Do What You Say You Will Do...

You know, I think learning to forgive is one of the hardest things we can do but what tops it a ga-zillion times over is just getting over it. Maaaan, that really is one of the things I struggle with and it's really sad because whatever it is you are refusing to get over is only blocking YOU!

This little grain of wisdom has been told to me in a number of ways including my big sis screaming it at me on one occasion. She said that when I recount stories from the past my emotions at the time come to the surface and it is obvious that I haven't really dealt with whatever the issue was. Up until now my take on this was always deny, deny, DENY. But how can I continue to argue with the truth when it's killing me inside?

There are so many people who I'm sure need an apology from me for fuckeries i've done to them, or that they feel I have done. It's inevitable, as inevitable as the fact that I feel I need certain apologies in order to move on with my life. Today, I've been a bit quiet, just thinking...a lot (ladies, u know how dangerous that can be!). For anyone who knows who Nsoromma is, who I have honestly offended, I hope to God that you know I'm sorry. But more than that I do truly hope that these people can move on and whatever it was does not block their growth into the beautiful person God intended them to be. In the same way, though it's bloody hard and I know there will still be days I cry, i'm going to finally do what I say i will do and let it all go.

I hope that everyone else can do the same,

Love You All,
Nsoromma...COTH xXx


How does a modern woman survive in this Jungle of life? Where can she find time to be and do all the things she has to?
She's cooking low-salt high-fat nutritious, delicious and balanced meals for the boy, low-fat low-salt, reduced this, reduced that for her mother, will go to Canterbury three times a week, find someone to pick up said boy from nursery and Lord let's not even mention her diet (next week promise!), she hardly has time to take a bath, eek! PRESSURE!

This is a question I'm starting to ask myself, I'm a mother, a graduate, a masters student and..... BROKE! Trust me, I was living the dream, "popping" into Topshop here, H&M there, until about two weeks ago, when I realised that all those £1.50 potted flowers I was buying from Lewisham market (amongst a myriad of other things) were NOT actually going to be any help in trying to pay for the three-to-eight years of education I was considering (masters x2, phD then world domination, oh and somewhere in there marriage and more children). So the next few days will see me writing to numerous charities who might help if I fulfil the requirements which range from living in Lewisham borough to aiming to study in Turkey, and other such randomness.
Blimey! and as if that's not enough I've got baby-daddy's mama drama fresh from le Diamant, Martinique, if this woman doesn't stop telling me my child is 1.fragile, 2. at danger from sitting in his pram or 3. retarded because he's not walking yet, I'm going to have to go up at the next altar call --- Jeeeeesus forgive me!

Anyway, yeah that's all, I was trying to not rant on this blog, and that's partly why I haven't written for ages (partly - don't hit me Nsromma and Sankofa), but it's all I've got. I'm going to make a cuppa and watch Monk now.
I'm rinsing Hillsong's 'Desert Song' right now because this a dry patch but you know These dry bones will live!

"All of my life in every season you are still God I have a reason to sing"

Good day to you all

On The New US Stance (read: Obama's Wish List)

Yesterday at the UN General Assembly, Obama made another typical Obama speech...cooperation...yada ya...responsibility...yada ya...make a change. Now from the way I've written this you would think that I either do not like the man or object to his ideas and reforms, right? Wrong! I applaud the man for what appears to be a genuine passion to affect a change within a world which is for the most part unchangeable--from within one of the world's most conservative Western nations. Ordinarily, I would be like, 'well, gee-whizz that sure is a big task he's set upon himself' and happily turn around and go about my daily business as usual.

However, I think that this typical stance of mine will not suffice. I feel for Obama, really I do. I mean the tasks before the guy are immense, and after watching Newsnight I felt compelled to collect my thoughts and re-evaluate the way I look at things. Apathy is one of the things killing our world as a whole, knowing this how can I continue to be apathetic in response to what Obama is trying to do?

It has always annoyed me (not just me either!) the way that the US has become the world's self-appointed, thoroughly-corrupt police force. They pick their fights according to what is at stake for them and this should not really be the motivation behind 'humanitarian' action. While this annoys me, as somewhat of a realist, I can appreciate that this is what a sensible nation should do to some degree. Obama is right when he says that his nation have collected a lot of enemies because of this stance, particularly in the last couple of decades. But he is also right when he points out that an end to unilateral US action should be met by other powerful nations taking up their slack.

