Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Ama K Abebrese Foundation presents 'I love my natural skintone' Campaign

'I Love my Natural Skintone'. Say NO to skin bleaching/skin toning campaign.

Loving the skin I'm in. Loving my dark skin, embracing the beautiful chocolate hue that God blessed me with. He made no mistakes with my skin.

My black is indeed beautiful. Join the campaign and upload your pictures and tag 'I love my natural skintone' and share your views, let's get talking here ----->

Nana Ama McBrown is a multiple award winning celebrated Ghanaian actress. She is an advocate for the 'Say NO to skin bleaching/toning campaign. Her natural skintone can be described as fair/caramel. She says; 'I Love my Natural Skintone'.

Hamamat is a former beauty queen and model. She was crowned Miss Malaika Ghana in 2006. She is an advocate to the 'Say NO to skin bleaching/skin toning' campaign. Her natural skintone can be described as dark/chocolate and she says 'I Love my Natural Skintone'.

Paulina Oduro aka 'Aunty Paulina' is a singer, actress and TV personality with over 30 years experience in the entertainment industry. She is mixed raced and she is an advocate for the 'Say No to skin bleaching/skin toning campaign. Her natural skin tone can be described as fair/caramel and she says 'I Love my natural skin tone'.

"Loving the natural skintone you have means, saying no to skin bleaching, skin lightening, skin toning and skin brightening. Whether, your skintone is light, dark or mixed, take delight in it, because; Beauty comes in all skintones."  I love my natural skintone

Paulina says: Time for me to fess up to what I did from the age of 21 to 26 ---yep I bleached or toned as we called it back then!!!! 

I've always been a good 'brown' shade ---a lovely cross between my naturally fair Fante mother and my handsome darker Kwahu father, but from the age of 21or 22 [I think] -I developed small blemishes around my chin area on my already warty/freckly (I know) but lovely skin....

I hated the blemishes which appeared worse during *that time-of-the-month* --if you know what I mean --so I was encouraged to use a cream unbeknown to me which contained hydroquinone -which we all now know is very dangerous, ---and literally became mixed-race over night (I kid you not).

I became sooo light that it became ridiculous...but I did enjoy the attention. Still things got very strange when I decided to stop using said cream because I couldn't be bothered anymore.

I must confess, I'm very thankful that I only used said cream on my face and neck --because what nobody tells/warns you [because deep down most women of colour including our Asian sisters, are bleaching in one way or another] --is that when you stop toning or bleaching or whatever you wanna call it, --you will get much darker than your original natural skintone/colour!!!!!

Thus, not only do some people from my past walk past me (believe me I'm thankful --laughter), but I often get people asking me why I'm sooo much darker on my face & neck then the rest of my much paler body (mercy) -especially in the summer?

Another problem I suffered from was uber sensitivity in the sun, which now, years after I stopped toning or whatever -has gone thankfully, --because for some, it leaves their skin very thin, thus causes them to burn easily in the sun..... 

I give God the glory!!! I'm truly blessed...because I love my new darker skintone, even though I sometimes suffer from hyperpigmentation -which thankfully can be dealt with a good concealer or tackled by one of a handful of good clinics in London dedicated to dealing with the patchy discolouration of the skin.

The thing is.....I love having lovely clear skin but not at the cost of my health....and will never touch any of those creams again...Thus, I'm glad actress Ama K Abebrese has decided to tackle the taboo subject of bleaching.

Starring Ghana Rising faves, actress Ama K Abebrese -herself, Hamamat Montia, Paulina Oduro and Nana Ama Mcbrown -this campaign is very relevant and very much the subject du jour in our sweet homeland Ghana...

Lets be honest, we all know how widespread this issue is -no? Just think of some of the most powerful women in Ghana especially those first-wives-of-this-and-that or our musicians & actresses (even the naturally fair ones) or TV presenters --and you can see the tell-tale signs of skin bleaching -look at their fingers and feet --and their weird grey or blemished hue  !!!!

Anyway, I would have liked Ama K Abebrese's 'I love my natural skintone' Campaign Facebook fan page to have more written info and know what inspired this campaign, --but its a fabulous start.

Its good to have this 'dialogue' --and I'm hoping Ghana, a beautiful country full of weird grey/green coloured women --come on you know bleaching leaves some looking a weird colour -especially when they then decide to add tattoos to the picture (mercy) ---might just sit up and start tackling this massive issue 'of self hate'.....

La Ghana Rising Blog stands with The Ama K Abebrese Foundation and backs the 'I love my natural skintone' Campaign... Plus, I hope my honesty helps even one sister from bleaching.. --It really isn't worth it.. -And once you start bleaching, you'll have to keep it up forever sooo that you're not darker than when you started. For more info visit:

More Info:
What Are the Dangers of Hydroquinone?
Hydroquinone is a topical agent for reducing skin pigmentation. It is available in over-the-counter strength of up to 2 percent and higher concentrations by prescription. People typically use hydroquinone to lighten areas of skin affected by hyperpigmentation disorders, as well as for freckles and age spots. Hydroquinone also is a component of the herbal remedy uva ursi. Because of dangers associated with the substance, several countries have banned hydroquinone, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a ban on most prescription and over-the-counter hydroquinone products.


The FDA and standard-setting agencies of several other countries have cited a skin condition called ochronosis as a concern with hydroquinone use. Although uncommon, particularly with over-the-counter strength preparations, some people have developed a blue-black skin discoloration after using hydroquinone bleaching creams. Ochronosis also can cause gray-brown spots and tiny, yellow-to-brown bumps, as well as skin thickening. The condition is mainly associated with dark-skinned people using hydroquinone in high concentrations for long time frames.


Hydroquinone topical solutions can make skin more sensitive to sunlight (photosensitivity). People using these preparations should avoid exposure to sunlamps and tanning beds and wear protective clothing and sunscreen when in sunlight. Exposure to ultraviolet light can cause severe sunburn when using hydroquinone. Applying hydroquinone to skin that is sunburned, windburned, chapped or irritated can worsen these conditions.

Carcinogenic Properties

Rodent studies involving very high doses of hydroquinone administered by feeding tube showed the potential to cause cancer, according to the FDA report on hydroquinone skin bleaching products. No carcinogenic properties have been associated with topical or oral hydroquinone use in humans.

Allergic Reaction

Although unlikely, some people may experience an allergic reaction to hydroquinone. Signs as listed by include severe burning or stinging sensations, hives, breathing trouble, and facial, throat or mouth swelling. An allergic reaction to hydroquinone should be considered a medical emergency.


When taken orally in large amounts, as in uva ursi, hydroquinone is toxic, states It may cause ringing of the ears, nausea, seizures and bluish skin due to insufficient oxygen in the blood (cyanosis). Large amounts of oral hydroquinone also can cause liver damage. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking uva ursi for no longer than five days and no more than five separate times in a year.


Fashion News: Zara Pieces Now Available from Miss Dee, Accra Ghana....

Paulina say: Good news folks.......Miss Dee, the bastion of affordable ready-to-wear made-in-Ghana pieces has diversified and is now selling gorgeous select pieces by fab high-street fave, Zara in their Accra store. Note, Miss Dee and their new Zara pieces can also be ordered via phone and be delivered nationwide in Ghana. For more info visit:

"By the time Woyome pays the 51.2m it cannot even buy a bag of cement...and that is if NDC continues to stay in power." Kobby Addison


Ghanaian Women Love: The Most Popular High-End Skin Care Brands in Ghana.....

Paulina says: Like all good Ghanaian girls I am no slacker when it comes to my skin care game, we come from the land of Shea & Cocoa butter after all...

Years in the fashion and beauty industry means I've been lucky enough to have sampled some of the best, most innovative, cutting edge, some uber expensive -some more reasonable -of the lushest luxurious creams and potions out there... And I can tell you from experience ---the most expensive face creams aren't necessarily the most effective, just think the healing powers of the ordinary Ghana Shea butter!!!!

I must confess, I'm a bit of a brand snob when it comes to my skin care regime [as if you didn't already know] but three years of living on less money than I have in my whole entire life means that even I have had to compromise ---- and the years of PR's sending me [or anyone else for that matter] £300 face creams are a distant memory --Crème de la Mer anyone (mercy)!!!!

Thus, now that I buy my own face cream (mercy) and what-have-youss, I've had to become more savvy, meaning ---what I now demand (more than ever) --- is real value for money without forgoing the glamour that comes with applying high-end luxe face creams -do you get me!!!!

So I've found myself trying out brands via places like T.K.Maxx and buying Boots No.7's yummy skin care brand & must-have Make-up range.

But..... there are certain finds that I will never forgo... and they tend to always be in my beauty closet regardless of finances -like anything Anti-aging by Murad.

I'm also crazy about Murad's 'Clarifying Body Spray' --its antibacterial, thus is really good for treating and preventing blemishes...and their 'Refreshing Cleanser' --good for removing make-up..

Another brand you'll always see in my beauty closet and most Ghanaian women is uber hair brand Mizani. Less pricy than Moroccanoil -but no less luxurious, Mizani is a hit. Right now I'm clean shaven [omgoodness some of you will really recognise me now] --so the Mizani 'Defyne Wax High Definition & Hold' you see --is used to keep my eyebrows in place --as-you-do [insider secret].

Another insider cult fave that I'm never without is 'Friction de Foucaud - Energizing Body Tonic'.. Good for things like prickly heat et al, this fab tonic is now sooo hard to find in chemists [in London anywaysss] that you either have to fly to France or order online.. (

NIP + FAB is a lovely brand I discovered via T.K.Maxx -and its truly fab. I'm very pleased that its now stocked in easy to get to places like Tesco's -as their 'Detox Blend Body Scrub' is to live for.

Note, faves like REN Clean Skincare's Moroccan Rose Otto range & any thing by uber sensitive skin gurus --Eau Thermale Avène --are a must....

Other notable beauty products like [my old] Fashion Fair's 'Oil Free Perfect Finish Cream to Powder Mocha' and my new Estēe Lauder's Double Wear 5N Deep (Neutral) concealer....are found in most of our beauty cupboards -right?

So looking through the rest of my mess above [this is only one side of my double fronted beauty closet -never mind my dressing table thingy] -you'll spot: Clarins' -I love this brand and have used it forever -and I'm never without their 'Hand and Nail Treatment Cream'.

At the moment I can't sleep without applying Clarins' 'Super Restorative Night Wear ---which goes on at night over my Boots 'Protect & Perfect Night Cream', or my straight from Ghana pure Shea butter or Elizabeth Arden's 'Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum' --and is perfect for all skin types....

As youssss can see, like you --I love my beauty products and love trying out new creams & potions -and of course there are brands like Dermalogica that I've loved and used in the past that I would whole heartedly recommend ---but who wants to pay excess baggage and cart all the above goodies to Ghana? Not me and not you --sooo the following are a few of the most popular high-end skin care brands and their respective stockist in Accra, Ghana.... Enjoy x

Exclusive Brands Perfumery @ Marina Mall
Good for: Clarins [Skin Care]
"Clarins Group is a French luxury cosmetics company, which manufactures prestige skincare, makeup and fragrances products."
For more info about Clarins visit:
To buy Clarins skin care range in Ghana head to Exclusive Brands Perfumery situated on the ground floor at the Marina Mall in Accra Ghana.

Niobe Salon & Spa

Good for: Murad [Skin Care]
Murad Skin Care Products: To understand Murad, the company, you have to begin with Dr. Howard Murad, the man. A visionary in the science of skincare, Dr. Howard Murad leads the way in research and product development. As a board-certified dermatologist, pharmacist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at UCLA, he is one of the country's foremost authorities on internal and external skincare. A true pioneer in new concepts and technology with an unending commitment to improve the health and vitality of clients and their skin, Dr. Murad literally changed the face of the skincare industry.

Good for: Mizani [Hair]
In Swahili, the word MIZANI means balance, and from this single word came the inspiration for MIZANI products - superior, salon-exclusive hair care products created for curly hair. Each MIZANI formula, whether used alone or in combination, gently works to balance the forces of beauty and chemistry, ultimately creating radiantly healthy hair. The MIZANI® Cleansing and Conditioning System works to Let you bring your hair into balance by combining the exact amounts of moisture and protein. Dryness, brittleness and breakage are eliminated from all hair types as MIZANI® restores what nature intended - wonderfully healthy hair

"Niobe is a unique upscale Salon and Spa, located at the prestigious African Regent Hotel, East Airport, Lizzy Sports Complex, East Legon, Accra and our latest branch at the Royal Senchi Resort Hotel, Akosombo, Ghana offering only the very best in personal care and comfort."

For more info about Murad Skin Care Products visit:

Black Cotton Natural Hair & Beauty Salon

Good for: Dermalogica Products [Skin Care]
Dermalogica is a product line free of common irritants and ingredients that could cause breakouts (including lanolin, SD alcohol, mineral oil, artificial colors and fragrances) that would improve skin health. 100% customized to each individual’s skin health needs. It’s one results-driven treatment… that’s different every time!

"Black cotton reflects the modern non-stuffy salon alternative. The moment you walk through our doors, you enter an atmosphere of total luxury and indulgence. Red carpet treatment, complimentary drink. luxe décor, first class service are all part of the Black Cotton experience.
Kickback in style and unwind with friends at our über-hip, ultra-plush nail lounge. Our VIP hair suites are the perfect escape for pampering worthy for an A-Lister. Lather lounges, with ergonomic chairs, laid back comfort. What’s there not to love?
Our in-house lounge combines the comfort of your living room with the vibe of an Accra hotspot. Enjoy the glam, calm atmosphere while surfing on the net or just relaxing."

For more info Dermalogica products in Ghana visit:

Extra Info...
To buy 'Friction de Foucaud - Energizing Body Tonic' in Ghana is not possible right now but you can stock-up on your next visit to Ivory Coast via:
06 BP
2552 Abidjan 06
tel : + 225 22 41 1824


Fashion Icon Awards [FIA] set for Saturday 6th September 2014 at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra Ghana....

"Fashion Icon Awards was established to recognize and celebrate the present icons and also to reward promising icons in the fashion industry.
The unique annual award ceremony promises to be the biggest night in Ghana’s fashion industry, a unique and glamorous ceremony which aims to place a spotlight on creative individuals who has contributed/invested in the local fashion industry, creating sustainable economies through building of a rich resource base and capacity utilization through viable strategic partnerships.
We are hoping that Fashion Icon Awards will motivate and encourage old and new generation of fashion entrepreneur, and increase their brand worth and awareness." Fashion Icon Awards

Paulina says: I'm going to be brutally honest, unlike Ghana Fashion & Design Week -I have no idea who/whom is behind the *Fashion Icon Awards* which is set to take place on Saturday 6th September 2014 at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Labadi Road, Accra Ghana from 6pm sharp, -thus I don't know if they are the elegant real deal or *reaching*, still, Accra's fashionable have added said event to their must-go calendar -so I'm guessing its a must!!! Also, Fashion Icon Awards [FIA] had a sort of  FIA industry night and I recognised one or two of Ghana's growing fashionista insiders -so I'm thinking this is another fab annual event to add to our Haute in Accra Calendar...

For more info or to buy tickets for the upcoming Fashion Icon Awards [FIA] visit:

More Info:
The event (Fashion ICON Awards) promises to be the biggest night in Ghana’s fashion industry, a unique and glamorous ceremony which was established to recognize and celebrate the present icons and also to reward promising icons in the fashion industry.
The event will help nurture the rich kernels of talent scattered liberally throughout the fashion industry, and shine a spotlight on some of its most creative eclectic stakeholders, whose full potential has been thus far unrealized.
This unique annual award ceremony aims to place a spotlight on creative individuals who has contributed/invested in the local fashion industry, creating sustainable economies through building of a rich resource base and capacity utilization through viable strategic partnerships.

The awards scheme that promises to be the biggest ceremony in the Ghana’s fashion industry was launched with the presentation of seven (7) categories of industry awards.
Here are the winners of PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS category;
  • Fashion blog of the year –
  • Fashion photographer of the year – Emmanuel Bobbie of Bob Pixel Photography
  • Fashion communicator of the year (Online) – Ob Abenser of FashionistaGh
  • Fashion communicator of the year (Print) – Makeba Boateng of Ovation Magazine
  • Best model management/agency – Exopa Modelling Agency
  • Fashion Stylist of the year – House of Cramer
  • Stylish Creative Director of the year – Beatrice Arthur of B’Exotiq

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Luxe Lifestyle: Why not head to *Bread & Wine* for oysters or foie gras on your next visit to Accra, Ghana.....

 Oysters at *Bread & Wine* in Osu Accra, Ghana....

*Bread & Wine* offers a night filled with fun and cheer and the finest Louis Roederer Champagne on ice......



Paulina says: Regular readers of La Ghana Rising Blog will be well aware of my blogging-about-Ghana-fatigue, and those closest to me -will know --its been an uphill struggle, a real spiritual underground game of a struggle to blog about the goodness and yumminess of Ghana or any African nation for that matter ---when what's going on back home is heart-breaking.

But I'm slowly and surely gaining strength and coming back, -and one such prompting/reason is the amount of emails and messages I get via Facebook from elegant people who love and want to know more about the aspirational goings on in our sweet motherland Ghana. Also, with yummy high-end restaurants like French bistro and bakery, Bread & Wine --located in Osu, Accra Ghana on the same street as "La Villa Boutique Hotel, the black gate before Antrak House" -springing up all over the place, you know the world needs to know!!!!

