Vodafone & Tigo – I can't "Twi Kɔ” cos "Mi suro"

My hopes of winning over 10,000 GHC in cash are over. 
My crime? 
I don’t buy scratch cards.
Am I the only person feeling ripped off?
As a user of both Tigo and Vodafone services I feel their current scratch and win promotion doesn’t favor me. I believe there are others like me and thus the reason for my rant this morning.
Vodafone and Tigo have both launched a scratch and win promotion which is ongoing. Vodafone’s “Yee Twi Kɔ”and Tigo’s “Wo suro aaa wondi” are set up to get their customers buying airtime in the hope of winning a prize.
Unfortunately my chances at winning any of the attractive prizes, which often are in the form cash, is non existent because I do not purchase scratch cards to attain airtime. Either postpaid handles the airtime or it is transferred via mobile money or Express Pay.
Considering that the digital methods of accessing airtime exist and save the networks money, I find it difficult to understand why users who purchase airtime outside of scratch cards can’t participate in the promotion.
I feel that in a Ghana where a cashless society is being pushed by the banks and even the networks, that it is important to to level the playing field rather than make one method of accessing airtime superior.
The reward for scratching a card can win you over 10,000 GHC. Meanwhile purchasing airtime digitally just offers you convenience. If you ask me it seems as if both companies prefer customers buying scratch cards than purchasing airtime digitally.
I just think that both Tigo and Vodafone should come up with a scheme to allow their customers who purchase airtime digitally to benefit from the ongoing scratch and win promotion.
Post paid customers can be given tokens or sent at random, a digital ticket that puts them into a raffle to win one of the prizes. This can come with conditions such as early payment of bills. 
For those who purchase digitally, each time a purchase is made a digital ticket can be sent to the user to enter a raffle to stand the the chance of winning.
What do you think about my suggestion?
Stay winning and remember to always 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!

New Grill in Labone

If you love meat like I do then this is an article for you. 
The Gold Coast Foods shop in Labone, just opened their grilling service on Monday 14th November 2016.
They are situated on the Ndabaningi Sithole road. The same road as Bosphorus restaurant, Zenith bank, UBA, Labone Coffe shop and Cupcake Boutique.

Google map screenshot of The Gold Coast Foods, Labone area
The Gold Coast Foods Location

The Gold Coast Foods shop in Labone is not new. They have just expanded their range of services and I believe it’s a great idea.
I first noticed them on Monday as I drove around Labone. As a meat lover, nothing peaks my attention like two black grills on a street side. I knew that grilled meat was on the menu but I was so busy that afternoon that I couldn’t stop by. 
The Gold Coast Foods, Labone grills
Grills at The Gold Coast Foods, Labone

I was hungry that very evening so drove over to find out more about the service. Here are the details:

  • Jerk Pork and chicken is available. Chicken has the option of wings or thighs.
  • A meal is 20 GHC which includes the meat of your choice with a side of either fried rice, kenkey or yam chips.
  • If you just want the meat that’s 15 GHC and an extra side is just 5 GHC.
  • The meals are packed in microwaveable takeaway packs and your choice of pepper sauce from the company’s signature sauces.
  • They open from 12 PM to 7 PM, Monday – Saturday. (I was there after 7 PM and they were still open)

Chicken being grilled at The Gold Coast Foods, Labone
Chicken being grilled at The Gold Coast Foods, Labone

The Gold Coast Foods Chili Sauce
The Gold Coast Foods Chili Sauce

I have tried both their chicken and pork and both are good. Though I am a pork guy, the chicken they do is soft on the bone and well spiced so will be taking that again on my next visit.
So if you are looking for a meal and love meat, I urge you to give The Gold Coast Foods a try. It’s worth it and you will be back for more.
(I came back the next day)
Hondred Percent and the lovely staff at The Gold Coast Foods, Labone
Hondred Percent and the lovely staff at The Gold Coast Foods, Labone

Contact The Gold Coast Foods, Labone on 0303933903.
So when are you visiting The Gold Coast Foods, Labone ? Let me know when you do.
Stay winning and keep it One HONDRED!

