Sunday, 30 January 2011

High fashion models and beauty models of Ghanaian origin wanted for a new venture…

Are you 5’9 plus in height, between a size 6&8 , with clear skin and a passion for fashion. Are you aged between 16 & 24, living in England and of Ghanaian origin? If this is you, -please can you email me some resent photos, including one of you in full length, a close-up headshot and your measurements to me at

Do you have high fashion looks but are too short to be a model, do you have good bone structure and lovely clear skin -and feel confident in front of the camera. Are you of Ghanaian origin, living in England and aged between 16 & 24, if this is you and you are passionate about fashion please can you send at least a couple of resent headshots of you with at least one of them -featuring you with out make-up (especially no fake eyelashes etc) or weave-on, and your measurements to me at

***Please note, if you are under 18 years of age -you need your parents permission to send your details to me.

Paulina Opoku

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Kye Kye Kule? / Che Che Kule ?/ Kyekule ? / Che che Cole? -I’m very proud of Kofi Salanga....

When it comes to the far reaching influences of our Ghanaian culture, nothing surprises me, -honest! Via Google (thank heavens for La Google) I’ve discovered untold coincidences -far too numerous to print. From the Kromanti (Maroons) in Accompong Jamaica, to Queen Abena (Aura/Abla) Poku’s children in Ivory Coast, to the Cromanti Funerary Music of Carriacou, Akans in Java, Ashanti Kings in the Seychelles, the numerous Sankofa marked burial coffins found in NYC from the 19th century, our shared names with the people of Suriname, The annual Kwakoe festival in Amsterdam, our people in Burkina Faso, the Awassa dance of Guyana -to the unfortunate similarity regarding the Nazi swastika and one of our Adinkra symbols. -Nope, nothing surprises me folks. Take our nursery rhyme, ‘Kye Kye Kule’ -and the way it has travelled through time, crossed borders and can now be hear in the playgrounds of America, in Puerto Rican homes and in the classrooms of Jamaica -fabulous. I’ve known forever that globally -our food has (unbeknownst to many, including ourselves), inspired many cuisines in the new world but now I know that orally -we can also be found in cultures that bare little resemblance to ours. -But I’m always amazed at the way we just sit and let others claim it as their own, -perhaps we have nothing to prove. Enjoy the following film clips

Puerto Rican musicians Hector Lavoe,Willie Colon, and their band perform "Che Che Cole" and "Machito" in a nightclub.

I feel like I understood every word, I wonder why?

Marc Anthony…

Friday, 28 January 2011

Aya Brace: A Very Stylish Girl…………

Afro-Scandinavian, Aya Afowa Efua Brace is a favourite of Ghana Rising. I’ve been wanting to interview this incredibly stylish young lady of Ghanaian and Finnish origin ever since I stumbled across her blog featuring starkly beautiful photographs of her in one fabulous outfit after another.

Ghana Rising then voted Aya as one of Ghana Rising’s 2010 Most Beautiful Women of Ghanaian Origin ( -and recently, -one of the major ‘Movers and Shaker’ in Ghana Rising’s ‘People to Watch 2011’  ( A style Icon on the make, I find Aya inspirational and hope to work with her soon.

I finally managed to get an interview with Aya towards the end of last year and she didn’t disappoint, the following’s an insightful peak inside the life of a young fashionable lady embarking on the next phase of her life….enjoy x

The Interview

GR: Thanks for the interview Aya, what are you up to right now?

AB: I graduated from High School in June and moved to London in September to study photography. Right now I'm back In Helsinki for Christmas to meet friends and family.

GR: Your blog’s very inspirational, you have such an eye for art and detail –what’s the inspiration behind it?
AB: I've always loved everything visual. I've experimented with my style as well. I use to paint and draw but I feel photography is the way I can best express myself. Sounds really cliché but its true. I actually started keeping my first blog in March 2008 when I had my mind wrapped around relationship issues and wanted to use my energy on something nicer. I also felt I wanted to share my photographs and opinions with other people. My blog started out as a fashion blog but these days its more like my visual diary..

GR: Why did you choose to write in your blog in English?
AB: I have always spoken English with my Dad but its has never been as strong as my Finnish. I attended a bilingual class for nine years -and when I went to an entirely Finnish school my English really deteriorated. I also feel that because my blog is not so much tied in place and time everyone should be able to read the little writing I do.

GR: Fashion or Art, –which has the biggest influence on your ‘day-to-day’ life?
AB: I think fashion and art walk hand in hand. This is why I love fashion photography because so often, -it combines the two.

GR: I love your style –how would you describe your look and what are you wearing right now?
AB: Oh! I love second-hand pieces with high street brands and generally what I can afford. I like simple outfits and love nail polish and lipstick as a detail. Currently I've been only wearing black, with a bit of red and white. Right now I'm wearing a black dress with black velvet leggins.

GR: You’re based in Helsinki, Finland –name your favourite hotspots for the following –and tell us why they hit the mark:
AB: Helsinki. I have a love hate relationship with this town. I'm not sure if everyplace in the following list is exactly a hotspot but:

GR: For the latest fashions:
AB: For the latest fashions: Ovvn shop clothes for Finnish designers, some amazing stuff. Monki and Weekday are Swedish stores always have something nice and interesting.

Part of Monki’s latest Collection -

GR: For the best food:
AB: For the best food: Cafe Bar 9 and Antiokia Atabar! Both places have the best prices for good food in town. Bar 9 is more chill and Antioka Bar is a Turkish restaurant with amazing food. Both places have a good service and atmosphere and I keep going back.

GR: For the best shoes:
AB: I usually buy shoes online and abroad. Check out Minna Parikka!

GR: For the hottest make-up:
AB: I buy Mac make-ups from department store Stockmann in the heart of the city. Good quality pays off.

GR: For the best girl’s night out:
AB: I don't really have nights out. I just [chill] with my girlfriends -but in general, I'm usually stuck hanging out in Siltanen and Nolla... comfortable ”stylish” places, -there’s always someone you know and you can get food from the kitchen. If you want to go dancing on a Friday or Saturday night, -I would recommend to go to Yk, Tavastia or Kuudes Linja. If you want to go and see a gig check out what’s on in Liberte, Nosturi and Tavastia


Hämeentie 13 B, Helsinki, Finland
Avoinna joka päivä 11–02
Open daily 11pm–2am
Puh./tel. Tel / tel. 0440 660 530
Ravintolapäällikkö/manager Richard McCormick, puh./tel. 0440 660 530
Restaurant Manager / Manager, Richard McCormick, tel / tel. 050 3020 586 050 3020 586

GR: Who’s your style icon?

AB: I have many style icons, especially bloggers including: girls from Anywho ( and Eszter from (

Blogger Eszter from ( is one of Aya's style icons

GR: Handbags or Shoes?
AB: SHOES. I don't really care for bags. Usually I'll just stuff my things in a worn out tote bag.

GR: Savoury or sweet?
AB: Savoury! I'll have cake or skittles every now and then but prefer the taste of kenkey, lemon etc.

The ‘Next Big Thing’ is?
AB: Red hair Hmm... In fashion I think we will see lots of monochrome outfits, simple and graphic cuts and 80's rock band inspired stuff.

Richard Nicoll S/S 2011’s chromatic fabulousness is Aya’s next big thing…

GR: Aya, you are of Ghanaian and Finnish heritage –can you tell us how this has shaped –and made you the person you are today?
AB: My Mum is Finnish and my Dad is Ghanaian. I was given Ghanaian names (Aya Efua). In my childhood always lived with both parents and there is quite a big Ghanaian community in Finland. I've been to Ghana quite a few times and I have family living over there. My Dad has thought me stuff about Ghana through every day life and I do believe it important to understand where you come from. I think having parents from two different cultures makes me extremely lucky; Not only language wise but I feel I have had a broader understanding of the world from a younger age.

GR: How easy is it to be a person of mixed heritage in Helsinki, Finland?
AB: Sometimes people ask you where you're from and sometimes I get served in English but otherwise its pretty normal. There has been some weird situations because of the fact that most mixed raced girls here feel comfortable relating to the hip hop culture. As a teenager I was more into the rock and punk scene. When I went to see Finnish artists like Hanoi Rocks or Pelle Miljoona it occurred to me that I was the only ”dark face” but it never bothered me because at the same time this scene was so much more accepting and liberal. Now in London its (of course) different and I love that I can just blend in but I find it funny when people find out I'm Finnish Ghanaian and they say ”how exotic”. I know a million girls just like me in Finland!

