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FREESTYLE You Know You’re in Accra When... Monkeys to Man... to Monkeys Mind of Malaka How to Have Better Sex Ghana Online Road Rage ASPIRE Changing Careers How to Save When You Make Peanuts The Great Facebook Giveaway SEX & RELATIONSHIPS 50. Agony Aunt

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DUST MAGAZINE
Editorial +233 26 888 1111 Advertising +233 26 266 6222

Photography: Emmanuel Bobie Editor in Chief: Qué? Thanks to: Seton Nicholas, Bill Bedzrah, Malaka Grant, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, Nana Kofi Acquah, and Naa Adzorkor Addo Dust Magazine is a publication of Chrysalis Publications, P.O. Box 9916, K.I.A., Accra. Corporate enquiries to info@accradust.com

www.accradust.com
Printed by PIGMENT
The views expressed in this magazine are the views of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved. Copyright © Dust Magazine 2010

photo credit. Steven Adusei

Editorial
What is Ghanaian pride and how do we celebrate this beautiful country we’ve been blessed with? THIS IS THE THEME OF THE SECOND ISSUE AND WE WENT THE EXTRA MILE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS THAT MAKES US WHO WE ARE AS A PEOPLE. OUR TRADITIONAL CULTURES, OUR MUSIC, OUR INTELLIGENCE, OUR SOCCER, OUR CREATIVITY - ALL THESE THINGS ARE ARE JUST PART OF THE MELTING POT OF QUALITIES THAT MAKE US WHO WE ARE. WE’RE CELEBRATING US. In this issue, we decided to take two literary think-tanks and pick their minds on this issue of Ghanaian pride. Commonwealth-nominated Ghanaian writer, Ayesha Harruna Attah, and internationally-celebrated Ghanaian writer, performance poet and social commentator, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, are the focuses of our FEATURE articles. Whenever anyone talks about Ghanaian pride, they cannot ignore touching on and speaking about our tradition religions. Documentary photographer, Seton Nicholas, accepted the task of experiencing a traditional religion ceremony first-hand and documenting it through his eye in our FLASH (photojournalism) section. Coming out in June, there was no way we could ignore the World Cup fever that has gripped our beautiful nation. And to make things a little easier for you, we’ve included the complete set of World Cup fixtures in our new SPORTS section. No time to hustle when you’ve got a game to watch! And finally, the new ICON section introduces a Ghanaian heavyweight that not many of us know enough about. Remember, email the Dust team at info@accradust.com with any of your comments, recommendations or requests. We dey for you paa!

Contributors

Seton Nicholas

Bill Bedzrah
Nana Darkoa is a modern Ghanaian woman. With a strong interest in women’s rights and issues, Nana has broke the mould for Ghanaian women. She manages Ghana’s first and most popular blog on African sexuality, Adventures from the bedrooms of African Women. Posts are based on the personal experiences of the contributors and falls in line with Nana’s desire to provide a safe place for women to express themselves whether sexually or otherwise.

Malaka Grant
Mother, wife, and phenomenal humorist, Malaka is a woman on a mission. Not only is she the mother of 3 (and expecting another one), but she is also a prolific blogger putting the rest of us single, childless people to shame. A new addition to the Dust team, Malaka’s page is filled with humor and an astute observant analysis that most people overlook.

Crystal Svanikier
Crystal has been a freelance writer for three years and studied in Cape Town, Oxford and Dundee. She has worked with a number of magazines, newspapers and organisations to come up with creative reports and analyses. She is a former employee of Global Media Alliance (CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Awards, Happy FM, eTV Ghana), working as a marketing executive and assistant editor of Sunday World newspaper (now Weekend World).

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A selfprofessed social commentator, Seton Nicholas is a photographer that uses the power of his lens to observe and reflect on all the intricacies of Ghanaian life. The man behind this issue’s photo essay, Seton explores traditional religion as an outsider and captures the spiritual power behind the mundanity of it all. No miracles, no extravagant proclamations; just a ecclesiastical conviction in the Gods of our ancestors.

Nana Kofi is a Ghanaian-born photographer who works across the African continent and beyond. With a strong interest in documentary photography. This issue however, Nana Kofi showed his flair for writing, contributing our first ever Icon piece on the late great Kofi Ghanaba.

The writer of our very popular, “You Know You’re in Accra When...”, Bill Bedzrah is a man that typifies the best of what Accra has to offer. A socially adept business consultant, Bill appreciates Accra in a way that most of us don’t know or just take for granted.

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Nana Darkoa
Sekyiamah

Nana Kofi Acquah

INBOX

he Food is so unique, historic, local, and complex; classic highlife; the traditional political institutions that, as an East African, are my only connection to traditional African political institutions of any kind. I think they make Ghanaians more grounded in their identity than other Africans; unlike Kenyans whose traditional political institutions are dead! The pidgin; the cloth; the fact that people tend to speak more than one Ghanaian language; the gold; the oil; adinkra symbols; the durbars; the strange hyphenation of names; oh... the list goes on and on...

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J.A. Spintex Road

OLD FANTA COCKTAIL IN A GLASS BOTTLE, UNTOUCHED PARADISE BEACHES IN THE WESTERN REGION, FULL BODIED WOMEN, THE DRAMATIC IDENTICAL LEAN OF THE TREES IN A RUBBER PLANTATION, THE MARKET WOMAN’S TEASING BANTER, JUMPING IN THE POOL AFTER WALKING THROUGH THE MIDDAY SUN, GENUINE “GOOD-MORNINGS”, HEATED ARGUMENTS IN THE STREET (YET NEVER A PUNCH THROWN), THE UBIQUITOUS GHANAIAN FLAG, ALWAYS FEELING AT HOME. - D.J., ADENTA

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K.A. Accra

We Rock!

What makes you proud to be Ghanaian, or to live in Ghana?

A. D. Accra

n Ghana, its interesting how when you meet people, they treat you differently because of the school you attended, the location of your house or the model of the car you drive. It can be very beneficial at times until they start calling you ‘dadaba’! M.A.K., East Legon

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he stress-free life, holidays, the fact that when I was in Ghana my weekend started on Thursday! I miss Ghana. In the States, it’s a struggle to balance work and school. I have no time to myself! I love your mag site. Although you should include more pictures. Apart from that, it’s excellent! A.S., U.S.A.

T

C

HEAP GANJA. NO VIOLENCE. WAAKYE. I.K.U., AccRA

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am a proud Ghanaian because I am a citizen of one of the greatest countries in Africa, a continent plagued with several cases of misfortune. Through it all, Ghana has been a shining example on several fronts and indeed we are the ‘black star of Africa’. I am a proud Ghanaian because I believe in the potential and tenacity of my people, the spirit of family and our strong communities.

ell the women.... The way a woman knows how to take care of her man. No matter her social standing in life and no matter her exposure to the western world, a good Ghanaian woman always takes care of her man! Not just cooking and cleaning etc, but emotionally, physically, sexually too. A good Ghanaian woman always takes care of her man. They are the rock behind every successful man!

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HOW TO
CONTRIBUTE
NoNstop to New York ANd AtLANtA coNNectiNg to
tO

dust
Like what we’re trying to do at Dust? Need a platform for your writing, artwork or photography?

