Connect with us
NOT IN USE

People & Lifestyle

How ACCES 2019 brought global music to Accra for networking, exhibitions, workshops, discussions and more

Published

on

mail

The Music In Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES) concluded on 30 November with delegates calling the event a resounding success.  ACCES 2019 hosted hundreds of delegates from across Africa and around the world who travelled to Accra, Ghana, for three action-packed days of networking, exhibitions, presentations, workshops, showcases and panel discussions.

Organised by the Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF), ACCES is the continent’s biggest music business event that goes to a different African city every year to foster partnerships and new business connections between music industry professionals such as musicians, talent managers, festival organisers, record label executives, digital distributors, media practitioners and many others.

The Accra event was the third of its kind after ACCES was held in Dakar, Senegal, and Nairobi, Kenya in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgallery.mailchimp.com%2Ffa52aef7c70b6fbfe3da6dcea%2F compresseds%2Fbdb622d1 f905 43db 91ff 1fb493c03141.jpg&t=1576089631&ymreqid=a9118f68 f99b 17f2 1c1f 220018015400&sig=rIbXUcbGNUW5vKnL.M

Ebo Taylor(m) and Bibie Brew(r)

Music In Africa Honorary Award and showcases

ACCES 2019 kicked off at Alliance Française Accra on 28 November with the Music In Africa Honorary Award presentation ceremony, which paid homage to Ghanaian music legends Bibie Brew and Ebo Taylor. The award is given out by the MIAF on an annual basis and recognises the outstanding contributions of notable musicians to their home country’s industry and that of Africa as a whole. Previous recipients include Baaba Maal (Senegal, 2017) and Eric Wainaina (Kenya, 2018).

After accepting his Honorary Award at this year’s ACCES, the 83-year-old Taylor went on to perform his evergreen classic ‘Love and Death’ alongside the Saltpond City Band and with the help of American academic, musician and conference speaker Mark LeVine (US).

Taylor’s short performance signalled the start of the conference’s showcases, with Yaa Yaa(Ghana), Kyekyeku & Ghanalogue Highlife (Ghana), Songhoy Blues (UK/Mali) and Arka’n(Togo) entertaining a glowing ACCES audience before bringing to a close a memorable opening night.

More showcases featuring musical acts from across the African continent and diaspora also took place on 29 and 30 November at the Gold Coast Hub and Alliance Française respectively. Other showcasing artists at ACCES 2019 included Gato Preto (Germany/Ghana/Mozambique), Lúcia de Carvalho (France/Angola), Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Sibusile Xaba (South Africa), Bholoja (eSwatini), Santrofi(Ghana), FOKN Bois (Ghana), Cina Soul (Ghana) and FRA! (Ghana). Songhoy Blues, Gato Preto and Lúcia de Carvalho were presented at ACCES by Reeperbahn Festival International.

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgallery.mailchimp.com%2Ffa52aef7c70b6fbfe3da6dcea%2F compresseds%2F3a3a9d06 2206 4d72 850c d66f1fcebc33

Sarkodie

Knowledge factory

The conference hosted informative presentations and panel discussions where top music professionals and academics enlightened the audience about the history and development of highlife music and the musical treasures of a Kenyan refugee camp, and debated pertinent music industry topics such as the streaming era, the recording and distribution industries, effective intellectual property management, Africa’s alternative music platforms, and the potential of Afro-European music market collaborations ‒ all taking place at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences’ main auditorium.

In addition, the academy played host to ACCES’ popular Conversation series featuring Ghanaian superstars Sarkodie, Efya and Samini as well as international guests Sway Dasafo(UK) and Skales (Nigeria), who spoke about their professional experience as recording artists and gave advice to upcoming musicians looking to break into the music industry.

More advice and knowledge was further shared with the ACCES delegates via the conference’s free workshops, which explored music production essentials and composing music for film, while a workshop that began about a week prior to the start of the trade event trained eight women in stage management. The workshop, made possible through a partnership with the Prince Claus Fund, is part of Music In Africa Gender@Work − a three-year programme aimed at upskilling and increasing the participation of female professionals in the African music sector.

