Thursday, February 26, 2015

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has called for the dismissal of the National Youth Authority (NYA) boss, Ras Mohammed Mubarak, over what they claim to be a blatant disregard for the interest of Ghanaian students.

At a media briefing held at the University of Ghana City Campus on Wednesday, the executive body of the student union pointed out that Ras Mubarak had deliberately refused to engage the leadership of student youth groups in the process which led to the launch of the National Youth Policy.

According to the NUGS president, in an attempt to contact Ras Mubarak for information regarding the Authority, the latter sent him a message asking him to visit the NYA website for that information and that if the student union still had questions he (Ras Mubarak) would assign officers to address such questions.

Prosper Dzitse, the NUGS President, disclosed that the student groups take serious exception to Ras Mubarak’s demeanour and “gross display of arrogance.”

“National Youth Authority is a body that is supposed to make sure that it serves as a liaison between government and the youth of this country. We don’t believe the gentleman is doing that. Ideally, he should engage the youth of this country from the stage of formulation of the national youth policy to the stage of launching. It has not been done. We want someone who will be able to engage the youth of this country in decision making to be in that position. If he cannot engage us then we do not think he is competent enough to be there. That is why we are calling for his dismissal,” Mr Dzitse stated.

DUMSOR

Mr Dzitse expressed worry over the increasingly exacerbating energy crisis, noting that it was having a devastating effect on students and the educational sector in general.

“Teaching and learning cannot go on smoothly in our schools because of the agonising intermittent power supply which to a large extent is blamable for the poor academic performance of many students lately. It is not more unusual to see students walk long distance at night in a desperate attempt to find lights so they can study. In some cases they are compelled to study by the streets of our cities, taking advantage of the streetlights.  We ask our government, for how long should this ugly spectacle continue? Must we all withdraw from school or lose our lives before government appreciates the gravity of this crisis and do something about it,” he quizzed.

He called on government to treat the energy crisis as a matter of urgency since energy remains the number one driver of our economy.

EMPLOYMENT

The union also pleaded with organisations and employers to stop demanding for graduates with two to five years working experience on the job market since it was impossible to get fresh graduates with such experiences.

“If you do not have space to employ us say it. How can you be asking for two to five years working experience? Where does industry expect us to get such experience from as fresh graduates? Absolutely unfair, to say the least. Sacrifice some resources in equipping us with the needed technical skills and help the academia identify your needs.”


Professor Kodwo Ewusi, Dean of Graduate Studies at the Methodist University College, has called on government to rename the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, after Dr. Joseph Boakye (JB) Danquah.

He proposed UG should be called JB Danquah University of Ghana because of the late statesman’s immense contribution to the establishment of Ghana’s premier university.

Speaking at the 48th JB Danquah memorial lectures at the British Council in Accra on Monday, Prof. Ewusi, who is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (FGA), stated that Dr. Danquah put up strong arguments which persuaded the then British government to accept the majority report in establishing UG in 1984.

“Among his illustrious accomplishments was his unyielding fight to help with the establishment of the university here in Ghana in 1948. The British government accepted a minority report that they should not establish universities in all the West African States but they should establish only one university in Nigeria. Against this, Dr Danquah argued in the legislature, he also argued in seminars. Finally, the British government was persuaded to accept the majority report to establish the University of Ghana. But let me suggest here now that for this contribution, I think that the university of Ghana should indeed be called JB Danquah University of Ghana,” Prof. Ewusi recounted.

The Memorial Lecture Series was instituted in 1968 in memory of Dr. JB Danquah, who died in detention in February 1965, fighting for freedom in all its manifestations, during the reign of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

It is an annual event held to contribute actively to the development of Ghana and Africa generally by examining and addressing critical issues of development.

This year’s memorial lecture, which was under the theme, ‘Human Capital and Economic Growth in Ghana,’ brought together personalities like Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party; Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, a leading member of the Convention People’s Party and Prof. Akilakpa Sawyer, the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, among others.
At the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the overthrow of the first president of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, which was marked with a protest in Accra yesterday, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) launched a scathing attack on the National Democratic Congress (NDC), accusing it of trying to destabilize the CPP.

According to the CPP, the protest by the youth league of the party at the Obra Spot in Accra was to demand the release of the party’s assets across the country, which were confiscated after the overthrow of Dr Nkrumah in a coup d’etat led by Col. E.K. Kotoka on February 24, 1966; and also to seek justice for Ghanaians in the economic, social and political spheres.