While the early indications are that the world's Western press is applauding the signals that Obama is sending, by backing down from the mantle of international hegemony and 'coming back into the fold' to become a team player, I wonder what this can ever truly mean. Liberal that he is, his country do not seem to be backing him and a divided leader (i.e with a divided support base) can never stand. It's funny that as despised as Bush was around the world, he was deeply loved by 'the right people' at home, so he could afford to screw up elsewhere. While providing states like Iran and North Korea with the archetypal 'evil Western leader' upon whom they could declare war. Obama is in a truly impossible situation, he does not have the luxury of that solid home base and therefore, like Clinton before him (to some degree), the reality of what he can do is limited. Further to this, Bush was an obvious known to his enemies. What dictator worth his mustard is going to trust Obama? They are caught between wanting to show him up and a lack of belief that the US will ever relinquish their total international control and effectively engage with them. And the sad thing is that everyone knows this. Facing unprecedented and difficult situations is standard for high-level leaders but that doesn't make the actual situation any easier.

The speech outlined a new direction in US foreign policy which is a direct 180 from his predecessors' unremittingly unilateral stance. Obama, much as he has done at home, is advocating multilateralism, cooperation and consensus in facing nuclear proliferation, climate change and terrorism. Important issues and definately options everyone should consider as a viable way forward in international politics. An honourable, and dare I say, heroic stance to take by the US President. This kind of change deserves at the very least an atypical reaction from this particular jaded follower of politics. And for what it's worth I salute what he's trying to do while all the time realising that the vultures are circling. But is this just Obama's wish list of unrealisitic goals and dreams?

Listen here for yourself to judge:

Nsoromma...COTH xXx

Further media coverage:

Cadbury's and Ghana

I was happily watching The X-Factor this past Saturday whilst simultaneously on the phone to Nsoromma, when I happened to glance up at an advert on the t.v screen. It was the beat in the background that caught my attention and it was the people dancing that held it.

Sankofa: I swear down those people on the telly look Ghanaian. One of them even looks like Tinny...
Nsoromma: Tinny? Are you sure? What advert was it for? Let me check it on youtube.
Nsoromma: Oh my God! It is Tinny!

So here's the advert I saw below. It basically reinforces Cadbury's supposed commitment to ethical sourcing of fairtrade chocolate etc. etc. I'm just happy our people are doing big things! The video was well done and everybody looked happy. But that damn head still freaks me out....

What Was She Thinking?!

I just saw this over on The YBF and just had to share. Victoria Rowell, best known for her roles as Dr. Amanda Bentley on Diagnosis Murder and Drucilla Winters on the soap The Young and the Restless, decided to wear this to yesterday's Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. I'm all for promoting African design because quite frankly it's about time our designs started gaining recognition worldwide. However, the famed Obama cloth that already seemed to divide opinion in Ghana is not for the red carpet. Agree? Disagree?

Flashback to the 90s:1999

We've been reminiscing hard over here on Life... and Living It lately and we thought it was only fair we share. We're working our way back through the 90s and highlighting some of our favourite/ seminal songs year by year. Hope you too enjoy this trip down memory lane. First stop- 1999! In no particular order:

1. Big Pimpin- Jay-Z ft. UGK
No party was complete in 1999 without this song. This was back when Jay-Z swore he'd "never give his heart to a woman" (pre-Beyonce) and he and Dame Dash were tighter than Rick Ross in lycra. Still a banger imho.

2. So Anxious- Ginuwine
Biiiiiiiig tune from Mr. Elgin Lumpkin! He had/ has the "baby hair" game on lock! Timbaland had already started trying to rap over his artists' songs and baggy leather trousers were really having the best year ever...

3. Everyone Falls in Love- Tanto Metro and Devonte
Reggae jam of the year. Hands down! Another one that everybody still grooves to

4. Girl On TV- LFO
How 90s can one possibly get in this song? Boyband? Check! Appearance by wholesome TV star? Check! White boys rapping? Check! For real though this was a summer jaaaaaam and it still brings images of warm sunshine to my mind.

5. What's It Gonna Be?!- Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson
This Hype Williams directed video was the most expensive video at the time, costing approximately $2 million dollars. Ten years on the video remains visually stunning.

6. Unpretty- TLC
Forget No Scrubs and Bills, Bills, Bills, Unpretty was the true female empowerment anthem of 1999. R.I.P Left Eye.

7. If You Had My Love- Jennifer Lopez
J-Lo before she was "J-Lo". Before Puffy. When she used to dance. Before she decided not to actually act in her films. Come back. We miss you. (Look out for C.S.I Miami's Adam Rodriguez- "Eric"- in  the vid)

8. Breathe And Stop- Q-Tip
Nobody could touch Hype Williams for videos this year. Q-Tip had us all nodding our heads like fools. I bet you're doing it now....

9. What These Bitches Want- DMX ft. Sisqo
The antithesis of the female "empowerment" songs of the late 90s. Earl Simmons broke it doooooown. "There  was Brenda; Leticia; Linda; Felicia; Dawn; LaShawn; Arnes and Alicia; Theresa; Monica; Sharon; Nikki; Lisa; Veronica; Karen; Vicky... about 3 Kims!

