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GHANA

JOURNEY TO MODERN DAY


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CONTENTS 24.

24. THE GHANAIAN

18. KUMASI - THE

08. GHANA @ 62 With 62 years on the board, Ghana has bags of past events to look back on.

10.

BEATING HEART OF THE ASHANTI REGION Do it for the culture - seriously! A traveller’s joy is found in experiencing a shift in climate, scenery and culture; a shift that a visit to Kumasi will deliver to the fullest.

DREAM: REMEMBERING KOFI ANNAN

‘Busumuru’ – an appellation so weighty it bubbles in your mouth. From Friday 16th August 2002 onwards, this is the honor that preceded the late Kofi Atta Annan.

29. HIKES & SITES: BOTI

FALLS

EVERY CASTLE HAS A STORY

There are tourist attractions and then there is Boti Falls.

It is one of those sad realities that the rich history of Ghana may not be widely known across the globe.

EDITION: VINE

38. PICK OF THE Over the last quarter we have scoured the streets of Accra partly intentionally seeking out and partly stumbling upon a number of gems to please our palate.

38.

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MEET THE TEAM DARYL AMANKWAH Founder & CEO

ADAORA UZOR Editor-In-Chief & Managing Partner

NANA KWESI TAYLOR Editor

ELIKEM AKPALU Photographer *Cover Photo *Every Castle has a story

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EDITOR'S LETTER

Hello and welcome to DAME Africa Magazine Q2 2019.

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his edition is quite a special one in my opinion. Not because our content is markedly different from previous editions and not because it is filled with amazing visuals. Its charm for me stems from the period within which our production run took place. March has been an inspiring month for history, creativity and the celebration of progress. Both Ghana’s Independence Day and International women’s day brought about a time for reflection on both where we come from and where we are heading, and it was truly infectious. I hope that you too were able to appreciate this period on both a grand scale and, equally important, on a personal level. I’d like to take this opportunity to share just one of my experiences over this period. To sum it up, this was an uplifting and enlightening

period. It awakened my consciousness to the universal celebration of creativity and the modern woman. A celebration that is nondiscriminating and enjoyed by women and men all over the world. How far we have come that we can all come together to celebrate women in such an open manner. Here’s to that celebration continuing to impact us all positively every single day of the year. As well as running DAME, I also enjoy a corporate career. To my delight, at work, International Women’s Day was taken very seriously indeed. We were all invited to identify a woman that has inspired us personally. Submissions upon submission came flying in and on the actual day we all gathered in our funky presenting hall to enjoy some of the submissions on the big screen. www.dameafrica.com 6


As a big believer of following your heart and putting your passions first, being part of such a creative, forward-thinking generation striving for balance is nothing short of a privilege. In addition, both our Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Product Officer were invited to share their stories with us all. Individually, they both described tenacious women who balanced the need for a stable career, the pursuit of their passions, their love for love and desire for having a family. They described the challenges each woman confronted, the sacrifices they made and the successes they celebrated. As both men described these superwomen, little did we know the inspirational women they were both proudly telling us about were in fact their wives. Their words echoed through the building as they acknowledged the need to pursue that which your heart desires, as both men expressed the view that a job, include the ones they manage, is just a job. So, if you want to pursue a career, fine. If you want to study, fine. If you want to start a family, guess what, that is fine too. What really moved me was the appreciation that was shown to these women rather than idealising a distant figure. We often appreciate distant, objectively praise-worthy contributions rather than the ones that are made and affect us every day. Look at the people you have contact with every day, both male and female and think about all the ways they inspire you.

As a big believer of following your heart and putting your passions first, being part of such a creative, forwardthinking generation striving for balance is nothing short of a privilege. The history of Africans shows us this. We are now largely free to explore the talents and gifts born in us, so it is time to turn it up a notch and leverage this to allow your best you to explode into existence. Our independence is ours to maximise. This letter isn’t about glorifying women. It is about acknowledging the need to come together, men and women, to be the best we can be. Uplifting and empowering each other keeps us motivated to be great for ourselves and the ones who appreciate us. In this edition of DAME Africa Magazine, we have taken a deeper look at Ghana, her history and her culture. We have explored aspects of the journey to modern day Ghana and the preservation of her culture, adding snippets of our research to this magazine. We hope you enjoy this edition as much as we enjoyed producing it. Love,

Adaora www.dameafrica.com 7


GHA NA @ 62

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ith 62 years on the board, Ghana has bags of past events to look back on. For as far back as any Ghanaian’s memory can travel, the independence anniversary has been synonymous with holiday, Black Star Square and parades. Accra, the capital, takes center stage and the entire world becomes an audience. However, this year’s independence anniversary celebration saw an unprecedented move of the

independence tradition to Tamale, the Northern Region of Ghana. Although an unpopular opinion, the independence day anniversary in Ghana has lost a bit of the luster originally associated with it simply because of the predictability of events surrounding the celebrations each year. Hence, this shake-up was very much warranted. What was a customary hot and dry day in the north did nothing to suppress the sheer joy celebrants at

the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium possessed because they were witnessing the first independence anniversary celebrated outside Accra. It was also particularly pleasing to see the spotlight thrown on Tamale, which is an often forgotten gem in Ghana. More so, 2019 has seen the end of a 16-year chieftaincy conflict in the kingdom of Dagbon (in the Northern Region) climaxed with the enskinment of a new chief. What better way cement the peace that www.dameafrica.com 8


is finally reigning over there than holding the national celebration which was under the theme ‘Celebrating Peace and Unity’ in the Northern Region. Perhaps, this move to Northern Region will be a blueprint for each region gaining the chance to host subsequent independence anniversaries, which will allow them to showcase their riches on the big stage. Ghanaians love nothing more than a holiday. Accra in particular was bubbling with all kinds of activity on March 6th, even though the customary parade was not being observed out there. The colorful experience at the Accra Goods

Market fair was probably the substitute for the parade. The pop-up fair, which occurs every holiday in Accra, saw a flurry of people throng to the location to shop for Made in Ghana goods and familiarize with entrepreneurs. With food being a global glue, the pick of the activities had to be all the top eateries in Accra being in sync about an all-Ghanaian menu for the day. The buffet tables were laid and the all-inclusive #EatGhana was in full swing. 6th March was probably the most opportune time to taste food which isn’t commercial in Accra. Some corporations and media houses have even gone a step further to

dub the entire month of March an #EatGhana month, adding to the pace the #SeeGhana, #WearGhana and Heritage Month movements have already garnered. Indeed, March is the second most special month in Ghana, only behind December. As Ghana collectively connects with her roots and remembers the journey to independence in order to fuel her charge for greatness, it is also highly important to note that her independence is finally being linked to the total liberation of Africa, with the Year of Return being slated for 2019. All eyes are on the sub-Saharan country. It is her move now.

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EVERY CASTLE HAS A STORY www.dameafrica.com 10


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t is one of those sad realities that the rich history of Ghana may not be widely known across the globe. The accounts of fearless acts of patriotism, demonstrations of cultural values and relentless pride have been marginalised in our history books and confined largely within the borders of the land. Until you land.

Across much of Ghana are glimpses of preserved evidence of its history which are found through, among other things, its castles. Whilst there are many forts and palaces across the country, the three most well-known castles are Osu castle, Elmina castle and Cape Coast castle.

OSU CASTLE

Originally built in the mid-1600s, during the period of Swedish control over the local area, the castle was originally used as a trade house for ivory and gold until the slave trade was introduced to its four walls by the Dano-Norwegians. For most of its history, including periods under colonial rule, Osu castle, situated in the capital of Ghana, has been a seat of Government. Having been rebuilt a number of times, the existing castle is comprised of various extensions and has many facilities within it. It is adorned with lush gardens and has been open to the public since 2017.

ELMINA CASTLE Pre-dating the other castles, Elmina castle was built in the late-1400s by the Portuguese and is the oldest European building south of the Sahara. Like the other castles, after a period of housing the gold trade, Elmina castle was swept up into the slave trade during the 17th century. Over the course of the transatlantic slave trade, the castle changed hands a number of times between European colonists, fighting for power and dominion over the dark, lucrative trade. Having undergone renovations in the 1900s, the castle is now preserved as a Ghanaian national museum and the monument was designated as a World Heritage Monument under UNESCO in 1979. www.dameafrica.com 11


Originally Cape Coast castle was a marketplace where the Europeans traded clothing, spices, sugar and silk for the gold, timber and mahogany of the native people of Cape Coast. Inevitably as it was, the trade here also focused and peaked on the selling of slaves to the New World. Cape Coast castle became the last stop for those captured as from its “gate of no return�, slaves were shipped away from their continent.

CAPE COAST CASTLE

All three castles are currently open to the public , allowing visitors to walk through the grounds and glimpse the stages and conditions of passage of slaves during the transatlantic slave trade and a part of history.

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Humility, Strength & Honour

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one of the greatest fighters against British colonialism, which sought to strip the Ashanti Region of the independent rule of the Federation of Ashanti tribe families.

Asantewaa’s early life of cultivating crops and farming turned to a life of politics during the late-1800s after her brother, ruler of Ejisuhene named her Queen Mother. However, events to come would catapult Asantewaa to her position in history as a leader of men and

Turmoil struck in 1896 when the Asantehene, Prempeh I and Asantewaa’s grandson, who was now the Ruler of Ejisu, were along with others, exiled to the Seychelles by the British for opposing the British rule. However, the British took things a step too far when they demanded that the Golden Stool, an ancestral symbol of the Ashanti Empire, and Asantewaa was not prepared to give it up

orn in the mid-1800s, Yaa Asantewaa lived life as a force to be reckoned with and arguably one of the greatest forces in Ghanaian history. She is a symbol of the unwavering matrilineal strength of the Ashanti Region that continues to stand today.

without a fight. While the men of the Asantehene deliberated on the matter of handing over the Golden Stool and securing the return of their exiled King, Nana Yaa Asantewaa, Queen Mother and Gatekeeper of the Golden stool, rose up against them, making them aware that if the men were not prepared to defend their honour, the women would do it themselves, led by Asantewaa herself. This marked the beginning of the War of the Golden Stool, led by Asantewaa and her army of 5000.

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Now I have seen that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our King. If it were in the brave days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anokye, and Opoku Ware, leaders would not sit down to see their King taken away without firing a shot. No white man could have dared to speak to a leader of the Ashanti in the way the Governor spoke to you this morning. Is it true that the bravery of the Ashanti is no more? I cannot believe it. It cannot be! I must say this, if you the men of Ashanti will not go forward, then we will. We the women will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefields! Nana Yaa Asantewaa, Queen mother and Gatekeeper

Fuelled by Asantewaa’s passion and patriotism, the Ashanti's defended the sacred Golden Stool with their lives, hiding it deep within the forest. After a challenging battle, the British managed to annex the Ashanti Empire to their own and exiled Asantewaa and many of the opposing Ashanti chiefs to the Seychelles for 25 year. In exile, Nana Yaa Asantewaa died in 1921. However, and in spite of colonisation, the Ashanti ruled themselves in true Ashanti fashion, with little regard for the British who ended the war without possessing the Golden Stool. So whilst the battle goes to the British, the question remains - who won Yaa’s war?

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Kumasi

The beating heart of the Ashanti Region

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o it for the culture - seriously! A traveller’s joy is found in experiencing a shift in climate, scenery and culture; a shift that a visit to Kumasi will deliver to the fullest. The city of Kumasi is the capital of the Ashanti Region, a place that has given to the attentive world a wealth of history to discover and learn about. Dripping in rich tradition and oozing well-preserved royal culture, values and heritage, Kumasi is the statement piece of Ghana.

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The city proudly shows off her history in Prempeh II Jubilee museum, Manhyia Palace museum and the National Cultural Centre. To truly get the most from Kumasi, timing is everything! The Ashanti culture explodes during the Akwasidae festival, where the roots of culture and ancestry are celebrated. The festival commemorates the date that the Ashanti Golden Stool was mysteriously brought down from heaven by Okomfo Anokye. The festival presents a spectacle of colours, dancers, singers, hornblowers, dummers and more, all in honour of their ancestors and reigning King - who is also present during the festival. www.dameafrica.com 19


Ghana's World Travellers Ghana is blessed with natural resources, delicious crops, treats and products which are enjoyed around the world.

COCONUT A big deal in the nutrition world at the moment and it doesn’t get better than fresh coconuts from the streets of Ghana, filled with a refreshing drink to ease the scorching sun.

SHEA BUTTER Beauty product of the decade. Shea butter has become increasingly popular in recent years for its amazing skin and hair boosting properties.

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COCOA If you were ever told as a kid that there is no chocolate in Africa because it is too hot, that pinocchio lied! Cocoa of Ghana gives life to some of the richest chocolate you’ll ever taste.

GOLD A pride of Ghana and a gold mine in every sense of the phrase - Ghana is renowned for this precious natural resource.

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THE RISE OF COCONUT OIL

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oil has managed to present itself, albeit unconvincingly, as a healthier alternative. Studies, however few, have shown that coconut oil contains the most saturated fat among all the consumable oils. But still its Well, actually we all know what popularity soars. coconut oil is and it is still provocative. Sales of coconut oil It is quite trendy now to see many products are through the roof and households fry their plantains with production levels of the coconut coconut oil although the taste of crop in multiple regions of the the plantain seems to get lost in the country are well on course to match overpowering taste of the coconut oil. Coconut rice is another dish that of sales. most eateries in Accra seem to be Quite frankly, coconut oil has an gravitating towards these days. The authoritative smell and taste. In tangy taste quite possibly satisfies these parts, coconut oil largely the very needy taste buds of the rides on the ‘unproven’ nutritional average Ghanaian. benefits card. In an era where so many self-proclaimed health care Coconut oil also gets a shout in the advocates are trying to get all types skincare and hair conversations. Its of cooking oil out of here, coconut antibacterial properties are thought ver the last decade or so, I have watched coconut oil gain more popularity than myself in Ghana. Quite tragic, if you ask me. No one knows what it is but it’s provocative.

to be essential in the fight against acne and inflammation, although this still remains a contentious school of thought among dermatologists. The same ideology could be applied in the event of attending to a wound on one’s skin. When it comes to hair, coconut oil is also used to foil lice and dandruff and also to boost hair growth in the long term. The case of coconut oil definitely is a curious one. However, since production and marketing of coconut is only now on the up here in Ghana, and many other uses of coconut oil continue to be discovered, it is tough to foresee coconut oil experiencing any dip here, at least in the short term. So how high can you go, coconut oil? www.dameafrica.com 22


Image by menufinderafrica

THE GLUE THAT IS KELEWELE

Kelewele

may just be the only Ghanaian meal that does not divide opinion. A meal fit for all occasions and appropriate for any time of the day. Kelewele is just fried bite-sized ripe plantains seasoned with spices. What makes fried plantain qualify to be kelewele is its peppery taste which is the result of the spices used. All Ghanaian ethnic groups are renowned for their allegiance to spices and flavor that make the mouth burn and the eyes water.

Kelewele can do just that. Cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic, chilli pepper, anise, cloves can be combined to give the spicy kelewele effect. Your taste buds may not identify these spices individually but collectively, they can excite and do more. Although kelewele is renowned for its peppery smack, consumers are at liberty to regulate the amount of spices to be aligned with what their systems will permit. It is tough to trace the origins of kelewele in Ghana to one ethnic

group because plantain is harvested in a multitude of Ghanaian areas, although some people credit the meal to the Northern areas of Ghana. The preparation of kelewele requires a mixture of spices of one’s choices (like the ones aforementioned) to be prepared before the plantains are diced. The plantains will then be marinated in the bowl of spices and then fried in hot oil. Kelewele is popular around almost every street corner in Accra and can be enjoyed as a main meal, a side, a dessert or even a snack.

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THE GHANAIAN DREAM

REMEMBERING

KOFI ANNAN

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‘Busumuru’ – an appellation so

weighty it bubbles in your mouth. From Friday 16th August 2002 onwards, this is the honor that preceded the late Kofi Atta Annan. ‘Busumuru’ is Asanteman’s highest honor. The title emanates from a special regalia of the Asantehene and among all its meanings, ‘peaceloving’ is the one that resonates most with Kofi Annan’s legacy; a legacy that attempts to define the ‘Ghanaian dream’ for many. Kofi Atta Annan is a name that does not divide opinion. He was and still is Ghana’s most decorated statesman. He saw it all; from pre-independence Ghana to the current 4th Republic, albeit not being a permanent fixture in the country from the 60s onwards. Most of the flowers Kofi Annan gets are as a result of the strides he made during his time at the United Nations. Until another UN Secretary-General rises through the ranks of the organization to get to the top seat, Kofi Annan remains the only UN boss with that stat. As the first Ghanaian and black UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan made it a point to check the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa by getting world leaders to sit up and paying attention to what could have been a global menace. To say he was just a Ghanaian diplomat will be a grave injustice.

His recognition and acceptance by all was evident as he won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001, although he was head of the UN at the time. At that point, his ultimate agenda of seeing human security, human development and human rights being collectively improved was known worldwide. It was tough to separate the man from all three issues during and after his tenure at the UN. The Peacebuilding Commission and The Human Rights Council, both ingrained in the UN setup, and the Kofi Annan International

Peacekeeping Training Center in Accra are just a few of the man’s fingerprints left on earth. Some say it will take eons for another black man/woman to get into the topmost seat at the UN. Some say a Ghanaian being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace will happen in the next lifetime. The fact is, Kofi Annan has made us believe that it is possible to reach the utopia in whatever you are passionate about. And that is what the ‘Ghanaian Dream’ should encapsulate.

Images from CNN and Fortune

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Nzulezu The Village on Water

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ne of the wonders of Ghana, nestled away not in any remote land, forest or secret mountain but on water. The village of Nzulezu is a brisk 20 minute journey from land by canoe and we can tell you now that only a native of Nzulezu can get you there in that time!

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DAME Africa took a trip to the village on stilts for an unforgettable experience. Coined as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ghana, a day trip to Nzulezu will allow you to relax and enjoy a ride along a river full of character, paddle and best of all meet the people of the village. You will be welcomed into the tight-knit, multi-generational community, as you are allowed to roam through the small marketplace, explore their churches, homes and schools. You will be amazed by the history of the village which is delivered to all who visit Nzulezu. Journey to Nzulezu for a truly remarkable experience of culture and heritage. www.dameafrica.com 28


HIKES & SIGHTS BOTI FALLS, UMBRELLA ROCK & THE THREE-HEADED PALM TREE

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here are tourist attractions and then there is Boti Falls. Once you discover this place, the allure to visit is magnetic! Couple with nearby Umbrella rock and you have a day trip to remember. Set in Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region, the twin waterfalls, often referred to as husband and wife, are a popular attraction for an escape from city life. Upon arrival you will be met by lush grounds and invited to take an invigorating walk down the staggered steps to the lake at the bottom of the falls. This is where the experience becomes breath-taking, especially if you are lucky enough to be here during the rainy seasons. During its most optimum seasons, the water of the two falls meet in what the local describe as ‘a mating ceremony’ which is often graced by the rainbow-like spectrum of light formed by the crashing water. Be prepared to get a workout in when you visit! The climb down to and up again from the bottom of the falls is no small feat in itself and that is before you take on the challenge of hiking to Umbrella rock. The hike will add an additional 40 minute burn to your day and award you with two wonders of Ghana.

First, Umbrella Rock - a 20ft tall rock with a narrowed mid-section allowing visitors to relax under or on top of the umbrella and enjoy the sights of the beautiful landscape beneath them. And lastly, the unusual three-headed palm tree in close proximity to Umbrella rock will wrap your day up spectacularly. So get your hiking boot, picnic and friends together for an adventure filled day.

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BLUE DIAMOND BEACH RESORT www.dameafrica.com 31


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scape the buzz of Accra and experience bliss and complete relaxation at Blue Diamond Beach Resort.

Blue Diamond provides visitors the opportunity to relax in peace on its 500m beachfront. Once the sun sets you’ll be able to retreat to one of its chalets, close enough to enjoy the sound of the Atlantic Ocean. The resort has a lovely little restaurant, serving delicious meals throughout the day. Perfectly situated around the halfway point between Accra and Cape Coast, coastal weekend getaways are just over an hour away.

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TREASURES IN ACCRA YEAAAAHHH! Every GOAL, SET, TRY, RUN, KNOCKOUT is greeted with rapturous applause and euphoria. That is AM&PM in its crowning glory for you — well, one of its crowning glories. This multidimensional space is just as renowned for being a sports bar as it is for serving up mouthwatering dishes.

It is approximately 2 AM on December 1, 2018 and I am in the warm embrace of AM & PM Sports Bar. Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are about to try and batter each other and it is practically a full house in the bar. Mind you, I am nothing like a boxing fanatic or anything of the sort but this bout had been billed as the final major bout to crown 2018 and if I was going to watch it, then I had to watch it right. A true man-cave this is for the night. An overload of androgen, adrenalin and baritone financed by the bout has all the viewers debating the proceedings. And then a split draw being the conclusion after we all could not wait to see your pick declared winner? Talk about a kick to the nuts. www.dameafrica.com 34


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isappointment led me to order more food and chop it up with a true boxing fanatic while I waited for my order. A conversation that began in the confines of sport metamorphosed into a multifaceted one. Eventually, we got talking about our professional lives and this is how I bagged another business contact who has gone on to be rewarding. Maybe boxing should be my favorite sport from now on. This is just one of the many treasure hunts Accra entreats you to go on. You never know what is waiting in store for you. The food menu is excitingly large and worthy of burying yourself deep in indecision. There are many bar foods with name tags which are sure to pique the interest of any sports fanatic — Premier League Fish and Chips, Uppercut, HomeRun and La Liga just to name a few. However, there is solace in the fact that this is a Sports Bar hence, the old adage ‘the more you eat, the more you can drink’ is more relevant than ever in this case. The same can be said about the drinks menu. Where do you start from? There is wine aplenty and similarly, an array of cocktails to help you cheer on. If you can firmly hold your liquor, the menu will definitely leave you looking like a child in an ice cream parlor.

With paintings of your favorite sports personalities such as Muhammed Ali, Serena Williams and Mike Tyson sparsely plastered on the walls, laced with some memorable quotes which are brought to life by the purple neon lights at night, AM & PM seem to have the Midas touch.

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CHOCOLATE DAY? CHOCOLATE MONTH?

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ocoa production is Ghana’s trump card when she has to brag. Tetteh-Quarshie did not suffer for Ghanaians not to play that card anytime it seems they are losing an argument. But what does the country as a whole have to show for it? Ghana is the second largest cocoa exporter in the world, behind Ivory Coast yet COCOBOD still had to acquire a syndicated loan to finance purchases for the 2017/18 cocoa crop season. That paints quite a picture, doesn’t it? There is also the cry about underutilization of technological innovations in the cocoa production process which makes you wonder the numbers Ghana could be doing if she had factors like this in check. As the norm for the last couple of years, National Chocolate Day was celebrated in Ghana on 14th February, 2019. Fortunately, the day bookmarked for the celebration was also Valentine’s Day and that tied into the pleasantness of the day. The agenda pushed by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and COCOBOD for this year’s celebration was the need to glamorize local chocolate and make it more appealing to the chocolate consuming community. A step in the right direction, if you ask me, considering that chocolate is one of the more marketable cocoa products. www.dameafrica.com 36


#MYCHOCOLATEEXPERIENCE Photo from www.57chocolategh.com

Yet, in the country which is dubbed the second largest exporter of cocoa in the world, locallyproduced chocolate which has cocoa as the chief ingredient appears less popular than foreign brands of chocolate which have milk as the chief ingredient. Is it a case of taste or marketing, or both working against ‘Ghana Chocolate’? Kingsbite has been around from time immemorial but has not been able to kick on locally, not to even talk of an international presence. Hopefully, the #MYCHOCOLATEEXPERIENCE hashtag being pushed by all the cocoa production and processing stakeholders can catch on and stay relevant beyond February.

Photo from www.purdys.com

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Pick of the Edition

Vine

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Over the last quarter we have scoured the streets of Accra partly intentionally seeking out and partly stumbling upon a number of gems to please our palate. Starters, mains, desserts, wine, cocktails - did I mention wine? If you made it, we probably ate it! We shamelessly indulged in meats and treats, bringing different companions along in our quest to match groups of varying demographics with eateries to create bursts of joy and small matches made in Accra heaven. When we found our Pick of the Edition we knew. To paint the picture - it was a Sunday afternoon, mass had ended and we went in peace to eat and find our winner Vine Lounge & Restaurant. What is there not to love about Vine? From its vibrant, fun atmosphere to the mimosas on tap - they’ve got it all set for you to forget the weekend is coming to an end. Sundays at Vine provide the perfect treat of a mouthwatering set brunch menu. You’ll be served with an individual feasting platter of waffles, steak, french toast, quesadillas and more; garnished with fruit and topped off with bottomless mimosas!!

And in spite of all this, you will still be breaking your neck at the sight of the variety of entrées being served around you and just like that, you’ll be plotting your next visit. That’s how good they do it at Vine Lounge & Restaurant, Accra. Location: 17 Quartey Papafio Avenue, Accra, Ghana, 1570 IG: @vineaccra / https://www. instagram.com/vineaccra/

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ACCRAAAAA

‘ACCRA STAY BY PLAN’.

I don’t know what it means but it is provocative. Wherever you hear this statement, just know you’re in for a good time. Accra is an enigma. Accra is bittersweet. Accra sometimes has the features of one mean vortex that finally sucks you in after you have just lost a 13-round bout with stress. Accra is the hub of enjoyment in Ghana. Accra is really the place to be. You could lose some hair wondering how the natives go gung-ho every Friday night out on the town. One surety about the workforce dynamics of Ghana is that, people out here know how to pull their socks up and respond to the harsh nature of the times. Just as the chorus complaints flow, the chorus crescendo of efforts to gain some monetary rewards will follow closely. That’s just the tradition around here.

Very little is presented on a silver platter in Accra. Part of the motivation for natives of Accra to go and get theirs is the enjoyment factor. The effervescence of the night life scene is too hard to ignore and it represents a large chunk of the enjoyment that’s on the cards. Cost of living in relation to wages, standard of living and all the other fancy economic terminologies could make for some bleak reading but it has never been an excuse to miss out on a Friday night out with the gang. Moreover, natives of Accra are also guilty of desiring to be in the luxurious spots at all costs. So what really is stopping them? Delightfully, there is something for everyone. Whether you want to be sipping on an exotic pitcher or you’ll need a bottle or two of kpok3k3 to ignite your night, you wouldn’t have to cast your net too far. This feature plays out in the club scene, food scene, and any other activity you will like to place in the enjoyment bracket. And that’s Accra for you. That is how Accra stays by plan. www.dameafrica.com 40


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LOCAL WEAR TAKES OFF The riches of Ghana go far beyond gold, cocoa and timber. These three perhaps are joined to the stock market at the hip in a marriage that can sometimes be tumultuous yet rewarding for both parties simultaneously. This is why we cannot shake them off and actually, this is why we shouldn’t. But on the other side of the coin, the focus on the three aforementioned commodities inadvertently dims the light on the rest of what Ghana can/does offer. I’m talking about diamond, manganese, pharmaceuticals, animal products, fabrics, oil and more. Although other countries may be light years ahead of us in the production and export of these commodities because of the work they have put in over the years, it is highly possible for Ghana to make more revenue off exports given that the land is rich in resources. Fabric is of particular interest to me. The tangibility of Ghanaian

Image from Chocolate by Kwaku Bediako

culture largely lies within clothing. As vibrant as any African culture is, the intricacies of the wears can also tell a lengthy story. We are in an era where it is trendy all of a sudden to patronize the more traditional wears; a move all stakeholders of our culture had long since been crying out for. In today’s Ghana, you will most likely spot at least one kaftan wearer at a celebratory occasion. Pseudoofficially, the Friday dress code in the corporate space is attires made with local prints. Batik, tie-dye, kente fabrics keep increasing in their dynamism. The market is also littered with slippers that are laced with African prints for women

and the traditional slippers for men. Indeed, trends come and go without any prior notice. Hence it is pretty impossible to pinpoint the root cause for the upsurge in the popularity of local wears. It is impressive to note that production of the local wears is also executed on a large scale and mirror a full blown business. Phil & Joe, Osei Duro, Threaded Tribes, AllEthnicGh, Christie Brown, Chocolate by Kwaku Bediako, Keky3 Fabrics are just a few of the brands that have mushroomed over the years and have managed to own the local fashion market through the business structure they have www.dameafrica.com 42


Image from Osei Duro

created and their ability to churn out premium local wears, collection after collection. The admiration for local wears is beginning to transcend the national borders, much to my delight. Foreigners easily fall in love with the vibrancy and complex patterns of our distinct fabrics although they do not know the stories that back them. I am no economist nor do I check stocks every other hour but based on surface deductions and a bit of pure instinct, I predict that the time for Ghana to blow up the export of her local wears may be nearer than we think. The country can be doing greater numbers in this field and this will concurrently be a win for our local culture, since it is also an opportunity to educate the world about our culture and heritage.

Image from Phil & Joe

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THE HEALTH WHIZZ

‘Only the strong will continue’ and that is a given on this rollercoaster. Fortunately, as a sign of comfort to those on an eternalgym-sabbatical, strength is NOT all about loading metal plates and carrying the entire world on your shoulders. Strength has way broader and heavier wings which encompass mental, emotional and social attributes in addition to the physical that most are already conversant with. With all these bases covered, there is a good chance you’ll near your octogenarian years with a great deal to smile about. So who is looking to be an all-rounder in the health convo? Grab a pen. Five ways to stay ahead in the health race. On your marks…

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DISCIPLINE

1

Readiness takes shape upstairs. A positive schema sets the tone for a positive behavior. Discipline is doing five laps around the neighborhood each morning and not cutting it down to three on the weekends. Discipline is sticking to your dietary advice all-year long and not wilting when summer comes around. Discipline is responding to your alarm’s call at 8am each morning and not giving ‘snooze’ a shadow of thought. It is easier said than done in truth, but as the saying goes ‘nothing good comes easy’.

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2

SMILE

When the going gets tough and the demands of the day begin to frown at you, slap a smile on that face and brighten up your day. If you can, go the extra mile and burst into laughter. That will surely do you a lot of good. Studies have shown that a smile activates endorphins which help to lift your mood and counter pain, stress and anxiety. It is the cheapest health boost, if you ask me. All you need to do is retrace your steps back to a blissful moment from the past or dwell on bright prospects. So smile because a smile every 10 minutes adds a couple more years to one’s life (hypothetically, of course).

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3

Following a dietary plan strictly has got be one of the most demanding tasks in life. Nonetheless, it pays dividends when all is said and done. The key is to be tactical in your food consumption. The orthodox rules that have been laid down about nutrition cannot be applied by every individual because the needs of our bodies vary from person to person. Every individual has to be in tune with his allergies, know what his body lacks and set goals at every developmental stage of his life so as to be able to assemble the ideal components for a dietary plan. Carbohydrates have been vilified, fats and oils have been labelled as diabolical and proteins have been frequently adored in many circles. The script can be changed. All you need to do is know yourself and what you need.

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4

MEDITATION

Meditation has its skeptics but time and again, the process has proved beneficial to many. It doesn’t take a lot for you to be in your own zone with the outside world zoned out. As a plus, there are myriad ways to meditate so you’re at liberty to choose how you want to tune everyone else out. If you do not meditate yet, just take two minutes out of your day to do so. If you love it – which I know you will – it will eventually become part of your daily routine. With every meditation session, all body cells take a breather. The benefits are innumerable. Who doesn’t want to be sharper, happier, less stressed, less anxious and have a better memory?

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SLEEP

5

Sleep, ever-fulfilling and the perfect answer to most questions, is man’s best friend. A good number of studies have been done on sleep and the health benefits it brings to the table. It should interest you that just the right amount of sleep strengthens your memory. Sleep also limits inflammations and is known to increase your lifespan. You are sure to have a more responsive brain and be far away from stress and depression if your sleep pattern is steady and gratifying to your system. Taking care of yourself requires commitment on all fronts. The methods are aplenty but very rewarding all the same. So live your life and live it right.

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