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Photography & Spoken Word

PHOTOGRAPHER Eric Gyamfi CELEBRATES Ghanaian LGBT community with LATEST PROJECT

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Ghanaian -born photographer Eric Gyamfi documents the lives of a section of Ghanaian LGBT families with compelling   new pieces for the New York Times.

Titled “Just Like Us”, the projects offers rare everyday images of  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in a country where it remains illegal.

S. meets A., her girlfriend, after work. S. is a musician and A. is studying feminism and climate change for her master’s degree.
Names have been abbreviated to protect the subjects in these photos.

H., A., O., M., and Y. hanging out on a weekend when one of H.’s friends got married.

Some of the L.G.B.T. community members organize a night of dance after an International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia event as a way to get to know other community members and network.

Sunday at the beach with K.

A. doing her friend I.’s hair. N., the young boy who leans on I.’s legs, is her son from a previous relationship.

C., who is Hindu, teaches children at the Mandir. C. is the only Hindu in an otherwise Christian family. “I had to find a way to stay religious without feeling nervous or guilty about my sexuality. Here, at the temple, I find that peace, rid of all forms of guilt,” he said. His siblings visit the Mandir with him every once in a while.

“Someday, soon, I’d have to live as a straight man,” J. told the photographer one afternoon after school. “I think about that every day.”

O. lives with H. in his family house. She considers H. a brother.

H. performing in drag.

H. and his boyfriend, M.

S., who is gay, contemplating his imminent marriage to a woman. His wife was selected for him by his family. “I need a child,” he said. “My parents are demanding a grandchild, too.”

K., A.’s boyfriend, spending a hot afternoon outside with friends.

L. and N. met through a mutual friend and have been together since September 2014. L. moved out of her home when she was 17 and has been living on her own since. “I try not to make friends. That way, I keep people away from my private life as their questions and suspicions never get answered nor confirmed,” she told the photographer. “We keep a close circle of friends who are mostly just like us. It’s not the best way to live but it has worked for us thus far.”

A. after a dance session. “My stepfather is very open minded,” he said. “I can sense that he is not so happy about dance as he doesn’t think I can make a career out of it. but he is happy that I am happy when I dance so that’s good for me. The first song I usually dance to is my father’s.”

H.’s family making spring rolls and pies for O.’s mother’s funeral celebration. H. played a key role in the organization of the funeral rites with O.’s family.

A. examining herself in her bathroom mirror.

N., R., and N.’s nephew cleaning in the morning. N. and R. have been together for nearly two years and live together. N. is a chef and R. is a musician.

A. and K., and little A., making rice balls for lunch. A. and K. are a couple and have been living together for almost two years. Little A., who lives in the same compound house, spends time with them when she is not school.

 

Photo credit: Eric Gyamfi /Nytimes.com

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Photography & Spoken Word

#ENEWSGHPoeticLicence – A Little Bit – ASFORD PSALMS

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A little bit seems longer.

The hour glass turns over.

A little shift; I grow no younger.

And I can’t always be sober.

Our days are still running but sometimes it seems over.

 

Our days; our lives.

Our race; our stripes.

We make the rules.

But we can’t always choose.

 

Our plans are like wishes.

I wish to be in his shoes.

So others will want to be in mine too.

Our plans are like wishes.

They don’t always come through.

 

I wished to laugh; fortunately, I did.

I wished to succeed; interestingly, I won the bid.

But our wishes are like plans.

They don’t always work through.

 

Just as the time changes with seasons.

Our laugh changes; with or without reason.

Our path changes with a humorous teasing.

And our life expects us to learn; lessons.

Sometimes, it is too much to bare the weight of its pain.

And we can’t always be sane.

Especially, when our toil turns in vain.

And when the smooth turns really rough.

When the truth turns extremely lost.

And our youth; put into corfs.

When our hearts are broken and made carelessly soft.

When the trade of our hands are lost.

And our fortunes turns to cost.

When our fathers are shot; by any flying bullet.

And our mothers, maltreated by any available societal mullet.

When our sons and brothers are sold to a gang of hooligan soldiers.

And our daughters and sisters; bought by societal mullets and sold to the gang of hooligan soldiers.

 

Even these are not enough.

For life sees tangible reasons to molest our young ones.

Tear apart their clothes and rip away their dignity.

It sees reasons to suppress our old bags.

And oppress our ‘free valves’.

It sees reasons to shed more blood.

Blood of our true sons.

Life sees reasons for us to change our path.

And it enjoys the punchline when what we chose ends us up in cuffs.

Is the problem with life or with the beings?

For it sees reasons to wipe away our smile and put in it place, a heart of pain and frown.

 

We believe in the divinity of the heavenly crown.

But a little bit seems longer.

A little shift; and we grow no younger.

A little lift; and we will be stronger.

Our days are numbered.

Our lives have suffered.

Our stripes, have numbers.

Our future; seems, a conquest.

But a little bit seems longer.

The hour glass turns over.

Yet, I urge to hold on; a little bit; much more, longer.

 

 

Asford Psalms.

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Music

PROMO IMAGES: Shatta Wale drops CLOUD 9 Hiphop Mixtape, OCT 17 – PHOTOS BY KWABENA AWUKU

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Shatta Wale (Charles Nii Armah Mensah) is currently Ghana’s biggest dancehall name –it has been the case for five years straight. With an extensive catalogue of bona fide  hits, it has kept him at the forefront of entertainers from these parts.

But does his midas extend to the hiphop genre?

Come October 17 (his birthday), he drops the widely-anticipated Cloud 9 mixtape. On that project, he challenges himself creatively, and seeks to establish himself as a force to recon with in the genre.

The project consists 6 songs, including Grow Bad, Feel So Stupid, and It Will Cost Them.

Here are Kwabena Awuku – made promo images for the upcoming project:

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Photography & Spoken Word

#ENEWSGHPoeticJustice: Virtue Mask – Asford Psalms

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Men are many.

Each has a face.

But their faces are many.

 

Faces are faces.

Each is entitled to one.

But faces keep on changing.

 

Faces of love.

Faces of hurt.

Faces of truth.

Faces of lies.

Faces of humility.

Faces of pride and together, the above five.

 

We try to live with one.

But that is as equal to the fun in pun.

Some stay honest to one or a couple.

However, there is trouble.

People wear faces of virtue.

And behind that mask can be a face and a heart not equal to the visible facts.

 

Faces are shadows of reality of a heart.

 

 

 

 

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Photography & Spoken Word

#ENEWSGHPoeticLicence: Fire & Ice – Asford Psalms

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Two extremes.
Nature made it; so it seems.
In your body it holds its peace.
But in mine, I have no leash.

I am fire and you are ice.
I burn harsh but you cool; nice.
I am ice and you are fire.
I turn hard but you melt right.

I look into your eyes,and I am lost.
But found in your world; where I love most.

You are fire.
And you burn hot.
But even when I am wrong; you plead not.

When my anger speaks, your ice melts with sweets.
And when my heart is cold, your fire keeps me close.
When I look into your eyes when I have done bad; I am as twice as scold.
But the lining around it, is much precious than gold.
The love in it is upright and bold.

You tell me to look into your eyes:
When you are happy but I am not.
Even when you are sad and I am not; and I can tell right back that the love in it can’t be sold.

Your eyes speaks to me.
And your heart holds me captive.
Your body burns with ease.
And your touch calms me to peace.

You flame me out.
But your love draws me in.
You speak to my heart.
And that’s how you keep me in.

You are fire.
But you are ice too.
And amazingly that is why I love you.

 

 

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Music

IMAGES: A Plus/ Akosua Vee’s WHITE WEDDING!

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Here are images from Ghanaian entertainer A Plus’ white wedding to fashionista Akosua Vee at His Majesty’s Court Hotel (Accra) over the weekend.

Compered by veteran broadcaster Doreen Andoh, the classy event was attended by the likes of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, Deputy Director of MASLOC, Afia Akoto, Joslyn Dumas, Fred Nuamah and John Dumelo, musicians Nana Boroo, Reggie and Bollie and Zeal of VVIP, Doreen Andoh, Steven Appiah among others.

Images: XHIBIT

 

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Photography & Spoken Word

ENEWSGHPoeticLicence: Crooked Smile – Asford Psalms

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It might have entered in too deep.

It might have stirred my heart.

Even with my stare into your eyes, I find peace.

 

I see the smirk on your face.

And I see you rejoice with haste.

You know you’ve won this part of the race.

But our paths sometimes loves undue fate.

 

You’ve come far and too close.

You’ve found your way around my home.

Fate loves to be undue, so your hand is what he chose.

He chose your hand to cut me.

And cut me, you did; close and in too deep.

 

As I knelt down on my bended knee to cry the tears within thee, I stared into your eyes and found peace.

For I saw:

There is a time to bow.

There is a time to call a truce.

There is a time to be a slave.

And a time to behave.

There is a time to be in charge.

And a time to be on a pointy edge.

There is time to leave so I can live to fight another day.

 

When I stared into your eyes, I found peace.

For in your eyes, I saw how weak you are.

And I have the strength you don’t have.

The strength to pledge to my current predicament to your pleasure.

The strength to bare the horrors of that deep cut.

The cut whoose rift bends deep into my soul.

The strength to bow now and live to fight another fortnight.

 

Life likes to play the cards of undue fate.

Mine is now but I see in your eyes what you don’t.

I will savour the pleasures of your defeat in the next turn of cards when it is my true turn.

 

Asford Psalms.

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