Tag Archives: ghana

My Favorite Moments from the 2015 VGMAs

Last night (and part of this morning), Vodofone hosted Ghana’s version of the MTV/American Music Awards in this year’s edition of the Ghana Music Awards Festival. Whereas the average American Awards show is 2-3 hours, the VGMAs was an endurance testing 6-7 hour affair which ended around 5 am GMT.

Reviews of the show have been mixed, with a number of people of the opinion that this was the worst VGMAs they’ve ever seen. This was my first time watching the show, and I felt privileged to be able to view it online. The fact that it was streaming worldwide was a win as far as I was concerned. I’m not a big awards show fan and avoid them wherever possible, but the VGMAs was worth eschewing my principles for just one night. It was many things: entertaining, confusing, dull and inspiring. Here are my favorite moments.

The Red Carpet

Sister Durrrby’s Dress: Ghana Twitter went absolutely insane over Deborah Vanessa’s dress last night. Hands down, she was the best dressed entity out there. I’m talking better decorated than the stage, the lights, and any bi-pedal being at the show. Sister Durrrby is often makes fashion statements with her clothing (or lack thereof *ahem* nudes *ahem*) and last night was no exception. She was a stunning mix of old world fantasy, modernity and queenliness. The dress was commissioned under the Wusuwaah’s Diary label after Deborah told her she wanted to “look like a princess” for the night. Home run! Check out the label’s tumbl’r account here.

 

Blaque Boy’s Coat: Chale, chale, chaaaale. Without a doubt, Blaque Boy was the worst dressed person on the red carpet, and that’s a pretty impressive feat, considering he’s a dude. Guys have two choices when it comes to red carpet attire: black or blue. Pick any shade of the two. Occasionally, you may even venture out and try on a white jacket – but even then, one must be careful. White jackets if done incorrectly can be interpreted as an attempt to pose for the new face of the Cream o’ Wheat box. As for Blaque Boy, he threw all caution to the wind and showed up as a mix of ringmaster, paisley upholstery and a meth overdose. And he took these liberties while in the function of the red carpet host. How were any of the viewers supposed to care what the artists where wearing when the host showed up as the conductor for a rave party? I think his coat was made in Ghana, which can be forgiven and is even admirable because…

 

Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Ghana’s Minister of Tourism was filmed strutting the red carpet in a stunning azure dress with crystal details that was made in Morocco. Minister Ofusu-Agyare was trilling on and on about supporting Ghanaian artists and showing the world what Ghana is capable of in a Moroccan dress. What bigger night than this to showcase a local designer? Heh? But it’s okay. These are the tactics of the current government – to tell Ghanaians to patronize made in Ghana goods and then fail to do so themselves at critical moments themselves. She was right in line and step with this lip service administration. Well done, madam minister.

But you know who kept it real? Who kept it absolutely one hunned and ten? Yvonne Nelson. Yvonne Nelson don’t care what none of y’all think, how none of y’all feel or that you’re in your feelings about her looks. In what can only be described as Viola Wig Shedding moment, Ms. Nelson glided down the red carpet in a short ‘fro and bare feet you guys! Just coming off the heels of filming ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’ which required her to cut her hair, she chose to rock her natural tresses without pressing, dying, weaving or gluing any attachments. This was really brave, particularly since Ghanaians are so critical of short hair on grown women. (That’s a whole ‘nother discussion.) Asked why her shoes were off, she said “They are Loub’s (Louboutins) and they are beautiful, but they hurt my feet.”

Yvonne-Nelson-at-2015-Ghana-Music-Awards

That’s grown woman stuff right there. Someone please come and dash her dambs, because clearly, she is fresh out!

 

The Show

Wiyaala was the opening act for the show and she brought it. She brought that old school – Tina Turner -rock goddess – Grace Jones – AC/DC – that funk and that power to the stage. Whooo! I wish I could find a gif for this one move she did with a back-up dancer where they melded – literally fused bodies – together using nothing but their thighs and toe nails. Then she did a back bend while balancing on his quads. I was like “ OH MY GAWD!!!!” And she never missed a note while singing Tinambanyi (Here We Come). I’m getting chills just recalling it. She looked like a frikking warrior deity. Someone said she could have taken bold Leonidas’ position in 300: Rise of the Strong Women. I agree. She’s taking the musical game, devouring it, and asking for seconds.

I love that woman.

Dark Suburb. Humph. These boys. (Or boys and girls, no one knows.) Their show was so full of energy. I was exhausted! There were flipping dwarfs, bare chested dudes painted in white clay, lightening, growling, strips of leather; You get the picture. They are just different and in a league of their own. But as impressive as they are/were they couldn’t touch…

The Compozers Lawd have mercy. I said lawd *stomp* have *stomp* merrrrcy!!!!!! They opened up their set with a rock inspired, smooth version of the Ghanaian national anthem that was so incisive in its delivery it almost made me proud to be a Ghanaian again. (No seriously, the country is so wrecked I feel like we’re living through a lost episode of LOTR: The Desolation of Mahama.)

Musicianship is something we’re losing not only in Ghana, but globally, so it’s always a thrill to see people who can still play an instrument. My generation is the last to remember what it was like to go to a show with full bands backing a singer exclusively, rather than a DJs turn tables and it’s great to know that this sort of performance isn’t going the way of the pterodactyl just yet.

