The ‘ICE DROP’ Challenge.

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Ghana is known for many things…but a country with thoughtful companies?
Better look elsewhere.
We don’t have those. OH NO!!! Not at all.
Some might say otherwise but as they say, “it only takes one bad nut to ruin the nut-sack”…or something like that.

PSST: at the end of this post, I’ll throw a challenge your way and hopefully you will take it on.

I would so love to shoot pebbles at all the incompetent companies and organizations in Ghana but today I want to focus on just one: Baron Water House Limited, the makers of the ICE DROP sachet water.

Few people might know this particular brand but a lot of Ghanaians (…and foreigners) are drinking it, without a care in the world.
To a large extent it’s not our fault; we’ve become desensitized with the over-abundance of sachet water currently on sale…to the point where we don’t check the labeling or if it has even been approved and stamped by the FDA.

We just drink away…because in the end, they are all the same to us.

Now to the few out there actually paying attention; I am sure you’ve noticed something extremely wrong with “ICE DROP” …and if after this ghastly discovery/realization you’re still drinking it, then…ummm…Godspeed.

ICE DROP is indeed unique but for the wrong reason.
Pickup an ICE DROP sachet water and you’ll notice the logo; a drop of water caught in a hangman’s noose.

At first glance, it looks rather interesting and if you switch your brain off, drinking the water would be the next step…but think about it a little more and the questions will start popping up;
why?
Why??
WHY???

Want a taste of moi?

Want a taste of moi?

Why a noose and a drop of water?
Why that imagery??
Why would any sane company even consider this as a logo for a consumable product???
Do they not know the symbolism attached to these elements?

Some elements shouldn’t even be seen in the same frame and I shudder to think of what possible reason they could have for placing water, the symbol of life, inside a noose, a symbol that carries with it decades of terror and intimidation…a tool for murder…an instrument of death…a symbol of pure unbridled racism.

Why oh why would a company do this?
Simple;
1. They have no focus groups.
2. The hamsters upstairs are obese from the lack of exercise and probably watching G-FORCE on infinite repeat.
3. Too stingy to actually contract a thinking artist/designer.
HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Just because something looks good doesn’t mean it’s acceptable…and besides, fusing some elements is a big “No No” in the design landscape.

But how can a company brazenly advertise and sell such a product without any known complaints?
Because the people drinking it aren’t aware or are just apathetic.
They drink it anyway because, “Hey pure water is pure water”.
Ghana is a very superstitious country but boy have we lost ourselves.

This post wants to create awareness so please let it.
If you know anyone even remotely associated with ICE DROP, ask them the meaning behind their logo: that’s my challenge to you.

If you get any info please let me know.
I’d like to know their dumb reasoning…and then blast them some more.

We need to send a message to all the companies out there;
“Think before you do anything!”

It’s time we make them accountable.
We have the rights, the choice and the money they so desperately need…let’s make them earn it.

 

PS: I’ve actually thought up meanings behind the ICE DROP logo and the best one I got was:
“Life from Death!”

Dumb right?
God please have mercy on Ghana.

 

PPS: Sorry for the terrible pictures. I took a shot at an electronic billboard…in a moving vehicle.
Will do better next time. 🙂

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Love…Eating Away at Me.

Love tears away at my heart and it leaves it bloody and raw
It knocks at my door but there’s a shotgun waiting behind that rickety door.
Too often has it opened but never has it stayed shut.

Happiness never stays
Happiness doesn’t appreciate my presence
It doesn’t want to see my face anymore…and it shows;
from one bonfire to the next,
my bums know no peace.

Am I ‘destined’ not to find rest in the warmth of an embrace?

My heart bleeds nothing anymore.
What more to shed when the ground has drunk 7 times its fill of my happiness?
What more to give when there’s only one bullet left in this rusty shotgun?
For the intruder or for my heart?

A fated adventure burning on the ground
Our plans barely made…
but here it is smoldering into the untethered future.

There are no phoenixes here…only isles of flightless birds.

If Only.
If Only…then my heart would rest easy,
knowing time would peel the soot away.

Daydreaming never got me anywhere and neither has love;
Only heartache and a macabre sense of humor.

Love sucks after all.

Maybe love hates me
or
Maybe nothing lasts around me.

Bottom Line: Love truly does suck.

But here I sit feeling a Love I have never opened my heart to.
Love that is unconditional…
Unflinching…
Never failing!

Love from above…
Living within me…
Changing my life!

My God has led me into my hiatus.

I will come back…for HE has started working on my charred Heart.

Glory be to God!

AMEN!!

AIRTEL, WHY DO YOU HATE ME?

I don’t go looking for trouble…unless it comes begging, and neither do I sit still when it speeds at me.

Airtel probably didn’t get the memo, so they decided to play with my “Cellular Life” from the 5th of February to the 12th of February 2016.
Maybe they use a different calendar from the rest of us so their 1st April started on 5th February…but even so, April Fool’s day is at most a day’s long activity.
So Airtel, why did you play with me for a week?

What am I talking about?
Airtel “Temporarily Suspended” my phone number for one week…and their reason;
“We don’t know!”
It was bad enough my line was blocked but why do you not know what caused it?
…and why did it take 6 days to fix?
Well, it isn’t totally fixed…because even though I can now make and receive calls, I can’t send sms or receive them.
It is never that easy when it comes to resolving problems in Ghana.

Three times the people at Airtel told me the problem had been fixed but it wasn’t.
At one point, I could only receive calls but could do nothing from my side.
Well, if I’m to look at it that way then I guess it was a victory on their part…cos now I can make calls.
I guess they figured I don’t need sms.
A bloke with a smartphone don’t need no archaic method of communication.

 

ONE WEEK WAHALA (wahala = pandemonium)

Two days in, I realized I had to get a new sim. That was to be expected, but the calls I missed pissed me off to no end. Aside the normal and business calls I have come to expect, there were other more important calls I just had to receive.
I placed an item on sale on Tonaton and I needed it gone that weekend (5th – 7th).

I was so flustered with my Airtel wahala, I forgot to replace the “dead” number with the new one I purchased…and it wasn’t until Monday, the 8th February, the thought occurred to me.
My buyer probably called but as I’ve established, there was no way I could have received it…and I can’t find out who called during my exile.

I am tempted to sue…but they will just throw around a lot of disclaimers we the end-users have never seen before. Also, I don’t know any lawyers nor do I have the money to hire one.

Thinking my old sim had been decommissioned for good, I called a lot of my friends and business folks informing them I had acquired a new mobile number…only to call them back with my old line that it was a false alarm.

If this is how Airtel repays loyal customers, then I’m going back to Kasapa…wait…ummm…Expresso…wait wait…Sudatel…wait…screw this. Bottom line is, I’m leaving you.
I know it’s Valentine’s Day but I’m certain you’ll get over me.

In the end, did Airtel single me out? I don’t know…but the fact is, Airtel services have been dreadful for a very long time now, so I know for certain I am not the only one facing this problem…nor am I the only one with an axe to grind.

NB: Airtel stole GHC1 of my credit on my “dead” sim.
I don’t even want to get into that…they’ll just say it was a service charge.

PS: And GLO, go back to where you came from. No one wants you here, can’t you tell?
You are like a venereal disease; No one wants you…but you just won’t go away!

‘INTERCEPTION’ MOVIE REVIEW (ALMOST SPOILER-FREE)

A tentative step into the right direction

A tentative step in the right direction.

2015 was a great year for blockbuster movies…and boy what a year it was. From the ridiculous stunts in Furious 7 (RIP Paul) to the untamed force in Star Wars, 2015 didn’t disappoint us.
Some failures did pop up once in a while (Hitman and Pan) to remind us Hollywood can still churn out garbage when it wants.

“Pleasing both ends of the spectrum.”

All-in-all, the international movie scene treated us very well but I can’t say the same for Ghanaian movies…and it also doesn’t help that, anytime I hear “Ghana Movie” Kwadwo Nkansah comes to mind.
That guy is everywhere but I can’t fault him; he doesn’t want to end up like Egya Koo (took me a while to remember his name)…but someone has to tell him to slow down.

Ghana is doing its best to release international-standard movies and Interception is…well…it is something new…A new experience for me.

I don’t like Ghanaian movies and that is absolutely no surprise. My reason is very simple; they are plain boring.
So, after my big brother watched it at the Takoradi premiere, he was somewhat impressed and that blew my mind…hence, I also decided to give it a try.
My brother did tell me to watch it with a pinch of salt though, but I think I went in there with a barrel.

So after 100 minutes of interception, here comes my review.

PLEASE NOTE: my review will be in two flavors.
One review is what I think of the movie as a Ghanaian and the other as a critic.

This should be fun.

GHANAIAN FLAVOR

I like the movie, the action was nicer than what I’ve seen thus far in Ghana, the story was simple enough for the masses and the overall direction was quite good.
I’ll recommend this movie to almost every Ghanaian out there desperately looking for something new and a chance to break away from the “LilWin” monotony.
It really is a breath of fresh air.

