Sunday, 31 March 2013

People to watch in 2013: Facial reconstructive surgeon Dr Kofi Boahene….






African voices CNN  Dated: March 28, 2013

Facial reconstructive surgeon Dr. Kofi Boahene shares his journey from childhood in Ghana to the U.S.

 
 
P.s  I can’t seem to catch the ending… anyway, Dr Boahene is a handsome, fab man….I wonder if he’s married (laughter).....
 

People to watch in 2013: Afriyie Poku





Title: Why the other Fashion Weeks matter
By Emanuella Grinberg /CNN  Dated: March 25, 2013


(CNN) -- Fashion Week in New York, London, Milan and Paris have ended in a flash of ruby-reds, turtlenecks and thigh-high boots. But what about Charleston, Nashville, Austin or Cleveland?
Granted, these aren't cities where editors, buyers and bloggers from around the world flock to discover next season's trends. But, regardless of what the Onion thinks of Iowa's style sense, regional fashion weeks matter to the communities that host them -- and they're starting to catch the attention of big-city fashion folk, too.
 
After all, "not all designers are born and bred in New York, Paris and Milan," said Fern Mallis, who's credited with creating New York Fashion Week as we currently know it. After her success there, she helped launch and guide fashion weeks in Sydney, Shanghai, Miami and Cleveland as senior vice president of IMG Fashion in the 2000s.
 
Each year seems to herald the launch of a fashion week in a smaller, regional U.S. city and, unlike their famous counterparts, runway shows aren't always the main event. Cleveland's schedule in May includes pop-up boutiques, wine and cheese parties and a screening of "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel," a documentary about the influential fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue. In April, Nashville Fashion Week will offer a day of industry panels and several nights of runway shows featuring a mix of hometown heroes and established brands such as Tracy Reese and Nonoo.
 
Yes, in some cities, the weeks are basically glorified business-boosting happy hours where flavored vodka drinks and rose flow liberally from local boutiques. There's a bit of navel-gazing, to be sure.
But, as Mallis put it, what's the harm in trying?
 
"Regional fashion weeks are aspirational. I find something very refreshing and honest about them," Mallis said. "If the sidebar is that restaurants and hotels get a lot of business, even better.
"The fashion industry is always looking for the next hot talent and you never know where you'll find it. It's a funny industry, where you need to be seen, and the best way for designers' work to be seen is on the runway, wherever it is."
 
 
Poku rarely left his Atlanta home as he prepared his menswear collection for Charleston Fashion Week's emerging designer competition.
Aspiring designer Afriyie Poku rarely left his Atlanta home as he prepared for Charleston Fashion Week.
 
"Project Runway" Season 11 contestant Amanda Valentine credits her participation in Nashville Fashion Week for the boost she needed to make the cut on the reality TV show.
She earns a living as a stylist in Music City's entertainment industry while still cultivating her brand from a studio in the basement of her Nashville home. But during fashion week, local organizers tend to provide models, hair and makeup services, saving designers like her thousands of dollars.
 
Valentine auditioned for "Project Runway" in 2009 but didn't make the final cut. After participating in Nashville Fashion Week, she returned for auditions in 2012 with a portfolio of professional runway images and press clips lauding her work.
"The exposure and press helps because it gives you an outside opinion that you can point to," Valentine said. "Having the professional images and the ability to say 'I participated in a show' also adds to your credibility."
 
Usually, runway shows distinguish the boozy shopping parties from events with the potential to propel young designers. A show in Nashville, Tennessee, or Austin, Texas, can give designers a chance to shine or stumble -- without the intensely critical media eye that looms over London or Paris. It just takes some time for a regional fashion week to grow from one to the other.
 
Charleston Fashion Week in South Carolina started out as a "chic party" in Marion Square and along King Street, where fashionistas hobnobbed over cocktails. In seven years, it has grown into an event that draws promising talent, industry heavyweights and thousands of attendees. Last year, the event's economic impact was $2.4 million, according to figures from the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
 
The emerging designer competition is the event's centerpiece. The nightly showdown began Tuesday, whittling down a roster of 20 aspiring designers to five finalists, who sent their collections down the runway Saturday night in a bid for the grand prize.
 
The winner takes home $5,000 in cash, $10,000 in online marketing and promotional services, a book of professional runway images of the winning collection, and a sewing machine. Prizes like that would certainly help semifinalist Afriyie Poku, who makes a living doing custom alterations on a secondhand sewing machine in his Atlanta apartment. He's also on call for tailoring jobs at a hotel he quit last month to free up time to work on his menswear collection.
 
The tall-haired, Ghana-born Atlantan transformed the living room of his Midtown apartment into a workshop after being selected in December to participate in the contest.
 
