Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Next Big Thing: Akua Sika Amankona aka Lousika is about to blow-up….

I can’t stop listening to, ‘No be Aloo’ by newcomer Akua Sika Amankona aka Lousika…. Beautiful, talented and Blessed with innate style…-some are calling her the French Nicki Manaj. Me, I’m calling her the Next Hot Thing…and predicting big things for this Franco-Ghanaian rapper. To keep up with all of Lousika’s fab happenings visit:

Project Walk Way Ghana and Impression Model House…..will launch on Friday 23rd December 2011 at the African Regent Hotel…..

Former high fashion model Bertha Owusu is about to become Ghana’s answer to supermodel Heidi Klum, the super behind the ever popular, ’Project Runway’. In a bid to discover the next hot fashion designer and model in Ghana, Project Walk Way Ghana and Impression Model House will be aired on Metro TV and GhOne Entertainment TV from January 2012 -and will show the fashion designers competing against each other over a 13 week period for the coveted price -in a model house somewhere in chichi Accra. I don’t have a comprehensive list of all involved but Bertha Owusu (a Facebook friend) is fabulous and well connected, thus I’m expecting to see some very interesting and hot fashion guests appearing on her show, some serious high fashion drama -and some real models. I’m pleased to see a couple of Ghana Rising’s fave Accra based fashion models competing in this must-watch the ever beautiful, Grace Sarfo and Chantel Dapaah -I hope they win the best model price.

For more details about this much anticipated show, Bertha Owusu, the desigmers and the models visit:

You can also follow via:

P.s ..Launch starts at 6pm with a Cocktail and Red Carpet Section and is strictly by invitation.. For more information visit the above website or call 05433999999,0207556005 -for guest list…

The People of Ghana celebrate Daddy Lumba and his wonderful music….

The man himself -Daddy Lumba arriving at his concert….

Ama K Abebrese (second from right) looking fabulous…

Ghana Rising fave, Singer Diamond and her BFF Abla Sena

Wow its been a long time….its good to see musician, KK Fosu back!!!

Former First couple ex president Jerry & Nana K Rawlings

Singer Becca

Former First couple ex president Jerry & Nana K Rawlings, ex president John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor and Ghana‘s Glitterati celebrated Daddy Lumba and his yummy music and awarded him for his contribution to Ghanaian music a couple of weeks ago… and I’m very pleased as I feel its long overdue… Enjoy the above photos they come courtesy of Talk of Ghana….

Shakira Feat Dizzee Rascal………….

And I’m crazy …. but you like it…loca…loca!!!!! Fabness

Ghana Rising Hearts Jojo Abot…

There’s a real girly sweetness, a yummy natural eclectic feel about Jojo Abot’s style -and I love it. Full of fun and whimsy -her cute model figure, natural hair, light on-trend make-up and energy is all her own, nothing added and nothing borrowed…just her own fabulous innate style. I’m a big fan of her Afro-chic garbs, cute LBD’s and laidback out-and-about look she sports when she relaxing. A model, TV Presenter and musician, her band is called Jojo Abot and the Phunky Phew, -Jojo Abot's about to blow up and I’m very excited for her…Just check out her fab live performance in Accra earlier this month at Citizen Kofi (I think)...

"Jojo Abot performs at "TalkParty" where the dopest artists and media creatives in Ghana meet. Providing a space for young people to create innovative projects, exchange ideas about global art and politics, and hear fresh music by indie artists on the international scene." Youtube..

For more information about Jojo Abot and her music visit her fan page at:

The Spirit: Guide Me O Thy Great Jehovah by Kofi Dua Anto (Koda)…..

Former First Lady of Ghana, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings…vital, alive and having the time of her life at Daddy Lumba’s Concert…And she deserves it…

To be brutally honest…..I’m not a fan of any of Ghana’s political parties, I’m not a fan of any African government -full stop and its such a shame… Its a shame because I would love to be. Whenever I think of Ghana or other African countries, it truly pains me that not one of these countries stands out as being truly for or about their people…if you know what I mean, thus I very rarely celebrate/look at Africa’s governing personas and most definitely never look at their wives -if I can help it (even though one or two of Africa’s first ladies -intrigue me soooo, especially the ones who fly out of their third world countries on private jets to buy Chanel shoes in gay Parieee). I’ve never thought much of any of them.. How on earth can you call yourself a president [of a third world country] and hold your head up in public when many of your sooo called people are going to bed hungry is way beyond me …but what do I know?

I’ve always seen ex president Jeremiah John Rawlings -(President from 7 January 1993 to 7 January 2001) and (4 June 1979 to 24 September 1979 -as Flight Lieutenant , Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council -and again from the 31 December 1981 to 7 January 1993 -as Flight Lieutenant , Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council) -as a sort of former gangster who took over Ghana as a soldier and sort of fell in love with his country and his people just as he was loosing power -I came to this conclusion some time back when I was watching an interview featuring him, and he seemed full of unspoken regret…I’m guessing that many former presidents/prime ministers get to this place. He sort of redeemed himself further when I watched another piece about him on CNN (I think) -asking the American government for money they owed us [Ghana] with regards to timber …it was some time ago so I hope I have all my facts right. Basically that piece touched me and he, Jerry Rawlings became more human.