 

Special/Touching Moments

Wiyaala won awards for Best Female Vocalist and Best Songwriter, both well deserved. She worked really hard this year and the lyrics to all of her songs are important and impacting. When ascending the stage to accept her award, she brought her mother along to accept it with her. (Her mom also brought along her handbag.) Wiyaala has spoken frequently about her mother’s unwavering support for her dream to sing and entertain, and as a mother myself, watching the two of them together in that moment got me right in the uterus.

You know what else was special? Lydia Forson’s face when her co-presenter starting rambling in broken English and fake slangs about his business prowess and innovation. Apparently, every Ghanaian award show that was ever performed in the history of mankind was his idea. I asked Lydia to tell me exactly what she was thinking and in what exact order, but she hasn’t yet. She doesn’t need to. Every woman watching her face that moment was thinking it too.

Crazy dude in his crazy coat making crazy claims

source: Ameyaw Debrah Look at her face. Now imagine an epic side eye. Heish!

 

As excruciating as that was to watch, it was not nearly as painful as waiting for Daddy Lumba to take the stage to perform his set. Daddy Lumba’s back up dancers deserve the MVP Award for the night. This living legend sent 4 women in black booty shorts and crop tops to dance on stage like four hapless kittens while he sat back stage doing God-knows-what for a full 8 minutes. That’s 8 minutes of dead TV air time, watching 4 grown women jiggle and gyrate to nothing. Someone buy them Poki and meat pie. They’ve earned it!

Reggie Rockstone’s refusal to speak in English touched my heart. His group VVIP won something (by this time I was getting sleepy and didn’t care who won what), but in his portion of the acceptance speech (delivered in Twi), he commanded the entire auditorium to stand up and sing him ‘Happy Birthday’.

They sang in English.

 

Weirdness

In 2007 Tic Tac, aka Ghana’s Busta Rhymes, had a hit called ‘Philomena’. It was about a girl who had poor personal hygiene. It was/is arguably his best and most well-known song. He forgot all the words to this song on stage. Every last lyric. Why?

Akosua Agyapong is like our Rosie Perez. She was our Jennifer Lopez in the Fly Girls days. Akosua Agyapong did the robot during last night VGMAs. Akosua can’t dance anymore.

At one point, every hip life/hip hop was on stage pretending to be the African Oliver Twist, asking crazy questions like “please sir, can I have some more”. Apparently, they want the Ghana Music Association to make sure they are still getting paid when they are “no longer relevant”.

Dude.

Come on now. If you know you are planning to be irrelevant as an artist in a few years, invest your money NOW…and I mean right NOW.

As strange as that request was, nothing beat Blaque Boy’s slangs. He was speaking clear, intelligible English, but he just didn’t sound…right. Here, try this: Put your fist in your mouth. Now say ‘cup cake’. Now talk like that for the rest of the day. You see the problem?

 

I can’t wait for next year!

 

Ghana Museums and Monuments Board Sanctions Debase Slavery Exposition

Some of his "art"

Some of his “art”

Nope, nope, nope and all the nopes that ever noped.

I am really hoping that someone like Soraya or Kinna or one of those really cerebral chicks I follow on Twirra will pound out an amazing think piece on this disaster that one Togolese/Ewe artist is pitching as art and help the WORLD understand why this is just a hot mess that never should have been allowed to leave the confines of Fiatsi Va-Bene’s mind.

Ugh. The fact that I’ve even said his name and driven clicks to his website is like a dagger to my soul, nevertheless, it behooves us all to know who the enemies who walk amongst us are. Oh yes, Fiatsi is an enemy of the Black race. There are no two ways about that.

If you are so inclined, you can Google this man and look at his work. A quick glance will reveal his faux depth. He is preoccupied with Black bodies covered in filth, chains or as offerings for human consumption. He sees Blackness as something to be exploited and devoured, and that’s where his artistic narrative ends. His latest “exhibition” is the next step in that narrative.

M.O.M. Squad and ladies and gentlemen of the Interwebs, can you believe that the academics at the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board have actually allowed this heretic and debaser of our ancestry to hold an exhibition depicting people shackled and silent in the bowels of the Elmina Dungeons? I know this because Mr. Va-Bene has posted an open call for volunteers to sit silently in the bottom of the dark, dank cell that held hundreds of thousands of African men and women before ferrying them off to slavery (if death didn’t take them first) on this website. 

And people are signing up, some giggling with excitement about how “crazy” this is going to be!

The 12 hour “exhibition” called Return of the Slaves will proceed as follows:

Performance Description & Rules

  • Participants will stay in the slave dungeon from Friday, 6:00pm to Saturday, 6:00am (12 hours overnight) with loosed chains on their hands and legs
  • Participants are not to communicate verbally during the 12-hour stay but they will be free to move within the dungeon
  • Participants will wear only red wrappers around their waist and on the breast (females).
  • Participants are not to exit until the end the performance
  • No physical pain will be inflicted
  • The public will be able to view performance in the dungeon by lantern or torchlight only

 

Food and Drink

  • Participants are not to eat any food during the 12-hour stay in the dungeon, they will be given only water
  • Food will be provided to participants at the end of the 12-hour stay in the dungeon

 

Yes. You read all of that right. Participants are not allowed to speak. They are not allowed to eat. They are supposed to behave as though slavery is a normal (and comfortable) condition for them.

Are you kidding me? Are you trying to tell me that those mighty men of Ashanti who were captured in war were not plotting some escape, or the mother who was snatched from her children was not clawing her way desperately out of those walls? Sit silently for what? This man and the Ghana Museum board is MAD.

But that’s the problem with Ghana. Madness is running the country and we are calling it art and progress. A dead goat is at the helm and we call any nonsense and excuses he spews wisdom. None of these people should be allowed to have any influence over Black people. They are the worst type of white supremacists. These are the vanguards of the New Black in Africa.