 

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgallery.mailchimp.com%2Ffa52aef7c70b6fbfe3da6dcea%2F compresseds%2Fa6db77b2 963b 4cd8 ab03 69114fd020e4

Kyekyeku

Exhibitions and networking

This year, the exhibition area at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences was a hive of activity with ACCES’ Pitch Sessions providing a highly dynamic element to proceedings. Here startups and service providers in the music industry got the perfect opportunity to present their ideas to an audience of potential partners, collaborators, clients and funders. Pitchers were given 10 minutes to present their concept or service, answer questions and get feedback.

The conference also hosted for the first time the Exhibitor Hub, a tech-oriented space where companies and organisations promoted their products and services. Hub exhibitors included the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), which presented its Global Collections Report for 2018, as well as Voice of America, Boomplay Music, Ditto Music, Aftown and the Year of Return.

Concurrently, a speed networking session, designed to accelerate exchange and build new partnerships, saw a dedicated networking space at the academy teeming with delegates who got to meet a carefully curated group of networkers representing the various parts of the music industry.

The next edition of ACCES will take place in 2020 in a yet to be announced African city. Visit the ACCES official website for venue updates: https://www.musicinafrica.net/acces

 

About ACCES 2019

ACCES is a pan-African trade event for music industry players to exchange ideas, discover new talent and create business linkages. ACCES is held in a different African city every year, attracting active music industry players from across the globe.

ACCES 2019 was organised by the Music In Africa Foundation, a non-profit and pan-African organisation, in partnership and with the support of Siemens Stiftung, Goethe-Institut, Reeperbahn Festival International, Alliance Française, BMG, Media Sound Hamburg, the Multimedia Group, Africa Art Lines, Afrikayna, the Gold Coast Hub, the Year of Return, the Prince Claus Fund and the ANT Mobility Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

This year ACCES partnered with Reeperbahn Festival – one of the most important meeting places for the music industry worldwide and Europe’s largest club festival based in Hamburg, Germany. The partnership created a framework for the festival to collaborate with ACCES in facilitating sustainable business engagements and exchange between European and African music businesses and professionals, as well as the provision of performance opportunities to musicians in both territories.

Advertisement

People & Lifestyle

ARTSPLIT launches platform in Ghana with auction and exhibition by artists Ablade Glover, Kofi Agorsor and Isshaq Ismail

Published

on

Ablade Glover Confrontation 2022
Ablade Glover - Confrontation 2022

ARTSPLIT, the pioneering African art technology platform, has announced Bridges – the December edition of its modern & contemporary online auction featuring three iconic works by Ghanaian artists from 2 to 17 December available to access via the dedicated ARTSPLIT app and on public view at The Mix Design Hub in Accra between 11-16 December.

 

The auction follows from the successful inaugural Modern and Contemporary African Arts (MOCONA) Auction which took place in July 2022 and a recent November auction which coincided with Africa’s premier contemporary art fair ART X Lagos and saw the sales of works by some of the continent’s most celebrated artists including Yusuf Grillo and George Pemba.

 

The Bridges auction will continue ARTSPLIT’s efforts of creating better access and value for both emerging African artists and already established artists. The auction will feature works by three Ghanaian artists; bold colourful paintings by Isshaq Ismail, the vibrant works of Ablade Glover that capture the joyous everyday life of Ghana and finally Kofi Agorsor whose buoyant, semi-abstract and witty depictions of his subjects have received widespread international acclaim.

 

The artists included in the auction bridge generations of artistic excellence, divulging an exploratory voyage into artistic skill, medium, and narrative across generations. All three artists evoke emotions and canonise womanhood as an ode to the motherland, referencing sociocultural norms and features in their works and bridging generations of artistic mastery and skill. These artists use their art to express resilience, inspire, reflect, and motivate change in the face of ongoing national and international challenges.

