My #2016bestnine on Instagram

Last year I increased my presence on Instagram and ended up with 244 posts which were liked a whopping 6971 times! Thank you!

(and if you are not part of the 800+ people who follow me yet, I am @KajsaHA there too!)

You apparently like:

  1. Me graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in African Studies from University of Ghana
  2. Me taking a selfie with an umbrella and a yellow Ginko Biloba tree at the Mall in Washington DC (steps away from where people did NOT assemble for someone’s inauguration last week)
  3. My daughter Ellen zipping up my dress.
  4. Smiley husband and I on a night out at the National Theatre.
  5. An intimate sibling embrace.
  6. Girls being silly in new swim caps.
  7. Garden marvels (it is palm nut kernels!).
  8. Long shadows on one of the shortest days of the year.
  9. Live broadcast technology that allows my mother in Sweden to follow my graduation in Ghana (see #1)

Comment on what you want to see in 2017!

 

#BlogCamp15 Coming Soon

BloggingGhana proudly presents the fourth BlogCamp – in Kumasi –  with the theme “Social Media for Good” this Saturday May 9th, 2015.
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BlogCamp is a full day networking and educational event is for bloggers and social media enthusiasts, and as I know I have many among my readership, I hope to see some of you there! There will be a PhotoWalk in Kumasi suburbs, talks and panels on the topical topic as well as general workshops on blogging, photography and social media for business.

Register to secure your free ticket. (Information on buses from Accra when you have your ticket)

I will be Tweeting away, shaking as many hands as I can and try to in every possible way embody BloggingGhana’s two foundational pillars: technology and friendship!
So, if for some reason you cannot be physically present, follow #BlogCamp15 on Twitter and other social media channels on Saturday!
Photo Collage from BlogCamp13. Read about BlogCamp12, 14.

For Fellow Lovers of Wax Print: KajsaHA on Pinterest

I adore Ghanaian clothes, modern Africa style, and have collected my fav models and brands on Pinterest* (Board: Modern Africa), follow me there if you also love colors, sharp cuts and wax print!

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Except for clothes, I also pin playgroundsgarden ideas and food porn!

*Pinterest is a superb tol for visual folks who like to look at inspirational photos and how-to-articles before embarking on a new project (new haircut, planting an avocado, baking a chocolate cake, getting married). I use Pinterest instead of buying expensive magazines!

 

Seven Photos of the Revolution in Burkina Faso

It has all the ingredients of a proper revolution: president shuffled abroad, media outlets overtaken, parliament ablaze and military seen on the streets of the capital. But it is the photos of the people that really convinces me it is indeed a revolution!

Here are my favourite seven photos shared on social media today.

https://storify.com/kajsaha/photos-of-the-revolution-in-burkina-faso

Kajsa in Horisont Magasin

Some weeks ago, I was interviewed for the Swedish magazine Horisont (=horizon in English) about my life in Ghana. They focussed on Ghanaian politics and my personal adjustment to a new country – mixed with full spread photos. Now “my” issue is out!

Here is a sneak peak.

 

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The feeling of seeing one’s own words as captured by a journalist in print is hard to describe. My father sometimes talks about how our time is one of celebrity or wanting to be famous. I guess something like this then is a jackpot. On the other hand, it becomes very clear – when on this side of the magazine – that even those interviewed over colorful spreads of glossy paper are mere mortals.

Want to read the whole article?

If in Sweden, here is a list of places that sell the magazine. You can also order Horisont.

Chale Wote 2014 – For Us Who Were Not There

In August, the Jamestown area of Accra is blessed with the Chale Wote street art festival (“chale wote” is slang for flip-flops). It is a vibrant, exciting and young event – I’m sad I was so far away this year!

However, Mesh Ghana provides a vibe from the festival in less than two minutes. Thank you!

Safari on the Blog was also there and took some amazing photos.

Credit: Safari on the Blog

See you there next year!

Posts from earlier Chale Wote festivals 2011, 2012, 2013

 

Last Month of Pregnancy and 40 plus 5

The last month of pregnancy is exhausting. You’re convinced your body will fail to work and that labor will never start. You’re convinced that this pregnancy, once so new and beautiful and interesting, will stay with you forever, rendering you fat, farting, burping, heartburning, mildly insane and tearful for the rest of eternity.”

Explore this Medium story by writer Ruth Fowler and photographer Jared Iorio on the birth of their first born!

( Please note this is an honest photo essay with drugs, joys and blood mixed, so not for sensitive souls!)

One Wedding and One Funeral: Ichafu or Gele and Kente

In the last month, I have been both to a wedding and a funeral. 

The wedding was a Nigerian one, so I invested in a headgear for the occasion, through Chimamanda I know now it is called ichafu – but here it is called gele  (for a fantastic experience, picture-Google any of these two terms). The wedding was held at a beautiful venue with full attention to detail!

The funeral was an Indian/Ghanaian funeral and though it was very sad, I also found comfort in being there and in the beautiful details such as the kente strip the ISAG community was wearing and the flower that was pinned to my dress as I walked into the chapel.

I wanted to share some photos from these beautiful events, getting an ichafu/gele tied, the wedding and the funeral.My gele collage

Wedding collage  Funeral collage

Colombia and Ghana: Religious Billboards and Other Similarities

By way of reading my BloggingGhana colleague Sandister Tei’s blog, I came across artist Herbert Baglione’s blog. Although this man is Brazilian, he had posted a string of black and white photos from Colombia that reminded me so much about Ghana. 

This billboard advertising a religious website/ call center reminds me of the many religious billboards in Ghana.

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Is it the black and white that makes photos so universal and timeless? Is it my secret desire to go to Colombia shining through? Or does Ghana and Colombia really have much in common?

See all Herbert’s Colombia photos here.

Chale Wote 2013 (No Photos)

This weekend Chale Wote Street Art Festival took place in Jamestown, Accra. I have written about it here and here. The experience is overwhelming and as most modern human beings equipped with a camera, how we deal with it is: We take photos.

I myself took probably around 100 photos and that meagre number was because I was hindered by my energetic two-year-old to whole-heartedly focus on capturing images. I mean, the frames have everything! Dancing children, handsome young people, city folk going about their business, bright colors, Gh celebs, exotic vendors all on a backdrop of a charmingly decaying historic town set on a scenic cliff overlooking the ocean. There are breathtaking contrasts between poor and rich, crazy and sane, landfills and palaces, heritage and ruins, locals and visiting hipsters…(although there are the occasional creative overlap). Now, I have not even mentioned the fab street art…

However, apart from being the photo op of the year, some meetings with people on the street lingers on. Last year, by mistake, I invited myself to a Jamestown funeral and met some lovely people and had some great food (but that is another story), and this year I think one particular meeting with two ladies will stay framed in my mind. I was walking on High Street in the hot afternoon sun carrying my child, Ghana style, on my back. Two ladies walk in the opposite direction, maybe on their way to a party, both visibly dressed up in colorful fabrics, heels and gold chains around their necks.

– Oh, African lady! The ladies call my attention, but when I stop, quickly proceed to talking to my daughter.  Suddenly, they turn to me again:

– What are you doing here?

The question is a bit aggressive, or is it playful? I can’t tell.

– I am here for the festival, the two day arts festival, here in Jamestown! The Chale Wote festival?

The ladies show with their blank faces they have not heard of it. Or maybe they are busy deciphering my accent. But the “Chale Wote” makes them react.

– Chale wote? Chale wote?

This common nickname for the cheap, plastic flip-flip sandal many Ghanaians wear seem an unlikely name for a festival the ladies’ faces say. And they ask me a good question:

– Why “Chale wote”?

I think the few minutes passing between the ladies stopping me to talk and the final failure of me explaining why a cheap shoe is the symbol for a festival in their home town (“Chale wote I only take to the bath! Never when I leave the house!”) was art, street art at that. While the British flag proudly meets the wind at the many kings’ palaces in the area – “this is British Accra” the locals often say – the foreigner, then with the gun, now behind a camera, never really captured the place.

I am grateful to the Chale Wote Street Art Festival for graciously including me both as a spectator of and an actor in some exciting street art and for me to ponder the question: Why is an everyday item symbolising a spectacular break from the everyday life? (Yes, of course also “What am I doing here?”, needless to say!)

 

 

 

Travel Destinations: Greater Accra and Gotland

I have two homes. One in Ghana and one in Sweden. Having two homes is normal to me, it is my life.

In Ghana my life centers around the Greater Accra area: the capital Accra, my hometown Tema and my workplace roughly an hour north east of Accra. In Sweden, I hail from the island of Gotland, more particularly the village Brissund and then the cosmopolitan city of Malmo in the very south thanks to my siblings who moved there.

This week, I stumbled across tourist information of my two homes provinces and WOW! they look great! I can’t believe how lucky I am to share my time between these two places…

1. Ghana: Greater Accra (as described by Virgin Atlantic)

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2. Sweden: Gotland (as described by the campaign GotlandJordenRunt)Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 1.55.13 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So when are you coming to visit?