Tag: Ghanaian_News


Pregnant school girls should be punished – “Educationist”- REALLY?

Why Madam Bernadette Banongwie’s statement is discriminatory

Three months ago a news article from Ghana left me so gob smacked I just had to commentate on it.

In November 2013 Madam Bernadette Banongwie, a female (YES! – it needed to be highlighted) Deputy Director of Education made the following statement; that girls who get pregnant through ‘consensual sex’ (erm…, ok), should be severely punished

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“The government is investing so much in the education of the girl-child, so any girl who decides to waste such resources through loose morals (:O!!!), should be made to pay back,” she explained. This statement was made at the inauguration of Girl Clubs Executives at Nadowli in the Nadowli- Kaleo District of the Upper West Region- incredibly empowering … not! But isn’t her job as an advocate for education to fight for equal educational opportunities for ALL – boys and girls- without discriminating!?

I know that having a child out of wedlock alone is rarely tolerated within the Ghanaian community how much more a ‘teenage pregnancy’ (- eish there’ll be FIRE on the mountain!!!)?! HOWEVER on a more serious note it’s a reality that we have to start ‘dealing’ with appropriately as girls as young as 10 are reportedly dropping out of basic school as a result of getting pregnant.

ANYWAY – how much more is the Ghanaian government investing in a “girl-child” than a “boy- child” again??? We have reached the 21st century and such differences are still being made?! Have these people not heard of ‘when you educate a girl, you educate a whole nation’ -it must be an investment worth while! The most provoking element of Madam Bernadette Banongwie’s message was that the “girl-child” would be the only one to suffer any consequences if such punishments were to be implemented! But why…why are teenage girls that become pregnant solely blamed for their condition? It almost seems as though girls can indeed-get pregnant all by themselves!

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They are branded ‘bad girls’ at the mercy of society’s contempt! Without trying to encourage schoolgirls to get pregnant… teenage pregnancy is NOT a crime (!) and it should not be the burden of the girl alone or result in girls having to miss out on their right to an education! Surely a more sensitive approach would be more effective at tackling the problem and “serve as deterrent to their peers” such as adequate (complete) and effective sexual education! It is a well known fact that our culture still frowns on open discussions of sex with children, which is the only way to reduce the teenage pregnancy rate in Ghana. The importance to make these children aware of the consequences of indulging in early (unprotected) sex does not seem a priority! Whilst the issue of talking openly about sex is being avoided (for a number of reasons, which is a whole different post) the mass media and Internet are becoming more effective in exposing children to sex without any parallel effort being made to inform them on its implications and how they can be avoided!

The director of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Mr Stephen Adu has confirmed that such punishments to pregnant schoolgirls will NOT be implemented in schools as he acknowledged that the problem of teenage pregnancy in Ghana is multi-factorial and needed to be addressed carefully.

Success is not pre-determined and it’s not a destination either it’s a journey of striving towards goals – “your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start” (Nido Quebein).

RANT over!

Nora Mistersky (@Ms_Nora_M)

Arguably Ghana’s finest ambassador for Journalism: Komla Dumor dies aged 41

The “Boss Player” Gone To Soon

 

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Ghanaians, Africans, journalists in both Ghana & UK and purveyors of broadcasting the world over are in shock following the death of Ghanaian journalist and presenter Komla Dumor. The broadcaster who was just 41 suffered a suspected cardiac arrest at his London home  and leaves behind a wife and three children.

Affectionately known as the “Boss Player” by his legion of Ghanaian fans Dumor started his career as a presenter of the morning show on Ghanaian radio station Joy FM. It was during this time he was recognized by his peers in the country by winning the Ghanaian journalist of the year award in 2003.

He joined the BBC World Service in 2007 as a radio broadcaster and it was here he made his mark internationally. He hosted Network Africa for BBC World Service radio, before joining The World Today programme. In 2009 Komla Dumor became the first host of Africa Business Report on BBC World News. Up until the he passed he regularly fronted the Focus on Africa programme on the BBC. He touched many people during his wide ranging career and has interviewed some of the biggest names such as Bill Clinton and covered the biggest events such as the World Cup 2010 in South Africa and Nelson Mandela’s funeral last year.

