Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is Writers Project of Ghana author for June. 

Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institute Accra present Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah as our writer of the month of June.

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is a Feminist Activist, Communications Professional, Entrepreneur and Writer. She writes across genres including creative non-fiction, short stories and essays. She is the editor of Women Leading Africa: Conversations with Inspirational African Women, the author of Communications Handbook for Women’s Rights Organizations, and co-author of Creating Spaces and Amplifying Voices: The First Ten Years of the African Women’s Development Fund

She has written for a number of magazines including BBC Focus on Africa, New African Woman and DUST magazine. Her short stories have been published in It Wasn’t Exactly Love a collection of short stories published by Farafina and The Pot and Other Stories published by FEMRITE.

Nana Darkoa runs the blog Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women. Started in 2009 with co-founder Malaka Gyekye, the blog focuses on women’s sexuality and features stories from several contributors. In 2014, the blog was nominated in the category of New Media Practitioner of the Year.

Nana holds a Diploma in Performance Coaching, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She is also a graduate of the University of North London with a BSc (Hons) in Communications and Cultural Studies and holds a MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics.

Join us for an exciting evening: an interactive reading session with one of Ghana’s best bloggers.

Date: Wednesday, 28th June, 2017

Time: 7.00 PM – 8.30 PM

Venue: Goethe Institute, 30 Kakramadu Close, East Cantonments, Accra

Admittance is Free.

Black Star International Film Festival slated for August, 2017

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BLACK STAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (BSIFF) is an International Film Festival which is focused on the Business of film. This festival is held in Ghana every year with its Maiden edition coming off in 2016.

The maiden edition which was held in 2016 saw a screening of 40 films, shortlisted from 3400 submissions. 70 countries participated and the movies were screened in various locations (Silverbird Cinemas, Jamestown, Blackstar Square etc.) We look forward to an even more exciting event in 2017 under the theme – for the young at heart.

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Juliet Asante, Festival Founder

BSIFF is a bridge between African Cinema and the world and gives the opportunity for cultural engagements, networking, learning and simply having fun. Film festivals also serve as an important cultural diplomacy tool among nations.

BSIFF happens in late August and whether you are a filmmaker, film lover, or just looking for an opportunity to engage, we invite you to put this on your calendars.

BSIFF is a NON PROFIT Organization committed to working with the local film industry to make it a more robust environment. In working to achieve our mandate, advocacy features strongly.  Nana Ama MacBrown,  Adjetey Annan and Elikem Kumordji were our brand Ambassadors for the 2016 edition.

Follow the link below to watch a video of last year’s event.

https://youtu.be/e_8FR4-0Gec

To support our work, email info@blackstarinternationalfilmfestival or call 0289113500 or 0249488416

Learn more about BSIFF at bsiff.org

Our social media pages.

Facebook : Black Star International Film Festival.

Twitter : bsifilmfestival

Instagram : blackstarintfilmfest

 

Things That Caught My Attention At The VGMAS 2017

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The 2017 VGMAs, held over some weeks ago, wrote its own script in the minds of all those who watched it. From the exciting commentary on social media (twitter especially where respect for celebs was frozen for the about one and half hours as the ‘what are you wearing’ (Red Carpet) segment run) to the over an hour of black out at the Accra International Conference Centre, where the event was held; to the awards ceremony itself, there were many moments. Before I plunge into what caught my attention during the event, can some help explain why Mr. Eazi got overlooked again during the awards? For two years running, Mr. Eazi has been snubbed in a category he definitely deserve to win. Last year’s excuse for not nominating him was that, he isn’t a Ghanaian thus not qualified. In 2017, even though he was nominated in the Best African Act category, he lost to fellow Nigerian artiste Runtown.

The overwhelming ‘noise’ Runtown’s Mad Over You made across Africa (song is good) notwithstanding, his impact wasn’t as huge as that of Mr. Eazi per the year under review- both across the continent and outside of it. From releasing some of the biggest hits in the year to getting featured on big platforms (Beats1 Radio) and respected websites as well as drawing huge fans to his concerts, only an alien would think he didn’t deserve at least that African Artiste plaque. For the past few years, the African Artiste award is gradually losing its competitiveness. It is easy to predict who is going to win. Just check the African artiste invited and on the performance roll. In my view, Techno was better placed to have won it than Runtown.

Another concern, well more like an appeal to Charter House, the organizers. It would be goodif you tone down on the red colour used in designing the stage (we know you have to pay homage to Vodafone Ghana, the sponsors). The excessive use of red on the night actually took a bit from the beautifully designed stage.

So, to the few things that caught my attention. The positives first:

Honouring Paapa Yankson: I was excited to see highlife legend Paapa Yankson awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Awards on the night. The tribute performance of the beautiful and timeless classic ‘Tsena Men Kyen’ (Stand By Me) by Paulina Oduro and some of the young artistes on the night was a perfect tribute. Paapa Yankson deserved that kind of love and appreciation for his service to highlife music in particular and Ghana music in general.

Nace and friends ‘killed’ It: The performance by Nacee and his fellow gospel artistes was flawless. The choice of music was nothing but nostalgic. The Gospel All-Star song, ‘Ohene Kesse’ (Almighty King) is one of my all-time favourite gospel tunes and seeing them perform it was incredible. However, I’d have wished some of the artistes who originally performed the song joined in the rendition on the night. Imagine the excitement if the likes of Amy Newman, Stella Seal, Nana Yaw Asare and others had stepped on the stage. Also, let me acknowledge the fact that, the gospel performances are becoming one of the best moments of the VGMAs. Last year, we saw how Joe Mettle took the crowed to church. A year on, Nacee and friends left people catching the Holy Ghost. Brilliant stuff.

Kofi Kinata and the Ankos: Kofi Kinaata, who won three awards on the night introduced a bit of the twin-city (Sekondi-Takoradi), his home region’s famous ‘culture’ to many unfamiliar with that all important culture when he brought on stage the ankos to jam. Ankos refers to masqueraders who come out to play (dance) during festivals and special occasions. Better known to many as fancy dress thanks to their fanciful and colourful costumes.  For someone who grew up in Cape Coast where the fancy dress culture is as popular

Sarkodie finally outdoored Strongman: How do you formally introduce a newly signed artiste to your label? Sarkodie had the answer. He outdoored his new artiste, Strongman by handing him the mic to rap his verse off the hip hop/hiplife nominated song ‘Trumpet’-something I felt was an excellent move. Yes, Strongman is known to many rap enthusiasts. After that night, I’m sure the many had no faint idea who he was got familiar.

M.anifest proved he’s the godMC: Diss songs make your fans happy, sometimes win you new fans and make the music scene exciting. The epic short-lived diss exchanges between M.anifest and Sarkodie got music fans both excited and troubled, the benefits on the rap game can’t be dismissed. Since I started watching the VGMAs (formerly Ghana Music Awards in the year 2000), never have I seen or heard a diss song win any artiste an award. M.anifest became the first artiste (I stand to be corrected) to win two awards (Best Rapper, Best Rap Song) off the back of his 2016 unexpected diss song #godMC. Even haters got nodding like agama (lizard) at this feat.

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Kwaw Kesse Still With the Antics? Somebody stop Kwaw Kesse. The ‘man insane’ is a problem. How do you appear on the red carpet pushing a wheelbarrow holding all your VGMA awards with the caption ‘Awards For Sale’? Goodness! To the casual watcher, the inscription was nothing but a laughter drawing one. But, a good look at the inscription had a deeper connotation: was it a critique of the awards? That they are for sale? Or, Kwaw has no use for them hence wanting to auction them off? Or, could it be that, he was being typical Kwaw Kesse- being controversial?

