Saturday, 31 July 2010

Ethical Fashion: CHOOLIPS


"Our Golden Coast collection is fairly traded and entirely made in Ghana by local batikers, tailors and seamstresses, all of whom earn eleven times the average national wage for their work. Colourful designs are printed on 100% Ghanaian cotton using the local Batik tradition. CHOOLIPS has introduced new technology & trend-led print design to sustain this ancient Batik technique. Introducing new materials and technology to Ghanaian workers has pioneered local design processes and working methods. This, in turn, has furthered local businesses both in the UK and at grass roots level in Ghana.

Since CHOOLIPS started working with batiker Juliana Mustapha, Juliana has tripled both her workforce and the size of her workshop while she secures the education of her three children. Owing to the success of her work she is one of few small producers in Ghana that are now successfully exporting to international markets."

***For more information about Choolips’ fairly-traded pretty-whimsy-girlish-yummy-sunshine collection, –designed by Annegret Affolderbach and made in Accra with hand-printed batik prints/textiles by our brothers and sisters in Cape Coast, -please visit:

Friday, 30 July 2010

“I never let anything deter me, because when you have a dream, people say you can’t do it, but actually it motivates you and makes you work harder.” Dr. Michael Obeng

Why Not: See the Asanti Goldweights at the V&A?

Pectoral disc, cast gold, Asante (Ashanti), Ghana, Before 1874, Museum number 369-1874

Goldweight (abramoo), Asanti peopel, Ghana, 1900-1920. Museum no. C708-1969

Asante Gold
Natural gold resources in the dense forests of southern Ghana brought wealth and influence to the Asante (Ashanti) people. Asante wealth was increased by transporting gold to North Africa via trade routes across the Sahara. In the 15th and 16th centuries this gold attracted other traders, from the great Songhay empire (in today's Republic of Mali), from the Hausa cities of northern Nigeria and from Europe. European interest in the region, initially in gold and then in enslaved Africans, brought about great changes, not least the creation of the British Gold Coast Colony in 1874. British intervention also created public interest in the Asante and enabled British museums to acquire examples of Asante art. This article reflects on the presence of Asante objects in the collections of the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum.

Asante goldweights
Under the military leadership of the Asantehene (Asante leader) Osei Tutu, Asante State grew out of a group of smaller states to become a centralised hierarchical kingdom. In 1701 its increased power meant it was able to displace the then dominant state, Denkyira, which, through conquest, had come to control the major trade routes to the coast as well as some of the richest gold mines. Asante State then became regionally dominant and gold and slaves flowed through its state capital Kumasi.

Gold was central to Asante art and belief. At a political level, gold indicated the kingdom's dominance over rivals. Much gold entered the Asante court via tribute or war and was worked there by artisans from conquered territories. The court's power was further demonstrated through its regulation of the regional gold trade. Everyone involved in trade and commerce owned, or had access to, a set of weights and scales. The weights, produced in copper, brass or bronze (usually by the 'lost wax' process), corresponded to a standardised weight system derived from North African, Dutch and Portuguese precedents. Other equipment included shovels for scooping up gold dust, spoons for lifting gold dust from the shovel and putting it on the scales and boxes for storing gold dust.

Geometric shapes and designs predominated amongst the early goldweights but more naturalistic representations of court regalia began to appear in the 17th century. By the 18th and 19th centuries the weights reflected a wide range of human and animal figures, often in scenarios designed to represent popular Asante proverbs. The V&A's collection of goldweights also includes a representation of a cartridge belt, reflecting the importance of guns to the Asante who acquired them from Europeans and used them to maintain, and extend, their rule. Typically, this weight also refers to an Asante proverb, literally 'The cartridge belt of Akowua [a celebrated warrior] has never been known to lack bullets',meaning a resourceful person may sometimes get into difficulties but he is never found wanting.

Goldweights are highly visual and easily portable, making them popular with visitors to Ghana, including colonial officers, who brought them back to Britain and later donated them to museums. The majority of the 15 goldweights in the V&A's collection were purchased in 1969 and 1971 from ethnographic and antique outlets in London. They were acquired for the collection of the Circulation Department which provided loan exhibitions to regional museums and colleges all over Britain. The department was disbanded in 1978 and the collections absorbed into the Museum's permanent collections, in this case that of the Metalwork department.

The V&A holds another group of Asante items which it acquired through very different means. In the 19th century the Asante were threatened by British traders and colonial officials who wished to end Asante control of coastal towns and trade routes. Asante State was one of few African states able to offer serious resistance to European colonisers. However its independence ended on 4 February 1874 when a British expeditionary force marched into Kumasi in retaliation for an Asante attack on El Mina two years earlier. The British ransacked the palace of the Asantehene, Kofi Karikari, and imposed an indemnity of 50,000 ounces of gold, part of which the Asante managed to pay by handing over gold beads and other worked jewellery. On return to Britain, some of this gold was auctioned by the London crown jewellers, Garrard's, to provide pensions for the wounded and next of kin. Garrard's is the source given for thirteen items of Asante court regalia acquired by the V&A in June 1874.

The V&A's collection includes a pipe, three pectoral discs (plus another acquired in 1883), a pair of silver anklets and a number of beaten gold pieces which were probably used to decorate state stools or swords. The discs - or akrafokonmu - were worn by court officials responsible for the ritual purification of the Asantehene's soul. The plural name for such officials is akrafo (literally 'soul people'), konmu refers to something worn around the neck but the term is usually translated as 'messengers' badges' or, more accurately, 'soul-washers' or 'soul-bearers' badges'. Pectoral discs were produced in cast and repoussé (hammered) gold, as well as gold leaf over wood. They are probably the most numerous of all regalia and represent a substantial portion of an Asantehene's wealth.

