Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Spirit: People of Colour -Keeping it real at all times....

Words cannot explain the thoughts and feelings -evoked by this incredible photograph. I feel so blessed that through this photograph -I am privy to this most sacred and private moment. And the enormity of what was (and is still) ahead of, 'our' President elect -Barack Obama is clearly echoed by the 'collective coming together of the Spirit' (of an indomitable people -who can't help but to keep it real -at all times). I have always believed, that if you have -a drop of black blood -you simply cannot do this journey (life) without a God, -Be it, 'God in Heaven' or a 'flower God' -or 'whatever' -just don't do -this side of the realm without 'a higher' help. And with that knowledge, -I would like to put these words into the air -for President Barack Obama, his wife, this children, family, friends and, all people of colour and people, -without (because we all know, -words are Spirit, -and they can Bless or curse):

The Lord Bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord Make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24

P.s Today is our President Elect, Barack Obama's 100th day in office -fabulous.....xx

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Home: Aba Sasaako's Collection

“Sasaako was founded in 2004 by British born Ghanaian, Aba Sasaako. Aba's vision for Sasaako was simple: To create a distinctive range of accessories that represent a fusion of contemporary design and African textiles. The result: a stylish collection of original and vibrant home and fashion accessories.” Aba Sasaako

I am loving Aba Sasaako's fabulous, funky -African-inspired collection. It comprises - cushions, bags, table runners, wall hangings, Kaftan -and a bespoke service (where you can choose any item and have it created in a choice of fabrics). Aba's collection is bright and fun -and will make any room pop. Her exotic prints are lovely and on trend (S/S 09 collections are awash with African-inspired pieces) -especially the blue 'Butterflies' print bag, -it is cute, and eco-friendly and will stop you from using plastic supermarket bags (£35.00). The Chameleon cushion above is just gorgeous (£39.00) and the grey hand woven runner is a must for all sophisticated table arrangements (£52.00). The Concentrica cushion's circle print -will jazz up any interior (£29.00).

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Beauty: Shea Butter at The Body Shop

“Shea butter is one of nature's great moisturisers. Ghanaian women have used it for centuries to protect their skin from the dry Saharan winds. So who better to buy ours from than the Tungteiya Shea Butter Association, Northern Ghana. An association of around 400 women from 10 villages, we ensure a fair price for their product. Since trading with The Body Shop the women have been able to dramatically change their lives with water pipes and wells saving hours of water collecting, better housing, medical care, food, and self esteem. Importantly, they are also able to give their children, particularly their daughters, the chance to go to school.” The Body Shop

Gentle (it is often used in baby lotion); it smells gorgeous, its warm and healing -Shea butter melts deeply into your skin -softening the driest, most callus and chapped skins. So remember, when you buy products containing Shea Butter from The Body Shop -you are not just looking after yourself -but others back home. The Shea Body Butter and Shea Whip Body Lotion are available nationwide from Bodyshop

Fashion: Barbsmann Boutique Online

If the style and professionalism at Barbsmann Boutique -is an indicator of what is going on in Ghana -than I am very excited. The Net-a-Porter of Ghana,-Barbsmann Boutique Online is the only one of its kind. With a fabulous, on trend selection of gorgeous apparel -and excellent customer services - Barbsmann Boutique is a 'must visit' for all fashionistas. The owners of Barbsmann Boutique are husband and wife team, Emmanuel and Barbara Priscilla Aidoo and they love fashion and 'know their stuff'.

Established since 2007, Barbsmann Boutique sells unique, cutting edge labels, one off designs, menswear, accessories -and beauty products from; New York, Los Angeles, London and other fashionable parts of the world. With one hot design after another -you'll be spoilt for choice. Check out this blingtastic Gold top,'Night Out' (¢16.00) -it will add a sparkle to any chichi occasion. The 'Assorted Colors Bangles' are cute and will make any outfit pop (¢2.50). I am also loving, 'Viola' -a gorgeous green dress with sexy waist detail (¢25.00) and the Sexy Fitted Stretch Skirt -they come in a kaleidoscope of yummy colours (¢12.00 each).

