Cape Coast, Ghana.
Fisherman work in Cape Coast, a fishing port located in the southern part of Ghana.
When Kwame Nkrumah published this book in 1965, it was banned in the United States. A year after, on February 24, 1966, he was overthrown in a coup d’tat, which according to declassified files or documents, was sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. During this period several African nationalists were assassinated. And the UN’s attitude, especially in the Lumumba case, is there for all to see. Thus, even then, the UN has only worked to help a handful of countries and individuals.
Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism is a step by step guide to unveiling, exposing, denuding, the factors, individuals, countries, and corporations working against Africa’s development and unity. From chapters such as Africa’s Resources, Obstacles to Economic Progress, Imperialist Finance, Monopoly Capitalism and the American Dollar, The Truth Behind the Headlines, The Oppenheimer Empire, The Diamond Groups, Mining Interests in Central Africa, Union Miniere du Haut Katanga, Economic Pressures in the Congo Republic, The Mechanisms of Neo-Colonialism, among others, Nkrumah sought to make the world know the kind of forces we are facing as Africans (and non-Africans) on the path towards development (and the people that rule our world).
Corporations, which stole Africa’s resources from the beginning by making chiefs sign papers they know very well they cannot read and in most cases papers which talk of a different contract only to turn out that these chiefs have signed off their resources, have come to control Africa’s extractive industries, or broadly, Africa’s primary resources and have enriched themselves - creating empires - through colonisation. These corporations, even after independence, had done everything necessary to keep the status quo. Through vertical and horizontal integrations they have formed monopolies that control the production of the raw materials, its transport outside the country, its transformation or value addition, its price on the international market and the manufacture of the finished products. In effect, they control the demand and supply of products. And consequently, prices.
Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, did a diligent job with this book in unmasking the demons against Africa’s development and unity with hard facts. Appropriately, the book opens with ‘Africa’s Resources’, where the author shows the volume of Africa’s raw materials and those who control it. The chapter opens with the paradox that even though the continent is rich its resources go to enrich, mainly, non-Africans.
'Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below her soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups of and individuals who operate to Africa's impoverishment. (Chapter 1, Page 1)',
Ghanaian poster for Above the Law with “Steve Seager” (Andrew Davis, 1988)
Tamale, in the center of Ghana’s Northern Region, is one of those cities that it’s really easy to fall in love with. At between 250,000 and 500,000 people,
Big Oil and Small Men
Oil was discovered in Ghana and the films “call to action” is this films takes us through the life of these men dealing with the oil industry in their own hands. Buy doing so they feel in power and by being in power you feel BIG.
#africa #ghana #accra #nice #one #tata #bus #public #transport (at Zinger House)
I am introducing a creative from the shores of Ghana by name Theophilus Baah Denkyi to the world.Born in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
He attended the Takoradi Polytechnic,Takoradi 2008 up until 2012 achieving his Higher National Diploma in Painting and General Art After graduating, he served his native Ghana in 2012/2013. where he learnt how to experiment with different media’s in the form of analytical drawing as well as gaining experience in painting and 3D design.It was on this course, that Baah began his experimentation of bringing the outside environment into his art work.. He became influenced by the Renaissance, Impressionist, Abstract Realism and Corporeality.Since then has been fulfilling his destiny as a full-time artist.He has to his credit many group shows, private commissions. Baah studied a BA In Fine Art Combined Media,this course allowed him to develop his ideas further. During this course Baah’s work was exhibited at the Cultural Centre Gallery at Kumasi in 2012, and also at a group exhibition in 2013. Baah uses his art to express his thoughts and feelings and many of his works displays his life experiences.The quest for the never ending truth is what he called “INDIVIDUALISTIC TENDENCY”. With this, through the exploration of colours and texture, he hopes to convey a strong sense of emotion with the ever changing mood and voice of his inner mind which constantly surprises and inspires him.There is honesty and sincerity expressed in his pieces. He paints with a palette knife , mostly in Acrylic,and he loves to create works to share with the world which he believes in some way will impact society and inspire goodness in humanity. Such a talent.
In the 1920s advertising was a new phenomenon in Ghana; later it contributed to new attitudes and tastes of a new elite at the time of Independence. Advertising by means of magic was widely used in the past by indigenous sellers and juju-men to enhance the power of the ‘seller-magician’, a term borrowed from Emmanuel Ansa Asare. According to Asare, these juju-men were itinerant Muslim herbalists from northern Nigeria and Mali who migrated annually into Ghana to trade in medicine prepared from roots, leaves and powders. In the late 1980s such medicine men could occasionally be spotted around Kumasi with their pythons surrounded by their wares, displaying wonders so as to convince prospective buyers of their potency, especially at twilight when one cannot see properly. A knife would be put into a performer’s mouth that would be somehow hammered down the throat until it disappeared completely. Thus, a prospective buyer’s curiosity could be aroused. Inducements were carried out through the ‘magic’ that was, and still is, practiced in Ghana. Asare continued:
On other occasions he would try to cut any part of his body especially his bare stomach with his cutlass. The failure of the cutlass to harm him would then prove to spectators that his skin was too tough for the cutlass. Again he would pull out his tongue and cut it without shedding any blood. By these performances the confidence of the spectators in the supernatural powers of the juju-men was easily gained. Therefore whatever he told them about his medicine was wholly accepted.