“After the illegal overthrow of the CPP government and Nkrumah, they confiscated everything that belonged to individuals and the party and that is why we are here today. We are asking them to release our assets because we built our own party offices from our own pockets. We are not fighting for Nsawam Cannery and the rest because those ones were for the state; but these assets we are asking for belong to the CPP just like any political party would build their party headquarters. Why should we build houses and somebody else confiscates them?  It is clear the NDC does not want us to rise because they sold more of the state enterprises to themselves. I call the NDC Trojan horses,” Madam Lucy Anin, a member of the Council of Elders for  the CPP, told DAILY GUIDE  at the event dubbed, ‘Justice Protest.’

The assets include the current Ministry of Information building, the Ashanti Regional education office, the Eastern Region municipal education office and the premises of the Sunyani Regional Police Command, among others.

Ernesto Yeboah, Deputy National Youth Organizer for CPP, disclosed that the protest was part of a multi-disciplinary approach the party had planned to ensure that justice was handed to it.

“All these assets have been confiscated and then we are asked to compete freely and fairly with other political parties in an election. This is certainly not democracy but hypocrisy. We are leaving no stone unturned. As we speak, negotiations have gone on with almost every government that we have had in the 4th Republic. Our legal affairs committee is already in court and also the youth of the party present here are engaging in this massive protest all to send the message down home to the people of Ghana that injustice is being done against all of us,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Accra Central District Commander for the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent Aboagye Sarpong, who was present with a host of police personnel,  commended the CPP for following the instructions handed over to them by the police.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Gomashie, has urged the film producers to put out a true reflection of Ghana in their films in order to help project the country to the world.

The deputy minister was speaking at a three-day training programme organised by Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) with assistance from the Canadian High Commission.

She stated that sometimes the names of characters and costumes used in Ghanaian films could help a foreigner assess the country and its values.

“When you get the opportunity to write a script or stand behind a camera and you don’t paint a picture of yourself, but to reinforce the image of another person, what you are doing is building that person’s economy against yours. In my village in Aflao, we don’t dress as a queen and have beads on our foreheads and so on. But it happens in other countries like India and the rest. If I’m dressing in a film as a Ghanaian queen, it should be a true reflection of what really is so that when the queen mothers in Aflao see me, they can identify with that queen mother character and say oh yes this is us. But if I dress like an Indian queen mother, how would they identify with me? In any case, that is going to influence somebody to purchase that kind of dressing. That is not Ghanaian and by doing that I would be bringing down the Ghanaian economy,” the retired actress told NEWS-ONE.

Dzifa Gomashie added that through films countries like the United States have succeeded in creating for themselves images that most people want to be part of.

“America has created an image for itself that we all believe in and want to be a part of. Nigeria created an image of itself through the movies so much that I was afraid of going to Nigeria until I went there recently and I realised that I had never seen the image of Victoria Island in any Nigerian movie. They mostly show me only rural Nigeria and maybe the kind of things they are doing in the movies now are not even done anymore but that is the picture they have painted,” she said.

She urged the producers not to succumb to the pressures of their patrons but rather produce movies that project the true image of Ghana, which would allow us plant ourselves in the world space to ensure that our identity is protected.

“If I’m demanding something and I don’t get it, I will make do with what I have. Why should we allow ourselves to get lost in the global culture and not contribute to it? The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognise that we are not the same, that we are different and it’s beautiful. It is important for us to want to find space in the world space and also plant ourselves within it and not allow the world to swallow us up and we don’t have an identity anymore. That is my worry,” she noted.


However, Christopher Thornley, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, disclosed that he was impressed with how vibrant the Ghanaian movie industry had become, adding that there was a greater opportunity for economic development driven by the film industry.
Majid Michel and Rukky Sanda
Award winning actor Majid Michel has teamed up with Nigerian actress Rukky Sanda in an upcoming movie titled ‘If You Were Mine’.

The movie, written and directed by multiple awards winning director Pascal Amanfo, is expected to be premiered on February 21 at the National Theatre.

According to BarCo Studio, the production house responsible for the production, the movie would be a page-turner that would provide patrons a mind-blowing experience from beginning to end.

The movie is about a young man who met a mysterious lady at a nightclub and before the night ended, they both found themselves in bed.

The ‘If You Were Mine’ movie brought together a team of crème de la crème movie stars from both Ghana and Nigeria.


They include Majid Michel, Rukky Sanda, Kweku Elliott, Roselyn Ngissah, Salma Mumin and Pascal Amanfo among others.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Kojo Antwi
Music maestro Kojo Antwi emerged the first elected Management Board Chairman for the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) at Wednesday’s polls.