 

Ablade Glover’s work reflects his deep love of life, activity, and colour. Glover depicts animated landscapes that mirror the exuberant diversity of Africa: its bustling market stalls, brightly attired crowds and women, and the dynamic energy that is Ghana, using warm impastoed pigments to express the dynamism, energy, and heat of his country. Mostly, his canvases are a love affair with Africa, generously splattered on canvas, evoking the continent’s struggle, tension, beauty, and verve.

 

The vibrant, bold colours used in Kofi Agorsor’s paintings depict the daily lives of modern Ghanaians. of spontaneity and order. His paintings are frequently embellished with splashes, drips, and flows of paint that intertwine to form magnificent forests or labyrinths, reflecting the interplay of music, dance movements, and geometry. He frequently employs pulsing colours to create an interpretation of the essence of contemporary Ghanaians; lived experiences set against the backdrop of entertainment.

 

Isshaq Ismail uses black, brown, green, red, ochre, purple, and blue to investigate and explore grotesque figures and textures. Ismail describes his process in sculptural terms, describing how he manipulates paint with thick, gestural brushstrokes in the same way a sculptor shapes clay. Through these striking and evocative works, he hopes to subvert and interrogate conventional notions of beauty. Representing the masses and advocating for the voiceless; his paintings explore themes of desire, resilience, power, and hope.

 

The ARTSPLIT app allows users to own fractions of prominent African artworks, also known as “Splits,” and keep or sell them on the app at the end of the Split Auction.” The Splits allow multiple people to co-own a single iconic piece of art, which no other art platform currently does. Users can also participate in a ‘Lease Auction’ on the app to win physical custody of these co-owned artworks for a set period.

 

The December auction follows the massive success of the November auction as well as the inaugural MOCONA auction held in July and attended by key figures in the Lagos art scene and exhibiting artists Edosa Ogiugo, El-Dragg Okwoju, and Abiodun Olaku. The MOCONA auction, titled Ode to Mastery, featured five prominent Nigerian artists who are key drivers of the continent’s contemporary art scene: Abiodun Olaku, Duke Asidere, Edosa Ogiugo, El-Dragg Okwoju, and Oliver Enwonwu.

Continue Reading

People & Lifestyle

Expert Tips To Help You Choose The Right Chiropractor In Miami

Published

on

Chiropractor

Those who suffer from the problem of severe and unbearable pain in their back and other musculoskeletal body parts know well the importance of various treatments being offered by physicians and healthcare experts. In this respect, chiropractic treatments prove to help relieve various signs and symptoms associated with painful conditions. To get the requisite treatment in the desired manner, you must first choose the right chiropractor at your place. Here are some expert tips that may ease your task.

Check The Qualifications Of The Chiropractor

While hiring chiropractors through snapcrack.com/?lang=es or other sources available to you, you need to check their educational qualifications. They must be sufficiently qualified so that you may remain assured that they have complete knowledge about the human body and problems being suffered by the same. Through the knowledge attained by way of their qualifications, they may treat you in the best manner possible.

Make Sure The Chiropractor Is Experienced And Well-Trained

Apart from qualifications, it is also important that the chiropractor that you want to choose for your treatment is appropriately experienced and well-trained. The relevant chiropractor must have years of experience and training in offering the requisite treatments excellently and dependably.

Check And Compare Treatment Costs

Before you finally choose and hire any of the chiropractors for your needs, you must check and compare their treatment costs with other similar professionals in the related industry. You may ask for costs involved with some specific type of treatments you need to undergo and then compare the same to go ahead with one that seems to be most competitive to you in all respects.

Give Heed To Patient Reviews And Assessments

The reviews and assessments given by other patients for any chiropractor must also be checked while choosing and booking the best one for your treatment purpose. Great reviews and assessments given by the patients affirm about dependability and suitability of the given chiropractor for your needs.

Check Authorization Before Getting Treated

Like all other professionals, chiropractors also need to have some sort of authorization or license to offer their services professionally. Thus you must check their authorization before getting treated for some specific painful conditions.

Quicker Availability Is Important

Needless to mention you may need to get treatment for some painful conditions such as lower back pain immediately to get relief. Hence it is important to check if the chiropractor that you want to hire through snapcrack.com/?lang=es is available quickly.