It is however probable that such advertisements were mere trickery, as Asare has pointed out:
[…] but for the ignorance of the buyers, this method of advertising would have been very ineffective since there were tricks underlying these performances. It is now well known that some of these knives and cutlasses were purposely made for such magical tricks in the eastern countries like India and China. The deceptive knife was collapsible and therefore could be compressed and kept under the tongue. The cutlass was always kept in a leather [sheath] and was made of lead and made blunt at both ends. The juju-man in the process of the performance, would wave this cutlass so fast that nobody could detect the stuff [of] which it was made. Again some artificial tongues were made to cover the natural one. Had the observers been aware of such tricks, this method of advertising could not have been so effective.
Asare observed that these methods were geographically targeted to regions in Ghana. Farmers in forest regions required antidotes to snake bites and poisonous thorns. The methods spelled out here would not be effective among fishermen in the coastal regions. Other juju-men used fake glass on which they could walk and ‘charmed’ snakes whose fangs had been removed. It is doubtful whether magical tricks for marketing have waned. Yet Christianity and education have exposed magical displays as superstitious and at best mere trickery. The appeal of television and other modern means of advertising including photography and sign painting are considered a smarter means of marketing and salesmanship.
Karl Hartenstein’s book Anibue (Civilization) (1932) is seminal in documenting the use of advertising media in Kumasi. From the illustration of the ‘Billboard at the Train Station in Kumase’ (above), we see an installation of a variety of images that were most probably put up by the West African Publicity Agency. These signs are the first record of painted advertisements in use in Kumasi. The display seems to have been renovated for a visiting dignitary; it bears a close resemblance to the advertisements of painting workshops in Kumasi today. One important fact to be established from this unique photograph is the advent of media trafficking through the agency of modern-day advertising.
It is also probable that the type of signage in ‘Billboard at the Train Station in Kumasi’ was made of enamel on metal. Enamel signs for advertising were produced from about 1860 until the 1970s and imported from England. Hartenstein’s photographs recorded posters of Huntley and Palmer’s biscuits, Sanatogen, Sloan’s liniment, laxatives and alcoholic beverages, Guinness and Surf Brand Beer, and Quaker Oats. Other adverts are for Dietz petrol lamps, Rodeo lanterns and Dunlop tyres.
The establishment of a railway and road network, with Kumasi as its terminus, would have facilitated distribution of advertising throughout the colony. Foreign influences were considerable in spreading a visual education that was not dependent on literacy but used illustrated newspapers and films, a process that advertising also explores. The railway was important in this process, as were roads, motor vehicles and lorries. In the 1920s the new communications networks became the catalyst for image circulation, and for visual education.
'A Short History of Advertising in Ghana', a paper authored by Kwame Akatu in the 1980s, notes that ‘[…] in 1927 the UAC [United Africa Company] formed an Advertising Agency known as West Africa Publicity Limited (WAP)'. A major factor in its creation was the growth of British and other firms and petty stores in the Gold Coast. All creative work was carried out in the United Kingdom: ‘materials, printed posters, film-lets, matrices and mounted blocks were sent to West Africa Publicity for placing in the various Media. The poster division used to post their bills in vantage points of roads and streets throughout the country and inside trains and buses.’ There were also adverts on trees. The spread of the Ghanaian media employing advertising implied that visual education was entwined with literacy to some extent, even though the point of the picture was to subvert literacy.
By then the media being used was the mechanised production of the press: African Morning Post, Spectator Daily, Daily Echo, Ashanti Times, Weekly Observer, Ashanti Pioneer, The Monitor, Drum Magazine and a few vernacular papers published by the then Vernacular Literature Bureau, now the Bureau of Ghana Languages. During Ghanian Independence celebrations in 1957, the Convention Peoples’ Party (Kwame Nkrumah’s party) launched its souvenir brochure, profusely illustrated with advertisements of all kinds. Ato Delaquis asserted the seminal influence of advertisements in his training in 1970 when he contemplated exploring the prospects of mechanical reproduction. Delaquis held before a scholarship panel the image of a Star Beer advertisement from a print. He managed to convince the panel that the magazine image was not made by a machine but by an artist, stressing that with a Fulbright-Hays grant he could acquire this skill in commercial art.
A tradition of decorating lorries, vans, and taxicabs with paintings has also developed in Ghana and is practiced in every other country in West Africa, with a profusion of signage and advertisements on the roads, and in city lorry parks.
The work of sign painters as it developed in Kumasi has already been noted as part of an evolving local visual modernity that included the use of the advertisements and illustrations in magazines, photographs and up-to-date art techniques and processes imported initially from Europe. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationships, the similarities and the differences between the sign painters and the college-based artists in Kumasi. Until recently this would have been considered ridiculous because of the sign painters’ supposed lack of formal qualifications. Indeed, in his history of 20th Century Art of Africa in 1986, Fosu mentioned them cursorily, describing their work as ‘automobile folk art’ and ‘folk art’.
Ideas about evaluation and art history have moved on since the time of Asihene, who considered sign painters as ‘second-hand’, ‘confused’ and ‘frustrated’. The voices of the artists that have emerged after reaction against colonial rule in the 1960s has led to a modernism that freed them from watered-down versions of European schools and styles of colonial rule. This made possible a pluralism in which differences of evaluation are no longer an issue. It is perhaps ironic that many (if not all) strands of European and American modernisms drew upon the bustle, speed, architecture and advertising of city life, whilst the so-called ‘primitivism’ of Africa is contemplated without realisation of the African city with its influence on the development of African modernisms.
This is an edited extract from Kumasi Realism, 1951-2007: An African Modernism by Atta Kwami, available now.
Osu township. Some use stones to support weak roofs because rains will drip into rooms and wind might swallow them.
Yesterday at the last monthly Blogging Ghana meeting, the question was asked; what would you say are the two topical issues of the year. We all agreed corruption is one and an interesting discussion ensued. How do we address corruption? Today is International Anti-Corruption Day and although we have been talking about corruption all year, I haven’t written about it. I tweet about it every seeing the level and perception of corruption now.We see corruption everywhere in our daily lives. An acquaintance got busted for not renewing his license. He paid a bribe and was let off. Some years ago, a friend wrote the drivers test twice and (was) failed. Apparently, he was being failed because he hadn’t paid a bribe. In the end, he paid and got his license. My brother applied for a passport which was suppose to take a month. After two months of waiting, the officer asked him to pay a bribe to get it done. An acquaintance needed a loan. Guess what? He had to pay a bribe to get a loan which he will repay.The question remains how do we address corruption in Ghana? Could it be that we have been fighting it the wrong way? I have some ideas after listening to people in government and civil society. They are not new ideas. Let’s call this a reminder.Taking a stand against corruption will probably be the most difficult thing for most of us to do but it’s the first and perhaps most important thing to do. Just like standing up against a bully in school, you and I need to say no, we won’t pay or take bribes, that we won’t look away for the wrong thing to be done, that we will report corruption at all levels. Like I said, this is the most difficult to do. It will take a lot of will to get there but surely, we can do that.We shouldn’t stop talking about corruption and demanding transparency and accountability. I have heard a lot of people say all the talk is not going to do anything. I see it as a starting point for any other action. In Ghana today, social media has become a really important tool and believe it or not, the government and the international community is listening to the voices of Ghanaians. With social media, we can share and expose the causes and effects of corruption we encounter. By talking about it, we should question when people in our communities live lavishly.Corruption is cultural was an issue raised at the #BloGh meetup. I strongly disagree. It’s not cultural and exists in every society but has it gained acceptability in our society? “Give him something small, facilitation fee, nsuo sika are all phrases associated with corruption and almost everybody understands it. A contributor at the US Embassy Ghana’s Anti-Corruption discussion pointed out, there’s a TV ad where a child asks her big sister for a bribe (milk) to keep her mouth shut. I don’t know how widely corruption is discussed at the basic education level but we need to have the discussion and reorient children not to accept corruption and point it out when their parents err. How guilty will you feel when your 5 year old says that GH¢1 you gave the police office is a bribe and is wrong?We need to stiffer punishments for corruption. I have never understood why someone who steals a goat can get 10 years in jail and a corrupt official gets 5 or less or is not prosecuted at all. if people feel they can get away with corruption, they will engage in it. At the end of the day, it might be worth it to steal ¢50 million cedis and spend 5 years in jail.
I know this discussion will continue all through the new year and at Barcamp Accra 2013. I am certain that one day, we will be able to deal with corruption and make it unattractive for anyone to engage in. God bless our homeland, Ghana!
abandoned greenhouse, the Volta Region of Ghana
the Ghana National Football team that’s going to kick the shit out of the US in the World Cup