10. You Owe Me- Nas ft. Ginuwine
A slight cheat as the video wasn't released until 2000 but this song still gets people on the dancefloor. It's an integral part of the "old school jams" set they always play in clubs. With a cameo from Destiny's Child (v2.0), "Nasty Nas" had us all dancing to the sick Timbaland beat.

11. Meeting In My Bedroom- Silk
12. 808- Blaque
13. Colourblind- Counting Crows
14. This Luv- Donnell Jones
15. Get It On Tonight- Montell Jordan
16. I Try- Macy Gray
17. I Wanna Be The Only One- Eternal
18. Maria Maria- Carlos Santana ft. The Product G&B 
19. I Want It That Way- Backstreet Boys
20. Bills Bills Bills- Destiny's Child

Wow I just realised just how much booty was being shook in the videos of '99. I thought the videos these days were bad....

Welcome to Ghana!

Akwaaba! This is the word on every Ghanaian's lips as a display of how welcome you are in their territory. Touching down in Kotoka International Airport for the first time in ten years presented us with quite an unforgettable akwaaba experience.

Firstly, after ten hours on the plane - yes ten, not the promised six - the aeroplane's wheels finally hit Ghanaian soil, (note to self: Ghanaians are seldom on schedule) and we were ready to begin our holiday in the Gateway to Africa. Or were we?

What is a Ghanaianism? In my definition, a Ghanaianism is that peculiar thing, a way of thinking, a type of methodology which makes sense to nobody else except for Ghanaians. At Kotoka International, we were hit by an obstacle course of Ghanaianisms. Here goes...

Ghanaianism no. 1: Immigration. The immigration officers were catching a feeling off me and Keera. Yes I tell you, those officers get the first pick of women who enter the country. They greeted us with  "are you married?" while nonchalantly looking over our passports. I could be carrying Michael Jackson's passport for all they cared!

Ghanaianism no. 2: After immigration control, we were immediately faced with a big Akwaaba sign which also read, "Ghana does not welcome paedophiles and other sexual deviants". I learned right there and then that Ghanaians do not beat about the bush.

Ghanaiansm no. 3: Collecting our luggage from the circular conveyor belt was a task in itself. If I'm standing in a spot trying to get my bag, why cut in front of me without saying "excuse me" first, especially when your bag is nowhere near where I am standing? Silly me for thinking some politeness principles were universal! 

Ghanaianism no. 4: One word says it all. CUSTOMS. We were ordered to open our suitcases for inspection. "What are these things for?" we were asked.  "My family" responded I. "Are you sure?" Well, duh! Then he asks again, "what are these things for?" (By this time, I was getting mildly annoyed, but in hindsight, we did have the whole world and its mother in there. I'm talking suits, bags, tins of tuna, ipods etc. Note to self: if you are Ghanaian, NEVER EVER EVER tell your family you are travelling to Ghana. They will definitely make sure that all 46 kilos of your baggage allowance and your hand luggage is filled up!) Anyway, after being asked for the third time what the things in my suitcase were for, I 'fessed up, "half are gifts and the other half will be sold in my auntie's shop".  Ooops! "You have to pay duty then", he replied coolly. Really? I actually though he was joking. "Come on Keera, let's go". I later found out that Mr. Officer was far from joking, and had just let us go without paying out of good will.

Ghanaianism no. 5: Just when we thought escape to freedom could actually be a possibility, we were slapped by another obstacle in this long obstacle course. The next thing is the official border, which once crossed meant you were officially in the Republic of Ghana. Keera was able to step over the border - no questions asked. But me on the other hand, yes, you guessed it, was stopped. "You don't have baggage stickers on your suitcases" he offered. Well duh! They only got ripped off by Mr. Customs when he insisted on opening our suitcases!! (These stickers, which are put on your bags from London have a number. The same number is stuck onto your boarding pass, so when you arrive, the sticker helps to identify you with your bag.) I was pissed by this time. My general mindset was: Great! my light skinned friend gets authorisation to cross over. Well excuse me for having black skin! But it turned out that I got stopped because I was pushing the trolley stacked high with our suitcases, while Miss Yellow Skin was only carrying our two hand luggages. 

Ghanaianism no. 6: Last but not least, Ghanaianism no. 6 cracks me up the most. Imagine workers, not employed by the airport, but  self appointed, who busy themselves with loading your bags into your waiting car. I was wondering why they were being so helpful, until they said to us "tip us" (tr. pay us) Paaaahaaa!! talk about self employed! Well, needless to say, they quickly scuttled away when I replied "ask my uncle".

What can I say? after all this is Ghana, the Gateway to Africa!

Flashback of the Day: Common ft. Lauryn Hill- "Retrospect For Life"

An honest look at the emotions a man goes through when his girlfriend tells him she's pregnant. With samples of Donny Hathaway's A Song For You and Stevie Wonder's Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer, the lyrics speak for themselves. (Come back Lauryn!)

