Sunday, 31 July 2011

Colourful World Beauty & Grooming …making the people of Ghana beautiful…

“Come in and go out radiant! That’s the feeling you’ll get every time you walk in to ColourWorld Beauty & Grooming, a new and upscale destination for all your beauty needs.” Colourful World Beauty & Grooming

I went to wish Mr Ato DeGraft-Johnson a very happy birthday via Facebook and as always -checked out his photos. Truly loved and admired, Mr Ato DeGraft-Johnson’s tagged by most high-end businesses and artists in Ghana. And one such business is Colourful World Beauty & Grooming located at: No. D7, 1st Labone Street, Accra, Ghana. Their number is: 0302958063. I can’t find their website [?????] but you can check them out via their Facebook fan page at:!/pages/ColourWorld-Beauty-Grooming/116837615079339

Art: Mustapha Ahmed is the ‘Next Big Thing’…..

(Credit: images courtesy of Mustapha Ahmed)

As you all know I’m working hard on Black Star Magazine (its not easy folks but still, its an enjoyable challenge) and as always, I’m on the look out for real talent. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across the incredibly talented Accra based fine artist, Mustapha Ahmed. I’m truly crazy about his work which is on par with another Ghana Rising fave, Phillip Butah.

I love the feel of his work and the way he enables his images created mainly with graphite to come alive. He is available for portrait commissions, so you can email him at: for pricing and other details.

For more details about his work visit his face book fan page at:

You can also keep up with his creations and all his creative happenings via his blog at:

Learn About the Ghanaian-American Community…

**All together there are 5 parts to this insightful look at [some of our] people in the States and can be viewed via:

Virna Michael…still one of the most beautiful women in the world..

I’m a big fan of actor Majid Michael’s wife Virna. Beautiful and elegant, -you get none of that cheap, over bleached, tattooed, green skin, fake horse hair wearing, transvestite eyelashes, Tema gal red lips, grotesque look that is permeating Ghana, Nigeria and beyond. She is in my books one of the most beautiful women in the world and most certainly, one of Ghana’s style elite. Virna was voted one of ‘The Most Beautiful Women of Ghanaian Origin 2010’ by Ghana Rising last year ( and many of you agreed, she is pretty special.

Well it seems that there are forces that have looked at this elegant woman, her two beautiful children, her talented actor husband and have decided that they want to rock her world etc… thus since June 2011 Virna has been dealing with news concerning the alleged adultery committed by her husband and the alleged mistress in question -now claiming she is pregnant. You know folks -that Ghana Rising is soooo not about gutter news -but as I endeavour to bring you the latest news making their runs in Ghana -I just felt it was time to share this horrible news…. I don’t know what to believe but I do know that Virna looks like she can handle herself, has refused to go public (class me thinks) and is still doing her thing ...-we wish her and her family all that’s needed to overcome this. Please google for more info as I don’t want to darken la Blog with further details.

Bolga baskets -the next ‘It’ bag…

When the likes of Michelle Obama is seen shopping with a Bolga basket -you know its on its way to becoming an ‘It’ bag…so I’ve been uber surprised that those in the know in Ghana haven’t capitalize on it. As always its taken an outsider, and a very nice one at that to do what we should be doing for our sisters in Bolgatanga, northen Ghana -bring exposure and hopefully, a real demand for these lovely and environmentally sound bags. Its important to remember that the above communities make their living from subsistence farming, weaving and shea butter production.

This insightful film is by Terri-Lynn Kalhagen from Oregon in the U.S.A and you can read all about the wonderful work she is doing in small rural communities in Ghana to build clean water wells and much more via:

These lovely baskets can be bought in UK and the links are as follows:

Bolga baskets from Akoma Skincare -baskets start from £9.99

Designed for a number of uses, our Bolga baskets are hand crafted, lightweight and attractive. You can use them for shopping, picnics, tending to plants or as a safe place to store your favorite Akoma Skincare items.

With so many choices, it will be easy to find just what you are looking for. Each basket is very lightweight, yet extremely durable and designed for years of use. You can avoid collecting and disposing of paper and plastic bags by using these baskets for grocery shopping or for a trip to the local farmer’s market. Our purses and handbags make wonderful, unique gifts for friends and family. Choose a fruit basket for a colourful display on the dinner table!

Bolgatanga Baskets - African Market Baskets £32.00 From

We are delighted to have these gorgeous baskets from the Maata-N-Tudu Association in northern Ghana. It was created to support the women of this region to improve the quality of their lives through education, loans and mutual self-help. Many of these women live on less than US$1 a day. We have paid a much higher rate for their baskets than they are able to get in the local markets so all baskets purchased directly help to improve their lives.

Black Star Magazine Facebook Fan Page…

Hope your all good… I just wanted to drop by and let you know that Black Star magazine has a Facebook Fan page and you can check it out and LIKE it via: A big thank you in advance and thanks as always for your continued support. xx

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Photographer Ernest Simons’ e-book is offering the right businesses -FREE advertising opportunities…

Ever fabulous, uber proficient photographer, Ernest Simons is creating the first interactive e-book hosted by Ace from BBC 1xtra -in conjunction with the good people behind the Ghana V Nigeria football game -taking place on the 9th August 2011 at Watford Football club located at: Vicarage Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD1 8ER. Please visit their official Website - for more info.

This much anticipated e-book will offer readers a close-up of the game in photographers taken by Ernest Simons at the game and wait for it……...the right businesses an opportunity to advertise their businesses for FREE.

For more details about the e-book, FREE advertising or to supply a jpeg/PDF of your advert -please contact the very generous Mr Simons at:  or visit:

You can join his Facebokk fan page at:

Monday, 25 July 2011

Fashion: The Glam Boudoir

I stumbled across this pretty pink clothes shop called The Glam Boudoir via Facebook and just had to share...enjoy x

The Glam Boudoir
LOCATION:East Legon (a few metres from Senam's towards the traffic light)
TEL: 0244 677 545

With hues of rich beautiful purples and pinks and a glamorous setting displaying feathers, pretty ruffles and frills,crystals,chandeliers and everything glamour, the glam boudoir is not your regular boutique. From the doormat to the fitting room, to the french maid who meets you with a wide smile -and is at your beck and call waiting on you, glamour can be felt everywhere -and ladies will feel like a true diva with our wonderful customer service.

The Glam Boudoir offers...

*beautiful glamorous setting and an ambience that makes you feel relaxed while shopping
* wonderful customer service and competitive prices
* superior quality unique merchandise that will surely turn head
The glam boudoir is here to glamorise all divas and fashionistas above and under the garment.We are here to do one thing....TO GLAMORIZE YOU and everything that is you!

As a one-stop shop for the glamorous woman not only does the glam boudoir stock beautiful trendy and unique clothing,shoes and bags and other fashion accessories but we also stock intimates like lingerie,shapewear-(body enhancers and shapers),beauty products like cosmetics,fragrances and hair products etc.

We go the extra mile to stock interesting little discoveries we call 'she finds' and these are basically products ranging from bra accessories(like strap cushion),fashion faux pas fixes( like clothing tapes),foot care products(like insoles and shoe rub relief tapes)and other interesting finds.

Our space is also available for professional and personal fashion shoots for which there is a charge.We undertake interior design assignments as well through our interior decor company.

What’s up with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli

Those who know me will be uber surprised that I’m writing a piece about football full stop… and even more so because it doesn’t involve the Black Stars of Ghana or England. But I felt compelled to discuss Mario Balotelli -an incredible football player and one that seems to be constantly in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. What’s going on with this, in my opinion, gorgeous brother? And why is he out to make himself the bad boy of football? Or is that the case? From the little that I’ve read about this controversial footballer -his hearts in the right place ..anyway the following is an insightful piece entitled: In defence of Balotelli from Euro Sport …


Mario Balotelli: the gift that just keeps on giving. Once again the Italian has displayed his propensity to make headlines after his piece of showboating against LA Galaxy on Sunday night. Judging by the subsequent reaction, Early Doors is currently trying to ascertain how best to obtain tickets for the public flogging.
But what crime against football has provoked this latest controversy, this outpouring of moralising? If you haven't seen it yet, Super Mario chose to try and spin and score with a backheel when through on goal, resulting in his immediate substitution and a hissy fit of epic proportions.

