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LYDIA FORSON WRITES: When the counselor needs counselling – the curious case of George Lutterodt

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I came to accept a long time ago that for many men in Ghana especially, the value of a woman is dependent on whether or not she’s married and has children.

All her achievements automatically mean nothing if she hasn’t met any of the above requirements.
You can take care of 100 orphans and it will mean nothing if you don’t have  children of your own.

You can be married to an abusive husband, and your worth will still be more than a successful woman without one.

Oh but it doesn’t end there, after you’ve finally caved to the pressures of society you have to hope agree with who you want to marry,   or it’s back to the pool of the “unworthy”.

And people like Counselor George Lutterodt only reinforces these stereotypes.

And because of his like, many young girls will feel unfulfilled, undesirable and worthless if they haven’t found a man to share their life with.

But let’s be clear, marriage can be a beautiful thing if it’s with the right person, and marriage isn’t forEVERYONE either, which should be ok.

We all have a journey in life, and when you try to force something that isn’t part of your journey, you’re only causing yourself unnecessary headache.

Also there are many things in life that are predictable, relationships are not one of them, what works for A may not necessarily work for B.

Because there are countless people out there who against all odds and predictive behaviour have stayed together in what many have deemed to be an unconventional relationship.

And that’s why no one has the right to force you into a decision about your life; friends, family and even counselors should only serve as directional signs. They can point you in a direction they believe is best for you, but the journey is eventually yours.

Which brings me to the case of Counselor George Lutterodt, a self styled Ghanaian version of Dr.Phil, an American psychologist and television host who is largely known to “tell it like it is”.

ONLY Dr.Phil is a  qualified psychologist and because of this, belongs  to an association that call easily call him to order if he crosses the line.

Now I don’t know much about Counselor George Lutterodt’s background or qualification, but I do know that if he were a trained professional  he would understand the human psychology and the impact of his words and how demoralizing and damaging they can be.

What counselor would use words that can send people into depression, or cause others to possibly harm to themselves and even have to shame them to make a point ? Which is what how careless he is with his utterances.

And that’s why I strongly believe he’s  not an authority on counseling but a self titled one, who has been given airtime to further misinform people.

Now before I wrote this article I consulted my father Very. Rev. Dr. M.K Forson ( yes I put the whole title there for emphasis) who is a qualified counselor and even trains many people and church leaders.

I needed to understand what goes into counseling, especially for reverends  because from what I know it’s even taught as a course in pastoral training and so depending on where you got your “Reverend” title from, you should have a qualification in this.

But hey, it’s Ghana right? All you have to do is slap on a title and you’re automatically certified. Wasn’t a fake Nobel Prize Laureate given a platform on one of our station?

Now, I’ve met the Counsellor on several occasions, and even served on the same panel with him a few times.

And to be fair, even though I’ve found a lot of what he says outrageous, on the rare occasion I have also agreed with him.

It’s his outlandish delivery that is off putting; he attempts to be “brutally honest” but instead uses this as an excuse to be offensive which transcends tobullying. 

A lot of times he just states opinions for shock value. 



And he finally reached his peak a few days ago, when in a video posted on Social Media, he had a go at an actress engaged to popular actor Kofi Adjorlolo, several years her senior.

I wondered why she subjected herself to such humiliation, but it felt like an ambushed of some sort and people in the studio did very little to stop him.

He sugguested that she was too young for him and verbally assaulted her by going as far as saying  ” she wanted to kill Kofi Adjorlolo” which finally brought tears to her eyes.

Oh but he didn’t end it there,he was just getting fired up, thanks to his cheerleaders.

 

He went on to make unsavoury comments about the marital status of Nana Aba Anamoah and  Joselyn Dumas who I know for a FACT he only knows through the media; he sugguested that they were desperate for men and would probably never marry because they had passed the “bench mark.” of what he calls  ” ma fa no saa”.( I’ve accepted my fate)

Some may argue he was only joking, but it’s just another flimsily excuse for him to be unnecessarily disrespectful. 

The women he mentioned each have a story he doesn’t know about, one that may be a far cry from the assumptions he and the public have made.

And through his statement his ignorance was further exposed.

The truth is the Counselor is drunk on the “fame”koolaid and he’s falling for the cheerleaders who urge him on and encourage this foolishness for their ownamusement.

Because what he doesn’t know is that he’s a pawn in thier game for ratings; they know exactly what they’re doing when they give him a chair, a microphone and record the things he has to say.

They know what they’re doing when they put it up on social media for likes and comments.