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DJ Black keeps it 110%: And one hella applauds to DJ Black. Fantastic doesn’t even cut it. As usual, he steered the show to perfection. From dropping Shatta Wale tunes, to playing Onaapo to welcome John Dumelo on stage to looping that (in) famous Sarkodie diss line: s3 rapper bi b3 dissi me a, 3nnye rapper )di GTV ntuma pam kaba’ when king Sark went to receive his award. Holy Shit!

Flaws:

No Respect: What is this trend where some of the award winners don’t show up on stage to receive their awards? Granted some of them were backstage but for goodness sake, their performances came late in the day. Even if some of them were backstage, they could still have made it on stage for their awards. The trend started last year. It did continue this year. If no measure is taken, we may see it happen during subsequent awards. There’s nothing thrilling than your fans screaming your name as you step onstage to pick an award. There’s nothing better than being in front of that mic with your award appreciating your fans. Not showing up is in my view a sign of disrespect. Again, Ghanaian artistes must learn to speak on national issues when they get these opportunities. Galamsey is a hot topic and none of the winners said anything on it. Hmm!

Live Band Problems: I’m a big fan of live band music but the band should know their business. The live band used by the organizers didn’t win me over. They did their best but it wasn’t enough. The band’s performance didn’t get the audience dancing and that in a way drew a bit from the performances of some of the artistes. Crowd reaction is an important factor in an artiste’s performance. Charter House should, just as they have done with DJ Black, get a very good ‘resident’ live band or hire some of the best bands in this country to play at the events in subsequent years.

Best African Artiste Category Losing Gloss: The Best African Artiste category is gradually getting cheapened. One could easily predict the winner by looking at the African artiste invited to the event. Holding nothing against Runtown (his Mad Over You song is dope) but then it raises a few questions which include how an artiste with just one tune in a year wins Best African Artiste? I’d have preferred Tekno to Runtown since he has more hit songs. Also worth asking is the question: How come Mr. Eazi missed this one?

The VGMAs is indeed the biggest and well-known music event in Ghana. This is one of the reasons it must be safeguarded and the organizers, urged to do better.-the categorization of music right down to the awards handed out- must be looked at again. Gradually, people are increasing becoming flippant and cynical about the whole event, which is a serious concern that needs to be discussed and fixed. After all, who would take you serious if the awards scheme that you pride yourself on is tainted with suspicion and disaffection?

It shouldn’t only be the disgruntled public and artistes who feel cheated that vent at the organizers. The artistes who have clout in the music space equally have responsibilities at helping Charter House improve the music award scheme through constructive criticisms and good advice. 

Artistes should recognize that, when the awards loses its credibility and get scorched by the flame of discreditability, they would be the first group to be burnt badly.

 

 

Writers Project of Ghana Present Writer for April – Kwaku Sakyi-Addo

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Writers Project of Ghana and the Goethe Institute, Accra are proud to present Kwaku Sakyi-Addo as our writer for the month of April.

Kwaku-Sakyi-Addo is a communications specialist, telecoms policy advocate and journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He was a full-time broadcaster and journalist for 26 years, winning many awards, including Journalist of the Year on two occasions.

He was a freelance correspondent for Reuters from 1998 to 2007 and the BBC World Service from 1993-2007, making him a household name among radio listeners in Africa. He received the Order of the Volta, one of Ghana’s highest decorations, from the government of Ghana in 2007.

He was executive producer and host of Kwaku One-on-One, a face-to-face personality interview programme, which ran between 1998 and 2010 on both private and state television. He also hosted Front Page, a weekly current affairs programme on Joy FM for 16 years. Kwaku has conducted interviews with various world leaders including the last three UN Secretary-Generals.

He currently hosts The Lounge, a popular radio and TV personality and current affairs chat show on Starr FM and GhOne TV in Ghana.

Kwaku made a foray into the telecom industry in 2011 as Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, and resigned in early April 2017 to accept an appointment as Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA), the telecom industry regulator.

Kwaku is a Chevening Scholar, a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network, and a Director of the Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa.

Kwaku loves the arts. He believes the world should be run by writers.

Do join us for an exciting evening: an interactive reading session with one of Ghana’s best journalists.

Date: Wednesday, 26th April, 2017

Time: 7.00 PM – 8.30 PM

Venue: Goethe Institute, 30 Kakramadu Close, East Cantonments, Accra

Admittance is Free.

Accra host 3rd Edition of IMPACT Music Conference (Women Allowed?): 26th -27th April

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From April 26th & 27th, some of the leading names in the fields of music, marketing, policy and technology will meet at Alliance Francaise Accra for the 3rd Impact Music Conference. The aim of the conference is to develop a space to discuss, act, share, learn and understand that space called the Music Industry, and how to create equal opportunities for women in this sector.

The conference will run over two days with half day sessions featuring key note talks, panel discussions and presentations by some of the most innovative and successful minds in the sector. Discussions will touch on a wide variety of topics around music including content creation online, digital art and distribution, new revenue models in music, current & future state of the music industry and the role women will play in shaping these. It will include participation from Claude Grunitzky (TrueAfrica & Trace TV co-founder) Nomndeni Mdakhi (Edits Talks / South Africa), Jepchumba (African Digital Art / Kenya), Wiyaala (Ghana), Paola Audrey (Fashizblack / Côte d’Ivoire) and many more.

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The conference is organized by the International Music Council with the support of the UNESCO Participation Programme. The hope is that the conference will provide a collaborative and proactive approach to discuss the biggest emerging markets in music and the role women should play in the music business.

Is there a gender problem in the music industry? How can it be solved? How can we attract more women to the music industry?

The event is targeted at labels, collaborators, music inventors, music supporters, entrepreneurs, influencers, music executives, songwriters, producers, bloggers, brands, marketing executives, publicists, music artists and promoters. Entrance free!

Additional information available via: https://www.facebook.com/amdpmusic

Contact Information:

Charles Houdart

amdp@imc-cim.org

Phone: +33 (0)6 23 38 68 95

 

DeeJ Mitchy presents Femme Vibes

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As part of my responsibility as a creative to make sure equality is served everywhere , the platform for females to show their most unique styles has to be created and maintained to ensure female side of the new school is on the same scale.This has birthed the FEMME VIBES concept where a group of talented females come together to celebrate their uniqueness  in the world of creative arts .

The pilot show will be on 27th April 2017 at the Kona Cafe and Grill in Osu at 6pm. This features Adomaa,Tinuke,Moe ,Ria Boss, Poetra Asantewa ,FU ,Freda Rhymez,Suzz Blaqq,Mz Orstin, Renner, Kuuire (Mumble Photography) ,Benewaa (Harmattan Rain)and other talented female creatives .

As much as the show is a music oriented one it is solely to create the purpose of networking among these talented females and how best our combined efforts can make a louder statement.

We do not know what is out there , unless we are ready to go out and face what is there .

This is for the ladies ,by the ladies and with the ladies .

Writer Eli Tetteh talks his chapbook ‘Ellipses’ and other issues

If you have been a regular on Ghana twitter, the handle @elidot may have appeared on your timeline at a point. 

The handle belongs Eli Tetteh, a man who wears many hats- a lecturer, music head, writer, poet and geek. His broad knowledge base and intelligence on myriad subjects has made him a favourite of many people on both social media and in real life.

After years of writing for a number of publications and blogs-notably Nkenten (@nkenten), an art focused blog which he curates- Eli has finally documented his thoughts in ‘Ellipses‘, a chapbook which will be launched on Saturday, April 1 (check poster above for details)

Ellipses‘-filed in both poetry and journal form- harped on critical issues which he considers worth addressing. Ahead of the launch of his chapbook, Eli Tetteh has released a video in which he answer questions about ‘Ellipses‘. The video is a collaboration between @nkenten and @culartblog

Watch the video below: