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How South Africa continues to produce quality wines in the face of challenges

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When I had my first major encounter with South African wines at CapeWine 2015, I was happy to report that according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) South Africa ranked 7th among the biggest wine-producing countries in the world.  However with years of drought combined with other challenges, that rank has dropped over the years.

I found this out from my recent visit to South Africa on the invitation of WESGRO, the official Tourism, Trade & Investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. It was however pleasant to note that the quality of wines from South Africa, and the passion with which winemakers produce these wines have not dwindled in any way! In fact, the quality keeps improving.

In the company of wine buyers, each from Ghana and Mozambique, the weeklong trip to the Western Cape added immensely to my existing knowledge of wines, as I experienced again a bit more of the harvest season for South African wineries, and what goes on in the cellar before we finally get our wines.

South Africa is located at the tip of Africa, with most wine regions located near the coastal influences of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, combining good soil and weather conditions for growing good vines for wine. During the harvest months of February and March, the average daily temperatures in many South African wine regions is 23 °C with spikes up to 40 °C. I experienced both the cold and the warm weathers during my stay.

Winemaking could be broken into these 5 major steps!

Harvesting

Harvesting is the first step in the wine making process. Winemakers often use the sugar and acid levels of the grape as a guide in determining ripeness. The moment the grapes are picked determines the acidity, sweetness, and flavor of the wine. Harvesting can be done by hand or mechanically. However proper sorting out of healthy grapes and unripe or rotted bunches are carried out at the winemaking facility. Despite the costs, most of the wineries we visited preferred the use of human workers to handpick grapes.

Crushing and Pressing

The harvested grapes are sorted and ready to be de-stemmed and crushed. Mechanical presses stomp the grapes into freshly pressed grape juice that contains the skins, seeds, and solids. For white wine, the wine maker will quickly crush and press the grapes in order to separate the juice from the skins, seeds, and solids. However for red wine, it is left in contact with the skins to acquire flavour, colour, and additional tannins.

Fermentation

Yeast is added for fermentation, to ensure consistency and predict the end result. Fermentation continues until all of the sugar is converted into alcohol and dry wine is produced. To create a sweet wine, winemakers will sometimes stop the process before all of the sugar is converted. Fermentation can take 10 days to one month or more. Once fermentation is complete, solids such as dead yeast cells, tannins, and proteins are removed. Wine is transferred into a different vessel such as an oak barrel or a stainless steel tank. The wine can then be clarified through fining or filtration.  The clarified wine is then racked into another vessel and prepared for bottling or future aging.

Aging and Bottling

The final stage of the winemaking process is aging and bottling. Further aging can be done in the bottles, stainless steel tanks, or oak barrels. Aging the wine in oak barrels will produce a smoother, rounder, and more vanilla flavored wine. It also increases the wine’s exposure to oxygen while it ages, which decreases tannin and helps the wine reach its optimal fruitiness.

Steel tanks are commonly used for zesty white wines. After aging, wines are bottled with either a cork or a screw cap, depending on the winemaker’s preference. And contrary to popular believe a cork or a screw cap does not determine the quality of the wine. Note that sparkling wines or bubblies do undergo a further step. South African sparkling wines made in the traditional French method (methode champenoise) are referred to as Methode Cap Classique (or MCC). Wine that has been impregnated with CO2 bubbles is simply termed sparkling wine whereas MCC’s undergo a second fermentation in the bottle to create the sought after bubbles.

A day at WESGRO/InvestSA

Our first day was spent with WESGRO officials at the InvestSA office, highlighting WESGRO projects in African countries, B2B meetings and wine tasting with winemakers, mostly from regions we wouldn’t be able to visit.  These included:

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With executives from WESGRO

Koni Wines – Koni Maliehe founded Koni Wines in 2015, influenced by her curiosity and passion for South African wines. She collaborates with her partner wine farm in Stellenbosch, where Koni Wines are produced. All the grapes used making Koni Wines are handpicked, sorted and vinified to produce rich wines filled with a taste of South African class. Koni Wines produces six cultivars namely Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot/Cab Blend, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Robinson & Sinclair – Robinson & Sinclair are exporters of fine South African Wines. Some of the wines presented to us for tasting included McGregor, Meerendal, Mooiplaas, and many more from various wine producers across the country.

Paarden Kloof – PaardenKloof offers premium matured Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc wines.  In early 2007, PaardenKloof Estate released its first Sauvignon under the Ecology label.  The Ecology range of wines spans all the varietals produced by PaardenKloof, with focus on the younger vintages, characterized by less oak and a new world approach to winemaking. Part of the Ecology series is the exciting Desert Rose Collection, which provides a fusion between the PaardenKloof heritage brand characteristics and the Ecology profile and currently includes a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.20200309 152404

Women in Wine – Women in Wine was established and founded in 2006 by a group of twenty women, all with backgrounds in the wine industry that had a common dream – giving women, especially farm workers and their families, a share in the industry. The Women in Wine label produces six wines: a Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz, Pinotage Rose, and Chardonnay Chenin Blanc.