Aspiring designer Afriyie Poku learned everything he knows by altering his clothes to his liking.
Poku learned everything he knows by altering his clothes to his liking.
 
His design idol is Ralph Lauren, so naturally his collection is based on traditional menswear silhouettes with what he calls an "attention to detail that brings it into the modern era." Poku takes pride in his fashion-forward embellishments, such as high-waisted riding pants with reverse pleats, a side zipper or leather inseam patches, and a double-breasted morning coat lined to be warm enough on its own.
 
The self-taught tailor says he has a character or archetype in mind for each piece -- the hunter, the gentleman -- but he acknowledges that he's designing for himself. That's how he learned to sew, by altering clothes to his liking, in a fitted, tailored style inspired by his uncles, businessmen in Ghana, even if his first creation was a pair of pants made from a bedsheet.
 
"My view was, 'Everything you wear has to fit well,'" Poku said. "But when I went to Macy's, things were not made to fit as I wanted, so I'd buy clothes and made them to fit like I wanted them to fit."
In the month before the competition, he stayed awake for days at a time to finish the collection. In the home he shares with his girlfriend, an aspiring opera singer, he pieced together 12 fall menswear runway looks -- eight for the semifinal and four more in case he advanced to Saturday night's final.
Poku said he doesn't want to start his own label or become a "Project Runway"-style celeb just yet. For now, his goal is to find an apprenticeship with an established menswear designer or contract sewer.
 
"I just want to give it a try and see what happens," he said in an interview last week in a home studio littered with spools of thread and bags of fabric. "Even if I don't win, I feel like just being there will help me find what I need to advance to the next level."
 
In Charleston, he knew he'd have the eyes of an appreciative local community, as well as some established designers from the upper echelons of high fashion.
 
Christian Siriano already has a foothold in the industry. Celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna and Heidi Klum wear his gowns on the red carpet. He has a flagship store in New York and an eponymous line sold in Neiman Marcus and boutiques around the world. Still, he had a full schedule this week in Charleston.
 
"We look at it as a business opportunity to find new customers and form new relationships with retailers," said Siriano, the youngest designer to win "Project Runway" or land on Crain's 40 Under 40 list. "Who wants to alienate a customer who's ready to shop?"
 
Siriano already showed his ballet-inspired Fall 2013 collection in New York and Paris, but he brought it to Charleston for a show Saturday. On Friday he participated in a trunk show hosted by a family-owned department store, Gwynn's of Mount Pleasant, where he would like to see his clothes sold, he said. He also judged the emerging designer competition, along with Mallis and other industry insiders and entertainers: singer-songwriter Ashanti, designers Brandon Sun and Antonio Azzuolo and Hannah Goff, winner of the 2012 Charleston emerging designer competition.
 
Cynthia Rowley judged the emerging designer competition in 2009, when swimwear designer Marysia Reeves won. Since then, Reeves' swimwear has been featured in publications including Vogue and WWD, and her collections have been picked up by Barneys New York, Anthropologie and other high-end boutiques around the world.
 
"Charleston has a sophisticated, fashion-savvy audience, so it's just a matter of making my products more accessible to them," said Rowley, who was in the city this week to visit her King Street store and promote her latest collection for Belk department stores. "It's also a great way for me to learn more about what's happening in fashion in that part of the country."
 
The emerging designer competition final drew hundreds of people Saturday. The competition was tight, but ultimately the panel chose Poku as the winner, with Mallis describing his collection as "something special." He also won the audience favorite award, another $250 prize.
 
Dozens of fans swarmed around him, making it hard for his sisters and girlfriend to reach him. As far as he was concerned, the win vindicated his efforts.
 
"It's shown me I am meant for this," he said of his win. "This is my way in life. Any impact I'll be able to make on the human race will be in this field."



The Spirit: Happy Easter….It’s Time to Worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth………



Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I’ve been afraid to publically confess this …but I’m slowly going off sooo called ‘Black’ churches ---and I’m now visiting a local COE –with a small congregation in northwest London…

I miss African gospel music and the colours of said churches and often visit my own church in Wood Green at times… but I don’t like entering a church and being made to sit right at the front- when I’m with my son and he might want to truly relax at the back and also enjoy the sermon before going to Sunday school.

Also unlike COE churches where you can sit anywhere you like, I don’t like being ushered and packed like sardines in an overcrowded church –where an individual walks around counting the amount of people in attendance ---and many walk about with walkie-talkies… When did churches become businesses????

Paying tithes is also not a problem to me especially as I believe in the wonderful concept of store rooms/houses –see Malachi 3:10 ESV

“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

The only thing is ----many of these churches don’t understand what a storehouse is ---thus don’t use it to feed their poor!!! May God have mercy on all of us….