★★★★☆ (4/5)

 

CRITIC (TRUE) REVIEW

Interception is an inconsistent mess from start to finish and the reason is very simple; it tried to do too much and it failed more than it succeeded. I won’t fault the guys behind the movie for trying though, but if you want to take a crack at something new, you’ve got to at least make sure you have a handle on it first.

Don’t go performing multiple magic tricks when you can’t even pull a rabbit out of a hat.

The problems with this movie starts from the opening scene and ends with the credits. From acting to story, this movie is rife with inconsistencies.

Let’s start from the top, shall we?
Like most mainstream action movies, the opening sequence aims to draw in the audience. It is a chance to wow and give the viewing audience a taste of what’s to come.
Sometimes it’s great and other times it is just bad.
Interception started off great but three things held it back;
bad acting, bad acting and bad acting.
The sad thing is, these “three” elements, along with other issues, run through the entirety of the movie.

To watch a movie of this caliber and see such terrible acting is a shame…but that is the case with A-list movies in Ghana.
That’s not to say Interception is only filled with bad actors. There are great actors in there who go all out (as far as their acting chops can carry them) but the rest on the other hand are the deliver-my-lines-like-a-toddler kind of actors…and it is oh so bad.

It is the kind of acting you’d expect from an X-Rated movie and not from a movie of this “class”.
The kidnapper in the opening scene is one of many bad actors in the movie and OH MY GOODNESS…there are many.

It just makes you wonder what they look out for in an actor during auditions (if they even have auditions).
It is either they hand over the role to a family/friend or look out for just anyone who can read, avoid the camera and not ask for a lot of money. It has to be one of these reasons.

Every attempt on my part to get lost in the world of interception was destroyed by these Z-Class actors.
There are terrific actors and actresses all around…but the people behind interception were too lazy to look.

Moving on!
The main story barely holds the movie together and it is actually quite surprising to realize that, in a movie categorized as an action-thriller, it was the romance between John Dumelo and Jasmine Baroudi’s characters that really stood out. It was the only part of the movie that genuinely grabbed my attention (somewhat).
The conversation was almost natural and the on-screen chemistry between the two was present…the only sad part was how abruptly it all ended. It makes me think Nina Lalwani, the writer of the story, didn’t have the time to properly resolve their story or she didn’t know how to.
It is a problem that features prominently in her story; she left so many things up in the air and expected us not to care because, as everyday-movie-goers it is our job to immediately forget about all the plot holes.

Picture this: Ama Abrebese’s character, the girlfriend of the main villain, revealed to the police she was aware of the villain’s dealings and even provided a private jet so they could travel around the world conducting their nefarious businesses. After this revelation/confession she avoids persecution and goes back home because her father is a powerful person (in another country).
She wasn’t extradited to face trial in her home country or anything…she walked away a free person.
As I think about it, I think they should have categorized Interception as “Action-Thriller-Fairytale”.

Nina Lalwani’s story is a very basic one and anyone looking for something a little more intelligent would be sorely disappointed. There are so many elements she could have thrown in there to spice up her story but I believe she didn’t want to expend too much of her brain power.

I’d have to commend the team behind the fight scenes and the gunplay. It was a delight to finally see some Hollywood-style fight sequences in Ghanaian movies…although it went on for too long.
When you start checking your watch during a fight scene in a movie then there is something very wrong somewhere.
The fight scenes weren’t bad…but JEEZ! How many hits to the head does it take for a bad guy to go down?

“No life insurance for bad guys I guess!”

Steady aim? I think not.

Steady aim? I think not.

The gunplay was great…but there is something very unnatural about shooting a gun without any bullet casings falling out or being ejected. If as a final decision, the team behind the movie went with “after effects” to simulate gunfire, why then couldn’t they have used the same process to add the ejected bullet casings?

“If you aim for realism, go for it.
Don’t make us question it.”

In conclusion, Interception is a fluff movie on every level. Pay even a sliver of attention and the huge cracks start to show…but if you truly want to enjoy this movie, I suggest shutting off your brain for about 100 minutes, because zoning out is the only way to enjoy it.

There are too many things that take you out of the experience and that is not a good thing for a movie with this many problems.
You forgive one mistake and before you recover from the previous blunder, something else pops up…and that is a trend in Interception.

In the end, interception tried to blend too many genres with marginal success.

★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

 

NB: All things considered, interception was a nice effort…I just don’t believe it took 2 years to make though.
3 – 6 months? Maybe.
2 years? No way.

PS: Oh yeah…Jeffery Forson, as an actor I believe you need more facial expressions.
The scowl and the smile gets old pretty fast.

Dumsor: A Chinese legacy

I have many tales to tell but boy have I got a roaring good yarn.
This looks to be the biggest conspiracy in the country since Anas busted the judges.

It’s already been established that the Ghanaian government always looks out for number one but recent discoveries have thoroughly enlightened me:
Ghana is indeed looking out for number one but they invited China to the party.

Please don’t get confused. This is indeed a post about the “almost-over” power crisis but trust me, this is so much better than what you’ve read thus far.

This Dumsor catastrophe has ruined more businesses than…well…anything.
If it were a person, it would be dead, resurrected and killed again (repeat indefinitely) until every angry person in Ghana gets a piece of the action.
Babies excluded…cos, no one wants a murderous baby!

The truth behind this Dumsor wahala is actually far worse than originally reported…so prepare yourself for it.

The endless promises (go here or here) were all cover-ups to the true reason behind the protracted power outages in the country.
Simply put: Ghana is in league with China…and they are both profiting from our power issues.

Ignorance is Bliss” they always say but Ghana doesn’t need this bliss.
Why? Well because, the power outages could have been completely resolved two years ago.

Don’t be surprised for I shall soon enlighten you.

The terrible news is, there’s actually no Dumsor.
No electricity problems…and contrary to the lies being spread about, Ghana has both the resources and the infrastructure to provide enough electricity to feed itself plus two more countries.

So then, the question must be asked;
Why this Dumsor and why is the government lying to us (Ghanaians)?

The answer is remarkably simple, yet weighty in its implications:
It is because of China.

Let me explain:
China is such a great and industrious (influential) country, and every other country wants to be at least associated with them…by any means necessary.
From military assistance to manufacturing warehouses, china has something for EVERYBODY.

Therefore, when a country that powerful makes a seemingly simple request, any country in question will do whatever it takes to stay on good terms with the great China.

So what does that have to do with Ghana and the Dumsor crisis?
Everything.
You see, Ghana was in a bit of a pickle back then (…and it still is):
It needed a lot of help from our Asian Giant but alas, it had absolutely nothing to reciprocate with. Absolutely nothing.
Well, not until China finally came forward with their demand(s): a dumping site (more on that later).

The thing is, China is a manufacturing powerhouse and they have goods in EVERY part of the globe.

I bet Eskimos use made-in-China igloos.

They make great (…and not-so-great) products and sell them all over, but recent trends show that people, especially westerners, aren’t clamoring for their products as much as they used to…basically because they want well-known brands that won’t break up upon first contact.
It’s that simple.

So what does China do with its never-ending supply of cheap (and inferior) products?
OH! They daintily waltz over to an aid-desperate country, promise to offer ‘em aid and then, “BOOM!!”, dump all their “unwanted” products in that country.
It’s not as if they have unused warehouses in China…so don’t blame them for taking initiative.
The goods have to end up somewhere and truth be told, Africa is the preferred dumpsite.

Honestly, the relationship between Ghana, China and Dumsor is quite interesting:
Ghana needs foreign aid to properly function;
China can give said aid but desperately need a place to dump its less-than-stellar products;
And Dumsor? Well Duh! Because Ghanaians love it.

Thus, this was the deal:
China stepped forward and offered Ghana all the aid it wanted and in return, Ghana would prolong the Dumsor and afford China the opportunity to use Ghana as an open warehouse.

Why make such a deal with Ghana?
Because they discovered a distinct correlation between Dumsor and the buying behavior of the average Ghanaian;
throughout the previous Dumsor saga, research discovered that Ghanaians bought more gadgets to tide them over as they endured the blackouts…and those gadgets were decidedly more inferior Chinese gadgets than anything else.
So putting two and one together, the Chinese were like,
“OK, you know what? You want aid and we want a place to unload our electronic goods (*wink*).
We have a proposition for you;
prolong your Dumsor, receive our gadgets…and then get all the ‘aids’ you want.”

Who is Ghana to say “NO”?
It was a no-brainer really.

If you think about it now, I am pretty sure you have at least noticed the abnormally high rate at which Chinese gadgets have invaded Ghana since this season of Dumsor premiered.
From powerbank phones (X-TIGI anyone?) to the weird USB-Radio-Bluetooth-MemoryCard Reader-Speaker anomalies.

I tell you this, in the past two years alone, more Chinese gadgets/devices have been sold that far exceed the Ghana population.

At least we can enjoy steady power for a while…till the elections are over.
Just don’t throw away your gadgets just yet.
Pfft!! Who am I kidding? …they won’t last that long to begin with. Just start saving up.

So, there you have it!
The shocking story of the century…but please take it easy on Ghana OK?
She might be 58 years old but she’s still taking huge baby steps.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is entirely fictitious, therefore any and all resemblance to a person or place is PURELY AND UTTERLY coincidental.

 

PS: If this fantastical post truly happened, what would your reaction be?
Sound off in the comments.

Gasmillah is a cheapskate (AKA…Stingy or Chisel)

I’ve never been one for Ghanaian local music; it is instrumentally monotonous, lyrically bland and totally devoid of any emotion. Ghanaian musicians have a proclivity for following the guy ahead but never really forging a unique path. Thus, the Ghanaian music scene is cluttered with very generic and same-sounding songs from all genres.
…to each his own right?

My stance on this subject won’t change…but there’ve been some few songs that have drawn out my inner Ghanaian…and one such song is Gasmilla’s Telemo.
To be quite honest, Telemo is a real joy to listen to but mostly because of its chorus.
The rest of the song isn’t half bad but it is the chorus that kept reeling me in.
It is nothing remarkably extraordinary but what can I say, it makes me wanna sing along;
If any musician can achieve that in any song, then that is a win in my books.

Moving on; prior to listening to Telemo I knew practically nothing about Gasmilla…(I believe we’ve established I’m a hermit)…but after a rather short search on the internet, I found all I needed about the Telemo Man.
Apparently he has been around far longer than I first thought, released other hit songs (3 points) and is somehow an alumnus of Wesley Grammar.

Gasmilla

“Hard work and Determination really does pay off”

After the success of Telemo (plus the fame), Gasmilla has been wounding people with a GH¢40,000 – GH¢80,000 appearance/performance fee.
Is that outrageous? Maybe.
Does he deserve it? Ummm…probably, but I guess it is his sworn duty as a sane Ghanaian musician to make as much money possible before his Telemo train grinds to a halt…because, unlike Sarkodie, a lot of Ghanaian musicians desperately try to stay financially afloat with their one-hit-songs. When the buzz fades away, they try recapturing the lightning in their bottles but when that doesn’t work, they either go into hiding with what’s left of their money or reinvent their music careers; Shatta Wale anybody?

Anyway, Gasmilla is making it “big” but his recent attempts at creating another hit song have so far been middling…but hey, he’s trying. I can’t fault him for that.

Now, on the 31st of October 2015, Gasmilla was invited to the Wesley Grammar Homecoming celebrations and was made a celebrity judge at the Talent Show.
After a very bizarre dance-off between four groups, the winner was picked.
Oh yeah…they danced off to Telemo.
I bet you didn’t see that coming.

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The Wess-G HomeComing.

It was at this point Gasmilla irreparably broke my heart. He went up to the stage, sang a very off-key line from the Telemo chorus and then delivered a not-so-charismatic speech.
It went a little something like; “I admire talent and I always try my best to invest into the lives of anybody talented. It is because of this I’m giving GH¢200 to the winners.”
(Paraphrased…but very accurate.)

Obviously, the kids were excited (no surprises there) but I was so shocked I lost some (a lot) respect for Gasmilla.
I wonder how much he would have invested if he thought they didn’t have talent.
In this economy what can GH¢200 do?
Maybe they can get matching socks. That way we can easily tell they are all from one dancing group.
Or maybe get a celebratory fufu from Aunty Mansah’s chopbar.

GH¢40,000 – GH¢80,000 a show and our magnanimous Mr. Gasmilla dishes out GH¢200?
Unless he’s mismanaging his money, he has no excuse and quite honestly, GH¢200 is an insult.

“All os a fudden”, Telemo angers me every time I hear it.

Gasmilla, I’ve never been a fan and if I were, I’d chase you around town with a signpost reading, “You are a cheapskate!!”
Be a better role model and don’t be cheap.

Thank You.

PS: …You just know the kids won’t see a pesewa of that GH¢200.

NB: It appears Gasmilla is trying to make amends for his folly with “Gasmilla Father Christmas Show”.
The premise of this “show” is pretty simple; “put smiles on the faces of little children on the 26th of December, 2015 (Boxing Day).”
Children who participate in the games (held at Efua Sutherland Park) will win prizes ranging from bicycles to T-shirts…with one lucky child winning a scholarship to any school desired. Whether that child has the brains or not is completely up in the air.
For all its worth, I am glad he is “giving back” to society…even though he is gonna demand a gate fee for the “Christmas Show”.
Such irony.