With regards to former president John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor -(President from 7 January 2001 to 7 January 2009), I never paid much attention. There was talk of some reduction in poverty etc etc but as folk back home were still complaining: the roads of Ghana are killing people, the elderly are going hungry, children are selling during the day instead of attending school etc etc, -I just wrote him off as another disappointing president but this changed somewhat after my mother (she’s not easy or easily pleased) meet him several times and found him to be a humble gentleman….But with regards to Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings my disappointment knew no bounds…until I saw the above photographs…and it got me thinking….

I think its very easy for us women to be more disappointed with our fellow sisters! Like me, many of you have wondered about powerful women like Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings who are married to powerful men -in this case presidents -and wondered….why didn’t they influence their husbands in a much more positive way? Why didn‘t they like Esther in the Bible save their people? Was there a conversation that went like….“honey the children of Ghana are starving -the north of Ghana is barren, the roads aren’t safe, lets build children’s homes for orphans, lets provide some small pension for those over 70 etc etc“? …Because you and I both know that we women, -especially we Ghanaian women with our Yaa Asantewaa spirit (my Yaa Asantewaa spirit is going crazy just thinking about the state of Ghana) -have special powers….-right??? Well whether Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings was suggesting some of the aforementioned problems facing Ghana now (and then) to her husband or not ……like most -she was that ambitious woman (not that ambition is bad you hear..). I was always more disappointed with her than her husband as I have always seen women as more powerful… But as I said that was until now….

The above photos featuring Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and Ghana’s former opposing presidents, John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor and her husband Jerry Rawlings has made me see her in a different light!!!

Vital, happy, forgiving, light, neat and contained, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings’ meekness but visual dance….. has thrown me…. Because only a woman with a heart, who has loved and lived, has been let down and has risen can achieve this… very human stance. The above photographs show a real woman not a heartless machine. I also see someone who is fun, multi faceted and alive…

Truly beautiful…the two opposing former presidents dancing together to the yummy music of Daddy Lumba, only his healing music could do this.., their genuine affection (maybe that’s tooo strong a word) -their true like of each other and joy is there for all to see…but my intrigue lays with the very alive Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings???

Dancing to Daddy Lumba’s sweet music -she is somewhat shy but confident, dressed fabulously -and she knows it -and she is happy …A woman of a certain age Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings still has that youthfulness, that some thing, some thing that keeps the buoyant -alive and vital and there I say it…sexy and still juicy. Good for you Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings -because I truly believe that most of us got you wrong….because beasts can not dance and enjoy themselves like this…for they do not have hearts.

But I wonder…… which one of Daddy Lumba’s sweets songs had this modern day Yaa Asantewaa dancing with such gay abandon? Was it …..‘Obi Ate Me So Bo’, ‘Eye Nadom’, ‘Odo nti’, ‘Theresa’, ‘Woho Kyere’, ‘Pony’ or ‘Dangerous’ …I’m thinking…she’s most definitely dancing to ‘Dangerous’…what do you think??
By Paulina Opoku-Gyimah

(Photos by Talk of Ghana)

Our History: Akan culture genesis of what gave rise to Asante (Ashanti) empire, reflecting medieval Akan culture......

Akan ethnic group consists of:
Ashanti, the Akwamu, the Akyem, the Akuapem, the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Akropong-Akuapem, the Baoule, the Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the Wassa, the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji, the Avikam,the Avatime, the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure, the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people.

David Adjaye, Bernard Mensah and Idris Elba make the top ten of Michael Eboda’s Powerlist 2012

The latest Powerlist is out now and according to The Voice newspaper -architect David Adjaye (number 5), new to Ghana Rising, Bernard Mensah, the head of emerging markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (number 9) and actor/producer/musician Idris Elba (number 10) -all made it onto the list ..which celebrates the most influential black people in Britain. To be honest I’m always surprised when I see Ghanaians on the list the people behind the list are mostly non Ghanaian -and we all know what that means….…….. -I’ll leave it there… for more information about this list and to check out past nominees visit:

More info about Bernard Mensah, the head of emerging markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch is as follows:

Title: BofA Merrill takes senior Goldman trader for emerging markets role

By: Radi Khasawneh  Date: 29 Jul 2010

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired a Goldman Sachs partner to lead its sales and trading team in emerging markets, where the value of equities trading over the past two years has risen against a fall in developed markets, according to Financial News analysis this week.

The firm announced today that it has hired Bernard Mensah, known as Bernie, as global head of emerging market sales and trading for equities and fixed income, currencies and commodities, excluding Asia.

Mensah is a Goldman Sachs veteran who has spent a decade at the US investment bank. He was made a partner in October 2006, and has been global head of bank loan and distressed trading since 2008. Before that, he was head of various credit businesses in Asia.

The move comes after it emerged last month that Bank of America Merrill Lynch had lost its head of emerging markets credit trading to UBS.

Can Uran, who has also worked for Goldman Sachs in London and Tokyo, will join UBS in September as global co-head of fixed income, currency and commodities for emerging markets.

At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mensah will be based in London and report to Graham Goldsmith, global head of global loan and special situations trading, and Andrea Orcel, executive chairman of global banking and markets and president of emerging markets excluding Asia.

Analysis by Financial News this week showed that, while banks were seeing declines in sales and trading revenues this quarter, activity in emerging markets was gathering pace.

In the equity markets, the value of emerging market equity trading jumped 18%, while that of developed market equity trading has tumbled 36% in the past two years. The analysis was based on official trading figures collated by the World Federation of Exchanges.


Planter’s Lodge -Luxury accommodation with history….