I also don’t mind giving an offering (I am very aware of the cost of lighting, water, cleaners in churches etc) but can’t quiet work out why –when I have given an offering, and say ---there is a visiting pastor ---why I have to offer again and again….and again…

The following Text is written by pastor Conrad Mbewe of Kabwata Baptist Church (http://www.conradmbewe.com/) in Lusaka, Zambia and makes for very insightful reading..  I pray that this message was and is received in the spirit and manner that it was intended ---as the truth to set us all free!!!

Note, he might be talking about [some] Nigerian priests/prophets/whatevers ---but I don’t think Ghanaian soooo called MEN OF GOD should read this and think it doesn’t concern them –because it does.

Whilst there are some true servants of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus in Ghana, –there are also many demon possessed individuals masquerading as prophets –stealing from their poor congregation and heading towards HELL…

        
*******
 Title: Nigerian Religious Junk!
Sunday, February 20, 2011

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits... So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit…Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-20).


I begin this blog by apologising to all my Nigerian brothers and sisters for its title. At first sight it is rather offensive, but I hope that as you read on you will see why I elected to still use it as a title. As nations or tribes or social groupings we take on a certain characteristic that is not true about each person in the group but which we come to be identified with. Hence, Paul could write, “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:12-13). In the same way, we tend to (rightly or wrongly) identify Americans with arrogance, Kenyans with marathon running prowess, West Africans with fraudulent activities, Afrikaners with racism, etc.

 
I have just returned from a consultative meeting in South Africa where the first day was spent surveying the spiritual state of the countries in the southern African sub-region. Central to all this was the state of evangelicalism in all these countries. Nation after nation reported on the arrival of “Nigerian religious junk” that was changing the landscape of what there once was of evangelicalism. One or two of the countries were blessed exceptions. Evidently, this junk originated from mega-churches in the USA and then found ready soil in West Africa, and especially in Nigeria. Having given it an African flavour, it is now being exported across Africa at a phenomenal rate.


I feel very sad to write about this, but by “Nigerian religious junk” I mean the phenomenon of churches that are personal-to-holder. They exalt the personality of their founding father, who is still alive somewhere in Nigeria (or elsewhere) and is treated with the aura of a state president or paramount chief. It does not matter which country you go to, the bill boards of these churches do not have the faces of the local pastors of the congregations in those towns but of the founding father in Nigeria—or wherever he has since relocated. It is all about image and power. This “man of God” claims to hear the voice of God and proceeds to minister to you accordingly. If you do not obey him you are resisting the ministry of God into your life. So, the churches are often called “ministries” rather than churches. And to make them even more impressive, the term “international” is often added to their name.


The Africanisation of this religious junk is primarily in the way it has been made to appeal to African spirituality. The pastor is the modern witchdoctor calling all and sundry to come to him for “deliverance”. Just as the witchdoctor appealed to us by inviting us to see him for spiritual protection or when we were struggling with bad luck, childlessness, joblessness, illness, failure to attract a suitor for marriage or to rise in a job or get a contract, etc., these pastors do precisely the same thing. So-called prophetic utterances are made which explain why all this is happening, holy water or oil is prayed over and dispensed, and some money is extracted from the persons seeking help. Thus their churches attract thousands of people who are there for purely selfish reasons. The motivating factor is not reconciliation with God through Christ but rather “deliverance” from perceived evil and to be blessed through the supernatural powers that “the man of God” possesses. Let’s face it: this is our African traditional religions coming into the church through the back door.


The self-centredness of all this is seen in the worship. Churches are being turned into entertainment centres instead of edification centres. People come to church to be entertained, healed and blessed. The fact that professionals, who engage their brains when working with their hands five to six days a week, stop thinking and just dance and laugh in worship is extremely sad, in the light of the demand of God that we are to love him with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength. It has been the failure of Christians to think through the implications of their Christian faith on the whole of life that has left Africa filled with Christian churches and lack of development at the same time. Surely, if these professionals were thinking they would have added up one-plus-one by now and seen why their pastors have become stinking rich. It is not their faith but the money of their congregants, whom they cheat with promises, that makes them buy expensive cars and clothes and put up mansions. If one thousand individuals are “sowing the seed” every week to be blessed by the man of God, of course the man of God will get very rich while they will get poorer. That is simple common sense.



The result of this phenomenon of personal-to-holder churches has been the selective nature of church discipline. You do not discipline a Sangoma (i.e. witchdoctor)—or a chief! It is a known fact, even among the church members, that a number of these pastors have serious moral problems. However, “you do not touch the Lord’s anointed” and so they are not disciplined, even when they have impregnated girls in the church. One such anointed one in Zambia changed wives three times through divorce in less than six months and still remains the apostle of his church. To be fair, this man is a Zambian, but he has imbibed this personal-to-holder phenomenon from Nigeria. There must be accountability from everyone in the church—including the church pastor.