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It was only in November of last year that he featured in New African magazine’s  2013 list of 100 most influential Africans. It said he had “established himself as one of the emerging African faces of global broadcasting, Who had considerable influence on how the continent is covered”. A statement which sums up just how far Dumor has come.

As an aspiring journalist myself Komla Dumor was someone I truly looked up to. He was an assured broadcaster who had such enthusiasm for reporting and was so passionate about Africa and telling her story. It was not surprising then that soon after his death was confirmed the tributes came pouring in from politicians, journalists and the like.

A true trailblazer for African journalism and one of Ghana’s finest exports in any profession may he rest in peace.

Komla Dumor Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Street Children Empowermnet Foundation (SCEF) making the dream possible..

“Education is a human right” – universal heroes in the making!

According to Ghana’s Department of Social Welfare the number of street children living in Accra alone in 2011 was estimated to be over 54000- a figure that has been rising steadily! How does this affect their right to an education?

Education in Ghana is known to be free of tuition fees only that is; it costs on average 650 GHC per annum to attend basic mainstream school, a significant cost that is a real concern to many families living in Ghana today, how much more to a street child living on the streets of Accra trapped in a cycle of hand to mouth – but yet education is a human right, isn’t it?

SCEF (Street Children Empowermnet Foundation) is a registered NGO in Ghana whose vision it is to work towards creating a future where all children regardless of their disparities will have equal opportunities to reaching their full potential. To make this vision a reality SCEF is on a mission to achieve sustainable improvements in the lives of street and deprived children in Jamestown, Accra by working closely with the children, their families and the community.

 

Behind this great movement is Paul Semeh (pictured far right), founder of SCEF, who completed his first degree at the University of Ghana, Legon. Since graduating Paul embarked on his journey to help the less privileged by completing his national service with an NGO running The Street Academy that offers street children some non-formal education. As Paul grew in his role at The Street Academy his passion to work with street kids also grew and led him to establish SCEF in 2011. At just 27 Paul has begun a great initiative and is having a significant impact in developing tomorrow’s leaders for a better Ghana- “for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today” (African proverb).

What makes SCEF unique? Paul and his team facilitate several other initiatives, including a microfinance club for the mothers of the children SCEF sponsors. By involving these children in special themed events and activities such as after school clubs SCEF is shaping their perspectives and giving them a universal view of the world. This organisation is therefore having an immediate and long-term impact in a poverty-stricken area by helping children become educated and their parents earn a better living.

SCEF is currently supporting 150 children to attend school by providing schoolbooks, pencils, uniforms, bags and shoes, as well as exam fees, water, food and healthcare; these are all in line with the principles that underpin a child’s human right- an opportunity that will shape the rest of their lives!

One of Paul’s most recent campaigns that stood out to me and received international attention was “Little Bernard must walk again”, Paul and his team found Bernard a then, 6 year old boy sitting outside an abandoned kios- his home. It transpired that Bernard had been suffering from Tuberculosis of the spine, which had rendered him incapable of walking. A national appeal was made to help fund Bernard’s surgery in 2012 and a year on, Bernard is on his feet and walking again- he is now attending school regularly with the support of SCEF.

2014 is a very exciting year for SCEF as construction and renovation work begins to develop the ‘Learning Hub for street children’, a facility that will further aim to empower street children through complementary education services, and provide creative arts learning and skills training.

Check out their facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StreetChildrenEmpowermentFoundation) and get involved in making a difference, “since it takes a village to raise a child”  (African proverb) ;).

Nora Mitersky

New Years Day in Ghana: Party on the Beach 1/1/2014

All Roads lead to Bojo

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What better way to kick off the new year then with a beach party! Once again Akwaaba UK have got you covered (as part of its Ghana Escapes part package holiday) they host the Party on the beach at Bojo Beach off Kokrobite Road, (Near the Old Weija Barrier) from 10am until late. Over 20 Dj’s & Mc’s form UK,USA & Ghana will be present playing the best in Afro beats, Hip-hop, Dancehall and Reggae. The sun will be out and so will a massive contingent of Ghanaians from all over the globe ready to party.

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As well as the latest sounds to entertain you, there will also be Swimwear Fashion Show featuring Aya Morrison, Nineteen57TH and Me Firi Ghana. It’s an event to be missed and an ideal way to spend the first day of the new year chilling with friends and perhaps making some new ones. Food and drink will be on offer as will the chance to get active by playing Beach Football and Volleyball. If you in Ghana this new year then all roads lead to Bojo!