No longer an insider secret, Bread & Wine which is also feted by Accra's Style Elite  for its sexy *Cigar Bar* --has grown from a high-end bakery celebrated for its artisan bread [see past post] to a full-on-must-visit 'oh la la' restaurant and lifestyle hub....

Anyway as you can see from the above photos --Bread & Wine is adding its quality verve to Ghana's  or should I say, Accra's yummy list of haute hubs of luxury, high-end fabulousness....

Note, Bread & Wine is one of only five venues in Accra where you can find the finest Louis Roederer Champagne on ice -as Ghana tends to be all about Moet....

Anyway.......I'm guessing if you decide to go all out -its might just be a good idea to *book ahead* and order a case of Louis Roederer Cristal 2004 -say, to go with your cigar....  

For more info about Bread & Wine visit:

Local News: Samini opens *Dance Stardom* Restaurant & Pub in Dansoman.....

Paulina says: About two weeks ago [I think] --Joy News (ABN Sky 290) showcased the opening of dancehall artist Samini's latest venture and I promised to blog about it ---but I didn't catch its name and when I googled --there were no images of said venture.

So......... fast forward a couple of weeks [I think] --and Team 'Talk of GH' have uploaded photos of said launch!!!  

Accra based Samini --who has ventured into the hospitality industry and opened a restaurant/pub/nightclub called Dance Stardom in Dansoman, Accra Ghana -seems to have hit-the-zeitgeist on the head. 

With even Ghana's leisure class struggling with jaga-jaga-water-power-and-fuel-issues --*Dance Stardom* which doesn't pretend to be anything its not --is proving a hit; and has become the go-to-hub for the locals in Dansoman --especially up and coming singers who are invited to get up on stage and show the crowd their musical and dance talent..... 

So, I'm thinking......could *Dance Stardom* become the place to be for aspiring recording artists to be discovered in Ghana????

Anyway.......a big well done to Samini and a huge congratulations from La Ghana Rising Blog.

Credit: Thanks to Talk of Ghana for uploading the above photos..
For more info about Talk of GH visit:


Sunday, 27 July 2014

"The very word secrecy is repugnant, in a free and open society. And we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. We are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence. On Infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumour is printed, no secret is revealed." John F. Kennedy

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Made-in-Ghana: Luxury Cars by Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka

"Kantanka SUV on the Accra - Cape Coast Road. Kwadwo Safo Jnr (the youngest Ghanaian pilot and son of Apostle Dr Kwadwo Safo) was enjoying the splendid ride in the early hours of the morning when it was drizzling."  Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka
"Ghana is about to enjoy the juicy benefits of the automobile industry that nations like Japan, USA, Germany, Korea etc having been sipping for ages. Job creation, enhancement of the economy, uplift of the image and confidence of Africa and so many more. Are you as happy as this man. He simply cannot hide his excitement." Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka
"The excitement is on! Finally, Ghana will be having her name in the list of car producing countries to create jobs and enhance the economy. Kwadwo Safo Jnr (youngest Ghanaian pilot and son of Apostle Dr Safo) can not hide his joy but pose for a picture with the Kantanka pickup." Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka
Paulina says: I've been blogging about Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka and his made-in-Ghana luxe vehicles forever. And I'm still wondering.............when will the powers that be in Ghana get behind him????????
If Ghana's government gets behind him, -they will be helping to not just to create jobs --but help to build a new industry in Ghana!!!
They will also be putting money into a venture that can add and not subtract from Ghana's failing economy, and help to make sure that all said vehicles are road worthy and safe (and that needs money)....
Note, the following quote by a fan was taken from 'Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka's Facebook fan page and is very valid in my humble opinion:
 "Am glad to see my own build a car, my humble plea to Kantaka is that,he should study d Ghanaian market well so that he produce for d low income earners, like small small vehicles which many can afford proud to be a Ghanaian n most importantly an African." NT     
And Team Kantanka's reply:
"The Kantanka Automobile Company has already taken note of this. They took this strategic decision after researching into the automobile market. The four wheel drives and pickups are also affordable. Soon Kantanka saloon cars and buses will follow. You can find out more at:
Note, even though I love high-end stuff, I would love to see both luxury and affordable Kantanka cars made in Ghana -as I feel this would better serve the Ghanaian public --but regardless, -what team Kantanka has achieved and is doing in and for Ghana is incredible -and we must get behind them.
For more info about Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka's made-in-Ghana Kantanka pickup and Kantanka SUV et al visit:

Friday, 25 July 2014

Inspired Culture: Ghana Meets Japan --Aku • Ako Fertility Dolls

Loving this Aku • Ako fertility doll with her monochromatic Kente shirt...

