Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Finally! Round Sunnies

I’ve been looking for a pair of these for a while. 

I remember the Olsen twins prancing around in them even before they exploded all over runways and appeared on other celebs. The John Lennon inspired sunnies have been all the rage since spring. I've been searching Ghana high and low for a suitable pair.
 The situation wasn't helped by Aunty B wearing them all the time either. They seem to be her fave. I can swear she had them on almost every time she was pictured in sunnies.

Reminding me that I didn't own a pair *rolls eyes*.

Beyonce and Blue and  the Linda Farrow x The Row sunglasses
I don't know what I love more, the sunglasses or the  Prada Tail Light Flame Sandals!!  

House of Harlow:  Vintage-inspired round oversized sunglasses featuring gold-tone logo at temples.

Well, my treasure hunt has finally ended! I feel soo...Ozzy Osborne in them! [It took all my will power not to throw up the peace sign,lol]. As with my others sunnies, I'm going to have my prescription put in them 1.So I can see 2. So none of my friends can nick them 

this is for  #OZZY lol!
What fashion accessory have you been pining for lately??

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

President Mills Passes Away

Art Work by Nana Kofi (Zhulian Winslow Amoo)

News of the demise of President John Atta Mills flooded the social networks around the same time, with most people asking if it was true...this time. Unfortunately, this time the news is true and not a repulsive rumour, like before. Joy Fm confirmed it, as well as major news networks around the world.
credit: facebook
I always find it difficult to 'talk'  to people who have just lost someone important. What exactly do you say, apart from the empty pleasantries? How much comfort can you offer? I'm having the same difficulty now. What do you say to a whole nation which is coming to terms with the loss of her president. I don't envy the Vice President, John Mahama who has to do this at a scheduled address at 8pm tonight. In accordance with the Constitution the Vice President will be sworn into office shortly. 
It's raining now, after being grey and cloudy all day. As cliched as it sounds even the weather mirrored the atmosphere in Ghana today. It's a sad day today. 

Professor Mills was many things to many people: lecturer, teacher, mentor, leader, brother, uncle etc and many are mourning his death in different ways. Regardless of which side of the presidential divide that one finds himself/herself on or if you're an unconcerned floater, it's almost generally agreed that John Atta Mills was a good man and always spoke for peace. Even the man who was to be his main competitor in the upcoming December polls Nana Akuffo Addo of the NPP has suspended his campaign to pay his respects. This is the most appropriate time to lay down political, tribal, religious and other affiliations to mourn the leader of our nation and celebrate his life of service. 

Such a  devastating event has never happened before in our nation's history but I trust Ghanaians will rally round each other and our flag and stand for peace. God will bless our homeland Ghana.
Rest in Peace President Mills as you rest, away from pain, in your Maker's bosom.

Official Press statement

Monday, 23 July 2012

Tussles In The Dark

In the dark, battle lines are being drawn. 
The darkness within cannot dare compare to the surrounding abyss of inky blackness 
Cavalry  ready and archers armed, Infantry in their ranks.
The fears. The doubts. The hopelessness. 
The battle lines are drawn. Commanded, deployed: they plough forward in a mighty onslaught!
They know it will be easy pickings. 
Outnumbered, immediately the troops weaken;
Loathing, anger, self-pity double their ranks and the battlements begin to crumble. 
Sight is clouded by welling tears. Faces are unrecognisable - contorted as the bile of impending defeat fills mouths. But doggedly territory is defended.
Flaws, weakness, regrets, mistakes are sent as reinforcements. The castle drawbridge creaks and it's hinges groan, straining to stay in position. 
All around a blanket of inky night, not a ray to be seen. 
Surrender? a plea for mercy is considered. Reason appeals but pride silences all suggestions.
The battle rages on. 
The final wave. 
Despair's soul searching gaze, is fixed on victory. 
Every nerve screams, every muscle strains, preparing for the inevitable. Eyes mercifully shut, as the yawning abyss begins to suck everything in.

