Monday, May 24, 2010

Glo Paaaaa!!

To borrow atokd's words, "Glo paaa, they didnt even come now they're going." Seriously? these people must be joking. U cant come and daa da the whole nation like that. Are you mad? I read the article in the Graphic today and i really hope it was one of those threat pieces, designed purposely to make the NCA, the minister of communications and whoever else it may concern sit up. You know - a threat piece - like when your girlfriend threatens to kill you the next time she catches you staring at another girls' breasts. She doesnt mean it, but it still makes you sit up and concentrate on driving.

Did Glo honestly expect to just walk into GH unopposed? Telecoms is big business, second only to oil. Did you people honestly assume that coming here to take your competitors' markets would be a walk in the park? Here in Ghana? Where everywhere you go, it's a wonderful world and you can express yourself because it's your time? Kasapa sef vex! Let's not be naive.

You came and promised greener paychecks and because of you many people who should probably have known better, got the courage to give their bosses the middle finger and walk out slamming the door. They had new jobs with Glo! Glo? the company that was rumoured to be so rich, that because they didn't yet have an office in GH, they were flying people in from Nigeria every day at 8am in the morning and taking them back to Lagos at 5:30pm everyday? yes, Glo.

Isn't it the same Glo that came and took over everything? The supporters' club, the premiership league, the CAF awards? Glo that flew in the two lovely Ladies that JAK was concentrating on that memorable night during the CAF awards? Glo that came and took over the streets and sidewalks of Accra, with all sorts of signages and ambient advertising? Glo that brought the green Glo Globes? the same Glo that has gone and allegedly signed all the music artists and film stars we see on the 1001 billboards and banners around Accra? Glo? whose local reps are pulling the fresh green 2009 Toyota Camry's? The same Glo that had the invitation only banquet at the State House just a few weeks ago?

Did you guys honestly think that while you were displaying this pomp and pageantry, your competitors-especially the one with the lousiest network known to modern man- would be sitting down with folded arms? Like i said, Kasapa sef vex. Even with their small market, you guys had taken their primary colour and were threatening to make them even more significant. so how much more the bigger boys? Now after teasing us for nearly 2 years you want to back out? dont be silly. Stop acting like a baby who's being bullied. You guys are Nigerian, you know this game. So dry your tears and play it, dammit! We have waited too long for your bloody network to start operation.

Maybe i should break it down some more. You guys, Glo, are the rich 33 year old man from a small town, who has just come home from abroad after getting a scholarship, going to school there and working small.

Ghana, is the 19 year old teenage girl you impregnated and promised to marry before you went. In other words, "that day when you said we should buy biscuit and come to your room so you could show us something. And we did something and you said we shouldnt tell our parents that we're pregnant but when you come you will marry us, and now you have come you dont want to marry us. eeeiii!! ".

And i am the teenage girl's father saying "bloody fool! You will marry the girl!!"

If you people back out of GH, you would have committed a crime that many men have committed in the past and regretted. It is known as leading on. In most cases the woman who has been led on, finds new creative ways to keep making your life miserable until you start paying her some attention financially or she publicly ruins you. Ask Mr. Anane. Ahem. Dont mess with GH Glo! After years of lousy networks, we aint got nuffn to lose!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

To Italy with love. Accra, Ghana.

2 nights ago, i was invited to dinner by one of my clients. She was leaving her company after 11 years and it was sort of her going away dinner. She wanted something quiet and exclusive. So we ended up at this interesting Italian place in Airport residential called Michaelangelo's.

Now first of all, you would never have known anything was happening there because the place was so quiet and inconspicuous. But sure enough when i walked into the stone and wood building, it was full. Everybody in there looked like they were either an Ex-pat or earned Ex-pat type cash. So i took my seat and proceeded to have the most amusing dinner of my life.

The guy who runs the place, Leo, is an elderly Italian man whose glasses hung from a string around his neck. We weren't given a menu. Instead he walked up to the table and asked... is there anyone here who does not eat ham? No? Ok... and then he walked off. Then a well spoken waiter showed up and asked "still water or sparkling?" i was like, cant i get anything else? to which he replied, you must have water first, sir. Ok then. So he brought the water, one bottle still, the other sparkling. I noticed they were both Italian brands. Interesting, i thought.

Then he came to take the drink orders. Red Wine or Peroni, he asked. What's Peroni i asked. Peroni, Perronnni he said to me smugly, Italian beer. I'm sure in his head he must've been thinking... how can this dude not know Peroni Italian beer? It's Italian! Funny, cuz in my head i was wondering how much this Ghanaian waiter was paid to be so enthusiastic about Italian beer.
Anyways i got the beer so i wouldn't seem like a pain in the u-know-what... and also because it didnt look like i could just order a coke in this place. It tasted horrible, but i faced it like a man.

Then the food began to arrive. Lemme just say that was the most pasta i've had in one single night! No wonder they didn't see the need for a menu... they knew what they had planned for us! Starter: pasta. Main dish: Square pasta. Dessert, A seafood platter of, you guessed it, pasta.

Anyways, my point is, it was an intrinsically exclusive experience [at an exclusive price]. And Leo's restaurant thrives, hidden inconspicuously somewhere in the heart of the Airport residential area. I would never have thought that a place which is so devotedly Italian, down to the paintings on the wall, could thrive without making any sacrifices to satisfy a larger audience. But it does... and judging from it's clientel, it will for a long time. It seems then, that it is still possible to carve out niches here, if you know how to fnd and keep your target audience.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the brief... not.

So we [my art director and I] were invited to "come up with ideas" for a new pitch. But when we were given the brief, we were given a set of "helpful ideas" to guide us. We've come up with 4 different sets of ideas since then and they kept getting killed.

Now, the entire team is huddled in a lounge and at the killing of our last and final idea, we're jumping on to the original set of "helpful ideas". It seems that was meant to be the direction all along. I dont think they wanted us to come up with any ideas at all, just develop the "helpful set".

We have 3 hours to deadline. We're huddled in our favourite brainstorming lounge and all the macs are fired up. It's going to be a looong 2 and a half hours. I love this game! I wish we had realized that when they said "come up with some ideas if you can.." what they actually meant was "dudes, we have a direction you guys shd just develop but because we dont want you to feel like you have no creative input whatsoever, humour yourselves and come up with some ideas we will just kill later. Goodluck..."

And the best part is... we WILL get it done.. and in time. That's how good we are!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Aunty Muni Celebrities

Today for the first time in ages, i went to auntie Muni's after church for a bit of Waakye with my boys. It's interesting to see how many people flock to the place each Sunday. There were so many people that the food ran out at a point, prompting one guy who was standing behind us in the line to start ranting about how she should "forecast" the Sunday crowd and make enough food. But i digress. After a few more minutes of waiting and my utter disbelief at the fact that Ato Kwamena Dadzie [who showed up there in a Nissan Xterra, ahem] is married to one hell of a sexy woman, we were soon chomping down on some really very good waakye.

I couldn't help wondering why there were so many human beings in this one place? i hear it's the place for local celebrities to hang out. So are people here because the food is good? or they want to feel like they are at the happening spot? or they want to be associated with the celebrity status of the place? makes me wonder.

This trend is so rampant in GH. All you have to do is find a good looking 20 something year old who likes to party and ask them where they party. You can always guarantee you'll hear the same places. Rhapsody's, Aphro, Rockstone's Office... blah blah blah! The result is that these places have no standing room on a good weekend night.

When Rhapsody's showed up, the entire GH party crowd decided they had to be there, so prices went up in a bid to make it exclusive, but still, you cant find standing space on a Friday night. Same thing is happening with Citizen Kofi, Club XL, and now much to my frickn' dismay Belaroma. The first time i went into Belaroma, i was wearing my jeans with signature slippers, and there wasn't a pipsqueak from the bouncers... there weren't even bouncers; just some dude sitting outside trying to look macho. I turned up there a few weeks ago and all of a sudden some huge dude informs me i cant come in with slippers. I was like huh? but considering his size, i decided it was best to comply and not argue. I walk in and you guessed it... there's only standing room! The annoying part is that it is the same bloody people!

All i want is a place i can go and have a good time and not be engulfed by familiar, celebrity wannabe, fashion disasters waiting to happen. I look around Aunty Muni's one last time as we decide to leave this crowd and eat our waakye in the peace and comfort of the Ashesi Campus. Good riddance to you all i murmur in my head. See you at Belaroma... or the mall... or Ridge Church.

Before i drive off, i take one final look at the woman who is supposed to be Ato Kwamena Dadzie's wife? How the hell did he land the woman with the voluptuous chest swaying her bountiful hips? How?

Democratic Lawlessness

Today, i heard a story of a young lady who was crossing a zebra marking too slowly for a trotro driver's liking. So he disembarked from his vehicle and attempted to beat her. Only in Ghana. Why is it that people can be so lawless in this country even when they are fully aware of the rules? Is it a failure on our parts or a failure of the system?

Why do people STILL toss out ice water sachets onto the road? Why do trotro drivers thrive on causing traffic violations? You'll notice they dont apologize for stopping suddenly in the middle of the road, blocking traffic to pick up passengers. Meanwhile the Bus stop is right there in front of them?! It's now common practice whenever there's a traffic jam for drivers who obviously have more important places to go than we do, to drive on the sides of the road, forming a third lane where there are supposed to be only 2 and eventually causing even more traffic; and nobody does anything about it. The police themselves whiz by with their hazard lights. I am personally tired of having to drive behind people who are not aware that in this country, the inner lane is the Speed lane!! But this stupidity transcends just our roads... it seems that the notion of democracy that we have translates into The freedom to do or say anything you like. Damn the consequences. And that is the problem.

Ministers and government officials recklessly abuse power forgetting the fact that being democratically elected means you are accountable to the people! Doctors go on fatal strikes because we are in a Democracy and it's their right. Lecturers put the future of this nation in peril each time they cease teaching and go on a Democratic strike. When the AMA proposed that cab drivers wear blue uniforms during CAN 2008 [a frankly unnecessary idea] one driver accosted him on TV talking about the fact that they would do no such thing because Ghana was a Democracy. The hawkers refused to get off the streets because we are a Democracy and they had rights. Every morning hundreds of callers call into radio talk shows and proceed to vent their strong, mostly unsubstantiated, groupthink based, sometimes libelous "views" all in the name of freedom of speech and Democracy. Only the Lord knows what will happen next in the name of Democracy. Freedom has been replaced by lawlessness. It makes me wonder whether this Democracy thing is the best way for us to be going; especially considering the state America is in now, where every little and seemingly simple decision making process is stalled by the fact that all groups want their rights taken into consideration. Gay rights, Animal rights, minority rights, majority rights, vegetable rights, this and that and the other! C'mon man. These guys have been at it for 200 years and even with a largely literate society they still dont seem to have gotten it right. When will we?

I think we need our own thing. Some have called it a Benevolent Dictatorship... whatever. But we need a system of rule where we follow a set of rigorously enforced rules regardless of our personal opinions or preferences. It's hard to say this but until we grow as a nation in terms of our sensibilities, a lot of us will need to be coerced into action or penalized for inaction. Whichever comes first. The challenge will be defining the "greater good" [for me it would be a nation where people wont hoard tickets for the Ghana Music Awards and sell them for triple the price at the gates] and finding a leader who can be powerful enough to be both feared and respected by his people, [Should he be in military attire? i dont know] and selfless enough to allow the next leader to take power when his time is up. Once we can cross this hurdle, we will be well on our way to transforming this country.

Do you think if a few traffic violating trotro drivers were slapped around in public by military personnel they would continue to be such idiots on the road? Remember the incident at 37 where a few of them were infact slapped around much to public horror and outcry? well guess what, there's no more traffic at that particular spot. Hmm...

It's not about us, it's about the greater good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

here we go again

For the first time this year, i will attempt to go back to blogging. Inspired by the Ad Contrarian and other less sensible ones that i really enjoy, i dont see why i shouldnt give the world my gift of the gab. it's not all about me, it's about you guys. i'm doing it for the greater good. yeah, right.

that's exactly what i was thinking when i stumbled upon this story here. I dont think i have heard any BS quite like this in a long time, apart from when my mechanic gives me reasons about why he hasnt finished with my car... or why he hasnt even showed up to pick it up..

But who am i to judge? It is indeed possible that she did get the TATTOO - ie, unremovable permanent source of shame - on her wrist because she was so devoted to this company that the only thing she felt she could do to prove that dedication was to get a tattoo. On the way to that inspiring decision however, she bypassed umm, let me see... actually doing better work that would boost the company's performance, devoting all her time to the services of the company - you know, working longer days and weekends, without pay - umm, what else? Volunteer work for the company she all so adored?

Or maybe she just did it cuz she thought... it's a 1000 dollars dammit. what the hell? i've done worse things for NO money before!! Ahem. You decide.