Tag: Myriam Osei


Disability, Ghana and Stigma – a documentary

As storytellers, journalists and writers in whatever sector that we’re in, it’s important that we use our awareness and talents to bring the world back to what matters and share things that can be of benefit to our society. So I want to encourage everyone –  whatever you’re holding in, let it out and tell the story.

 

195585-thumbI visited Ghana this year from July till end of August, motivated by a strong passion and zeal to tell the story of the plight of those disabled in Ghana. Unfortunately, the negative mentality towards those who are physically or mentally disabled in Ghana is still very prevalent at present, with negative attitudes stemming from our very own culture, historical traditions and lack of knowledge. Most of the disabled people in Ghana are not put in the forefront of society, as they’re not given the rights that they so deserve. The laws are there but many of them are not implemented.

 

The Disability Persons Act 715 (Ghana) was passed into law in 2006, with the 6th section stating that owners/occupiers shall make their buildings accessible and disability friendly. Yet many buildings in Ghana including shops and hospitals are not wheelchairs friendly, and does not provide easy access for the disabled. In the past, there have been reports of deaf people dying because of miscommunication – they were given the wrong prescriptions as hospitals, pharmacies and clinics didn’t have sign language interpreters on site.

 

Now, what is gold if the very minority are ignored by the majority due to cultural stigma?

 

I implore anyone reading this to watch my latest documentary shot in Ghana ‘Ghana, disability and stigma’, about disability in Ghana. In it, I speak to renowned organisations and people that work with those with disabilities and their efforts to dispel the stigma attached to being disabled and combat negative attitudes.

Please support, forward to your other contacts and share – lets raise awareness about this pertinent issue in our motherland!

 

By Myriam Osei (@AngelPeaceJoy)

Website: ourworldbeside.wordpress.com/

Vimeo: vimeo.com/filmsthatmatters

LAUNCHED: The Full Future of Ghana Deluxe Publication

THE 2015 FUTURE OF GHANA TOP 30 U30

 

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The OFFICIAL Deluxe Publication is now available.

The Publication includes Ghana’s Top 30 U30 from around the world, forward thinking articles and interviews from pioneering CEO’s, Directors & organizations sharing their vision for Ghana and Africa. It can be read here

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The Publication was launched at the Ghana High Commission Hq (London) on Friday 27th March 2015. See below for Myriam Osei’s (@AngelPeacejoy) video blog review:

To advertise in the publication or to become an exclusive distribution partner,please contact our Director of Communications, Ben Anim-Antwi at: bantwi@mefirighana.com

The Me Firi Ghana Members Network will be launching soon… #FutureofGhana = Responsibility

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

A Message from the Editor: MFG Blog is a finalist for UK Blog Awards 2015

We Make the Final Shortlist in Most Innovative Category  for 2nd year running!

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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 2015 in the best organisation blog Most Innovative blog category. 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;  Jermaine Bamfo, Wilma Sagoe, Adwoa Asiedu, Nora Mitersky and Myriam Osei  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 panel experts in each industry category.  Shortlisted Individual’s and x10 Shortlisted Organisation’s will be Judged by the professional panel out of the 14 industries. The winner’s will be announced at the Awards evening in April 2015

To see whom we are up against see the following link – http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/most-innovative-shortlisted-finalists/

Thanks for your support!

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

GUBA EXPO 2014 Review by Myriam Osei….

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There’s the ‘GUBA Awards’ – the prestigious Ghana UK Based Achievement awards founded in 2009 to celebrate the achievements of individuals in the British Ghanaian society –on the same line, stands ‘GUBA EXPO’, the two-day event, which premiered on 7th  November 2014.

The word ‘EXPO’ in the brand’s name, stands for ‘exposure’, or ‘exhibition’, and as one would expect this term fits perfectly well with the concept of this new platform, which is to showcase Ghanaian made products and provides an avenue for small or big businesses, to find their niche into the prominently fierce British market.

I attended the 2nd day of ‘GUBA EXPO’, not as a business entrepreneur or with a marketing degree fastened in my right hand, but simply as a creative and inquisitive mind, wanting to witness directly what the widely publicised event has to offer.

Rewinding to Day 1 of the event, it was composed of workshops and discussions, led by speakers who shared their expertise on the craft of business; a vivid exchange between members of the audience and industry experts. Some of the guests were Mavis Amankwah and Ghana’s minister of tourism and culture, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare.

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Day 2 was focused on the display of various African products; a chance for ‘GUBA EXPO’ and the investors to stand their grounds and prove to the audience and store’s representatives present why these Ghanaian made products were indeed worth importing to the British ground.

