Monday, August 29, 2005

Tales from a Tro-Tro: Direction Tudu--The Afternoon in Pictures

Friday was a rather uneventful day, save for the fact that I was crammed -- like the proverbial sardine -- for around one hour as I travelled from East Legon to the centre of the capital, near the so-called Central Business District, to go buy some electricity top-up for the weekend.

It started with the tro-tro below, and the rest, as they say, is...

inside the tro-tro. The blue things you see on the left is my leg, wearing black trousers. That metal thing was exuding HEAT like I had never seen before. I thought just for a split-second of my ancestors of yore who were crammed like sardines in that ship that was headed for an unknown destination to their unknown fates... Posted by Picasa

en route to Tudu, direction airport residential. Just across the Tetteh-Quarshie circle Posted by Picasa

a few minutes later, just going under the overpass that flows from Tema motorway towards North Dzorwolu, SHELL, NESTLE, and CRESTA ROYALE HOTEL respectively Posted by Picasa

just gone under the overpass. That big building in the background used to be a hotel. That car passing is that ever-ubiquitous taxi Posted by Picasa

About fifteen minutes later, among a sea of taxis and tro-tros, I find myself stuck in traffic. Turns out...

...that THIS had happened, and police were chasing armed robbers who escaped the scene of a foiled robbery, in Adabraka (home of CITI-FM97.3), not too far from the the National Theatre.
In the unlikely event that you cannot read that link, pls find it pasted below

Police Foil Robbery
Saturday, 27 August 2005
The Police yesterday, Friday, August, 26, 2005 foiled a robbery attempt at the Equinox Group of Companies, a debt collecting and credit rating firm at Adabraka, Accra, after a fierce gun battle with the robbers.

The leader of the robbers, affectionately called Wounded Lion, described by the police as a very notorious armed robber who had been on the police wanted list for sometime now, was killed in the battle and his two accomplices arrested.

The Accra Regional Police Commander, Mr Douglas Akrofi Asiedu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Accra yesterday, said at about 11.30am, the police had a tip-off that the company would be robbed. He said a team of plain-clothes policemen were immediately dispatched to the area near the Glenns Night Cub in unmarked police vehicles and they laid ambush in the area. Mr Asiedu said soon afterwards, three robbers, armed with locally manufactured pistols arrived on a motorbike and entered the company's premises.

He indicated that as soon as they entered, they started firing shots to scare the workers but eh police immediately returned the fire and when they realised that they had been surrounded, Wounded Lion fired at one of the policemen but the bullet missed him narrowly.

The Commander said Wounded Lion continued firing and his two accomplices, Atta Kwabena, 29 and Shaibu Awudu, 21, sensing danger, tried to escape but they were both arrested. A Yahama motorbike with registration number GW 1403 used by the robbers has been impounded by the police. He stated that Wounded Lion sustained gunshot wounds in the battle and died while he was being conveyed to the Police Hospital.

 Posted by Picasa

The green-and-white van is also a tro-tro. That ship-like structure in the background is the National Theatre Posted by Picasa

National Theatre on the right; SSNIT Pension House; and in the background (behind the trees), Premier House, which houses ACS, where my significant other works, and the West African Monetary Institute Posted by Picasa

THIS is the entrance to the West African Monetary Institute. SG-SSB (red and black logo) is on the centre, and right Posted by Picasa

Premier Towers in its FULL Glory. Glory, cos that's where she works. But I think I already said that, didn't I?  Posted by Picasa

At the electricity place, near Tudu, I sighted OBRAFOUR's K7... Posted by Picasa

Now Obrafour has been praised by all and sundry, and here are some juicy quotes from

Obrafour, as captured by website Posted by Picasa

  • obrafour is the best thing that ever haoppened tu ghana music.i think ghanaians should look at the word in the song and not just listing tu the wonder he is the rap'sofour'.

  • He is numero uno

  • obrafour is simply the best and will always be cuz his style is different and no one knows where he gets his lyrics from.actually, i nearly got mad when i heard the remix of oye hene and what touches me most is his instrumentals made by hammer of " the last 2 " he is indeed "ghana rap sofour "

  • Obrafour undoubtedly is the best thing to happen to ghanian music after Osibisa and Rockstone. reggie Set the pace obrafour sent it to the next level.

  • people are not giving Obrafour a lot of props and thumbs up these days cuz he's trying to put a lot of highlife into his music. But he's still unbeatable as a lyricist.

  • Oye Ohene the remix is just a stunner n winner.

  • Could not agree more with the last statement!! Does it show that I have made it stand out from all the quotes...?;-)

    This is HAMMER, I believe, from the so-called "Last Two". He also produced the famous "You May Kiss the Bride", rapped by Boli. Without a shadow of a doubt, the song in question is one of those Ghanaian piece de resistance. An absolute MASTERPIECE of epic proportions...keep ur ears peeled for my recording of it on this site:-)
     Posted by Picasa

    Another MASTERPIECE. This is NOT hiplife, but the mixing is just BEAUTIFUL. One of my best songs for 2004-2005. Always uplifts on a Sunday--and any day for that matter! Promise that you WILL hear this song on this blog... Posted by Picasa

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    Photos of the Day

    A seriously pet peeve among Ghanaian denizens who patronise the what was Spacefon Areeba. You still get messages of "the AREEBA number you have dialed cannot be reached at this moment. The mobile equipment is either switched off or out of coverage area", when your phone is trying to call...your friend across the street whose phone is on!