Gold regalia often featured in the reports of admiring European visitors to the Asante court in the early 19th century. In 1817 the British envoy Thomas Bowdich spent three months in Kumasi where he received a state reception. He left a vivid description of the richly ornate court of the Asantehene Osei Bonsu, noting how -
' . . . the royal stool, entirely cased in gold, was displayed under a splendid umbrella, with drums, sankos [harp-lutes], horns and various musical instruments, cased in gold, about the thickness of cartridge paper; large circles of gold hung by scarlet cloth from the swords of state, the sheaths as well as the handles of which were also cased; hatchets of the same were intermixed with them; the breasts of the Ocrahs [soul-washers], and various attendants, were adorned with large stars, stools, crescents, and gossamer wings of solid gold.'

However the British view of the Asante people changed considerably as the 19th century progressed and struggles for trade dominance intensified. A special edition of the Illustrated London News published on 26 March 1874, 'From Cape Coast to Coomassie: An Illustrated Narrative of the Ashanti War', reflects this change. Illustrated by war artist Melton Prior, the images show uniformed, well-armed British soldiers contrasted with cowering semi-naked Asante people fleeing a burning Kumasi. The display of 'A collection of gold and other objects from Ashanti at the South Kensington Museum' (later the V&A) in the same year was probably presented in the same spirit of triumphant imperialism. The display included the 'umbrella' (state parasol) of 'King Coffee' (Kofi Karikari), loaned by Queen Victoria. It was hugely popular and much reported on in the press at the time.

Despite their enduring and active resistance, on 1 January 1902 he Asante people became a British protectorate. In 1926 the Asantehene was given ceremonial control over Kumasi and in 1935 the full role was restored but limited to ceremonial functions. Today, post-independence, the Asantehene continues to be an important cultural figure and patron of the arts. While he still has political power, it has been superseded by democratically elected leaders. It is estimated that Asante people form 14% of Ghana's population. This, along with their history, makes them very influential both politically and economically.[Credit:]

V&A South Kensington

Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
Tel. +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Monday, 26 July 2010

Music: Akua Naru

I’m loving Akua Naru’s ‘Tales of Men’ -it’s very of the minute –but honestly, I know very little about this fabulous chanteuse. I hope to hear more from Ms Naru, –in the meantime visit: -for more information.

Charity: The Akua Kuenyehia Foundation (AKF)

"The Akua Kuenyehia Foundation (AKF) is a Ghana based not for profit organisation founded by the children of H.E Judge Akua Kuenyehia, first Vice-President of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, in her honour.

It is a private foundation committed to the development and empowerment, through formal education, of women in Ghana. The overarching purpose is to nurture and develop a passion for knowledge in Ghanaian girls, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, and a zeal for service to the society by enriching the lives of these young women through educational scholarships and mentorship programmes."

****Judge Akua Kuenyahia’s an incredible woman and role model. An author, teacher and philanthropist, - Akua Kuenyahia has set up a not for profit organisation –to educate and empowerment young girls in Ghana. For more information about The Akua Kuenyehia Foundation or to donate please visit:

More info about Judge Akua Kuenyahia
Akua Kuenyahia is a Ghanaian judge and first-vice president of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague , Netherlands.

Professor Kuenyehia was elected for a nine-year term from the African Group of States, and is assigned to the Pre-Trial Division.

She was Dean, Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana before her election as a judge. During her time at that university, she taught criminal law, gender and the law, international human rights law and public international law.

She was co-ordinator of a research project entitled "Women and Law in Anglophone West Africa", which covered Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. She has written three books and numerous academic publications on gender and the law, family law and international human rights.

Judge Kuenyehia is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana. She has experience as solicitor, advocate and human rights expert, and in criminal law and procedure. She also has experience as an administrator and has expertise in gender and the law, international human rights issues and was a member of the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). [credit:]

Art: AFRIKart Gallerie

Green Forest by Ablade Glover

Northers by Kobina Nyarko

Untitled by Larry Otoo

Kasoa Market by Gabriel Eklou

Play in key d by agorsor

Market Lane – Roof Tops by Ato Delaquis
[All available from: (prices on application)...]

"AFRIKart Gallerie is a virtual gallery which has been quietly building a reputation for high quality contemporary and modern art of African origin.

It was set up (in 2002) by Kwame & Audrey Akuffo, who are of Ghanaian origin. and it is in its fifth year of operation, putting on three to four exhibitions a year. There have been several great exhibitions in an around London, including exhibitions at Chiswick Business Park, and a six week run at the Royal Commonwealth Society at Northumberland Avenue, Zizi Gallery, FQ2 at 1 Fiztroy Square London W1 AND the OSO at Barnes.

The body of work available and shown (in various group exhibitions) are by artists who are as skilful, creative and modern as any in the world.

The AFRIKart canvas is unique and truly continental, in its outlook. It is crowded with diverse talents, places, outlook and meaning. We work with a number of artists from East and West Africa."

The Spirit: Allen & Da New Wave [ADNW]

Uplifting, elegant and utterly modern, -Allen & Da New Wave [ADNW]’s a gospel group new to Ghana Rising’s radar –and we love them. Just check out the praise and worship [above]! For more information about ADNW please visit:

NIIT -IT Education and Training in Ghana

NIIT (, a leading name in quality IT education. NIIT's proficiency spans both the IT education and IT-assisted training domains. NIIT is fully equipped with wide and comprehensive collection of education programs that touches the lives of numerous market segments-from commercial organisations, with specific training needs to individuals looking for IT and non-IT skills.

NIIT's unmatched knowledge, brand charisma and intensifying geographic footprint have made us a reliable and trustworthy education partner for both students and career seekers. The company's on-the-ground industry recognised training products for education has been interconnected neatly with a strong on-line presence, to offer users with a "complete" learning experience.

i2000 Limited was incorporated in Ghana in November, 1999 with an objective of addressing the IT needs of Ghana. To be the best in IT Training and Software Development, i2000 Limited tied up with NIIT Limited to offer NIIT benchmarked IT Education and Training in Ghana.

The first center was launched in May, 2000, and within a year of its operation, NIIT Ghana achieved the status of the largest IT Training School in Ghana. The Corporate Sector, including most of the major banks, software developers and IT training companies have also patronized us from the beginning.