As a Ghanaian myself, it was with a mix of pride and astonishment, hidden under a calm pretence and demeanour that I walked through the sectors interestingly looking at products made in Ghana. There were clothes, bags, accessories and phones cases, covered in vibrant African print. There were also skin nourishment creams composed of natural ingredients from the West African country. From some steps away, I could also see a natural-made honey brand, and as I approached, the owner proudly tells me that the packaging and all that it contains originates from Ghana, which makes it all “natural”. From the other side of the room, I noticed a vivid exchange between a Tesco’s representative, and a woman discussing what I believe is Ghana’s favourite pepper sauce ‘Shitto’ conserved in a small transparent jar in the table in front of them.

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As I spoke with GUBA  founder, Dentaa, she explained to me that the inspiration for it started in 2013 when she witnessed the “remarkable products” that Ghanaians made through one of ‘GUBA awards’ categories for ‘Best product’, she recounts: “That’s when I realised ‘Wow, Ghanaians are actually making some remarkable products’, why is It not in the shops anytime I go, why isn’t in Tesco’s, why isn’t in Selfridges or Topshops or Topman, what can we do about that?” When asked about ‘GUBA EXPO’, she explained, “It’s about getting our products out there, and it’s about Ghanaians, Africans and other individuals coming to buy the products.”

‘GUBA EXPO’ is indeed changing the formal perception sometimes associated with business, and creates an exciting line for African and Ghanaian products to be promoted and used on an international scale.

Check out the Myriam’s video, capturing her experience and featuring interview with GUBA founder Dentaa Amaoteng below;

Myriam Osei @Angelpeacejoy)

Re-Mending the frame of creativity!

 All of the tangible things you see around you initially began as a gentle thought, an idea, an imagination in one person’s mind…..

The things you see and use are the product of someone’s creativity. The reality is that, each person has been given that measure of creativity.

In a bright alley, somewhere in Africa, there are those who have had the chance to serve and live off their creative impulses. Like the image of child, fascinated with the world of science, who would often ask teachers how drugs are made, this passion led him into medicine, by majoring in pharmacology.

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Also, I have the image of a successful woman, as a child, she would align her favourite doll on a stand, she would then fold her arms and pretend to be a lawyer in court defending her doll’s case. The same person went on to pursue a career in law.

In a darker alley, there are the other ‘creatives’, those who have had their inner creativity and artistry permanently silenced by a family member, a stranger, or a society. Unlike the ones in the brighter alley, they were rebuked and discouraged when sharing their ideas on living off their creative interests, and when using their artistry skills.

Though the term ‘darker alley’ is of course not used to describe such situations in Ghana, there are some that falls victims of similar ordeals. People who are forced to abandon their inner creativity and natural abilities in order to pursue a career their society deem ‘ideal’, classic’ and perfect’. These fields are known as the ‘professional careers’, it could be one in the field of law or medicine, more commonly.

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The young ones and the elderlies, together we tend to appreciate well-known figures such as Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, Georgio Armani and other global stars who are in ‘uncommon’ fields, but then how many of us Africans would be encouraging with a neighbour, or a family member, who have got the skills and desire to pursue one of those careers?

For those with a desire to pursue artistic or creative careers, they should know that genuine passion and love for the field are the most important things.  As it is much easier to persevere and work hard for something you have a real passion for. The fear of failing should never be an excuse in not trying.

For me, a nation who calls itself unafraid and ready to welcome change and solutions is one who allows its citizens to use their unique talents for the good of the country. We can’t prevent another ‘Bill Gates’ or ‘Steve McQueen’ to be born after all.

Let’s take the stigma down and realise that those currently working in ‘uncommon’ fields in Ghana, be it in music, acting, sports or fashion have worked as hard to pursue what they love as those who are in other careers.

Together, as a nation, let’s continue to invest and support these industries, and not abuse them.

Myriam Osei (@Angelpeacejoy)

 

Are Children really considered the future of Ghana?…

Children too must be free to express themselves!

Children are a gift from God”, it is not necessarily a Ghanaian saying but a Bible verse that is almost used as a proverb in our world today. You may have heard it from family members, friends, or even people you don’t know, through eavesdropping. In fact, the sentence is so perfectly structured, that hearing it, we might forget it is to be understood literally.

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I’m extremely fond of children, though I admit their sizes and personalities holds a large role in determining how ‘adoring’ others may find them. Nonetheless, children are a gift from God. They reflect innocence, purity. Just like the sparrows, they are nurtured, embraced, and cared for in the bosom of their carers until they’re grown enough to move out and purposefully share on the love and values received from a warm home.

