Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who shut down

It’s been days and days and nearing almost a fortnight, since internet publicist and showbiz reporter Ameyaw Debrah’s celebrity and entertainment website has been down. Ameyaw did not say much when NewsAfricanGhana spoke to him enquiring about the status of his now defunct news portal, “my site is down and it makes me feel sick”, was all he said.

A couple of weeks ago, Ghana’s King of new media introduced a chat room on his website where he interacted live by voice with his fans and regular readers. He was upbeat about the success of the new feature which allowed users to sign into the room using their twitter and facebook accounts.

Not much is known as to why the site has been off for sometime, except on one occasion when he posted on his facebook page appealing to his friends to plead with his webmaster to fix the number one sought-after entertainment news site among the youth in Ghana today.

The jaded renegade (pen name), as he is also known, has since been posting links of his articles on jamati, ghanaweb, atacmag and ghanacelebrities on facebook. He still maintains his microblogging presence on twitter and youtube where he uploads his latest celebrity video interviews and performances. But be sure to find his pictures on facebook from all big entertainment events and concerts or if you like political comics, he posts e-version of Akosua’s cartoons culled from the Daily Guide newspaper. It’s been several days since he posted his own link on facebook.

From our investigation, it appears Ameyaw Debrah wants to come back with a revamp portal as his facebook page is being flooded with nicely designed logos by graphic artists. Does he want to make a choice for his website? We are yet to confirm from him.

Many people, including Ms Naa, morning show host of Ryse N Shyne, thinks Ameyaw Debrah has, “clones of himself who go about everywhere reporting on entertainment events.” Ameyaw Debrah reports the juiciest Ghanaian showbiz news, he says, he uses technology to promote Ghanaian showbiz worldwide.

For many people who are yearning for to return, there’s only one question, who shut down

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kwame Nkrumah’s books return to Ghana- to be sold at subsidized rates

After the February 24, 1966 coup that saw the overthrow of Ghana’s first Prime Minister,Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, books and photos of him were deliberately burnt and banned through the use of State power at the time. It was an offence to be seen carrying any memento of the man who won independence for Ghana on 6thMarch 1957 from British rule.

For the past four decades plus, books written by Kwame Nkrumah have been very hard to come by in Ghana. Local bookshops after bookshops and libraries are never in the position to satisfy Nkrumahists, except for people who have the wherewithal to order direct from abroad, for instance from PANAF who seem to have the publishing rights. Occasionally, one may come across very old copies that have been kept under very bad conditions, owned by older folks who were members of the ‘young pioneers’.

Many other authors and historians have written about the life and works of Kwame Nkrumah who the vision of a United African Continent, notable among them is ‘Black Star’ by Basil Davidson.

Nkrumah himself mainly wrote about pan-africanism/African unity, philosophy and neo-colonialism.(*see bottom of post for list of KN’s books)

But at the just ended three-day Government of Ghana & African Union joint celebration of African Union Day, which also marked the last phase of the year long Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Celebration, Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr (Chairman -K. N Centenary Planning Committee) announced that…

“…thousands and thousands of copies have been airlifted into the country and they will soon be distributed to bookshops across the country will be sold at affordable and subsidized prices....there is also the attempt to get the publishing rights back to Ghana."

The announcement by the professor followed comments from a youth representative who spoke at closing ceremony at the Accra International Conference Centre appealing that Kwame Nkrumah’s books be made available owing to their scarcity in the country.

According to Professor Akilagpa, it was his fervent hope and wishes that the books will bring out the in-depth intellect of the man who was voted in 2000 by BBC listeners as Africa’s Man of the Millennium. That the books will spark off the same ideas of Kwame Nkrumah that set Ghana on a Socialist path and sought to make it an industrial nation.

We are also working very hard to bring down from the United States (Lincoln University) documents and research papers that Nkrumah wrote to be housed here in Ghana…the current custodians have promised to do so if we are able to convince them of proper storage.”

For people who criticized the colloquium as a talk shop, which was also, attended by Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, who sponsored to Accra a large youth contingent, Akilagpa Sawyerr had rebuttal…,

“this colloquium is not only about debate, it is an investment of ideas that will lead to action in the pursuance of Kwame Nkrumah’s dreams.”

Earlier before the formal ending of the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Colloquium, a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Accra highstreet based Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum attended by the Vice president of Ghana and former president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda. Also present at the dying embers of the colloquium was the 93yr-old comrade of Kwame Nkrumah, Ambassador Dudley Thompson, born in the West Indies and appointed counsel to the reparations committee by the OAU(Organisation of African Unity, now African Union) in 1991.

While in office and exiled abroad, Kwame Nkrumah authored over 20 books and research papers between 1951 and 1972 when he died in Romania. From Guinea, where he was exiled after the 1966 coup, he published ‘Dark days in Ghana’ and ‘voice from Conakry’ among others. At the time of his death some of books had been translated into thirteen different languages (according to PANAF).

Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a Military Coup d'├ętat while on trip to Hanoi, North Vietnam. He left for Conakry Guinea on being told of the overthrow. He lived in Conakry as Co –President of Guinea.

*List of Books by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah

Africa Must Unite

Axioms of Kwame Nkrumah-freedom Fighter’s edition

Challenges of the Congo

Class struggle in Africa

CONSCIENCISM: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization

Dark days in Ghana

GHANA: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah

Nkrumah Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare

I Speak of Freedom

NEO-COLONIALISM: The Last Stage of Imperialism

Revolutionary Path

Rhodesia File

The Struggle Continues

Towards Colonial Freedom

Voice From Conakry

Monday, May 24, 2010

Boakyewaa Glover launches CIRCLES-first Ghanaian author with a book trailer

Friday night at the African Regent Hotel pool side, a simple ceremony marked the launch of Circles. After sojourning in the United States for 4years, Boakyewaa Glover is home again to Ghana her Motherland. To announce her arrival, she entered into town clutching firmly under her armpit her newly written book, Circles.

About 7months(November 2009) ago before finding her way to Ghana, B.Glover, released a self made youtube video. The video blog (titled: say hello to my little friend:CIRCLES!) was her informal way of announcing to the world, the completion of her first book. She was seen happily showing off the glossy cover of a copy.

At the formal launch which was preceded by a cocktail, Boakyewaa chose Demay Alabi to do the book review. Demay, former TV hostess of ‘you and your health’ on Ghana Television, described the book as a revealing one which she recommended for all mothers who have teenage daughters.

Also having high praises for the book was Kojo Yankah, president of African University College of Communication, who was invited as special guest of honour.

Boakyewaa Glover has made history by being the first Ghanaian author to herald her book with a minute long trailer video as done with movies. She has so far received eight reviews on her website.

Circles is now at Silverbird (Accra), Tech bookstore (Kumasi) and Amazon (online).

CIRCLES is the cleverly woven tale of Rabbie, a tormented young woman caught in a cycle of disastrous choices, searching for love and validation. Despite the driven accomplished exterior Rabbie projects, she is plagued by demons from her past. For the last 15 years, Rabbie has made one bad misguided decision after the other. And even as her career blossoms, her personal life is in shambles.

After one particularly devastating conversation with Ato, the man she has loved and obsessed over for nine years, Rabbie realizes it is time to step on the brakes and take stock of what has pushed her to the point of loss and insurmountable heartache.

Rabbie is the product of her choices; and good or bad, the decisions she has made and continues to make determines her future.

Just a few months shy of thirty she feels she has lived a life fit for 40. But now, she can barely breathe, barely live, as her past licks at her heels and drags her around in a cycle of remorse and pain. Rabbie knows it is definitely time to confront the truth of her past in order to have any hope of the future – any fleeting hope of a fulfilling future.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

“Coz Ov Moni” premiered-a critique of the world’s first pidgen musical

Length: 43minutes

Written by: fokn bois( pix: M3nsa-left, Wanlov the Kubolor-right)

Director: King Luu

Executive producer: Panji Anoff

Featuring: Wanlov the Kubolor, M3nsa (pronounced ;[men-sa]), Reggie Rockstone, Samini

Extra: 5.00GHC VCD with free 14track title album

The famous long red carpet was replaced by about eight straw mats or so that were strewn across the stairs in front of the tiled boat-like looking National Theatre. On the up end of the stairs stood a wooden BUS STOP sign post, the inscription written out of white paper cuttings. Each letter cut out had been meticulously stuck to the red round board with the aid of a stapler.

Whoever conceived the crazy quilt idea of the straw mats, which no one used, and the sign post to welcome the movie cast, celebrities and fans to the 10GHC-rate premiere of ‘Coz Ov Moni’, did not also disappoint by placing a third class white chair near the post. Guess what sat on this chair? A white painted star made out of wood! No one hinted of its significance but maybe for a photo shoot opportunity for the fans.

Indeed the ‘Fokn Bois’ are capable of anything. The unexpected was to be expected of their much awaited pidgen musical which will be making appearances at Rio International Film Festival (Brazil), the Pan African Film Festival (Los Angeles), Black Filmmakers International Film Festival (London), Pan African Film Festival (Cannes) and also at the Headliner Movie at African Weekender (Sussex).

A worthwhile opportunity for the many folks who made it to the premiere, it sparked the laughter and applause for the pun intended lines and rhymes.

