Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why Obama must win

Regardless what you might think of the man and how objective we're trying to be, let's not ignore the obvious. If Barack Obama loses his bid for re-election today, no matter what the reasons may be, he screws up posterity for the Black Man. And there a lot of people who can not wait for this to happen. A lot of things go unsaid in this world, but you know we'd have just given these guys an excuse to scoff at affirmative action. And they'd have a painful reference point. The beauty of democracy, some would argue. Is it though? The first votes have already been cast. Whatever happens, we're about to take a new turn in history. Hopefully we take the one that allows us to still proudly tell our kids they too can be president, without cringing. I'm just saying.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Flee from Marketing BS.

Jargons. I blame them for the decline in innovation. One person tried something new. it worked. People copied. it got inducted into the "best-practice" hall of fame. And then everybody jumps onto the bandwagon, even those who have no idea why the bandwagon exists and what it actually used to stand for.

I hate jargons. And the more i work in advertsing the more i detest them. I feel infected when people use them near me. It always makes me question their motives.

Sometimes you catch yourself asking whether all people have done is find ways to fit a marketing brief into their favourite jargon set and build statements and campaigns around them. I want to bang my head against a (soft, cushioned) wall whenever one slips from my mouth. And i admit they do.

But they only do because for a moment there's a gap in my thought process and a big fat jargon makes me sound nice and impressive again. But in the back of my head, a little voice is saying "you uneducated wanker, you couldn't say that in plain english?" And i speak about advertising but it's not just in advertising. Bankers use them. But Politicians are going for the title.

It's a shroud. When someone can't say what he's going to do in simple English, he either hasn't thought it through properly, or he has no idea what he's talking about in practical terms. And that's because without a big fat jargon to fill up a gap, we actually have to explain the WHATs and the WHYs. And those require thought.

I wish they would make these helmets for real. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Irreplaceable advice for Entrepreneurs.

Must see for anyone considering a start-up. From people who have walked the walk and are still going.

Thanks to Debbie Landa (@deblanda) and www.venturebeat.com for this.

The mammary scale.

So, quick thing. The average boob weighs about 1.1lbs and should contain about 4-5 percent of body fat. Ladies, it's a blessing to weigh more. This is not college. D's are good things now. Get weighed by a helping hand. Or hands. Your choice. Male hands if you can find such a thing. Effective scales, those.

Good talk. #tuningtotokyo

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to make a teaser.

Yes, i'm getting it. No, i'm not ashamed. And Ruddi, if you're reading this, i'm still not a geek.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

If Felix Baumgartner had jumped here...

How would that have played out? Well just randomly, off the top of my head...

T-1 hour: Meteorological service confirms that we have excellent weather ahead. 

T-43 minutes: It begins to rain. Obscenely. Meteorological service is stunned. This wouldn't be the first time.

T-41 minutes: Countdown suspended because ECG has intervened.

T- 34 minutes: Countdown restored by back up generator

T- 32 minutes: Countdown suspended as we switch back to main power. ECG restored.

T-30 minutes: Countdown interrupted as ECG fails. Again.

T-29 minutes: Committee formed to determine whether to wait for ECG to restore power or fuel generator and proceed.

T-26 minutes: Countdown resumes as mission control committee decides we carry on with generator power.

T-15 minutes: Vice President's motorcade arrives

T-13 minutes: Cultural display begins

T-10 minutes: Minister of space jumps takes podium to deliver speech on how current government is dedicated to boosting the economy with more space jump initiatives backed by funding from UNESCO, WHO, and China. Also there will be free SHS.

T-2 minutes: He's still going.

T-1 minute: Bola Ray takes over countdown... "alraaa, are you readey?" "i said are you readey!?!"

T- 30 seconds: Feedback from the mic over the PA system

T- 9 seconds: Bola reminds us that this jump is brought to us by MTN. Everywhere you go.

T-3 seconds: Lift off. Someone hadn't synchronized their watch properly.

Felix's Felix's balloon rises slowly and elegantly for a while. Then suddenly begins to drift towards Labadi Beach.

Mission control assures him that all is well, It's just the north-east trade winds.

Sure enough, the balloon rights its course and soars into the atmosphere. We can still hear Felix loud and clear. Bola interjects that communication is sponsored by MTN.

10,00 ft... 20,000.... 50,000... 

"Mission control: Hello Felix... can you hear us" No response.

Mission control redials. Over the PA system we hear "Everywhere you go, there's always sky big beautiul... " Felix picks up "hello, hi Ghana, i'm still here... still rising... such a wonderful view... i can see... " Call cuts.

Mission control redials: " We hear Jessica instead. The MTN number you have dialled canot be reached at the moment..."

At 100,000 feet, Felix is floating high over accra. Unable to reach mission control for some reason he sits tight hoping that once Mission control realizes, they will abort the mission and you know, send the Airforce in or something. Oh sweet, sweet Felix.

So he continues to soar in faith. Unaware that he's about to be introduced to another particularly African concept. The concept of "efie fuo... house people." As it turns out, his "House people" have been looking for him... ahem.


Nah. You know I'm just playing. Of course it'd have gone perfectly. 





Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Tastes are changing, flavourless broth.

Used to be effort came forth to create content,

But now it comes fourth,

Effortless mediocrity over a beat keeps us content.


Production standards drop a jaw

Fruit drags us to the dance floor.

But what are standards for

When one about a presidential banana

just came thru the door?

Nothing. I guess we'll swallow raw.


Music and media used to reek of creativity

But now there's no accountability,

no old-fashioned responsibility

Spit it, ship it; that's productivity.

Audiences ingest mediocrity,

Screw craft and consistency,

Ignore anything near memorability,

F**k posterity.

...or maybe this is just me, wallowing in subjectivity.







Saturday, September 22, 2012


I really like this. And if you think about how much time went into the editing, you can't even hate. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Apple doesn't care.

The iPhone5 is out, and everyone has an opinion. Even you. Many have taken royal pisses at it. But hate it or love it, it sure got your attention. Probably still does - and that's all it really needs. 

Regardless of the taunting most notably from Samsung and Nokia (or some really huge fans of theirs) who released ads that stack up specs and attempt to portray theirs as the better phone, it seems the guys at Apple cant be bothered. And for good reason.

There's this theory in marketing, that if a challenger brand can get the market leading brand to notice it enough that the market leader feels the need to retaliate or defend themselves, then the audience considers the challenger brand as the market leader's equal.

Apple doesn't need to prove anything to anyone, maybe in the 80s they did, but not now. And surely not to you and your list of stacked specs. Here are guys who don't do consumer research, remember? They decide what you need - like hawkers in Lagos - and it turns out they're getting better at it, because the pre-orders are being made and come the 21st, the lines shall form. Profits will be made. 

So, now i wonder: what if we decided as individuals to not need to prove anything to anyone? What if we just plowed on, totally confident in ourselves and abilities? What if we all just decided to.. how do i put this eloquently... F***k the haters? It seems once again Apple is showing us the way. 

Siri, how do i f**k the haters?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Fear.

Nothing that ever changed the world happened in a comfort zone. Even Newton took a risk by sitting under the apple tree on a windy day. Risk fascinates us. It lures us. But we fear it.

Mafia capos have such a reputation because they take risks everyday that present life threatening hazards. But it's their seeming immunity to the fear of retribution that comes along with it that we eulogize. "What the worst could happen? i could get whacked... it's a possibility, but i'm okay wth that." And once you're okay with that, nothing else seems really threatening.

Many of us long to be equally brave and in control of our own destinies. But we're stranded by fear. Nothing as profound as death. No. Things more important. Like... the fear of losing the monthly salary, for example. The fear of what society thinks - and sometimes society consists of your boys and the girl you're dating), and of course the fear of failure. And those are just a few of many. So we stay in our comfort zones too scared to move.

But like a baby that lets go of her walker for the first time, could mastering our fear be the key to discovering our purest potential? I don't know. But i'm certain comfort zones kill. Even yours.

You okay with that?


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Did you see it coming?

I wonder whether you knew? Did the doctors tell you? Were you aware how long you had left? Did you decide to keep going regardless? We will never know. But we will never forget. 

Sometimes i didnt think you really fit in. i found you too calm, too quiet. Very unlike the politicians we are used to. I wondered whether this was a game you should be playing. But you did.

Sometimes i wonder whether you were under pressure. Whether the people around you allowed you to be the President you wanted to be. But it is what it is.

We can only hope that those who come after you will love this nation and hold her interests as closely to their hearts as you did.

i do not know why you didnt resign and rest. Put your health first. Decide to place your interests first. But whatever reasons you have, i hope the ride was worth it.

You gave this nation your dying breath and for that nobody will ever be able to deny your dedication. You were a gentleman and you stayed true to your nature till the very end.

RIP sir. it's finally over.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Another customer service cow.

Dear JM, the woman who answers your phone is a cow. Let's just get that out of the way.

On Wednesday, i sent my car to Japan Motors in Tema to get the windscreen replaced. This customer service lady said it'd be ready the next day. On thursday afternoon, she casually informs me that they realized they didnt have windscreens to put on the car so they had to get one from the Accra office. By the time it came it was 4pm and "we had closed". On friday she says it'll be ready by midday. Meanwhile she is unable to give me a bill before midday. Cool.

At 3pm she calls me to say the estimated price has shot up by over 50% percent. Why? "It's not our fault. The dollar." I'm not even mad because i know i'm getting my car back that evening. She says i should send someone to pick up the car and hurry up because they will close soon. Now i'm the one holding the process back? Cool. I send someone over to go and pick up the car in tema.

At 4:15 she calls to say that they have found leakages in the windscreen and hence the car is not ready. So the person shouldnt come and the car will have to stay over becase they cant fix it.They cant fix it "because it's past 4 and we have closed" and "we dont work on weekends".

I suggest that since i've been so inconvenienced and someone is already half way there they could at least spare a few more minutes to finish with my car, She responds "i dont know who will stay here to do that job because we live far away in Accra...". 

This morning i call her - note, i had to call her - and she says, (and this is word for word) "i was even trying to call you... the car would have been ready by now, but when they took it to the washing bay someone used something to hit it..." i exclaim... "yes, it's not serious, someone just used their car to hit the back so we have even decided to fix it for you that's why it's taking time."

And that is how i was informed of the damage to my car. When i asked her to put me thru to a more senior (read intelligent) person, she got offended. Ha!

Anyways, the car wasnt bashed by another car, it had picked up a scratch from someone's carelessness which they were fixing. I'm calm till i see it tomorrow. But the point is, there are obviously more sensible and sensitive staff. So why is this twit the interface between you and your customers?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Melanin in your skin

Do Black Africans have innate low self-esteem? No? Yes? Is it caused by Melanin?

Why is Africa still where it is? Why are we still so sheepishly reverent of the White man? Yes, they built the Ships and came here. But when they came why were we so overwhelmed? why didnt we say "ooooh... cool boat, but come this way and check out how we made this tree grow from bird crap... Organic baby!" or something.

It's not all of Africa, just the black bit. Because Egyptians were way ahead. Until recently. But i digress. Why is Sundiata the only guy from Black Africa to have made some sort of early world impact. Why didn't God pick Noah from Black Africa (Theology students, relax... i'm just making a point). 

Why does Christo Asafo whatever his name is, think that by {re}inventing a car, he's achieved something worthy of attention? Why are we intrigued with something that Ford showed us in 1903 and Egyptians showed us even earlier? Wouldnt his time be better spent i dunno... making a fuel that can run my car on cocoa, shea butter and sand? Relevant? I'd say. Especially because he'd have done something that can make the white man wide-eyed. Instead of making TVs that turn on when you clap. How do you watch soccer or an action movie with that?

Why are we so eager to welcome and instantly believe that the White man is more experienced, more knowledgeable, more this and more that? Even at the expense of our own flesh and blood?Ghanaians are hospitable? yeah, to the White man.

Oh wait. because Jesus was white. And we're made in His image. Well, they are. 

More on this later.



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Women's Day,

From the freaks, the ladies, the quiets, the crazies,

the ones we once loved who now have babies...

To the naggers, the playettes, the feminists, the divas,

 the afrocentric fashionistas rocking Davivas...

From the old, to the young, the fair, the dark,

To the tall, the short,

even the ones who play sport...


From the smart, the awesome, the downright cumbersome, 

To the A cups, and the D’s, even those who're troublesome 

From the ones who flaunt it and make us quake in the knees,

To those who stare and just say ugh, please...

From the made up, the natural, the woven on, the bald…

To the manicured, the pedicured,

the wont be bothered, cant be cured...


From the hard to get, the difficult to maintain,

the long life partners, the hard to explain...

To the bold, the strong,

the ones who keep this world moving along...


From all the women who inspire us

even to those who must always get their own way...

here's a note just to say, 

Happy Women's day.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


55 years ago, Ghana was a start-up and Nkrumah was the entrepreneur behind it. The Patrick Awuah of his day, if you will. He put toil and blood into it and made it flourish as much as possible. He was passionate about his business and he invested in it.

But now the founder has gone away and the business has lost it's soul, inspiration and drive. Now it's being managed by people who dont see it as theis and just want to milk it dry. The've formed unnecessary alliances, there's so much office politics - pun intended - internal power struggles, ass-kissing and unecessary pettiness. Innovation is stifled. Stagnant mediocre groupthink sets in.

New management has no empathy for the employees. Once in a while, the management does something that seems nice, and because the employees are so used to such crappy standards, even the littlest things seem... ahem... gargantuan.. But the saddest part is that these little things aren't perks, they're things that management is supposed to do! But, HR is not too effective, so there.

Management grows detached from the employees. The leaders eventually stop leading and focus on enriching themselves. The employees lose interest, arent as dedicated, and just coast and stop demanding. At least the paycheck is constant. And so it continues. Everybody just dey.

Nkrumah's generation was a much prouder generation of Africans. They believed in themselves. Even the way they spoke was different. Had a tinge of learnedness. They made things happen and became an active force to reckon with internationally. But now this entire generation seems to have low self-esteem. We've dropped the ball. Woefully. But all isn't completely lost. We're 55. There's still time to grow up.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Survival guide.

Those of you of a more mushy disposition are probably already aware of tomorrow's significance. Fine. Whatever. Some of us only just discovered today's date and it's implications an hour ago. So what to do? You could go out and try to find an open shop and buy something, but then the question is, what do you get? Roses? I've never understood the logc behind giving someone fresh flowers that will fade away, die and proceed to rot in a few hours, as a significance of your affection.

Chocolate is an option... but then you have to get one of those expensive ones. You cant buy Kingsbite, unless your intention is to generate shock and annoyance. So... it has to be one of those foreign sounding ones from Geneva. But then, she'll gobble it all up, and then what? You'll have no evidence of your affection. And thus another dead end.

So now, your mind may drift to Brazilian hair - the gift that keeps on giving - however, unless you know any actual brazilians willing to shave on your account Why would anyone spend the equivalent of 48 bags of cement to prove a point? And all that effort will evvaporate by the 15th anyways.

So, solution? Feign ignorance. If she brings it up go "nooo... that was today?!"

or take the high road. Say to her "baby, i love how our releationship is so trancedental that we dont need fleeting materialistic elements to prove our afection for each other." At this point, she cant sulk, cuz on one hand it's a compliment - albeit a complement that gets you off the hook - but one none the less. Bliss.

If all else fails, pick a good fight. Make it something that deserves at least a day's worth of sulking. Be careful though. They see these things coming especially during this dangerous period. So you'll have to find something natural, something she wont see coming, like walk in when she's watching TV and go  "Baby, i thought we agreed you wouldnt watch TV3 news? Why do we keep having these issues! Why do you make this so difficult!" Then quickly walk out! Hopefully she wont recover till Friday. Be warned you have to do this before midnight tonight, otherwise she will catch on!


Clean Bathrooms 2.

Ok, forget public bathrooms. I have an even more fundamental problem wtih people who don't keep their personal bathrooms clean. Yes i'm back to this because it's the kind of thing that causes divorces. All that alleged love WILL die when you discover their horrendous bathroom manners. Why do you think there are couples walking around angry with each other for no reason?

Have you ever walked into a bathroom in a respectble place - office, household, establishment, whatever - where seemingly respectable people are supposed to live and work... and then you walk into their disastrous bathroom and think, what the... wait a minute!! 

Then you look at the people and now in the back of your head you're like, so you, upon your tie and big english... still? Yes, obviously i take this bathroom thing very personally, but i think i'm finally done. It's not rocket science. It's just basic courtesy, right?

"Do unto the bathroom what you would have other people do unto it beforeyou get there". Or maybe it's not so simple.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Clean Bathrooms

I hate public bathrooms. And if you went to a local secondary school or you've seen some of the ones i have, you'd understand. Clean bathrooms should be part of the requirements for registering a business. They should be an aspect of customer service. But many places - even hotels seem unable to grasp this concept, hence shocking results.

And this extends to taps. Look, if you haven't switched to motion activated taps, we have a problem. Because unless they're disinfected every ten minutes, those taps are just bacterial infections waiting to kill you.

While we're on the subject, running water is always a necessity. A note on the mirror that says "please the pipe is not flowing" is a call to be publicly flogged. So what happens in an emergency? Most people try to get home. But history has shown life can be cruel to even the manliest of men. So here are some of the cleanest bathrooms people have suggested, just in case you ever have a code red.

The Alisa Hotels - North Ridge. Fiesta Royal - Achimota Highway
Holiday Inn - Airport
Marvels - Dzorwulu
Golden Tulip, Kumasi (the Accra one is meh) If you can make it to any of these, you should be fine. If not, may the force be with you.