“I am humbled by the confidence entrusted in me by the music right owners in Ghana. I want to assure all Ghanaians and the international copyright community that from today, they will see a different GHAMRO professionally run and focused on producing results for the right owners. I am happy with the quality of persons on the board and we are ready to go,” Kojo Antwi noted in his speech at his swearing in.

GHAMRO is Ghana’s only government approved copyright organisation for music right owners in the country responsible for collecting and distributing royalties to music right owners.

Wednesday’s polls took place simultaneously in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale under the supervision of the Electoral Commission of Ghana. When the results were collated and announced,  positions for the new GHAMRO Board had been won by Nana Tuffour, Ahmed Banda (Bandex), Diana Hopeson, Mary Ghamsah, Bessa Simon, Zapp Mallet, Augustina Addison, Nana Kwaku Duah (Tic Tac), Benjamin Mensah, Manu Francis, Amponsah Seth and Reverend Francis Boahene.

However, Randy Noonoo, who contested for deputy chairmanship but lost to James Nana Tuffour, has alleged the polls were rigged and claims he has evidence that non members of the organisation were allowed to vote.

But according to Enock Agyepong, a member of the Board, it was impossible for non members to have voted in an Electoral Commission (EC) organised elections.

“In my opinion, I think he is acting as a bad loser. He is the only person complaining now. When Randy won in Accra, he was happy but he forgot Nana Tuffour’s strong hold was in Kumasi so I don’t know why all of a sudden he is complaining about Kumasi and Tamale. It is the EC that held the elections and we only supervised. Is he saying that the EC was the one who rigged the elections,” Mr Agyepong quizzed.

Results from the elections supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC) saw Randy amassing 114 votes in Accra, 34 votes in Tamale and 48 votes in Kumasi, totalling 196 votes in all. Nana Tuffour, on the other hand, got 96 votes in Accra, 147 votes in Tamale and 146 votes in Kumasi, which added up to 389 votes in all.

“If he says we had people who were not right owners voting, that is absolutely not true because there was a register provided for EC and that is what they used to conduct the elections. So I don’t know what he is talking about. It is not fair to the EC and then the interim board. He is just a bad loser that is all,” he told NEWS-ONE.

Enock Agyepong observed that the elections had a massive turnout in all regions, which in his opinion made the elections very successful.

“The GHAMRO election was very successful. For me, I was quite surprised because I didn’t expect such massive turnout. What I saw was very encouraging,” he added.
Fifty Shades Of Grey has sizzled at the box office with the best international opening for an R-rated film ever.

In North America the erotic drama earned an estimated $81.7m (£53m) in its first three days, distributor Universal Pictures said on Sunday.

In addition to destroying Valentine's and Presidents Day weekend records, it has also become the second-highest February debut ever, behind Passion Of The Christ's $83.9m opening in 2004.

The chart-topping film, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, cost a modest $40m (£26m) to produce and could be on track to earn over $90m (£58.4m) across the US's four-day holiday weekend.

"Our fondest wishes were realised," said Universal's President of Domestic Distribution Nick Carpou.

"This is one of those moments where I can speak for the entire studio and say we're celebrating."

According to Universal, North American audiences were 68% female.

Internationally, director Sam Taylor-Johnson's adaptation of British author E L James' book earned an estimated $158m (£106.6m) from 9,637 locations in 58 territories outside of the US.

It is the second biggest international opening for Universal, right behind the $160.3m debut from Fast & Furious 6, and the highest ever international opening for an R-rated film.

"Those are summer-style blockbuster numbers in February," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office firm Rentrak.

"Controversy, or at least the conversation that's created by Fifty Shades Of Grey, suddenly infuses this movie into the mainstream conversation," he added.

"They had to very carefully create a movie that was edgy, push the envelope, but without going too far to make it socially unacceptable."

Director Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth, also exceeded expectations, landing in second place with an estimated $35.6m (£23m) from 3,204 locations in the US across the three-day period, according to Rentrak.
AFRO-GYPSY musician Wanlov the Kubolor says until the issue of corruption, which pervades all aspects of society, is dealt with once and for all, the collection and distributing process of royalties by the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) would never be fair and transparent.

The issue of fairness, transparency and equity in the distribution of royalties among music right owners has been of grave concern to various musicians because the process was mismanaged in the past.

“Corruption reflects on all levels from the ground to the topmost level. When you see the ‘borla’ in the gutters and the police and the politicians being unlawful and taking monies that do not belong to them… All those things would have to be fixed simultaneously.

