Monday, 30 September 2013

The best Ghanaian Music on Soundcloud –right now (Big up Lee Stone, his music is hot)….



The late great  Terry Nii Adjetey aka Terry BonChaka

 

LEE STONE...SAMPIALE. {Prod. By Dee Music} by Ghanamuzichost


 
LEE STONE...YAA AMPONSAH {Produced By Article Wan} by Ghanamuzichost 

 

 
Kesse and Jupita Bayla refix (Produced By Genius) by BiGx-Music

 
King Ayisoba - Adoo [Pidgen Music] (Ghana) by JasonThe$hark 

 
OKOMFOUR KWADEE FT SARKODIE & K.S.A

 
Ghana Must Go by M.anifest ---Credit: AJANAKU 

 
 
Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: what is going on? How comes I haven’t heard of Lee Stone until now? I’ve just stumbled across the hot, sweet, provocative music of Ghanaian artist Lee Stone’s music on Soundcloud whilst doing some research with regards to the late great Ghanaian artist Terry Bon Chaka and I can’t believe it –his music is hottttttttttttttttt… I need to know more about this artist –when is he next on stage???

**Please visit the above links to listen to these fab tunes..... 

Media/fashion: Zandile Blay is named as Editor-in-Chief of the soon to launch HELLO Nigeria magazine……





“I don’t know if I consider myself a fashionista. I am a fashion journalist and a Fashion Journalism professor by trade, but that doesn’t make me fashion obsessed. I am inspired by the vim and vigour with which Nigerian’s approach their wardrobe selections. It seems a very serious matter. I’m excited to capture it in the style and society pages of Hello!” Zandile Blay

 

Paulina says: A big congrats to Zandile Blay who is named as Editor-in-Chief of the soon to launch HELLO Nigeria magazine… a position that has garnered Ms Blay much publicity in Nigeria, where some are still coming to terms that this much feted, beyond qualified, uber fashion journalist is of Ghanaian origin!!!
 
Personally I think it show maturity and class on Anne Omezi, Managing Director of True Tales Publications, publishers of HELLO! Nigeria part --that she choose someone who is qualified and not just a wannabe magazine editor.
 
Kudos to Anne Omezi and congrats again to Zandile Blay who has all the qualities needed for this position.


For more info about HELLO! Nigeria Magazine visit: http://hellonigeriamagazine.com/

A Must Watch: The Lost Kingdoms of Africa The Kingdom of Asante……




Lost Kingdoms of Africa The Kingdom of Asante Series 2 Episode 1 of 4

Duration: 1 hour
We know less about Africa's distant past than almost anywhere else on Earth. But the scarcity of written records doesn't mean that Africa lacks history - it is found instead in the culture, artefacts and traditions of the people. In this series, art historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford explores some of the richest and most vibrant histories in the world, revealing fascinating stories of four complex and sophisticated civilisations: the Kingdom of Asante, the Zulu Kingdom, the Berber Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdoms of Bunyoro & Buganda.

In this episode, Dr Casely-Hayford travels to Ghana in West Africa, where a powerful kingdom once dominated the region. Asante was built on gold and slaves, which ensured its important place in an economy that linked three continents. He reveals how this sophisticated kingdom emerged from the unlikely environment of dense tropical forest and how it was held together by a shared sense of tradition and history - one deliberately moulded by the kingdom's rulers

 

Paulina says: I think if I were to look at a lost kingdom in Ghana’s history, I wouldn’t choose the Asante Kingdom which is still very much alive as Dr Gus found out but maybe the rarely documented ‘Koma Land’ clay figures from Ghana ancient past (more of that later)..

Anyway, I’ve just finished watching cultural historian Dr Gus Casely-Hayford’s first episode of the second series of Lost Kingdoms of Africa –The Kingdom of Asante and unfortunately that famous Johnny Nash song is blowing through my mind, yep….. ‘There are more questions than answers’…

I don’t know if its disappointment or the very real realization that a kingdom like Asante cannot be condensed into an hour long episode without losing some of its important truths like the (nearly) one hundred years war with the British or internal fractions with fellow Akan group like the Fantes…  

Also Dr Gus Casely-Hayford’s was shown some ancient ‘Koma Land’ clay figures (now that’s a lost empire I know nothing about) believed to be between 800 and 1,400 years old. See (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8518185.stm) (http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=5462) –which I had hope would have been given more airtime.

These ancient figurines referred to as the ‘Koma Land’ clay figures - go some way to verifying that we the people of Ghana, be it the Asantes or Fantes (Dr Gus Casely-Hayford’s tribe) -didn’t just crawl out of the ground in the 15th Century just because the Portuguese arrived and started documenting our existence then, –but we have existed in this area since 600 and 1200 AD to the present –a fact that matters –me thinks….