The BoBo Song

BoBo is the pet name I have given to my son. He has adorable cheeks and that’s where the name comes from. Each cheek is called “Bo” so together we have “BOBO”.
I enjoy playing with him. As a poet and rapper, I often perform in front of him and he gives me an attentive look and smile that convinces me that he is my number one fan.
So in celebration of my number one fan, I wrote a song that I hope to record for him as a Christmas present. I will try and shoot a music video later.
It’s a silly song that rhymes with his surname. The objective is just to have fun and look cool while singing it.
Here it is:
My name is Sean…
Kwaw Miezah.
Hey! I’m a Forjoe.
Daddy! He calls me BoBo.
We have fun, because of YOLO.
And we cool, like Kci and Jojo.
Hey! Let’s take some photos.
We’ll pose, like we won the lotto.
Daddy! He likes the fufu.
As for me, I like the nufu. (breast in Akan)
I drink it everyday no juju.
After that, I do the dodoo.
And the diaper gets filled with my poopoo 💩
It’s a short song. The idea is to keep it on repeat like a jamma song and go all crazy with it. He seems to enjoy it. Can’t wait to record the video and share.
Want to contribute to the BoBo song?
Just comment on the article.
Stay winning and keep it One HONDRED!

Are You A Winner Or A Loser?

Just because you win doesn’t mean you are a winner. 
In life one gets faced with competition. Whether it’s sports, debates, fighting for that cute guy or girl or to become the President of a country, there is a competition that ensues that chews opponents and subjects them to the beauty and ugliness of battle and spits out a victor.
However just because you win doesn’t mean you are a winner. Same goes for those who lose.
In my poem “The Pursuit of Happiness” the concluding lines say this:
“You are not born to be a winner
You are not born to be a loser
If you think about it carefully
You are born to be a chooser
If you end up being a loser, it’s because you chose not to win
And that my friends is my definition of sin”
Winning is more than coming in first, aquiring the most votes and picking that trophy. It’s a choice, a state of mind and a life style.
Winners choose to enter competitions to grow and evolve their skill set. They do it ultimately because it makes them better. If they win that’s an achievement, an accolade to showcase their success. 
Coming in second, third or at the bottom for that matter doesn’t mean you are a loser. It could mean so many things. It could mean you need to get better in a certain area, need better strategy, you need to start from scratch, health is getting in the way, whatever it means you wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t participated in the challenge.
That’s knowledge. Knowledge about yourself and your abilities that could be capitalized on to bring victory. You only learn this by pushing yourself into competitions.
The only time you become a loser is when you choose not to learn anything from the battle. The value gained from this is far greater than being called the winner. If you won that’s awesome but if you won and didn’t learn from it then that’s sad. Equally sad is losing and not learning a thing from the loss. That’s the ultimate loser mentality. That lack of knowledge is detrimental.

For Lack of Knowledge My People Perish. Hosea 4:6
Hosea 4:6

Your desire to become a better person is why you push yourself. You do it because you believe in yourself and your abilities. You do it because you feel the cause or reason for you fighting is worthwhile. As long as you believe in that fight, go hard and make it count.
Hillary Clinton in her speech after the recent American elections touched on the point of fighting for what you believe in.
“And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks, sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers.
You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts, but please, never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. Nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”
That’s a winner mentality. Keep your head up no matter what comes. There will be pain and there will be joy. In both cases always remember to be a winner.
A winner mentality is a decision. A decision to become better. As long as you are becoming better you are winning. Win at your own pace and be sure your goals for pushing yourself are worthwhile. 
A true winner understands that winning is not everything. 
As a Christian I know Jesus had to die in order to win my soul. I became a Christian not by doing something glorious but by acknowledging that I was losing and that I needed help. I was losing before I started winning. Sometimes I lose but I don’t allow it to set me back. I am loading my perfection and due to that I can relate to others who I believe go through challenges and setbacks.
We are all champions in the making. You just have to go out there and grab what’s yours.
Stay winning and keep it One HONDRED!☝️ 