Art: Brahim El Anatsui (El Anatsui)

First piece of art: Society Woman’s Cloth, (2004) Second piece of art: Wastepaper Bags, (2004)

"Art grows out of each particular situation and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up." El Anatsui

I first saw El Anatsui's work at The British Museum and was mezmorized. El Anatsui's (was born in Anyako, and trained at the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi) - installations are breath taking -on a grand scale. The piece [I saw] at The British Museum resembled a giant, diamond encrusted rug- from afar, -and on closer inspection, -millions of discarded everyday objects -such as bottle tops and flattened food tins -all woven together to create an incredible sculptural -tapestry (like a traditional kente cloth). Described by Britain's The Independent -as one of the fifty greatest cultural figures shaping the continent -El Anatsui is one of Africa’s most prolific sculptors -and is noted, for taking organic mediums such as wood, metal and clay -and transforming them into powerful (and evocative) visual presentations. El Anatsui is currently Professor of Sculpture, at the University of Nigeria.

Black Star: Rosalind Baffoe

The fabulous Rosalind Baffoe is a class act. Stylish and fun, British born, Rosalind -a TV host and actress in Germany, -always looks hot on the red carpet. This social butterfly has friends in high places and is also -part of the Baffoe Dynasty (her brother Anthony is a professional football player and her sister, Liz is also an actress and a household name in Germany). Ghana Rising loves your style Rosalind....

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Ghanaian Princess: Lawrencia Abena Asiedu

Photo one: Lawrencia Abena Asiedu (left -in a gorgeous blue dress -accessorised with a fabulous gold clutch), King Cordles and Thelma Boateng.
Photo two: Lawrencia Abena Asiedu (left -in a sexy black lace dress and another gorgeous clutch) with friends.

“I am a person that enjoys life. I am extremely -people orientated and believe that you should live life to the fullest, tomorrow is never promised.”
Lawrencia Abena Asiedu

“I believe Ghana has the potential to be the number one country in Africa, -we are nearly there.”Lawrencia Abena Asiedu

You only have to visit the fabulous, Lawrencia Abena Asiedu's facebook page to see that she is a very popular 'girl about town' -and if you are at a party and she is not there -then it's just not hot -enough. But don't be fooled, this former Miss Ghana UK contestant, -is also a spiritual girl and counts going to church as one of her activities. I caught up with Lawrencia last week.

GR: Hi Lawrencia, how are you?
LAA: I am fine thank you; just extremely exhausted with my final year project, -that I'm completing at university, -its hard work !

GR: What are you up to?
LAA:At the moment I am ridiculously busy with uni, I am in my final year studying a BA Honours degree in Media & cultural studies with sociology. As you can imagine; -I am so busy, so it is really hard to have a social life, -let alone a love life. I have really enjoyed my course but I am happy that it is over. This is where life begins for me, it is like a new chapter. I am also an aspiring actress, who is attending acting lessons at, 'The London Bubble Theatre' in Bermondsey (South London) -and it is fantastic (experience).

GR: Wow Acting. How is it going?
LAA:Acting is one of my favourite passions in life. It is amazing how you can play a different person, and be creative with that character. You would do things that you as a person would never do. It's a bit like having an alter ego, like Beyonce being Sasha Fierce. I call my alter ego, Imani, -and Imani is crazy and extremely outlandish on stage -she is not afraid to speak her mind. In some ways, -I am very similar to my alter ego, but in other ways -not. Although at this current moment, the acting has taken a back seat because of university -I hope to attend more acting lessons after I finish. I would love to pursue it as a career. I am also a writer, so I do have a few talents up my sleeves you could say.

