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Azonto

Just like D’banj’s OLiver Twist song has gone viral in Nigerian circles, prompting an avalanche of youtube videos of Nigerians spontaneously getting jiggy with the beat, there is a song which has also gone viral in Ghanaian circles. It is called the Azonto song.  All over the place you can see people eagerly stepping or dancing to this gripping song and dance.

Try to dance to that song and see how well you can replicate those dance steps, if you dare! Ok, let me get my dancing shoes and do the Azonto!

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On Muammar Gaddafi and Libya

The issue in Libya is gaining so much steam now and is being covered everywhere. Well here is our facebook discussion on the matter. After watching the clip below, a few people had something to say.

Bones opines:

He speaks the truth you know

Aero Max says:

this is a non bias truth in a transparent form… i subscribe to this all the way, those people lack nothing, if nigerianz enjoys half of what libyans are enjoying from their goverment, i am very sure non of us will complain even if they stay for the whole generation.. the funny thing is that even at its worst .we are not doing anything about it.. who gives a damn about DEMOCRACY ? when it cannot deliver basic amenities. ALL we need is A Government that can deliver to its people what their basic needs are. who cares if it is AUTOCRACY or WHATEVER.

Willy says:

Aero I am damn with u…If Nigeria a democratic country where the government is been change every four or five years they dont enjoy up to half of wht the Libyans are enjoying in their country,then they call Gaddafi tyrant. Equatorial Guinea,formerly Spanish Guinea.In that country they make money from oil just like in Kuwaite, the population there is not up to one million,they dont have hospitals there,no good schools,last week my friend that went there on an ong works say they weren’t there eggs to buy.their president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo assumed office 3 august 1979,I am sure the Eu and United States dont know that country exists,but they buy oil from them.

Hans:

I mean what is this business of America to the world? This country is going through a lot already. This man is a man of truth. I sometimes get buttered by his words, because at one point I fall into it. Why is Obama allowing these people to push him. Obama should be smart enough to know to get this statement that Hillary Clinton said and I coauthor ” I will not be a secretary of state any more if Obama wins”. now you are invading Libya, what for? I was saying on buni the other time that, the people of Libya are very stupid… and I will say it blank here, Qaddafi is trying to unit the whole of Africa and he is moving in the right direction. And this is a treat to the western world. When the conference was held in Ghana, almost a common conclusion came into agreement, until ivory coast opted to send a concern letter to it’s allied to before they could do something. What happened? Aint they into tribal war over governance? Until when shall the black man learn. But I am telling you, this is all a aim at Saudi Arabia…but if America wants, they should try and see… it’s very sad… but God is our helper… Long Live Africa, Long live Ghana.

Buni says:

HANS, I started nodding my head while reading your post and I continued nodding it till I reached a certain point. Please Sir, how is Ghadaffi trying to unite all Africa and how is that a threat to the Western world? This man has been in power for 42 years and has not united anything. Now that his overthrow is imminent, you tell me he is trying to unite the world?

Buni says:

AEROMAXX, I agree with you. It began an argument yesterday where I told them that it is better for your country to return to military rule. It seems the other side of the fence (civilians) are not better either.

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Nollywood Vs Ghollywood: Let The Feud Begin

A Scene From The Movie "Hot Fork"

Sometimes, you cannot help the feeling, if you are a Nigerian or a Ghanaian, that there is some unspoken but serious rivalry between the two nations. In previous decades, Nigeria had the upper hand in issues that concern the West African region: this makes sense considering that the country has the largest population in the region and in the continent as a whole. Also, when you consider Nigeria’s comparatively larger economy and her oil wealth, you may begin to understand some of the reasons behind the superiority complex that Nigerians manifest when speaking to or about other West Africans.

In recent times however, Ghana has improved her image and standing on all fronts; indeed so clear and focused has Ghana’s ascent up the West African totem pole been that citizens of both countries and interested third parties have often found themselves comparing the two nations. And if the truth be told, despite having six and a half times the population of Ghana, and nine times the size of Ghana’s GDP, Nigeria cannot by any means boast of being so much better. Not even twice better by any serious metric of comparison. This is not to disparage the citizens of any country—it is just an attempt to show that at the moment, neither of these two countries is a clear winner or a clear favorite by an extended analytical comparison of socio-economic indices. I am sure that some partisans may disagree with me at this point, but let’s not miss the forest for the trees.

Be that as it may, one area of comparison between these two regional powerhouses is emerging, nay has already emerged—the indigenous or national movie industry. One only need say a few things about the movie industry of both countries to generate a supercharged furor.  Sometimes, a discussion on this subject matter is marked by unadulterated Ad-hominems, but I guess that’s sometimes the mode of argument when the topic becomes sufficiently infused with primitive passions or provincial loyalties.

Let’s cut to the chase here: What do you think of the Nigerian movie industry or Nollywood, as it is popularly called? What are your thoughts on Ghollywood—presumably, Ghana’s movie industry? Would you say that one was better than the other—if yes, what are your reasons? What about their local movie super stars?

Okay, I get it—you absolutely love these African movies. Yes, it is hard to deny but in recent years, the quality of African movies in general has been improving—albeit, I’ll contend that it is not improving fast enough. It is difficult to look at movies from 15 to 20 years ago and not notice how much has improved. I think kudos is in order for the hard-working men and women who have persistently striven to elevate and refine their craft. Who knows how long it might be from now when some African movies might begin to command global interest and even be forced onto the American movie scene? Alas, I digress.

Coming back to African movies, I am left scratching my head at some of the movies that are making the rounds in Ghana these days. I am talking about movies like Hot Fork, Heart of Men, 4play, Kiss Me If You Can, Shakira, Sex Game, etc. Many Africans who have seen these movie trailers and/or bothered to see the entire movie have marveled at how unoriginal, unconvincing, and vapid the movie plots have been DESPITE the exaggerated use of sexually explicit scenes. Indeed, some of these movies, seem to be little more than poorly-produced soft porn—teasing the audience with all manner of sexually provocative imagery.

What exactly is going on in the Ghana movie industry? I realize that in this present day and age, sex sells, but surely, this is not the best that Ghana’s movie producers can offer is it? Questions will arise because for good or ill, it seems that Ghana has uniquely captured the erotic, smarmy, carnal, and prurient corner of the African movie market. And it seems that this is going to be here for a while because it is hugely profitable. Yes, let’s not kid ourselves: there is a huge demand for these movies by active and passionate lovers of African movies.

Let no one be tempted to wax too puritanical about general decency in African societies. The truth is that even if people might criticize these movies in respectable or religious settings, a great number of them still watch it in private or relaxed circles, I suspect, if for nothing else, to see what jaw-dropping sexual stunts African movie stars now have the confidence to show on the silver screen.

Now, this would not have been so awful for many if the plots of these movies weren’t somewhat stale; or the characters’ lines weren’t so predictable; or their acting lacking certain finesse; or the sex scenes weren’t so tastelessly shot or depicted. Is it really the case that these tasteless nude scenes enhance the story? Is it really necessary to show in near graphic detail some of these sex scenes—surely, some can be left to the imagination yes? If these movies are not to be misconstrued as Grade B Pornography, is it such a huge deal to ask for acting that advances a solid narrative or plot instead of the random and pointless caressing, groping, kissing, stiff and clumsy foreplay and awkward sexual intercourse that one sometimes gets?

Notice that in these objections, I have intentionally avoided the hot rod of morality which seems to be the default weapon that Africans employ in denouncing some of these movies. Personally, I could care less what sorts of movies become the norm on the African movie scene. For one, I am thoroughly fed up of the ritual-money theme prevalent in Nigerian movies. Secondly, I am far more interested in African music than I am in African movies. Lastly, I think I’ll be the last person to intentionally support a stifling of creativity and imagination in the African movie industry. If that creativity and imagination takes expression in movies that are generally deemed by Africans to be overly sexually explicit, then hey, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. My objection is based solely on the quality of content of these semi-trashy pieces of adolescent lasciviousness.

I am surprised that so far though, Nollywood has not yet caught the bug. But I am not such a doe-eyed optimist. I am willing to bet that as these “smutty” films continue to rake in huge profits for Ghana’s movie producers, it will not be long before Nollywood joins the game. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby! Perhaps, at that time, many critics of the Ghanaian movie industry would drop the annoying pretensions to a moral higher ground.

Give us better movies or market these movies for what they truly are: porn with obnoxiously loud histrionics!

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