Now, there are some people who see absolutely nothing wrong with this exhibition or the mentality that lead up to its (planned) execution. Please don’t bore me in the comments section. Save your prattle for someone who is interested in your mediocre view of yourself. I am uninterested for two reasons primarily: I can’t change your mind about the disgusting way that you view your Blackness, and because this is Ghana. NO ONE is going to step in and stop this travesty from happening. White people will come from out of the woodwork with voyeuristic intent to witness Black suffering. They get off on it. It’s better than an orgasm. Don’t believe me? Just watch who shows up in July with their flashlights to go down into the cells. But as bad as that is, that the brainchild and architect of such a perverse event should share the same skin as me is more than I can take. I swear, the spirit of every African slave raider and child predator that ever lived inhabits the bodies of the Museum board and this primate who calls himself an “artist”.

This is worse than the human zoo. This is worse than the SNAP challenge. Can you imagine an “artist” inviting people to come to Auschwitz to re-enact the gassing of Jewish people, or a call for US Marines to have their corpses beheaded by the Japanese? No. We can’t. Why? Because the world respect any body that isn’t Black, including some Black people. But to be from Africa and pull a stunt like this? Because it’s supposed to be “edgy”?

iCan’t.

 

Ghana at 58: Neither Independent Nor Free

There is a general sourness in the mouths of Ghanaians this year at the mention of Independence on this 6th March. Save for the few individuals who have committed to celebrating the beauty of Ghana – since her successes have been so few in most recent memory – there is not much hope in the country. The sentiments are a far cry from the emotions that governed Ghanaians during the first night independence was declared 58 years ago. If you were in Accra at the Black Star Square, you couldn’t help but celebrate. Today, Ghanaians are indifferent to if not in mourning over the trajectory the country has taken. We are indeed a failed state.

But why is that? Every country has its challenges. Even the leviathan that is the United States went through a decade of recession and eventually pulled through, so what is it that has Ghanaians in general feeling so hopeless? From what I have gathered in conversation, it is a subliminal realization – though not yet accepted – that Ghana is still under colonial rule. We are still a repressed people, burdened by the yoke of an obdurate master… and our colonizers look just like us. Now that the British Empire is no longer our task master, we have replaced their role with something far worse: Ghana and Ghanaians are groaning under the affliction of internal colonialism.

Internal colonialism is a term used to describe the distinct separation of the dominant core, from the periphery in an empire. This term derives from Colonialism which is “the subjugation by physical and psychological force of one culture by another… through military conquest of territory” . The term was created to describe the “blurred” lines between geographically close locations that are clearly different in terms of culture. Some other factors that separate the core from the periphery are: language, religion, physical appearance, types and levels of technology, and sexual behavior.

‘Internal colonialism’ is a notion of structural political and economic inequalities between regions within a nation state. The term is used to describe the uneven effects of economic development on a regional basis, otherwise known as “uneven development”, and to describe the exploitation of minority groups within a wider society.

 

Flag of Gold Coast

Flag of Gold Coast

I believe that since our president (past and present), parliament, judiciary and clergy have no inkling on how to rule or run a country, they have fallen back on the tactics of our old oppressors i) because those are effective, and ii) because our leadership is lazy and governed by the same motivation that brought the Europeans to Africa’s shores in the first. That motivation is greed. It is an insatiable greed and lust to pleasure self that has led Ghana to the pathetic state she is in now. At 58, she should have been crowned in glory…but the country is literally a filthy pauper – mired in her own human filth and pleading with the IMF for loans in exchange for her body and soul.

What were these tactics that the Europeans employed that our current government (not just at the executive level, mind you) is using to their advantage? I have identified 5. Scholars of history may be able to provide more, and I hope they will in the comments.

  1. Divide and Conquer

This is not the oldest tactic the Europeans used, but it is definitely the most effective. Once they saw how easy it was to destabilize Africans and their power bases by aggravating their differences, the method was replicated all over the continent. Those in power do the same thing today, with the most recent example being the kerfuffle over the practice of differing religions in schools across the country. We have to ask ourselves: who benefits from this sort of unrest?

Examples in other areas abound, including ageism, tribalism, gender inequity, and abrochifor and omanfor (those who live abroad and those who choose to stay in country). In my view, the lattermost division may be the most dangerous phenomenon in today’s global economy. When South Africans were in the struggle for an end to apartheid and for Mandela’s release, students and activists helped the needle turn tremendously when they pushed for divestment in South Africa. Suddenly, the Apartheid government sat up when the economy was at stake. Similarly, Ghanaians on the ground and abroad need each other as allies. I need you to show up for protests, and you need me to show up at my American senators office to press him not to invest funds into the pockets of corrupt officials.

  1. The use of violence to quell descent

One of the most effective ways to keep a population in fear and in a box is the use of violence. Sir Gerald Hallen Creasy was a British colonial administrator with a bloodlust who oversaw the public murder of 63 WWII vets when they demonstrated against the termination of their war benefits. In similar learned behavior, Kwame Nkrumah had suspected enemies of the state jailed without trial, and President Rawlings sanctioned the murders of numerous public figures he considered enemies of the regime.

Recently, when the Occupy Ghana demonstrations took place in 2014, the world was shocked by pictures of police in tanks, heavy riot gear and fire arms to meet the protestors who were mostly businessmen and women, artists and geeks. Thankfully, there was no bloodshed, but it was enough to remind the citizens that the government is never above that option.