 Singer Inna Modja with her Aku • Ako Fertility Doll by Noumbissi Design....

"Aku•Ako are dolls that allow Ghanaian and Japanese traditional crafts to meet." Noumbissi Constantin
Paulina says: How cute and uber fabulous are these inspired Ghana meets Japan, handmade wooden Aku • Ako fertility dolls made by Cameroonian Noumbissi Constantin!!!!
I don't know much about Noumbissi Constantin -only that her dolls are must-haves and her label is called Noumbissi Designs...
Such a clever and inspired idea --I'm predicting that these delectable Aku • Ako fertility dolls are the next big things. They can bepurchased from: or
Anywayssss --I truly hope Noumbissi has patented/copyrighted her dolls as there are many people out there without imagination or talent -but plenty of [cheap] money and no class.
Like Singer Inna Modja et al --I'm now a big fan of Aku • Ako Fertility Dolls, and would love to have a keying version to compliment my Akuaba keying, hopefully one that I can buy in London (hint, hint). I hope to see Aku • Ako fertility dolls available globally -soon.
For more info or to purchase any of the above Aku • Ako fertility dolls visit:

More Info
Culture is what links individuals to one another to create their identity. As a designer, I'm really interested in what Africa, Europe and Asia can teach me and I'm always amazed to notice that these different cultures have a lot in common. That's how Aku•Ako dolls were born !
Akuaba are wooden ritual fertility dolls from Ghana and nearby areas. According to the legend, Akuaba doll comes from the story of a woman named Akua who could not get pregnant and went to a priest and commissioned the carving of a small wooden doll. She carried and cared for the doll as if it were her own child, feeding it, bathing it and so on. Soon the people in the village started calling it "Akuaba" (Akua's child). She soon became pregnant and her daughter grew up with the doll.

Kokeshi dolls have been made for 150 years, and are from Northern Honshū, the main island of Japan. They were originally made as toys for the farmers' children. They have no arms or legs, but a large head and cylindrical body, representing little girls. From a simple toy, it has now become a famous Japanese craft, and now an established souvenir for tourists.
Kokeshi and Akuaba dolls are really similar aesthetically but also in use. So far geographically but so close culturally, Aku•Ako are dolls that allow Ghanean and Japanese traditional crafts to meet. In my very own quest seeking for cross-cultural understanding and respect, Aku•Ako may be the beginning of an answer.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Africa's Luxury tourist market: Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi

Paulina says: Are you fed-up waiting for the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra to open? So am I... So I thought I would check out their Nairobi branch in Kenya --and I must say, its pretty impressive. The Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi, Kenya as you can see from the photos above is lovely --so I'm guessing we are just going to have to exercise [some more] patience...

For more info about the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra visit:

More Info:

Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City - Accra, Ghana

Opening in Summer 2014, Kempinski's first hotel in Ghana will be located in the heart of one of West Africa’s most exciting cities. The Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City will set a new standard of luxury in Accra and will boast the largest rooms in the city with a minimum size of 50 sqm. The hotel is set as the centerpiece of a larger mixed-use development, Gold Coast City, which covers an area of 35 acres and will include residences, retail space, an exhibition centre and commercial office towers.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


What if I fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?


"Back to my Ghanaian roots. Eating jollof rice for the first time in 15 years." Mario Balotelli

Replies to the above caption:
"Asem aba."

"You are an Ashanti, and u got real local and healthy foods available for you when you visit Ghana. We'll be glad to see you. Akwaaba!!!"

"How did he survive all these years without Jollof?"


"Now u have remembered that ur Ghanaian.. every spell dem Italians put for ur head.. that u forget about your beloved land Ghana i thank God its finally breaking small by small lmaoo Ghana still loves u tho nd i hope u enjoyed your food."

"He'll decide to play for Ghana after tasting such beautiful food."

"I hope u can play for Ghana one day. They have a great team they are just missing a great striker."

"So all these while you knew you were a Ghanaian...anyway, welcome bro...blood is blood!"

"Why don't u come play for Ghana."

Paulina says: Like most of you I absolutely love Mario Balotelli ----and I'm always intrigued and on the look out for his next fabulous offering.... -be it controversial, or about his giving (our Mario is very generous with his charity work) or about the ladies in his life etc etc....

Plus, whatever the media has to say, the world and not just we Ghanaians/Africans are gripped by all things Balotelli -especially those of us --privy to tales about his childhood. Anyway I follow our Mario on Facebook and today he uploaded the above photo with the above caption --and won more hearts. Just look at some of the replies I've posted above!!!!!!

I love Mario, I don't know all of his journey/story ---but I do know that he is loved ---and is now eating Jollof rice again, (how he went without it for 15 years is a mystery to me -laughter) and that makes me and a lot of people happy (laughter).. We Ghanaian are simple creatures -no? May we never become toooooooooo complicated.. More healing and peace for Balotelli -forever xx...

To keep up with Mario Balotelli visit:

More Info:
A hyperactive child, who regularly demonstrated his nascent football skills by deliberately kicking

his ball through the glass pane of a door in his home, he has ripened into a hyperactive adult. "He's

always busy with lots of activities. He's doing something and then he has an idea, and he wants to do

something else. He has one thought, and he has 100 thoughts after it," says Cristina Balotelli, his

adoptive sister. "You make an appointment with him, and he changes twice."

Like her two brothers and her parents, she is protective of the vulnerable boy, still easily glimpsed in

the full-grown man, who joined her family after a difficult start in life. She praises how quickly he

learned English, his instinct to avoid the flattery and flummery that his celebrity brings. "He's a bit

of a mix," she says. "He's smart, he's mature, but at the same time he doesn't want to grow up." His

agent, Mino Raiola, describes him as a "free spirit" and "a Peter Pan, in the positive sense."

One key to Balotelli's reluctance to put away childish things seems easy enough to locate, in an early

life lacking in childish pleasures. Born in 1990 in Palermo, Sicily, to Ghanaian immigrants named

Thomas and Ruth Barwuah, Balotelli spent most of his first year in the hospital, as surgeons

conducted a series of operations to fix an intestinal malformation that threatened to kill him. Such

medically enforced separations in infancy can create enduring feelings of abandonment, and

Balotelli has indicated in interviews that he has just such feelings. But he traces them not to his time

in the hospital but to the decision of the Barwuahs, by then living in cramped quarters with another

African family in Brescia, northern Italy, to place him in care after his release from the hospital. He

wasn't yet 3 years old when he ended up with the foster parents who would later adopt him, the

Balotellis. "They say that abandonment is a wound that never heals," Balotelli told Sportweek, the

weekly supplement of Gazzetta dello Sport, in 2008. "I say only that an abandoned child never

forgets."  Source:

"They say that abandonment is a wound that never heals, I say only that an abandoned child never forgets." Mario Balotelli


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Rest in Perfect Peace: Castro

Castro (on the right) with his BFF Ghanaian football legend Asamoah Gyan

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Title: Hiplife Musician Castro Dead...
Dated: 6-7-14
Reports reaching has it that renowned Hip-life Musician, Castro has drowned in the Ada Estuary.

Unconfirmed reports say he died while trying to save a female friend from drowning.

The ace musician has been holidaying at the Aqua Safari Resort in Ada since Saturday.

Though details of his unfortunate demise are still sketchy, is reliably informed that he (Castro) together with a couple of friends and his close buddy who is captain of the Senior National Football team, Asamoah Gyan went to Ada on a weekend rendezvous.

Asamoah Gyan usually rents out a yacht to accommodate close family members and friends whenever he is in town for holidays. However, according to peacefmonline sources, the said yacht was unavailable this time around, as it had been sent out for repairs.

The group, therefore, resorted to using ski boats.

Castro, real name Theophilus Tagoe, was therefore said to have gone jet skiing with a female partner, believed to be his girlfriend. The lady's ski crashed and she fell into the water and in the process of saving her from drowning, the "Adonai" crooner jumped into the sea and met his untimely death.

The entire area has been cordoned off with the Marine Unit of the Ghana Police Service leading the rescue operation.
More info
Biography of Castro

Theophilus Tagoe, aka CASTRO who hails from Takoradi, was born in 1982 to Lydia Tagoe, a trader, and Mr Coffie, an accountant at the Takoradi Harbour. He attended Anglican Primary and J.S.S in Takoradi.

