Have our music industry in Ghana and our musicians made the best use of Disc Jockeys all around the world? Does our music industry recognize that harnessing the collective power of Ghanaian DJs around the world does three things; sell our music, sell tickets, attract the world to our culture and music?
These are the questions Kweku Amoako, a top DJ in Bowie, Maryland stewed on as he began the journey to bring together Ghanaian DJs from all over the world to form the biggest music platform for Ghanaian music in the world.
DJ Kweks is the name Kweku Amoako goes by. Bringing like-minded Africans around a single concept is not new to DJ Kweks. He started AfropolitanCities, a successful African networking organization which spread all over the United States. Under Kweku’s leadership and guidance, the Blackstar DJs Worldwide was born in July this year with membership of over 250 Ghanaian DJs all over the world.
It is easy to argue that Ghanaian music has come far but not far enough to make an impact globally. We should ask ourselves, have Ghanaian music made it to the soundtracks of major Hollywood productions? Have Ghanaian music and musicians regularly made the playlist outside Ghanaian events around the world? Making Ghanaian music a household name around the world is not out of reach and Blackstar DJs around the world are committed to making that happen.
Blackstar DJs are extremely important to the Ghana music industry given that, they directly play music to the consumers and interact with audiences on a more regular basis than the musicians. Last year, I was hired as a DJ for a non-Ghanaian fundraising event in San Francisco. I snuck in Wutah’s track “Bronya” to see how the crowd reacts. A minute into the song, several people came up to ask about the track, the musician and the genre. They wanted to know how to get the track and some started conversations with me about Ghana, our music and culture. Thinking back to that moment, DJ Kweks vision became clearer.
As Disc Jockeys, we clearly understand the music taste of our given audience around the world as a result of our direct and regular interactions with consumers. With this influence, Blackstar DJs want to do our part and bring Ghanaian music and culture to the world by partnering with musicians and others in the industry to introduce new Ghanaian music and reach new audiences.
You may have already heard some of the buzz about this massive initiative on social media. Popular Ghanaian DJs such as DJ Black and Sarkodie’s resident disk jockey, DJ Mensah are two of the many exciting members in the Blackstar DJ Worldwide network. DJ Mensah (Ghana), DJ Fisho (USA), DJ Black (Ghana) and DJ E’Love (USA) serve as advisor members on the leadership team. The official launch of the Blackstar DJ Worldwide initiative is August 15th.
The music platform will offer a number of exciting features including live dj sets, music charts, playlists, talk series addressing issues with industry, browse and book top Ghanaian DJs around the world. Any artist can reach global audience through the Blackstar DJ Worldwide platform.
Blackstar DJs Worldwide leadership team is made up of highly educated professional Ghanaians from all across the globe. Together, they form a powerful group of executives with a strategic aim to promote Ghanaian music around the world through partnership with the music industry stakeholders and musicians.
Allow me to introduce you to the leadership team of the Blackstar DJs Worldwide network.
Kweku Amoah (DJ Kweks) – Founder of Black Star DJs Worldwide – Bowie, Maryland
Kweku’s DJ name is DJ Kweks. Kweku is located in Bowie, Maryland, USA. Kweku is a Business, Marketing & Technology Strategist and the founder of AfropolitanCities & DrumPulse Entertainment.
Kweku has been a professional DJ for 10 years and he services the Maryland, Washington and Virginia area. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University in DC, USA and an MBA from Georgetown University
Selassie Ahorlu (EmperorVibes) – Los Angeles, California
Selassie is an event promoter in Los Angeles, California. He is the founder of EmperorVibes & Calabash Mafia (event curating and community building organizations). He is also an AfropolitanCities Partner and operates mainly in the Southern California area. Professionally, Selassie works as a Control Systems Engineer in the Oil & Gas industry.
Selassie has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. He holds an MBA from Aberdeen Business School (RGU). Selassie’s passion is networking, music and exposing the diaspora to Pan African culture, starting with my homeland Ghana.
Eddy kofi ( DJ Eddy K) – London, UK
Eddy Grant is a well-known and popular DJ in London, UK. Eddy is a Teacher in the UK and he shows the same passion and dedication to this profession as he does with Djing. Eddy got into the DJ business because he has a passion and love for music. He started collecting music at an early age and naturally went into dj’ing when the time came.
Daniel Kwaja( DJ Kudjo/Phat) – London, UK
Daniel Kwaja aka DJ Kudjo/Phat) is a household name in London/Kent, UK. DJ Kudjo is one of the catalyst of exciting and popular music events in Ghana back in the 80’s and 90’s. Daniel is a Lecturer in the UK by profession. Education wise, Daniel holds a CIM Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing (IPS, Legon Ghana), a BA Business Admin( University of Greenwich, London UK) and a PGCE(UCL IoE, London UK)
A passion for music got DJ Kudjo/Phat started in the DJ business. He cares about excellent sound and has a strong interest in DJ’ing equipments. Daniel was the founder Phat Record/Sounds in Ghana in the late 90s and he continues to be very successful in the Dj’ing and music equipment space.
Kwadjo Nyame (DJ PC) – San Francisco, California
Peter Nyame aka DJ PC is a San Francisco based DJ. Peter works as an HR Director in the Tech Industry in Silicon Valley, California. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Rutgers University in New Jersey, a Master’s degree in HR Leadership From Franklin University in Ohio and another Master’s Degree in Science in Organizational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. Peter has been fine-tuning his DJ skills with a unique repertoire of mixes, music elements and playlists since his college days. and he went professional with an entertainment and a successful DJ business about eight years ago.
DJ PC’s love for all genres of music started at a very early age and he never quit his curiosity and big appetite for music, new and old. He got into the DJ game because he believes every party has to be memorable and DJs hold the key to making that happen.
Albert Asiedu-Ofei (Mixmasterberto) – Ashburn, VA USA
Albert Asiedu-Ofei aka Mixmasterberto is a popular DJ in Virginia, USA. He is Devops Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. Mixmasterberto is also an AWS certified Developer, Certified Scrum Master, Red Hat certified engineer(RHCE) and Microsoft Azure Administrator. He threw his hat in the DJ game because the clubs were bumping in the 90s.
Joseph Arthur (DJ Big Joe) – London, UK
Joseph Arthur, popularly known as DJ Big Joe is a Presenter, Producer & Programs Manager at GN Radio in the UK. He is also a Professional DJ at concerts, clubs, bars and major events. Professionally, DJ Big Joe is a Qualified Sound Engineer and the founder & partner of 2NDIINONE Entertainment, an events, artists management, promotions & consultancy. His consultancy business also handles Pro sound systems, equipments rentals & logistics.
Joseph holds a Diploma in Sound Engineering, Digital Film Production & Music Business) from the SAE Institute London School of audio engineering. He also holds a Diploma in business & economics studies from Unity College London. Like most of the executives. Dj Big Joe loves music and has a desire for expressing himself and creativity through music to the world. He also loves the financial & economic benefits of being a DJ and Consultant.
Michael Kwame Asante (DJ Kwasante) – London, UK
Michael Kwame Asante goes by DJ Kwasante and is located in London. DJ Kwasante is a Professional Sound Engineer/Sound Analyst, Criminal Investigator and Security Consultant. Kwasante is the CEO of Next Level Sounds UK and co-founder of Next Level enterprise group. He is also a Radio Broadcaster and has 20 Years of professional Dj’ing to boast of. He holds a B.A (HONS) in Business & Administration. His love for music and creative arts made him decide to become a DJ and he has not regretted this decision.
DJ Mensah (The Untouchable) – Accra Ghana
DJ Mensah is one of the best and talented DJs in Ghana today. He refers to himself as untouchable because his skill set is unique and top musicians in Ghana rely on him to provide top quality sounds every time he is called upon. DJ Mensah has been a professional DJ since 2000 and he continues to find success in the music and entertainment industry. He lists GIJ and RABODEF as his certifications. He holds a Diploma from Accra Poly and a Degree from Central University. DJ Mensah’s passion and love for music drove him to become a DJ.
Jonathan Djan (Selector Decker) – Manassas, VA
Jonathan Djan is a fun-loving and experienced DJ serving audiences in the Manassas Virginia area. Selector Decker is his DJ name of choice. Jonathan is a Management Consulting /Product Manager and he has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana. He also holds an MBA from the College of William & Mary in the United States. His certifications include PMP, SASM, CSM, and AWS. Like most DJs, his love for music is the driving force behind Selector Decker’s place behind a Controller rocking a party.