Cape Diamond –  Lutzville Vineyards Co-Op was founded in 1962. Since then it prospered and grew to become the second biggest winery in South Africa. It is the home of Lutzville, The Diamond Collection, Francois le Vaillant and Cape Elephant Wines. The secret behind the rich character, approachable style, juicy fruit and elegant structure of these wines is in the unique location on the West Coast of South Africa.20200309 162532

Ses’Fekile – Ses’fikile was founded by a group of empowered women with a main goal of creating wines that are not just rare fine blends, but also palatable and fruit driven. These rounded wines include the red wines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot; the white blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne; and the red blend of Shiraz/ Cinsault. 20200309 181907

Mhudi Wines –  The Rangaka family has dedicated itself to making great wine, which is the heart and soul of their business. The MHUDI Family Boutique range includes Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Say Lovey Sparkling White Wine & Rose Blush, and Foro’s Legacy.20200309 175957

Off to the winelands…

The rest of our stay in the Western Cape was spent visiting various wine regions, learning the characteristics of their wines and learning more about the wine making process.

STELLENBOSCH

The historical town of Stellenbosch boasts a winemaking tradition, which stretches back to the end of the 17th-century. The mountainous terrain, good rainfall, deep well-drained soils and diversity of terroirs, make this a sought-after viticultural area.

In Stellenbosch we visited:

Anura – Positioned on the foothills on the Simonsberg Mountains, Anura boasts a wide variety of soils, slopes and microclimates. Anura’s passion is red wine, and with plantings of Mourvédre, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Malbec, among more classic, locally grown varietals, it aims to produce handcrafted wines for individuals who are looking for something unique and distinctive. Anura wines have won numerous awards including Old Mutual Trophy Show, Michelangelo Awards, IWSC Awards, Vitis Vinifera Awards and Veritas.

Warwick wines – Warwick is a 3rd generation family-run winery, with owner Stan Ratcliffe’s wife Norma at the winemaking helm. After a long search for the finest terroir in all the land, Warwick was where they settled and decided to plant slopes of Cabernet Sauvignon. Norma’s intensive studies and natural inclination for wine making gave birthed the La Femme Bleu (the Blue Lady) and Warwick Trilogy – a Bordeaux blend that remains a flagship red wine in the SA wine industry. Other ranges include Three Cape Ladies, The White Lady, Professor Black, and The First Lady Range

We also experienced a Land Rover safari ride over the slopes to enjoy the vistas in what Warwick terms the ‘Big 5 Safari’, a tongue in cheek comparison of their Big 5 grape varietals to their animal kingdom counterparts.

Thelema – Through the understanding of its optimal climate and soil type, Thelema Mountain Vineyards has firmly entrenched itself as one of the leaders in Cabernet Sauvignon, placing Stellenbosch Cabernet’s firmly on the global wine map. Their Current range of wines includes Thelema Gargantua Muscadel,  Thelema Sauvignon Blanc, Thelema Muscat , Thelema Riesling, Thelema Chardonnay, Thelema “Ed’s Reserve” Chardonnay , Thelema “Vin de Hel” Muscat Late Harvest, Thelema Semillon Late Harvest, Thelema Mountain Red, Thelema Shiraz , Thelema Rabelais and many more.

Spier Wine Farms –  Spier is one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms with a recorded history dating back to 1692.  Spier wines are among the most awarded in the country.  In 2019, Spier Wine Farm received nine Double Gold medals and seven Gold medals at the Veritas Wine Awards. Seven of Spier’s nine Double Gold winners were white wines: Spier Brut Methodé Cap Classique 2009, two Chenin Blancs (Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2018 and Spier Ideology Chenin Blanc 2019), two Sauvignon Blancs (Spier 21 Gables Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Spier Ideology Sauvignon Blanc 2019), and both the 2013 and 2019 vintages of Spier Creative Block 2 (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon). The two red wine winners were the Spier 21 Gables Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 and Spier Creative Block 3 2016 (a blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Viognier).

De Trafford – This is a small family winery at the end of the Upper Blaauwklippen Road in the mountains above Stellenbosch. Architect David Trafford and wife Rita established it in 1992 with the focus on high-end red wines of great intensity and longevity, using minimal intervention production methods. De Trafford has amazing Red Wine, White Wine and Straw Wine, all with amazing stories behind them.

FRANSCHHOEK

The district of Franschheok has retained its distinct French Huguenot character. The fertile Franschhoek Wine Valley is home to some of South Africa’s noble cultivars and classic styles. These range from superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, to the full-bodied reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The area also produces some of the country’s extraordinary Méthode Cap Classiques.

In Franschheok, we visited:

Grande Provence – Sitting in the magnificent Franschhoek Valley, Grande Provence’s lush vines spread across 47-acres with gentle vistas over the valley floor.  Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate is the home of the award-winning Grande Provence wines and the Angels Tears lifestyle collection. The distinctive Grande Provence vintages reflect the passion and enthusiasm of our winemaking team. It has a mix of delicious white and red wines across three-product range namely House Wines, Premium Wines and Flagship Wines.