  1. Control of the food supply

Ghana is a cocoa producing country because that’s what the British needed to fill their coffers: cocoa. The Crown decided which cash crop was to be mass produced for export and pecuniary gain. Palm kernels, coco yam and cassava grow equally well in Ghana, but they held little value for the British. Today, our government still decides where resources for agriculture should be invested, and it often has little to do with the benefit of the Ghanaian people. With gari prices soaring, there is still little concentrated effort being put into cassava production and processing. What’s worse, a GMO agenda is being rapidly and violently pushed through parliament without ANY input from the citizens that will eventually ingest these foods. If not halted, companies like Monsanto will gain control to Ghana’s food chain from farm to table, and the country will find itself in the vice grip of yet another international conglomerate.

Control the food supply, control the people.

 

  1. Economic dependence on a ‘Master’ figure

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The world – and a fair number of Ghanaians – did not think that an Independent Ghana could survive if it cut itself from the Queen’s purse strings, but not only did the new nation wean itself from foreign “aid” (aid that was generated from raw materials stripped from its soil), it went on the become one of the fastest growing economies in that era. What we have today is a return to that same pre-colonial mindset. Not only can we not imagine ourselves living independent of foreign aid, our Black neo colonizers have placed us deeper and deeper into the debt of our rivals like India and China…and this after we had our HPIC status wiped clean just a decade ago.

  1. Invoking a deity to prey upon the suspicions of the people

‘When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.’ –Desmond Tutu

Religion has always been an effective tool for suppression. Human beings are not just made of flesh and bone; we are also part spirit and soul. The use of mind tricks and the threat of spiritual torment if one does not conform to the status quo is how slaves were made to pick more cotton and how the Irish were made more docile. Abolishing and destroying the memory of any other religion besides the one the oppressor sanctions guarantees this. And there’s a benefit: when the oppressed soul does well, it is blessed; but when it does not, it is punished. (Spoiler alert: Even in the Bible we know that’s not true, because God allowed Job to be tested and abused, and he was considered the most devout soul in his generation.)

This is what the British did to us, and this is precisely what our government still practices today. Ghanaians are goaded by presidents and MPs into praying for God’s blessings and told that promises and policy will come to pass “by the grace of God.”

False! Charlatans! Steady, consistent work and actionable plans will make your policies and agenda come to fruition, not this hocus-pocus Christianity/Islam you practice as a group! I spit on your false piety! You have the money and the power, and the people have only their Bibles!

So as you see, Ghanaians have little to be joyous about on this Independence Day. That’s not to say there aren’t good memories and that there isn’t hope that lies ahead…but when the electricity is only on long enough in the country’s capital to allow one to see/hear the president’s Independence Address, it puts a damp cloth on the spirit of rejoice.

Maybe one day, we will truly be free.

 

 

 

 

 

Religious Intolerance and Education in Dumsorland

Evenin’, Saints. I ain’t gonna keep you long. I just have something that’s heavy on my heart that needs sharing is all. For those of you not interested in Christ, Allah and Ghanaian affairs, feel free to sit this one out.

I have been keeping tabs on trending Ghanaian news and have been horrified by what I’ve witnessed. Ghana, Africa’s “shining example of peace”, has been exhibiting some pretty distasteful behavior where religion and education are concerned. Most African countries exist with a mix of religions, with Christianity or Islam dominating the population, depending on how determined the Arabs or Europeans were to convert their subjects and keep them converted. It’s easier to control people who believe in (or fear) the same spooky deity as you. This is why there was so much hostility towards indigenous African religions… the invaders couldn’t figure out how to turn it against our ancestors. Conversion was therefore often forced, and anyone practicing traditional religion frequently severely punished in the colonies. In return, “devout” Africans were rewarded with jobs, elevated social rank and schools in return for their obsequiousness. In time, people handed down their adopted religions to their children for these new benefits – some going as far as to change their names to more Anglo sounding or “Christian” names – and the rest became history. The work was done, now that the slave identified more with the oppressor than with his ancestor.

Fast forward a few hundred years, and Ghana is dealing with aftershocks of this mental enslavement we like to call enlightenment – and our children our suffering for it.

An African child, like any other child of the global village, typically has no choice as to what religion they are going to operate under until they reach adulthood. The religion one’s family practices is your inheritance. In my case, I lived in a multi-faith home where my mother was a Muslim and my father some sort of Christian. He drank beer, never went to church and rarely prayed, but he grew up Anglican so that’s what he identified as. My mother was responsible for my siblings and my religious upbringing. So we prayed 4-5 times a day, fasted at Ramadan and gave alms to the poor (when it was convenient). We also went to Soul Clinic International, a Christian school founded by an African-American pastor. Coming from America myself, I thought that our school’s Director and his family would help me ease into my new life as an elementary school student in Ghana since we had a “common” background, but my religion would prove to be a barrier from day one.

Every morning at assembly, I would have to say a prayer declaring Jesus Christ as lord. I was forced to memorize and recite Bible verses. My teachers often had unsavory things to say about Muslims. One afternoon, my 5th grade teacher stood at the chalkboard and told a joke about the salat (posture a Muslim takes to pray) wherein the punchline was “I sh*t, I was my nyash. I sh*t, I wash my nyash. Oooh God, if I’m lying, look inside my nyash!”

My classmates burst into uproarious laughter while they banged on my desk, willing me – forcing me – to find humor in this insult. I’ve never forgotten that day.

You would think Ghanaians would have matured by now, but recent events in the news prove otherwise. We still haven’t learned how to respect each other or get along yet.