GR: Have you been to Ghana before –if not do you have plans to go?
AB: Yes I have been there 4 times now. I really want to go back as soon as I've got money for flights and time!

GR: What’s next for Aya Brace?
AB: Getting more grounded in London (that’s definitely where I want to stay), continuing my studies, working on my photography in order to become a successful photographer sooner or later and last but not least -I need to learn how to make fufu and groundnut soup!

GR: Thanks for this amazing interview beautiful, enjoy London and God Bless….xx

***For more information about the fabulous Aya Brace visit:

(Credit: All photo courtesy of Aya Brace)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Ghana Rising Hearts Danielle and Chantelle Dwomoh-Piper aka DPiperTwins, the designers behind Kastle Designs and Treasure Chest….

Some delectable pieces from Treasure Chest’s S/S 2011 Collection

Treasure Chest’s S/S 2011 Collection

Part of Kastle Designs’ yummy S/S 2011 Collection
Of Ghanaian and Montserrat origin, -gorgeous twin fashion designers/models/NYC socialites, Danielle and Chantelle Dwomoh-Piper aka DPiperTwins are red hottttt! A celebrity favourite, they debuted their fashion and jewellery Line, ‘Kastle Designs’ and ‘Treasure Chest’ last year at New York Fashion Week (no mean feat) -and have gone stellar -with numerous members of the ‘fash-pack’ wearing their designs. And I’m not surprised, what’s not to love about their exquisitely made sparkly designs and uber Luxe jewellery line? New to the Ghana Rising radar, the DPiperTwins are our latest ‘must-watch’ and style crushes of the year. For more information or to purchase the above pieces visit the following:

DPiperTwins wearing their own Kastle Designs’ dresses

Is our Nadia Buari dating Fally Ipupa?

Searching for more information about gorgeous twin designers, Danielle and Chantelle Dwomoh-Piper aka DPiperTwins, I stumbled across the ‘Lionnes’ blog and spotted the above photo underneath a headline claiming that our ever beautiful Nadia Buari is dating francophone musician, Fally Ipupa -the hottest talent in the Democratic Republic of Congo -right now. You can read the full article via the aforementioned blog at: Is it true Gh-ers? Well, whether its true or not, Nadia looks happy and that’s fabulous…x

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Della Bags -Empowering The Women of Hohoe, Ghana

Red Flower Clutch $72.00

Circle Game Classic Della Bag $48.00

Jellyfish MacBook Case $36.00

“Los Angeles based designer Tina Tangalakis always sought to combine her love of art and humanitarian work. Upon a visit to Ghana, Tina was greatly inspired by the beauty of local fabrics and touched by the heart of the people. There she decided to begin Della, a company that would provide jobs to the local community while allowing her to access her creative skills.”

To Live For: Hope & Unity Necklace $40.00
“Handmade by village jeweller Alex Akuamoah. Every piece is individually crafted of Sterling Silver. This Adinkra Symbol is "Nyame Biribi Woo Soro" and its meaning is "Hope & Unity".”

**I’m sooo pleased I stumbled across this website, how lovely are these pieces -plus they are bring real hope to our sisters and their families in Hohoe. God Bless Tina Tangalakis. For more information or to purchase the above yummy bags and the Hope & Unity necklace visit:

A Big Congratulations to Kate Menson -who’s just been signed to Muse Management NYC

Not only has our gorgeous Kate Menson, a former Face of Africa 2008 winner been signed to Muse Management NYC (they only represent the big girls, basically, only high fashion models) but she has landed an editorial in Marie-Claire South African’s February 2011 Issue. -And she looks hot,..…I think we have a supermodel on our hands Ghana! Go Kate…

Phyllis Taylor’s Sika label is featured on Vogue Black…

Its good to see high-end fashion watchers celebrating designer Phyllis Taylor’s Sika label -but then why wouldn’t they? One of their writers is a big fan of mine and whatever I write about is usually written about a few months later -lovely. I’m soo pleased for Phyllis as Vogue Black is quiet hot and will endear her designs to a much wider audience. You can read all about it at:

