Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Funniest Ghanaians of All Time

For this one, you have to travel back in time to the TV Theatre, Akan drama days. But younger generation people don't sweat. You can get yours from the cantata, Key Soap concert party era or even from good old Ghanaian movies. Who do you consider the funniest Ghanaians of all time? They don't even have to be TV personalities. They could be ordinary Ghanaians. People who just crack you up. Just tell us who they are and why they're awesome. Some anecdote, a joke, something they did or said that makes you remember them. Here's my list of the funniest Ghanaians of all time.

1. Super OD

OD. The shaved head. The character. I remember one drama in which he was a shady ɔsɔfo (priest). OD jokes, anyone?

2. Santo
Santo is one of the first comedians I ever knew. He would listen to his recording on tape. Me and my area people enjoyed it a lot at Ashale-Botwe, where I grew up. Santo was just hilarious! There was one in which he was talking about months. And he said 1 moon, 2 moon, 3 moon, instead of 1 month, 2 months, 3 months. Without the context, it's hard to make you get it. Does anyone have santo cassettes out there?

3. Idikoko

Idikoko kura bɛbɛ alugbɛbɛ babatunde kura bɛbɛ alugbɛbɛ He had these amazing shaddas (clothing) and he was a drunk truck pusher, funny as hell.

4. Nkɔmɔdɛ
This guy was the funniest guy on the scene for a while. He won the key soap concert party who is who championship 3 times!

5. McJordan Amartey
This guy was the king of exaggeration. He's famous for the lines...
"just thaaaaat?"
yes uncle
"jussssssssst thaaaaaaaaat?",
yes uncle.
I believe that's from the film "Who killed Nancy"

6. Kɔhwɛ
I remember this guy for his beady eyes and sarcasm. He was funny because he was sarcastic. God, i wish I had videos. I really need to get out to GBC (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation) and see if they have anything.

7. Water Proof
One of the funniest all time. Anyone have more info about him? Jokes?

8. Agya Koo
This guy goes all out with the fooling. If you want a taste, just watch this vid.

9. KSM
After mentioning people like Santo, and Kɔhwɛ, it's hard to put KSM on the same list because his humor is quite different. He identifies funny aspects of the Ghanaian life, and then highlights them.

10. Bob Okala
His tie was a tapoli and he wore a big wall clock as a wrist watch. Is it possible flava flav stole the whole clock act from our dear Bob Okala? Who remembers any of his jokes? See vid.

Keep in mind, this post is a search for the funny ones. I'll do a post later for your favorite media personality. Then you can root for the George Laings and the Komla Dumors. But this post is for the funny ones! Alright, so who do you consider the funniest Ghanaian of all time?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What yo' Mamma never told you about ketchup in Ghana

True story.

I was craving some kenkey with all the "associated condiments": home ground pepper, ground pepper from the streets, fried fish, corned beef, shito, and ketchup. All these I already had at home or could get from the kenkey seller...except for the ketchup. So I walked around my neighborhood looking for ketchup to buy. The first three kiosks did not have ketchup. But I'm glad I did not relent because my persistence was rewarded ten-fold at the forth kiosk.

The shopkeeper was bossing (chatting) with 2 other women at the front of her kiosk when I asked.
Me pa wo kyɛw, wo wɔ ketchup? (do you have ketchup, please?)
Her response?
Hmmm...ketchup...ntos deɛ no nkoa na me wɔ (Hmmm, ketchup, i only have the tomato kind)
cracking a smile, I replied...
na ketchup yɛ wɔ mu bebree wehu? (Oh, so there are different kinds of ketchup, huh?)
Oh fitaa no. deɛ yɛ de gu salad so no (the creamy kind used for salads)
Of course, I thought. Silly me!
Got my tomato ketchup, and laughed all the way home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Most Memorable Ghana Ads of All Time

The ads we grew up with, some we remember fondly (number 1), some which helped us pass exams (See number 10), and some that were just so terrible we can't forget them (see number 9). Here's my list. All of them are TV ads, except for one special radio ad. (see number 11).

1. PIONEER NAILS - Dadowa Pa
Dadowa pa akɔ atwee
Ma nkyɛ nyipa reyɛ
W'aapa aba wo n'edwuma yɛ'm
Na pioneer nails
Adaworo ma nti
Mprɛgoo apapa na yɛ dze reyɛ edwuma
Ma ɔyɛ enyigye w'om kɛse mpo nyedɛ
mprɛgoo yi yɛ dzen
na ɔwɔ mu asɔɔtoo
ɛdzɛ hammer bɔ do so a,
na ɔrekɛ hyɛm bum bum
No curve, no bend
Pioneer Nails o
Papa pa pa pa


Nu nu scent scent scent

3. GSMF - Abstinence from drugs

Akɔlaa wo kɔ he?
Me de me nwoma no kɔ library
ɛnyɛ agorɔ
Wee, cocain
sɔ bi hwɛ

Quence walai

Chocolate spread, spread, spread


Spaceship with chocomilo in it?
Kids scream...
Chocomilo inside yeah!
Choco choco choco chocomilo

Dabi dabi ebeyɛ yie
Ama otanfoɔ afere
The lotto doctor has made thousands of people rich
Why is the lotto doctor not rich?
He's a good samaritan that's all
Do you want my sure numbers?
I've picked my own numbers
etc etc.

Akobalm miti yɛ me ya
Me nan yɛ me ya
Me kotodwe
Akobalm sasabrɔ no , sasabrɔ no, ekorɔ no
korɔ no, korɔ no
tu tu mirika
Akobalm! Akoo tetebɛtɔda ointment.


Mercy cream, mercy cream, mercy cream,
ɛyɛ eduro paa

I have vitamin A
I have vitamin A too
Together we we give you good vision
And help the children have a longer growth?
We have nicotinic acid
convertible to energy
Vitamin C protect your body against diseases
We have Vitamin D
B complex
Heart disease
And our nervous system disorders
We give you healthy skin
Every nutrients are essential for the human metabolism
All together
We have UNICAP.


Conversation between Atongo and Hotman
Wherever you are, we make sure water reaches you
Even space!

12. DOMOD -
Domod nkɛnsee dze
sɛ ɛnua'm na sɛ ɔkyew a
nna ɔno wala o, walaaa

What have I left out? Which ads do you remember most? Are there any new ads (past few years) that you think should make the list of memorable ads? Of all the ads that you like or remember, which do you think is the best all time? Why? My vote goes to Pioneer nails -dadowa pa. Because nails are not inherently cool. Anyone could argue that nothing catchy could be done with a product like nails. I mean there is no reason why anyone would remember a nails ad to the detail that we do. And yet the ad was so fun and so memorable that we're talking about it, 10 years on. Very cool.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Proverbs for the modern Ghanaian. It's new, fresh, and possibly hilarious.

I'm working on a blog post on the most memorable Ghanaian adverts of all time. That should be a fun one. But it's taking a while to write so be patient.

Whilst we wait for that one, I had a silly thought. And I thought, why the hell not? Sometimes Ghanaians are too serious for our own good. So i decided to go crazy with my thought and see what comes out of it. Here goes.

So there is a Ghanaian proverb that goes...Anoma entu a, obua da. Which can be translated to mean, if a bird does not fly, it goes to sleep hungry. The proverb cautions against laziness. In the first part, the flying represents the busyness that comes with enterprise and the second part, assures the hardworking of food. Wish I'd thought of that :)

Now our ex-prez Rawlings is quoted to have said that Anoma entu a, ogyina hɔ. Which means if a bird does not fly, it remains standing. haha.

I remember this caused him much public ridicule. People even went as far as to suggest that this is what happens when we make a scottish man president, referring to the fact that our ex presido is half-caste.

I agree that a president should intimately know the culture of the people he's leading. And on that front, Rawlings may have scored low points. But his gaffe inspired this blog post.

How, you ask?

Well, I think our quotes, proverbs, stories and culture lack freshness. And that they're too serious. They may have been right for the time that our ancestors created them. But as we the people have evolved, we have not added to them.

We complain about antiquated customs and cultures yet do nothing to create new ways of being, new cultures, new spirits that suit these times. In that sense, I think our parents generation failed us, and my generation may do the same if we do not add to the cooking pot.

So I was thinking...what if we all did something a little nuts? What if we turned the proverb on its head? What if we dissected it, and played with it, and did some thinking? What if we created a whole new set of proverbs related to this one proverb....anoma entu a, obua da? So basically taking the first part "Anoma entu a" and finding a fitting ending for it.

Almost like a little Challenge. The wo se ekyir challenge to find a new revamped ending for "anoma entu a"...

I start...okay, this is just silly but how about anoma entu a, osa mesop! Mesop being that old school dance that was so popular back in the day.

Of course you should try to be more creative, smarter, more relevant. Something along the lines of...anoma entu a, ɔbaa bi a ne ti nni hɔ behwie nsuo hyeɛ egu ne so. (tr: if a bird does not fly, some crazy woman will pour hot water on it) hehe.

Enjoy! Add a little fun and freshness to old school Ghanaian sayings. Did you ever think you'd see the day when fresh, fun, and hilarious are used in the same sentence as Ghanaian sayings? Well, that day is here.

It's up to us. Can't wait to see what we collectively come up with.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The best of Old School Ghanaian Church Songs

I hadn't been to a church in a while. But two weeks ago, my brother-in law to be got married so I went to church. It was nice. I'd missed something about it. It was a Catholic Church so I guess it reminded me a bit of my childhood.At one point I was even thinking...hmmm, I should be doing this more often.

But when it came time for collection, they started singing and it struck me how even though I hadn't been to church in a while, not much had changed. The songs were pretty much the same. One very old school Ghanaian church song made me smile. I dunno, something very typical about it. Very Old School. Very Gh.The very Ghanaian-ness of it is what made me smile, I guess. Almost gives you a sense of belonging.

So I started thinking of other very typical Ghana church songs. Songs that have been there since 19-kojohoho. Songs your grandmother sang. Think singing band. Songs your mamma sang. Think Charismatic. And we are still singing.Think SU. And songs we know our children will be singing. Think Sunday School.Not all of them are "Ghanaian" songs in the sense of them being in a Ghanaian language, but a song like our number 3 song for example is so Ghanaian, so us.

So here is my list. Enjoy and see if you can over (ghanaian slang for beat) my list.
Now i wish i knew some ebibi nwom! kronkron!

1. yɛ bɛɛ to Ebenezer, Nyame n’adom ara kwa
2. ɔwɔ m’enim ha, ɔwɔ m’ekyiri ha, ɔwɔ me sesei halleluya
3. Cast your burdens, onto Jesus, for he cares for you, higher higher
4. Da n'ase, da n'a ase, da Onyame n'ase. Efri sɛ oye …
5. Me hwɛ nea w'ayɛ a, ɔsɛ ayeyi, Yesu Kristo bɛ gye wo ayeyi

I gleefully await your additions:)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Reliving InterCo through Old School Gyama Songs

I know i'm always going on and on about how I didn't enjoy secondary school, and how I wish I'd gotten so much more out of the experience. But there is one aspect of life in secondary school that I can't get over. That I absolutely loved, and that I keep remembering.


Back in the day, I was an athlete. Not a fantastic athlete but an athlete nonetheless. Which means I got to go to all the InterCo, and Super-Zonals and Regionals. I even got to go to GSTS one time and saw my oldest friend, Acidic. Best fun ever.

One of the great things about interco is that it came with the chance to see the Cape school boys. Adisco, Augusco, Kwabotwe and all the others. Which was awesome. I mean, which gey hey girl didn't want to see boys!? Even if they were only chop-box boys as we used to call them in those days. My fondest memory of those times is of abandoning the Gey Hey squad to go shee gyama with the Augusco boys. Gosh, what fun!

I remember feeling so gbesh all dressed up in the athletic jerseys, powdered faces, reeking of cheap perfume, and scarfing my hair with bandanas from Kwabotwe. In 1999, bandanas were the in thing. If a guy wanted to speak with a girl, all he had to do was offer a bandana. I had Kwabotwe, Augusco and Adisco bandanas but I loved to wear the Kwabotwe one the best because together with the yellow and green from Gey hey, it was like being draped with our national colors.

Now a big part of InterCo is the gyama that goes with it. And I wasn't part of the gyama squad (yes, people, gey hey had a gyama squad), but I was always excited to join in the fun.

Even had favorites.

So here are two of my favorites.

1. What a mighty school gey hey
What a mighty school gey hey
Holy bow before us
Kwabotwe adore us
What a mighty school gey hey

2. Augusco w’a we o
Augusco w’a we o
Kwabotwe w’edi first
Adisco w’edi second
Augusco w’awe o

Here's the translation for the non-twi speakers.

Augusco placed last
Augusco placed last
Kwabotwe placed first
Adisco placed second
Augusco placed last.

I know y'all are dying to come out with your interco stories and favorite gyama songs and how Motowners pose like they're dadabee and all, so go crazy:) *rubs hands in glee*

Adisco, you there? Augusco, Odadees, Accra Aca, Rosec, HolyCo, ManSite, Abugiss, Motown, Pojoss, Amanfoo, Labone, RONEDROSS, Kwabotwe, St Louis, Opoku Ware, GSTS, Swesco, Winnesec, Apam Secondary, Likpe Secondary, Fiasec, Bogoso Secondary, Kumasi High, HotCass, Ketasco, Tadisco, Mawuli, St Francis Xavier, Petersco, HEPPS, BIHECO, St. Pauls, Kimbu, Agiss, Merries, Gey Hey, Akosec, Porter Girls, Ola, SOS-HGIC, Tarsco, GIS, Tamasco, Lincoln, St Johns, Osu Presec, Ghanass, Wenchi Secondary, Koforidua Sec Tech, O'Reilly, Where you at? Come out with your Gyama!

ps: Is it true that in Motown, only the kamkpe girls did athletics? Like say, pɛkyɛɛpɛ (aka dadabee) girls would never run or play hockey or so anything physical? Ei peoples!

photo: me in a gyama moment at Ashale-Botwe after the Ghana-US game, Summer 2006.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Who is afraid of Madam High Heel? Ghanaian myths, legends and spooky stories

On the way home from work yesterday, the conversation turned to Ghanaian myths. One of my friends told us about a figure, whose head is supposed to be made from bofrot, and who entices people in a scary voice to bite the head. Apparently, whether you bite the bofrot or not, you will be killed by this bofrot-headed character. lol!

That led me to think about Madam High Heel (often pronounced madam high hill). Thing is, I never quite got what was supposed to be scary about Madam High Heel. Does anyone know the story there?

Then several years ago, there was the scare about people in town who touch you and you lose your "thing". Pretty scary for men, I bet.

And how could we forget Maame Water, the mermaid who is what? the devil's servant? And who will catch you if you go to the beach at night? Don't they even say that the hair extensions that women use to braid their hair comes from Maame Water? hehe.

I'm fuzzy on all the details of these myths, but they still scare me. I'm not sure what exactly is supposed to be scary about them but somehow, I just know that you don't want to mess with these characters.

Can anyone supply the details? Do you know any other Ghanaian myths, legends, and spooky stories?