Page 1


Touching Africa, Touching The World!

FLYafrica ISSUE 11




From Seed to star







Contents PAGE 28

COFFEE INDUSTRY SAVIOUR? Sierra Leone’s stenophylla bean



3 Foreword

9 From Seed to star

5 WINafrica

12 James Barnor

Africa World Airlines Head Office - UNA Homes Building 2nd/3rd floor Airport Bypass Road Airport City Road PMB CT67 Accra, Ghana Tel: +233 24 243 8888 Toll Free: 0800 200 200 Email: awaoffice@flyafricaworld.com www.flyAfricaWorld.com FLYafrica Magazine is published for Africa World Airlines by: Land & Marine Publications Ltd 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way Severalls Business Park Colchester, Essex CO4 9RA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 www.landmarine.com ADVERTISING: Email: flyafrica@landmarine.org

World-class safety from the start

FLYafrica competition

6 INSIDERinformation

Friendship gifts

Life coach De Lady Rev - How to love with understanding

Long-serving pilot and AWA’s head of safety looks back at his 40-year career

20 Onye Ubanatu

24 STARdestination: Ho

Videographer and content creator shares his life lessons

26 Kwarleyz Group

34 EATafrica

Q&A with head chefs at Landmark Restaurants

The real estate company with a vision to build the new Africa

28 Rare bean

38 PUZZLEpage

The founding father of photography in Ghana finding late-life fame

16 AWAprofile: Captain Victor Elcis Aryeetey

23 Wisdomworld

Success of new EP has brought Gyakie out of the shadow of her famous father

Wellington Jghere’s Scrabble teaser

‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ discovery could make Sierra Leone the saviour of coffee industry

36 Legends of the lake

Anita Ottenhof Cell: +233 542 476 370 (WhatsApp) Email: corehospitalitygh@gmail.com

40 TECHcorner

EDITORIAL: Mark Edwards, Editor markedwards@landmarine.com

43 Inflightmindfulness

The contents and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, or any other organisation associated with this publication. While every care is taken to ensure accuracy in preparing the magazine, the Publisher and Africa World Airlines assume no responsibility or liability for any inaccuracies or omissions. All submitted material is accepted on the understanding that the material can be edited, amended or abridged for publication. ©2020 Land & Marine Publications Ltd

43 Beauty With Alexiglam

The best small gadgets

Planning a Lake Bosomtwe adventure

with Bliss Yoga Accra

AWA Information

Feed your skin

4 AWAnews 45 AWAroutes

Subscribe to FLYafrica

Email: subscribe@landmarine.org

Book online

46 TRAVELinformation 48 AWAcontacts

flyAfricaWorld.com FLYafrica




Connect with AWA Facebook

www.facebook.com/ flyafricaworld






Dear passengers, It gives me great pleasure to welcome you onboard your Africa World Airlines flight and to our inflight magazine, FLYafrica. Inside, among the magazine’s pick of the people and places of West Africa, you’ll find an interview with AWA’s Captain Victor Elcis Aryeetey, who has retired as a pilot after a 40-year career. The feature not only provides insight into Captain Aryeetey’s stellar achievements in the skies, it also reveals that AWA has always had grand ambitions and that its staff are invested in our longterm vision for the future. Captain Aryeetey joined AWA in 2012 – the year of our first revenue flight – as a pilot and head of safety. In the latter role, he was key in establishing safety protocols that saw us in 2015 become only the second airline in Ghana to complete its IOSA audit. It is an internationally recognised safety standard that AWA has retained every year since. That achievement, especially in AWA’s fledgling years, singled us out as an airline with the vision to be a major player in the aviation industry. We went on to became a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Adhering to such global standards has helped us sign

partnerships with various international airlines such as South African Airways, Emirates, Brussels Airlines, ASKY Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines. Here in Ghana our commitment to our customers through the years has been recognised with multiple awards such as Domestic Airline of the Year, Best Airline in West Africa, and Best Passenger Experience from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIMG), Ghana Tourism Authority, National Aviation Awards, and others. In 2019, AWA also received an award from Embraer in recognition of reliability in data quality, and we were inducted into the CIMG Hall of Fame after being voted as Best Domestic Airline for five consecutive years.

Image courtesy of Gyak ie

and Jackie Acheamp ong

Captain Aryeetey is among those who put in the groundwork for such achievements and we are delighted he stays with us for the next stage in our journey. Best wishes to you.

Michael C. Luo Chief Executive Officer Africa World Airlines

Book online

flyAfricaWorld.com FLYafrica


AWAnews Wa Freetown Sierra Leone


Tamale Ghana Côte d’lvoire Monrovia Kumasi Liberia


Frequent flyer

Abuja Lagos


Now we go even more times to your favourite destinations At Africa World Airlines (AWA) we understand that our customers have busy lives so we try to give you all as many options as possible when it comes to booking flights. We have increased the frequency of flights across our network of destinations so that no matter when or where you want to go, we’ve got you covered.

Our reliability ratings for June Africa World Airlines is proud to release our operational performance statistics for June, in line with our commitment to transparency.

Kumasi – 9 flights a day

Number of flights scheduled

Freetown (Sierra Leone) – four flights a week


Tamale – four flights a day Lagos (Nigeria) – three flights a day Abuja (Nigeria) – four flights a week

Flights delayed beyond two hours due to weather


Schedule execution rate


Total flights delayed beyond two hours


Numbers of passengers booked

Passengers denied boarding due to oversales



Monrovia (Liberia) – four times a week Takoradi – two times a day

Number of bags checked in

Bags delivered on time

All flights are from our hub at Kotoka International Airport, Accra.



HOW TO BOOK Passengers can book flights online by visiting flyAfricaWorld.com and using the ‘Book A Flight’ function. You can then choose your flight, book your seats and select your payment method. AWA offers various methods of payment for customers in Ghana and Nigeria including debit/credit card, MTN Mobile Service (Ghana only), Quickteller (Nigeria only) and bank transfer. For detailed information, check out our website.

Touching Africa, Touching The World! 4

Book online

Telephone bookings can be made by calling +233 24 243 8888 or our

Toll free number:

0800 200 200 flyAfricaWorld.com


FLYafrica competition

Win a night’s stay at No 1 Oxford Street Whether it is gleaming white by day or illuminated black by night with its singular pod framework delineated by neon lights, No 1 Oxford Street is an iconic part of the Accra skyline. The 5-star hotel is just as impressive inside with its spacious, soundproofed suites opulently decorated and offering dining and seating areas and rainfall showers in the bathrooms. Guests can make use of the hotel’s round-the-clock fitness centre, an outdoor pool, a spa, a sun terrace, two restaurants and the option for in-room dining. FLYafrica is delighted then that No 1 Oxford House is offering the chance for one lucky reader to win a night’s bed and breakfast stay for themselves and a guest of their choice in this issue’s competition.

To enter, email your answers to the questions below – all based on features in FLYafrica issue 11 – along with a picture of yourself holding the magazine on your AWA flight to awacompetition@landmarine.org

QUESTIONS 1. What is the scientific name of the coffee plant recently rediscovered in Sierra Leone? 2. Who is Gyakie’s famous father? 3. What is the name of the mountain that looms over Ho in the Volta Region? COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Closing date is 10th September 2021. Photographs should be sent along with your entry. One entry per person. Entrants must be 18 or over. The winning entry will be selected by Land & Marine Publications Ltd. This competition is not open to employees of Africa World Airlines, No 1 Oxford Street or Land & Marine Publications Ltd.


CONGRATULATIONS TO LAST ISSUE’S WINNER, HOETA FORNOR Recent passenger Hoeta Fornor and a guest of her choice will soon be enjoying a night’s stay at the award-winning Accra City Hotel. We hope you enjoy your stay, Hoeta, and thank you for flying Africa World Airlines. To find out more about the hotel, visit accracityhotel.com

Hoeta Fornor

Book online

flyAfricaWorld.com FLYafrica


INSIDER information Gifts to thank a friend With International Friendship Day celebrated on July 30, Nathan Tollo comes up with a wish-list of gifts inspired and suggested by some of his closest friends. It’s the perfect gift guide to celebrate the amazing people who are there for us through thick and thin.

TOM FORD EDP They say you are never fully dressed without your perfume. A great fragrance not only makes you feel good but confident as well. Your cool friend will thank you if you gifted them Tom Ford’s Black Orchid EDP. It’s unisex and has a scent of dark florals and fruity notes including black truffle, blackcurrant and bergamot. Where to buy: Instagram: @Luxe D’ace

JUICER True friends care about your wellbeing and always want you to stay healthy. Friends who are on a weight-loss journey or dieting would appreciate the Profi Cook PC-AE 1069 Stainless Steel Professional Automatic Fruit/Veggies Juicer.

4LUX SLIPPERS This leather slipper is literally for every male friend in your life. 4Lux promises luxury for all through its exquisitely crafted footwear and its recently launched Latte slipper knows how to pamper a pair of feet.

Where to buy: Instagram: @empress_jamilacoldstore

Where to buy: Instagram: @4lux__

TEKURA CUSTOMISED TABLES Ghanaian furniture design studio Tekura is the hub for accent furniture, decor and a host of unique accessories. Its Djemebe tables made from reclaimed wood are sustainably sourced from the country’s woodlands. Where to buy: 54kibo.com

BAOBAB COLLECTION Designed with your surroundings in mind, Baobab Collection’s diffusers are flamboyant and refined. The Louise Totem diffuser is hand-engraved by glass artisans and has notes of berries, jasmine and tonka. Where to buy: Instagram: @Apricotghana


CROSSLAND PATISSERIE Your friend will know they mean a lot to you if you present them with a treat box from Crossland Patisserie with its selection of yummy cakes, macarons and chocolate cakesicles. And the best part? Your friend might share it with you! Where to buy: Instagram: @crossland_patisserie

LUSAKA FOSSIL GEN 5 GARRETT SMARTWATCH Fossil watches are hugely popular right now and this one may well be the best of the bunch with some pretty cool features.

Afriken By Nana’s Lusaka blazers are to die for and every powerdressing corporate woman you know needs at least one in her wardrobe.

Where to buy: Instagram: @the_device_hub

Where to buy: Instagram: @afrikenbynana

ACRYLIC ON PANEL Ghanaian artist and Nolder Residency fellow Joshua Oheneba Takyi’s work is one in a million. His Acrylic on 12x10 board highlights Ghana’s public transport service popularly known as TroTro. It’s the best gift for a friend who is homesick. Where to buy: Instagram: @iam.oheneba

MELANGE BY PISTIS When craftsmanship meets creativity, elegance is born. The Saidah Set from Pistis will celebrate the body and style of the elegant friend in your life. Where to buy: pistisghana.com

BEJEWELLED BANDEAU Headbands are the hottest accessory of choice for women right now. Call it the Amanda Gorman effect as the poet and activist wore a very fetching red Prada headband while wowing the crowd with her work at US President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. If you really want to impress your friend, try this beautiful bejewelled example. Where to buy: hatboxgh.com



From seed to star

THE GROWTH OF GYAKIE Her father is highlife legend Nana Acheampong, but thanks to chart hit ‘Forever’, Gyakie is finding fame on her own terms with her fanbase of ‘Gyakie Chans’ going global



Gyakie deliberate move to have her music judged on its own merits. She says: “During the beginning of my career, I never spoke about my Dad publicly. I believed it was a journey that I was embarking on and I didn’t want to feed off my father’s fame either.” With ‘Seed’, Gyakie acknowledges her father’s influence while emphasising she is an artist in her own right with her own unique sound incorporating elements of afro beat, r’n’b and reggae. “The entire idea of the EP was to introduce my sound to the listeners and to make them understand how versatile I could be,” Gyakie says. “I am my father’s seed, planted into the music industry and with the hard work from my manager and I the seed will be watered until it grows.

Destiny “I also believe as humans, regardless of our lineage, we have distinct paths and destinations and mine happened to be within the other genres. However, the African sound, highlife, remains at the core of it all.” Just as Nana Acheampong looks proudly on at his young children on the cover of Seed, he must be immensely satisfied at what his daughter is achieving as a young


on, but also highlife legend Nana

the debut EP by Ghanaian star

Acheampong, their father.

Gyakie, may have introduced

The album cover and the subse-

SOLO Gyakie wants to show she has her own unique sound

Gyakie already has a string of hits, culminating in the release of ‘Forever’. It’s a song, which Gyakie says, “makes

the talents of the singer born Jackie

quent promotion for ‘Seed’ repre-

Acheampong to many with its lead

sented the first time Gyakie had

certainly captured the hearts of

single “Forever’ proving a West

gone public with this famous familial

music lovers. The soulful track made

Africa-wide chart hit, but one look

connection. Her father is one of the

it into Billboard’s top Triller global

at the cover art of the five-track

biggest names in Ghanaian music and

charts, was a number one in Ghana,

release reveals the 22-year-old has

one half of The Lumba Brothers, who

been making music since she was a

pioneered the Burger Highlife genre

small child.

of music in the late 1980s.

“The artwork is a photo of me in

Gyakie is her father’s biggest fan.

DEGREE The singer is nearing the end of her studies in Kumasi

you want to fall in love” and it has

Nigeria and Kenya and took just a few months to reach more than 11 million streams worldwide. The Kumasi-born singer is

the studio when I was recording a

“I believe my dad has been legendary

delighted by her rapid rise to fame,

song called ‘Lollipop’, which I wrote

within the music scene and had made

but is keen to point out it is not as

at age eight!” Gyakie tells me.

a mark that will last forever,” she says.

overnight as some might think. A lot

However, identifying herself by the

of work has gone on to get where

also notice that the faded Polaroid

stage name Gyakie and keeping her

she is now.

not only shows Gyakie and her

highlife heritage a secret when releas-

younger brother Justin, both at the

ing her first singles in 2019 – ‘Love Is

how my music is travelling across the

microphone with their headphones

Pretty’ and “Never Like This’ – was a

globe,” she says. “I mean, I know the

Fans of Ghanaian highlife music will


woman. In just under two years,

he release this year of ‘Seed’,

“Even today I am still astonished at

Images courtesy of Gyakie and Jackie Acheampong

music is good, but sometimes it takes a little while for people to accept your sound as an artiste. One thing I always say is ‘hard work pays off eventually’ and that is what is manifesting right now. My management [Ghana’s Flip the Music] and I have had sleepless nights! The goal was to

People have invested their souls into my music as well so I can’t leave them disappointed. I’m hoping to be able to do this ‘till eternity

take Ghana music to the world, which

school talents in Ghana are from here. Currently, I’m feeling Kofi Jamar and Kojo Cue. Both super talented artistes from Kumasi.” Her father, who also has links to the city, attending the Kumasi Technical Institute as a young man, has not only been an inspiration in Gyakie’s younger years, but is now there to

we knew would happen someday, but

part of everyday life, she initially had

offer an insider’s insight into how to

never expected it to be this soon.”

no plans to follow in her father’s foot-

navigate the music business now her

Helping spread the word on

steps, setting her sights on a business

career is on the rise.

Gyakie’s music is a fervent fanbase, known as the ‘Gyakie Chans’. “The

career instead.

“My Dad really talks to me about

“Growing up, I was a lover of music

the pros and cons in the music indus-

name was given to the fans by my

and entertainment, but I never saw

try and shares advice with me as and

fans,” laughs the singer. “I sent out a

myself doing music as a profession,”

when he can.”

tweet for ideas on what I could call

she says. “I wanted to be an entre-

my fans, and the majority of them

preneur. I wanted to run my own

but Gyakie hopes her music will stand

choose that name and it makes a lot

business, to be a CEO. I loved what

the test of time like her father’s. The

of sense because the legendary actor

my dad was doing and I had so much

seed is becoming a star.

“Jackie Chan” is known for being

interest in entertainment but I never

“I hope to leave a legacy and to

a great fighter! My fans don’t give

drifted my attention to the fact that

heal and inspire hundreds of thou-

up on anything, they’d fight anyone

I had a unique voice until I dropped

sands of people with my music. I want

that’s comes off as a villain to Gyakie

‘Love is Pretty’”.

my music to live for a lifetime. If I’m

music, you know the vibes!” While Gyakie gets a kick out

The aspiring entrepreneur won

social media and keeping them

a place at the Kwame Nkrumah

updated on her latest moves,

University of Science & Technology

when it comes to creating her

(KNUST), in Kumasi, to study busi-

music the singer prefers it to be a

ness at degree level. She is now at

solitary experience. She tells me the

the business end of the three-year

distinctive warm vocal tones that

course with final exams looming, just

make listening to a Gyakie track

as her music career has taken off. “It

such a soothing experience are

is tough juggling music and school

recorded with all the lights out in

and it gets tougher each day but

the studio.

I’m trying my very best to get good

dark places makes me feel and see my imagination the more. Most

my Dad, that would be a plus, if not, MUSICAL FAMILY The Seed EP cover

it’s enough to know I did what I could do and it was good.”

grades and graduate school in grand style,” she says. Once she has graduated, she now

of the songs I write come from

intends to dedicate herself to making

things I imagine in my head. I don’t

music. “Yes, music lives within me

get distracted when the place is

and I can’t leave it behind,” she says.

dark because I don’t get to see

“People have invested their souls into

anything. It’s a very spiritual and

my music as well so I can’t leave them

therapeutic feeling.”

disappointed. I’m hoping to be able to

Songs over study

able to have a long musical career like

Kumasi girl

of interacting with her ‘Chans’ on

She says: “Creating music in

These are large footsteps to follow,

do this till eternity.” Gyakie has been able to both study

The unusual recording technique

in the Ashanti Region capital and

is certainly working. In just a short

tap into its thriving music scene. She

time, Gyakie has become a big name

recorded ‘Forever’ at a studio here

even beyond Ghana’s borders and

and says the city dubbed ‘Kumerica’

the success has convinced her that

for its rising US-influenced rap and

music is her future. She hasn’t always

hip-hop scene is a hotbed of musical

‘Seed’ by Gyakie is available to buy

felt that way. Despite growing up in a

talent. “The Kumasi music scene has

or stream online now. Follow Gyakie

family in which music was such a big

grown really big and most of the new

on Instagram @gyakie_

Find out more



James Barnor

The founding father of photography in Ghana


OPPOSITE PAGE Date: 1954-56 Emma Christiana Bruce Annan, Drum Party, Chorkor beach, Accra

Steyn Hoogakker | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0

Courtesy Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière

LEFT Date: c.1953 Beatrice with trademark figurine, Ever Young Studio, Accra Courtesy Autograph

BELOW LEFT Date: c. 1951. Self-portrait with Nkrumah, Roy Ankrah and his wife, Rebecca, Accra

BELOW Date: c. 1955 The Pastor (Oscar Lamptey), Mamprobi, Accra

Courtesy Autograph

Courtesy Autograph

Legendary Ghanaian photographer James Barnor has seen his work reach a new audience in recent years with a series of high-profile exhibitions. Here, FLYafrica shares images he took in Accra in the 1950s, a period in which his pioneering photojournalist style was in step with the country’s continent-leading move to independence. Mark Edwards takes a look back at the 91-year-old’s career that spans six decades and two continents.



James Barnor


an there be a more impor-

London, which is showing a retro-

tant figure in the history of

spective of Barnor’s work, entitled

Ghanaian photography than

Accra/London, until October 22,

James Barnor? He blazed a trail in

FLYafrica is able to share some of the

a career spanning six decades and

images he took in Ghana in the early

two cultures in transition, whether

1950s. Here Barnor was the eyes of a

it was taking candid shots of life in

country readying itself for independ-

1950s Accra in establishing himself

ence, taking pictures that captured

as Ghana’s first photojournalist;

the pivotal period’s sense of hope,

capturing the impact of the African

innocence and energy.

diaspora on the ‘Swinging Sixties’ in

the times, armed with just a small

the 1970s, setting up the country’s

hand-held camera and buckets of

first colour processing plant and so

charm he pioneered a photojour-

ushering in a new age of photog-

nalistic approach that allowed him

raphy that flaunted the vibrancy of

to immerse himself in everyday life

Ghanaian life and fashion.

and capture it in candid, off-guard

Despite Barnor’s pioneering achievements, widespread renown


has only come to the 91-year-old in

Early years

his later years. The new audience

At the time, Barnor was as green and

owes much to his collaboration with

unproven as the inchoate country

the UK-based non-profit arts agency

he was taking pictures of. Still in his

Autograph ABP, which has digitally

20s, he had gained his photographic

preserved the vast archive of nega-

apprenticeship from his cousin, JP

tives, vintage prints and transparen-

Dodoo before establishing his first

cies Barnor had piled up in his apart-

studio, Ever Young, in Jamestown.

ment at a West London home for

Barnor chose the name because of

the elderly, where he has lived since

the deft retouching work he would

1994. From those more than 32,000

carry out on his portraits that would

images, Autograph curated the first

take years off the sitters.

major retrospective of Barnor’s work

What comes across in Barnor’s

at its London gallery in 2010, and

early monochrome images is an urge

selections from the archive have

to understand and reveal people. The

gone on to be exhibited at major

innate sociability of its owner soon

galleries across Europe and the US

made Ever Young one of the most

as well as the Kempinski 1957 Gallery

popular meeting places in the city,

and the Nubuke Foundation in Accra

welcoming a diverse crowd from

just last year.

musicians such as highlife legend ET


Mensah to proprietor of The Drum Jim Bailey, who would hold legend-

TOP Date: 1952. Kwame Nkrumah in his PG (Prison Graduate) cap, kicking a football before the start of an international match at Owusu Memorial Park in Fadama, Accra, 1952

ABOVE Date: c. 1957 Four Nurses (graduates of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital), Ever Young Studio, Accra Courtesy Autograph

Courtesy Autograph

The body of work provides a fascinat-

ary parties there. In an interview for

ing chronicle of pivotal periods in our

the Serpentine exhibition catalogue,

country’s history as well as tracing the

Barnor says: “My studio was at a spot

excursions was the bustling Makola

development of photography in West

where everything happened in Accra,

market, where he could be assured

Africa. It also reveals Barnor’s talent

where young and old people met

of interesting shots. “For me it was

behind the lens. Whether Barnor was

from various backgrounds, free to talk

like living in two worlds: there was

photographing everyday people on

about everything and anything.”

the careful handling of a sitter in my

the streets of Accra, early images of

The studio’s atmosphere of lively

luminaries such as Kwame Nkrumah

conversation and music made it the

tripod, and then running around town

and boxing legend Muhammad Ali or

ideal place for Barnor to capture the

chasing news and sports! If I needed

fashion shoots for influential black life-

mood of a country on the brink of

a picture, or a new story, I would rush

style magazine Drum, the results have

independence. He also loved to leave

to the Makola market, where people

a warmth and intimacy that speaks of

Ever Young and take his small, hand-

behave most like themselves.”

Barnor’s depth of connection with his

held camera to the streets of Accra


to capture arresting fragments of life

the attention of the world’s press

in the city. A popular place for his

when it swarmed to the Gold Coast as

Thanks to the Serpentine Gallery in 14

Barnor did more than document

London; or, in returning to Ghana in

‘studio’ with a big camera on a heavy

Barnor’s street photography caught

LEFT Date: c 1952 Portrait of James Barnor in front of his advertising board, Accra Courtesy Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière

experience and skills he acquired while working with colour photography in the UK, Barnor returned to Ghana in 1970. He managed the first colour-processing laboratory in the country – located in Accra department store Sick-Hagemeyer – until 1973 before establishing his own Studio X23.

