Xenophobia – A Case of Bad Nuts

We are all nuts. A crazy bunch all packed in a sack called earth. Within this sack are sacks called continents and within that, sacks called countries. Today we examine a sack called South Africa. A sack that is notorious for a weird problem called xenophobia.
In the past weeks, we have been hearing news about xenophobic attacks against foreigners, with Nigerians getting attacked the most. Which also indirectly means that Ghanaians are affected; people in South Africa find it difficult distinguishing between Ghanaians and Nigerians.
I had the privilege of residing in South Africa during my university days and all I have to say is that this is just a case of bad nuts spoiling the reputation of good nuts.
A good number of South Africans do not agree with the xenophobic attitude of their country men. These attacks are nothing more than a few angry people looking for someone to blame. Violence however seems to give way for a lot of damage, even across borders.
In one way I can understand the anger by the South Africans. News reports suggest that the malice towards Nigerians stem from drugs and prostitution that the West Africans introduce into their communities. This is true to some extent though the drugs and prostitution problem span wider than Nigerians. Its another case of bad nuts spoiling the reputation of the sack and hurting the wrong people. West Africans who are going about their business and staying out of trouble all of a sudden get attacked because of something a brother or look alike did.
The reaction of West Africans in their home countries is also appalling. What good will it do to vandalize or boycott South African companies and brands. They are not the ones hurting you.
Clearly the love of God is not shining enough in this situation. We as Christians  have an opportunity to profess love instead of hate and forgiveness instead of violence. The black people of South Africa went through a harsh time during the apartheid era. So harsh that psychologically their view on issues on race are skewed.
I urge as all to be understanding during these times and avoid the negative banter against each other. 2017 Africa is beginning to look like Donald Trump’s America of immigrant policies. 
Leaders should move to curb the situation  by addressing the concerns of the South Africans about the crime by the supposed foreigners in their communities. This would bring some peace to the issue. That is if only the drugs and prostitution is the real issue.
Keep it One HONDRED!

My Irritating Beggar

Some years ago I arranged to meet a friend at an ice cream shop in Osu to celebrate her birthday.
The ice cream parlor had outside seating so we decided to hang out there to enjoy the Osu fresh air and the sights.
About 5 minutes into our conversation a short man selling waist beads approached us in an effort to have us purchase some beads. We politely declined his offer.
Unconvinced by our response, he bargained some more to his dissapointment. 
Seeing that his sales pitch was unsuccessful, he moved away from the sale and rather asked that we give him some money. 
This guy couldn’t take a hint. I mean here are two people engaged in a private conversation and you butt in without being called. You insist on a sale and they are not interested and then you proceed to beg. That however was not the cherry on the cake.
We were not interested in giving money as we were pissed so just made a hand gesture to indicate that we were not going to do so. This seller/beggar got pissed and started cursing us. He proceeded to involve God in his curses in an effort to guilt trip us. 
Needless to say I was mad. Mad that my religion was being used in such a despicable manner. I mean I have a choice to give or not. I said I wouldn’t and rather you get pissed? How does that help your cause? 
This made me question how grateful these people really were. After this behavior I realized that I would have been a sucker for giving money to someone that ungrateful who believed it was his right to receive money from me. 
I mean lets think about it. A good portion of beggars are on the street because their daily wages allow them to be there. If someone gets an average of 50 GHC a week (that’s about 10 GHC from Monday to Friday) that’s 200 GHC a month. That’s someone’s salary! Someone working their butt off. 
All I am saying is that there are some ungrateful beggars in the system these days. Some beggars are beggars by choice as opposed to circumstances being beyond them. Though one can’t judge, its tough to decide whether to give or not these days as you are not sure whether you are enabling them to stay on the street or helping them get by genuinely.
This is my dilemma, although that beggar really pissed me off.
What’s your take on beggars?
Keep it One Hondred!

