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“It was so euphoric that I couldn’t help but cry” — Masao Meroe says of Ghana citizenship

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“‘Euphoric‘ doesn’t  really convey the way I felt that evening. I’m not sure I can give you a replacement. The knowledge of the impending Citizenship Ceremony was a long time in coming… and for the past year seemingly elusive to the point of wondering if it would ever happen. The ‘process’ was not a real ‘process‘ whereby an application form, dates, schedules and information were never communicated (because they didn’t exist as the government ministries and agencies stunned through the event). I cried because of the the long journey to get to that point, that moment of citizenship. I cried thinking back upon friends who helped me get here and not here to experience the ceremony which would have made them feel proud of this achievement.  I cried thinking about all the people who would be proud with me of my becoming a Ghanaian citizen.“

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theafricandream.net%2Fwp content%2Fuploads%2F2020%2F01%2FMasao Meroe l with his son Kofi and Kofis girlfriend Athena mid in Hampstead Heath Park in LondonMasao Meroe (left) with his son Kofi and Kofi’s girlfriend, Athena (middle), in Hampstead Heath Park in London

These are the words of Masao Meroe on becoming a citizen of Ghana. His father is from Marshall, Texas in the United States (US) and his mother is Japanese. His parents met during the US occupation of Japan after WWII. He is an American born on a US military base in Japan where he spent the first 5 months of his life. He became a Ghanaian citizen in November 2019 and is the second person I am interviewing about leaving the US to settle in Ghana.

TheAfricanDream.net discovered that Masao, an African-American, is the founder of Sankofa Investments (established 1994 in Ghana) under which he owns and operates Sankofa Beach House and formerly Sankofa Meroe Tours. A graduate of Brandeis University and the University of California, Berkeley, Masao holds a BA in Politics, a Masters in City and Regional Planning and a Juris Doctorate of Law.

He first visited Ghana in 1981 and almost four decades down the line, he stood in line on November 27, 2019, with others to take the oath of citizenship and became Ghanaian. “It was so Euphoric again that I couldn’t help but cry,” Mr. Meroe told TheAfricanDream.net during this chat.

Let’s go back to 1981 where all this started. Masao arrived at the University of Ghana for a short law school program that year. His fascination with Africa grew from that time on, it led to him traveling widely within the continent. So strong was the pull by Africa that in the year 2000 he moved his family to Accra, Ghana after living in Ibadan, Nigeria for five years with them.

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As he talked more about his citizenship ceremony, Masao explained, “the swearing-in elevates your sense of belonging and instills a sense of responsibility for the growth, wellbeing, and security of this country because I am a part of it. I have embraced the country as my own. This is a feeling I never had in the US,” said Masao who has been traveling within Africa and organizing tours for more than three decades as a way of bringing to others the Africa experience.

Read also: African-American Tahira Muhammad relishes getting Ghanaian citizenship

My years of living and working in Africa have enabled me to establish relationships and contacts that afford groups and individuals access to people and places generally unreachable to tourists. Through my Sankofa Meroe Tours, I was able to tailor tour activities based on the specific interest for not just African-Americans, but persons and institutions of all kinds that wanted an authentic experience. While I just completed a small group tour last October, I’m now running away from this business as I’m trying to slow down the pace of life.

Before all this, he primarily worked in the US as a real estate development consultant on low and moderate-income housing development and community development projects in California and Ohio. He, however, grew up in Massachusetts after his four-month stint in Japan as an infant. He disclosed he has since returned to Japan once during his adult life.

Now that Masao is a full-blown Ghanaian, and will soon be a proud owner of a Ghanaian passport, how does that feel? “Well…” said the man who moved to Ghana and only retired in the last couple of years, “I’m a person who holds an American passport for convenience of travel. When I get my Ghana Passport, I’ll be a person who holds the Ghanaian passport for convenience of travel but mainly in West Africa and, more so the rest of Africa.

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mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theafricandream.net%2Fwp content%2Fuploads%2F2020%2F01%2FMr. Meroe with wife Janet in a 2018 event flyer of theirs 1024x683.jpeg&t=1578918362&ymreqid=a9118f68 f99b 17f2 1ccb e0000b019b00&sig=IT7ahDzMr. Meroe with wife Janet in a 2018 event flyer of theirs.

We moved with savings and lived off those for the first two years when we arrived in Ghana,” said the 64-year-old retiree, who is, well, not quite retired as he explained that “the Beach House is a ‘working retirement’ for me. Let’s just say he is “a correct man,” which is generally what the Japanese male name Masao means.

Before he became a citizen of Ghana, he had already committed half his life experience in Africa, seeing and experiencing more of Ghana than the average Ghanaian. Masao has also seen more of West Africa than the average West African and more of Africa than most Africans. “I, however, live in Ghana with no plans to leave or desire to live elsewhere. My citizenship does not change any of these feelings.”

Speaking of change, when TheAfricanDream.net asked Masao what he would love to change about Ghana if he could, without hesitation he responded: “The sense of protecting and appreciating the environment and cleanliness because I run a beach bed and breakfast. The sight of trash in the ocean is heartbreaking for me, and my dream is to see a cleaner Ghana soon in every sense of the word for everyone, especially the children.

My children are now in the US where they attended University, as much as my wife and I miss them, they are working there and also trying to make their way back home to Ghana which is home for all of us,” said Masao whose wife, Janet, was also vetted and approved for Ghanaian citizenship.

Watch out for my next conversation yet another African-America who became a citizen of Ghana and next time you are in Ghana do check out Sankofa Beach House — remember to tell them TheAfricanDream.net sent you. Also, visit www.sankofabeachhouse.com to find out more and don’t forget to ask Masao about his favorite dish and drink from Ghana when you get the opportunity to meet him.

Written by Oral Ofori

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When should a company hire an employment law attorney?

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Watch: I experience sexism as a lawyer - Sandra Ankobiah.

Navigating Legal Challenges in the Workplace: Instruction Catalogue for Employers and HR Officials


Employers and HR Security Specialists must realize in what situations an employee can take the search for legal representation to protect his rights at work. The knowledge of these regulations can act prophesy to early addressing of impending legal problems and to meeting all the employment laws, which include for example, the California Fair Labor Standards. Here is employment law advice for employers to protect a company from employment lawsuits.

Legal consultations may prove challenging in space, but they will also be necessary.


Employees possibly demand employment attorneys in various scenarios such as insulting, sexual harassments, deficiencies in earnings and working hours during court proceedings. Through workers knowing better the way senders and responses interaction occur, it becomes easier for the employer met the challenges before the legal feuds spring.


Handling Workplace Discrimination


Discrimination allegations are made when employees feel that they favoured differently based on arbitrary features such as race, gender or age. Workers should be provided with the access and training needed to prevent discriminations towards him/her and any complaints should be handled immediately and legally.


Addressing Harassment


Catcalls, in appropriate touching, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, all these are examples of bad behavior that may contribute to a hostile working environment for the staff. Serious concerns must be taken seriously by HR, which should be doing a good thorough investigation, and also may be enforcing appropriate action to eliminate the problem before legal action is involved.

Illegal dismissal entails the ending of employment through invalid grounds. For such purpose, employers should make sure that dismissal decisions are properly documented, legal and also business motivated, which can reduce the risk of allegations/claims.


Wage and hour conflicts

Employment law services for employers help resolve dispute on payment of wages, which mostly come in the form of uncompensated overtime, is one of the primary forex punishers for workers. Preserving the honesty of the time clock and monitoring the realization of the wage laws is very important for the employer not to become a subject of the labor disputes.

If employees stop receiving mandated breaks legally required under the California Fair Labor Standards Act Act, they can always find lawyers to talk to. Manufacturers have to get into habit of revising their activities and assumptions periodically in order that they are fully compliant with labor law provisions of the state.

In evaluating whether to pursue a case or go to trial, the following factors are critical for attorneys who represent employment discrimination plaintiffs: deciding when to make a settlement agreement, choosing whether to accept a settlement offer, presenting strong evidence in support of our client’s case in court demonstrate credibility, tackling legal issues from both sides, communicating effectively to build support among jurors, and mentally preparing for the surprising and unexpected incidents that

Subject to assertions of illegal discrimination, the employees have a right to initiate legal proceedings. Create an interactive infographic highlighting national campaigns and their impact on women’s empowerment. Organizations can block the risks they may be exposed to, by ensuring a conducive workplace, offering training on discrimination and promptly responding to any emerging issues.

In a nutshell, an employment lawyer versed in California Fair Labor Standards Act and related laws can be of great service in wading through labyrinth pathways. Indeed, legal counsel helps the companies to know how to meet the compliance, create procedure manuals and make policies that avoid wrongful liabilities.

So that not being ready to the urgent situations in advance might ruin the positive climate of the working experience around and threat to the company with the litigation is not an option. You can handle these cases by pushing occupational training for your employees, establishing clear systematic procedures and effective communications with all stakeholders.

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Adansi Travels Unveils Kofi Kinaata As Headline Artiste For Its 11th Anniversary Tours

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Adansi Travels Unveils Kofi Kinaata As Headline Artiste For Its 11th Anniversary Tours

Adansi Travels, a leading Ghanaian travel agency on Friday 12th April 2024 unveiled Kofi Kinaata as headline artiste for its 11th Anniversary tour packages.

Renowned for curating leisure and business travels for individuals, groups and businesses to destinations worldwide, the travel agency has announced an unparalleled travel package that will offer customers an exciting travel experience.

Speaking at the unveiling event, Managing Director Mr. Gideon Asare highlighted the success of their Anniversary tours over the years to Dubai, which has seen artistes like Kuame Eugene and Samini as headline artistes. He added the 11-day trip to Dubai this year will start on the 11th of August on a Chartered Emirates flight.

Serwaa Boateng Gbene, Sales Manager of Adansi Travels provided further insight into the array of exciting tour packages planned for this year’s 11th Anniversary which includes for the first time a Direct chartered flight to and fro the Caribbean island of Barbados on the 30th of July.
Other tour destinations include Cape Town, Canada, Europe, Singapore, Bali and Malaysia.

Four times songwriter of the year at the Ghana Music Awards Kofi Kinaata is expected to treat patrons to captivating performances in Dubai on the 19th of August and Cape Town, South Africa on the 24th of August.

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On his part, Kofi Kinaata expressed excitement about headlining the 11th Anniversary Tours to Dubai as well as Cape Town, promising to offer patrons nothing short of a spectacular performance.

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Coachella 2024: DJ Pee .Wee (Anderson .Paak) and SOFI TUKKER (DJ Set) Play Surprise Sets at Do LaB Stage on Friday, April 12

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Do LaB made its anticipated return to Coachella on Friday, April 12 at Coachella Weekend One, unveiling its brand new stage design and a packed slate of standout performers and surprise acts. Check out highlights from day one below:

  • DJ Pee .Wee, the vinyl DJ alias of prolific rapper and singer-songwriter Anderson .Paak, played a headlining surprise set to close the night. He also brought out surprise guests of his own including Cordae, Freddie Gibbs, and MARIO.
  • Crossover electronic duo SOFI TUKKER filled the stage with an energetic midday surprise DJ set
  • Additional previously announced day one programming featured acts like Channel Tres, salute, The Dare (DJ Set), Anna Lunoe, Melé

Stay tuned for notifications on announcements, surprise sets, and more by visiting the link here. Set times for the remainder of the weekend can be found here, along with more general info on Do LaB in the press release here. Additional photo selects can be found here (photographer name listed in file name for photo credits).

The Do LaB stage at Coachella provides a preview of the brand’s flagship boutique festival, Lightning in a Bottle. The five day Lightning in a Bottle experience fuses a top tier musical lineup, immersive art installations, cause-driven educational programming, and a variety of yoga and movement programming within a sprawling lakeside venue in beautiful Buena Vista Lake, California.

Taking place over Memorial Day Weekend on May 22-27, LIB 2024’s musical programming highlights include Skrillex, Labrinth, Lane 8, James Blake, M.I.A., Skream, Tycho, ISOxo, Tipper, Fatboy Slim, CloZee, Nora En Pure, Bob Moses, Honey Dijon, Damian Lazarus, and several more.

More info on LIB can be found on their website here and in the official press release here, along with the media application here.

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Courtesy of Do LaB // Jamal Eid
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Courtesy of Do LaB // Jamal Eid
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Courtesy of Do LaB // Jamal Eid
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Courtesy of Do LaB // Myles Heidenreich
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Courtesy of Do LaB // Myles Heidenreich
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Courtesy of Do LaB // Myles Heidenreich
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Courtesy of Do LaB // Myles Heidenreich
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WATCH: How Britain Got Talent Judge, Alesha Dixon surprised Sarah Kittoe on TV

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Britain is Got Talent celebrity judge Alesha Dixon gave 11-year-old British-Ghanaian author of four books, Sarah Kittoe a pleasant surprise when she sent a video message to Sarah during a live interview on SkyNews TV in the UK.

Sarah was on the UK Tonight Show on SkyNews to talk about her fourth book, Ama and The Lost Key, which was inspired by her maiden trip to Ghana in 2023.

Before Alesha’s video message was played, Sarah had mentioned the celebrity musician and author as one of her two favourite authors, stating that Alesha’s book series, Lightening Girl was an inspiration to her because that was the first book in which she saw a character looking like her (Sarah), with an afro and puffy hair do.

In the video message, Alesha congratulated Sarah on her fourth book on all the good work she was doing, donating to two charities in the UK and refurbishing a library for a school in Ghana.

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“I read your story in the newspaper and it was very touching – it is because of people like you that I do what I do and hearing your stories validates that and motivates me to keep going,” she said.

Alesha said her dream is to inspire the next generation and for that, she was thrilled that her book – Lightening Girl, inspired Sarah to dream and do great things, because “that was the intention of that book.”

“I am sending you all the love and all the luck in the world. I hope to meet you in person one day…” then she left her with a kiss.

Throughout the period Alesha’s video was playing, Sarah had a dropped jaw in complete surprise. But later told the show host that she had hoped that people like Alesha was going to watch the show and see, and for that she was very grateful that her prayer has been answered.

Sarah then signed copies of her books to be presented to Alesha Dixon.

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Sarah dad, Albert Kittoe, who was also on the show, said he is particularly surprised by his daughters choice to donate all the proceeds of her book to charity at the young age, adding however that he believes Sarah took the inspiration from their family value where they donate to charity every Christmas.

“I saw the joy on her face any time we went our to donate food and other items to homeless people during Christmas, and I believe that is where she took the inspiration from,” he said.

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Explore Instagram Latest Updates For Better Engagement

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To maximize interaction and remain relevant in the ever-changing world of social media, you must keep ahead of the curve. Instagram is constantly evolving as a medium for interaction, creativity, and community development, thanks to its rapid upgrades and improvements. If you want to make the most of Instagram’s engagement strategy, you need to stay up-to-date on all the newest improvements, from new features to algorithm tweaks. Learn about Instagram’s newest features and how to use them to your advantage for more audience engagement in this post.

 

The Latest on Reels: Embracing Condensed Video

 

Reels has further strengthened Instagram’s focus on short-form video content. Users may use this function to make and find intriguing music videos, much like on TikTok. You can display your ideas in short, engaging clips, reach more people, and capitalize on hot themes by using Reels. Try using Reels to spice up your content strategy and produce more captivating one word captions for Instagram for your viewers organically.

 

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Instagram Tutorials: Putting Together Collections of High-Quality Content

 

Users may compile and share helpful content compilations, such as Instagram Guides, which can include everything from product suggestions to travel ideas and educational resources. Anyone from brands to influencers to educators may benefit from Guides because of the flexible structure they provide for arranging and displaying information in an attractive and user-friendly way. To encourage participation and establish credibility, make guides that speak to your audience’s interests while offering helpful advice.

 

Real-Time Environments: Enabling Engaging Broadcasts

 

Instagram’s Live Rooms feature enables collaborative broadcasting between up to four users, allowing for lively, engaging discussions. Live Rooms allow instantaneous audience participation and interaction, making them ideal for question-and-answer sessions, interviews, and panel discussions. Use Live Rooms to connect with your audience more personally, answer questions, and give insightful commentary while fostering community participation.

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Updates to Algorithms: Making Relevance and Authenticity Our Top Priorities

 

Instagram’s algorithm is always improving to give more weight to real, relevant, and interesting content. Make sure to prioritize producing top-notch content that speaks to your audience’s interests and preferences if you want to increase exposure and engagement. Signal to the algorithm that your material is worthwhile and deserves to be prioritized in users’ feeds by using relevant hashtags, engaging with popular topics, and encouraging meaningful interactions with your audience.

 

Story Updates: Bringing New Interactivity

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The latest Instagram Stories update included interactive features like polls, quizzes, and countdown stickers, further solidifying the app’s status as a popular and successful tool for promoting interaction. Use these interactive features to get people involved, get their thoughts, and start discussions. If you want to create content people can’t stop talking about, you must include interactive stories in your plan.

 

In summary

 

Keeping up with Instagram’s innovations and adding new features is crucial for keeping ahead of the competition and maximizing your audience engagement. Discovering Instagram’s newest features opens up a world of possibilities for expression, connection, and community development, from Reels—a platform for short-form video material—to Guides, a tool for collecting and organizing excellent content, and Live Rooms, a platform for promoting interactive broadcasts. By taking advantage of these developments and incorporating them into your engagement plan, you can better connect with your audience, create more meaningful conversations, and stand out on Instagram in the dynamic digital world.



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InnoVision Marketing Group Selected as Agency of Record For Beloved Tennessee-Based Restaurant, Buddy’s bar-b-q

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InnoVision Marketing Group, a San Diego-based full-service advertising agency, has been named agency of record for Buddy’s bar-b-q, an East Tenn. bar-b-q favorite among tourists and locals alike. Through this new partnership, InnoVision Marketing Group will collaborate closely with Buddy’s bar-b-q to develop a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy to assist in a rebranding campaign and its planned expansion throughout the southern U.S.
Buddy’s bar-b-q brand has been Knoxville’s go-to fast casual bar-b-q restaurant since 1972. They have a wide variety of bar-b-q menu options from slow-cooked pulled pork, chicken and beef to Smoky wings, Smoky dawgs, many delicious sides and regionally famous hush puppies and Hot Fudge Cake. With 19 locations in Tenn., Buddy’s bar-b-q is ready to enter new market segments in the surrounding states and showcase its incredibly successful franchise model.
Buddy’s customer base is generational. It’s not uncommon to see four generations of one family dining at one table. The brand has been woven into the fabric of the East Tennessee dining scene by consistently offering a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere where guests can dine comfortably. With a focus on southern hospitality and quality ingredients, Buddy’s offers a menu suited for the most discerning bar-b-q palate, as all the meats are hickory smoked daily at every location. To honor and support their mission of being a restaurant that better serves the community, they provide fresh, fast and delicious bar-b-q at tremendous value.
“We pride ourselves on being a third-generation family-owned restaurant that offers the comfort of dining in with the convenience of a drive-thru at all of our locations,” stated Mark Lemoncelli, Co-Owner & CEO of the Buddy’s Family of companies. “Our success for over fifty years has been based on having a tradition of fresh hickory smoked bar-b-q combined with fast, courteous and friendly service and offering generous portions of food at a reasonable price. We’re thrilled to join forces with InnoVision, confident that their distinct insights and deep expertise in the fast-casual dining sector will bolster Buddy’s bar-b-q, fortifying our brand and propelling us toward future expansion.”
InnoVision Marketing Group offers everything under the marketing umbrella, with all services performed in-house and tailors the pricing and scope of each client partnership based on what stage of growth the company is in. InnoVision represents brands in multiple categories, including airports, automotive, fast-casual dining, food & beverage, healthcare, QSR, soft drinks, retail, tribal government, economic development and nonprofits.
The San Diego-based agency will collaborate closely with the Buddy’s bar-b-q team to develop and execute a rebranding and comprehensive expansion strategy, including the oversight of all marketing services including branding, traditional advertising, digital media, public relations, social media and video production. Once the new brand and strategy are in place, the agency will launch a new creative campaign throughout the Knoxville-designated market area.
“It’s such a tremendous honor to represent Buddy’s bar-b-q; they’re a heritage brand in Knoxville, and their roots are deep in the community,” said Ric Militi, CEO & Executive Creative Director at InnoVision Marketing Group. “They represent tradition, family values and quality. And when it comes to southern bar-b-q, they are as authentic as it gets. It’s amazing to see the nostalgic emotion they evoke in their guests, which is understandable when you consider the generational span they have endured, and the fact that in this age of high prices, they still offer a quality dining experience at an unbelievable value, all in the same place.”
InnoVision’s portfolio and expertise in franchising marketing positions it as the ideal strategic partner to elevate Buddy’s bar-b-q’s objective and expand its reach. InnoVision Marketing Group has recently started providing the opportunity for global franchising to offer its clients the tools to succeed in the franchising and fast-casual industry. The agency currently represents three other fast-casual brands: Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders, Island Fin Poké Co. and Krak Boba.
For more information on Buddy’s bar-b-q, please visit BuddysBarBQ.com/. To learn more about InnoVision Marketing Group, please click here or email PR@TeamInnoVision.com.
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