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Technology Simplified: The Fork Experience

You gotta love technology, computers, gadgets. Anything with an electronic chip embedded anywhere in it is automatically my best friend. My phone is an HTC, one of the best phone brands in the world currently. Says the rebel. It is an HTC Touch Pro. A great work of art. I’ve had it for 3 years and some (by my calculation, that’s 90 years in human years). Lately, it has been falling apart piece by piece. It’s only natural with gadgets. One fall too many and it begins to give way. I must confess that I have used that phone well. And I mean well! At first half the screen wouldn’t respond to any form of stimuli from either the stylus or my finger. Only recently, a little perspiration found its way in between the screens it and has decided to stay forever. I’ve let it out to dry it out in the sun. Nothing. It just won’t budge. I’ve been trying to do it small-small until I save up enough cash for my iPhone! (Yes, I’m also a Macaddict) but the phone is showing me paaaaa.

I figured since I had a slide QWERTY losing the screen wouldn’t be a big deal. I was wrong! Just because it has a slide out QWERTY keyboard doesn’t mean it does magic tricks.

As a result of my inability to communicate with the phone through its screen, some annoying pop up keeps…popping up and I can’t get it to stop. At least once every minute it pops up, draining my battery juice. So I decided to lock the phone to get rid of the sounds it makes, at the very least. I did that and it worked. All I need it to do to regain control of my phone is to simply eject the stylus from its slot. It unlocks the phone granting me access to a little bit of the phone. So in essence with a locked phone minus stylus, equals useless phone. It might as well be a 6-inched hollow brick.

Now here’s what happened.

Long story short, I lost the stylus while the phone was locked. For four full frustrating days, I was unable to       access any feature on the phone, save answering calls. I tried every trick I could come up with and I just gave up.

My Eureka! moment came at dinner one evening when a friend feeling the pain of my frustration suggested that I try her stylus. I didn’t think it would work ‘cos it was way bigger than mine, but it did. Surprisingly. Later I decided to try a toothpick. That too worked! Laughable. I know. Still bemused by these facts, I decided to try my fork and by goodness it worked!!!  I could not believe it. I cracked up. It was too funny. I had spent hours moping over this for nothing. A fork. A fork. Can you imagine? A fork? I laughed so hard my face was contorted. Out of all the possible options the answer was in a piece of crockery.  was all that was it took to unlock a sophisticated windows mobile device! Think about precious days I went by all the seconds and minutes I spent behind the phone trying to figure out a way to troubleshoot this snag with the most complicated of tact and skill.

I have uploaded a video demonstration for your viewing pleasure. By all means have a laugh.

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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

watch.this.space.

Hey folks, this is just a post to announce that I will be updating this blog infinitely soon…

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tumble Me Rebel

There was one time when I was riding a bike and I turned around the corner of the street too sharply and nearly came head on with a parked car. I was so startled that I lost control of the bicycle and fell. In between the time I realized that I was going to fall and the time that I actually fell, I tried really hard to compose myself on the bike and not fall. A few seconds before I hit the ground, I gave in to the fall and made sure that I fell graciously to the ground. If you’ve got to fall, you at least have to make it look good, right?

Another time I went downstairs to iron my shirt. On my way back I miscalculated my step and fell down to my knees at the stairwell. The security guard on duty at that time run up to me and said “Oh Madam, you tumbled?”. I could have kicked him in the nuts at that time if my knee didn’t hurt so badly. Tumbled? Seriously? I didn’t even try to answer him and I just limped my sorry self away.

I’m certain that at one point in time or the other you have suffered a set back (or set down) or two when gravity took hold of your stability. When I was back in Wesley Girls’ we called it “Koto” (as in, “wakye koto”), which translates to “he or she has caught a crab”. In this, the act of falling down is likened to a person who is catching a crab.

Over time, I have perfected the art of tumbling. Matter of fact, I think I can hold lessons in tumbling for the inexperienced tumbler. For real guys, from grace to the ground. But it’s funny really, think of how many people have fallen in their lifetimes and how they fell. Even the most dignified of people have at several points in their lives fallen down in very undignified ways.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Why 7+2 = 11

A cursory glance at the many trotros and taxis about the streets of Ghana will reveal unthinkable and hitherto unimaginable secrets of life, love, religion etc. It is a complete philosophical library of unintentional riddles, accidental parables and mind teasers that would make the theories and postulations of Aristotle and other great philosophers child’s play.