Still …..whilst the lions has yet to start writing down its own stories, the hunters will always be the heroes, plus this episode was about the unification of the powerful Asante kingdom and its symbols of wealth and power which had its zenith in the 18th century when its founder Osei Kofi Tutu 1 (along with Okomfo Anokye) was crowned Asantehene (King of all Ashanti) in 1701 ---so I guess it was never going to be about ‘Koma Land’ clay figures (big sigh)…..  

Anyway as I stated earlier, this episode has left me with more questions than answers –and highlighted just how very mysterious Ghana’s history is and continues to be, plus I’m guessing the BBC got what it wanted, –the Asante kingdom pared down, sanitized and pummeled into bite size pieces, perfect for an hour’s consumption by people who probably know less now about the Asante kingdom than before they watched this simplistic account of said empire… Plus I’m wondering why Dr Gus Casely-Hayford didn’t let the viewer’s know his family hails from Ghana, ---that he is also an Akan??? But fundamentally, I wanted to watch a 'real' lost kingdom from Ghana --and this wasn’t it…
 
“There are more questions than answers
Pictures in my mind that will not show
There are more questions than answers
And the more I find out the less I know
Yeah, the more I find out the less I know.”

 
To view the Lost Kingdoms of Africa The Kingdom of Asante visit the BBC via: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01bgndm

 
For more info about the Koma Land’ clay figures visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8518185.stm
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=5462
http://museumethnographersgroup.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/normal-0-false-false-false-en-gb-ja-x.html

 

More Info…
It appears the Koma Land’ clay figures are now outside of Ghana ($@*&5 read between the lines) and that “Francis Amu a conservator from Ghana Museums and Monuments Board” has a “selection of pottery from Koma Land, this will be only the second time this type of pottery has been seen in Europe” to The Manchester Museum where the “figurines will be studied by Prof. Timothy Insoll before they go on display in October in the exhibition “Fragmentary ancestors: Figurines from Koma land.” You can read all about it via: http://conservationmanchester.wordpress.com/tag/koma-land/

Price of Gold is going down......





Akwesi Boahene’s gold dreams ended better than those of some people in Dunkwa-on-Offin, Ghana, whose riverbeds yield flecks of the precious metal to pickaxes. He still had his life.

Boahene, a satellite-television installer, and a partner pooled $10,000 two years ago to rent land and start a mining operation in a muddy West African town then booming with prospectors lured by what was gold’s longest bull market in at least nine decades.

In May, as prices sagged, his venture became another victim in a year of lost faith in the metal. Boahene shut down the no-longer-profitable business and told his 15 workers to stay home. When a former employee phoned one morning in June about returning to work, Boahene, 33, had no good news.

“I have asked you to give me some time, I am still trying to raise money before we can resume,” he said, lying in the shade outside his rented one-room house.

After enjoying a heyday from gold’s boom, the community faces a stark reversal of fortune that’s playing out in joblessness and an unusual crime spike. The news reverberating through the town of 33,000 that week: the deaths of two unemployed miners, shot during attempted thefts.

Gold’s swift fall, including two days in April when it plunged the most since 1980, has ravaged hopes and livelihoods around the world -- from the 1 million miners in Ghana who scour in the dirt, to thousands of executives and geologists at mining exploration firms that are running out of cash in Vancouver. Gone too are jobs for auditors, bankers and analysts in the finance capitals of Toronto and London. Investors who bet big and lost are shifting assets elsewhere and scaling back retirement plans.

 

 

Sevenfold Gain

During a 12-year bull market, the metal was promoted as a hedge against inflation, a store of value and a spectacular investment in its own right, gaining more than sevenfold. Its rise resembled historic moves like the Internet stock bubble of 1999-2000.
The fall may end badly, too.

“The gigantic, decade-long rally I don’t think will be repeated, at least in my lifetime,” said Michael Aronstein, 60, president of Marketfield Asset Management LLC, which manages more than $13 billion in New York. Aronstein predicted the 2008 slump in commodities prices and the 2009 rebound.

 

 

$1,921.15 Peak

After peaking at $1,921.15 an ounce in September 2011, gold fell to as little as $1,180.50 in June, the lowest since 2010, before recovering yesterday to $1,321.67. ABN Amro Group NV analysts consider it a respite, predicting the price will average $1,000 next year and $840 in 2015 because a stronger U.S. economy will limit gold’s appeal.

For many, a turning point came in May and June, when the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury (BUSY) note rose almost a percentage point to 2.61 percent from 1.63 percent, destroying the premise of a faltering U.S. “The foundation for gold has eroded,” said Edward Lashinski, the Chicago-based director of global strategy for futures trading at RBC Capital Markets LLC. “Capital can be deployed much more effectively in other enterprises that actually see a return.”

The drop frustrates ordinary and sophisticated investors alike. John Paulson, the New York hedge fund manager noted for making $15 billion with a bet against the U.S. housing market in 2007, told investors in February 2012 that gold would be his next triumph. His gold fund lost 59 percent through July this year, according to a person familiar with the results. The University of Texas Investment Management Co. -- whose advisers include Dallas hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, also known for a winning housing gamble -- has seen a gold hoard once valued at $1.5 billion decline by more than $400 million.

 

 

 

Bank Boomerang

Gold also boomeranged on central banks trying to diversify away from the U.S. dollar. After the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez added to a gold stockpile that’s now almost 70 percent of foreign reserves, the slump this year pushed the country’s reserves to the lowest since 2004 and compromised the government’s ability to repay foreign bondholders. A lack of dollars for imports has created shortages of such staples as toilet paper and rice.

At the September 2011 peak, the market value of the world’s gold mining companies reached $486 billion, more than the gross domestic product of the United Arab Emirates. Since then, they’ve lost $271 billion, including a 71 percent plunge in U.S. shares of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., a Johannesburg-based producer held by Paulson.

Amid the rush for hard assets that followed the 2008 financial crisis, some investors overlooked some of gold’s drawbacks, among them the premiums to purchase and store it and the lack of a dividend.

 

 

‘Trash Bags’

“We’re holding trash bags,” said Philip Mann, 53, who with his wife put about $160,000, half their retirement savings, into gold and silver coins starting in 2009. They’re now worth at least 40 percent less, including sales mark-ups, he said. The drop forced him to cash out a 401(k) retirement plan, losing money to penalties. It also drained resources for two sons’ college bills and the planned purchase of a new home, said Mann, a retail supply-chain manager in Portland, Tennessee.

Gold advocates say there remains deep-rooted demand for the metal that has captivated humans since it was fashioned into decorative objects on the coast of the Black Sea 6,000 years ago. In countries like India, where weddings and other rites are steeped in gold-gifting, this year’s price drop caused long waits at jewelry stores and delighted Supriya Gupta, a teacher in Kolkata. She picked up a toe ring, anklets and a tiara for her soon-to-be married daughter and a pair of earrings for a younger one.

 

 

Gold-Gifting Frenzy

“If the price continues to fall, we can always buy more,” said Gupta.
Dubai is pressing ahead with plans to create a gold storage, trading and refining hub on a par with Switzerland, announcing in July it will build the world’s tallest office tower to house commodities traders.

“People own gold because they don’t trust the central banks,” said William Fleckenstein, author of “Greenspan’s Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve,” a 2008 book arguing that the Fed caused repeated asset bubbles with artificially low interest rates. The price will be “much, much higher” within five years and stocks will crash again, he said.

 

 

Exchanging Gold

Even seasoned forecasters say the metal’s future price is hard to predict, dictated more by sentiment than standard measures of supply and demand. Bulls point to the surge in jewelry buying and nine consecutive quarters of net buying from central banks, among them Russia and Kazakhstan. Bears contend the banks often buy at the wrong time -- adding 203 tons this year as prices dropped, for example, leaving them with $284 billion of losses on gold holdings of 31,910 metric tons through May, according to data from central banks compiled by the International Monetary Fund.

Jewelry, less than half of all gold purchases last year, is also a marginal factor compared with the wave of speculative investments, skeptics say. From 2008 to 2012, investors worldwide bought about 8,000 metric tons, the equivalent of more than three years of global mine production, according to the World Gold Council. In the seven months through July, about 25 percent of the gold in one type of investment, known as an exchange-traded product, has flowed out.

“Gold is still a bubble,” said Ronald Wildmann, managing director of Basinvest AG in Zurich, which manages 100 million Swiss francs ($107 million).

 

Going Mainstream

Bullion’s earlier run-up in the political and financial turmoil of the 1970s ended on Jan. 21, 1980, when the price hit $850 -- equivalent to more than $2,400 today when adjusted for inflation. Gold didn’t top $850 again until 2008, as the crash of the U.S. housing market led to the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression.
 