“Due to the large and privileged surroundings Planter's Lodge is set in, we are able to offer our guests a unique range of rooms, suites and private bungalows to suit all your requirements.

There are six bungalows on the estate and each one is divided into two private suites. All the suites have been carefully restored with teak parquet in the living rooms and bedrooms. In addition the suites are equipped with large colonial style beds and living room furniture to enhance the comfort of your stay.
There are also twenty double garden rooms on the premises flanking the main building to the left and right hand side. Our rooms and suites have complimentary tea and coffee making facilities and are equipped with all the mod cons including wireless internet facilities.

The completion of our six executive suites represents a landmark in the history of the hotel. At Planter’s Lodge, our ethos is to constantly strive to achieve higher levels of service and standards as a benchmark for the hospitality industry in Ghana.

Our executive suites are a reflection of our philosophy at Planter’s Lodge. Each suite has been painstakingly refurbished and furnished to the highest standard making sure that you have an unforgettable experience in the grandeur of this colonial setting.” Planter’s Lodge

“The British Air Force built Planter’s Lodge for their flying officers in 1934 in Takoradi, in the Western Region of Ghana. It was later sold to a British company who used it as a hotel. Takoradi was the only harbour at that time in Ghana and British Overseas Airways Corporation had just a few flights from the capital, Accra, so almost anyone who travelled outside Ghana came to Takoradi to take the Elder Dempster vessels to Europe. A lot of people, children going to school, local business men and expatriates going on leave all stayed at the hotel and to this day, people still come to the hotel and reminisce about their journey by sea.

A great part of the hotel has presently been restored. Even though Planter’s Lodge is an African colonial fusion concept, the colonial buildings have been maintained and the ‘new’ addition is the swimming pool and the Bamboo Conservatory Bar. Planter's Lodge is set in six acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The Takoradi Golf Course (which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean) is a few minutes walk away and arrangements have been made so our guests can have a round of golf at their leisure, likewise a gym (this is a few minutes walk away), which our guests can also use.” Planter’s Lodge

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I’m flabbergasted by the sheer beauty of this ‘insider’ luxury must-visit lodge!!! Neat in a Caribbean-y, colonial -esque way, Planter’s Lodge is packed with tales about the Ghana of old -has been established since 1934 and looks oh sooo cosy, fresh and clean -making me want to be in Ghana -right now!!! Visit: for more information about this delightful lodge. I’m thinking……….this would be a good place to do some fashion shoots……the yummy clean beaches of Takoradi -is right on its doorstep…. x


Music: Female musicians of Ghana……….who has what it takes to manage them -properly???

It seems that there’s much jealousy and not a lot of love or enough respect for Ghanaian female artists -and after the ubiquitous first hot single -these musicians are quickly forgotten or not managed properly…. and I don’t know why?? Badly handled, badly styled and with less money put into managing them than their male counterparts, it appears (to me -anyway) that their managers all happen to be young men after some ‘feely-feely’ or dirty old men who are…. errrrrrrrrmm, what shall I call it…..-sponsoring them -if you know what I mean??? Because to make anything happen in Ghana -you need sponsorship -right? No? ….We need female musicians like Mzbel to get into management and mentor and guide these young female artists!!! Anyway I was doing some research and looking for the latest info concerning the ever fabulous Efya and thought -why not catch up -and look up on all my other favourite Ghana based female artists (right -now)… thus my feelings (I’m entitled to them) are as follows….

Artist: Efya

Music: ‘Lil Things’ by Efya

I can listen to this tune all day…

I love Efya, her style and verve and I’ve been very upset of late ….by the horrible rumours concerning this beautiful musician!! From the recent weight loss to rumours that she’s on drugs or the much publicised break-up of a relationship -its all soo distressing but I believe in this talented singer and truly believe that she is rising above it all…because things of this nature -pass …Amen!! Plus no one can take her heaven given talent away from her… Big love to you….Efya x

Sexy Sassy Wahala by Efya

Artist: Sherifa Gunu

Music: Mbrantie by Sherifa Gunu featuring David & Punany

Sherifa Gunu bringing the delights of northern Ghana to the nation…

I spotted musician Sherifa Gunu years ago on OBE TV in an episode of MTV Africa -and thought she was fabulous, and wondered why I hadn’t heard about this beautiful and talented northern Ghanaian sister! I then spied her again in the line up of Ghanaian artist singing about sanitation for a campaign (I think) …and was struck by her awesome voice and thought she was the best (like most of the people who have heard and watched the above film clip on Youtube). But what I really love is her unique voice and hot style.. From the fabulous Mohican to the fashion-forward make-up, to her dancer body, her love of African beads and jewellery -and her wonderful Afro-chic ensembles -a real celebration of all things African….. Sherifa Gunu is one of Ghana’s most fashionable ladies. I want to see more from this beautiful and talented singer…I’m not good in crowds but I’d pay good money see this sister live…

Artist: Raquel

Music: Odo by Raquel

There’s no denying that Raquel has a sweet voice and I’ve been meaning to do a piece about her for some time but whenever I look for images of her or stumble across her doing her thing via Talk of Ghana -say, there are just no images that befit this great talent, and its weird because she‘s a beautiful girl!! Badly styled but mercifully getting better -this talent needs a real professional team around her!!! I love her voice and see big things for her …but she is quickly turning into another female talent that’s been left to do ‘jagger-jagger-concerts-in-Ghana’…. when she has the talents to propel her worldwide… Are there any female music producers in Ghana who can manage these hot new talents -hitting GH’s music scene????

