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Of KOD’s Rhythms on Da Runway (#RODR2017)

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A young man arrives in a convoy of three cars — all black. He looks princely and particularly Nigerian –his agbada (made of golden lace) shining against lighting on the forecourt, and an elegant sky which has poured forth ample rain about an hour ago. As he climbs up the ten steps, cameramen line up to take photos. Click. Click. Click. On cue, his smile widens. A bevy of women join him, and there’s the sound of more clicks as flashlights bounce off their foreheads.

He goes in — the gentleman, in all his glory — through the shiny see-through door guarded by the dark police officer of noticeable build. He comes back out, and gathers the sleeves of his flowing gown which has now fallen down his right hand. He throws it over his shoulder, again, with royal grace. He signals to the man stationed by the first car. The man: a driver conditioned into zealous obedience by a life of service, gets into the driver’s side. The others get in their cars and drive off into the parking area at the end of the stretch. He smiles for more camera, and goes inside again –the policeman holding the door open for him.

More people start arriving, all familiar faces due to their frequency on television, and their pristine standing as society’s very favourite: Lexis Bill, Doreen Andoh, Joselyn Dumas, Stephanie Benson, Akumaa Mama Zimbi, respected legal name Kwame Akufo and so on. Some would climb the runway as celebrity models, others, among the privileged audience, or in plush make-shift lounge far to the left.

Such is the calibre that grace KOD’s Rhythms on Da Runway on April 1 at the Banquet Hall (Osu) — the very creme of the society.

Even more people arrive: some with an arm in the crook of a partner’s, others by themselves. Still, they all make important fashion declarations by their looks –succinctly, or by cuts and folds in strange places.

An art exhibition welcomes you when you walk through the glass door — a series of deeply breathtaking experiences which have found their way unto mere canvas. But don’t be carried away yet… it is still a fashion show you have come to. The ambience there is one of superior calm as patrons look upon the paintings with entranced eyes for significant periods.

 

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Previously held by the grand pool at Golden Tulip Hotel, and also GH ONE TV’s studios, the 2017 edition of  KOD’s Rhythms on Da Runway is also his biggest, for it has now obviously taken on international repute. It first came off in 2003, and has grown to become a truly artistic melting pot of music, fashion, visual arts and everything in between, gathering in one congregation, prominent fashion heads both locally and across the continent.

Fashion firms which represented at this year’s event are no mean names in the industry: wife Ophelia Crossland, Abrantie The Gentleman, Velma’s Accessories, Bon Collections, NINETEEN57 BY KOD himself, South Africa’s Palse, as well New York-based Kenyan designer Narok all presented breathtaking pieces. These names clearly prove that it is one of the most important gathering for the fashion ecosystem on this side of the Atlantic, if not the most important.

A relative of broadcasting legend and fellow style icon Kwesi Kyei Darkwa (KKD), the Winneba native (who recently celebrated 20 years as a media practitioner) has also designed for respected persons as former presidents Jerry Rawlings and J.E.A Mills, football stars Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien, Emmanuel Adebayor, Jamaican Reggae star Buju Banton, international Gospel singer Sonnie Badu, broadcaster Nathaniel Attoh, and a host of others — clear testament of his superior talent with clothes. His brand, NINETEEN57, is also telling of the philosophies which shape his creation: independence, patriotism, originality –Ghana! The brand name, because of what it stands for, is both weighty and audacious, needing only the steadiest of hands to bear.  KOD (Kofi Okyere Darko) knew what choosing a name out of Ghana’s independence year meant:

“I thought of 1957 because the year really represents something very special to me…not just me, but to all Ghanaians. 1957 is Ghana’s independence year, and our independence represents liberation not just for Ghanaians, but the entire black race”, he submitted to Sound City TV during the 2003 edition. Has he done a good job representing this national moment today? Without doubt!

Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD)

Again, Rhythms on Da Runway is consequence of a deep-seated passion in the soul of KOD. Everybody now knows him as “Mr Classic”, because of what he has come to truly embody in this age –pushing the limits with rare courage, and proving consistently, new and exciting possibilities which are only uncovered by keen eyes as his: “In terms of fashion, I think that I’m very liberated. I’m the kind of person that wears what quite a number of people might not be able to wear”, he pointed out in the Sound City interview.

Only a quarter of the number of performers advertised for the show showed up, but even that was not a light list:  Sarkodie, Bisa KDei, M.anifest, Abida from Zimbabwe, Wutah Kobby, Akwaboah, incredible band “Collectives”,  and saxophonist Okyere.

M.anifest

Among models who walked the length of the runway  that night are admired showbiz figures as actor James Gardiner, radio man Lexis Bill, PY Addo Boateng, Akumaa Mama Zimbi,  Coded (of hiplife trio 4X4), and madman Kwaw Kese. This runway has attracted similar big names in the past, including (but not limited to) Sandra Ankobiah, Reggie Rockstone, Funny Face, Bola Ray, Asem, D-Black, Tinny, Jon Germain, Benny Blanco, Kwaw Kese, Keitta Osei, Kwaku-T, and Sena Gbedawo.

An assembly point of the very best Ghanaian models too, this year’s was graced this year by the likes of Chantelle Dapaah (wife of revered stylist Abrantie The Gentleman), Victoria Michaels, The Ayew Sisters, Prince, Julee Djoulde Bocoum, and Miss Ghana 2015 Antoinette Delali.

Sarkodie’s performance was the ultimate highlight of the night, as it served as precursor (and background music) for the showcase of KOD’s latest pieces. All the excitement happened then: patrons could hardly remain seated, and the cheers just wouldn’t stop. When PY emerged unto the runway, he received a rousing welcome. Beaming, he began his walk, acknowledging Akwaboah, and Sarkodie who were still stationed in the centre of the runway, dishing out  a live rendition of the latter’s recent Painkiller  single which features Nigerian singer Runtown. PY clashed fists with Sarkodie as salutation, and when he got to the end of the strip, he broke into dance. The crowd got even noisier. His colleagues who had agreed to model for NINETEEN57 received similar reactions.

It is not unusual that rapper Kwaw Kese modelled with bare feet (a number of the male models walked without shoes). It is the fact that the “madman” held his black pair of footwear in the grip of his fingers instead. The crowd was pleasantly shocked, and it proved very entertaining –Kese’s act. Even Sarkodie paused in the middle of singing just to exclaim “abodam!”

All the NINETEEN57 models came back out for a final time: in a row, accompanied by KOD, whose head was covered in a cap, and a hoodie he had designed himself. He walked to the front of the row, where Kwaw was standing, shoes in hand. He attempted to snatch the shoes from Kwaw. He succeeded with one, and they both made their way back to the main stage, trying not to laugh. Once more, this love-hate relationship between Kwaw and KOD (also accurately told by at least two of the latter’s videos Killer Bewu Last Show and Mmaa Pe Wu) was reenacted, and it’s all so beautiful what they have made out of this relationship over the years.

KOD walked to the front of the row, where Kwaw was standing, shoes in hand. He attempted to snatch the shoes from Kwaw. He succeeded with one, and they both made their way back to the Main stage, trying not to laugh.

KOD and wife Ophelia Crossland have become a power couple over the years, greatly influencing the country’s fashion situation.

Fashion shows in Ghana continue to grow at a pace where they now commands a decent space in the larger textile and accessories ecosystem. The scene is actively run by persons like Darko, who continues to find inspiration from a situation that could have been better. Ghana has over the years showed the way in fashion in the sub region and has had huge names such as the late Kofi Ansah, lead the charge. Devotees of the industry have remained active despite current floundering statistics. Okyere and his colleagues hope to catch the eye of authorities to at least put fashion on the agenda on discussions bordering on Gross Domestic Product. Ghana stands to gain enormously from initiatives such as Darko’s. In 2013, the World Economic Forum estimated that the country’s Tourism sector was valued at some 2.1 billion dollars with a 5 percent contribution to GDP. The WEF forecasted a 5.4 percent growth by 2022.

Fashion is indeed a magical wand which brings all sorts of people together. Proof? Peoples of diverse heritage all collected under the large roof of the Banquet Hall, beholding with the avidity of children, the very future of style trends. It made for a colourful and inspirational image — this uniting force that fashion has also morphed into.

Rhythms on Da Runway 2017 was hosted by Joy FM’s Nathaniel Attoh, as well as Zimbabwean presenter Vimbai Mutinhiri.

More images courtesy VINE/ Frozzen Second:

 

 

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Final steering committee meeting of “French Solidarity Project” held

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On Tuesday 12th December, 2017, a final steering committee meeting was held on the French Solidarity Project geared towards “Strengthening the accountability of Ghana’s central and local government” at the Residence of France.

In attendance were the French ambassador, the Director of research, statistics and information management representing the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), both of whom co-chaired the committee, the Rector and Deputy rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Executive Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, as well as other partner agencies such as the Centre for Democratic Development, FD Associates and the Touton company.

 

Support for public sector reform and the decentralization process

Funded with a budget of €800 000 over a period of 3 years, this project sought to facilitate public sector reform and support the decentralization process. It aimed more particularly at reinforcing accountability through a number of actions: performance contracts, training, open forum and dialogue, ensuring  progress of communication and consultation programs implemented by the ministries, improving the capacity of local government, development of coordinating systems, etc. Another objective of the project was to improve citizen participation by consolidating mechanisms of accountability or transparency. This involved the sensitization of the civil society in order to foster a better appreciation of issues relating to statutory reforms and available tools for keeping policy makers accountable.

