YOUR COMPLIMENTARY COPY
Touching Africa, Touching The World!
FLYafrica Return to Ghana ISSUE 12
NOVEMBER 2021 -JANUARY 2022
Y’AKOTO EMBRACES HER ROOTS
THE NEW WAVE OF SURFING IN WEST AFRICA PAGE 30
PLAN A GHANAIAN ADVENTURE
‘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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org Anita Ottenhof Cell: +233 542 476 370 (WhatsApp) Email: email@example.com Aaron Daunor Cell: +233 24 346 7506 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL: Mark Edwards, Editor email@example.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.
4 Cloud nine
18 Eat to the beat
A message from our CEO
AWA marks its nine-year anniversary on Memorial Day
Ghanaian gifts …go for the glow
Cool dining and music venues
West African surfing in pictures
23 CJ Obasi
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
The singer on how her return to Ghana has inspired a new musical direction
30 A new Mooovement
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
The best travel tech
4 AWAnews 45 AWAroutes
Subscribe to FLYafrica
46 TRAVELinformation 48 AWAcontacts
Connect with AWA Facebook
NINE YEARS AND COUNTING
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
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
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
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
Over 2.5 Million Passengers flown
8 Embraer 145 aircraft
Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi, Abuja, Lagos, Monrovia, Freetown
Over 381 employees Book online
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.
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
Numbers of passengers booked
Passengers denied boarding due to oversales
Flights delayed beyond two hours due to weather
Number of bags checked in
Bags delivered on time
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.
Telephone bookings can be made by calling +233 24 243 8888 or our
Toll free number:
0800 200 200 flyafricaworld.com
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
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
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
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
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-
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.
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.
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.
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
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-
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
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
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
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
also had to abandon her university
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
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
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
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.
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.
New wave of African surfing
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
‘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.
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
A NEW MOOOVEMENT in Ghanaian holiday travel
EXPLORE Quad biking in Aburi
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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.
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 email@example.com or call +233 (02)544 719 385.
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.
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
Image: Selorm Sosu
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.
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
Nzulezu stilt settlement
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.
Explore West Africa with Africa World Airlines GHANA
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.
Roberts International Airport Capital and most populous city of Liberia with more than 1 million inhabitants.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Nigeria’s largest city and the most populous in Africa. Major financial centre and home to one of Africa’s biggest ports.
Capital 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.
flyafricaworld.com FLYafrica 45
TRAVELinformation Before your flight
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.
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!
UMs are only allowed to travel on non-stop or same-
The parent/guardian receiv-
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
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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
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-
ized to take necessary and
Domestic Regional 23 kg
One piece up to 5 kg and 1 handbag/laptop bag GHS 5/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
to sit on an adult’s lap. An additional seat must be purchased
or contained gas either in the
safety-related regulation that
passenger cabin or as cargo/
requires us not to do so.
baggage. AWA is not equipped to
chairs or other assistance
transport passengers who
devices for personal use at
require stretchers, incubators,
no charge, in addition to
respirators or other devices
enplaning and deplaning.
that may rely on aircraft power
Attention should be brought
week of pregnancy without a
AWA requires all children under two years old to be
other hazardous materials and/
unless there is a specific
Transport of wheel-
any expenses incurred.
Infants and toddlers
with disabilities of any kind
and more comfortable flight.
circumstances. In the case of the latter, the parent/guardian
transport medical oxygen or
Expectant mothers more
if one adult is travelling with
than 34 weeks pregnant are
not permitted to fly with AWA.
AWA recommends that
For pregnancies less than
a child over 20 kg in weight
28 weeks, passengers should
should use a seat for a safer
possess an ante-natal card/
Fleet information Embraer ERJ-145LR Length:
29.87 m / 98 ft 0 in
6.76 m / 22 ft 2 in
20.04 m / 65 ft 9 in
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Charters email@example.com Local Offices Accra – Head Office
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.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