 
 
Viewed as a fringe holding by some pension funds and advisers during the long bear market, gold suddenly went mainstream. In the U.S., “Cash for Gold” signs sprang up on street corners coast to coast. Radio personalities promoted gold coins, purchased by people like Mann, as protection against U.S. deficits. Exchange-traded products opened the market to everyday investors, allowing them to buy shares representing actual holdings of gold without the hassle of taking physical delivery.
Some 2,273 U.S.-based mutual funds -- 32 percent of those tracked by Morningstar Inc. -- have an exposure to gold bullion, mining or exploration, according to the Chicago research firm.
Amid the frenzy, gold advocates made dramatic predictions that the precious metal would be the only way to protect wealth.

 

 

Global Ripple

The boom rippled out to as many as 60 million people around the world -- 10 million of them gold miners and 50 million others who sell them merchandise or services, said Kevin Telmer, executive director of the nonprofit Artisanal Gold Council in Victoria, Canada. People switching from farming could expand their earnings as much as fivefold, he said.

In Ghana, Africa’s second-biggest gold producer, farmer Francis Addai joined others thronging the industry around Dunkwa, where the typical daily wage for farmhands is $4 a day. Addai got a job in 2008 where he poured buckets of muddy water over a board to strain out gold. In 2011, he was hired as a security man at Josteh Mining, the operation Akwesi Boahene started with his partner that year. Addai said he earned $60 a week -- three times the income he’d patched together from growing cocoa and weeding neighbors’ farms.

 

 

‘Quite Bearable’

“The weekly earnings made life quite bearable for me as a responsible father,” said Addai, 51, who supports five children and a niece, ages 2 to 23. Tuition is free in Dunkwa public schools, but books aren’t. Addai said he was able to buy more books and new school uniforms.

In July 2011, months before Addai started his new mine-security job, 125 people packed a patio outside the Four Seasons Hotel on West Georgia Street in Vancouver for a C$500-a-plate Hawaiian-themed luau that signaled the confidence of people at the companies that explore for new deposits. The charity and networking event, dubbed “Murdigras,” was the brainchild of Murray Seitz, 42, co-founder of Riverside Resources Inc. (RRI), a Vancouver exploration company whose shares had surged to C$1.25 that year from as little as 18 Canadian cents.

Seitz started the parties in 2006, midway through gold’s rally, and they became something of a barometer for the industry. After collecting C$3,000 for local charities in a downtown bar that first year, he raised C$100,000 in 2010, when Murdigras featured a gold-painted Camaro and gold medal-winning athletes from that year’s Vancouver Olympics. Once Seitz added up the donations for 2011, he realized it was a warning sign: they slipped to C$60,000.

“It was already starting to happen,” he said. “It’s been a slow, continuous slide.”
Era’s End?

What’s been good for the economy has paradoxically been bad for gold. The U.S. jobless rate fell to 7.4 percent in July from a 2009 peak of 10 percent, helping push the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a record high. The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation has undershot its 2 percent target for 14 straight months, even as the central bank kept interest rates near zero.

In April, the French bank Societe Generale (GLE) SA declared “the end of the gold era,” and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast a price of $1,270 by the end of 2014, contributing to the price plunge. Goldman has since lowered its 2014 target to $1,050.

Seitz went to London in April to raise money for his newest venture, a developer of Kazakhstan gold assets called IRG Exploration & Mining Inc. He met with eight analysts and bankers. Six weeks later, four of them had lost their jobs, he said.

“In my professional career, it’s been the toughest couple years of my life,” Seitz said.
The 2011 Murdigras was the last.

 

 

Miners’ Woes

“I wasn’t going to ask people who were losing their jobs or put on partial salary to pay C$500 per ticket,” he said.

Vancouver is home to more than 700 mining companies scattered among high-rises framed against the stunning North Shore mountains. They’re often small, employing a handful of people who then hire auditors, engineers or helicopter pilots to reach remote sites. Many are struggling to survive. The median Vancouver mine exploration company has $325,000, enough to last less than five months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Jeff Sundar, 38, cut his monthly salary by more than half, to C$5,000, last year to stretch the cash of his Vancouver explorer, Entourage Metals Ltd. (EMT) Its stock has dropped more than 80 percent since it raised C$5.35 million in a February 2011 initial public offering. The firm had four full-time geologists at the time; now it has one.

 

 

Financing Challenge

“It’s just challenging to raise money,” said Sundar, who has much of his own wealth tied up in a bet on a renewed rally.

In April, Toronto brokerage Fraser Mackenzie Ltd. shut, saying investor interest in early-stage mining had “considerably diminished” and shareholders voted to conserve capital “while we still have it.” The firm had employed as many as 80 people.