It’s just a way to get the numbers up, have viewers tuned in and eventually capitalize on it to make profit.
He’s been conned into believing the hype that he has “wise” counsel, when he’s there ONLY as a gimmick.

And in some cases he’s used by these cheerleaders to push a vindictive agenda, judging by how they kept dropping names of personalities for him to give his opinion on.

Because a lot of these people are unhappy in their lives (don’t worry we know) and ONLY unhappy people are so focused on other people’s lives and upset over how they live; especially if it’s freely.

They can’t go home from work, show their partner off, travel on vacations,kiss your wife/husband in public because their whole  life is one unhappy sham, that they have to drag everyone down with them.

So your anger should really be directed towards these kinds of people and even media houses that contributed to the nuisance he’s become today.

Those who were willing to give an unqualified person a platform even against public outcry and warnings from the Ghana Psychological Counsel. read here

See, it would be ok if he were just there serving an opinion like the rest of us,because again there are some days that I actually do agree with the points that he makes.

He could be the Steve Harvey of relationships and we wouldn’t care too much, after all anyone can give relationship advise;  but by acknowledging him as a qualified “counselor” they’re indirectly putting a stamp on everything he says.

Because of this he’s grown a following of people who’re hooked on his every word, and some may probably attack me for this post.

And this is where it gets dangerous, because at some point, and it’s coming very soon; he’s going to influence someone to do the unthinkable.

And there will be damaging effects of that  to him and those who gave him a platform.

Until then, it’s all fun and games as you sit back, share videos and laugh with their friends.

But when the day of reckoning comes, they will start to panic, dissociate themselves, feign disbelief  and ” drop him like it’s hot”.

ONLY, it will be too late because even though he will be left wandering, your credibility as a station, radio etc will still remain questionable.

As for the counselor he’s just feeding his fame addiction; because trust me there’s nothing more thrilling than walking around and having people point at you in excitement.

And if you’re someone who’s gone through lifeunnoticed for so long you can easily become a junkieto this kind of attention.

And this is a very expensive addiction to sustain; and when you become desperate you’ll start to do anything for likes, comments and followers which feed your addiction.

That’s why you get people like Counselor George presenting sometimes salient points in the most distasteful manner just to get a rise out of people.

He’s gone from advising to now imposing his opinionas the gospel truth, and is even now more offensive, disrespectful and in some cases  verbally abusive.

Like I said the fame addiction can make you lose your mind, and he’s slowly becoming like the many self proclaimed prophets on our screens who have to scream and shout to be heard.

By launching attacks on innocent personalities who haven’t asked for his advise in the first place, he’s only proving  how far he’s willing to go to be heard.

So before you launch a series of attacks on him, understand his addiction and drug dealers in the name of media house who continue to feed it by encouraging his utterances.

If he has any sense of decency left he will render an unqualified apology to these woman he attacked for sport. 

But in reality, when is the last time any man apologized for verbally assualting a woman.

 

credit: lydiaforson. com

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Events & Places

STIRRING UP THE WATA MATA: #ChaleWote2017 – Day 2 ROUNDUP [+images]

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Day 2 of CHALE WOTE 2017 began on Tuesday afternoon with Open Surgery, a creative fiction writing workshop led by award-winning Ghanaian author, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, for 8 writers selected through an open call. The laid-back event held on the ground floor of Brazil House was less workshop-style and more informal and open with very interactive conversations between writers who were either meeting for the first or the umpteenth time, united by an undying passion for sharing pieces of themselves and their communities through the stories they weave.

Nii Ayikwei Parkes taking leading the Open Surgery writing workshop as part of  CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

The selected writers – young, bold and unafraid to put their work up for scrutiny – read excerpts from their submitted pieces and received unbiased, encouraging and invaluable feedback from each other, Parkes and witnesses present. The feedback touched on everything from language, pacing, creating unboxed writing styles, characterization, and setting. The best part, however, was that it was all so organic. One participant, Temitayo Johnson, commented on how this workshop was a much better learning experience than all the creative writing classes she’d had combined.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

 

Each writer got a front-row seat into the perspectives and interpretations of their work through fresh eyes that posed delicate questions, offered advice and inspired the writers to be like WATA MATA, constantly flowing and most importantly, enjoying the process of creating and being, echoing Nii Ayikwei Parkes’ counsel that, “if you’re not having fun writing, then stop!”. Some of the stories touched on family, intimacy, identity, and even psychedelic road trips with a host of themes that explored what it means to be human.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Nii Ayikwei Parkes together with participants such as Mohammed Naseehu Ali (The Prophet of Zongo Street), Nii Nikoi Kotei, Poetra Asantewaa, Kweku Benneh, crazinisT artisT, and Temitayo Johnson kept the energy going with thoughtful feedback, constructive criticism and golden writing advice. A key takeaway from the writing workshop organized in collaboration with the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing was for writers to “read the stuff that moves you and resonates with the stories you want to write.”

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

U.S. based researcher and artist April Bey then stirred up WATA MATA at the National Theatre (Folkspace) with her talk, “Dolezalism and Jollof Rice from 6-8pm. Originally from the Bahamas, Bey’s lecture systematically unveiled the whole trans-racial saga that broke out in 2015 with controversial figure Rachel Dolezal. She began by going through Dolezal’s background as a fine artist and her fixation on painting the bodies of young black boys and how this may be an indicator of the state of Dolezal’s mental health. Bey also touched on the mainstream media’s portrayal of the whole affair, especially the difference in interpretation around Blackness and cultural appropriation between media and inter-African communities. For April, it is important to push beyond binaries and understand the background behind Dolezal’s evolution before one can grasp her motives and understand why her identification as “trans-black” is problematic.

As an artist herself, April Bey’s personal body of work, including a new analogue printing technique that producers laser print quality and was developed whilst in Ghana last year on residency, will debut at the festival and interrogate the aesthetic qualities attached to race. She also debuted the cover of Jollof Magazine, a fictitious magazine she created, with Rachel Dolezal on the cover of the first edition as well as some of her work installed in the Bahamas which are centred on the nuanced portrayals of Blackness in art. Our understandings of race and culture and even appropriation are at least partly determined by our geographical contexts and social environments.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

April Bey’s focus as an artist and researcher during her lecture went beyond trying to find out if Rachel Dolezal, sorry, Nkechi Amare Diallo (Dolezal’s new legal name) would like Jollof Rice to debunk the myth of trans-racialism. However, she explicitly explained why race structures cannot be binary and in fact extends beyond two simple choices like right and wrong to a much more elaborate and delicate network of personality traits, shared memories and experiences collectively making up a person’s race.

Participating artist Lineo Segoete CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Day 3 of CHALE WOTE 2017 (Wednesday, August 16) includes more open Gallery events. “DISPERSED” featuring the work of 3 UK female artists from the Black British Female Artist(BBFA) Collective and 3 Ghanaian female artists opens today at the Nubuke Foundation (Lome Close, East Legon Accra), 10am – 5pm. Elisabeth Efua Sutherland also outdoor’s ”Deverb” – a sound and video experiment using women’s song traditions of Fanti culture as a sonic base to explore the role and importance of woman as griot in Akan society at Terra Alta (Abelemkpe Junction, next to Lucas College) at 6PM.

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Check out the Open Gallery Program for all the other tours going on. The exhibition at Brazil House is also open throughout the week and features the work of Ghana-based and international artists on both floors of the building.


CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival 2017

Source: KaDi Yao Tay & Hakeem Adam /Accra[dot]alt
Photos: Nii Kotei Nikoi & Abdul Arafat

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Miss Commonwealth Ghana Princess Duncan visits Swedru and Cape Coast Chiefs ahead of the Fetu and Akwambo festivals (IMAGES)

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Miss Commonwealth Ghana 2017, Princess Duncan has called on the chiefs and people of Swedru and Cape Coast respectively ahead of the Akwambo Festival and Fetu Afahye.

Ms Duncan explained that she visited the Chiefs as a daughter of the land and to seek their blessings she represents Ghana later this year at the Miss Commonwealth 2017 in the UK.I decided to pass by to wish Osabarima, chiefs, and people of Oguaa season’s greetings and support to make the celebrations a success”.

” I decided to visit Osabarima Kwesi Atta (Omanhene of Cape Coast), Nana Botwe (Omanhene of Swedru), and people of Oguaa and Swedru season’s greetings and support to make the celebrations a success”.

See Photos:

 

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3 DAYS TO GO! Shatta Wale, Falz, Tekno, OTHERS return to NYC for One Africa Music Fest!

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Ghanaian dancehall icon Shatta Wale returns to New York City for the much-anticipated annual mega-concert One Africa Music Festival.

Ghana’s sole representative, he joins a tall list of colleagues from around the continent –mostly Nigerian and East African: Timaya, Flavour, Falz, Victoria Kimani and a host of others.

Last year, the event was held in the famous Barclays Centre and Houston’s Toyota Centre, with Wizkid, Stonebwoy, D’banj, Jidenna, Flavour, Seun Kuti, Banky W among others all making a strong case for talent from the continent.

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Dr. James Orleans Lindsay dines with LEAD SERIES TRIVIA CHALLENGE winners

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Ahead of the fourth edition of the LEAD SERIES, Dr. James Orleans Lindsay (CEO of JL Properties),  has spent an intimate session with the winners of the LEADS SERIES Trivia challenge at a dinner night in dinner night  Tang Palace Hotel in Accra.

This opportunity afforded the winners (Julia Amoo and David Dela Sunu) to have a personal interaction with Dr. James Orleans-Lindsay over meals and drinks as they spoke on several of issues.

The winners expressed joy and gratitude for the occasion to know more about Dr., James Orleans-Lindsay work life and personality.

LEAD series is an event organized by OMNIS2131 to afford personalities from all works of life to tell their untold stories and inspire others to greatness.

Personalities who have been hosted in this series include Hipline founder Reggie Rockstone, Event Factory Ghana CEO Nabil Alhassan, and celebrity blogger Ameyaw Kissi Debrah. The next session is slated for the 27th of August 2017 at the African Regent Hotel.

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#ChaleWote2017 – Day 1 ROUNDUP [+images]

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The end of a trilogy of themes, CHALE WOTE 2017 began on Monday evening with a captivating journey exploring African Electronics(2015) and Spirit Robot (2016) and finally landing in WATA MATA (2017). The opening ceremony for the 7th annual CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival took place at the ACCRA [dot] ALT space in James Town, Brazil House yesterday as “The Day of ReMembering” and an opening exhibition for CHALE WOTE 2017. The 7th edition of the street art festival themed WATA MATA, was marked by spectacular live performances, a preview of what the packed festival week of exhibitions, film screenings, workshop labs, artists talks, mixers and live art performances has in store.

 

ACCRA [dot] ALT co-director Sionne Neely speaking at the opening exhibition of CHALE WOTE 2017 || Photo; Nii Kotei Nikoi

Logistics Coordinator with ACCRA [dot] ALT and James Town resident, Samoa Mark-Kpakpo Hansen, opened the event by contextualizing what WATA MATA means within this environment. Also a Ga traditional priest, Samoa poured libations and opened the communication channels. He discussed the division of religion and science and connected this to how water is a sacred form of life, autonomy, community and imagination. Samoa’s interpretation of WATA MATA is as a binding agent, both spiritually and physically, especially in James Town where life is centred around the ocean, and therefore, can be used as a potent tool or technology to generate our deepest visions.

 

Logistics Coordinator with ACCRA [dot] ALT and James Town resident, Samoa Mark-Kpakpo Hansen contextualizing WATA MATA at the opening exhibition  || Photo: Nii Kotei Nikoi

Following this opening, the audience witnessed the “Badboy BODY Electronics” of the Hutor Adzimashie Bali and the Hu-Koku Association. These men of steel from the Torgbui Adzima Shrine in Torgodo, Volta Region sparked a fire with their electrifying performance practice. The ensemble – including dancers and musicians – showed how internal technologies can take over as the men taunted and defied death many times – cutting their faces, torsos, necks and limbs with long knives; bathing their bodies in fire; and disgorging long spools of thread.

Another enthralling performance took place with Tifali Cultural Consults, a 25-women performance art collective, exploring the move to Spirit Robot, the theme for CHALE WOTE 2016, where pan-African imaginative visions link up to form a structure or system that we can all tap into for resources when needed. Their performance art piece entitled “K3 Yei (…and the women…)”, used an innovative mix of contemporary and traditional dance with music exploring the love, verve, warrior spirit and solidarity of women-based practices.

“Badboy BODY Electronics” by Hutor Adzimashie Bali and the Hu-Koku Association at the opening exhibition of CHALE WOTE 2017 || Photo: Nii Kotei Nikoi

A special part of The Day of ReMembering was how performers, CHALE WOTE artists, James Town residents and audience members partook in this collective and sacred cleansing process. Together we recollect the traumatic histories experienced in James Town through the transatlantic enslaved trade but we also bear witness to how we can regenerate and innovate our historical realities. Members of the Hu-Koku Association, Samoa Mark-Kpakpo Hansen and STELOO led a wondrous procession from Brazil Lane to James Fort’s Oyenyi Gardens, a former prison that also once held Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for 10 months prior to Ghana’s independence.

“K3 Yei” by Tifali at the opening exhibition of CHALE WOTE 2017 || Photo: Nii Kotei Nikoi

STELOO, on a trolley outfitted with fat speakers and a large-winged white suit, set a melancholic mood in motion with spellbinding electronic and ambient music for the walk, re-centering James Town’s vast historical importance to the country and West Africa, as a major point of capture/departure for the enslaved, and therefore, the portal for re-entry and reunification of African peoples.

STELOO leading the procession from Brazil Lane to James Fort’s Oyenyi Gardens || Photo: Nii Kotei Nikoi

The exhibition at Brazil House is open throughout the week and features the work of Ghana-based and international artists on both floors of the building. Day 2 of CHALE WOTE 2017 (Tuesday, August 15) features a creative writing masterclass led by Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Director of the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing at Brazil House (bottom floor) for 8 selected writers from 2-4:30pm. Following this, CHALE WOTE 2017 participant, April Bey (U.S.), delivers a lecture, shares some screenings and takes part in a Q+A with the audience on “Dolezalism and Jollof Rice”, at the National Theatre (Folkspace) from 6-8pm.

 

Ghanaian artist Sel Kofiga next to his installation, ‘Umbrage – Making Faces’ at the opening exhibition of CHALE WOTE 2017 || Photo: Nii Kotei Nikoi


See more photos from Day 1 of CHALE WOTE 2017 below.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Opening events for the 2017 edition of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.

Source: Accra[dot]alt

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Miss Ghana 2017 Wraps Up Bolga Audition

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Bolgatanga, capital of the Upper East Region, received the Miss Ghana 2017 audition train with such razzmatazz, as the team touched down for this year’s audition in the region.

After paying courtesy calls on the Regional Minister, touring the region’s historical tourist sites (Paga Crocodile Pond, Pikworo slave camp, smock market, Tenzu Shrine of Tongo Hills) and being interviewed by some of the regions media houses; the team headed to the plush Akayet Hotel for the exercise.

The audition was impressively attended by ladies in the region and they delivered their very best, making it extremely difficult for the judges; Inna Mariam Patty, Mr. Humphrey (General Manager Akayet Hotel) and Miss Ghana Ambassador, Afua Asieduwaa Akrofi – to settle on the top six (6).

However, after an exciting yet grueling session, only six (6) were selected for the final leg of audition in Accra. They were; Felica Mahama, Rahinatu Issifu, Hamida Yakubu, Zita Naab, Millicent Yeboah and Emmanuela Mbangiba.

Exclusive Events Ghana Ltd powers Miss Ghana in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Ghana60Years On Planning Committee, with support from National Lottery Authority, Intercity STC, NIB, Glam’s Make Up, ABC Hair Relaxer, NPA, IPMC and supported by Ghana Police Service, GOIL, Akosombo Textile Limited, Ritel Ghana, DDP, Primus Water, Pippa’s Health Centre, Hungarian Trade & Cultural Center (HTTC), Hungary Embassy, Nasco Electronics, Special Ice Water, Akayet Hotel, Global Dream Hotel & Service Apartments, Tang Palace, Aqua Safar Resort, JIL, Amazing U, Hottees, Poquaa Accessories, Accents & Curve, Queens Touch Décor, Forever Easy, Goodluck Africa, Limpex Impressions, Starbow Airline, Holiday Inn Hotel, Caesars Casino, Asantewaa Premier Guesthouse, Best Western Atlantic Hotel Takoradi, Skyplus Hotel Ho, Samit Hotel, Tyco Hotel, Royal Cozy Hotel, Busua Beach Resort, Eusbet Hotel, Eastgate hotel, Grand Casamora, Raybow Hotel, Lizzy’s Sports Complex, Hottees, Magnum Force Securities, High End Production, Purple Room Lingerie, Yummie Noodles, La Chaumiere restaurant, Buka Restaurant, Koko King, La Galette, PadThai Restaurant, Regal Chinese Restaurant, Bush Canteen, Café Mundo, Gold Coast Restaurant, Jamrock restaurant, Flair catering, and Pink Panda.

Miss Ghana is also supported by the following media: Daily Guide, BF &T, Ghanaian Times, Spectator, Finder, Showbiz, Citi FM, Live FM, Starr FM, Peace FM, Maxx FM, Dess FM, Ark FM, ATL FM, Shine, W93.5 FM, Bugli FM, Word FM, Tanga FM, Bishare FM, North Star FM, Kekeli FM, Classic FM, KTU Radio, FM, NKWA FM, Thank U FM, Metro TV, UTV TV Africa, Homebase, TV 7,  Atinka TV, ZTV, Katanka,  NTV, SET TV, Adehye TV, Sparkle TV.

 

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