The company requested and successfully obtained a loan of USD230,000 from International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington DC, USA to part-finance its expansion. The loan was fully repaid as of May, 2004.

Today, NIIT has Six (6) centers in Ghana, with a capacity of training more than 10,000 students per annum. The Ring Road Centre is also the largest NIIT centre in West African Region. In addition to this, we have a separate capacity for Corporate Clients. We offer the most advanced curriculum - ‘Mastermind Series of Program’ which is offered in over 5,000 NIIT centres across the globe. Additionally, we are ‘Oracle WDP Partner’ for Ghana.

NIIT Ghana also provides External Examination facility at its Prometric and VUE Testing Centres. These two testing centres cover almost all the online exams in the world in ICT (Microsoft, Oracle, compTIA, CISCO, IBM, HP, CIW etc.) and Others ( like ACI Banking exams etc.)

NIIT Ghana has trained over 35,500 students since inception, a feat unmatched by any other school in Ghana. This clearly makes us the most sought-after school in the country. We thank the Almighty God for his blessings and pray to him to keep showering his blessings on us and all our students and alumni. It is with His blessing that we are celebrating 10th Anniversary of being the leading ICT college in Ghana, bring freshest technology, first to Ghanaians.

****For more information about NILT visit:

Events & PR: Plan it Ghana

Plan it Ghana -is my kind of business! I’ve heard and seen photos of some of the fabulous events they’ve planed and I’m impressed. Event Communications Strategy & Implementation; Image Creation and Promotion; Brand Perception Research & Image Management; Event Measurement / ROI Insight; CSR Strategy & Management; Media Relations - Press Kits, Press Conferences, Media Interview Support & Media Coverage Support, Corporate, weddings, Music shows/Awards –you name it and they do it all with style... For more information about Plan it Ghana and to see their portfolio –please visit: –You can also join them on Facebook at:

krystle Simpson - a beauty with a purpose.....

Krystle Simpson is one of my favourite Miss Ghana’s of all times –and so much so- that she was crowned one of 'The Most Beautiful Women of Ghanaian Origin 2010 by Ghana Rising [you can view all Ghana Rising’s Beautiful Women of Ghanaian origin 2010 at:], –anyway this special lady has a charity called Gold Star –set up to help educate women and children in Ghana. At present, donations can be made to Gold Star via donation boxes at various schools and community locations throughout the MD/DC area in the States –but for those of us wanting to help outside of the States please email krystle at: email As stated above -Gold Star, is looking for donations of: canned food, clothing, shoes, and books. For more information about krystle Simpson visit:

"At Gold Star we promote education in reading, writing and in subject matter that interest the poor children and adults of Ghana. Our education interest lies with HIV/AIDS and women empowerment. Education can equip the less fortunate with knowledge that can help improve their lives. Gold Star encourages education and solicits donations of books and other education material. WHAT GOLD STAR IS DOING 1. Promoting the Love of God and the Love of Each Other. 2. Accepting donations of food, clothing and education material for the underprivileged people of Ghana 3.Encouraging general reading and writing and in specific areas of interest 4. Educating on ALL protective and preventative measures of contracting HIV/AIDS and other STDs 5. Encouraging women empowerment HOW YOU CAN HELP Please Donate: canned food, clothing, shoes, and books. By donating to Gold Star, you can help get food to a child who has not eaten a meal in days, books to a child who is eager to learn, and shoes or other clothing to the homeless who are cold at night. This will restore hope and joy into their lives and provide reassurance that someone cares, that you care. It only takes one person to make a big difference, but together we can do even more! Please help Gold Stars enrich the lives of families in Ghana. THANK YOU. ** Look for Gold Stars donation boxes at school and community locations throughout the MD/DC area. ** Gold Star will also pick up donations from your households every other Saturday in the MD/DC area. ** For pick-up/ questions/ becoming a part of Gold Star, email" Gold Stars

Microfinance: Sinapi Aba Trust

"Sinapi Aba Trust is a non-governmental organisation established with the objective to support the poorest of the economically active poor in Ghana. It has the largest and only nation-wide branch network in Ghana with a clear poverty reduction mission. Year-end 2009, Sinapi Aba Trust has a loan portfolio of EUR 8.1 million and 88,000 loan clients. Its 24 branches cover all geographical areas of Ghana. Sinapi Aba Trust conducts business development services to strengthen the capacity of its clients. Triodos-Doen has provided a loan to Sinapi Aba Trust."

**I stumbled across details of Sinapi Aba Trust via –and had to share. Sinapi Aba Trust (SAT) are helping Ghanaians to get back on their feet through microfinance and basic business training [the only way forward –me thinks]. For more information about Sinapi Aba Trust (SAT) please visit:
22A Ellis Avenue Nhyiaeso

P.O. Box 4911
Kumasi - Ghana
Fax: 233-3220-32483


Thursday, 22 July 2010

A Ghanaian hero: Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong

**I stumbled across the following text about Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong -a Ghanaian hero bringing relief to sickle cell sufferers in both the US and Ghana –and just had to share……

Title: Renaissance Man  /By: Erica Hurtt
Doctor. Hospital. Shot. Medicine. It is amazing how a few short words can make a child, and even an adult, squeamish and apprehensive. But for children with life-threatening illnesses, a hospital can feel like a second home. A shot or medicine can mean the difference between life or death, and a doctor can be a friend and a role model.

Cognizant of the influence he his on "little" patients, Dr. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong tries to suppress his love of athletics and the large role they played in his life at one time. The director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doesn't tell patients about his experiences on the Ghanaian Olympic track & field team or as the star of Yale University's soccer and track & field teams. He knows that most of these children cannot compete in the athletic arena of life, and he pushes them to find heroes to whom they can better relate. Heroes like himself. Heroes like the doctor in a small Ghanaian town who inspired Kwaku to study medicine.

"I hated him so much," said Kwaku as he recalled visiting his family doctor at the age of six, the age at which he realized he wanted to enter the medical profession. "I was so scared of him. But I knew he was doing something very important. I was so afraid to go, but whenever I would, he was such a nice person. It was a love-hate relationship."

At about the same age he discovered his passion for medicine, Kwaku started to play soccer. The youngest of seven children in the Frempong family, Kwaku and a group of youngsters in the area organized teams and competed against other kids in the town. They didn't have formal leagues or coaches. They just played on their own with the help of an adult patron who helped them purchase soccer balls.

Kwaku learned the true meaning of community and duty as one of the many grandsons of the town's chief. His grandfather had eight wives and fathered 44 children. Lessons of community and service were learned in this environment and they stayed with Kwaku for life.

When it came time for schooling, the youngster was sent to a boarding school in Ghana. It was there that his passion for athletics and his hunger for education grew. Kwaku got a taste of sports in the organized sense by competing in soccer, cricket and field hockey at his school, which fell under the British education system. At Prempeh High School, his love of sports grew to include track & field.

"Track is very popular for children in Ghana," explained Kwaku. "Even when I was eight or nine years old I always knew I was a little faster than my friends. So, I decided to try it."

Kwaku led Prempeh to three national track championships. He was the National Inter-Schools champion in the triple jump, broad jump and 120-yard hurdles. His athletic prowess earned him a spot on the Ghanaian national team, and he represented his homeland in the 1968 Olympics.

All of his athletic accomplishments weren't enough to satisfy the curious youngster, so Kwaku tackled challenges in the classroom, where success also awaited him. His dream of becoming a doctor was still vivid in his mind, and Kwaku focused on getting his education in the United States.

Word of mouth and advertisements in national newspapers led Kwaku to the African Scholarship Program of the American Universities, an organization that is no longer in existence. The program worked directly with schools in America and tried to find a good match for students in Africa and other participating countries. Kwaku supplied the program with his high school records and SAT scores, and was interviewed in Ghana by a representative from the scholarship program. Applicants did not apply to specific schools. The schools were given the student information and selected applicants based on that. Each applicant was sent the name of only one college that accepted them, and the schools did not compete for students.

"Your references were sent to schools in the U.S. and you heard from somebody," said Kwaku. "I heard from Yale."

The Ghanaian track star was prepared for the monumental step he was about to take. College and moving thousands of miles from home to a completely different culture did not scare off Kwaku. Two of his brothers had studied abroad, and he was used to living away from home and in the dormitory at his boarding school.

When asked about an adjustment period, Kwaku jokes that he still is adjusting. "I was used to being away from home and essentially making my own decisions," recalled the doctor. "I was more excited about it than in any way apprehensive."

Kwaku had plans to continue athletic competition at the collegiate level, and his country wanted to be sure he did. During his undergraduate years at Yale, Kwaku was a standout on the Bulldogs' soccer and track teams, and he earned three letters in each sport. He was considered a soccer player of professional caliber, but he made his biggest mark at Yale as a member of the track & field team. Kwaku set several school and meet records, and earned all-Ivy accolades in track and field and soccer. His athletic career culminated with his being named the recipient of the school's prestigious Mallory Award that recognizes the top male athlete at Yale. Kwaku was the first non-American born athlete to earn this honor.

As a student at Yale, Kwaku made two life-altering discoveries sickle cell disease and Janet Williams.

Kwaku met Janet Williams at a track meet at Ivy rival Cornell University. Through mutual friends, the two were introduced and stayed in contact. Although Janet, a 1970 graduate of Cornell, said she had no romantic interest in Kwaku upon their first meetings, the two soon began dating and then married nine days after Janet received her diploma.

"She was the greatest prize I ever won," said Kwaku of his wife and the mother of his two children. However, his other discovery did not come through athletics. It was in the classroom where Kwaku encountered sickle cell disease. It became a topic of discussion during an undergraduate lecture, a discussion that quickly grabbed the attention of the Ghanaian student.

"I first became aware of the disease in a class at Yale, even though I had grown up in Africa where it is so common," said Kwaku. "When I thought about the symptoms that were discussed, I realized that one of my cousins had died from it when he was 18. I became interested and found out that many people in my family had died from that."

His curiosity grew, and Kwaku then learned that he was a carrier of the disease. He entered Yale Medical School in the fall of 1970 and less than two years later, the birth of his son, Kwame, pushed him to learn even more about the disease.

Minutes after the birth of their first child, the couple learned that Kwame suffered from the disease that had taken so many members of Kwaku's family.

"I didn't have much more than a minute to live in the glory of this little baby," recalled Janet, a native of Harlem, N.Y., who was studying for a master's degree at Columbia at the time. "We were fortunate all along the way though. Many of the milestones in terms of the research that had been done to make the lives of people with sickle cell easier, have sort of coincided with our son's birth and growing up."

Kwame was born in New Haven, and he was treated by the specialist who led the fight for newborn screenings in Connecticut, a policy that some states have taken decades longer to adopt. Early diagnosis may have saved Kwame's life.

Sickle cell disease is characterized by a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Typically, red blood cells are doughnut-shaped and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard and sticky and shaped like sickles as a result of the change of the blood's substance hemoglobin. When the hard, pointy blood cells pass through the blood tube, they clog the tube and break apart, causing pain, discomfort, low blood count or anemia in suffers. Other complications from the disease, as a result of the sickle cells blocking the flow or early breakup, include: increased infections, stroke, leg ulcers, jaundice, lung blockage, delayed growth, bone damage and early gallstones. It is estimated that 70,000 Americans suffer from sickle cell, and cases are more prominent in men of African descent.

The birth of Kwame pushed Kwaku to commit himself to working on sickle cell disease. It was the focus of his thesis, and he was not surprised to learn that little work on the subject was being done in his native country.

Following his graduation from Yale Medical School, Kwaku took a pediatric residency at the Cornell Medical Center. From there, his fellowship work brought him to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where he focused on hematology. It was during these years that Janet and Kwaku celebrated the birth of their second child, a girl named Afia.

With the exception of a one-year stint as an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Kwaku and his family spent most of the early 1980s in Louisiana. Kwaku moved up the ranks and became the medical director of the Sickle Cell Center of Southern Louisiana, and then the section director of pediatric hematology and oncology while employed by the Tulane University Medical School.

Then in 1986, Kwaku returned to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Employed by the University of Pennsylvania, Kwaku continued the same type of work, breaking ground in the pediatric sickle cell disease field and making steps toward his current position as the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center's director. He assumed the position in 1990 and has made great strides in improving awareness of sickle cell disease and treatment of the illness.

Early in his career, Kwaku was involved in one of the National Institute of Healths (NIH) first sickle cell studies. Prior to this study, entitled the Comparative Study of Sickle Cell Disease, most information on the topic came from antidotal sources and a high percentage of it was inaccurate, according to the NIH's director of blood disease and resources division, and long time colleague and friend of Kwaku, Dr. Clarisce D. Reid. The study focused on following the clinical course of sickle cell patients from birth to adulthood.

"Dr. Frempong's group had the first newborn in that study and he sometimes keeps that baby's picture with him, 20 years later," said Reid. "He also was involved in the study that proved that penicillin helped children with sickle cell fight infections. That was a landmark in the mid-80s that prevented a lot of deaths and led to newborn screenings. I cannot think of any program or study we have had here that he has not had a direct interest in or impact on. He has been a part of every kind of front that I can imagine that involved pediatric patients and sickle cell disease."

However, his most recent endeavor takes him miles from his accomplishments in the U.S. It is a project that clearly reveals Kwaku's sense of duty and his incredible vision. About five years ago, the doctor took his vast pool of knowledge and resources to his home Ghana. Through one of his NIH grants, Kwaku and a team of medical specialists set up a clinic in Ghana that focused on sickle cell prevention and treatment. It started small with screenings for newborns and about 10 patients. As time has passed and word has spread, the clinic has grown to treat thousands of Ghanaians and includes more comprehensive treatment.

"Sickle cell disease is an enormous problem and everyone in Ghana is touched by it in some way," said Janet of her husband's work in Africa.

Many people are not even aware they have the disease, and some people are ashamed to come forth, according to Kwaku. He has supplied treatment and helped sufferers find the source of their pain. He is responsible for bringing technology to Ghana that further improves research and treatment methods and brings Ghanaian doctors to the U.S. for special training.

However, research, detection, prevention and treatment are just part of the equation. Kwaku realizes the importance of treating the whole person, and he set up counseling for sufferers and family members.

Kwaku also organized one of the, it not the, largest conferences on the issue of the deadly disease. More than 800 representatives from the medical and political arenas from all over the world met in Ghana and put sickle cell disease on the country's public health agenda. His work in the U.S. has not been slowed by his project in Africa, and he currently serves as the president of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

Through all of these amazing feats, Kwaku never lost sight of his commitments. His commitment to sickle cell disease. His commitment to his patients. His commitment to his country. His commitment to his family.

"I have more respect for Kwaku than anyone I have ever known," admits Janet. "He is the most solid, balanced individual I know; the closest thing to being a renaissance man of anyone I can think of."

Kwaku was a magnificent athlete, but that never consumed him. He kept academics and family life in perspective. He is an excellent doctor, but he still loves to laugh, talk about politics and he is a great musician, according to his wife (Kwaku's oldest brother taught him how to play the drums when he was a young boy.).

Janet jokes that she and her children live in Kwaku's shadow. This is not a result of Kwaku's actions. It is the way other people perceive this humble doctor that makes him seem like a fictitious character from an Alex Haley novel.

Kwaku and his wife were dedicated to raising their children with strong Ghanaian values and teaching them about their African heritage. The children take visits to their father's birthplace and are involved in activities that center on their African heritage. Pictures of Kwaku's ancestors bring life to the walls of the Frempong home.

Afia, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, is taking classes in Twi, the native tongue of Ghana. She also is involved in the school's African Rhythms, African Student Association and African-American Arts Alliance organizations. Now 26 years old, and a 1995 graduate of the University of Maryland, Kwame works in the crediting division of Cellular One.

According to Janet, Kwaku manages to find the enthusiasm and time to be a devoted husband, father, doctor and citizen of Ghana without a single complaint. "People call in the middle of the night, and he just gets out of bed, says Janet. "He doesn't complain about being overworked or tired.

When I see [Kwaku] going to bed at midnight and getting up at four in morning to go down the hall to the computer," Janet says, "I say 'I wish you could just rest for a second.' But then I go to Ghana, and I see what he has built there and all of the work he has done."

Janet talks about the educational sessions at the clinic in Ghana for family members' and educational professionals who work with children with sickle cell disease. She pictures the room packed with Ghanaians. Parents, nurses, physicians and children are sitting and standing. They fill the room. Women with babies on their backs are eager to learn more about the disease. Tears are shed. Before the clinic they had no diagnosis and no treatment. Now they have this. Pure beauty, Janet says.  

Fashion: Aba Sasaako

Uber cushion connoisseur, Aba Sasaako has entered the world of dress design and I’m soo pleased because her designs are fabulous and made from ethically sourced, limited edition African print fabrics -both here in England and in Ghana. I’m a big fan of Ms Sasaako and agree whole heartedly with The Times [fashion section] –when they crowned her ‘One To Watch’. For prices/sizes/orders -please visit:

Film: Football Fables by Baff Akoto

A trailer for the award winning film Football Fables which lifts the lid on African football migration. Meet some of the best young talent in the world and the middle men who earn a living making sure its their cream that rises to the top!