There were rows of empty seats at a Vancouver mining conference in May. Half as many exhibitors as a year before came, said conference organizer Joe Martin. “No Soliciting” signs were posted on tables to discourage salespeople who hadn’t paid from showing up anyway. In one hall, David Hodge, president of Zimtu (ZC) Capital Corp., bellowed about an early-stage exploration company like a carnival barker.

“Yes, I am a stock promoter,” he said, his voice rising. “But that’s what you want in the beginning.”

 

ETF Panic

Stock in Zimtu, a Vancouver-based natural resources investment company, traded Aug. 12 at 37 Canadian cents, less than a fifth of the C$2.19 price in February 2011.

The ease of buying gold through exchange-traded funds backfired on some investors. One couple who put more than half of their assets into gold ETFs approached Rinehart Wealth Management in a panic in April, said Daniele Donahoe, president of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm, whose clients generally have more than $1 million. She said she sold many of the funds for the couple.
“With the advent of these ETFs people have been able to become somewhat of their own worst enemy,” Donahoe said.

Billionaire Paulson had so much conviction that he used a gold ETF (GLD) to start share classes for his funds denominated in bullion, allowing investors to avoid the dollar. Most of his own $9.5 billion investment in his firm’s funds as of Jan. 1 was in the gold shares.
Today, Paulson & Co. reported in a filing that it reduced holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the largest gold ETF, by 53 percent in the second quarter as the metal plunged into a bear market.

 

Demand Intact

The firm has said the gold share class is still “up considerably” since beginning at an average cost of $950 an ounce in 2009, and it remains committed to bullion.
“The long-term trend of increasing demand for gold in lieu of paper is intact,” John Reade, Paulson’s gold strategist, said in an April statement.
The metal is also weighing on returns at Utimco, the $29.2 billion fund for the University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems. Utimco began buying gold as a hedge against dollar devaluation in 2009 and by 2011 held more than 20 metric tons -- larger than Canada’s gold reserve -- in a New York warehouse. The investment became a political weather vane in the state, where one legislator proposed a bill to move the gold to a newly created Texas Bullion Depository.

 

Assets Devalued

While gold helped the endowment gain more than 14 percent in fiscal 2011, it’s since been a drag. Returns were 9 percent in the fiscal year through May 31.

“What I missed was how emotional so many people tend to get on this topic,” said Bruce Zimmerman, the fund’s chief executive officer, a former Citigroup Inc. pension manager who had never owned gold before. “Gold represents less than 4 percent of our portfolio, probably encompasses about 5 to 6 percent of our thoughts and discussion but generates about 99 percent of our publicity.”

The fund isn’t selling the gold, which it holds at an average cost of $1,231 an ounce, Zimmerman said.

“Given easing monetary policy, there is a scenario where financial assets essentially become devalued,” he said.

At Texas Christian University, endowment managers considered buying gold for similar reasons three years ago --and rejected the idea, said chief investment officer Jim Hille. TCU instead holds oil and gas royalties, which produce income, he said. Gold typically must be sold to lock in gains.

Weathering Decline

“It just doesn’t do anything for your payout needs every year,” he said.
The Fort Worth, Texas, university’s $1.3 billion endowment gained 13 percent in the fiscal year through June 30.

The largest mining companies argue they can weather gold’s decline -- so far, to a price still far higher than the $640 average over 20 years -- by cutting overhead costs, paring exploration and writing down assets acquired during the boom.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), the world’s biggest gold producer, took $8.7 billion of writedowns and slashed its quarterly dividend 75 percent, lowering what it calls “all-in sustaining costs” to $900 to $975 an ounce for 2013. Gold miners have announced at least $23 billion in writedowns in the past month.

“Companies are pretty good at knuckling down and ultimately reducing costs,” Jamie Sokalsky, CEO of Toronto-based Barrick, said in an Aug. 1 interview. “I don’t think you are going to see massive types of closures.”

‘Not Sustainable’

Nick Holland, the CEO of Gold Fields Ltd., is less sanguine. The company’s South Deep mine is one of the few in South Africa that could survive prices near the year’s lows, in part because it’s largely mechanized and less reliant on labor, Holland said.
“The industry is not sustainable at $1,230 an ounce,” he said June 27. “We’re going to need at least $1,500 an ounce to sustain this industry in any reasonable form.”
Prices are already too low for Boahene in Ghana, who said he can’t afford to pay his workers $10 a day and rent an excavator for $750 a day. He said he’ll go back to installing satellite televisions if the price doesn’t recover.
The gold rush had a darker side for the town of Dunkwa. Resentments grew against Chinese immigrants who arrived to develop mines, using excavators and other heavy equipment few local people could afford. Miners dumped silt and chemicals into the river Pra, the region’s chief drinking source.
Dunkwa hasn’t benefited much visibly from its mineral wealth. On the unpaved, rutted road through town, a battered silver hatchback with a bumper sticker reading DESTINY inched past as a taxi, stuck in a six-foot-wide puddle, disgorged its shoeless passengers to walk through the muck.