With the help of all these tips as given by the industry experts, you may remain successful in choice of the right and the best chiropractors operating around. You may thus get yourself treated for the specific health issues in your back or other parts of the body assuredly and excellently.

 

 

Continue Reading

People & Lifestyle

JESS ETA, Winner of the 2020 Audiomack x Afrochella Rising Star Competition shares his journey

Published

on

Jess ETA

There’s no doubt that African music has taken center stage and it’s no surprise considering the impressive level of talent emerging from the continent. More and more talents are breaking onto the scene and causing a stir with their fresh, genre-bending sounds.

Over the years, global music streaming platform, Audiomack has provided platforms and avenues for artists to receive maximum effulgence with opportunities for them to connect to a wide audience through its platform and initiatives that foster artists’ growth. An example is the Rising Star Competition which is held annually in partnership with Afrochella. The competition has become a mainstay for rising African artists in the past three years, with thousands of entries received each year.

Jess Eta, a Nigerian producer, singer, and songwriter who won the Rising Star competition in 2020, captivated many hearts with his afro-infused R&B, pop, rock, and soul. In this chat with him, Jess shared that he was originally a member of his church choir and used his knowledge of music theory to harness his craft.

  • How did you hear about the Rising Star Challenge?

I came across the challenge on Audiomack’s Instagram account

  • When you submitted your entry, what was the inspiration behind the song you created?

I was working on a couple of songs and I wanted to intentionally create an Afrobeats hit song. Adding my unique flair to an Afrobeats instrumental, I created the building blocks of that song.

  • What was the most exciting thing about going through the challenge for you?

Every time Afrochella sent an email explaining that I had advanced to the next round, I got excited.

  • What did you learn from the Rising Star Challenge?

I learned not to doubt myself and it became clear to me that my music was appreciated by a wide range of people.

  • What advice would you give other artists who are currently taking part in the challenge?

I would advise that they put their best into whatever song they put in for the competition and also understand that even if they don’t win, it doesn’t undermine their music. There is just a lot of talent in Africa.

  • What should your fans look forward to from you? Any exciting projects we should look forward to?

It’s only been a few months since I dropped my 11-track project titled “Playing With Fire” and the project describes a lot of the things I feel right now. The future is indeed very bright and I am excited to express the things I want to express in the coming months. For now, I have a couple of features coming out.

Jess ETA’s journey holds so much promise, and judging from his strides and wins so far in, fans and listeners can expect the best of afro-influenced music from him in the future.

Audiomack, which has a presence in all 54 African countries aims to reinforce its vision to support upcoming African artists’ growth and development through various initiatives.

Since 2019, Audiomack x Afrochella Rising Star competition has continually provided visibility for artists across the African continent. This year’s competition promises to reward the winner with a $1 000 cash prize and a studio session with Accra-based BBnZ Live. The first runner-up will win a cash prize, an article spotlight feature on Audiomack World, and a one-on-one personal studio session, while the second runner-up will receive a cash prize, personal mentorship with industry experts, and a spotlight on Audiomack World.

Continue Reading

People & Lifestyle

Luxurious and Modern Watches To Gift This Holiday Season By Vincero

Published

on

Screenshot 2022 12 02 at 11.44.54 a.m.

We all know someone who appreciates the finer things in life, whether that be expensive cars or designer bags. During the holidays it can be tricky to find the right gift that not only exudes opulence but is heartfelt. A classic gift that never goes out of style is a sophisticated watch. Vincero, the world’s most innovative and eco-forward brand known for long-lasting and well-crafted accessories, has watches for sure to light up your loved ones’ holiday.

Kleio Steel (For Women) $190 USD- Crafted for a lady with sophisticated taste. The Kleio steel has immaculate features that are not only built to last but are a definite statement piece. The bold designs of this watch are ideal for many occasions from an exquisite holiday dinner to a boardroom meeting. With glass made from sapphire crystals, this watch is scratch-resistant and has a steel brush dial, guaranteeing to elevate your game.5SG1

The Reserve Automatic (For Men) $595 USD- This timeless watch has a modern yet refined design. With bold yet elegantly detailed features The Reverse Automatic is yearning to be placed on the most opulent of wrists this winter. Made with sapphire crystals and has ultra-reliable Miyota 9120 automatic movement this will allow it to be worn for years and years to come. The futuristic aura the watch exudes allows it to never go out of style and become a definite staple item.

