Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Design: Some of Mark Kwami's Africa collection

I don’t understand the German language but from the photographs on Mark Kwami's website you can clearly see that he is helping the people of Ghana and other African countries to use their talents and skills to create beautiful objects to sell in his shop and via the website. For more information about Mark Kwami’s African Collection please visit: http://www.mia-collection.de/

Design: Mark Kwami

Title: Designer Mark Kwami and his Africa collection by By Katja Winckler

Ecological and Fair
The German-Ghanaian designer Mark Kwami works with African craftspeople and promotes modern African design with his label, made in africa collection

Mark Kwami’s biggest hope for Africa is that it finds its way back to its creative roots. We meet the 44-year-old Berlin-based designer in the office of his design label “made in africa collection”, or mia for short. His sweatshirt bears a portrait of America’s new president, Barack Obama, and a single word: “Progress”, a symbol of Kwami’s aspirations. He holds a simply shaped Kenyan soapstone vase decorated with a miniature mask. The unique thing about it is that differently designed buttons can be inserted into a hole to vary the design as the owner wishes. Functional, modern, yet unequivocally African. The vase is one of about 200 home accessories and pieces of furniture which Kwami and his wife Susanne have been offering for sale at the mia showroom in the Berlin district of Tiergarten since 2003.

You won’t find the usual mass-produced African masks and sculptures here, but modern African design testifying of this continent’s rich craft tradition. It’s all based on the concept of “fair business”: mia collaborates directly with selected producers in Africa and pays fair prices. The produ­cers are also given support in areas such as product development, product organization and corporate consulting. And in the last few years Kwami has been promoting the development of local design capacity in African and Latin American countries. ­“Because design is an economic factor that can play an important role in the sustainable development of these countries,” he says.

Kwami was born in Berlin; his mother is German, his father a Ghanaian mechanical engineer. When he was four years old, he moved to Ghana with his parents and lived there until he finished school. He then went back to Berlin to study African Design at the University of the Arts. Shortly before the end of his studies, he spent another year in Ghana focusing on the design culture there. He discovered that Ghana had originally had a rich design tradition but that, after colonization, it was gradually displaced by the subsequent “westernization” of African everyday culture. “Craftsmanship lost its role as the supplier of ­articles of daily use and was degraded to the production of kitschy, ‘airport art’,” says Kwami.

From 1996 he worked as a design consultant for various international development organizations in Africa. He became increasingly disturbed by the fact that many European designers were implementing their ideas of design in Africa. So it seemed all the more important for him to work with people on an equal footing and to encourage them to develop more creative ideas of their own: “That way they can really identify with the newly developed products,” Kwami says. In 2000, therefore, he founded his own studio, m.kwami design services.

A year later he was given a practical opportunity to show how much potential there is in modern African design: he designed and built an exhibition for the Berlin Import Shop trade show under the motto “Living Ghana”. With the support of the German Agency for Technical ­Cooperation (GTZ), he worked on a new collection of design-oriented furniture and home accessories together with 20 producers from Ghana. With a specially designed trade-show booth, which was built like an apartment with several living rooms, they showed that it was perfectly possible to furnish a home in Europe in a contemporary and stylish way using African design. The show was so well received that Kwami was asked to organize the exhibition again in the two following years. He has since built up a broad network of contacts with African designers and craftspeople.

When the project was discontinued at the end of 2003, his wife Susanne decided to open a shop to meet the growing demand. In the meantime, a franchise system has evolved with shops in Hamburg and Karlsruhe. More are planned. Even so, several hurdles still need to be overcome before the permanent economic breakthrough is achieved. Quality control remains a major challenge. This is why Kwami travels to Africa several times a year to support companies with product development and organization – while his wife takes care of imports, storage, the wholesale business, and advising the franchise partners.

About a dozen groups of craftspeople are currently producing goods under the guidance of Kwami and African designers: original pieces of furniture, lamps, candlesticks, vases, mirrors and pillows from Ghana, Senegal and Kenya. The heavy ­ceramic containers are fired in kilns by women from a village in eastern Ghana according to ancient traditions. And the colourful collection of cushions, made of the cotton fabrics that are typical of West Africa, comes from a small sewing works in Accra.

Ecological sustainability is a top ­priority. For example, instead of wood, which has become a precious raw material, one of the designers, Selassie Tettevie from Ghana, uses sea grass to cover seats and tables. And the heavy-looking, but surprisingly light “wood core” stools from the Fritete company are carved from the cores of tree trunks that are left over from the manufacture of ­veneers in Ghana. The Berlin-based duo and their partners in Africa soon hope to use only certified raw materials. Starting in August 2009 in Kenya, all wood for ­export will have to bear the label of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which insists on strict social, ecological and economic standards in wood processing. “An important step in the right direction,” according to Mark and Susanne Kwami.

The Berlin designer is also active in the field of AIDS prevention. As part of a ­special teaching project at the University of the Arts, he and his Berlin students ­developed an easy-and-cheap-to-produce inflatable plastic cube for demonstrating to women how female condoms work – without making them blush. Later this year the cube is to be used as part of an AIDS awareness campaign in Kenya, ­Tanzania and Mozambique. “Progress,” Kwami’s motto, evidently works on many levels – be it in Berlin, Africa or the United States. The End...

[Please see the post above for Mark Kwami's website and his African Collection]..

Enjoy Ghanaian Art and Cultural history at The British Museum

‘Man’s Cloth’ by El Anatsui [2001]

Art by Owusu Ankomah [2006]

‘Kokrobite’ by Atta Kwami [2007]

‘Kente Rhapsody’ by El Anatsui [2001] –with Ghanaian Kente from the 20th Century [Adwineasa] in the background.

King Alex and I went to The British Museum to see their newly extended African Collection –and we were pleasantly surprised to discover a whole section on Ghanaian Art and Culture comprising: ‘funky coffins’, drums, royal swords [and other royal regalia’s], photographs of Ghanaians, funeral artifacts, stools –and much more on the ground floor. The basement was awe inspiring with art work by uber Ghanaian artists -El Anatsui, Atta Kwami and Owusu Ankomah. The British Museum also carries an extensive array of Kentes, masks, and art from other African countries. Presently, they have a fabulous exhibition about the ‘Kingdom of Ife’ [a must for all African art lovers]. For more information about The British Museum please visit: http://www.britishmuseum.org/

The British Museum
Great Russell Street
020 7323 8000

Fashion Sika Prom Dress in the Daily Mirror

I'm loving this belted prom dress by Sika Designs [£89.00] featured in yesterday's Daily Mirror. This editorial is by Dinah Turner. For more information about the Sika Collection please visit: website is at: http://www.sikadesigns.co.uk/

Monday, 29 March 2010

Music: What’s happened to Adam?

**I’m I right in thinking that ‘Fame Ke Ke’ by Adam [featuring X-Doe] is his one and only released single? Does anybody know what has happened to this brother?

Home: Beautiful Glasses with Adinkra design….

“The Stemware collection is decorated with African symbols. The symbols, also called Adinkra, originated in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa. They represent concepts and were used to communicate evocative messages.

The collection is composed of 3 styles of stemware as shown on the photo. Each of the 3 styles of stemware is available in 12 inspirational motifs. It features hand blown stemware and sand carved design. ......Glasses are signed and come with an artist card and design interpretation. The glassware is food safe." www.creatingquietspaces.com

***These beautiful glasses are part of a collection called ‘Spirit of the Warrior King Stemware’ by glass artist - Patricia C. O'Neill. They are beautiful [and will be the talk of any dinner party]. For more info on Patricia C. O'Neill, her collections -or to purchase the above glasses please visit: http://creatingquietspaces.com/artisan/onell_glass_art/stemware.html

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Design & Home : Philippe Bestenheider’s Colourful ‘Kente’ Outdoor Collection

More Ghanaian [African] inspired furniture by Philippe Bestenheider for the Italian manufacturer Varaschin.      http://www.varaschin.it/

Art: Galleria Africana Website...

Mark Buku ‘Rainwalk’

Nicholas Kowalski’s ‘To and Fro’

Hector Ofori’s ‘Ho8’
Reuben Glover ‘And The Point Is?'

Bernard Mensah’s 'Jubilating'
"Galleria Africana is your one stop online source for exclusive, and one of a kind paintings and collectibles, including, not limited to various original artworks, oils, serigraphs, lithographs, sculptures, ceramics, bronzes and home furnishings, from the sub-African continent. ....We feature professional artists creating oil paintings for all types of decorative styles, themes, and colors, for your home or office needs.......Our artists specialize in fine abstract work, mixed media on canvas and paper.........Also at Galleria Africana, we feature unique sculptured wood and metal pieces, and an array of home furnishings, included but not limited to living room, dinning and bed room furniture...........At Galleria Africana color abounds in these figurative and abstract oil paintings. Hence, the varied content reflects African observations and feelings on the human condition and behavior......The Diaspora reflects our impressions and our natural environment of landscapes tells our African story." www.galleriaafricana.com

***I’m pleased to have discovered the above artists on the Galleria Africana website...I find their paintings, -exciting and relevant. I hope that their thrilling work can also be found in museums and art galleries in Ghana... For information on the above artists or to purchase their paintings please visit: http://www.galleriaafricana.com/

The Spirit: A Cheerful Giver…..

Let Brother Franklin inspire you to give to the Lord with a cheerful heart…….x

Thanks for your kind words Joshua Mcdonnell...Yes Ghana is great..

Title: GHANA IS GREAT! February 16, 2010, 1:05 pm
Ghana is great. Ghana has proven over the past two decades to be a stable, free, peaceful, burgeoning and friendly nation. Since the instatement of free and fair elections in 1992, the elections have proven to be free and fair. The rule of law and the country’s institutions have not dimmed to subversion and the country has benefitted by competitive elections, where political parties have proven their willingness to put country ahead of ego and power, by relinquishing administration without bloodshed or headlines. As the first African country to gain post-colonial independence (1957), Ghana was looked to then by others as an example of a progressive, confident and modern country. Now that Ghana has truly matured as a nation, and is burgeoning economically, politically and socially with its own identity, enthusiasm and grace, it is a beacon of light in a troubled (but potential rich) region. With Ghana as a role model for Africa and the world, we can all look forward to the spread of Ghanaian hope and Ghanaian enthusiasm: and that means many smiling faces and friendly hellos!

**Check out Joshua McDonnell’s Blog at: http://revealthegood.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/ghana-is-great/

Objects of Desires: Kente Inspired Fendi Casa sofa..

Fendi knows how to wow us with this contemporary take on the African safari. Buttery leather and coarse kente cloth cushions are a great combo on this exotic sofa. Fendi Casa, clubhouseitalia.com

[Credit: http://www.pointclickhome.com/image/tid/4611?mag=PointClickHome&page=2]...

More from PUMAFOOTBALL website ….the story of Samuel Aggrey -Ghana’s super fan

I'm really enjoying the PUMAFOOTBALL website –it’s a fun way for football virgins like me to ‘do’ football. I particularly love the following story about Ghana super fan -Samuel Aggrey and his lucky pot! …the PUMAFOOTBALL website is worth a visit for other fun features on football…..I’m telling you girls, -you won’t be bored….x

Title: Black Stars Lose the Pot
Posted by PUMA Football, January 25, 2010, 2:44pm

Ghana superfan Samuel Aggrey is not happy. He claims the Angolan police smashed his ceremonial pot following the Black Stars’ victory over Burkina Faso because they suspected him of being a witch doctor. PUMAFootball arranged to meet the man Ghanaians call ‘Obuor’ or ‘Stone’ to find out the truth.

In twilight, with the light failing and no electricity, the rundown former Ghana embassy makes a perfectly creepy location to meet the Africa Cup of Nations most controversial star. During the games, as he dances around the stands with a crazed leer on his scarlet red Easter Island sized-face, it’s easy to see why anyone would believe this character is capable of black magic.

Here, stripped of his body paint and without his trademark pot, the 36-year-old appears bonier and more fragile. Yet still there’s something other worldly about him as he talks about God, Ghana and, of course, those accusations.

Firstly, PUMAFootball wonders, what exactly was he doing during that Burkina Faso game when he was spotted sprinkling a mysterious powder into the pot on his head? “I’m just giving the prayer mora like a vim to support the Ghana players,” he explains cryptically in his patois English. “The pot was given to me by my grandmother who died when I was a child. Anywhere I take the pot it is lucky for Ghana people.”

Sounds like black magic to us. Is it? “No! I do not have the power. God has the power. But when you pray to God, God can give to you.”

Aggrey has now faithfully followed the Black Stars around the globe for 17 years. His passport, which includes stamps from places as far flung as Germany, Egypt and Japan, is a testament to his incredible dedication. So why does he do it? “You see I love my country,” he says beating his fist proudly on his chest. “I love the team because me, my heart and my soul is my country.”

[Credit: http://www.pumafootball.com/news/black-stars-lose-the-pot/]

Fashion: Plurale by Inka

“A collection of unique handmade beaded jewellery using Ghanaian beads with a mix of gem and glass beads creating unique original exotic designs.

Inka makes the best beaded jewellery fusing mainly Ghanaian beads with other precious stones and gems. We aim at bringing out a unique product identifiable with the owner and no one else. Our items are hand made to maintain African originality.” www.pluraleinka.com

**I’m loving the Plurale by Inka jewellery collection by Irene Armah. Bold, beautiful and exquisitely  made by hand with Ghanaian beads [mainly glass beads made out of recycled powdered glass from Somanya and Ago Meda] and other exotic African beads –the Plurale by Inka collection is a must have for all fashion savvy gals-about-town….x

Contact Details…
P.O.Box G.P. 2243
Accra No. 7 Amadan St. North Kaneshie
Ghana - West Africa
Tel:+233 24 3089660 / +233 27 5093395
Website: http://www.pluraleinka.com/

Cape Coast .....

I stumbled across this piece about Cape Coast on ‘Live From The Coast’ Blog and just had to share…

Title: Old town, our town / Dated: Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cape Coast, or Cabo Corso, is the capital of the Central Region of Ghana and is also the capital city of the Fante (Fanti) people, or Mfantsefo. It is situated 165 km west of Accra on the Gulf of Guinea. It has a population of 82,291 (2000 census). From the 16th century the city has changed hands between the British, the Portuguese, the Swedish, the Danish and the Dutch. The city’s Fante name is Oguaa [pronounced in an Anglophone style as "Ee-gwer," with the accent on the second syllable, which rhymes with 'where']. You can visit ‘Live From The Coast’ Blog at: www.livefromthecoast.com/blog/

Sports: John Mensah 4 Puma…

Recently, PUMA created one unity uniform for African national teams and invited artist Kehinde Wiley to paint a portrait of African togetherness. This film clip is a story of Africa, football, and unity through a painting featuring footballers: Samuel Eto'o, Emmanuel Eboué, John Mensah and artist -Kehinde Wiley. For more information about Puma’s work with African football teams please visit: http://www.pumafootball.com/

Friday, 26 March 2010

Ghana Rising Hearts Vlisco


The first fabric collection of 2010 is inspired by unexpected combinations. Dreamlike scenery unites heritage and sophistication. You are taken unawares, caught in a landscape of patterns. The assemblage of designs appears random, yet produces the ultimate ‘Tableau Vivant’ sensation. A collection of contemporary designs dominated by graphic lines and clustered ornaments, with each individual design holding a remarkable treasure of its own, arousing your curiosity with extraordinary impressions." www.vlisco.com

**Since 1876, -Vlisco [the only remaining ‘Real Dutch Wax’ producer] has been well aware of African women's love of all things beautiful….and ‘Wax’s ’ doesn’t come more beautiful than Vlisco’s latest collection of bold Afrocentric prints! Just feast your eyes on the fabulous prints above –they are to-live-for! For more information please visit: www.vlisco.com/

VAC Ghana
P.O. Box 606
Telephone : +233 22 30 42 34-9
Fax : +233 22 30 29 95

Life & Music: Dem Tinz

I write this message in love to the young musician -Dem Tinz. I write because I truly believe that he is talented. I write because unlike many –of these soo called Hip-Life artists… Dem Tinz can rap [and does sooo with style]….Dear Dem Tinz …-I feel that Ghana [a country that is yet to go through its own industrial revelation..] is far too fragile/young for this ‘new love of money’ –a spirit called "Mammon" [that seems to be taking over our Blessed Ghana]!