For more information call: +233244 649383 /+233249 116116, BBM: 21E0F25D &  2ADA7309, www.akwaabauk.com

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Should Ghana Be Preparing For A Terrorist Attack?

After Westgate Attack in Kenya should Ghana be fearing a similar attack?

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Its been almost two weeks since the tragic events at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Ghana of course lost one of it’s citizens in the form of the prominent poet and author Prof Kofi Awoonor. Since the attack on 21 September more and more information is emerging as to why Al-Shabab carried out the attack and perhaps if other African countries could be on the radar for Islamist terrorist groups.

Last week the British government updated it’s travel advice to its Citizens suggesting that there is a possibility of retaliatory attacks in Ghana from Islamist terrorists due to its participation in the intervention in Mali. Ghana had sent deployed 120 troops to Mali, to restore order to the area after militant groups fought government forces. So crucially where not involved in the conflict but were deployed more for peacekeeping purposes.

However the fact that Ghana intervened in some way however small could give terrorists all the ammunition they need to launch an attack. I would say this is unlikely but Africa is increasingly become the battle ground for which Islamist terrorists are playing out their jihad for political and religious reasons. Of course the attacks in Kenya was a retaliatory attack by Al-Shabab for Kenyan forces launching an offensive against them. However Ghana’s obligations to the African Union and ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) means the likelihood of their intervention to help stabilise other countries in the region who are threatened by terrorism is high. So Ghana could yet be deemed as a legitimate target for terrorists in the future.

Interestingly a leading security analyst from Ghana, Emmanuel Sowatey does not think the nation is adequately prepared for a terrorist attack. in the same ilk as the Westgate attack. He said; ” We are not prepared for that now. When you go to some shopping malls, for instance, you’ll see emergency exits but most of the time, it is  locked. The key is with somebody,” Sowatey thinks  it was time the government relooked at the country’s internal security since a country’s foreign policy had bearing on its internal security.

The Government of Ghana says its decision to maintain or withdraw Ghanaian troops from Mali will not be hinged on any possible consequential terrorist attack on the nation. Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Felix Kwakye Ofosu says Ghana is constantly on the alert to thwart any security threat from terrorist groups.

Although there is no specific intelligence that indicates an attack in Ghana is imminent. We should all be aware that there is an underlying threat from terrorism anywhere. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by expatriates and foreign travellers. So everyone should remain vigilant and keep the national security of in our prayers.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana Independence Celebration @ O2

Ghana’s 55th Independence Celebration:

Riding on the huge success of the last Ghana Independence Day ABM, Alordia and West Coast UK have come together to create an ostentatious Ghanaian Independence Day Party, better than any other previous & present Ghana Independence Day event EVER to be held in London

Ghana_Indepedence_Indigo_O2_Me_FiRi_Ghana_dot_comCelebrating The Black Star of Africa is turning 55 held at the Indigo 02 Arena on the 3rd of March with SPECIAL LIVE GUEST PERFORMANCESNo other Independence Day event can boast up to 2,500 ravers attending their last event partying and dancing till the 4AM, our latest Ghana Independence Day has been tipped to break this record and reach over 3 THOSAND ravers to descend on the Indigo Arena 3rd March 2012.

Hosted by Choice FM’s DJ Abarantee, the event will have a strong, fantastic line up of Ghanaian talent. Already confirmed are LIVE PERFORMANCES from WORLD FAMOUS R2BEES head-lining the event, as well as Stay J, UK AfroBeat Artists Vibe Squad, May7ven, Mista Silva, A-Star, Flava and Kwamz.

London is hosting the World Olympics soon so why not begin celebrations by attending the most talked about event on the AfroBeats calendar. Ghana has produced the most amazing AfroBeats talent that are already creating headlines all over the world and gaining Ghana international recognition on the music scene. With such talents like UK Ghanaian artists like Vibe Squad who are well known for their smash hit WADI MI SIKA (see link below), recently Vibe Squad were featured in a 2 spread in the Evening Standard with other UK artist May7ven. Another rising talent of Asamoah Gyan a professional footballer who performed his song AFRICAN GIRLS at HipLife Festival and had it broadcast on Sky Sports News, or the popular dance called the AZONTO taking the UK and world by storm created by Ghanaian artist Sarkodie which had UK artist Wretch 32 and Chipmunk doing the moves and collaborating on remixes as well as people from all nationalities and countries doing the AZONTO. Ghana is a country on the rise with huge talents and big movements in the year 2012.

