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.