The fact is, Ghana is nearly split 50/50 along Christian and Islamic lines. There are a sprinkling of atheists and a few animists, but these are the two dominant religions. The legacy of colonialism is that most of the development in the country took place in the Christian south while the Muslim north languished in the dark ages. It is a legacy that continues today. The north of Ghana has the highest illiteracy rates, less access to technology and abysmal access to healthcare. The north is also predominantly Muslim. So what is a Muslim who wants a better education/job opportunities to do but come south into Christian terrain? That terrain includes better schools – and in a few cases, like Wesley Girls – the very best the country has to offer. This is the situation we find ourselves in today. Students who are of varying ethnicities and religious backgrounds want to better themselves for their progeny’s sake and are being told that they MUST adhere to “compulsory devotion” or leave the institution of their choice.

Compulsory devotion. If those two words strung together don’t smack of the colonized mind, I don’t know what else does.

For the record, I am not a Muslim anymore. I converted to Christianity in college, and it was a traumatic experience. In fact, I don’t recall it with neither fondness nor pleasantness. Still, it needed to be done to save my soul from sin and death, etc etc. As traumatic as that was for me, I still had some level of choice, even though I knew my mother would be furious. What choices are these Muslim children who are being forced to attend Sunday worship being given? Of course, Ghana’s kneejerk reaction from a barely thinking public is “Go build your own schools!” I cringe every time I hear this. It sounds eerily similar to “Go back to Africa!”?

logo2One of the best things to ever happen in my tenure as a student was to SOS HGIC, even if it was only for the last 2 years of high school. It saved my life and my mind. The school’s motto is “Knowledge in the service of Africa.” There were no devotions held on campus. The Christian students were ferried by bus every Sunday to worship, and the Muslims prayed wherever they wanted. My sister and I would pray on Friday in my dorm room. It was far less stressful and we were all able to focus on our academics. HGIC graduates are some of the greatest minds in West Africa today.

I sincerely believe that we need to take God out of education in Africa if we cannot figure out how to implement the tenants of love and compassion. Telling folks to “go build your own” is not Christian compassion. Christ never forced anyone to follow him. In fact, the Bible says if anyone does not believe in the gospel to shake the sand from your feet and carry on to the next town. It does not say bend their heads into your religious yoke.

Forcing people to “worship” together doesn’t build a nation. Stable infrastructure builds a nation. Equal distribution of resources builds a nation. Tolerance for your neighbor’s beliefs – as long as they don’t harm anyone – builds a nation. But telling folks who want to do their part to participate in the economy via better education to kick rocks because you have your head in an ungodly religious cloud isn’t going to make that happen. These mission schools were created to make the Ghanaian a better brand of servant. They were created for the white man’s benefit… not ours. They have served their purpose in that regard. Isn’t it time we grew up? For whose benefit are we now seeking knowledge for?

It’s time to take God out of schools in Ghana, because clearly, we don’t know how to handle nice things.

 

President Mahama Does Not Believe in Ghanaian Excellence, and Neither Does His Cabinet

Caution: Melatonin induced rant.

 

Isn't she glorious?

Isn’t she glorious?

Excellency, honorable, Oga… monikers and attributes that get tossed around our political landscape like parched corn husks after a harvest. They are plentiful and useless, for how many of our parliamentarians can we truly consider to be of the excellent variety? Ursula Owusu readily comes to mind, but women (or men) of Ursula’s character and constancy are few and far between. Is this not evident in the manner in which the country is run?

This week, President Mahama gave the State of Nation Address, where he made more promises when he had just promised two months ago not to make any more promises. He said that moving forward, the nation would not be run as it had in the past, and that he “owed it to Ghanaians” to fix the power crisis. Yes, that is true, Mr. President. Not only do you owe it to us, but it is your JOB. These are the promises you campaigned on (and won) in 2012. You’ve spent enough time sitting in the mirror practicing your Colgate smile for the international cameras. The time to get to work has come and passed!

Can I just say how disappointed I am in John Mahama, his entire appointed cabinet and his party in total? The NDC is the worst thing that could have happened to Ghana and it is imperative that they be relegated to the toothless minority as soon as possible. They certainly must be kept as far away from the nation’s funds as possible. They have placed Ghana in a ruinous state, and the reason is simple: John Mahama and his NDC cohorts do not love Ghana. They are false paramours in this relationship, and they certainly don’t believe in Ghana’s potential.

Throughout any country’s history, there has been a man or woman of the hour. This person later becomes a symbol of the desperate times in that moment in history and a testament to overcoming. When Ghana needed independence, she had Nkrumah to see her through. When the country was mired in coup after bloody coup, JJ Rawlings unleashed a coup to end all coups. To everyone’s shock, he allowed the country to enter into a democratic era. (The IMF may have had something to do with this.) Now Ghana finds itself at a crossroads: do we go back to the dark ages, or do we forge boldly ahead and become the Black Star of the region once again. One could argue that a light shines brightest in darkness, but the depth of the blackness John Mahama and his sycophants have plunged the country in have utterly snuffed out even the faintest glint of light. Bootlickers, the lot of them!

At every opportunity that there is a camera or a reporter present, Ghana’s president admonishes Ghanaian citizens, chiding them into consuming made in Ghana goods. This despite the average citizen is mired in poverty and cannot afford a single ball of kenkey for each member of their family. But you know what these destitute souls can afford? Ramen noodles. Salty Ramen noodles encased with a layer of plastic that slowly poisons the consumer. Is this product made in Ghana? No! It’s made in China. China is force-feeding and strangling Africa with its cheap unhealthy exports, and Ghana is impotent in its presence.