Return to Ghana Prior to the introduction of these colour film-processing labs in West Africa, photographers had to improvise or send away to get the processing done abroad. Ghanaians love dressing up so the labs, under Barnor’s expertise, proved hugely popular in capturing this riot of colour. “Colour really changed people’s ideas about photography,” Barnor says. “Kente is Ghanaian woven fabric with many different colours, and people wanted their photographs independence became imminent. During this time, he also undertook assignments for the Daily Graphic newspaper, owned by the Mirror Group. His circle of influential friends – among them Kwame Nkrumah, the man who would become the first president of Ghana – gave him

Barnor managed the first colour-processing laboratory in the country – located in Accra department store Sick-Hagemeyer

enviable access to key events and he

taken after church or in town wearing this cloth, so the news spread quickly.” Barnor continued as a portrait photographer at Studio X23 for the next 20 years. In that period he was also employed as photographer by the United States Information Service in Ghana and then as a government photographer under President Jerry

established himself as the first photo-

magazine’s front page – an almost

journalist in the country. He says: “I

unheard-of achievement at that time.

was the first newspaper photogra-

His work was instrumental in captur-

work reveal the restless creativity that

pher in Ghana, and I’m proud of that.

ing the experiences of a vibrant and

powered his long career. With each

Newspaper photography changed

growing Afro diasporic community

pioneering step forward he made, he

people’s lives and it changed jour-

for the magazine.

was keen to bring others with him

nalism in Ghana. I was part of this moment.”

Barnor also used his time in the UK

John Rawlings at Osu Castle. The recent retrospectives of his

and share his knowledge. It must be

to enhance his photographic skill set.

satisfying then that the exhibitions

He studied the technical aspects of

have brought him to the attention of

ence, Barnor left the country for the

colour photography on a three-year

a new audience and that his work has

UK. Basing himself in London, he

course at Medway College of Art in

been preserved for future generations,

continued with studio portraiture

Rochester, furthering his knowledge

Ever Young.

and street photography assign-

by working at Colour Processing

ments for The Drum magazine. Here

Laboratories (CPL), the UK’s leading

he continued his pioneering path

lab at the time, during his holidays.

with his photographs of models of

An impressed CPL employed him full-

African descent, such as Erlin Ibreck

time in 1968 as a colour printer.

Two years after Ghana’s independ-

and Marie Hallowi, often making the

Driven by a desire to share the

James Barnor

Accra/London – A Retrospective Serpentine Opens May 2021 Further info: nadjac@serpentinegalleries.org FLYafrica



AWA captain looks back at 40 years of flight Captain Victor Elcis Aryeetey When Captain Victor Elcis Aryeetey landed his AWA Embraer E145 jet at Kotoka International Airport on May 28, just a couple of days shy of his 65th birthday, it called time on a glittering 40-year career as a pilot that has included 11,000 flights and 20,000 flying hours. His arrival in 2012 at AWA, as pilot and head of safety, was pivotal in entrenching world-class safety standards in the then fledgling airline, which it has maintained to this day. Here, in his own words, the father-of-three looks back on his life in the skies. I have been fascinated with

Science subjects were always

aircraft since I can remember…

my favourite at school and

I grew up in the Kaneshie suburb of Accra. At that time my uncle was a top government official and would often travel abroad with his job. Whenever he was going to take a flight or was scheduled to fly back to Accra, my mother would take me to Kotoka International Airport to watch the aircraft taking off and landing. It was the early 1960s then and there were hardly any buildings surrounding the airport so you could get right up to the fence and watch the aircraft taxiing on the runway. I was hooked. Science also fascinates me and developing an understanding of the physics of flight made me even more determined to be a pilot…


PILOT At the controls

I learned theories that have proved crucial to the

I went on to take a degree

development of air flight, such as

in physics at the Kwame

Bernoulli’s Principle. It explains

Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Kumasi before teaching the subject to ‘A’ level students at Accra’s prestigious Achimota School.

how an aircraft, which is heavier UK STAY Captain Aryeetey learned to fly at the Oxford Training Centre in the 1980s

than air, can fly, with two air streams at different speeds causing lift on the wing. The curved shape of the top of the

wing means air travelling over

disorientating experience – your

the wing moves faster than the

senses are spinning and you feel

air moving along the wing’s

sick, but you learn to stay calm

bottom surface, which is flat.

and go through the procedures

Bernoulli’s theorem says that the

and get out of the spin. Let me

increased speed atop the wing

tell you, those exercises drove

is associated with a region of

any fear there was out of me. It

lower pressure there, which is lift.

gives you huge confidence to

I wanted to see these theories

know you have the ability to get

put into practise so I decided to

out of potentially dangerous

pursue a career as a pilot.

situations. Once I’d done the ‘spin exercises’ a few times all

I learned to fly at Oxford

fear was gone. From then on,

Aviation Training [now CAE 

I was calm and in control of all

Oxford Aviation Academy]

my flights.

in the UK… I started off flying light aircraft such as Cherokee, Fuji, Tomahawk, Comanche and Navajo. There was some fear to begin with. When you first take over the controls that feeling that at any moment anything can happen can be overwhelming. When we were flying the single-engine Fuji we would regularly perform ‘spin exercises’ where we’d be instructed to deliberately stall the aircraft and send it in a spin towards the ground as if you were going to crash. It is a

I have flown over the pyramids in Egypt and the Himalayas in China, but perhaps my favourite view was taking the ‘Carnasie Approach’ when coming into land at JFK Airport in New York

I got to see the world with Ghana Airways… I obtained the rank of Captain in 2000 – after passing the training in Helsinki, Finland – and flew McDonnell Douglas DC10 jets before commanding DC9s and Boeing 737s on long-haul journeys to destinations such as Beirut, Cairo, London, Rome, New York, Amsterdam and Hamburg. It was an exciting life, but I was away a lot and as a father-of-three it was hard on my family. Luckily, I have a very understanding wife! As well as the scheduled commercial flights, there was a number of special operations… I flew pilgrims to Dakar and Jeddah, who then went on to Mecca; I flew United Nations troops to Lebanon after the war in 2006 and during the dead of night I also brought in UN peacekeepers to Kigali Airport in Rwanda after the genocide. I was also among the first to fly into South Africa once apartheid was lifted.

FLIGHT CREW Seeing the world

During my long career, I have enjoyed spectacular views from the cockpit window… I have flown over the pyramids in Egypt and the Himalayas in China, but perhaps my favourite view was taking the ‘Carnasie Approach’ when coming into land at JFK Airport in New York. It’s challenging as it is all done manually and you are guided by visuals on the ground. Pilots



Captain Victor Elcis Aryeetey

approach the runway at a 90

I have flown a great number

Ivorian to Ghanaian airspace,

degree angle, making a late right

of different aircraft over the

my first officer announced to

turn before landing. It looks

years, but the DC-10 will

passengers over the public

incredible from the cockpit as

always have a special place in

address system that the

you pass over the streets of

my heart…

Captain had an important

Brooklyn. I am very proud that I

I loved flying the DC-10 to these

got to make this approach many times in my career. Closer to home and flying for

big cities all over the world so it was a nice touch for AWA host a party for me after my retirement

AWA, I always enjoyed coming

in the decommissioned DC-10

into land at Abuja, in Nigeria,

that has been turned into a

because you have to manoeuvre

restaurant just outside Kotoka

through the surrounding hills.

International Airport. The airline

Coming into Monrovia airport is

had invited a number of pilots

also fun as you approach from

who had flown with me over the

the Atlantic Coast.

years. It brought back a lot of

It was disappointing when Ghana Airways folded, but I was prepared… In 2005, I moved on to work in executive aerospace and global

message. I told them it was WELCOME (Right) Family members were waiting on the day of the Captain’s last flight

Virgin Nigeria/Air Nigeria team,

International Airport, Monrovia,

during which time I got to fly

to Accra. Just as the AWA

Boeing 737s.

Embraer E145 crossed from

was also broadcasting the

airwaves. My farewell went far and wide. Aircraft control deliberately delayed my landing slot, giving me time to do, as my first officer called it, a “grand tour” over Accra for one last time.

organised for me on the day

My last flight was from Roberts

my voice radio open and I

of congratulations across the

extent of the celebrations

from 2006 to 2012 I was with the

then I realised that I still had

Soon I was getting messages

I had no idea about the

aviation in South Africa. Then

them for choosing AWA,

message to aircraft control.

amazing memories.

of my last flight…

my last flight and thanked

When we landed all the passengers were very excited AWA ALUMNUS Captain Aryeetey has been with the airline since 2012

and they all wanted to take pictures with me like I was some kind of celebrity. There were so many selfie requests that the welcoming party on the runway – which included my wife and two daughters, who had both come from studying in the US to celebrate with me – had quite a wait for me to finally appear. It was so emotional to see everyone there. I was greeted with flowers and there was a cake shaped into the form of a flying plane. One of my best and oldest friends, a Nigerian pilot who started training at the same time as me, was also there to meet me. I have never been so moved in all my life. It was overwhelming. As I approached my 65th birthday, my boss would


I am very happy that we have achieved such strong foundations for AWA. It makes me incredibly proud that we have stayed strong jokingly say to me: “Are you

was operating with just two

representatives of IATA – the

not tired of flying?”…

aircraft that flew only to Kumasi

trade association of the world’s

and Tamale from Accra. There

airlines – to ensure the gold

was some surprise then when in

standard of safety, security and

developing the airline’s safety

efficiency is embedded in what

department, I pushed for us

we do here. These six years

to achieve international safety

with AWA have been a period

standards. I believed no matter

of personal growth for me and

our size, if we wanted to grow

I want to thank the airline for all

then we had to operate in the

the training they have given me. I

same way as the major airlines.

hope there are many more years

There was some sadness when I piloted my last flight, but my job as head of safety at AWA continues and the role has meant that my flying schedule had been much reduced in recent years so that has eased the shock of it… Flying has been very special to me, but AWA has got me looking at the whole set-up here and it’s a job I can do into well beyond my 65 years. I am very proud of what AWA has achieved as a Ghanaian

to come.

In 2015 AWA became only the second Ghanaian airline to

There is no better praise for a

complete its IOSA audit and we have retained the standard each year since. I am very happy that we

TRIBUTE Thank you from AWA

pilot than when passengers say they hardly registered they were flying…

have achieved such strong

The best pilots are those that

foundations for AWA. It makes

keep it things simple. They follow

me incredibly proud that we

the procedures calmly and make

When I joined AWA in 2012 the

have stayed strong.

sure everyone has a safe and

airline had limited revenue and

I have brought in

airline and I am happy to have played a part…

enjoyable flight with no dramas.



‘Believe in yourself and give value to this planet’ Onye Ubanatu

Onye Ubanatu has always been on a quest for freedom. As a young boy growing up in historic Warri in southern Nigeria he loved to chase birds, beguiled by their ability to fly. Now he has taken flight too as an in-demand videographer and content creator travelling across West Africa and beyond to capture stories of its people and places. Here, Onye reveals how he manages to live a life of travel and how being forever on the move has taught him that while Warri will always be special “home is anywhere my heart feels at peace”.


Q. Have you always had that ambi-

and breadth of Africa showing how

tion to pursue life on your own

beautiful we are amidst our chal-


lenges. The ability to imagine things,

A. There is something about growing

or craft a path and be able to express

up in Africa that prepares you to take

it visually is one of the most amazing

value to one of the world’s biggest

responsibility for yourself at a very

parts of being a creative entrepreneur.

and richest cultural festivals – The

early age. I was lucky to be born in

But you see, my growing up days

Argungu International Fishing &

the historic city of Warri where our

gave me the confidence to believe in

Cultural Festival. Projects like this

daily life was and still is characterised

my imagination, and ideas as a means

that celebrates the cultural diversity,

by creativity as a means of survival

of creating value and inspiring others.

unity, and richness of Africa inspire

and that challenged my imagination

This has created a long-lasting vision

me greatly. Another proud moment

and sense of responsibility to go after

to tell the African story from a place

was being the first to design and

something I believed in, which is visual

of strength to inspire us first and also

produce the first ever Nigeria Football

storytelling and event design.

to inspire the rest of the world.

