Thursday, 18 August 2011

Civilized advertising?

Whilst on the topic of racism, look what caught my eye today:
When I saw this picture on Facebook, I was completely gobsmacked. I mean, what can one say? Like one person commented, where was the diversity team when Nivea came up with this???

After receiving I-can-only-imagine-the-numerous-number-of complaints, Nivea posted this rather, erm heartfelt comment:

"Thank you for caring enough to give us your feedback about the recent "Re-civilized" NIVEA FOR MEN ad. This ad was inappropriate and offensive. It was never our intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company."

Now, as an avid Nivea Cream user, I don't know, do I have to boycott Nivea from now on? Or just accept the fact that this sort of campaign could slip out of any company's marketing camp?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Back in Africa

Walking home late, last Saturday, after a looong day in South London, I happen to pass about six drunk people in their early 20s. I'm just a few metres ahead of them when I hear one of the guys say:

"What the f**k is she doing here anyway? Shouldn't she be back in Africa?"

As I hear his friends berate him for his racist comment, many thoughts run through my head. The urge to turn round and give him a piece of my mind is dismissed, I'm smart enough not to pick a fight at midnight on a Saturday, with a loser who's drunk.

I walk on a bit and realise I am smiling. Though these comments don't go by without stinging, the sting is so light now, because although I may be in England for a few months, my heart is in Accra (& Tema), my home is in Ghana, I have laid my roots in West Africa.

Your comments may sting, but like mosquito bites, they will quickly stop hurting; and before I know it, I will be back home. Where I belong.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nothing compares

Do you know this person?
(Picture borrowed from

I didn't think I did either, until I read on People that this is Sinead O'Connor. That's right, Sinead O'Connor, whose song Nothing Compares 2U still gets played all over the world, whose lyrics most of us still remember, word for word, THAT Sinead O'Connor.

(Picture borrowed from the Daily Mail)

I remember a couple of weeks ago reading about fans booing her off stage, feeling they had been cheated because the woman they saw in front of them was clearly not the Sinead O'Connor. Well, it seems it was!

My first thought when I saw the photo was, gosh, she really looks different, what happened? Then, I happened to read some of the comments on People's article and it was clear that most people were shocked by her weight gain. Funnily, that was the last thing I had thought of. To me, the shock in her changed appearance has more to do with the fact that she previously seemed to be a rebellious figure, her shaven head alone made her look it. But now...that hair? That outfit??? Now she looks so...ordinary. Like... an average 40-something mother of 2 or more.

I am not judging her for changing, it's been over two decades, we've all changed since then. I just thought I'd let you know what she looks like today, in case you happen to bump into her some day! (And I felt it would be nice to think of something other than the riots.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

London Riots 2

I thought long and hard and tried to find something else to write about. Would have written about the Ghana-Nigeria friendly game I was going to, but that was, naturally, cancelled after threats of riots in the Watford area.

It looks like there is nothing else on the minds of those of us staying close to areas affected by the riots, so I have continued following the news. Today, I had to cancel all my plans as these included trips to Stratford, Croydon, Clapham Junction, bank and Watford. Well, it looks like now, we will all be able to plan ahead when heading out. The Guardian has created a map that will continuously update to map out areas affected by the riots.

Despite it all, there are some humorous stories around these riots. For example, that leaders of some of the most dubiously run countries in the world, condemning Britain. Or how about clips of a girl stopping to try shoes on before looting them from a JD Sports (and what's up with JD Sports, it seems overly popular in these lootings, along with more obvious targets, like the major mobile phone and electronics retailers)? The audacity!

The Daily Mail has posted pictures of several rioters and looters and I can't but wonder, do some of them have to look so happy, as if to say, "Christmas has come early" as they walk away with 4-5 jumpers.

What had me laugh most in all this though, was this picture:
(image borrowed from Daily Mail)

Looting at Poundland? POUNDLAND???? Where everything costs a pound ($1.60)? Come on, you must be really dumb, to face prosecution and potentially go to prison for that!

Monday, 8 August 2011

London Riots

I don't know where to start. London is up in flames and there seems to be no stopping it. What started out as a peaceful protest against the questionable killing of a Tottenham man, turned into riots in Tottenham, which has now spread across most parts of London.

It is frightening for anyone in London or with family or friends in London. We don't know where to go or where to stay, what is safe, what isn't? I watch Croydon in flames, knowing that friends are living just a ten minute walk from where the fires are. We all feel anger over this reckless violence that is hurting innocent people, destroying homes, properties and businesses.
(Picture taken by my friend Woolstey, from her flat, just a few hundred metres from the mayhem in Croydon)

In all this, I feel so frustrated with the moron Home Secretary, Theresa May and the rest of the authorities for not understanding that there are underlying issues. Instead of approaching the problem from that angle, she points out that those parttaking in this will be prosecuted and focuses on praising the police. Nothing wrong in that, sure, but when you completely ignore (or are so stupid not to realise) that there are underlying issues, the problems will never die down.

Whether it was the death of Mark Duggan that started this or not, there are so many more serious issues (most likely, political, socioeconomic, class and racial and police/community tension issues) that need to be targeted:

What on earth compels the youth to get up in broad daylight and destroy everything around them, in their own communities?
How is it that they even have the time to do this?
Why is their lack of respect for authority and the police, in particular, so great that they'll do this unmasked, in daylight and purposely confront the police at any given chance?
How best can the authorities open a dialogue with this disgruntled group of people and find a long-term solution to these issues, rather than attempt to shut them up by threatening to imprison them?

London is burning, London is crying. We need to act quickly before it all goes up in flames

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Good Wife

It's not often I enjoy a TV-show as much as I enjoy The Good Wife. Although I took a while to watch it, (I started about 6-9 months after the Poetress gave me her season 1 dvds), once I'd watched a couple of episodes, I was hooked. The well-known politician husband who faces politically motivated litigation? The strong, patient, super talented lawyer wife? Hello, it's practically my life!
(Photo borrowed from Channel 4, most likely owned by CBS)
Ok, so maybe not completely and thankfully I don't desire another man, as Alicia does, but I love the series and found that it reignited an almost dormant passion for the law. I also knew instantly, that I had found a serie Virgo and I could enjoy together, which does not happen very often (he's a House and West Wing kind of guy, whilst I am a Grey's Anatomy and (*bowing my head in shame*) Desperate Housewives kind of girl).

Little did I know, he liked the Good Wife so much, every now and then he'd sneak and watch an episode without me! Since we both work mainly from home, each of us gives the other the thinking space required to focus, so it took a while to realise what he was doing when it was very quiet in his work area. Shockingly, in the past week I have noticed that where I'd take breaks to catch up on Facebook and private emails, Virgo would sneak in an episode, without telling me about it! Despite my complaints, he never stopped.

As if that wasn't bad enough, when we'd treat ourselves to a night-time projector-screening of an episode, after each episode, he's say, "just one more, but you can go to sleep if you want to", knowing very well that I'd never be able to sleep knowing I was missing a whole 45 minutes of quality, legal drama. This has resulted in me being extremely tired each morning, having only received 4-5 hours sleep (the other 2-3 being donated to the Good Wife).

Needless to say, despite being really curious about what will happen next on the show, I am so relieved that we've finally watched all the episodes. This means no more episode-thievery by Virgo and no more unreasonably late nights! Til September, that is...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

What happened in July

I don't know what happened, I was on a blogging roll and suddenly, weeks have passed and nothing has been posted on my blog. Well, actually I do know what happened: stressful preparations for Anansekrom, then catching a flight to Gothenburg some hours after getting home from the event, then organising two toddlers (my own Em and her favourite cousing, L) in Swedish gateau-making for my mum's birthday, heading back to London within 72 hours and being bombarded with four new agreements that all needed express drafting. What happened to my legal drafting holiday???

Actually I would probably have managed to blog a little bit, over a week ago, if I hadn't been blindsighted with the Norwegian attack and Amy Winehouse's death. For so many reasons, that left me virtually silenced.

Now, I am going to try to finish my load of agreements, get back to blogging and catch up on my lovely fellow Ghana bloggers. While some have entered into motherhood, it seems the Chale Wote Street Festival caused a stir with others...


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