200+ cities
From AccrA

Why not contribute to Dust?
To contribute to Dust, all you need to do is to write to us at contribute@accradust.com, sending us: ‹ ‹ a copy of your current resume/CV information about yourself and why you’d like to join our team contact details examples of your work

‹ ‹

Once we’ve received this, you can expect to hear from us in 4-6 weeks. Your work will be in print and online all over Accra and beyond, so send in your details today! We look forward to hearing from you. Best regards, The Dust Team

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FREESTYLE
1.Grass-cutter (also known as bushmeat or rodent) is significantly more expensive than beef. 4.YOU CAN ATTEND AN ENGAGEMENT ONLY TO REALIZE THAT THE PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED ARE NOT COMING (AN ENGAGEMENT “IN ABSENTIA”).

2.You can find 25 bootlegged movies on 1 DVD (i.e. Chinese VCD).

3.The Registrar General’s department is full of fat, white women marrying young and fit Ghanaian men or old white men marrying young and pretty Ghanaian, ladies all because of “nkrataa” (a Resident Permit).

5.You have to wake up at 3am to fetch water to survive the next day.

6.People are not sure whether the President of Ghana has children.

7. Garbage is called “BOLA”.

8.A lethal weapon is legally advertised on billboards (Crocodile Machetes).

9.The Holiday Inn is given more class and clout than is normally given to an airport hotel franchise.

YOuKNOWYOu’re inAccRA When...
11. A HOT DOG IS CALLED A ‘SAUSAGE’.
12.Every local TV station airs at least one Mexican Telenovela.... (Second Chance, Ruby, Rosalinda, Secreto D’amor etc...) 14.You hear a Lebanse man or woman speaking better Twi or Ga better than a local. 15.Every seamstress and tailor claims to be a ‘fashion designer’.

10. The favourite alcoholic beverage is made by the Irish (Guinness).

13.The police will openly request for a “handout” by saying, “Inside no good today ooh.” 17.The tallest monument is not a national monument, but a Mormon angel with a trumpet (on Independence Avenue).

16.Private schools charge in US Dollars instead of Ghana Cedis.

18. THE MOST FAMOUS ‘LIGHTHOUSE’ IS A CHURCH AND NOT A SIGNAL POST FOR SEA VESSELS.

19.All local celebrities speak with a ‘Locally Acquired Foreign Accent’ (LAFA).

20.Its easy to buy a cellphone with four SIM card holders (known as a ‘Chinese-4-Runner’).

FREESTYLE

Monkeys to Man... to Monkeys.
Start with a cage containing five monkeys...
Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are
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Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it. Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done round here. And that, my friends, is how company policies are made.
Original Source Unknown

Mind of Malaka

happy Mother’s Day, PunK!
>> www.accradust.com

I spent Mother’s day 2009 much the same way I’ll probably spend this one: Pregnant, fat and exhausted. What I’m hoping, however, is that my children will spare me the antics of last year’s holiday for the 2010 version. As I lay in my bed on May 10, 2009, weary from the grueling ritual that was taking care of two toddlers, I tiredly asked my children to just sit and play in my room while I laid down for a moment. Nadjah was 4 at the time. Aya was 2 and a half. I only had 2 weeks left to deliver what I assumed at the time was my last child. “Mommeee, can we watch TeeeVeee?” Nadjah asked in her shrill, sing-song voice. “No.” “Can we build a castle?” she asked again. “No.” I was bone tired and irritated. “Just get some toys and play on the floor.” “Okay!”

I’ll take the

pancakes and flowers
in bed any day over my kids trying to play me like a

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punk.

The sound of my two children’s chatter filled the room, and I sunk my head deeper into my pillow ignoring the roundhouse kicks that my son was delivering to my abdomen. Nadjah and Aya cackled and guffawed, delighting one another with the playful gibberish only understandable to two sisters so close in age. 10 minutes into my slumber, I felt a gust of wind come through the window and hit my back. “It’s chilly and windy all of a sudden,” I thought.

FREESTYLE

Then I heard thumping against aluminum. Next, a tiny voice said “My turn!!!” My turn? My turn for what? I rolled my pregnant, obese body over and to my surprise and horror, my children had pushed the sliding glass window up, removed the screen and were running full kilter across the top of my carport. A 15 foot drop onto unforgiving asphalt awaited them below if they slipped. Nadjah was closest to the window, and Aya was gingerly walking towards the edge, giggling the whole way. In the calmest voice I could muster, I commanded them back into the house. “Git yer Black butts back in here NOW!!!!” Stunned, Aya stopped in her tracks. Nadjah climbed back in and her sister followed. I surveyed the room around me. My screen lay on the floor, two screws lifelessly on either side. A collection of leaves and pine cones was on the floor. My children stood looking sheepishly at me. “What the—??! How the—?!?! You—?!?!?!” My inability to form complete sentences was disconcerting to my youngest and she began to cry. I reached for a wooden spoon and prepared to deliver the World’s Greatest Butt Whoopin’, but I thought the better of it. I was too angry and I might hurt them too much. Visions of a home visit from child services darted through my head. I called my husband who was sitting in an elder’s meeting at church. “Marshall. You get home right now and you whoop these kids right now, you hear me?!”

“Why? What’s wrong?” he was laughing. I quickly gave him the short version.
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“I’ll be home in 15 minutes.”

When my husband walked in the door, I had already put both kids in bed where they would be safe from my wrath. He called them out of bed, explained why what they did was wrong (“and dangerous!” I 13 screeched) and smacked them both on their bottoms. Thoroughly chastised, they went sobbing back to bed. I’m overcome even as I sit here writing about that ridiculous day. Lets hope Mother’s Day 2010 is a little less eventful. I’ll take the pancakes and flowers in bed any day over my kids trying to play me like a punk.

FREESTYLE
FROM KWAME NKRUMAH ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO MODERN GLOBALLY-RECOGNIZED GHANAIAN ICONS INCLUDING MICHAEL ESSIEN AND KOFI ANNAN, OUR COUNTRY HAS CERTAINLY STAKED ITS CLAIM IN WORLD HISTORY AND POP cULTURE. OVER THE COURSE OF TIME, DUST STAFF HAVE BEEN SURPRISED TO ENCOUNTER REFERENCES TO GHANA IN SOME SLIGHTLY MORE UNEXPECTED PLACES THOUGH. HERE’S A COMPILATION OF A FEW OF THEM

GHANA GOES

POP

Movie: Syriana
One might not expect to hear Ghana referred to in a movie starring Hollywood superstars George Clooney and Matt Damon to do with spies, terrorism and the Middle East. So imagine our surprise when a couple of minutes into the film, George Clooney’s spy tells his son that he has been assigned to the Middle East and his son asks him why they couldn’t send him somewhere cool, ‘like Ghana…’ Smart kid.
>> www.accradust.com

Movie: El Cantante
In this movie (produced by and starring his wife, Jennifer Lopez), actor/singer Marc Anthony plays Latin music legend Hector Lavoe. One of Lavoe’s most many hits was a song called ‘Chechecole’ - or as it might be spelt in Twi, ‘Kyekyekule’. In the song Lavoe recalls hearing the popular Ghanaian children’s song. Marc Anthony’s version of the song (for the El Cantante soundtrack) went on to make the song a hit all over again in Latin America.

Video Game: Tomb Raider Legends
Lara Croft is the star of one of the longest-running franchises in video game history and is so famous that she has been played on the big screen by actress Angelina Jolie. In the latest game in the ever-popular series, gamers find themselves transported to an ancient temple hidden behind a waterfall in the Ghanaian rainforests where her parents worked before she was born and left behind a valuable artefect.

Event: Michael Jackson’s Funeral
Like everywhere else in the world, the King of Pop was incredibly popular in Ghana and everyone who had access to international television was glued to their television screens for his funeral. It was a small but poignant surprise when Queen Latifah mounted the podium and mentioned Black Star Square in Ghana as one of the places where Michael was being mourned.

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Music: ‘As We Enter’ by Nas & Damian Marley
Each a giant in his own genre of music, rapper Nas and Bob Marley’s last son, Damian recently united to record the album Distant Cousins. On the lead single, ‘As We Enter’ Damian Marley threatens to ‘switch up the language and move to Ghana’. Hardly surprising perhaps given Rita Marley’s regular activities here (as well as rumours that Lauryn Hill-Marley has also been in and out of Ghana a couple of times).

Have you ever come across an unexpected reference to Ghana? Send it to
editor@accradust.com

THE LOWDOWN ON THE FOODS THAT’LL MAKE YOU SAY MMMMMM!
Oysters, honey, bananas... there is a long list of foods that are said to be able to get blood flowing to your vital parts and get you in the mood. Studies have shown that this is because certain vitamins and minerals boost hormone levels and increase nerve sensitivity. This is great news for those of us who are as dry as a kola nut. We found some readily available foods that you should add to your diet to get you going in the bedroom!

How to Have Better Sex:

>> www.accradust.com

Avocado Pear
Did you know that the ancient South American civilisation, the Aztecs, used to call the avocado ‘ahuacuatl’, which means ‘testicle tree’? This is because the fruit usually hangs in pairs, which resembles testicles. Avocados are full of folic acid, vitamin B6 and potassium - all great sources of strength to aid circulation, balance hormones and improve circulation.

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Eggs
We all have been told that eggs are high in cholesterol and will raise your blood pressure (eventually increasing your risk of a heart attack). But few people know that this food, rich in vitamin B6, is also good at balancing out hormone levels and effectively helping you cope with stress. Stress is a leading cause of low libidos, so the next time your mother-inlaw won’t get off your case (or leave your home) try making an omelet.

FREESTYLE

Oranges
Foods that are high in vitamin C are not just effective in fight clods and flu. Vitamin C increases your oxytocin levels, which leaves you with that ‘lovey-dovey’ feeling. In the long term, it also creates feelings of attachment, which is excellent if you’re looking for long term partners.

Steak
The whole of Ghana can rejoice! Beef and red-meat can help slow down the production of prolactin, which - at high levels - kills your libido faster than the thought of drinking water from a Jamestown gutter. So if you’re thinking of going vegetarian, stop for a second and really evaluate the consequences of your new-found lifestyle... Just saying!

Chocolate
The good, faithful cocoa; not only does it do wonders for our national economy, but it also makes you feel good. Women all around the world can attest to the positive (almost drug-like) effect that chocolate has on them. Furthermore, studies have shown that it has the same effect on men too! Cocoa contains methylxanthine (if you can pronounce this, you deserve a prize!), which triggers dopamine (the ‘Happy Hormone’). So, ladies and gentlemen, don’t deny yourself that bar of chocolate by the register at Shoprite; you know you want it!

Garlic
Okay. So, your breath will be a weapon of mass-destruction for hours afterwards, but did you know that eating garlic is one of the most effective ways of improving your circulation, making sure that more blood gets to you ‘down under’? Honest! By dilating and helping clear blood vessels, garlic makes sure the blood is pumped more efficiently and effectively to where it matters most.

World cup Mixtape
FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, ONE OF THE MOST POSITIVE THINGS AFRICANS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IS MUSIC. OUR FOREBEARS HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO EVERYTHING FROM THE BLUES TO HIP-HOP MUSIC (ASK PANJI FOR HIS THEORY ON HOW GYEDU BLAY AMBOLLEY – AND NOT JAMES BROWN - IS THE GODFATHER OF RAP). GIVEN THAT LINK, IT IS PERHAPS ONLY NATURAL THAT THE FIRST WORLD CUP ON AFRICAN SOIL WILL INSPIRE A LOT OF MUSIC (AND HOPEFULLY SOME DANCING TOO). HERE AT DUST WE HAVE OUR OWN SONGS WE PLAN TO SING DURING THE CUP, AND WE KNOW A COUPLE OF SOCER-RELATED SONGS WE RECKON YOU WILL HEAR A LOT. CONSIDER THIS THE DUST MAGAZINE GUIDE TO PUTTING TOGETHER A WORLD CUP MIXTAPE.

The Dust Guide to Putting Together a

Waving Flag – Knaan
Apparently, ‘Waving Flag’ by Somali/Canadian musician is not the official World Cup theme song, but rather it is Coca-Cola’s official World Cup theme song (see Shakira below for the official one). Whatever. Either way, this is probably the song you will associate the most with the Cup in years to come. You can choose between the original solo version on Knaan’s quality album, Troubador, or various versions with Spanish singer David Bisbal, Nigerian rapper M.I or Black Eyed Peas frontman, will.i.am.

>> www.accradust.com

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Oh Africa – Akon feat. Keri Hilson
‘Oh Africa’ is actually a single to raise funds for Akon’s charity ‘Konfidence’, set up to help underprivileged African youth. However, it has been included on the Official World Cup album and with its catchy sing-song chorus, it is probably going to be a close runner-up to Waving Flag in terms of airplay.

Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – Shakira
Sexy Columbian singer, Shakira, is well-known in Ghana for ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, her hit collaboration with Haitian hip-hop star, Wyclef Jean, and to a lesser extent for ‘Wherever Whenever’. Her new song has the distinction of being the official World Cup song. Why a Columbian is singing a theme for Africa’s first Cup is anyone’s guess (it’s a global affair, maybe?) and the song does not seem to be going down as well as Knaan and Akon’s. Either way though, you will definitely hear it this season.

FREESTYLE

Asokpo!
Here in Ghana, we follow what seems to be international standards for sports programming, with an asokpo song forming the theme tune of almost every sports show on radio and television. So your mixtape must include at least one or two asokpo tunes the likes of ‘Party Hard’ by Donaeó or a classic like Crystal Water’s ‘Gypsy Woman (La Da Di Di)’…

A dash of Kwaito
… or even more appropriate may be South Africa’s very own brand of local asokpo, Kwaito. The most popular kwaito song on this side of the continent is probably the late Brenda Fassie’s ‘Vuli Ndlela’ but the genre has definitely moved on since then, making / Kwaito a vibrant genre. Dust recommends ‘The Way’ by Bongo Maffin and ‘Shibobo’ – a collaboration between TKZee and none other than Bafana Bafana (the South African national football team) and Ajax Amsterdam striker, Benni McCarthy.

Goal – wanlov the kubolor
We’re big fans of wanlov here in the Dust offices and we feel that no Ghanaian song captures the excitement of football more than wanlov’s ‘Goal’.

