Friday, 23 August 2013


                   KPB-9 international caps, 1goal.
Kevin Prince Boateng’s letter rescinding his retirement from international football has been accepted by the Ghana FA who have also welcomed his Milan team-mate Muntari back into the fold.

Kevin’s return means the Black Stars would have a quality attacking option back in midfield. The competition for places in Kwasi Appiah’s midfield is going to be especially fierce with both Milan players returning and Dede Ayew’s awaited return. 

Ghana normally lines up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Gyan either leading the line or playing in the centre of the 3 attacking midfielders (the hole).

If Appiah hands him a call-up, it would mean Asamoah Gyan moving up to the centre-forward role permanently and KPB either playing as a 10 or trequartista behind Gyan like he did to devastating effect behind the Swede; Ibrahimovic for Allegri’s Milan during their Scudetto triumph. For a team lacking in goal-threat, he can help Gyan by shouldering some of the scoring burden.

He could also partner Kuban Krasnodar’s Rabiu Mohammed in front of the back 4 where he would be the more attack minded of the two defensive midfielders and drive the team forward from deep; sort of like Paulinho at the Confederations Cup when he partnered the much more defensive-minded Gustavo in Brazil’s midfield.

The “BOA” is competent on the right flank and can put in a decent shift if required, though he struggled when he played there against Congo in the only match he played in Ghana during his first spell.

His return though, is going to rub a lot of Ghanaian football fans and Black Stars players the wrong way because the cynical lot will point to the fact that he used Ghana to get a good deal by playing in the World Cup and left when we needed him most.

His comeback is at a time where Ghana is probably three crucial matches away from qualifying for the mundial in Brazil, this may be seen by some as too convenient. But “the Prince” would know that in football, the only way to silence your critics is to put in good performances on the pitch (unless you are as lucky as Rafa Benitez).

For the Black Stars to qualify for and have a good World Cup, we need all the quality talent we can find and who are willing to play for us, like it or not KPB is quality and at the moment he is willing to play for us.

Probable Ghana formation with KPB; 4-2-3-1 ── Kwarasey (GK) - Opare (RB), Johnathan Mensah (CB), J. Boye (CB), H. Afful (LB) - M. Rabiu (DM), K. Asamoah (DM) - Dede Ayew (LM), KPB (CAM), Acheampong (RM) – A. Gyan (CF).

Thursday, 22 August 2013


Heads or tails, Ghana wins.
The final whistle just sounded, your favourite team has won the trophy, but after a very gruelling game you can’t or must not celebrate because it will offend the opposing teams’ supporters.

This is the situation the victors will have to contend with, that is if you can compare Ghana’s historic election petition to a heated football derby. As the date; August 29th draws closer and hinging on whether the Judicial Services call-off their strike scheduled for the 27th, everyone from hip-life artistes, pastors and even “politricksians” (the main source of the tensions) have added their two pesewas to the call for peace often entreating supporters of the various parties to be measured in their actions and inactions on that day.

It is an open secret that the main protagonists in the hearing will never come to blows themselves so most of the efforts at lowering tensions have been aimed at their party sympathizers. Like a Champions League final the players will never fight at full time but rather a half-wit somewhere in the “third world” would either run-over opposing fans with his car or cause harm to himself.

My team will be playing that day; my beloved Couch Party, we are the team comprised of individuals that don’t get actively involved in the game (politricks) but will always be there or thereabouts; sort of like my beloved Arsenal. I can hear your mind screaming “but if you don’t vote, people will decide for you”, to that I say why should I bother when the value is always going to be the same (sort of like how in Egypt they traded Mubarak for Morsi and now they are stuck with the army).

Justice Atuguba
I enjoyed the chutzpah displayed by Justice Atuguba when he gave the political class in Ghana a “hair-dryer” that SIR (Alex not John) would be proud of given that it was done in full glare of the whole country.

They (the political class) are so adept at manipulating their followers to the extent that at times it seems like mind control. These so-called followers literally don’t have a pesewa to their name and often struggle to put their children through a free education Junior High School whilst the same ruling class messes up the educational system and fly their spawn to “paradise” for education.

We live in times where we have become so scared of words like “war” to the extent that a harmless game such as “tug of war” is called “tug of peace” and now you can’t watch TV without seeing a message about peace and rightly so. Ghana is surrounded by neighbors who have been through this experience and it was not pleasant, in effect; GHANAIANS DON’T WANT TO BE REFUGEES!  Tensions are rising; the sort of tension a football fan will feel before kick-off whilst lounged on his couch.

And whilst Ghana is about to sneeze, the U.S. have already caught a cold and issued their now customary travel-alert. Some Ghanaians are offended by this and wonder why Ghana didn't issue a travel alert when the Tsarnaev’s were on the rampage in Boston or when the towers fell on September 11. 
I don’t want to predict what will happen that day but come what may, there might be vigorous, overzealous celebrations from the winners and the losers won’t take it lightly and it might all boil over. But just as with the election that lead to this petition and with most elections I can remember, the sensible Ghanaians will always outnumber the very few, slow, gullible ones and peace will always prevail in my motherland.   

In Egypt, the revolution didn't work so well; so maybe Ghana will blaze the trail with this election petition which-ever way it goes. I hope the Couch Party wins though. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

THE PRESSURES OF WASSCE; the story of Master Samuel Kwame Kissi

The WASSCE results were released earlier this month and I felt the customary-tension such results releases have on the individual even though I wrote mine way back in 2008.

I have yet to meet a SHS graduate who didn’t feel the pressures of this pivotal moment in one’s life and make no bones about it, it’s very crucial. It is also very true that what you accomplish in your youth goes a long way to determining what you will be in the future.

It is the period where life really starts depending on the grades you get. Some might think I am being melodramatic but the final year in SHS is very stressful for everyone that has been through it.

I recall listening to the news with my mother when it was announced that a final year SHS student had taken their own life and she asked which kind of pressures that students face that could lead them to taking their own life. I didn’t speak up because I didn’t want to scare her but it’s a very pressuring feeling knowing that 8 papers and how well you do in them could lead to what kind of future you will have.  

In this country, we are conditioned with the mantra of “go to school, learn hard and find a good job”. It is also very rare that you meet successful people in Ghana who didn’t pass those 8 papers very well (passing and passing very well are very different things). But as Ghana waits for her first Bill Gates the fact is, of my mates who didn’t pass those papers and are very successful now, most are engaged in cyber fraud a.k.a. Sakawa.

The late Samuel Kwame Kissi (who offered science like me) , formerly of my alma mater St Thomas Aquinas SHS passed his exams but didn’t pass them very well because he wanted to pursue Medicine and got the respectable grade of aggregate 17 (which included an A1 in Integrated Science and C4 in Biology). This may have led to Kwame Kissi taking his own life.

According to the Headmaster of Aquinas, Kwame was an average-student who did better in the WASSCE than he did in both mocks before the exam but the entry requirements meant he had no chance of pursuing Medicine especially given the admission pressures on Universities this year.

Kwame according to his housemaster was a humble student who could not bypass a teacher without offering a greeting. I don’t want to blame anybody but was he made aware that he could write a remedial and with a little effort still pursue his dream. Or was it that maybe he couldn’t deal with those conversations that those of us who don’t make it the first time have to endure with mates, conversations about varsity life where they all contribute with campus stories of their own and you feel left out because you have no such stories.

At this point all I can do is speculate and as Kwame's mother declined comment we cannot get an insight into his life at home. Given that the incident occurred whiles he was not in school, no definite conclusions can be drawn.  
my 3Sc2 class of 2008

Yes, there were counsellors when I attended Aquinas but I never felt like I could go and discuss such issues with them or my friends (through no fault of theirs obviously). It’s also not very encouraging when some teachers take it upon themselves to be prophets of doom by telling stories like “how in the future you might see your own mates and hide depending on how well you do”. I suppose such teachers can find better ways of motivating students than scaring them into submission.

I am at the end of this piece but I don’t know how to end, if anyone wrote an exam and is feeling down about his/her grades all I can say is; LIFE IS NOT A RACE COS IF IT WERE WE WOULD ALL HAVE BEEN BORN ON THE SAME DAY.
Written with extracts from an interview on Peace FM on the 20th of August 2013 at 12:00p.m.

Monday, 19 August 2013


So earlier this year, I was trying to write my dissertation when my Acer broke down.  After some research on the internet, I found that it was a common problem that most Acer Aspire S3 have (the screen turns white when opened at 90 degrees) and plus machines break down.

I thought I was eligible for a warranty because I had been using the laptop for just about 7months, but to my horror I found that it had already been registered to someone else and the warranty was up. Thing is, I remember registering this same serial number with Acer on the internet when the laptop was bought (I wasn’t told that it was already registered).

I was therefore resigned to having it repaired at a cost to me.  Acer has 2 partners in Ghana; Redington and Compudist.

I headed off to Redington and was asked to leave the laptop for an appraisal after which “I would be called” (I insisted on being called because I didn’t have a laptop so couldn’t check my mail). I didn’t receive the call, I went back the next day to enquire; guess what? They sent the mail. I was told my laptop had “a burnt chip in the motherboard” and the whole board would have to be replaced, at this I told the technician that the laptop works fine when it is connected to a plasma TV so it can’t be the motherboard at which he quickly replied that “Oh, then it is the screen and it would cost 1,384GHC”.

Amount (GHC)
Value Added Tax

I felt that was too much for a laptop that was bought at 1,200GHC and it didn’t make any type of sense to pay over the retail price when I can buy a brand-new notebook at the same price.

So, I continued my search to Compudist, where I was told that I had a damaged LCD FLAT CABLE that Acer doesn’t sell alone (it comes with the screen). So I would have to purchase a new screen which would cost over 1,000GHC. I was advised to discard the laptop and buy a new one that wasn’t Acer. In fact, I was informed that Compudist have stopped dealing in Acer products because of the troubles they get from their customers after making sales.

Speaking to an insider at Compudist he asked me “why I bought an Acer?”. I replied that it was a gift at which he said Acer is all about affordability and beautiful designs not durability. He added that Acer hopes at providing people with their first laptops so that when they decide to buy a new laptop they remember their first laptop and buy an Acer again.

I don’t understand why Acer won’t make only the LCD cable solely available as it seems to be the part that breaks down most often on the Aspire S3.

I finally had only that cord in the laptop replaced at 250GHC at Rocket-Tech. The advice from the people at Rocket-Tech was to sell it quickly and get something more durable.

If Acer won’t make spare parts available at a reasonable cost in Ghana what’s the point in wasting your “hard earned third world country money” on their products?


Monday, 12 August 2013

KWESI APPIAH CRACKS THE WHIP BUT AT WHAT COST? by Kweku Zurek – Tweet me @arsonv

From L-R Dede, Jordan, Appiah, Muntari and KPB    
Kwesi Appiah (Nicknamed Silent Killer for the way he blacklists players from his squad) named his 21-man squad for Ghanas’ friendly against Turkey handing out three debuts. Four names that are conspicuous by their absence from the squad are Sulley Muntari, Kevin Prince Boateng and the Ayews(Jordan and Andre).

GHANA V TURKEY Kick off-21:30 pm [7:30GMT] at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium

By their exclusion Appiah aka Silent Killer is making a statement to the effect that he is the boss of this team and all players will accord him the maximum respect (Whether he is a white-man or not). Even Andre and Jordan who received “presidential pardons” have been asked to write to the GFA rescinding their retirement and copying their clubs so as to avoid a club versus country row over future call-ups (Apparently the pardons were granted on condition that they wrote an apology letter).


Kevin Prince Boatengs’ return was interceded by Yaw Boateng Gyan (Black Stars management committee member /NDC Executive/family friend) but he must also write a letter to the GFA copying his club AC Milan before he can be called back into the squad. Meanwhile Muntari who displayed some petulance after being substituted during a World Cup qualifier against Lesotho must also write an apology letter before returning.


To me, born in 1990 some of the best football I have ever seen the Black Stars play was at the 2010 world cup where Dede Ayew, KPB and Muntari (who came-off the bench to start and star against Uruguay with that rocket) were in devastating form and it can be argued that along with Gyan they led us to that quarter-final berth. In my view that squad was the best team Ghana has had in the past 30 “trophyless” years. Make no mistake about it because when Dede, Muntari and KPB are fit and on form they will walk into any Ghana squad.

Muntari-78 caps 19gls     Dede-43caps 4gls 
Jordan-10caps 2gls          KPB-9caps 1gl

Ghana has a World Cup qualifier against Zambia next month in Kumasi. This friendly date on Wednesday was the last chance for the Black Stars to fine-tune their set-up for that crucial tie but rather in the lead up to this game the house doesn’t seem to be in order with calls for players to write officially to rescind their retirement and the Stars goalie Fatau Dauda warming the bench in South-Africa.

The GFA spokesperson Ibrahim Saanie Daara, admitted on Joy FM that there are a lot of issues in the Black Stars camp before adding that not every issue must be played out in the press (the  Chippolopolo might never have a better opportunity to beat Ghana).

FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking-AFRICA (JULY)
1.   Cote d’Ivoire – 962pts
2.   Ghana – 830pts
3.   Mali – 735pts
4.   Algeria – 730pts
5.   Nigeria – 700pts

The Black Stars are currently ranked 24th in the world; 34 places ahead of Turkey (ranked 58th), this means that the rankings points gathered from playing Turkey and Zambia (ranked 60th) will contribute to whether Ghana will be amongst the top-5 teams in Africa come September. (Septembers’ FIFA rankings will be used to determine the seeded teams for the final round of Africa's 2014 World Cup qualifiers). I thought Appiah would have rather used this period for tweaking his team but he has handed out 3 debuts to Spain-based goalkeeper Razak Braimah, midfielder Yussif Raman Chibsah and striker Emmanuel Banahene (These 3 have no chance of seeing play-time against Zambia).

The Silent Killer should remember that, football fans (especially Ghanaian football fans) are very fickle but it is very difficult to argue with a successful coach (unless you are an interim-Benitez coaching a Chelsea). He is enjoying overwhelming support from the GFA hierarchy who have continuously backed his every move till date but If (GOD FORBID!) Ghana fails to qualify for the world cup, heads will roll and the heads won’t be that of the GFA hierarchy but his.

P.S.-There will be nothing silent about his killing as he will be constantly bombarded on radio call-ins before the axe will finally drop.


Friday, 9 August 2013


or ATAA AYI, if only Ghallywood had made the movie…

In the movie Scarface (I think), the lead character Tony Montana played by Al Pacino has a case in court which he will surely do time for, Tony some-how beats the case with the help of a very good lawyer.

It’s a Monday afternoon (5th August 2013) around 2pm and I have just got home from a trip where my “trap didn’t catch the bayla” and also I didn’t get the “3 points”. I switch on the TV to watch a little early 2000s programming (in 2013) and surf my way to the news on GTV.

In an interview session, a policeman with a name tag (plate) bearing the name YOHUNO has just made a statement along the lines of “we feel like giving up when accused persons can afford 12 lawyers… if they didn’t do it then how come they can afford 12 lawyers?”. (Might not be his words exactly but very, very, very close).

I am very shocked at the sound of this and I feel the interviewer should probe a bit more but she doesn’t and lets it slide because a lawyer would join them later via a not too clear telephone-line to counter that point. Later on, I google “police-man yohuno - ghana” and up pops the identity of the police officer; DCOP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, Greater Accra regional Police Commander. The DCOP should have let his PR officer earn his keep but maybe he looks better on TV than the PR guy.

a.   Number of cases solved
b.   Party Colour
c.   Years in Service 

Indeed the constitution under Article 19 (2) c and f guarantees the accused persons’ right to innocence until being proven/pleading guilty and also the right to defending himself in court either in person or by a lawyer of his choice (the constitution uses lawyer and not lawyers). In Artcle 32 (1) e and f, an article that deals with the detention of persons under “Emergency Law” the accused “shall be afforded every possible facility to consult a lawyer of his own choice…” (Still lawyer not lawyers). In f it adds that “at the hearing of his case, he shall be permitted to appear in person or by a lawyer of his choice (still… lawyer not lawyers). As to the “lawyer and lawyers” bit, it might either be; semantics or the denotation/connotation of the word or its usage that I am not getting but if you want to be a stickler, IT also uses “HE” and not “SHE” when referring to accused persons.


The question I want to ask is; “since when did being able to afford competent legal counsels contribute to making an accused person guilty?” Perhaps the DCOP would like it very much if every accused person couldn’t afford counsel and would have to rely on legal aid i.e. the state affording him/her a lawyer (and with my luck he will get the slowest horse in the legal stables in GH).


The DCOP added that he cringes at what is becoming an all too familiar scene where 1 state attorney gets pummeled by 12 very competent lawyers of an accused person (Zimmerman anyone? Plus it’s very difficult for journos to fit all those names in the story). The DCOP was too quick to lay the blame at the doorstep of the state attorneys, what if the evidence gathered by the Police is not good enough to secure a conviction even if the state attorney was a lawyer from a John Grisham novel.

DCOP Tetteh Yohuno made mention of another situation that had me baffled, but in a different way.  He told of a situation where an accused person plead guilty to a criminal charge but the case has still been in court for 3 years. I can’t understand why a case where the accused has admitted guilt will last in court for 3 years but I don’t find it unbelievable (after-all the wheels of justice grind slowly but still they grind and this is GH).

He added that it feels like the police keep arresting the same “criminals” over and over again because convictions are never made.  I have always been worried about the investigative procedures of the Ghana Police (it’s not quite like watching CSI but it’s not very easy conducting investigations in Accra, if you like ask the “crack” American team that were brought to investigate the market fires). As to arresting the same “criminals” over and over again it can create vigilante cops who will adopt a shoot to kill policy (or in an ideal world a super-hero like The Punisher, who will be cop by day and vigilante at night) which won’t be good for any of us because it won’t afford us a chance for Lady (or is it Mother, why isn’t this sexist?) Justice to prevail.


In order for the police in Ghana to be able to put criminals (who are really guilty) behind bars they need the help of the citizens of the land because like it or not we live with these people. We all want to be able to sleep peacefully at night and also don’t want trigger-happy vigilantes patrolling our streets. So, every once in a while we must snitch on our criminal neighbours (but please don’t follow them around like Zimmerman).

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


A WI-FI hotspot is a site that offers Internet access over a wireless local area network (WLAN) through the use of a router connected to a link and to an Internet service provider.

Are there any WI-FI hotspots in Accra? This is the question I puzzled my puny little mind with on a Thursday afternoon with my trusted WI-FI connection on No Internet Access.

“Why would I bother asking such a vague question”, you might ask. This is because to me a computer without an internet connection is the same as having a type-writer that happens to be a TV set ( you know, the old un-smart TVs that had a TV/VCR combo which I still use), thing is; to me the internet is very expensive!

It’s very difficult to survive my world without the internet; some have even gone to the extent to argue that “the internet is to this generation what alcohol was to the last”. I would not go as far as describing our “senior learned colleagues” as alcoholics but there is something quite magical about not having to leaf through dozens of pages to get to that one line you need to check the veracity of something you are writing (provided you know where to look on the WWW) or finding inspiration on the web or watching porn in a Cameron-free country whilst you combat your “writer’s block(convenient excuse eh).


Back to the internet expense part, I have a modem and on a very good day it would cost me 15 cedis for a 30-day 1.2Gb package (on a not very fast link despite the speed they promised in the ad) or 1 cedi per hour at that mosquito infested (no privacy) den that serves as an internet café. What I hate about my modem is that my money doesn’t expire so why does my data have to expire after 30days even if I don’t race through it within that period and about the café it’s simple I can’t take the internet home so I either have to use all the data or come back within a seven day period after which my code would have expired.

I am very excited about GOOGLES’ PROJECT LOON which aims to give affordable internet access to the 4.8billion people who cannot get online by using “WI-FI balloons”.

I know of three places that I can describe as Hotspots, the first of which I can connect to because of work-related reasons I have their code, the second because even though their connection has a pass-key their security is not too tight so every once in a while you can skip through, the third used to be internet paradise really; their connection is faster than my café there is a glorious outdoor breeze, shade and there used to be a charging slot which has been disconnected (which is why it no longer qualifies as paradise) due to abuse.

In this day and age (GH cliché alert) of economy and austerity, it is crucial for the individual to be able to save pesewas in every way he/she can. For myself being like the secretaries who only make 30-minute calls whilst in the office I have found free internet as a means of saving money.

It is the purpose of this article to elicit response from readers of this post as to places they would describe as hotspots in Accra and also for them to indicate whether they are password protected or otherwise. I am not sure what our good old document from 1992 (the constitution) has to say about using an internet connection in 2013 without permission but feel free to share your passwords and locations with your comments here or on twitter