Tag: Ghana High Commission


Me FiRi Ghana Founder goes to India! – Part 2

In March 2013 our Founder went to India to represent both Me FiRi Ghana and the charity WAM Campaign. Read his experience below guys:

WEEK 1:

I arrived in Hydrabad airport, and was super excited! I got through customs very easily, I guess having a letter like this kind of helped:

I remember arriving out of the airport wondering where my ride was! Not because I felt above anyone, far from it, but because I was in another country with no idea where to go, what to say or how to interact as each country has their own cultural habits and ways of doing things! Eg. Go to Ghana and shake an uncles hand with your left hand and you’ll understand my point…

Yet still, the driver was running late but thankfully I bumped into Kennedy – my Kenyan born South African friend – whom I’d met from our trip to Davos. We were later joined with Hilda from Kenya; a true entrepreneur who inspired more than she realized!

The first week we spent in Hydrabad. This week consisted of a 5-day intensive business course where we were taught at the Institute of Business, one of India’s top post grad Development University’s. The sessions were amazing, especially the negotiation class, but to be honest, they were not anything too far off what I had learnt during my under grad studies, just a lil more technical; but there is only so much that can be delivered in 5 days. Saying this, it was still an incredible experience as the collective minds and intellectual thinkers of lecturers and students really enabled me to stretch my mind further.

 

During our stay in Hydrabed we got to visit the city’s Google head offices, the Ghandi centre, visit an Amazing Forte, go town and visit a few other spots.

 

The most interesting experience was taking a took took aka rickshaw. Indian drivers are like Ghanaian drivers. The only difference is that they tend to not say anything when they nearly crash into one another (it is a bit too peaceful!), whereas it is quite the opposite back home…

WEEK2:

From Hydrabad we flew to Dehli. During our stay here we took a drive to Agra (the city known for its leather products). We went here mainly to see the Taj Mahal and to visit a few other fascinating fortes and tourist spots such as the worlds largest film studios, Ramoji Film City!

This venue is in the guiness book of world records and upon visiting it I can understand why! The studio is family owned and is built on 1,666 acres of land. Whilst walking and being driven round all that kept going through my mind is “wow, or imagine if…”.

After seeing the film studios we went to visit an orphanage that Michael (one of the young visionary winners) was connected too. This was probably one of the best part of the trip. But to be honest, their circumstance was not what got me, but how they carried themselves and how they were still as cheeky as any other kid! Plus the boys were impressed with the size of my arms and asked me to flex my muscles quite often J

In Dehli we also got to work in groups with students from across India to conceptzulise ideas as to how we can integrate the youth community within India and the African continent. It was a fantastic experience, different people from different backgrounds, with different views and opinions coming together to achieve a common goal – now that is unique! I was so fascinated to hear other people’s opinions on how we could co-collaborate as a youth community.

Whilst at this event the Indiafrica team arranged for me to meet the Ghana High Commissioner based within Dehli. It was another interesting experience! Having met and spoken with the UK Ghana High commissioner on a number of occasions, I was intrigued to see what this meeting would be like! My initial interaction was rather interesting as one of the first questions I was asked was “So what did you read at school” the conversation then moved to discussions about what is hindering Ghana’s progress and the employability and issues regarding youth engagement! The conversation was rather stimulating, perhaps more so for him than me to be fair, as again it amazes me how unengaged those of influence are with the future, the youth. Anywho, at the awards ceremony I met one of the workers at the High Commission. A lovely lady, who in the past has also worked at the US High Commission. From our conversation I was invited to her place for some home cooked emuto and peanut butter soup. I lost my phone so lost her details; one lady who understands the vision. (Ps. If you are reading this please get in contact Auntie)

In conclusion, the trip was an eye opening experience for me and I hope this post can show you why. But this experience came about because I applied for an opportunity that many probably let pass them by. I guess having a dream and taking steps towards it is not so bad after all, so I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, walk in faith and take proactive steps towards your vision too, as you never know what doors could open for you too!

 


Ps. At the beginning of the trip I was questioning myself a lot, asking why me, why am I here. But there comes a time when you just have to shut out all the noise from those around you and the questioning thoughts and walk in faith, refraining from questioning your position or allowing others to do so, but instead start asking yourself what can I do for others now that this door has been opened for me…

All Glory to God!

