All posts by Louisa Twum-Baah

Photos: Senegal steals show at 3FM Jollof War

By | News, Showbiz | No Comments

It was all fun and excitement at this year’s 3FM Jollof War as three countries that have been laying claims to preparing the best jollof battled it out in the kitchen. These countries are Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.

Carefully selected contestants from the three countries put in their all to prove to the world that indeed they held the keys to the jollof kingdom with their various approach to jollof rice preparation .

Patrons who thronged the premises of TV3 where the contest was held on Saturday were treated to some good tunes from Adina, Eshun and a reggae dance hall artiste who passed through, all the way from Ivory coast. The audience couldn’t keep to themselves but dance to the good tunes as they captured the good moments on their phones.

Real Pen Pencil, the extraordinary artist did what he does best with his pencil.

Senegal at the end of the competition didn’t only prove that jollof rice originated from Senegal but they emerged the winners.

Senegal came first scoring 310 points, Ghana scored 290 to beat arch-rival Nigeria to the second position; Nigeria had 280 points.

The contestants were presented with prizes from sponsors.

In case you missed, find pictures of the exciting moments at 3FM Jollof War today.

Source: | Ghana

Check out finalists of Ghana’s Strongest season VII

By | Sports | No Comments

Finally the boys have been separated from the men. The final elimination from the 20 athletes who booked their berth through their respective regions was staged at the Accra International Trade Fair Center over the weekend.

The athletes began the day’s event with an impressive score in the incline bench press with the weight of 23, 25, 27KGS and a combined weight of 150KG.

Sack race load was next with the weight of 110- 140 kilogram and running 30-metres onto a mobility aid in 90-seconds. This was followed by the Dead lift challenge of 240-kilograms that saw most athletes struggling to make the cut.

Some of the athletes impressed the fans in the Tyre Flip, the final event of the day. It was all over and the judges were called upon to declare the result.

Raymond Robertson, Ahmed Boakye, Fusseini Suleiman, Mustapha Arhin, Godfred Akobilah, Don Star, Damian Smith, Francis Amonoo, Lucious Belejia, Victor owusu, Dr.Nindo and Nana Kwesi Boateng qualified to participate in the main show

The seventh edition of the reality sports show had new entry athletes from various working levels, a Physiotherapist at the Tamale teaching hospital, Dr. Nindo Alhassan, Prince Yeboah of Ghana police service, also for the first time students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Takoradi Technical University took part in the auditions.

The 13 week show would test the resolve of men who want to exhibit how strong they are by undertaking various competitions including the Loading Race, Car Pull, Overhead Press amongst other strength testing exercises.

The season 7 of Ghana’s strongest promises to be exciting and exhibits muscles, tact, strategy and pure strength.


By TV3|Ghana
Twitter: @NewsonTV3

Mother reconciling with daughter highlights TV3 Mothers’ Day celebration

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TV3’s Mothers’ Day celebration was indeed a day to remember as many mothers came to this year’s banquet organised by TV3.

This year’s celebration focused on unity between mothers and their children.

A mother who had vowed never to speak to her daughter until death because her daughter on so many occasions insulted her – to the extent of accusing her of being a witch – was encouraged to reconcile with her daughter.

Daughter Deborah begs mother Margaret for forgiveness

Tearing mother forgives daughter on live tv

This emotional and heart-touching reunion was captured live on TV3 as both mother and daughter – Margaret Krampah and Deborah Gyasi respectively – were counselled by a experienced counsellor Kweku Adumatta.

Mothers who attended the programme also benefitted from the family advice.

The daughter asked for forgiveness from her mother and both were united as the lovely family they have been before.

Counsellor Kweku Adumatta took the two through the reconciliation process

Mothers were treated to good food and music and were also given free gifts as part of the celebration.

Artistes thrilled mothers to good performances

Mothers were treated to good food

2016 GMB Yaba was present to deliver her well wishes to mothers

Christian Morgan of 2017 Talented Kidz fame

By Louisa Twum-Baah||Ghana

How raw hide is turned into various leather products

By | Special Reports | No Comments

Animal skins are used for many things including drums, wallets, guitars and shoes.

Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skin, often cattle hide. It can be produced at different manufacturing levels, from a cottage industry to a heavy industry.

A dealer in local and imported leather, craftsman Mohammed Mustapha makes shoes, belts, sandals and a whole lot of items from leather at the Accra Art Center.

It is worth asking, ‘What goes into making items made out of leather?’

“Leather is used for many various goods which includes drums, trousers, bags, skirts, furniture covering, book binding and so on,” Mustapha said.

“I usually use and sell rawhide from cattle, goats and sometimes snakes. I acquire my rawhide from the slaughter house or abattoir. The hide is then processed into leather.”

Stretched animal skin/hide

“When we remove the skin or hide from the animal, we sometimes dry it before washing it with detergent powder and then [we] go ahead to treat it with chemicals. Local chemicals are made from the Bagawura seed.

“After the leather is processed, we usually dip or soak it in groundnut oil. This is to make the leather waterproof. We sometimes dye the leather and also create patterns in the leather.

“Apart from the locally made leather, we do import some of the leather from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and so on. We use different kinds of leather for various items. For example, a mature cattle skin can’t be used to make sandals or slippers because it’s hard, it’s rather good for belts and drums.

Drum is made with matured cattle hide

Mustapha shows a rawhide from a young cattle

The ideal leather for slippers is that of a calf, which is soft. Raw hides from calves are more colourful, the experts say.

“I also use goat hair for some of my slippers, which is dyed to get various colors.”

“I am a certified dealer in leather products,” Mustapha added. “One great thing about leather sandals and slippers is that it’s waterproof and dries faster apart from the fact that they are durable and fashionable.”

Mustapha’s certificate

Male slippers made with animal skin

By Louisa Twum-Baah||Ghana

South Korea warship sails to Somalia

By | World | No Comments

A South Korean warship is heading for Somalia to hold an anti-piracy drill in waters off the country’s coast.

The 4,400-ton destroyer Daejoyoung left the South Korean port of Busan yesterday, with a 300-strong crew on board.

Friday’s drill will involve the destroyer Daejoyoung, a 17,000-ton commercial vessel and 350 seamen and sailors, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reports.

The country has had a naval unit in the Gulf of Aden since 2009 as part of global efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The South Korean navy has posted a video of a previous anti-piracy mission on its official YouTube channel (you may recognise some of the footage – it’s been lifted from the Hollywood film Captain Phillips).

 Source: BBC

Accra’s ‘borla’ beach: a breeding ground for animals

By | Lifestyle | No Comments

The Art Centre in Accra is one place you are sure to see tourists every single day. Tourists throng there to buy all kinds of artefacts ranging from African print dresses through sculpture made from wood to jewelries made of cowries from the beach…yes the beach close to the Centre.

Behind this African craft village is a beach, close to which is a heap or as it were, a mountain of rubbish.

The seashore itself is filled with all kinds of waste caused by human activities, and thus turned the place into a new breeding grounds for pigs, cattle and other animals. No wonder that stretch of beach from the independence Square area to the Centre has been tagged ‘Borla’ (refuse)beach.

Clearly, the situation, which is not peculiar to that particular beach, is something that is giving the country’s tourism a bad image and raises the question as why city authorities always look on for the nice beaches to be used as refuse dump.

Making the beaches a secure and clean place could go a long way to create jobs for the locals and generate huge income for city authorities as revelers will always throng there to relax with a drink or food.

Perhaps, as usual, we are waiting on the usual foreign investor to come and make the place attractive, rake in a lot of money and deprive most people the opportunity to enjoy such beaches with their exorbitant fees.

By Louisa Twum- Baah||Ghana

10 reasons why your baby is crying a lot

By | Lifestyle | No Comments

The sound of a baby crying is nearly impossible to ignore and triggers an urgent response from Mom or Dad.

Your baby is fully dependent on you, and you want to do everything you can to stop the crying quickly and effectively.

Obviously, your baby cannot tell you what is wrong, and it can be tricky to interpret the cries, especially for those who are new parents.

Also, living with a baby who regularly cries inconsolably can be very stressful, so it is important to be aware of the possible reasons behind the tears. This can help you handle the situation better and enjoy parenthood like never before.

Here are the top 10 reasons why your baby is crying a lot.

1. Hunger

hungry baby

One of your baby’s basic needs that you need to take care of is hunger. When this need is not fulfilled, your baby will cry.

In fact, hunger is probably the first reason that you must think of when your baby cries. The problem is more common in younger babies who have not started eating solid food.

Your baby’s small stomach can’t hold much food for very long. This is why babies become hungry more often.

Have a close look at your baby and if you notice stretching or squirming, sucking sounds or mouth movements, or sucking on fingers, consider it as a sign of hunger. Offer your baby some breast milk or formula milk. If your baby is hungry, the crying will stop as soon as feeding is offered.

2. Dirty Diaper

It has been found that most babies simply cannot tolerate a dirty or soiled diaper. Babies communicate this discomfort through crying.

A wet diaper can irritate a baby’s soft and tender skin, which causes them to cry. Such crying can even happen during sleep.

Once the wet diaper is changed, the baby will calm down and go to sleep.

So, if your bundle of joy starts crying without any known reason, have a look at the diaper.

In fact, try to change the diaper regularly every two to three hours. This will help reduce the risk of diaper rash.

3. Diaper Rash

Similar to a dirty diaper, a rash in the diaper area, which includes the upper thighs, buttocks and genital area, can be the reason behind your baby’s crying.

The inflamed skin in the diaper area can be painful and, if not handled timely, can even lead to blisters.

If you notice red or inflamed skin on your baby’s bottom, get a diaper rash cream from the market and apply it often. You can also consult your doctor for more suggestions.

To prevent diaper rash from developing, always use a barrier cream at diaper changes. If possible, give your baby diaper-free time often so that the sensitive and soft skin can breathe and does not have to bear the discomfort of moisture.

4. Teething

teething baby

If your baby is between 6 and 8 months of age and is suddenly crying a lot, it can be due to teething. Teething can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.

With your clean finger, feel your baby’s gums. Swollen and tender gums, as well as your baby’s tendency to bite on things, are clear signs of teething.

Give your baby a long piece of chilled carrot to offer some comfort. You can also gently massage the sore gums to ease discomfort. Gentle pressure helps calm the fussy and crying baby.

As soon as a new tooth comes through, your baby will return to his or her normal routine.

5. Overtired

When babies are overtired, they simply do not know what to do and end up crying.

Due to tiredness, the baby needs sleep and as they cannot simply go to sleep on their own, their means of communication is crying.

Overtired babies may find it hard to sleep and they tend to whine and cry at the slightest thing.

Cuddling and swaying your baby, or using white noise like from a hair dryer or fan, may soothe your crying baby and help him or her to sleep.

Follow a routine for your baby and make sure he or she is not overtired. A change in routine can disturb your baby’s nap time as well as sleep time.

6. Tummy Troubles

The problem of gas or colic can also lead to lots of crying in small babies. In the case of colic, a baby may cry inconsolably for hours.

If your baby cries right after being fed, consider it as a sign of a tummy problem. The main cause of colic is air trapped in the abdominal cavity that leads to pain and discomfort.

Give your baby a soothing warm bath. It will distract your baby from his tummy discomfort and make him sleepy, too.

Also, putting a slightly warm washcloth on your baby’s stomach can provide relief from the gas and stop the crying.

If your baby is prone to gas-related problems, put him on his back, hold his feet and move his legs in a gentle bicycling motion. This exercise helps eliminate gas when done 2 or 3 times a day.

7. Wants Attention

baby wants attention

Babies are not designed to be alone, and they love to be social. Most babies expect to be around people. This is why babies often cry when they want to be held or played with.

In fact, some babies are more sensitive and need a lot of cuddling. When they do not get the much-needed attention, they start crying. Such babies stop crying after getting the sensory stimulation that comes with touching, talking and cuddling.

Simply hold your baby close by your heart to stop the crying. The rhythm of your heartbeat, the warmth of your body and your smell is what your baby needs at times.

8. Needs to Burp

If your baby is fussy and cries after a feeding, then all that he or she may need is a good burp.

Small babies have a tendency to swallow air while breastfeeding or sucking from a bottle. When this swallowed air is not released through burping, it may cause discomfort.

After a feeding, pat or rub your baby’s back for a minute to cause him or her to burp.

You can even try a different feeding position to reduce the chances of your baby swallowing air.

Thousands of Tanzanian civil servants found with fake school certificates

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Nearly 10,000 Tanzanian civil servants have fake school certificates, according to a report received by President John Magufuli.

The details released in the capital, Dodoma, show that 9,932 government employees were found to have fraudulent secondary school qualifications.

The BBC’s Sammy Awami says that this is just over 2% of the country’s 435,000 civil servants.

President Magufuli, seen here in the right at his inauguration


President Magufuli, seen here in the right at his inauguration, has a reputation for being a no-nonsense leader

South Africa foils ‘coup plot’

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A suspected “coup plotter” has been arrested in South Africa for planning to assassinate nearly 19 people – including government ministers, officials of state-owned firms and prominent citizens, the elite Hawks police unit has said. 

The 23-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday following undercover operations in the capital, Pretoria, and the main commerrcial city, Johannesburg, Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The suspect, a founding member of the Anti-State Capture Death Squad Alliance (ASCDSA), was arrested while trying “to explain to donors how the assassination of state capture beneficiaries was going to be carried out by the undercover coup plot snipers”, Brig Mulaudzi was quoted by local media as saying.

The Hawks said its investigators had also uncovered a plot by a group known as the Anti-White Monopoly Capitalists Regime (AWMCG) which had also been “soliciting donations in order to assassinate senior government officials and other South African citizens”.

One person had been arrested over the alleged plot, and was due to appear in court on Friday, it said.

South Africa has been hit by sharp political divisons over the past year with President Jacob Zuma’s critics accusing him of allowing a wealthy Indian-born family to wield undue influence in the government. The refer to this as “state capture”.

Mr Zuma and the family deny the allegation.

In turn, the president’s allies accuse his critics of being close to “white monopoly capital”, and opposing “radical economic transformation” aimed at benefiting the black majority.

African National Congress (ANC) and South African President Jacob Zuma dances and chants during the closing session of the ANC's National General Council (NGC) in Durban on September 24, 2010.
Mr Zuma has been a polarising figure in South Africa

Source: BBC

Exercise ‘keeps the mind sharp’ in over-50s, study finds

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Couple running in a park
Moderate physical exercise such as cycling or jogging can help boost brain power

Doing moderate exercise several times a week is the best way to keep the mind sharp if you’re over 50, research suggests.

Thinking and memory skills were most improved when people exercised the heart and muscles on a regular basis, a review of 39 studies found.

This remained true in those who already showed signs of cognitive decline.

Taking up exercise at any age was worthwhile for the mind and body, the Australian researchers said.

Exercises such as T’ai Chi were recommended for people over the age of 50 who couldn’t manage other more challenging forms of exercise, the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said.

Brain boost

Physical activity has long been known to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and it is thought to play a role in warding off the brain’s natural decline as we enter middle age.

The theory is that through exercise the brain receives a greater supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients that boost its health as well as a growth hormone that helps the formation of new neurons and connections.

In this analysis of previous studies, researchers from the University of Canberra looked at the effects of at least four weeks of structured physical exercise on the brain function of adults.

An outdoor tai chi class
T’ai Chi may help to keep the brain healthy without over-exerting

In a variety of brain tests, they found evidence of aerobic exercise improving cognitive abilities, such as thinking, reading, learning and reasoning, while muscle training – for example, using weights – had a significant effect on memory and the brain’s ability to plan and organise, the so-called executive functions.

Joe Northey, study author and researcher from the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise at Canberra, said the findings were convincing enough to enable both types of exercise to be prescribed to improve brain health in the over-50s.

“Even if you are doing moderate exercise only once or twice a week there are still improvements in cognitive function, but the improvements were better the more exercise was done,” he said.

He said people should be able to hold a conversation while doing moderate exercise.

NHS guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week and exercise the major muscles on two or more days a week.

Heavy shopping bags

Dr Justin Varney, lead for adult health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said any physical activity was good for brain and body.

“Whilst every 10 minutes of exercise provides some benefit, doing 150 minutes a week cuts the chances of depression and dementia by a third, and boosts mental health at any age.

“Doing both aerobic and strengthening exercises leads to a greater variety of health benefits.”

He said cycling or walking to work could count as aerobic activity and carrying heavy shopping bags was one example of a good strength exercise.

Dr Dean Burnett, lecturer in neuroscience and psychiatry at Cardiff University, said the study gave a clearer picture of how exercise affected the brain – but there were still issues.

“It could lead to increased pressure for the 50-plus age group to exercise more in order to stay mentally healthy, which is good advice but also overlooks the fact that as we age it’s increasingly difficult to engage in physical activity, as our bodies are simply less capable of it,” he said.

“Physical exercise is one element of improved brain functioning, but not the whole story.”

As well as staying physically active, Dr David Reynolds, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said it was equally important to look after our brains by staying mentally active, eating a balanced diet, drinking only in moderation and not smoking.

Source: BBC