Black Elephant Vintners –  Sometimes called the misfits of the wine industry and the rebels of the vine, Black Elephant Vintners push the boundaries of conformity. Their wines are young and vibrant;  a real toast to celebrating life. They even have wines in cans.  The range includes Amazing Grace CabSav, First Miracle Magnums, Mandie Olive, MCC Blanc de Blanc, MCC Brut NV, MCC Chardonnay NV, MCC Zero Dosage NV, Nicholas Red, Rose Rebel, The Back Roads – Petite Sirah, The Back Roads, The Back Roads VIOGNIER, The Daniel Collection Amazing Grace Cabernet Sauvignon, The Dark Side Of The Vine, The Honey Thief – Natural Sweet, Timothy White, Two Dogs, a Peacock and A Horse SB.

Haute Cabriere – Haute Cabrière has found a special place in the heart of South African wine lovers since its inception. Situated on the Franschhoek Pass, Haute Cabrière has been creating wines from Burgundian cultivars for over two decades. Founder and proprietor Achim von Arnim’s passion for these varietals has always been the inspiration behind both the Pierre Jourdan and Haute Cabrière wine ranges. Today, second generation Cellar Master, Takuan von Arnim has continued this philosophy, while adding his personal stamp to the much-loved wines.  Haute Cabrière wines are made using two noble cultivars, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The structure of Pinot Noir and the elegance of Chardonnay bring balance to the wines and freshness to its Méthode Cap Classique. The Méthode Cap Classique and related wines are produced under Pierre Jourdan, the name of the French Huguenot to whom the farm was granted in 1694. And the still wines are produced under the name of Haute Cabrière, paying tribute to Pierre Jourdan’s hometown in France.

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Lunch was great @hautecabriere

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We did not just taste and enjoy these amazing wines; we also had a French-inspired lunch at the restaurant. Simply yummy!

Mont Rochelle – Mont Rochelle Wine and vineyards cultivates and nurtures various grape varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon amongst a few others that are used for blending purposes to add complexity.  Mont Rochelle’s white wine ranges include Mont Rochelle Little Rock Blanc, Mont Rochelle Sauvignon Blanc, Mont Rochelle Chardonnay , Miko White Chardonnay. The reds include Mont Rochelle Little Rock Rouge, Mont Rochelle Cabernet Sauvignon, Mont Rochelle Syrah and Mont Rochelle Miko Syrah.

Holden Manz – An exclusive grower of red grapes, Holden Manz Wine Estate only cultivates its top 16 hectares under vineyards, notably Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot.  Some of the wines that were a hit with us here were Rothko Rosé – a generously crisp and elegantly smooth wine with tons of finesse and a long finish; Vernissage – a beautifully blended showcase of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah; Big G – with its alluring aromas of black cherries, dark and red plums; Visionaire – a blend of Cabernet sauvignon and merlot spiced up with cabernet franc, Malbec, petit verdot and syrah; and of course Good Sport Cape Vintage – a smooth, soft entry with sweet fruits, a whiff of Sauterne, and pleasant acidity on the palate.

We ended our experience of Franschheok with dinner at Holden Manz’ Franschhoek Kitchen, which is rated as one of South Africa’s culinary hot spots for international cuisine

ELGIN

The high-lying cool-climate Elgin district was traditionally an apple-growing region but the region now produces award-winning wine, showing exceptional fruit and elegance, with Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Shiraz doing particularly well in this later-ripening, cooler terroir.

In Elgin, we visited:

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Yes I am a #rhinowarrior @lintonparkwines

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Spoienkop Wines – In the heart of the Elgin Valley, is Spioenkop Wines established in 2008 with winemaker, Koen Roose. Spioenkop produces wines that have finesse, balance, and purity, with the idiosyncratic character of the winemaker flowing through every bottle. The winemaking philosophy here is low intervention and allowing the wine to have a voice without putting technology and an interfering winemaker in the way. The wines include the Spioenkop Range, “1900” Range and

The Tugela River Range.

Elgin Vintners –  The Elgin Vintners is found on the Elgin Orchards farm, which dates back to 1890. Guided by its philosophy to produce honest wines that express the unique cool climate terroir of the valley, they are able to bring out the flavours in their grapes to their wines. Minimal intervention and maximum care in the winery turns the grapes into characterful and balanced wines that express a true sense of place. Elgin Vintners has three ranges namely Elgin Vintners Rangewines with complexity, finesse and elegance; Ridgelands – carefully selected, hand crafted, site specific wines; and Cloud Haven, a true cultivar expression highlighting crisp fruitiness with just enough on the palate to make you want more.

Oak Valley – This exquisite estate located in the Elgin Valley is well worth a visit as they offer a lot more than just premium wines. The Oak Valley estate is situated over 1,786 hectares of land and has its claim to fame in cut flowers, fruit and cattle.