Unless those things are done at the same time, the royalty and music collection societies in Ghana will also be corrupt,” Wanlov told NEWS-ONE.

Wanlov disclosed that he was currently registered with the Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music in UK which enables him receive royalties anytime his music is played anywhere in the world apart from Africa.

“I’m registered with PRS in UK. With that, everywhere in the world—apart from most countries in Africa—where my music is played, PRS collects the royalties and sends them to me,” he stated.

However, the ‘Green Card’ hit maker added that most radio stations in Ghana refuse to submit their playlists and pay royalties to the international collection bodies, noting that it is against the law because it amounts to stealing from artistes.

“Most of the radio stations in Africa are illegal and they do not also report their playlist or pay the royalties for the musicians to collect with their collection agencies. As we speak, there is no one radio station in Ghana that pays royalties to any international body, which is against the law because you are stealing from the artiste,” he said.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Steve Asare Hackman
The Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) has warned transport agencies and commercial bus drivers to stop airing Ghanaian movies to passengers onboard their vehicles or be prepared to pay royalties for the films or face the wrath of the law.

Steve Asare Hackman, president of FIPAG, issued the warning and said the 2005 Copyright Law Act 690 mandates every individual who shows a Ghanaian movie for commercial purposes to pay some form of royalty to the owner of that film.

“Once a film producer registers his film at ARSOG, based upon the number of works that you have registered, the board would allocate a percentage of the royalties they collect annually to that producer. The law defines the first user as the one showing the movies for free and the second user as the one collecting money before showing the movie. The buses fall under the second users because the drivers show the movies while passengers pay to be onboard that bus; therefore they are expected to pay royalties to the producers,” Mr Hackman told NEWS-ONE.

Mr Asare said FIPAG, together with the Audio Visual Right Society Of Ghana (ARSOG) board, has instructed all commercial bus drivers who show films in their buses to pay a fixed rate annually to ARSOG.

“As we speak currently, majority of them are willing to pay but those who are not willing to pay will be prosecuted by the law. For now, the Audio Visual Right Society Of Ghana (ARSOG) board has given a flat rate to the buses. Each bus is expected to pay GH¢20 for registration and GH¢25 for royalties. Therefore, in all, each bus is expected to pay GH¢45 for the first year and GH¢ 25 in the subsequent year,” he stated.

However, the FIPAG boss admitted that though the showing of Ghanaian films in buses was a way of promoting the film industry, his administration and ARSOG were interested in the collection and payment of monies due movie producers.

“Each bus driver that registers and pays the annual levy would be given a sticker which would help us differentiate them from those who have not paid.

Because it is a law, it is empowered by the state so the police would be informed and they would mount random checks. If you are caught, you would be sent to court and prosecuted accordingly,” he noted.
Wanlov
Outspoken Ghanaian musician Wanlov the Kubolor has lamented that the worsening situation of the energy crisis in Ghana is having an adverse impact on the country’s creative arts industry.

According to Wanlov, a lot of musicians keep postponing their recording sessions and projects while entertainment events and concert organisers also keep cancelling shows due to the erratic power supply.

“Our industry is just as reliable on electricity as the food industry and so on.The ‘dumsor’ has already affected we the people in the creative industry in many ways. A lot of projects could not go on. We keep postponing our recordings because of the lights off. Some studios which record and mix daily are not able to make their money anymore because most of these studios cannot mix or record with generators and the noise it generates,” Wanlov told NEWS-ONE.

“Recently I was on Yaw Sakyi’s Basketball show on TV3 and the lights went off three times during the transmission. The incident affected the production because they lost some time and I’m sure they lost some viewers too who would change their TV sets to a different channel,” the ‘Beatrice’ hit singer recounted.

The barefoot-walking musician recommended that in this part of the world where there is constant sunlight, it was about time estate developers and the government incorporated solar panels into their designs so that individuals could generate power by themselves.

“In this part of Ghana, we are struggling with electricity. All these new buildings, estates and complexes, they need to start incorporating solar panels into their designs so they can power themselves and not have to connect to the national grid because these generators are polluting the environment,” he stated.

The power crisis has intensified in recent times, with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) now providing most Ghanaians with only 12 hours of electricity.
Controversial celebrity lovebirds, Elikem Kumordzie and Pokello Nare, are at it again, months after reports that their relationship had hit the rocks.

NEWS-ONE cameras caught the two lovebirds last Friday evening when they stepped out in style, holding each other’s hands and taking selfies in public while doing what lovers do.

It was the first time Eli and Pokello were seen in public after reports of their break-up late last year. It would be recalled that late November 2014, reports went viral that they had broken up.

Elikem Kumordzie was widely reported to have confirmed on his Twitter account that he had a four year sexual relationship with the wife of celebrated footballer Nii Odartey Lamptey.

Just when the news was spreading, another alarming comment appeared on the Twitter page of Elikem’s lover, Pokello: “Can some1 ask Gloria Lamptey where she was when Elikem proposed? +233 23 323 3871 stop calling and txtn my fone.46yrs old r u not ashamed?”

Elikem, in a response to the growing media reports, gave a rather confusing explanation of how the tweets got on his wall and said he had never confirmed to have had a sexual relationship with the wife of the Ghanaian footballer.

Elikem’s response suggested that his lover Pokello was behind the tweets and that she was doing that to suit her interests.

He continued with another tweet : “1. who opened my account while I was in the BBA house? 2. Therefore who has my passwords? Q and A.”

Though Elikem wanted the public to believe his account was hacked, he fell short of giving details and seemed to have taken control of the same account, from where he threw jabs at a section of the media who broke the story based on the alarming tweets on his wall.

Surprisingly, all the ‘revealing’ tweets on Elikem’s wall were deleted and the ones on Pokello’s wall were also deleted.

The two, however, were seen together last Friday when they attended the premiere of 30 Days In Atlanta at the Silverbird Cinemas in Accra, and their body language was an obvious signal to those who care that their love is still waxing strong.

Elikem, who represented Ghana at the 2013 edition of Big Brother Africa, surprised Ghanaians, Africans and perhaps the world when he officially proposed marriage to Pokello on live TV during the 15th edition of Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs) in Accra.

They watched the new movie together and spent a little time to grant a photo shooting opportunity to their fans.

Meanwhile Friday’s premiere of 30 Days In Atlanta attracted overwhelming numbers.

Among industry personalities at the event were Ramsey Nouah, Lydia Forson, Desmond Elliot, AY, Juliet Ibrahim, Fred Nuamah, Chichi Neblett and others.


By Francis Addo      (Twitter: @fdee50 Email: fdee500@yahoo.com)
Reggie Rockstone 
HIP-LIFE legend Reggie Rockstone says Ghanaian musicians and music right owners have become very vigilant on issues pertaining to the distribution of royalties by the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO).

Reginald Rockstone Ossei was part of the several music right owners who pledged to ensure fairness, transparency and equity in the distribution of royalties among musicians in Ghana.

“Right owners and musicians in Ghana have become vigilant. If you see the way things are moving then you can tell that people really want to make things right,” Reggie Rockstone told NEWS-ONE.

Speaking on the recent incident in which Gyedu Blay Ambolley led a team of other musicians to lock up the offices of GHAMRO because they felt the interim board had outstayed their term, Rockstone stated that though the group was misinformed, the intent for the act was a positive one.

“I know Uncle Ambolley and I know his integrity. When you know the person and his integrity then you know the intent was on a positive side,” he said.

The interim board was instructed by a Human Rights Court to stay in office till they successfully hold elections to appoint a permanent board for GHAMRO.

Rockstone added that he was sure Ambolley meant no harm because he (Ambolley) was very passionate about setting things right at GHAMRO.

“Uncle Ambolley is really passionate about the course and I know this.He wants to set things right so I think it was definitely a misunderstanding,” he disclosed.

Reggie Rockstone, who is currently a member of the VVIP music group, indicated that the series of events which took place to get the interim board at GHAMRO into office were part of a revolution which was meant to unite musicians.


“There was a revolution and revolutions unite. There are going to be misunderstandings, suspicions and all of the above but what motivated the revolution is really well supported,” he noted.
Doreen Andoh
The lady with a charming voice on radio, Doreen Andoh, host of Joy Fm’s mid-morning show, Cosmopolitan Mix, has become the latest celebrity to add her voice to the growing complaints over the erratic supply of electricity in the country.

Doreen has said the current situation has been giving her “high blood pressure.”

She told her listeners on Monday that she had not had electricity for three days with absolutely no explanation from the power suppliers.

“…Let’s not deal with ECG because it does get my high blood pressure on,” Doreen added.

“Try to think positive at least, try to stay right. So definitely we take you through an exciting morning, we inspire, we educate and we entertain. Thinking positive isn’t about expecting the best to happen every time but accepting that whatever that happened is the best for this moment,” she further said when she started her programme on Monday.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has now started implementing a 24-hour power rationing plan. Under the new schedule, customers are expected to experience 24 hours power outage (lights off), popularly called ‘dumsor’ in the local parlance, and have power restored for the next 12 hours.

It is the first time in the country’s history that people have to experience power outage for as long a period as 24 hours and also the longest period of load shedding – since May 2012 to date.

By Francis Addo (Twitter: @fdee50   Email: fdee500@yahoo.com)
Gyedu Blay Ambolley
Veteran musician Gyedu Blay Ambolley has made his intentions clear that he wants the interim board of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) thrown out of office.

According to Ambolley, the period allocated to the interim board –made up of Enoch Agyepong, Nana Aboagye Dacosta and Kwame Nsiah Apau, also known as Okyeame Kwame- by the court had elapsed, therefore he saw no reason why they were still in office.

Ambolley, together with Ekow Micah and C.K. Morrison among others, led a team of right owners to close down the GHAMRO offices but were disallowed by the police.

“We wanted to close down the office because the time that was allocated to the interim board has elapsed.

If the administration’s time is up why are they still there,” he quizzed on Peace FM’s Entertainment Review.

Last year, a Human Rights Court setup the interim board to operate for six months, with the task of receiving, managing royalties on behalf of the right owners and seeing to the appointment of a permanent board for GHAMRO.

However checks by this paper confirmed that though the six months allocated to the board had elapsed, the court had extended their term of office and instructed that the interim board continue to operate till they have completed the tasked they were instructed to carry out.

Meanwhile, the interim board would hold elections to elect a permanent board on February 11.
Eugenia Mawuena Adjoa Tachie-Menson
VLISCO Ambassador Eugenia Mawuena Adjoa Tachie-Menson, the brain behind the popular Scripps Spelling Bee competition organised annually for primary kids around the country, has made very interesting revelations about her life, career and her thoughts on the educational structure in Ghana in an interview with NEWS-ONE.

In this interview, she shares with NEWS-ONE how she manages her life as the brand ambassador of VLISCO, runs her Young Educator’s Foundation NGO and plays her role as a wife and mother.

How was growing up like?

It was good and it was also educative. I grew up without access to TV and I keep saying that because television plays an important role in the development of a child. A child is influenced by whatever they see, do or have access to. I had access to books and BBC radio so I always seemed ahead of my contemporaries. But obviously back then, I thought it was not cool that I will grow up without TV. My schoolmates would be talking about TV programmes in school and I couldn’t share with them in the joy. Sometimes I had to play along.

Growing up with no access to TV, did you feel you were being punished?

It felt short-changed. But today when you sit back and look at it, you realise that it was for the best. My life is really not dependent on electronic media. What I can’t live without is access to books. I should know that there is a library or a place nearby that I can grab books to go and read.

What was the first media house you worked with?

Joy FM. I did a bit of radio personality and then I moved into promotions and events. I worked at Joy FM for seven or eight years.

How was the experience?

It was good. It was my founding years. You may ask how that is directly connected to what I do now. I know how to speak and I know how to write especially press releases and basically communication skills. Sometimes it is not really about what you are studying, unless it is the very defined professions like medicine or law. But if it is anything in between, school is just meant to open up your mind and give you foundation. The rest is really dependent on you. I started out wanting to be a lawyer before deciding I wanted to be a Public Relations Officer and now I work with children. I love working with children, I just never thought I could do it this way.  

 The point I’m trying to make is that you really need to make use of whatever opportunities you have  when you have it. For example when I was offered Journalism when I went to Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), I didn’t want it so I left it for a year. I came back the following year and I was offered the same thing. I didn’t want to be on the street reporting and I didn’t want to do hard news. But studying Journalism has helped me in terms of communication skills and there is a bit of PR in there as well. Anything that comes your way, you must learn it because it will come in handy. I also have this controversial thought that for those of us who are studying academically should learn a skill outside of academia.  Because one day you could end up becoming something technically far from what you thought you wanted to do. A skill is with you for life.

Do you plan on going to Radio someday?

I don’t plan but I have been toying with the idea. The reason is, I think that our children need a voice on radio or in the media. There are no outlets for our children because we think that they have nothing to say. I think that a lot of the media houses, when they are defining their demographics, it is always 30 plus, young working people, among others. But do you know how much influence a 9-year-old has on what his mother should buy? I tell you, it is a market that is being overlooked and everybody thinks ‘oh let’s wait till they get old’.