Ghana 55th Independence event will be held at the Indigo Arena 02 celebrating in true Ghanaian, fashion, style, and flavour as well as the huge achievements of Ghana with both Afrobeat lovers and Ghanaians all over the UK under one roof.

So if you thought that the last Ghana Independence day event was good you will be blown away for the Ghana 55th Independence event on the 3rd March 2012 at the Indigo Arena will sure be a ground breaker putting Ghana on the map for many years to come.

Artist Links

R2BEES Ft WANDLE COAL – Kiss Your Hand – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK-BcCkg-F8

 R2BEES Ft WizKid – DANCE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNMXfBQd0UI

 VIBE SQUAD – Wadi Mi Sika – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBElLYottKk

ASAMOAH GYAN – AFRICAN GIRLS – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzfEZ4YxszM

MAY7VEN – TEN TEN – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK8oo3lvhEs

SARKODIE – U Go Kill Me – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QPqJ_Mfzd8&feature=fvsr

AZONTO – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK23zvgtJfA

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk or Advance Tickets and Table

Call or Text: 07506 903 204

For press coverage/press/birthday booking email: abmukentertainment@gmail.com

Introducing YOU to Crymz…

This week I was able to catch up with ‘Crymz!’ and Find out Where his Creativity Sprung From!

 

Lets GOO….

1) Please Tell The Team Your real Name & Tell us The Name you work with if Different?

My Real Name is Samuel Kwame Mensah-Bonsu, Samuel Carter Mensah is my Alias and “Crymz” is my former design name.

 

2)  How Young Are You?

I am 21 years young.

3) Tell The Team, What it is that you do exactly? 

Samuel Kwame Mensah-Bonsu_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_comWell I am mostly self-taught Designer, Illustrator and photographer hailing from London. I mostly specialise in digital design creation and illustration as well as fine arts too. Since 2009 my designs have picked up a vast amount of popularity and exposure all over the world.

Appearing and being featured in some of the prestigious design blogs going, in turn making me the youngest designer from UK to do so. I am a member to many design groups and collectives around the world dedicated to design and Arts.

I am also a part of a London based Photography collective named Grand Culture. Last but not least I also attend at the University of Arts London and am currently studying Advertising.

 

4) Do You work with A Company Name, or …?

The Design Company I formed myself and serve as my design identity is called SMBStudios. Started in 2009 that has been my identity and slowly and surely I have been growing it into what I envisioned. The letters stand for my initials and also a few new meanings I have made for it such as “Some Must Believe” & “See More Beauty”. When anybody asks me what they mean I tend to say “So Much Better” too.

 

5) In relation to What you do, what/who influenced you to The Chosen Pathway? and Where did the Creativity Start from?

Samuel Kwame Mensah-Bonsu_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_comMy passion for art has always existed from a very young age. Back then Saying you wanted to be an artist always seemed so weird even for me when I said it. I guess the big question was turning art from just as a hobby to career. I remember I fell in love with graphic design when I was 12, as early as then I had an inkling that this was what I wanted to do.

I actually didn’t see it as a full career until I left school when I was 16. Until then I was very much an academic ho loved Maths & Science etc. and a love & talent for design bust was never brave enough to pursue it as a single career.  I had plenty of ways to go but I realized I could change the world the most by being a designer. 

A major influence for me growing up was also my older Brother, he did Fine art in college and he would bring home his huge canvases and I could see what he was doing at the time I was only in primary school and seeing him create inspired me to also get involved and paint one day also. Making the decision to get into the creative career pathway was easy since I knew it was what I do best and someday it would be the thing that people would know me by first. An artist first above anything.

6)  Can you imagine yourself doing anything else apart form your desired Passion?

Not really. I love what I do more than anything. The beauty of what I do is there are so many sub genres and paths to what I do, so I can never get bored. One day I can be painting the next day designing a logo for a company and the next day organising and conducting a photo shoot. I try to engage myself in a lot of aspects of creativity so I know I doing the best of my ability. Life’s too short for that.

7) Share with The Team, Your Best Motivation Line?

My best motivation line came from the late Steve Jobs actually. He says what motivated him most was the idea of death. Knowing that one day we all will die we must make everyday count and do as much as possible to leave our mark on this earth before that fateful day comes. He definitely did that, and I want to do the exact same thing too.

8 ) So Tell the Team, where did grow up/or where were you raised from?

I was actually born in Accra Ghana and came to the UK when I was Five years old. I have lived in South London all my life since then. Every few years I try to back to Ghana and see  family, haven’t been in a few years though. I want to go back again this Summer! 

9)  So Tell MeFiRi GHANA Are Both you Parents of GHANAIAN Descent?

Yessir, both My Mom and Pops are Ghanaian. Ashanti region to be exact 


10) Tell The Team; Are You Proud To  SAY ………”Me FiRi GHANA“……

Of Course! Pass me my Fan Ice and Twi handbook. Lol Ghana will always be my true home.

11) So Tell The Team; Do you think your Culture Has Influenced Your chosen pathway?

In way it has. Most will notice that in Ghana all signs and posters are painted everywhere you go. So there is art everywhere that always used to inspire me how not having the resources to print these posters would be a blessing by being able to keep art alive and keep creativity breathing everywhere.

12)  “MeFiRi GHANA” Would like to know ….
What Do you LOVE About GHANA?
Why Do you LOVE being a GHANAIAN?

What I love most about Ghana is the our rich history, the monuments and statues in Accra of those that have paved the way before us. I love seeing how it all started the legacy our forefathers left for us to have the opportunity to do the things we take for granted makes me proud to be Ghanaian. It inspires greatly to achieve and do something that will also go down in history.

13) SO Tell Us, what are your future aspirations?
What do you want to achieve from what you do?

And what will you do with it?

Samuel Kwame Mensah-Bonsu_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_comMy future aspirations are to carry on doing exactly what I am doing and to flourish as much as possible. I’m at an age where I’m old enough to know where I want to go, and I’m still young enough to do it all and more! After graduating from university will focus more on my company and making it grow and be successful, travel around the world, work & collaborate with the best designers and agencies to design and create.

I hope to inspire children/youth back in GH to know all things are possible as long as you work hard and keep with God. I hope to back and have a studio there and start a legacy there and give back. I have been blessed with unlimited Ambition and am determined to make all things

14) So Tell Everyone, Where Can We Catch Up With your latest Movements? 

Samuel Kwame Mensah-BonsuYou can follow me on Twitter first and foremost – https://twitter.com/#!/SMBStudios

Check out my gallery  here – http://crymz.deviantart.com/gallery/

And my Tumblr – somemustbelieve.tumblr.com

Stay tuned for my upcoming website smbstudios.com

Guys Check out this piece of work, Starring Tinie Tempah…MAGNIFICENT!!

BELOW…

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This gentleman is young yet has already painted intricate strokes towards his life and is still yet to accomplish his picture; exciting times. Sheer determination, A STRONG DRIVE and indeed a passionate Individual is what I see!

Me FiRi GHANA Salutes YOU and welcomes you on board, as A ‘RISING BLACK STAR’

You are young, and yet making something positive out of yourself, Congratulations.

By Trey’C

BIG TUNE & VIDEO: M.anifest – ‘Makaa Maka’

M.anifest – ‘Makaa Maka’

M.anifest, who is undoubtedly one of the most gifted emcees flying the flag for Ghanaian hip hop has released a video to his new single Makaa Maka, which roughly translates to ‘If I said it I said it’.

Sporting his trademark full beard, traditional top and colourful beads in the video, M.anifest is featured in the gritty streets of Madina and other parts of Accra doing what he does best – spitting conscious and intelligent bars over hip hop beats.

Directed by Isaac Offei Awuah of RGB Studios, the video shows the Ghanaian emcee paying homage to Hiplife greats Reggie Rockstone and Obrafour, with the former making a cameo in the video. M.anifest’s ability to effortless switch from Pidgin and English to Twi in the same breath is truly stunning, asserting himself as a master in his own right. He unapologetically states his lyrical prowess while berating rappers who are content to rap about nothing instead of the issues that affect people.