There aren’t very many reasons to support this – truth is, I know of none – but, according to the meager mathematics of a taxi driver (and possibly, his owner), the sum of the numbers seven (7) and two (2) is eleven (11). Whether or not you agree with him is not his concern. As he declares on the back of the taxi, that is none of your business! (see picture below).

 

I chewed on this for a while and came to the conclusion that the taxi driver probably had an argument with a passenger over change and perhaps, an onlooker came in to mediate the situation. The result of this mediation, may not have gone the way of the driver, hence his evident dislike for other people’s opinions on matters he deems to be right. To ward any future Samaritan off, he decided to declare this statement at the back of his taxi, just to let them know that he can handle his business. There!

Think about this for a second: “My Egg”. Now picture it in big bright yellow lettering. Does that put it in some perspective for you? Now imagine it at the back of a taxi.

If you saw this on your way to work one morning, what is the first thing that’ll pop into your mind? With all faculties of my brain engaged, my foremost guess was breakfast. But I was wrong, or so the traditional taxi/trotro convention dictates. All five of my subsequent attempts failed to take the cake as I moved further and further away from the truth. So my desperation, I turned to someone who specializes in this art form. An expert, if you will, on the taxi/trotro philosophy. The one person I know who has studied and developed an uncanny ability to discern from a distance the deep meaning behind these simple stated, yet, sagacious statements, my mother, the sage.

My Egg as she explained refers to the precious nature of the attachment between the driver/car owner and the taxi. In just the same way as you hold an egg gingerly, he will treat his car as such and he hopes that the rest of the world would too.

Friends and comrades, this brings me to the end of today’s edition of taxi truths. Until same time, some other place, please be safe out there on the roads; it’s a jungle out there.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

ghallywood?oh.you.mean.ghastlywood!

I wasn’t going to talk about this one. I tried. I really did. Ever since I hung my “couch” (In the Couch with Freddy) I’ve been purposely oblivious to media goofs such as this. But this GHALLYWOOD thing is getting to me.

When I first heard the term Ghallywood, I was hoping it was a bad joke that would die quickly. You know, one of those things that come and go in a fleeting flight of folly. It seems I underestimated our affection for the absurd, and this pains me so.

Which illiterate thought up the name Ghallywood? And which other less-than-illiterate folks decided to be disciples of that silly name?

First of all let’s be original. If we can’t be original, let’s copy wisely! Study these names wisely. Hollywood, Bollywood, and Nollywood. If you are smart enough, you will realize that only the first letters of the country/city were used. So the reason behind the name Bollywood is derived from the city Bombay, (now known as Mumbai) in India. For those of you who don’t know, Bollywood got its name because it rivaled Hollywood in the production of movies somewhere in the ’70s. Our Nigerian brothers decided to follow in that fashion and were smart about it. They settled on Nollywood. Not that Nigerian movies are that great or that they rival the movie production industry in Hollywood or Bollywood, it’s just because they are Nigerians.

Now in our haste to “belong”, we came up with the distasteful word GHALLYWOOD, going against all the rules in the game of the -WOODS. And to add to that, our movies suck! Big time. I’m talking major league sucking. They are much worse than the Nigerian movies, with the exception of a few.

I’ve seen a lot of this name loosely thrown about in the media lately and I am disappointed in the National Media Commission, the Ministry of Information, the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Actors Guild (or whatever they call themselves) and people like David Dontoh and Efo Mawugbe, who are supposed to be guardians of our arts and creativity in the country!

We really are pathetic and I am not ashamed to say it! If there are any out there who agree with me, please, let’s run it up a flagpole and make sure the message gets drummed in. GHALLYWOOD is just dumb and ugly. It’s an illiterate expression of creativity and must be buried before it begins to decay and starts to smell real bad.

STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!! STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!! STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!!

STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!! STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!! STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!!

STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!! STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!! STOP GHALLYWOOD NOW!!!

Wei nyinaa yε nkurasesεm!

If you want to be noticed that badly, why don’t you come up with better names. In any case, why do we even want to name such a dead dog we like to think of as an industry? It’s plain silly if you ask me.

Instead of us looking for better ways to improve on the quality of the silly home videos we call movies, we are searching for names to adorn it. A monkey is still a monkey, even if you put it in Louis Vitton stilettos and wear it make-up. It is still a monkey. No more, much less. Let’s grow up and start thinking about what is important, rather than coming up with silly names that don’t add jack to sh!t.

The Rebel has spoken.