The BoBo Song and 2017 Welcome

Welcome to another year. Another opportunity to make hay whilst the sun shines. 
Matter of fact, scrap that!
Most of you have never seen hay before. See this year as an opportunity to make happiness, wealth, friendships and anything worthwhile not only when the sun shines, but when night comes as well.
A great lot has been happening since my last blog post. I took a much needed break and I am revitalized to cruise down 2017 in sun glasses and skis down the potholed roads of Ghana and beyond. I am an optimist who believes anything is possible and it’s too early in the year to doubt my dream. I hear change is here, so let’s all be optimists for a change.
The Network Ink

The Network Ink Flyer
The Network Ink Flyer

I am playing host at the Network Ink this Saturday at AM & PM, Villagio. This is a great way to start the year and you are bound to make great contacts and walk away with a number of gifts. 
(Change is indeed here)
Ticket price is 300 GHC but each ticket entitles you to the following:

  • A Lenovo Smartphone
  • Airtel SIM card with loads of free data
  • The latest edition of Glitz Magazine
  • Cocktail

There will be performances and lots of photo opportunities and selfies so please dress to cause confusion, make friends and have fun. It’s challenging but not impossible.
See flyer for more details.
WTF? Album
We are wrapping up our work on the album. The album is set to be released early June. Cover art will be revealed before month end along with more info about the album.
The BoBo Song

BoBo & Daddy
BoBo & Daddy

BoBo wishes you all a happy new year. He has grown and is eager to walk before crawling. He is definitely an optimist. 
Remember the song I made for him?
Well here it is in audio. You can download for free or stream to listen to it.
It was all done using garage band so audiophiles bear with the quality of the mixing and recording. BoBo features in the song as well so that alone makes the track a must listen.
Well the year has begun. Here is to keeping it One HONDRED!

Drum Roll, Please – Review

Poetra Asantewa opening performance Drum Roll, Please
Poetra Asantewa

Poetra’s Drum Roll performance begun with the poet dressed in a beautiful African themed dress and pair of silver heels she referred to as props, placing a bottle of water and a roll of card papers on stage. 
The card papers were a part of her performance. The bottled water however, was her copying what she had seen other artists do the past couple months whenever they came on stage.
Poetra was joined by a drummer named Richie from The Musical Lunatics who provided drum beats throughout her performance. 
The purpose of the roll of card papers was to usher the audience into a theme of poetry to be performed by the artist. The audience was to read out what was on the card when the artist held it up to begin a series of performances related to the content on the card.
The use of a drum kit as an instrument supporting poetry is unusual in mordern Ghanaian poetry performances. African drums have in the past accompanied poetry performances but lately the guitar, saxophone and sometimes piano are used to provide melody for poets to lay their words on.
Why Drums?
Poetra is no stranger to performing and entertaining crowds with a live band. However for poetry, sometimes the message gets drowned in the music. 
The idea from the show came from the artist watching a performance of a female poet with a single instrument and the impact that had on her poetry. 
She decided to use drums but added that any other musical instrument could be used to achieve the same goal.
Themes, Chapters or Stages
Poetra revealing a theme for the audience to read out
Poetra revealing a theme

There were eight themes or chapters of Poetra’s Drum Roll, Please performance. The first was Motherhood. It begun with a poem that painted the real life story of a woman in Cape Town, South Africa who killed her own son as a result of her frustration of his drug abuse. 
The piece begun with the artist singing her own rendition of “Hallelujah”. The poem itself starts with the concept of mathematics and how the mother was so good at it. Her bearing a son that depended on her was a beautiful equation. “Tick Tock” was then used to time travel a decade and some years later when the ticks to suggest correct answers evolved to tik (South African nickname for methamphetamine). Which lead to her killing her son or math equation as her way of showing love and ending with the phrase . 
“Were you ever good at this thing called math?”
That’s the summary but the poem actually has more depth than that.
Woman was the next theme. The beat pace from Richies drums quickened and was heavy. It ushered a song, a poem and then a song called Annie of the poets Motherfuckitude album. The track which evolves around a girl named Annie’s choice to not wear panties always intrigues audiences. Females are indeed interesting.
Sensuality was the theme that followed next and from the way the crowd read the card, you could tell they were anticipating something bold and edgy.
It started with the chorus of J.Coles Power Trip and evolved into poetry. Poetra has a way of using sex metaphors to make a point. As to whether it is to get the mind to focus or to draw the similarity in things is unknown. Her effortlessness in engaging the human senses to simulate her words theatrically is how the poet has acquired a fan base. 
Poetra and Worlasi perform Freedom at Drum Roll, Please
Poetra and Worlasi

