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YOUR COMPLIMENTARY COPY

Touching Africa, Touching The World!

FLYafrica Return to Ghana ISSUE 12

NOVEMBER 2021 -JANUARY 2022

Y’AKOTO EMBRACES HER ROOTS

PAGE 20

THE NEW WAVE OF SURFING IN WEST AFRICA PAGE 30

PLAN A GHANAIAN ADVENTURE

STAR DESTINATION

ABUJA

‘NIGERIA FOR BEGINNERS’



Contents PAGE 30

GHANAIAN HOLIDAY Mooove Africa

Africa World Airlines (AWA) 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 Anita Ottenhof Cell: +233 542 476 370 (WhatsApp) Email: corehospitalitygh@gmail.com Aaron Daunor Cell: +233 24 346 7506 Email: aarondaunor@landmarine.com EDITORIAL: Mark Edwards, Editor markedwards@landmarine.com 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. ©2021 Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

Regulars

Features

1 Foreword

9 Y’akoto

4 Cloud nine

18 Eat to the beat

A message from our CEO

AWA marks its nine-year anniversary on Memorial Day

17 INSIDERinformation

Ghanaian gifts …go for the glow

26 STARdestination

Cool dining and music venues

20 Afrosurf

West African surfing in pictures

23 CJ Obasi

28 PUZZLEpage

The Nigerian filmmaker reveals the story behind the award-winning ‘Juju Stories’ How Mooove Africa is getting Ghanaians to go on adventures close to home

34 Abuja arts scene

Wellington Jghere’s Scrabble teaser

29 Inflightmindfulness with Bliss Yoga Accra

29 Wisdomworld

The singer on how her return to Ghana has inspired a new musical direction

30 A new Mooovement

Abuja

How galleries in the Nigerian capital are promoting local talent and a love of art

40 Gut instinct

The importance of probiotics

42 Ghana’s amazing architecture

Life coach De Lady Rev calls out the cheaters

Adventurer Selorm Sosu reveals four unique buildings

38 TECHcorner

AWA Information

The best travel tech

4 AWAnews 45 AWAroutes

Subscribe to FLYafrica

Email: subscribe@landmarine.org

Book online

46 TRAVELinformation 48 AWAcontacts

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Foreword

Welcome

Connect with AWA Facebook

www.facebook.com/ flyafricaworld

NINE YEARS AND COUNTING

Twitter

@flyafricaworld

Instagram

@flyafricaworld

Dear passenger, I am glad to welcome you to your Africa World Airlines (AWA) flight today, as well as to FLYafrica, our in-flight magazine. You’ll find a piece in this issue commemorating our airline’s ninth anniversary and highlighting how far AWA has come in such a short time. It’s interesting to know that we started with just two Embraer 145 aircraft and one domestic route - Accra to Kumasi – and have already expanded to eight destinations in four West African countries. We’ve connected over 2.5 million travelers since 2012. We have strived to be their airline of choice, whether they are going to see loved ones, attend business meetings, or enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. The feature inside will tell you more about all of our accomplishments and honors over the past nine years. However, I’d like to take a moment to thank those who helped us succeed. I’m referring to you, our valued customers. You’ve been there since the beginning, and the recent Global Customer Appreciation Week provided us with a fantastic opportunity to tell all of you how much you mean to us.

Photography by Jhey Too Cool

We will continue to make air travel an affordable, dependable, and safe option for you. Even though we’ve accomplished a lot in nine years, we still have bigger goals to achieve with you in mind. Thank you for reposing confidence and trust in us all these years. We look forward to giving you more of what you want in the coming years. Best wishes to you.

Michael C. Luo Chief Executive Officer, Africa World Airlines

Book online

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AWAnews

Nine years

AWA on cloud nine as we marked anniversary on Memorial Day September 21 was a very special day for all Ghanaians as it is the birthday of the country’s visionary first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, but for AWA the day had extra significance as it marked the day of our first revenue flight. That we began our journey on Memorial Day seems very fitting to us and we hope that Dr Nkrumah would be proud of what this Ghanaian business has achieved in the years since. We couldn’t have done it without you – our cherished passengers – so thank you for your support and let’s look back together at some of the highlights of the AWA story so far… AWA took its maiden commercial flight

with a host of awards, including Best

with international airlines such as South

on September 21, 2012, with its Embraer

Airline of the Year in 2020.

African Airways, Emirates, Brussels

145 aircraft – one of a fleet of two at that time – taking passengers from Accra to

In the same year as our inaugural Accra

Kumasi.

to Kumasi flight, Tamale was added as a

Even from such humble beginnings, we had grand dreams. Our mission from the start was to become the leading airline in Africa and to offer a worldclass service. In just nine years we have made huge progress – establishing a frequently served route network across Ghana and West Africa, adhering to

its first international flight, connecting

and United Airlines. Our network is now served by a fleet of eight 50-seater Embraer

Accra with Lagos, in Nigeria.

145s. Passengers can be assured of a

Network

AWA became the second airline in

Now our network is spread across West Africa with four domestic destinations – Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi –

comfortable and safe flight. In 2015, Ghana to achieve IOSA international safety standards – a status the airline has maintained since by passing biennial audits. In 2017, we became the only

world-leading safety standards on all

as well as Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria,

our flights and signing partnerships

Monrovia in Liberia and Freetown in

of the International Air Transport

with international airlines to connect

Sierra Leone. We are also fulfilling our

Association (IATA) – which supports

our passengers across the world. Our

ambition to connect passengers across

aviation with global standards for

achievements have been recognised

the world with our signed partnerships

airline safety, security, efficiency and

Touching Africa, Touching The World! 4

destination and in 2013 AWA launched

Airlines, ASKY Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines

Ghanaian airline to be a full member


sustainability – following the completion of our second IOSA audit. While marking ourselves as an airline of international standard, we are also proud of being a wholly Ghanaian carrier. This can be seen in our focus on training nationals for technical roles such as pilots and engineers as well as cabin crew and customer service on the

Ghana was the first West African country to resume domestic flights during the pandemic and AWA ensured our passengers felt secure and safe onboard our aircraft by introducing industry leading sanitation protocols with independent watchdog Safe Travel Barometer rating us as the second best airline in Africa in regards to Covid safety.

ground. We have also made air travel an affordable and convenient option for more Ghanaians than ever. Through high utilisation of our aircraft and high-frequency of operations we have broken the mould of air travel as only an exclusive, expensive option here. We have become the largest airline in Ghana with more than 600,000 passengers transported in 2019, accounting for 68 per cent of domestic passengers and 20 per cent of all passengers in the country. We were also the largest international carrier

Flight frequencies and passenger numbers are beginning to head back to pre-pandemic levels with more than 56,000 people flying with us in August this year. Thanks for the trust you’ve placed in us recently and across all our nine years in the skies. We have made plenty of progress in that time and are determined to do far more in the future. We truly appreciate your business and look forward to serving you for many more years to come.

operating to Nigeria by 2019 with 200 monthly flights to Lagos and Abuja.

Model Such an operational model has not only proved a boon for customers, it has also made AWA a year-on-year profitable business since 2014. Such financial health means we can keep expanding our network and our services. Stay tuned for the latest developments. It also means that we are strong to face challenges that come our way. In 2020 that was the Covid pandemic. However, even in such unprecedented trying conditions for the aviation industry, we still managed to survive and serve our people. We continued to operate humanitarian flights to repatriate Ghanaians stranded abroad during the crisis and connected business with cargo flights.

Our nine years

in numbers

Over 2.5 Million Passengers flown

8 Embraer 145 aircraft

8 destinations

Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi, Abuja, Lagos, Monrovia, Freetown

Over 381 employees Book online

AWA awards

Over our nine years, Africa World Airlines has been the proud recipient of many awards. Here is just a selection: 2019 – Inducted into the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana’s (CIMG) Hall of Fame after winning Domestic Airline of the Year for five consecutive years. 2019 – Best Airline in West Africa at the Balafon Travel Awards. 2019 – AWA was recognised by Embraer for providing the highest quality standard of fleet reliability data among all Embraer 145 operators worldwide. 2019 – AviaTour award for Best Passenger Experience. 2019 – Airline Excellence Award for Innovation and Capacity Growth at the Routes Africa Awards in recognition of AWA’s steady growth and creative marketing. 2020 – AWA was commended by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and President Jair Bolsonaro for assisting with the repatriation of Brazilian citizens from seven countries in West Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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AWAnews Travellers reviews show AWA staff go the extra mile Right now, even small gestures can make a world of difference. Our cabin crew and ground staff are there to care and bring a smile to passengers’ faces as these customer commendations attest. Cabin crew officer Louisa was commended by a passenger for a recent example of service with a smile and going the extra mile to make the flight experience even more rewarding. “As a first-time flyer on your plane, I was really nervous when boarding. I didn’t know what to do when I got onboard, but when I approached one of your cabin crew (Louisa), my fears disappeared. She gave me a smile which I saw in her eyes as she was wearing a nose mask. Louisa deserves to be commended.” Sandra is a passenger handler who recently made a passenger’s day with an exhibition of can-do spirit and competence. “I want to commend Sandra Afrane, one of your passenger handling agents in Accra. On this particular day I was on a flight to Kumasi when Sandra came to update us that our flight had delayed. I was angry and shouted at her. When I was walking towards the bus, I realized the brown envelope I was holding was not with me. This envelope had money in it. Sandra quickly came to my aid and assisted in searching for the envelope. I was extremely shocked to see her showing so much concern after my outburst. Thanks to her I found the envelope intact. Sandra is an asset to your company.” Share your AWA experience on our social media platforms.

Connect with us

Facebook flyafricaworld Twitter @flyafricaworld

AWA’s covid safety measures among Africa’s best Independent watchdog Safe Travel Barometer has given Africa World Airlines (AWA) the second highest safety rating in Africa in regards to the implementation of Covid-19 safety protocols. AWA scored 3.8 out of 5 in an audit of measures taken that included disinfection frequency, face mask and hand sanitiser usage and other key activities to combat the spread of the virus during the travel process. Visit flyafricaworld.com for all covid-related updates. For a full list of airline scores, visit dashboard.safetravelbarometer.com

Our reliability ratings for September Africa World Airlines is proud to release our operational performance statistics for September 2021, in line with our commitment to transparency.

Number of flights scheduled

Schedule execution rate

Total flights delayed beyond two hours

1,141

99.6%

80

Numbers of passengers booked

Passengers denied boarding due to oversales

51,955

15

Flights delayed beyond two hours due to weather

33

Number of bags checked in

Bags delivered on time

49,511

99.9%

Instagram @flyafricaworld

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7


AWAnews Global Customer Appreciation Week Passengers’ kind words about our staff mean a lot – and the feeling is mutual. To mark Global Customer Appreciation Week – which takes place annually in the first week of October – we set up staff at check-in desks and counters across all the airports we service to say ‘thank you’ to our customers for choosing us. Your support means so much to us. We truly appreciate your business and look forward to serving you again.

HOW TO BOOK Passengers can book flights online by visiting flyAfricaWorld.com and using the ‘BOOK’ 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.

8

Book online

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

Toll free number:

0800 200 200 flyafricaworld.com


Y’akoto

How a return to Ghana showed the way

Ghanaian singer Y’akoto began her music career in Germany and made her name with the trio of thoughtful, soulful ‘Blues’ albums while in her 20s. But now she is on a red-hot streak of new releases – including solo single ‘What’s Good?’ and her collaboration with UK house music auteur Matthew Herbert ‘The Way’ – that have come since her return to Accra in 2019. In an exclusive interview, she tells FLYafrica’s Mark Edwards how embracing her roots has been an important part of the journey of self-discovery her music has taken her on. Photography by Jhey Too Cool

FLYafrica

9


Y’akoto

M

uch like her genre-hopping

the single’s accompanying video,

singer Y’akoto is complex

which shows Y’akoto hanging out and

and playful as an interviewee. Talking

dancing with street vendors whose

on the phone from her Accra home,

stalls flank the disused railway tracks

her smooth-as-silk voice nursed by

running through Accra’s Ofankor

a steady supply of lozenges, she can

neighbourhood.

be contradictory – at one point she

Y’akoto says: “I pass by that area

puts her difficulties breaking into the

when I’m out on my early morning

music scene in Hamburg, Germany,

runs. There’s so much life there.

where she was born and spent most

Children are playing and people are

of her teens and twenties, down

showing up every day to make a

to being unapologetically herself –

living. I wanted to show what I see

“Many people are afraid to be real.

and what I have become a part of,

The music I made always came from

living in Accra.”

me” – while going on to describe

The video was directed by

her music and much of her life as

Ghanaian filmmaker Jhey Too Cool

artifice. “Performing is not just when

and also features the talents of frenet-

you are on stage,” she tells me. As

ic local dance duo Rolie and Demzy

our conversation goes deep into its

Baye. With in-demand Nigerian studio

second hour, I come to understand

wizard Jay Synths producing the

both statements have a truth to them

track, ‘What’s Good?’ has been a true

and her garlanded career – now well

West African collaboration and the

into its second decade and having

experience has been a revelation for

garnered hits, awards and a global

Y’akoto as a black creative herself.

following – has always been part confessional and part role play.

Sometimes, I just want to be light and celebrate. When you get older you learn how to put things in perspective and have fun

“It’s great to see black people doing cool things and I have loved working

The two sides have not always

with these young people,” she says. “I

been in harmony for the singer born

like to feel I am playing a mentoring,

Jennifer Yaa Akoto Kieck. She admits

supporting role and giving something

there have been times when she has

back by employing these guys, but

felt a loosening of her grip on her

when you work with people younger

own identity in feeding the demands

than you, they can also teach you.”

of the music business, but the last

STRENGTH “I know how to perform, its always been my strength”

and sensitive issues in her songs, is enjoying letting in some frivolity. “Sometimes, I just want to be light and celebrate,” she says. “When you

few years have brought a new-found

Creative

happiness in her own skin. It is telling

Lessons learned include the 33-year-

that such contentment has coincided

old going with the flow in trusting the

with the well-travelled artist – who,

creative whims of her Gen Z collabo-

in Ghana is 10 times harder than in

has spent extended time in countries

rators. She worked with up-and-

Germany, but I am more experienced

such as Germany, France, Togo, Chad

coming director Akwadaa Nyame

now.” Part of the struggle is that there

and Cameroon – making a home

on the video for ‘Undercover Lover’,

are not a lot of places to play live

for herself in Ghana. She has lived in

the cut most destined for dance-

music in the country and Y’akoto is

Accra since 2019 and has embraced

floors from her 2020 EP ‘Obaa Yaa’.

an artist that shines on stage. “I know

the upbeat resourcefulness she sees

His vision to accompany the track

how to perform. It’s always been my

here in her life and music. “I’m like a

– a giddy paen to the thrill of new

strength”, she says. If proof is needed,

sponge and take in my environment,”

love with the sheen of classic 1970s

she says. “I see the smiles on faces

disco – is a day-glo fantasy featuring

and people doing incredible things

a slightly unhinged-looking Y’akoto,

with nothing. It’s inspiring.”

many colourful costume changes and

Y’akoto celebrated this Ghanaian

a white rabbit. The singer, who is a

get older you learn how to put things in perspective and have fun.” Not that it has been easy. “Working

DEEP Tackles serious and sensitive issues in her songs

head to YouTube to watch her 2014 set at the Leverkusen jazz festival where she has the crowd spellbound from the moment she steps on stage. She has got together “a wonderful

positive mindset in her slice-of-

trained dancer and once considered

band” of local musicians and recent

sunshine single ‘What’s Good?’,

it a career, seems to be having a blast.

performances in the capital have

released in April this year. “The major-

“I went with whatever he asked me to

included intimate gigs at The Secret

ity of Ghanaians are trying to survive

do. ‘You want me to roll down a wall

Garden – the lush outdoor venue

day to day. They focus on what they

and pet a rabbit? OK!”

connected to hip new restaurant

have rather than what they don’t have. I wrote the song for those people.” 10

Everyday Ghanaians are all over

music, Ghanaian-German

The singer, who in the past has

Bondai. There are more shows to

not shied away from tackling serious

come before the year is out and


people eating an apple. “He’s my idol,” she says. “I want to achieve his freedom.” This quest for creative freedom has been a recurring theme in her songs. ‘Diamonds’, from Y’akoto’s first album, ‘Baby Blues’, is a call to all to find a liberated life. “It’s you and nobody else/ Who can crack your code to freedom,” she sings.

Fragile Certainly ‘The Way’ presents a creative leap for Y’akoto in its spare, electro soundtrack and her fragile vocal. “It’s important for me to present different sides of me that haven’t been explored,” she says. The versatility of her voice allows her to do that, yet she tells me, “I’m not the best singer, but there is something special about me.” This is something of a humblebrag as her voice is an expressive instrument. Her first three albums, ‘Baby Blues’, ‘Moody Blues’ and ‘Mermaid Blues’ reveal her capable of exquisite jazzinspired phrasing reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, while there is a lilting lightness to her singing on tracks such plans in place to bring the Y’akoto

“I saw a message he had put on

as ‘I Agree’ on “Obaa Yaa’ and then

live experience to more countries

Twitter saying he was looking for a

that unvarnished whisper of a perfor-

across Africa.

new singer. I Tweeted ‘I’m the one’.

mance on ‘The Way’.

While Y’akoto is loving life in Ghana,

We scheduled a video call in which

Accra is a new start in many ways,

when she arrived in 2019 she did not

we talked about our musical influ-

but it is also a homecoming. It is

foresee quite how much of her time

ences and that turned out to be my

the birthplace of Y’akoto’s father, a

she would be spending in the country.

audition.

renowned high life musician who

The move here pre-empted the Covid

“I recorded my vocals in Ghana and

pandemic by just a few months and

sent it to him. I got no feedback, no

Y’akoto just had enough time to get

validation – nothing for two months.

the masters of ‘Obaa Yaa’ – which was

Then I hear it’s the first single off the

recorded in Hamburg with German

album. I was so happy.”

producer prodigy AgaJon – back before travel restrictions went up.

Dreamed

In three months, she had a distribu-

Y’akoto has dreamed of working

tion deal with US record company

with Herbert since she was 16 and

The Orchard – a subsidiary of Sony

saw him perform live in Hamburg,

– with the resulting EP representing

even sending him a demo of music

Y’Akoto’s first substantial release in

she was working on at that time.

three years and kickstarting a creative

No reply came – not surprising, she

hot streak for the artist. As well as the

sent it to the wrong address – but

music made here, in May she teamed

Y’akoto continued to be a fan, loving

up remotely with house music auteur

Herbert’s experimental approach that

Matthew Herbert on the delicate yet

has included recording the sounds

uplifting ‘The Way’, which became

of human internal organs, kitchen

the lead single on Herbert’s album of

utensils and, on his 2005 album ‘Plat

lockdown collaborations, ‘Musca’.

du Jour’, the collective sound of 3,500

performs under the name McGod, and the family brought Y’akoto to nearby Tema soon after she was born VOICE An expressive instrument

with the young girl growing up in the port city.

FLYafrica

11



Y’akoto “I always said I would come back here,” she tells me, revealing that Ghana attracted her as a “source” of her heritage as it has to many members of the African diaspora in recent years. From age 11, Y’akoto moved back to Hamburg with her family. The city is known for its influential music scenes and one of them was burger-highlife, forged in the 1970s by immigrant musicians from Ghana with a sound that infused highlife with the electronic disco beats that dominated the pop charts at that time. Y’akoto’s father was one of the more high-profile acts with a recording career and a big live following. He met Y’akoto’s mother, a German political scientist, at one of his concerts and they soon fell in love.

Belonging Rather than the sense of belonging and freedom that enthuses her in Ghana, in Hamburg Y’akoto fed off her sense of otherness in making music. “Germany can be a dark place. I never felt like I fitted in,” she says. The artistic youngster, who loved the attention of performing, was

one constant figure in my life”. It was

always looking for a new avenue for

her mother who was there to drive her

her creativity and a way to channel

to piano lessons and to band rehears-

the isolation she felt as the “only

als and who helped her creative

black girl” at her school. Missing the

daughter paint a mural of stars and

communal upbringing of her time in

planets on her bedroom walls.

Tema, the only child would spend a lot

GERMANY Y’akoto lived in Hamburg when she was 11

day name – and she still remembers how it would begin answering machine messages from her father when she was away touring the world. Talking to her, you get the impression that it wasn’t only when Y’akoto was on tour that there was distance

of time in her bedroom writing songs

Tension

on her keyboard and recording them

There is a slight air of tension when

she doesn’t blame him for not often

on cassette tape. Her musical inspira-

I try to talk about her father during

being there to support her in her

tions were eclectic, taking in the r ‘n’ b

our interview. She tells me she “does

music because “the moody artist”

of Destiny’s Child and Missy Elliott, the

not want to dwell on the past” and is

didn’t know any different – “Dad

rock of Jimi Hendrix and the acoustic

coy about giving me his name, archly

didn’t have anyone to encourage him

balladry of Tracy Chapman.

suggesting that I should have done

when he was young”. However, a track

my research, which is fair enough, but

such as ‘Mothers and Sons’, from her

first band, ushering in teenage years in

I had scoured the internet ahead of

2014 album ‘Moody Blues’, which

which she played and toured in bands

our conversation and was unable to

that ranged from a rock and reggae

find any mention of him, beyond that

outfit to an electro duo – “I teamed up

he was a musician. Ultimately it is her

with the school geek,” she says – that

publicist that links me to McGod’s

had a minor hit with a drum machine-

website.

By the age of 12 she had started her

led track called ‘Air Balloon’. Given who her father is, it is perhaps

Y’akoto does admit that “Dad and

between her and her father. She says

PARENTS My mother is the one constant figure in my life

addresses fatherless families across the world, seems to have plenty of personal pain at its core. “I want to encourage all fathers to support their daughters,” she says. If there was a time she felt in her

I differ a lot”, but it is clear he is still

father’s shadow, it is over now. “I have

not surprising how early her musical

often in her thoughts. The title of the

become a bigger artist than him,” she

talent surfaced, but Y’akoto is keen to

EP ‘Obaa Yaa’ echoes the term of

says, and she is well aware of how an

play up the role her mother played in

endearment Y’akoto’s father would

impressive an achievement that is. “I

nurturing her creativity, saying “she

address her with – ‘Obaa’ means ‘lady’

have dropped my mic!” she laughs.

gets very little credit. She’s been the

and ‘Yaa’ is the Thursday-born singer’s

Like her father, Y’akoto has had to FLYafrica

13



Y’akoto hustle for her career – he certainly taught her that – and from a young age the Tema girl was steeled for it. “I don’t come from a rich family so it was a case of ‘see how I can work,” she says.

Sometimes you don’t want to deal with it in your own life so you set it free in song. A lot of the artists we look up to are just trying to keep it together. Everything goes into their music

Even as a teenager, her music was attracting the interest of record

required. It came with the move to

companies who wanted to sign her,

Ghana and the release of material

yet few knew how to market such an

which speaks of the sense of content-

experimental talent. When people

ment and control she has found here.

had her tagged as a reggae artist,

For Y’akoto, the tangent she has

she began her dalliance with electro

taken on recent material is evidence

music. “The record companies had

of her continued growth as an artist.

no-one to compare me to. There was

She hopes that her fans will come

no-one else in my lane,” she says.

with her on the journey, but if there are some who can’t get past their love

Compromise

for her earlier work, well “they can

A compromise of sorts was reached

always go back to the ‘Blues’ albums,”

with the recording of Y’akoto’s first

she says. Or they could make sure

EP, the five-track ‘Tamba’, which

they attend Y’akoto’s upcoming live

leaned towards the soul music that

shows in Accra, which will feature VERSATILE Y’akoto’s music spans many genres

was popular in Germany. “It had a

with my dark humour,” she says. Her

stripped-down feel that people can

music brought her fans across the

relate to and I had the voice naturally

world and she toured extensively,

and the African roots,” Y’akoto says.

but when the shows were over she

philosophical about any demands put

was alone in hotels whether in Berlin,

on her. “I cannot control how people

over the next five years of the similarly

Stockholm, Paris, Rome or LA. No

perceive me, but I can control the

roots-inflected trio of ‘Blues’ albums

wonder those answerphone messag-

work I do as a musician.” As a solo

that were to make Y’akoto’s name.

es from her father meant so much.

artist since her teens, Y’akoto is used

Its success led to the recording

songs old and new. While Y’akoto hopes fans will respect her need for growth, she is

The first of these, ‘Baby Blues’

Y’akoto channelled a lot of these

was released when Y’akoto was just

outside pressures into the songs she

to being in the public gaze. “It is a brave thing to do to put yourself out

into her twenties and while it was

wrote. “Sometimes you don’t want

there and project the person you are.

her big break – getting to Number

to deal with it in your own life so you

You become a target,” she says.

11 in the German album charts – the

set it free in song. A lot of the artists

pressure was starting to tell. The

we look up to are just trying to keep

ever now through social media and

album’s title came from the pet

it together. Everything goes into their

Y’akoto “loves the idea of it” and is

name, ‘Y’akoto Baby Blues’, which a

music. Good work needs to take stuff

active on Instagram, but ensures there

former boyfriend, “who left me for a

out of you. I will use everything my life

are “boundaries”.

woman 10 years older than me,” had

has and put it in my art,” she says.

Being in control of her career is

for her. She navigated that break-up

Music lovers responded to such

crucial to Y’akoto. “The last thing I

Artists are more accessible than

by “drinking too much” and throwing

soul-bearing and she became

want to feel is I am a puppet”, she

herself into the recording, spend-

renowned for her lyrics that dealt

says. Now the adventurous artist is

ing all hours in the studio. Music had

with the intimate and specific as well

free to plot her future and reveal more

become her world and the demands

as issues in the world, such as child

sides to her complex and fascinating

on her time meant the avid reader

soldiers and the refugee crisis, with

character.

also had to abandon her university

empathy.

degree course in English literature. It was, she says, “a dark time”. While Y’akoto had the strength

Concerned Y’akoto was at the height of her

of character to get by, she paints a

fame, but the ever-adventurous artist

lonely picture of that period and the

was becoming concerned that after

continued commercial success that

three thematically connected albums,

would come with the two follow-up

a template was forming for “what

‘Blues’ albums.

people expected of me”.

“I was working with A-list producers, but most of them found me odd

She adds: “I gave my 20s to the ‘Blues’” and felt a change was

Find out more Follow Y’akoto on Instagram @yakotomusic ‘What’s Good?’ and ‘Obaa Yaa’ are available to stream or buy at all good digital music stores. ‘The Way’ is available to buy and stream on Matthew Herbert’s Bandcamp page

FLYafrica

15



DANG AGELESS MOISTURISING SET Put all this on and see the years come off. The set contains vitamin C and collagen and hydrating serums for the face, a body moisturiser and plenty more hydrating goodies. Where to buy: danglifestyle.co

Ghanaian gifts Beauty, they say, lies in the eyes of the beholder but true beauty comes from within if you are taking good care of yourself. For this issue, Nathan Tollo reaches out to Ghanaian make-up artist, beauty influencer and YouTuber Valerie Lawson and other beauty experts for their go-to gifts that enhance your natural glow.

CLEAR MIXING PALETTE This is what professional makeup artists swear by. No more product mixing on the back of your hands. This beauty comes with a handy mini spatula for decanting and custom mixing.

BE PRESENT-BY TALATA To wrap moisture in and get silky smooth skin, scented oils are the new liquid gold. Perfumed with the feminine accents of both the Be Present and Be-You-Tiful collections, these luminous treats give an instant boost to your mood. Get this for Momma

Where to buy: cvlbeauty.com

Where to buy: @ambiencebytalata on Instagram

BODY BUTTER BY ASARE SENSATIONAL LIQUID MATTE BY MAYBELLINE

MAYBELLINE MATTE BAR EYE SHADOW PALETTE This palette features a spectrum of 10 matte-finish shades to achieve your most sultry and spicy looks yet. A favourite of Valerie Lawson to use on her clients and if it’s good enough for her… Where to buy: maybelline.com

NGUVA-GHANA BLACK SOAP ESSENTIALS Good skin comes with good hygiene and the anti-bacterial properties of this black soap will keep your skin healthy and blemish free. Where to buy: nguvusheacare.com

A girl always needs sensational red lips to turn heads. So, here’s Maybelline sensational liquid matte for intense colour that’s surprisingly weightless, never sticky and never dry. Where to buy: jumia.com.gh

Ghanaian male make-up artist Prince Asare makes the best body butter by far. His luxurious face and body moisturiser are made from unrefined shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, purcellin oil and vitamin E for a proper skin soaking. Where to buy: @bodybutterbyasare on Instagram

NOKWARE HONEY VANILLA LIP BALM This lip butter with medley of natural ingredients including beeswax, seed oils and vanilla extract won over the judges this year at Clean Eating Magazine’s Clean Choice Awards. We are also officially giving it a FLYafrica award for its bamboo packaging. Where to buy: nokwareskincare.com

DUST & STROBE SET The Ghanaian beauty brand’s Dust & Strobe brushes are a must-have for every woman of colour. They are the perfect tool for exact applications of highlighter, on the spot strobing, powder and contouring product. Where to buy: cvlbeauty.com

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17


EAT TO THE BEAT

Cool dining and music venues There’s nothing better than finding a cool local restaurant where the food and drinks are a delight… unless it also offers the opportunity to watch your favourite musicians perform live. FLYafrica has selected eateries across AWA’s network of West African destinations that attract a creative crowd who love to dine and unwind by listening to the pick of emerging local acts.

Bondai Restaurant & Bar Accra

Palm Moments Accra

This chic dining destination has a glamorous setting in Osu with a menu to match. Its mix of Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine includes flavourful dishes such as Fattoush salad, romaine lettuce served with cucumber, tomato, mint and sumac as well as seared tuna with spiced lentils accompanied by rocket and petit pois. Snacks made for sharing such as its popular honey-glazed sticky wings, calamari fritti and shrimp, lobster and vegetarian tempura are in keeping with Bondai’s social vibe as are its profusion of comfy spots to relax and catch up with friends over signature cocktails. Best of all, though is Bondai’s secluded outdoor space, aptly named The Secret Garden. This lush spot has become one of the capital’s live music spots with artists such as our cover star Y’akoto and South African Amapiano sensation DBN Gogo performing recently while regular weekend event, Dream Accra, brings in a line-up of top DJs to get everyone moving while enjoying alfresco food and drinks. For more information on upcoming events, visit @bondaigh on Instagram.

18

This Accra success story began as a mobile bar selling smoothies and cocktails packed with super fresh and organic ingredients. Now it has two permanent homes in Osu and Asylum Down and has seriously expanded its menu to include a host of healthy meals, including some tasty takes on West African classics such as red-red and spiced tabale, boiled yam and egg stew and Waakye with all the trimmings. Owner Anatasia Cobbinah, a successful model, has curated a creative vibe here with the larger and leafier Asylum Down venue playing host to regular events supporting the city’s arts, music and fashion talents. Thursday nights feature a DJ residency that coincides with two hours of half-price drinks to ensure everyone’s in the party mood and there are regular Artist Focus nights of poetry readings and live music with recent acts including West African folk revivalist Tommy Wa and Ghanaian afro soul artist BiQo. For more information on upcoming events and food and drink promotions, visit @palmmoments on Instagram.


Bogobiri House Lagos If you want your stay in Lagos to be steeped in the city’s thriving art and music scene, head for Bogobiri House. This boutique hotel in the affluent Ikoyi neighbourhood has its own art gallery and is something of an exhibition itself with its walls and that of its excellent Bamboo Bar & Restaurant covered in paintings and sculptures from local artists. It also promotes Nigerian musical talent with its live music venue hosting a series of regular events that offer a platform for new talent in spoken word and music. At the weekend it attracts the leading lights on high life, jazz and afrobeat to perform to a knowledgeable, appreciative and friendly crowd. Bogobiri is a great place to eat, lounge, enjoy good music and connect in a relaxed environment. For more information on upcoming events, visit @bogobirihouse on Instagram.

The Jazz Hole Lagos This meals and music hangout for Ikoyi intellectuals is a café set within a vintage book and music store. It’s a wonderful place to lose yourself in, searching the endless shelves of new and old books, vinyl and CDs for rare finds. You can pore over your purchases in the café, which sells fresh coffee and delicious homemade sandwiches and cakes. During the day, the venue is a place for musicians, poets, writers and artists to get together. In the evening it becomes a live music venue, with its small performance space having played host to intimate gigs from the likes of Afro-psychedelic rockers Skata Vibration and jazz acts Jesse Ibidun and the Etuk Obong Quartet. The venue has a full line-up of live shows with the emphasis on soul and jazz. For more information on upcoming events, visit @jazzholelagos on Instagram.

Mamba Point Hotel Liberia This is the longest established hotel in Liberia, but doesn’t look its age thanks to a recent renovation. The impressive buildings overlook the wild Atlantic Ocean, yet they are still only a minute’s drive from downtown. Plenty of Liberians and expats make the short trip here regularly to take advantage of the hotel’s excellent dining options, including the Barracuda Seafood and Sushi Bar – said to offer the best sushi in all of Africa – and Paddy’s Sport Bar, which as well as offering classic comfort food such as pizzas and tacos, puts on live music events. It’s a great place to catch emerging Liberian talent with its regular ‘Experience’ nights showcasing local live acts. Recent headliners include dancehall singer Minish, veteran musician James Koko Chea and Don Wisdom, one of the leading acts of hipco, the country’s hugely popular take on American rap. For more information on upcoming events, visit @hotelmambapointliberia on Instagram.

FLYafrica

19


Afrosurf

New wave of African surfing

20


Africa has always had the waves and the first known account of surfing was written in the 1640s in what is now Ghana. However, it is only recently that surfing has been re-established here with the sport and its associated street culture being adopted as an inspiring means of selfexpression by a growing number of young people. This past and present is documented in Afrosurf, a 300-page art book full of amazing, photography and articles that combine to tell the “untold story of African surf culture”. With Atlantic Ocean waves hitting its thousands of miles of coastline, West Africa plays a big part in the book. Surfing in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone comes under the spotlight with amazing images of local surfers taking to the West African waves, as you can see here. Afrosurf was published by African surf brand Mami Wata, which takes its name from the water spirit venerated in many regions across the continent, and all profits from the book go to African surf therapy organisations Waves For Change and Surfers Not Street Children. To order your copy, go to mamiwatasurf.com

FLYafrica

21



‘Filmmakers in Nigeria?

Image: @surreal16collective in @afrikaldia

They have to be miracle workers!’ Film director, writer and producer CJ ‘Fiery’ Obasi is the master of Nigerian horror. Despite being shot on a ‘zero budget’, his debut feature ‘Ojuju’ was named Best Nigerian Film at the Africa International Film Festival, setting in motion a garlanded filmmaking career that recently including winning Best Film for his latest release, collaborative effort ‘Juju Stories’, at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland in August. Here the Lagos-based auteur reveals to FLYafrica the reason Nigeria is so suited to horror, why calling a woman a ‘witch’ is a compliment and the imminent release of ‘Juju Stories’ in West African cinemas.

Q

Congratulations on ‘Juju

prestigious film festivals in the world

always been at the very core of

Stories’ winning Best Film

definitely gives you the needed push

Nigerian life. Both with the young and

at the recent Locarno Film Festival

for distribution… and that’s already

old. And it was interesting to us, that

(along with nominations for six other

happening.

even in the contemporary society,

awards). What does this mean to

among young people there is still a

you and your team and what do you

Q: The three stories in the film

potent fear of the supernatural. So,

hope it will mean in terms of getting

examine elements of traditional folk-

it was only natural to explore those

a wider audience for the film?

lore and spiritual beliefs in contem-

Winning the Boccalino d’Oro

porary Lagos. How influential still

Award for Best film, awarded by inde-

are these beliefs even among your

pendent critics at the world premiere

generation?

of your film at one of the most

Spirituality and superstition have

fears in cinematic form, as it readily PREMIERE At the Spanish premiere of Juju Stories @surreal16collective in @afrikaldia

fits into our manifesto as a collective. Q: The story you wrote and directed in the trilogy, ‘Suffer the Witch’, FLYafrica 23


centres around an obsessive

Q: Do you have to be resourceful as a

romantic relationship. Can you share

filmmaker in Nigeria?

more details?

Absolutely. However, if you’re

Suffer the Witch is part of my

not Steven Spielberg, you have

larger narrative on Afrikan witches

to be resourceful as a filmmaker

or witchcraft. I dipped my toe into

[anywhere]. And even then. I’m sure

this with my segment “Bruja” in our

those guys still wish they had a few

anthology short Visions (2017), and

more million dollars to do that shot.

then with Hello, Rain (2018). I’ve

Filmmaking is an intensely expensive

always been fascinated with the

venture. And coming from Nigeria,

concept of witches, because I feel

I’ll just say beyond money, there are

like women are already witches. And

perhaps a few more odds stacked

I mean this as a compliment. What

against you. So, filmmakers in Nigeria?

they choose to do or not do with their

Miracle workers, period.

power is what makes the difference. In ‘Suffer the Witch’ I amplify what

Q: You had your ‘Ojuju’ zombies

was a real-life experience at a former

infected by drinking contaminated

college I attended into a make-believe

water in a country where access to

scenario that is however grounded in

a clean water source is a problem

a relatable emotion, such as obses-

still. Some of the best horror films

sion. I’ve always felt like the best away

manage to address contemporary

to explore the supernatural is through

social issues within a fantastical tale.

the specifics of human nature. And

Is that your intention?

without giving anything away, ‘Suffer the Witch’ allowed me to do just that.

I like to think I do. And all the best films in history do. At least, the ones I think are the best. Coming where I’m

Q: There are elements of horror in

from, and growing up the way I did,

the story, a genre you have worked

how can they not?

in since your debut 2014 film ‘Ojuju’. What is the appeal of horror to you

Q: What is the story behind your

and what do you hope your films add

‘Fiery’ nickname?

to the genre? Perspective. I’ve seen very little-to-

It came from a dream. No further comments.

no horror or just the fantastical genres from the Nigerian, West African or

Q: ‘Juju Stories’ had a recent private

working in the film industry years

African perspective. Which when you

screening in Lagos. Are there plans

before I came in, so she had way

think about is absurd, considering that

for the film to be shown at cinemas

more experience. I was the dreamer,

our world, our traditions, our way of

in West Africa?

and she just made things happen.

life screams the genre. The scarcity of

Juju Stories is the first official

We have big plans to make Fiery

this appeals to me, but even more so,

Franco-Nigerian coproduction, so the

Film the one-stop shop for genre

the opportunity to present a nuanced

Embassy of France in Nigeria hosted

filmmaking from Nigeria. And I’ll say

offering, devoid of stereotype and

a private screening in Lagos for the

that our body of work for nine years

genre expectations.

industry on August 27. CanalOlympia

speaks for itself, especially, when

will be releasing the film in theatres

you consider that we did it all mostly

Q: Ojuju was shot on a ‘zero budget’.

across 12 countries in Africa, including

without any corporate or govern-

You had more funds available for

West Africa. But we are still discuss-

‘Juju Stories’. Was that always an

ing to lock down more screens for

advantage?

early 2022.

Ojuju was shot on a zero budget, so

OJUJU Best Nigerian Film at the Africa International Film Festival

ment structure or support. If we came from any other clime, investors would be lining up on our doorsteps, but hey. However, we are playing in

pretty much everything else I’ve made

Q: In 2012 you set up production

after it had more available funds, and

house Fiery Film Company with your

open to work with other filmmakers.

it shows. However, Ojuju is a gift that

wife. Does it try to get films made for

And we will do this, when the right

keeps giving. And I believe, the money

other talented Nigerian creatives as

projects come along. We already

we didn’t have to make it, we made

well as yourself and are you seeing a

did this in a way with Oge produc-

up with the love we poured into it,

new generation of homegrown film-

ing Juju Stories for the Surreal16

and that shows. This is why I believe

makers coming through?

Collective under Fiery Film, as well

it’s on every major Best Zombie Films list, alongside greats and classics.

24

CanalOlympia will be releasing ‘Juju Stories’ in theatres across 12 countries in Africa

I set up Fiery Film before I met Oge, my wife. But she was already

much bigger leagues now, and are

as our new production banner 20 Pounds Production.


Q: What stage is another film project of yours, ‘Mami Wata’, at? It seems it has been in production for a few years now. Can you tell us more about it and when you hope it will be released? Mami Wata is a black and white folklore. I’ve been developing it since 2016. Between 2018 to 2019 we participated in several writing and pitching labs in Africa and Europe. And after waiting for five years for funding, we eventually locked down some private funds between Nigeria production companies and France, with Ifind Pictures and went into principal photography in Benin Republic

Image: @surreal16collective in @afrikaldia

fantasy film based on West Afrikan

in January 2021, with a crew and cast spanning eight countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Brazil, USA and Germany. Now, we are in the early post-production stage, and we have been selected for Final Cut at the prestigious Venice Film Festival [in September], as well as another post-production workshop we can’t announce yet. Q: When you were a young boy, you used to draw comics featuring the heroes and villains from your favourite films. Now you are an awardwinning filmmaker, what advice do you have for other creative youngsters unsure about whether they can turn their passion into a career? I always say that my dreams came true and are still coming true, not because I’m the smartest or the hardest working dude out there, but simply because I wouldn’t stop. So, my advice to them would be, don’t stop.

Find out more Follow CJ ‘Fiery’ Obasi on social media: Facebook, twitter and instagram @FieryFilm Visit Fiery Film’s website at afieryfilm.com

FLYafrica 25


STAR DESTINATION

Abuja

26

Red Confidential / Shutterstock.com

Tayvay / Shutterstock.com

Abuja is Nigeria for beginners. In contrast to the chaotic bustle that can overwhelm first-time visitors to Lagos, the country’s welcoming made-to-measure capital is crowd and pollution-free with plenty of green space and minimal traffic on its wide tree-lined boulevards. Everything is on a giant scale here, from the grand government buildings and spectacular mosques and churches to Aso Rock, the 400-metre-high outcrop of granite that looms over the city. On the ground, the still just 40-years-old Abuja is rapidly taking shape – it’s one of the world’s fastest growing cities – with a thriving culture of its own, including a vibrant art and food scene that is worth checking out.


WELCOMING A thriving and fast growing city

FLY: AWA flies between Kotoka International Airport, in Accra, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, four times a week with flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. For more information and to book flights, visit flyafricaworld.com

Uzoma Ozurumba | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0

SEE: As Nigeria’s political and administrative capital, Abuja is home to a number of impressive government and ceremonial buildings. They are all congregated in city’s Three Arms Zone, where you can walk between the presidential palace (with Aso Rock as its dramatic natural backdrop), the National Assembly, the Supreme Court and Eagle Square, where regular music concerts and outdoor events are staged. It’s here you’ll also find the National Mosque, a gorgeous building with an enormous dome and towering minarets.

wealthy Nigerians like to spend it in the city’s numerous glitzy indoor shopping malls. The best of these includes the Ceddi Plaza, Dunes Center, Banex Plaza, and Maclewis Plaza. For a more traditional retail experience, head to Wuse Market, a bustling, touristfriendly outdoor market, which is a great place to haggle your way to owning some beautiful locally crafted products such as, adire (patterned, dyed cloth), batiks and pottery, leatherwork, Kaduna cotton and ceremonial masks.

If you have young children, they

Local creatives are also showcased at the Thought Pyramid Arts Centre. The free-to-enter art gallery in the popular shopping district of Wuse exhibits works by a range of contemporary Nigerian artists and also runs programmes to bring appreciation of the arts to the public.

If you want to sample some

are sure to love a day out at Magic Land, the region’s first amusement park with rides, shows and games within its castle-style walls. EAT: Coco Café not only offers splendid food, its rooftop dining area also provides priceless views across the city’s serene Jabi Lake. Indian restaurant Wakkis is a long-time Abuja favourite, famous for its fantastic prawns. It always draws a crowd.

local delicacies, head to Nkoya, in the K-City Plaza, which serves a range of authentic and flavourful Nigerian dishes. SLEEP: The four-star SV Chrome is a modern, funky accommodation option. The interiors are to die for, as are the spectacular views across

Built on the verdant Chukuku Hills, Abuja has a number of green areas. The largest is Millennium Park, which is in the affluent Maitama district, has a pretty river running through it and is latticed with manicured walking trails, some of which are flanked by fountains and pools to refresh visitors on the hottest days. It is neighboured by the National Children’s Park and Zoo, which is also worth a visit if you’re visiting Abuja as a family.

the city.

DO: There’s a lot of money going around in Abuja, and

with a creative eye continued in

For Scandinavian style, check in to the Nordic Hotel. This Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice 2020 winner is a wonderful mix of comfort and cool and has one of the Abuja’s best restaurants, Rye Lagos, right next door. For those looking for a smaller hotel with a more personal touch, the Atelier Boutique Hotel is a stylish option. The interior design here is exquisite the hotel’s own art gallery.

FLYafrica 27


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. AADEMNT This letter combination can yield only one valid seven-letter word using all letters. Can you spot it? Other than that, it can also form the following valid words of six-letter length. How many can you spot without any aids?

SEVENS - 1 MAN- - - E : an authorization to act given to a representative

SIXES - 6 ADN - - E : joined to another part or organ. AMA - - D : amate; to daunt, to intimidate. AME - - A : plamentum; a mentally deficient person.

ANA - - M : a wreath for the head. MAE - - D : a female participant in Ancient

2. Seven tiles Given the above board situation and rack of seven tiles in an ongoing game of Scrabble, solve the following: A. How many words can you spot through the ‘Q’ utilizing all seven tiles? B. Can you spot any valid bingos (a move that makes use of all seven tiles in your rack) through the floating ‘I’ exploiting the double-double (a move that touches two Double Word Score squares and multiplies your score by four)?

Greek orgies. Also MENAD.

C. Find a play that scores exactly 79 points.

TAN - - M : a bicycle built for two.

D. Find a play that scores exactly 78 points.

Wellington has his own brand of customised premium-quality Scrabble board, WellyBoard, available to purchase. Visit wellyboard.com 28


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.

How to maintain flexibility in transit and beyond Between delayed, cancelled and full flights, time before and after take-off can often seem stressful. Once on board, staying seated for an extended period can add to the stress and stiffness in your body. But there is good news! Before you leave for the airport and on arrival at your destination take five minutes to practise one of the most popular yoga poses a few times. Downward Dog This pose is great to reverse the painful airplane back! Start in a push-up position with your wrists under your shoulders and your back and legs flat, like a plank. Make sure your hands point straight forward. Without moving your hands or feet, stretch your hips up and back, in an upside-down V-shape. Once you lift your hips up, look at your feet and check that they are about hip-width apart and straight. Then, bend your knees a good four inches, work your arms straight and get a lift in your lower back. This alignment is key. Try straightening your legs. Then repeat! Instant back relief! Find out more about the classes at blissyogaaccra.com or @blissyogaaccra Instagram

No-one likes a cheat, especially when it comes to personal relationships. FLYafrica life coach De Lady Rev provides a guide to recognising the different types of cheater out there.

Calling out the cheaters Chronic cheating These are people who cheat without reason. One woman or man is never enough they just go after anything and anyone. When you confront them, they apologise and yet they go back and do more or worse. Impulse /accidental cheating These happens out of weak moments. There might not be any existing relationship but it just happens. When people succumb to impulse cheating, they always regret it and never go there again. It usually happens with exes, best friends and sometimes family. Blackmail cheating When someone in a relationship is blackmailed into having sex for job, cash or opportunity. Challenge cheating This situation occurs when one person in a relationship is deprived of sex with their partner, has lost physical attraction for their partner or there is no respect in the relationship. People are challenged to step out and start cheating. Decisive cheating Sometimes a person will just decide to cheat. Everything is fine in their relationship but they just cheat on their partner.

Follow De Lady Rev on Facebook at de Lady Rev and Instagram @de_lady_rev

FLYafrica 29


A NEW MOOOVEMENT in Ghanaian holiday travel

EXPLORE Quad biking in Aburi

30


International travel restrictions may have led many Ghanaians to abandon plans of exotic adventures abroad for now. However, far from limiting your horizons, choosing to holiday at home can reveal a wealth of attractions that may be equally new to you whether seaside escapes, wildlife retreats, adrenaline-fuelled adventures or historic monuments. Mooove Africa is a Ghanaian travel company set up this year to connect these hidden gems with the growing number of domestic holidaymakers. Here, its CEO and founder, Edinam Wesley Ablordeppey, reveals how Mooove adventures “give people the opportunity to experience the greatest moments of their lives” and selects some of Ghana’s most under-the-radar attractions that need to be on your next holiday itinerary.

D

FUN Kayaking on Volta Lake

rained by months of remote

body, soul and mind”, as its promo-

can pay in instalments – means

working, social distanc-

tions put it, taking groups from

they appeal to a predominantly

ing and mask wearing, it

Accra to experience some of the

young crowd.

seems Accra residents long for

more remote parts of the country.

some adventure and escape. With

The company’s founder, Edinam

a generation of “Mooovers” who

quarantines and entry restrictions

Wesley Ablordeppey, says growth

embrace their country and all it

complicating international travel,

since then has been “astronomical”.

has to offer. “Ghana is a beautiful

many Ghanaians are eagerly looking

“We did not expect it to be this

Edinam is keen to help build

country. There’s so much to see

for exciting ways to explore their

fast,” he says. “We started with just

and do outside the capital city, but

own backyards.

two group trips in the first month

there’s a gap between these experi-

but due to the demand, we changed

ences and the people. We are on a

Mooove Africa has nimbly positioned

our plans and we have been

mission to bridge this gap one trip

itself to meet this demand. It set up

travelling every weekend since the

at a time.

in March offering “adventures for

second month.”

Homegrown travel company

Those weekend trips have included quad biking amid the hills and waterfalls of Aburi, rock climb-

“We want to encourage young Ghanaians with adventure at their heart.”

ing and paint-balling at Klowen Hills,

Motherland

experiencing the canopy walk above

With more people looking closer

Kintampo Falls near Lake Bosomtwe,

to home to stoke their wanderlust,

trekking to the top of Ghana’s

Edinam saw a “golden opportunity”

highest peak Mount Afadjato, kayak-

to launch Mooove. “We are hoping

ing in Keta Lake and abseiling off

that this interest keeps growing

Adomi Bridge over the Volta River.

among the citizens. We need to

The all-action, adrenaline-fuelled element to many of the trips and their affordability – all-inclusive day trips are around GHC 500 and you

experience the beauty in our motherland,” he says. Edinam is part of a team of four helping to bring that beauty to a new audience. “We have an ex-rang-

We want to encourage young Ghanaians with adventure at their heart

er with eight years’ experience who oversees all hiking, rock climbing, abseiling and other outdoor activities.” Also on each trip is a professional wellness practitioner, who offers outdoor massages to clients after their physical activities, and an

FLYafrica

31



in-house photographer to capture

and many lasting friendships begin

do more than just that,” says Edinam.

provide priceless souvenirs for

“We educate, connect people and

“Our name was inspired by the

travellers.

create an impact in the lives of our

popular phrase ‘we move’, which is

Edinam, in a role he describes as DAY TRIP Pottery making in Vume

“It’s true our trips are fun but we

the trip forever on camera and

among Mooovers.

clients and the communities we

an energetic response people here

“travel experience designer”, curates

visit. We just raised and donated an

give when they are in a situation they

and coordinates all the trips. In

amount of money during our last trip

want to give up on but keep things

putting them together, he consid-

to provide school uniforms for some

going. People also use it as response

ers more than just the thrill-seeking

students in Adedome, a village in the

to an invitation to step out. We took

element. There are trips that delve

Volta Region.”

inspiration from these meanings. We

deeper into the culture of life far

want people to say “Yes” to all adven-

from the capital, such as a day trip

Friendships

to see and work with the potters of

Some of the more popular excur-

Vume, the town in the Volta Region

sions can attract 20-plus guests at a

For details on upcoming Mooove

has been famous for its ceramic

time, but Edinam says single travel-

Africa adventures, bookings and

work for centuries.

lers are soon made to feel welcome

payment, visit the Facebook site.

tures. So yes, we Mooove..”

Top exotic adventures to be found in Ghana As chosen by Mooove Africa CEO Edinam Wesley Ablordeppey

Mole National Park

Cape Three Points

Mount Afadjato

Ghana’s largest wildlife park

This peninsula forming the

The tallest mountain in Ghana

occupies a huge swathe of

southernmost tip of Ghana

with an elevation of 885

protected savannah and is

is sometimes referred to as

metres. Getting to the top is

home to some 94 mammals

the “land nearest nowhere”

a steep climb, but the views

and over 300 species of bird.

because it the land nearest

across the adjoining Agumatsa

This is the only park in Ghana

the location in the sea which is

Ranges and into Togo make it

where you can see elephants

0 degrees latitude, longitude

all worthwhile.

and most game drives will

Charles William Adofo / Shutterstock.com

give you the chance to walk

Cape Coast Castle

and altitude. It also houses the

One of the most famous of the

first lighthouse in the country

with them. An incredible

many slave forts that pepper

built in 1800’s and is a remote,

experience.

the Ghanaian coastline. The

but top-quality surfing spot.

castle underwent considerable restoration work in the early 1990s and is currently a well-visited museum and historical site. It still provides harrowing testimony of the barbarism of the slave trade with visitors able to explore

Akosombo This town is home to the famous Akosombo Dam which provides electricity for the nation. It has become one of the top travel destinations in the country with beautiful resorts like The Royal Senchi on the banks of the Volta River.

the dank dungeons that held hundreds of slaves without water or sanitation for months. You can also explore the palatial quarters of the British governor and officers, where they lived, seemingly, without conscience of the human suffering they were inflicting just metres below.

Nzulenzu Unique in Ghana, the village of Nzulenzo, which means ‘on the surface of the water, is built on stilts over the Amanzule River 90 km west of Takoradi. You can reach the village by canoe.

Lake Bosomtwe The only natural lake in Ghana. It was formed by the impact of a crater that is about 10km in diameter, but oral tradition among the Ashanti has it that the lake was formed in 1648 when a hunter pursuing and antelope shot and injured the

Wli Waterfalls The highest waterfall in the whole of West Africa. Getting to the lower falls is a fairly easy walk through the stunning scenery of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary, but if you’ve got the energy keep on to the higher, far more isolated falls. Both falls have inviting pools at their base for a welcome dip.

antelope Otwe.

FLYafrica 33


SPOTLIGHT

ABUJA’S

ART SCENE Historically, cities are an essential ingredient for creating great art, from classical Athens and renaissance Florence to modern-day Lagos. Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, is barely 50 years old yet this fast-growing city already has a thriving contemporary arts scene. Key to the rise is the work of Abuja galleries and art centres in showcasing the breadth of local talent and stimulating the emerging creative community. We take a look at three of the city’s best. Retro Africa

to provide a place for people to

Jacqueline Suowari, who creates

Location: 12 Ukpabi Street,

engage with the art world and to

incredible portraits made up of

Asokoro, Abuja.

provide a platform for emerging and

thousands of layered lines made with

Find out more: retroafrica.art

established contemporary artists.

just a ball point pen. Retro Africa has

Opening hours: (Re-open from

Its founder and creative director

also supported the breakthrough of

October 15 after holiday) Monday

is 27-year-old Dolly Kola-Balogun,

Abuja artists to watch such as Rotimi

to Sunday 10am to 9pm.

an ambitious UK-born Nigerian on a

Williams, who, as a rice farmer, data

mission to highlight the depth and

34

Retro Africa began as a pop-up

breadth of contemporary African art

gallery, hosting exhibitions in unusual

within Nigeria and the international

spaces and making appearances at

art scene.

analyst and mixed media artist, has ASOKORO Part of Retro Africa’s art space

to be one of the most eclectic multihyphenates around. Retro Africa’s itinerant beginnings

art fairs such as Art X Lagos and

Kola-Balogun has nurtured a

at art fairs abroad built an interna-

1-54, before it set up permanent

community of affiliated artists at

tional collector base for new African

home in Abuja in 2015. Here, in the

Retro Africa and curated exhibitions

art and Kola-Balogun has contin-

exclusive Asokoro neighbourhood

by many of the continent’s bright-

ued to spread the word by touring

is Retro Africa’s 1,600 square-foot

est talents. This year’s shows include

exhibitions at the Abuja gallery

contemporary art gallery, four-room

new work by Lagos painter and

beyond Nigeria’s borders. Do This In

boutique art hotel, café and outdoor

sculptor Alimi Adewale and the first

The Memory Of Us, which brought

entertainment space, which combine

solo exhibition for rising Abuja artist

together work by Nigerian artist


Victor Ehikhamenor, self-taught DRC painter Cheri Samba and awardwinning US artist Nate Lewis on a theme of diverse blackness, was brought to the Lehmann Maupin gallery in New York after its showing at Retro Africa in July and August this year. Kola-Balogun aims to expand

Thought Pyramid Arts Centre Location: 18 Libreville Crescent, Wuse

SCULPTURES Thought Pyramid Arts Centre

Olagundoye, puts it “a place of exposure for those who don’t know about art”. Many Abujans discover the centre quite by chance when they

Find out more:

are on the guest list at the regular

thoughtpyramidart.com

weddings, seminars and conferences

Opening hours: 9am to 7pm

hosted here. “Many are shocked

Monday to Saturday (closed

to see the art here and excited to

Sunday)

explore the gallery,” Joan says

on this international remit in the

This independent, non-profit organi-

Another way Thought Pyramid

coming years with plans to open a

sation runs the biggest art gallery in

gets the wider Abuja community to

second Retro Africa gallery in Miami,

Abuja with two storeys of open plan,

explore their creativity and interact

in the US, by the end of 2022. By

natural light-filled rooms showcas-

with the gallery is its regular ‘Sip and

then, Kola-Balogun also hopes that

ing a vast collection of works from

Paint’ events in which members of

her plan to create an Institute of

established Nigerian artists as well

Contemporary African Art and Film

as breakthrough names on the Abuja

in Ilorin, Nigeria, will be realised. It

art scene such as Seye Morakinyo,

will be the country’s first purpose-

Uyime Edet and Yomi Momoh.

the public get to try their hand at SHOWCASE A vast collection of Nigerian aertists

painting – with creativity loosened up by a few glasses of wine – while professional artists are on hand to

built museum for contemporary art

The centre was set up in 2009

will have gallery spaces for a collec-

amid the shopping centres, restau-

offer advice and encouragement. The latest event took place as part of

tion of African work, studio spaces

rants and hotels of the city’s classy

a weekend of activities at the centre

for artists, and post-production

Wuse District. It has gone on to

to mark Nigeria Independence

facilities for film. The building – as

become a place for the city’s crea-

Day on October 1. On Sunday,

with Retro Africa in Abuja – will be

tives to exhibit, perform, meet and

October 3, there was poetry and

designed by Kola-Balogun’s archi-

inspire as well as providing, as the

live music performances as well as

tect sister.

centre’s programme officer, Joan

the latest Abuja Affordable Art Fair FLYafrica 35


WINafrica Congratulations to last issue’s winner Recent passenger Nanayaw Thompson and a guest of their choice will soon be enjoying a night’s stay at No 1 Oxford Street, an iconic part of the Accra skyline. We hope you enjoy your stay at this impressive 5-star hotel, and thank you for flying Africa World Airlines. To find out more about the hotel, visit 1oxfordstreetaccra.com

ER N IN W

The FLYafrica competition will be returning as normal in the next issue, out soon.

Nanayaw Thompson

flyafricaworld.com

Book online

Answers to Scrabble puzzle on page 26.

1. AADEMNT SEVENS - 1 MANDATE: an authorization to act given to a representative.

SIXES - 6 ADNATE: joined to another part or organ. AMATED: amate; to daunt, to intimidate. AMENTA: pl amentum; a mentally deficient person.

ANADEM: a wreath for the head. MAENAD: a female participant in Ancient Greek orgies. Also MENAD. TANDEM: a bicycle built for two.

2. Seven tiles answers

A. QUERIDAS, QUARRIED and ACQUIRED

36

B. UREDINIA

C. RESIDUA/ HOMED

D. UNAIRED/ HOMER


– a longstanding event devised by

The Nike Art Gallery in Piwoyi

Thought Pyramid – giving first-time

Village, Abuja, is one of four across

buyers and collectors the chance to

Nigeria set up by the international

own work by artists at the centre.

art icon Nike Okundaye, popularly

These special events have an entry

known as ‘Mama Nike’.

LAGOS The Nike Gallery branch in Lagos (above) The Thought Pyramid Arts Centre, Abuja (above left)

taught them textile design. So far, more than 3,000 young Nigerians (the majority young women who have experienced violence or abuse) have been trained in the

fee, but the gallery’s permanent exhi-

The 70-year-old grew up in the

bition is free to view during opening

village of Ogidi-Ijumu, in Kogi State,

centre and are now earning their decent livings through art. Such is the

hours, as are the regular week-long

Nigeria. Her mother and grand-

quality of the training at the centre

art exhibitions that shine a light on a

mother died before she was seven

that universities in Nigeria and across

particular artist or works on a theme.

years old so she was cared for by her

the world send their students there

After remaining closed during

great-grandmother, a skilled weaver,

for programmes in textile design.

the pandemic lockdown, Thought

who taught her the traditional craft

Pyramid has now fully re-opened

among Yoruba women of making

the Nike Art Gallery to showcase

and Joan is preparing for a full diary

and dyeing Adire cloth.

some of the artworks produced by

In 2007, Okundaye established

of events and exhibitions in the last

Okundaye proved a good student

students at the centre. The gallery

few months of the year. Among the

and a naturally creative talent, going

now has branches in Lagos, Abuja,

upcoming shows will be a retrospec-

on to become a stage dancer and

Osogbo and Ogidi-Ijumu. Together

tive of the work of one of the found-

an actor. But it was in art where she

they house the biggest collection of

ing fathers of Nigerian art, Professor

truly excelled, developing her own

indigenous art in Nigeria.

Bruce Onobrakpeya.

unique style in textile design and

The gallery in Abuja is a hub for

painting. Her work won awards at

Nike Art Gallery and Workshop Location: Abuja International Airport Road, Piwoyi Village, Abuja. Find out more: nikeartfoundation.com For bookings and reservations: email nikeartgallery@gmail.com or call +234 813 151 1104

both national and international art shows and commanded high prices. Still, Okundaye never forgot her

art lovers, collectors and tourists in OSOGBO The Nike Art Centre, Osogbo

Nigeria. Visitors get the chance to browse and buy the diverse collection of traditional and contempo-

humble origins and the traditional

rary artworks on display and see

skills that were passed down to her.

artists at work. Group tours can be

Funded by her earnings as an artist,

booked and there are guest houses

she set up the Nike Centre for Art &

on site for longer stays – perfect

Culture, in Osogbo, in southwestern

for a deep dive into the gallery and

Nigeria, where she gave food and

a base to explore more of the crea-

shelter to 20 homeless girls and

tive culture of Abuja. FLYafrica 37


TECHcorner The best travel tech Holidays are often seen as a chance to get away from it all, but some tech makes a pretty convincing case for coming along for the ride. There are some great gadgets out there that will make the journey to your destination fly by and ensure you have plenty of options for entertainment once you arrive.

Anker PowerCore Slim All this tech is going to require battery power, but if your holiday is somewhere off the beaten track then a plug may not be in reach. In that case, best to pack a fully juiced up battery charger. The Anker PowerCore Slim 10000 PD is compact, weighs about the same as a large phone and has enough power to fast charge most smartphones twice and even tablets about once. With its USB-A and USB-C ports it can charge two devices simultaneously. Price: US$ 31.99 us.anker.com

38

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Every seasoned traveller knows a good pair of noisecancelling headphones is essential to ensure you hear your music in top quality and yet are kept blissfully unaware of background sound such as aircraft engine noise and fellow travellers continuously asking what you are enjoying listening to so much. The Bose 700 headphones will bring your tunes and tune out everything else. They connect via Bluetooth or cable, fold up for travel, come with their own charging case – giving at least 20 hours on a single charge – and are super comfy for lengthy listens. Price: US$ 419 bose.com


Eagle Creek Packing Cubes Packing can be a stressful preamble to a holiday, especially if your preferred method is to just ‘throw and go’ with everything you might need stuffed into your suitcase before every member of your family sits on top of it while you desperately try to zip it closed. However, Eagle Creek Packing Cubes make it possible to organise your clothes, toiletries and tech. They are made of lightweight durable material and come with a lifetime guarantee. They are also available in a range of colours and sizes so you can identify what is where in your luggage. Best of all, they compress so you save space at the same time. Packing will never be the same again. Price: US$ 27.93 (for pack of three) amazon.com

Pursonic S1 Portable UV Toothbrush Sanitiser In this post-pandemic world, washing and sanitising our hands has become second nature and no more so than when we travel. Bacteria and viruses can enter our bodies through our mouths so it is also important to practise good oral hygiene. This cool gadget keeps your toothbrush safe and pathogen-free. It is battery operated and uses UV light to kill 99 per cent of all bacteria on your toothbrush. It’s an affordable, but crucial piece of kit. Price: US$ 11.95 amazon.com

UE Wonderboom 2 It may take up less room than a balled-up pair of socks in your travel luggage, but the UE Wonderboom 2 speaker packs a big sound into its petite package with a bass boost specially formulated for outdoor sound among the new model’s updates. It’s also durable enough to soundtrack all your holiday adventures, no matter how wild things get, being water resistant, dust proof and drop proof. Price: US$ 109 ultimateears.com

FLYafrica 39


Go with your gut instinct and top up with probiotics Bacteria are often thought of as sources of disease, but not all of them are bad. In fact, your gut, which is full of trillions of microbes, is dependent on the friendly ones to function well. This is something long recognised by Daily Products Ghana, whose Daily Yoghurt range is loaded with probiotics to help Ghanaians top up their good bacteria. Here’s our guide to good gut health.

Look after your gut and it will look after you. Most of the time, when it comes to nutrition we like to think in terms of macros and micros (that is macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins and micronutrients such as individual vitamins and minerals), but it turns out we should also be taking microbes into account. Our bodies contain trillions of microbes. In fact, bacteria cells inside us outnumber human cells by about 10 to 1. The most-dense microbe population is in your gastrointestinal tract (or gut) where they play a critical role in digestion, immune function and weight regulation. The majority of these gut bacteria are quite harmless, some are helpful and a small number can cause disease. We each have enough bacteria inside us to fill a soup can and while this may be a rather unsavoury fact, having a large and diverse variety of bacteria inside us is key to our health. The microorganisms work together to break down our food and help us fight infection.

40

Having the right gut bacteria has been linked to weight loss, improved digestion, enhanced immune function, healthier skin and the reduced risk of some diseases. However, having a predominance of unhealthy microbes in the gut may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other disorders.

The second brain Our gut microbiome – the name for complex community of microorganisms inside us – does not only have a bearing on our physical health. If you’ve ever “gone with your gut instinct” to make a decision or felt “butterflies in your stomach” when nervous, you’re likely getting signals from your second brain. That is what scientists are now calling the gut because of the enteric nervous system – two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells embedded in its

walls and which communicates with the brain and can trigger huge emotional shifts. If bad bacteria are running rampant in the stomach and causing indigestion or nausea in the gut, it can send signals to the brain that affect the way you think. Psychological symptoms generated by disturbances in the gut can include depression, anxiety and brain fog.

Are you eating the right foods to help your good gut bacteria? The food you eat has a large bearing on the diversity and stability of your gut

There are a number of fermented foods that are rich is probiotics… but one of the simplest and tastiest ways of getting more probiotics into our diet is to eat live yoghurt


medication will kill good bacteria as well as bad. Once you have completed the course, it is important to make sure you eat lots of foods that boost your microbes afterwards. It is also beneficial to eat food that is rich in probiotics, a type of friendly bacteria that helps balance the composition of the gut microbiome. Live yoghurt is made from milk that has been fermented by these friendly bacteria.

The benefits of probiotics While there is much more research needed to be done, early studies suggest probiotics can have health benefits including strengthening your immune system, reducing inflammation, easing skin conditions, reducing the symptoms of depression and even extending our lives.

bacteria. It is important to have a varied diet as a healthy gut has a varied community of microbes, each of which prefers different foods. The emphasis should be on plantbased foods with a variety of whole grains, beans and fruit as they all contain high amounts of fibre, which is the best fuel for your gut bacteria. Try to limit the amount of highly processed foods you eat. Research has shown that fast food as well as animal-derived fatty foods encourage the development of more harmful bacteria and can suppress good bacteria. If you have to take antibiotics to treat an infection, remember that this

There are a number of fermented foods that are rich is probiotics such as sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh and kombucha tea, but one of the simplest and tastiest ways of getting more probiotics into our diet is to eat live yoghurt. As a fermented food, yogurt naturally contains lots of live microbes that not only give its trademark tangy taste, but also bolster the diversity of the gut microbiome. Ghanaian company Daily Products Ghana has long recognised the importance of live yoghurt as an affordable, easy-to-eat source of probiotics and how it could be used to help keep Ghanaians healthy. Its Daily Yoghurt range is available in low-sugar strawberry, vanilla and ginger flavours and contains probiotics B. animalis, B. breve, B. longum and L. acidophilus. These friendly bacteria strains are added as a culture during production and offer many health benefits.

Help produce B vitamins B vitamins play a major role in for helping the body to break down food into energy. It has now been shown that the strains of probiotics in Daily Yoghurt are able to synthesise water-soluble vitamins such as folate, riboflavin and vitamin B12 among others.

Anti-microbial effects Probiotics help with stimulation of the body’s defences against harmful bacteria, fungi and many viruses. Furthermore, probiotic yoghurt stimulates the immune system by enhancing the production of natural antibodies against infection.

Improves digestion Probiotic yoghurt helps the digestive system, easing symptoms such as gas, bloating, pain, diarrhoea and constipation.

Combats disease Studies have shown probiotics have a positive effect on skin ailments such as eczema, vaginal infections, ulcers, urinary infections and even the common cold.

Daily Yoghurt is produced in Accra, Ghana by Daily Products Ghana Ltd. The strawberry, vanilla and ginger flavours are available in 300ml and 2.5 litre packages. To purchase or for more information, email daily.yoghurt@gmail.com or call +233 (02)544 719 385.

FLYafrica

41


Ghana’s amazing

This country is home to some unique buildings, each with their own fascinating histories. Travel photographer and tour guide Selorm Sosu – who works under the name Detraveling Fotografa – reveals the story behind five curious constructions, including one in his childhood home of Keta.

Keta Fort

from Accra, Northern Volta, Togo and

The coastline of Ghana is punctuated

shipped to the Caribbean, Brazil and

with many forts and castles that were

Florida in the US.

once depots for the barbaric slave trade, but Fort Prinzenstein, in Keta, is one of the few that lies east of the Volta River. When the Europeans came to West Africa they divided the coast depending on the type of trade they were involved in. From Ada, Keta, Togo, Benin and Nigeria was called the Slave Coast, as here you could purchase the greatest number of slaves. West of Accra, including Cape Coast, Elmina and up to Axim was called the Gold Coast, then the Ivory Coast. Fort Prinzenstein was built by Danish traders in 1784, initially to protect them from other colonial settlers and the Anlo Ewe, who they had fought

42

Image: Selorm Sosu

architecture

Dahomey in Benin before they were

There were slave markets at Keta and the nearby coastal village of Atorkor. The latter’s name is a Ewe approximation of the expression “metor mekor ntem” used by Akanspeaking traders and meaning “let’s buy and leave quickly” as at the time an infestation of mosquitoes made them reluctant to hang around. From the markets, the slaves were marched in chains to the fort, where the treatment and conditions were even more inhuman. Each would be branded with a red-hot iron with the name or coat of arms of the company they were sold to and then kept, still in chains, in dungeons without ventilation and sanitation.

with over trading rights. However, it

Heartbreaking clues to the desperate

soon became a transit point for slaves

conditions the prisoners faced

are revealed to visitors to the fort today. The suffocating confines of the dungeons can be explored with remains including the channels carved into the ground where captives have used their fingers to dig into the ground in a desperate, but fruitless bid to tunnel to freedom. More than 200 years have passed since the last slaves were locked up in Fort Prinzenstein. The building still stands, but its once impenetrable


KETA FORT On the shores of Keta Beach in Ghana

Ibn Shiraz | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-4.0

WULUGU Zayaa Mud Mosque

defences have begun to crumble. The

where we were. When he told me, I got

reason for much of the damage is

curious and I asked what was special

the coastal erosion caused by rising

about this place and he told me about

sea levels. Keta has a picturesque

the mosque. I grabbed my bag and

but precarious location on a strip of

stove, jumped off the bus and headed

land divided by the Atlantic Ocean

straight to the magnificent mud story

on one side and Keta Lagoon on the other. With the land only 53 metres above sea level at its highest point, much of it has been overtaken by water during the life of the fort. When built, Prinzenstein was a long way from the shore, but now the Atlantic waves are almost upon it. It is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and with two-thirds of the building affected by the encroaching water, efforts are being made to maintain what is left.

Zayaa Mud Mosque West Africa is renowned for its unusual Islamic architecture, the result of the early dissemination of the faith around trade routes. More than a century ago, there were a great number

of mud mosques in the country, some as far south as Kumasi. Now, though, there are only a handful and those are restricted to the Northern Region. Ironically, part of the reason is the continued growth of Islam in the country. This is now catered for with grand, modern mosques that can accommodate hundreds of worshippers, while the relatively small mud mosques with their thick walls provide a more intimate experience.

building.

Still these ancient, quirky mosques are worth seeking out and the Zayaa Mosque is one of the strangest of them all. I discovered it by chance. I was on a bus trip to Bolgatatanga when it stopped in Wulugu, around 20 minutes south. I asked a fellow passenger

– no cement). The mud building is a

It was different from all the mud houses I have seen so far on my travels across the country. It is square with many levels and inner rooms and looks more like an ancient defence castle than a place of worship. It was built in the 20th century by Sheikh AbdulKarim, who, according to legend, was instructed on where and with what to build the mosque in a dream (the instructions were very specific combination of a mosque and a house and Abdul-Karim lived in the property. I recommend you explore this remote Ghanaian gem for yourselves. Make sure you take your shoes off to enter as it is holy ground. FLYafrica 43


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

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

NZULEZU The village overlooks Lake Tandane

44

Nzulezu stilt settlement

Manhyia Palace

Wa Naa’s Palace

One of the finest examples of architecture in harmony with nature in Ghana is the village of Nzulezu – in the Jomoro district around 90km west of Takoradi – where houses are built from branches of raffia palm on stilt

This grand building in Kumasi is the seat of the Asantehene, the ruler of the Ashanti Kingdom. In the 18th century the Ashanti – also known as the Asante – commanded one of the richest and most powerful empires in

Wa Naa’s Palace is another extraordinary example of traditional Sudanese mud-brick architecture. The palace is home to the king of the Wala people, who comprise the majority population of Wa region.

structures over Lake Tandane. The first inhabitants of this Venice of West Africa are thought to have come from Mali in the 15th century – it must have been a slow journey, legend has it they were led by a snail. Now the settlement numbers around 600 people and all daily life is conducted on the water with every family having their own street and canoe. Canoes also carry tourists in to experience Nzulezu life – except on Thursdays, when, by tradition, all village activities are put on hold.

Africa. Now the Asantehene’s role is more ceremonial, leading festivities such as Adae, on every sixth Sunday, where in full regalia he greets visitors in the palace’s courtyard. The current king Otumfo Nana Osei Tutu II actually lives in a residency behind the palace, which is now a fascinating museum full of artefacts – including a replica of the Golden Stool, the sacred symbol believed to contain the soul – which have become an enduring symbol of the country’s illustrious past. The palace was built by the British in 1924 and with its Doric columns it is an intriguing mix of classical architectural features fused with Ashanti touches such as the open fronted ‘adampan’ rooms on the ground floor.

The nineteenth-century structure is to be found in the heart of the region’s capital, Wa, and is built using sun-dried mud-brick walls and Y-shaped wooden columns to support flat roofs of a bushpole framework which are covered with mud. The condition of the palace courtyards and rooms has deteriorated over the years, but the front façade remains in remarkable condition with a series of impressive buttresses with pinnacles rising above the parapet. Here at the front of the building you’ll also find the graves of former Wala kings.


AWAroutes

Freetown

Nigeria

Tamale

Sierra Leone

Ghana Monrovia

Abuja Lagos

Kumasi

Liberia

Takoradi

Explore West Africa with Africa World Airlines GHANA

Takoradi

LIBERIA

Accra

Takoradi Airport

Monrovia

Kotoka International 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.

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.

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

NIGERIA

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

Lagos

SIERRA LEONE

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Freetown

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

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

Lungi International Airport

Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Capital of Nigeria and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Administrative and political centre of Nigeria.

Book online

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TRAVELinformation Before your flight

1.

2.

3 .

4.

5.

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

Unaccompanied minors Children aged five to 12 must travel as an unaccompanied minor (UM) on AWA. Only children mature enough to travel with limited supervision are allowed to travel as a UM. Details of parent/guardian

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

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

the UM with check-in, transfers

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

attendant with observe and/

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. AWA ground staff will assist and boarding. Once on board, a flight or communicate with the UM periodically.

6.

7.

8.

During your flight Pay close attention to the safety procedures outlined by the cabin crew and take note of your nearest exit. Enjoy complimentary snacks on selected flights. Sit back, relax and enjoy FLYafrica magazine!

Baggage allowances

46

Checked baggage

Hand luggage

Excess baggage

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

The parent/guardian receiv-

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

guardian.

negligence.

AWA reserves the right to

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

23 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

supply.

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

Height:

6.76 m / 22 ft 2 in

Wingspan:

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


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Email Contacts Concerns concerns@flyafricaworld.com Charters charters@flyafricaworld.com Local Offices Accra – Head Office

Tamale

UNA Homes Building 2nd/3rd floor Airport Bypass Road Airport City Road PMB CT67 Accra, Ghana

Airport Office Opening hours 06:00 - 17:30 (Monday to Sunday)

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)

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

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

48

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

Kumasi Airport Office Opening hours 05:00 - 20:00 (Monday to Sunday)

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

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 Email: sales.lagos@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

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) Town Office 21/23 Siaka Stevens Street Tel: +232 79 630 103; +232 88 852 773 Opening hours: 08.30-17.00 (Monday to Friday) 09:00 - 13:00 (Sat)

Tel: +231 886 691 623 +231 881 108 682/666

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