P.s .....I remember writing a piece about another Ghanaian owned label, an accessories label to be exact-who got in touch with me about something I wrote about their label, thus I later informed them -they had been featured on Vogue Black -and guess what, they credited Vogue Black and just forgot to credit my blog! It amazes me how very vicious blogging can be! If I told you about some of the things I’ve gone through via this blog -I’ll be here all day, but the truth is, I enjoy blogging and serving Ghana and refuse to let those who are not sooo well brought up to hinder me, plus I have my focus and know exactly where Ghana Rising is heading. Thanks Paulina x

(Credit: Photo courtesy of Vogue Black)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Ghana Rising’s ‘People-to-Watch’ in 2011

Icon: Kofi Annan (Ghana/Sweden)
Tireless, Mr Annan continues to serve Africa and its people…Ghana Rising truly loves this wonderful, elegant man and will continue to support him. You can support his foundation via:

Fashion/Business: Naana B (USA)
Sea Breeze Mini Ruffle Dress ($ 300)

Medalion Mini Ruffle Dress ($300)

Alvar Blue/White Dress ($200)
Hot handbags, an exclusive clothing line loved by the likes of Teen Vogue, -savvy and on-trend, Ghana Rising’s predicating some serious exposure Naana B’s way as this fashionista insider secret goes global. For more info visit:

Business/Communications: George Andah (Ghana)
Ex chief marketing officer for MTN (Ghana), Mr George Andah is making headways at Zain Telecommunications Ltd, and Ghana Rising’s predicating more success for this ‘Mover & Shaker’. Watch this space……

Politics: Kwame Gyamfi (USA)

I don’t know much about Kwame Gyamfi, whether he’s a honorary Ghanaian or of Ghanaian origin. All I know is, he’s involved in politics, talks a lot of commonsense, is married to Juliette, a Ghanaian woman and is the proud father of four beautiful children. He is presently running for Congress and Ghana Rising is watching! For more information about Mr Gyamfi visit:

Photographer/Blogger/ Style Icon: Aya Brace  (Denmark)
Voted as one of Ghana Rising’s 2010 Most Beautiful Women of Ghanaian Origin ( -Aya is uber talented and has granted us an interview (coming soon). In the meantime you check out Aya’s blog at:

Director/Actor/Writer: Kwame Amoaku (USA)
**Did you watch ‘The Industry’ a Def Jam film shown on BET last year? I did and was pleasantly surprised to see a Ghanaian credited as director. Filmmaker Kwame Amoaku is an industry insider -and a name I’m sooo not familiar with -but judging by the various write ups about this brother, -he is most definitely the one-to-watch in 2011.

“Kwame Amoaku was selected as the inaugural new Def Filmmaker for Simmons Lathan Media Group (SLMG). In addition to THE INDUSTRY, Kwame is also direcintg SLMG's productions of "F.E.D.S." and "Hip Hop Justice". As an accomplished writer, director, and producer, Kwame Amoaku is a multifaceted film professional whose credits include: Preps: Chicago Hoops (Fox Sports) and independent film, Dark. In addition he has worked on the production of Barbershop 2, Save the Last Dance and Hardball. He is also the founder of his own film production company, 5 Guns No Cables Photography and Film Production.” (Credit:

Music/Style Icon: Brie Boateng

“Spearheading the 'Treat Me as You Will' domestic abuse campaign, the single written and performed by Brie Boateng is a storytelling depiction of an abusive relationship told from the perspective of the victim in a soulful pop ballad.” YouTube

**I believe 2011’s going to be a fabulous year for singer/songwriter Brie Boateng. One of the few voted Ghana Rising’s 2010 Most Beautiful Women of Ghanaian Origin ( -we predict big things for Brie…

*Business/Entrepreneur: Seth El

Musician/Fashion Designer/ Style Icon: Anna Reynolds
Ghana Rising’s been crazy about Anna Reynolds’ forever -and always will be. For more information or to download Anna Reynolds’ music visit her official website at:

Art: James Cudjoe & Kwadwo Ani
Artist: James Cudjoe
Retire 2 by James Cudjoe

Artist: Kwadwo Ani
Confessions by Kwadwo Ani (Sold)