The themes that followed were Love, Heartbreak and Saving Yourself. Supreme Rights artist, Worlasi joined in to perform a section of his track Freedom of the Nuse mixtape where Poetra features. The words and lyrics aided the concept of saving one’s self and even though it was not apparent the drums were still at work like a heart beating unconsciously to the human.
The last two themes were Arts and Politics and Self Love, which was concluded with Tema based producer KaySo joining in to provide strings.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. Poetry lovers would have enjoyed this journey with drums and words. All the guest artists were amazing from KaySo, Chief Moomen, Cina Soul, Musical Lunatics and not forgetting MC extraordinaire Daniel Quist who attempted a remix of Cina Soul’s Julor.(which isn’t bad by the way)
Hondred Percent performing with The Musical Lunatics
Hondred Percent and The Musical Lunatics
Daniel Quist performing with Cina Soul and The Musical Lunatics
Daniel Quist performing with Cina Soul and The Musical Lunatics
KaySo making music and performing
KaySo making music and performing

I enjoyed my performance yesterday. It was my first time working with a band and I was blessed to have The Musical Lunatics make that happen. The rap performances were awesome and I will share the videos later.
Keep blessing us Poetra with your art. The rest of you remember to keep it One Hondred!

Kelewele Heart Break

Kelewele (diced, spiced, fried plantain) and I have an intimate relationship that has lasted many years. Other Ghanaian dishes are jealous over our love and have tried their best to break us apart. 
My studies in South Africa were the hardest as plantain is not grown there. 
One day I craved kelewele so bad that I bought the biggest bananas I could find and fried them in hope that I would get a taste close to kelewele. 
I need not go into the details of my dissapointment and the laughter that ensued but needless to say, my friends thought I was crazy to fry bananas. 
They didn’t understand my kelewele love.
So some weeks back I posted an article titled “You’re Invited” where I used a picture of kelewele as the feature image.
A good friend of mine praised the article but wasn’t impressed with the picture used. As the chat reveals, there is a story behind that picture I wish to share today.

My chat over the Kelewele choice
My chat over the Kelewele choice

Ever since I took that picture I have not purchased kelewele. It was one Sunday evening in June 2016, when my lips missed the kiss of fried plantain. I was on my way to drop a friend when the craving hit me. I asked if she knew any kelewele joints and she directed me to a kelewele seller and offered to purchase on my behalf. I gave her 6 GHC and asked her to use her judgement to buy enough.
She came back shortly and said that the kelewele is sold in multiples of 3 GHC. I nodded giving the go ahead unaware of what that implied.
(I never understand why we break a 10 GHC purchase of kelewele into 5 batches of 2 GHC with the idea that we will get more)
Once I got to her house I decided to eat the kelewele there as I was hungry. Ladies and gentlemen the image below is what I saw and I felt insulted by the quantity that surrounded the plate.
3 GHC Kelewele as at June 2016
3 GHC Kelewele as at June 2016

How do you serve a true kelewele lover this amount? 
Around that period, plantain prices were up. However, common sense dictates that advise should be rendered in such a situation. Tell me that 3 GHC won’t satisfy a kelewele fan and ask that I purchase 10 GHC to ensure that I am satisfied. That’s customer service! Kelewele is not a starter! It’s the freaking main course! Chale, I was so hurt that I didn’t even eat the kelewele. 
If kelewele is being sold for sensible prices now let me know. Until then I will rather fry my own thing at home to prevent the heart break I experienced.
Are you a kelewele lover? Comment and share your experience.
Stay winning and keep it One HONDRED!

The Circus is Coming!