Crime Spike

Thefts -- of mobile phones, motorbikes and even Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) excavators -- are reported daily, said Love Mensah, crime officer of the Upper Denkyira East Municipal Assembly. The thieves use a master key to start the excavators and load them onto trucks, he said.
The two men shot recently were trying to loot homes and mine sites of Chinese nationals, Mensah said. Ghana’s government expelled dozens of Chinese miners this year, enforcing laws that restrict small-scale mining to citizens. Shutdowns of their mines compounded joblessness caused by gold’s falling price, said Lawrence Ansah-Brew, the area’s environmental health officer.
“The youth are just loitering about,” he said.
Nana Kofi, 22, quit school as a teenager, moved to Dunkwa and got jobs running excavators. Out of work for eight months, he said he’s down to $450 in savings.
“I know about 200 young men who are at home,” he said. “When we attack people with machetes, they should know we have to eat. I don’t mean I will do that, but it will happen.”

Regular Paycheck

Ghana’s economy shrank 3.1 percent in the first quarter from the previous three months as mining and construction output contracted, according to the central bank. Gold is the biggest foreign exchange earner for the West African country, accounting for $1.5 billion in the first quarter.

Former mine guard Addai said security is all he wants. With a regular paycheck, he can qualify for a larger government pension at 60. It’s harder to imagine clearing weeds with a machete and a hoe as before, he said.

“I am only praying that work on the mines resumes soon,” Addai said, “because I don’t have the energy and strength to do those very strenuous jobs again.”


Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-13/losing-faith-in-gold-from-ghana-to-vancouver-proves-rout.html



Paulina says: I don't know anything about the price of gold going down --certainly all the gold pieces I have my eyes on have stayed the same or increased in price!!! But if the price of gold really is going down -then I think it time to buy -now... Because, and this is the only thing I know about market forces -if the price of gold goes down, it will surely go back up ---again...

For more info or to watch the accompanying film clip visit: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-13/losing-faith-in-gold-from-ghana-to-vancouver-proves-rout.html

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Ghana’s Majestic Past/History in Photographs: Ghana in the 1870s

 


In the inner of an Ashanti homestead (today Ghana) 1837

 

 

A woman from Éwaffé, a village with at that time frequently visited, permanent marketplace in the hinterland of the Gold Coast. The bead on the back side of the clothing the woman was also called "Cul de Paris" and was at that time an internationally popular fad in women's clothing. 1873

 

 

A wife of the king of Dwabin (Ashanti, today Ghana) 1873

 

 

The "Dikeresse" (Woman in chief rank?) of Sokore (Ashanti, today Ghana) 1873
 
 
 
 

The "Dikeresse" (Woman in chief rank?) of Assoutchué (Ashanti, today Ghana) 1873

 

 

 

Ashanti chiefs 1873

 

 

Traditional priest of the Ashanti in performing a religious ceremony -1873

 

 


 

Ashanti warrior 1873

 



Vue d'Elmina, 1874

 

 

 

British bombardment of Elmina 1873, London News Picture Library of July 19

 

 

The Royal Orchestra of the Okyenhene (King of Akyem-Abuakwa) Amoako Atta I (reigned 1866-1887)

 
 
 
“Houssa Officers” (Officers of the British Haussa brigades stationed on the Gold Coast) 1870s -- Attribution: The National Archives UK

 
 
 
 
 

“Quittah market.” Keta 1870s

 


 
 
The 'Hall of Justice' in Kumasi Palace in bad condition - Late 19th or early 20th century
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Abokobi - German Missionary Station.” 1870s

 
 
 
 
“Grinding Corn.” 1870s

 

 
 
“King Sackely and Suite.” Gold Coast 1870s

 
 
 
 
“King of Pram Pram, Fietish priest and his wives and chiefs.” 1870s

 

 

“Bayan Tree - Akropong.” 1870s

 
 
 

“Addah - Post and Customs Offices.” (Ada Foah) 1870s

 



 “Fort Anamabu” 1870s

 

 

 

“Landing place, Cape Coast.” (In front of Cape Coast Castle) 1870s

 



“Elmina River” (View from Saint George's Castle over Elmina with the river Benja) 1870s

 

 

“Connor's Hill, Cape Coast.” 1870s

 
 


“Gothic House, Cape Coast (Customs, Prison and Supreme Court.)” 1870s

 


 
“Trimming mahogany logs, Axim.” 1870s

 


 
 
“Group taken in the Fort at Anamabu. The Governor and party and part of Houssa Escort.”