With such thought provoking lyrics that draws in the listener, it’s not hard to understand why M.anifest has made quite an impact in the international hip hop scene. Just last month the emcee was tipped by BBC arts programme The Strand as one of 5 to watch in 2012, with Ghanaian rapper M3nsa also making the list.

M.anifest who has shared stages with Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, Femi Kuti, Mick Jones of the Clash, Amadou and Miriam and Tony Allen among others, recently released his sophomore album Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America, an exceptional album that draws the best from his native Ghanaian roots and international experiences. If Makaa Maka is anything to go by, then it’s a pretty good indicator of things to expect from the emcee this year.

By Yaa Nyarko

Ghana and the Death Penalty Argument…

Should the Death penalty in Ghana be abolished once and for all?

 

For those of you who tuned into Channel 4 at 8pm on the evening of 28 November last year you would have seen the moving documentary on the plight of Linda Carty.  She is the British citizen of St Kittian heritage who has been on deathrow in Texas since 2002. As someone who has been involved in the British consular operation to assist Linda last year I felt a strong connection. The documentary focused on Linda’s plight and how likely it could be that she was innocent of the crime she has been accused of, but it also touched on the validity of the death penalty itself and whether capital punishment should be used at all.

This got me thinking about Ghana’s attitude to capital punishment.  For those who don’t know the death penalty actually exists in Ghana and been in the statute books since the application of English common law in the country in 1874. Ghana still retains the death penalty for armed robbery, treason and first-degree murder.

Death_Penalty_GhanaHowever in Practice it would seem Ghana is against the death penalty as no executions have taken place since July 1993, when 12 prisoners who had been convicted of armed robbery or murder were executed by firing squad. Executions may also be carried out by hanging but Ghana’s last hanging was performed in 1968. In light of this the Director of Amnesty International, Ghana; Mr Lawrence Amesu has appealed to Government to abolish the death penalty in the country. However even before Mr Amesu’s remarks there were suggestions that abolition of the death penalty would be likely. On March 6, 2007 Ghana’s President, John Kufuor, freed or commuted the sentences of 1,206 prisoners to mark the 50th anniversary of independence, according to an Interior Ministry statement. Thirty-six prisoners who were on death row have had their sentences commuted to life in prison.

In April 2000, 100 people had their death sentences commuted to life terms.  Almost a year later In February 2001, the then Justice Minister, and present Foreign Minister, Nana Akufo-Addo, spoke out publicly against the death penalty. Could it be then if Nana Akufo-Addo (current NPP presidential candidate for 2012) is elected President of Ghana next year he will lobby for the abolition of the death penalty? We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Though is it right for the state to take the life of a person, regardless of how despicable their crime was? In a religious nation like Ghana should not God be judge, juror & executioner? In other words should Ghana completely abolish the death penalty once and for all? After all recent governments have shown they are practically against it and it has not been done for 18 years.

Do you have an opinion? Leave your comments below.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi

Introducing YOU to KgPM…

Me FiRi GHANA Connects YOU With…

 

KgPM_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_comThis week Me FiRi GHANA catches up with KgPM. For those of you not familiar with them, they are a duo who made an impact on the hiplife scene in Ghana back in the early 2000s. Its 2012 and boys are back with a bang with their new single ‘Xtra Large’ featuring Atumpan. Since we like to bring to our readers the best Ghanaian talents around, we caught up with one half of the duo The PM, who was more than happy to share with us what their new sound is all about!

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Who are KgPM?
PM: We are a rather unassuming Ghanaian rap duo (Kgee & The PM) who carefully and cleverly combine Twi and pidgin lyrics, creating a beautiful fusion of rap flows.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: How did the group come about?
PM: The group was formed in 1998 in a small neighbourhood in the city of Accra called Teshie-Nungua when two friends with a passion for hiphop and music in met. Kgee’s cousin was my good friend so we were introduced; and it was at a point where we were both writing lyrics and trying to get our music out there. I was then in a group called ‘Phunk Phlow’ with my older brother and we had been performing on a few radio shows, and Kgee was in a group with Choir Master (of Praye fame) and two others. However, Kgee and I seemed to click well when it came to writing and I needed someone who was very determined and extremely passionate for music at the time so I thought it wise to team up with him and record – then we met Hammer of The Last Two who believed in us from the day he heard us. We were called ‘Two Deep’ when we met him, but by the time the album was done (in 2001), Hammer had changed our name to KgPM!!