You know what else China and India do? They build our chairs in Parliament…and this doesn’t seem to bother our MPs a bit. If it does, it doesn’t nearly enough. Every MP of good conscious should have refused to sit on chairs made in China during the chamber and made the bold decision to drag in a made in Ghana seat. But no! All these unimaginative, brain dead folks could do was “bemoan” the situation that Deputy Speaker Alfred Kwame Agbesi and the other leadership had placed them in. According this this genius, it would have taken 1-5 years for a local manufacturer to make the chairs and Parliament needed a quick turn around, which was why a delegation was sent to China months before the chairs were to be delivered and hurriedly put in the building. There was no bidding process, no query about how local manufacturers could split the order if needed and deliver on time, because Alfred Agbesi (NDC) DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GHANAIAN INGENUITY! I wonder how much he was able to skim off of the top of that Chinese transaction? A pretty penny, I’m sure. Did I mention the chairs began falling apart a day after they were assembled? A female parliamentarian crashed to the floor in an undignified heap a day after they were set up in the chamber. As is their normal custom, the NDC reps deflected and placed blame on the victim, saying she needed to lose weight. The woman is a size 8-10! Come on, you people!

kantankaOh, but that’s not all. In a stunning move of blatant disregard, Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga confirmed that after placing second at the recent AFCON games, each member of the Black Star football squad was awarded $25,000 in cash and a new Jeep Grand Cherokee which retails at at a cost of $76,000. 30 Jeeps meant a total of $2,280,000 spent…on cars. Now, this wouldn’t be so bad, if Tankanka hadn’t just begun selling made and manufactured cars in Ghana this December. What kind of a symbolic gesture would it have been for the Sports Ministry to decide to invest that $2million back into a Ghanaian company? What kind of signal would that gesture have sent to the nation, to see a Black Star cruising the street in a made in Ghana car? Unfortunately, such a move would have required intelligence, planning and forethought, and the Sports Ministry has this in short supply.

I can’t even say John Mahama has failed to inspire his leadership to believe in Ghana, because he hasn’t even been inspired himself. Oh, but Malaka! He wears Horseman Shoes, which are made in Ghana! Oh, but Reader! He just spent millions of dollars to vacation in Dubai instead of one of Ghana’s numerous – and beautiful – beach resorts. Why? Because the man DOES NOT LOVE or have pride in his country. These are but a handful of examples of how he and the NDC have shown their contempt for Ghanaians. Let’s not even start on how we went from being debt-free to puckering up and rimming the IMF for loans in less than a decade.

Time is progressing. Technology is only going to get smarter. People are working more efficiently. It’s time we had a man – or a woman – in office who is fit for the task of leading the country into the challenges of the new millennium. All Mahama and his cohorts have managed to do is re-introduce the country to the horrors of the 19th century. If Ghana were coasting, we could allow a handsome guy with speeches on fleek to carry us through, but we need a president who has the strength to lead the nation in this uphill battle. It’s time for John Mahama to resign. There is no shame in confessing you are not good enough for the job. You just look desperate and pathetic when you hang on for too long.

Open Letter to OccupyGhana and Other “Progressive” Ghanaians

This open letter was written at Kwabena Amporful’s request. Please direct all your vitriol to him in Facebook. I believe he is on Twirra as well. Don’t trouble me in my comments section. I would rather spend my Saturday blogging about the virtues of cornbread, but Mr. Amporful was insistent.

 

Dear Occupy and Other Progressive Ghanaians:

Let me put it to you plainly. You can’t win.

There, I’ve said it. Who am I? I am the spirit that rules this land you call Ghana. I am the menace that governs the actions of the nation. I am the shadow that follows and will eventually overtake you. I am Abonsam Moja – Satan’s Blood – and I cover every endeavor you mortals who call yourselves Ghanaians engage in.

I am the spirit who causes you to roll up your windows when beggars approach you at the traffic light. I am the voice that prohibits you from offering the lowly a kind word or an encouraging smile, even if you cannot give 20 pesewsas for ice water.

I am the ghoul who lives in the pastor who strikes the swollen bellies of expectant mothers, or convinces women their lives are meaningless unless they can cook jollof rice, and declares vehemently that God will not bless them unless they willfully place themselves in subjugation to a man…even if he is not worth the 9 months and 36 hours in labor his mother expended to bring him into this world. I, Abonsam Moja have even infiltrated your houses of worship! If your pastors, preachers and bishops truly believed in Christ’s power and blood, would they conduct themselves in the manner in which they do? Would they dare to spew false prophecy with the frequency in which they do? Hahahaaa!!! Yet they have blinded you all. They have told you that the more education you strive for, the less close to God you will find yourselves. They have told you men of science cannot be men of faith. As for women? They have told you it is better you learn how to cook than to go to school anyway. No wonder you dense lot haven’t created a fufu pounding machine yet. You are happy in your listless, mindless toil.

I am Abonsam Moja – the Blood of Satan – and you cannot defeat me!

I am the creator of the endemic condition you have termed “corruption”. Where you try to fight against me, I will adapt, morph and recreate myself. I am a virus. There is no curing me. No amount of street marches labelled as “registers of displeasure” will cause my existence to cease. I inhabit the souls of ministers who stand on the 5th floor of Flagstaff House, take pictures of you from the window and mock you on Twitter as you as you mill about with your placards and slogans and your recycled jama. How cute you look to me, OccupyGhanaians. You have the appearance of ants hit by unexpected torrential rains, and my sides split with laughter when I think about how I will cause you to scatter when the next set of economic and soul crushing programs I have in mind are manifested. Your demonstrations are little more than white noise to me. What, really, has any of these street protests changed?

