Monday, 17 February 2014

How To Be A Cool Kid On Ghanaian Twitter

My first time featuring a Guest Blogger, for now only known as "Regular Champion". Please enjoy.

Everything said on Ghanaian twitter is the gospel. Even the hordes of heaven read it. This is why Ghanaian twitter is the law. It's the best twitter in the world. And that is not even up for debate or discussion.
But there are cliques on there. Something about an Estates Ghanaian twitter and Zongo Ghanaian twitter.  How does one identify them? See….

Estate twitter, make some noise….. “Hello!!!!”
Zongo twitter, yɛ dede yɛ dede…… “Yay yay yay!!!

You see, there are levels to this shiiiiiiid….

Which leaves us here at the issue of cool kids. Really, who are they? What do they look like? Do they get someone to flush the toilet for them when they "shank"? Do they dictate their tweets for people to type and tweet for them? They are a mystery.

But I'd help you know who they are and how to become one, which is the exact reason you're reading this blog. You won't admit it but yeah....

But first....

"This blog post is a work of fiction. All characters in it are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."

So really, hope for your sanity and health's sake that you don't take anything said here seriously. Then again, you'd be kidding yourself. You also want to be a cool kid too or want to find out if what you do on Twitter makes one. If not, you wouldn't have bothered reading this blog post... You want to close the page now, but you can't because you're interested.

Pay attention. Stop all other things you're doing and pay attention. The revolution is here. This is what you must do to be a cool kid on Ghanaian twitter....

1. Follow the rich kids.
They say to be a star; you have to be friends with the stars. These "twitter celebs", errrm, sorry.... cool kids are friends with each other. They have a clique. You see eh, you have to do "ahushishɛ" to sit on the cool kid table.
Here's how to get in...

I. Have a cool handle.  You can't be a cool kid if you have a handle like "@trumukingkong", "@nunguadongbortey", "@tw3kelewele" and those abonkele handles. Present yourself with a smart handle.

II. For the life of Jesus, never ask for a followback. The cool kids hate that. They would ignore you like the first slice of bread. All the Israelites in Egypt followed Moses but the essential question is, did he follow back? Don't be vain...

E.g  “@BarimaPages: @JunkieOnMars are u gonna follow back or not?"

III. Don't you ever over "loooooooool" their tweets. They won't even bother following you. Plenty "o's" in your "lol", do you lack home training?

IV. Add the "---->" or "!!!" on a cool kid's tweet. You‘d create the impression that you’re smart and that you have cool kid potential. Small small, they will start accepting you.

E.g   ----> ‘’@The1TheyCall_E: Man... No children's book writer was fucking with R.L. Stine in the 90s." or 
!!! "@pay_drama: Easily top 5 baddest action movie over past 30 years. "@temposkillz: Terminator 2 is still badass””
 ----> "@niilexis: It would be great disservice to mankind if Harvey Specter & Mike Ross don't do a choreographed azonto dance in one episode of Suits."

----> RT @NiiLexis: Bruh!

2. Let your tweets have an appealing appearance.

I. Tweet about foreign musicians and actors. You can't be tweeting about Akrobeto [with his nose like he's breathing for all the people in his village] and Kweku Manu and expect the cool kids to follow you or for people to recognize you as one. These "twitter celebs" [maybe we should just accept that this is what they are... maybe not.. you decide] will respect your opinion if you tweet about foreign movies and songs. And tweet about every cast member of all popular TV series.

E.g   "@paakoti: Can't wait! "@SeanReezy25: RoboCop Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Samuel L. Jackon, Gary Oldman Movie"". You see how the cool kids aren't tweeting about Kyiewaa Part 1 to 35 or Mahama Akonfem Part ooooooone and twooooooooo!?

II. Find an expensive hotel/restaurant and tweet that you're eating breafast/lunch there and add the location. The cool kids won't even bother following you if tweet that you're eating at Aisha Maame Waakye or "Didi na forgeti Suarez" chop bar.

E.g "@freddiePBS: Saturday morning , brief basing @ Golden Tulip Hotel,Kumasi." and "@pay_drama: Twist doin Moet Rose for 350 ghc and come to find out the bar at Movenpick doin Veuve Clicquot Rose for 200 ghc. Can u imagine? Smh"

Once you do this, you'll start getting groupies. Go to church and give a testimony, pop champagne, throw a buffet, etc. You have arrived. Now you are a cool kid and shiiiid. Before you know it, people will start following you and be asking for follow back and shiiid.

3. Create a blog account.

Start writing. About anything at all you can think of. Movies, relationships, music, sports, comedy, even the stock exchange market....... But wait! This is not an option for anybody. Some of you can't write so don't even bother with this option. Some of you too have blogs that are running already. Please close it. Your parents are working night shifts and weekends and paying expensive school fees and you're there writing like you never attended primary school.  Stop destroying their efforts at making you a cultured person. You think I'm subbing, but I'm really not. I'm just stating the obvious, but pay me no mind... let me continue, chale.

Now to "you niggas" [that's a cool kid phrase, learn to use it worhor] who can write... start that blog now. Throw in a few "big words". But really, your cool kid status depends on how many figures of speech you can bash around. Throw some damn metaphors in there and make yourself look like you're some J.K Rawlings [Yeah, you can tweet that you read her books. Spell it exactly like you see it here too]

You won't just be a cool kid with this. You might actually get some beeetches dm'ing you after about your third blog post. [Desperately hoping that'll be the case for me when this goes up too]. Thank me later. But you can always give me the back pass after this has worked perfectly well for you. I never go bore!

4. Put up a good-looking picture.

If you know you're not fine, abeg you in the name of Jesus, please don't use your picture as your avatar or twitcon [that's what the cool kids say]. If you dare put up a picture of yourself and you look like the demon monkeys in Temple Run, these cool kids will slander you till you deactivate your account. They own Ghanaian twitter. It is for their mothers and fathers. So if you have a large upper body and very tiny legs which leave you looking like a half-empty toothpaste, here's free advice: Google a cute baby's picture and use as your picture. Or visit your auntie who has a beautiful baby and use their picture. Or use a group picture where people can't match your tweets with your hideous face.

Best case scenario: Photoshop some Loius Vitton belt/handbag/sunglasses unto your picture. Or use a good filter that hides your face. Make your eczema and tribal marks look like tattoos.

5. Tweet about foreign sports.
You can't tweet about Dong Bortey or Aminu Dramani and expect to earn cool kid status. You're doing the whole twitter thing wrong then. You also can't possibly be tweeting about "chaskele" and "zanzama". Have some self-respect. Tweet about F1 and tennis. Google all the stats about Roger Federer and tweet them. Heck, even tweet about golf and cricket.

6. Use acceptable twitter clients for cool kids:
You're using Snaptu and Mobile Web and you want to be a cool kid? Saagaa. Twitter for iPhone, Mac and iPad gives you a good chance of becoming a cool kid. If you tweet via Andriod, we can't be sure if you're using a "cool kid phone", you know, like the Samsung Galaxy series or anything like that. Once in a while, tweet about your phone having issues so people will know the phone you use.

7. Tweet about smoking, drinking and getting all the twitter hunnies. Also be insomniac.
If you want your cool kid-ness confirmed, please tweet about being at a shisha lounge. Or you’re at an expensive pub drinking some top-dollar wine. Or have insomnia. It is never cool to sleep. What in hell's name are you sleeping for? It is cool to tweet at night. Fight every single urge to sleep. Drink coffee, chew "prekese" or buy any energy drink your see on the market to stay awake. You do this and your cool kid status is about to be confirmed.

#TeamShisha and #TeamInsomnia, beeetches!

8. Tweet about non-existent stuff like music or movies nobody has heard off.

These cool kids know about most things already. Didn't I tell you twitter is for their father? There isn't a song they haven't heard before or a movie they haven't watched before. Well, they don't know much about the latest songs from Amakye Dede and TH4Kwaagees and they probably haven't seen the latest "fanta-face, kaka-kola body" Yvonne Nelson movie. No wait... Really, is she the one who when she acts actually prefers to be paid in bleaching cream, weaves, eye liners & lip gloss than actual money? *bleep* No, I was hacked there... Let's move on. 

These cool kids will be baffled when they see you tweet about something they don't know. 

E.g Jack Willian Parkinson is such a great actor.

Boom! You'll see them in your mentions like the Israelites who wanted to be first to cross the Red Sea. These cool kids are curious, so make hay there.

I know there are people who are probably saying at this point that twitter is not a big deal. But they still have twitter accounts. #SkinpainTwitter. They are not cool kids so they have bore. Don't mind them.
Follow these rules and become a cool kid.

by: Regular Champion
"I'm in pursuit of a cool kid status. Mentioning my handle here means you would never acknowledge me as one."


Friday, 14 February 2014

The Value is a Shame

I don't really understand all what these experts talk about when discussing the economy. All I know is that at the beginning of 2013, Fan Yogo (Ice cream) was 50p and by the end of 2013 it was GhȻ1.00. The price of everything went up by at least 100% and yet at the end of the year, smug faced politicians were all over the radio and TV telling us how good the economy was.

I knew there was going to be trouble in 2007 when the cedi was re-denominated. The problem is that Ghanaians hate any form of mathematics that isn't a simple multiplication or division by the number 10. Decimals just freak us out! The conversion from the old currency to new was;

(Old cedi)/10000 = new cedi

The first problem with this was the Ȼ50 and Ȼ20 coins disappeared and the Ȼ100 coin became the 1p which was the smallest denomination. The 1p was discriminated against right from the beginning. It created the uncomfortable problem of having prices like GhȻ2.7 something, as I said, Ghanaian absolutely loathe. People immediately started rounding prices to the nearest multiple of 10. Even the 5p coin was discriminated against. Prices started jumping ridiculously no thanks to this. Back then, the cedi the value of the cedi to the dollar ($1) was  around Ȼ10,000 (GhȻ1.00).

I remember then President Kufuor on TV smiling and making a rather dry joke about how the cedi was now equal to the dollar. Yeah, right, all we had to do was drop four significant zeros.

I used to be able to feel good about myself when I gave Ȼ5000 collection at church or when an Uncle gave me Ȼ10,000.00. Now Ȼ5000 is 50p and even beggars ask for GhȻ1.00 (which used to be Ȼ10,000) with straight faces. 50p is what you pay for the shortest distance by public transport. I'm not even that old and I am already missing the 'Good Old Days'.

Right now, the 1p coin is a critically endangered species that is not legal tender anywhere except Shoprite in the Accra Mall. There, everything costs an annoying Something-something and 99p. They always give you the impotent 1p coin giving a whole new meaning to “Change is constant”.
Fast forward to the not so distant future passed, 2013 and the 'new' cedi was a mess! The price of fuel went up almost every two weeks and with it the price of everything else. Utility tariffs went up but utilities services became irregular. The only thing that stayed constant was salaries! Minimum wage is officially pegged at GhȻ5.24(currently just under $2) but many people earn far less than that.

The cedi depreciates against the Dollar everyday so people stopped quoting prices of anything which mattered (which is everything) in Dollars. Rent, School fees and even in some case medical bills. For a while one couldn't be sure what the official currency of Ghana was anymore. The dollar at is now Ȼ2.41 (Feb 14, 2014)

Can someone please explain to me how in one of the top Cocoa producing countries in the world the average person can't afford to buy chocolate or chocolate products? All the explanations I've heard so far make no sense to me. That's like telling me Bill Gates' kid can't afford a computer because Microsoft only make the Operating System but not the Hardware. Any justification makes no sense. But that is Ghana for you. Nothing makes an iota of sense so when oil was discovered in 'commercial' quantities and we were promised a better life by these politicians, I laughed.

With the economy shamelessly wallowing in filthy, people started looking answers everywhere. That it when things moved from frustrating to ridiculous. Ghanaians are a very religious and superstitious bunch so of cause, every problem should have a spiritual root.

The National Women’s Organizer of the Ruling NDC, Anita Desooso, went on radio and blamed the fall of the cedi on dwarfs, black magic andother malicious evil spirits. *Pause*; Yep, she actually said that. So the abysmal state of the economy wasn't due to the mismanagement of successive governments and most recently by her party the NDC? Seems Legit. Next, famous Nigerian Pastor asked Ghanaians to pray for the cedi because he foresaw a massive economicdown turn for Ghana. Wait, what?! It was going to get worse? Who could have predicted that? It is not as we knew that things were bad. Then Superstar Man-of-God Archibishop Duncan William made the news (once again) when he “commanded the cedi to rise”. Everyday a new Spiritual leader pops up with some expert advice or solution for the demise of the cedi. The cedi's plight is that bad. Most recently, one Pastor actually threatened to drag the ruling party (NDC) to court if the party fails to offer him the position of Spiritual and Special Advisor to the President. I couldn't make this up even if I tried.

We await the Lazarus moment of the cedi, it past the customary 3 days required for resurrection but with all these men of God praying, we remain optimistic.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Jewel Ahiable and the MV Iceberg 1 Crew

I won't be too surprised if you are a Ghanaian and haven't heard the name Jewel Ahiable or heard his story. Frankly I would never have heard of him if he wasn't my girlfriend's cousin. A quick Google search will have you wondering how and why you haven't heard his story. This is a real life Captain Phillips story.

On March 29, 2010, the Ship MV Iceberg 1 was captured by Somalian Pirates who demanded a $10 million ransom to release the ship and its crew. At the time of the attack, the Panamanian-flagged ship had a crew of 24, made up of 8 Yemenis, 6 Indians, 4 Ghanaians (Jewel Ahiable, Edward Kofi Asare, Francis Koomson Senior and Prince Agbo.), 2 Sudanese, 2 Pakistani and 1 Filipino. The ship owners refused to pay the ransom and this beganthe longest held hijacked ship in modern history.

From March 29, 2010 to December 23, 2012 the crew members were held and tortured. They were permitted to make occasional desperate phone calls to the outside world to describe their plight – a way for pirates to apply pressure in the negotiating process – but for two years and nine months of captivity, nobody answered their pleas for help.

The families of the Ghanaian captives tried to petition the Ghanaian government at the time to help bring the captives home but they were constantly frustrated by the 'Powers that be' and by bureaucracy. According to the government they didn't want any public attention around the incident so that the pirates didn't get too excited.

I've attached a soundcloud audio of Jewel Ahaible and the other crew members narrating their ordeal on Citi FM after their rescued.

audio edited by Esianyo Kumodzi 

At the time of the rescue Ghanaians were still reeling from the death of President Atta Mills and the tension around the December 7th election was still fresh. The news of their rescue would definitely have lifted the mood of the country. I've seen on TV the kind of reaction that followed the rescue of people in perilous situation. The Chilean Miners' rescue and the Hiatian Man found 11 days after the Earthquake being examples.

Since the Government did not contribute anything whatsoever to their rescue and return, the least they could have done was welcome them and created some sort of fan-fair about their rescue but no. They arrived quietly with just Citi FM and their families to meet them. In fact, their rescue was celebrated by Somalians and not Ghanaians. They were hosted by the Somalian President and rode in luxury cars on the streets of Somalia with people cheering them everywhere.

After 3 years of being tortured they received no compensation or the pay due them during the period. The company that owned the ship owed them a few months pay before the ship set off and that hasn't been paid yet. The 4 Ghanaian have tried on many occasion to get the money due them. They've tried to petition the government and relevant bodies but to no avail.