God Loves A Cheerful Giver

How many Ghanaian Christians would like to deposit their tithes and offering one time in church via mobile money?
I have been asking people this very question for a couple of weeks now and have received mixed responses. 
I have not conducted a wide enough survey to have conclusive results but my findings so far have revealed that Christians are more comfortable with tithes being transferred via mobile money than offering.
What is it about offering that makes people uncomfortable about transferring it digitally?
People feel something is missing when offering is transffered via a transaction. (Maybe a blessing is not received when money is sent over the phone.) 
Maybe there is a fear that people wouldn’t give money in church and lean on the “I sent it via mobile money” excuse.
In my opinion, the advent of mobile money provides churches with an opportunity to both make their congregation more generous and raise more funds.
I for one last month reserved a fixed amount of cash for offering and found that I gave more than the past months because I had planned for it. Previous months found me playing wheel of fortune with my offering amount. 
“Is it too small?” 
“I need to buy something after church so I can’t give that much”
“My money is finished so I can only give this amount”
This and many more are excuses I have made in the past due to my failure to plan for the month. As a result I end up not being a cheerful giver.

2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG
2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 MSG

In 2nd Corinthians we are told about God’s view on giving. Whilst this is not specifically in an offering context it still applies. For the many blessings I received knowingly and unknowingly, I believe I owe the Lord a respectable token of appreciation in the form of an offering. In order for me not to disrespect that token I set it aside each month. 
Last month I was able to go through without needing to borrow from the offering account. I would like to however just set the money aside by transferring it into the churches account. Mobile money is preferred because it is more convenient.
So if my suggestion is implemented, will I stop giving offering at church?
 No. 
I however will view such offerings as top ups and will probably want to do it via the mobile money platform.
I must caution myself however that people may not view my not giving offering on Sunday kindly. Ghanaians in my view are very traditional in nature. (Even the idea of Bibles on smart devices do not appeal to some.)
Matthew 6:1
Matthew 6:1

The anonymity of mobile money is what appeals to me. Matthew 6 does a good job of giving us an idea of how God prefers we conduct our giving. Mobile money helps in this regard. Grace however is needed to carry one through a service amidst eyes that look to guilt trip or force you into throwing air into the offering basket to put your conscience and minds of onlookers at ease. 
(The hypocrisy that sometimes surrounds churches is staggering.)
Other benefits of conducting offerings via mobile moneyinclude:

  1. Security: offering sent via mobile money is not handled by ushers and there is a paper trail of transactions.
  2. Anytime Offering: Offerings can be given anytime and not restricted to Sunday.
  3. Environmental: Envelopes used for tithes and other offerings will be reduced thus saving envelopes expenditure and as a result reducing paper wastage.

So how many offerings should a church collect on Sunday? I for one believe in taking one offering at church and also not a fan of funds being raised during Sunday service. I will however speak on that tomorrow.
So as you keep it ONE HONDRED! What do you think about mobile money and church offering?

You Are Invited

“You Are Invited”
A half baked trick question that requires the recipient to respond in the negative but never provides guidelines on the procedure.
It’s Ghanaian in nature and sometimes very irritating. Author Alba K Sunprim addresses this very issue in her book “The Imported Ghanaian” but unlike Alba however, I am not imported.
I have never understood why you invite someone to eat with you when you don’t mean it. (If you use this term and are generous with your food I apologize. This post is for the hypocrites that do)
I recall an incident in my younger years at a friends house. They had some friends over about my age and as was the tradition in the home, my friends mother made pancakes (my kryptonite). 
I had gobbled my share and was hoping for an opportunity to “chop” some more. (chop is the pidgin word for eat) 
As my mind  reminisced on the last bite, an invitation was made to me. 
“You are invited”, said the young lad who had just received two pancakes straight from the frying pan.
My hopes had transformed into prayers and the Almighty Lord has answered. My lips widened for a smile and uttered a sly thank you. Which saw me proceed to take a seat by my new friend in the kitchen and help him devour his pancake. 
I helped my self to one piece which hit the spot just right.
My new friend was in complete silence and disbelief at my actions but couldn’t utter a word of resistance. Scolding by my friends mother followed but the damage was already done. In my defense, I was invited. My friends mom just shook her head and gave the boy another pancake.
As he received the dish he looked at me and this time offered no invitation. I let out a smile and thought to myself, “That lesson tasted good!”
As you keep it One HONDRED! should you always invite people when eating?