There are children, however, that have had their very own nature stand as a curse against their life; children that have had their innocence snatched away and stamped upon, through abuse, violence and exploitation. For such cases in Ghana, there are emergency lines and police services ready to act on any indication or calls received, although the lack of awareness on abuse in the Ghanaian culture makes it difficult for one to even recognise when they’re being victims, attached with the fear to admit and seek help. But fortunately, child protection laws exist to minimize such unfortunate cases.

Now, I want to touch on an underlying subject, which is: the relationship between the adult and the child. We say “Children are the next generation” that’s all so true, but how much are we invested in building a loving relationship with our younger ones? Having travelled to Ghana many times, I often interact with children, as they excitedly use the opportunity to ask questions, speak, and laugh with me. Unfortunately, this sight of an adult pleasantly interacting with a child is something I rarely come across to there. I once asked an adult why the lack of interaction, he answered: “Otherwise they won’t respect you.” His view may not reflect the general opinion of all, but there and then, I couldn’t help but wonder if as adults, the fear of a child going off boundaries should be an excuse in not taking steps to create a comfortable relationship with them? And logically, I knew it shouldn’t.

Why should a casual relationship between a child and an adult be seen as a threat to the culture? I believe this sort of mind-set and view exists and should be changed, as it is unhealthy. In a society where children are fortunately brought up to respect their elders and the people surrounding them, it is also important to build an environment where the child would feel respected and comfortable enough to express themselves as they grow and learn; an environment where they would feel confident to confide in their parents as they go through different stages. That new environment could simply turn out to be the solution of many problems of today, as a new generation filled with vibrant and confident adults will go on impact their society while using the knowledge and values learnt from a society that listened and valued them first.

Myriam Osei @AngelPeaceJoy)

Message From the Editor: UK Blog Awards 2014 Results

We left feeling Highly Commended!

 

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So the results are in and Me Firi Ghana nominated for two UK Blog Awards came away  as a “Highly Commended” runner up in the Most Innovative Blog Category. I am extremely  proud of this achievement, we were the only representative of Ghanaian culture at the awards ceremony. In fact we were the only representative of African culture to make the final shortlist of 28 and when you consider 900 plus blogs  entered the competition and we amongst the top 10 blogs in the Arts and Culture category and the and amongst the top 3 most innovative blogs in the UK we have a lot to be proud of.

The event was a great advert for blogging in the UK with so much talent in attendance and as the first ever blog awards to celebrate cross sector bloggers, it was an event the organisers deserve kudos for. I was accompanied to the awards by Me Firi Ghana’s Manager/Head of Marketing, Joseph Aninakwa  and one of our finest bloggers Maclean Arthur who joined me in revelling in our achievement.

 

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As I returned home from the awards ceremony my mind was already on next year and how we can improve the blog. You can rest assured that we will not be resting on our laurels, we are a progressive brand always looking to break new ground and the blog is a large part of that. Ghana’s involvement in the greatest show on earth; World Cup 2014 means we will be literally blogging crazy to ensure Ghana’s journey is covered every step of the way. There will be a plethora of engaging content across the categories on the blog and I am genuinely excited about what is to come.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team of great bloggers; Maclean Arthur, Jermaine Bamfo, Nora Mistersky, Adwoa Asiedu & Myriam Osei who have all helped to make the blog what it is today. Their passion for Ghana and tireless enthusiasm for blogging has made my job as Editor an easy one.

Lastly I want to thank you our readers! We will continue to produce innovative and engaging content on all things Ghana! Follow our journey and get involved in stimulating and facilitating the conversations that need to be had.

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

 

Ghanaian movies…….

The parallel between local and English ones

If you have travelled to Ghana before, you would know it is quite impossible to take a walk around the city centres and not come across a Ghanaian movie shop of some kind. The movie shops often small, cosy and yet packed and filled with movies on the floor, on the shelves, everywhere.

The Ghanaian movie industry often known as ‘Ghollywood’ has become one of the most well recognised industries in Ghana. An industry that has evolved and flourished over the years, it has become a large platform fit to promote Ghana to the world, and tell African stories.

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The term ‘Ghanaian movies’ when looking at it without ambiguity is easy to understand, but when looking at the industry acutely, I want to say there are two sides of the same coin.

I came to this realisation, whilst during a holiday in Ghana, an uncle and I had for a task to buy a movie the whole family could enjoy, and we ended up arguing on which movie is best to buy. I wanted to get out of the shop and step into the sunny daylight with a Twi movie featuring Agya Koo, while the latter wanted to enjoy a Ghanaian English movie featuring Majid Michel.

We ended up buying the one my uncle chose, a movie that actually became one of my most favourites. If a movie is well produced, it could appeal to anyone, even to Ghanaians not so keen on watching non-local movies initially.

As a Ghanaian living in the diaspora growing up, watching a native movie, would mean watching one in the local language, I enjoyed them, be it the scenery set for the scenes or hearing the intonations of the spoken Twi through the various characters. There are others, who as much as they love the local language would prefer to watch a Ghanaian movie in English instead, the reasons may be that these movies suits their tastes, expectations or interests better.

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Local movies and Ghanaian English movies, I believe should equally be on the same level in terms of promoting Ghana to the world or improving the industry. A local movie subtitled in English, if produced properly has a chance of being liked by non-Ghanaians also. A movie produced well with a good plot cannot be limited to a language, if it is interesting, people would watch it.

Now, I believe many producers and directors are becoming more aware of this fact, as the number of Ghanaian movies featuring Ghanaian actors known to act in local movies and actors kn own to act in the English sector are increasing.

An example of such movie is the 2012 movie ‘Joni Waka’ produced by Van Vicker, featuring Agya Koo and himself as the two main characters.

And a new Venus Productions film titled ‘Bachelors’ starring Liwin, Nana Ama McBrown, Jackie Appiah and others.

The Ghanaian movie industry is one that is embellishing, giving way for variety and originality.

Myriam Osei @AngelPeaceJoy

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)

The Ghanaian Supporters Guide to the Brazil 2014 World Cup

Where to stay, what to do and see whilst you take in Ghana’s Group games

The World cup is an event that brings a whole nation together, turns conflicts into peaceful reconciliation, and transforms non-football fans into mega fans the next day. FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil is approaching, it will start on the 12th June and ends on the 13th July. It’s an event I believe all Ghanaians are strongly anticipating. This article is as a ‘guide’ for those planning to travel to support the Black Stars as they play against their Group G opponents. For those of you who will be experiencing the matches through your TV screens, this will give you an insight into the cities stars such as Asamoah Gyan & Michael Essien will be playing in.

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Ghana play their first match on the 16th of June in the city of Natal, Rio Grante De Norte against the USA. The match will take place in ‘Arena Das Dunas’ a newly renovated stadium. Midway Mall, the largest shopping centre in the state, with 300 shops and many restaurants is 20 minutes away from the stadium. Transportation is not a problem as you will find buses near the malls. The city is known for its beaches, such as Ponta Negra beach. Hotels near the stadium are Monzo Palace Hotel-http://www.monzapalace.com.br/home_eng.html whose rates start from £33 per night and Hotel Maine from £37 per night. Via Costeira is one of the city’s avenues, there you will find gorgeous hotels, at much higher prices. Natal is the closest regional capital city to Africa in Brazil, in Natal you are nearer to Ghana than you will be in any other Brazilian city.

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The Black stars’ s second match against Germany on the 21st of June will be held in Fortaleza. The match will take place in Estadio Castelão , Fortaleza, a host city for the Round of 16 and quarter finals also. There are buses that  depart from the seaside promenade at Avenida Beira Mar which stop within  a mile of the stadium but you will need to walk some kilometres to get there. The city is known for its many beaches, restaurants, handicraft markets. Hotels within 25 minutes from the stadium are Magna Pria Hotel-http://www.magna.com.br/en/ at a cost of between £42 -£52 per night. Comfort Hotel Fortalezahttp://www.comfortinn.com/hotel-fortaleza-brazil-BR010 at £50 per night, with free breakfast included; Hotel Recanto Wirapuru –http://www.hotelrecantowirapuru.com.br/, from £55 per night, and Golden Beach Hotel is £46 per night. Estadio Castelão was the first stadium to be confirmed ready for the 2014 World cup.

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On the 26th June, the Black Stars will face Portugal in their last group game before they hopefully qualify for the second round. The match will take place in Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincho in Brasilia. Its a large venue that will also hold the quarter and semi finals. Some of the hotels near the stadium are Manhattan Plaza – http://www.kubitschek.com.br/english , £47 per night (they do not accepts cheques) and Mercure Brasilia Eixo at £46 per night. Brasilia has many tourist attractions such as Brasilia National Park and National Congress Centre. Patio Brazil Mall, one of the finest shopping centres in the capital is 10 minutes away from the stadium.

To apply for World Cup tickets you should visit the official FIFA website – http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/ticketing/ticket-information/application-process/index.html

Myriam Osei @AngelPeacejoy