Do you really think I am moved by any of these displays? I am ALL powerful. I am your government. And by government, I mean just that. I rule your passport and drivers’ licensing offices. I am the reason a CHRAJ boss can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to refit a palatial home while her offices don’t even have paper to print with. I am the reason the media can/has/shall drag rape victims through the mud and expose them to harm and ridicule without a twinge of guilt. I can do all this while you sit in your churches and mosques, singing meaningless hymns, doing salat and paying tithes and offerings as though you can buy your way into heaven. You call on my enemy, the Almighty God, but He cannot reach you because you are literally soaked in the Blood of Satan. How stupid you must look to the gods you think you serve. You serve ME, and you serve me willingly.

I dwell within many of you, and even if I have not managed to completely capture your imagination and your soul, you are not untainted by my influence. I am the spirit who begs the Ghanaian abroad – yea even shames him – into returning home to serve the country rather than “sitting on the sidelines” and then frustrates the earnest returnee until he is nearly driven mad. (S)he knows that with a few simple measures, the chaos at the harbor can be solved, the forests can be replanted and architecture can be revamped so that buildings run more efficiently. But you will label him/her too known and tell this person to return to America…or if they like, apply for a job as your subordinate. And when the professional Ghanaian chooses to return abroad where their skills will be optimized to their best potential, you shame them for not seeing the course through and staying at home to develop the nation.

Hahahahaa! It’s beautiful! I have created a craptastic human masterpiece, and my medium of choise is the toil, sweat and tears of the everyday Ghanaian!

I am the specter who would rather you all dwell in darkness, both physical and proverbial, than to see you prosper. Your doom enriches my sincerest servants. Dumsor could have been solved 30 years ago by the likes of Benjamin Dedjoe, Senior Electrical Engineer at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Arsenal division. But I do not want dumsor to end. What other campaign promises can my servants run on? This is why I have and WILL reject any Ghanaian’s offer to solve the electricity and human waste problems, even if those services are to be rendered gratis. We would rather kowtow to Germans than to solve Ghana’s problems with Ghanaian know-how.

Rejection Letter MOPE

You will not win this fight, so-called Progressive Ghanaians. You are too weak. Be honest, you have resigned yourself to the fact that it will always be this way, haven’t you?

Did I mention that I am also the patron spirit over football, the opium for the masses? You silly Progressive Ghanaians forget all your woes, as long as there is electricity for football. Oh, you say you are not among those, eh? Your progressivism is “different,” right? The Ghanaian who would label him/herself “progressive” is not of one sort or the other. That is the beauty of my plan. I have confused you all! A progressive Ghanaian is one who calls himself a women’s rights advocate while saying it is impossible to rape a Ghanaian woman because she is “cheap” by nature. A progressive Ghanaian is one who mandates monthly clean up exercises but does not provide the tools or instructions to do so. A progressive Ghanaian tells you to defecate in the sea so fish can eat your poo, rather than in facilities you must pay for. Every 4 years, dozens of “progressive Ghanaians” crisscross the country with loud speakers and flashy cars, promising free uniform shirts for students while their parents lose their jobs at factories or entire livelihoods because the cedi has fallen.

Speaking of the cedi, it didn’t rise when it was commanded, did it? Ask yourself why. >>>Abonsam Moja was covering that thang!<<<

You silly cartoons. I really do enjoy watching you. Until you learn to speak the language of the imbecile, you will never transform this country. And to do that, you must become imbeciles yourselves. There is no way out of this. Ghana will never work again. Not in 50 years, and not in 500 when the Chinese invasion is complete. Get comfortable in your mediocrity. Your demise is nigh.

Sincerely,

The Devil

 

Year End Review – My last post for 2014

The woman who threads my eyebrows is from Iran. Last year, she told me that 2013 was going to be a “very bad year”. Numerology dictated that it would. She didn’t offer any predictions for 2014 and I’m not due to get a threading until next Friday, so I’ll have to ask her then what her take on 2014 was. Did the numbers lie? Was 2014 supposed to set everything to right that 2013 set out of balance? Questions!

Let’s review the year together, shall we? We’ll take it in the bits: The good, the bad, the WTF?!?

The Good

I started the year off in heaps of debt comprised of medical bills and student loans. By June of this year Marshall and I had all of our debts paid off. I also published 2 books this year, which made me pretty darn happy, and then I joined the Kpakpakpa Movement, which guarantees me success in all my endeavors.

****Confetti!!!****

Lupita-Nyongo-Light-Blue-Prada-Dress-Oscars-2014The world got to see a spectacular super moon, which was pretty cool, and Malala No Last Name Needed Because She’s so Dope won the Nobel Peace Prize. Lupita Nyong’o slayed the world of fashion and drama with her ebony beauty and grace. Gas prices are currently down below $3 a gallon (in the US at least) all thanks to President Obama’s leadership. I don’t know who he had to bomb or snipe to get us there, but it spells out a very merry Christmas for the Murrikans. The rest of the world is on its own.

Also in not so much world related news, God is still awesome and He is proving it through Eddie James Ministries (www.ejworship.org) which mentors, feeds, houses and rehabilitates the homeless and hopeless through worship. Like hardcore, you cain’t deny its power, behind the veil worship. I’m only sad I just discovered this ministry this year.