Award winning director Baff Akoto talks with Monita Rajpal about his new film "Football Fables" on CNN's Inside Africa show

***There’s a really weird place you get to when you own a model agency, –and you start to feel like a pimp [you are selling a person, after all] –and I guess those who sponsor footballers in Ghana must feel the same, -because beauty like football skills –saves lives [especially in Ghana], -turning those at the very top of-their-game into international stars [and every member of the Facebook/Myspace generation wants to be a star]! -But I’ll never forget the day I was doing research on Footballers of Ghanaian origin and stumbled across a Wikipedia page [it had a comprehensive list of most of our prolific players] –and the shock of finding [some of] our lesser known players -playing for clubs in countries like: Mumbai FC (India), Hoang Anh Gia Lai (Vietnam), FC Akzhayik (Kazakhstan), Dalian Shide (China), Jeju United FC (South Korea), FC Ceahlăul Piatra Neamţ [Romania], Sporting Cristal (Peru), Polis Di-Raja Malaysia Football Association, FC Kuban (Russian), JEF United Ichihara Chiba (Japan), Hapoel Nazareth Illit F.C (Israel), MKE Ankaragücü (Turkey) and even clubs in much poorer African countries like the Central African Republic [Sporting Club de Bangui]; -places you know can be difficult/racists and lonely for a young African man on his own [needs must –I guess].

I presume, if you’re a young hopeful -fighting poverty; with the weight of your entire family on your shoulders, –and a sponsor [who’s been feeding you and your family for years] –wanting his ‘share-of-the-deal’ -you’ll take any club [in any city, in any country] if you aren’t the next Michael Essien, –just to get paid! And I understand that –because on one hand it’s truly wonderful to use your God given talents to make a living -but on the other hand –I really feel for these lesser known players –because not only are they dealing with obvious physical limitations [football is tough on the body] –and thus like models, -footballer only have a short career lifespan –but many return back home burnt out, -with no pension to see them through their twilight years…

I remember the wonderful Kwaku Ofosu Asare [presenter of 'Sports with Kwaku' -OBE Television] hosting an event with German/Ghanaian footballer, Anthony Baffoe to raise money for old Ghanaian players on OBE TV sometime back; –I wonder, is the Ghanaian government doing anything for past national players?  Anyway, the following is a review about the above film by Baff Akoto [I'm afraid I haven't seen it yet but can't wait to watch it] ....enjoy

Documentarian Baff Akoto follows the path of emerging footballers from their African homelands to the bright lights of Europe's big league.

Exposing the extent to which Europe’s top clubs seek to plunder African talent on the cheap, this is a sobering insight into grassroots football. With visas limited to established stars and agents being prepared to rip off everybody to line their own pockets, making the leap from local celebrity to overseas superstar is a dispiriting business. Indeed, for every Sulley Muntari, there are hundreds of Francis Boadis, who catch the eye of scouts in their youth but never get to fulfil their dreams. Contrasting the manager and academy systems that operate in Ghana, this acute documentary also captures the pitiable poverty that instils in these gifted kids the desire to succeed.

An insightful and, at times, sobering journey through a multi-billion dollar industry. [Reviewed by David Parkinson  for]  -Credit:

For cinema listings and more info about Football Fables / Baff Akoto please visit:

Did you know that Asante in Swahili means "Thank You"?

Actor: Abdul Salis

I watched 'Love Actually' the other day, –and was convinced that 'Tony' was Ghanaian –and I was right –as he’s played by the gorgeous, Abdul Salis. The following is more information about this talented brother........enjoy xx

Abdul Salis (born July 6, 1979) is a British actor, probably most notable for his role as a paramedic Curtis Cooper on the longest-running medical drama Casualty broadcast in the UK. He is a son of Ghanaian parents who moved to London in 1975.

Salis has appeared in numerous television roles, including The Hidden City (2002), aforementioned Casualty (2008-2009), Trevor's World of Sport (2003) and an episode of Doctor Who (2006). His cinema films include Love Actually (2003), Sahara (2005), Welcome Home (2004) and Animal (2004).

On stage he starred in Blood Wedding and The Road at the Orange Tree Theatre theatre as well as Joe Guy at Tiata Fahodzi. He was in the 2006 production of The Exonerated in London's Riverside Studios.

In 2006, the movie Flyboys loosely portrayed aviation pioneer Eugene Jacques Bullard and his comrades from the Lafayette Flying Corps. The film features digital dogfights, and Salis portrayed Eugene Skinner, a character based on Bullard. Interviewed by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Georgia), Salis discussed the notion of doing an entire movie about this famed figure:

"You know what, that's exactly what Dean Devlin said on the shoot... He said that this story, of the characters, Eugene's story alone is the only one worth a film in its entirety, outright. He said that maybe if he'd had his way, it would have been all about Eugene Bullard... If you look at it, with these flyboys, having made it, you talk about a great moment when he's growing up, his dad's a slave.... He gets to be a boxer in France, wins a championship. He goes to the war, the Lafayette Escadrille, fighting for the French. The Americans join in. He becomes a spy. There's the jazz bar. And he dies alone, an elevator operator. It's fantastic... It'd be nicer for me, I think, just to keep it real, just to play an homage or to play a friend or something and really kind of disguise myself a bit. I don't know if I would be happy as an outsider watching a character from another film then go on to be... unless these guys, Dean Devlin and these guys did it -- or maybe as a TV movie or something -- I don't think I'd feel comfortable with me doing it. Does that make sense? But I wouldn't say no. Of course not."  [Credit:]

The Spirit: Ohene [King] by Sonnie Badu

Just beautiful! May God continue to bless Sonnie and his band –as they do his work? For more information about Sonnie Badu and his wonderful ministry -visit:

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Yaw Nyarko [Professor of Economics at New York University] on talking about the “Portfolios of the Poor”.......

I stumbled across the above film clip of professor Yaw Nyarko on –and had to share it with you. I’m hoping that some of his findings can be used to help Ghana!


Fashion Designers M.I.A: Fiona Broni and Nana Poku Asare-Boadu –Ghana Rising’s missing your creativity…..