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Going Straight to the Top – Talal Fatal
Whether you like it or not, the man from Metro TV has made sure that ‘Going Straight to the Top’ is the unofficial Black Stars anthem, played every time the boys have a game to play. This song is the quintessential Ghanaian football anthem and whether you like it “or yes”, you are going to hear this a lot during the World Cup season. A LOT. If you disagree, send your alternatives to editor@accradust. com: we dare you!

>> www.accradust.com

FREESTYLE

HERE IS THIS QUARTER’S PICK OF THE BLOGS AND WEBSITES THAT THE DUST TEAM HAVE BEEN CHECKING OUT OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS.

GHANA ONLINE
Maize Brek
http://maizebreak.com/

Humour

Maize break is one of the internet’s funniest breaks from reality. If you are ever bored and want a laugh, make sure to check out this blog’s ‘news’ stories on King Ayisoba promoting dental care, MP’s disappointment that Obama brought ‘no cheque’ and Cameroonian first lady Chantal Biya’s wig seeking compensation from its owner.
>> www.accradust.com

Tech

Ubuntu
www.ubuntu.com
There’s more to computing than Windows and Mac. Ubuntu is one of the world’s fastest growing operating systems, it’s African, it is almost completely virus-proof and most importantly, it’s free. It can even co-exist on your computer alongside your Windows or Mac system. Ubuntu 10 came out last month and it’s the best in the series. Check it out.

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Music
DestiNation: Africa
www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/djedu
Even the BBC is interested in young African music and its ambassador is DJ Edu. The Kenyan-born London resident hosts DestiNation Africa (DNA), a weekly fix of the best music from all over the continent. Make sure to check out his blends of popular African songs with the freshest R&B. He hosted a special from Accra during the African Cup of Nations, so expect something special during the South African World Cup.

http://www.accradust.com Share

Blogs

Ghana Blogging

http://ghanablogging.com/ In the last issue we gave you some examples of some of Ghana’s top blogs. If you want a onestop shop for all of them though, check out Ghana Blogging, which aggregates them all in one spot so that you don’t miss anything. Who knows which interesting piece you will stumble on next?

http://www.yellowpages.com.gh/ One of the country’s most useful websites, Surf is basically Ghana’s answer to the Yellow Pages: a directory of many of the country’s businesses and institutions. Very useful in case you need a number and cannot remember the number of your telecom provider’s directory service (why can’t they all just share one? Sigh…)

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Sports

BBc World cup
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/ world_cup_2010/default.stm
Of course, everyone will be looking for somewhere to get the latest statistics and information on who’s playing, who’s won and who’s lost during the World Cup and the BBC’s special world cup site is a pretty damn good place to start. Also check out the official World Cup site from the South African government, ttp://www.sa2010.gov.za/

Feel we left something out? Got a website you visit a lot? Send us a mail at editor@accradust.com

>> www.accradust.com

Practical

Surf Yellow Pages

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOvIES TO BUY, DOWNLOAD OR SELL A SMALL BODY PART FOR THIS SEASON.

SHREK FOREvER AFTER
The fourth (and final) film in the Shrek series went straight in at no. 1 on the US charts, & must be pretty damn good to have staved off competition from the likes of Prince of Persia, Sex & the City II & Iron Man 2.

KNIGHT & DAY
This action-comedy has a cool trailer and reunites Vanilla Sky co-stars, Tom Cruise & Cameron Diaz who star respectively as a secret agent with the world chasing him and his unlucky-in-love blind date thrown into his chaotic world.

INcEPTION
Clips from Leo DiCaprio’s new movie are reminiscent of the mind-bending that happened in the Matrix series. Don’t expect a senseless action film though: director Christopher Nolan’s last film was the critically acclaimed (& Oscarnominated) Dark Knight.

PREDATORS
With Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Sin City, Spy Kids) producing this film, it looks set to be more than just another sequel in one of the longeststanding sci-fi franchises of all time.

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GET HIM TO THE GREEK
If you enjoyed Superbad, Knocked Up or Forgetting Sarah Marshall, then this comedy is definitely for you as it’s coming from the same team. Oh, and it stars a certain Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. Take that, take that...

THE GREEN HORNET
The original TV series of this comic book character starred Bruce Lee as a sidekick, so expect high kicks & karate chops galore in this action-comedy.

Do you have a film coming out that will move our cinema industry forward? Send an email to editor@accradust.com

>> www.accradust.com

VENT!

always saw myself as a calm and careful driver. Not necessarily an excellent one, especially when it comes to manoeuvres, but I prided myself on being conscientious when I drive. That all ended when I moved to Accra. My care on the roads is rewarded with loud beeps from impatient drivers behind me and my calm road demeanour has turned into cold aggression. I’m afraid that driving in Accra has turned me into this. My daily routine involves me driving from Dansoman (where I live) to East Legon (where I work). The journey is a long and tiring one. I find myself fighting with the Accra traffic and (often) losing the battle. I’m on my 4th route (I change routes to try and avoid traffic hotspots and potential ‘flare-up’ spots) but still get caught in endless amounts of traffic. We all know that congestion in Accra is a serious issue. The sheer volume of traffic and the reckless driving that can be witnessed on a daily basis can turn a seemingly ‘decent’ human being into an enraged monster (I have seen this transformation happen before my very eyes). Road rage is a common occurrence in our city and this is only a symptom of the underlying problem of the state of our roads and transport system in general. I, for one, have grown tired of the disregard for road safety flagrantly displayed on our roads. This has serious consequences and contributes to the high number of accidents. For example, I have witnessed cars driving on the left hand side of the road for no apparent reason (and if you’re honest with yourself, you have too, haven’t

I

by Jemima Agyare you...) The last time I checked, the Highway Code did not state that driving on the right hand side of the road was optional. Also, some of the unique practises, such as the use of hazard lights when there is no hazard in sight, lead to confusion and sometimes chaos. The public transport system in Accra (indeed in the whole nation) needs to be addressed. Although trotros and taxis provide much needed transportation for many in the city, their standards are not up to scratch. I recently went in a taxi that had mosquitoes breeding in the back seat (don’t ask me how) and was so rusty that I felt like I need to rush to the nearest clinic for a tetanus injection. It’s commonplace to see trotros with their doors hanging off (literally) and taxis minus one mirror. I do not want to belittle the drivers that are providing a service but I feel someone has to highlight the fact that standards are inadequate and something must be done. I long for the day when I can leave my car at home, hop onto an efficient, comfortable, well maintained mode of public transportation, and relax as I prepare myself for a hectic day at the office. As it stands, I arrive to work stressed, frustrated and even angry and that’s at 6.30am! There is so much to see and do in this city and a modern, well regulated transport system would make commuting around this city a more pleasurable experience.

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Is there anything about Accra that makes you want to scream and shout. Tell us about it. Send an email to editor@accradust.com

Discover many beautiful SITE in GHANA and the WEST cOAST
OUR SERVICES
Intercity STC is a nationwide provider of scheduled intercity bus transportation services in Ghana and four other West African countries (Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo and Benin). The Company provides a Package Express Service, a Charter Bus Service, Vehicle Inspection & Valuation Services, Training and Consultancy Services and a Park & Ride Service.

TRAINING SCHOOL
The Training school offers short courses in defensive driving for heavy bus or car drivers. It also provides training in Transport Management for transport managers.

OUR VISION:
“To be the leader in the road transport industry in Ghana and the ECOWAS sub-region”

PASSENGER SERVICE (SAFETY AND SECURITY)
Safety is the hallmark of the STC passenger service as the company utilizes an elite corps of drivers who are well trained and practise defensive driving. Also, as part of its efforts at making its clients, as well as their goods and monies secure, STC buses always have police escorts aboard all night services. Additionally, STC has partnered with an Instant Money Transfer Service to enable business people who by nature of their business have to travel with huge sums of money to lodge with the IMT service and collect on arrival.

OUR MISSION:
“To consistently and profitably deliver safe, comfortable and reliable road transport and allied services, using a highly motivated and competent workforce and state of the art facilities to meet the aspirations of all.” www.stcghana.com

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PARCEL SERVICE
26 The STC Package Express offers parcel services to all our various destinations. Service options range from hauling heavy, medium and light parcels for corporate institutions, distributors, retailers as well as petty traders and individuals. The Package Express can deliver your parcels conveniently at your doorstep on request. Out School Service is designed such that parents and guardians can send provisions or anything for their wards’ upkeep and trust to deliver.

VEHICLE INSPECTION & VALUATION SERVICE
This service carries out an assessment of the precise value of all classes of vehicles, plants and equipment. In tandem with this, STC has a contractual agreement with the DVLA in private partnership with regards to roadworthiness inspection.

OTHER SERVICES:  Package express  Park & ride  Valuation  Training  Consultancy

THE IDEA BEHIND DUST MAGAZINE IS TO HELP TO DEFINE ACCRA’S EVER-GROWING IDENTITY BY DOCUMENTING THE THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND LIVES OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE WITHIN IT. ONCE YOU PUT ALL OF THAT ON PAPER, IT GIVES US ALL THE CHANCE TO ANALYZE AND MAKE SENSE OF WHERE WE COME FROM, THE THINGS WE SHARE IN COMMON AND WHERE WE ARE GOING. NO ONE DOES THIS BETTER THAN A WRITER. A GOOD WRITER OBSERVES THE LIFE GOING ON AROUND THEM AND PUTS IT TO PAPER, SHAPING STORIES OUT OF THIN AIR. AS GHANAIANS, WE MAY NOT READ AS MUCH AS WE SHOULD DO BUT

BIG

WE HAvE A LONSTANDING TRADITION OF STORYTELLING STRETcHING AS FAR BAcK AS ANANSES M AND BEYOND.
TODAY, WE HAVE NEW WRITERS DOCUMENTING OUR COUNTRY IN NEW WAYS. DUST SPOKE TO TWO SUCH WRITERS, BOTH OF WHOM HAVE BEEN SHORTLISTED FOR THIS YEAR’S COMMONWEALTH FIRST BOOK PRIZE...

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NII AYIKWEI PARKES & AYESHA HARRUNA ATTAH...

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AYESHA HArrunA AttAH

photo credit. Matthew Mendelson

FEATURE
Not many writers can boast of having as rich and as interesting a continent as African writers do, and even fewer can boast about having recognized fame. Ghanaian writer, Ayesha Harruna Attah, has both. Her first novel, Harmattan Rain, has caused a stir in literary circles around the world, bringing a fresh vitality to Ghanaian literature that has been missing for the past twenty years. At the age of 26, Ayesha has achieved what most writers only dream of achieving. A successful journalist, trained biochemist and recognized “emerging literary icon”, Ayesha is making a name for herself in a notoriously difficult industry. So much so that her very first novel was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize (Africa region). To put this into perspective, the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize is a leading award for fiction - one of the most sought after prizes in the literary world. Winners receive enough clout to negotiate deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with international publishing houses. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. You must be wondering who this young woman making waves is. Ayesha Harruna Attah was born and raised in Accra. Growing up in Accra’s residential areas, Ayesha says her childhood experiences are what shaped her as a person, and consequently as a writer. “In the places I lived, there were people whose parents changed cars whenever they felt like it and there were others whose parents couldn’t afford to buy mosquito proofing to cover their windows. I learned the disparities life offers quite early, and that has made me very conscious of the choices I make. I think on the whole, the Ayesha had a very early introduction to the world of writing. Describing herself during that time as a ‘closet writer’, Ayesha says that there are so many stories dying to be told. Speaking specifically about the African Experience, Ayesha argues that it’s not monolithic and can’t be defined, “The African Experience is a fascinating world of contradictions and complexities. It’s a world of laughter and sadness, opulence and poverty, overdramatic grandmothers and taciturn grandsons. It’s full of actions that make sense to no one but the African.” Its an interesting description, especially now that the world is beginning to appreciate what African writers have to offer. Whether this is the result of international trade or globalization, African writers like Ayesha are finally beginning to receive recognition on large international platforms. However, the most significant contribution to the increasing prominence of African writers is the internet. Ayesha reckons that the internet has been “liberating” for the African writer. She sites the example of African Roar, an online anthology of African writing, produced by the Zimbabwean writer, Ivor Hartmann.

“He has started a blog for showcasing stories 29 from African writer and now using that as a springboard, he’s created a network of writer and readers of African literature. On StoryTime (Ivor’s blog), the stories range from science fiction to love stories to literary fiction - none of them conform to anybody’s idea of what African writing should be.” And that’s exactly what makes Ayesha’s writing so fresh: her exposure to unconventional takes of what African writing is. Her own novel, which depicts the circumstances of three generations of Ghanaian women at different points in Accra’s history, celebrates the cultural and social melting-pot that defines this metropolis, and we at Dust celebrate her for it!

kind of exposure I had made me want to effect some change in the world, however small.”
Her parents are the owners of one of Ghana’s biggest private newspapers, The Mail, so

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What did you start out wanting to do? I just wanted to have fun. In primary school, I threw stones, played football, and stole mangoes. I grew up in North Kaneshie and I was almost a kubolor, but my parents were a little too strict to allow that to happen. Ghana was all mystery, beauty and magic: I came when I was five. There were all these languages; all this dust; trees I could climb; chicken, sheep and goats... it was just incredible. I started making ice lollies for the boys in the area. I could get people to wash my clothes at home because they owed me money. I never really thought about what I wanted to do until Achimota School where I joined the drama club. I think that is where my love of language crystallized. Drama was the thing I wanted to do: I wanted to be an actor. Is that when you started telling stories? Coming to Ghana, I was a talkative kid. There was all this stuff around me and I wanted to talk. I made up stories. My mom says I had an excuse for everything. I wasn’t conscious of it, but that’s probably where it started. My father used to wake up early in the morning to read before he would go to work. There were four of us and I was

the one kid who could wake up early, so I would do that so it was just me and my father. Because he was reading, he could not talk to me. So he would hand me paper and I would doodle. At some point, that became writing stuff down. I never gave it a name. I was probably ten or eleven when I showed him something and he said ‘oh, you’re writing poetry now’. That became something which had a name. From that time, I started to save the things I was writing. It was just my thing. What do you think defines Ghanaian writing (the good and the bad)? There’s an incredible range of social and linguistics experiences in Ghana that change how a person sees the world so I would be hesitant to say that this is the Ghanaian voice. You have people like Mohammed Nasiru Ali who writes his stories based in the Kumasi zongo. His stories are like a new country to me. What he’s choosing to write is an experience I don’t know. I’ve always been wary of labeling things. But I would say a Ghanaian novel should have some indication of linguistic range because that is most Ghanaians’ experience: you can’t live in Ghana and not hear two languages in a day. I’ve been quite worried that because of the lack of libraries people haven’t been aware of the evolution of the English language. People still write quite stiffly, in a very Bronte sisters type of language, which is not the right costume for the Ghanaian experience. I try to tell people to look at slang

