Debating Homosexuality in Ghana

Since I wrote about homosexuality for my class blog Social Theory Blog last year, the Ghanaian blogosphere has been quiet on the topic ( I believe except for a weeklong theme at AntiRhythm some time ago). Homosexual acts are forbidden by law in Ghana and there has been very little public debate that would suggest Ghanaians in general would like to change the status quo.

Therefore, I was happy to see that Ghana’s most famous blogger Ato KD last week made his point clear in the post “Let them be gay”. The post was written in response to the news of a NGO regestering 8000 gays in Ghana and the Ghanaian Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) getting involved… Ato’s post was put rather bluntly, but the essence of it was (this is likely also the only passage without reference to sexual organs…)

Much as I don’t understand why people become gay, I also don’t understand all the hatred being spewed on people in this country who have chosen to be gay.

The next day he followed up with a post on why it doesn’t make sense that Christians are condemning gay people.

I believe that it is wholly un-Christian for any believer to jump on a moral high horse and proclaim homosexuals as the scum of the earth who deserve to be exterminated and condemned to eternal damnation. Using scripture to fuel hatred and discrimination is the most despicable thing to do. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be some homosexuals in heaven but there will be a lot more heterosexuals burning with me in hell.

Fellow blogger Graham was inspired by Ato KD and laid out “The 8 dumbest arguments against honsexuality in Ghana” and concluded:

Ironically the loudest voices on homosexuality come from those opposed to it. They claim “gayists” are lobbying for special rights yet where are the voices of homosexuals in Ghana? They want us to believe they are secretly calling for special rights and converting more people to their “cause” resulting in the breakdown of society.

Ghana’s future depends on rational thinking and the challenging of mob mentality.

Holli, a Canadian woman living in Ghana since many years, has some time ago written a summary of the situation with many interesting links here. She also provides the legal background:

Under Ghanaian law, male homosexual activity is officially illegal. Criminal Code 1960 – Chapter 6, Sexual Offences Article 105 mentions unnatural carnal knowledge – and homosexuality is included in this description.

Coming from a liberal standpoint, I feel odd about living in a country where homosexuality between consenting adults is illegal (although female homosexuality seems to be allowed?) and hope that the above blogposts are just a start of a wider debate. I believe the Ghanaian blogosphere can begin to discuss this Ghanaian taboo, but also examine the arguments against homosexuality – and the advantages of legalization – and maybe even challenge the status quo.

What do you think?

Pic borrowed from Ghanaweb.

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Meeting a Blogger in Accra: Jemila Abdulai

Today, I ran into Jemila Abdulai, a fellow GhanaBlogger who blogs on the blog Circumspecte.

Now, to all of you that might sound regular, even mundane. Why are you telling us this? Meeting a blogger from your own blogging group, c’mon! Well, just hear me out! We have never met before! Jemila has been living in the states and following our meetings and emails from afar, but just moved back to Ghana.

I liked how the whole meeting happened. I was walking back to work after lunch and a student of mine comes towards me with a woman I have not met before. I say hi to my student (turned out she is Jemila’s sister!) and Jemila says:

– Hi, I’m Jemila!

And it was suddenly so obvious.

I wonder if Internet critics (“our kids only sit in front of screens these days”) would change their mind if a stranger on the street turned into a friend, just because of blogging?

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Asabaako – Ghana’s New Beach Festival

I hope you have heard about Asabaako, Ghana’s new music festival taking place on Busua beach on the 5-6 of March 2011 ( yep, also called the independence weekend, and yep, I really said BEACH).

It all seems so lovely! Party on one of the most beautiful beaches of Ghana, friends coming together, creativity and arts, rooftop DJs, concerts with Ghana’s freshest acts and in between quick dips in the sea. Did I say I was going?

On the stylish and informative Asabaako website you can find more info, including accommodation and transport. They also have an Asabaako Facebook page and an Asabaako behind the scenes blog!

And what does Asabaako mean? Well, you just have to go to their website to find out!

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My 500th Blog Post

After celebrating turning 30 last week, I thought life couldn’t be more festive, but here I am celebrating again! This is my 500th blog post! Woo hoo!

So how did it all start?

Well, I kept a diary since I learned how to write (or from just before, scribble, scribble) and always loved the act of writing. In 2006 some Swedish friends had blogs, and though I thought blogging was a brilliant forum, I couldn’t really find my own tone or topic. When I got the opportunity to move to Paris, I found myself reading blogs, not books, about Parisian life. I think that spurred the decision to start blogging myself. And then the topic was clear: “Non, je ne regrette rien!”