Designs by Fiona Broni

Fiona Broni was touted as ‘One-to-watch’ by The Independent [no mean feat] and her collection featured in uber glossy, Dazed and Confused -after her sensational BA Graduate show at the London College of Fashion in 2008 [I was ecstatic, her collection was truly beautiful]. But fast forward a couple of years and there’s no news on this talented designer. I think we are/were Facebook friends so I’m going to message her and see what she’s up to –right now ….I’ll keep you posted…x

Designs by Nana Poku Asare-Boadu

I was hoping to see a lot more of Nana Poku Asare-Boadu’s designs after her Royal College of Art - MA graduate show, where her collection, –done entirely in blood red, - wowed the fashion world back in 2007. Can anyone tell me what has happened to this talented designer?

Beauty and Wellbeing: All Phases Dermatology

If you’ve ever woken up with a face that feels like its on fire then you’ll know how important dermatologists are! Qualified to sort out most skin problems/disorders –I’m a firm believer that everywoman should have a good [or recommended] dermatologists on speed-dial –and if I lived in Alexandria, Virginia -then Dr. Yvette Appiah of All Phases Dermatology would most definitely be on mine. All Phases Dermatology offers ‘of-the-minute’ solutions –with services that includes: treatments for Hyperpigmentation/Discoloration, Acne, Razor Bumps/In-grown hair, Eczema and Hair loss/hair disorders -to Laser hair removal, BOTOX, Skin cancer prevention/treatment and much more. For more information about Dr. Yvette Appiah or to schedule an appointment please visit:

All Phases Dermatology
6355 Walker Lane
Suite 311
Alexandria, VA 22310
Tel: (703) 822-0222
Fax: (703) 822-8222

Music: Wutah talking to Joselyn of rythmzTimeline on Bojo beach

I stumbled across this YouTube clip of Daniel Morris aka Risky and Frank Osei aka PV of Wutah talking to the ever beautiful, Jocelyn of rythmzTimeline on Bojo beach [Ghana Rising's favourite beach in Ghana] and just had to share it with you. I love Wutah and hope that rumours of their break-up aren’t true -plus, PV’s very easy on the eye....

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Objects of Desire: Ahenfie Collection by 9twenty5 Jewellers

Offering a cornucopia of sterling silver, exotic beads, promise rings, wedding bands (18k), custom design silver and gold jewellery, a fabulous selection of beaded scarves and much more, -9twenty5 jewellers [located in Sakumono, first floor Ocean House (former Ghana telecom building) behind Corpus Christi catholic church in Sakumono] –is proving to be Accra’s hottest ‘must-visit’ jewellers. I’m loving their beautifully handmade ‘Ahenfie’ collection - right now!

9twenty5 Jewellers
First Floor Ocean House
Behind Corpus Christi Catholic Church or
Behind PS Global Building
Sakumono Estate,
Ghana - West Africa
Phone: +233 303 413 437

Opening hours:
Mon- Fri 10:00- 5:30
Except Tues: 12.00 - 5:30
Sat: 10 - 3pm

In The News: Hopes fade after Ghana gold mine collapse

There are few safety measures in informal mines

Dated 29 June 2010
Rescue workers say there is little chance of finding more survivors after a gold mine collapsed in Ghana, trapping dozens.

Exact numbers are unclear, as the miners were not allowed in the pit in Dunkwa-on-Offin, central Ghana.

At least 15 people have survived but there are fears that about 100 people could have been buried when the pit collapsed. Last year, the death of 15 miners was said to be Ghana's worst such disaster. While some estimates put the number of missing at 110, others say the real figure is much lower. Some survivors may not have made themselves known to the authorities.

The rescue operation has been hampered by flooding. Water pumps are being used, while divers are looking for bodies and survivors.

"At this stage I don't think we can get any survivors, those who are already trapped, I believe they may be dead now," local police commander Supt SK Buabeng was quoted as saying by the Joy Online website.

"We are trying our best to get the bodies recovered."

Ghana, previously known as the Gold Coast, remains one of Africa's biggest producers of the precious metal.

Multi-nationals operate in the country but villagers often dig their own pits or hope to strike it rich in abandoned mines. In such cases, there are few, if any, safety precautions.

In The News: Cocoa raider has eyes on Africa’s plenty

Dried cocoa is laid out in Ghana

By Richard Tyler and Laura Roberts / Published: 6:29AM BST 19 Jul 2010

Anthony "Chocfinger" Ward, the commodities trader whose group Armajaro Holdings has just cornered the cocoa market, is planning his next move into food.

Having cashed in the equivalent of a Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory golden ticket on Friday by paying £658m for enough cocoa beans to manufacture 5.3bn quarter-pound chocolate bars, Mr Ward, 50, is looking to improve his company's diet.

The Mayfair-based financier is among a growing group of hedge fund owners, which also includes American George Soros, who are acquiring food production capacity in Africa.

Mr Ward is betting the growth in the world's population – it numbers 6.8bn today and is expected to reach 7bn in the next two years and more than 9bn by 2050, according to United Nations projections – and a decline in available cropland will push up prices.

Armajaro's food plans include setting up a private equity fund later this year that will invest in ports and roads, farmland and storage facilities in Africa, as well as schools and other infrastructure. Cocoa will remain a key target commodity, but Mr Ward is also building up his sugar trading operations.

"Food will go to a price where it encourages these developments," Mr Ward has said of the trend toward farmland acquisition and food-related investing. "If you're long food, it will give you good returns."

The plan follows Armajaro Holdings' acquisition of 241,000 tonnes of cocoa beans last week – the equivalent of almost the entire supply of the commodity in Liffe-registered warehouses across Europe.

It is a big bet by a company that made $6.1m (£4m) pre-tax profits on $1.4bn in sales in the 13 months to September 2009. Armajaro and its subsidiaries had short-term borrowing facilities of $480m at that date.

But Mr Ward has form. City traders first dubbed him "Chocolate Finger" in August 2002 after he acquired 204,380 tonnes of cocoa beans. Mr Ward made £40m in two months after he watched the price of cocoa increase from £1,400 a tonne to £1,600 a tonne. He told The Daily Telegraph in 2002: "We are not trying to inflate the market."