 

Ghana Youth Day is here!

GHANA HIGH COMMISSION UK HOSTS SECOND EDITION OF BIANNUAL EVENT – GHANA YOUTH DAY

 

The Ghana High Commission UK and Ireland will be holding the second edition of its biannual event, the Ghana Youth Day. The focus of Ghana Youth Day is to encourage young people to achieve their goals without resorting to gun and knife crime which continues to affect the black community. After the death of another teenager from the Ghanaian community, the Ghana High Commission supported by Tullow Oil – the event’s main sponsor – recognises the importance of such an event geared towards the future of tomorrow – the youth.

The day will showcase the talented and successful from the Ghanaian / black community who have been characterised as ‘Achievers’. This is to emphasise the message that with dedication and hard work, young people are able to be the person they aspire to be like the achievers in attendance. The event theme ‘Our Youth; Our future’, has continued on from its predecessor as it is understood that there is still more to be achieved for the benefit of young people and the wider community.  We anticipate that the high calibre of achievers involved will continue the vision that success is possible for all without the need for resorting to a weapon.

Ghana Youth Day will be held at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham. This is significant to the day as Tottenham is one of the areas notably affected by gun and knife crime, has a large Ghanaian community and also the starting point of last summer’s riots. We feel that Ghana Youth Day is playing its part in rebuilding the community.

The event will see young people being given the opportunity to discuss issues with their peers, participating in talks hosted by various speakers and Q&A session with the Achievers. Notable patrons to the event will include the award winning actor Hugh Quarshie, ITV newsreader Charlene White and the Ghana Youth Day patron, premiership footballer Emmanuel Frimpong. Other notable attendees are yet to be confirmed.

Ghana Youth Day is supported by various organisations from the Ghanaian community including Ghana Union, Noble Friends, Akwaaba UK, Ghanaian Londoners and MeFiri Ghana. The Ghana High Commission UK is taking an active role to prevent any further losses of young life and hopes that it can depend upon various areas of the community, particularly the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community as a whole to assist in its cause to do so. Ghana Youth Day is aimed at young people between the ages of 11 and 25 however, encourages support from all generations as the issues affect us all.

Kobby Mensah-Kumah, chairman of the Ghana Youth Day Organising Committee says: “The Ghana Youth Day is in its second term and we aim to make this year more successful, building on the strength of the previous event. Yet again, we are mourning the sad losses of a young life to violence. We are hoping the Ghana Youth Day and its partners can help to make a difference in the lives young people by showing them a different path – one that is fruitful without the use of destructive tools but rather enriching them with tools for success”.

Further information on the event can be obtained from the Ghana Youth Day website at www.ghanayouthday.com or via twitter (@Ghanayouth) and facebook.

Review: The Future of Ghana Debate

The Future of Ghana Debate

Were you there?

 

As Ghanaians, do we have an obligation to keep our culture relevant within the Diaspora?

 From your perspective, what is the role of the Ghana High Commission in the UK?

 To what extent are the conditions of roads in Ghana an issue for the nation’s development?

With the above three questions put to an audience of people passionate about the development of Mother Ghana the stage was set for a lively debate.

It was incredibly encouraging to witness people (Ghanaian & non Ghanaian alike) turn out in their numbers to support this topical debate.

Upon arrival we were handed a schedule detailing the night’s events in addition to an overview of the panellists.

We had a mixture of young & mature Ghanaians among the distinguished panellists:

Twi Teacher, who has created a platform enabling Ghanaians the world over to communicate. This platform is aptly named ‘Twi Teacher’.

Mr Kobla Mensa-Kuma’ an architect by profession & Chief Executive of Kuma Environmental Design Limited.

Yaa Nyarko, the online editor and blogger the Me Firi Ghana team and host of the debate.

Ben Anim-Antwi, an aspiring writer / journalist extraordinaire.

Between the four of them they helped to field all sorts of questions from the audience whilst offering their invaluable insight into matters surrounding the Ghanaian community.

 

As Ghanaians, do we have an obligation to keep our culture relevant within the Diaspora?

The first question, regarding the obligation to keep the Ghanaian culture relevant as anticipated, created a buzz around the building. It was refreshing to hear young British born Ghanaians admit to the fact that some of them knew very little about the culture or the language but were keen to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

We touched on a common thread which was that for British born Ghanaians of a certain age who were not exposed to the mother tongue or culture that we were assimilated into a British way of life because our parents did not deem it essential for us to know Twi or Ga etc.