 
Yet another characteristic of this phenomenon which is particularly African is the craze for titles. We Africans love titles! Once upon a time, evangelical pastors were content to simply be called pastors. Terms like “bishop” were left to those who had an Episcopalian system of church government, which was a formal structure that rose to national and global level. Alas, that has now changed! With the advent of this Nigerian religious junk, it is titles galore! You now have bishops, arch-bishops, prophets, apostles, chief apostles, etc. Some are not even content with that and so have combinations like, “chief apostle prophet doctor so-and-so.” This is certainly very different from the teaching and personal lifestyle of the Lord Jesus Christ whom they claim to serve.

 
Many of these churches have since been discovered to be nothing more than fund-raising outfits, with sole proprietorship maintained by the pastor and his wife. The pattern seems to be: start a church and then milk the congregation. The pastors basically prey on the vulnerable and gullible. They are crooks and conmen. In a number of the southern African countries represented at the consultation, governments have sent these pastors packing upon finding undeniable proof that large stashes of money were being milked out of their citizens and being shipped to West Africa. This has made these governments very suspicious of anyone coming from any other African country as a missionary into their country. They now think that all African missionaries are just mercenaries.

 
Yet, the saddest part of all this has been the loss of the gospel. Once upon a time, you could go to any church that purported to be evangelical and once you survived what was called worship, you would hear a sermon that finally pointed you to Christ and him crucified for pardon from sin. That is now largely an exception, and is as rare as my great grandfather’s teeth. What you hear now are calls for “deliverance”, and you experience this by coming forward to be prayed for. Inevitably, once you lose the gospel, you lose true spirituality and morality. Christianity becomes a thin veneer of respectability but inside there is total corruption and decay. The church becomes a wardrobe full of skeletons. Or, to borrow a more biblical expression, the church is filled with white-washed tombs.

 
This explains why, although Nigeria is packed with such mega-churches (and is now exporting them across the continent), it is still the most corrupt nation on the continent. If church leaders are milking the people like this, what hope is there to correct things among the politicians and the civil servants? It is impossible! You cannot grow true spirituality where the cross of Christ and the Christ of the cross is absent. We must insist that the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit. Where holiness is conspicuous by its absence, we should never attribute what is happening there to God’s Spirit because he is a spirit of holiness. Crowds and people falling backwards upon being touched prove nothing if holiness of life is missing. Jesus said, “You will recognise them by their fruits.”

 
In this blog I have avoided naming names. This is because the consultation I have just come from did not name names. However, all I can say is, “If the hat fits you, put it on!” Anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear knows what I am talking about. Let me end by once again apologising to any genuine and sincere Nigerian pastors who distance themselves from all this junk. Just as I know a number of sweet American folks who are very humble, Kenyans who cannot run halfway around a football ground, and Afrikaners who are colour blind, I am sure there must be many West African pastors—and Nigerians for that matter—who will have nothing to do with this spiritual corruption. I only wish they were more vocal in condemning this religious junk being exported from their country!


****Paulina says: Please visit the above link and read the comments…. They are truly heartfelt ---as we all want the truth in all nations….

 


More info:
Conrad Mbewe
[Updated October 2011] I worked as a Mining Engineer in Zambia before answering God's call into the pastoral ministry. I have been the pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church (KBC) in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa, since 1987. KBC is presently overseeing the establishment of about twenty new Reformed Baptist churches in Zambia and its neighbouring countries. I also maintain a full itinerant preaching ministry in different countries around the world. I love writing. Hence, I am the editor of Reformation Zambia magazine and presently write a column in one weekly national newspaper. I have written many booklets in my own country and have two books on the international market—Maintaining Sexual Purity (RSA, 2009), and Foundations for the Flock (USA, 2011). I have also contributed to a number of books, including Dear Timothy—Letters on Pastoral Ministry (USA, 2004). I was until recently the principal of the Reformed Baptist Preachers College in Zambia. I volunteer with the YMCA, providing vocational training to the many unemployed youths in our community. I am married to Felistas, and we have been wonderfully blessed with three children plus two foster daughters.

 
 
2 Corinthians 9:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Music: Lazee and Trina Collaborate……




Ghana Rising fave, Ghanaian-Swedish rapper Mawuli Kulego aka Lazee, who has been heating up the airways since his, "breakthrough hit single “Rock Away“ in 2008" and been "supporting act for notable American artists such as Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Ne-Yo, Wyclef Jean, Rick Ross and Musiq Soulchild" et al, -just posted the above photo of him and Trina at a video shoot and I just had to share… All sorts of sexy… You can keep with Lazee via:  


 
P.s Such a coincidence that I’m talking about Trina today,  because I was talking to my cousin Lala (not her real name but she’s been calling herself that forever) and she looks just like Trina, thus I’ve always been convinced that Trina (and family) originated from Ghana….

