM Project is “What About Me? It’s Not about ME…  insinuating that we think about ourselves quite a lot of the time, but really need to realise that life is more than about ourselves, part of it is about helping others…

We wanted to blog from Ghana but time and some dodgy internet connections didn’t enable us to do so. Non-the-less, hopefully you followed us on twitter (@Me_FiRi_GHANA) and saw our #ilovemycountry tweets and pictures. If you didn’t, we are about to share and blog with you about the experience… (Please feel free to comment below 🙂 )

Pre Flight

From the moment we stepped off the plan and the hot air at Kotoko airport touched the back of our throats the journey was a madness. When you talk about taking a leap in faith or facing challenges in life that continuously try to hold you back, well that is exactly how the journey began!

So let’s back track to day 1 in London. Two of the Me FiRi GHANA Team jetted off on Friday 17th December from Heathrow at 22:46 but we almost didn’t even make it past check-in! No it’s not because we had overweight luggage (which one of us did but hey, it’s a GH flight). But one of us had a homer Simpson moment and forgot the pin number for our card to pay for the flight tickets (we reserved our tickets the Thursday afternoon before so had to pay for the tickets at the airport – last minute we know – imagine)

Homer Simpson

None the less, by the grace of God we managed to pay for our tickets using another card and we were

Me FiRi GHANA in Music Video with Alicia Keys ???

So why did Me FiRi GHANA feature in one of the most high profile music videos of 2010, alongside worldwide celebrities such as Emmanuel Jal, Alicia Keys, George Clooney, Richard Branson, Ernest Simons, Kele Le Roc and Kofi Annan…???


(See Me FiRi GHANA at 1min 50 sec alongside Ernest Simons)

Well, one bitterly cold afternoon just before Christmas we were invited by a close friend for the “We Want Peace Campaign” Video Shoot from Sudanese music sensation Emmanuel Jal. Unbeknown to us this was not your average rendezvous and since we had never been part of a music video before, from the moment we stepped into the building we felt overwhelmed by the moment.

But let’s back track a little. Who is Emmanuel Jal? Well as a bit of background Emmanuel Jal created a campaign entitled “We Want Peace” and is using his musical gift to spread the message about peace to make the world stand up and realise about the Sudanese election which has now taken place. The main ideology behind this and the reason for the gathering of celebrities, who also backed the campaign, was at the worry of another civil war breaking out as a result of the election. The last civil war saw more than 2 million people lose their lives in 1983, with a further 4 million people said to be displaced; such figures are recorded as being some of the highest since World War II…

For more about Emmanuel Jal, listen to our good friend Ras Kwame as he interviews the former child-soldier turn rapper about his amazing journey, his efforts towards building a better Sudan and why he turned down a major role in the Hollywood blockbuster, Prince of Persia.

Emmanuel Jal has got to be one of the most humble celebrities we have met. One could literally walk past him and not realise that the reason why so many people were gathered for the video shoot was for his music video. Our brief conversation with Emmanuel was fascinating yet inspiring as he spoke briefly about the reason/importance of the video whilst also discussing the history of Africa; especially the close relationship between the Sudanese and Ghanaian people.

Given the above mentioned and this momentous campaign that Emmanuel Jal and his team have decided to take around the world, we have to encourage you all to help spread the message of peace and support Emmanuel Jal and his team as they too help to spread the message of peaceful unity.