To be Still or Struggle? 
Preparing to be impaled; nerves are steeled. Final prayers said. Ready to be ravaged by the demons and finally tossed into the abyss from which there can be no return.

The moment does not arrive.

Cautiously, eyes open up to the welcome sight of rays of rescue! 
Optimism and hope are driving back despair. 
 Flaws swallowed up by Attributes. 
Weaknesses, regrets and mistakes wiped from consciousness by Inner Strength and Forgiveness.
Loathing and self pity beheaded by self esteem. 
Anger arrested by self control. 
Fear, doubt and hopelessness take off at full throttle. 
Cowardly, brave soldiers and yet alive to raise an army once more.
Battered, bruised...barely whole, but alive...


...And yet not quite totally confident, as a creeping apprehension lies down to sleep, ready to awaken when the rays of light depart yet again....

but Conviction is sharpening his blade, ready to wrestle. The army of doubt shall not win.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sarkodie, Wizkid and the BET Awards (2): The Re-education

This post follows on from:

Sarkodie and Wizkid Win at BET Awards, or do they?

I explained why I took down the petition to those that signed it but I think I should just state it here for the record.
I got a particularly important response to one of my emails. It was a very detailed response from someone who helped bring African artistes to the attention of the BET and helped start the African act category, so her blessing and her response were very important to me.
She was mostly disappointed.
She expressed her disappointment, as a Ghanaian and as a part of the BET, to my email, petition and with the reaction of most Africans. She was upset that no one took the time to research and iron out inaccuracies of what actually took place at the Awards. So she clarified the misconceptions:

First of all, "BET has never given any Awards back stage or elsewhere from the main stage. Every year there are about 20 Awards in all that are up for presentation. At least 6-8 of those Awards are not presented on air at all for a variety of reasons. We are not the only show that does not present all of our Awards on-air due to time constraints - MTV, The Grammys, Oscars etc all follow suit. The show is really focused on performances and moments which have become key to the show's successful rating history. People look forward to the memorable moments on the show and that is something that BET has done really well."

photo credit:  mio.co.za
She explained how nicely the African artistes are treated -a weekend of celebrations and being honoured - perhaps even better than how the domestic nominees are treated. They were given a special Welcome Cocktail Party on Friday night where Wizkid and Sway from the UK performed. Saturday Morning a Breakfast Buffet in their honor, taken to the Celebrity Gift Lounge and Radio Remote interviews with 50 of the top stations in the US. Several special shows and interviews were produced about them and brief snippets of them being followed around all weekend were put on air on BET International. On show day, they rode in limos to the show, were interviewed by Big Tigger on the 106 & Park Pre-Show LIVE and live again on BET.Com and placed in camera seats. After all that, the night ended with a lavish BET Awards After-Party. The lovely South African singer Lira's experience was quoted; read about her BET experience here.
Besides,"the managers of every BET Awards nominee - all of them - Domestic and International, are told in advance which categories will air and which ones will not". So they are not surprised when they get there. 
She also explained that African artistes they were not awarded backstage but rather at a special breakfast in their honour. She was upset that so much effort and planning had gone into the show but we (complainants) had only chosen to focus on this part. She asked us to keep in mind that it was a(n) (imperfect) process and that Viacom, which owns BET, is focused on respecting their domestic schedules and ratings. 
She cleared up one thorny issue for me, saying  "before God in all honesty" that the category for both this year and last year were both tied. Voters from the African Voting Academy voted and it resulted in legitimate and honest ties. The executives chose not to alter this decision in anwyay. So 2Face and D'Banj (last year) and  Wizkid or Sarkodie (this year) are really joint winners.

