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Bleached ‘Banku’: Midlife crisis; or cry for help?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2016 by Marian Toure

It is easy to satirize every single issue in Ghana—one of the main reasons why I love this country so much. Everything can be broken down to its atomic humour. Of course, in a country like ours, it’s a great asset to find humour in the strange and awful. Our sense of humour I can say has prevented us from going the way of many-an-African-country. Humour is the glue that binds us where politics, tribalism, and perhaps extremist religious sentiments have sort to divide us.

‘Bukom Banku’ as we’ve all come to know and call him, (real name Brimah Kamoko) has entertained us both in the boxing ring and in showbiz circles with his numerous attempts at breaking into the industry.  The much-publicized ‘Banku Vs. Powers’ bout remains my all time favourite fight.  I don’t know why. Maybe like all Ghanaians, the entertainment it provided (and perhaps also because I was in media practice at the time) tattooed it firmly in my memory. The pre-fight drama, the banter between the two, the change of date, all provided for a memorable game.

‘Bukom Banku’ as we’ve all come to know and call him, (real name Brimah Kamoko) has entertained us both in the boxing ring and in showbiz circles with his numerous attempts at breaking into the industry.  The much-publicized ‘Banku Vs. Powers’ bout remains my all time favourite fight.  I don’t know why. Maybe like all Ghanaians, the entertainment it provided (and perhaps also because I was in media practice at the time) tattooed it firmly in my memory.  The pre-fight drama, the banter between the two, the change of date, all provided for a memorable game.

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Nothing ‘Banku’ does ever surprises anyone. Well… me. From serially beating family members at home to assaulting other people at events and all manner of inexplicable behaviour… but this time, it has gone a bit too far I think.

For a manly man… to wake up one day… and decide… he wants to change the shade of his skin, because his wife allegedly requested that he did so… and also because the President of the Republic of Ghana, John Mahama, has promised to give him an ambassadorial position in Germany, if and when, he wins his second term in office… is unthinkable!

This is where I begin to worry about the man and I think we shouldn’t satirize this one.

Has anyone considered that ‘Banku’ could need help?…  Really!?!?

Perhaps this is the opportune time, for someone… anyone… to take real interest in this man, and, to take it upon him/herself to take Braimah Kamoko for a thorough psychiatric exam to make sure, that one of our national boxing treasures is not losing his mental faculties.  And I can’t emphasise this point enough.

If we have something to do for him as a nation, as friends, and family, it will be to seek his holistic wellbeing now before it is too late. We are so fond of waiting till we have no remedy for situations before we rise up and do something.

I’m sure a lot of us, including those who may chance on this post, may have various stereotypical justifications for his behaviours .i.e. the parts of the capital where he hails from is synonymous with such behaviour. We should and I’ll implore us to categorise Banku’s as a special case given that: 1) he was once a national asset, and 2) that maybe and just maybe all the knocks he took to his head has affected him in a way. Its only fair and safe to assume the later.

I certainly won’t want the inevitable to happen—God forbid—for someone to bring me my stone.  A stitch in time after all they say saves nine.

KNUST Sex Tape: If you were my baby Sister

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by Marian Toure
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Marain Toure, Media & Communications Specialist

I have steered clear of a lot of controversial issues and goings on in this country since I took a break from my career in media, but this one cannot remain on the back burner; it has to move center stage. I had heard a lot of media commentary on this the whole day but had decided not to give it a thought until a really good friend in high social circles in this country whatsapped it to me late evening with the message: ‘Have you seen this? From Tech?’

Then I mustered the courage to watch it—to the end … and then the second time.

My first reaction was anger and then a sense of shame … then pity for the young lady.

I find it particularly distasteful, despicable and an act of cowardice that a grown male, who has his faculties about him, will seek the consent of a female adult, engage in what seems to me a mutually enjoyable sexual act, only for him, to share it for mass consumption.

I find that it will take a man … who has low self-esteem … to think … that parading a woman’s nudity will boost his ego and self-worth.

What two consenting adults decide to do, in private, behind closed doors—tapped or otherwise—should be allowed to remain there. In essence, what happens in Vegas … Stay in Vegas! Period! Whether one has a vendetta or not!

For the young lady involved, if you were my kid sister I’ll let you know that ‘shoulda’, ‘woulda’, ‘coulda’ are indeed the best words of a fool.

Look at it this way; you have already committed the act; so saying you shouldn’t have done it in the first place, or consented to tape it, will be in my opinion, the best words of a fool. It’s done! You’ve crossed that hurdle! You’ll never get that moment back to make a new decision, so let’s move on from there. The die is cast. Now… how can we move on from your newfound ‘celebrity status’?

Mummy and Daddy must be ashamed of you by now! And rightly so! Perhaps they are Church leaders, responsible members of society, whom to the best of their knowledge have brought you up right. Your friends may be ashamed to be linked to you right now because they don’t want to be tagged as ‘porn stars’. The true friends will stick by you but they may do that in private for fear of what ‘amanfuor’ will say. Hey, their parents and family may even warn them to keep their distance.

I … on the other hand, I’m livid! That you’ll let yourself go this far!?! No matter what, though I’m your elder sister and I’ll stand by you through thick and thin.

Now… Let me tell you what I think you need to hear.

You are beautiful by all standards. You are intelligent, though that decision you made was unwise. I won’t judge you because I have been your age before and I know too well what happens during those years of your life. I forgive you for bringing me into this. You, on the other hand, need to forgive yourself too. What you shared with that boy, to the best of your knowledge was a moment of passion you would recount in your memory over and over and over again… with mixed emotions.

Do you remember Tiffany—Itz Tiffany? Another beautiful girl. She is one of our Ghanaian celebrities—she was known far and wide before her incident. Her former husband leaked their sex tape and it was news for a while, but it soon died. It passed. It’s old news now. Until yours came up, we had forgotten Tiffany’s. So I want you to know that this too shall pass.

Thing is, you’ll fall every now and then. Never wish for a smooth ride, just learn to rise up in style when you fall. But how do you rise up in style when you fall if you don’t fall?

It’s tough I know! But you have me. Take a break from school if you need to. Clear your head. Cry if you must—it’s good for the soul. Lock yourself up in the room for a few days if you want to, then come back and start over. Remember not to brood over it too long. Don’t let life pass you by. Life gives us all a lot of opportunities to do over. And this is not the end of the world. You are young and you are beautiful too. It’s not going to be easy I assure you, but I am here for you … and I love you.

When God Says YES!…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by Marian Toure

BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY; You can achieve at the click of a finger what it takes others a whole lifetime to achieve.

Case in point?? DESTINY OR FATE? :: A 14-year old Ghanaian street vendor, Attah Abraham has won the Marcello Mastroianni’s Best Young Actor Award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.

He won the award for his lead performance in a movie alongside Idris Elba.

Attah Abraham with his award and some cast members

Attah Abraham with his award and some cast members

Attah Abraham who is said to be without any acting background was picked from the streets of Ghana during the shooting of Netflix’s soon to be released movie “Beasts of No Nation.” Director of the movie, Cary Fukunaga according to the Business Insider said: “the lead in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ was essentially a street vendor before we shot the film. [He had] zero film experience, little education…but he became a somewhat professional actor, which was astounding to watch.” Fukunaga added that, “his unlikely star’s name is Abraham Attah, and he is a 14-year-old who plays an 11-year-old child soldier in the film.

Abraham’s character joins a militant group from an unnamed West African country that is led by a brutal warlord, played by Idris Elba (“Luther”).”

The director explained that about 30 of the kids were also selected “and we did this theater workshop and tried scenes that were in the script, and we would improvise. The kids are fast learners, they quickly understood that the better they did the longer they stayed [ as potential casts].”

Abraham’s only acting experience could have been the war games he played with his fellow street kids in the little alleys where they lived and played.

Little did he imagine that mimicking the war scenes he may have watched on countless occasions in the movies would be his ticket out of poverty and that this was going to be the occasion when he gets honoured on an international stage but God knew the beginning from the end.

Lesson? Whatever you do, do with passion and unity of purpose. Things may be rough now but your ‘one day’ will come when you least expect it. I know so.
#WhenGodSaysYesNoOneCanSayNo

#TrustInTheLord

#GodBlessOurHustle

#LaVieEstBelle

#MusingsofMNToure

#InspirationbyToure

#DairiesofADreamer

Your Oppressor is Oppressed Too

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 10, 2015 by Marian Toure
Motivation by Toure

Motivation by Toure

Oppression can take various forms and it can come from different angles – from home, work, school, church, in a relationship, the list is endless.

Sometime the least of those you think are capable of doing it, are your oppressors.

Unlike those who will be very overt about it, others are very subtle. You won’t believe it even it they confessed they were your oppressor.

But there’s a theory. And I know that perhaps you’ll agree with my theory. Like a cork in water, someone has to constantly hold it down for it to remain there. A cork is meant to float on water, not to sink because its paperweight light. This means someone has to intentionally and persistently hold the cork down for it to remain there. What the person holding the cork down doesn’t realise is that, as much as they hold the cork down, they hold themselves down too. You see, you have to exert energy and pressure on this cork for it to remain beneath the water.

Whiles you’re pressing the cork down; you’re pressing yourself down.

It is only when you release it that you also find freedom.

So your oppressor is also oppressed. They may not know it but they also under some form of oppression by oppressing you.

The longer they hold you down, the longer they hold themselves down.

Man’s Inhumanity: Hole in The Head

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2015 by Marian Toure

Today, we remember Vertus Wellborn Hardiman (March 9, 1922 – June 1, 2007), who was a victim of a US government human radiation experiment at the age of 5 that left him with a painful skull deformity that forced him to cover his head for 80 years.

Vertus Welborn Hardiman (March 9, 1922 - June 1, 2007)

Vertus Welborn Hardiman (March 9, 1922 – June 1, 2007)

Hardiman was born in Lyles Station, Indiana. Lyles Station began in 1927, is known as one of the earliest Black settlements in the United States, and the Hardiman family was among the first to migrate to the area. In 1928, Vertus attended the local elementary school, Lyles Consolidated School. The parents of 10 children at school were approached by county hospital officials. The parents were told that there was a new treatment for dermatophytosis, a fungal infection commonly known as “ringworm.” What the parents didn’t know was that the children were actually part of a human experiment on extreme radiation, probably chosen because they lived in such an isolated location, and probably because they were all Black. The children were exposed to high levels and many were left with disfiguring scalp scars and head trauma. The effects of the experiments were mostly hidden from the townspeople of Lyles Station. Many of the children wore wigs and hats to cover up the results of the experiments.

Vertus Hardiman, one of the children, who was five years old at the time, finally broke his silence more than 70 years later, to a friend, Wilbert Smith, who partnered with Brett Leonard to produce the documentary, “Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed.” The 2011 film is the amazing story of Hardiman and the nine other children who were affected by the horrible experiment in Lyles Station.

Hardiman was physically affected the worst by the radiation. As a result he experienced a slow dissolving of the bone matter of his skull for the rest of his life. The ensuing deformed head and gaping hole at its top were disguised by a succession of hats, toupees, and wigs. Every day of his life he spent an hour changing bandages and dressing the wound.

Despite his circumstance, he had lived life on his own terms and refrained from complaining about his affliction. Vertus’ life was an example to others of the triumph of the human spirit. He insisted that education is the foundation for creating a heaven while here on earth. He never borrowed money and subsequently was able to accumulate astonishing amounts of wealth by investing his savings in real estate.

He died at age 85. Upon his death, Vertus bequeathed eight million dollars to his church and favourite educational scholarship fund. Vertus harboured no anger and was known to say frequently, “If I am angry, my prayers will not be answered because my heart’s not right.”

*For the documentary visit http://www.holeinthehead.com/

He has lived his life and departed this world. Should his suffering and those of the others not count? The heart of man is indeed desperately wicked as the good book puts it. Good thing is, he made peace with himself and the world before he passed. May we all find the will to let go and let God.

Source:
http://www.holeinthehead.com/vertus-hardiman-biography/

Chale Wote: Taking art to the streets

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2015 by Marian Toure

chale 2

The CHALE WOTE [literally means, Chale let’s go in the Ga dialect] street art festival is in its 5th year i believe and i have sat back and enjoyed snippets of the street painting, graffiti murals, photography, theatre, spoken word, interactive art installations, live street performances, extreme sports, film shows, fashion parades, music block party, recyclable design workshops and much more from my social media feed from friends like Anny Osabutey, who is going to miss this year’s event because he is in grad school in the U.S., Nehemiah Attigah and the clan.  This year however, I’m tempted to step out there with my camera and capture the sights and sounds of this beautiful showcase and have a feel of it for myself.

This event has actually put Ghana on the map. Its proof of what passion can do. Here’s the little i picked up about the 2015 event.

Samba in the street

Samba in the street


Life on the street
Jamestown district in Accra welcomes everyone to live right on the streets where the showcase will be taking place. For four days, various artists and art enthusiasts will take to the streets to display their creativity and break new grounds.

The district in itself is significant for its part in the colonial history of the city. Chale Wote brilliantly turns the streets to an open gallery while highlighting the history and culture of the people of this area.

All about alternative art

Chale Wote is designed as a platform to create a unique interaction between arts, performance, music and fashion before a live audience on the streets. The festival is a properly baked cultural outlet that features varying forms of art. This is one of such events that give you that genuine art experience – you just want to reach out and touch it.

The streets of Jamestown, Accra come alive to offer everyone around the opportunity to be one with art. Chale Wote features graffiti murals, interactive installations, street art and performances, fashion parade, street boxing, cultural dance, spoken word and many more creative art forms. It is incredible the efforts put in by the various artists to deliver such highly artistic experience.

Lights... Camera... ACTION!

Lights… Camera… ACTION!

Open Runway
Feel free to make a fashion statement when you attend the festival; you will be in good company. The street fashion game is top-notch at the festival. Also, there will be fashion designers at the festival showcasing their creative designs on the Open Runway.

Food marketplace
In the legendary words/lyrics of the Nigerian superstar, Wizkid “Shey you go chop Banku?” The delicacy has crossed the border and now sits comfortably in a top Nigerian song. If your answer to Wizkid is a definite yes, there is no better time to try Banku and other delicacies in Accra than in the festive mood.

Unlimited Fun for Free!
The festival is a proof that the best things in life don’t necessarily need to cost you a dime. There is no gate fee whatsoever. All you have to do is be on the streets of Jamestown, Accra to experience the amazing showcase that will be taking place.

Apart from the arts and music, you can check out other features like the fascinating extreme sports, skating and motorcycle stunts. By now you already know the festival is a complete package. The fun is unlimited.

This year’s edition is tagged the African Electronics and will be happening from August 20 – 23. See you there!!

I’M AFRAID

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2014 by Marian Toure
Eyes of Fear

Eyes of Fear

What if I don’t make it?
What if I fall along the way like all the others before me who are struggling to pull themselves back up.

Pull themselves up out of a mess they didn’t create but have had to accept responsibility for.

I want to launch out but the rate at which things are deteriorating I fear it’ll be almost suicidal to spread my wings let alone attempt to fly.

It is a sorry state of affairs.
My wings have been clipped by a systems with leaders who cannot answer a simple Yes or No to my questions but would rather give me words that have no real meaning.

A system that has made me almost forget my upbringing.
A system that is turning everyone passive aggressive.
I’m even afraid to tell you my true feelings because who knows, the ‘wrong’ person/people might read this and bring me untold hardship.
Heck I’m even afraid to dream because I would have wasted emotion on something I cannot see through.

God knows I’m trying, yet fear is keeping me from living my best life.
Like the walls of Jericho, fear has encased me in perpetual delirium.
I need to break free but freedom also comes at a cost. A price I may never be able to pay.

Sadly though, there are so many of me around — over 20 million.

There is an answer which I seek. One that will dispel the fear. One that will return the glint in my eyes, the joy in my heart and my hope for tomorrow.

It’s a simple statement.

That mine and your Ghana will work again and soon.

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