 
 

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world.cup: Woes, Worries and Wins

I’m glad the World Cup is over. Thankfully, I no longer have to wake up to the sounds of a vuvuzela from the neighbours. That was a bit of a nuisance. For that period, we forgot all about our cheap politics and corruption scandals and for those reasons, I miss the World Cup.

Despite the odds we faced, we were the most favoured side to win and just when a few steps away from the top, we were “robbed”. We did everything right and had we not given up mentally after the missed penalty shot, we might have gone right through and perhaps kept the trophy on the continent. The Stars outdid themselves and exceeded all expectations and in many ways succeeded in unifying most part of the continent through a simple game of kick ball. That for me is the most intriguing and heartwarming detail of this experience. You had people across the continent and the rest of the world wearing the colours of Ghana. And it wasn’t just for show.

Our loss against the Uruguayans brought about an immense support for the Orange Eleven and we couldn’t wait for them to thrash our new found arched enemies. We didn’t care that just days before the start of the world cup, we had been beaten by the Dutch in a friendly match. We just wanted revenge and that’s definitely what we got. Never before has Ghana supported the Netherlands so.

Ghana Colours the Continent

Admittedly it shattered our dreams of making history, they killed us with a cheat, and although we were awarded a penalty and lost that too, we felt that the Uruguayans had not been punished enough. The fact of the matter is that we lost painfully and no matter how many talk shows we develop this topic, no matter how many shouts of rage we conjure, or how many curses we invoke on Suarez, the fact it simple – we lost. There’s no use mulling over this any longer than we already have. Let’s make the most of the loss and move on.

Although we didn’t win, we are enjoying the endearment and sentiments of the entire world. Had we been on the side of the argument, and committed the same foul as the Uruguayans, I doubt if we could still hold our chin high and chests out like we are doing right now. Cheating, in every way or form helps no one. See what happened to the French squad (Les Blues). They cheated their way through to qualify and could not even win a single match! This end surely justified the means. If Uruguay were to have gone ahead and won this competition, they will be known as the team that robbed the better team to win. We need to keep our eyes on the prize and sometimes the prize isn’t always that which glitters.

So trophy or not, we did win. We won the hearts of the South Africans and that of the rest of the world. We won the admiration of the world, the respect of our fellow Africans and now, it means a little bit more to have a Ghanaian passport than before. But beyond that, there’s a lot more than has to be done. We need to do is to accomplish other important feats globally like qualifying for several disciplines in the Olympic games and bringing home quite a few medals, creating world-changing inventions that defy logic. We must contribute a lot more to the world than just a good name in football. Football is only the starting point. Let’s not make it the only objective of the nation. We need a lot more Ghanaians as Nobel Prize winners and other international awards like the Heineken Prize, Wolf Foundation Prize and so on. The events of this tournament point to the fact that if we would die a little, we can live a lot more. If we try a little harder, we most certainly can beat the world and for me, that’s more than enough proof of our capability as Ghanaians and as Africans. No more excuses. I am tired of hearing us blame the slave trade for our woes. Had we been smarter or slightly advanced couldn’t we have also gone and colonized the British or whomever we chose to? Note this: There’s a new world order and we must take advantage of the current that’s blowing, because it is moving us in the direction of success.

Hopefully, the Rebel Ryter will pick up Nobel Medal sometime in the near future...it is very possible you know?

But in all this, let’s not be fooled, we will not enjoy silver platter opportunities just because we are Ghanaians or Africans, no not at all. If anything at all, it’ll be more difficult for us. The world out there is full of Suarezes and as we continue this journey, they will get all the more ruthless. They are willing to do destroy your dream so they can preserve theirs. So by fair means or foul, these Suarezes will do whatever it takes to get you out of their way and sadly enough sometimes it works. Giving up is exactly what they would like you to do. So rather than allow them to crucify our dreams, we won’t give up or let down, we’ll keep fighting and remind ourselves than whatever they’ve got, we’ve got a lot more going for us.

That aside, there is one more very important lesson I’d like to leave you with. If you’ve gotten nothing out of this epistle, we must remember always that soccer has had, should have and will have only one goalie.

 

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CELEBRI-TREES

So the other day I was talking with my mum (my number 1 inspiration) about Ghana and our so-called celebrities.  We came to the obvious, yet painful conclusion that besides team members of the Black Stars, no one else comes under the celebrity status tag in Ghana.

Think about it, where do Ghanaian celebrities hang out? Where do they go to eat? Where do they shop? Where to the live? Do we have a community that’s the preserve of our stars. Say, Trassaco Valley? Wouldn’t that be an awesome place for all the hiplife artists? Naa man, even the producers/promoters are all “straiggling”. In Ghana, most artists live in the studios of their producers. Not because they are waiting for a sudden and an unplanned outburst of creativity in the middle of the night, it’s simply because they have no where else to be. They only come out during events and shows and try to pretend to be all starry, when we know that they are merely shattered pieces glass that glisten in the sun’s rays. Were we to do the Ghanaian version of MTV Cribs for our stars, excluding our Black Stars, we may not have enough worthy enough homes for 10 episodes.

Bradez

These are some of our "Stars"

One might ask, what about our movie stars? Surely they must have it good, seeing as they act endlessly in 10-part movies. They should be able to afford half a million dollar homes and more. Nay, I tell ya, a big NAY! They are probably the worst of them all. Who is Nadia Buari? Who is Jackie Appiah or Van Vicker? I can assure you that it’ll take them twelve lifetimes to reach the star status of Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts or Denzel Washington. Make-up artists and stage prompters in Hollywood make better money per movie than our highest ranked stars. So don’t you go “kyere-ing” your skin on me and telling me that you are a star. Chances are that I make more money than you, I live in a better house and I most likely eat better.  If I go to Aunty Muni, I can bet my last pesewa that I can see at least 3 stars coming in to buy waakye or even sitting down to eat on the benches like the rest of us. Not because they want to mingle with the common folk, it is because they are just a common a folk like every other common folk!

I’ve seen models, tv and radio presenters there on countless occasions. It’s the truth guys. What’s in a star if you’re wherever the common man is? Like the stars up above, there are only 2 ways to get to them; 1. I must become one of them. 2. I must have enough money to go into space and then perhaps I can be within 100 feet or more from one.

So my advice to them, is that until they can pay for the latest Lambourgini in cash, or live in a million dollar home, they should all get off their high horses and get their heads seriously in the game. Until Ghanaians find the need to create a celebrity inspired shopping arcade, or a celebrity inspired hair salon, where it cost $100 and over for a hair cut/do; until there’s a restaurant so pricey that each meal could pay for your rent; until we get paparazzi who follow our camouflaged stars from place to place, then please forget it.

I’m sure Essien and his buddies don’t feel that buzz that comes along with being a celebrity the moment they step through Kotoka International. Ghana has a way of stripping you off your star status. Tell me, which of our stars would you die to have an autograph of? Which of them would you step out in the rain to catch a glimpse of?

Most of the faces on our TVs sit with us in trotros, drive decade old cars and shop from Gap like the rest of us. If Rihanna were to step in one of Accra’s clubs right now, you’ll see the crowd around her. If MzBel stepped right next door in Togo or Burkina Faso, they’ll only take note of her ‘cos she might not be wearing the traditional outfit of the Burkinabes. Apart from that, she’s as common a person as the dirt in the sand to them. While I’m on that topic, please, and I really mean it, please, let’s refrain from referring to Ghanaian songstresses as DIVAs.

Definition of DIVA

n.pl., -vas, or -ve (-vā).

  1. An operatic prima donna.
  2. A very successful singer of nonoperatic music: a jazz diva)

Examples are Anastacia, Whoopi Goldberg, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Sarah Brightman, Mariah Carey, Belinda Carlisle, Cher, Natalie Cole, Deborah Cox, Céline Dion, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Kathy Griffin, Deborah Harry, Billie Holiday, Gloria Estefan, Lena Horne, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Jennifer Lopez, Patti LuPone, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Kylie Minogue, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Dalida, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, TAFKA Ally and a few others.

Patti Labelle

Patti Labelle, a true diva

According to the above stated definition, the only Ghanaian songstress I know who comes close to Diva is Bibie Brew. I think people like Patti Labelle, Anita Baker, Barbara Streissand, Aaliyah, would have a fit if you put them in the same category as MzBel and Mimi. I’ll leave it there for now.

Off the cuff, name any Ghanaian who can step into almost any country and perform in front of a teeming crowd. And I’m not talking about the Ghanaian community in that country.

If you think you are a star and walk around in Ghana acting all star-like, remember that you’re simply a well-known, under paid entertainer. Take this from me, if you walk around with a chip on your shoulder because people see you and recognize you, clip off those wings. The journey to a fully fledged entertainment industry is one of a million miles. And we are barely 5 steps into it. I don’t care what anyone says, until our artistes wear $20,000 outfits per performance and not repeat Accra shada at shows in Kumasi or Takoradi I still maintain that there are no stars in Ghana, only entertainers. M’aka m’aka!

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2010 in Uncategorized