Do You Love Your Vagina?

Well I do and I believe most people in the world also love vaginas.Whatever you choose to call them: vajayjays; pussies; fannies; coochies and the like, who doesn't love them? They are the source of much pleasure and the porthole of life. However, there clearly some in this world who do not have the same respect for vaginas as I do. I'm talking about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Specifically about FGM in Ghana. I don't know about you but I was shocked when I discovered that FGM was practised in areas of Ghana. I've long been aware of the process of FGM in countries all over the world, particularly in Asia and Africa, but (call it ignorance) I was unaware that this practice was present in my beloved Ghana.

For those of you who aren't aware of what FGM is, it is the practice of female circumcision which often includes the removal of the clitoris and the removal of the outer and/or the inner labia. This usually occurs at a very young age with the consent of the female's parents/ guardians. It is supposedly carried out for religious/ cultural reasons.

Firstly, looking at the physical aspect of this, it is not safe. This isn't carried out in a sanitary hospital somewhere, but usually in the home of the older female who performs the procedure. In many communities this older female is held in high regard because of the work she does. Excessive bleeding is the norm with risks of serious infection and in the very worst cases, death occurs. Some forms of FGM (infibulation) involve stitching the vaginal opening closed with only a tiny hole left for the expulsion of menstrual blood. In these cases, the usual risks of childbirth are greatly heightened along with the risk of suffocation of babies in the womb. I feel squeamish even thinking about some of these things.

Now FGM occurs for various reasons but one of the the main ones is to reduce the "plague" of female promiscuity. Because clearly when a woman has sex she has sex by herself and the men sleeping with her to put her at risk of being labelled "promiscuous" have nothing to do with it . There are no proven health benefits for FGM and the fact that this practice still goes on (despite being banned by several countries) can only be described as barbaric. I don't care who I offend but there can be no possible rationalisation for this.

Going back to FGM in Ghana, we have one of the lowest rates of FGM in African. However, the 9-15% rate is still far too high imho. It should be zero. FGM is almost non-existent in southern Ghana and more likely to be found in the North among the Frafra, the Kassena, the Kussasi etc. Whilst looking for more information on FGM in Ghana, I came across this:
"The practice among some groups in Ghana appears to have few spiritual roots. It is not perpetuated by religion, but rather by traditional tribal beliefs. Some believe it leads to cleanliness and fidelity of the woman. Others believe it will increase fertility and prevent the death of first-born babies. It is also seen as a way to suppress a woman’s sexual desires and make her less promiscuous. Other common beliefs are that children born to uncircumcised women are stubborn and troublesome and more likely to be blinded or otherwise damaged if the mother’s clitoris touches them during birth. In some areas the presence of a clitoris in women suggests she is a man and must be buried in men’s clothing and the funeral performed as a man’s when she dies. Uncircumcised women are regarded by some as unclean, less attractive and less desirable for marriage."

Now as I said previously, I was unaware whilst growing up that things like this occurred in Ghana. Was I being hopelessly naive? To Ghana's credit, she has been one of the most proactive countries in eliminating FGM and has actually arrested people for violating the ban put in place against FGM. One of our neighbours, Burkina Faso, with an almost 70% rate of FGM in women, has begun construction of a "Pleasure hospital" where surgical reconstruction will be carried out on victims of FGM. It's encouraging to see that in our part of Africa, at least, something is being done about this practice.

I'm not trying to write a whole essay here but I was just wondering if I was alone in my (incorrect) belief that FGM was not a part of Ghana? Has anybody had any experiences or know of the way in which FGM is perceived in Ghana (or anywhere else in Africa)?

There is lots of information about FGM on the web, in libraries etc. If anybody is interested in a more personal account of an issue that affects over 130 million women worldwide, Somalian supermodel Waris Dirie's book Desert Flower is a good read.
Image source

Flashback: 2000

The year Y2K seems so recent since it’s in the 00’s...then I remember that we are getting to the end of 2009, that’s nearly 10 years! This means I am well within my rights to term some of the following songs as old school classics...they definitely feel old when you hear them!

The R&B Flash

  • Kelly Price - Love Set's You Free
This song featured everyone! Aaron Hall, Babyface, Case, Dru Hill, Kandice Love, LovHer, Montell Jordan (in leather pants! Muhahahaha) & Tamar Braxton...woah! This song sends me right back to secondary school, it was such a jam! But UMG will not allow me embed it, so here’s the Kelly Price & Aaron Hall version. The beat is so reminiscent of the time, I hope it gets you happily grooving like I am now, so here you go...this R&B banger is a bonus track off of Mirror Mirror, Love Set’s You Free.

Music Video Codes
Myspace Music
  • Ruff Endz - No More

Now if you weren’t feeling this at the time I don’t know WHAT you were feeling! Another solid Y2K R&B banger off of their album Love Crimes, which incidentally had another good song, Missing You, on it.

  • 3LW - No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)

Now even at the time this song was a guilty pleasure even though I was young and it was a big tune just because I always thought they sounded so young! I love it though, reminds me of my first serious crush...shout out to Jerry! LMAO!! And also jamming with my SSSO girls and at ’venture!

  • R. Kelly - Fiesta (Remix) ft. Jay-Z, Boo & Gotti

My days!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mr. Robert Kelly smacked it on the album, it was soooo hot. For me so many jams for that year came from this album, the I Wish (Remix) To The Homies We Lost was amazing, as were the I Don’t Mean It Remix, Like A Real Freak and Strip For Me. But back to this song in particular—Day-um! I knew ALL the words, yes I was that sad, c’mon now sing along...After the show is the Afterparty, AND, After the party is the Hotel lobby AND...

  • Jaheim - Just In Case

Back when Ghetto Love was out, Jaheim was on top of the world, his fortunes have since changed and his popularity has perhaps waned somewhat due to his inability to progress as an artist. However, the album was sooo good, I really did think he has the voice of an angel...!

  • Jagged Edge - Let's Get Married

From J.E. Heartbreak, this song along with Keys To The Range and Did She Say were really good. This was a big favourite and I remember everyone vowing that this would be their wedding song! Please note: I went to a girls’ school, I don’t know any guys saying that at the time, but I could be wrong...

  • Joe - Stutter ft. Mystikal

I thought this song was groundbreaking at the time, Mystikal’s delivery was fire and it was like waking up sleepy generally boring-love-song-singing Joe to a whole new world of R&B. And his bank balance didn’t suffer for it, either! From the R&B classic album My Name Is Joe (random thought: Have you seen the cover? He looks like such a sleaze!).

  • Kelis - Caught Out There

Who didn’t scream along with this, ladies? If you say no, you lieeeeeeeeeeeee! Ah, this song could appeal in various appealed to pissivity of the highest order, to those days you just wanna crank it up and scream for no apparent reason and when you wanted to listen to mad production. These were the days before everyone had been done by the Neptunes and it was an amazing track off of Kaleidoscope...Caught Out There.

  • Kelis - Get Along With You

I didn’t know this had a vid! This was my favourite song off the album, Kaleidoscope. So here you go...

  • Lucy Pearl - Don't Mess With My Man

Lucy Pearl...just saying the name makes me smile. So sad there was only one album, because I really liked it, but such is life. Don’t Mess With My Man was one of those tracks that got you neck rolling thinking about if she dared to even think about messing with your, I was how old at the time, like 14? LMAO, I could still relate!

  • Pink - There You Go

Another solid R&B album of the time, Can’t Take Me Home, spawned this megahit. The album was sick, this song was sick and the video was sick...especially when she rides the bike into the window, plus I think she looks real sexy with that hair. Wow, memories of when people used to discuss if Pink was fully white or ‘had some black in her’ a la Charlie Baltimore, LOLS!

  • Next - Wifey

Y2K was the beginning of the mainstream success of R&B, and a good time too because R&B was still good then (arguably it’s a bit rubbish now)! And Wifey is a key jam of the time, it was played everywhere at every party and we loved it. I must admit that by 2004 I hated it but recently I have been listening to Welcome II Nextasy and I remember how it used to sound and why I loved it. Now that album was...woah...hmmmm, sex album anyone?

  • X-2-C - Bonafide

This song features on Save The Last Dance, a film I loved at the time and still quite like now. I bought the soundtrack to the film such was my love for that film and this was one of my favourites off the album and the film. My Window by Soulbone was great as well, I know you’re all thinking shouldn’t Shaka Demus and Pliers, Ice Cube or Fredro Star remind me of the film...ok yeah they do, but this was a better song. I was became soooooo sick of You Can Do It!

Soon come, with the rest of the Y2K jams, gotta cut this before it gets way too long. Plus, I’m off to have a Y2K R&B par-tay!

Bye people,


Nsoromma...Child of the Heavens

Food for Thought: African Handouts

After visiting Pen Powder's blog the other night, I started thinking (yet again) about the plight of mother Africa as a whole. How can the most resource rich continent be so abjectly poor, governed by dynasties of despots who reinforce the illegitimate actions of their fellow tyrannical despots through lavish gifts the likes of which most of their countrymen will never see? I know it's nothing new and has been going on since we started to gain our independence but it came upon me again, and I was enraged (you will start to see a pattern with me, I get enraged and then I feel you must know about it! Sorry!).