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Is this the first major music project KgPM has undertaken or have there been previous ones?
PM: Our debut album called ‘Saa Na Wotie’ was released in 2001 on Lowdown Records and we haven’t released anything since! The album was described by critics as ‘ahead of time’! It featured newcomers at the time like KK Fosu and Choirmaster.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: What are the roles within the group? You know in terms of who writes the music, who makes the beat, who comes up with a concept etc.
PM: We bounce ideas off each other. I could get a call from Kgee at 1am to discuss an idea he has had and vice-versa; then we start writing to it. All the lyrics are written by ourselves apart from when we feature people. Usually people we feature write their own verses and sometimes create the hooks based on our ideas. On our first album, after listening to Obrafour’s album ‘Pae Mu Ka’, we decided to use only Hammer for the beats, but on this one, we have decided to experiment with other producers apart from Hammer, including MethMix, Sammie Blacc and Agyingo.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Why did you go on a hiatus for so long?
PM: Good things came at the wrong time so we could not concentrate on the music.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: What were you two getting up to during your hiatus?
PM: We went on to university and also got into career work etc. Kgee works as a senior Psychiatric Nurse in LA and I work as a Sales Manager for a coach company in London, alongside DJing on Rainbow Radio in London and at parties and clubs.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: What was involved in your current music project?
PM: As we are both based outside the Motherland Ghana, we thought it wise to go over there and create the music from there with the ideas we had in our souls, so over the 2-week Christmas period last year, we were sweating blood and tears in order to do as much as we could on the album.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Got a title for the album yet?  
PM: Yes. It will be called ‘The Re-Entry’

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Who did you get to produce it? Anyone featured on the album?
PM: We featured Obrafour, Choir Master, Atumpan, Sammie Blacc, Edem, Kay Dizzle and a Nigerian artist called AJ. We employed the production talents of Hammer, MethMix, Sammie Blacc and Agyingo. We are speaking with Donae’o as we speak for a possible collaboration.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Describe yourself.
PM: I call myself a music connoisseur! I eat and sleep music! In the group I’m more laidback and like to be critical when we’re in the studio – more like a perfectionist! Kgee is the ‘happy machine’ and the one with the small voice (laughs). He makes recording more interesting with his happy-go-lucky self and he loves to perform. Together we complement each other very well! No homo!!

 

Me FiRi GHANA: What statement do you wish to make with this album?
PM: On this album we are hoping to resurrect and widen our fan base. We took the risk by making our first single ‘Xtra Large’ an azonto track, a style which is not KgPM at all, but so far it’s looking good. The statement we are trying to put across is “we were ahead of our time in 2001 so we are here now in 2012 to prove it”!

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Describe your musical style
PM: Our style is hip-hop spiced with Hiplife ingredients!

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Who or what are your musical inspirations?
PM: We are inspired by people we’ve inspired before, for example Edem & Choir Master. Kgee inspires me and vice-versa! Outside Ghana we take inspiration from artists from the old school down to the new – Camp Lo, Busta Rhymes, Drake, Nas and Kanye.

 

Me FiRi GHANA: Why this particular time to make a comeback?
PM: The music fruit in Ghana and Africa as a whole looks very ripe right now so we wanted to take advantage of it. We have almost settled down in the direction of our career so ideally this was the best time for us to record together. In the last few years or so we have had a lot of fans and friends urging us to come back and record so we thought, ‘why not’?

 

Me FiRi GHANA: What can we expect on this album?
PM: Punch-lines, fun, wit, tight production and KgPM!

 

Me FiRi GHANA: What impact do you expect your album to have on them music scene in GH?
PM: We want the album to put a smile on people’s faces and at the same time appreciate our uniqueness! We want to satisfy our fans’ needs! We want to let people know that before all of this, there was Kgee and PM!


You can follow The PM on Twitter @PMtheDJ. Click on the link to listen to some of their tracks off their yet to be released album:

http://soundcloud.com/theonlypm/kgpm-ft-atumpan-xtra-large?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter&utm_content=

http://soundcloud.com/theonlypm/kgpm-ft-atumpan-xtra-large