Mzznaki Reps Ghana Well-Well!

Ghanaian bride-to-be Mzznaki Tetteh is getting married later this month, but the attention has already started. After Mzznaki and her fiancé Kojo Amoah posted their pre-wedding photos online, the pictures have gone viral and sparked conversation.


The response on Mzznaki’s instagram has been lauded as classy.


“She is one of the best people I have met and I am so happy to take her to the altar”, says Kojo in an interview.


After the nurse and her engineer fiancé got international attention: Dailymail Uk, (a nice article on fatshamin online),, and even Swedish Elle!Screenshot 2016-06-09 00.37.55


Yesterday, Mzznaki came on TV and spoke to Joy News to a quite rude Israel Lareya. She told her story and on a direct question on how much she weighs (!), she kept her cool and answered “hundred-and-sexy!” (Do yourself a favour and please turn off before creepy Lareya asks about her lingerie!!)

On her instagram profile, now followed by 36 000 people, Mzznaki describes herself as “A nurse, A sweet girl who loves fashion, A student, An achiever”. I think she can now add to her list:

“A social media sensation and A confident and widely admired ambassador of Ghana”.

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Magnum Ghana Cocoa – Ice Cream for the Europe Market

After having had my blog hacked into last week, my blogging time was eaten up (a suitable expression for this post!) by changing passwords etc. While I am on this topic, if you haven’t changed your blog’s password – or email password for that matter –  this year, do it today!

Anyways, now I am back with a snack!

In Europe, they are at this time celebrating the yearly return of the sun and good weather. And what always comes with nice and temperate times…?

Yes: Ice Cream. This year, the celebrated Magnum kind of ice-cream-on-a-stick has created a Ghanaian version with Ghanaian chocolate! This follows the trend of chocolate as a more refined sweet. These days, people are specific when they want chocolate – they might want a certain brand (Valrhona is supposed to be one of the best), a certain cocoa percentage (70% cocoa melts in your mouth, 80% and above can taste bitter, although preferred by some) and maybe even a specific country of origin for the bean (say Ghana or Ecuador).

Magnum UK describes the Ghana ice cream in this fashion:

“For chocolate connoisseurs.Bite into its cracking milk chocolate made with specially selected cocoa beans from Ghana.”

The phrase “specially selected”, makes me smile but still it is good news and possibly even nation branding that Ghana is mentioned together with “connoisseurs”, however still the question is: When will we in Ghana also take part of that value added?

The ice cream is also available in Sweden where they add the information that the rest of the ice cream has a hazelnut flavor. So when I go there next month, I plan to have a bite!

Anyone tasted it yet?

Pic: Borrowed from Ida.


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High Life in Stockholm

The other day on Facebook, I was surprised to see a friend in Sweden sign up to go listen to High Life, Ghana’s famous dance music, in Stockholm, Sweden. High LIfe is desribed by MTV’s Iggy blog as a:

“synthesis of European disco with Carribbean sounds and the influx of Reggae, Highlife is defined as uptempo, funky dance music that relies on synths for the melody. Vocals — often quickly-spoken lyrics that fell somewhere between rap and singing — have a whooshy, lo-fi feel to them.”

Further, the blog suggests,

“Ghanaian Highlife has been influencing every band of the moment — from Animal Collective to Pharell to crate-digging bands like Javelin that actually sample the stuff.”

Apparently, Ghanaian rhythms like High Life, and more recent Hip Life are really making way on Swedish dance floors. The event my friend signed up for, Klubb High Life, is described on the blog Swedish Palms. Under the heading “she be sweet like banana, she from Ghana”, DJ Cedi and Citizen Kofi (sic!) talk about their recent trip to Ghana. UPDATE: They have their own blog here.

“- Vi gjorde som Obama, vi drog till Ghana. Och det var verkligen sweet like banana, säger DJ Cedi.

DJ Cedi & Citizen Kofi är just nu i färd med att boka upp en klubbturné i Sverige och spela in debutmixtapet Gold Coast Rising – fullt med “top choice hits” från Accras dansgolv och freestyles och shoutouts från några av Ghanas största artister.”

“- We did like Obama, we went to Ghana. And it was really sweet like banana, says DJ Cedi.

DJ Cedi and Citizen Kofi (aka Märta Myrstener och John Airaksinen) are right now planning a club tour in Sweden and recording a debut mix tape called “Gold Coast Rising” – full of “top choice hits” from the dance floors of Accra and freestyles and shout outs from some of Ghana’s biggest artists.”

(My translaton)

It sounds great! Sometimes I wish homegrown music was described as confidently in Ghana, and in relation to nation branding, tourism, culture…Still, if you are in Stockholm, go shake your ass to some Ghanaian music at Strand 22-03 tonight!

And maybe some Ghanaian musicians will read this and think,

“First Sweden, then the world?”

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>More on Togo Team Attack

>Through an email from a fellow blogger, I was pointed to Ethan Zuckerman’s interesting analysis of what happened in Angola.

He writes:

Hosting Africa’s biggest football tournament – that is, up until the World Cup later this year – was probably a good branding move for Angola, which has made vast strides since the Angolan civil war ended in 2002. The mistake was in holding one of four sets of matches in Cabinda.

Reading the full article, it struck me how fragmented news is these days and how hard it is to get the full picture.

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>Adidas Hidden African Inspiration: The "Kenta" Shoe

> Yesterday,Kwabena, a fellow blogger alerted us Ghanablogging members of that Adidas is using Ghanaian Kente cloth on a shoe calling it Kenta and acting as they invented it.

Kente is Ghana’s (and Togo’s) pride, being delicately woven in narrow strips by skilled craftsmen – almost always men. Kente is then sewn and worn at very festive occasions such as weddings or just a few strips over the shoulder as a sign of beauty and wealth.

An interesting debate weather or not one can say Adidas “stole” has arisen on ghanablogging’s mailing list (hopefully soon the other side of the debate can be read here and here). I’m all for intellectual property rights, but can a country or an ethnic group have the right to a weaving technique? Have we even tried to patent it? Sure, it would have been nice had Adidas recognized their (potentially huge) market in Ghana and West Africa and called Kente by its real name…but it is a crime not to do so?

As has rightly been pointed out, African Americans, Caribbeans and also other ethnic groups in Ghana have also claimed kente as of late and I don’t hear them saying it is Ghanaian/Togolese.

Actually, these days a lot of the Kente for British and American markets is made by Asians, see this book Money has No Smell by Paul Stoller for more info on this interesting transnational phenomenon.

So rather than forming a blog-war against Adidas, should we instead sue China?

Let me also offer a bonus conspiracy theory: Adidas call it “Kenta” to avoid any legal issues with people claiming “Kente”. Aha!

In the Pic the famous Kenta shoe. Photo credit to Adidas.

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>Rebranding Nigeria and Brand Ghana: A Good Idea?

As I was driving home, I came across an interesting program on BBC, Rebranding Nigeria (I’m trying to embed the program above so you can listen). The program was essentially a discussion about the initiative to rethink Nigeria in positive terms. In the journalist Henry Bonsu’s own words:

Can the home of 419 internet scams, corruption and voodoo ever transmit a positive image?

Is rebranding Nigeria futile and meaningless? Even possible? Or the light beginning for a country that has just (10 years this year) resurfaced from military rule? The only way forward? You can join a similar discussion on Global Voices Online here.

What to me is the most interesting thing with this debate is that the image of Africa is finally debated, critiqued and possibly recreated – by Africans – in a more representative way. Because really, it doesn’t make any sense to say 160 million people are all fraudsters.

But also, after reading about my Nigerian sister Adadze’s experiences (I’m thinking of Mama Christina and Police Brutality) in her blog Two Tears in a Bucket the other day, I’m thinking our neighbor Nigeria and its people needs a change.

Of course we are slightly, slightly behind in Ghana, but we are actually also looking into branding ourselves better. Just last month, we had Simon Anhult, (selfproclaimed?) nation branding guru, come talk and then set up our own Brand Ghana office, see this article.

To be continued…

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