Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Highlife musician, Kumi Guitar, says his quest to become a professional musician has cost him so many things, including the love of his life.

The ‘Break Into Two’ singer, known is in real life as Nana Yaw Kumi, is a taxi driver determined to combine both singing and commercial driving to earn a living.

Kumi Guitar shares his experiences with blogger Nii Ogbamey Tetteh.

When did you start singing?

I started singing from my secondary school days at Adisadel College in Cape Coast, between 2001 and 2003. During our first entertainment night, I noticed that everyone was doing his or her own thing, unlike in other schools where students imitated other musicians.

Everyone used to do their rap or sing their songs. On our first entertainment night in form one, I tried my first rap with a friend. It was successful, but I wasn’t so happy because someone wrote the rap for me. The next time, I wrote my rap, and it was successful.

Kumi Guitar
How was life after secondary school?

After secondary school, music became something I wanted to do. Even though I wanted to further my education after secondary school, things were not going well financially, so I had to drive a taxi to survive.

I was doing music alongside. Sometimes after work or before work, I went for my studio sessions. I started from Big F Studios and came to Sugar Tone Studio and other studios.

How many instruments do you play?

I play only the guitar for now.

Why did you choose the guitar?

I felt doing the highlife genre most of the time goes with the guitar. Besides, the guitar is easy to carry around, unlike some other instruments. I feel the guitar is also a magical instrument.

I also noticed that most Highlife artistes played the guitar more, even though they could play other instruments. The guitar also gives highlife a good rhythm, like the Amponsah rhythms among others.

Do you think highlife music has a future in Ghana?

In my opinion, highlife is the future. I feel highlife has been brought down by the other genres of music. It is vibrant and appealing. If there is a show somewhere and Amakye Dede should come around, you will see a lot of young guys getting up to dance together with the old people.

You can go to another show, and you will see a Hiplife artiste performing, but the old guys will sit and watch.

Most of the young guys are doing Hiplife now. We prefer Hiplife, Afro-pop and other genres. Highlife music is difficult to do because you need to learn. I feel that we don’t learn now.

The guitar is difficult to learn. How many young men will say I’m devoting my time to learn the guitar to enhance my highlife singing? We choose to go to the studio and let the engineer do everything, and then we sing and go away.

But if you have to go outside Ghana, and you can play an instrument and you also play your rhythm to tell where you are coming from, it shows who you are and where you are coming from.

What are some of the challenges you faced in music?

Coming this far has been a challenge. Sometimes I couldn’t pay my studio bills. There was a time my girlfriend, who I was with for more than four years, left me because I was doing music and no money, or nothing was happening. Sometimes I left for the studio and came back with no money.

Even though I was also doing this taxi thing, I had a dream for the music too. So she left me for a richer guy who could take her where she wanted to be in life. But my family has been great to me. They have all supported me. The challenges have been with my relationship and financing studio sessions.

Are you single?

No, I’m not.

How is your taxi business going?

It is not easy. My taxi broke down recently because I had an engine problem. So for a while now I haven’t been on the street.

How will you combine the fame and taxi business?

Personally, I’m working for Ghanaians and driving a taxi is also working for Ghanaians. Driving and singing are both services I’m rendering to Ghanaians. I would wish that I continue with the taxi job because it also brings in money. It is the same job that has fed me till now.

The only way I will be forced to stop driving a taxi is when my management tells me it is enough. But even with that I will make sure I get other taxis for people to drive for me.

What is new with Kumi Guitar?

I’m currently promoting my new single, titled ‘Scriptures’, which came out on Monday. I’m also working on my album. I have only 3 more songs to record.


PS: This article was written in August 16,  2014

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rebecca Asamoah
TWENTY-FIVE-year-old Ghanaian beauty queen, Rebecca Asamoah, was crowned first runner-up at the 2017 edition of Miss United Nations international pageant held in Kingston Jamaica over the weekend.

She beat several other contestants from different countries to come close to winning the ultimate crown which went to Olga Makhlevskaia from Russia.

Mexican queen, Irais Carbajal, also took the second runner-up position at the Saturday night event.

Rebecca Asamoah (left) on stage with other queens
It’s Rebecca’s third win in three years after she was earlier crowned Miss Ghana 2015 runner up and winner of Miss Africa Continent in South Africa.

She is the first Ghanaian queen to represent her country on the Miss United Nations stage.

Over 80 contestants from around the world took part in the Saturday pageant in Jamaica.

But Russia was adjudged winner at the end while Ghana and Mexico took the first and second runners-up positions respectively.

Miss United Nations is a humanitarian pageant which helps to better the lives of persons around the world. It identifies and showcases world’s best tourism cause ambassadors; those who have the skills, talents and personalities best suited to promote their respective countries in furtherance of tourism, international goodwill and cultural harmony.