    The difference between now and two weeks ago when it changed to AREEBA is that the voice is more upbeat, and less Americanised. More like an upper-middle class US accent.

    today's Daily Graphic Posted by Picasa
    I saw the guy on TV3 news yesterday. Felt almost sorry for him that he was going to get a paltry 2 million cedis (that's just under 200 US dollars) for his illegal transaction. At least that's what he says. A Nigerian is involved and he's at large.

    Ghana Airways re-juvenated;-) Posted by Picasa

    Please do not get me started on this one. Our first President Dr.Kwame Nkrumah would be truning in his grave on this one. Ghana Airways should never have had to degenerate to the effect that international investors of all shades and hues would come to invest in it. That was far from Nkrumah's dream of a quintessential African Airways. But, hey, things change. Or at least that's what some people of the neo-liberal shade may want us to believe.

    It never ought to have come to this. The situation is such now that we just have to accept it and do the best of using it to promote Ghana like I think it should be promoted...:-)

    Cocktail & Networking

    who wants to go to a cocktail Posted by Picasa

    Cocktail and Networking.

    I think that is the only equation that comes to mind when I think of why my bank would send me a card inviting me to go to a cocktail. I understand that cards were sent to only those who were expected to attend. I am honoured--greatly. But still, can anyone (who can proffer something, pls...) explain to me what on earth I would be doing at a cocktail organised by...a bank?!??

    Just Out the Door...

    my speed demon facilitator:-) Posted by Picasa

    I guess something small is better than nothing at all.

    My immediate boss is away for the week, and so the office is somewhat quiet. He is a bit of a stinker, as the Brits would say, in the sense that he is a lot of fun to have around. Not that I enjoy the quiet, but you know...

    Next week promises to be quite busy, and I am going to be luvving every minute of it.

    Fatigue is slowly and surely dripping and ebbing away from my consciousness and my physical self, so I shall resume in grand style...pretty soon.

    Let's just say that there are a couple of things I am getting excited about: the upcoming WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong, and what that means for Africa. Our construnctive input remains pivotal, and I am rubbing my hands in glee as to the process of osmosis I will be undergoing, in the same way I underwent one last week as I spent several hours typing like my life depended on it.(Pls see piccie above!)

    My aching arm(s) are testimony of the frantic period that was last week.

    But...I SHALL BE BACK...!!!

    Without a doubt...


    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Shuttling Around--Is This Accra?

    So here I am in Accra, Ghana on a cool Wednesday evening trying to prepare for dinner, and whatnot. I've just come back from day two of an organisational workshop, where we are, in effect, trying to save the world. Won't go into specifics, but the knowledge exuding from the conference room not too far away from the premises of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) is stupendous.

    I always feel so small when I am surrounded by such intellectual giants. We have two more days to go, and I am looking forward to cogitating more over the issues that affect Africa in particular. Technicalities are difficult, but very much critical in being understood so that it can be broken down to the masses.

    That is the ultimate challenge.

    I am staying in North Dzorwolu, at a hotel near this place. The hotel is South African, and one of those very cushy plush places. You always end up putting on weight after such meetings, because where you should just have coffee and tea and be on your way, you are treated with the reverene of ministers in the sense that you are pampered with food each time you have a break.

    Absolutely not necessary.

    I am surprised by the growing shops in this part of North Dzorwolu; last time I was here, there weren't that many. Now, even the shop just next door has transformed itself into a noteworthy retail shop...with close-circuit tv!! Yes, just like in the West.

    It's quite ironic to be discussing what we are discussing these four days, yet be confronted by an Accra -- bustling and vibrant though it may be -- that may also be considered meretricious, or falsely beautiful.

    It appears the people flown down here from parts of Africa are not complaining; they appear to love the small part of Accra they have seen. Good for them!

    I, for one, am just reminded yet again that I am glad to be a Ghanaian, though it does feel odd being shuttled from a hotel (my house is literally fifteen minutes drive from this place, bar the traffic) bus to a place where we try to deconstruct the technicalities inherent in the multilateral level that obviate, or prevent, the continent from moving forward.

    Like I said, I won't go into specifics, but I am confident you can read between the lines...


    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Video Update: Life in Accra

    Found from a rather prurient source a link to The site enables you post videos and music. You first have to create an account with them, which is a two-minute process. are two videos I tried posting, with little success, in May. Enjoy!