After racking up thousands of pounds in parking fines, throwing darts at youth team players, spontaneously visiting a women's prison, dishing out £1,000 to a tramp, personally driving a young City fan to his school to confront a bully, grappling unsuccessfully with a bib and declaring himself allergic to grass, the City star has found another way to get himself on the back pages.

But as fury spilled forth and keyboards were tapped in anger following Balotelli's indulgent and ultimately self-defeating trick on Sunday night, ED couldn't let go of one thought: we are all Danny Mills.
Remember the anger and hurt etched across his face when Robert Pires and Thierry Henry tried to pass from a penalty against his Manchester City side in 2005? It was the fury of a man disgusted that his opponents would try something so unconventional and unimaginable. Something that, had it actually worked, would have become an iconic moment, just as Johan Cruyff's successful attempt with Jesper Olsen did in 1982.

But just like the two Arsenal men, Balotelli's fault lay in his failed execution. Disrespectful, perhaps, but would he have been substituted if he had actually scored?

It is also important to note that this was a friendly. A meaningless encounter. Though City, and David Brent-esque chief executive Garry Cook, will no doubt feel that Balotelli's antics were hardly conducive to increasing the penetration of their brand in a key market, to ED that makes it all the more laudable. Modern football is already far too devoted to the bottom line.

In any case, they aren't going to become the most loved club in North America thanks to James Milner's shuttling runs mesmerising a nation and creating a whole generation of avid consumers of everything Manchester City.

Free thinking might be dangerous to the brand, but it is football's lifeblood. And, ultimately, don't fans want to be entertained?

What if Antonin Panenka hadn't audaciously chipped his penalty down the middle at the European Championship in 1976? What if Cruyff hadn't executed his turn? What if Pele hadn't tried that magnificent dummy at the 1970 World Cup?

Of course Balotelli's little trick was not in the same class - if anything it was more of a lackadaisical take on the Zidane spin - but it is borne of the same motivation. Roberto Mancini, of course, was highly unimpressed and promptly substituted the striker, before exchanging heated words with his fellow Italian.

He said in his post-match press conference: "I hope this is a lesson for him. In football you always need to be professional, always serious and in this moment he wasn't professional. If you are serious, you can play 90 minutes. If not, you can come and sit by me on the bench.

"He needs to understand his behaviour has to be good in every game - not just in a final or a semi-final but every game. He knows he made a mistake. Football should always be serious and if you have a chance to score, you should score."

Football should always be serious. Really? In a pre-season friendly?

In fairness to Mancini, at least his decision to whip Balotelli off and give him a stern talking to was entirely consistent with the largely joyless way his team play. it's not as if Manchester City have set the Premier League alight with some scintillating performances under their Italian boss.

Such pragmatism was perfectly legitimate when attempting to secure a top-four finish, and achieving it last season, but surely City should have aspirations of playing with a touch more panache. It is strange, too, that it is Mancini who is waging a war against creativity, as he himself is responsible for one of the great audacious goals. ED won't apologise for linking to it twice in the space of two weeks.

Balotelli has his faults and his behaviour can be very detrimental to his side - just witness his ridiculous red card against Dynamo Kiev last season - but it is also telling that when critics assess Wayne Rooney's combustible nature they usually conclude if you dulled that side of him then he wouldn't be the same player. When Balotelli displays a similar rebellious streak - albeit expressed in a very different, and in fact much more palatable way - we are told it must be stamped out, as if it were not a vital part of his makeup as well.

Ultimately, what do we want from our footballers? Eleven Michael Owen droids, playing expressionless football and delivering anodyne press conferences after a functional 1-0 win?

Football is already over sanitised as it is, and the way the media treats players is a symptom of the same problem.

When any minor dissent is presented as a 'blast' at a manager, or when a cheeky comment from Joey Barton on Twitter can be blown into 500 words of self-righteous indignation in the Daily Star, is it any wonder that a young, media-trained player resorts to a string of meaningless clich├ęs in a post match interview.

