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Celeb make-up artist, Lydia Ashitey opens hair and make-up shop

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After working with several celebrities, providing her touch of make-up artistry on the set of movies and music videos, make-up artist, Lydia Gladys Ashitey has taken a bold step to launch her ‘LEEDY A XPRESSIONS’, a hair and make-up shop. The shop located in Labone, next to the Zanzi Bar, will provide exclusive, uncommon and stylish hair and makeup services to people who seek a touch of style and glamour!  The launch was supported by several celebrities who have worked with her in the past, including Yvonne Nelson, Martha Ankomah, Vivian Achor, Nikki Samonas, Nana Akua Addo and others. Kofi Adjorlolo and Pascaline Edwards shared their experience of working with her on set and wished her well in her new venture.  There was also a fashion show to highlight Lydia’s creativity in hair and make-up artistry with some actresses modeling for her as well. The event was hosted James Gardner and Ellen Asante with performances from Sheriffa Gunu. Lydia Gladys Ashitey has worked within the Ghana Movie Industry for 8 years and therefore has a lot of experience at hand. She has been on several movies such as ‘Pretty Queen’, ‘Harry’s Courts’, ‘The Prince Bride’, ‘The Queen’s Pride’, ‘Heart of Men’, ‘The Dons of Sakawa’, ‘Trinity’, ‘Bed of Roses’, ‘Rain’ and ‘Single Six’. She has also worked on hair and make-up for musicians such as Efya, Buk Bak, Sherifa, Mzbel, Rana and Diamond. Lydia’s beautiful hand work also stretches to Bridals, Fashion Shows, Photo Shoots, TV Commercials and others. ]]>

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Africans don’t trust each other – my experience with Ethiopian taxi driver in Las Vegas

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Ameyaw Debrah at palazzo gondola

My recent trip to Las Vegas, Nevada came with many experiences, as I put myself out there to explore the city a lot more than I did in my previous two visits. My first time in Vegas was for one night only, to attend the Miss Universe finale in 2017.  My second time was for the Day N Vegas festival in 2019, which also brought me back for a third time this year.

On day-two of Day N Vegas, I had an experience that corroborated the belief of many Africans, that we do not trust one another.  Due to Day N Vegas, most of the area around the Las Vegas Festival Grounds was closed to taxis and rideshare apps such as Uber and Lift, which made it very stressful to get a car whenever I closed from the festival and headed to my hotel room. It meant that after walking and standing at the grounds for hours, we had to walk quite a distance to look for cars.

My experience was even made worse when the data on my AT&T phone number kept failing, meaning that after all the stress covering the concerts, I couldn’t use Uber to request for a ride.  On the night of day 2, I discovered that there was a pick-up point for taxis within the Circus Circus Hotel, Casino & Theme Park. Sadly the taxis were not coming in as rapidly as I would have wished for. I was the third in line, but it took over one hour of standing in the queue till I finally got a taxi.

When the taxi came, I got in but when the driver asked for the address I was going to, I couldn’t remember the location of my hotel. I mentioned the name of the hotel, but the driver wasn’t familiar with it and insisted that he couldn’t take me if I didn’t get the address for him. I wasn’t willing to waste the hours of standing and waiting to be turned down by any driver. My internet wasn’t working, and I tried to ask him to use his internet Ito locate the hotel, but he was indifferent. I told him “lets go to downtown and I will know where my hotel is,  because it’s not far from the Fremont Street”.

Finally, he agreed and moved on. Then he started a conversation with me, once he suspected I was from Africa. I told him I was from Ghana when he told me he was Ethiopian. He asked about my visit and thought I was a ‘new rich African’ when I told him I was in town for Day N Vegas.

When, I finally arrived at my hotel I tried to pay with a card. Since it was a metered cab, I could see my fare right in front of me, with a POS device for payment. But I noted it was slightly expensive paying with  a card compared to paying cash, so I told the driver that I would rather pay with cash, after all I am African!

Then surprisingly he asked me how much I would pay him, the meter said $18 so I said I will give him $20 but he screamed “no $25!” I then gave him a $100 note to which he retorted, “are you sure it’s not fake?”.  I said no, laughed it off and collected my change.

Watch my vlog on the experience below:

Interestingly, the following night, I had internet, so I ordered for an Uber ride after the Day N Vegas finale, and again the driver was Ethiopian. This time it was a younger driver and we had an interesting conversation about Africa and the civil war in Ethiopia.

I had noticed that there were a lot of Ethiopians in Vegas. Most of the African restaurants listed on Uber Eats are Ethiopian and most of the drivers were too. When I pointed it out in our conversation, he told me that Vegas has the next biggest concentration of Ethiopians in the USA after the DMV tristate.  I also found out that affluent Ethiopians like to buy Mississauga Real Estate styled homes in the USA.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 68,001 people reported Ethiopian ancestry in 2000. Between 2007 and 2011, there were approximately 151,515 Ethiopia-born residents in the United States. According to Aaron Matteo Terrazas, “if the descendants of Ethiopian-born migrants (the second generation and up) are included, the estimates range upwards of 460,000 in the United States.

Some Ethiopians living in the US enjoy using exquisitely designed Ten Point Crossbow in archery games. Football is the most popular sport in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian national football team called the “Walyia Antelopes” won the 1962 African Cup of nations and in 2013 Ethiopia qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 31 years.

Other sports played include basketball, volleyball, and tennis. Ethiopia has a tradition of medal-winning runners: Abebe Bikila, Belayneh Dinsamo, and Derartu Tulu. Haile Gebreselassie has set several world records.

Ethiopia has made remarkable progress in education, with primary school net enrolment tripling between 2000 and 2016 to the current 100 per cent.  Although most children enroll in school, many do not complete their education: 85 per cent make it past Grade 5 and 54 per cent past Grade 8. Progress has been enabled through a sustained government-led effort to reduce poverty and expand the public education system equitably. This has been backed by substantial increases in national education expenditure and aid to the sector, as well as improved planning and implementation capacity at all levels. According to Boardingschools.ca, there is a good number of Ethiopians having higher education in Canada.

Ethiopian national identity is grounded in the long history of Christianity and Islam in the region, and independence from foreign rule since antiquity.

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Money or a treat? The perfect Christmas gift for my hard-working team

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Yes, it is Christmas time again and as usual I am thinking of gift ideas for family and friends. This year, all my team members have been amazing, particularly my video team. I had a record number of video productions since we started Ameyaw TV almost four years ago.

A lot of these videos have been event coverages, promotional campaigns, interviews, and our regular contents which this year grew to include formats such as ‘Ameyaw Can Cook’.  Our clientele base grew, and thanks to my team, we met the various demands and expectations. We worked with clients like Rex Originals link building services, for some amazing, sponsored articles throughout the year.

If you follow us on social media, you will know it’s been a fun year for the team as well, with lots of shared experiences around food, travel and more. But for Christmas, I am looking for the cherry on top.  Last year we did hampers for the team and a little karaoke drink up party at work. This year I want it to be a little different so here are my options

That’s because choosing what bonus you will give your staff, if any, will come down to individual factors such as your current and predicted profit margins, the individual tasks that your staff perform, your specific industry and even the way your office operates.

Cash bonus

Due to factors such as uncertain economy and rising cost of living, offering a straightforward cash bonus may be preferred by staff but is the most reasonable option for a small business such as Ameyaw Debrah Media? Well, I have the following options to look at if I want to go that way…

  1. The flat rate

With a flat rate bonus, all staff receive the exact same bonus amount. Depending on your setup, this option is often a great way to ‘level the field’ and to ensure staff see this bonus as a gift, rather than being tied to performance or seniority.

If I choose this option, I must be ready to understand that whatever amount I choose will be setting a precedent for years to come!

  1. The salary percentage

Many small businesses find that by offering a bonus of 1.5 percent of the annual wage, this affords their staff an additional one- or two-weeks extra pay for the holidays. This amount might not buy them a trip to Aqua Safari, but most staff respond very well to this option.

Gift, perks or party bonuses

While cash bonuses are usually very well received by employees, they can often cause too much strain on the company cash flow. Many small business owners choose to offer non-cash bonuses or extra employee perks instead. Imagine a certificate to enjoy foot care for seniors within your staff or their families.

For physical gifts, things like gift certificates for local restaurants or an Xmas Hamper work well. But I’ve done that before!

Another option that is gaining popularity, offers staff additional employee perks around the holidays. Something as simple as allowing staff to finish a couple of hours early in the week leading up to Christmas or offering an extra day or two off over the Christmas period is a great crowd-pleaser and requires no additional budget. But I feel my team will not appreciate this much because our working schedules are already very flexible.

A little pampering

Well as a sign of telling the team they have worked hard all year round; a little pampering won’t be bad at all. Maybe a stay at Peduase Valley Resort with the full complement of food, spa treatment, music and more won’t be bad looking at our relationship with the resort this year. Having a calm swim in their majestic pool, which uses the best odor control chemicals to ensure cleanliness and safety, would be simply good for my team members.