Vincero is ready to up the game when it comes to not only luxury watches but the perfect holiday present.

Vincero has left a mark in the fashion industry since its launch, adding dozens of different products to their arsenal, including sunglasses, blue light glasses and bracelets. To find out more information, head to the website: vincerocollective.com and follow on Instagram @VinceroCollective for news and offers.

Continue Reading

People & Lifestyle

What dinners can I make with nuts? (7 delicious ideas)

Published

on

AN141 Nuts In Wooden Bowl 732x549 thumb 1 732x549 1

We can eat nuts as one of the healthiest foods. They are nutrient-dense and loaded with fiber and good fats. Almonds are loaded with probiotics. Pecans are full of beneficial antioxidants, and chestnuts are high in vitamin C.

Nuts are a powerhouse of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They make great baking ingredients and are a go-to for quick snacks. And everyone’s preferred schmear on bread is nut butter, of course.

Cooking can be made much more interesting by treating nuts like beans or other proteins and embracing the meaty aspect of some of them, especially ones like peanuts, which are technically a legume. Look for raw, unsalted nuts whenever possible, unless otherwise specified, to use in your savory cooking. When cooked, roasted nuts will not react the same, and you want to be able to regulate the salt in your food.

Nuts are incredibly adaptable. They are suitable for snacks, desserts, lunch, dinner, and breakfast. They can be made into nut cheeses, sauces, and butter. You can learn about allergies caused by a food allergy course. It will give tips and Tricks to avoid certain nuts if they are allergic. To coat foods and give them a crunchy feel, nuts can be used in place of bread crumbs. They can also be utilized to create healthy pie and tart crusts, which let us feel better about indulging in desserts. Nut milk and nut meat can both be made from nuts!

When using nuts in food, cooks need to be aware of any allergies their guests may have. A food allergy course can help you understand how to deal with allergies, both about the food preparation process, communication with those dining, and also what to do if a reaction occurs.

A few dinner ideas with nuts are

Walnut Cake

The flourless walnut cake is quite likely the simplest. Three simple ingredients—walnuts, eggs, and raw, unrefined sugar make this recipe incredibly moist.

Chicken Salad with Walnuts

This light salad from the summer can be served when a lighter dish is required. It has a sweet crunch from the apple and cherry tomatoes, which is well offset by the watercress’ peppery undertones.

Peanut Caramel Slice

This recipe for peanut slices was given resist the delicious, with sticky golden syrup and peanut topping. A food allergy course will give details if there is any allergy for certain people.

Truffles with coconut and almond butter

Because carob has a delicate malt flavor and pairs well with a little maple syrup to sweeten, we can choose to use it. A tiny amount of coconut shreds offers a lovely lightness and crunch to balance out their richness. It is simple to make and makes a good snack to keep in the cupboard.

Tart with pumpkin and nuts

It will be useful to have a block of puff pastry in the freezer. When you go to see friends or go on a picnic, use it to quickly prepare this simple pumpkin tart.

Balls of pork with nuts

The nuts give flavor and an unexpected bite to these pork and peanut balls. You can cook them all on one tray in the oven to prevent a mess. Serve them hot either alone or with your preferred sauce. Sweet chili is always a favorite and the perfect companion with this.

Brazilian-Nut Cake with Pears

The prominent flavors in this cake include pear, cardamom, and brazil nut. In this golden, textured cake recipe, they complement one another naturally and are extremely nice for early spring.

Nuts are frequently used as a garnish or it is used in addition to salads or wonderful side dishes of rice or other grains. But by increasing the proportions to roughly 1/3 to 1/2 the volume of the dish, you give it a lot more significant flavor and fantastic protein. It will make these a great option for a vegetarian or a vegan main dish. You should be able to maintain the rest of the ingredients in the dish by lowering the amount of rice or other grains and increasing the number of nuts. Nuts also give a rich taste and flavor to all the dishes.