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FEATURE
in English novels: they are the ones who brought this to us. I REALLY FEEL LIKE I ended up reading more than I would have read than I would if I’d just stayed in Ghana. It became a bit more embedded. When you’re in England, people ask “what writers are in Ghana?” and you have to have an answer. Is there anything that defines a Nii Ayikwei Parkes book? I’m very interested in the notion that a man differs from his brother significantly. So as much as they are brothers, they’re different. I also play with the idea of love not being reversible. I don’t believe that if people have loved, they can take that love away. Even if they call it hate, it’s a kind of love. I portray the non-human pursuit of wealth as a kind of path to destruction. It’s very directly used in one of my short stories, ‘The Smell of Petrol’ in which this guy is trying to hold onto a car that he bought. The car is pulling him into a ditch but he’s tried so long to put that car on the road that he is even neglecting his family for it. The Tail of a Blue Bird is an exploration of power and the fact that you can never escape your family. It’s a very claustrophobic notion but I think a lot of Ghanaians will recognize it. People around the world even. If you’re not talking to your brother and he goes to do something, people will still say that’s your brother. To find out more about Nii & his writing, visit http://www. niiparkes.com
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WHEN PEOPLE STOP APOLOGIZING FOR WHO WE ARE AND START TO WRITE LANGUAGE THE WAY WE SPEAK IT THEN YOU WILL START TO SEE IN WRITERS FROM GHANA THE KIND OF MUScULARITY YOU SEE FOR EXAMPLE IN LATIN AMERIcA. WE OWN THE LANGUAGE IN SPEAKING, BUT WE DON’T IN WRITING. IT’S ALMOST LIKE WE ARE APOLOGIZING FOR WHAT WE SPEAK.
Which writers have influenced you? I don’t know if I’m conscious of influence but I admire certain writers. I don’t read them to imitate. But I always mention Mariama Ba, Ngugi, James Baldwin… people can’t get their heads around the idea that a black guy wrote a story about a white guy. It says that you can write anything. Locally, there’s Atukwei Okai. His work is about the music of language: ‘Lorgorligi Algorhythms’. Most striking of the Ghanaian writers I read was Kofi Awoonor and his book,‘This Earth My Brother’. I love that book. Not just because of the Accra it paints of its time and how it shows the variety of people’s origins but also the dual approach where he would write something that was quite abstract and alternate

photo credit. Seton Nicholas

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DREAM
AN EXCERPT
THE NEW BOOK, A VILLAGE BOY’S DREAM: A WILL TO SUCCEED, IS AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY BY KOFFI ADDO.
The book traces the author’s life from a small village to his becoming a prominent Ghanaian business man. The novel, told in a conversational and reminiscent tone, is a historical piece that documents the social, political and philosophical mindsets of a time we’re quickly forgetting. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the novel:

A Village Boy’s

FEATURE “The flair in this enterprise-culture was, however, doused one day when my plans fell short of expectations. In the course of time, I had become aware of stipendiary speakers on lecture circuits, so when I received an invitation to travel to Hope, Arkansas, to speak at a high school there, I sang the Hallelujah Chorus with a thrill of delight in praise of God, the Great Provider. At the appointed time for my travel, however, I painfully discovered that I did not have sufficient funds for the journey. But bolstered by hope and confidence that I would be richly rewarded after the lecture, I took a risk and raced downtown to a familiar pawnshop and deposited one of my only two lounge suits as security for a loan. This transaction turned out not to be a sensible bargain for me because the hard pawnbroker devalued by Gold Coast (Ghana) custom-made outfit as generations outof-step with fashion in the United States. The two-piece suit fetched some paltry three dollars, and the man added - cheekily - that he had done me a favor. The money was just enough for my return-transport-fare from Pine Bluff to Hop, Arkansas. But as I have said, I was fully convinced that my host, the high school, would pay me handsomely to enable me redeem my gray flannel suit back into my wardrobe. Now, the auditorium at the school was packed to capacity with anxious staff and students to hear me speak about my country in Africa. I treated my subject expertly, and if the enthusiastic applause that punctuated my speech was the index of the rate of my remuneration, then I would have been richer by far at the end of the function. But sadly this was not to be. I had widely miscalculated because the compensatory gesture that I received was a regular lunch at the cafeteria in the company of the staff; and a car ride to the Greyhound bus terminal where I was left to my own devices. Contrary to my estimation, the hands that stretched to bid me good-bye at the station transferred no stuffed envelope as recompense. I had raised my expectations, only to have them dashed. My experience was, no doubt, an exercise in futility. To say the least, I was crestfallen all the way back to my school, and whenever I glanced at the mirror on the roof above the bus driver’s seat, I could see the look of disdain that clouded my face. Upon arrival on my campus, interested friends milled around me to enquire about the outcome of my trip - and I wished that I could have narrated a story as hopeful as the name of the school town implied: Hope, Arkansas. But I lacked the courage to acquaint my friends of the fiasco of the day and confess my disappointment. However, my sunken face alone might have betrayed me and said everything. The recovery of my pawn too, gnawed at my soul. Soon the three months pawnor’smoratorium expired and I lost my suit for three miserable dollars as I could not redeem it on the due date. That was an austere and disagreeable lesson in life in which - like a game of chance - a winner is among several millions of other stakers.” You can purchase Koffi Addo’s ‘A Village Boy’s Dream: A Will to Succeed’, from Silverbird bookstore, EPP Bookstore, Challenge Bookstore, Melting Moments, Q’ticules & Nails, Artists Alliance, and Sytris Bookshop.

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Markelli is a Ghanaian based pre-eminent provider of: 1. General Merchandising 2. International Trade And Commodities Brokerage • Laptop Computers: - Wholesale and Hire Purchase with IT /ICT Training • Rice, Cooking Oil, Sugar • Second Hand Clothing Recycle 3. Food And Beverage • Ice cream, ice cream powder and fresh fruit juice 4. Markelli Youth Development Organization “MyDo” 5. Business Development Markelli Enterprise is a marketing-oriented trading company. Markelli provides clients with well-priced products and services, which include value-added creative and practical designs as well as provides superior customer attention. Quality results are our solution to all the products and services we provide our customers.