Raquel Ft. Sarkodie - Sweetio

Artist: Kaakie

‘Ewo’ by Kaakie

I was thinking about Kaaki, the fabulous new fierce Ghanaian female musician who brought us the ever hot, ’Too Much’ -and stumbled across her latest, ‘Ewo’ and I love it paaaaaaaa!! But I wonder…..what are her people doing to get this talented gal’s music ..out to the masses? I pray -that this talented young lady -doesn’t end up like the rest….maybe she needs the likes of Mzbel (again) -another female musician behind her….Whatever happens …you can’t fail to notice that Kaakie has talent…I look forward to more this sister….

Kaakie singing LIVE….fabulous

Music: Kaakie - Too Much

Artist: Diamond

Music: Taste My Apple by Diamond featuring Jay

As you already know…I’m a big fan of singer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and CEO of Diamonds Empire -Diamond Appiah. And since I last wrote about Ghana’s very own Lady Gaga -Ms Appiah has gone stellar and is celebrated by those in the know in GH… From interviews on TV and radio and invites to all the hottest shows in Ghana…Diamond is on her way to becoming as big as one of her dearest BFF’s ....Mzbel, -with her eclectic style and funky, clubby music… Go Diamond….Yes... taste her apple oOO!!!

Music: Diamond Popping by Diamond

Sunday, 20 November 2011

St Olive's Parish Hall, Woodberry Down, Manor House, London…..the most Ghanaian location outside of Ghana……and Daddy Lumba’s yummy music…

The Opoku-Gyimah family at the first ever birthday party given by members of the Ghanaian community at St Olive's Parish Hall, Woodberry Down, Manor House…

Odo nti by Daddy Lumba

Theresa by Daddy Lumba

What is it about Daddy Lumba’s sweet music that transports you back in time…to those yummy days -when Ghanaians were Ghanaians (laughter)?? When Ghanaian women matched their handbags & shoes, and you had to book Auntie Theresa months in advance before that ‘must-go-to-event’ or your ‘top & slit’ would never be ready?  You know....when the Ghanaian community (both young & old) all did night classes (because…if you were not studying in one form or another -you simply weren’t Ghanaian) and young girls had to accompany their mothers to every ‘Ghana party’ -way before funerals became the in-thing.. A time when the Ghanaian community seemed smaller -and every family, and I mean every Ghanaian family -was related, blood or no blood?

A time when you gave your father his water on a plate and brought him a bowl of warm water and a tea towel for him to wash his hands before he ate his fufu (arrrghhhhhh) with your right hand…(young girls of today .. just don’t know how lucky they are) -and you spent weekends if you were not visiting your ever growing family (see above about Ghanaian families) -in front of the TV watching the Crosby show (wishing you was one of their -never beaten children) -eating peanuts and sliced bananas…ohhhhh….those were the days…

Memories of a younger, thinner me -with long wet-look hair that I had straighten out to make it look longer and Indian (I was the ‘Naomi Campbell of the Ghanaian community -then) -with my siblings and cousins dancing to ‘Odo Nti’ and ‘Theresa’ by Daddy Lumba in St Olives parish hall, yep.... that hall in Manor House, the same one that’s now used by ‘Jesus’ Gentleman (Apostle Emmanuel Kofi Afriyie Amoako-Ayim a.k.a. Jesus Abrantie) and his End-Time Prophetic Resurrection Ministry -as a church. I’ve been to a couple of their services and it was joyous (

When I was growing up, St Olive's Parish Hall was where we went to Brownies and later -it became a hall for Ghanaian events -and you wouldn’t believe this but my family started that errrrrrrmmm .....trend a hundred years ago when my big brother, (chicken) George was celebrating his 21st birthday.. My parents booked St Olives parish hall and the whole of the Ghanaian (we have colonised Tottenham oOOO, next Brixton) community in London and beyond including areas that in them days felt sooo far away like Croydon (the Anomabu of the UK), Uncle Ababio and family came from deepest Surry, Auntie Mary and family drove down from Basildon and the fanti-fuos came down from chichi Hammersmith, Baron’s Court and errrm Stoke Newington ….plus…it was also the first time that the lady who later become known as the ’Video Woman’ came into her own -she went onto Ghanaian infamy -and was spotted at every birthday and anniversary party -thereafter at St Olives Hall.. Gosh those were the good old days!! ....

Olive's Parish Hall, Woodberry Down, Manor House, London, N4 2TW

An Inspiration: Pamela Gyebi-Ababio……….teaching us about Sickle Cell Anaemia

“I want people living with sickle cell to have more confidence in themselves and to realise they aren’t the only ones, and that we can still achieve,” Pamela Gyebi-Ababio

***Sometimes I wonder about those suffering from Sickle Cell Anaemia -back home in Ghana??? Because there was a time …even in civilised UK, when all the medical profession had to treat suffers -were blood transfusions and a course of Penicillin??? To be honest, I don’t know if much has changed…God is very good and my brother (Chicken) George has been healed (in Jesus’ Name) -and we’ve been truly Blessed -because its been years since the last crisis…but what of those living with this condition back home??? Are lovers/ soon to be married couples checking to see if they are both carriers before they get married and embark on having babies?? This disease should be a thing of the past??? Where’s the education about the devastating effects of Sickle Cell Anaemia? My beautiful friend, Gifty lost her beloved daughter (she was only 14 months old) and she has never been the same (and if I’m honest -nor have I) -and carries her baby’s ashes with her -everywhere!!!!

Pamela, 18, was born with sickle cell anaemia, a genetic blood disorder. She describes how to cope with the disease on a daily basis, and explains why it is important to raise awareness of the condition. You can read all about beautiful Pamela Gyebi-Ababio’s incredible journey via the NHS Choices website at:

Fake gold Sellers of Ghana are busted by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghana’s premier undercover journalist…

*** I got a call early this morning -telling me to watch this and I did.!!. All I know is - Akim Oda must be empty …with sooo many of it folks locked up…


You can read all about it here:

Amber Rose apologizes and explains about her comments on poverty in Ghana/Africa…

Thanks to ever fabulous Mr Ameyaw Debrah for making it possible to see this film clip…as for the yummy Amber Rose -she owes me no apologies as she was speaking the truth -whether prosperous Ghanaians like it or not.. You can keep up with Mr Debrah’s on-trend happenings via:

The following is a quote from You Tube -and its very interesting:

“Folks, the truth and only the truth will save us. But the truth hurts and like a very bitter pill. Many of us, Ghanaians, mistakenly assume Accra as a true representative of Ghana. What many see in Accra is wrongly considered as all over the nation. Which is wrong! The middle class which has emerged as the most forceful engine of economic growth is truly non-existent in Ghana. Some Ghanaians from abroad come to Ghana and never go past the Ashanti region to the North, you'll see real struggle.” giftybumpa

Fascinating History: THE LIFE AND SUFFERINGS OF JOHN JOSEPH, A NATIVE OF Ashantee, in Western Africa: Who was stolen from his Parents at the age of 3 years, and sold to MR. JOHNSTONE, a Cotton Planter, in New Orleans, South America.

I, JOHN JOSEPH, the subject of this narrative, am a native of Ashantee, in Western Africa. I was born of respectable parents, my father being a distinguished Chief of one of the Tribes. He was a man of great strength and agility. When I was about three years of age, my father engaged in a deadly war with one of the tribes, and in an unsuccessful encounter with the enemy he was completely routed, and a great many of our tribe taken prisoners. The enemy ransacked my father's habitation, and savagely dragged me and my beloved sister, from the arms of a dear distracted mother. We were then taken to the coast, together with three hundred prisoners of war, where we were put on board a slave ship, sent to New Orleans, in the state of Louisina, South America, and there sold as slaves. I was bought at the public auction, by one Mr. Johnstone, a cotton planter, in New Orleans. I was then put by him in the calaboosh, or prison, (a place for keeping slaves when they are brought from Africa, and also runaway slaves.) I was kept there until I was old enough to work, when I was placed on a cotton plantation. My occupation there was to press the cotton, under the superintendence of what is called the negro-driver, who often punished me very severely for the least fault, in a most cruel and inhuman manner, as the following statements will shew. He would fasten my wrists with a cord, and throw it over a beam; I was then drawn up by my arms as high as possible without raising my feet from the ground, they being fastened to something prepared on the floor, and in this distorted posture, this inhuman monster, this demon in the shape of man, beat me with a short whip, and while bleeding from head to foot, my lacerated back was washed in salt and water, to prevent mortification. After my inhuman punishment, I was heavily laden with chains by night, to prevent any possibility of my escape from this den of horrors, and on one ocasion on my remonstrating with my cruel persecutor he struct me a blow on the mouth with the butt end of his whip which knocked out three of my front teeth.

(John Joseph came to a knowledge of his family's misfortunes through a slave who was purchased at the same time he was bought by Mr. Johnstone, who informed him of his high birth, and how he came into the possession of the said Mr. Johnstone, of New Orleans.)

After some time I had these irons taken off and then I ran away, concealing myself by day, and travelling by night. Whilst I was travelling the third night, I was stopped by a man on horseback, who presented a pistol at me, and demanded if I had a certificate to prove that I was free from slavery. I answered, no sir; when he heard this he dismounted from his horse, handcuffed me, and led me to the nearest prison and had me immediately advertised, it being the custom to keep a slave fourteen days, and if not owned he is sold to another Master, the same as you would sell cattle in England. I entreated him to let me go, but he only replied by giving me a severe blow on my chin, which inflicted a very severe wound.

Within fourteen days my master, Mr. Johnstone, came and claimed me as his property; chained me like a dog to his horse, and dragged me back to his estate, where I was immediately fastened to a whipping-post, and received thirty-nine lashes, after which, though exhausted with my journey, and almost dead with my punishment, my back was washed with salt and water, and I was once more sent back to the horrid calaboosh. "Oh! wretched and infatuated men, do you not think a negro's heart can feel."

After I recovered from the punishment, I was taken to the market for sale. I was then put up (at what the auctioneer termed) the exceeding low price of 200 dollars; which he bawled out lustily, only two hundred dollars for Jack Sambo. Who bids for this strong healthy slave, Jack Sambo, a fine, hardy, strong, young fellow. Whilst he went on thus, my blood boiled in my veins. The blood of my noble father was rekindled in my bosom, I gazed at him with contempt and said, "Sir, I am the son of one of the principal chiefs of Africa, although the tide of fortune has made me at present a slave; you may be wicked enough to sell my body, but thank God, it is not in the power of a master or auctioneer, to buy and sell my precious and immortal soul, for thanks be to God, Jesus suffered on the tree, to save the slave as well as the free." At length I was knock'd down to the highest bidder (who was Mr. Smith, of Charleston, in South Carolina,) for 250 dollers, with another boy. I was placed by Mr. Smith on a rice and Indian corn plantation, under the superintendence of a cruel driver, who used to beat us in a most barbarous manner, without the consent and in opposition to the express wishes of Mr. Smith, who was a very kind master to his slaves, giving them good food and clothing.

One day he found the driver flogging us very severely; he enquired the cause of his doing so against his command, fined him five dollars, and forthwith discharged him. I remained with Mr. Smith five years, during which time he allowed the Rev. Mr. Howard and Mr. Brown, (two very pious and benevolent gentlemen, who had the freedom and salvation of the slave at heart,) to instruct us in spiritual things, and through their instrumentality I was brought to see and feel myself a sinner in the sight of God, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ as my only Saviour and mediator; instead of bending, as I had been accustomed to do, to the Sun, Moon, and Stars. It gladden'd the hearts of the poor slaves, to hear that God was no respecter of persons, but that he accepts the black as well as the white man; that he who cometh to him with a lowly and contrite heart, whatever be the colour of his skin or his condition in life, whether bond or free, he will in no wise cast out; he would gather his sons from the east and his daughters from the west, for all the nations of the earth shall see the salvation of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through whose merits alone we can be saved, and adopted as the children of God, by faith, and made heirs and joint heirs with him in glory: Africans as well as Europeans. I felt that the gospel preached by these gentlemen, was very different from that preached to us by the slave holders and their preachers, whose doctrine always was, obey your masters and mistresses, or you shall have the rod. How different the gospel of Jesus to the threats and menaces of our inhuman masters!

Through the kindness of Mr[.] Smith, I felt quite happy, and previous to hearing the blessed gospel I thought I was born to obey. I thought myself a happy slave in the service of such a man. But in the character of my master I was mistaken; for although a humane man, he was a gambler, and once went to a shooting match, for so many slaves aside. He was unsuccessful, and I was handed over with many more, to the winner (Dr. Browne, of Virginia,) a tobacco planter, who was as cruel to his slaves as Mr. Smith was kind. He used to work us like beasts of burden, obliging us to plough the ground like horses. Here we were badly provided with food and raiment; and were whipped if we failed in strength. After hard work, we were frequently ready to drop from want, and were also unmercifully beaten by the negro driver. We were kept without clothing except as much as would cover our nakedness; and in this manner we were obliged to work all day. At the close of the day we were placed in the calaboosh, or prison, and loaded with chains till the morning, when the bell rung for us to go again to work, and if not immediately ready, the negro driver would come and flog us. This cruel treatment made me try to escape.

One night I made into the woods to effect my escape, but the bloodhounds were sent in pursuit of me, and when I heard them behind me barking, I climbed up a tree to save my life, or my limbs from being destroyed. The instant the dogs reached the bottom of the tree they stopped and there continued barking till my master came, he looked up and asked, "who was there," I answered "me massa, came here to save my life or limbs from being destroyed by the dogs." He ordered me to come down directly or he would blow out my brains with his pistol. I was at a loss to know what to do, whether to come down and be flogged almost to death, or stay in the tree and be shot, but at last thinking it best to surrender; I called to him and said "massa I will come down, do not beat me." I came down, he immediately seized me, tied me, and dragged me home. I was then tied to the whipping post, received thirty-nine lashes, and as usual, whilst the blood was running down to my heels the salt and water was applied to my lacerated back. I then had an iron collar with my master's name engraved on it, and long prongs fastened to it, put round my neck to prevent me from going into the bushes. After a little time I made another attempt to escape which proved equally ineffectual, for being again taken, I was flogged more severely if possible, than before, and placed in a dungeon, and fed for three days on bread and water, when I was sent to work in a house about a mile from the rest. While in this solitary confinement I again attempted to escape, and blessed be God, I this time effected it; I went into the woods, travelling by night and remaining concealed by day. After travelling in this manner for a few nights I saw a light at a distance; I stood for some time, fearing that I was near an enemy; I did not know what to do, for I was hungry and suffered much from fatigue, but at length I resolved to go towards the light, and there I found a friend, the only friend in the world that I knew of; he was a wild Indian, who obtained his living by hunting. He was very kind to me, and I remained with him a day, and on my departure he came with me a little way and then left me. I then travelled on till I came to the Mississippi river, and when I saw the river I was afraid; I walked along the bank towards its mouth, despairing of making my escape, and thinking of the sufferings I should have to undergo if I were again taken. In despair I was almost ready to cast myself into the river, and thus put an end to my existence, when I caught sight of a boat tied to a tree, which I gladly loosened and in it let myself float down the river, trusting in him who is able to preserve them that put their trust in him, as well on the mighty deep as on the land, even he who rules the sea, and whose will the winds obey, who also has declared that they that put their trust in him shall never be forsaken. In this manner I drifted about two days and nights, subsisting on what little I had gathered in the woods. At the end of that time, I saw a large ship, which happened to be an English vessel; the captain first discovered me with his glass, and sent the boat, with some of the crew, to render me that assistance of which I so much stood in need. They said, be of good cheer; do not fear, for as soon as you are in England you will be a free man." I then jumped into their boat and let the other go adrift. The captain the doctor, and indeed all in the vessel, behaved towards me in the kindest manner; and blessed be God, that he has at length, in his own good pleasure, rescued me from the tortures I underwent, and above all, that he has enlightened my mind, to come to a saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.