GR: I have seen your photographs on your facebook page, and it seems you are always out and about -a bit of a party girl?
LAA:I wouldn't necessarily call myself a party girl. I enjoy life, but who doesn't? I love life. I love meeting new people. I am a person that enjoys life. I am extremely people orientated and believe that you should live life to the fullest, tomorrow is never promised. People tend to say I am the life and soul of the party. When I go to Ghana on holidays; and I hear my favourite tune,- I'm like oh my god that's my tune and start dancing, [and] everyone is looking at me, like I'm crazy. I am an individual and not afraid to show it. However I do attend church regularly, some people have said to me ' you are a Christian, why do you feel that you have to go to parties to have a good time? ', to a certain extent I do agree but I am still young, I want to enjoy my life but on the other hand, do the right things and carry myself in a respectful manner.

GR: I love your style -how would you describe your look?
LAA:Thank you, I have a diverse and versatile look. I am a fashion orientated person. Working Part time in the shoe shop -Kurt Geiger, and seeing different styles -has strongly influenced me. My style is simple and not over the top. I always believe people should make an effort, [as I always say to my mum], 'you don't know who your going to meet'. I do believe what you wear and the way you carry yourself -dictates your personality. My look in the day is very simple, -leggings (every woman knows you cannot go wrong with leggings) -with a nice simple top and my cute little shoe boots and a big bag. I am a huge handbag fan (come to my room, and you'll find it full of bags. In the evening, I like to keep my look sexy but subtle. My saying is, 'if you want to look sexy, you don't need to expose your whole body (to look sexy). I believe it is the way you carry yourself.

GR: Who are your favourite designers?
LAA:Believe it or not -I'm into high street labels -such as, Topshop -but if we are talking designers, -I love Herve Leger (those dresses are amazing, body con can do wonders). Gucci has some amazing dresses, I think Vera Wang is also amazing.

GR: You are a beautiful girl. Are you high maintenance?
LAA:Thank you -that is a big compliment. Growing up (during my teen years) -I never felt beautiful. Unfortunately for me, when I was at primary school, -there were these two boys who used to taunt me and bully me - it was so awful. They used to call me 'pizza face', 'Grease lighting' and 'Afro Jaffro'. Looking back now, I can laugh at it -but back then it was so horrible. I used to have pimples which made me insecure. But my confidence has grown -as I have grown up. I am finally learning to love and accept myself. I believe [that] in this world, if you don't love yourself, who can love you? Its a hard and difficult process , but it is about accepting yourself and seeing yourself for who you really are. To all the young girls - feeling unloved or unattractive -remember that flaws are extremely beautiful and everyone is beautiful in their own way. I do not like my nose, but it is a part of me, -and, you cannot run away from yourself. Love yourself in a humble way. Back to my beauty routine, I am very particular about my skin. I use St Ives face wash and Scrub -it does wonders for your face (and is a must have for every woman). After that, I use Cocoa butter for my skin (another must have). For beauty products, I live by MAC -it does wonders! So yes, you could say I am high maintenance! As my mum says, 'wo pa life paa' !!!!

GR: Your hair is gorgeous -who does it -and do you go to the gym?
LAA:Thank you. My hairdresser -Sandra does my hair. She is based in Mitcham and I cannot live without her. She is fantastic, -she does literally everything. I have no time for the gym -fortunately, I am naturally slim and slender, so it is not needed!