I have spent the last couple of weeks investigating what I can only describe as Ghana’s underbelly’ –so I’m pleased that as a handsome young man –you are not selling your kidneys or selling your wares in Christian Village [but are rapping etc]; but as a talented young man at the beginning of what I hope will be a long and fulfilling [international] music career….please take care to only put out music that will edify the spirit. I’m not implying that you have to rap about flowers –per say or change your style…[because I love your verve] but instead [like the late great Bob Marley] put conscious lyrics ‘out there’….

Please note; I don’t blame you for the ‘love-of-money’ thing going on in your music…-our airwaves are full-to-bursting with them…and I’m sure you believe 'that’s all people want to hear' –and thus are rapping lyrics that sells etc! And I'm sure you also feel that -'if you don’t do it -others will' –but why not be different [you have style]?…

…I’m pleased -you’re signed to a record label [Lyts Up Rekordz] but how many of the young, impressionable people listening to your music will have your talent or the skills or the access to a record label [to sign them up etc] and thus be able to [possibly] make the money? Also, –as they listen to these lyrics –about money –surly they will also want it. Surly they will also want this ‘same’ money you’re rapping about? What do you think they will do [or have to do] to get such money? Surly you know of parts of Ghana –where people still go to bed at night with no food in their bellies -or areas of Ghana -where children as young as seven have to work to support their families! Ghana –unlike the States [where the needy get some government assistance] is a third world country…-and the ‘Ghanaian Dream’ rarely happens to people born outside of Accra’s ‘East Legoon’ [do you understand where I’m coming from]; –and thus -the more of these ‘money lyrics’ that permeates the Ghanaian airwaves, –the more dissatisfaction –there will be etc…

Please note, -I’m not holding your music responsible for this dissatisfaction –but surly you don't want to add to the …discontent that seems to be infecting Ghana….

Like I said before; …I love the beat of your music –and truly believe that you are talented –but what of your ‘soon-to-be-fans’ who don’t have your talent or verve, -surly you must change your lyrics somewhat; maybe sing about how to get off the streets the right way [because I’m sure that even in Ghana –a third world country’ -its possible to get some level of education, some sort of training –and thus get out of poverty that way…-no?]. You are a talented and can make it by putting positivity into the air [as you know -words are spirit –they can curse or give life…make sure that your words give life]….Not all famous international rap artists -rap about money…-Kanye West might rap about gold diggers but he’s not rapping about the ‘get-rich-or-die-trying’ vibe of ‘others’ ……Anyway, I’m going to put your music up here on Ghana Rising –because you are talented –and I see a great future for you…-but more than that, –I believe that your lyrics will change/evolve as you evolve –into words of positivity, of wisdom –and of Life…x

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Object of Desire: Ashanti Origins Rug from www.goldcoastafrica.com

“This is the new, updated Ashanti Origins rug with a more exotic border treatment. We love this rug for its allusion to the colors and energy of Africa and for its homage to Akan textile artistry. Vibrant design and dynamic lines exude a strong sense of vitality. Bold, rich color and fresh style are a welcome addition to the area rug genre. Soft, thick and sturdy pile construction is crafted of 100% genuine wool pile with silken pile highlights. Available only in 7'1" x 10'8". Allow 2-4 weeks.” www.goldcoastafrica.com

$1,199.00 (An additional $25.00 heavy/bulky handling charge applies to this item) http://www.goldcoastafrica.com/catalog/ashanti-origins-710x108-rug-p-2767.html

***This quality rug is truly beautiful...it’s on my wish list......

African Inspired: Binta Chairs by Designer Philippe Bestenheider for Moroso furniture [Italy]