Plenty of players are far more expressive than they are given credit for, but are cowed into claiming that "at the end of the day, I'm over the moon" for fear that any unconventionality will be seized upon.

Sadly it appears that suppression of expression is spreading to the pitch as well. Credit:

More Info
Balotelli was born in Palermo, Italy, to Ghanaian immigrants Thomas and Rose Barwuah. The family moved to Bagnolo Mella in the province of Brescia, Lombardy, shortly after Balotelli was born. As an infant Balotelli had life-threatening complications with his intestines which led to a series of operations, although his condition had improved by 1992. Mario's health problems and the family's cramped living conditions meant the Barwuahs decided to ask for the help of social services who recommended that Mario be fostered. In 1993 Mario was three years old when the Barwuah family agreed to entrust him to Francesco and Silvia Balotelli, with the legal move formalized by the Court of Brescia. When Mario Balotelli became famous his biological parents asked for his return. He later accused his biological parents of "glory hunting", stating that they only wanted him back because of the prominence he had gained. According to Law 91 of 5 February 1992, Balotelli had to wait until his 18th birthday in order to request Italian citizenship, as the Balotellis had not adopted him, and he officially gained citizenship on 13 August 2008. Credit:

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli hauled off in friendly -

FA Cup: Rio Ferdinand hits out at Mario Balotelli -

Roberto Mancini disappointed with Mario Balotelli -

Roberto Mancini defends Mario Balotelli's reputation-

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Blast From The Past: Remember When Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings was the most beautiful man in the world….


AFUA (Africa Fashion United Agency) - is looking the best creatives in the fashion industry to represent..

AFUA a new agency set up to look after the best creatives in the fashion industry is “now screening Stylists, Photographers, Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists from all over the world. If you are a visionary and feel like you are ahead of your time creatively then this opportunity is for you. Become part of history and email your bio to frontdesk@afuagency w/a subject heading "dream team AFUA." Get to it people.

More Info…
AFUA (pr ahh-foo-wah) is a premier creative representation agency that houses some of Africa's best photographers, fashion stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists and interior stylists in the industry worldwide.

At Africa Fashion United Agency our philosophy is to provide our artists a diverse client base that is custom tailored to their particular strengths and goals. We do not focus on a specific category of talent, instead representing a diverse and varied roster. Satisfying the needs of every type and level of client from the catwalks of some of the world's top fashion shows to editorials, store catalogues, brochures, celebrity movie premieres and everything in between. Our organization prides itself on a strong work ethic, zero attitude, and consummate professionalism. We firmly believe that the power of teamwork and strong relationships are the key to continued growth in today's ultra-competitive markets.

*STYLING - Fashion, Prop, Interior
For detailed services and packages feel free to contact us:

Luxury Eco-Tourism: Safari Beach Lodge is offering luxury eco-travellers -the best of Ghana…

Safari Beach Lodge in the western region of Ghana is offering the discerning luxury eco-traveller an opportunity to see Ghana at it best. “A perfect mix of modern design and African rustic elegance” Safari Beach Lodge is made up of seven beautifully decorated beach front chalets and a well appointed 2 bedroom beach house. I haven’t stayed at Safari Beach Lodge but I googled, and there are some wonderful reviews. The following is more info about this exciting place. I’m thinking ‘fashion shoot’ -what do you think?
More Info..Safari Beach Lodge is an Eco-Lodge located on a secluded beach near a small fishing village. The lodge is built in traditional style with thatched roofs which help it to blend in with the environment as well as keeping cool. The overall feel is a perfect mix of modern design and African rustic elegance termed Eco-Luxury. There are 7 beautifully decorated beach front chalets and a well appointed 2 bedroom beach house.

Explore the area by taking one of the community based tours to the nearby mangroves or just relax on a beach lounge and look for whales and turtles.

Stroll around the African art gallery and see authentic masks, statues and other tribal artifacts from remote corners of the continent. The main attraction is the innovative cuisine prepared with dishes such as wasabi drizzled swordfish, creamy lobster risotto or seared ostrich fillets.

Equally appealing is the hospitality you will receive from the friendly staff and local village.

Safari Beach Lodge is the perfect place to spend your vacation or your special event. We specialize in creating the perfect venue for your private party, special event and corporate functions. We can help organize a memorable stay with cultural performances, special menues and private bookings.

Safari Beach Lodge is focused on preserving the surrounding environment and helping to build the local economy through eco tourism. We believe that tourism can have a positive effect with minimal change to the environment or the local population. Combining luxury with eco tourism, Safari Beach Lodge is Ghana's only Eco-Luxury resort.

The lodge is built in the traditional stick & mud fashion with thatched roofs, this helps the lodge blend in with the environment as well as keeping with local building tradition. The construction and placement of the chalets insures a comfortable cool environment. Each building location was carefully planned so that it would not disturb the existing coconut grove.

Our design incorporates local renewable materials and was constructed by the craftsmen in the surrounding villages to the highest possible standard. The chalets furnishings have also been designed and built on site to make each one a truly unique space. We have come up with new and interesting ways to use the materials grown & harvested by the villages. The end result is a perfect mix of modern design and African rustic elegance that we call Eco-Luxury.

Electricity for the lodge is provided by generator along with a mix of traditional lanterns and solar powered lamps. The warm, romantic glow of the light brings thoughts of the Safari camps of the past. Our private well supplies fresh water through a gravitational system to the facilities. The odor free toilets are self composting and designed for optimal decomposing.

Safari Beach Lodge consists of seven individual chalets. Three beachfront suites and four double rooms.

Situated under a canopy of palm trees each chalet has an ocean view and is beautifully furnished with custom furniture, colonial antiques, African art & textiles. A ceiling fan is provided in each room to enhance the cool ocean breezes.
Double Room:Each double room is uniquely decorated and contains a four poster double bed, large locking bureau, desk and seating area. 2 Double rooms have private shower and bath and 2 Double rooms share shower and toilet facilities.

Self Contained Beachfront Suite:
The suites are large and spacious with a private toilet, sink area and shower. Each suite contains a four poster king bed, large bureau, vanity table, seating area and two private beach lounges. A double bed can be added to accommodate families or larger groups.

Beach House:
2 bedroom beachfront house is beautifully appointed and suitable for 4-8 people

Safari Beach Lodge
Western Region,
+233 263 101 818
+233 201 484007
+233 205 364061

8 km West of Dixcove near Akwidaa
One hour drive West from Takoradi

“We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world! That new African is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs.” Kwame Nkrumah

The World's Next Luxury 259 Rooms Hotel.... will be built in Ghana

Title: Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, Worth Billions, has Received Approval  for a $26 Million Loan from the World Bank to Build a $103 Million 259-room Luxury Hotel in Ghana, West Africa

By: Chuck Neubauer, The Washington TimesMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 02 , 2011--One of the world's richest men and a member of the Saudi royal family has received approval for a $26 million loan from a branch of the World Bank to build a luxury hotel in Ghana, a West African nation with a developing economy but where 40 percent of the people live in poverty.
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, also known as Prince Walid, is a nephew of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz. With a net worth of $19.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine, he is the 26th richest person in the world.

Yet his company was able to borrow $26 million to build a five-star hotel in Accra, the capital and largest city in Ghana, from the International Finance Corp. (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, under a program to encourage private development in developing nations.

The IFC, whose largest shareholder is the United States, approved the loan in December to KHI Ghana Ltd., a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of Prince Walid's company, Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI), for the development of the five-star Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra. The formal loan commitment papers were signed in February, and the IFC is expected to disburse the funds for the nine-year loan soon.

The $103 million hotel with 259 rooms will be along one of Accras major thoroughfares and adjacent to several large commercial developments in the citys central business district. The site was occupied by the Ambassador Hotel, a gift from the United Kingdom to Ghana in recognition of the countrys independence in 1957. The hotel closed in the early 1980s.
The IFC also helped arrange another $20 million for the project from a syndicate of commercial lenders, the agency said.

Desmond Dodd, IFC spokesman in Africa, said the bank is supporting "a project with strong developmental impact in Ghana."

He said the low-income country needs better infrastructure to attract more investors and create jobs and that KHI Ghana Ltd. approached the IFC for the money at a time when global financial markets were in turmoil and not making loans.

"This project will directly create jobs related to the construction and the eventual operation of the property," said Mr. Dodd. "The hotel will have large indirect impact as well. The hotel is expected to source almost all of their food and nonfood purchases locally, thereby providing increased business opportunities to a wide range of local suppliers and subcontractors."
Mr. Dodd said while Africa has not been on the map of global investors for many years, the IFC is helping to change that.

When asked how the IFC justifies a loan to one of the world's richest men, Mr. Dodd said the agency provides financing to private projects that have large development impact in the host country, and that such private-sector projects require sponsors with the capacity to provide capital and management.

He said Prince Walid and other investors can choose where they put their money and the "IFC's role is to ensure that investors that want to do business in some of the world's poorest countries can make investments with high standards."

Critics question whether a multimillion-dollar loan to a company owned by a billionaire to build a luxury hotel in Ghana would provide much help for poor Ghanaians.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has asked the Treasury Department for information from the IFC about the loan. The request was made in his role as chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on state, foreign operations and related agencies, which has jurisdiction over the IFC and the World Bank.

"The loan, the project and the project participants give rise to obvious questions, and Sen. Leahy is asking for the answers," said Leahy spokesman David Carle. "He agrees that critics of this project raise some valid points that should be examined further."

Bruce Rich, a Washington-based public interest attorney who has served as senior counsel on international issues for major environmental organizations, described the IFC loan for a luxury hotel in Ghana as "particularly grotesque." He said the World Bank says its mandate is poverty alleviation and that it claims to be a leader in helping the poor.

"Unfortunately, the IFC has financed numerous four- and five-star hotels in the world's poorer countries for years despite a long record of international and U.S. bipartisan congressional criticism of such misuse of scarce development assistance," Mr. Rich said.

"This kind of loan is nothing else but the worst corporate welfare -- Prince Walid and his company can certainly find credit from private international banks, if this is an economically viable project," he said, adding that the World Bank and the IFC last year sought a large capital increase from the U.S. and other nations to be used in part for "targeting the poor and vulnerable, especially in sub-Saharan Africa."

"Prince Walid and the patrons of a luxury international hotel appear to be what the IFC views as the 'poor and vulnerable' deserving of international corporate welfare," he said.

David Hunter, a law professor at American University who has studied the World Bank, also questioned how the loan carried out the IFC's goal of helping the poor.

"Where is the value added for the poor?" asked Mr. Hunter, who said a luxury hotel would only create some temporary construction jobs and low-paying service positions and that all the hotel's profits would go overseas. "It is a pretty weak form of development."

J. Peter Pham, director of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, said hotels and private financing are already available in Ghana.

"I could see if they were lending in Juba, South Sudan, where there are only two hotels, but Ghana?" Mr. Pham said.

Lourie Kruger, KHI vice president and group treasurer, defended the project, saying it would result in "an important resource for businesses and travelers in Ghana." She also said it would "create many local jobs" during its construction and operation.

"We were pleased to be able to continue planning for this project and secure financing, even during uncertain times in international markets," she said.

Tourism has lagged in Ghana over the past several years, but the government said it is committed to supporting its development and had initiated a number of measures to do so.
Ghana's fortunes also have improved in the past few years with the discovery of oil in the deep waters off its coast, which the IFC said had increased Ghana's need for more business infrastructure such as hotels.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Adjoa Osei -fashion’s new darling…

“Adapt: Reshaping the way we view and wear prints. Adapt is an eight piece, limited edition capsule collection with hand woven detail. The focus of Adapt is clean lines and classic shapes with injections of print, colour and detail. As a prelude to the winter collection, Adapt explores the different ways that smart/casual wear can be enhanced by African print. Gone are the days when prints were sporadically featured in 'safari' inspired collections or dusted off for cultural celebrations. Prints defy seasonal trends, and can be dressed up or pared down. The options are infinite. Season by season, trend by trend, I invite you to join me in this creative dialogue.” Adjoa Osei

