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Rocky Dawuni meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau @ World Environment Day

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Ghana’s GRAMMY Nominated Music Star, Rocky Dawuni joined the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and Canadian Minister of Environment & Climate Change, Catherine Mckenna to celebrate World Environment Day which was hosted by the Government of Canada.

Dawuni was invited alongside UN Goodwill Ambassadors, actor Adrian Grenier (Entourage) ,  musician / surfer / activist Jack Johnson and UNEP Director Eric Soldeim.

Celebrating under the theme  “With Nature” the Ghanaian musician travelled alongside Minister Mckenna and invited officials to participate in events in Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa and Niagara Lake where Dawuni met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Minister Mckenna expressed her appreciation for Dawuni’s visit with a tweet afterwards expressing their mutual commitment to the environment and collaborations and partnership with the artist and between Ghana and Canada on climate action.

 

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At 9, DJ Switch makes history as the youngest nominee for Ghana DJ Awards.

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The 9-year-old female DJ, Switch, has emerged as the youngest DJ ever nominated for the Ghana DJ Awards.

The young DJ in Ghana who hit headlines after appearing on a talent show on TV3 in 2017, was given platforms to exhibit he impeccable talent at major shows including the Ghana DJ Awards and Ghana Meets Naija.

DJ Switch who is known privately as Erica Tandoh emerged overall winner of the last year’s TV3’s Talented Kidz Show held in Accra, and a year on she has bagged three nominations for the 2018 Ghana DJ Awards; Discovery of the Year, Event DJ of the Year and Best Female DJ of the Year.

With over 30 award categories, including lifetime achievement award and best international DJ of the year, Ghana DJ Awards 2018 is expected to draw DJs from across the country and beyond for awards and recognition.

If DJ Switch wins any of the awards she has been nominated for, her name will go into history books as the youngest winner at Africa’s biggest DJ event.

All eyes are set on DJ Switch to come Saturday, May 5 at the Accra International Conference Centre.

 

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Abeiku Santana’s Kaya Tour flies two kids to Turkey for International Children’s Festival

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Leading destination and travel tour agency, Kaya Tour has jetted off two children from the Holy Child School at Madina in Accra to Turkey for the 21st edition of International Children’s Festival which kicked off from April 20 and will end on April 29.

The two, Christie Dekportor, a JSH 1 student and Nadia Issah Banaya also in primary 3 pupils left Ghana on Sunday, April 22 for Gaziemir, a district of İzmir Province in the Aegean region of Turkey for the week-long event. The duo will as part of the program exhibit the culture of Ghana through making of beads, acting, music, dance and other forms of entertainment.

The Chief Executive Officer for Kaya Tour, Abeiku Aggrey Santana speaking at the airport on Sunday during the children‘s departure disclosed that Dekortor and Nadia were carefully selected out of the numerous kids in the country. According to him, about eleven students were to leave Ghana for the Gaziemir International Children‘s Festival but parents of the others were not forthcoming hence the decision to fly only the two who are currently in Turkey.

He promised to increase the number in the coming years to help children inculcate tourism habit at a tender age. Christie Dekportor and Nadia Issah Banaya interacting with the press at the Kotoka International Airport before leaving Ghana on Sunday promised to represent Ghana well at the 21st International Children’s Festival.

According to organisers of Gaziemir International Children’s Festival, the aim is to help children from other countries exhibit their culture and support world peace.

The trip for the two kids to Turkey was fully funded by Kaya Tours.

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Ghana’s first eye health documentary launched to combat childhood blindness

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Health officials in Kumasi, Ghana had front row seats for the premier of Ghana’s first documentary film on eye health. The film, an innovative tool for social change, will be rolled out this month to reduce preventable and treatable blindness and visual impairment in the country by changing the way communities access eye healthcare services.

The training of film facilitators, in partnership with Ghana Health Services, has equipped healthcare officials from four districts; Afigya Kwabre, Atwima Kwanwoma, Bosomtwe and Ejisu Juaben to take the film into their communities to bring about social change and raise awareness around eye health.

The film, titled Meresa Biom (Dancing Again), was produced by international NGO Orbis with funding from Standard Chartered Bank’s Seeing is Believing (SiB) initiative. Since 2014 Orbis has worked in Ghana in collaboration with the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), international NGO Himalayan Cataract Project and the Ministry of Health with the aim to strengthen child eye health at KATH, the city of Kumasi and the neighbouring Ashanti region. The investment from SiB is funding Orbis’s work at community-, primary- and district levels in the healthcare and education systems to contribute to the reduction of childhood blindness and visual impairment in the Ashanti region.

A research study by acclaimed South African anthropologist, Dr Susan Levine, was the catalyst for Orbis’s decision to harness the power of film to drive its prevention and treatment models for avoidable childhood blindness on the African continent. Levine’s study, the first of its kind in Africa, revealed a series of barriers and obstacles that are preventing children from accessing vital medical intervention which could prevent childhood blindness.

“Overcoming these barriers required innovative communication methods hence Orbis’s decision to harness the power of film,” explains Lene Øverland, Orbis International Africa Regional Director. “Facilitated Film Screenings have proven to be an effective communications tool for achieving social change.”

Orbis International Africa first partnered with STEPS (Social Transformation and Empowerment Projects), who pioneered the facilitated film screening methodology, in 2014. STEPS, a special collaboration between filmmakers from Southern Africa and European broadcasters, produced the documentary to initiate social change and pioneer awareness of eye disease. The first eye health film was produced in South Africa, followed by two films for Zambia. Meresa Biom, the fourth eye health film on the continent, is a first for Ghana.

Meresa Biom follows 9-year-old Hikmah, a passionate pupil and avid dancer living with her parents in Kumasi, Ghana. The film reflects on her experience of dealing with an injury to her eye while playing

with friends, a year earlier. Through personal accounts from Hikmah, her family members and an Orbis-trained ophthalmologist, we hear how unnecessary delay impacted her vision. The film encourages seeking treatment immediately when noticing any abnormality with a child or an adult’s eyes or vision.

The STEPS facilitated screening model combines film with facilitation as a powerful tool to promote debate and discussion and bring about enlightened social change. STEPS film screenings are always contextualised with personal testimonies and are followed by a discussion where facilitators encourage the audience to decide on individual and group action as a way forward. Actions can include challenging stigma and discrimination, the decision to seek services or to advocate for access to high quality equitable eye health services.

“With the number of blind children in Ghana estimated to be more than 9,000 and with 50% to 70% of these cases being avoidable, there is a need for effective public-private partnerships. Since 2010, Orbis International Africa has worked to pilot the most appropriate model for comprehensive child eye health in Africa and works closely with Ministries of Health and other key partners on this model,” says Øverland.

Ghana has achieved laudable results with regards to the Millennium Development Goals. especially in the areas of poverty, safe drinking water and education. However, health objectives, particularly maternal health and communicable disease have lagged.

Commenting on the documentary Mrs. Mansa Nettey, Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited said, “Standard Chartered Bank, through its Seeing is Believing initiative, is excited to be collaborating with Orbis to provide a holistic approach to health systems strengthening. Our investment in eye health in Ghana will see various sectors collaborating to improve the quality and effectiveness of eye care services particularly for children and the promotion of positive health seeking behaviour within low income communities in Ghana.”

 

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Ghana DJ Awards to honour Mark Okraku Mantey

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The Ghana DJ Awards will honour renowned Ghanaian artiste manager,  Disc Jockey and President of the Creative Arts Council Mark Okraku with a Lifetime Achievement Award at its 2018 edition slated for Saturday, May 5 at the Accra International Conference Center.

In an interview the Founder and CEO for the award, Merqury Quaye revealed that the ‘retired’ disc jockey, who is now the head of programs at Multimedia owned Hitz 103.9 FM, will be given the special award for his contribution to the DJ profession.

“We are honouring Mark Okraku for his contribution to ‘deejaying’ in Ghana. For those who are quite old, they would remember the great work Mark did when he was at Joy FM. He was one of the few DJ at that time and we deem it fit to honour him,”

Mark Okraku also played at Balm Tavern as a nightclub DJ. At the same time, he played at several parties, leaving a mark of excellence at each.

As programs manager at Hitz 103.9fm, Mark has powered the agenda of DJing, helped recruit top DJs including Ghana’s finest hypeman, Merqury Quaye,  and facilitating the unearthing of unique talents through radio talent shows.

Mark Okraku-Mantey attended Datus Complex Schools (Bubuashie) and continued to St. Augustine College in the Central region. In his school days, he was the first student to be allowed to play as official Disc Jockey for St. Augustine College.

His ‘production thing’ started in 1996 when a guy called Amponsah came to him at Joy FM because he wanted him to play his songs on air since he (Mark) was a DJ, He (Amponsah) later came back and said he was having problems producing his songs So he (Mark) should help him, and that was his (Mark) wake up call.

A few albums that have been under his umbrella are Nana Tuffour’s – ‘Tontonte’, Kojo Ashkan’s – ‘Me Nse Ato Biso’, Felix Bell’s – ‘Butterfly’, Ohene Kissi’s – ‘Kabiribiri Kyere Me’.

Many music fans were carried away by Oheneba Kissi’s ‘ABC of Love’ because it was a hit, It sold over 400, 000 copies, which was followed by Daasebre Dwamena’s ‘Kokokoko’ also becoming a hit from Slip’s camp. Most of the hiplife artistes left him cos he went off for a whole year, but there were still some loyal ones like Adane Best, Kudjo Sasu, and Felix Bell.

The Ghana DJ Awards was created to celebrate and appreciate the talents of Disc Jockeys (DJs) who promote Ghana music. The Awards is an exciting annual program designed to foster the development of the Ghana music industry by rewarding and celebrating Radio, Mobile and Club Disc Jockeys who have excelled in their fields of endeavour. It is, actually, the only national award scheme in Africa that appreciates and celebrates DJs for their work. It is also a platform that rewards veteran DJs who have blazed the trail in the music industry over the years.

The main objective is to recognize the electronic dance music scene and seeks to let the world know that the art of DJ’ing is a respected craft, with DJs playing a major role in the overall Music and Entertainment industry.

In 2012, the very first edition of the Ghana DJ Awards was conceived by Merqury Quaye, a DJ, music lover, renowned MC and radio show host. The very first edition was held at the National Theatre on 15th February 2012 and has been held annually since then.

 

 

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Rapper Teephlow to embark on “Thank you Central Region” Tour

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Rapper Teephlow after his VGMA 2018 record of the year is set to embark on a Thank you tour in his home Region Central Region.

The appreciation tour will see him pay a courtesy call on the Omanhene of the Ogua Traditional Council, the Central Regional Minister among others.

In an earlier interview with Accra based Television, First News Network, the State of Art expressed his happiness for winning the record of the year award.

TeePhlow has several songs to his credit including New Era, The Warning, Riding and Sei Hor.

Teephlow is signed onto SpyderLee Entertainment,  a member of the Groupe Nduom is also behind the huge success story of duo Keche. They are also organisers of the prestigious People’s Celebrity Awards.

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The Vodafone Red lounge, the real tech party at VGMA 2018

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Since taking over as headline sponsor of the Ghana Music Awards some six years ago, Vodafone has spared no expense to ensure that they add more than a bit more to the experience of their customers at the annual event.

It was Vodafone that started an added ambience of music, food and drinks on the side of the main night of VGMA at the VIP and presidential rooms of the Accra International Conference Centre. For about five years the telco brand entertained people it referred to as valued customers as they enjoyed the awards in those privileged rooms.

This year, however, Vodafone decided to flip the script and they did so by changing the name of the entertainment arena from a room to a lounge, thus Red Lounge was introduced at the 19th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards last Saturday night. It has always been Red Room

While the name may have changed, it was still a Vodafone event and so came with all the trappings of what the brand has been known for on VGMA nights: class, food, drinks, music and a real reddish party atmosphere.

There were couches, settees and there also were the bars that served all manner of drinks. And then the stand that served the grills, mini-sandwiches and wraps, fruits, cake and other such canapés to the very privileged few who got invited by Vodafone to the place reserved for its key consumers.

The new idea of engaging with the consumers in the Red Lounge is the inclusion of technology to depict the new focus of Vodafone as the telecom brand that is leading the way into the digital space.

First was the invitation by an SMS alone and a simple SMS scan at the entrance to allow those invited to enter the lounge! No invitation cards. Next was how drinks were ordered via an app on tablets. No shouting to order drinks and food and definitely no jostling between people.

And then there was the robot engagement inside the Red Lounge. The role of the robot in the lounge was multiple: it showed patrons the way to the washroom and also took a picture and printed for them.

The pre-event party in the Red Lounge started from 7pm-9pm with guests arriving to take a bite or two and have a drink while songstress Yaa Yaa crooned melodious songs with the support of her band and also strummed her guitar strings away into the night.

Starr FM’s DJ Vyrusky was on hand to help Yaa Yaa with good music from his turntables and also sent the lounge into a party mood after the main event during the post-event party. The party went on until the dawn as MC Kabutey Ocansey became the hype-man on the night.

It must be mentioned that space was a bit small to contain the partying crowd, there was some confusion at the entrance to the lounge and it seemed the noise level was too much to have a decent chat with the robot during the after party.

However, the transformation of the left wing of the AICC into a club feel, the addition of technology in the experience and the uniqueness in the setup and engagement need commendation. It was another awesome addition to the VGMA experience by the brand that knows how to do it best!

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