Sarkodie Set for Big Brother Africa 8….





Paulina Opoku Gyimah says: If all goes to plan, rapper Sarkodie is set to represent Ghana in this year’s Big Brother Africa –alongside the like of, “ former Big Brother UK entrant Makosi together with Uganda’s Desire Luzinda and Jackie (Obessions), South Africa’s controversial socialite Kanyi Mbau, Nigeria’s Iyanya and Dammy Krane, Kenya’s Shaffie Weru and Oj Oballa and Kenyan model Vera Sidika.”

Very interesting me thinks. You can read all about it via: http://bigbrother-africa.com/nigerias-iyanya-and-dammy-krane-on-big-brother-africa-8/

For more info about Sarkodie visit: https://www.facebook.com/sarkodie.obidiponbidi






Karen Curley’s Views on infrastructure and Tourism in Ghana……






 
 
Poor sanitation: A man rinses his hands in flood water while cleaning out a house in a hard-hit neighbor hood in Staten Island (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226735/New-York-Marathon-Congressman-lashes-officials-pushing-ahead-event.html)

 

“Americans are just scared of the world. I mean, really scared. Maybe even petrified. In this post-9/11 world, Americans have been taught that the world is a big, frightening place. There are terrorists outside every hotel waiting to kidnap you. People don’t like you because you are American. The world is violent. It’s poor. It’s dirty. It’s savage. Canada and Europe are O.K., but, if you go there, they will still be rude to you because you are American. No one likes us.” http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/why-americans-dont-travel-overseas/

 

 
 

“In 2011, the official poverty rate was 15.0 percent. There were 46.2 million people in poverty.” United States Census Bureau

“The poverty rate in 2011 for children under age 18 was 21.9 per-cent. The poverty rate for people aged 18 to 64 was 13.7 percent, while the rate for people aged 65 and older was 8.7 percent.” United States Census Bureau

 



“In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.” Feeding America

“In 2011, 57.2 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major Federal food assistance programs –Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamp Program), The National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.” Feeding America


 
 



 

“While an international law recognizes the human right to water, unfortunately there is no binding enforcement and in the US there are no laws guaranteeing that you'll have clean water or that you'll be protected from water shut-offs if you can't afford it. One of the areas that has been hardest hit is Detroit, a city that is majority African American. The unemployment rate is 1 in 6 and in some neighborhoods as high as 50 percent. As a result, water use went down too -- Detroit's water utility supplied 20 percent less water in 2009 than it did in 2003…………

In 2006, the number of people who had their water shut off reached 45,000. Unpaid water bills were added to property taxes, meaning that people who couldn't pay risked losing not just access to clean water and sanitation, but their homes as well.

Elsewhere in the US there are similar issues. An estimated 13 percent of Native Americans lack access to safe water and/or wastewater disposal, compared to less than 1 percent of non-native American households.

The racial disparities abound elsewhere, too. In California's Central Valley, many Latino farmworker communities have unsafe drinking water, mostly from nitrate pollution from farms and feedlots.” http://www.alternet.org/story/154648/5_deadly_threats_to_our_precious_drinking_water_supply

 

 

 

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I was minding my own business when the following text flagged up on my Facebook page and I was perplexed ---and as you can tell, --disappointed!!!

It’s not that I think Ghana is perfect (hell no) or that there’s no truth in what was written,-only that as an emerging economy, said text was sooo grossly exaggerated in the most negative, misleading way, thus, I don’t know if photographer (???) Karen Curley has ever travelled outside of America before her trip to Ghana, ---apparently only 15% of Americans own passports (http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/why-americans-dont-travel-overseas/) !!!

Also, l can’t quite work out ----especially as she is calling herself a photographer (???) ……–if she has visit other African countries before,  as most photographers tend to be very open, worldly and well-travelled… Only, and I’m only guessing here,…. by the tone of the following text, ---one submitted to much-read Huffington Post under one of the most contentious titles I’ve ever read –which makes for very sober reading, --- Karen Curley’s views are very narrow!!!

I wonder, what did Karen Curley think Ghana was going to be like, Hollywood??? Because if that is the case, Karen Curley might be shocked to discover that very few neighbourhoods in her very own ‘America’ resemble Hollywood!!!!

The thing is….. I’m trying desperately to put myself in her shoes –and can only come up with …my first ever trip to New York, ---when I went to stay with some family members in Mosholu Parkway, Bronx ---and dared to venture into South Bronx on my own with my camera!!! Needless to say, I was beyond shocked by what greeted me.

I guess I too would have, if I was that way inclined, written a piece for the Huffington Post ---telling folk not to venture into South Bronx, well, certainly not on your own; because like Karen Curley, the men wouldn’t leave me alone and many stunk something awful!!!!

But I’m a very deep and Spiritual and well-travelled person, –and believe that every ‘picture’ tells a story’ thus, I had to dig deeper, because …..why on earth should South Bronx differ soooo much from say—the Upper East-side of Manhattan!!!

I learnt a lot, mainly that ‘Crack’ cocaine had devastated this once good neighbourhood, thus many parts were now ‘no-go-areas’ for the likes of me!!!

I don’t know if Karen Curley has ever visited certain corners of South Bronx (I know that things have changed some since my last visit) or even as some of my stateside cousins are saying, --ever visited some corners of Detroit… Because I think Karen Curley needs to know that there many problems resulting from poverty in her very own America –and that like most educated, caring, well-travelled individuals –I take no pleasure in the sad fact that there are at least the “100 million “poor” or “near poor” Americans in 2013!!!!


Personally, I feel that Karen Curley is entitled to her off-skew opinions/views …..but must do some thorough research before embarking on her next trip outside of the States ---Because if she had done her research, she would have known that Ghana is in Africa, and that like the rest of Africa and the third world for that matter –it has some serious issues ---but then, and this is only a guess, I’m thinking, that the “100 million “poor” or “near poor” Americans” mentioned on http://www.infowars.com/100-million-poor-people-in-america-and-39-other-facts-about-poverty-that-will-blow-your-mind/ -, the lovely people of Appalachian County who live without running water mentioned here:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134196/Pictured-The-modern-day-poverty-Kentucky-people-live-running-water-electricity.html or the “thousands of people living without lights, water or gas” in Detroit:  http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/03/phil-m19.html or the thousands of homeless people living ---not just on the streets of America but hidden from the likes of Karen Curley – in “dark and dirty underground flood tunnels below the famous Las Vegas strip.” via: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2651937/The-people-living-in-drains-below-Las-Vegas.html or the other homeless people given “emergency trailer parks by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina” ---- -are thinking that --- America has some serious issues too!!!

The following text was written 2011, thus, I’m hoping Karen Curley has grown up, maybe taken a much-needed good old fashion trip around her very own country America – and might want to revisit Ghana –right now in 2013 as a more educated worldly traveller… Then we can ……right now in 2013 –talk: poverty, dirtiness, overzealous men, sanitation systems, Kantamanto, burning trash and faeces et al in Ghana!!!!

 

******

Title: Why Ghana Is Not A Tourist Friendly Place To Visit
By: Karen Curley / Dated: 09/14/11

I think travel makes you a well-rounded person and can help us appreciate what we have in America. As an American, I'm used to having a certain comfort level. I like having a hot shower, food and, yes, even air conditioning. If you are traveling to Ghana don't expect any of these things. I went to Ghana on assignment for a newspaper and stayed in Accra, the capitol city. Even though it's a developing nation you would expect that the capital would have some amenities. It did and it didn't.

Only twenty percent of Ghanaians have flush toilets in their homes. People have no choice but to urinate right in the middle of the street -- a real eye opener. I was riding in a taxi with my roommate and all of a sudden we stopped and our driver got out. I thought for sure we were going to be kidnapped and sold off to the highest bidder. (I have seen way too many horror movies.) I looked out the back window and our driver was peeing on the side of the road like it was nothing. He got back in the car and off we went. I will never get that picture out of my head. There is no sanitation system there. Sometimes the smell knocked me back ten feet.

The poverty over there is heartbreaking. One day I was walking around the city and happened upon an abandoned railroad station called Kantamanto. Over four thousand homeless people were living there. All around, people were wandering around half-dressed begging for food or money. There was burning trash and feces everywhere. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. The people over there do not know how to react to white people. When I was walking around the market I was constantly poked and prodded like a lab rat. I think some wanted to touch me because they had never seen a white person. Just trying to look in one of the outdoor markets proved an impossible task. I couldn't even walk a foot without getting my clothes pulled on, my butt poked at, or my back hit. And forget about taking pictures. No one likes having their pictures taken. If the police catch you taking pictures, which they call snapping. Even if it's just a building, they pull you to the side and tell you to stop. I was told that sometimes they even take you in to their police station for interrogation.

If you want to go to the beach forget it. The beaches there are disgusting. The water is filled with trash and it's not even clean enough to go swimming. I witnessed a waterfall of trash going right into the ocean and no one seemed to care. You can't even take a nice walk on the beach because everyone is poking you or trying to be your so called "friend."

To be honest, I did go over there to work. I had a lot of great work experiences and some of the things I saw really changed my world perspective. I'm glad I went over there. But I would definitely not go over there on vacation.
 
