Connect with us
NOT IN USE

Ameyaw Says

Remember them? 13 years after M-net's Project Fame, see what your favourite contestants have been up to

Published

on

Mnet Project Fame Mnet Project Fame contestants[/caption] So in my TV buff days, I fell in love with the Star Academy franchise when in 2002, I saw season one of Fame Academy, a British television talent competition to search for and educate new musical talents. Of course I wanted Lemar Obika to win for obvious reasons, but he only came third place after winner David Sneddon and runner-up, Sinéad Quinn. Anyway David was vocally gifted and wrote beautifully so he deserved it; and Lamar went on to have a successful music career after the show. When Season 2 started on the BBC in 2003, I followed it keenly and enjoyed it but not as much as season one. So when M-Net announced the African version I was more than thrilled…in fact I even applied. And yes I was called for the audition. In the application, being able to compose or at least play one instrument was a requirement. I lied that my talent was ‘table drumming’. Anyway my application went through and I was called for the auditions in Accra. I was then in third year at the University and on Industrial Attachment, so I couldn’t go for the auditions. A few people went for the auditions in Ghana, and Ramzy (Stars of the future fame) made it to that sing off stage for a place in the Academy. He however lost the slot. Project Fame debuted on Mnet from June to August 2004. The show had 16 African contestants – 9 of which were South African. The show was best described as Idols meets Big Brother Africa as the contestants’ daily activities were recorded 24 hours a day. Lindiwe Alam from Zambia won with Jonathan Ross from South Africa in second place and Nigeria’s Daré Art Alade in third place. Since then the format has span-off into West African and East African versions. So 13 years after the show and many spin-offs after, what have the original Project Fame contestants been up to? Here we go. Lindiwe Alam (Zambia) [caption id="attachment_114545" align="aligncenter" width="671"]Lindiwe Bungane, Lindiwe Bungane,[/caption] After winning the show, Lindiwe , now known as Lindiwe Bungane, went on to launch a successful music and acting career, and she remains one of the biggest female artist in Zambia. She has also starred in the South African stage version of ‘Dreamgirls’. The Zambian singer and actress, is also an ambassador for ILO’s 50 for Freedom campaign against modern slavery, Jonathan Ross (South Africa) [caption id="attachment_114546" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Nathan Ro Nathan Ro[/caption] Now known as Nathan Ro, Jonathan Ross was the first runner-up on Project Fame. In May 2005 he began playing the recurring role of Tim on the SABC3 soapie, ‘Isidingo’. He currently plays for a band known as Lonehill Estate. The band is a South Africa Music Awards- nominated, and has performed across Los Angeles and Montreux. Jonathan has also performed as part of trio known as Sing City, with Graeme Watkins and Loyiso Bala. In 2007 Jonathan made a guest appearance on the MTV base comedy sketch show Stay off the Grass. He also had a guest-starring role in an episode of the SABC1 sitcom City Ses’la. Daré Art Alade (Nigeria) [caption id="attachment_114547" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Daré Art Alade Daré Art Alade[/caption] Dare was third on the show, and was often misunderstood as being over confident and cocky. He caused a nationwide uproar in South Africa with comments that many viewers thought supported rape, and some critics believed that affected his chances of winning the show. After the show Darey has become a multi-platinum selling and award-winning musician, singer-songwriter. After an unfruitful record deal with Sony BMG Africa, his debut album ‘From Me 2 U’ hit the Nigerian market two years later on Storm Records. ‘From Me 2 U’ won several awards including 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards for best R&B Video in Africa. In 2008, Darey returned to familiar reality TV grounds as the host of ‘Project Fame West Africa’. He has also been a judge on Idol Nigeria Tebogo Moloto (South Africa) [caption id="attachment_114548" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Tebogo Moloto Tebogo Moloto[/caption] Tegobo was one of South Africa’s darling boys on the show and came in