Continue Reading

People & Lifestyle

Flashback: Woes of a Jabulani Ball

Published

on

asamoah gyan

I am Ghana

I never let Africa down

Never have

Never will

Ask Mandela

Forget the scores. Fry FIFA. Freeze history. All because it is the first Friday in July 2010. The lesson of the day? History has two versions- the one which happened and the one which should have. And on the night Ghana lost to Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup, Africa at the threshold of the semi-finals is the living history.

 

The Jabulani flew up, grazed the post and went up, up and out with our dreams. A nation’s heart was cracked. No need for pretence. If you are reading this with hurt feelings I was writing with teary eyes. For once, during the tournament, Sultry Shakira’s ‘’Waka waka’’ did not sound sweet. As for K’naan’s ‘‘Waving Flag’’ chorus, nothing could be more jarring.

For us in Ghana, ‘’disappointment’’ is no longer an abstract noun but a physical pain that we have nursed since the dying seconds of a 120 minute-drama that saw a series of quick events drown our dreams. After the match, Coach Milovan’s theoretical ‘‘this is football’’ explanation would not heal a nation. We have to complete the therapy.

So let us let it out, folks. I need to throw a few things at who, I don’t care. Oh, yes, Africa. What a sorry place. Once again, an entire continent was looking for a hero in Ghana. Ghana must beat Uruguay. Ghana must go to the semifinals. Ghana must wipe Africa’s shame. Ghana must this, Ghana must that.

Why should it always be Ghana? Quick flashback: in the last World Cup, Ghana was also the only African country to have gone beyond the group stage. There are 53 countries. There were six of us at the tournament, including the host nation. What did South Africa do? Where was La Cote d’Ivoire? Which manner of men played for Nigeria? Who sent Algeria there? How could Cameroun stoop so low?

Why should it always be Ghana bailing out this continent? Well, I have got news for Africa. Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana need not reach the 2010 World Cup semifinals to become the hero. We have always been champions. It is ingrained in our genes. So don’t cry for me, Africa.

What a continent! When others lump us up we complain. We blame them for their ignorance and assert our respective sovereignties. Yet we are quick to cower together behind a single country when a whiff of glory is in the air. OK, so everyone knows Ghana pioneered Pan-Africanism. (‘‘I still know there is hope in the Black Stars’’ said a text message I received after the match from a friend in Barbados). But that does not excuse this African paradox.

What happened to our twinkle, twinkle little stars was that, on the field, they had to carry the burden of an entire continent on their young shoulders. How cruel. Suddenly, all sorts of bored and recycled African organisations found it opportunistic to tag into a Black Stars semifinal berth.

When they were playing Ghana, Uruguay was not doing it in the name of South America. Against Paraguay, Japan was not fighting for Asia. And when the Germany ‘’machine’’ was blitzkrieging Argentina 4-0 they were doing it for the sake of their Vaterland.

I suspect the ghosts of Kwame Nkrumah and Marcus Garvey would be hovering above me with reprimand. But even these two would understand that on this continent we are not the only stars. In fact, foxes, lions, eagles, and elephants have all paraded and trumpeted their virtues, n’est ce pas?

Can I break it down? If this continent must up its game and earn global respect, each country must up its individual game. Simple.

For all those who predicted that Ghana was going to win the World Cup, I doff my hat. You are prophets in your own right. After Uruguay, the Netherlands would have been our easiest conquest. Then at the finals even FIFA, would have their hearts pounding for us (if for nothing at all, for the ‘good of the game’). Something really happened on the way to Heaven, that Friday.

The Jabulani flew up, grazed the post and went up, up and out with our dreams. But it didn’t end there because this epic tragedy keeps coming back. It is the kind of scene that replays in your mental video.

It was the last kick of extra time. But leading to that so much had happened. The imminence of penalty kicks, a missed goal, a hand ball, a red card… All in the spate of a few seconds. Players and fans alike did not have time to take it all in. The Jabulani ball was shot up, at an angle meant for the roof of the net. It was all so familiar. The kicker, Asamoah Gyan had done it same way, successfully, before.

As the ball continued its trajectory, the goalkeeper was clearly beaten. In the background, a partisan crowd bleated, practically to shoo the ball in. We widen our eyes. The world stood still. At crunch time the ball refused to take the critical dip under the post. Wickedly, the Jabulani hit the bar and went up, 90 degrees. Before one could say ‘’vuvuzela’’, it was over.

Has anyone seen Asamoah Gyan lately? I saw him on TV dancing, though less energetically. When Gyan told the BBC, ‘‘I don’t think I am worried’’, many doubted it. Now, he appears to be handling it well. Still, let us keep him in our prayers. That boy is probably scarred for life.

Again, Africa is part of the reason. Had one or two other teams been in the reckoning the pressure would have been much less. In our eagerness to ’’rescue Mother Africa’’ we the Ghanaian people also played along. If we feel so much hurt it is because we were all caught up in that save-the- continent agenda. Now we are experiencing twice the pain.

In a sense, we are like the English. At each soccer tournament the Merry England folks gear themselves up big time. Fuelled by a pub culture and roared on by a loud press, they declare their own version of ‘‘Ke naako.’’ It is time for the Brits to show the world who invented the game. But too often, they have had to fold up the Union Jack too soon. Their lesson: it is one thing hosting a prestigious soccer league and another presenting an unbeatable national side.

For Ghana, the lesson to learn may be a bit more complicated. Self knowledge. In this very important international enterprise, self knowledge precedes all. It comes even before team strategy.

As a people, the ability to focus is part of our bane. This has been a weak point for our soccer players. Many of the factors that affect our team’s concentration during a tournament happen off the field. The point being made here is that managing the physical and psychological environment of our ‘’boys at war’’ is serious business. It involves understanding each player as well as assessing how emerging issues would impact the entire team.

We may have to re-examine the management of the environment of the team in camp. For instance, morale boosting is good. However, psychologist would tell you that when the stakes to perform become too high all the human body does is recoil naturally to its, neutral, ‘‘I am only human’’ mode.

Just for an example, our Venerable Nelson Mandela is larger than life. Could the Madiba’s invitation to party have been kept from the boys (as a pleasant surprise) until after the game? I cite this for a personal, if not shallow reason. If I, an eager writer, am informed just before writing an exam that I will be meeting Mandela, chances remain that I may, be bowled over with over-excitement.

Then there is the issue of how our boys psyche up before matches. Are we sure that the active drumming and the shi’ing of jama by players who have 90 minutes of physical engagement ahead of them is the best? It is on record that after Brazil had beaten Ghana 3-0 at the last World Cup, our opponents expressed shock at the fact that prior to the match our Black Stars spent excessive energy singing and praying.

By all standards the 2010 World Cup has been an unusual one with an unusual ball. The Jabulani seems to be the most talked about ball in World Cup history. The first time I heard the word, I couldn’t help but notice that it rhymed with ‘’Fulani.’’ However, more was yet to come. In terms of movement, the Jabulani is just like the Fulani cattle herd, unpredictable.

The ball has caught many a player off guard. In the game against Australia, Asamoah Gyan’s own kinsman, Kingson was dealt a treacherous blow, so was Keeper Rob Green of England and Faouzi Chaouchi of Algeria.

To coach Capello of Team England, the Jabulani is the worst ever to be used at a World Cup.

‘’I’ve seen that the ball arrives really fast and the players are having problems controlling it.’’

But not every player bears the Jabulani a grudge. Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech had some positive comments. He said the ball has good visibility due to the colour design plus it feels good to handle. English midfielder Frank Lampard also happens to be among the few players who are Jabulani-friendly.

In fairness, if the Big J was horrible it was horrible for all players. The Jabulani flew up, grazed the post and went up, up and out with our dreams…

kofiakpabli@yahoo.com

July 7, 2010

Continue Reading

Trending