When moving to Ghana in 2007, the blogging really took off. I wanted to write positively about Ghana and Africa, as I thought most reports from this part of the world was negative and chose the reverse image of a dry desert as my blog name: “Rain in Africa”.

In this post, I thought I’d chronicle my blogging experience with looking back at some of my blog posts.

1st Post: First Let’s Have A Song

Jan 9th 2006.

As an Edith Piaf lover on my way to Paris, I started by blogging with the lyrics to her hit Mon Grand Paris.

The post has one link, for the student hostel where I had just gotten a room.

“Paris, je m’ennuie de toi, mon vieux.
On se retrouvera tous les deux,
Mon grand Paris.”

100th Post: First Gear

Dec 18th 2007

I had moved to Ghana and just enrolled at the driving school. Some months later I had my licence, still one of my proudest achievements, and I rarely omit telling anyone who wants to hear that “I learned to drive in Ghana!”

“My goal is to sometime next year be able to navigate between goats and Mercedes-Benzes, yellow taxicabs and banana sellers.”

200th Post: Plantain at Work

Jan 29th 2009

I was now working in the corporate sector in Ghana and decided to tell this funny story about a stray comment during a meeting with suits.

It is in the “only in Ghana”-category…

“Bored, I glance out the window and see some green leaves. To be a bit funny, I turn to one of the guys in the room and ask:

– Are you the one growing plantain out there?”

300th Post: Developing Blogging, Leaving Blogger for WordPress

Oct 18th 2009

Here I took the first step into professionalizing my blogging. Its a post of the advantages of “going WordPress” and also an interactive piece where I am asking my readers for help. From the header you can also see that I now, thanks to fellow Ghanablogger David Ajao, understand how the title of the post should be filled with keywords, rather than just being witty.

“What do you think? Does the name of a blog matter? How it looks? How its posts are categorized? What topics it presents? What URL it has?”

400th Post: Minor Field Study (MFS) in Ghana

May 18th 2010

At this time, I had migrated my blog to wordpress and the domain When the blog looked as I wanted, I was motivated to write more.

This post reflects that I have added a topic to my blog: academically related texts. This particular one, outlines the Swedish MFS program and my current role within it.

“Back to yesterday afternoon. I first took Emma and Ebba to eat some fufu and drink some bissap at Buka. We talked about everything from clinics to corruption, from surveys to soup, from PhD to perfect beaches.”

A bit more than 5 years of blogging in three countries and 500 posts.

Thanks to all of you who read this blog, thanks for your insightful comments and for stubbornly coming back for more.

Out of my 500, which was your favorite post?

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Follow Up on Bus Rape Story and Safety in Ghana

Yesterday I posted on the buss mass rape that never happened in Kintampo and I have had some very good and interesting feedback, so I’d thought I’d post a follow up today. (I owe you one for MP Laptops as well, maybe on Wednesday…)

Raluca made a number of good points, firstly blaming the journalist rather than the person who started the rumor:

This is an ugly story indeed and I think not only the person that launched the rumor, but the journalists that made it public should be made responsible for it. Whatever happened to checking one’s sources?

I agree. Who knows what made the person say all of this…regardless, the responsibility lies with the media professional who decided to take it to the airwaves. Raluca then went on to critique my point of Ghana being safe. SHe did it so elegantly, I am posting her entire post. Read and enjoy!

As for crime in Ghana, I agree that it is comparatively low and there are good reasons to feel safe in the country. But – and you might have seen this coming from me [Raluca is just finishing up her PhD and a sucker for correct analysis, my comment]– I strongly doubt official data on crime is reliable.

I am certain crime reporting in Ghana is way less exhaustive than, say, in the US, for the very simple reason experience has taught people there is no point in even reporting having your phone/wallet/purse stolen, or things stolen from the car. More significantly, let’s not compare Ghana to any other European capital, but maybe to other countries, since it is always the case that the big cities have a much higher crime rate. I hate to be pessimistic and turn to anecdotes, but our friend S. has been exposed within two weeks to three first hand stories of incidents in Accra, out of which two were very serious. And in one of the cases having a security guard didn’t help prevent an individual being attacked with a machete in his own house.

Also, when it comes to crime, it might not be a good idea to compare any other place to the US, which is an exceptional case. Their incarceration rate is more than seven times larger than the European average, which means that more than 1% of adults in the US are in prison.

In short, I’d say feeling safe in Ghana, but being careful in Accra are both good ideas.

She has a point of course that reporting might be low in Ghana and that apples and pears should ideally not be compared…

Loyal reader and former Ghana resident Miss Footloose suggested we should remember to be critical:

So what do we do? Believe nothing? Lives of good people have been destroyed by these types of ugly viral stories or accusations. We must become more discerning and more critical with everything we hear and see.

Fellow  blogger Chris/Mad in Ghana questioned the validity of the claim that the issue went all the way to the president, how can we really know if journalists publish rumors?

To think that even the President of Ghana with the entire security system at his disposal commented on the fabricated, fictitious event. Or, maybe that was part of the prank too.

Graham from Ghanablogging agreed with Raluca that the journalists are to blame for this sad story. He wrote:

Journalists are supposed to check a story before they publish. This is not the first fake story to make the press in Ghana. Lazy journalism!

Gayle at Ghana Guide and Blog wrote a post before the story was disproven, but gave some useful insights to safe travel on the Kintampo road:

The safest bet when traveling between Accra and Tamale/Bolga/Wa or any of the three northern regions is to catch the STC–State Transport Company coaches. This is because the STC has an armed guard and robbers are well aware of this and tend to leave them alone.

The road between Kumasi and Kintampo is particularly poor and slow and you should try to avoid having to pass through here in darkness if you’re not on the STC coaches.

I hope Gayle will rethink the conclusions she drew from the false story.

It seems Ghana is today relieved to hear the horrendous story wasn’t true. At the same time, there are mixed feelings because we were all made to believe a gruesome event had taken place. It gives rise to all kinds of concerns.

How did you feel when you heard the bus rape story wasn’t true?

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Like This Post

Illustration borrowed from Swedish Wikipedia.

Inspired by Swedish blogger Lisa/Onekligen I just added a like button for you to be able to like posts on this blog.

Taken from Facebook, the idea of “liking” something is a quick way of encouraging the writer. Blogging is a lonely activity so it would interesting to find out which posts you particularly enjoy.

Do you like this idea?

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Ghanablogging, BlogLovin’ and Afrigator

Some blogging news:

The aggregator for the group of bloggers I started in 2008, has gotten a new, improved, user friendly, greenish design by David Olunyi Ajao/Web4Africa. Surf there today and read one of the 70+ blogs about Ghana!

As I added the new Ghanablogging badge on my page, I also decided to update my affiliations. I joined BlogLovin’ and a Follow my blog with bloglovin badge, currently I am trying to add some other I can see my badge from Afrigator has been reduced to a line of text and when I visit their site their server is not responding. Anyone knows what happened to Afrigator?

I have also tried to clean up my Google Reader, as it makes following blogs (outside of Ghanablogging) so much easier.

How do you organize your reading of blogs?

Pic borrowed from David Maybury’s Children’s Book Blog.

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Graduate Student Resources and a Laugh

Borrowed from

As I am now back in my office I had to read up on blogs I normally follow.

A favorite of mine is Chris Blattman, who even inspired my new blog both in content and style. Anyhoo, he posted among many more substantial things a funny link – the illustrated guide to a PhD.

It looks something like what you see to the left…”approaching the edge of human knowledge!” Haha! You just must see the whole thing! (click on the link above)

The funny guy coming up with this, Matt Might, also posted helpful book tips for graduate students (although I am missing Marian Petre’s brilliant The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research) as well as a list of productivity tips for academics – very useful as the fall semester approaches with speed!

This semester I will try to post research related posts on Fridays, lets see how it goes.

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Visiting A Swedish Blogger

Yesterday, I went to see fellow blogger Nina, just 5 minutes drive away from my parents’ house.

I read her blog every week as she writes on a couple of topics I am interested in like Gotland (the beautiful island I am from), feminism, photography, home decor and parenting (well, I can learn even though I am not there yet, can’t I?). Her blog is very professional AND personal, which is a difficult combo.

As I read her blog often, I felt I already knew her!

It was a strange and wonderful feeling as I walked through her beautiful home, played pek-a-boo with her son and had a lovely discussion about everything from relationships to racism, cupcakes to career, loving to living…

It is wonderful what connections blogging can bring! Hope to see you next summer too, Nina!

See Nina’s post (in Swedish) on our meet-up here. (or pic above).

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Why Blogging is Good for Your Career

KajsaHa's Blogging School

Had lunch with an old friend today and we came to talk about blogging.

My friend feels it could benefit her career to start a personal blog and, not very surprisingly for you my dear readers, I agreed. We had a very inspiring talk and I hope to send you to her blog in a few months time when she has gotten started properly. Of course this is no new topic, Fast Company wrote an article on how a blog can launch a new career a few years a go, for example. But my friend and I talked more about how a blog can improve the career path you are already on.

From our discussion: The seven top aspects of blogging that  could benefit your career are:

  1. Your blog becomes a log of your ideas for yourself. Keeping a blog means constant writing and having a log of what you have accomplished is inspirational. In addition, a blog is a record where you can keep track of your past events, thoughts, reads, projects and so on. (Inspiration and record keeping)
  2. Your blog is like an extended business card. When you promote yourself in person or on social media, you often so not have much space or time to expand on everything you do, but a blog is an almost limitless depository and can serve as an extension of you. I link to my blog on social media and tell people I am a blogger. (Personal branding)
  3. Looking for materials for posts makes listening and reading more active. I feel that I experience the world differently as a blogger: I must have the agenda of any meeting and I pay attention to details such as where all speakers work or what order they get to speak. When something annoying happens to me, I try to take it all in as well, all is content for the blog! (Focus)
  4. Researching for posts is educative. When I write a blog post I almost always have to look up additional details, spellings, websites, organizations, historical facts to make my post complete. This education that comes out of exploring topics both teach me about what is available online and expand my horizons. (Life long learning)
  5. Posts can be used to claim intellectual property rights. When I have written about something, I have logged my own idea online. While some people worry about ideas being stolen, I feel more protected as my ideas are out there with my name attached to them, with a (Intellectual property protection)
  6. Interaction with idols, readers and others. Writing about a personality, a book, a play, an event almost certainly will get someone close to the epicenter reading your words. I have had interactions with people I would never otherwise have come close to because of my blog. Readers input in my work has also made a major addition to my life. (Networking)
  7. A blog makes you visible online. When someone makes a search for me online, my blog and interactions around my blog makes search results that come up mostly be penned by myself. This means a blogger controls his or her web presence much more efficiently than many others, you should too! (Controlling web presence)

What aspect of blogging for your career would you add?

Comic strip made by myself with the help of Toonlet. Updated: Nov 11, 2016.


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Astrient Foundation: Blogging, Career and Communication

My speech at the Astrient Foundation Women’s Forum (with as many men in the audience) on Monday went well.

As the other scheduled speaker could not come I on short notice found myself with plenty of time with the Ashesi students, alumni and other young professionals. I chose to expand on my favorite topic –  blogging.

I also shared some stories from my own brief career focusing on confidence, communication and character. An interactive discussion followed.

I was impressed when the participants wrapped up by taking turns with letting their peers know what they had taken from the session. So many insights, some work related stories, central messages and fine details.

It was a reminder that even if we sit in the same room, experience the same discussion, we’ll hear different things.

Photo: Phoebe Selassie Acolatse

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Official Blogger for Bless The Mic All Day Festival

I have been asked to be the “offical blogger” for this weekend’s upcoming event, Bless the Mic Arts and Music Festival.I am very excited about this event which I believe will be rocking! I especially like the combo of visual arts and music.

From the Press Release:


Mi Prime Entertainment in collaboration with Alliance Francaise is pleased to announce this year’s ‘Bless the Mic Arts & Music Festival’, which takes place from the 27th – 29th of May 2010. ‘Bless the Mic Arts & Music Festival’ celebrates the diversity of Ghanaian creativity in the Arts and Music.


Bless the Mic Arts & Music Festival is organised by Mi Prime Entertainment in association with Alliance Francaise and supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAKSI, Pidgen Music, Ghana Cultural Fund and 2131 Banging Hiphop show.

Media Partners: Y fm, X fm, myjoyonline and

Media Sponsors: E-TV Ghana, Net2 TV, CRTV,, Sky Digital Network,, chilloutghana and Dust Magazine.

The main event is happening this Saturday the 29th of May from 3pm -10pm at Alliance Francaise and will include a photo/art exhibition as well as poetry and live stage performances by King Ayisoba, Nana Fynn, Gouda Traditional Music, DK Osei Yaw, Yaw Kontoh, Chuks, Chase, Crystal Tettey, Fiifi Sellah and Efya.

Find more info on Facebook under “All Day Festival”. I will be blogging from the event.

See you there?

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