Category Archives: Showbiz

Renowned flutist & composer Mattan Klein to grace 2017 Israel Culture Week

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The Israeli Embassy is hosting the event this year

The innovative, energetic and vibrant cultural scenes of Israel will be live in Accra from Thursday, October 26 to Wednesday, November 1 at the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City.

The Embassy of the State of Israel in Accra in collaboration with the Kempinski Hotel will host a weeklong celebration of Israeli culture through arts, music, fashion, food and wines.

This was announced by the Ambassador of the State of Israel, Ami Mehl, at a press conference in Accra on Thursday.

Speaking to the press, Amb. Ami Mehl expressed delight about the cordial relations and cooperation that exist between Israel and Ghana since the Embassy was reopened in 2011.

To further strengthen this relationship and increase the friendly partnership and the cooperation between Israel and Ghana, Amb. Ami Mehl indicated that the Embassy is using the Cultural Week to celebrate a fusion of Israel and Ghana cultures through arts, music, fashion, food and wine.

“In collaboration with the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City, Accra, and some Israeli partners in Ghana, we are using this opportunity to bring to Ghana, well known International Israeli personalities,” the ambassador said.

The week will be accompanied by an impressive selection of Israeli dishes prepared by Chef Shaul Ben Aderet, Chef Ben Shaham and Chef Itamar Fadida, as well as Israeli Wine, which will be presented by Tal Gal Cohen, an international wine expert.

Israeli dishes will be served at the receptions of all events and at the hotel’s prestigious restaurant.

On Friday, October 27 at 1900Hrs, the world renowned Israeli flutist and composer Mattan Klein and his quartet will have a Jazz concert that will also include a unique collaboration with Ghanaian musicians: flutist Dela Botri and Hewale group and the Jazz singer Cina Soul.

On Monday, October 30 at 19:30, Ghanaian designer Royal Dennis and Israeli designer Betty Eldad will present their models in a fashion show to collect donations to finance fistula surgeries for women in Ghana.

This is the third year in a row that the diplomatic community is having such an event for this important purpose and this year, the Israeli embassy took responsibility to organize it.

The Israeli Culture Week promises to bring to Ghana some of Israel’s best flavors, sights and sounds.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

[Photos] GMB Eviction Party @ AM&PM

By | GMB2017, Showbiz | No Comments

The much-awaited eviction party for Upper East Region’s Talata and Ashanti Region’s Yaa came off on Friday night at the plush AM&PM Sports Bar inside the iconic Villagio Alto in Accra.

It was fun and excitement as the remaining six ladies joined the two – evicted a fortnight ago – at the party.

Friends and fans also joined in the excitement.

Watch pictures below:

 

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

#GMB2017

Lupita Nyong’o has starred in Hollywood hits 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars

Lupita Nyong’o accused Harvey Weinstein over sex

By | Features, Showbiz | One Comment
Lupita Nyong’o in 2015. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

Lupita Nyong’o in 2015. Credit Jesse Dittmar for The New York Times

I have been following the news and reading the accounts of women coming forward to talk about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and others. I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years. I had felt very much alone when these things happened, and I had blamed myself for a lot of it, quite like many of the other women who have shared their stories.

But now that this is being discussed openly, I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing. I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach. I have felt such a flare of rage that the experience I recount below was not a unique incident with me, but rather part of a sinister pattern of behavior.

I met Harvey Weinstein in 2011 at an awards ceremony in Berlin, while I was still a student at the Yale School of Drama. An intermediary introduced him to me as “the most powerful producer in Hollywood.” As an aspiring actress, I was of course eager to meet people in the industry but cautious about strangers, and the intentions of men in general. So I tried to vet this famous producer by asking my dinner-table companions what they knew of him. A woman who was a producer herself cautiously advised me to “keep Harvey in your corner.” She said: “He is a good man to know in the business, but just be careful around him. He can be a bully.” And so I exchanged contacts with him in the hopes that I would be considered for one of his projects. I wanted to keep things professional, so I made a point of referring to him as “Mr. Weinstein.” But he insisted that I call him by his first name. In this first encounter, I found him to be very direct and authoritative, but also charming. He didn’t quite put me at ease, but he didn’t alarm me, either.

Not long after we met in Berlin, Harvey wrote to me inviting me to attend a screening of a film — a competitor’s film similar to one he had produced. He said we would be watching it with his family at his home in Westport, Conn., which was not far away from New Haven, where I was living at the time. He would send a car to pick me up. I accepted the invitation.

The driver and I met Harvey in the little town of Westport, where he informed me that we would be having lunch at a restaurant before getting to his home. I did not think much of this. It was a busy restaurant, and as soon as we sat down he ordered a vodka and diet soda for himself. I asked for a juice. Harvey was unimpressed with my choice and told the waiter to bring me a vodka and diet soda instead. I declined and said I wanted the juice. We went back and forth until finally he turned to the waiter and said, “Get her what I tell you to get her. I’m the one paying the bill.” I smiled and remained silent. The waiter left and returned with a vodka and diet soda for me. He placed it on the table beside my water. I drank the water. Harvey told me that I needed to drink the vodka and diet soda. I informed him that I would not.

“Why not?” I remember him asking. “Because I don’t like vodka, and I don’t like diet soda, and I don’t like them together,” I said. “You are going to drink that,” he insisted. I smiled again and said that I wouldn’t. He gave up and called me stubborn. I said, “I know.” And the meal proceeded without much further ado. In this second encounter with Harvey, I found him to be pushy and idiosyncratic more than anything.

We got to his home after lunch and I met his domestic staff and his young children. He took me on a brief tour of the house before he rounded us all up in the screening room to watch the film. He had just produced a similar film of his own, but everyone was raving about this rival version.

I settled in for the film, but about 15 minutes in, Harvey came for me, saying he wanted to show me something. I protested that I wanted to finish the film first, but he insisted I go with him, laying down the law as though I too was one of his children. I did not want another back-and-forth in front of his kids, so I complied and left the room with him. I explained that I really wanted to see the film. He said we’d go back shortly.

Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.

Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included body work, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance. He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation. Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,” I said.

I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was. I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely. I was after all on his premises, and the members of his household, the potential witnesses, were all (strategically, it seems to me now) in a soundproof room.

Earlier Harvey had sent the driver to the store to buy a boxed collection of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” an HBO show that he had produced. This was the project he thought I would be right for, he said. (I later found out that the show had not been on the air for some time.) As I prepared to leave his home, he presented it to me. He wanted me to check it out and let him know what I thought. He would be in touch about it. I left for New Haven with his driver.

I didn’t quite know how to process the massage incident. I reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled-for, but not overtly sexual. I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred. I was in an educational program where I was giving massages to my classmates and colleagues every day. Though the incident with Harvey had made me uncomfortable, I was able to explain and justify it to myself, and shelve it as an awkward moment. His offer to me to be a part of the HBO show was a very attractive one and I was excited about it, especially as I would be graduating in another year. I didn’t know how to proceed without jeopardizing my future. But I knew I would not be accepting any more visits to private spaces with Harvey Weinstein.

I decided to invite Harvey to come to a production I was in at school. Perhaps that way he would really see what I had to offer, and he would see my colleagues, too. He accepted the invitation, but the night of the production, he sent a message saying he had been caught up in New York and would be unable to attend. He would make it up to me. So when I received an official invitation to a staged reading of his new Broadway show, “Finding Neverland,” I was not surprised. I was still debating whether I should accept his invitation, and so I responded saying I was not certain that I could make it because of my school schedule. He responded with exactly the words I needed to hear: Come with whomever you want to come with. And so I invited two of my trusted male friends.

Lupita Nyong’o has starred in Hollywood hits 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars

Lupita Nyong’o has starred in Hollywood hits 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars Photo: AFP

We attended the reading, and afterward Harvey invited us all to a restaurant for dinner with his comrades and collaborators. He sat me next to him, and another actress sat across from me. He had my friends sit at a different table. The talk was shop the whole time and Harvey held court with ease. He was charming and funny once more, and I felt confused about the discomfort I had previously experienced. I looked at the actress who I was informed had just worked with him on a project, searching her face for any sort of indication that she too had been made to feel uncomfortable by this powerful man, but of course I saw nothing. We did not stay very long because we had to catch a train back to New Haven. My friends had been equally charmed by Harvey. He knew when to turn it on if he wanted something. He was definitely a bully, but he could be really charming, which was disarming and confusing. I left feeling that perhaps he had learned my boundaries and was going to respect them.

A couple of months later, I received an email from Harvey, inviting me again to New York for a screening of “W.E.” After the screening, we would have drinks in TriBeCa. I then received a phone call from one of his male assistants to arrange my transportation. Feeling more confident about the new sense of boundaries that we had established in our last meeting, I attended the screening on my own this time. Afterward, as planned, his male assistant arranged for me to get to the Tribeca Grill, where Harvey would be joining us. I met a female assistant when I arrived there. I was expecting that it would be a group of us, as it had been for the reading, but she informed me it would just be Mr. Weinstein. She would sit with me until he arrived. She seemed on edge, but I could only imagine how stressful it was to work for a man who had so much going on.

Harvey arrived and the assistant immediately disappeared. We ordered drinks and starters. Again he was offended by my nonalcoholic beverage choice but he didn’t fight me on it as hard. Before the starters arrived, he announced: “Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.” I was stunned. I told him I preferred to eat in the restaurant. He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them.

I was silent for a while before I mustered up the courage to politely decline his offer. “You have no idea what you are passing up,” he said. “With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,” I replied.

His whole demeanor changed at that point. “Then I guess we are two ships passing in the night.” I had never heard that saying before, so I remember asking him what it meant. “It means just that,” he said. “We are two ships going in two different directions.”

“Yes, I guess we are.”

“So we are done here,” he said. “You can leave.”

We got up, having not eaten anything, and he led me out of the restaurant. My heart was beating very fast. A cab was hailed for me. I said I would take the subway (I could not afford a cab at the time), but he handed me some money and told me not to be silly, take the cab. Before I got in, I needed to make sure that I had not awakened a beast that would go on to ruin my name and destroy my chances in the business even before I got there.

“I just want to know that we are good,” I said.

“I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,” he said. It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time; of what, I couldn’t be sure.

I did not see Harvey again until September 2013 when I was in Toronto for the premiere of “12 Years a Slave,” the first feature film I was in. At an after-party, he found me and evicted whoever was sitting next to me to sit beside me. He said he couldn’t believe how fast I had gotten to where I was, and that he had treated me so badly in the past. He was ashamed of his actions and he promised to respect me moving forward. I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein.

Not long after I won the Academy Award in 2014, I received an offer to play a role in one of the Weinstein Company’s forthcoming films. I knew I would not do it simply because it was the Weinstein Company, but I did not feel comfortable telling this to anybody. I turned down the role, but Harvey would not take no for an answer. While at Cannes, he insisted on meeting with me in person. I agreed to do it only because my agent would be present. In the meeting, he was honest about intending to persuade me to do his movie. I told him I simply did not feel it was a role I needed to play. He said he was open to making it bigger, more significant, maybe they could add a love scene. He said if I did this one for him, he would do another one for me — basically guaranteeing backing a star-vehicle film for me. I ran out of ways of politely saying no and so did my agent. I was so exasperated by the end that I just kept quiet. Harvey finally accepted my position and expressed that he still wanted to work with me at some point. “Thank you, I hope so,” I lied.

And that was the last of my personal encounters with Harvey Weinstein. I share all of this now because I know now what I did not know then. I was part of a growing community of women who were secretly dealing with harassment by Harvey Weinstein. But I also did not know that there was a world in which anybody would care about my experience with him. You see, I was entering into a community that Harvey Weinstein had been in, and even shaped, long before I got there. He was one of the first people I met in the industry, and he told me, “This is the way it is.” And wherever I looked, everyone seemed to be bracing themselves and dealing with him, unchallenged. I did not know that things could change. I did not know that anybody wanted things to change. So my survival plan was to avoid Harvey and men like him at all costs, and I did not know that I had allies in this.

Fortunately for me, I have not dealt with any such incidents in the business since. And I think it is because all the projects I have been a part of have had women in positions of power, along with men who are feminists in their own right who have not abused their power. What I am most interested in now is combating the shame we go through that keeps us isolated and allows for harm to continue to be done. I wish I had known that there were women in the business I could have talked to. I wish I had known that there were ears to hear me. That justice could be served. There is clearly power in numbers. I thank the women who have spoken up and given me the strength to revisit this unfortunate moment in my past.

Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up. Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused. I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood — and brotherhood of allies — is being formed in our industry. I hope we can form a community where a woman can speak up about abuse and not suffer another abuse by not being believed and instead being ridiculed. That’s why we don’t speak up — for fear of suffering twice, and for fear of being labeled and characterized by our moment of powerlessness. Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now.

Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.

Source: Lupita Nyong’o | New York Times

Lupita Nyong’o is an actor, director and producer.

Reflection: My take on Paapa Yankson

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Paapa Yankson was from Apam in the Central region

Nyimpa beye bi wambeye ne nyinara

Woakra hen. Wakra h3n efi wiadze

Ony3 ne pe oe ewuradze ne nhyehyee

Osiande mber a ewuradze dze hye nono

Na wedu do ntsi na oroko no

Ntis na oroko no

Oko so a oremsen bio

Sweet melodious songs sung by the carousel 7 epitomizes the current state, Song simply says he has bid farewell to us not because he wants to but what the Lord’s

The streets of the oil city are clad in red and black.

The ancient town of Apam is wailing

A great son of the land is no more

A voice as rich as his can never be replaced.

Paapa Yankson is one of the few giants of highlife who propelled highlife and for that matter Ghana to such dizzying heights though he started life as a stenographer it was music that brought him fame.

As a young man growing up in a house that had a big GRUNDIG radio it was the voices of Papa Yankson, Kwame Ampadu, Gyedu Blay Ambolley and the rest who got me hooked on the big band at quite an early stage.

I hardly missed the guitar band stands on Radio 2. I got hooked on his voice partly because of his singing prowess. As someone living in the ancient capital city of Cape Coast “the town of beautiful nonsense” and being quite close to the fisher folk I was amazed by the dexterity to which papa with uncle C.K. Mann can take the songs by these fishermen and remold them into danceable tunes fit for the ballroom and satisfy both the elites and the “mmbrowa” at large.

The early releases by carousel 7 were a delight on anyone’s changer or his master’s voice. If you were lucky to be called upon by a man who trusted you enough to let you wind his gramophone then sweet melodies awaited to assault your ears.

It was after I had entered the U.C.C. that through the instrumentality of my maternal uncle Mr super bad I got the chance of meeting the man Kofi Yankson. Musiga in Cape Coast had instituted a monthly musical show at the center for national culture in Cape Coast and I was penciled to be the master of ceremony and my chance came to meet him. He warmed himself into my heart and I was stunned by his humility and simplicity as he was then a star on his own, debuting his album on the flying elephant label “wiadze mu nsem” had taken the nation by storm and my favorite “EBEI” was at its peak. He encouraged me to learn the trade well as I had a good future in the industry. I picked a few lessons from him and followed him but when he released the show your love album his stature in the contemporary highlife world got to an all-time high, his producer then, Isaac Taylor of Roots Music World became a friend and these men were so enthused about a young man like me who wanted to know everything about highlife.

Paapa got in touch with me now and then as we struck up a beautiful relationship. More like a father and son. The release of his gospel album Paapa Yankson and the Christian sisters drew us even more together when he realized I was a Methodist and a chorister as well.

I came to work in Accra and we maintained our friendship but it was when I went back to Takoradi that the friendship blossomed. I was eager to learn so much about the highlife giants. CK MANN, the late Mr. Wilmot and Kweku Grant were very influential in my highlife journey so any time Papa Yankson came to Taadi he will call me that he was around Moree junction, he will visit and we will move together to either Lucky bar or Columbia. He will talk about his music and other things in the music world, sometimes we will just drive over to Kwafaq and stand by his golf car listening to the live band.

Papa was a great teacher and a wonderful listener. I will never forget the day he screamed at me, he had brought his then fresh alum titled” highlife collections” to me for critique. I listened to the full album over and over again and realized the production standards were lower than his previously released albums and I politely pointed out to him. That was when he snapped. He went like ‘herrr kofi awo small boy mestart de morotow ndwom na wonwo wo and you talking to me about production? Meaning “I started singing before you were born so don’t talk about music production to me” I kept mute and walked on but he called me back and said we should go out. He then asked why I felt the songs did not meet my standards and he took them in but I realized he was hurt. The last time I asked of that album he told me I should gerrroout because I was part of the reason he could not release it.

We kept on communicating with each other and on the 5th of March this year we had a lengthy 1.15 mins interview live on 3FM 92.7 GH CLASSICS, the discussion was Primarily on highlife general to commemorate [email protected]

On June 24 I had called him live on radio on Onua 95.1FM to wish him happy birthday and he made me sing the happy birthday song for him. When I asked him his favourite song apart from “mber papa” he said no that was his first composition.

Author: Paa Kofi Abronomah |Onua FM

Flowking Stone to dash fans with ‘Bronya Ade’

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Christmas is that time of the year when Christians and many others join family and friends to wine, dine and dance.

But hey, what song are you dancing to come this Christmas?

Well, you need not worry as award-winning hiplife artiste Flowking Stone says all is set for the release of his latest single for this year’s Christmas.

It is dubbed Bronya Ade.

“It’s a hiplife song, mostly made up of highlife beat. ‘Bronya Ade’ in Twi or Fante means ‘Christmas gift’.

“Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought it good to do it for the fans. I featured Takoradi’s finest rapper, Ayesem,” he told 3FM’s Solomon Mensah, in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

He indicated that his yet-to-be-released song addresses the issue of people tagging secular musicians as devils.

“Basically, the song is about having fun. However, it also talks about the fact that when someone does secular music, it does not mean he/she is devilish.”

The song produced by ‘Fire Bon Dem’ beat maker, KC Beat, would be released Friday, October 20.

By Solomon Mensah|3FM 92.7|3news.com|Ghana

Official: Bawumia won’t attend RTP Awards

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Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia would not attend the much publicised  7th edition of the Adonko RTP awards, his office has established.

The Radio and Television Personality Awards (RTP Awards) has over the years honoured radio and television presenters across the country.

There has been an advertisement by the organisers, running over a month, that said the Vice President would join other high profile personalities at this year’s awards.

Former President John Dramani Mahama and Rev. Dr. Boadi Nyamekye, Founder and Leader of Makers House Chapel, were mentioned as some of the dignitaries set to grace the occasion.

But in a Facebook post, the Director of Communications at the Office of the Vice President, Frank Agyei-Twum, was clear that Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia would not take part in the event.

“The Vice President has nothing to do with the 2017 RTP awards and will not be present at the said ceremony,” the post read.

The RTP Awards is organised by Big Events Ghana Limited and it is expected to be held this month.

Meanwhile, manager of the Swedru-based artiste, Patapaa, says the artiste will not perform at RTP Awards slated for this month.

Godfred Bokpin is reported to have said the ‘One Corner’ hitmaker, there is no contract between them and organisers of the Awards.

Patapaa is currently the man of the moment in the music scene in Ghana

 Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Tour of beautiful Zimbabwe: five things we learn

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I RECENTLY had the opportunity to visit Zimbabwe for the very first time. Zimbabwe is a country that when mentioned you are very likely to associate with a dictatorial president, flying inflation, beating of the opposition and many such negative connotations. I was curious therefore to know what was different when I was invited by the President of TOUGHA Mrs. Nancy Sam Quartey to come along to Zimbabwe as part of an international media team.

That trip opened my eyes to many things that the southern African nation has to offer and here below are five things we learned and I believe we can derive some knowledge from in our quest to deepen our tourism development.

THE NEED FOR A TOURISM FORUM: The main purpose for which we were in Zimbabwe was to participate in the country’s decade old tourism and hospitality forum known as Sanganai Hlanganani World Tourism Expo organized by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. It was the second time the forum was taking place in second largest city of Bulawayo, after the previous eight had taken place in the national capital of Harare.

Sanganai, as everyone in Zimbabwe refers to the forum, is a tourism market event compared to the likes of World Tourism Market (London), ITB Berlin, INDABA (South Africa), Magical Kenya, etc. in the sense that it brings together players across the value chain of the tourism trade.

Albeit on a smaller scale compared to the others aforementioned, it gives opportunity to tourism market operators to exhibit their products and services and to create meetings for exchange of ideas, make deals and or form partnerships with both local and international companies and individuals that would enhance each other’s business.

I have realized, since getting involved in this tourism promotion and marketing, that all countries on the continent that take tourism serious have something of the sort. Some of the giants in the business such as South Africa and Kenya have theirs, but also smaller countries including the likes of Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana, and Mozambique have theirs too.

If for nothing at all, it opens up the country for visitors and it create an opportunity to enhance the tourism promotion and I can’t say this enough that we do need one!AN OPPORTUNITY TO SELL GHANA: Ghana as a country that seeks to draw people to experience what it has participated in the Sanganai this year through the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA).

Led by its President Mrs. Nancy Sam Quartey, the TOUGHA facilitated this trip with the support of the Zimbabwean High Commissioner to Ghana Her Excellency Pavelyn Tendai Musaka, who spent a lot of time in Ghana stand to help promote the country of her service to Zimbabwe.

The Ghana stand was a beehive of activities as exhibitors and others thronged to see what they could gather about the country, as a few questions about Kente and taste the Nkatie Burger that GTA officials had in abundance at the stand.

Indeed on the second day of the forum, Ghana was given the opportunity to showcase what it has in cuisine and culinary skills. Mrs. Nancy Sam and the team prepared various Ghanaian dishes including waakye, gari fortor, kelewele, plantain chips, yam and kontomire, etc.

Above all, H.E. Musaka took the time to tell her fellow countrymen and women to visit Ghana and West Africa to, among other things, learn about the history of the continent through the European slave castles that are located here. “For as long as you have not gone to see those slave castles in Ghana or West Africa, you have not discovered yourself as a true African person, whether they are abroad or within Africa”.

A COUNTRY OF WILDLIFE AND NATURAL BEAUTY: The biggest tourism attraction to Zimbabwe is the mighty Victoria Falls. A group of eight huge falls crashing into the deep crater below with a loud sound and huge vapour viewed from sixteen different spots with sixteen different angles and perspectives.One of the things anyone living on the African continent should do before they die is to visit the Victoria Falls and maybe, if they have the heart, do the bungee jumping, zip-lining, God swing or any of the other adrenaline inspired activities that’s an industry around the Victoria Falls enclave.

However, the realization as one goes further away from Victoria Falls to other parts of Zimbabwe would be the fact that there are other places worth visiting and that it is really a very beautiful country with scenic views and awesome scenery all over.

That Zimbabwe has massive numbers of wildlife is not an issue at question. It has massive numbers and different types of antelopes including impalas, kudus, steinboks, waterbucks and others; also in the wild

in Zimbabwe are huge numbers of predators including lions, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas and more; then there are the likes of giraffes, zebras, warthogs, hippopotamuses, rhinos and elephants.

There are several national parks that are home to these wildlife and they are protected from poachers, although it is a tough fight between the rangers and poachers, but they do their best to protect the animals in the wild.

We had the opportunity to visit two national parks: Hwange and Matobos and got up close and personal with some of these animals. At Hwange our delight was to see wild dogs that had not been sighted in three months and huge numbers of elephants as well as giraffes.

But the height of it all was at Matobos where we tracked rhinos and eventually found a crash (a group of rhinos) grazing and from about 50 metres to where they were we took photos. It was a great experience of wildlife tourism.

DEVELOPING TOURISM INFRASTUCTURE: Tourism is one of the largest contributors to the USD16billion economy of Zimbabwe, indeed the second largest and they understand that to either keep it at that or push it to the top, there is the need to ensure that infrastructure to tourism sites are improved.

For the places that we visited on this trip: Victoria Falls, Hwange, Bulawayo, Matopos, Gweru and Harare, there are fairly good road infrastructure that links the various places. Zimbabwe also has a good railway system that serves the various cities and tourist could use that as a means of transport to access destinations and experiences.

It is even heartwarming that the keynote speaker at the Sanganai Hlanganani World Expo, Hon. Patrick Chinamasa (who was the Finance Minister until a reshuffle last Monday) underscored the fact that the government would improve the infrastructure to such places, adopt an open sky policy, set up a revolving fund for tourism operators, etc. all to improve tourism.

THE MUGABE FACTOR: If there is any particular lesson I picked on this trip it is the fact that sometimes living in other parts of the world and reading or watching news of things from other parts may not be a good test of the reality of how things are.

There is a huge view out there about the insecurity of foreigners all because of the highhandedness and dictatorial tendencies of President Robert Mugabe. During the eleven days that I was in Zimbabwe, I travelled with foreign journalists from different countries: USA, Australia, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria and South Korea and in time we all realized that we couldn’t be living in a more peaceful country.

We did everything that could be done in any country including roaming the streets, shopping at the mall, going to eat out and going to the night club. For many Zimbabweans, the issue of their President is one to be laughed about.

He is a good meme material for the internet and social media and as one Zimbabwean told me “we keep him there for some of these things” while showing me a viral video of Mugabe walking the to the podium with swagger at the UN General Assembly recently! Forget Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with beautiful people and you should visit.

By Francis Doku|3news.com|Ghana

Sad! Akwaboah Snr recounts how he became blind

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Kwadwo Akwaboah

Legendary Ghanaian Highlife singer, Kwadwo Akwaboah Senior, has for the first time recounted how he became blind.

In an exclusive interview on the After Hours on TV3, Kwadwo Akwaboah Snr narrated the unfortunate turn of events to host Mikki Osei Berko, but insisted that though he is blind, he is able to perform when called upon to do so.

“When I was travelling abroad [my sight] wasn’t like that. The reason for my travel to Holland was to procure my own musical instruments. I decided to travel to Holland to procure my own instruments to aid in my recording. Indeed I was able to secure those materials. I even used that to record Nicholas Omane Acheampong’s Zaphenath Paneah. I used my own studio materials to record it. But it was when I was away that the eye problems began. It began with my left eye. So I had to end whatever I was doing abroad to return to Ghana.

“Upon my return, I relied on my right eye to work but it happened that I woke up one day and realized that the right eye was also gone,” Akwaboah explained.

Though he is now blind, the Awerekyekyere hit-maker insisted that he will not allow the sickness to send him to an early grave.

He told host Mikki Osei Berko: “Mikki, let me tell you something. I refuse to allow that I will die with this sickness. I refuse. I know that there will be a change. It is Glaucoma. I know that God heals and God’s healing is more beautiful than that of man.  Being blind does not mean that my brains are not functioning. I refuse to die in sorrow.”

Akwaboah Snr also revealed that he plays a significant role in the music career of his son Kwabena Akwaboah Jnr, who was named after his grandfather, the legendary Kwabena Akwaboah.

Check out the full interview below:

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

[email protected]: Eight viewers rewarded

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TV3 has rewarded eight people who emerged as winners of the station’s anniversary text and win quiz.

The competition, which runs until October 31, seeks to appreciate viewers as part of activities to commemorate TV3’s 20 years anniversary.

Since October 1997, TV3, Ghana’s leading free to air television station, has changed the face of broadcasting in Ghana by providing viewers with rich news and entertainment.

It has in the last 20 years become a household name in Ghana and maintained its audience share as market leaders in news, entertainment and current affairs. The station has been able to achieve this feat through the broadcast of excellent programming.

Presenting the souvenirs to the winners at station’s ultra-modern studio, the News Hub, in Accra,
General Manager of MG TV, Beatrice Agyemang Abbey, congratulated the eight viewers for participating in the competition.

She also entreated viewers to expect more exciting and educative programmes as the station moves to expand its borders on the African continent and beyond.

Prince Ampofo, an engineer who was the highest texter in the quiz expressed appreciation to the station for the gestureAnother winner, Priscilla Addison, a student, was grateful to the station for rewarding them with branded souvenirs. She urged other viewers to also partake in the competition.

The text and win competition will run until October 31 and viewers are encouraged to partake.

Ghanaians will reject ‘One Corner’ hitmaker soon if… – Atom warns

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Patapaa is currently the man of the moment in the music scene in Ghana

Hip Life artiste, Atom Reloaded, has cautioned the Swedru-based musician, Patapaa, not to get carried away by the fame and hype he’s enjoying with his ‘One Corner’ hit because it will not last.

For Atom Reloaded, Patapaa should consider releasing another hit song to be able to sustain the popularity he’s enjoying at the moment otherwise he will fade out in no time.

“It is only best for Patapaa if he follows it up [One Corner] with another banger,” the Ye Wo Krom hit maker advised Patapaa

“Ghanaians are expecting another banger from Patapaa after One Corner and from my Ye Wo Krom experience, I know it won’t be that easy for him because looking at the rate at which One Corner is big, getting another follow up hit song will be extremely difficult so he should start working hard towards that satisfaction for Ghanaians or soon, they will reject him,” Atom Reloaded stated.

Atom Reloaded believes if care isn’t taken, the song will fade out like other hit songs that were circulating on the streets before “One Corner’s” existence and the name, “Patapaa” will be forgotten, if he feels too comfortable with this fame.

He recalled how popular he became with his Ye Wo Krom song but said “I didn’t get too comfortable with just that so I decided to release other songs with other musicians just to be relevant in the industry”.

Despite the efforts he put in to sustain his popularity and currency in the music scene, Atom said not everyone loved the songs he subsequently released, but said he did not complain and had to do his best stay relevant.

“Even after all the attention, awards and wealth Ye Wo Krom brought, I am still working hard to entertain the world with more of my songs,” he said.

Atom Reloaded is currently promoting his new collaboration with multiple award-winning musician Bisa K’Dei, titled ‘Asaasewura’.

By 3news.com|Ghana