In conclusion, every stakeholder in the Ghanaian music industry must embrace the Blackstar DJ Worldwide group. Blackstar DJs will always have their ear to the streets and they will be the first to know which new artists have a buzz, what songs are fully embraced by the consumers worldwide and which songs fails to garner a positive audience reaction. Blackstar DJs can provide reliable and valuable feedback to musicians and the Ghanaian music industry while promoting our culture and we cannot wait to play our part in the industry.
Ghana Stand Up!!
By Kwadjo Nyame
British High Commission donates eight (8) ambulances to the Ghana Armed Forces as part of its annual Security Dialogue
Demonstrating bilateral collaboration and commitment to strengthening the UK-Ghana security partnership, the British High Commission has presented eight (8) ambulances to the Ghana Armed Forces to improve medical outreach in the Northern border regions.
The official handover ceremony which took place today at the Burma Camp in Accra is a testament of the strong security and defence ties the UK and Ghana share.
The event brought together the UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Rt. Hon. James Heappey, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama from the Ghana Armed Forces, British High Commissioner, H.E. Harriet Thompson, representatives from the UK government and representatives from the Ghana Armed Forces, showcasing a collaborative effort to bolster peace and security in the Northern regions.
Ghana, like her neighbours appreciate the importance of civilian cooperation in the Northern regions as the Armed Forces work alongside Non-Governmental Organisations in the fight to prevent and limit violent extremist organisations. The ambulances provided are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to aid the Ghana Armed Forces in their medical outreaches in the five (5) Northern regions as part of the UK-Ghana Civilian Military Cooperation Programme.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Rt. Hon. James Heappey said:
“Ghana is a key partner for the UK, we work together to tackle shared challenges from violent extremism in the Sahel to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and this donation underscores the strong partnership between the UK and Ghana”.
“We are proud to contribute to Ghana Armed Force’s capacity to protect and serve its civilians in the 5 Northern regions to counter violent extremism, and we will continue to foster long-lasting partnerships through our annual security dialogue”.
The ambulances will be distributed in the Wa, Bolgatanga, Sandema Mechanical Brigade Headquarters and the Armoured Regimental Headquarters in Damango respectively.
The UK continues to work closely with the Ghana Armed Forces to support Ghana’s leadership position in the sub-region and to strengthen the capability of Ghanaian security services to take the lead in responding to instability in the region, particularly those related to that of violent extremists emanating from the Sahel.
Jumia appoints Temidayo Ojo as new Ghana CEO
Jumia, the leading e-commerce platform in Africa, has announced the appointment of Temidayo Ojo as Ghana’s new Chief Executive Officer. He takes over the leadership mantle from former CEO, Sunil Natraj who is taking up a new role as the CEO of Jumia Nigeria.
“I am honored and thrilled to take on the role of CEO at Jumia Ghana. Having been part of this
incredible journey at Jumia, I’ve witnessed firsthand the remarkable potential and unwavering dedication of our team. My commitment is steadfast—to steer Jumia Ghana towards continued growth, expanding our market reach, and ensuring that every customer experience is nothing short of exceptional. Our focus remains on innovation, seamless service delivery, and fostering strong partnerships that will elevate not only our platform but also the e-commerce landscape in Ghana,” said Temidayo Ojo upon his appointment.
Temidayo is an adept leader with over a decade of experience spanning project management,
commercial sales, and business strategy. He joined Jumia in 2020, as the Head of Planning and
Performance before moving on to become the Chief Commercial Officer in Ghana and has honed his expertise in crafting and executing transformative strategies within the e-commerce, retail, and consumer goods sectors. His career trajectory showcases a stellar journey—pioneering e-commerce strategies, optimizing financial performance, and spearheading large-scale commercial transformations.
Temidayo Ojo holds an MBA in Finance, Strategy & Consulting from IESE Business School, and a
Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics
Engineering from the University of Lagos.
He looks forward to fostering growth within Jumia’s operations in Ghana while collaborating closely with all stakeholders to ensure partner
development and consumer satisfaction as the company charts towards profitability
Seychelles, not just home of giant tortoises, rare fruits, and exotic beaches
Seychelles is home for many things, most especially the thousands of giant tortoises walking slowly across the archipelago and weighing up to 200 kg, as well as the the endemic Coco de Mer palm tree with its very special fruits, which is the symbol of the nation and most commonly found on the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Vallée de Mai” Island.