Credit: Karen Curley / Huffington Post
 
"I have been to Ghana on four different occasions and as you say there is poverty. That said I have also visited neighborhoods there that in their splendor equal, and in some cases, exceed some neighborhoods here. As you say there is poverty and lack of sanitation but there is also wealth and progress. Finally if one is in the habit of using western standards for comparison there will be disappointment. On the other hand there are basic standards and decent sanitation is one of them. So you do have a point. The blame in such cases lies with the populace and those that govern it. The solution? I wish I knew."  linmarco

 
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/
http://www.infowars.com/100-million-poor-people-in-america-and-39-other-facts-about-poverty-that-will-blow-your-mind/
http://phys.org/news/2013-03-poverty-highest-years-professor.html
http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2012/03/09/an-american-homeless-family/

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Men's Fashion: The Abrantie Movement......











Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: It has never been sooo fashionable to be a fashionable man –if you know what I mean!!! Peacocks about town, dapper ‘It’ boys and colo school teachers and soooo forth have another must have fashion garb to rave about --- the Abrantie trouser or pants as they call them across the pond...

Bodacious, bright and sexy, the Abrantie pants are loved by Ghana's most fashionable men (and beyound)-and makes for fabulous gifts (a good gift idea for your man’s upcoming birthday

The Abrantie Movement is celebrating the Ghanaian man –the most stylish of all men, ---what’s not to love??

So.....have you joined the Abrantie Movement yet? To find out more about Abrantie pants et al ----visit:  https://www.facebook.com/Abrantiemovement


More Info:
About: A social Lifestyle and unique fashion brand empowering the African man to be well cultured and classic."Abrantie" is a local word literally meaning "GENTLEMAN".

Description
A social Lifestyle and unique fashion brand empowering the African man to be well cultured and classic."Abrantie" is a local word literally meaning "GENTLEMAN".

CALL TO ORDERS :Weekdays : Mon- fri 9am - 12midnight-

Weekends : Sat: 10am - 9pm
Sun: 1pm - 9pm
call: +233- (0)244 - 694 - 389
email: abrantiemovement@yahoo.com
whatsapp : 233 244 694 389


Head to Enaq's Touch –for Lovely Wedding Gifts…








"Celebrating the events of life in style. +233 206300755, +233 263179624 ....Stylish and unique wedding supplies - wedding invitation cards, wedding favors/souvenirs, guest books, table accessories, decorating supplies, gifts etc. For all enquiries, please call +233 206300755, +233 263179624"Enaq's Touch
 
Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says:  With all those shopping malls due for completion within the next couple of years, things are about to drastically change, but right now in Ghana, --there are no big luxury department stores with luxury wedding list services  –thus,  for elegant ‘original’ wedding gifts (weddings are second only to funerals –as must-go-to-events on Saturdays in Ghana) –you really have to shop around; unless you are flying in with your gift (s)…. But who wants to pay all that excess?


 
Thankfully,  Enaq's Touch has a choice of really cute and quirky, funky on-trend gifts for your best friend’s up-coming nuptials including: Eiffel Tower and shoe bottle opener, trendy manicure sets, Bride and Groom salt and pepper shaker –to name a few. They also offer a wedding stationeries service and a host of fashionable favours including: soap favors, candle favors and favor packaging


 
Note, they are also stockists for much loved wedding magazine, ‘Dream Wedding’ –which can be bought at their store in community 8 Tema…


X Grill Barbecue Gh --- Catering and Party Services for the Hottest Events in Ghana…..




“X Grill Catering and Party Services We offer grill services for Parties Engagement Wedding Reception Corporate Events Funerals *jerk chicken *jerk lamb *jerk pork *Chicken Kebab *Shish Kebabs *Beef Kebab *spit roast *Lamb Spit Roast *gigot Grils X Grill menu item, made with premium ingredients freshly prepared in the X-Grill kitchen Email: xgrill45@gmail..com call +233243132337 X Grill professional hospitality team.”  X Grill Catering and Party Services

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I don’t know Nii Nortei personally, only that like Ghana Rising Blog, he’s all about promoting Ghana, –see his tourist website at: http://www.viewghana.com/  ---and is also famed for his barbecues…  

His much feted X Grill Catering and Party Services, “offers grill services for parties’, engagement, wedding receptions, corporate events and funerals et al…. 

I like Nii Nortei’s promotional verve and collaborations with Ghana Rising faves, high-end services including:  Ohemaa LXI, --Ghana’s premier private yacht and Busua Beach Resort, and “Ghana Tourism Authority, the Traditional council and other big brands in Ghana to have events at the location of festivals.”  

I love professional barbecues and think that they are ----with regards to weddings, ideal for really laidback, trendy and elegant (laidback can still be elegant) beach weddings…  For more info about X Grill Barbecue Gh visit: https://www.facebook.com/XGrillBarbecueGh

Happy Easter …..