The first component of the project was principally based on training, which “represents a crucial element in the strengthening of the public service that, in collaboration with the private sector, will nurture a more vibrant, inclusive and sustainable economic development” Ambassador François Pujolas stated. In this vein, more than 200 civil servants have been trained in various sessions facilitated by visiting French experts from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) and Expertise France, whereas 10 civil servants underwent training organised by ENA in Paris. An equal number of women and men have been given this opportunity in each training session.

The ambassador was “pleased with the outcomes of the project, the objectives of which have been attained to a large extent” and emphasized that this project has been “the fruit of an enduring cooperation between France and Ghana, especially in the area of decentralization and the public sector because, since 2006, the French government has disbursed 3.2 million euros to finance three projects within the sector”.

 

Empowering women to participate actively in the public sphere

Furthermore, as a means of promoting citizen participation – especially that of women and youth, a call for projects focusing on the reinforcement of links between civil society and local authorities was launched. Over 10 000 people benefitted from various actions carried out under the initiative. Also, 11 forums bringing together civil society and parliamentarians were organised to encourage interaction between the population and their representatives, in the Western region which served as the pilot site of the project.

The consolidation of the place of women in public discourse and in local governance, as well as the increase in representation of women at the district assembly level were major areas of concern. Sensitization campaigns were embarked upon, resulting in the training and networking of over a hundred women opinion leaders and policy makers.

Finally, the project has enabled the realisation of “green” micro-projects aimed at combatting deforestation, promoting solar energy and fighting global warming.  The co-chairperson of the committee, Madam Dorothy Onny, reiterated the ambassador’s comments by calling on the Ministry of local government and rural development and its partners to explore possible fields of cooperation and future projects to undertake with France in the domain of public sector reform.

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All set for Worlasi’s “Outerlane Concert” tomorrow!

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Worlasi was born and raised in Ghana, and he hails from Agbozume in Volta region. He is a figure painting artist and also a musician. He is a beast of a rapper, producer, singer and songwriter. His songs have been praised for being refreshing and inspiring and his lyrics, unrestrained and African.

Worlasi is an intriguing contrast: hyper confident yet humble, hungry for knowledge and simultaneously overflowing with it. His breakthrough single, Ay3 Adz3 set him apart from his peers. He caps off such focused and realistic lyricism with his mixtape project, Nus3, released in September 2016. Nus3 is a super jumbo bundle of motivation, assertiveness and self- belief. This was his first major project and it already has people calling him a god.

He released a second major project which has also nothing short of breathtaking and shot compelling visuals for two of his singles- One Life and Nukata. Since then he has worked and bagged features with artistes like EL, M.anifest, Hammer of Da Last Two, Sena Dagadu and shared songs with the likes of Sarkodie and Kwaw kese. He has shared stage with some of Ghana’s finest musical acts on platforms such as ACCRA [dot] ALT’s Sabolai Radio, rock group, Dark Suburb’s Awakening concert, Beatphreaks, The Unheard Voices etc.

 Worlasi wraps up this year’s success by performing songs from his upcoming EP (Outerlane) on Saturday, 16th December 2017 at 7pm at the Amphitheatre of Alliance Francaise Accra. The concert would be with the Safoa Band and Fans would be thrilled to a live performance of songs from the Outerlane EP. Also performing would be Alee & Dede, artistes who are signed to Worlasi’s record label.

Other featured artistes for this concert include Manifest, EL, Teephlow, Boyd, Extacy & Kwame X. Save the date and come with your friends and family to enjoy extraordinary mixture of Afro, Rap and Soul music!

 

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‘KOK StopOver Tour’ back this December

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After a successful beginning at Awoshie in the month of September 2017, Koo Ntakra and his friends return on December 16th for another mega street block of the ‘KOK StopOver Tour’.

With over three thousand in attendance at the first stop, the second promises to be sizzling hot inside Bubuashie, BN Pub, Bishop School on Saturday 16th December.

Koo Ntakra who recently released his 2nd studio album ‘KOK’, is to be joined on stage on the night with an array of his colleagues including dancehall diva Renner, Tee Rhyme, Amerado, Phrame, Addi Govnor, Bassaw and a host of other arts, as well as surprises from some of the artists featured on his KOK Album.

The ‘KOK StopOver Tour’ is a Gulfcoast Entertainment & Dekins Entertainment event, powered by Coloured Frutz, with support from ignite Creatives, BankyNation and all our media partner.

The event is a free concept which looks to bring the artists closer to their fans in a more interactive way, as well promote other up and coming talents across board.

 

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Obrafour, STONEBWOY, Pappy Kojo, Medikal, VVIP, others join Kinaata for ‘Made in Taadi Concert’, Dec 23

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Over 20 Artistes are billed to perform at Kofi Kinaata’s 23rd December ‘Made in Taadi Concert.’

The much anticipated concert which will be hosted at Jubilee Grounds in Takoradi will witness 20 known artistes across Ghana thrill the attendees to good music. At a press launch in Takoradi on December 7, Kinaata told the media that he gets calls from his colleague artistes daily who show interest in the concert.

“I get calls daily from my colleague artistes. Some are even ready to pay for their own bills to Takoradi. If people who are outside Takoradi are this eager about the concert, I can only imagine what my Taadi people are waiting for” Kinaata told the media at the Best Western Atlantic Hotel yesterday.

The Public and Media Relations Officer of the concert, Nana Kwesi Coomson mentioned that Obrafour, Stonebwoy, Medikal, VVIP, Kwaw Kese, Pappy Kojo, Donzy, Nero X, Ayesem, Sayvee, Afedzi Perry, Aya, Ayma, Ras Ebo, Snow B and almost every Sekondi-Takoradi Artiste will perform at the concert.

He also reiterates the concert as a “strategy to project the Artistes from Sekondi-Takoradi.”

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Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation to Fete Beneficiaries

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The Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation (CAMF) established in memory of the mother of the MUSIGA President Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour is to fete youngsters in the Juaso area as part of its activities for the Christmas holidays.

According to Obour, CAMF will undertake a series of clean up exercises in Juaso and Obogu on December 24 and 25 and climax with the Christmas party for the youngsters. In addition to providing the youngsters with entertainment and refreshing them, they will also receive sanitary products from the Foundation to promote their personal hygiene. Some of the items to be presented include personal hygiene products like toothbrushes, toothpastes, deodorants and soap. Meanwhile the Foundation has begun processing application forms from applicants for support for their education.

Speaking at the launch of the Foundation, the Chairman of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and National Youth Organizer, Sammy Awuku applauded Obour and his siblings on such a bold initiative to both honor the memory of their late mother while contributing to the socio-economic development of the community. He assured the Foundation of the support of the agency in their operations.

The Asante Akyem South MP Lawyer Asante Boateng on his part commended Obour and his siblings on the establishment of the Foundation and assured them of his support to realize their aspirations.

The Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation will provide scholarships to successful applicants to pursue courses at various levels of their education. CAMF will support brilliant students who are financially handicapped especially the girl child from the deprived rural communities of Juaso and adjoining communities through the provision of scholarships at the tertiary level. The Foundation is also to promote sanitation and personal hygiene as critical pillars to health, survival, and development in the Asante Akyem area.

According to Obour, the decision to establish the foundation is due to his mum’s selflessness and strong, unshakable conviction in education as a lifeline to poverty eradication. He says, knowing the value of education, his mother endured enormous sacrifices to educate him and his siblings. He added that the foundation is also to celebrate the unwavering and strong leadership qualities of Christiana Addo as a role model for all women especially single mothers.

The Christiana Addo Memorial Foundation was set up with the vision to become an organization that impacts lives and helps transform and bring sustainable development to the Asante Akyem Area especially the South, Central and North Districts of the Asante Akyem rural area.

 

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Richard Addisson Foundation Marks Ten Years Of Successive Growth [+images]

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The RICHARD ADDISSON FOUNDATION (TRAF) a non-governmental youth philanthropy is marking 10 years of giving assistance to the less privileged in Ghanaian communities.

TRAF was founded by Richard Addison, the CEO of Kent Investment, a multi-layered firm that currently holds investments in the fields of Agriculture (Kent Farms), haulage services (ARE Haulage Services), an IT/information system and management company (K.SIS) and recently acquired major stake in a Digital Graphics and Advertising company  (Beyound Graphics).

The foundation which was set up to put smiles on the faces of the very poor, needy and under privileged across the country is marking the decade of doing good with the launch of an after school programme in collaboration with Matic Foundation run by Award winning Hiplife act Trigmatic.

The After Work Programme which will be cordinated by Trigmatic, Teachers in the chosen communities benefiting from the programme and leaders of TRAF will focus on Maths and Science, Sex Education and First Aid.

“When charity began at home, me, you and every young adult did not sit down for Bill Gates to dole out money for the eradication of Malaria on our, we gave up a bottle of beer for one treated mosquito net everyday”- Richard Addison

“TRAF started ten years ago by distributing thousands of mosquito nets on annual basis to help eradicate malaria which is a predominant illness killing these poor and needy who sleep around the central business district of Sekondi Takoradi, and also to all the major hospital in the metropolis.”

The Richard Addison Foundation (TRAF), now focuses on projects ranging from farming, provision of water and renovation of schools for deprived communities.

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