My eyes are firmly on artists James Cudjoe and Kwadwo Ani this year. I have fallen in love with their art and dream about owning a piece each. You can view and purchase their work via ‘African Encounters’ -a website that represents and sales world-class fine art produced by contemporary African artists at:

Fashionista/Make-up Artist/Entrepreneur/Broadcaster: Nana Amu Fleischer-Djoleto
I first spied Nana Amu Fleischer-Djoleto on the BBC’s An African Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby, made a note of this talented creative and googled. Impressive on sooo many levels -Nana Amu’s most definitely ‘one-to-watch’…

Entertainment: Sarah Tetteh (3am The Mirror)
Fashion: Didi Danso (The Mirror)
Fashion: Priscilla Kwateng (Guardian)

Fashionista/Journalist/socialite: Zandile Blay….
At the very top of her game I predict big things for this beautiful fashionista. You can follow all Zandile’s happenings via:

Artist/fashion Designer: Zohra Opoku
“My work spans the mediums of textile objects & installations, fashion & photography. I derive inspiration from African symbols, traditions and style resources wherever I find them. In an interactive way, I associate these influences by merging them artistically to give a new perspective in the same context. This thereby creates stronger visibility as the relationship with the initial context is even more tangible to the viewer. The overriding question behind my artistic actions is the question of identity.”

**Fashion designer and artist, Zohra Opoku has been on my fashion radar since I spied her designs in ‘Black Style’ (edited by Carol Tulloch) -and I would love to interview her. I love her style and truly believe that she’s ‘One-to-Watch’ in 2011.…..

Music/Style Icon: Nana Boroo

With regards to musicians -it takes the ‘X’ factor to move me -and the gorgeous Nana Boroo has the X thing in spades. But where was he for the second half of 2010? After last years hottest tune, ‘AHA YEDE’ he disappeared….luckily he’s back and is most definitely ’One-to-Watch’ in 2011. Enjoy his latest single featuring Mugeez (from arguably -the hottest group to ever come out of Africa) R2bees called ‘BEBIA SOSO’ below....

Note, you can find out more about Nana Boroo via

Music: Mugeez and R2bees (See above)
I can’t wait until the world discovers R2bees -a group I believe is the best in Africa….plus I’m a big fan of Mugeez -what’s not to love about this gorgeous talented young man?

Television: The Stand Point, Gifty Anti and OBE on Sky 221
OBE’s a little hit-and-miss lately but I get the feeling the good people at this Ghanaian owned station are really trying and thus deserve our support. They have given us gems like: ‘Straight Talk’ -a political programme which introduced me to Koku Anyidoho and ‘The Stand Point’ -a wonderful programme by Gifty Anti aimed at educating women on relevant topics including: “Should infidelity mean divorce’ -and introduced me to ‘Movers and Shakers in Ghana like: Yvonne Ndoum (Cocoanut Grove Hotel), Afia Appiah (Hedge Ghana), Eugenia Appiah (Essence Communications) and Alice Gyasi-Mensah (Mercy Distribution Services), Bernice Sam (female equality activist) and many more. I also watched an insightful piece on the drilling of the first ever oil from Ghana just before Christmas -plus I have been privy to events involving various heads of state like Hon Shirley Botchway -people I would never have met ordinarily. For more information about The Standpoint visit their facebook page at:

Artist-of-the Moment: Eugene Ankomah
Body Shock (Mixed-media work on paper (film poster), wrapping tape, Acrylic paints and spray paints)

Spice (From the Tribal Paintings Series of works by Artist- Eugene Ankomah Available as a Print only)..

A gifted young artist, Ghana Rising not only covets his work but is predicting big things for Eugene Ankomah in 2011.…I also look forward to working with Mr Ankomah in the near future. You can keep up with all Eugene Ankomah’s happenings at:
 -To buy or enquire about his work visit:

Broadcaster/Journalist: Henry Bonsu
Uber broadcaster, journalist, founding partner and Head of Programmes for Colourful Radio -and presenter of ‘Shoot The Messenger’, Oxford educated Henry Bonsu has been on my radar since 2002 -when I had the pleasure of meeting him at Momo’s restaurant at the launch of an Afro-centric fashion label. Since then I’ve watched this brother go stellar, working on GLR/London Live/ BBC London and TV programmes including Today, World at One, Public Eye and Black Britain -interviewing leading politicians, business people and celebrities. His time as UK Correspondent for BET -where he interviewed all the big players at the Democratic National Convention won him lots of fans. Henry at BET also introduced me to Akosua Annobil-Dodoo and Esther Armah -two sister I hope to work with in the near future. Henry has written for The Times, The Mail on Sunday, Daily Express, The Voice, New Nation, Pride magazine and the London Evening Standard and is presently on Vox Africa (Sky 218) presenting community favourite, ‘Shoot The Messenger’…