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Cheers! Wine tasting at @oakvalleywines

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They offer wines such as: Sauvignon Blanc 2011, The OV Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008, Chardonnay 2011, Pinot Noir 2011 and Merlot Cabernet Blend 2007 under three main ranges.  The Discovery Range offers uncompromising quality and accessibility for all wine lovers. The Sounds Of Silence Pinot Noir was my favourite in this range.  The Groenlandberg range embodies the vision to create Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that speaks to this unique positioning of the vineyard. The Tabula Rasa range is single-minded and focused exclusively on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

WELLINGTON

Wellington, which supplies over 85% of the South African wine industry with cuttings, also boasts some 26 wine producers ranging from historical estates to boutique wineries.  The rolling hills and valleys of the area provide a wide range of suitable sites for wine growers where fine, elegant examples of Pinotage and Chenin Blanc are made.

In Wellington, we visited:

Linton Park – Linton Park has several diverse microclimates offered by the valley folds and mountain slopes; and the vineyards are sited and prepared to optimize these. We visited the wine estate to taste The Bridge of Hope Wines, a brand created for Rosemary Mosia, after a research project about the wine industry she conducted towards her Master’s Degree in Business Leadership.  It comes in three ranges namely The Classic Collection, The Premium Collection, and The Reserve Collection

Wellington Wines –  Wellington Wines is a customer driven producing cellar, delivering in bulk and bottle format. Wellington Wines is the result of the joining of forces of three different entities: Wamakersvallei, Wellington Cellar, and Bovlei Winery. In 2011 each one of these producers realized they were trying to do the same thing and instead of competing against one another, they could benefit from working together. Together they have vast plantings of old vine Chenin Blanc and other wines, and many of the labels have remained much the same. The Bovlei Cellar now serves as the taste room of Wellington Wines, and home to the W True to Terroir range, the La Cave Range, the Imprint Range and Duke of Wellington Range.20200309 182137 1

Thokozani – Thokozani means ‘celebration’ and we experienced it when we visited the estate and got welcomed with music by a choir comprising workers. Thokozani has its own wine brand and guesthouse which are 80% owned by the staff. Thokozani is based and cultivated on the prestigious Diemerfontein Wine & Country estate in the heart of the Cape Winelands.  The wines include Ovation Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Ovation Merlot, Ovation Pinotage, Ovation Sauvignon Blanc, Ovation Spumanté, and Thokozani SMV.

A return to Stellenbosch

IMG 20200313 WA0183We ended our experience with a return to Stellenbosch, which is undoubtedly the most popular wine region in the Western Cape.  We capped the great experience with a visit to Muratie Wine Estate, nestled within the Knorhoek Valley north of Stellenbosch. The estate is a time capsule of fables, fairytales and rich South African wine history, which has been well preserved by the current custodians of the estate, under the guidance of Rijk Melck.

Muratie Wine Estate is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa with the farm dating back to 1685.  The grapes are lovingly handpicked, ensuring only the best bunches are used. The winemakers use a traditional method of pressing the grapes avoiding mechanical crushing of the grapes, skins and seeds, resulting in the phenomenal flavour of the wines.

The splendid range of wines include Johanna Dry Rosé, Muratie Melck’s Sauvignon Blanc, Muratie Melck’s Blended Red, Isabella Chardonnay 2017, Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon, Cape Ruby NV,  Lady Alice Methode Cap Classique, Ben Prins Cape Vintage, and George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir.

Amber Forever was a big favourite for many. It is made from Hanepoot grapes (Muscat d’Alexandrie) grown on Muratie.  Other favourites also included Alberta Annemarie Merlot, Laurens Campher, Ronnie Melck Shiraz, Ansela van de Caab and Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve.

We ended our visit with a scrumptious lunch from Muratie’s Farm Kitchen. The old fermentation tanks in the cellar with their tartaric encrusted walls, old carpets, wooden furniture and original art made enjoying the honest home food and good wine a completely fascinating experience.20200313 152736

So there you have it, a bit of the story behind the passion and people making great South African wines that can be enjoyed across Africa and the rest of the world.  Cheers!!!

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Flashback: Woes of a Jabulani Ball

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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

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TAABEA Group President Honoured As The Man Of The Year

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Dr. Christian Kwasi Agyeman President of Taabea Group of Companies has been adjudged the man of the year at the maiden edition of Home Builders Africa Awards which was held over the weekend at the UPSA Auditorium in Accra.

Aside his contributions to the economic development of Ghana through the creation of his numerous companies, Dr. Agyeman has been engaging in a lot of philanthropic works such as offering of scholarships to his staff and other needed but brilliant people to upgrade themselves in education, supporting orphanage homes and KATH Children’s Ward, Schools and other social responsibilities within and outside his environs.

Dr. Agyeman believes the best way to be happy is to make others happy in your own small way hence the passion to support the less privileged and the vulnerable.

Taabea Company Limited which was founded by him in 2008 and producing one of the best herbal medicines for malaria, loss of appetite and general body pains won the best herbal manufacturing company of the year.

The company also produces Taabea Zanecare which is for general well-being and also boost the immune system and help fight infections within the body. Taabea Taacum which enhances men with low sex desires due to old age or other factors.

Dr. Christian Kwasi Agyeman in his speech thanked God for such an honour and expressed his gratitude to the organizers, his family and most especially his hardworking staff for all the successes they have chalked.