With the colours and picture of elephants (NPP), eagles and umbrellas (NDC), doves (NDP), chickens (CPP) and an explosion (PPP) on the streets of Accra, you can’t blame me for viewing this year’s election as a circus. I just can’t seem to find the clowns though.
(I don’t know why but I first thought PPP stood for “Pow Pow Pow” because of explosion in their logo)
It is very obvious that Accra is getting ready for something big come December. If you are not Ghanaian and arrived in Ghana last week, you would definitely ask why colours of black, green, white, red and blue are all over the place. 
It’s an election year and as Ghana draws towards its voting day the streets of its capital has been over decorated in party colours of the various political parties. 
I have always wondered why majority of political party colours in Ghana stick to the colours red, green and white. With the exception of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has black in its colours and New Patrotic Party (NPP) with blue, all other political parties running for the presidency are stuck within the red, green and white colour prison. 
(Maybe that’s why the main competition is between NDC and NPP. The rest all just look alike)
This causes some confusion when it’s just the colours campaigning. The branding of some of these parties are very poor and could be improved to make them stand out more. 
My issue with all this hullaballo of colours on our streets is that it’s over done and seems to be done without any regulation. Lamp posts, electricity poles, sign boards, trees, walls, you name it. No object is spared in this decorating frenzy. In my opinion the trees have it better though it leaves me wondering about the tree stump in the image below. 
(I apologize for the LEAVES me wondering pun)

NPP colours decorated on a tree stump
NPP colours decorated on a tree stump

The above image however is a better looking picture of the problem. (Though the decoration could be improved)
The main picture for this post highlights the problem better. We often see it on our streets. The Olusegun Obasanjo Highway is a good example. It leaves one to wonder how the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) tolerates this mess all in the name of elections.
I blame all the parties and the AMA for this misconduct. Some of the branding done on the streets are beautiful but the flags and other things need regulation. Our streets look like a circus is coming to town. What bothers me is what happens to all the cloth and stuff hanging around after the elections. 
Who picks up after?
Election campaign poster on a wall in Ghana
Election campaign poster on a wall in Ghana
The posters pasted on walls is even worse. It is here that you find the connection between church and politics. 
Again in this scene I blame the churches, political parties and the AMA. The churches and political parties should do better in setting an example for the country to follow. 
These things are difficult to control but it is clear that when it comes to certain institutions a blind eye is turned. Regulation must however be enforced, to ensure that the streets of Ghana look beautiful. 
If our leaders do this, what do we expect the people who follow them to also do?
Keep winning and always remember to keep it One HONDRED!

My Superhero Day

I am a big Marvel and DC fan who has been loving superheroes from a young age and flying in my dreams. I believe the idea of superheroes is to inspire greatness and encourage us to put out our best regardless of the obstacles and challenges we are faced with. 
One evening In August I felt like a superhero. 
I was in my digital marketing class when I excused myself to receive a call from my boss. For him to call knowing that I was in class, hints at a possible emergency.
He needed me to highlight changes to an order that we placed to suppliers within 2 hours. The problem is I had saved my changes to the order and thought the new order on my spreadsheet would suffice.
Turns out that wasn’t the case. The task at hand at first glance looked impossible with the given time frame. I expressed my frustration and challenges due to the time restriction and my boss in a “I know only you can do this” voice asked me to see what I can do. I felt like a superhero thrown into a difficult mission. 
I first retrieve the previous order from my sent mail folder and quickly used shortcuts to compare the orders. I started by making notes in Microsoft Word but quickly realized that would be confusing.
I eventually resorted to highlighting the cells that had changes. I know it sounds simple but we are talking about 13 different tabs with minute details and an ongoing lecture distracting me.
30 minutes after, my wife calls increasing the difficulty setting of the mission. The call was to remind me of some groceries I was to get before coming home.
Chaleeeee! Will I be done in time before the shops close? 

When we return we will see whether our hero is able to get out of this sticky situation.

(Sorry it just felt right to add that.)
Anyways, despite these setbacks I came through. I emailed the changes to my boss who was grateful at my success and sped off to find an open grocery store. 
My spider senses led me to an open store where I found my items and as I exited I finally stumbled upon a Charmander in Pokemon Go and caught him in one try.
Now if that is not a HOT conclusion to the day I don’t know what is. I hope tomorrow does not bring upon me similar challenges. 
I felt proud to achieve all this that evening. It’s not often you are able to please your boss, wife and Pokemon Go goals at the same time. I guess God was in my corner cheering me on. I pray you all have a blessed day filled with similar success.
Keep it One HONDRED!