Markelli - make your mark early.
Contact us: Markelli Enterprise Hse. No. 13 Kokomlele, New Town Road Next to Odo Rise P. O. Box AF 2032 Adenta-Accra. Office: +233 030 293 9937 | +233 289 527614 Mob: +233 243 127 618 Email: markelli29@yahoo.com

Charles Oppong CEO and Founder

ASPIRE

changing
Careers
LIFE IS HARD. THIS IS A FACT THAT ALL GHANAIANS KNOW INTIMATELY. SOMETIMES IT’S THE CUT-THROAT COMPETITION AT WORK, OTHER TIMES ITS THE LOW SALARY PACKAGES. DID YOU KNOW THAT MANY GHANAIANS ARE UNHAPPY WITH THEIR JOBS AND WANT TO LEAVE THEIR CURRENT PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT? IF YOU’RE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE, WE’VE GOT THE ULTIMATE 8-STEP PLAN TO CHANGING YOUR CAREER. STEP 1: ASSESS YOUR LIKES AND DISLIKES Many people want to change their careers because they dislike their job, their boss or the company they work for. So at this stage, identifying the things you don’t like about your employment is easy; but in order for you to make the right decisions regarding your future, it is equally important to know what you like. What do you like doing at work? What activities excite you in the workplace? Find out what your passion is. STEP 2: RESEARCH NEW CAREERS Once you’ve discovered what your passion is, you have to spend some time doing research about the jobs that allow you to engage in that activity. Some people tend to get nervous at this point because, as they do more research, they begin to fully understand the change they’re making - but don’t allow fear to prevent you from making the change that will benefit your life and wellbeing. STEP 3: TRANSfERABLE SKILLS In making your final decision regarding a career change, you have to take stock of your current skills and experiences and see how they fit in your possible new career. Some skills - like communications, leadership, and planning are transferable and always good to apply to a new career.
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ASPIRE STEP 4: TRAINING AND EDUCATION After compiling your transferable skills, it may become clear that you may need to update some of them or even to broaden your knowledge. Be smart about this step. If the skill you need is one you can use in your current job, see if your current employer would be willing to pay for your training. Also, start slowly. Take a course or two from a professional college (like GIMPA) to make sure you like the subject matter. STEP 5: NETWORKING
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about getting a part-time job or some volunteer in your new field to gather up your experience. Do whatever it takes to get the necessary experience because employers are not likely to hire someone that doesn’t have a clue about the job they’re supposed to be doing. STEP 7: fIND A MENTOR The process of changing careers can be overwhelming at times and one way to manage that stress if to find a mentor. Another advantage to having a mentor is that they’ll introduce you to their contacts in their industry, which will help you with your networking. STEP 8: BE fLExIBLE When changing your career, it is advisable to be flexible about nearly everything. You will need to be flexible about your employment status, the possible need to relocate and the likelihood you will receive a dip in your salary for a bit. Career advisors often advise that you should always set positive goals for yourself, expect setbacks and unexpected challenges, but don’t let them prevent you from achieving your end goal.

ExTRA TIPS: • Learn to cope with failure and criticism • Make sure your choices take you in the right direction • Make sure you have emergency funds when changing your career • Aim for the best opportunities and not the best money.

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This is one of the most important elements to successfully changing careers. People you know will most likely be able to give you information of employment opportunities around town, offer advice and introduce you to the right people that’ll be in a position to help you get a new job. STEP 6: GETTING ExPERIENCE Another scary part of changing careers is the lack of experience you may have for your new job. You’re starting your career again from the very beginning and it may be worth thinking

“Learn to cope with failure and criticism.”

save when you make
How to

ASPIRE ASPIRE Once you are on top of your finances and have accumulated a sizable savings (this can range from GH¢200 to GH¢10,000), you are in a position to begin investing your savings. There are a number of ways to invest your money without making yourself vulnerable to risk. A highyield savings account is an example you can enquire about at your bank. At present, the best bank facility on the market appears to be Databank’s E-pack facility. It is a longterm investment facility - 12 years - that offers significant returns. Imagine you had invested GH¢5 every month from 1996, by 2008 you would have gathered a hefty GH¢12,549 (as opposed to the GH¢720 you would have saved normally from a savings account at your bank). Go to your local bank branch to find out what options are available to you and don’t be afraid to go to other banks as well to find out what they have on offer. TIP: Open a US Dollar or Euro offshore savings account and when you get paid, change a portion of it into that currency. It could be as little as GH¢20, but it will enable you to protect some of your funds against rising inflation.

PEANUTS

“MONEY ISN’T THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE, BUT ITS REASONABLY CLOSE TO OXYGEN ON THE GOTTAHAVE-IT SCALE” - ZIG ZIGLAR
Let’s face it. Saving money in Ghana is as difficult as digging the foundations of a two-bedroom house on your own - not impossible, just mad difficult. The rising cost of food, transportation, utilities, clothing, and other hidden expenditures make it hard not be in debt, let alone save.

Once your debt is cleared, you need to set savings goals and decide what you’re saving for. For shortterm goals, this is easy: all you need to do is find out how much your goal costs and put money away until you’ve got enough. For long-term goals, like saving for retirement, a bit more strategy is required.

photo credit. Crystal Svanikier

Making a budget is essential because it allows you to identify all of your expenses and will show you how much you need to spend each month. Making a budget is relatively easy when you have a regular salary. For those that do not have a steady source of income, saving a little There is more to saving each time you get paid is a money than just spending good way to increase your less of it. Before you start saving, it is crucial to clear all savings pot. Or start saving your debts. Only then can you money by taking lunch to work instead of buying it redirect your finances into there. savings.

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dust Magazine

The Great Facebook Giveaway You may have guessed from the fact we are a free magazine that we like giving things away here at Dust. In that spirit, we thought we’d let you in on a little secret... Ready? Good. Here goes.... In between issues, we receives lots of freebies and offers from our friends and partners that we can’t print. Being the sharing bunch of people we are, we don’t want to use them ourselves. We want to share them with you. To be first in line for all the good stuff, all you have to do is join our Facebook group (www.facebook.com/accradust). That way, we can keep you posted whenever anything special comes our way. So get out your computer (or your mobile phone), log in to www.facebook.com/ accradust and sign up!

FLASH

IN THE PRESENcE OF THE GODS
Words & Images by Seton Nicholas

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I take my first steps into the Atia Yaw shrine, Mampong Akwapim overly pre-occupied with protocol. I have visions of being asked to provide a sheep or fowl to be slaughtered for some breach of it. I am after all about to be dealing with Gods and Deities…the super-natural and one must overall be careful not to offend. A woman rushes and sweeps first Nana B, (who has helped make this happen.) and then, me into a bear hug. The disconnect between what I witnessed and what I expected to see somehow throws me off balance. While everything seemed strange, it was all so familiar. For instance watching Kobina Dua, one of the Gods, dance was no different from any dance you would, say, see a knife bearing obrafo or ahen kwa do during a festival and yet this was Kobina Dua, manifested through, Ama, a woman. This was just another animal slaughter; no different from the several that take place in many households every festive season. Except this one’s death had more ceremony and its blood more sacred purposes to serve.

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This was me… same old me sitting with two women and one man and puffing on Rothman cigarettes and making small talk. Or was it? The only thing I can say with some surety is that we smoked cigarettes. For I was drunk on how surreal it all was and my smoking buddies weren’t quite themselves. Each of them possessed by a spirit. “Baffour”, gives up after a couple of puffs and gives away his cigarette. He curls up his lips in distaste and says “mi di min p h Kingsize oooh, kai! Tusker na mi p h!” I’m given an ashtray, which I offer to share when I notice that my new friends are ashing their cigarettes into their palms, except I am turned down. My ashes are to be kept separate.