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The following is a list of the top eight most effective D2R overpowered runewords as determined by their effectiveness

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Runewords can be found throughout Diablo 2 Resurrected, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a complete newcomer. It is extremely valuable in the game to find items that can be upgraded with the help of runewords, and they can be found in a variety of locations throughout the game. As a means of assisting you in achieving your goal of selecting the best Runewords for each character while simultaneously increasing the power of each character, this guide introduces you to the eight most powerful Runewords to use in Diablo 2 to help you achieve your goal of increasing the power of each character.

It’s been resurrected and updated to reflect the most recent revisions to the Beginner’s Guide to Runewords in Diablo 2, which can be found at the link above.

According to the game’s statistics, the Spirit Runewords are among the top eight most overpowered  available in Diablo 2 Resurrection.

In particular, this runeword is beneficial to caster classes, particularly the sorceress, due to the fact that it grants a +2 bonus to all skills level 35 and higher, as well as a significant increase in mana and vitality. The addition of this item will make your hat collection that much more complete. In light of the low requirements of the crystal sword, it would appear that this rumored device within a four-socket weapon would be the most likely candidate for construction, as previously stated. If you are not a Paladin, you can still create a shield, though you will only be able to use the monarch shield because it is the most powerful. Absent a slight advantage in terms of resistances over the weapon variant, the shield variant performs nearly identically to the weapon variant in every other respect. Many players will re-roll this rune word multiple times in order to achieve the 35% Faster Cast Rate, which is a very common occurrence in the game world. Caster classes that must meet the Faster Cast Rate break points, in particular, will find this to be extremely advantageous.

Take into consideration the following considerations:

In Diablo 2, it can be placed into a four-socket rune word and given to a mercenary to aid him during his mission. In addition to providing a nice bonus to the enhanced damage of your mercenary’s weapon, this rune word grants you a Meditation Aura of levels 13 to 17, which can be extremely useful in a variety of situations. Because of the Meditation Aura he has equipped, he has the ability to regenerate mana at an extremely fast rate, which means that once you have a mercenary equipped with this Meditation Aura, all of your mana concerns are essentially resolved at that point as well.

You can overcome adversity if you work hard enough.

Additionally, as with the previous item, it is a fantastic mercenary enhancement to have on hand. This results in a significant bonus to enhanced defense while also providing a significant bonus to enhanced damage, resulting in it being a rare modification to find on armor as a result of its dual benefits. In addition to significantly increasing the output damage of your mercenary, you will also receive a life bonus, which will be extremely beneficial to your mercenary, as well as a nice bonus to all resistances of 30, which will be received as a result of this. Once all factors are taken into account, this runeword represents an excellent value for your mercenary while also being exceptionally effective.

Infinite possibilities exist in the world of possibility.

This item is a favorite of high level end game sorceresses because it has the ability to cause immune monsters to no longer be immune to spells and abilities when used. It also has the ability to break enemy resistance in difficulty, which makes it a favorite of high level end game sorceresses. This is not true of all hell difficulty monsters, despite the fact that there are a significant number of them that fit this description. In order to account for this, monsters in hell difficulty will typically have resistance values of 110 or 120, depending on the level of difficulty selected. Damage resistance of any item that has a resistance of 110 immunity to the effect will be reduced by half as a result of this effect. However, the fire slayer will eventually become more vulnerable to the conviction aura; however, the lasher will have a higher resistance to cold than the conviction aura at some point in the game. As a result of this action, his immunity is not jeopardized. Your mercenaries will also benefit from the infinity rune word’s significant damage enhancement bonus, as well as a pleasant faster run walk and a significant increase in vitality.

A person’s life is made more difficult when they experience a loss.

A melee weapon equipped with the D2R items word is the most powerful spell in the game, according to the game’s developers. As well as providing a significant bonus to attack speed and damage, this skill also provides a flat bonus to damage and a 15 percent increase to enhanced damage, among other benefits. As an added bonus, it increases damage by a significant amount. When used against demons, it completely disregards target defense and provides a significant bonus to damage, as opposed to other abilities, which provide an increase in damage based on character level. Additionally, the use of the runes ether, low mal, and ral in conjunction with one another results in a 20% lethal strike in addition. It is less difficult to obtain than other runic words, such as the zod rune word, for example.

This is a general call to arms that is open to anyone who wishes to participate.

It has now been made possible for characters of any race or ethnicity to use battle orders and battle commands, something that was previously impossible for them to do. In addition to increasing your mana and health by 74%, the use of battle orders also improves your skill by a similar amount. Typically, this is used as a secondary weapon, which means that you have your primary weapon and then use call to arms to increase your health and stamina as if you were in combat.

Located within the tree, the Inner Core of the Oak is a spherical structure with a hollow center that can be found.

The result will be a significant +3 to all skills as well as a 40% increase in Cast Rate, a pleasant Replenish life bonus, and a pleasant 15% increase in maximum matter, which can result in a significant amount of additional mana depending on your total mana pool. As a result, all resistances receive a significant boost of 40, which is applied to all of them simultaneously. Aside from being beneficial for elemental druids, it is also beneficial for hammer hemorrhages and even functional for sore sources, among a variety of other applications.