Everything is magnificent…Even YOU!

Last night I was on my way home from class with a colleague when we hit the Tema motorway.
As the journey progressed, something in the sky caught my attention. It was a white bright light of sorts that creeped towards us.
It was a rather confusing sight so I drew my colleague, Robert’s attention to this unidentified flying object in the sky. I was driving, so had to be careful not to be over fixated with this light in the sky.
Robert after a while came to a similar conclusion of uncertainty. What is that light thingy in the sky?
Were aliens upon Ghana? Is this the end of the world? Were we under attack? Is Kalyppo taking over Accra?
All these thoughts flooded my mind and my heart was caught in a dilemma of staying calm or panicking.
After about six minutes in this confused state, still driving and both Robert and I glued to the sky, our unidentified flying object revealed itself as the moon covered by clouds.
Whew! 😅
What a relief. This incident however reminded me of how we take stuff for granted.
I don’t remember the last time I took time to appreciate the moon and its different phases. Last night I saw a side of the moon I had never seen before and it was beautiful. (a tad bit scary but beautiful non the less)
Everyone is like that. We all are magnificent even if we don’t believe it. God created us with this amazing feature. It may be beauty, talent or an ability you possess. The environment and people around you may not appreciate it but it doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful.
For these doubters or unappreciative audience there will come a time where they will have to attest to your magnificence. That’s because you may just go about revealing your self or your ability in a different way.
You may tryout a new hairstyle, sing a different song, do what you do in a different light and get positive feedback for the very thing you did that received negativity.
Variety is the spice of life, so I urge you all to go out and try something different. Who knows you may like the moon, get seen in a different light.

NDC & NPP – Who is Apple and Who is Google?

Blackberry finally admits defeat and bows out of the phone handheld game (and it’s about time).
They had a great product but weren’t fast enough in adapting to the ever changing playing field of consumer expectations.
The same could be said about the political parties in Ghana outside NDC (National Democratic Congress) and NPP (New Patrotic Party).
I am forever amazed that in 2016, parties haven’t figured out that you either join one of the big two parties (NDC and NPP) or stay out the way.
There is a third option however involving the minor parties unifying to form one party but ego’s and view points greater than Kanye West prevent this great idea from seeing light (Maybe ECG is to blame. LOL)
Well Nokia bowed out and this week Blackberry exited. I believe the same fate awaits the minor parties. The question on  my mind as I ponder this half baked theory is which of the major parties is Apple IOS and Google Android?
I am an IOS fan and admire greatly the power of Android. I am not a political scientist to dissect and conclude the above matter; neither am I political party follower or loyalist. I am just an artist in love with Apple products who just had a eureka moment revealing that in our current political climate, the major party that behaves like Android and draws brands like HTC, Samsung, Huawei and LG to it is likely to gain the trust and vote of the people.
So what do you think? Who is Apple and who is Google? NDC or NPP?
I look forward to your comments
(NDC coming before NPP is due to alphabetical order and nothing else)

Happy Birthday Sean's Daddy

There is something weird and magical about receiving a cake on your birthday. It’s like an award for a super achievement  of existing or more bluntly an excuse for others to eat cake.
It’s been awhile since I got a cake on my birthday. One could say I have grown out of the tradition. So when I had a call to come over for cake I was surprised and even more surprised when I realized it wasn’t my name on the cake.
As is evident in the picture my dear sisters now refer to me as the father of my son. Sweet as it is it makes one wonder if this is how things will be in the future. I wonder if on his birthday he shall receive a cake with “Paul’s son” inscribed on the top.
A more important question though is whether the existence of my new found love (my son) is the reason for the cake in the first place…..well no time for that now. Let’s just eat the damn cake and be merry.
Mmmmmm after a slice of that wonderful cake I now understand why the above happened. It’s revenge for me not naming him Paul Forjoe III. (I am named after my Dad)