The Bad

In other God related news, “Men of God” in Ghana and across Africa are ruining the continent with their occultism, foolishness or a mix of both. The people include Duncan Williams, Dag Heward Mills, Bleach-faced/ Pregnant Belly Kicking Bishop Obinim (no really, he kicked an expecting mother in the belly to ‘heal her’) and Lesego Danie,l that dude down in South Africa making his congregation drink gasoline to prove their faith. People who believe these are actually men who hear from God are better off worshipping rocks.

A respiratory virus known as Enterovirus D68 swept through the Mid-West and Western regions of the US and sickened hundreds of kids. Children in Pre-K to third grade were particularly susceptible and a few lost their lives. This virus terrified American parents, prompting some to keep their kids out of school until it had peaked and was on the decline. But Enterovirus D68 had NOTHING on Ebola. Ebola scared the sense out of every living American. I have never seen such unfounded hysteria in my life.

Wait. That’s not true. Americans treated AIDS and obesity the same way a few decades ago. I’m talking “You’ll catch AIDS if you hug this person” and “I don’t walk in the shadow of fat people because I may catch some of their weight”. Ahhh, Murrika.

The WTF?!?!

As for the WTF dierrr, it was plenty. For a complete listing of WTF global events, go to Twitter and dig out a list of the following hashtags:

  • #BringBackOurGirls
  • #ICantBreathe
  • The blue eyed felonious criminal model dude
  • #ISIS
  • #MyDressMyChoice
  • #Ferguson
  • #Jollofgate
  • #CrimingWhileWhite
  • #ElizabethLauten
  • #AliveWhileBlack
  • The Unhinged Ugandan Maid (I don’t think she got her own HT)

2014 was a HORRIBLE year for human rights, and for humanity as a whole. I think human beings showed their collective asses in 2014. Look at the ghastly things we’ve done to the children in Syria and Palestine. Consider how we’ve failed girls in India who can’t even go to the bathroom without risking rape. From Nelson Baani to Oscar Pistorius, and now to Shrien Dewani, we see that men have been given the liberty to both promote and carry out the execution of women with little fear of reprimand or true consequences. 2014 was an awful time to be a woman – white, black or Indian – in Africa. In Kenya, men were stripping and abusing women in the streets in broad daylight. In Ghana, there were several cases of women being attacked by rapists as they went to the toilet. The stories covering violence against women and girls seemed to be endless, and the shame and heartbreak only piqued by governments and police forces who were too lazy or too unwilling to bring justice for fear of the loss of the benefits of patriarchy.

But as deadly as it was to be a woman in the developing world in 2014, it might have been even more so to be Black in America. Sweet heavenly Jesus doused in frankincense. How many street executions have to take place before America wakes up to the scourge that is blatant racism and selective police brutality? Gawker recently released a list of names of unarmed (Black) civilians who were killed by the police while doing some of the following activities:

  • Looking for help after a car crash
  • Walking up a stairwell in the victim’s apartment building
  • Playing with toys in the park
  • Standing on the street corner selling loosies

And because America’s justice system is unrighteous, unholy and clearly given to bias, each of these predators have (or will) go free, never to be prosecuted for their crimes. White supremacy still profits off of the bodies of Black men and women – from book deals to ABC interviews – supremacists still find a way to make a buck off of the blood of our children, sisters, husbands and mothers; and in 2014 the profit mill was in overdrive. It’s disgusting. But as tragic as these events have been the reaction to this sort of violence from a particular cadre of Black folk has been even more alarming.

I am trying to decide if I can (or will) associate with the purveyors of respectability politics in 2015. Honestly, I don’t think I can stomach it. Oh, you know these people. You may even be one of them yourself. Those naïve folks who think that as long as you have your pants pulled up, wear neutral colors, pronounce your R’s and don’t drop your –ings, you’re somehow immune to a police officer’s bullet or chokehold, or more likely to get a job. Niggro, please. There are at least 3 studies that have shown that a drop-out white male with a felony background is twice as likely to get a job than a Black male with no criminal record and a high school degree. And none of these Respectability Niggros has yet been able to explain why Henry Louis Gates Jr was cuffed and arrested while wearing a blazer and an argyle vest on suspicion of breaking and entering his own house. The man was coming through the front door with his own key. These are the same people who would confidently tell you that as long as you obey the officer – regardless of whether you know your arrest/detainment is unlawful – you will be safe. You idiots. Yes! Imbeciles! The man in this video was complying with the officer’s orders and STILL got shot.

These Respectability Niggros want Black Americans to give up all their rights for the sake of white harmony. That’s not harmony. That’s Jim Crow. You’re setting the race back 100 years.

Twinsies!

Twinsies!

In conclusion, 2014 wasn’t a great year; but even in the midst of all this darkness, there were a few points of brilliant light. Those lights go by the names of John Legend and Jessie Williams. I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with any celebrity as much as I am with this pair. But as fantastic as these two may be, Franchesca Ramsey takes the crown when an exasperated Ms. Ramsey asks former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly what we need to do to “behave like good Negros” and to “please enlighten me on how not to get killed”. Ei. Sistah. We don’t say these things to white people in their faces ooo. We mutter them on BET and at the barbershop. The woman has Nzinga and Yaa Asentewaa blood coursing in her veins!

So, as we settle in for Christmas pie and pudding, let us reflect on what 2014 has wrought and how we can make it better in 2015. Happy New Year to you all, MOM Squad! I appreciate each one of you and wish you and your families nuthin’ but goodness and a joy/strength combo pack in hard times should they come your way.