After this reply I decided to take the petition down. I did not take it down because I had lost my nerve or because I think the issue is no longer relevant. Neither was I 'convinced' by the explanation. Not her explanation, the explanation from "the bosses". She explained that BET's target audience is young African Americans, not Africans. So "our beloved artists" [African artistes], as epic as they are to us Africans, would not all be recognized by the target audience. The main goal of the award by the BETis to bring some awareness to them, but until their music is playing on the airwaves and gains a massive following "it is almost impossible to put them on air on a show of that magnitude".  She pointed out that their International channel does so much with African artists but no one makes mention of that.
Honestly, I am still disappointed that African artistes are still not considered marketable enough to appear on the big stage (that's not what she said, but that's what it boils down to, isn't it?). The size of Nigeria, alone, let alone  the whole continent, as a market should give us some bargaining power, no? That's what I thought anyway. Silly, naive me.
She then pointed the finger right back at us, asking what we as Africans are doing to promote our music and artistes internationally. That's what jolted me to my 'senses'.
Now I am convinced that this isn't something the BET should be petitioned to do. If they do change things, I want it to be something they HAD to do, out of commercial necessity because African music is the hottest thing out there, and not 'pity' or social pressure. Call it my African pride *shrugs*
Let me explain: They deal with ratings, so  their actions can only be a response to demands by their viewers - mostly young African Americans. For that to happen, African artistes need more exposure, till they can command ratings similar to that of  'mainstream' artistes. As I asked her, aren't a lot of African Americans originally..well African?? I asked for some figures from her but I haven't received a reply. The Nigerians alone in that group!! lol. Many of such young people are now more conscious of their roots than ever, and I really think they would be interested in seeing home-grown artistes.

So I don't think even a petition can change their view [Viacom that is], because the ratings must translate into the ringing of cash registers. The task is waaaay bigger than getting a petition signed, it's about promoting African artistes until they cannot be ignored and must compulsorily be exhibited. 
Try that on for size. Promote them as much as you can, and then some more! No more being a couch potato and passing judgement. Get to work yourself. Buy African music, play it, request it on international shows, tweet it, blog about it, share it...get it out there anyway that you can.
All the best!!! And when you see African artistes perform on the BET stage one day soon, you can be proud that they earned the spot because they were in demand all over the US, thanks to you, and not because it was given to them as a handout. 

Good luck. we all need it x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Daydreaming of Fashion Law

I've liked fashion for a long time but I've only, just recently become aware of the existence of fashion law. If I hadn't already majored in Oil and Gas I might have taken a crack at it. [That would have been a truly interesting conversation with my very African dad,lol]. 
Imagine that: fashion and law! two of my favourite things together! Why am I just hearing about this??? *sigh*
Fashion law fascinates me. It's a relatively new niche in the field of law. Well, the fashion industry is a multi-million [insert any international currency here] industry which has relied on lawyers for a long time. It just didn't have the title 'fashion law'. Fordham is about the only school which has a Fashion Law institute. They  are organizing a boot camp on Fashion Law, I'm putting this on my wish list. Fashion law deals a lot with intellectual property law (incidentally one of the subjects I enjoyed the most) but I'm certain, like any other lawyers, fashion lawyers deal with contracting, licensing, mergers, perhaps health and safety compliance, maybe even a couple of wills,lol. I think it's such a cool title: *wears sunnies, strikes pose* "The Fashion Lawyer". If it was a course offered by a lot of law schools you would definitely find all the well dressed and well heeled fashionistas there. 
Hmmm, Ghana's fashion industry is growing by the day....who knows?
;) look out

Monday, 2 July 2012

Sarkodie and Wizkid Win at BET Awards, or do they?

I've been in hibernation, totally sleeping my life away, excuse my laziness. I like to believe I've earned it.

Just woke up to say congrats to my boo Sarkodie [please, I've liked him since I first heard his music, waaay before he became a huge star.You recent groupies should fall back] who (co-)won Best International Act (Africa) at the 2012 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards. He won with Nigeria's Wizkid.

Sarkodie  and Wizkid

So I trawled the 'net for footage of them receiving their award as I wanted to download it and watch it whenever I wanted to see my boo and smile. (I have the video of Kelly Rowland and Trey Songz 'Motivation' performance from the 2011 show for similar purposes). But apparently their awards were given to them backstage!!!
Our whole Obidi paaa, relegated to the back, ehn??? 
*takes out war paint*

Do the BET organisers think they hopped into planes and travelled all the way from "Africa" *in that nasal voice that they use* so they could receive their awards backstage?? Yes, they are stars who can shine wherever they find themselves but I find this so disrespectful and disappointing. African Americans shout the loudest about racism and being disrespected and blah blah blah, look who's dishing it out now!? Had one of them been sidelined like this at a 'white' show there would have been no peace. But it's ok for them to lump together and snub two amazing African artistes under the guise of honouring them? Is it because we're black(er)?? 