GR: Good for you, but on to more serious stuff, -what are your hopes and dreams for Ghana ?
LAA:Whenever, I'm asked -'where are you from', -I automatically say Ghana. They then ask, 'were you born there' -and I say no, I was born in London. I believe that I have a strong connection with my culture and heritage. Being British and Ghanaian has shaped me as an individual, -and given me certain values, and attitudes in life (that I can pass onto my children). The [next] generation -has completely changed, which is a beautiful thing, -because when I was younger, it seemed like a negative thing to be African (nobody seemed proud of their roots). 'It was cool to be Jamaican'. We have now got to the stage -where, to be Ghanaian -is appreciated and respected. It seems like Ghana is the new Jamaica! We have so many rising British Ghanaians putting Ghana on the map -such as Sway, Freema Agyeman, June Sarpong, Tinchy Stryder, -even Miss Ghana UK 2008 Nicola Sackey. They are all positive Ghanaians -I look up to, and they make Ghanaians feel proud. Through university and facebook -I have meet so many British Ghanaians -who are aspiring entrepreneurs; designers, singers, presenters etc, (they are all rising stars of Ghana)-and this is beautiful. I feel proud to be a British Ghanaian and Ghana has come a long way. I have many hopes and dreams for Ghana. When I travelled to Ghana, I saw many under privileged Children, -in my family and outside (in general). There are a [numerous] orphaned children but very few resources. It seems like it is not an issue in Ghana, but to me, -I believe that children our the future. Children are beautiful and significant assets to the world and I believe that there should be more resources for the Ghanaian children. I would love to start a charity, -where Ghanaians from all over the world -can help children in Ghana. That is one of my projects. I also believe that the road laws in Ghana should be stricter and taken more seriously. Unfortunately, I lost my uncle Freddie Ayim (who was a personal secretary to Jake, foreign tourism minister during Kuffour's regime) -in a horrific car accident and -I believe we lost a shinning star in Ghana. Also, high profile actress, Suzy Williams -died in a road accident -too. There needs to be a stop to it -and this will only happen when the laws are tougher. I believe Ghana has the potential to be the number one country in Africa, and we are nearly there.

GR: Thank you sweetheart and God Bless all your dreams.
LAA: Thank you and God bless our homeland.

Ghana Rising is confident that Lawrencia has what it takes to conquer the acting world and are excited for this beautiful rising star...Go Lawrencia....xx

Ghanaian Princess: Lawrencia Abena Asiedu's favourite things.

Blue Strapless bandeau dress, Hervé Léger, (£951.00) -Black High Waisted Wetlook Legging, Topshop (£20.00) -Apricot Face Wash and Scrub, St Ives (available from all good supermarkets, nationwide) -Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Fragrance Free Lotion, Palmer's (available from all good supermarkets, nationwide) -Eye Shadow, MAC (£9.79)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Enterprise: Doris Michaels -the founder and CEO of, Doris Michaels Cosmetics

“Doris Michaels Cosmetics: Created to match, complement and enhance the beauty of women of colour. It is a full line of professional range of cosmetics, offering a wide array of long-lasting shades, all at great prices too. We are aware that our products significantly out-perform all other brands in the market, but we deliberately chose to keep our products very affordable because we don't think you should have to be rich in order to look beautiful” Doris Michaels

One of my fabulous friends -Samantha Coker (actress and girl-about-town) phoned me up -many moons ago to tell me about, 'a fabulous make-up range, -that I just had to use, -and that it was created by a Ghanaian woman, -and that it was fantastic, and that she had finally found the perfect foundation for her skin'. Well I don't know about you but when a sister and a good friend -calls to rave about something -I become excited (I like to be in the know) -especially if the product in question is made by one of my own. My friend Samantha was right, the Doris Michaels Cosmetics, range is wonderful.

Doris Michaels Cosmetics, was created especially for ethnic skin tone -and contain moisturisers and vitamins. Doris Michaels' powders, concealers and foundations -offer light to maximum coverage (depending on your needs) and a flawless natural-looking complexion. And her, 'Eye Shadow Palette' comprises gorgeous, vibrant colours -that stay true, all day without changing colour or fading. I am loving the, 'Crème to Powder' -it come in 9 different and glides on smoothly -adding a radiant glow (£5.99). For any make-up enthusiast, who has been looking for a concealer that promises Touche Eclat quality - Doris Michaels' 'Concealer Stick' -hits to mark. It comes in three shades (light, medium and dark), is enriched with moisturiser and vitamins and fortified with SPF-8, -it will protect you from, -'skin darkening' (£2.99). The liquid Lipsticks are yummy (especially the LG04 -a gingery, pinky browny mix of lusciousness), -comes in ten delicious shades and are long lasting (£1.49). The Doris Michaels Cosmetics range, is available nationwide -please visit: for more information and your nearest stockist.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Fashion: Ghanaian Princess T-shirt