fourth place. After the show, he has been working as a performer, well as a sound engineer, producer and vocal consultant. He has produced and collaborated with several top South African artists including Proverb. Tracey-Lee Oliver (South Africa0 [caption id="attachment_114549" align="aligncenter" width="923"]Tracey-Lee Oliver Tracey-Lee Oliver[/caption] Tracey-Lee came fifth on the show finale. During her stay in the competition she entertained with her music talent as well as comedic antics. Today she has grown into a powerhouse singer, comedian, actress and voice over artist. After Project Fame she has competed in other competitions such as Afrikaans Idols and The Voice (South Africa). Twice nominated for her performance of Deena Jones in Dreamgirls, she has also blown audiences away in Motown and Knights of Music at Gold Reef City. Tracey-Lee has performed alongside David Kau and Joey Rasdien in the feature film, Blitz Patrollie (2013) and starred in the reality TV series, SugarRushed. In 2016, she was one of the five leading ladies in Supreme Divas (Joburg Theatre.) Tracey-Lee has expanded her repertoire in 2017 by exploring her comedic side, doing shows across the country. Johan du Plooy (South Africa) [caption id="attachment_114550" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Johan du Plooy Johan du Plooy[/caption] Johan was the rock boy in the house and after the show he continues to do heavy metal, which he loves. He is currently a member of Sweet Chilli Jam, a band that plays Everything from early 50’s and 60’s all the way to the latest hits . The band is based in Dubai. Kudzai Sevenzo (Zimbabwe) [caption id="attachment_114551" align="aligncenter" width="720"]Kudzai Sevenzo Kudzai Sevenzo[/caption] Kudzai’s acting and singing career was launched after Project Fame. Following the show, she released her debut album On A Day Like This’. She later released her second album Child Of Africa, also produced by Andrew Baird. Kudzai’s star continued to rise as she was selected to anchor for MNET’s magazine show, Studio 53, which saw her travelling Africa and exploring its cuisine, arts and culture. Karen Lucas (Kenya) [caption id="attachment_114552" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Karen Lucas Karen Lucas[/caption] After her successful run on Project Fame, Karen (alias Kaz) went back to work and begun to do more shows. In 2006 she launched her debut album “Somin, The One We Were looking For”, which was sold out months later. Her second album was released at the end of 2013. A Christmas album titled ‘Christmas with Kaz and Sage’ where she featured upcoming and multitalented singer Sage. In 2005, she won the East African Kisima award for Best Afro Fusion Artist of the Year, and in 2006, she was honoured to receive the African Kora award for Most Promising Female Artist in Africa. She was also nominated for best actress in the ‘Kalasha awards’. Kenya’s first film award ceremony, for a short movie she starred in, in 2010. Kaz set up her events company Krimson concepts in 2006 and first created an event called ‘Urban nights’ which incorporated urban soul music and poetry. She has also starred in the TV show ‘State House’, a political drama. She continues to work closely with Supersport and Mnet as a television presenter. In 2012 Kaz co-hosted the talk show ‘The space’ that centered on Kenyan youth and making changes in society to benefit them. Claudia Mohr (South Africa) [caption id="attachment_114553" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Claudia Mohr Claudia Mohr[/caption] After the show, Claudia Mohr has become a performing artist, sometimes referred to as South Africa’s Adele. Knowing that music was too much a part of who she was, and what she wanted in life, to just pursue it part-time she decided to expand her knowledge of the art form by studying jazz performance at UCT, and went on the receive her Bachelor degree in Music in 2007. She furthered her studies and received her Master degree in Music (2010). She started her own recording and production company, Mohr Music, whose first release her her own debut album. Her debut album, entitled ‘Go It Alone’, encompassed a range of musical influences which include funk, rock, blues and even references to local Afro-pop idioms unique to South Africa, while displaying a keen sense of individuality and a vocal quality that it ever rich and inviting. Steve Peralta- South Africa [caption id="attachment_114554" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Steve Peralta Steve Peralta[/caption] Steve continues to do music and has also a flourishing business in fitness and wellness now. Steve Peralta’s music reflects the state of his soul. In 2010 he won two awards in the Universal Music Nationwide Song Competition, namely 2nd place in Best Song category and 2nd place in Best Lyrics Category Steve also has a mission to help people live happier and more powerful lives. As an entrepreneur and business owner, corporate wellbeing consultant, mindfulness facilitator, wellness coach and musician, Steve ensures that he lives by his values, and keeps his vitality at an optimum level. Besides his corporate work, Steve has also established himself as one of the go-to wellness specialists in South Africa, having featured regularly on TV shows such as Doctor’s Orders on SABC3 & Youth Matters on DSTV. He also ventured into radio for a 1-year stint as the host of ‘Wellness Wise’. [caption id="attachment_114555" align="aligncenter" width="638"]Steve Peralta Steve Peralta[/caption] Steve’s talks and workshops revolve around authentic health creation, stress management, workplace wellness, mindfulness and the drive to help people thrive amidst the increasing demands of the modern world.” Max ‘Didge’ Nyatome (Kenya) [caption id="attachment_114556" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Max ‘Didge’ Nyatome Max ‘Didge’ Nyatome[/caption] Kenyan RnB crooner, Didge – real name Max Nyatome is one of the many other prolific products form Project Fame. Didge has been able to blend Soul and RnB, with an injection of hip-hop, laced with a jazz flavor all infused with that all-important local element – creating what can only be described as “ Swa’RnB” (or Swahili RnB). Didge has also hosting several TV shows. He was the presenter of the V.I.P.I, a social entertainment magazine show. Tumi Ramailane (South Africa) [caption id="attachment_114557" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Tumi Ramailane Tumi Ramailane[/caption] Tumi was the sweetheart of the house, and many in the Academy as well as those watching loved his calmness. He instantly became a household name especially with the ladies as the media compared his looks and talent to Usher Raymond. Tumi launched his Debut album titled “ No Guarantee” which became a hit with songs like “Give Me You”. The album was a success and enabled him to breakthrough the difficult genre of R&B in South Africa and Africa. Tumi produced his second album titled “Joburg City”. This time round Tumi had a new look and a new sound, an Adult Contemporary Album . https://ameyawdebrah.com/114141-2/ Tumi rebranded himself as Tumi Lane with a new look that signals sophistication and class. In 2009 he earned South Africa Music Awards nominations for best newcomer and Best R&B Album, as well as Best Video (R&B) nomination at the Channel O Music Video Awards for “Give Me You”. Carl “Bodea” Eckle – Tanzania [caption id="attachment_114558" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Carl "Bodea" Eckle Carl “Bodea” Eckle[/caption] Bodea was the lover-boy of the show with his dashing looks and smooth reggae vibes. After studying Jazz Performance and Composition at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, USA, he moved to Berlin, Germany. Bodea‘s debut album was recorded live, reflecting his style between Soul, Reggae, Tropical and Dancehall. In 2011, and at 28 he entered season 1 of The Voice of Germany as Carl-Marcel Eckle but didn’t go farther in the competition. Jid’dah Ado Ibrahim -Nigeria [caption id="attachment_114559" align="aligncenter" width="420"]Jid'dah Ado Ibrahim Jid’dah Ado Ibrahim[/caption] Jid’dah was the first contestant to be eliminated from the show. She was tagged the Nigerian princess due to her ‘princessy’ behavior on the show, which alienated her from most of the other contestants. After all she did make it clear that she was Nigerian royalty. After her elimination, she claimed that racism reigned at the Academy. She once had a song with Nigerian rapper Modenine but nothing much has been heard from her since. Perhaps her royal blood does not allow her to do music for a career. She has found a new love in food, children, and healthcare. And she currently lives in Arizona. https://ameyawdebrah.com/hottest-africans-instagram-part-2-2/]]>

Advertisement

Radio & TV

No show from Sista Afia and more catfights, as cast of ‘GH Queens’ gather for ‘Reunion show’

Published

on

gh queens online

Just as it was reported during the premiere event for ‘GH Queens’ sometime in April, some stars from the pseudo-reality TV show were again missing from the Reunion show, which started airing on Friday. Yes, the fiesty Sista Afia and Fantana will not be making an appearance on the three-part special reunion show on Akwaaba Magic (DStv channel 150). (more…)

Continue Reading

Ameyaw Says

Coachella through the eyes of an African

Published

on

Ameyaw Debrah at Coachella 2022

My second showing at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival confirmed to me the sheer diversity of talent and music that gets showcased each year. But Coachella is more than music and arts, it is a celebration of cultures, the spirit of people, fashion, and more. If you’re a conservative African,  then expect some cultural shocks as the festival doesn’t hold back in celebrating life and accepting it in all of its forms.

The festival embraces queer and intersecting groups, so seeing raunchy and over-the-top costumes from festival-goers is to be expected. Some of the washrooms on the festival grounds are even gender-neutral, so expect to see both women and men queuing up to use the same washroom.  Marijuana has been legal in California for many years, so you should also expect people to smoke at free range; without much care for those who don’t.  If you’re able to look beyond all these as “an African”, then you too can have a swell time at Coachella!

 

After seeing Burna Boy and Mr Eazi perform in 2019, when I had my first experience of Coachella,  I felt proud as an African.  I also noticed how the African festival-goers (from mainly across the United States and the United Kingdom) watched with some pride the performances from Mr Eazi and Burna Boy on the Coachella stage. So when the lineup was announced for 2000 to include Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and Aya Nakamura, I was happy that Africans were becoming a regular on the festival’s lineup.  Sadly, Covid-19 didn’t let that happen in 2020 and 2021. In fact, I almost entered a $2,000 bet with my colleague blogger, David Mawuli that when the festival returned, there would be a Ghanaian artist on the lineup. Thank goodness I rather spent that money on a bonus hunt online casino. Well, at least I won $120 back!

 

When the lineup was announced for 2022, the only African on the main stages was Black Coffee, while fellow South Africans,  Major League DJZ scheduled for The DoLab tent. So when I attended weekend two of the festival, I made sure to watch Black Coffee’s set. He played on Day 1. Unlike the Burna Boy and Mr Eazi sets, that I witnessed in 2019, the audience at Black Coffee’s set was not predominantly Africans. It was a global audience. The crowd was as thick as it was energetic.  It was also exciting to hear the 2022 Grammy Award Best Dance/ Electronic Album-winner, incorporate remixes of some authentic African rhythms in his set.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

Arooj Aftab Coachella 2022 Friday 04 22 Gobi Performances Weekend 2

Arooj Aftab, Coachella 2022, Friday 04-22, Gobi, Performances, Weekend 2 Credit/Provider
Beth Saravo

On Day 1, I also showed some interest in Pakistani vocalist Arooj Aftab, who won the Grammy this year for Best Global Performance.  A lot of Africans had tipped ‘Essence’ by Wizkid and Tems for that award. So, I had to find out for myself what makes Arooj Aftab tick.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

With these two performances of interest out of the way, I stuck to my plan of focusing on big acts that I haven’t seen performing before because, with the grand nature of the festival and the sheer size of the venue, it is simply impossible to experience everything!

 

The Empire Polo Club is a 78-acre polo club, which leases out its polo grounds for the festival. The venue is so huge that festivalgoers walk for several miles before getting into the main entrance to the festival grounds. When accounting for land used for parking and camping, the event covers a footprint of over 600 acres!

 

Across the grounds, several stages continuously host live music. The main stages are the Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Gobi Tent, Mojave Tent, and Sahara Tent; in addition to the smaller Yuma stage and Sonora stage. Each stage was unique in appearance and suited for the lineup of artists on it. The big stages had elaborate settings to create various visual aesthetic attributes needed to project the individuality of the artists and make festival-goers enjoy their performances even better.

Ari Lennox Coachella 2022 Coachella Stage Friday 04 22 Performances Weekend 2

Ari Lennox, Coachella 2022, Coachella Stage, Friday 04-22, Performances, Weekend 2

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

I missed Ari Lenox’s performance at Afrochella in Ghana this past December so, I had to experience her set especially after all the buzz she generated on social media with her visit to Ghana.  The sultry singer hit the stage, giving fans a look and performance to remember. The D.C. native hit the stage in a jaw-dropping gold ensemble to perform several ‘woke female’  themed songs for her fans.

Anitta proved why she is a sensation in the Latin world and beyond, with her high octane performances. The Brazilian singer changed into three different sexy outfits that accentuated her figure as she rocked them in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

 

Baby Keem, who recently won a Grammy for best rap performance, was one of the up-and-coming hip-hop performers at the festival. One of the highlights from his set was bringing on label boss, Kendrick Lamar, a little over 30 minutes into his set. The rappers, both in all-black ensembles, performed together for the final two songs including “family ties.”

 

I ended Day 1 with Harry Styles who literally brought disco to the desert! One of the biggest highlights from the set of the “As It Was” singer, was bringing Lizzo on stage to perform a song from the One Direction archives.  It was fun to see him perform with so much energy, and he was very interactive with the crowd too.

 

Day 2

Giveon Performances Saturday 04 23 Weekend 2

Giveon, Performances, Saturday 04-23, Weekend 2

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

On Day 2 I kicked things off with a performance from R&B singer, Giveon. I was late in getting to the venue but was happy to at least see him perform his hit song ‘Heartbreak Anniversary’ before he left the stage. I then visited The Do Lab stage for some electrifying DJ mixes and performances.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

Grammy-winning rapper, Megan Thee Stallion showed all the hot girls and boys of Coachella how a superstar commands a stage during her hour-long set. She opened her show with “Megan’s Piano” wearing a black and silver spacey one-piece with futuristic glasses on. She and her backup dancers shook everything they had, and the crowd went wild as expected.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

Rapper, Isaiah Rashad opened his set with a powerful pre-recorded film acknowledging recent speculation about his sexuality. In a collage of media footage and audio, commentators react to a video of Rashad leaked this year,  showing the rapper being intimate with two men.  He gave fans back-to-back performances of his hit songs amidst cheers and a lot of support.

Billie Eilish Coachella Stage Saturday

Billie Eilish, Coachella Stage, Saturday

When I saw Billie Eelish on the Coachella lineup in 2019 I didn’t know her back then, so I didn’t attend her set, but days after I found out she was the new it-girl and she later went on to sweep the Grammy Awards the following year. So, this time I simply had to experience her, and I did! Her 90-minute set featured songs like “NDA,” “Therefore I Am,” “idontwannabeyouanymore” and “You Should See Me In A Crown.” She had a small accident when she fell onstage while singing “Getting Older.” Later on during her set, Eilish brought along her brother Finneas O’Connell for an acoustic cover of her single “Your Power.”

21 Savage Coachella 2022 Performances Sahara Saturday 04 23

21 Savage, Coachella 2022, Performances, Sahara, Saturday 04-23

I closed the night with a little bit of 21 Savage!

 

Day 3

 

On Day 3 I was physically worn out from all the standing and walking, so I didn’t want to do too much. I circled my day around a few acts.  I kicked off with Brixton rapper Dave, whose set was attended by a huge UK crowd that cheered him along throughout his performance!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)


He recreated his “Alex From Glasto” viral moment from 2019 by picking a fan from the crowd to join him on stage to rap a verse from ‘Thiago Silva,’ his 2016 hit with AJ Tracey.  He also performed his hit song ‘Location’ which features Burna Boy. Dave’s set was one of my favorites!

 

Since I had seen Doja Cat recently at Day N Vegas, I only saw the tail end of her set, as I wanted to go to the Coachella Stage on time to get closer to the headliners Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd. I wasn’t so sure when they were announced as the replacement of Kanye West but seeing them back-to-back made so much sense, and the energy was just what was needed to bring Coachella to an end!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

Swedish House Mafia started things off, dropping hit electronic dance music tracks back-to-back, punctuated by fireworks and pyrotechnics.  Their set lasted about 55 minutes. When they played their most popular song, “Don’t You Worry Child,” they dropped the music entirely at the key moment to allow the crowd to sing the chorus in unison.

Swedish House Mafia x The Weeknd Coachella Stage Performances Sunday 04 24

Swedish House Mafia x The Weeknd, Coachella Stage, Performances, Sunday 04-24
Credit: Jacob Mulka

The Weeknd then rolled through with a crowd-pleasing list of hits, including “The Hills,” “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming.” He was amazing on the night although his set lacked a lot of the theatrics and stagecraft and special guests.  He closed his set with a slowed-down version of his mega-hit “Save Your Tears.” Then Swedish House Mafia rejoined him and they closed the set, and the 2022 Coachella experience, together with the song “Moth to a Flame.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

Continue Reading

Ameyaw Says

Ameyaw Debrah wants to sue Kanye West for pulling out of Coachella, after he spent over $3000 planning his trip

Published

on

1

Ghanaian blogger, Ameyaw Debrah is looking to sue someone over Monday’s news that rapper, Kanye West had pulled out of the upcoming Coachella Music and Arts festival…and Kanye for now is the obvious choice!

According to the blogger, he has spent almost $4,000 in booking flights and a hotel for the two-weekend festival in Indio, California, which runs April 15-17 and April 22-24.  He pointed out the unusually high prices of accommodation in the area due to the festival.

In a video posted on Ameyaw TV, Debrah cited possible mental stress from spending so much money, and not getting what he paid for in the end.  He however hopes the Kanye’s replacement can make up for his troubles.

According to reports from Variety, reps for West and the festival did not immediately respond to requests for comment as to why the rapper pulled out of the festival.

The reason for his cancelation was not immediately clear, although a source tells Variety that he had not rehearsed or prepared for the appearance. While West played a full set, accompanied by Drake, at the Los Angeles Coliseum in December, Coachella is North America’s largest music festival and by necessity runs a very tight operation. West also pulled out of a planned headlining appearance at the 2020 festival — which ultimately was postponed until this year due to the pandemic — mere days before it was announced, sources confirmed to Variety at the time.

Yet there are many other reasons why news does not come as a shock, as West’s unpredictable and combative behavior in recent months put a question mark over his appearance even as it was announced in January; he had been barred from a planned appearance at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards due to what was described as his “concerning online behavior.” West canceled the closing dates of his 2016 “Saint Pablo” tour and was hospitalized for mental-health reasons shortly afterward, following incidents that were similar in ways to his behavior in recent months. West has said many times that he suffers from bipolar disorder.

Coachella’s first two nights will be headlined by Harry Styles and Billie Eilish. The festival essentially hedged its bets on West by billing EDM titans Swedish House Mafia in an unspecified spot on the lineup, listed at the bottom of the official announcement poster, leaving open the option of the group replacing him as Sunday’s headliner in the event he pulled out. With the festival just 11 days away, that seems a likely scenario.

Rumors had been circulating that Travis Scott would be joining West for the performance, but TMZ says that he will not be appearing either. Scott has been keeping a low profile since 10 people died in a rush toward the stage during his headlining performance at his Astroworld festival in Houston in October.

Such an appearance would be on-message for West, who in recent months has been publicly embracing such ostracized celebrities as Marilyn Manson, who is accused of sexual assault, and DaBaby, who has made unapologetically homophobic comments in recent months.

Continue Reading

Ameyaw Says

‘I hail you’- Kelvynboy reacts as Sarkodie requests for his “Down flat” song to be played in a club in London

Published

on

By

klass boy

Ghanaian rapper, Sarkodie is all about helping bring the young ones in the music industry up. (more…)

Continue Reading

People & Lifestyle

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

Published

on

Ameyaw Debrah at palazzo gondola

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch my vlog on the experience below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading

Ameyaw Says

How to make money online as a blogger or content creator

Published

on

The world loves South African wines CapeWine2018 810x600 1

With over 15 years of covering entertainment in Ghana and beyond under my belt, I still cannot get over comments on social media that suggest that many Ghanaians don’t understand the concept of blogging. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending