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ASIWOME WRITES

If I Were A Ghanaian Blogger

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Blogging has become one of the most fashionable enterprises in the world. From observation, the emergence of blogs has ‘killed’ the dream of many people enrolling in journalism schools or getting training in the field because information dissemination has become easy and cheap, and the attraction that comes with the profession is tainted.

Would I want to be tagged as a blogger in Ghana? Maybe not. Would I prefer to be called a journalist? May be Yes. At least with all the faux-pas of journalism in the country, there is something to celebrate about. Does the same come with blogging? What perceptions do people have about bloggers in Ghana, and ‘Ghanaian’ bloggers living elsewhere?

But someday to come, I would love to be a blogger. I have come to accept the fact that blogging isn’t necessarily journalism, and journalism isn’t just blogging. However, every journalist can become a blogger, so also can every blogger become a journalist.

But something always strikes me: why most Ghanaian bloggers are quick to shove off the journalism tag. I am sure they are fully aware that admitting to being a journalist comes with a huge responsibility—a responsibility that is self-imposed, society-demanded and professionally-required.

READ ALSO: Kwame Dadzie Writes: Top 10 Comedians In Ghana At The Moment

Hiding under the cloak of blogging, sorry to say, does not absolve one of these, anyway. In as much as it is your personal space, where you decide what to write about and how you go about it, it is only prudent to let sense prevail!

If I finally decide to go into blogging, there are a lot of things that I must know aside from my ability to communicate well through writing, being truthful to myself and my readers, having a clear conscience. Two basic things that are paramount to me which when I can achieve as a blogger, will go a long way to tell the world the kind of home I come from, or the kind of person I am. And these are: respecting other bloggers and showing respect to the people I write about.

Respecting other bloggers

There are a lot of professions out there that come with prestige in our part of the world. Certainly teaching is not one of them; neither is journalism. One can’t say bloggers have that much prestige compared to lawyers (not just people with law degrees), engineers and doctors. Lawyers, for example, respect one another; they call each other ‘learned friend’.

It is difficult to have any of these professionals denigrate and desecrate the profession that they are part of, all in the name of helping to sanitize it. It is rare. Can we say the same for bloggers in Ghana? Yes, peer review is very important in the industry. And I have had cause to congratulate many online writers and bloggers in Ghana for waging war against ‘copy and paste’ reportage.

However, how such corrections and sanitization is done is critical, critical because, in the media fraternity, no one can claim to be an island. What is the use of an island when the water body that surrounds you, that water body that makes you brag, has been desecrated by none other than yourself, and then you still thread on it to get off your island?

READ ALSO: My Artists Are Too Busy To Be Bothered About VGMA And Other Awards – Enock Agyepong

Unfortunately, bloggers and online writers in the industry do not respect one another, and by extension do not respect themselves. If you respect yourself, you will shudder to disrespect or look down upon a colleague, whose crime maybe not having the number of following or traffic you have, or not acquiring the degrees or book knowledge you have.

“This is why many of you [bloggers] cannot even buy a decent shirt to wear to events—mostly looking like some cheap road sweepers while these artistes shine in money and cars,”

A blogger threw this at his colleagues on his Facebook timeline.

This is one of the least I would want to share here, so as not to glorify stupidity!

If this does not smack of pride, I wonder what it would be. Pride, in fact, negative pride, has a way of coaching one into destruction. If you are not an atheist, or a non-christian, and believe in the Lucifer story as recounted in the bible, you will understand where pride can lead you.

One need not be religious to even understand this. Common sense (sorry for the use of the word ‘common’ here because it is not common at all to the proud) will tell you to show humility, and respect others for who and what they stand for.

READ ALSO: Edem Pledges To Write A Reggae Song For MzVee

If your religion is Science- and would want to have a scientific basis for everything, certainly common sense can’t be one of those, or? Then your trade will be to see yourself as supreme, one who knows more than any other person.

Respecting the people I write about
Biting the hand that feeds you will be a vice I won’t entertain if I were a blogger. Unfortunately, that curse, that folly will be the doom of many bloggers. The money will come, but show respect and accord dignity to the ilk that makes it possible for you to be who you are, and aspire to be what you wish to be.

Some full-time bloggers confess that all they have has been about writing about people, often celebrities. Yes, they will be quick to state that they write about other stuff. But do that ‘ stuff’ get them the traffic that the celebrities do?

READ ALSO: Many Musicians Are Receiving GHAMRO Royalties They Don’t Deserve – Rex Omar

If I will be writing about people to earn money if the (mis)deeds of people will make me survive if people shape my survival, why should I treat them with contempt?

As a blogger, I will respect the newsmakers. I won’t insult them to tell my story. I won’t call them ‘bastard’, ‘chicken-head’ ‘block-head’, ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid’ before I can get my message across.

If I did that, then I had not mastered the art of writing. If I did that then I had no conscience. If I did that I would be biting the hand that feeds me. And that is a curse!

 

By Mic Yamoah | www.micyamoah.wordpress.com (2015)

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Asiwome Writes born Asiwome Tei-Mati is the Chief Writer at www.asiwomewrites.com, a blog for all credible and At the Moment Entertainment News. A blog designed for all Showbiz News, Interviews and Reviews in the Creative Arts industry in Ghana. Asi Wome is an entertainment enthusiast and journalist, a Communication Strategist and a radio and TV Entertainment, pundit.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Bismark Botchwey

    September 15, 2018 at 13:39

    I’m really inspired Professor Mic Yamoah. I’ve learnt a lot from this article and I will apply them in my blogging career. God bless you for this.

    • Asiwome Tei-Mati

      September 15, 2018 at 23:09

      We appreciate taking time to read from us. We will be glad to having you always with us!

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ASIWOME WRITES

Franca Chepkemoi Writes: Let Us Eat Like Pigs

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Franca Chepkemoi Writes: Let Us Eat Like Pigs

Dear African Woman,

Chacha Eke Faani, a renowned Nollywood actress said at one point in her weight loss video,

“Dear Women, there is an age-long projection that you have to do away with…”

This line alone inspired me to write this open letter to all of us African women about weight loss and our traditions.

So, in this letter, I am not going to encourage you at all to drop those sugars and junk. I won’t encourage you either to pick a dumbbell and do at least 20 squats after a few kilometers of jogging every morning. I won’t even try to suggest that you do the simple walk at home with Leslie Sansone. I will scold and mock you.

Earn Your Spot on the Fat Table

Dear African Women, there is an age-long projection that we have to do away with that when we have a baby or babies, we have to let our once beautifully aligned bodies relapse into oblivion.

There is this seedling planted in our minds by our wise grandmothers and mothers that immediately we turn 15 that it’s time to let go of childishness and embrace womanhood. Now womanhood in Africa (well, Kenya, where I come from), is determined by the progressive growth in our bodies, most especially our mid-sections.

READ ALSO: Sandra Badu-Boateng Featured in Forbes’ List of Awesome Black Women

This treacherous tradition tries to convince us that when we allow our young toned lithe bodies turn big, it makes us authentic African women ripe to be redeemed by a man of immense wealth and status quo.

To break it down a little bit, according to our rich traditions and culture, there is nothing sexy about slender and petite. To be truly a woman, we must embrace those love handles and paunch in our beautifully curved out torsos.

Spotting a couple of fat rings on our necks and thick flaps under our long arms earn us a certain level of status quo and respect. I mean, you are a woman now.  It even qualifies us to finally join that most coveted infamous Women Chama! (investment groups).

Then there is this other thing. Now you have been redeemed by this rich tea farmer with endless acres of tea estates and a thousand fat cattle in the pen. He also doubles as the headmaster in a nearby Kipchengwere Primary School – what a stroke of luck! What more could you ask for, girl!

Mark Your Territory

So cometh this fashion thing of giving birth as soon as you enter that boma (marriage). These days, giving birth has turned into marking your territory with posts and electric barbed wires. So, when you give birth, you let your body flow with it because something inside you will lie to you that you have arrived.

The village women who will come to the tea party to welcome the bundle of joy after two weeks will reprimand you when you push away that thermo flask of Uji (porridge). Fat is the trophy of motherhood! They will advise you, trying to make you fat by all means! Girl, wear these trophies like they were pearls.

READ ALSO: Mic Yamoah Writes: And One for the Entertainment Panelist

Your table will be arrayed with all sorts of food. Tall white family bread, blue band, a bottle of soda, a container of mursik (fermented milk), deep-fried chicken, leftover chips and untouched pizza. You will have to eat all these and get a bed rest to allow your body to manufacture sufficient milk for the baby.

For the next month, they will not allow you to move around or even lift a finger. You will sit still and know that they are at your service and that trim body you were married in; you will see it no more! They will only leave you alone once the fat starts protruding from that clinging bodycon dress you wore the day you went with your aunt Obot Cheming’ in to be introduced to the headmaster.

Brag, Compare and Compete

So, to a refined sound African woman, we weren’t played at all by our wise grandmothers and mothers. In those days, fat was a sign of bounty and wealth. Do you want them to gossip that your husband doesn’t feed you well? Do you want them to think that you have contracted HIV that they think killed his first wife?

Achicha kabisa (not at all), you have to give your husband something to hold unto throughout the night after a long day’s work. No sound African man would want to be pricked and knocked by protruding bones all night long after a tiring day.

Look like a sagging sack of mealie meal. Clog those arteries with the blue bands and fries and chicken drums he picks at Galitos every night on his way from school. Watch Afro Cinema late into the night snacking on that cake you normally bake every other three days with that tall bottle of Fanta Blackcurrant sitting conveniently nearby. As you do this, stretch out your elephant legs on the coffee table and throw a duvet cover over them because the thick lush sofa is now too small for you to curl in it.

READ ALSO: Pastor Otabil Cuts Sod for GHC 5 Million Central University Hospital

Eat all the sugar you can lay your plump hands on. Don’t forget to snack on the mouthwatering Chipo mwitu (chips made on the roadside) every mid-day sold across the road by Mama Cherop. Lazy around the house all day eating like a pig as you order your house girl around to warm you that roasted meat in the fridge, and could she fry some sausages for you and bring them to bed because you have cramps?

On Saturdays, in fact, every Saturday, invite all your girls’ gang and make all the junk you can think of. Sit on the pouch the whole morning late into the afternoon gossiping about these campus girls who flaunt their evil bodies all over the place. Talk about how they lack manners these days and how they bewitch your husbands with their shameless bodies. Spice it up with how your heated men chase after them as though they were answering a cast spell.

Tell your friends stories about how your headmaster of a husband loves you so much that he spoils you with pizza four times a week and how he sends flowers and dark chocolates every other midday. Tell them about those late-night beers in bed together. Brag to them about how he promised to get you a Nissan Xtrail on your birthday to help you move around town easily.

Take it Out on Everyone

When you can no longer see some parts of your humongous body even with a 3D mirror, start hating on that newly employed tall, slim and young female teacher who just got employed at your husband’s school and lives across the hall. Tell everybody what a whore she is and how she throws herself at men just because she was offered a lift by that headmaster of a husband of yours.

Reprimand your younger sister who came to stay with you for the holidays and buy her oversized dresses and sweater. Make her dress like she is a member at Prophet Owuor’s church because her body is slender and shapely. In fact, you hate and covet the small of her back and the flat of her belly all at the same time. Tear apart and bring down your younger sister’s self-esteem because you are jealous of her 20yr old body.

Complain about that single mother with two grown kids yet she still spots her well countered 17-year-old body at 38. Wait, she is even 4years older than you, what a nerve! And why does she even run around every morning in those body-hugging biker shorts and matching boob tops? That husband snatcher exposes too much of her tiny midsection and her nicely rounded taut behind is outrageous, you should report her for indecency!

READ ALSO: Don Moen Cut Sod For $90,000 Orphanage School Project

When you bump into her one morning jogging on your way to get wheat flour for pancakes, my sister, click so loudly and make those Mtchhhhhwww sounds at her. But my dear African sister, that will not make you lose that ugly fat in your body.

In fact, up your game and stalk her on Instagram. Do a diss photoshoot and caption about your curvaceousness and being a true African plus-size model. Talk about your plans to become a socialite and how you will join the infamous Nairobi Diaries.

When you have done all these, make sure to tag that annoying single mom and the young slender teacher with short bodycon dresses living across the hall. In fact, try to convince your celebrity headmaster of a husband to do a Reality TV Show dubbed; The Kiplasois. Sister, even with all these, you will not get the satisfaction that you yearn and long for. That of having a perfectly healthy body. Yes, we know David encouraged himself in the Lord and you are definitely trying to do so too. You have even gone out of your way to using unconventional yet ineffective means. We understand…

Pick Up Your Mat and Walk

Being an illuminated woman blessed with education, resources, and knowledge, I can well excuse our grandmas and Mas. Being a woman in their days was a cage I wouldn’t wish even my worst enemy to be in. I am not saying there wasn’t a good side to it, there was.

So, woman, what excuse do you have? Our Mas gave us what we have right now so that we can have better lives than them. Let me educate you, that includes living a healthy and fit lifestyle.

READ ALSO: Most Gospel Musicians Are Lazy in Writing New Songs – Daughters of Glorious Jesus

As we grew up, we were taught, “Once I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child but now I put away childish things.” According to African traditions, being childish includes running all over the place without being pursued (jogging) and patting your legs shamelessly in splits and squats. Aren’t we getting it twisted?

That when you are someone’s wife you should not pat your legs in splits or run around like a witch almost caught up by dawn at the wee hours. Nonsense, who are we deceiving? What is this we use to excuse our laziness and gluttony? What are these sob stories we come up with to justify and excuse our fat lazy self?

Pick up your mat and work that ass out!

 

Franca Chepkemoi | www.asiwomewrites | Kenya

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ASIWOME WRITES

Mic Yamoah Writes: And One for the Entertainment Panelist

Panelists play an important role in making entertainment talk shows successful. They are experts (though not always the case) who are chosen because they have some experience, some expertise, some knowledge, and wisdom, even if not on a particular issue that is meant to be discussed; these qualities alone make them ‘qualified’ enough to make meaningful contributions to the show.

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Mic Yamoah writes: And One for the Entertainment Panelist

www.micyamoah.wordpress.com | December 23, 2015

April 8, 2015, management of Ghanaian rapper, Guru, issued a statement warning entertainment journalists and panelists to desist from “attacking” their artiste.

“It is sad to see that other countries are promoting their artistes with words of encouragement and positive actions; in Ghana, some individuals who should know better have chosen to drag the hard [earned] reputation of some artistes down because they have refused to do their research, reason, investigate or interview the people they want [to] talk about to know the truth before they talk,” the statement read.

That was Guru. There are many artists, and people outside the realms of artiste management, and even entertainment enthusiasts who have the mis (conception) that entertainment shows in the country are on a vicious mission.

READ ALSO: Most Gospel Musicians Are Lazy in Writing New Songs – Daughters of Glorious Jesus

The destruction mission, if it exists, is even extended to competing shows, with hosts and producers “locking horns,” fighting for supremacy – supremacy of who rules the airwaves, who started his show first, who is “old” in the business, who groomed who, who inspired who to get into the game, who comes on air how many times in a week, to who attracts the crème de la crème to be on their show.

A lot of discussions have gone on in the past weeks, with my Deputy Editor Kwame Dadzie writing a piece to address this issue. The same issue also took center stage on Agyemang Prempeh’s show last Saturday, on Rainbow FM, with Razz’s Editor Arnold Asamoah Baidoo, bringing it up for discussion.

The entertainment host and producers have been discussed thoroughly; they have been blamed for fostering disunity in the industry, through many schemes. I, however, believe, in all this, absolving the panelists, who appear on these entertainment shows on radio and television of blame, won’t be right.

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Panelists play an important role in making entertainment talk shows successful. They are experts (though not always the case) who are chosen because they have some experience, some expertise, some knowledge, and wisdom, even if not on a particular issue that is meant to be discussed; these qualities alone make them ‘qualified’ enough to make meaningful contributions to the show.

This alone should make panelists on our entertainment shows discerning people who can bring their qualities to help shape the industry, starting from the very platforms they appear on.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I appear on only one platform, so I cannot pretend to know what happens on other platforms. But I have ears; I have eyes; I have the intuition to read the lines, read between the lines, and read beyond the lines, what I see and listen.

Hero Worshiping
I see too much of hero-worshiping on the part of some panelists; such people do everything in their power to protect their territory by seeing everything right in the presenter. Such people dare question a wrong on a platform!

I know the politics in being called to appear on a radio or TV show as a panel member. There are a lot of people jostling their way in there. Reasons? The benefits…often not material or financial but…..

But for the sake of professionalism and image, I believe sitting on a platform that is too antagonistic to other industry players tends to question one’s neutrality as well.

READ ALSO: Pastor Otabil Cuts Sod for GHC 5 Million Central University Hospital

There are others who also use the platform they have been offered to denigrate other platforms, all in the name of pleasing their ‘hero’. Such persons even tag other stations and programs as mediocre, small, lacking listenership and pedigree. But when such panelists have promotional activities to undertake, they find solace in these small stations, when the big ones deny them or present them with invoices.

Egotism
A show will always constitute a panel because of the diverse perspectives individual members bring on board. It is thus important to acknowledge individual strengths and weaknesses. This, a smart host and producer, will always consider. But when as a panel sees him or herself as superior to others on the same platform, then there is an issue.

I have heard of some panel members who dictate who should be on a show or otherwise. Are people that powerful? Why can’t you be on the same panel with someone else?

READ ALSO: Charterhouse Destroyed The Reputation of Ghana Comedy – DKB

What about those who also take on other panel members they share similar platforms with when they appear on other shows? Is it a show of supremacy, lack of tolerance or insecurity?

Keeping Secrets
I call them the “leaking mouths.” Such persons do not understand what is called a corporate secret. If a radio or television station invites you to their show as a panel, I believe what happens there stays there, unless it is meant for the public.

There are some who sit on a platform and discuss what happens on other platforms, and sometimes to the extent of even putting it on social media. Such persons equip the public with internal issues, through public discussions of such, which should be purely internal.

READ ALSO:“The Media Is Following Stomach Direction,” The One That Can Feed Them – Kamelyeon

When one is aligned to a radio or television station, that person is very much part of that brand. And striving to denigrate that brand, in whatever way, is a denigration of one’s own brand, one way or the other.

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ASIWOME WRITES

Meet Patoranking: African Musician Launching University Scholarship For Africa’s Next Leaders

Today Patoranking is well known across Africa with over 200m Youtube views and his most recent album Wilmar debuted at number 5 on the global Billboard Reggae charts.

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Meet Patoranking: African Musician Launching University Scholarship For Africa’s Next Leaders

In a Forbes feature of Tuesday, February 24, 2020, Patoranking has been reported to have launched the African Leadership University – ALU Patoranking Scholarship.

The ALU Patoranking Scholarship will provide a full scholarship to 10 students starting in the fall of September 2020.

READ ALSO: “The Media Is Following Stomach Direction,” The One That Can Feed Them – Kamelyeon

Qualified students must be resilient, driven, innovative, creative, mission-driven and have demonstrated a positive impact in their communities and be from a lower-income background.

Patoranking believes,

“exceptional leaders and change-makers can come from anywhere. Financial constraints should not prevent the next great African innovators from gaining the tools, skill sets and networks to bring their ideas to life”

Read the full feature on www.forbes.com below

The rise in income inequality globally over the last few decades has been well documented with a small group of people owning the majority of wealth. Many policies are suggested such as changing taxes or generous pledges from billionaires has certainly helped. However, throughout history, the biggest equalizer for this problem is access to quality education. One musician who recognizes this from his own upbringing is Patrick “Patoranking” Okorie, 29. who has partnered with African Leadership University to form the ALU Patoranking Scholarship offering 10 students full scholarships to study at the innovative university.

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Early Beginnings

Patoranking was born in Ilaje Ebuta-Metta in Lagos, Nigeria the eldest of 5 children. His upbringing was very different from the lifestyle he lives today

“me, my Mom, Dad and siblings all shared one room”

however, he has fond memories of his childhood stating

“Ebuta-Metta is my heart, no matter how hard it was we were still grateful for each day”.

Patoranking was well known in Ebuta-Metta 2 things, one was music and the other was selling products locally with his Dad which he started at the age of 13, anything from calendars to rat poison. However, by 17 with bigger ambitions, he decided to move to Ghana in search of a better life for him and his family

“My friends and I always used to talk about making it and wanting more” he recalls.

READ ALSO: ZYLOFON MEDIA SWERVES JOYCE BLESSING

Rise In Music

Whilst in Ghana Patoranking pursued his music and also applied to the University of Cape Coast, Ghana well knowing he could not afford it but hopeful by the time enrolment came around he would have funds. Unfortunately, he did not have the funds to afford the university fees. mentioning

“I didn’t choose music, music chose me”

and he returned to Nigeria to pursue a music career full time. Once arriving he managed to have some success working with smaller labels, however, many of them didn’t understand his Afro-Reggae sound which was unique at the time and different from Afrobeats, the most popular music genre on the continent. However, his big break came when award-winning artist Timaya featured him on his song “Alubarika” which means God’s blessings and even let Patoranking stay with him at his house. “Alubarika” was a great success and Patroanking says

“God really did bless me as that was the turning point for me and my family”.

READ ALSO: 10 Insults Hurled at Comedian OB Amponsah After ‘Mahama Corruption’ Joke

Patoranking ALU Scholarship

Today Patoranking is well known across Africa with over 200m Youtube views and his most recent album Wilmar debuted at number 5 on the global Billboard Reggae charts. However, he never lost his passion for education and said to himself if he was ever in the position to provide the education he could not get for young kids from areas like Ebuta-Metta he would. Fortunately, that opportunity came up at Youth Connekt Africa last year where he met Fred Swaniker, Founder of African Leadership University (“ALU”) and a member of Time’s 100 most influential people.

“I loved everything ALU represents and strives for, I also attended their Africa Leaders Network in Ghana and it was a fantastic experience, we both believe in the importance of ensuring Africa’s next generation of leaders are educated,” says Patoranking.

READ ALSO: Life Isn’t Better From My Loyalty To The NPP – Fredyma

A few months later they had set up the ALU Patoranking Scholarship which will provide full scholarships to 10 students starting in the fall of September 2020. The students they are looking for must be resilient, driven, innovative, creative, mission-driven and have demonstrated a positive impact in their communities and be from a lower-income background. Patoranking believes

“exceptional leaders and change-makers can come from anywhere. Financial constraints should not prevent the next great African innovators from gaining the tools, skill sets and networks to bring their ideas to life”

Applications for the program are open until March 17th and you can apply here

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