I'm loving the fabulous, 'Ghanaian Princess' t-shirts above. Made from 100 % pre-shrunk, super-soft cotton, -these t-shirts will enable you to get your feelings off your chest. (For USA orders only) Prices start from $20.99 and can be bought from CafePress - (For UK orders only) Prices start from £20.95. and can be ordered from: - 133k -

Black Star: Shirley Frimpong-Manso

Gone are the days when watching African movies meant, -lots of screaming, intangible pigeon English, 'over-the -top-acting, actresses rolling their eyes -strangely, angry people and women in submissive roles. Well, thankfully, the aforementioned issues are in the past -and a new dawn is being heralded by Ghana's own, Shirley Frimpong-Manso (Sparrow Productions) -of, 'Different Shades of Blue -fame. The director/writer/producer -of , 'Perfect Picture' (above) and past favourites like, - ‘Life and Living It’, and ‘Scorned’, - Shirley's modern and relevant films are a 'must see'. From the perfect lighting, to the gripping storyline and the talented actors -the quality of Shirley's films are a breath of fresh air -and she and Sparrow Production -are enjoying critical and commercial success across Africa, Europe and America. So, add a must watch, 'Perfect Picture' -to your to do list -the gripping tale (of friendship between three seemly perfect women) has all the twists and turns of a good drama, -and stars the cream of Ghana cinema, -Adjetey Annang; Chris Attoh, Kweku Sintim-Misa, Jackie Appiah, Lydia Forson, Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku and Nana Kwame Osei Sarpong. Fabulous...xx

Enterprise: Dr. Jacqueline Owusu (CEO & Founder of Jackie’s)

Have you ever come across an individual, -who intrigues, inspires and makes you want to achieve more? The person in question is, Medical Doctor (she specializes in Internal Medicine) and businesswoman, Dr Owusu, -the founder and CEO of, JACKIE'S and 'Dr Owusu's Skin Care' range. I truly don't know where to start with this uber businesswoman. Wife (she is married to, Mr. Osei Bediako), mother (to two handsome boys, Matthew and Michael), a practising medical doctor and active businesswoman -this disciplined, busy bee doesn't stop (just take a look at her growing empire).

JACKIE'S was started in 2006 and carries, -affordable, quality apparel -(including: well cut suits, Liz Claiborne handbags, chichi shoes etc.) -and has recently, expanded into Fragrances, Skin and Hair Care products for both men and women (it comprises:bath and shower gel, body mist, candles, facial care, fragrances, gifts, hand and body lotion, massaging oil, bubble bath, body scrub, Shea butter cream, soap and treatments). I am loving the beautifully packaged, -Revitalizing Facial Oil (conditions, smooths and softens dry and mature skin without leaving an oily residue, $24.99), Revitalizing Youthful Radiance (is good for mature skin and will transform your skin in 6-9 weeks, $49.99) and Revitalizing Eye creme (improves dark circles and puffiness around the eyes, $29.99) from her skin care range -and many more from:

Black Star: Liz Baffoe

German born, Liz Baffoe is an incredible actress. A household name in Germany -Liz Baffoe became a nation's 'sweetheart' after a stint in, 'Dancing On Ice'. Daughter of a diplomat. Liz comes from a talented family. Her brother Anthony, is a professional football player and her sister, Rosalind is also an actress. She speaks German, English and Fante. For more information about Liz visit her website at:

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Food: Divine Chocolate

“Divine Chocolate Ltd is co-owned by Kuapa Kokoo – a smallholder cocoa farmers’ cooperative with 45000 members in Ghana. Kuapa Kokoo has two representatives on Divine’s Board which meets four times a year, once in Ghana. The decision to launch the first Fairtrade chocolate company in the UK was made at the Kuapa Kokoo AGM in 1997. With the help of NGO Twin Trading, and Body Shop International, plus the support of Comic Relief and Christian Aid, and DFID, Divine Chocolate Ltd (formerly The Day Chocolate Company) was launched in UK in 1998. In 2006 Body Shop international transferred its entire interest in Divine Chocolate to Kuapa Kokoo, making the co-operative the single largest shareholder with 45%. Today the balance is held by NGO Twin Trading (43%), and by Dutch international development finance institution Oikocredit (12%).” Divine Chocolate

If you didn't known that the good people at, Divine Chocolate use only chocolate from, Kuapa Kokoo, a farm in Ghana -you know now. So, next time you take a chocolate break -make it a Divine break. Available nationwide, from all good supermarkets.

Charity: June Sarpong models for, 'Fashion Targets Breast Cancer'

Fashion Targets BC - Our Celebrities Talk to the Camera from FashionTargetsBC on Vimeo.

'Our' June is one of the uber celebrities behind, 'Fashion Targets Breast Cancer' ad campaign. The celebrities involved include, The Duchess, Duncan James, Leah Wood, Jade Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger (of the Rolling Stones), Brian Ferry and many more. You can support the charity via the, 'Million Model Catwalk' website at:

Ghana Rising Hearts Akosua Busia

What's not to love? 'Our' Akosua Busia? is hot potatoes. A successful actress, ex wife of uber director, John Singleton (the ex boyfriend of Tyra Banks), and a 'yummy mummy' (she has an eleven year old daughter with Mr Singleton) -Akosua is a signed up member of the elite, 'putting-Ghana-on-map' brigade. The daughter of, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia (the former Prime Minister of Ghana from 1969 to 1972) -she was educated at Oxford University, England, (like her father) and is a princess from the Royal Family of Wenchi. Akosua appeared and found global success in, 'The Colour Purple' - and has gone on to star in many films and TV shows -including, 'Tears of the Sun' and ER. I love 'our' Akosua's Afro-centric style. She always looks effortlessly groomed and does, 'chi chi Africa' very well -adding a modern twist to traditional attire. Go Akosua....

Beauty: Hair Masque -inspired by Ghana

“Our Logo -The Sankofa Bird represents the philosophy that you must look back to the past to understand how to look forward to the future. Africa is the cradle of humankind, and the traditional homeland for many African Americans. The Sankofa Bird inspires us to learn about those rituals so we can better understand what we want our future to be.” Ms Almond Summers (the founder of Africa's Garden)

The 'Adinkra Rhassoul and Organic Cocoa Hair Masque Bar' (above) is a gorgeous, vitamin rich (the bar contains Pro B Vitamins, Vitamin E) treatment made from - African Butter, African Oils and Botanical extracts and will feed your starving follicles. Each bar is handmade to order (to ensure freshness) -and use the highest quality ingredients -to create the perfect formulations for your beautiful tresses. Infused with coconut oil, African Rhassoul Powder, Rosemary Extract, Silk Milk Proteins and Organic Cocoa Butter Organic Chocolate -it will keep your crowning glory smelling sweet between washes. This fabulous mask contains no -iron or potassium and there is no artificial preservatives, no parabens -or any artificial ingredients -yippee ($12.75) and can be ordered from

fashion: Jordin Sparks

Fabulous R& B singer and former “American Idol” champion, Jordin Sparks -gets it off her chest.....xx

Hair & Beauty:

If you are a busy bee, -you'll love -a fabulous online retailer that stocks quality beauty and hair products -run by Harriet Kessie -an award winning hairdresser and business woman. Afrotherapy carries all the best luxury brands like; IMAN Cosmetics, Joico K-Pak, KeraCare, Mizani, PhytoSpecific and many more. I am loving the, 'Mizani Complete Haircare Kit' (£44.60) offer - it contains (Botanifying Shampoo, FulFyl Conditioning Treatment, Rose H20 Conditioning Hairdress and Rose H20 Intense Night Time Treatment) and is available from: