Politics, Religion and Sexuality have been the three subjects I always try to stay away from. People have diverse opinions built from strong socialization on these subjects and I have come to respect what everyone’s stance is. It is not easy for people to change their views on these subjects.
It is quite interesting all three subjects have found their way into mainstream Ghanaian media, and on social media, and everyone is out with what they think; support, hate and half-backed knowledge [solely backed by culture, ignorance and religion] depending on the people you follow.
Most people who use religion as their basis for any human right argument lack the knowledge to reason and the ability to arrive at any logical conclusion for themselves and humanity, and therefore fall back on a set of documented historical occurrences to pretend to solve issues. “The bible said” “My religion” [just shut up!]
Last Sunday, in church, during a sermon, I leaned close to my friend and whispered to him how the Bible and entire Christianity is built on stoic patriarchy. It was left to be discussed later, because I had to let the sermon marinate. I promised to remind myself to make time to read the Bible more to confirm or deny what I thought of it.
Over the weeks, before the President of Ghana’s impeccable response on homosexuality in Ghana which was lined with his knowledge on Human rights and his empathy on how it felt to be a part of the minority in every society, the news was full of gender based violence and rape.
Flipping through the local newspapers, tuning the radio and changing local television channels, all we see are cases of abuse and rape, to the extent of the gods declaring a rapist innocent [the gods must be cray]. And for a country that is hyper religious and has churches on almost every street, we waited for the Christian Council to come through and make a statement with their influence. We waited in futile for them to remind rapists and abusers of a place designed for eternal damnation. We waited for them to come through the mainstream media to tell us all the things God hates and the Bible detests, but here we are. Through it all, they were busily holding services and praying to help their congregation obtain visas to countries where the very thing they swear God detests is legal – homosexuality. It is evident the only time the Christian Council is really passionate about anything is when it is about harvest for the church and homosexuality and maybe, imprudent politics. Anything but these are left to God. All they represent are entitled statements made from a group of people who think their beliefs should be everyone else’s lifestyle. While they try to shove their opinion on a multi-religious country, it will be right they sit their executives down and make them understand that, their beliefs do not reflect the beliefs of the country.
There were a lot of headlines in the main media on the subject and, most of them that caught my attention where from a certain lawyer who made his intention clear [which is laudable]. I’ll share two of his quotes from the news.
“DON’T ELEVATE A DISORDER TO A RIGHT”
The above statement was in the news from this Lawyer. Whose skin will be a threat to his life if not for change. This is a typical example of how far people will go to cut their nose to spite their face. He is so burning with hatred, he couldn’t catch a breath to choose his words. Gays as well as albinos are a part of the minority in our society and the word disorder perfectly describes the latter [borrowing his word]. Being a part of a group of people who still aren’t entirely safe and are discriminated in certain communities right here in Ghana, your influence should be used for inclusion, not a breeding ground for hatred. This issue is one of a human right but some chose to play it the cultural way, which I am sure this learned man went for. Maybe he’s right. Maybe we should revisit the very core of Ghanaian culture and what it thinks about albinism if we so want to make this subject a cultural thing. Whatever it is, what is important for you is absolute ownership of your culture.
“IF YOU SAY HAVING ANAL SEX IS A HUMAN RIGHT, THEN I CAN SLEEP WITH MY MOTHER AND THAT’S ALSO HUMAN RIGHT”
That is another statement from this Lawyer, and as it stands, we really do not know who is stopping this man from sleeping with his mother. This seems to be more of his personal family problem than a human right interest. Every statement from him just strips a layer of hatred if not misinformed prejudice and the deeper we go, we realize such a person will set his house on fire to keep himself warm. He reduced being gay to just a sexual act and tried equating it to indecency. It is troubling there are still people like him who do not think homosexuals just as heterosexuals have the psychological, emotional and romantic desire. I find it hilarious when people equate the right of gay men to pedophilia or rape.
You’d probably disagree that this is a human right issue and that’s fine. Being blinded by hatred with no explanations won’t let you see through the darkness. The issue with Human Right Advocacy is that, you’re either for it or you are downright not. You cannot advocate rights for a certain group of people and support the infringement against another.
Let’s not pretend this isn’t an issue. I don’t want to make my advocacy about my personal preferences because either way, the truth can’t be changed. Everyone has a voice, and even cheaper, a platform now and this what I choose to do with mine. Your silence does not mean you stand in between. You have actively chosen to remain on the side of the oppressors and you will be on the wrong side of history. Your silence won’t save you, oppressors has a huge appetite and they will come for you once they win this, and move on to the next minority. Let’s not hold on, hold our tongues as we wait for the liberation of a group of people!
Ghana has been at the confluence of cultures, and homosexuality isn’t one of those.
Is anyone listening? ‘Well, Ghana we dey!
This year has seen the rise of many things, and social media/fashion blogging, has been one of the most predominant. One can even call this the new age of Fashion Blogging. Usually, alternative names such as ‘Beauty Influencing’, ‘Celebrity Styling’ etc. are used as replacements.
Honestly, I think this new wave of fashion blogging has broadened the reach of the Ghanaian fashion industry. Though it is even more vibrant in other countries, this new hip culture has spread through our homeland like wildfire. It is an indication of how far we’ve come as a people in terms of style and the way we pick clothes. What excites me most is how these bloggers patronize the indigenous brands. It’s such a beautiful thing that meets the eye when these bloggers flaunt they’re ‘Made In Ghana’ outfits and even better when credit is given to designers.
Aside promoting our very own, it serves as a very lucrative means of earning an income. These bloggers earn a few points when they advertise for brands. Onlookers may deem this as an easy way of making cash, but it’s quite the opposite. Per my research and observation, to be regarded as a successful fashion blogger in the first place, you need to have a large following on the popular social media platforms. We all know how tough that can be especially when you’re not showing skin and/or getting followers through devious means. Aside this, a blogger should have hands-on marketing skills and proficiency in social media marketing. Nothing comes easy.
Fashion blogging is going to take Ghana places, and we’re here for it.
Written By: Nadia Vanderpuye
Instagram : @nadiavee
WARNING: This piece isn’t supposed to come out embellished with flowery language and obedience to the grammar rule of writing. I will battle with both first and third person pronoun throughout. I am guilty.
You might be quick to differ with the title but I speak for the passionate creatives who are being exploited and the only thing that keeps them going is their passion. I write for the young writers, poets, rappers, painters, fashion designers and bloggers who are often hit with the “I WILL GIVE YOU EXPOSURE” crap.
“I don’t write for money. I write because it’s my passion. It’s what makes me red ”
How stupid could I have been less than two years ago? It was until I couldn’t pay my fees with passion in my final year at the University that I realized I have been doing this passion thing all wrong.
But that was my principle; writing because it was my passion and made me happy. Happy wasn’t enough when you could be happier or even happiest.
“Grow up and you’ll get your freedom”, they said. It’s a trick. You only grow up so they get freedom from you. Freedom from not having to care much about you. Freedom from knowing you’re old to take good care of yourself. And not so much freedom from choosing between money and passion.
In the past months that I’ve been away from this blog, I’ve been writing. Writing for money. And this has led to a personal battle with myself. Limitations have been placed on my creativity. And the love of money clouds my writing.
Writing because it’s your passion is when you have to be in the mood to write. When you have to be inspired by situations and happenings around you. When you drive past a tree and you bask in the beauty of how freely the birds fly from branch to branch. When you see that beautiful girl across the street and suddenly you have four paragraphs in mind. When you meet with friends over the weekend and they leave with stories you could write for years. That was when you write because you are in the mood and feel like writing.
And there is the part where you have to write because you have to write. When you have no options of choosing between when to or how to but the only thing for sure is you have to write because you have been paid to write. It builds a sense of betrayal and clouds your judgement on what’s creative and what’s not because you have to meet the deadline. And the faster you finish, the more jobs you get. That is when you start writing for money. You are not a hundred percent in control of the outcome.
And your creativity is mocked. You submit the work to a client and he becomes an armchair editor and tells you what to take out or add just to meet his demand. Creative or not, you don’t have the final decision.
When you get to this stage, you miss the days you had to break all the rules in writing just to explore how fun being free with words work. I still do my best to pitch my work to clients, to make them understand I still have some sort of ownership and authority to the work even though I have been paid. Once a work is going out with my name on, it should be great.
Writing for money hasn’t made me less of a creative. I just miss the days I had to write because I was in the mood or had to be inspired but now I write because I have to write and my biggest inspiration is money.
I read what I write and I’m not happy but when a client can’t hide their happiness over a work, I remember I was paid for the work and the money makes me happy too. It’s simple, my happiness doesn’t necessarily depend on the work now. It depends on my client’s happiness and money.
It will take time to make money from whatever you are doing but you will only be bought at the price you sell yourself. Don’t let passion drive you to accepting the “EXPOSURE” tune. Whatever your creative work is, it won’t go stale with time. And while you make money from your passion, don’t compromise on your creativity.
I’ll post here soon. I don’t know when but sooner than the Bible’s soon in respect to Jesus’ second coming. Until then, I will be busy…busily writing for money.
In the summertime, watermelons are no less than a blessing. These giant big balls bring back the fond memories from childhood of digging our hands into its fleshy goodness and eventually spilling them all over in the process of eating them. And, of course the silly joke that a tree would come out of our mouth if we swallow its seed. Watermelon’s high water content and nutritional value make it a popular choice during summer. It is a rich source of vitamins A, B6 and C, lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.
We dug around a little and found out amazing benefits of eating this delicious fruit. Read on to know more.
RICHEST SOURCE OF LYCOPENE
Watermelons are rich in lycopene which is a strong antioxidant. Lycopene is a carotenoid which provides the red colour to the fruit.
1. Cardiovascular health by improving blood flow.
2. Protects the skin from the harmful effect of the UV rays.
3. Has the ability to reduce the level of LDL, aka bad cholesterol.
4. Improves bone health by reducing oxidative stress, and are emerging as an alternative natural treatment for the prevention and management of osteoporosis.
CLEANSES THE KIDNEYS
Due to its high water and mineral content, watermelon aids in keeping kidneys healthy. Potassium present in watermelons removes toxic elements from the body and abandons renal calculi and reduces the percentage of uric acid present in the blood.
HELPS REDUCE WEIGHT
It’s high on water and mineral content, fat-free, very low in sodium and low in calories which make it a healthy snack that keeps you full.
HELPS COMBAT CANCER
Watermelon is rich in many antioxidants and flavonoids which gives protection against some types of cancers like colon, breast, lung, pancreatic etc.
GOOD FOR EYESIGHT
Watermelon is a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A. It is also a source of vitamin C, which keeps you away from infections.
PREVENTS HEAT STROKE
Summer is infamous for its heat stroke and dehydration, which leads to severe health problems. Watermelon with its high water content comes as a saviour to protect you from dehydration.
REMOVES MUSCLE SORENESS
Watermelon juice helps reduce muscle soreness and heart rate. Therefore, it is popular with athletes before a workout session.
Asthma patients world over have benefitted from Vitamin C and watermelons have very high in Vitamin C.
AIDS IN DIGESTION
Watermelon is high on fibre thus helps to prevent constipation and help maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Picture Credit: supermarket.com
One of the most intimidating parts of owning a business or a startup precisely is how much whatever you’re getting into is being done by everyone else. That shouldn’t be the case anyway.
It is an undeniable fact that the makeup business is one of the most common startups in Ghana at the moment.
It is also one of the lucrative businesses one could venture into, however considering how much the market has become extremely saturated with the makeup business, up and coming MUAs are finding it difficult to breakthrough.
In my opinion however I believe your success in any field of business is dependent on how well you “tame” your brand.
I happen to know a couple of makeup artists and through conversation I figured that it’s not as easy to establish clients these days and so I put it to thought and below are some of the ideas I would have put to life if I was a Makeup artist (and of course I’d make an awesome one if I was one 😉).
I’m definitely going to show off to the world how gifted my hands are. How?! I’d work at creating all the creative looks I can create and exhibit them through all the mediums I have access to.
That way the people on my timelines would know me for that stuff I’m made of.
This may pave way for recommendations, and networking opportunities for individuals or companies who may want to work with me.
Nadine Reid Irish and Black Makeup Artist.
You’ll definitely find me networking with wedding planners , event organizers, hairdressers and other professionals who are inclined toward my line of work.
I’ll as well take the opportunity to talk about my brand at any opportunity I get, say I sit by a young lady in a ‘trotro’ I’ll definitely find a way to tell her about my brand …cos who knows she is probably a potential client.
Not forgetting to carry my business card with me all the time .
Take Advantage of My Social Media
I have come to realize that most of the MUAs in my part of the world despite the fact that they are undoubtedly good at what they do. They have had the chance to get their brand somewhere as a result of the people they work with … and these are popular people obviously.
Therefore what I’ll do is to send mails or DMs very professionally to people in this regard selling to them my brand. Or ask people within my circle to introduce me to people within those circles.
Events and MasterClasses
This is yet another way to get some good grounding for your brand as a make up artist and also a way to make some good money.
Networking opportunities are as well open in this regard.
I’d just get my thinking cap on like I always do, come up with a creative concept which would appeal to my target audience and put it to life.
The word Events in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board
It is very important to commit your business into the hands of God because in as much as we have all the ideas and concepts in our heads the grace and favor of God is undoubtedly needed to ensure progress.
Yes so I’ll do well to pray for God’s blessings and grace.
Written by: Josephine Kalira Tanlongo
IG : @ka_ly_ra