For me socially, I think that there is nothing creative for children. Our society is one that we don’t even have a national Christmas party where children can turn up and just have a good time. There is nothing for children, and in my opinion, the media is also found guilty there. I think that Saturday mornings should be dedicated to children. There are a lot of children out there who have things they want to share but because they have busy parents, no one is listening to them.  Children are a gift or conscience of a society. The way you treat your children is the way they will treat you when they grow up.  If we start creating avenues for our children to be vocal, heard, seen, display their talent and have fun, when that child grows he or she will reciprocate. It doesn’t take a lot; an hour on a Saturday morning can do something. From Monday to Friday we are all talking politics, commercials and business. When do we make time for our children? The fact that it has been or it is, does not mean that when it is not right it can’t be corrected.

Talking about kids, I hear you run an NGO for kids. Tell us about it.

The NGO is Young Educators Foundation. Our mission is to promote education and prove that learning can be fun and it is not limited to the classroom. Learning happens on a daily basis.

What is the inspiration behind the NGO?

A lot of reasons: I love children and I always want to be around them.  We are a society that would report politics, entertainment and football. We now have every Senior High School graduate wanting to be a rap star but not every one of them will make it; and if you don’t, what skill or educational background do you have? And that is what bothers me. That is what kicked me into it. 

How is the NGO going so far?

I am happy with the fact that there is recognition and acknowledgement so people know about our biggest programme.  On the down side, there is not enough funding even within cooperate Ghana. A lot of the organisations say they support education and would probably build a classroom block –which is awesome- but I say it must be total. When you build the classroom block, we need to empower the children. You don’t build the block and children will go there and at the end of the day they can’t write their own names. If children who were being taught under trees were being given the best of education -content wise- and you have a group of children in a classroom who don’t have a teacher, which would you go for? It is controversial but which will you go for? I would rather sit under the tree and get the best of content.

I think that we need to review what we mean by supporting education. It doesn’t mean that at the end of the year, you go and throw a party for some children somewhere or give them books and leave it at that. I don’t think so; I think that it must go beyond. Those of us who find ourselves in what is now referred to us the middle class, look at how much you give your children in terms of education, then you ask yourself that that squatter leaving next to you, whose child plays with your child when you are not around, do they have the same access to education? If they don’t, it must worry you because we are all Ghanaians.

If you look at the lot of the problems that we are facing in this country, you would always trace it to our educational challenges. It sound like a cliché but education is the key to every problem.

What are some of the challenges you face running your NGO?

First, it would be funding.  Second challenge is acceptance of what our mission is. We are on a constant PR campaign explaining to people that there is a correlation between learning the rudiments of spelling and passing your exams for example. The third challenge is also the lack of parental support. Parents seem to think that if they pay for a programme or school fees then that is the end of their job so they don’t get involved. As a parent you must know what your child is learning and be there with them.  But they are challenges and we will get over them. It is a constant practice. 

You are the brain behind the Scripps Spelling Bee – of the US- competition in Ghana. What was the motivation behind it?

Well basically it was my love for children and the fact that there was no programme for children running. I loved how the Scripps Spelling Bee celebrates children. The top prize for the best speller at the international level is $30,000 and then they get scholarships. It really places premium on children and education. So I thought that this is a programme that we should expose our children to.  You may not make so much but the exposure, going out there and knowing that you are the only one flying the flag for the country. Regardless of how you perform, it is an honour that some will never get. It is about time we started being myopic about education and learning and being open-minded. Can you imagine the day a Ghanaian child will win at Scripps Spelling Bee? Do you know what it will say about our educational system and the country? I can’t wait for that day and it will happen.

How do the kids relate to the programme?

I wish you could ask the kids themselves but I think they love it. Initially, some of the children seemed a bit scared about spelling those big words but for me, what I have seen over the years is that when we started, it was considered a girl’s programme but as of this year out of 82 finalists, we have more boys, which I am happy about. Lots of the parents do not know me but I say ‘do and ask your child’ and the kids go like ‘oh I know the Spelling Bee woman’. I think that is a testament of how well the programme has been received by the children.

When did you become VLISCO Ambassador?

I was nomination was in 2013 and I was made ambassador on April 5, 2014. It has been awesome and actually I’m in my last leg. I will be handing over soon. I have learnt a lot about local African fabric –I have always been a lover of it though. The highlight of my winning the ambassadorship was a trip to Holland- the home of VLISCO- to learn about how the fabrics are made and history of VLISCO. One thing I like about VLISCO is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that the end customer is very pleased.