‘Coz Ov Moni’ [sic] is intended to mean ‘because of money’, the title of this musical flick is cast in West African pidgen English (broken English). Quite an unusual genre addition to the Ghanaian movie industry that is deeply intoxicated on love and witchcraft or ghost themes is best to say. In Coz Ov Moni, two hiplife rappers, M3nsa and Kubolor (Fokn Bois) collaborated heavily to produce a sequel-like 14-track title album where one track flows into the next to make a complete story. It derives laughter and sometimes, a sober reflection.

A creative work of arts that is likely to require first-time travelers and entertainment seekers to Ghana to hold a pidgen phrase book. Considering words like ‘kwashey’ and ‘sakawa’. Perhaps Panji and his team at Pidgen Music can consider this virgin venture too, especially as the musical has been admitted into major film festivals across the world.

Coz Ov Moni is the sort of film that will make you bump your head from beginning till even the last word of the end credits. It employs a perfect fusion of hip-hop and afro-jazz beats with choreography accompaniment from the characters throughout the 43minute duration. An improvement of Cantata, the local hit Sunday TV series on GTV, which appeals to the Ghanaian lower class and lovers of the raw and traditional Highlife music. Or maybe Africa’s response to the no-chorus 22chapter (and counting…) ‘trapped in the closet’. The 84minute music video released by contemporary R&B singer, R.Kelly, packed with suspense and intrigue on a one melodic theme.

But ‘Coz Ov Moni’ will not fall into the Classic category 1964/65 releases of Julia Andrew’s Sound Of Music’ and Audrey Hepburn’s ‘My Fair Lady’. Nevertheless dare call it an African Classic (if Ghanaian is too limited), for at least in West Africa (as far as Nigeria and Ghana are concerned) pidgen english has become a street culture widely spoken amongst the youth, the literate and not so literate residing in urban towns. Therefore the pidgen music –filled ‘Coz Ov Moni’ can also be aptly described to some extent as a West African folklore, this is a first, and the experts can ponder to classify it. Any wonder why M3nsa describes Panji (pictured below with moustache) and King Luu as ‘the believers of the future’ at the Afrobitten Concert held in Accra last year.

A scene enacts the recreation time of Ghanaian children, use of catapults to ‘somersault’ perching doves, adopting crude wickets and crushed milk tins to play ‘chaskele’ or cricket, ‘pilolo’ a local terminology for the hide-and-seek game and other informal leisure activities. This ‘playtime’ culture has been succinctly and subtly documented in this pidgen musical.

The ‘tenk u’ [sic: thank you] scene will tremendously be appreciated by Pan-Africanists and African Americans for the recognition given to departed black heroes well known for their political activism, success in entertainment and academia; from Malcolm X to Faisal Helwani to Cheikh Anta Diop and the many more who have made Blacks proud. A very captivating tribute by the dreadlocked duo to our forebears.

If it’s videos, rappers have a penchant for flaunting wealth; wearing the latest designer apparels, riding in flashy cars, living in mansions, and chilling with sexy girls at night clubs. It wasn’t shot in plush areas; neither will you see them wearing finest leather jackets or the latest Diesel denims. Hiplife rappers Wanlov the Kubolor and M3nsa, the main characters of ‘Coz Ov Moni’ have not caught the bug of this craze yet.

The same way you’ll find them dressed when you spot them in the corner of street buying fried yam and standing astride an open gutter. T-shirts for both, M3nsa will be in a pair of khaki/camo shorts, with Wanlov (the truant who wears ‘invisible’ Nikes) barefooted and a wrap-around cloth to cover his lower body. They appear in this musical as low-life buddies dwelling in a poverty-stricken urban area, where life is about ‘la boro ’,( a pidgen english corruption for borrow) for nice ‘shadez’ or clothing.

Quite disappointing that Reggie Rockstone and Samini were not seen rapping a line or two, (it was expected of them) especially of the former, who has a huge musical influence on Wanlov and M3nsa. All the same, their cameo role inclusion makes the musical a must-see.

Even though there are no special video effects or graphics for that wow feeling, the ordinary transitional scenes are well connected. Sarcastically, Wanlov, with an adopted American-style accent, gives credit to James Cameron after the end credits. But director, King Luu, showed his trade skills and creativity in such a fashion that makes it fascinating to see computer keyboards being used as imaginary musical or piano keyboards in a reverberating manner to accentuate background beats in the ‘sakawa’ (internet fraud) moment.

“Coz Ov Moni is definitely going to get some international recognition. If it doesn’t, who cares...? Ghanaians ( the premiere) have shown that they like it anyways.-B.B Menson, Radio Gold.

Story Synopsis

On a normal morning in Gbese, Accra. The FOKN Bois wake up and plan to go clubbing with some lady friends after chasing an evasive debtor for their money. Little do they know that their free-spirited and seemingly conceited attitude will make them a few enemies as the day progress. How will this day end for the FOKN Bois? Do they deserve what awaits them at the end of it all?