It's a Boy!

“So is it a boy or a girl?”, I asked my wife. “A girl”, she said. “The doctor can’t see a penis down there and he has tried saaaaa, so I believe we have a girl”.
(saaaa: a word in Twi which describes how long something has occurred usually emphasized by the number of “a” used)
I had always wanted a girl as my first child before a boy. (Look at me acting like I was in control of that decision) I had my reasons, which I will explain later as this isn’t the purpose of my post. 
I was pleased with the results after numerous scans pointed in my favor. I was however hesitant in accepting the gender verdict as I heard of surprises from other parents.
Thus baby shopping was always in neutral  colours. Except for the Manchester United onesie I bought earlier in the year. (What a proud purchase)

Manchester United Onesie
Manchester United Onesie
 
Unfortunately when the baby was delivered I wasn’t around. It was in the early hours of the morning and I was asked by the hospital staff to go home and rest assured. It was my mother-in-law who called to deliver the news. 
It’s a Boy! 
😳
(that emoji was my face when I heard the news)
I was surprised but not disappointed. Laughed my head off at God’s way of playing pranks with me and started thinking of what to call my new born son.
Fast forward into the future, I get surprised at people’s reactions when they are told of the baby’s gender.
“Chale you force oooo!”
“You have done well!”
I may sound unappreciative but I found those comments at times disappointing. Especially when I mention that I was looking forward to a girl and receive an opposite reaction.
In 2016 I thought Ghana’s views on children will have changed but it seems the old ways are still present. 
A girl and a boy are different and each bring something different to a family. However it is God who provides these blessings and knows what is best for us. 
Hondred Percent and son yawning
Hondred Percent and son yawning

As much as I was looking forward to having a daughter, I am ecstatic about my son. Never did I know the feeling of pride and happiness he will bring into my life. I just don’t like the idea that boys are still perceived as major achievement and girls as a minor one. Maybe it’s just because it’s my first child.
I liken this to a football match. You always prefer your team to score first and win as opposed to being scored first and then winning from behind.
I just worry about the social and cultural pressure placed on women who had daughters first and how they must feel. I mean, that could have easily been us. Makes me wonder the reaction to the gender some would have given if my child was a girl.
Maybe I am viewing this all wrong. I however feel these perceptions should change. So as you keep it One HONDRED! What’s your take on this?

Ghana Hates Art

Is it Ghana or it’s people that don’t appreciate art? This question baffles me every time I ask.
For the longest time art has been seen as inferior to other academic subjects. Especially the science subjects. In Ghana’s reality, a good portion of artists, be it actors, musicians, visual artists and the likes rarely get their art treated with the respect it deserves. 
That’s not to say that people in Ghana don’t respect art but majority view it as something they themselves can do and don’t see reason in paying for its real value.
A good number of artists today are not where they should be not because they were lazy or took a wrong turn but because they were undervalued. 
Recently I was hired by a lady from a well respected society in Ghana (I won’t mention the name) to perform at an event. I was called at the last minute on the day of their event to perform. I had to send in my piece to be scrutinized and accepted and was expected to be at the event at a certain time.
I was professional in my conduct. I dressed for the occasion, was punctual and delivered as expected. We agreed on a cash token to accommodate my transportation (Ghana’s sorry excuse for payment). After my performance I couldn’t be compensated as the event was still ongoing, so I settled for a mobile money transfer the next day.
I never heard from the lady again. I communicated with her the day after and the next and after that I decided to stop disrespecting myself and ignore that I had been used.
This is not the first time such has happened in my career as an artist. This time however I must say that I was surprised that the caliber of society I was engaged with treated me with such disregard.
When I look at my craft I realize that I have been blessed with a gift. When that product of my gift is treated this way it hurts. It doesn’t dampen my spirit but makes me stronger. 
I just wonder whether my zeal to continue creating won’t be killed by the people I create for.
Keep it One HONDRED!