This not only created a language barrier between us & our parents as one person put it “We viewed our parents as being Ghanaian but regarded ourselves as being British

So suggestions were made as to how best we could combat this. The emergence of the Cultural Group CIC founded by Ben & Naomi Fletcher has helped to fill this void.

 

From your perspective, what is the role of the Ghana High Commission in the UK?

The second question brought about a very colourful dialogue between members of the audience & the panellists themselves.

It is clear that the High Commission are in need of raising their profile within the Ghanaian community, as only being familiar with them for their work with visa’s & passports is not enough.

On a more positive note, solutions were given as to how the High Commission, our gateway to Ghana could be improved. A member of the audience suggested that the High Commission send out a weekly or monthly newsletter to inform the Ghanaian community of events & work surrounding the Commission.

 

To what extent are the conditions of roads in Ghana an issue for the nation’s development?

Pot holes, failure to adhere to road traffic laws, vehicles that are not road worthy or the refusal by drivers to wear seat belts were all issues that I could see affected just about everyone who attended the debate on some level.

If you have ever been to Ghana, this would be an everyday occurrence.

Without the use of good roads it is increasingly difficult for lorry drivers to transport goods throughout the country. However, lorry drivers themselves have fallen foul of over loaded vehicles this coupled with bad roads leads to lorries breaking down on a regular basis.

With no real equivalent to the AA or the RAC, it is hard to get ‘said’ Lorries back on the road again so that the drivers can deliver their goods. All too often collisions usually involving more than one vehicle are regarded as a common sight on Ghana’s roads.

 

So how do we counter these problems?

Here are selections of the most common answers from the audience:

Lower the speed limit on the roads & motorways; a 100 mph speed limit on Ghana’s motorways is quite simply unnecessary not to mention highly dangerous.

Better road safety campaigns / education for drivers & pedestrians alike.

Here is a novel idea…Instead of the Ghanaian Government pouring money into new initiatives that seemingly never seem to reach their conclusion perhaps pouring some this public money into improving pre-existing roads would be a better idea.

The people of Ghana have a right to feel safe out there on the roads.

Full credit to the Me Firi team for providing assurances that they would take our concerns to the ‘Powers that be’ at the High Commission to bring about change.

Ben Fletcher kindly spoke to us about the Cultural Group, an organisation which enables individuals to learn the Twi, Fante or Ga language.

With closing words, evaluation forms & an opportunity to network Me Firi Ghana’s debut debate went down a storm.

Mahatma Gandhi famously said “Be the change you want to see”.

I believe this is happening with the Me Firi Ghana movement. The eagerly anticipated next debate will only serve to help us to grow & move in one direction together.

Nkonsonkonson – In Unity Lies Strength

By Caroline N. Mensah

Ghanaian Singer: Juliyaa Single Launch…

So after leaving a Ghana High Commission Celebration Event on Friday night, we quickly made our way down to the single launch of singing sensation “Juliyaa”. The half Welsh half Ghanaian singer has recently released her latest music video – which we must say looks incredible – to the new single “The Rhythm”, Check it out below:
(Who can spot the Adinkra symbols at 0:23???)

Back to the event now and when Juliyaa took to the main stage after showcasing her video on the big screen, we were blown away by her stage presence, elegant dress and more so her incredible voice.

As the lady of the hour sang with her heart the atmosphere changed and we could feel the air of anticipation as we (the crowd) waited on every word. There were slow songs, lively songs, deep songs and cultured songs; all of which really got the crowd pumped. The two backing vocalists and vibrant band played their part too along with the dynamic singers ability to engage with the crowd. For a new artist to pull such a large audience, it is only a matter of time before we see Juliyaa doing sell out stadium tours…

All we can say is that we cannot wit for the EP and for the release of our favourite song “Stars and Dragon” 😉

Get connected with the ‘Rhythmic Soul’ that is Juliyaa:

Juliyaa’s single ‘The Rhythm’ is out on iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/juliyaa/id453762170

Facebook Pagewww.facebook.com/juliyaamusic

Twitterwww.twitter.com/juliyaamusic