Magnus in Ghana on Swedish TV

tv4 Ghana Magnus Ericsson

Yesterday, I was seated in my friend Magnus Ericsson’s house to see how his TV-debut came out in the TV4 program Felix stör en ingenjör (translates into: Felix – a well-known Swedish TV-personality – disturbs an engineer).

Well, Magnus did wonderful!

The program provided (a tiny bit of ) information about the Sweden Ghana Medical Center Magnus is working on and featured some truly wonderful footage from Ghana. There were also some funny episodes including a wall gecko, a fetish priest known from Facebook (see pic below) and a tailor made fantasy coffin that made us Swedes present in Magnus’ living room shriek with laughter!

See the program on TV4 play.

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This Week: Finland

So this week will be a bit different.

I will go to Finland for a conference, Nordic Africa Days 2010 (you might remember I wrote on this conference here) . And you will feel lonely and come here for new updates from me and who knows if there will be any?

Since, I will be a bit busy with:

1. Presenting a paper on Student Mobility and Migration Industry.

2. Listening to African Studies high shots like Mahmood Mamdani and Paul Nugent as well as film director  Dani Koyaté and Ford Foundation’s Program Officer for East Africa, Joyce Nyairo.

3. Participating in a panel with the theme: “Mobility and Relocation as Strategies of  Youthful Resistance” led by Cultural Anthropologist and former University of Sierra Leone lecturer Mats Utas and political scientist and West and Central Africa expert Morten Bøås. Excited about this part!

4. Eating Cheese and bread!

5. Visiting five Finnish friends (although one is technically Brazilian!)

However, who knows, I might get time to spare and I am guessing free broadband is all over the country that recently decided to make broadband a human right

Pic of the Finnish flag borrowed from

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Two Years on…

Two years since the emotional, fun and crowded day in Tema – our wedding!

I dedicate this slide show to our families and friends!

Photo: Kerstin Alm
Song: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

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>New Favorite Blog: Silverjuggler

> My friend Andreas is trying out life on a old-fashioned farm (well, minus the snow mobile and the website) in mid Sweden 7 km from nearest road and he writes beautifully about his experiences. The blog Silverjonglerier is in Swedish, but even if you can’t read it I recommend it for the beautiful, snowy pictures.

The blog posts are about the daily labor at the farm, including awe for the influential older worker – “gammeldrängen”, different types of firewood and work hazards – but also about the coffee breaks which we Swedes so affectionately call “fika”.

It is also about a modern human being being confronted with a strict schedule, physical work and silence.

Pic: from Andreas’ first day at Lillhärjåbygget.

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>Ghana Highlights

> Had some friends staying over and spending a lovely day with me. They had just arrived from the cold north and were extremely content with the weather, the food, the lodging – well, everything!

Their fresh and foreign outlook made me see that some things that have become ordinary to me, actually are quite extraordinary. Of course, as their one-day host I also tried to show Ghana from her best side. And what a day I had! Here are today’s highlights.

5. Cruising in my car seeing the vivacious street life pass by.
4. Swimming in a nearby hotel pool (I could really do this every day, if I only weren’t so “morning challenged”).
3. Visiting with my Ghanaian family, they are wonderful and fun!
2. Fruit for breakfast: Pineapple, papaya and perfectly ripen mango.
1. Talking about Ghanaian culture – names, funerals, political history, everyday life. All so rich!

As I watched them get into a taxi towards the beach, I somehow knew I had been able to give them a taste of the traditional Ghanaian welcoming – Akwaaba!

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>Nkrumah’s Daughter

>On Sunday evening, I had the privilege of meeting Honorable Samia Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah‘s daughter – and herself currently an MP for CPP – at an event. Here’s the photographic evidence.

And while I’m shamelessly bragging, the man sandwiched between us is also an MP, Honorable George Blankson more specifically from Mfantsepim Constituency where my Ghanaian family has its roots!

Interestingly the event was hosted by another Ghanaian leader’s daughter, Professor Abena Busia who is the daughter of Prime minister Dr. Abrefa Busia. As Dr. Busia was the leader of the opposition against Kwame Nkrumah and his party CPP whose reign ended with a coup d’etat, I thought it was very appropriate – even touching – of Prof. Busia when she publicly acknowledged Samia Nkrumah in the audience and with a few words put history behind us.

I have earlier written about Kwame Nkrumah here and here.

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>Positive Review

>I have by my fellow blogger Nana Yaw in his poetic blog Anti-Rhytm been mentioned as a “Blogger Beloved”. The kind words he has for my blog follows.

Kajsa is from Sweden, but as Ghanaian as can be. Her sincere life-views will warm the cockles of your heart.

Thank you!

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>My Third Midsummer in Ghana

> Today is Midsommarafton, one of Sweden’s biggest holidays and just as all the other Midsummers in my life – it is celebrated! Here in Ghana the special feel of that “finally it is summer” is difficult to bring out since the tropical weather is constant, but the food and drinks and a few songs can be arranged. Also, I have been celebrating midsummer on the blog since I moved here:

2007 I spent midsummer with some Swedish friends in Accra.

2008 I hosted a big to-do in my garden with the Swedish diaspora that was here then (and later missed home anyways).

This year, it’ll be a bit more low key.

A beer on the beach with a friend and a flower in my hair.

In the pic: A hibiscus flower in my garden.

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>Are You a Ghanaian Blogger?

> Then tomorrow, you can join us for this month’s ghanablogging meet-up.

We are now about 30+ bloggers and about 8 or so usually show up for the monthly meetings to discuss blogging technology, writing tips, great posts and how to inspire more Ghanaians to blog. Last time we did our meeting on skype as an experiment! Read some highlights on ghanablogging here. It’s an informal and fun gathering through which I have made many friends.

So if you want to attend, just write me an email and I’ll send over the details! kajsahallberg a t

Pic: dont hide behind an avocado plant – come out and play!

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>The Perfect Picture : Film Review

> So I have now been to see the wholly Ghanaian produced film, The Perfect Picture, I wrote about earlier here.

Shirley Frimpong-Mansu is the super-woman behind script, directions, casting and editing. And it was perfect! I went with my husband and some friends and we all had our laughs and loved the high audiovisual quality…as well as the story line. Three good friends – so good you wish you were one of them – are looking for love. One gets married in the opening scene, one is a man-eater and the last one says she will never marry. Here the intrigues start.

The film held a high tempo and included a entertaining and believable characters, references to daily life in Ghana “you make it sound like I could just go and pick up a baby at Koala!” (Koala supermarket being a popular supermarket in Accra) or “I’m not a fan of weddings, but you my friend make it worth every pesewa!” (pesewa being the Ghanaian equivalent to cent, penny or öre) and even a fun, feminist take on car chase.

The film also contained obvious product placements that were acceptable only because we have never seen Ghanaian ones before. For instance, one can only feel excitement when the three friends even went to see a film in the same cinema complex we were watching them in!

And then sex. Appearantly, the film set itself apart from all other Ghanaian productions EVER when it showed a kiss on the lips between the newlyweds in the first scene. After that, we got both scenes from different bedrooms (see the trailer above) as well as “sex-and-the-city”-kind of girlfriend talk on the topic. I think the Ghanaian audience was shocked at times (even though the scenes never really went beyond regular Hollywood steam) and at one point a woman sitting close to me in the dark exclaimed:

Oh, will we watch just kiss-kiss-kiss?

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>Best Time to Visit Ghana

>Sorry for my absence, I am traveling and have not forgotten about my blog, just been too busy to post. Plus, I am having technical problems with photos that I hope to solve very soon. I want to share my pics with you!

Anyways, while traveling in Sweden I am spreading the word about Ghana. I think I have talked four friends into coming to visit, and maybe sown a seed in a few more minds…

Swedish people want to know what it is like in Ghana (hot and different), what the food is like (spicy and yummy) and when the best time is to visit (any time, our seasons are not that pronounced).

Two more weeks here and I am enjoying being able to take long walks in the crisp climate, talk about Swedish stuff with my lovely Swedish friends and visiting my big family. And of course volunteering for the Ghanaian tourism board.

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>Salsamania in Accra

>Tomorrow it is Wednesday and I am going dancing!

A few weeks ago I decided to take a friend to the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Ridge in Accra on a Wednesday evening to see if the latin rhythms still was shaking the place. And if they were! I now cant remember why I ever stopped going and quickly made myself a promise to make it every week.

Local radio station CityFM are nice enough to offer this weekly Salsamania program free of charge. I try to arrive a bit early, around 7 PM to get a parking space in the neighborhood. At 7.30 there are classes on beginner and intermediate levels. I have learned some moves in the intermediate group, but it seems the purpose of the class is to get people moving rather than really transmit dance steps. Then after some 20 minutes of class we gather round the pool and start the row dancing (see pic), for instance to Mambo no 5 (which is the only one I have really mastered). This is so much fun!

Ok, people have stepped on my toes and some combinations seem impossible to ever learn. But the feeling when you get a few steps right in the big crowd of like-minded people! If I am lucky I then find some good salsa dancers for the next section of proper salsa music for proper salsa dancing. Most Ghanaians seem to have adopted something close to Cuban style, which is (lucky me!) my preference. Also, quite contrary to salsa dancing in Sweden, there are two guys to every girl, which makes it easy to pick good dance partners.

There is also really good chicken khebabs to eat and drinks to gulp down in the still warm tropical evening (strictly water for us dancers!)

After just an hour of salsa, I can’t be upset regardless of how my day has been. Sweaty and happy and sit in my car around 10 PM, driving home.

Listening to salsa, of course.

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