Is Secular Music Bad?

Everyone loves music. Some love a specific genre and others have a mix of genres that they enjoy. For me it’s Hiphop. The whole idea of Hiphop as a culture is synonymous with my Christian beliefs.
“Hip means to know 
It’s a form of intelligence 
To be hip is to be up-date and relevant 
Hop is a form of movement 
You can’t just observe a hop 
You got to hop up and do it 
Hip and Hop is more than music 
Hip is the knowledge 
Hop is the movement 
Hip and Hop is intelligent movement 
Or relevant movement 
We selling the music.”
KRS-One
With that definition, the question of whether current Hiphop is really Hiphop is debatable. However, my mission here is to address the issue of secular music. 
I have looked up the definition of both secular and gospel music. As clear as they might be, people usually refer to secular music as anything that’s not Christian related (by that we mean praising God). 
That as a definition is not that bad to the ear until you realize that a lot of Christians frown upon secular music as if it’s pure evil.
I am not here to change views but to offer my perspective on the subject. 
I love Hiphop music. I love the beats, rhythms, rhyme, lyrics and skill at which artists go at their craft. Is the content good? Not really. A lot of what is being rapped or sung about for a long time is nonsense. There are however great songs and also truth within some of the nonsense that’s out there.
I find the “don’t listen to secular music agenda” flawed on a number of levels. We live in a world surrounded by good and evil. It’s our job to discern which is which and take decisions that will bring out the best in us. 
I am not saying go to a prostitute for advise but if she is giving advise, there is a possibility that it’s good advise. Just because she is a prostitite doesn’t mean she can’t do good.
It’s the same with music. You listen with a discerning ear. I must point out that not everyone can be in the presence of music and discern. If that’s how you are, establish safe zones and stick to it. 
Christians are not supposed to judge but there seems to be a lot of judging that is done by us. We fail to see the good in people. Majority of the time I feel that’s how secular music is seen. 
As an artist and a Christian I see Hiphop artist, Lecrae as a role model. I agree with his stance on not being labeled as a Christian artist. I don’t like being labeled as Christian artist. It restricts who views your art. As an advocate for good music (and by that I mean good clean music) I believe it should be consumed with no filters. 
People should take in the art and be moved by it enough to question why the artist did what they did. What inspires them? What moves them? This becomes an opportunity to reveal Christianity and more importantly Truth.
I don’t have any qualms with artists that call themselves Christian artists. My only issue is that majority of their consumers are Christians. This is not bad, if that’s who the art is targeted towards. However, if your goal is to reach the masses then one must reconsider how they will take the message if it is wrapped as a Christian message.
People want hope and inspiration. They want the truth. Christianity has all this and more but how it’s presented makes a lot of difference. The reason why we Christians are tasked with spreading God’s love is because we are sinners. Sometimes we act as if we don’t know what that was like. People need to relate with us in order to see the light. It’s also not always instantaneous. 
Secular music has its good sides and bad but so does gospel music. A good chunk of gospel music is awesome but there are some songs labeled gospel that are questionable. 
I have always found the song Hero, by Mariah Carey to be gospel in essence. Though it’s tagged secular. People will even view Mariah as a secular artist. I would drop labels and just call her an artist and encourage her to make more songs like Hero to draw people towards God.
“There’s a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don’t have to be afraid
Of what you are
There’s an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you”
Lyrics to Hero by Mariah Carey


With words like these, how can we view this song as secular. God is not mentioned in the song but it doesn’t mean God is not in the song. God is in all of us. When we allow Him to shine through us His glory is evident.
Allow God to work through you. Keep it One HONDRED!