What are all the things you have going on? How does your family cope with your tight schedule?

The rest of my family, fortunately, are all passionate about education and love what I do. Yes, it does pull me away a lot but I got to be honest, something that I haven’t been able to say is that in a lot of times when I’m not able to access funding, it is my family I rely on and I’m grateful to God that I have that kind family. They totally support what I do, especially my husband.

How do you find time between work and family?

I’m actually a social butterfly so I have learnt to adjust. I love social events, I like going out. My mother helps me with the babysitting. It is not easy definitely…on some day… I can’t be at work or I have to be at a program and so I miss work but what I try not to do is not to miss any family engagement. There is nothing like having it all or if you are going to have it all, bear in mind that something has to be sacrificed along the line.  You at that time need to decide which one has to be sacrificed. If you try to have it all, you probably will breakdown or whatever you are working at will not work.

Thank you very much for your time

Thank you too for the interview.


By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh (email: ogbameytetteh@gmail.com , twitter: @ogbameyteteh)
A US barber is offering to give naughty children an 'old man' haircut; short back and sides - and bald on top.

'Rusty' Fred, of Atlanta, calls the distinctive style the 'Benjamin Button Special' and says it's a novel way to discipline children.

He posted this image of the child to Instagram and has since become an online hit.

Fred told the Washington Post: "There are a few people that are saying it's emotional abuse; but on average, everyone is applauding the mother that brought the child in - and applauding me as well.

"When you go to discipline kids these days, they can't necessarily use physical punishment the way parents did in the past, but they have to do something.

"If you don't, and your kid ends up doing something crazy, everyone is going to say the problems started at home."


Source: Orange News
Shirley Frimpong Manso
Ace movie director Shirley Frimpong Manso has said her upcoming project, Grey Dawn, is not just meant to entertain and tell a story but also to make a couple of strong statements to draw attention to some pertinent issues bothering society.

Shirley said one of her biggest statements she intends to make with the movie is the fact that “family is important.”

“The other statement is also about how important the family is. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to protect your family.

“Another statement is also about women and how much we give up….and then generally the society. You know politics and where it can take you and how it drives you and how you try to cover up things to please people when in fact your house is falling apart,” Shirley said at the movie’s media preview on Tuesday.

Grey Dawn is produced by Ken Attoh and directed by Shirley and is expected to open for the public and movie fans on Friday, February 13 at the Silverbird Cinemas, Accra Mall.

It will subsequently premiere at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology.

It tells the story of a government minister, Harold, played by Nollywood’s Manuel Bimbo, who must choose between using his position to help his father-in-law, Kweku Yanka (Kofi Middleton Mends), stay out of jail for tax evasion or allow the law to take its course.

His decision sets in motion a chain of events which lure him into committing the one sin that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

The CEO of Sparrow Production has said family comes first for some persons in society, if not the majority. They could go any extra mile to do things, even out of the remits of the law, just to protect their families and that she explored that in the upcoming movie.

Grey Dawn features popular actors Bimbo Manuel, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Kofi Middleton Mends, Marlon Mave and a host of others, including new entrant Sika Osei.

Shirley said the script was written some five (5) years ago but her production decided to shoot it now.

By Francis Addo (Twitter: @fdee50  email: fdee500@yahoo.com)
Socrates Sarfo
Filmmaker Socrates Sarfo has called on the Attorney General’s office and lawmakers in the country to review punishments given to celebrities or public figures who commit menial crimes.

According to the ‘Hot Fork’ moviemaker, celebrities or public figures who are jailed for smoking marijuana could be influenced negatively by other hardened criminals they meet in prison.

“Sometimes certain crimes do not make you dangerous to society. If someone uses narcotics like marijuana, should that person be put in a confined area in which the environment or the people in there can motivate (sic) him or her negatively?

Don’t we know that sometimes we make society create negative human beings into the system?” Mr Sarfo quizzed on Peace FM’s Entertainment Review.

He stated that it was about time the courts considered sentencing certain individuals –depending on their crimes- to doing community service which in turn would benefit society directly.

“Psychology teaches us that show me your friend and let me show you your character. You can spend just a day with a person and he or she will succeed in changing your behaviour or your perception on something. I’m taking it through this medium to the Attorney or whoever is listening that we beg, they should take these things into consideration.

Sometimes depending on the crime or offence of the individual, he or she should be made to do community service like cleaning gutters or something. In other countries we see these things,” he said.

Currently several celebrities like Kwaw Kese and Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD), among others, have found themselves in the firm grip of the law.

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About Me

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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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