An Engima is an informal term in English that refers to someone who is advanced or has a high level of proficiency in a particular subject.

When the item is used, all skills receive a +2 bonus, and run/walk speed increases by an incredible 45% as a result of the item’s effect. According to the character’s level, it also provides a significant bonus to defense and a significant bonus to strength, among other benefits. The use of a monarch shield, for example, will reduce the amount of time characters must spend investing points in their strength, allowing them to devote those points to more advantageous traits. In addition, it has a significant impact on the overall performance of Magic Find, as previously stated. Due to the fact that it allows any character to teleport simply by equipping the appropriate skill, this item is the most frequently used item in D2R.

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What Are Altcoins And Should You Invest In Them?

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Cryptocurrency is a hot topic right now, with Bitcoin and Ethereum stealing headlines. You may have heard the term “altcoins,” but what are they? Altcoins are alternative cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin—the most popular ones are Litecoin and Dogecoin.

With so many different cryptocurrencies available, it can be hard to understand what makes them all unique – especially when you’re new to the world of altcoins. It can also be hard to know where to start when scanning through the countless exchanges that buy and sell these digital assets.

What Are Altcoins? 

Altcoins or alternative coins are categories of cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency. Altcoins, like Bitcoin, are a digital or virtual currency that can be stored in a virtual wallet. Altcoins offer an alternative to traditional currencies. You might have heard of Bitcoin, but there are plenty of other options beyond this popular crypto coin. Each altcoin has its own unique features, including its own set of risks and rewards.

Altcoins are similar to companies traded on the stock market in that they can rise or fall in value based on how popular they become. If you’ve ever bought stock in a company, you’re familiar with the concept of how even small shifts in consumer demand can cause large shifts in stock prices. Some altcoins may go up or down tenfold or more over the course of a month or even day.

APTUSDT are two altcoins that have some significant differences and similarities. Both have the same basic goal of acting as a stable currency, but they go about it in different ways.Since the end of 2014, APT has been more stable than the US dollar, while USDT has been more stable than Bitcoin—which makes sense seeing as how Bitcoin’s value can experience wild fluctuations within a single year.

Types Of Altcoins

Stablecoins 

Stablecoins are a relatively new kind of virtual currency that attempts to address the main problem with altcoins: their volatility. In short, stablecoins are designed to maintain a specific price point against fiat currencies like the US dollar or the euro. Some very well-known stablecoins include Tether and USD Coin, but there are many others including TrueUSD and Gemini Dollar.

Meme Coins

Meme coins are a form of currency that is often given out as part of internet culture. A meme coin is simply a coin with a clever phrase on the front. Meme coins range from little 1p and 2p coins to 5p and 10p coins, but they can also be found in other denominations, such as 20p and 50p. Because they are so small, it’s easy to slip them into the pockets or wallets of other people without them ever noticing, making them fun to give out during a gathering where you know people will be doing some mingling.

Utility Coins

The terms “utility coin” and “app token” are used interchangeably to describe a type of cryptocurrency whose primary function is not as a store of value, but rather as a means for transacting on a blockchain-based platform.

These platforms have become popular in recent years as people have come to understand that blockchains can be more than just an alternative to the current financial system (although, it’s always been that, too). For example, Ethereum has spawned an ecosystem of projects where developers can release tokens built on top of the platform to fund their projects.

Governance Tokens

Governance tokens are used by blockchain consensus protocols to incentivize users to behave in a certain way and make decisions in the best interest of the protocol.

Governance tokens are not intended to be used as an investment opportunity. There is no expectation that governance tokens will appreciate or depreciate in value.

Governance tokens are a new way for organizations to self-govern, by allowing community members to vote on decisions and initiatives, and token holders to share in the profits. It’s a new type of crypto-economic model that is still in its conceptual phase, but has the potential to change the way we do business.

Forks

A fork is when someone takes the existing open-source code for a project like Bitcoin and creates their own version of it by making some changes. This simulates how open-source software is developed in other fields like programming or web development. 

When you make a change to an existing piece of software and distribute it under a different name, that’s usually called a “fork.” That’s why you may hear people talking about Bitcoin forks—they’re talking about alternative versions of the original Bitcoin source code that run on different computers.

Should You Invest In Altcoins?

If you want to invest in altcoins, and you’re looking for a base currency to use, you can use the XRPUSDT Tether trading pair.. Tether is a cryptocurrency asset issued on the Bitcoin blockchain, and is backed by the United States dollar at a 1:1 ratio.

It allows you to store other cryptocurrencies—including any altcoins—and convert them into USDT. This way, if the price of whatever coin you’re using drops too steeply or skyrockets too quickly, you can still buy from and sell to USDT at any time. 

Regardless of why you’re interested in investing in altcoins, it’s important that you do your research before making any decisions. Find out why merchants are accepting those coins as payment, and what sets them apart from other cryptocurrencies.

Locate a trustworthy forum or subreddit for your preferred coin; read through posts by fellow enthusiasts, and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you need help. And always keep in mind—never invest money that you can’t afford to lose

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Title: How To Run a Successful Recruitment Business

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Description: Are you planning on starting a recruitment business? Then follow these tips and increase your chances of success!

4 Tips To Help You Run a Successful Recruitment Business!

The recruitment industry is very competitive. Thousands of new agencies are launched every year, and many fail because they make the same mistakes. In this article, we are going to share 4 tips to help you launch your successful recruitment business!

1. Find a Good Niche

Too many recruitment agencies try to become generalists as they are worried about missing out on certain businesses. However, the problem with this strategy is it is very hard to compete with agencies who focus on one niche as they understand the niche and have great contacts within the specific industry.

Niche recruitment agencies are able to charge a premium for their services. This allows them to achieve a much higher profit margin which can fund expansion, advertising campaigns, and technology which further cements their competitive advantage.

By tailoring your recruitment agency to a nice, particularly small niche, you can quickly build relationships with the top employers and become an expert in the industry. Within a few months, everyone in the industry will know about your agency, and you will be front of mind the next time they need recruitment services.

Another advantage niche recruitment agencies have is that they rank better on search engines, particularly Google. This is because niche recruiting keywords have less competition, making them easier to rank for. Also, Google tends to favor websites that focus on specific topics as Google considers them experts and more knowledgeable.

Building a niche recruitment agency helps you stand out from the crowd. There are countless generalists out there, and it can be very hard to differentiate yourself from these other agencies if you are just getting started. By focusing on a specific niche, companies within that niche are automatically going to be more trusting of you and more willing to work with you.

2. You Need a Great Website

If you want your recruitment agency to thrive, you need a sleek modern website that is fully mobile-optimized. Your website needs to be fast and easy to navigate, but what should you include on your website?

Your website should include all of the jobs you have available. It should also include case studies that show how you have helped clients and candidates. Candidate testimonials are also a must.

Where many recruitment agency websites fail is their lack of ability to capture client and candidate contact information. Many recruitment agencies naively believe that a candidate or client is going to stumble upon their website for the first time and immediately contact them. However, in reality, most of the time, you will need to directly market to your website visitors to spur them into action.

To effectively capture client and candidate contact information, you need multiple calls of action on your website and multiple forms which allow visitors to leave their name and number. Other effective strategies are chatbots that automatically message people when they visit your website. You also need to establish remarketing code in your website so you can track visitors based on cookies and then show ads for your agency to them when they are browsing the web or social media. If you follow the above methods, you will be inundated with leads and have no problems quickly growing your number of candidates and clients.

3. Outsource as Much as Possible

A major mistake recruitment agencies make is trying to do everything themselves. The problem with this strategy is you will be competing against specialists in their field. For example, if you don’t know anything about SEO, how can you outperform a rival recruitment agency that has hired a professional SEO agency?

To improve your chances of success, you should focus on your core competencies and then outsource other functions of the business. Your key roles should be hiring and training amazing recruiters. If you can quickly build a team of top performers, your business will take off, and you will easily be able to pay for the increased expenses from outsourcing.

Outsourcing also helps you save lots of time. Instead of teaching yourself how to build a website, you can hire someone and spend those precious hours prospecting and talking to candidates and clients. Outsourcing does require capital expenditure, but it allows you to grow much faster and ensures you don’t get bogged down performing tasks outside of your expertise.

Functions of your recruitment agency that you should outsource include accounting, payroll, SEO, some types of marketing, and finance. Basically, you should consider outsourcing anything that isn’t directly related to recruiting. When your recruitment agency grows, you can consider converting some of the functions to in-house and hiring specialists. However, at the start of your journey, it is simpler to just outsource.

4. Technology is Your Friend

Technology can save you time and help you more effectively find clients and candidates and deliver amazing results for them. There is now a whole suite of different technologies built specifically for the recruitment industry.

One of the best prospecting tools for recruitment is SignalHire. This amazing tool lets you pull prospects’ contact information from company websites and LinkedIn profiles. With SignalHire’s free email finder Chrome extension, simply open anyone’s LinkedIn profile and tap the extension to instantly reveal the prospect’s email, direct number, and social media profiles.

SignalHire also has an amazing 650 million-strong B2B database. Search by company, region, name, or email and find prospects’ direct emails and phone numbers. If you are having trouble building your leads list or keep getting blocked by gatekeepers, then SignalHire is an incredible tool.

If you are going to run a successful recruitment agency, you need an applicant tracking system. One of the best applicant tracking systems is Zoho Recruit. Zoho Recruit can screen resumes and automate job board postings and interview scheduling. With this applicant tracking system, you can see every candidate in your recruiting pipeline and see what stage of the process they are at. Thanks to Zoho Recruit, you will never forget to reach out to a candidate again and always know the health of your pipeline!

There are so many different recruitment tools out there now. In the beginning, you should start with a prospecting tool and an applicant tracking system, as these will have the most beneficial impact on your agency, and then you can slowly add other tools as you need them!

Wrapping Up

Starting a recruitment agency can be a highly profitable business venture, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. To ensure you can stand out from your competition, remember to:

  • Specialize in a specific niche
  • Optimize your website
  • Use the power of outsourcing
  • Invest in technology

Comment below what strategies you have used to make your recruitment agency a success and what tips you have for agency founders just starting their journey.

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Central Music Awards 2022 – Full List Of Winners

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Heritage Event Promotions, the organizers of the annual Central Music Awards made history again last Saturday, November 26, 2022 as they held it’s 11th edition of the most prestigious regional award scheme in Ghana.

The 11th edition of the Central Music Awards took place at Glitz City Hotel in Cape Coast with a Classy Black Carpet hosted by Effua Nkoso.

The event begun with a magnificent Brass Music opening challenge between Adom Mysterious Band and Cape Vibes Band.

The main event night which had about 2000 attendees was hosted by MC Deefio with support from Effua Nkoso as Co-MC.

The big night had trilling and electrifying performances from the Smelling Good Geng, Kojo Vypa, Quarmy Zaggy, Mr. Fantastic, Yaw Black, Emogy, Loyce, AmWan, Goddy Wan, Bassaw, and other great live band performances from Emintzimadze Band and Cape Vibes Band.

Heritage Promotions saw to the presentation of 42 Awards to Musicians, Industry players and Stakeholders for their Hard work and immense contribution to the creative industry in the region.

“Fine Boy” hitmaker, Orkortor Perry was crowned the Artitse of the Year for the 2022 edition of the Central Music Awards.

Legendary Ambassadar Da Sada received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his unflinching support to the Industry and paving way for the current musicians in the region.

Other renowned personalities and stakeholders who were honored during the big night include Hon. Kingsley Kofi Karikari Bondzie, Deputy CEO for Coastal Development Authority, Nana Obokese Ampah, the Apagyahene of Asebu Traditional Area, Uncle Ato Trustworthy, Sammy Flex, Dr. Pounds and Nhyiraba Kojo.

From the glitz and glams on the Black Carpet to the electrifying performances on the Kanin stage, the event saw in attendance top Government officials, Traditional Rulers, Corporate Business personalities, Media Personalities, Industry players, Nominees and music Lovers.

Below are the full list of winners at the Central Music Awards 2022

HERITAGE OUTSTANDING CHIEF PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – Nana Obokese

HERITAGE OUTSTANDING MUSIC PERSONALITY – Nyhiraba Kojo

HERITAGE OUTSTANDING MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – Uncle Ato Trustworthy

HERITAGE OUTSTANDING MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – Dr Pounds

HERITAGE OUTSTANDING MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – SammyFlex

HERITAGE OUTSTANDING PERSONALITY – Kingsley Kofi Karikari Bondzie

FEMALE ARTISTE OF THE YEAR – Ama Nova

NEW ARTISTE OF THE YEAR – Blark Tana

EMERGING ARTISTE OF THE YEAR – Denzel White

GOSPEL SONG OF THE YEAR – Maa Fausty – Nkwagye Nyankopong

GOSPEL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR – Adjoa Praiz

BEST RAPPER OF THE YEAR – 2 Feet

BEST COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR – How Far Bru – 2 Feet Ft. Taboo x Size Zero

RAGGAE SONG OF THE YEAR – Mr. Fantastik

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR – Loyce

BEST SOND ENGINEER OF THE YEAR – King Odyssey

BEST PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – Liugee Beatz

MUSIC OF THE YEAR – Boabis – Soul Mate

DANCEHALL SONG OF THE YEAR – Mr. Fantastik – Good Loven

GHANA POPULAR SONG OF THE YEAR – Kofi Kinaata – Wo Pri

BEST PROMOTER – PRESENTER OF THE YEAR – DJ Track – Hope

BEST PROMOTER – DJ OF THE YEAR – DJ Kobby – Hope FM

BEST PROMOTER – ONLINE OF THE YEAR – Nana Antobam Jnr

HIPLIFE SONG OF THE YEAR – Fine Boy – Orkortor Perry

HIGHLIFE SONG OF THE YEAR – Only Yo – C Burn

HIP HOP SONG OF THE YEAR – Erny – North Face Gucci

BEST GROUP OF THE YEAR – Smelling Good Geng

BEST MANAGEMENT OF THE YEAR – Jams Aty Records

BEST PUB/NIGHT CLUB OF THE YEAR – Truth Pub

BEST MASQUERADE GROUP OF THE YEAR – Adzepa Masquerade

BRASS BAND OF THE YEAR – Adom Mysterious Band

LIVE BAND OF THE YEAR – Emintsimadze Band

BEST CAMPUS MC OF THE YEAR – MC Fareeda

BEST CAMPUS ARTISTE OF THE YEAR – Miss A Jay

BEST FANBASE OF THE YEAR – Cat Nation – Tallybo

BEST EP/ALBUM OF THE YEAR – Mr. Lova EP – Quarme Zaggy

SONG OF THE YEAR – Moe – Kojo Vypa

SONG WRITER OF THE YEAR – JAY BABA

AFROPOP SONG OF THE YEAR – Joemexx Ft Dube Ari – Struggle

INTERNATIONAL ACT OF THE YEAR – New Vision 244

ARTISTE OF THE YEAR – Orkortor Perry

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Ambassadar Da Sada

Source: Communications Department
Heritage Event Promotions

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