In Ghana, May 25th is a national holiday, with offices closed and a day off from school. It’s called African Unity Day and celebrates the founding of what is now known as the African Union.
If your only exposure to Africa is through the main news media, you probably imagine the continent as being populated with lots of charismatic megafauna (think elephants, giraffes and rhinos) and a few inspirational individuals who managed to climb out of the poverty and war that is rampant across the continent. But what if I … More How Economically Equal is Ghana, Anyway?
While not making major International news, there have been recent splashes of Cameroon making headlines in the past few months. A very simplified explanation is that Cameroon has two official languages, French and English. The majority of the country is francophone, and the capital is solidly in the francophone area. This had lead to discrimination … More Curious Language Divide of Cameroon
You’re in Ghana and you’re at the market. You’ve got all of your produce selected and the maame tells you, “15 cedi.” You open your wallet and pull out a 20 cedi note and see six faces looking back at you. In fact, all of the paper money in your wallet has these same six … More The Big Six: Ghana’s Founding Fathers
When visiting a new culture, there is nothing that I love more than experiencing, attending or participating in a local festival. Just this past weekend was my town’s annual Aboakyer Festival, and once again it was a delight to join in the festivities. So when I was planning my trip to Bhutan, I knew I … More A Glimpse at the Thimphu Tshechu
One of the things that I really like about living in another country and culture is learning about the various tools each culture uses for communication. In Ghana, being direct with your words can interfere with the social harmony, as so communicating indirectly via proverbs is very common. Not only that, but there are a … More Ghanaian Proverbs and Idioms
For centuries, people have been enjoying chocolate, which is made from the dried and fermented cacao seeds, and at one point, two small African islands in the Gulf of Guinea were the cocoa capital of the world. The Portuguese colonies of São Tomé and Príncipe were covered in plantations, known as roças, that produced cocoa and … More São Tomé’s Roças
No matter what country you consider yourself from originally, moving to a new country comes with learning a whole new way of doing things. Here in Ghana, that can mean learning a whole new way of getting around town, getting around the country, getting new clothes and even how to eat.
One thing that I really appreciate about Google is their sporadic Google Doodles and how they encourage me to learn more about people I may have never heard of before. Earlier this week, they honored Ghanaian woman, Esther Afua Ocloo and I was thrilled to learn more about someone from this wonderful country and their … More Esther Afua Ocloo, Women’s Champion
In 1958, one year after gaining independence, President Kwame Nkrumah made a visit to Washington D.C. adorned in a rich kente cloth draped around his body. This touched off the use of kente among many Black Americans as it became adopted as a symbol of African history and pride. Muhammad Ali wore kente for much … More Kente: Ghana’s Textile