My sister who was stolen from her parents at the same time with myself, remained with me under the same master until I was about fourteen years of age, when we were separated, and I have never seen her since. Believing that she is still in bondage, it is my earnest desire and my sincere intention, as soon as I am able, to purchase her freedom, so that she as well as myself, may know and enjoy the blessings of liberty.

This is to certify, that the bearer of this, John Joseph, was picked up at sea, forty miles from the Mississippi River, by me, John Davies, by the command of the captain. He remained on board two months, and during that time his behaviour was so good, that he gained the respect and good will of the captain and the ship's crew. When we arrived in England, we raised a subscription, to which the captain and a few passengers contributed, as well as the doctor and the ships crew; and I hope he will meet with some good christian friends, who will befriend and assist him.

I can recommend him as an honest, sober, and good temper'd young man; he appears very happy that he is free from his cruel persecutors and slavery. He seems anxious to return to his native country, to communicate to his poor African brethren the true word of God, and to shew them how much the Lord has done for him, and I wish him success in his christian and honest endeavors.

JOHN DAVIES, Mate of the British Empire.

August 8th, 1843.
This finishes the narrative of one of whose sufferings we can but little conceive. The best way to bring ourselves to such an idea, is to imagine ourselves kept close prisoners, and flogged for not doing what in itself it is impossible for us to do.

Be it understood that the author's name, previous to his coming to England, was Jack Sambo; here he got baptized with the name of John Joseph. He is very fond of reading and prayer, and wishes always to be hearing of Jesus, and that under heaven there is no other name whereby he can be saved. Credit:

Fascinating History: Extracts from, ‘Thoughts and Sentiments’ by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano about his kidnapping from Fantiland and subsequent enslavement in Grenada then England

I was born in the city of Agimaque, on the coast of Fantyn; my father was a companion to the chief in that part of the country of Fantee, and when the old king died I was left in his house with his family; soon after I was sent for by his nephew, Ambro Accasa, who succeeded the old king in the chiefdom of that part of Fantee known by the name of Agimaque and Assinee. I lived with his children, enjoying peace and tranquillity, about twenty moons, which, according to their way of reckoning time, is two years. I was sent for to visit an uncle, who lived at a considerable distance from Agimaque. The first day after we set out we arrived at Assinee, and the third day at my uncle's habitation, where I lived about three months, and was then thinking of returning to my father and young companion at Agimaque; but by this time I had got well acquainted with some of the children of my uncle's hundreds of relations, and we were some days too venturesome in going into the woods to gather fruit and catch birds, and such amusements as pleased us. One day I refused to go with the rest, being rather apprehensive that something might happen to us; till one of my play-fellows said to me, because you belong to the great men, you are afraid to venture your carcase, or else of the bounsam, which is the devil. This enraged me so much, that I set a resolution to join the rest, and we went into the woods as usual; but we had not been above two hours before our troubles began, when several great ruffians came upon us suddenly, and said we must go and answer for it ourselves before him.

Soon some of us attempted in vain to run away, but pistols and cutlasses were soon introduced, threatening, that if we offered to stir we should all lie dead on the spot. One of them pretended to be more friendly than the rest, and said, that he would speak to their lord to get us clear, and desired that we should follow him; we were then immediately divided into different parties, and drove after him. We were soon led out of the way which we knew, and towards the evening […] we came in sight of a town, they told us that this great man of theirs lived there. […] I was kept about six days at this man's house, and in the evening there was another man came and talked with him a good while, and I heard the one say to the other he must go, and the other said the sooner the better. […] Next day we travelled on, and in the evening came to a town, where I saw several white people, which made me afraid that they would eat me, according to our notion as children in the inland parts of the country. This made me rest very uneasy all the night. […] After I was ordered out, the horrors I soon saw and felt, cannot be well described; I saw many of my miserable countrymen chained two and two, some hand-cuffed, and some with their hands tied behind. We were conducted along by a guard, and when we arrived at the castle, I asked my guide what I was brought there for, he told me to learn the ways of the brow-sow, that is the white faced people. […] But when a vessel arrived to conduct us away to the ship, it was a most horrible scene; there was nothing to be heard but rattling of chains, smacking of whips, and the groans and cries of our fellow-men. Some would not stir from the ground, when they were lashed and beat in the most horrible manner. I have forgot the name of this infernal fort; but we were taken in the ship that came for us, to another that was ready to sail from Cape Coast. When we were put into the ship, we saw several black merchants coming on board, but we were all drove into our holes, and not suffered to speak to any of them. In this situation we continued several days in sight of our native land; but I could find no good person to give any information of my situation to Accasa at Agimaque. And when we found ourselves at last taken away, death was more preferable than life, and a plan was concerted amongst us, that we might burn and blow up the ship, and to perish all together in the flames; but we were betrayed by one of our own countrywomen, who slept with some of the head men of the ship, for it was common for the dirty filthy sailors to take African women and lie upon their bodies; but the men were chained and pent up in holes. It was the women and boys which were to burn the ship, with the approbation and groans of the rest; though that was prevented, the discovery was likewise a cruel bloody scene.

But it would be needless to give a description of all the horrible scenes which we saw, and the base treatment which we met with in this dreadful captive situation, as the similar cases of thousands, which suffer by this infernal traffic, are well known. Let it suffice to say, that I was thus lost to my dear indulgent parents and relations, and they to me. All my help was cries and tears, and these could not avail; nor suffered long, till one succeeding woe, and dread, swelled up another. Brought from a state of innocence and freedom, and, in a barbarous and cruel manner, conveyed to a state of horror and slavery: this abandoned situation may be easier conceived than described. From the time that I was kid-napped and conducted to a factory, and from thence in the brutish, base, but fashionable way of traffic, consigned to Granada, the grievous thoughts which I then felt, still pant in my heart; though my fears and tears have long since subsided. And yet it is still grievous to think that thousands more have suffered in similar and greater distress, under the hands of barbarous robbers, and merciless taskmasters; and that many even now are suffering in all the extreme bitterness of grief and woe, that no language can describe. The cries of some, and the sight of their misery, may be seen and heard afar; but the deep sounding groans of thousands, and the great sadness of their misery and woe, under the heavy load of oppressions and calamities inflicted upon them, are such as can only be distinctly known to the ears of Jehovah Sabaoth.      Credit:

***Wow….Quobna Ottobah Cugoano was only a child when he was taken from Cape Coast …I’m thankful that his words (though painful) live on -and bring much needed insight... The following is more info about Quobna Ottobah Cugoano

Quobna Ottobah Cugoano: a Former Slave Speaks Out
Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, usually known by the shorter form Ottobah Cugoano, was born in present-day Ghana in the 1750s. Kidnapped and taken into slavery, he worked on plantations in Grenada before being brought to England, where he obtained his freedom. He was baptised as 'John Stuart' in 1773, a name he continued to use over the next fifteen years, during which time he worked as a servant to the artist Richard Cosway. While working for Cosway he wrote his Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Commerce of the Human Species, the first directly abolitionist publication in English by an African, which was published in 1787. In London, he was a friend of Olaudah Equiano, and a neighbour of Ignatius Sancho. After publishing his work, he dropped out of the historical record, and we do not know where, when, or how he died. His work; part autobiography, part political treatise, and part Christian exegesis, has an enduring legacy as the first substantial anti-slavery text written in English by an African. Despite being employed by one of the most famous artists of his day, no attested image of Cugoano survives.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

On your next visit to Ghana, why not go surfing in Busua?

Busua Inn

“In Western Region, we have a lot of surf spots. From Busua for beginners and intermediate to Cape 3 Point for good surfers. Dixcove is a very good spot only a few minutes drive from Busua. Another interesting spot in Katakor very close to Ezile Bay Village. We can easily go from there to Cape Three Point which is ranked 65th best spot of the world by Storm Rider Guide. All these spots are within less than one hour drive from Busua. We can also reach them by canoe on the ocean. In partnership with Ezile Bay Village, we can organize surf trips for any surfer from beginner to professional.”

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Lovingly designed and opened by French couple, Olivier and Danielle, Busua Inn, a small hotel in the centre of Busua on the beach -is what it is, -a collection of clean and fresh accommodation for beach and surf lovers. I haven’t visited this Inn myself but I’m interested in it for a possible swimwear shoot -as the beach and the near by (oh I sooo don’t want to share this…ok I will) Abokwaa Island looks so clean, empty (just how it should be) and very inviting.. More details about surfing in Busua and accommodation at Busua Inn visit:

Olivier & Danielle Funfschilling
P.O. Box 19 Busua via Dixcove Western Region
Mobile: 00 233 (0) 20 7373 579.
SMS: 00 233 (0) 24 308 73 54

Ezile Bay Village

Also check out Olivier and Danielle‘s other business, Ezile Bay Village, an eco-lodge close to Cape 3 Points (Southern most point of Ghana). Located in a palmtree plantation between rain forest and ocean, between villages and rivers, Ezile Bay Village is 30 km from Busua. A solar kit provides this feted beauty spot with electricity all year long .

Olivier and Danielle Funfschilling
P.O. Box 19 Busua via Dixcove Western Region
Mobile : 00 233 (0) 20 73 73 579 ou 00 233 (0) 24 308 73 54

New Hot Blog Alert: Words of Wisdom by Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, MA aka KKD

“Words of inspiration, caution, encouragement & enlightenment by KKD. Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, MA (pronounced Kwaysee Chay Da:qua) TV producer and presenter, communications director & trainer. Celebrated broadcast & event host, presenter of corporate & entertainment shows, quick-witted judge on popular West African TV show Project Fame. Delights & elevates audiences across Africa & the diaspora with wisdom, civility and style. Teaches Broadcast Production & Communication.” Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, MA aka KKD

There’s something about Kwasi Kyei Darkwah, MA aka KKD -isn’t there? Uber stylish, ever present and with something to say -always, if he didn’t exist -we, the Ghanaian nation would have to invent him!!! I don’t know him personally but I’m sure you’ve already guessed, yep -he’s a Facebook friend -and a persona (you cannot fail to notice) -I see at various events in our community and beyond. I like him and hope to see more of him on the likes of OBE TV.

I also love his style -and look forward to celebrating it in my magazine, because from his Oswald Boateng suits to his dapper collection of bold bright shirts, this peacock is always on point. But I wonder (and I’m not the only one) -what is this presenter/journalist/TV producer/communications expert carrying in his Louis Vuitton briefcase? Is he carrying gold dust from Obuasi, oil from Jubilee oil field or the latest GQ magazine (laughter)?

Whatever this warm man is carrying in his Louis Vuitton briefcase, he is presently writing a must-read-blog called, ‘Words of Wisdom’ -and its joyous. You can read it at:

***(Credit: All photos come courtesy of KKD)