Have a fabulous Easter folks …..xxx


Luxury Dark Chocolate Easter Egg by Divine Chocolate
Price: £10.00 via:  http://www.divinechocolate.com/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/divinechocolate

Object of Desire: Accra t-shirt by Serengetee…





Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: When fashion and real charity collide it’s a beautiful thing -no? By buying one of Serengetee’s Accra white t-shirts with Kente pocket details –you are also helping the good people at City of Refuge Outreach Ministries not only to “rescue [Ghanaian] children out of child slavery but also to prevent children from being sold. We are doing this by empowering single mothers who are vulnerable to selling their children.”

Serengetee offer a range of “pocket tees and tanks made with fabrics from around the World.” And was started and run by College Students to, “to connect people to the globe through fabric while giving back to the communities that inspire and create our designs. When you wear Serengetee, you 'Wear the World'.”

With “every fabric is connected to a charity within the region where it was purchased at 13% goes directly back to the corresponding charity” –its finally paying to fashionable. For more info or to order your Accra t-shirt by Serengetee visit: http://www.serengetee.com/accra/

Do LIKE their FB page via: https://www.facebook.com/Serengetee

 
For more info about City of Refuge Outreach Ministries visit:
http://www.cityofrefugeoutreach.com/

Objects of Desire: Bolga Basket by Basket Basket UK….







Credit: All Photos courtesy of Basket Basket UK


Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I love Bolga baskets –don’t you? I was looking for ways to display Easter eggs when I stumbled across that now iconic photograph of ‘First Lady’ Michelle Obama with said basket –and thought why not!!!

For those wanting the same, Basket Basket UK have a fabulous collection of lovely baskets from Ghana, Madagascar and Morocco –and all make for lovely displays…

The above photos come courtesy of Basket Basket UK and are from some of their satisfied customers –showing us how they use their Bolga basket….

I love all the above display ideas ---especially the eggs and cat (tooo cute) and must confess that my [uber worn-out] Bolga is full of what can only be described as odds ’n’ ends (laughter)… So …how do you use yours???

For more info or to order Basket Basket UK’s Bolga baskets visit: http://www.basketbasket.co.uk/

Do LIKE their Facebook page via: https://www.facebook.com/BasketBasketUK

The Next Big Thing in Jewellery: Amma Gyan’s gorgeous jewellery




Amazonite Empire Ring by Amma Gyan  -£45.00

 
In keeping with the new collection, the Empire ring features a large round Amazonite stone set between 22K gold plated beads on a unique leather band.
The band is comfortable, durable and striking to creating a feature of on this statement ring.
Materials:
Leather, Semi precious Amazonite stone, 22k gold plated beads, Gold filled bar and Brass clamps… ***Visit website for more info…

 

 

Natural rose necklace by Amma Gyan  -£280.00

 
This necklace is the newest edition to my rose inspired collection of leather jewellery. This necklace is quite a statement with 26 flowers individually hand cut and sculpted, then unlike my other pieces, I have chosen not to dye the leather but to use the natural beauty of the leather and simply brush each flower with a light shade of metallic gold.

The center detail consists of crystal based pearls and Swarovski metallic and antique gold crystals.
The piece is then finished with two strings of pearls on gold plated wire to maintain the shape and form. ***Visit website for more info…


 

Kisses from Me  by Amma Gyan  -£10 each
 
Just a little bit of fun.
plump red lips, moulded in a permanent kiss!
Attached to a gold trigger hook to clip them to your bag. mhhwaa!
wear me, be you
Material: Vegetable tanned leather and Gold colour trigger hook….

 

"Forming beautiful organic shapes is the motivation behind Amma Gyan's designs. Exploiting the natural qualities of leather allows Amma to challenge our perception of this material.
The subtleties in the finish is as important as the form, this leads to hours of experimentation with dyes and paints to reach the perfect combination.
Amma's designs illustrate flow, elegance and strength, and are the principles that underline her molded leather work." Amma Gyan Jewellery


Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Award winning designer, Amma Gyan’s gorgeous  jewellery might be uber new to Ghana Rising but she’s been successfully established since 2011 and is, as far as Ghana Rising Blog is concerned ---about to go stellar!!!

Feted by those in the know including high-end high street giants –Jigsaw for her 'Mold-Me' jewellery, -a delectable collection of yummy pieces made from leather and precious metals, Amma Gyan’s beautiful jewellery are must-haves ---set to set the luxury world of jewellery –alight.

A girl after my own heart Amma Gyan uses only the best materials ---including: real leather, see her must have handbag collection; suede’s, pearls, semi-precious stones and gold/gold plated et al… Note Amma also offers a bespoke commission service for those wanting to create something different. Kudos Amma!!!!

For more info or to buy the above pieces visit: http://www.ammagyan.com/