Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let's Go Salsa Dancing

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Saturday, 13 September 2008

Picture this. With his right hand, he holds her left hand tightly, and then her waist firmly with his left hand. He draws her closer, and takes some back and forth steps and there they go!

Wow! Isn’t it simply mesmerizing and lovely. Well, that’s Salsa dancing for you. If you are a fan and wishing to learn how to do the Salsa boogying, just put on your dancing shoes as Close-Up tooth paste is giving you the opportunity.

In fact, the dance is not only romantic, but magical, funny and a therapeutic experience, especially for those who hardly jog or have time off their schedule to exercise their body.

Salsa, a Latin American dance, has been in the country for the past decade and has gained much popularity among the youth.

This is evident by the number of Salsa clubs on the various school campuses, social and keep fit clubs across the Accra metropolis.

To give opportunity to the larger public to learn how to do the Salsa dance, Close-Up, one of Unilever Ghana Limited brands, last Friday unveiled what it termed as "Close-Up Salsa Fiesta" in Accra.

In the next five weeks, starting last Monday, those who buy four tubes of Close-Up tooth paste from some designated spots in Accra and Tema will be issued with a coupon to learn the dance free of charge at registered Salsa Clubs in the city.

Judging from the performance at last Friday’s launch, it is clear that those who want to learn the Salsa moves would be treated to some great twirls, steps and some of the intricacies of the great dance, which has become a craze in the country.

"Through Close-Up, you can learn more than just perfecting your Salsa steps, you’ll develop the awareness of socialising, keeping fit, teamwork and ultimately, personal hygiene especially when you are close up," said Nana Yaa Kissi, Close-Up Brands Manager.

On October 11, fans will converge on a big platform at the Trade Fair site in Accra to show off their mastery of the Salsa movements in the past weeks in a keenly competitive style.

Breaking Through Marriage Life Out Soon

By Stephen Effah
Saturday, 13 September 2008

A book, "Breaking Through Marriage Life," on the fundamental and strategic techniques in handling marriages, especially in contemporary context, is to be launched soon.

The 193-page book is specially directed at both the married and the yet-to-marry, and exhaustively touches on when, why, who, where and how to marry in today’s world.

The writer, Evangelist Edward Adofo-Somuah, an Executive Member of the Ghana Gospel Preachers Association, discusses what he described as the six essential stages or phases of marriage.

These are conception, gestation, birth, life, death and after life.

He elaborates extensively on the various stages with respect to the socio-cultural background of man and woman. It also discussed divorce, how to identify its symptoms and how to prevent it.

Speaking with the TW on the rationale behind the book, Evan. Adofo-Somuah noted that "marriages are breaking down in almost every home presently due to matrimonial illiteracy".

He said many couples have been crying in their matrimonial homes, perhaps they either married at the wrong time or choose the wrong partner, hence the writing of the book to help save marriage breakdowns that have plagued our society."Some people are even committing suicide and many wished they had not married at all," he added.

Touching on what motivated him to write the book, Evangelist Adofo-Samuah, an ex-serviceman, said during the 1979 uprising, while on Anchor Guard duties he sustained multiple injuries.

"I was hospitalised and went into coma for 13 days. While in this state, the spirit of the Lord took me to many places and finally to a T-junction. To the right of the junction, was Heaven and to the left hell."

"For about the two hours that I stood at the junction, I was only two people were seen towards Heaven while a huge number that could be described as ‘a swarm of bees’s among them were men of God, Kings, Soldiers and others identified by their dresses"

"These people are for hell because of their marriages and everything the Lord said to me about marriage was recorded. Miraculously all that l recorded in writing which was found under my pillow after I had regained consciousness," he said"

Also known as ‘Old Soldier’, the first class former Ghana Navy navigator said what the Lord told him which was found under his pillow formed the content of the book.

Evangelist Adofo-Somuah said he wondered why God could use him at the time since "I was then in the world engaged in all kind of lifestyle".

He said that he has initiated the "Otumfuor Special Initiative on Distance Learning" yet to be rolled out to educate people on marriage.

He has also started distributing copies of the book to some prominent people in the country as well as radio and television stations for use in educating people on marriage issues.

Friday, September 12, 2008

3 Nigerians Charged Over Ecobank Robbery

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Tuesday, 09 September 2008

THREE Nigerians yesterday made a second appearance before an Accra Circuit Court in connection with the June 23 Madina Ecobank robbery, and the killing of a police guard.

Daniel Pedro, aka Oghenervena, Festus Suleman and Israel Otubu, who are facing two counts of conspiracy and robbery, first appeared before the court on August 26.

Their plea was not taken and they have been remanded in police custody to appear again on September 26.

When the case was called yesterday, police prosecutor Reindorf Agyemang informed the court that the Attorney General’s Department had taken over the prosecution of the case and the new investigator needed more time to study the docket of the case.

ASP Agyeman therefore requested a two-week adjournment but this was opposed by defence counsel Dela Blagodzi who said the move by the prosecution was a calculated attempt to delay the case.

Expressing unhappiness about the turn of events, he said his clients were innocent students who had been arrested by the police. "The real robbers are enjoying somewhere; I am so much passionate about human rights" he said.

Mr Blagodzi said that if indeed his clients were behind the robbery, they would have left the country before their arrest since the amount involved could have taken them out of the country.

The judge Idrissu Mahamadu said he was also much concerned about human rights, but explained that for proper investigation to be carried out, it was prudent that the police was given ample time.

According to the prosecution, at about 9.00 a.m., on June 23, an Ecobank bullion van which was scheduled to convey GH¢60,040 to the Madina-Zongo Junction branch of the bank under escort by Sgt William Kweku Quansah was attacked by five armed men who had positioned themselves at different locations within the bank premises.

The armed men wrestled with the police guard on duty, Constable David Agbosu and took away his AK 47 assault rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition.

During a scuffle between Sgt. Quansah and one of the robbers, a member of the gang who was in a waiting car shot the sergeant from behind and he died later in hospital.

The robbers made away with the money amidst sporadic gunfire during which two passengers in a commercial vehicle were hit.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Judge Blasts Prosecutors

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Friday, 05 September 2008

A Circuit Court judge hearing narcotics and armed robbery cases at the Cocoa Affairs Court in Accra, yesterday lashed out at the prosecution team for their lackadaisical attitude towards some of the cases being tried at the court.

The judge, Iddrisu Mahamadu, has consistently complained about the prosecution’s lateness, failure to bring suspects to or show up in court, poor investigation and laxity in pursuing cases assigned them, among others.

At the court’s sitting yesterday, the judge did not mince words in criticising a police investigator for showing up in court about an hour after a case he is handling had been called and adjourned.

“Are you not sensitive to all the criticisms flying around?” he asked the investigator, Edward Asante, and described the attitudes of some members of the prosecution as a shame.

What angered him most was when he detected that even the plea of the accused person in the case being handled by the investigator had not been taken five months after his arrest.

Mr. Mahamadu was further infuriated by the fact that the prosecution had not been able to produce to the court a report on the substances suspected to be cocaine expelled by the accused, Michael Ntiamoah, upon which he was arrested in April.

“It is barely five months and it is nobody’s business. What kind of country is this? It’s a shame and I’m very, very disappointed. If we keep this attitude, then let’s forget it,” he said.

He wondered why the investigator has not expedited action to the extent that no plea of the accused was taken five months after his arrest.

“His plea has not been taken…nothing has been done! And for months, everybody is busy pretending to be what?” he questioned, noting that some of them are so busy that they cannot handle the cases assigned them.

“Do we always have to wait for the laboratory report of the substances before the cases could be heard”, “he asked, noting “the accused’s freedom is taken away”.

Mr Mahamadu said the prevailing situation does not augur well for administration of justice and stressed that its continuity would compel him to compile a list of those prosecution members for the appropriate authorities for action to be taken against them.

MTV Base to Shoot 'King of The Streets'

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Saturday, 06 September 2008

“King of the Streets”, as he is popularly referred to, Kwaw Kesse is steadily hitting the height of his musical career. At the recent ninth Ghana Music Awards, he swept away five awards.

Just few months after his crowning as the event as the king of Ghana music, he was given yet another award, Best Hip-life Artiste, in the competitive category of the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana awards.

Again, the Abodam singer was signed up by Exopa Model Agency in June this year as a model, prior to the first ever Fashion week.

Kwaw Kesse has now been nominated by the international music television channel, MTV Base and Shell International, to have his video shot by internationally acclaimed music video directors free of charge.

His nomination as the second artiste in Ghana to have his music video shot free-of-charge by international directors and producers after Aletse Tinny, is another feat expected to shoot him up, especially in the international music arena.

Dubbed: “MTV Making the Video with Shell,” the video of Kwaw Kesse to be shot by the MTV Base crew in partnership with a Ghanaian music director, will feature Professsor J, a celebrated international artiste.

Consequently, MTV has launched a project tagged MTV Making the Video Challenge with Shell, to scout a creative, aspiring or experienced Ghanaian music video director to part its crew to shoot the music video.

The MTV crew are expected in the country on September 15 to begin the shooting of a video clip for one of Kwaw Kesse’s songs yet to be announced at a press conference on September 17.

So, if you are a Ghanaian aged between 18 and 25, with or without previous music video experience but with a passionate enthusiasm for the art and craft of music video-making just log on to to register.

The MTV-Shell partnership project is designed to uplift the image of the African music industry and also improve the quality of African music videos.

Last year, the MTV crew followed the Ghanaian hiplife sensation, Tinny, in December as he strove to complete the brand new music video for ‘Incomplete’ track, together with director Rachel Watanabe-Batton and a crew of Ghanaian video directors.

'Agony of the Christ' Premiered

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Saturday,06 September 2008

Venus Film Production, one of the forces behind movie production in the country, last Friday premièred their latest and finest movie, yet to hit the market later this month, at the National Theatre in Accra.

The thriller, “Agony of the Christ,” is set in a small village called Ejukrom where human beings are at the mercy of fellow men as some are unluckily slaughtered like chickens and goats as sacrifices to appease their god.

Until the emergence of Christianity in the village, innocent people, especially virgins, were upon the orders of Azaazi, the priestess of the kingdom, killed at a spiritual durbar of the chief, elders and people of the land.

Although, many of the residents considered the consistent killing of their fellows inhumane, they were helpless. But the story began one day, when two virgins of Agya Asamoah, were surrounded by the chief’s executioners who wanted to take them for to sacrifice t to heir god.

Not comfortable with the situation, the son of Agya Asamoah, stood in defence of his sisters resulting in the death of one of the executioners. He was then given a wild chase by the executioners until he found himself in the evil forest.

After wallowing in the evil wood, Jama landed in another village with “strange” tradition altogether. But that was the turning point in his life as he was shown the light to the world, the word of God.

Being someone who stood against the gruesome killing of his people in the name of tradition, Jama embarked on a journey back to Ejukrom in the company of two men of God to liberate his people who have for years been living in the dark without.

At this stage, one would not be wrong to call the action this epic movie presents as fireworks or showcase of powers between God and the gods. The storyline is likened to story of the struggle that Jesus Christ went through to save the earth.

Talk about the betrayal, beatings and crucifixion, Jama who is the hero in the movie, went through them in his struggle to let his people know God who cares and loves but does not need blood as sacrifices.

Written and produced by Abdul Salam Mumuni, the movie portrays the sufferings of true believers of Jesus Christ the son of God in the latter days while showcasing the artistic beauty of African Culture.

Starring Nadia Buari (Azaazi), Majid Michel (Jama), Kofi Adjorlolo (Agya Asamoah), Naana Hayford (wife of Agya Asamoah) and a host of others, the movie was directed by Frank Arase.

MALAIKA '08 Takes Off.....Ex Queen Warns: Beware of Sexual Favours

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Saturday, 06 September 2008

Sixteen young Indies dressed in tight pairs jean trousers with nicely designed African fabric tops to match, last Saturday began a 13-week walk into celebrity at the Crown Apartmento Hotel in Accra.

Beaming with smiles but certainly not without some seemingly trembling in their appearance and voice, the 16 were introduced to the public finalists for this year’s coveted Miss Malaika Ghana crown.

They were shortlisted from among hundreds across the country at the preliminary stage with physique intellect and boldness as the criteria.

The finalists, endowed with height, shape, intelligence, poise, elegance and style among others, will be camped in a Malaika House, East Legon, Accra, for 13 weeks and engaged in a number of tasks and activities.

While in the house, they will be filmed live for a Miss Maliaka Reality TV show, to provide the public the opportunity to identify them so as to be part of the crowing of Miss Malaika 2008 Queen brough voting for their favourite via SMS.

Six out of the16, who in the estimation of the public are unable to impress while in the house, will be evicted on weekly basis.

The Miss Malaika Ghana Beauty Pageant has been organised by the Charter House Ghana to bring out the best in young women.

The 16 girls who will be endearing themselves to TV viewers for weeks in the fight for the Malaika crown include Nadra Osman, Racheal Obeng-Somuah, Sandra Odamtten, Sermira Adams, Tamara Aku Dzormeku, Naa Yemoley Tetteh, Yvonne Eyram Kofigah and Ama Sitsofe Sedegah.

The rest are Akosua Agyemang-Abrokwah, Faustina Michelle Ayonka, Christabel Ekeh, Christine Ofori, Daisy Edem Attu, Erika Thompson, Ivy Wereh and Mamata Adams.

Speaking at the launch, the reigning Malaika Queen, Laurie Lawson, urged the aspiring queens to guard themselves against what she described as “sex favours” among other challenges that may come their way.

She advised them not to allow inferiority complex to worry them when they see that other colleagues are doing better than they are offering but rather put in their best at all times, be themselves and have fun as well.

Kofi Osei Ameyaw, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, said
beauty pageant “is not irrelevant” as many people have portrayed it to be.

He said it opens up opportunities for those who participate in them and expose them to many things and should therefore be encouraged

"Goodies" Re-surfaces after Judge's Warning

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Saturday, September 6, 2008

Music producer, Isaac Abeiku Aidoo, popular known as Goodies, being tried by an Accra Circuit Court for alleged narcotic offences, resurfaced in court on Friday after the trial judge expressed concern about the prosecution’s failure to produce him in court on two consecutive times.

However, trial of the case could not go on because the Chief State Attorney, Valerie Amartey, who has taken over the prosecution from the police also failed to show up in court yesterday.

When the case was called at about 10:30am, a police prosecutor, ASP Kofi Blagodzi, informed the court, presided over by Mr Iddrisu Mahamudu, that the Chief State Attorney had been taken ill, and prayed the court for a short adjourned date.

The court then adjourned roceedings to September 12.

Aidoo, Chief Executive of Goodies Music Production is facing two counts of attempted exportation and possessing narcotic drugs, without lawful authority.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was first put before the Greater Accra Regional Tribunal last April, but the case was transferred to the Circuit Court last month on the orders of the Chief Justice.

On August 25, Mr Mahamudu expressed doubts as to whether Aidoo was indeed in prison custody at the Nsawam Medium Prisons, because he had failed to appear before him on two occasions on the grounds of ill-health.

He said that the prosecution failed on those occasions to produce any evidence to prove that Aidoo had been ill and warned that he would visit the Nsawam Prisons one day to personally verify if Aidoo was there.

Aidoo was arrested on suspicion of possessing narcotic drugs at the Kotoka International Airport on April 23 while going through departure formalities to board a flight to London.

He was subsequently taken to the 37 Military Hospital by officials of the Narcotics Control Board for an x-ray examination which revealed that he had foreign materials in his stomach.

Aidoo was put under surveillance during which he allegedly expelled 80 pellets of whitish substances suspected to be cocaine. The substances proved positive of cocaine upon testing by the Ghana Standards Board.

The prosecution had told the tribunal at its first hearing on April 25, that during police interrogation, Aidoo said Abdul Haid, a musician resident at East Legon, Accra, gave him the drugs to be delivered to one Willie in London for a fee of $3,000.

Haid has not been located by the police.