Apart from a strong emphasis on goodwill tourism protection programmes and destinations promotion, the pageant also supports environmental protection via strategised programmes.

“I am compassionate not only for people with status and stature but for the underprivileged. I believe Miss United Nations pageant is to embark on humanitarian works to uplift women and to positively impart in the lives of people in our various societies and the world at large. I want to be a part of this family to contribute my quota in the world’s development,” the 25-year-old dental hygienist said about her decision to take part in the pageant ahead of the grand finale.

Rebecca remains one of Ghana’s successful queens.  She does not disappoint when she mounts the stage.  She is expected to return home on July 15.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Messi
Spain's public prosecutor has agreed to substitute Lionel Messi's suspended 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud with a fine.

The Barcelona superstar was given the jail term last July after being found guilty - alongside his father Jorge - of three counts of tax fraud.

It was ruled that Messi, between 2007 and 2009, defrauded Spain of €4.1million relating to earnings from image rights.

An appeal against the sentence was rejected by the Spanish Supreme Court in May.

However, Spanish news agency EFE reports that the public prosecutor has agreed to substitute the sentence for a fine of €255,000.

During the initial trial in 2016, Messi consistently denied any involvement, insisting his focus was only ever on playing football.

Source: Opera Sports

Friday, June 16, 2017

Microsoft launched the newest version of its Surface Pro 2-in-1 device today -- a convenient cross between a laptop PC and tablet. The new model comes in a 12.3-inch form factor that features a 2736 x 1824 resolution touchscreen display.

The latest iteration of the Surface Pro weighs in at just 1.69 pounds, making it attractive as a lightweight mobile device. Meanwhile, enterprises will likely appreciate the device's support for Windows Hello facial recognition sign-in feature, which should help increase security.

The new Surface Pro device also features the TPM security chip for enterprise-level security, and comes with a 5.0MP front-facing and a 8.0MP rear-facing camera. The Pro will be running a full-fledged version of the Windows operating system in the form of Windows Pro, rather than the stripped-down Windows S version Microsoft is shipping with the Surface Laptop.

More Attractive to Artists

Microsoft has upgraded the new model from Intel's Skylake architecture to Intel's more advanced Kaby Lake chip. The change is expected to improve battery life up to 50 percent, according to Microsoft's estimates. The new Surface Pro also offers accelerated 4K HEVC video decoding, and a new stylus with reduced latency and four times as many different pressure levels as its predecessor, plus new support for drawing at a tilted angle.

While the stylus used to come included with all but the cheapest Surface Pro models, users will now have to shell out extra for it, as the price of the stylus has increased to $100 from $60. For artists who plan to use the Surface Pro for drawing on the go, the pen might represent enough of an upgrade to justify the increased investment.

In fact, artists and other creative professionals seem to be the key demographic Microsoft is targeting with its latest set of upgrades. The company is also hyping the new model's improved kickstand, which allows the device to be propped up at more angles, making it more attractive as a drawing surface.

Up to 1 TB SSD

External accessories can be connected to the Surface Pro via a full-size USB 3.0 port. The line also features a microSD card reader and headset jack.

The fifth iteration of the Surface Pro comes in six different models. The entry-level edition will run you $799, is powered by Intel's Core m3 processor, and comes with 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD hard drive. Moving up to $999 will get you an i5 processor, which you can bump up to 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD for $1,299.

The cheapest model running on an i7 processor starts at $1,599 and also comes with Intel's Iris integrated graphics processor for faster photo, video, and 3D workloads. For $2,199, users can bump up the specs to a 512 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the top-line model, which comes with a 1 TB SSD, will cost $2,699.

Source: Top Tech News
EL
Rapper E.L’s Mi Naa Bo Po is doubtlessly on of the biggest hits 2015 offered us. It won him VGMA Afropop Song of the Year in 2016, and catapulted him to the topmost prize on the night.

After a long wait, the rapper has finally released accompanying visuals for the record. It was shot on location in markets and on some streets in the capital by the renowned Phamous Philms.

Born Elom Adabla, the BBNZ frontman is prepping for the release of his third solo album. His recent singles include “Agbo”, “Abaa” among others.

Source: GABRIEL MYERS HANSEN /Enewsgh

Lionel Messi
Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio believes there is no room for even Lionel Messi at the European champions.

Asensio, 21, has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants, but is expected to sign a new deal with Madrid.

Several players from Zinedine Zidane's star-studded squad are linked with switches to get more game time, including James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata.

But Asensio is happy with the Madrid squad as is, saying not even Barcelona and Argentina star Messi could be added.

"Not right now," he told Marca when asked if Messi would fit at Madrid.

"The squad is very good as it is. If we stay as we are, it's perfect."

Asensio made 23 league appearances for Madrid in 2016-17, scoring three goals.

Source: Opera Sports

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Victim of Mob Lynching

La Salem Park, Accra Ghana.  This is how it shamefully went down some years back;

Young Master Paul woke up one morning full of life. As usual he took his bath and prepared for school. When he was done, he wore his school shorts and a white singlet.

Master Paul was very close to his mother who was a trader and as such he would walk her to the lorry station - a routine that earned him some extra coins for school-.

"Ny3 Awo! when you are ready,please call me so I walk you to the lorry station. We have to continue the conversation from where we left off yesterday," Master Paul told his mum as he rushed to his room to put the Social Studies Textbook in his school bag.

In no time Master Paul's mother was done and ready to leave for work. She called for him "Paul its 5:45am. Hurry up and let's go else the queue will start bending left and right."

Master Paul and his mother setoff from the house and as usual they had their chat. "Ny3 Awo, something small for the boy? I want to buy plantain chips for snack at school today," he whispered to his mum as they approached the lorry station.

"This my son and his tricks. When you start talking like this, I know you want extra 1ghc from me to topup your 3ghc daily feeding money. If you think you are grown, we are ancient. Anyways you brighten up my morning everyday by walking me to the station and I appreciate you for that," his mother said as she reached out for the 1ghc coin from her bag and gave it to him. He put the coin in his left hand.

When they got to the lorry station, Paul help his mother get on the trotro, stood next to her window and continue their chat till the trotro was full and ready to move. He waved at her as the car moved towards the main road.

Halfway through his journey back home to pick up his school bag, shirt and leave for school, he heard a loud shout "hoo jul) oo". Before he could say 'jack', a lot of people had surrounded him and were beating him.

" Foolish boy. Small boy like you, you have started stealing," a man from the crowd said as he struck Master Paul with a Crowbar. Another landed a heavy punch,a slap and a kick to his ribs as he fell to the ground.

"What has he done? Leave the boy alone he is not a thief. I know him. I just saw him with his mother at the lorry station," a man from the lorry station yelled.

He fought his way through the mob as they continued to lynch Master Paul and managed to stop them. Master Paul was not moving, he had no pulse as well.

"What have you lot done? You have killed someone's innocent son.he didn't steal anything. I saw his mother give him 1ghc coin," pointing to Paul's left hand which he had made into a fist. He managed to open the fist and yelled with tears in his eyes "He still had the 1ghc coin in his hand as you people were beating him.what did he steal? What did he ever do to you? Are you happy now? You have killed him."

He carried the lifeless body of Master Paul, stopped a taxi, put the body in it drove off.

PS: This happened to Master Paul at La Salem Park in Greater Accra- if not in the same order that I described it- some years back. A mother lost a son and a nation lost a promising adult because of mob action. Say No to Mob lynching. Instant justice is not a good thing.

By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh

Friday, June 2, 2017

Praveen Sadalage
Busy has launched the second phase of its e-learning and social portal, JUMP.

Branded JUMP Academy, the addition to the already exciting online educational portal sees the inclusion of audio-visual materials covering various academic and professional courses put together by experienced professionals and lecturers tailored to the local curriculum.

JUMP Academy has been added to the Education category of the portal www.jump.com.gh .
Praveen Sadalage, Chief Executive Officer of Busy addressing the guests at the launch; held at the University of Professional Studies, Legon said “The JUMP Academy initiative seeks to provide students and other young professionals with the requisite courses and practical case studies through high quality recorded videos and lecture notes from experienced lecturers from University of Professional Studies (UPS) and Regent University.”

According to Mr. Sadalage, in pursuance of Busy’s vision to become the Next Generation Operator, “we are determined to accompany and empower the Ghanaian youth on their journey to acquire knowledge and to contribute to their education using information and communication technology.

JUMP Academy is easy and free to access and has no restrictions on the profiles of those who can access it. We ensure a constant updating and enrichment of the contents to allow the youth get the best out of the platform”.

He added; “We are excited to demonstrate Busy’s commitment to bridging the digital divide in education through the launch of the JUMP Academy.

The primary aim of this initiative is to align education to current trends in the ICT space, thereby complementing government’s efforts to digitise learning. Through partnerships and the numerous educational resources on the platform, we hope to fast-track education into the digital age.”

Youth Programme Manager at Busy, Joyce Danso said “a key pillar in Busy’s regional strategy is a focus on the youth segment – individuals aged 25 and under which make up 60-70% of the population.

“We find this group as an impressive pool of talent with immense capacity waiting to be developed.  Therefore, one of our main objectives is to drive the education agenda in Ghana, in line with our strategy to empower the youths”, she said.