Among the accolades that he won for himself, the most current one was the 2014 VGMAs award winner for Highlife Song of the Year for the song “Odo Pa”.

“Castro-the Destroyer” as he was fondly called will be remembered for his last current hit song, “Odo Pa” which features Asamoah ‘Baby Jet’ Djan and Kofi Kinaata, and his master class collaboration with Sarkodie on “Adonai”.

He started singing at the tender age of 10. Before he launched his debut album in 2003, he had features on hip-life group 4x4 hit track, “Sikletele” which officially introduced him into the local music scene. Just like his current album, “Sradinam” in no time became one of the favourite hits for many Ghanaians.

Later he proved his superiority when he featured on the beat maker, J-Q of Q-Lex promotion’s compilation which also featured great rappers like, Buk Bak, 4X4, Pop Skinny.

And then later, with Okra, Obrafour, Kow Kese, Dogo and others, they came out with execution diary under the execution record label

Just before his current mega blaster “toffee”, Castro had given his voice on Buk Bak’s album which also made a great impact in the music arena.

His dream was to retire and become a producer. His vision was to help bring talented hidden young artiste to limelight. He believes that by becoming a producer, he would tap the young talented artiste and groom them for the market.
Paulina says: I can't believe hip-life artist Theophilus Tagoe aka Castro is dead...
Famed for his, "Ghana girls are sexy like cheese' line, and amongst the most loved and celebrated of Ghanaian recording artists --this national treasure and best-friend-of-Ghanaian-football-legend-Asamoah Gyan --with whom he collaborated on a number of very successful records ---will be much missed.
Personally, I first fell in love with Castro's music after hearing 'Toffee' and was hooked!!!
Like most, I couldn't quiet get over his resemblance to 50 Cent or his dress sense (mercy) -which at the tine was very American hip-hop....
It sooooo sad, but it was only this morning my son and I were listening to, 'Adonai' by Sarkodie featuring Castro --and I can't believe he --with that impressive voice and kenetic verve has gone.......
Ghana Rising Blog sends heartfelt condolence to Castro's family ---God Bless Castro's children.

Thanks for the music Castro....

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Keep Calm it was my birthday a few days ago........

 Cakes over the week.....................

I love flowers....

Birthday presents::: A couple of perfumes here and there including Eau Lente by Diptyque, a yummy Moroccan Rose candle by True Grace; as you can see I love rose everything including REN's Rose bath & body oils --a designer bangle, and designer purse.. Note, if you look through my mess above, --you'll see the new 18 La Lune perfume mi maame bought me...

Paulina says: Just celebrated a really big birthday, in fact, all my birthday from now on are going to be very big (mercy) but I'm truly thankful to the almighty for the lovely week I've also made very clear to me ---who mattered, and who didn't.

Ohhh ---it was also good to discover that I share my lovely birthday with one Nicole Scherzinger, I love her and now know why she's sooo fabulous. Anyways, I got a few bits and bobs -the thing is.....nobody ever knows what to buy me --or in the case of my family, -remembers anymore!!!

Even though I told the younger brother I fancy a small small holiday with little Jojo to --say----Spain, ---- the Costa Brava would do, ---he seems to have forgotten!!!

Still no problem, the Opoku-Gyimahs are all spent out. --My little brother's uber elegant outdoor wedding of a lifetime ---means most of us are broke (laughter) ---I love them tooo much that's my problem.

Anywaysss, mi maame made up for the clan and took me out for a celebratory Tea 'n' Cakes and then bought me D&G's 18 La Lune --such a clean and fresh lovely scent for summer -my mummy has such good taste.

I spent the evening with my little man, Jojo -and had salad, corn-on-the-cob, smoked salmon et al -and then had loads of cake --as you do!! Calories???? Honey its far too late for me to worry about them now, ---nope, I'll win the lottery and have a lapband fitted (that should do it)...

I got a magazine and flowers (tulips above) from Jojo and I treated myself to probably my biggest purchase in some three yearsssss, --that beyond red snakeskin clutch above......I can't tell you what I paid for it, -cause even though I've being saving my child benefit money (laughter) --most of yousss wouldn't understand!!!

My only problem right now is that ---I was planning on celebrating my birthday forever, well, until Jojo's own in August --but he said he's had enough --all I talk about are presents and birthdays (I think its because deep down I'm in shock --I'm not good with birthdays)...

Still I love presents sooo amma keep on celebrating............ xxx