Federation award event.

Q. Is that one of the best things

Q. You work with the latest technol-

Q. Your work showcases the people

about being a creative entrepreneur

ogy in film and photo editing, but

and places of West Africa. Why is it a

– that you are the architect of your

you often use them to showcase and

place of endless fascination to you?

own life?

preserve some of West Africa’s most

A. West Africa is an amazing region

A. From a very early age, I have

ancient and fragile traditions, such

filled with hospitable, resourceful

always wanted to travel the length

as the Argungu Fishing Festival in

and inspiring people. I have come to

GLOBETROTTER As a content creator, Onye Ubanatu lives a life of travel

Nigeria. Why do these jobs appeal to you? A. One of my proudest moments is getting the opportunity to bring

Images courtesy of MPML Media/Onye Ubanatu

DIRECTION Onye with his camera team

few lawyer friends and asked to be educated on setting up proper structures and this has taught me a major lesson on protecting my creative investment. Q. You use your humble upbringing in Warri as proof that if you can get what you want out of life, anyone can. Did you have people that believed in you at that early stage? A. I started out in church as a little

I started out in church as a little boy growing up in Warri at age nine. My mother was a major encouraging factor for me. She was the first to introduce me to the TV department in church

boy growing up in Warri at age nine. My mother was a major encouraging factor for me. She was the first to introduce me to the TV department in church and said to them “Please show him the camera because he keeps destroying his notebooks by folding them into circular shapes, and playing with anything with a hole thinking it is a camera, and he won’t stop cracking TV screens hoping the people would fall out”. That was how it all started. I owe my dear mother a lot.

of opportunity to anyone starting out – believe in yourself and give

Q. What is it about the still or moving

value to this planet starting with your

image you feel is so powerful?

discover that amidst our challenges,

local community with your talent and

A. Life happens very fast with almost

everywhere you turn in West Africa,

skill. They also need to understand

everything competing for our atten-

there is always an inspiring story

that the need to create a fantastic

tion and we are constantly surround-

both past and present. On a recent

finished product is good, but enjoying

ed by the indescribable play of what I

trip to Benin, a country I have come

the process, identifying your unique

call Acts of Life. The ability to cause a

to love so much, I recently found out

selling point, seeking mentorship, and

pause on a chosen subject or aspect

about the all-female military regiment

building good relationships are a plus

of life so that people can actually slow

called the Dahomey Amazons who

to your journey when starting out.

down or stop to look, think wonder,

were frontline soldiers in the army of

and reflect, and be able to appreciate

the Kingdom of Dahomey in a West

Q. I read an interview with you in

life through still images is just inde-

African empire that existed from 1625

which you said every mistake is a

scribable. It is a blessing.

to 1894. I am certainly making a trip

lesson. Can you give me an example

back to do a story on this.

of a setback that you learned from? A. It is true, I am very high on practical

Q. You travel a lot, but where do you REMOTE WORK Onye editing on his laptop

call home?

Q. What advice can you give to

optimism and that’s why whenever I

others hoping to pursue their own

experience a setback, I always try to

A. Ha ha! I am currently based in

dreams as creatives?

channel my energy in learning some-

A. When I started out, I did not have

thing from it. I remember working on

but home is anywhere my heart feels

mentors but one thing that kept me

a project once with no legal struc-

at peace. When I travel, I travel with

going was that I believed greatly in

ture and proper documentation. We

my heart and mind. But I always look

myself and the vision of telling posi-

delivered and never got our dues.

forward to these three places – Warri,

tive and inspiring stories, and this is

It hurt the business, but instead of

Ghana and Benin. Please don’t tell the

one thing I preach with the slightest

crying over the outcome, I called up

other places.

Lagos and, yes, I do travel a lot across Africa for work, meetings and leisure,



Q. What are some of your favourite

measures by the ground staff and

places to visit and why?

flight crew made it easy for me to

A. I have travelled extensively to parts

trust the gradual re-opening to travel.

of the Middle East, South America,

I really think the safety measures

and other parts of the world but there

are working and people can actually

is something about the mountain

return to travel without fear as long

community of Obudu in Nigeria’s

as you obey the new travel guidelines.

Cross River state with its incredible

Truly, it is time to see the world again.

atmosphere and beaches. I also love the people of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire,

Q. Another piece of advice you like

Benin, Equatorial Guinea, not forget-

to share is not to overthink when

ting my beautiful and serene Kigali.

it gets in the way of action and progress. Has this held you back in

Q. How has the travel restrictions of

the past?

Covid affected your work recently?

A. Through my journey as an African

How have you adapted? Is it impor-

creative entrepreneur, and as a human

tant for you to show others that

being, I have come to understand that

a certain amount of travel is now

overthinking hinders success. It has

possible, that there are safety meas-

held me back in different ways in the

ures in place?

past but I have developed two ways

A. The creative industry was among

to always get me out of it. Number

the hardest hit by the pandemic

one is to be aware when I find myself

and it is interesting to note that our

slipping into the overthinking mode,

job depends on physical human

and the second is, I remind myself

interactions. I personally had to

to take action because if I keep

adapt quickly by using the lock-down

overthinking about the end result and

period to re-evaluate my journey as

the different possible limiting factors,

an African creative entrepreneur, and

it stops me from focusing on starting

more importantly pivot by maximis-

out and enjoying the process.

ing technology and remote work. But

CONNECTING Meeting schoolchildren during a film shoot in Sokoto State, Nigeria

Q. I believe you have, at separate

safety measures given by the Centre

times, had audiences with 14 differ-

for Disease Control & Prevention

ent presidents. How have you been

(CDC), and also the introduction of

able to use your profile and influence

My story serves as an inspiration to

vaccines is helping out. I see a lot of

in ways you are most proud of?

them. So, dedicating my story to

stakeholders in the travel industry like

A. Every opportunity that leads me

inspiring people would be one of my

airlines, hotels, etc working hard on

to a place of influence be it working

proudest daily endeavours.

maintaining these standards.

on a documentary project with high

I remember my very first trip out

having the opportunity to work of

Africa World Airlines to Ghana. The

projects for notable brands serves as

day before my trip I was having panic

a motivating story for other African

attacks but the Covid precautionary

creative entrepreneurs. And there are

Aside from your camera, what three items do you never travel without? My laptop, phones and insect repellent. (Bonus answer: universal power adapter) Luxury hotel or camping in the wild? Luxury hotel any day. I think I have had too many wild experiences growing up (insert loud laughs).

RARE SHOT A Matanfada drummer photographed by Onye

You are away from Nigeria a lot on your travels? What do you miss most about your country? The food!!! Who is your ideal travel companion? Anyone who is super passionate about the African story and always willing to discover or exploring the world around us.

whelmed by their current reality and saying to themselves: “I can never be great because of where I come from.”

Q. Among your event producing and

network or net worth individuals, or

of Nigeria (post-lockdown) was with

Quick questions


a lot of Africans who might be over-

I am glad that travelling within the

TV projects was producing the Nigeria Football Federation Awards (Night of Legends). Who was the legend you were most excited to meet?

De Lady Rev is a pastor, radio presenter, author and motivational speaker and is now FLYafrica’s resident life coach. In this issue she shares advice on reconciling and reviving a relationship.

How to love with understanding 1. Understand yourself You can’t give what you don’t have. There is no way you can understand the next person if you don’t understand yourself... It’s very important that you understand yourself before you get into a relationship with another person. A. I love the game but not as

A. It is absolutely beautiful and

intense as a lot of people I see

enjoyable when you work on

all over the world. One thing I

projects or brands you have a

love about my job as a content

deep connection to but some-

producer and an event producer

times, what is required of you

is that I get to work on a diverse

as a professional is your exper-

range of briefs that opens up my

tise. Personally, I like to find that

imagination and knowledge bank.

connecting point with every

Working on the Nigerian Football

project I choose to work on, it

Federation Award was an honour

makes it much more enjoyable for

for me because it was the first of

me and the team I lead.

its kind in the history of Nigerian football. Getting the chance to

Q. What new projects do you

meet the FIFA president and also

have coming up that you can tell

getting opportunity to work with

us about?

football legends such as the great

A. I am currently developing a

Jay-Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi,

project around travel safety to give

the FC Barcelona Femeni striker

travellers peace of mind through

Asisat Oshoala and other great

plain and easy to understand

footballers. I am forever grateful

safety precautionary measures

to the current Nigeria Football

as we all resume heavy travels.

Federation president Amaju

Also, working on a training and

Pinnick for trusting my profes-

mentorship project that empowers

sional expertise.

African content creators to believe in their ability to add to the posi-

Q. Is it important that you have

tive narrative of Africa by training

a connection to the project you

their minds and eyes to identify

are working on? For example, do

the inspiring stories in their own

you have to believe in a brand to

local communities, and tell it from

handle its promotion?

a place of strength and beauty.

2. Understand your partner One of the most important actions or act is the study and understanding your partner, their backgrounds, way of thinking, their vision and love language. 3. Understand the kind of relationship you have It’s about time you stop comparing your relationship with others because we all don’t have the same kind of relationship. What you are building with your partner is different from what others are building so stay focused and understand the kind of relationship you have. 4. Understand the ending It can be very difficult to understand that the relationship is over. Accept it and move on. Understand that they broke their promise to you and they didn’t love as much as you loved them. Don’t disgrace yourself with fighting your way back when they are not ready to let you back in. Just understand it has ended and move on with your life. Follow De Lady Rev on Facebook at de Lady Rev and Instagram @de_lady_rev

FLYafrica 23





James Dalrymple / Shutterstock.com

Our upcoming flights to Ho will open up the remote but rewarding Volta Region, home to many of Ghana’s most spectacular natural attractions, to passengers. However, when you arrive, don’t be too hasty in embarking on your off-thebeaten-track adventure as it pays to stay a while in the region’s capital and soak up the city bustle. Encircled by teak woods, Ho is a picturesque city known for its produce, which is showcased at its vibrant market, and its Boborbor dancing, party-loving lifestyle.

MOUNT ADAKLU The 580-metre mountain towers over Ho

James Dalrymple / Shutterstock.com

TRAVEL: Africa World Airlines has completed test flights to Ho Airport and will be announcing news on commercial flights in the near future. To book flights, visit flyafricaworld.com SEE: Mount Adaklu, one of the tallest freestanding mountains in Ghana at 580 metres, is close enough – and massive enough – to see on a clear day from Ho. Don’t just admire it from afar, though, the three-hour hike to the summit takes in villages embedded in the mountain, colourful birds and butterflies and opportunities to sample the Adaklu’s famous honey and local gin, better known as akpeteshie. Along with the Ashanti, the Ewe people, who are primarily found in the Volta Region, are known for their kente weaving. You can buy this beautiful and dramatic fabric all over the city. The weavers at Kingholy African Kente Style, in Asogli Street, work on traditional looms and can make made-to-measure outfits. DO: Volta Regional Museum Market. Get a feel for life in the regional capital at Ho’s huge open market, which attracts visitors and stall-owners even from over the border in Togo. It’s also worth dropping by the Volta Regional Museum. Once the office of the Regional House of Chiefs, it has for the past half-century showcased paintings, woodcraft, pottery, chiefs’ stools, masks and swords from the area. If you

are lucky enough to visit in September or early October, you will find the city and its surrounds celebrating the season’s harvest at the annual Asogli Yam Festival, which involves traditional music, dance, story-telling and a grand durbar – a mass gathering of tribal chiefs – as its finale.

