Why I Love Chale Wote Arts Festival

“Chale” which is an affectionate word that means my friend, and “wote” a local dialect by the Ga’s which means let’s go is also the name for flip flop. But in this contest, it means, my friend, let’s go to the arts festival. My first experience was in the summer of 2014, I had returned from London, looking for somewhere cool to go and twitter just served me right  because there seem to be the promotion of a harsh tag and an image that caught on very quickly all across twitter and oh boy did I have a blast!

Since its inception, the festival has brought the arts together and celebrated diversity and bridged people and places together. Every  year,  many people from all over the world attend the music and art festival with a colorful display of arts and culture from Ghana and different parts of the world.

This platform has presented a unique opportunity for people to express themselves through their creativity and given many a stage to be seen by the rest of the world.

For me, the festival has being a great opportunity to observe peoples reactions and presented me with  a unique opportunity to capture the most amazing moments via my camera lens. Laughter, excitement, the thrill and the general razmataz of the festive season. From fancy dressed pool men to interesting outfits dating from the 60’s and all finding its way to the festival giving it color and giving a sense of style and panache to the occasion.

Sefa Gohoho spotted with her friend on the streets of James Town during Chale Wote 2016

From excited youth expressing themselves in the hip hop culture and representing the yo-yo movement to artists using cloth and the streets as canvas and crafting unique strokes with their paint brushes and an observant crowd that watches on appreciating the artists creations and wait in anticipation for the moment the work is finished and installed so they can have their photo moment with the pieces. Such great feeling.

The 34 metres (112 ft) above sea level lighthouse situated in Jamestown, with a visibility of 16 nautical miles hosts the street art festival. The destination known to be the  oldest district in the city of Accra. The lighthouse is very much alive in the month of August, same month that hosts the Ga festival “Homowo” which meanings hooting at hunger. On this day however, the lighthouse becomes busy and the envy of the city as most people visit it, shoot awesome videos with their drones and have an amazing experience up the light house.

Big, small, tall, short. thin and plus size people from different walks of life enjoy the rich variety of food and drinks varying from awesome cocktails,bissup to pinto and my favorite palm wine. It’s a place to connect with old relations and during this time, I have met some very old friends and shared some very great moments.

The  art festival for me, has not only not only being refreshing, but invigorating as it connected me first to the heart and soul of humanity and also presented me with an amazing opportunity to establish great bonds with new people. During this period, it is the celebration of the art, of life of humanity, of our existence of people of color.

If you seek a good place to have an amazing summer experience, prepare your trip, park your baggage, and have and come to Ghana for an amazing week, experiencing people and culture.

 

Doing Business In Ghana

Venturing into a new market to start a business, can either be daunting or less stressful. The bureaucracy in Ghana can be very nerve racking, but  nothing that can’t be managed. Usually, people get into the excitement of something new and loose track of the necessary. Spending time in three key areas Visioning, Positioning and Cushioning is key when emerging into a new market.

Its important to come into any new territory with an open mind, be prepared to learn new experiences, don’t expect that things would work the very first time because chances are that, it would be a learning curve.

Every one coming to Ghana to do business must prepare for it, set aside some savings  to explore the environment, learn the culture, observe the people, eat the food, engage with the natives  more and learn the business processes. Don’t come to Ghana on your high horse and be mindful of what you say when it comes to comparing countries.

People feel very offended if you say stuff like “In our country, we don’t do this or that” you will have to be mindful of the culture and language because certain utterances may come as very disrespectful. Ghanaians are very nice and affable people, very quite and calm, but don’t take that for granted because they can put you in a very awkward position if you take them for fools.

I have realized that the attitude across most places in Africa is similar or same. Time can be a factor so pay attention when you schedule a meeting. if your meeting is for 9am, call the cab driver the day before and again, first thing when you wake up to be sure they are there at 7am giving you enough travel time. When you eventually arrive at your business address, don’t be disappointed if the meeting doesn’t start on schedule.

Have something to do with your time while there because its likely the meeting would be at least 20 minutes late. Having something to do, won’t make you feel you wasted the time. However, make sure the meeting ends when it was scheduled for, this way, people have the first impression of your person and are mindful of the time when there is another opportunity to meet. Be creative about this process.

Funerals are a bit deal in Ghana, so if you are invited to one, honor the invitation.  It shows that you care, are empathetic and have other peoples interest at heart. During these engagements, you would find a lot of connections and be able to also do a lot of networking.

Many people have returned back to their home countries and have being very frustrated partly because they did not embrace the return mentally and also psychologically. Its important to measure your expectations while on this journey. Remember that there are different processes and ways by which different countries do things, these factors you must consider and learn to adapt.

With time, you would find a possible way to adjust, but you must be flexible enough to know that things would not always work in your favor.

Celebrating The Mary Margaret Barnes Foundation

When I was a child,my mum saved up and registered me in a section of the library council called the extension library. Here, I had the privilege of choosing 25 books of my choice and a time frame to read and return them.
Apart from the gift of life that she gave me, I am thankful for the great learning opportunity.
I am at least able to construct good sentences primarily because of her.

She has always had the desire to help as many l as possible read,and remains a passionate enthusiast of education so even in her retirement; she still manages a primary school because she feels the need to do more.
Each day, the 72 years old, travels from her home through three different towns to influence the lives of these children. She wants to give them the best education that she gave me and my siblings but can’t do it alone so she has asked me to ask you for help.

I celebrate her heroism and award her the best medal for active service to humanity and present her with the highest accolades there of.

Join me celebrate a tenacious, and amazing woman and support me with her foundation to provide educational assistance for children. She needs educational and story books, play toys, teaching aids to support as many kids beginning with her current school.

If you are keen on making impact with her, and helping her with her legacy,please email her via mmbfndation@gmail.com.
www.facebook.com/mmbfoundation

Maximizing The Use Of WhatsApp As An Advertising Tool For Business

 

Various communication channels have being created to connect people and places .From the rise of chatrooms on computer desktops to bringing the experience into our hands via our smartphones shows how much we have evolved with technology.

But chatrooms, like any other social communication platforms was purely used for casual conversations.

Yahoo messenger used to be the most popular one and then came hotmail and the various chatrooms including dating sites. The first attempt of giving us a totally different experience was the introduction of Skype, a few years later, we had the development of many other applications etc. viber,line,imo.

Whatapp remains my favorite so I would like to share with you a few of its unique features. Why get different applications when one helps you do voice, text and now advertise?

Many people are wondering about the bit that talks about advertisement, but for most of you that are familiar with snap chat, you would realize that it allowed you to share things but had a duration span.

These are a few things to take notice of while using the status feature in whatsapp. If you have 24hours to feature an item, image or news, use it efficiently, make it count.

1. Establish Your Brand By Offering Content That Would Benefit People In Your Phone Contacts

Notice that the first point of contact to advertise to are those in your phone book. Chances are that, you have met them in person or worked with them and so familiar with them one way or the other. They are those in your circle of influence who would pay attention to you. Use that to your advantage but provide them with useful information to keep them coming to your status to check each time what you have posted.

2. Have A Daily Structure and Be Deliberate About What You Want to Post Everyday and Execute the Plan

Don’t take it for granted that you can use any update on your status. Most people have the tendency of posting at random. Usually, its either an image of them in a social event and then one random funny post they picked up from a friend’s page etc. It’s ok if you don’t intend to use the platform for business, even if its for social purposes, still have a plan and organize your images.

You want to be deliberate and consistent about what you post. So stick to a particular theme. If you want your audience to learn some fashion tips, by all means, use images of yourself if you like to communicate this or images of others if you want to promote a certain fashion sense.

3. Don’t Post more than 4 images at a Time

I have noticed that I really don’t go past the third image of my contact, but on a few instances I have done this, the content was very good. If you must post more than 3 images or videos, makes sure its interesting to get catch the attention of your audience.

4. Measure How many People Watch a particular Post

When you post images or share content, you are also interested to know how many people respond to the information you share. WhatsApp has the ability to help you do just that. Personally, I take a snap shot of all the people that watch a particular post and make note of their names, this becomes my prospect list.

5. Contact Each Person that Watched what you Posted and Ask them of their Interests

Notice that now, you have a contact list of prospects who you can turn into customers if you do it right. Once you have established what you are selling and because the platform doesn’t give you much time to share more information, you can email or send additional information to those that express the interest to know more of what you are offering. You can actually close some of them while on the platform and immediately turn them into repeat customers and prospect many others through them.

Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit

The three day informative, captivating and thrilling event which commenced on the 5th of July and ended on the 8th brought Ghanaians both home and abroad to discuss development, opportunities and value creation.

The summit engaged the diaspora to focus on the present economic agenda of the country with the various trade and foreign ministries as well as the private sector having key role in the panel discussions.

Perhaps one of the most and key highlights of the conference was the presentation made by the deputy minister of trade and industries Mr. Ahomka Lindsey who stated that people must stop whining and be part of the solution as it would take a collective effort to build the country.

I used the opportunity to promote my business networking piece Kasabiz popularly branded with the letter K to introduce participants to the platform and used the opportunity to explain to curious participants the meaning of the letter K as well as the main purpose of the business. The networking creates a great platform to help businesses and startups learn from each other and foster growth.

The role of the private trade support institutions such as my initiative, can not be left out in the life of the returnee to integrate and build any business. Preparation, both mentally and physically is key and I don’t  only ensure this through coaching sections, but assists potential business owners with the business processes key to which is new market entry and business development and helps to monitor startup growth and development while coaching the returnee to understand the psychology of the new business environment.

Africa is ready, Ghana prepared, lets engage!