"Moroso furniture of Italy has a long history of designing its sofas, armchairs and accessories with well known designers such as Ron Arad, Carlo Colombo, Enrico Franzolini, Toshiyuki Kita and Patricia Urquiola. With these famous names of furniture design, serious style, color, and creativity has not been in short supply. The latest Moroso endeavor, the M'Afrique Furniture Collection features traditional fabrics with patterns and colors of the contemporary African culture. The "Binta Armchair" is a casual chair that explodes with the color and creativity of some of Africa's great artists with a nice cushy welcoming seat." www.moroso.it
**I’m loving these African inspired Binta chairs, -a beautiful collection by a European designer using traditional African fabrics…I wonder; -why aren’t we creating beautiful furniture like this?  How comes we have all these [coveted] resources but are not utilizing them?…Why should it take someone from Europe to create something using African materials –before we get excited?….You may remember that in the past –I’ve asked if there's anyone in Ghana making/upholstering furniture in/with Kente or other traditional African fabrics –but I’ve received no replies..….If you know of someone -please let me know as I would love to feature their work…To see more from the Moroso Italian furniture collection as well as the rest of the M'Afrique collection please visit: http://www.moroso.it/

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Change of Gay sex laws, Gay sex scams, lack of STI Clinics –and the vulnerable young gay boys of Ghana…..omgoodness…

Have you ever had one of those out of control nights on the internet –where you find yourselves playing detective [obsessively]? The first time it happened was via a poster I saw about a Ghanaian film which contained nudity [and unfortunately stared one of Ghana’s uber stylish actresses]. I googled, found myself on one of those gossipy Ghanaian news websites …where I got to watch a clip of said film [it was rubbish]; then I read the comments [associated with the film] and low and behold –one commentator [who claimed that Ghana already had a burgeoning porn industry –and thus our mainstream films didn’t have to go down that route] had left a link to Ghana’s porn industry –and off cause I looked;…and yes its true -like every other country in the world -Ghana has a porn industry [its taken the grace of God for me to shake off what I saw….because unlike western porn –most of these Ghanaian girls did not look happy …God help us]…Anyway, -last night the obsessive detective in me took over -again and I had another out of control night –via my internet!

It all started when I stumbled across a Ghanaian gay website [I found it educational, informative and inoffensive] –and read a piece about scams involving young Ghanaian boys [If you know me –you'll know that I cannot leave it there]……and I found myself following every lead/thread offered by said website concerning these scams. And all I can say is –as with all progress –there will be crime, setbacks and all sorts of big problems folks –and Ghana is the same….

My investigations lead me to gay websites; gayscam websites, how-not-be-conned-by-Ghanaians websites –and importantly, to facebook and Hi5 –where many of these scammers had accounts. I would like to take this opportunity to make a few things clear. I am pro life -and believe that you must ‘live–and-let-live’. Secondly, I hate -hate, homophobia and judgmental people –and cannot abide by hypocrisy, - and thirdly, we Ghanaians must accept that –it takes every kind of people to make this world happen –and that gay people exit in Ghana!

...The leads/threads lead to various young [some very young looking] Ghanaian boys’s accounts on various gay websites; where they claimed to be looking for love and friendship etc with men [and I’m sure some are genuine] –then further leads/threads -lead to websites that gave comprehensive accounts of scams that allegedly involved some of these boys. On these so called scam websites some went as far as sharing the facebook and Hi5 accounts details of these scammers –so I followed –and what transpired was so sad/shocking –but insightful.

And so Ghana Rising would like to ask Ghana gals……do you really know your boyfriend [especially those living in Christian Village, Ghana]? Is he really straight –or is he like a growing number of boys on Facebook –sleeping with old European men for money?….Is he one of the many straight boys who are on various gay websites around the world –looking for love and [419] friendships –but instead …are robbing poor unsuspecting tourists –who may or may not be looking for gay sex on the beaches of Ghana? Or is he straight but is willing to engage in a bit of ‘slap and tickle’ with sex tourists [like a growing number of boys on facebook]? Is he one of those young boys on the facebook showing off his designer clothes, cars, money –and claiming to be interested in women –whilst running around with gangs who sleep with /rob 'Abronis' for money….Because, -whilst gay sex is illegal in Ghana –unsuspecting wives and girlfriends [of closeted gay boys/men]–are at risk from all sorts of STI’s…-and much more -HIV/AIDs..

The answer is not to hate gay boys/men [they are human beings and have a right to a blessed full life] –the answer is tolerance, maybe a constitutional change of law [most definitely for men over 21]; less shame, **for STI clinics to treat gay men with or without their partners….and last but not least –employment for gay men. If Ghana was more tolerant -then gay boys/men would not have to hide and play ‘corner-corner’ –and thus, would not feel the pressure to conform and date/marry women –etc. Also, -I’m guessing that less foreign tourists would be scammed and be exploited by ‘the gay sex scammers’ who are on Facebook and Hi5 -showing off their loot and their sooo called designer clothes [with their boys] etc. The sad thing is –there are real gay boys in Ghana who are vulnerable, at risk –and in danger of exploitation -because of the law, lack of sex education [safe sex etc] –and cannot get treatment for STD’s –….Goodness, this issues is soo complicated –with so many layers –then there is the poverty -compounding and exasperating these explosive issues –even more..

We need: tolerance and change of law [most definitely for men over 21] because Ghana should be a safe and tolerant place –where all its citizens feel free –and not persecuted. I know that there are fears that if Ghana legalize homosexual sex -all hell will break loose; that people will decide to become gay, -that children will be exposed and unduly cohered into becoming homosexuals. People are also fearful that the law will be abused –and children will be vulnerable to pedophiles or pimps –taking advantage of them etc. but surly –if [I’m playing **advocate here] the law states that you must be 21 to legally engage in homosexual sex –then anyone under that age engaging in homosexual would have broken the law –and thus –can then be punished etc. Also, the law will protect children under the age of 21 who are forced/raped etc. What this will mean for Ghana –[lets not forget that Ghana is a third world country and that we have a corrupted police force etc] is that society will have to change, -become more tolerant –lessening the stigma and helping young gay men to feel free.

Change of law will also mean that –many of those closeted married gay men will stop running around -having unprotected sex and thus will stop exposing their unsuspecting wives/girlfriends to STI’s etc. –

Less Shame is so important….because part of the reason [I feel] for the growing number of scams with regards to ‘gay sex scams’ –is the stigma and shame that gay men are made to feel –and thus are driven underground -hiding, ducking and diving –and trying to survive [with many unable to find work –and thus turning to prostitution to eat]. And the criminal elements [within this small group] will result to colluding with arm robbers, corrupt police officers -and other undesirables to make ends meet [or in the case of that young man on facebook –to buy his designer cloths to wear to Henri’s Bar on Friday night]. But mostly, –shame means that many of these young boys have no self esteem, or self love –and thus are willing to do anything [even sleep with strangers from abroad] to survive. And are thus –exploited by these ‘Abronis’ [because they are poor]. But off cause many will argue that these boys are also exploiting the ‘Abronis’ and robbing them–[and that’s also true] –but these desperate ‘Abronis’ choose to leave the comfort of their western home, embark on the ‘journeys-of-their-lives’ to buy sex with these boys …..please, -who in their right mind would do that?

The bottom line is the Law [as I have said before] and…the lack of fair and just employment for gay men [thus prostitution and scamming is on the increase], lack of sexual heath education –lack of STI clinics [the few that do exit refuse to treat gay men without their partners –my goodness ….and off cause its costly to visit these clinics]….God help us.. Stay safe…..x

Monday, 22 March 2010

Object of Desire: 'Lobi Welcome I' wood stool by Abubakari Alhassan

“The customs of the Lobi people inspire Abubakari Alhassan to replicate this traditional stool, usually reserved for visiting friends. Their tribal name, Lobi, means "children of the forest," and they originate from Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and northern Ghana. They believe it is a sign of respect to offer this stool to guests, as a sign of welcoming hospitality and respect. It is also used in the kitchen when cooking.” www.novica.com

**I’m not a big fan of the crudely made, -obsessively churned out furniture that continues to come out of Ghana and other African countries –in the name of art [more like commerce to me] –but I truly love the stool above, -it’s beautiful. We need more of this type of design –and less of the rushed stools that are littering the internet….because true Ghanaian ‘objets d’art’ –will loose its value.

$129.95 now on sale! $116.96 http://www.novica.com/itemdetail/index.cfm?pid=154958

Objects of Desire: Ghanaian/African Inspired Children’s Dresses by Ogekko

I stumbled across the DaWanda website and fell in love with the above collection by Ogekko. A cute-as-a-button collection Ogekko [sorry I don’t know much about this designer] –are so sweet. Please note –she also designs for boys –and priced start from $20.00 and are available from the DaWanda website at: http://en.dawanda.com/shop/ogekko

P.s I love the green and purple kente dress so much.....I might just have myself a daughter...xx

Fashion: Ohema Ohene

“Ohema Ohene's mission is to bring to the world total Royal splendour! Producing products which reflect and pay homage to the beauty of Africa fit for any Queen or King! A taste of colours, influences, prints and concepts which are prestigious to Africa, a beautiful and often misrepresented continent.

Ohema Ohene would like to share with you a touch of Africa which is positive, elegant and simply breath taking. Showcasing what the world has failed to see or think possible. Ohema Ohene aims to bring a taste of Africa, to each and every home through clothing and accessories for every part of your life for both Women and Men! Celebrating the best of Africa intertwined with a British twist.

Ohema Ohene draws many of its influences from Ghana. The brand has a long term goal to eventually help provide a gateway to prosperity for the Ghanaian community. Providing education, training and enterprise. Ohema Ohenes long term vision is to produce the majority if not the entirety of its products in Ghana and its neighbouring community, helping to build a long term source of trade to its people.” Ohema Ohene

***I love it when brands by Ghanaians –up their game and take their business to the next level –and the Ohema Ohene label has done just that. Beautiful apparel, on-trend trainers, professional and business savvy, -team Ohema Ohene are way ahead of the crowd. From their fabulous collection; on-point website [it works, covers all the relevant information needed to sell their yummy goods], –to their marketing [Ohema Ohene’s press coverage is très high fashion, –just google them] –to their stockiest [they sell both online and through selected stores] –they are an example of how to do business in 2010. I’m loving their OH! African print plimsolls [£45.00] –and the Zara-kimono wrap front dress [£110.00] -it’s to-live-for! For more information about the Ohema Ohene’s Collection please visit: http://www.ohemaohene.com/

Naana B’s dress in Teen Vogue’s Global Citizens editorial...[March 2010 Issue]

From left: Yulia wears a Calvin Klein jacket, $110. Naana B. dress, $300. Kelly wears an Armani Exchange top, $78. Rachel Comey shorts, $334. Super sunglasses, $167. Loaded Trunk bag.

**In the competitive and cliquey world of fashion –to get your designs [especially niche –African pieces] in any Vogue –is a big deal…..So congratulations to Naana B. Ghana Rising loves your style…x

Photographed by Jason Kibbler, Fashion Editor: Nancy Rohde
[Credit: http://www.teenvogue.com/style/market/feature/2010/02/global-style#slide=1]

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Music: R2BEES way B4 their time.........

I still love this tune by my Ghanaian brothers -R2BEES. In my opinion R2BEES were trailblazers, -way ahead of their time. Mainly from the Volta region –these Ewe artists now dominate the Ghanaian music scene [think Ayigbe Edem, Sarkodie et al] – and in their pursuit to never ‘to be broke’ –R2BEES started a movement and style –that has been hijacked by others [not just in Ghana] –claiming it as their own and getting all the glory…....Big love to these innovators ……….Ghana Rising says kudos R2BEES... For more information about R2BEES please visit: www.myspace.com/r2beesmusic

**Check out the rest of their music on YouTube...xx

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Urban Africa. A photographic journey by David Adjaye at The Design Museum [31 March – 05 September]….

[Images by David Adjaye]

“One of the leading architects of his generation, David Adjaye has stepped out of his regular line of work to photograph and document key cities in Africa as part of an ongoing project to study new patterns of urbanism. Often regarded as a continent defined by underdevelopment, poverty, war and tourism, through this exhibition Adjaye presents Africa in a different light, examining the buildings and places which have a special resonance with his preoccupations as an architect.

This detailed survey will reveal a unique snapshot of life in Africa today, documenting the nature of urban life in a developing continent, a unique geo-cultural survey profiling the African city in a global context. Exhibition tickets available in advance from Ticketweb” www.designmuseum.org

For more information please visit The Design Museum at: http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2010/urban-africa-a-photographic-journey-by-david-adjaye