If you want to taste the best local cuisine, head for Lord’s Garden Restaurant – you’ll find it next to the Guinness Ghana depot in the central Lokoe neighbourhood. The menu is packed with local delicacies such as Akple – banku-like tasty corn and cassava dough balls – and fufu with palm nut soup.

EAT: The award-winning KCS Downtown, located in the Civic Centre, is one of the most popular and sought-after restaurants in Ho. It serves both local and continental dishes at competitive prices and also hosts regular DJ nights to practise your Boborbor – the hip-swinging dance that originated in the Volta Region.

SLEEP: Volta Serene Hotel. The Volta Serene Hotel is the only four-star facility in Ho and enjoys a prime location atop Kabakaba Hill, offering magnificent views over the city and, on a clear day, as far as Mount Adaklu. Great viewing spots include the hotels roof-top restaurant, bar and nightclub. voltaserenehotel-ghana.com

Noahalorwu | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0

If you want to be in the heart of the city, the two-star Hotel Stevens is close to the central business district and downtown while cocooning you in the relative serenity of its lush, expansive grounds. It has an excellent restaurant. Hotelstevens.com

FLYafrica 25

Building the new Africa Kwarleyz Group Real estate company the Kwarleyz Group epitomises the scale of ambition in modern Ghana and Africa. Its family of inter-dependent speciality businesses are building a future of landmark hotels, smart cities and luxury homes that are transforming skylines and creating jobs and wealth on the continent. FLYafrica reveals the major players involved and takes a look at some of their most innovative projects. Wonda World

Adjei, affectionately called ‘Auntie

There’s a lot to catch the eye in

Kwarley’, who raised him single-hand-

the hub of activity that is Accra’s

edly and taught him the qualities of

Osu district, but fittingly the first

resilience, affection and passion that

thing that strikes most visitors is

have served him well in his own life.

the futuristic design of No 1 Oxford

Looking to the future, Wonda

VISION (Above) The New Africa Construction team and (inset) Petronia City

Street, a world-class luxury hotel with

World is building luxury hotel chain

residential suites that looms over

Ritz Carlton’s first signature prop-

the surrounding streets like a giant

erty in West Africa. The beach-front

Jenga game. Set to join it next door

development, which will include 400

is No 2 Oxford Street, another iconic

residential units, 400 hotel rooms,

building that also maximises prime

retail stores and office spaces is set

for residents as well as a technology

land space with its towering height.

to be Ghana largest ever resort.

hub for businesses expanding out of

The five-star serviced apartment

Also coming up is the innovative Double W, West Africa’s first office

Think of it as a Ghanaian Silicon Valley

like appearance will be topped by a

building connected by bridge to resi-

with the 2,000-acre development

skybar offering incredible views over

dential properties. It will give Accra

set to house approximately 30,000

the city and out to the Atlantic. Both

professionals an unprecedented

residents and will include commercial,

buildings are the work of pioneer-

opportunity to work where they live.

residential, civic, industrial, educa-

ing real estate company Wonda World, which has been developing

tional, and recreational facilities. The project is a joint partnership between

commercial, residential and indus-

Petronia City

trial properties in the capital since

This ambitious 10-year project aims to

Petronia City Development affiliate

2013. Its landmark projects include

create a sustainable and smart city on

and hopes to bring a unique vision of

Avenue Lincoln, the country’s first

the outskirts of Takoradi by 2023 with

future living to West Africa.

multipurpose townhouse community;

plenty of healthy eco-living features

apartment complex Bel Air Crest and the stylish accommodation of Kwarleyz Apartments. The name of the latter and the Kwarleyz Group acknowledge the debt of gratitude the Wonda World CEO and group founder Nana Kwame Bediako owes to his mother, Madame Elizabeth 26

the economic growth in the ‘Oil City’.

complex with its majestic spinnaker-

The Kwarleyz Group is keen that no-one gets left behind on its nation-building mission

Wonda World Estates and the

New Africa Construction This is the expert construction team behind many of the Kwarleyz Group’s most daring large-scale projects. The company’s experienced and dedicated professionals draw on the latest advances in technology and innovation in their residential,

commercial and industrial build-

OSU ICONS No 1 and No 2 Oxford Street and (inset right) Double W

protocol services, chauffeur services,

and freedom, disaster relief, orphan

luxury limousine rentals, event plan-

care, foster care, shelter and educa-

ning, travel itineraries or wellness

tion as well as working to ensure

experiences, Belfast takes care of it,

that families in crisis have access to

and Kwarleyz Apartments and are

leaving clients to focus on the things

essential support services.

currently working on cutting edge

that matter.

ing work. They have brought the Kwarleyz Group vision to life in projects such as No 1 Oxford Street

additions to Accra’s hospitality scene

The company has the hotel and

Since the foundation began in 2015, its philanthropic efforts have

in the JW Marriott hotel in Labone

residential portfolio of the Kwarleyz

included donating to a children’s

and Double W exclusive apartments

Group to offer its clients and can

home in Osu, providing food for

in Catonments.

upgrade your stay with indulgent

10,000 children in need, contributing

touches such as your own top class

to a fire and flood relief programme

personal chef or private butler.

and sponsoring hospital brain

Belfast City Management The coterie of high-end establishments the Kwarleyz Group is bringing to Ghana attracts a sophisticated international and local clientele. Belfast City Management is dedicated

VIP STYLE Belfast City Management offers luxury chauffeur services

New Africa Foundation

tumour surgery.

The Kwarleyz Group is keen that no-one gets left behind on its nationbuilding mission. As its corporate

to ensuring these clients experience

social responsibility wing, the New

a 360-degree luxury lifestyle at all

Africa Foundation reaches out to the

times with its concierge and property

less-privileged and at-risk in society.

management services. Whether its

It raises support, develop and imple-

luxury accommodation, exclusive

ment solutions that provide basic

lounge and space access, VIP airport

needs such as food and water, safety

To find out more about the work of the Kwarleyz Group, call +233 30 263 3998 weekdays from 8.30am to 5.30pm, email info@kwarleyzgroup.com or visit the office at No 8, Avenue Lincoln, Osu Avenue, Ridge, Accra.

FLYafrica 27

Sierra Leone’s stenophylla bean could be the saviour of the

coffee industry


The discovery of a long-thought-lost coffee species in the highlands of Sierra Leone is heralded in a recent study as having the potential to future-proof the multi-billion dollar global coffee industry against the effects of climate change. It is also hoped that a return to commercial production of the highly rated coffea stenophylla in Sierra Leone will once again make the country synonymous with speciality coffee and give its smallholder farmers a crop that commands a decent price. Mark Edwards finds out more.

TESTS Beans of stenophylla coffee being roasted for flavour evaluation Image above: C. Cornu, Cirad


here was a time when Coffea

smallholder farmers, who were

stenophylla, a species of coffee

swayed by the increased yields

native to Guinea, Sierra Leone

possible with robusta coffee. While

and Côte d’Ivoire, produced beans

robusta was widely regarded as

regarded by some as the best in

inferior to stenophylla in flavour, its

the world with a distinct, sophisti-

caffeine-packed beans became a

cated flavour deemed superior to

staple of the growing global instant

the widely produced Arabica and

coffee market. By the 1990s Sierra

robusta varieties.

Leone was exporting around 20,000

Branded as ‘Highland Coffee of

tonnes of robusta a year with coffee

Sierra Leone’, it was a popular export

more important to the country’s

to international markets from the

economy than cocoa. Discarded as

late nineteenth century to around

a commercial crop and last collected

1920. French buyers were particu-

in the wild in the 1950s, it seemed

larly taken with it and were willing to

that stenophylla was gone forever.

pay a high price. Despite its appeal to coffee


connoisseurs, stenophylla fell out

However, a report released in the

of favour with Sierra Leonean

scientific journal Frontiers in Plant Science last year has revealed that

RARE BEAN The first harvest of stenophylla in Sierra Leone (below) and plant in flower (right) Images below and right, Daniel Sarmu

a team of researchers from Sierra Leone and the UK has tracked down 15 of the plants growing wild in south central Sierra Leone. The batch of plants even had enough ripe fruits to collect a small sample for tasting with reactions suggesting the historic reports of coffea stenophylla’s quality were no exaggeration. In July last year a blind-tasting session was conducted at London’s Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, which specialises in roasting hard-to-find


FLYafrica 29

speciality coffee. An expert panel

sightings of the stenophylla plant

awarded the stenophylla coffee

in the Kasewe Forest Reserve had

a score of 80.25, based on the

encouraged Sarmu to adjust the

Specialty Coffee Association protocol

focus of his work with German NGO

in which any score over 80 signifies

Welthungerhilfe (WHH) to reha-

‘speciality’ status.

bilitate robusta coffee production in

The coffee also impressed at a later, more detailed sensory tasting session

He was a part of the scientific

carried out at The French Agricultural

expedition that set out to find steno-

Research Centre for International

phylla growing wild. The team also

Development (Cirad) in southern

included UK representatives Professor

France in which a 15-strong panel of

Jeremy Haggar from the University of

experts noted a natural sweetness,

Greenwich and Doctor Aaron Davis

medium-high acidity, fruitiness, a

from The Royal Botanic Gardens at

good body and a complex range of

Kew. When the discovery was made all

flavours, including peach, blackcur-

three were of a mind that Sierra Leone

rant, honey, jasmine, caramel and

would have to be at the forefront of


the redevelopment of the crop.

The results of the flavour assess-

Sarmu says: “Since this is a unique

ment and details on the climate toler-

coffee it may have a higher price in

ance of stenophylla was published

the international market. A lost glory

in April this year, in the leading plant

will be restored and stenophylla could

science journal Nature Plants.

be rapidly propagated by stem

The implications of the discovery

cuttings and/or in-vitro means for

of this uncommon coffee bean could

farm establishment for both small-

be huge for the global coffee industry

holder and plantation farmers.”

and should be felt first among the farmers of Sierra Leone. They are certainly in need of help.

Breeding process With just over a dozen plants

Three quarters of the Sierra Leone

discovered so far, Prof Haggar says

population work in agriculture, but the

it is crucial that great care is taken in

11-year civil war devastated produc-

propagating new growth in nurseries

tion here and despite efforts to

as well as discouraging agricultural

rebuild, coffee export levels over the

practises that reduce tree cover to

past decade have rarely got above a

help preserve any more wild popula-

tenth of those recorded in the robusta

tions. “All available seed is being used

boom years. Although there are prob-

by WHH to establish plants in nurser-

ably over 30,000 smallholders who

ies, which will start the process of

produce coffee, the productivity of

bringing this species back into cultiva-

their plantations is low, at an average

tion in Sierra Leone. We have much

of just 50kg per hectare, generating

to learn, or relearn, about how best to

only about US$ 100 in annual income

grow and harvest this plant.

per family.


“We must conserve the few

The return to cultivating a native species of coffee in Sierra Leone will be a huge source of pride and hopefully income DISCOVERY The first sighting of stenophylla coffee in the wild in Sierra Leone since the 1950s Image: Jeremy Haggar

populations that we know of in the wild, which are essential to the future of this crop species. This can be helped by strengthening the awareness of communities living near the forest of the importance of conserving their local natural environment, but also by ensuring they have the

The rediscovery of Sierra Leone’s

opportunity to benefit from the

highland coffee has renewed hopes

forest. Support is needed to work

that the rare crop could be cultivated

with communities, and the national

and produced commercially and help

forestry, agriculture and conservation

to revive the country’s floundering

institutions, to develop a plan for the

coffee industry. Sierra Leonean agri-

conservation and use of stenophylla

culture researcher Daniel Sarmu, who


is helping to draft the country’s new

Dr Davis is the head of coffee

national coffee policy, believes this is

research at the Royal Botanic

now the way forward.

Gardens, which has historic connec-

Reports from local guides of


Sierra Leone.

tions to Sierra Leone, having once

Image left: C. Cornu, Cirad. Images above: Cirad

BERRIES The fruit of the stenophylla plant Image right: E. Couturon, lrd

owned land in Freetown where many

coffee to fill at least one shipping

varieties of wild coffee were grown.


He believes the return to cultivating

So, it will take time for farmers

a native species of coffee in Sierra

in Sierra Leone to see the benefit.

Leone will be a huge source of pride

Similarly, coffee lovers keen to start

and hopefully income in the country.

their day with a cup of stenophylla

“Our aspiration is to reintroduce the

will have to be patient. The wait will

farming of stenophylla as a means of

be worth it, Dr Davis can confirm. He

improving the income for small-hold-

was among the panel of experts who

er coffee farmers. Stenophylla coffee

sampled the coffee at the London

is part of Sierra Leone’s biological

tasting and he was delighted and

and cultural heritage.” He adds that

surprised – given the tiny 10-gram

if these next steps are carefully taken

wild sample – at just how good it was.

the farming of stenophylla can be

The academic has been studying the

re-introduced in Sierra Leone, but

diversity of wild coffee for many years

there is much work to be done. “We

and has named “around 25” species

need to undertake more research on

new to science. There are now 124

stenophylla in order to fully evaluate

wild coffee species in the world, yet

its full potential as a crop plant and

until the rediscovery of stenophylla

start plant breeding work.”

none had challenged the hegemony

Prof Haggar offers a timescale: “It’s going to take about five years before

of Arabica and robusta on taste.

we have the first trial plantations, by

Great demand

which time we hope to have enough

The global coffee industry is

sacks of coffee to fulfil the needs of a

massive with more than two

few specialty buyers. Within ten years,

billion cups consumed every day.

our aspiration is to have enough

Discerning drinkers are always


TASTE TEST Sensory tastings were carried out at Cirad



It can grow at an average annual temperature of 24.9C, which is up to 6.8C higher than Arabica and 1.9C higher than robusta

looking for more authentic experiences and a rare bean from Sierra Leone with speciality flavour notes is sure to be in high demand. It’s not only in flavour where stenophylla coffee may have the beating of Arabica and robusta. There is another advantage that may hold the key to future-proofing the global coffee supply chain against challenges such as climate change and diseases.

Coffee of the future The report’s climate analysis found that stenophylla is a heat-resilient plant. It can grow at an average annual temperature of 24.9C, which is up to 6.8C higher than Arabica and 1.9C higher than robusta. Considering the world relies on Arabica and robusta for 99 per cent of its coffee consumption, this vulnerability to rising temperatures is a huge concern for the future of the industry. The

great flavour and heat tolerance.”

rediscovery of stenophylla marks a

Though he points out the team’s

Leone has suddenly gone from being a footnote in coffee production’s past

welcome lifeline in protecting coffee

findings requires further testing, Dr

farming from the climate crisis.

Davis suggests that stenophylla also

As Prof Haggar says: “There is

does not share Arabica’s susceptibil-

still a long road to travel, but maybe

in a lifetime discovery” with far-reach-

ity to coffee leaf rust, a devastating

within a decade Sierra Leone can

ing effects. “Stenophylla is an impor-

fungus that has severely impacted

once again return as a country of

tant resource for breeding a new

coffee plantations in Central and

origin for the coffee connoisseur, and

generation of climate-resilient coffee

South America.

at the same time improve the income

Dr Davis has described it as a “once

crop plants, given that is possesses a

With these developments, Sierra

to being centre stage in its future.

FIND The typical narrow-leaved variant of stenophylla Image: Charles Dension

of its farmers.”

Hannah’s Coffee

Nina’s Coffee

Despite its long history of coffee

in the country to do so. Since that time,

Another Freetown café that roasts its

growing, Sierra Leone is not known

she has attracted many converts to the

own authentic local beans. Proprietor

for its local coffee drinking culture

taste of whole-bean coffee. “Before, my

Sylthea Redwood-Sawyerr roasts in small

with many people opting instead for

friends don’t drink coffee, but because I

instant coffee from brands such as

introduced it to them, they can see and

batches in her kitchen – always with

Nescafé. However, start-ups such as

taste the difference,” she says.

Hannah’s Coffee Couriers/Salon Coffee

music blasting – using beans sourced from farms in Yekeboma in the Kono District. The café also offers a range of

are starting to change the narrative.

The business has expanded. The café

The café in Freetown is run by

Hannah continues to sell packaged

economics graduate Hannah Tarawally

whole-bean and ground coffee – all

and serves artisan coffee made from

harvested, selected and roasted in

coffee delivered to your door or bags of

robusta beans harvested in the Kuido

Sierra Leone – with customers now in

the home-roasted beans are available at

Hills in the country’s Eastern Province

Liberia and plans in place to enter the

city outlets such as 232 Complex, Crown

and hand-roasted on-site.

European market.

Xpress and Choithram’s Supermarket.

Hannah began hand-roasting her own

For more information, visit

For more information, visit Nina’s Coffee

beans in 2015 and was one of the first


Facebook page @NinasCoffeeLove

arrived in the capital in 2020 and

home-made cakes that go great with a cuppa. If you are in the capital, you can also get the fresh-brewed homemade

FLYafrica 33


Landmark additions to Accra dining scene

The arrival of Landmark’s portfolio of inspired dining destinations has proved a welcome addition to the top tier of Accra’s flourishing food scene. Brasa restaurant, serving up straight-from-the fire, skewers, steaks and seafood, and patisserie and cafe MilkBox are already established favourites in the capital. Here the head chefs at each Labone eaterie reveal the secrets of their success.

Geisa Carneiro

PASTRY PERFECTION MilkBox in Labone, Accra

Head chef at MilkBox

Yes, we do. For our ice creams every-


thing is natural and fresh. We use

I always loved baking and when I

locally sourced vanilla pods, which

moved to London and started my

are amazing. The flavours come from

catering course I felt this was what

local fresh fruits. .For our smoothies

I want to do as a job. Since that I

we use only fresh fruits and we always

haven’t stopped. I studied philosophy

use the best suppliers. We cannot

and have a masters degree in journal-

have fruits that are not top quality.

ism, but never worked in this areas.

scratch in the kitchen using the best quality ingredients. Can you tell us about the love that goes into making each one? Yes, it is a real love. When I create the menu that is where the love starts. I always choose what I think I would like to buy and to see if I came to Milk

the local variety and really liked

to combine colour or decorations

it. The flavours are all natural. Our

in each individual cake to make the

Raspberry and White Chocolate

customer desire it. I am very classical

Cake is made with fresh raspber-

in my designs. I don’t go for ‘crazy’

ries; our Banana and Walnut Cake

decorations. I think the taste is more

contains fresh bananas, our Orange

important in combination with a nice and simple decoration.

team know how strict I am about

to the Milkbox store, you cater for

organise and decorate all the cakes

started off importing flour, but tried

have to be as artist too. You need

As well as baking for customers

I am there every day from 6am to

special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. Can you tell us about

and Coconut Cake fresh oranges. CREATIVE CAKES The MilkBox collection is all freshly made

This is what make our cakes different and taste so special. Where do you find inspirations for the creations on the MilkBox menu? As I am passionate about what I do, I

some recent creations?

am always researching (I love pastry

This is the first time I have made

books). Instagram is also good to

wedding cakes or any cakes with

see what people are doing out there

Do you think there is art in the best

three tiers, but we do get requests at

and to think about what the MilkBox

patisserie creations?

Milkbox. Together, as a team, we did

customers are looking for.

Always! To be a pastry chef you

two amazing cakes that made the

to send to Milk Box. Dedication is the real love when you are pastry chef.


For our cakes we use local flour. I

Box as a customer. My nine-strong making and decorating each cake.

It seems you like to use natural ingredients as much as you can?

How did your passion for baking

Your cakes are handmade from

whole team proud. We loved making it!

Creating what I have in my mind is

not easy. It can take time. On occa-

one of the capital’s biggest restau-

Among the steak cuts you offer is

sions I will make a dessert two or

rants. I returned to London as head

the ‘Picanha’ with a ‘fat cap’ left on

three times before I get it just right.

chef at [high-end London steak-

top Brazilian-style. What does this

house] Zelmans Meats, then I got the

offer flavour-wise?

Which desserts go down especially well at MilkBox?

call for Brasa.

There is a lot of flavour on the fat,

Well, people in Accra love our Red

Can you remember when your love

even more than the actual of meat,

Velvet, Devil’s Cake and Carrot Cake,

of cooking began?

when you combine both together, it

which are among our ‘specials’ freshly

When I was 19, I was cooking at a

made from Friday to Sunday. Our

construction site in Portugal for my

Passion Fruit Cheesecake is also a

uncle. He told me: “You should be a

hugely popular dessert.

chef, your food is amazing.”

What do you like about pastry that

The open coal-fired grills at Brasa

you cannot find in other culinary

are a centrepoint. What do you think


that adds to the dining experience?

Everything! Pastry is very different

Guests appreciate they can have a

house sauce.

from main kitchen cooking and it

direct view of the kitchen and watch

requires a great deal of thought from

us chefs in action. I think it creates a

There is often live music or DJs to

the moment you begin making your

certain trust and excitement. For me it

dessert to the end. Starting from the

is also important to be able to see my

weighing of every ingredient to the

guests, watching them receiving their

making and baking and decorating. I

food and see them enjoy it as well.

love all these steps.

when you put the full menu together

Rd, Accra, Ghana

at Brasa?

Hours: 8am to 8pm every day.

It was important for me to create

Website: milkboxcafe.com Instagram: @milkboxcafe

Mario Barreto Head chef Brasa Restaurant

provides extra to the experience. The combination is the key. Can you tell us more about the Brasa in-house sauces? One of them is a recipe made from a sauce from my home town in GuineaBissau. It is the base for the Brasa

accompany brunch sessions and in the evening. With the grill so prominent do you often feel the chefs are performers too? I always keep one eye on the guests. It has been many times that we end

What were you trying to achieve

Contact: Milbox, Ndabaningi Sithole

Call: 030 295 9339

QUALITY CUTS Brasa is known for its steaks

up dancing with the guests as well. You might witness one of my chefs ending up on the floor dancing with the guests, that’s the level of happi-

something that represents my many

ness and excitement you’ll see in my

years working with quality meat, at

kitchen and at Brasa in general.

the same time to satisfy the Ghanaian palettes and the flavours of this

Contact: Brasa, The Edge by

culture. I wmeeting point of European

Devtraco Plus – Apartments,

and African spices, creating a new

Ndabaningi Sithole Rd, Accra

innovative food experience here.

Hours: Monday to Wednesday; 12pm

Do you have a favourite dish on the

to 3.30pm lunch / 6pm – 11pm

Brasa menu?

Thursday to Friday; 12pm to 3.30pm

I have more than one. All of them

lunch / 6pm to 12am

have their own character to me. When

Saturday/Sunday; 10am to 4pm

I was putting them together, I felt

brunch / 6pm to 12am/11pm

connected to all of them. The dishes

Call: 030 295 9338

all share a link with each other. For example, the piri piri marinate is based on the juice from the chicken, and when I was making the chilli prawns, to add the extra flavour, I took away

Website brasagh.com DESTINATION DINING Brasa is an Accra favourite

Instagram: @brasa.gh

the heads and made a stock for the seafood pasta. Your use what is branded as “the Can you briefly tell me about your

best black Angus beef since 1939”

culinary career leading up to working

for your steaks. What else makes

at Brasa?

them so special?

I started in London as a kitchen

One thing I have learned here is that

porter, but worked my way up to chef

adding my special spices to the steaks

at some of the top steak restaurants

on the grill gives them an extra kick,

in the city such as Goodman’s and

helping you to enjoy the steak more.

Beast. Later I was invited to Accra to

The fat, salt and pepper will be mixed

be executive chef for the launch of

with new spices, creating new flavours.

FLYafrica 35

On the hunt for adventure at

Lake Bosomtwe Whether you believe it was formed by a crash-landing meteorite or the wishes of a water goddess, Lake Bosomtwe is a magical place. Adventurer Selorm Ernest Sosu meets the people who call it home.


have heard many stories about

My interaction with some elders in

Lake Bosomtwe so I took a trip

the community revealed that the lake

to Banso and Appau – two of the

is seen as a very sacred place to the

sacred, ancient towns that surround

Ashanti people who live in the area. It

the lake – to satisfy my curiosity.

was considered taboo to use a regular

My journey started in Kumasi

metal or iron to touch the surface of

Muruntuo. From here I set out on

the lake and today fishermen on the

foot. Few motorists take this undulat-

lake, which is filled with tropical tilapia,

ing road, which rises in height before

use a very unusual type of boat.

descending to the lake and ending at Banso. Descending from the hills on foot

The craft are little more than a

SACRED PLACE Lake Bosomtwe

season to appeal to the gods to protect them. Some of the people here are converted Christians, though

plank of wood, which the fishermen

many continue to seek traditional help

sit on top of while using plates or

in bad times or against diseases.

for a walk of about 25 minutes reveals

just their hands as makeshift oars to

beautiful views of Lake Bosomtwe.

propel themselves. However, these

Origin story

It is the largest natural lake in West

days there are a couple of modern

Among the most interesting of the

Africa and is filled mainly by rainwater.

boats that traverse the lake.

traditional beliefs among these

During the rainy season, three main

The water level of the lake contin-

welcoming communities concerns the

water bodies serve as sources: the

ues to rise, meaning over the years

origins of Lake Bosomtwe itself. The

river Ebor, lying between the town of

lakeside villages have had to keep

name ‘’Bosomtwe means ‘Antelope

Abono and Adwarfu; Abriwa, located

moving up the hillside. Visitors will

God’ and it is said that the lake was

between Banwuso and Appau and

notice that many of the villages are

discovered by an Ashanti hunter who,

the third, Kantakyi, located between

named with numerical suffixes that

in 1648, was chasing an antelope that

Agyaman and Bruokwa.

reveal how many times they have

disappeared into the lake.

Lake legend

had to relocate on higher ground.

The hunter was named Akora

More clues to the rising water

Bompe and he was a native of Kokofu

How the lake got here is still unclear.

levels are the numerous tree trunks

Many geologist and researchers from

growing in the lake, some of them

all over the world have visited this

more than 300 years old. When it

beautiful natural lake surrounded by

was smaller, Lake Bosomtwe used to

green vegetation and mountains in an

have 30 villages surrounding it, but

to hunt. It was Akwasidae, the

effort to discover its origins.

now there are just 23 with the rest

scared 40th day on the Ashanti

swallowed up by water.

traditional calendar, when nobody

Lake Bosomtwe’s surrounding looks like a crater, suggesting it may


dugout canoe or for any form of

and continued through Bekwai to

Each village has its own fetish grove

NATURAL BEAUTY The lake at dawn

Asaaman, one of the earliest Ashanti settlements. He and his dog, Daakyi (future), were on the trail of game. It was a strange day to choose

is supposed to go hunting, but

have been caused by an explosion or

or shrine and rituals are performed

instead attends a festival to honour

the impact of a meteorite.

during the intense rainfall of the wet

the gods of the land.

Maria Bernat Astorga / Shutterstock.com

Suddenly an antelope jumped out from the trees and Bompe killed it. Bompe had a good eye and the

Bompe went back and narrated his story to the chief of the town. Knowing that he was guilty of

antelope was in close range so the

working on Akwasidae, Bompe

hunter was amazed when the animal

twisted the story to suggest that

continued to run away. Bompe and

since the antelope was wounded

Daakyi decided to chase the injured

and jumped into that shallow pond

antelope through the rainforest by

and disappeared, the antelope must

tracing its dripping blood. When they

have been a water god. The hunter’s

finally found the antelope, it was lying

adventure gave the place its name.

by a small pond which was not up to

This story suggests at that time

knee level. There were lots of tilapia

the lake level was very low. It certainly

fish in the water.

isn’t now – with a surface area of

Growing lake

around 25sq km and 90 metres deep in places. Only two people have

Daakyi took advantage to feast on the

successfully swum across the lake.

tilapia while Bompe watched in aston-

The most recent crossing was in 2016

ishment. Bompe waited out to the

and took four and a half hours.

antelope, but saw it disappear under

Ivan Okyere Boakye Photography / Shutterstock.com

Bosomtwe means ‘Antelope God’ and it is said that the lake was discovered by an Ashanti hunter

Exploring this huge lake and its

the water. It was as if this body of

communities on foot is a fascinating

water wanted to save the animal’s life.

experience. I’d love to take you with

The hunter never got the antelope.

me some time.

Selorm Ernest Sosu Selorm Ernest Sosu is a blogger, photographer, hiker, backpack traveller and a tour guide who has travelled around Ghana 69 times (at last count) in bringing to light his country’s remotest and most rewarding corners. You can find out about his latest adventures on Instagram at detraveling_fotografa and even join him on packaged trips he organises and leads. For details, call +233 244 411 375.

FLYafrica 37

page Scrabble Fancy yourself as the next Scrabble world champion? Here’s a chance to test your word power against Wellington Jghere, the 2015 winner of the trophy and the current sixth best ranked Scrabble player in the world. The Nigerian pro is now FLYafrica’s new puzzle master and here he has set some tricky tasks for readers based on the classic word game.

1. Abelntu This letter combination can yield the following number of valid six- and seven-letter words. How many can you spot without help?

A. SEVENS - 2 T- - - - - E : capable of being tuned A - - - - -T : a cleansing agent  B. SIXES - 9 BUN - - - : the straw of the talipot palm  BUT- - - : a flammable gas  ELU - - - : a solvent LUN- - - : crescent-shaped NEB - - - : a cloud-like interstellar mass  TUL - - - : a head covering  UNA - - - : lacking capability  UNB - - - : to loosen from a compressed bundle  UNB - - - : to remove the belt of

2. Blank tile In the ongoing game below, what letter does the blank tile represent? Using the board situation above and the tiles available, find which plays yield the following scores:

A. 107: .......

C. 110: .......

B. 66: ........

D. 80: ........

Wellington has his own brand of customised premium-quality Scrabble board, WellyBoard, available to purchase. Visit wellyboard.com 38

TECHcorner Tiny tech: the best small gadgets It is impossible to know the future, but one thing looks likely: it’s going to be small. Advances in technology have led us to create ever tinier gadgets with next-gen nanotechnology set to work on the miniscule scale of molecules and atoms. For now, here are five examples of science cut down to size.

Wacaco Minipresso Wherever you are, this mini coffee machine enables you to be your own barista and master your daily shot of espresso. The easy-to-use hand-pump system delivers a rich, smooth espresso. The operation is straightforward. Simply pack a couple of scoops of fresh ground coffee – your blend and grind of choice – into the filter basket, screw on the portafilter and add hot water to the water tank. Then turn the unit upside down over a cup, twist the piston and start pumping to deliver a large, steaming espresso, every time. Maintenance is just as easy, as all the parts are easily separated for cleaning. Weighing in a just 60 grams, you can take this compact, study machine with you even when you’re travelling light. Price: US$ 52 wacao.com

Oura Ring Fitness trackers are by their very nature designed for those with an active lifestyle so the smaller and less obtrusive the better. Apple Watches and Fitbits slip around your wrist, but the Oura Ring takes it one step further, fitting around just one finger and weighing in at just 4 grams. There’s a lot packed in to that small size with infra-red sensors within its waterproof titanium casing to measure body temperature, heart rate and respiration as well as a 3D accelerometer to measure your activity levels. All this stored data can be easily transferred to your mobile phone through the Oura app, which is free for both iOS and Android. You can also sync your workouts to the app as it is compatible with Apple Health and Google Fit. In between transfers to the app, the smart ring will hold on to its data for up to six weeks, giving the user an in-depth insight into their sleep patterns, periods of inactivity and how their environment affects their body. Price: US$ 299 ouraring.com


DJI Pocket 2 Camera This travel-friendly video camera is truly pocket-sized so ideal for popping in your jacket or bag when you want to record your day trip and holiday adventures. Vloggers will love features such as its ActiveTrack 3.0, which ensures that whether the camera is in your hand while you walk and talk or placed on a table as you move around the room, it’ll keep you in the centre of the frame. The Pocket 2 also comes complete with a 3-axis mechanical stabiliser. This not only counters any handheld camera shake, it also means it stays steady as you move, turning trick shots of skateboarders or a stroll along the beach into movie-like scenes. Image quality is excellent and you can play with the super sharp 4K footage with cool extras such as Timelapse, which allows you to capture the bustle of your city break and Story Mode, which creates your own mini movies. Just select from a template and let the camera take over.

Davek Mini Getting caught in the rain in Ghana is no joke. During the two annual rainy seasons, short, sudden downpours are frequent and it’s advisable to be prepared, unless when you want your outfit for the day ruined. The super compact Davek range – each measure just 17 cm when closed – is the perfect ‘justin-case’ umbrella. It is small enough to be hardly noticeable when not in use, yet with its steel shaft and reinforced fibreglass frame, able to withstand the heaviest of downpours. Davek are so sure of its sturdiness that each comes umbrella comes with its own lifetime guarantee Price: US$ 69 davek.co.uk

Price: US$ 480 wexphotovideo.com

Homepod Mini Apple had expanded its smart speaker range, but its new addition is its smallest yet. The new HomePod mini is just under 8.5cm tall, but it fills a room with its sound and Apple has fitted in the same smart home Siri voice control features as the full-size HomePod. There’s also room for new features such as an Intercom system which allows users to send voice messages from one HomePod to another around a home, as well as to other Apple devices such as the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. Several mini units can also be paired together around the home and play audio in multiple rooms, while placing two HomePod mini speakers in the same room will create a stereo pairing. The new HomePod minis also have a small carbon footprint with Apple saying they are built using 99 per cent recycled rare earth elements and the mesh fabric is made with 90 per cent recycled plastic. Price: US$ 140 apple.com FLYafrica



Are you reading this? Then potentially so are 400,000+ AWA passengers each year!† ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS • Attract new customers and generate continuous business • Advertisements enjoy strong and sustained exposure • Highly targeted audience and guaranteed readership To advertise contact: Anita Ottenhof +233 542 476 370 (WhatsApp) Head Office: +44 (0)1206 752902

• Multiple discounts on series bookings • Magazine available on-board and online • Multiple destinations in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’lvoire


Book now for the next issue flyafrica@landmarine.org Payment is required on publication date via bank transfer and payable to Land & Marine Publications Ltd. Bank details can be found on the invoice. †Estimated.

Inflight mindfulness with Bliss Yoga Accra @blissyogaaccra

FLYafrica’s inflight mindfulness teacher Nana Amoaka-Anin is the founder of Osu yoga and wellness centre Bliss Yoga. Here she guides you through a physically and spiritually relaxing practice to make your flight fly by.

Take a load off your back and your mind We carry so much weight when we fly. Not just in the luggage we cart around, but also in the general tension of the experience. With many of us flying again, coming in and out the airport can be very stressful, especially when you’ve got several bags to carry and there is the added anxiety these days of being inside an aircraft. In fact, a key reason injuries occur [pre and post flight], is due to passengers lifting heavy bags. Low cabin temperatures also contribute to stiff muscles and body discomfort. These two basic yoga exercises will help soothe your frayed nerves, refocus your mind, and let you have the most relaxing flight of your life. The torso twist - While sitting, make sure your shoulders are positioned squarely. Keep your hands between you and the seat next to you. Hold the right seat arm with your left and right hand and twist your upper body to get a comfortable stretch. Repeat on the opposite side.

Beauty FLYAfrica’s beauty columnist is Ghanaian make-up artist and vlogger Alexandrina. She is the founder and CEO of Alexiglam, a beauty brand and studio based in Accra, and her make-up skills have been used by homegrown stars such as Juliet Ibrahim and Joselyn Dumas as well as on the catwalk at the New York Fashion show.

Feed your skin Hello again my beauties! Now is the perfect time to detox and start new healthier habits in life, so don’t leave your skincare out. Let’s break it down The best place to start your skincare journey is with an aesthetician because they’ll take care of any professional skin concerns you might have. New laser technology and professional peels/products are available to improve even the most badly damaged skin. Develop the habit of sticking to a great skincare routine. Using targeted cleansers, serums, acids, retinols, moisturisers and SPF (Please note: You may not need all these products), will help your skin remain youthful, soft and ensure and even-toned complexion. Substitute some of your skincare with natural oils and beauty brands that use organic ingredients. Nature is the best skincare. Until next time: stay safe, keep a positive “can do” attitude, stay pushing and stay beautiful.

Wrist release - Are your hands feeling a little stiff from carrying luggage? First, with one hand, press your fingertips to the top of your arm, do this three times with each hand. Then, bend each wrist in the opposite direction by letting your fingertips press towards the inside of your wrist. Maintain the position for several seconds and then release. Do the opposite hand. To finish up, give your wrist a shake to release tension and loosen the ligaments. For my beauty and skincare items, visit my Instagram page

Find out more about the classes at blissyogaaccra.com or @blissyogaaccra Instagram

@alexiglam and send me a DM. Follow my personal beauty journey @alexandrinamakeup

FLYafrica 43

Answers to Scrabble puzzle on page 38.

1. Abelntu A. SEVENS - 2 TUNABLE: capable of being tuned

BUTANE: a flammable gas ELUANT: a solvent

UNABLE: lacking capability UNBALE: to loosen from a

ABLUENT: a cleansing agent B. SIXES - 9 BUNTAL: the straw of the talipot palm 

LUNATE: crescent-shaped NEBULA: a cloud-like interstellar mass TULBAN: a head covering 

compressed bundle UNBELT: to remove the belt of

2. Blank tile answers …what letter does the blank tile represent? Ans: P






Wa Freetown Sierra Leone


Tamale Ghana Côte d’lvoire Monrovia Kumasi Liberia


Abuja Lagos


Explore West Africa with Africa World Airlines GHANA




Kotoka International Airport

Wa Airport

Capital city of Ghana with an estimated population of 2.27 million. Economic and administrative hub for Greater Accra region and home to Ghana’s government administration.

AWA is the first airline to operate commercial flights out of Wa Airport, which serves the city of Wa, the capital of Ghana’s Upper West region with a population of 78,000.

Aéroport Félix Houphouët Boigny

Kumasi Kumasi International Airport Located in Ashanti Region and one of Ghana’s biggest metropolitan areas with a population of 2.07 million.

Tamale Tamale Airport Capital of Ghana’s Northern Region and hub for administrative and commercial activities.

Takoradi Takoradi Airport Port town combined with Sekondi to form Sekondi-Takoradi, capital of the Western Region.


The economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire is the second largest city in West Africa after Lagos. Its skyscrapers tower between lagoons and waterways, overlooking the Atlantic.




Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Roberts International Airport

Nigeria’s largest city and the most populous in Africa. Major financial centre and home to one of Africa’s biggest ports.

Capital and most populous city of Liberia with more than 1 million inhabitants.



Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport


Capital of Nigeria and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Administrative and political centre of Nigeria.

Capital of Sierra Leone and the country’s economic, financial, cultural and political centre.

Lungi International Airport

Book online

flyAfricaWorld.com FLYafrica 45

TRAVELinformation Before your flight



3 .



Allow enough time to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight departure time and no later than 40 minutes before departure.

Unaccompanied minors Children aged five to 12 must travel as an unaccompanied minor (UM) on AWA. Only children mature enough to

If you are a special needs passenger, arrive at the airport in ample time to allow the airport staff to process documents.

travel with limited supervision

Make sure you have the correct identification for check-in, such as a voter’s ID card, National Health Insurance card, driver’s licence or any form of government identification before you travel on AWA’s domestic routes and a valid passport on regional routes. A visa is required for non-ECOWAS passport holders. Without a valid physical government-issued ID you will not be checked in.

receiving a UM at final

are allowed to travel as a UM. Details of parent/guardian destination must be provided by a parent/guardian during reservation. Proof of age such as a valid passport, birth certificate or National Health Insurance card must be presented at check-in.

Check that your bags are within the correct weight and size limits for your product class (see table below).

AWA ground staff will assist the UM with check-in, transfers and boarding.

Check your seat assignment, which will be given to you at the airport.

Once on board, a flight attendant with observe and/

During your flight





Enjoy complimentary hot beverages. On routes to and from Freetown and Monrovia passengers are also served snacks.

UMs are only allowed to travel on non-stop or same-

The parent/guardian receiv-

Pay close attention to the safety procedures outlined by the cabin crew and take note of your nearest exit.

plane services.

ing the UM should arrive at the gate 30 minutes prior to

AWA does not accept

scheduled arrival and present

responsibility for a UM’s

valid photo ID to an AWA

actions. The parent/guardian

representative. AWA will not

agrees to hold AWA blame-

release a UM to anyone other

less for any injuries to UM

than the designated parent/

caused by or out of UM’s own



Sit back, relax and enjoy FLYafrica magazine! AWA reserves the right to

Baggage allowances


or communicate with the UM

Checked baggage

Hand luggage

Excess baggage

Should the UM’s flight be

transport UMs on flights that

disrupted or should the guard-

may have been diverted or

ian or parent fail to meet the

cancelled due to weather or

UM on arrival, AWA is author-

operational disruptions.

ized to take necessary and

Domestic Regional 23 kg

30 kg

One piece up to 5 kg and 1 handbag/laptop bag GHS 5/kg

US$ 3/kg

book stating the duration of

to AWA representatives of the

pregnancy at the date of travel.

person’s condition upon ticket purchase.

A new mother is permitted to fly 48 hours after a normal

Pre-boarding to find a suit-

delivery, provided that she has

able seat. Passengers with

a certificate from her obstetri-

disabilities are not permitted to

cian stating she is fit to fly.

sit in the emergency exit rows.

Babies under 14 days old are not permitted to fly.

Receipt of checked-in wheelchair or other assistance device upon disembarking or

Passengers with reduced mobility

at baggage claim. AWA is not insured, permitted

AWA provides assistance to

or equipped for staff to carry

passengers with special needs

any passenger who is unable to

during the reservation process,

assist himself or herself onboard

check-in, during the flight

an AWA aircraft, even if he or

and at final destination. AWA

she is able to walk but needs a

will ensure provision of the

trained and accredited bearer.

following: AWA is not equipped to Transport of passengers

reasonable action under the

agrees to reimburse AWA for

Pregnant women Expectant mothers are permitted to fly until the 28th medical certificate. From the 28th to the

seated on the lap of an adult

34th week of pregnancy, an

over 15 years of age. However,

expectant mother is required

a passenger may choose to

to provide a medical certifi-

purchase a seat for the infant

cate from her obstetrician

as long as there is a proper

stating that the pregnancy is

child restraint device.

progressing without complications and stating the expected

Only one child is permitted

delivery date.

to sit on an adult’s lap. An additional seat must be purchased

or contained gas either in the

safety-related regulation that

passenger cabin or as cargo/

requires us not to do so.

baggage. AWA is not equipped to

chairs or other assistance

transport passengers who

devices for personal use at

require stretchers, incubators,

no charge, in addition to

respirators or other devices

enplaning and deplaning.

that may rely on aircraft power

Attention should be brought


week of pregnancy without a

AWA requires all children under two years old to be

other hazardous materials and/

unless there is a specific

Transport of wheel-

any expenses incurred.

Infants and toddlers

with disabilities of any kind

and more comfortable flight.

circumstances. In the case of the latter, the parent/guardian

transport medical oxygen or

Expectant mothers more

if one adult is travelling with

than 34 weeks pregnant are

two infants.

not permitted to fly with AWA.

AWA recommends that

For pregnancies less than

a child over 20 kg in weight

28 weeks, passengers should

should use a seat for a safer

possess an ante-natal card/

Fleet information Embraer ERJ-145LR Length:

29.87 m / 98 ft 0 in


6.76 m / 22 ft 2 in


20.04 m / 65 ft 9 in

Capacity: Engines:

50 passengers Rolls Royce AE 3007-A1 Turbofans

Range: Maximum speed:

2,870 km Mach 0.78

Number of aircraft: 8 FLYafrica 47

AWAcontacts Connect with AWA Facebook

www.facebook.com/ flyafricaworld





Get in touch

Email Contacts Concerns concerns@flyafricaworld.com Charters charters@flyafricaworld.com Local Offices Accra – Head Office UNA Homes Building 2nd/3rd floor Airport Bypass Road Airport City Road PMB CT67 Accra, Ghana Tel: +233 24 243 8888 +233 30 701 2024 Toll Free: 0800 200 200 Email: awaoffice@flyafricaworld.com Opening hours: 08.00-17.00 (Monday to Friday)

Kumasi Airport Office Opening hours 05:00 - 20:00 (Monday to Sunday) Tel: +233 30 297 4918

Takoradi Airport Office Opening hours 05:30 - 18:00 (Monday to Saturday) 08:00 - 18:00 (Sunday) Tel: +233 57 770 2854


Tamale Airport Office Opening hours 06:00 - 17:30 (Monday to Sunday) Town Office Opposite Block “B” School Zogbeli, Tamale Opening hours 08:00 - 17:00 (Monday to Friday) 09:00 - 14:00 (Saturday and holidays) 12:00 - 17:00 (Sunday) Tel: +233 30 297 4919

Wa Airport office Opening hours 08:00 - 17:00 (Monday to Sunday)

Regional Offices Lagos Airport Ticketing Office Room 2030, 2nd Floor (Airline Floor), D Wing Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja, Lagos Tel: +234 1 342 7130/2

Opening hours 05:45 - 16:00 (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) 08:00 - 18:00 (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) 05:45 - 18:00 (Friday)

Abuja Airport Office Public Concourse, Terminal C Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Tel: +234 90 9558 0924 +234 90 9558 0987 +234 90 9558 0960 Email: abujasales@flyafricaworld.com Opening hours 08:00 - 16:00 (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) 08:00 - 18:00 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday)

Monrovia Airport Office Roberts International Airport, Lower Margibi County, Monrovia, Liberia Tel: +231 886 691 623 +231 881 108 682/666 Opening hours: 08.00-17.00 (Monday to Sunday) Town Office 1st Floor, Kabah Building Benson/Mechlin Street Tel: +231 77 044 4400/4433 +231 77 545 0010 Email: sales@air-mc.com Opening hours: 09.00-17.00 (Monday to Saturday)

Freetown Airport Office Lungi International Airport Tel: +232 79 630 107


Opening hours 08:00 - 17:00 (Monday to Sunday)

AJ Aviation Imm. Trade Center, AV. Nogues Plateau, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Town Office 21/23 Siaka Stevens Street Tel: +232 79 630 103; +232 88 852 773

Tel: +225 75 777777 +225 44807047

Opening hours: 08.30-17.00 (Monday to Friday) 09:00 - 13:00 (Sat)

Email: sales.lagos@flyafricaworld.com

Book online



Profile for Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

FLYafrica Magazine, Issue 11  

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