Yes, music from Africa has now become "cool". There was a time when it was not: many would not be caught dead listening to it; no one would go and collaborate with an African artiste let alone honour them (except the very huge names). So we thank you very much, benevolent listeners and performers for finally appreciating good music.  BET, thank you for including this category to honour African artistes.
Having said that, with my heart full of appropriate thanks and gratitude, let me ask, why not go the whole distance to honour two [I don't wanna start on these shared awards] individuals who have distinguished themselves out of a group of remarkable performers?? Why pull back at the last moment and not even bother to go through the motions? The only answer I could come up with is that they don't care enough to bother. I haven't heard any 'official' explanation for that, have you? So until then, I'm sticking to my conclusion.

'sebe' when they hadn't included that category at the BET awards we didn't die, but now that the category exists, is it just for show? I think they have detracted quite significantly from the honour and prestige that should go to Sarkodie and Wizkid by denying them the chance to mount that stage for a measly minute to be seen by the world. That was NOT cool.
African American rappers, are often paid huge sums of money to come and perform in Africa and spit a few words onto tracks by African artistes. They're treated like royalty when they come down here: tours, motorcades, extra hot groupies (lol). They even get to meet presidents if they want to. But BET can't spare a couple of minutes to award the African artistes in the same ordinary way they honour theirs???  You mean we're not even up to that ordinary standard of respect? are they not considered as equals??
This is just not good enough. Do we aaaaaaaalways have fight for everything we're due? *sigh* 

Sarkodie is the first Ghanaian to win the award. The previous nominees, Kojo Antwi and D-Black, didn't quite make it. But sadly we were deprived of the chance to see him up there on that stage. We're still mega proud of him though, no two ways about that.
Big ups to WizKid too. I honestly thought, if it was going to be a Nigerian it would be Ice Prince who would win, so I'm pleasantly surprised and happy for him.
Here in West Africa, at least, we will celebrate you and hail you as kings and ambassadors of our new positive Africa that you are. Well done boys! Congratulations!! you'll only get bigger and better! You didn't need this award to become internationally successful, it's just another feather in your cap(s).

Wizkid and Sarkodie

I'm not one to idly complain so I thought I'd try this:
Go and sign it and maybe we can all get them to sit up and take notice. This won't bring world peace or solve hunger in Africa but it might send a message out that we're all a tad tired of being sidelined all the time.
BET: When you do something, go ALL out and do it right. Don't do things by halves.

  *rant over*

ps. Question please: When two people win an award, and they come from different countries and are not friends [unlike say...Kanye and JayZ] how do they keep/share the award? or do they give them two??  I really want to know.

The full list of winners for the 2012 BET Awards.

Best Female R&B Artist


Best Male R&B Artist

Chris Brown

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist


Best Female Hip-Hop Artist

Nicki Minaj

Best Gospel

Yolanda Adams

Best Group

Jay-Z & Kanye West

The 'interruption' moment

Best New Artist

Big Sean

Best Collaboration

Wale Feat. Miguel – “Lotus Flower Bomb”

Video of the Year

Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Otis”

Video Director of the Year

Beyoncé and Alan Ferguson
That's Bey's sister, Solange's boyfriend, btw

YoungStars Award

Diggy Simmons

Viewers’ Choice Award

Mindless Behavior – “Hello”

Centric Award


Best International Act: U.K.

Wretch 32

Best International Act : Africa

Sarkodie and Wizkid

Best Actress

Viola Davis 
from the Help

Best Actor

Kevin Hart

Best Movie

The Help

Sportswoman of the Year

Serena Williams

Sportsman of the Year

Kevin Durant

AOL Fandemonium Award

Chris Brown