When I was still in school and the term 'third-world country' was still politically correct (if you don't know, it is no more, instead we now have LEDCs - Less Economically Developed Countries - get to know!) I learnt that Africa was the ONLY continent on God's good earth that was 100% third-world. Yes, people the WHOLE thing including the likes of Egypt and South Africa, who were not classed second-world like Brazil was (the mind boggles...). Anyhoo...after President Obama (Omama) came to Ghana and spoke to the people about Africa solving her own problems many Africans were outraged. How can our brother come and say such things to us? Does he not realise that our continent was ravaged and pillaged by the colonial powers and they still have us in chains?

Now, don't get me wrong I have sympathies with the neo-colonial arguments. There is barely anywhere in Africa you can look without seeing American, British or French neo-colonialism, you only have to look at Liberia, Angola or Sierra Leone (to name a few) to be slapped in the face with it. And in much the same way that African-Americans can still complain about the effects of slavery crippling their people the same can be said of Africa's neo-colonialism.

However, just like I feel African-Americans use slavery as an all-encompassing excuse for social degradation and low achievement so do Africans. Firstly, Obama is your brother? Really?!?!?! His Dad originated from Kenya, he is half-white and fully American, is it so surprising that he came out with that view? Think about it, as a high-achieving black American I'm sure he's heard all the complaints about 'the white man keeping us down' and has decided that a lot of the time they are excuses. But just as the whole 'Cambridge officer acted stupidly' incident indicated, he is not unaware of what black people face in his country. In the same way with his connection to Africa, I doubt he is unaware of how thoroughly his country has colonised his father's continent.

However, he did see it as an excuse for Africa to blame their plight on other people and I think to some degree he is right. We are all too ready to blame other people for our problems, while we are in in a position to do something about it. I'm a firm believer that its the little things that we do which create the stage and pave the way for bigger movements and change. This is no less the case when we are dealing with the mammoth task of making out continent more self-sufficient. Tell me how on earth can we complain about Africa begging for handout's when on a local level we perpetuate the very same type of behaviour. Are we (as in Africans abroad) not in anyway responsible for this 'give me, I want, I need, you owe me' attitude when many of us are killing ourselves over here to feed and clothe those who are more than capable of doing it themselves?

Now before I am inundated with personal attacks about not understanding poverty, blah-de-blah, consider...I know a family of six living in a teeny, tiny flat, in a bad area who are really struggling for basics. A 2 bed flat and one of the rooms is a half room really, can't make ends meet and merely existing exacerbates their poverty. Yet they are in abrokyrie (tr. abroad) and so life is great? Hmmm, so supporting 8, 9 people in Ghana who claim to want need, etc. new laptops and mobile phones to show off with is understandable? Repeatedly sending 'school fees' only to be told school fees have not been paid and now are desperately owing or else poor little Kojo can't finish school? They do not live in shoddy housing and many do not work because abrokyrie will provide? Consider, my mother's younger sister in Ghana has four kids and a husband, a shop my mum got for her and a house abrokyrie money built for her. All her children will be able to go to school to the highest level. But she doesn't work and yet when she needs things and abrokyrie should provide?

If we do not stop such fuckeries on a local level then Africa will never stop it on an international scale either. Since cutting off my Aunty's requests for 'needs', the woman has been slowly learning self-sufficiency. It's long, painful and at time she makes damn silly decisions but she must make them in order to grow.

So do you agree that:

  • We (as in Africans abroad) are in part responsible for this 'give me, I want, I need, you owe me' attitude?
  • Effecting a change in abrokyrie-relatives-back-home dependency will benefit our continent?
Image Credits:

Songs To Cry To pt.2

Didn't I promise you a part 2? Get your box of kleenex and your cup of tea ready. Here we go:

6. Lesson Learned- Alicia Keys ft. John Mayer

One of the highlights of As I Am and a bonafide "break-up song". Ms. Keys and Mr. Mayer give us pure perfection in this melancholic song.

7. The ice was getting thinner- Death Cab For Cutie

Perfect example of the type of songs to expect from the poster kids of the emo movement. Documents the point in a relationship when you realise that the whole relationship was built on air and there's no longer anything to hold on to.

8. I'm Done- Tweet

Little-known Tweet song from her second album It's Me Again. It showcases her beautiful, airy voice with lyrics that tell of the point everybody reaches when you decide that you and Love are on a serious hiatus.

9. Wasted time- Me'shell NdegeOcello

Yes another Me'shell song. The whole of Bitter is certified "dust and sackcloth" music, I'm telling you!

10. I'm a mess- Anthony Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton's gritty voice is at its absolute best here. How can you not feel the man at the beginning of the second verse (1:39) when he wails "I'm a mess right now. I can't eat can't sleep. Bills are piling high, ain't worked in three weeks"?

Hope you enjoy these selections. Maybe we'll have some fun next time with "Songs that make me happy". One can only cry so much!

Flashback of the Day: Kindred The Family Soul- "Far Away"

Haven't heard this song in aaaaaaages and thought I'd share. Completely sums up how I'm feeling right now. Hope you enjoy

In Defence of Emanuel Adebayor

I can't believe I'm actually writing this post. I am a life-long, die-hard Liverpool fan and everybody knows that Arsenal is the team I hate most in this world (followed closely by Manchester United). I also have no particular feelings either way or another for Manchester City. However, I've been reading/ hearing all sorts of rubbish today about Adebayor's behaviour towards Arsenal today and I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

Quick recap of the background story before the game today:

Emanuel Adebayor just signed for Man City from his former club Arsenal this summer after publicly declaring his desire to leave said club. Basically Adebayor said he would like to play for AC Milan because he felt as though he was being treated unfairly at Arsenal and this abviously did not help to endear him to the Arsenal fans who had already turned against him. The deal with AC Milan fell through but he eventually ended signing for Man City at terms that were more than agreeable to both clubs.

Ok, now keep in mind that the Arsenal fans have given this man all kinds of abuse both before and after her expressed a desire to leave the club. One "fan" even attacked him at an airport amidst accusations of his laziness whilst at the club. Now some may argue that this abuse was/ is warranted given his outspoken declarations against Arsenal. Fair enough. However, I feel that if one can dish it out, one must be able to take it too.

This brings me to today and Arsenal vs. Man City. Now keep in mind that this game has been hyped up to no end and the entire footballing world is waiting with bated breath to see how Adebayor will handle himself against his former club. Footballing wise, Adebayor thrives under the pressure and scores a goal against his former team-mates. In celebration, Adebayor runs to the Arsenal fans, who have been booing him incessantly throughout the match, and slides on his knees, arms held out in jubilation. This clearly riles up the Arsenal fans who respond by hurling any available missile at him. In a post-match interview, Adebayor apologises (without any urging) to the Arsenal fans he offended and admits that his emotions ran away with him.

Now this is football. Arsenal fans have been giving this man stick for months now, booing his every touch, hurling insults etc. etc. and now they want to get up in arms when he decides to rub their noses in it a little? Like I said, don't dish it out if you can't take it. I've heard criticisms bemoaning the fact that as a professional football player, he is a role model to kids and blah blah blah. Please! He's a mere man who happens to be a good football player. If you're looking to a random stranger to be a role model to your children, may I kindly suggest that there is something quite wrong with you? These same people accusing him of being a poor role model, are the same people who today, displayed such acts of classlessness by throwing missiles at him, spitting, etc. etc. Yeah, great role model you are.

Now after all this, I have to admit that I don't even like Adebayor. The man is a whiner and you all know how I feel about grown men whining.... His actions towards his former team-mate Robin van Persie were questionable at best and each angle of the video replay tells a different story as to whether he deliberately stamped on his face. However, I have to say that I really felt Adebayor today. Like him or not, his reaction after scoring that goal made me very very happy inside.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

Image courtesy of BBC Sports

Jungle Fever?

Would you ever get married to someone outside of your race? Or perhaps, outside of your nationality? Would you marry somebody who is not of the same faith as you? A conversation with a (yoruba) friend of mine got me thinking long and hard on this issue. I asked her if she would ever consider dating an Igbo man, the fiery response I got back was "God forbid! Olorun maje!". (Please forgive me, my nigerian friends if the spelling is wrong) Now I don't exactly know the politics between the different tribes in Naija but I can tell you that sister girl was not looking to get too up close and personal with any man whose name doesn't begin with Ola...or Tola... or Bola... or end in ...femi or ...yemi or ...kemi.

When Sankofa wrote in an earlier post that one of us was given the choice of "doing a masters or getting married" she was referring to me. 'The choice' was my 22nd birthday present from my dad. (Can you imagine?) What you may not know my friend is that when father dearest offered me this choice, he was talking about bringing someone home whose family originate from within the borders of our homeland Ghana. Really dad? Even in one of the most multicultural cities ever?!!! And you can also safely assume that the future Mr. Afrocentric will have to have an impressive c.v. So you see, that does not really leave me with much of a choice.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I will get Jungle Fever and date a white man in the name of breaking social barriers, but I am calling into question our reasons for getting into a relationship with someone. Is it based on ethnicity? Race? Or how many random letters come after his name?
Let me take a moment to answer the questions I threw out in the beginning. Would I marry outside of my nationality? Yes...but within reason. sorry. Somebody of a different faith? Hell no! Of a different race? Mmm...I have to be honest, even after this long blog post I still can't answer that question with confidence. OK...let's see...perhaps... if I ever get Jungle Fever.

Three-Part Afro Haiku

Am I afro-cen...

...tricked in then out of slave-ry
by my afro hair?

why do tight curls and
wider combs mean i pour a
libation to gods

I just want my hair
to grow and not to burn caked
in lie!

Say My Name, Say My Name

Remember when you were in school and had to have a roll call in the mornings before classes and in the afternoon after lunch? You always knew when your name was coming because you got "the pause". In the interest of anonymity (lol) let's pretend my name is a typical Asante one like Nana Owusu-Mensah. You would be sitting in registration:

"Um... Oh-wa-see... Oh-wy-sa... um... Nana? Is Nana here?"

Yes this was the story of my life. At first I would scramble to help them out and say "present" before my name was butchered any further. Then my perverse side emerged and I took great pleasure in sitting there stony-faced until every last phoneme of my name had been dragged out. What acted as an impetus for this stubbornness was the awareness that composers like Tchaikovsky presented no pronunciation difficulties but my own phonetically simple name did not even merit an attempt. I mean most Asante names are spelt phonetically and basically you say what you see. I'm not asking you to have a perfect accent but you could at least try. I mean I had girls in my class whose surnames were Smagacz and Jevtic and a guy whose surname was Trtica. They were pronounced "Sma-gatch", "Yev-titch" and "Treetisa" respectively and their first names were never pronounced instead at roll call. These people could happily pronounce Agnieszka Radwanska but my proudly African name was apparently asking too much.

I know there's a lot to take on in multicultural Britain but why are some people deemed more worthy of effort than others? In an ideal world wouldn't it be great when waiting in the GP's office not to have every eye on you as the receptionist happily butchers your name? What's even more infuriating is that they always say "Oh that was a mouthful. Hope I pronounced that right" with a stupid grin on their face. And when you attempt to correct them, they look at you blankly, then shrug and say "Well at least you knew I was talking to you!" It's enough to make me want to do this:

Laugh of the Day

This is in the same vein as the first Laugh of the Day. Ummm, the recession is hitting people so hard that instead of bargain designer bags ebay are selling, well, designer bags with a difference...Paper bags!

What's's not even new, it's listed as used!

N.B. Clink on the post title for the link!

Soul's On Fire

Funnily enough the guy I wrote the last poem about got into contact. Some background: We had issues, timing was always off. I wasn't over my ex, then I was bereaved then he was bereaved. So we had a total break from each other for a few months, saw other people. But then we hooked up again and decided we wanted to try again. We were sorting out our issues when she pops up, told him she was pregnant (3 months gone) and keeping it and determined to make a go of it. He refuses to be with her and she's been doing some pretty amazing things to get him to be with her. But he is a stubborn goat and gets her out of the situations she gets in, tells her its for the sake of the baby and then reminds her they are not together. I'm sure she has a voodoo doll with my name on it. Anyways...

My stupid MSN Live Messenger is always logged in because I always ignore it I was not too bothered until I saw the dreaded flashing orange bar with his name on it.

Being either brave or stupid (you decide) I decided to reply and hi. This is what I hear: His whore is overdue, if she's not given birth by next week she'll be induced and he'll be someone's daddy. It's my fault I confess I asked him if he was a daddy yet so what did I expect? Then he is like oh am I married yet? What's that supposed to mean. He saw me in town with a guy added two and two and came up with 75. Anyway he decides to let his feeling out about how he's sorry he hurt me and he never meant to. I believe him, I've had the unfortunate experience of dating some pretty big assholes who have enjoyed hurting me and he was never like that. But who cares? It's the same result if I'm hurt isn't it?

Wait before I depart into ramble mode, I need to let you know the fuckeries. The whore got kicked out by her mum and guess who she's living with now? It's like rubbing salt in my wounds, they r living together like cute little family unit. This shouldn't hurt but it does. And the worst, worst, WORST thing is I haven't spoken to him in a couple months and I was dreaming that in that time she would lose her baby, so I could be happy again. Now he's telling me he's so sorry and he didn't want to bring his drama into my life. Then he tells me he loves me and has done for a while. So I'm crying now because I do still care about him, I'm crying because she really is going to have his baby and I'm crying because I wish I could find it within me to not wish such horrible things on a pure innocent party that I secretly wish was mine.


Let It Die

This is something I wrote to help me start getting over someone who I was never with but have been finding it really hard to get over. It's ALWAYS the ones you don't expect...

Should I just let it die.

This thing we've tried

I poured myself into you

I tried so hard.

And you could be the medicine to my pain

But you can't

I thought maybe I could be your love

And I can't

I thought it would work.

But it's not.

I don't think you're not ready.

I think that it's just me.

And you.

We don't quite fit.

But maaaaaaaaaaaan seeing you with another will kill me,

I'll be so jealous,

Because I think you will try,

But you wouldn't with me.

I think you'll love her

But you couldn't love me.

Why is the timing always wrong?

My ex? Your Uni? Your Baby?!?!?!

It's not meant to happen.

It's just not.

I thought it would work.

I thought one day I would be your love

And I can't

And you would medicate my pain

But you can't

I did try hard

I poured myself into you.

But this thing we've tried

We should just let it die.

Nsoromma...Child of the Heavens

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