If Mr Ward holds the cocoa for long enough he could force manufacturers to raise the price of chocolate bars. He has so far declined to comment about his plans. Cocoa prices rose by 0.7pc last week to peak at £2,732 per metric tonne – the highest price for cocoa in Europe since 1977. The rise follows a series of weak harvests in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, two of the largest suppliers.

Armajaro, which is one of Europe's top three cocoa traders by volume, has made no secret of its desire to increase physical delivery of cocoa. It said in its latest accounts that it planned "to develop its physical commodities business by further expanding its sourcing operations to enable it to supply its customers with increasing quantities of traceable commodities".

Chairman Martin Lampert said the group's commodities trading subsidiary was benefiting from "a significant shift in the cocoa industry towards the sourcing of traceable and sustainable products, with several major chocolate manufacturers announcing their intention to source accordingly".

He added that Armajaro's trading business had capitalised on this trend and would "continue to develop infrastructure in existing and new origin countries to support this demand".

The Financial Services Authority regulates three of Armajaro's businesses and launched an inquiry into the 2002 trade. Its findings were never made public. Last month European cocoa traders lobbied Euronext Liffe to re-examine the issue, claiming that speculators were distorting the market.

The rise of Anthony Ward
Anthony Ward began his career as a motorcycle dispatch rider before becoming a commodities trader at Salomon Smith Barney’s Phibro London trading arm, specialising in cocoa and coffee.

He left in 1998 and set up Armajaro Holdings with Richard Gower in 2000. It has grown to become one of the three largest cocoa commodity traders in the world. Its highest-paid director received a salary of $8.5m (£5.5m) last year, $1m more than in 2008.

Mr Ward is the former chairman of the European Cocoa Association and has amassed up to 15pc of the world’s cocoa stocks in the last 10 years. Worth around £36m, he lives in Mayfair in London with his wife, Carolyn. Outside of work he is known to be a passionate rally driver and lover of fine food and wines. One of Armajaro’s first actions was to buy a vineyard in Paarl, South Africa.

Mr Ward manages Armajaro’s flagship CC+ Fund, which specialises in cocoa and coffee. He achieved a double-digit growth in the value of the fund in the year to September.

His fund forms part of Armajaro Asset Management, which has over $1.5bn under management. Armajaro’s other funds include the Czar+ sugar and bioethanol fund and Armajaro Emerging Markets, which was launched in August last year.
[Credit Telegraph at:]

Monday, 19 July 2010

Health: Dr Oheneba Boachie-Adjei

Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on December 16, 1950. He emigrated to the United States in 1972 and completed undergraduate studies at Brooklyn College, where he received a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in 1976. He received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1980.

He was Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota (1987-1990); Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Southern California (1990-1994) and Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California College of Medicine, Irvine (1993-1994). His clinical appointments included the position of Associate Medical Director at the Southern California Complex Spine and Scoliosis Center in Whittier (1990-1994). Since July of 2006 , he has been Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Chief of the Scoliosis Service and Associate Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Boachie-Adjei has published and lectured extensively on Spine Surgery, with special emphasis on surgery to correct spine deformity. He is an inventor who holds several patents for devices used in spine surgery. He has started a foundation, F.O.C.O.S. (Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine) to provide orthopedic medical care to underserved populations in West Africa and other third world nations. He was also elected President of the Scoliosis Research Society for the 2008-2009 year.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Godfried Donkor's ‘African Vogue Series’ [way before its time] ….

African Vogue Series 2008 [Mixed media collage on paper] by Godfried Donkor

There’s so much talk of [a possible] Vogue Africa –right now [like Africa’s some sort homogeneous group of people –living in some small country somewhere, –it’s a continent people]! If you care to google it folks, –you’ll find that everyone and their brother have an opinion on this errrrrm subject –started by photographer Mario Epanya [you can view his work at:]! Mario’s known for his interpretation of what he feels Vogue African covers would look like, started a debate about Conde Nast possibly introducing a Vogue Africa [maybe in South Africa?], earlier this year –and blogland has been awash with the aforementioned debate [for the record, I’m kind of bored with it all] -so, I was very pleased when I stumbled across celebrated Ghanaian artist, Godfried Donkor's iconic work with vogue covers [circa 2008]! You can check out Godfried Donkor [one of the biggest names in contemporary African art] at:

"Godfried Donkor (born 1964) is a Ghanaian artist, living and working in London. He is known primarily for his work in collage, and has been described as similar to Keith Piper and Isaac Julien in his output. Some of his pieces depict boxers, such as Jack Johnson and Mohammad Ali. He has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, both in the United States and in Europe, and was Ghana's representative to the 2001 Venice Biennale. Donkor's work is in the collection of the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution." [Credit:]

**You can see more of his work here:

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Music: ‘Awesome Tapes from Africa’ Blog

Fans of High-life will love the, ‘Awesome Tapes from Africa’ blog! A fabulously random collection of High-Life albums by various African artist [dead and alive] - I stumbled across the following gems including: Onipa Nua’s ‘I Feel Alright’, City Boys Band Led By Obuoba J.A. Adofo’s ‘Nya Asem Hwe’, Black Nature and Heavy D Wumbanma's ‘Obaatumtum’, A.B. Crentsil and the Osookoo Stars' 'Ye Wo Adea Oye', Alhaji Yaya Zakori Fushien Kububua's 'Fushien Kububua', Alhaji K. Frimpong’s 'Rikia', Ebaahi Soundz’s ‘Oshitℇ’ and much more. To check out ‘Awesome Tapes from Africa’ blog or listen to the above music visit:

You can listen to the whole of A.B. Crentsil and the Osookoo Stars' 'Ye Wo Adea Oye' [the album includes: 'Nawa To Be Husband', 'Only Your Voice', 'Julianna', 'Ehurisi' and 'Angelina'] here: -I did and it bought back some wonderful memories!