It also has colourful coral reefs, clown and trumpet fish, sea turtles and much more can be discovered while snorkelling and diving in the pristine blue waters of the country. The uniquely beautiful underwater world of Seychelles can equally be explored and experienced directly from the many great beaches that surround the archipelago nation.
For travelers and tourists dreaming of white, deserted sandy beaches, round granite rocks and turquoise blue water they are guaranteed to find what they are looking for in Seychelles. The beaches of Seychelles are uniquely beautiful and it could give the satisfaction that the traveler is on a desert island of their own.
Indeed, Seychelles is a haven for people seeking to hike around the hills and enjoy the cool and calm waters of the Indian ocean and a warm sunny tropical weather off the African continent.
However, Seychelles is not only about giant tortoises, the sea, turquoise blue pristine waters, sandy and rocky beaches, and beautiful coral reefs below the waters, it is a place to get lost in the culture and essence of the 100,000 or so people on this beautiful island nation.
As 65 tourism trade and media partners from around the world hosted by Seychelles’ tourism board would find out, there is more to Seychelles than the sea and beaches. It is a nation of many cultures exuded through a warm and welcoming populace providing different experiences for the visitor.
This was emphasized by Sherin Francis, Principal Secretary of Tourism Seychelles when she led a team of officials from Tourism Seychelles to welcome the 65 guests to the archipelago nation for a three-day Mega Familiarization Trip.
“For those of you who have been here seven years, I know somebody who just told me seven years ago he was here, probably you did not get to experience this. But today, with, focus on product diversification, having more cultural experiences, we have also, encouraging our visitors to make time to discover more of the Seychellois culture,” she said.
“The gastronomy, arts, dance, crafts, artisan, all this today are on offer, and you are able to experience and immerse yourself in more cultural experiences, activities, entertainment in general.”
Highlighting on the range of accommodation offering, the Principal Secretary said, ‘’You would know we have a wide range of accommodation in Seychelles. We have beautiful resorts like this one, the Constance Ephelia, but we also have homegrown properties, self-catering apartments and guest said houses. We want them to provide exceptional services, we want their products to be of higher standards, so that they can attract better kinds of visitors that will benefit the whole destination at the end of the day.
She said the kind of visitors Seychelles is targeting to attract are those that would give high value, such as visitors who “will want to go out and discover, and go out and do an excursion, go to a hiking, experience a cultural product, living more than just, the waste that it would probably produce like we all do when we travel and also lower impact.’’
Dubbed the “Mega Familiarization Trip”, the inaugural hosting by the department responsible for tourism in Seychelles, Tourism Seychelles, invited these trade and media partners from over 15 markets from all six continents and hosted them from 29th November to 2nd December 2023.
On his part, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Loius Sylvester Radegonde Said they would have to diversify their tourism products to entice tourists from new source markets to visit Seychelles.
“Over here we need to continue to diversify the range of products we have, continue to raise our level of services, continue to give that value for money. So basically, that’s going to continue to be the work for next year,” the Minister said.
Minister Radegonde said this during an interview with the media at a special Creole Rendezvous night at the Cap Lazare Nature Reserve at Mahe during the hosting of 65 trade and media partners to a familiarization tour of Seychelles.
Mr. Radegonde also noted that his ministry and the tourism board need to work on the perception that Seychelles is an expensive destination. “We need to work on the perception that people have of Seychelles out there. When you talk to somebody, they perceive Seychelles to be a 5-star destination beyond the needs of the ordinary person, it is not true, he said. “We have a range of accommodation, 5-star plus, but also small guest houses which we are pushing.” He said there are over 700 of these small hotels and guest houses across the archipelago.
“This has been my focus since I was appointed 3 years ago. Since my appointment, I have visited over 300 of these small hotels because I want to see what the challenges are, see how we can improve. It is not for them to compete with the 5-star hotels, absolutely not, because they offer a different category of services and we want them to benefit from the tourism industry,” he noted.
The meticulously curated itinerary for the hosting was designed to enhance every moment of their journey across the 115-island archipelago nation. This includes a three-night stay at the 5-star Constance Ephelia Resort, experience on Silhouette Island by Hilton Labriz, rum tasting, snorkeling, fishing, boat rides, sundowners, heritage experience at Mission Lodge, city tour of Victoria, market experience at Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, lunch experience at Marie Antoinette and a special Creole Rendezvous night at Cap Lazare Nature Reserve.
“The primary goal of this marketing endeavour is to provide travel agencies with firsthand experiences and comprehensive information about our destination, enabling them to more effectively market and promote it to their clients,” said Bernadette Willemin, Director General of Destination Marketing at Tourism Seychelles.
She added at the official welcome event at the Cyann Restaurant at the Constance Ephelia Resort at Mahe that “this familiarization trip is intended to showcase aspects of intellectual discoveries, cultural discoveries, which our destination has to offer. It is not just a trip. It is an immersive experience designed to deepen your understanding of our unique offerings.”
Tourism Seychelles spared no expense to give its guests the most wonderful experience as it hosted them to some of the best things the nation has on offer from accommodation, to tour packages, gastronomy, drinks and beverages and local Seychellois cultural experiences. Thus, while it provided an opportunity for networking by the guests, the Fam Trip also showcased the breathtaking beauty and sleuth of attractions that Seychelles has to offer those who wish to visit.
The Mega Fam Trip hosting got substantial backing from local partners, such as Constance Hotels & Resorts, Constance Ephelia Resorts, Hilton Seychelles, and Laïla, Seychelles, Creole Travel Services, Masons Travels, 7 Degree South, Summer Rain Tours among others.
These concerted efforts to build partnerships with travel agencies and media outlets within and outside reflects Seychelles’ comprehensive approach to destination marketing. The success of this hosting and other initiatives would help Seychelles’ ambition to position itself prominently among the world’s premier island destinations aiming at attracting high value visitors to boost their tourism drive.
Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises. Mahé, a hub for visiting the other islands, it is home to capital Victoria. It also has the mountain rainforests of Morne Seychellois National Park and beaches, including Beau Vallon and Anse Takamaka.
Tourism is the topmost contributor to the economy of Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
According to the World Bank, Seychelles has a population of 107,000 inhabitants, three-quarters of whom live on the main island of Mahé and it has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Africa, at $ 15.8 billion (2022). Its economy is highly dependent on tourism and fisheries.
The Mega Fam Trip had representatives selected from 46 travel agencies and 19 press partners across the world. The participants came from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, the Americas, the Middle East, China, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, and countries from the Indian Ocean, and Africa.
By Francis Doku
Shopping For Emerald, Asscher, And Marquise Cut Diamonds Online
One question that can stump customers searching for diamonds online regards the cut. While round-cut diamonds are timeless, there are lots of other options. Emerald, Asscher, and Marquise diamonds all look great in diamond rings. But it helps to know the difference and what to look out for when choosing the best.
Anyone looking to shop Emerald cut diamonds needs to be sure they aren’t actually after the sparkler Asscher cut. There is also the option to shop Marquise cut diamonds online for a whole other look, but what color and what kind of diamond?
Emerald Cut Diamonds for Boldness and Clarity
Emerald-cut diamonds make a big statement, especially when designing an engagement ring. These stones are characterized by their simple lines and clean look, with a strong rectangular shape. Often designers use the stone on its own on a thin band for enhanced visual impact.
When choosing the best marketplace to Shop Emerald cut diamonds online, it pays for consumers to consider the clarity of the stone. There is a broad scale from included to flawless diamonds. I1 toI3 included diamonds will look too blemished for this cut. A VVS1 or VVS2 stone with imperceptible inclusions is much better. There are flawless diamonds at the high end of the scale, but they look much like the VVS1 stones to the naked eye.
Asscher Cut Diamonds for Extra Sparkle
There are similarities between the Asscher and Emerald cut diamonds because of their angular shape. However, buyers appreciate the Asscher cut for the step-cut design that allows for extra sparkle on an engagement ring. Search and buy Asscher cut diamonds online will shine brilliantly from any angle. Still, consumers need to be sure of getting something with the right color to enhance the look.
As with clarity, there is another scale for color. Anything from D-F is colorless while S-Z has a light color. This could be a yellow or cooler tone. While some feel that colored diamonds are a sign of poor quality, that isn’t the case at all. It is possible to find highly-valuable stones in a range of tones. The unique nature of the gem also allows for interesting personalized jewelry.