 

Well I am certainly spoilt with options and I know I will come up with the best treat for the team, that would be within my means.

 

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People & Lifestyle

Lifestyle – basic rules and recommendations

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A properly developed individual system of time allocation for various activities affects the level of a person’s happiness. A lifestyle is a list of a variety of activities that generates a certain style of behavior, rules, habits and rituals. It is formed under the influence of historical, geographical, national, age, professional aspects.

Active lifestyle and entertainment

Hobbies and hobbies take the leading place in human life. People seeking peace of mind choose creative pursuits – handicrafts, reading, learning foreign languages. Adventure lovers – sports, tourism. Trips to different cities and countries for entertainment events are very popular. For example, if you are a football fan, you can purchase a tour to the USA. There are 32 teams playing in the NFL today. The league itself appeared in 1920 under the name of the American Professional Football Association. For 50 years, the nfl logo has been modernized, the edging, color and frame have been changed.

Healthy lifestyle criteria

The number of people supporting healthy lifestyles is growing. This lifestyle is aimed at rejuvenation, improvement of the whole body, adherence to the daily regimen, and rejection of bad habits. Main advantages:

  • Increase of the body’s defense systems;
  • reducing the risk of developing chronic ailments;
  • normalization of the emotional background of the body;
  • maintaining vital activity as long as possible;
  • the presence of a healthy and fit body;
  • delaying the appearance of the first age-related changes in the body;
  • the emergence of new life plans, opportunities.

The main components of a healthy lifestyle are a well-designed diet, sports, good rest, hygiene, communication with society.

A healthy lifestyle contributes to the preservation and improvement of human health and well-being. From year to year, it becomes more and more in demand, because many people want not only to enjoy life, but also to live it as long as possible. And a healthy lifestyle helps with this perfectly, increases the number of years lived.

A healthy lifestyle is the value of a modern person. It is recommended to follow the rules of a healthy lifestyle in combination. Better to get used to it from early childhood. The following tips will help you improve your quality of life:

  • you need to go outdoors at least once a week;
  • go for walks, take dynamic breaks for yourself;
  • monitor your health status by visiting a doctor;
  • try to eat right;
  • find a hobby for your liking;
  • travel;
  • relax, communicate with friends and loved ones.

Stress and human health

Positive emotions are important for human health. It is important to be able to relax, lead an active social life. You should not forget about good rest. Relaxation, socializing, and entertainment have a positive effect on emotional well-being. Find something to your liking – someone is fond of cycling, someone loves ping-pong, and someone just football or collects logos of games that are constantly being re-branded.

The lifestyle should not bring additional difficulties, all actions should be a joy to a person. It is better to instill good habits gradually. Over time, you will begin to feel more confident and calmer, and you will be able to achieve goals that previously seemed unattainable.

 

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The psychology of color: how does the choice of color palette affect perception?

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All marketers are well aware that a person first perceives a visual presentation, and only then creates a conscious representation of the brand. This is how the human brain works – it perceives visual pictures as the main information and, on a subconscious level, does a lot of interesting things with the information received. For example, it sorts the colors, determines what the image belongs to – food or a dangerous object, if the picture is pleasant, then he categorizes it, if, on the contrary, it is unpleasant, then it belongs to another category, etc. There are a lot of processes in which we cannot consciously join. Therefore, let’s look at how colors affect perception in order to better understand why manufacturers choose certain solutions for themselves.

 

List of base colors used in design

 

Below is a list of colors used by designers from all over the world:

 

  1. Red.
  2. Orange.
  3. Yellow.
  4. Green.
  5. Blue.
  6. Purple.
  7. Pink (Fuchsia).
  8. Black.
  9. White, silver.

 

One way or another, the variation of these colors is applied everywhere, we can see them almost everywhere. To better understand how these colors affect human perception, it is necessary to dwell on each of them in detail.

 

How are colors perceived by the viewer?

 

Let’s go through the list of the most popular and basic colors in order to better understand how they are perceived by the viewer:

  1. Red – this color carries both positive

 and often negative energy. This is a rather bold choice, because it can cause both a storm of pleasant emotions and create associations with something negative. For example, this shade can simultaneously symbolize strength, passion and fearlessness, or it can evoke associations with pain and danger. If you take the YouTube logo as an example, you can easily track how skillfully the designers approached its creation – it fits perfectly into the context and always evokes only positive emotions.

  1. Yellow – many viewers associate it with warmth and optimism. But like any other color, it can have the opposite effect – for many, it is yellow that means cowardice and frustration, so you need to be extremely careful when using this color.
  2. Blue is one of the most popular colors that symbolizes trust, consistency and security. For this reason, it is so favored by businessmen. But in a negative context, it can be perceived as coldness or unattractiveness.
  3. Green is one of the most beloved colors of man, which is perceived by the brain as a unity with nature. Therefore, it can cause both calmness and relaxation, and stimulate the growth of energy. But dull green tones can cause melancholy and suppress mood, and excessively bright ones can cause associations with something unpleasant.
  4. Black is the color of luxury and elegance. A person who chooses black is distinguished by courage and delicate taste. And at the same time, this color is able to raise a gloomy mood, if its choice is not approached very competently.
  5. White, silver – purity and freshness. White is the base color that can sometimes symbolize sterility.

 

Based on the above information, it becomes clear why most electric motorcycle companies tend to choose green, white and blue colors in their work. Sometimes they can use red or its shades to remind of energy, but in general, the message is always the same – cleanliness, ecology and reliability. Using this simple information, you can create a brand for yourself and choose the optimal palette that will satisfy your requirements.

 

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Ghana could be without donkeys soon

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Donkeys (Equus asinus) are domestic working animals in horse family that have been used for more than 5,000 years. Another name for a donkey is an ass, the male donkey is called a jack, the female  a Jenny and  young, foal. Donkeys are believed to have been domesticated around 3000 BC from the African Wild Ass (Equus africanus).

There is a report of  approximately 5,000-year-old ass skeletons found embedded in tombs in one of the early Pharaonic mortuary complex at Abydos, Middle Egypt. Donkeys served as the ancient transport systems in Africa and Asia. There are 82 references of donkeys in the Bible and it was used by Romans in agriculture and transport, including pastoral services. Donkeys may be considered as the first ungulate to come from Africa and have spread around the world.

In Ghana, donkeys are mostly found in the upper part of the country such as Bolgatanga, Walewale, Dabo, and in some parts of Oti region. Over 14,500 donkeys were owned by Ghanaians in 2015 according to FAOSTAT, and the figure has been dwindling since. The importance of donkeys in the economy has been overlooked for many years considering the contributions donkeys bring to the lives  of people in the country.

Donkeys play an important role in agriculture by providing draught power for ploughing of lands, transportation of water over long distances in rural areas, and hiring out the services of the animal to earn a living. In other parts of the world, donkey milk is used  in anti-aging cosmetics and has been shown to have superior qualities compared to other animal milk such as cow and goat milk. Donkey milk is considered the closest to human breast milk, thus, it was used to feed orphaned children in the past. Cleopatra is reported to have maintained her soft smooth skin thanks to donkey milk baths. Hippocrates is known to use donkey mild to treat arthritis, cough and wounds. The fashion industry is also known to profit from the skin of donkeys; you can learn more about it in the Fashion TV special, ‘Donkey fashion’. 

Donkeys are also used as companion animals/pet and in circus for entertainment. These are major aspects in poor societies which are needed for poverty alleviation and provision of good healthcare for women and children. This indicates that donkeys play a significant role in achieving sustainable development goals 1 and 2.  

 

There are three main threats to donkey populations in Ghana and the world. 

First, difficulty in breeding donkeys. The donkey population in the world has been in a declining trend since 2010 with the advent of increased demand to Asia. Data shows that China which has the largest demand has used a chunk of its donkey population which was 11.1 million in 1990 to 2.5 million in 2018. The question then is why not breed to replace? The requirements to breed donkeys successfully are difficult to achieve. In developed country donkey are kept in sophisticated stables with a heatline providing warmth for them in cold weather. 

To supply 300,000 donkeys through commercial farming, it would take an area of about 600 square miles which is about 4 times (4x) the area of Kakum national park as each donkey requires at least 0.5 acres of grazing land. Another reason is donkeys require a very long gestation period of about 11-14 months to give birth to one foal and often consumption of high fiber diet to achieve and maintain acceptable minimum body conditions. Production of this high fiber diet is expensive and labor-intensive.

The second threat to the donkey population in Ghana is the trade of donkey hide. It is estimated that the Ejiao industry which depends on gelatin produced from donkey skins and used in traditional Chinese medicine and beauty products requires approximately 4.8 million donkey skins annually. Due to Chinas depletion of its stock, it has now turned to the global market to channel significant amounts of donkey skin to meet the demands for Ejiao. This has unfortunately spiked the trade of donkeys across Africa  leading to devastating effects on donkey population in Africa. Between 2016 – 2018, 15% of Kenyas donkey population was slaughtered, a similar situation occurred in Ghana such that the price of a donkey doubled. You can learn more about how donkey meat has sadly become a delicacy on BBC Lifestyle this Christmas. 

The third and final threat is the lack of enforcement of laws relating to donkey trade and welfare. On 17th January 2017, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture banned the slaughter and export of donkey skin in Ghana. This ban was met with undeniable disregard from persons in the donkey trade business. The lack of enforcement facilitated this trade to thrive to the extent that Ghana currently relies on neighboring countries for the supply of donkeys. Donkey importation has added to the myriad of exchange rate wreckers in our economy. To the animal and veterinary industry, donkey importation should be of utmost concern as it constitutes a plausible gateway for disease transmission, especially to areas where poverty is already rife. This lack of law enforcement on the ban has also left Ghana as a hotspot for donkey smuggling across Africa. 

 

Finally, these demands and an unrelenting thirst for donkey skin have made donkeys one of the most abused animals in Africa. The incessant demand of the animal from global market coupled with the lack of rapid breeding raises concern that Ghana will be without donkeys very shortly.

By Daniel Baba Abiliba 

Animal Welfare Advocate 

abilibadanielbaba11@gmail.com

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Ashesi launches a Collaborative Research Project with McGill University to Track Experiential Learning and Entrepreneurial Activities of Students and Alumni

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Ashesi University has launched a research project with McGill University to understand the pathways from experiential education to the entrepreneurial actions of their students and graduates. The research, a Mastercard Foundation (MCF) Partner Research Fund (PRF) sponsored project, primarily focuses on MCF Scholarship beneficiaries and provides an opportunity to study students in general.

 

The Provost of Ashesi University, Professor Angela Owusu-Ansah, highlighted the importance of the collaboration between Ashesi and McGill University.

“In our current era of uncertainty, complexity, and the rate of change in technology being new every six months and knowledge being generated at that rate, no one institution can brace these challenges on their own. So, collaboration is the key. Hence, when Ashesi and McGill decided to collaborate, it was to join these different mindsets and their wisdom. On one hand there is Ashesi, young, risk-taker, and exploratory and then McGill being an older institution. These differences have naturally set the path for the two institutions to learn from and complement each other”. 

 

She also mentioned that the collaboration to carry out this research project is a step in the right direction. She explained that “one unique thing that connects Ashesi and McGill is  having Mastercard Foundation scholars of African descent.  The beauty of it is that as we train them in entrepreneurship, we are training young leaders with the courage and desire to stay here or come back and impact the continent”. Prof. Owusu-Ansah was optimistic that the research will uncover nuances and the impact that institutions make on the entrepreneurial journey of a student or a graduate.

 

The university invited other MCF partner institutions such as Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and  Technology (KNUST) , Campaign for Female Education (CamFed Ghana), African Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS Ghana), Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Ghana Tech Lab, and other institutions with focused incubation programs such as the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) Innovation and Incubation Center, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Business Incubation Hub, and Academic City University College Technology and Entrepreneurship Center.

 

Presenting the focus of the research, Dr Gordon Adomdza, the Co-principal Investigator, and Associate Professor at Ashesi University, indicated that the research centered around how to capture the nature of experiential education provided through courses, internships, and community service engagements. More importantly, Dr. Gordon Adomdza noted that the research will investigate when and how these various experiential exposures trigger entrepreneurial activity by students and alumni.

 

The Co-principal Investigator, Dr Nii Antiaye Addy, Associate Director (Africa Outreach) in the office of the Deputy Provost Student Life and Learning (DPSLL) at McGill University, noted that the research, in many ways, also compares programs in two different institutions in different regions of the world. It will provide an empirical lens for capturing how different programs delivered within a young institutional structure such as Ashesi University in Ghana, about 20 years old, are from those delivered in a 200-year-old university such as McGill University in Canada. He noted that the research design provided an opportunity to have a much broader sense of these programs and their effectiveness.

 

The invited institutions also had the opportunity to share their challenges in tracking the activities of their program participants after engaging them in training programs. ​​Although they were making significant impacts through their programs, many shared gaps in documenting these impacts.They indicated a high interest in improving on their data collection processes in their entrepreneurship training programs. 

 

As part of the next steps, the researchers noted that they will take a process-based approach which will send them to 5 African countries where Ashesi draws the majority of its pan-African students. In these countries, they will conduct interviews and build case studies on the experiential learning and entrepreneurial journeys of alumni. The research partners will also track entrepreneurial support events at Ashesi and McGill to understand how the universities’ experiential educational experiences guide the participants in their actions in entrepreneurship.

 

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