Elegant, modern and a-must, I’m loving this new eight piece, limited edition capsule collection called Adapt by Adjoa Osei. Alerted by one of London’s uber stylish, Emefa Anthony -to check out her new label crush, Adjoa Osei is now Ghana Rising label du jour. Just feast your eye on the above pieces. The style, cut, details and colours are on-trend for A/W 2011, something that many so called African labels are not. I’m looking forward to shooting some of the pieces for Black Star magazine. For more information or to order the above pieces visit:


Nana Kofi Acquah’s ......A Window on Ghana

(All Photographs courtesy Nana Kofi Acquah)

 I was on Facebook the other day when I stumbled across a new Ghanaian photographer who has most definitely been influenced by Nana Kofi Acquah’s style and verve of photography -and realised that I haven’t celebrated this great creative on Ghana Rising, so here goes… One of Ghana’s national treasures, Nana Kofi Acquah’s photographs are an eclectic mix of the: relevant, irrelevant, fashion shoots, society issues, the good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-and-beautiful of Ghana. You can check out his work, thoughts and style at:

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

5 reasons why Ghana is the next African app powerhouse

Today, an exciting first in a series of guest posts from Andrew Mugoya, Asilia Founder and the brain behind Afriapps. Enjoy

Afriapps has been live since November last year and in that time we have profiled over 60 African applications. In the process, I've noticed a trend that has me really excited – the emergence of Ghana as a promising place to watch for creative and exciting app development.

Five reasons why Ghana has got me buzzing:

1.Built to be sold
Economic development in sub-Saharan Africa has often been about aid and grants and sadly, in app development in some parts, this is still the case. It is reflected in the type of apps developed, how they are marketed and how they are funded. Ghanian developers seem to be bucking the trend by producing a stream of apps that are not to be sustained by aid but by paying clients or paid downloads. Cool apps that we have profiled and that I've actually bought include:
•Basic Swahili - Learn Swahili on your iPhone or iPad

•iWarrior - Defend your village from wild animals

•My Twi Name - Find out your Twi name

•Nkyea Twi Phrasebook - Learn Twi on your iPhone or iPad

2. Quality finishing
Often on Afriapps we see apps based on very good ideas and built well but, let down by unrefined finishing and design. Like everywhere else in the world, Ghana has its fair share of these but, where Ghanian apps stand out is in the high number of apps with quality finishing and design. One of the things that makes African apps globally uncompetitive is design and finishing and many Ghanian apps seem to be getting these aspects right.

3. Diversity of ideas and talent
Tied in with the concept of building them to sell them is the development of a variety of types of apps. Games, business apps, learning apps, eCommerce apps, etc. This diversity would be hard to achieve if the industry was mainly dependent on aid as donors often have a narrow band of sectors they see as worth funding.
4. Building an eco-system
One area that really excites me about Ghana is the various genuine efforts to develop a sustainable tech eco-system. One such effort is that of The Meltwater Group, an established software company from the US. It has setup the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) through its Meltwater Foundation to offer training and mentoring to software entrepreneurs in Ghana. The program has led to the successful launch of a string of startups, each very promising. Some examples include
•Retail Tower - helps independent online shops have their products listed on comparison engines

•Gripeline - Enables businesses to manage their customer support and feedback

•Tutamee - a place to ask and find out what or who is best

5. Not loud but should be proud

Frankly speaking, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria seem to get most of the press when it comes to African tech. However, amidst all the noise, Ghana is steadily laying solid foundations that will enable them to compete internationally. And from articles such as these, it is obvious others are starting to notice.

Undoubtedly there are other promising pockets in the region. However, from my Afriapps perspective, Ghana has definitely got me impressed and excited about what's happening there. If you are aware of other remarkable regions worth shouting about, we'd love to hear about them and see how they compare to what's happening in Ghana.

You can find out more about Afriapps at, and

(Credit text and image from:

Edwin Broni-Mensah -Creator of GiveMeTap

Wow what can I say, I’m inspired…enjoy

Title: Britain's new entrepreneurs: young guns go for itToday's internet-savvy students are starting their own businesses and forging their own path in life… and here are seven prime examples...Why a growing number of twentysomethings are doing it for themselves..

Edwin Broni-Mensah, you could argue, is an academic or a philanthropist whose scheme is either naively idealistic or brilliant or both. Either way, as soon as you've read about his idea, you'll be kicking yourself for not having thought of it. We're sitting beside the Serpentine on an unusually warm winter morning in London's Hyde Park. Broni-Mensah is patiently expounding the perils of toxic BPA plastic bottles while I try to hide my bottle out of shame. Phasing out these hateful bottles is the aim of his project, now in its second year. Two minutes in, he spots mine, politely balks and I apologise. Major eco fail.

It was through playing squash at university that Broni-Mensah came up with GiveMeTap. Throughout his PhD, sport was his sanctuary, yet something didn't add up: "Tap water is free and portable yet I was spending a fiver a day on bottled water. I was like, 'Wha'?'"

The concept of GiveMeTap was born, launched online for a song, and last year won him an award as "most outstanding black student in Britain". It works like this: you buy a tidy blue bottle made from recycled aluminium for £7 from his website and take it into any cafe which has signed up as a "provider" of the scheme. Your bottle is then filled with tap water for free, thus reducing the wastage in landfill sites, helping communities in Africa install clean water pumps (70% of the £7 goes towards this) and saving you money.

Although the scheme currently operates solely in the Manchester area, Broni-Mensah has moved in with his parents in Edmonton, north London, in order to launch it in London, it's hoped, in time for the Olympics. In theory, he'll be providing 1 million people with access to clean water by 2013.

How did he manage to launch the project while also completing his PhD? "I follow Parkinson's Law: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. I think that captures it very nicely."
Broni-Mensah thinks our "peculiar obsession" with buying plastic bottles is "little more than a cultural conditioning". Furthermore: "We're too proud to ask for free water in the same way we feel the need to buy crisps to use a cafe's loo."

All very benevolent but still, given the current climate, it seems bonkers to invest seven years of education into a non-profit scheme, subsidising your rent by tutoring maths when you could be making a packet in the City. "I know," he laughs. "All my friends are bankers and I'm their poor student mate. But it's my choice."

And, frankly, there are enough bankers to go round, allowing people like Dr Broni-Mensah to turn staggeringly obvious ideas into life-changing schemes. MF


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Art: Philip Kwame Apagya

In Africa, a photo studio is the place where dreams come true. for a few pence, ordinary mortals can strike a pose and achieve immortality, have things they haven't got and may never have, be people they are not and may never be, have access to the inaccessible. People start asking for personal portraits that go beyond

the image usually present on identity papers, often the only 'popular portrait' available. this open new roads to the art of photographic portrait, with possibility for the artist to catch special moments in people's existence: people ask for a picture for several reasons, but with the common desire to have a 'funny picture'. in this process, new forms of self-representation become part of a new social identity: this is the framework in which we might consider the work of Philip Kwame Apagya.

Philip Kwame Apagya's formal portraits in front of commissioned painted backgrounds seem to be suspended between realism and a sort of naivety, they are both unreal and hyperealistic: the dreams of African people are put on stage - against scenery which praises consumer society. The subject stands in front of a painted backdrop that portrays everything people dream of having: fake new England country houses showing off some porcelain, VCRs and TVs in bar closets, modern kitchens with well-stocked refrigerators with coke and cheetos... portraits with a quarter / half / full smile, because nobody in Africa is really deceived by make-believe... but for one glorious moment they can have it all. these portraits are highly amusing for us, 'western people', but are also unintentionally disturbing because of the insight they offer into a growing cultural vacuum. This is the dream, and it is empty and materialistic.

Philip Kwame Apagya was born in Sekondi (Ghana) in 1958, after a period of apprenticeship in his father's photo studio (a former crime-scene photographer), he worked as a travelling photographer for a while in the Sassandra region (ivory coast), following the colour revolution in the late 1980s. After having graduated in photojournalism at the Ghana Institute of Journalism in Accra, he opened then his own studio (studio PK's normal photo studio) in shama (ghana), in 1982. Philip Kwame Apagya is known worldwide, because of his participation in many personal and collective exhibitions. All Text from:

Ghana’s only boutique hotel: Villa Monticello is the best in town…

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