Joyce Danso added that despite the growing access to e-learning portals, there is the demand for more.  Busy’s JUMP Academy e-learning portal is however unique in the sense that, this portal has been created with the Ghanaian student and students resident in Ghana in mind.

The educational content, lectures and case studies are based on examples we know in Ghana and can easily relate to”.

As part of the initial launch, the Academy will provide free introductory content in Information Technology (IT), French, Finance and Accounting with plans to add more courses.

“We understand that young people have the zeal and passion to learn to develop themselves in an easier and convenient way. JUMP academy therefore comes in timely to solve the challenges of traditional modes of learning and to support both regular and distance education. We are excited about the prospects of this new initiave of Busy and will call on all students to take advantage to develop themselves”, Ms Danso said.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Praveen Sadalage
4G operator Busy, has in line with its strategy to focus on empowering the youth and entrepreneurs, has organized the maiden edition of its monthly discussion series intended to focus on topical issues that will directly contribute to the growth of the SME sector.

Dubbed ‘Busy Network Series’, the first edition focused on SME driven policies and initiatives being rolled out by government, fund management, funding opportunities and how SMEs can take advantage of them.

Addressing a gathering of a cross section of SMEs at its flagship shop in Accra, Chief Executive Officer of Busy, Praveen Sadalage said Busy has always championed the course of startups and small businesses.

“From the days when we had a mixed-use facility setup where entrepreneurs without offices or formal addresses could come work out of our offices and take advantage of our business support services; we are looking to scale up our support for the SME market by further creating platforms and providing solutions that will empower them to grow their businesses”, he said, adding that the Busy Network Series will create opportunities for first hand interactions between entrepreneurs, policy makers and other relevant industry players on topics that will ultimately drive the growth of SME’s within our economy.

Mr. Sadalege added that having identified the SME market as a major growth driver of the economy; in terms of creating employment, revenue generation for government and wealth creation, it is imperative that purpose-driven Ghanaian brands like Busy see it as a responsibility to create platforms and offer support services that will support the growth of this industry.

The Director of Investments at the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Edward Ashong- Lartey re-emphasized the importance of SMEs to Ghana's transformation and growth of the economy. He said SMEs account for 25% of revenue of banks operating in Ghana.

He noted that due to government’s resolve to drive growth within the SME sector, it is rolling out several initiatives to support the sector. He mentioned that government is repositioning the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) which has been set up for SMEs and MASCLOC to support the rapid growth of the sector. He also outlined the numerous support services that the GIPC provides and advised that SMEs take advantage of these services.

Speaking on funding opportunities and fund management for SMEs, Dominic Donkoh, Head of Business and Retail Banking at OMNI Bank reminded the gathering of funding opportunities available on the market, adding that SMEs must commit to proper book keeping and take advantage of the numerous support services available to implement best financial practices within their businesses since this was key amongst other factors to accessing funding.

The Busy Network Series will come off every month and will focus on different sectors of business and topics that have direct impact on the growth of the SMEs in Ghana.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Do you ever wonder what it takes to acquire that perfect gentleman or lady look?

Looking successful and refined doesn’t take a day to master. It is a process, and definitely requires a lot of time, effort and investment.

But with these ten tips, you will surely earn a good start in the race. Not everyone has the same keen business sense like R. Yofi Grant has been blessed with, but we can all look like he does!

Tips

1. Buy a suit. It doesn’t have to break the bank, just a perfect fit and preferably a dark one. Remember to remove the tag on the sleeve. Pair it with a plain shirt, a patterned tie and cufflinks that aren’t flashy.

2. Every detail counts; select a good phone that will enable you to do a lot. Pay attention to the phone case and your ring tone.

3. Try to get a leather watch that looks good and matches your suit. If you are meeting someone and cannot be on time, just be early. Corporate executives are never late.

4. Buy a pair of good shoes that matches your suit, and care for it well.

5. Get rid of the backpack and buy yourself a briefcase or an elegant men’s bag, it conveys importance and a busy schedule.

6. Perfect grooming isn’t a leisure activity. Manicure, facial hair grooming, dental care, the whole nine yards adds to your personal brand. So start today.

7. Smile, but not as if you are hiding something. Walk in a determined manner, not fast but not slow. Walk as if you know where you are heading.

8. If you really want to look complete, get yourself a nice car that you can leverage on its brand, like a Mercedes or BMW. This isn’t necessary, though.

9. Speak with Confidence but don’t be overbearing. In a conversation, if you do not know an answer to a question, do not pretend to know. Just state confidently, “I do not know, but I will find out for you.” OpulenceConsult offers vocal branding sessions to create the vocal sound to compliment your personal brand.

10. Finally, when all is said and done, you want to be seen at the right places and with the right company. ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most of the time with’ _ Jim Rohn.
The Style Strategist

Source : OpulenceConsult

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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