    Posted by ekbensah on 2005-08-08 06:15:03 PDT | Download | Permalink

    Posted by ekbensah on 2005-08-08 06:32:45 PDT | Download | Permalink

    more to come...:-)

    Sex in the City--Episode Two

    station under controversy...sort of... Posted by Picasa

    "We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future" -
    George Bernard Shaw

    Even though one of the staff from CITI's Marketing department told me last week that the (explicit) ad for the show would not go at all during the weekend, I can attest to hearing it straight after the two o'clock news in the afternoon on Saturday, as well as 2.30pm!

    Don't remember hearing it later, but I do re-call that on Sunday, CITI FM did rather well during the day. I guess this also was due to the fact that the Programmes Manager himself, who hosts a Seasons of Jazz on Sundays, from 9am to 12pm, was hosting the show, as paid particular attention to the ad not going on air.

    Regrettably, later in the evening, around 6pm, we heard it. That's hardly too late at night is it?

    I recorded most of the ad Saturday. Here it is: I have a transcript of it below:

    "Join me , Jessica, on Monday 8 August as my panel and I strip the subject naked.

    Have you been battling with questions of masturbation?

    Send your questions ahead of time to

    Sex in the CITI goes live at 9pm sharp.

    Sex in the CITI: your Monday night bedrock"

    This is the letter I wrote to CITI:

    Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 15:51:42 +0100 (BST)
    From: "Emmanuel.K. Bensah"
    Subject: Thanks for the programme--small complaint

    HTML Attachment [ Download File | Save to Yahoo! Briefcase ]

    Dear SIr/Madam,

    I am writing to complain -- not about the programme itself but -- about the explicit nature of the ads that are also aired at times during the day when children will be listening to the radio.

    Children are now on holidays, and, frankly, I find it wholly inappropriate on CITI-FM's part that they should be playing regular jingles of what will come on the programme (oral sex, masturbation, etc...) during the afternoon and morning, when they could be playing it in the evening.

    Also, last week, I called to register my complaint that the ad had been played throughout the weekend when children WILL be listening to programmes like "Every Home", etc.

    It's scandalous, and I wish to stand up to my complaint.

    I will not hesitate in writing/calling EACH and every single time they play the jingle during the day.

    I am an active listener, and have followed CITI-FM since its inception in August 2004. I do not wish to see it sullied bymanagement NOT listening to the concerns of its audience.

    What type of radio station would that make you?

    Finally, when was the last time JoyFM had a programme like this. I know you are in competition with the said station, and I am afraid I will not hesitate to change station should you persist in not listening to concerns raised to you.

    Best regards,

    These are their two responses:

    1. 1. Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 11:03:45 -0500 (CDT)
      Subject: Re: Thanks for the programme--small complaint
      From: View Contact Details

      Dear Sir,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Management has taken note of it.

      CITI FM

    2. 2. Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 04:00:33 -0500 (CDT)
      Subject: Re: Thanks for the programme--small complaint
      From: Add to Address Book

      you're concerns are being met and worked on...
      hope to satisfy everybody!

      thank you.

    I think it is fair to say that they at least responded, but whether they see it just as ONE listener complaining is a moot point.

    Check Bernard Shaw's quote above, and please, honestly, tell me whether I'm making too much of a fuss...

    Toodle pip.

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Sex in the City, or Lack Thereof

    It must be no secret now that I am an avid listener of CITI-FM 97.3. The station, like my stay in Accra, Ghana, is one year now.

    {continuing after three days!}

    It recently -- as of three weeks ago -- launched a new programme called "Sex in the CITI". The programme comes on on Mondays at 9pm. Masquarading under the moniker of "sexual health", it discusses what I would call salacious/prurient issues of how partners can achieve (better) orgasms, etc. This weeks' was about oral sex.

    Which would have been fine, were it not for the fact the WHOLE weekend (from almost 10am-8pm), CITI-FM had seriously and erroneously programmed the ad for the programme to play uncomfortably to the ears of parents and children alike.

    I am not yet a parent, but listening to a station that has made some bloopers already (with me prepared to give it the benfit of the doubt as they are not 10 years yet (!!) like Joy FM), I felt seriously uncomfortable myself.

    The host, Jessica, in the ad asks in her crystal-clear British/American accent: "Is oral sex the alternative?...Time to take boredom out of the bedroom...", etc...

    I am no prude, but I DO think such issues should be discussed very late at night--and certainly not to the ears of family during the weekends.

    So, anyway, I called the Marketing doode on Monday at CITI-FM. They are located behind the Adabraka police station, which is not too far from this place:

    busyinternet--near Adabraka Posted by Picasa

    He told me that they had programmed the ad ahead of time. When they realised the blooper, it was too late. Anyway, point taken, I think. He thanked me for pointing it out, and added, maybe to assuage me or something, that they had received some complaints.

    At least it was not all in vain.

    That was my major contribution for the day.

    I couldn't help thinking how BBC Radio Four listeners (whoever they may be) would have reacted to this. Had anyone of them been in Ghana, I know for sure they would have viscerally writhed with disgust at the explicit nature of the ad.

    Funny thing: since Monday when they aired the programme, I have not heard one whiff of the ad.

    Long live people power!


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