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Showing posts from 2017

Vlog: British-Nigerian author's books set for February 2018 revamp

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The son of the late British-Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta is leading a project to digitise and re-launch all her works. By February 2018, her most well-known novels: 'In the Ditch’, ‘The Bride Price’ and ‘The Slave' will be re-launched with more titles set to follow, Onwordi told MisBeee at the sidelines of literary festival Africa Writes 2017 earlier this month. The plan to digitise and republish Buchi's entire collection of over 20 books – complete with new book covers - emerged after the Ibusa-born London-based author passed away in January this year.

"..one of the consequences was a realisation that lots of people wanted to read her books but unfortunately some of her books have gone out of print,” said Sylvester. “And so the idea came to me, and the other people I have been collaborating with, that we should get together and form a publishing company to re-launch some of those editions.” Despite Buchi's work spanning almost 30 years, some of her books have f…

Ghanaian bamboo bike maker explores UK market

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The guy Ghanaians reportedly call the bamboo man came to London in June to promote his handmade bamboo bikes to the UK market. Kwabena Danso is the founder and ceo of Booomers - a range of bikes made in Ghana and designed to provide the healthier ones among us with a novel way of getting around. These bikes are also hoped to tackle Ghana's youth unemployment problem, and promote green transportation. 

Ok, so these bamboo bikes are not completely made of bamboo. The frames are, but not the wheels, handles or gears, and there is no bamboo helmet (yet?!). Nevertheless, the invention has been eagerly embraced by bike enthusiasts all over Europe, Canada, USA and Australia. Even the UK's Minister for Foreign Affairs and the figure behind the sponsored London bikes Boris Johnson also had a go on one when he paid a recent visit to Ghana. Danso hasn't stopped riding them since coming to London for the first time in early June and has been quick to extol the benefits of using this fo…

Books by Nigeria's Buchi Emecheta likely for digital revival

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I have been so enchanted by Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta OBE and her books since my early teens and sorely regretted missing an opportunity to see her in my 20s. So, in my 30s – some months after she had passed on – I jumped at the opportunity to celebrate her life at a tribute event. This event included an audience with her son Sylvester Onwordi, Diane Abbott - MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Margaret Busby OBE – Buchi's publisher who just happens to be the UK’s first Black female publisher.
Greenwich Book Festival I was surprised that the event – organised by the Greenwich Book Festival and chaired by writer Ade Solanke – wasn’t filled to the rafters. I was even more surprised that I was one of the youngest people there. I had assumed that, like me, Buchi’s books had been staple reading material for most Black people growing up. Over 40 years on and her books are still hugely relevant. They touch on themes related to racism, sexism, poverty, and the exploration of A…

MisBeee shares some Monday motivation with Abigale Otchere

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Morning All! I wanted to share with you my first podcast as an interviewee. 
Motivational coach and podcaster Abigale Otchere interviewed me about this MisBeee Writes blog, understanding identity growing up as a British-Ghanaian and what motivates me. 
She shares similar stories of inspiring people every Monday - so check her out - here
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Ghana 60 years on through the eyes of a filmmaker

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I just came back from the Ghana 60 years on, mobilising Ghana's future event - staged at London university SOAS. In a nutshell, I would have to say that there was more politics going on behind the scenes than was discussed during the session. Serious egos bouncing off each other which meant there was NO REAL transformative discussion about Ghana at all.

The highlights for me were the way the filmmaker Paul Adom-Otchere structured the film 'From Gold Coast to Ghana' - around legal and constitutional milestones dating back to 6 March 1844 when part of modern-day Ghana came under British jurisdiction. I thought it was a simple way of crystallising and distilling a lot of our complex history and creating some sort of timeline of historical events and their significance. 


A legal route to Ghanaian history
But this did not go down well with everyone and one audience member took issue to what she thought was an omission of Ghana's rich heritage of tribes, cultures and female le…

Shakespeare and the Robben Island prisoners that inspired a play

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On the day that one of the last political prison mates of Nelson Mandela died, a South African play capturing life at the notorious Robben Island was released.
Written by Matthew Hahn, the play is based on selected texts from the complete works of William Shakespeare that became an important source of support and inspiration for inmates. The book - 'The Robben Island Shakespeare' (formerly known as The Robben Island Bible) was smuggled into the prison by the wife of political prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam.
Sonny was one of 33 political prisoners sentenced to life after being convicted of sabotage in the Rivonia Trial. The trial took place in South Africa between 9 October 1963 and 12 June 1964 and resulted in those famous pictures we know showing Mandela and his comrades imprisoned on Robben Island.

Inspiring texts
Apart from a Bible, inmates were forbidden access to reading materials. But Sonny convinced one prison guard to allow him to bring in the Hindu holy book. But there w…

Opinion: Inspiring the next generation

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I initially didn't pay too much attention to the BBC news story about the 14 Black men studying at Cambridge University, (see here). If you hadn't heard, the guys represented Cambridge's small Black student population and the group shot (taken by a Black female Cambridge student) was aimed at encouraging more from the Black community to come forward and consider learning at the institution. The image subsequently went viral on 3 May 2017 and the woman behind the photograph told the BBC she had been inspired by a similar initiative launched by Yale University's Black male cohort. The reason I initially shrugged it off was because I didn't think - in this day and age - we had to keep flagging up milestones that should be available to all regardless of what they look like. But the more I read this news, the more it reminded me of my own experience of applying to the Oxford and Cambridge (Oxbridge) universities and why the achievements of these men still needs to be m…

The British-Ghanaian breaking barriers in communication

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Meet the young entrepreneur who looks set to make the phrase 'Lost in Translation' obsolete with the launch of his latest wireless technology.

His name is Danny Manu, he is a British-Ghanaian engineer and music producer, and is only 29 years old. He is also the founder/director of Manchester-based start-up company Mymanu and the brains behind Mymanu Clik - the Bluetooth earbuds which allow users speaking in one language to converse with someone else speaking another.


Can you ear me?
The concept sounds fantastical and futuristic - I know - but as I speak, this technology is undergoing final tests. Customers that have pre-ordered the Mymanu Clik will be able to pick it up in early summer. By late August, the product, which is expected to retail at $300 (£240) will be available to the general public, London-born Manu told MisBeee.
Mymanu Clik is the second major offering from this innovative start-up manufacturer. The first is the Mymanu Waterproof Bluetooth Shower Speaker which …