 

 

“Chief Executioner & British Commissioner Coomassie.” Kumasi1870s

 

 

“Camped in the Forest Mansu.” 1870s

 
 
 
 

“Uguanttah Main Street.” Uguanttah, Gold Coast 1870s

 



“Bantamah King's cemetery & Place of Execution. The place of execution.” Bantama1870s
“Bantamah Kings Cemetery” (the mausoleum of the Ashanti kings in Bantama) 1870s
 

 

 

“New Secretarial buildings at Victoriaborg. S.E. aspect.” (Victoriaborg was the former government quarter of Accra.) 1870s? 

 

History of Fashion in Ghana: Dutch Wax




African Dutch Wax

  
The part of Toronto I live in is a pretty ethnically and racially mixed area. While I can’t give you its exact demographics, I think it would be pretty fair to say that a relatively large portion of the neighborhood is composed of people of West and Central African origin or descent. It is often referred to, lovingly, by my friend (who is herself the daughter of two Asian immigrants, and grew up in the area) as an immigrant ghetto. I myself being the daughter of two immigrants from Ghana, and also having had grown up in the area, have become quite accustomed to seeing, on any given day, small parades of women (and sometimes their spouses and children) covered head to toe in African print fabrics ( although, I must admit, this has become much less frequent over the years).
When I was younger I barely took any notice of these women or the beautiful multicoloured and intricately patterned textiles they dressed themselves in. I grew up in a household where (what seemed like small mountains of) similar fabrics were often lackadaisically arranged in cardboard boxes or large Rubbermaid bins, and were, at first, stored in the basement and then (when we moved) in the coat or spare master bedroom closets. These fabrics were rarely worn, and would remain untouched for years. Often I would forget that they were even there, and only after coming across them (frequently by chance) during an epic bout of spring cleaning would I be reminded of their existence. I would, upon their rediscovery, label them (if not literally than mentally) as “Ghana Stuff,” along with various other artifacts sent to us by family from the “motherland,” and then shove them back into the back of the closet where I had found them.
Having had grown up with African print fabrics just always being there, somewhere, in the background, I kind of  took them for granted, and rarely thought of their potential cultural or even familial significance. And since we were mainly sent these fabrics, via mail, from our Ghanaian relatives, I remained equally apathetic about their origins and their history. My thinking was we got the fabrics from Ghana and so they were Ghanaian. It never occurred to me that this might not necessarily be the case, and the fabrics that I had thoughtlessly labeled as, “Ghana Stuff,” were actually the products of an interwoven (no pun intended) history of the West African, Asian, and Dutch textile manufacturing industries. That is until I read Eccentric Yoruba’s great post “African Fabrics”: The History of Dutch Wax Prints” on Beyond Victoriana.

In the post, Yoruba outlines how she came to learn about the colonial and post-colonial histories as well as the European origins of these supposedly “African print fabrics,” which she eventually would learn are actually called Dutch wax prints. She begins by quoting well-known Nigerian- British artist, Yinka Shonibare, who has argued that “A picture of a pipe isn’t necessarily a pipe; an image of “African fabric” isn’t necessarily authentically [and wholly] African.” Through her examination of the history and the origins of these textiles,Yoruba seems to be asking in which context could or should Dutch wax print fabrics be thought of as “authentically” African.
West Africa, has had and continues to have a vital role in the development and growth of the Dutch batik print industry, (in fact the survival of the industry was the result of Dutch manufacturers recognizing the demand for such fabrics in West Africa and redesigning their prints to suit the taste of their customer base), and thus the question of whether or not these prints should be viewed as “authentically” African becomes a complicated one to answer. By focusing on textiles, Yoruba problematizes the notion of cultural “authenticity,” and for me, hammers home the extent to which “authenticity” can be, ironically, rooted in wholly constructed ideas about a region and the cultures of people who inhabit it. Sure, the Dutch wax fabrics that many West African prints are printed on, are (mostly) not being produced in the region, but as the market for these types of fabrics has grown and continues to grow, the textiles, as a result, are constantly being assimilated into various local cultures. And so like clothing and fashion everywhere, Dutch wax print fabrics have come to represent one way Africans can visually express themselves, communicate their aesthetics and even their values sartorially.


My mother comes from a family of former small time  Ghanaian clothing manufacturers and designers, who had often imported European fabrics to produce clothes designed specifically for the West African market. Though her family did not use Dutch wax print fabrics in either their clothes or as part of their designs, she grew up with both a fondness and appreciation for these prints and how and why they were worn. So much so that she would often use them to make clothing while she worked as a seamstress part-time to make extra money when she first arrived to Canada. When I discussed with her the issue of authenticity brought up by the post, she outlined a (perhaps somewhat nostalgic) history of collaboration between European Dutch wax fabric manufacturers and their West African customer bases. She argued that while the cloth itself isn’t originally African, many local motifs and patterns are integrated into the designs of the prints, plus many major Dutch wax fabric manufacruers, as Yoruba also points out, like Woodin (a subsidiary of Holland’s Vlisco) are based in West Africa, primarily Ghana. So, she feels that because the designs of the prints are locally inspired and the fact that they are, in some cases, locally manufactured makes them African, specifically Ghanaian, and so because of this the European origin of the textiles, to her, doesn’t undermine their authenticity.



(Image Credit: Beyond Victoriana via Vlisco)
Of  course, as Yoruba notes, this is easily complicated by the fact that as a result of their popularity, European, (and now increasingly Chinese) Dutch wax fabrics may be, in some cases, undermining local West African textile industries by “driving locally produced fabrics out of the market.”
But, by looking into what we consider authentic or inauthentic and what informs these ideas through textiles, Yoruba has found another way for us to potentially understand how we construct aspects of our racial and/or ethnic identities. For me, it would be difficult, bordering on near impossible to mentally disassociate Dutch wax prints from West Africa in general, but more precisely Ghana, despite their European roots. This is mostly because my understanding (or lack thereof) of these printed textiles were shaped and informed by the way I came to understand and see myself as a Ghanaian-Canadian. And it is for this reason that I know that whenever I am motivated enough to do another major spring clean and I inevitably come across the many boxes that clutter my closets that  are filled with these fabrics (and which were at some point sent lovingly in battered cardboard boxes via DHL), I will spend, perhaps, a couple of minutes looking them over and then probably shove them back to the back of the closet and then my mind, where they’ll stay for maybe another half a decade filed under “Ghana Stuff.” For some reason, for me, that makes them authentically “African,” or at least African enough.

Photo Note: The  image at the beginning of the  post was taken from Adire African Textiles, and the picture is taken from a postcard from 1904. The caption underneath reads, “Vintage postcard, “Fantee women”, mailed 1904. The Fante, who live along the coast of Ghana to the west of Accra, do not weave themselves, but wore a wide variety of textiles locally imported from the Ewe and Asante, as well as European and Indian made fabrics. Here the lady seated at front right wears a cloth woven by a male Ewe weaver in what today is the eastern Volta region of Ghana. This type of Ewe cloth with groups of three weft face blocks rather than two, seems to be more typical of the C19th.”



Credit: This lovely insightful piece above comes courtesy of 'Street Idler' wordpress via:

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Accra Homes -offering reasonably priced stylish rentals in Accra Ghana…..







Property Type: Unfurnished Apartment
Transaction Type: Rent
Price: $ 1700.00
Location: Osu
Bedrooms: 2
Washrooms:
Status: Property Available

Description: One can see the whole of Osu environ from standing at the balcony or looking through the window of this apartment. There is 24/hr security, furnished kitchen, it is just by the roadside, 3 mins drive from Osu Papaye & a generator is available.

 

 

 



 
Property Type: Unfurnished Apartment
Transaction Type: Rent
Price: $ 2500.00
Location: Abelenkpe
Bedroom: 2
Washrooms:
Status: Property Available

Description: This two-storey state of the art Apartment building has 24/hr Security, Swimming Pool, Furnished Apartments are Available, Fully Fitted Kitchen, there are 3 bedrooms for $3500 and 4 bedrooms for $4,500 also available, Just by the Roadside, 1 min drive from Lincoln International School

 

 

 


 
 
 

Property Type: Unfurnished_Apartment
Transaction Type: Rent
Price: $ 3500.00
Location: Airport Residential Area
Bedrooms: 3
Washrooms:

Status: Property Available
Description: This beauty is like a drawing out of a catalogue. Can be furnished to suite your taste or be left Unfurnished, 24 hour Security, Swimming Pool is available & 24 hour Internet Server. 2 mins drive away from Congress Hotel.

 

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Day in and day out, Accra Homes receives numerous telephone calls from Property Owners regarding their new listings available for sales or rentals. The firm has sold and rented out a lot of properties across Accra & Takoradi, mainly in Accra Central. Accra Homes is gradually building its Property Portfolio across Accra & Takoradi to the other Regions of Ghana.” Accra Homes

 
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