**Sports: Nana Papa Yaw Dwene aka Pops Mensah-Bonsu

Journalist/broadcaster: Akosua Annobil-Dodoo
Former music and entertainment journalist, broadcaster and the editor of (an an online newspaper aimed at the Afro-Caribbean community in the UK), Akosua Annobil-Dodoo is firmly on Ghana Rising’s radar this year. Akosua has written for The Times, New Nation newspaper and the Guardian. You can check her out via:

The Spirit: Reverend Sam Larbie of Elim Pentecostal Church -London
‘Healing Is Easy: 'Cos of What Jesus Has Done’ is available from:

With some Christian leaders no longer lead or interested in preaching the good news, never mind ‘Salvation’ or ’Reverence’ or the ‘Fear of God’ -but instead choosing to fill whole sermons with what I call, ‘prosperity-Sakawa-preaching’ -where we hear a new type of businessman -preaching about how God’s going to financially bless us (regardless) especially if we give ‘gift offerings’ -ex Army major, Reverend Sam Larbie of Elim Pentecostal Church remains humble and understated, opting instead for God’s spirit to lead and guide each sermon -leading to numerous healings… He visited my church sometime back with his beautiful wife auntie Sophie and they are lovely. God Bless them and make their 2011 even better than 2010...

Elim Pentecostal Church
149 Benhill Road
United Kingdom
Tel: 020 7708 4609
Fax: 020 7207 2870

TV: Vox Africa on Sky 218
I’m loving some of the programmes on this channel right now especially our Henry Bonsu’s uber informative, ‘Shoot The Messenger’, -its well worth checking out and has introduced me to the likes of: Afua Hirsch and the Chief sub-editor at New Statesman, Nana Yaa Mensah. Also, presenter James Sherwood’s ‘Face 2 Face’ and ‘Afrobuzz’ programmes are pretty special -celebrating the likes of musician Lazee, ‘Ghana in the Park’ and director Baff Akoto. Also, there’s a researcher/editor/reporter called Joyce Amperbeng -and I’m predicting big things for her…

Law/Journalism: Afua Hirsch
Afua Hirsch is the Guardian newspaper's legal affairs correspondent. She has practised at the bar in criminal defence and public law and teaches constitutional and human rights law. You can follow Afua via:

Music: Lazee

Swedish rapper Mawuli Kulego aka Lazee is on my radar -big time and I sooo believe 2011’s going to be a big year for him. You can check him out via:

Musician/style Icon: Megane Quashie

Fashion icon on the make, Megane Quashie of fabulous electronica/dance/indie duo, Black Cherry is hot stuff and I predict world domination in 2011.…..

Accessories Queen: Aya Morrison

Endive Purse ($78.99)
2011 S/S Sexy Safari all-in-one swimsuit ($215) available in March 2011

Hot bikini’s, cutches, belts, totes and must-have headwear, Aya Morrison is the accessoires designer du jour and we are predicting big things for this brand in 2011...To order or for more information visit:

Daisy Kuorkor
We're expecting big things from the following models in 2011: Belinda Baidoo, Grace Sarfo, Daisy Kuorkor, Soraya Khalil, Rosemary Frimpong, Meyane Donkor, Chantell Dapaah and the ever fabulous Ernest Osei... xx

The ‘People of Ghana’ Watch…Yep its that watch palaver again

(18kt rose gold & diamond watch by Backes & Strauss)

“The company thought that, on behalf of the people of Ghana, something of value should be given to the Obamas because that watch is not going to be worn by Mrs Obama, it is going to end up in a museum and so, for generations to come, when people visit the museum of presidents in America, they will recognize that when the Obamas visited Ghana, Ghanaians gave them a gift of value.” Koku Anyidoho (Head of Communications at the Presidency)

OK ……………….