Theirs will be used at a later point as part of a ritual. It turns out this isn’t just a cigarette break after all. Some of the Gods like their tobacco and their booze and it turns out that while several pipes and even more cigarettes are to be smoked that day, I’m the only one smoking “recreationally.” The other day, on television I watched the presenter of a popular tele-magazine programme remark that Africa was no longer a “dark” continent. The statement offended me because in my opinion Africa never was… a dark continent, that is. Only represented as such through colonial and racist depictions of it. Depictions we have read, studied, absorbed, internalized.

Each time a differnt god posesses a person new hellos are said and old friendhips rekindled

FLASH That I have internalized, I think, as I realize that my preconceptions of exotic rites and traditional acts of worship couldn’t be more off-centre. What I discover is a spiritual celebration so mundane and so familiar that I almost feel a sense of nostalgia for the dark exoticism I came expecting to find. At some point, having been formally welcomed I ask permission to start taking photographs. And as I pull out my camera I think to myself that I hope nothing I say or do earns their mistrust… reduces me to just another cargo pants and Birkenstock wearing, DSLR slinging “tourist”. Bound to misunderstand… to mislabel. After I realize that it is not Akwapim the chief obosomfo is speaking but Fante I walk up and introduce myself. Properly this time… my name is Kweku Abaka, I am from Saltpond. He says he is from Anomabo… instantly we are friends. And soon our conversation is deeper, more familiar; more intimate even us he takes me on a tour. In

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Kobina Dua,manifest in Ama, a local woman

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Fante every thing means more. Nothing is lost in translation. Slammed under that ever so broad and inadequate description that is FETISH. This is much more…this is faith. Traditional Ghanaian Religion. Before I leave the Obosomfo ensures that I am fed past my fill, in his living room, where I flip through his photo albums while eating a sumptuous meal of yam and ntroba froyi, which I wash down with a cold beer. I insist on wanting to eat with everyone else but he in turn insists that I am a guest and he will accord me the proper protocol.

Empty bottles of schnapps and local rum remain in sacred spaces... perhaps as evidence of the many sacrifices and rituals that have have taken place over time

Offerings to the gods rest beside their individual shrines according to preference. Gifts range from Beer or schnapps to all kinds of toffee for the more sweet toothed

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When night starts to fall and I beg leave of him, he thanks me, for coming, for caring even. He tells me of future plans for the shrine. A replacement shrine for Kobina Dua and perhaps some day a conference area where lectures can be given to tourists and pilgrims. With a smile, almost like he knew my initial quest for the exotic, he says never mind that I didn’t witness much magic and other evidence of the supernatural That was not

what today’s rites were about. And Tigare, one of head deities of this shrine would not have approved. There’s a grand durbar coming up soon. ‘m h sh da ato nsa afr wo… hor na y h b h dzi agor kakra a ma wayhu.” I laugh with him, clasp his hand in mine in a firm handshake and head off into the night.

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SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

By Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah There are lots of taboo subjects when it comes to sex in Ghana. Anal Sex, Oral Sex, Group Sex…in fact any type of subject concerning sex is very much taboo, but the biggest taboo of all is ‘Gay Sex’. The average Ghanaian will declare that Homosexuality is taboo. ‘It’s not natural’ is an argument that you will hear time and time again, ‘how can a woman and another woman sleep together?’ Or you might hear some-one say, ‘It’s a sin’. Another will say ‘ It’s not African, it’s a bad habit from the West that people have picked up’. Now there are a lot of things that I do not know where sexuality is concerned but there are a couple of things I will wager to be true. Lesbians and Homosexuals have always existed in Ghana and Africa. There! I said it. Come on, we all know this to be fundamentally true. How else can we have expressions like ‘Kojo Besia’? You must have heard an elderly aunt say at one point in time, ‘Ei, oy3 Kojo Besia’. Terms such as Kojo Besia are used to describe men who are regarded as effeminate or suspected to be homosexual. Of course being effeminate does not automatically equal being gay but in the Ghanaian context the two are often lumped together. The points to be taken from expressions like Kojo Besia are gender identities are not always fixed, sexual identities are also not always fixed and we cannot always box people up into neat sexual constructs. Very often in Ghana the issue of pedophilia is intertwined with homosexuality. Many stories abound in the print media of ‘foreign’ men who prey upon young boys but we conveniently forget about the uncles who prey on their little nieces or the aunties who sexually abuse their young nephews. Let’s deal with the issue of child abuse in our midst and not pretend that instances of pedophilia are always by homosexual foreigners. Gay Pride? Does it exist in Ghana? Should it exist in Ghana? What does it mean? The idea of Gay Pride is an effort to turn something perceived as negative into a positive. In many ways the idea of ‘Gay Pride’ is similar to the idea of being ‘Black and Proud’. For many years (and to date some will argue) the Western world has looked down upon black people, perceiving black people to be inferior, less intelligent and a step down the humanity scale. The civil rights movement in the United States sought to turn this notion on its head with many people declaring themselves to be ‘Black and Proud’ (cue James Brown). Today, the Heterosexual world looks down on the Homosexual world in the same way, and considers Homosexuals unnatural, deviant and oftentimes freaks of nature. It is an interesting repetition of the past. Will this also change? Will a Gay Rights Movement change things? Time will tell.

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SEX & RELATIONSHIPS I was catching up with a long distance friend over Gmail Chat about relationships and we started talking about cheating. He was telling me how he had learnt from his previous relationship and asked what I thought about abstaining from sex at the start of a new relationship. I told him that abstinence is not a theory I subscribe to although I can see the rationale. Sometime dur-ing the chat, I asked him why he had cheated in the past (he has not cheated in his current relationship). His response: ‘I cheated occasionally
We started talking about the importance of communicating with your partner and telling them about having cheated in the past and what led to it (in order to prevent you from cheating again). I told him about a past relationship where I cheated on my partner and how I told a later ‘buddy’ about it. My friends thought it was a bad idea. They were (rightly I think) concerned that he would judge me unfavourably for having cheated.SO I DID SOME RESEARCH. I TEXTED MY FRIENDS WHO I KNEW HAD CHEATED BEFORE OR ARE CHEATING CURRENTLY. I ALSO TEXTED ONE FRIEND WHO I HAD NO IDEA WHETHER HE HAD CHEATED BEFORE OR NOT: ‘OKAY DOING SOME RESEARCH FOR THE BLOG. WHY DO PEOPLE CHEAT? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?’These are some of the responses I received. I feel that men and women cheat for different reasons so I’ve indicated whether the response came from a man or woman to see if any trends emerge:

when I was feeling bad about the relationship and needed a break’.

WHY DO

PEOPLE

• • •

Because you want out of the current relationship, On a subconscious level you are trying to break up (woman) Cos they are selfish – you do it because you do it, simple (woman) Dissatisfaction generally, sex, fantasy, love, fulfilment, recognition and respect, seeking attention, irresponsibility on partner’s side, beauty, communication, generational gap, I can go on and on, these are my personal experiences. (woman) Easy, Indiscipline (woman) The thrill of experiencing sexual attraction with someone other than your partner, it’s more exciting. People cheat because they are bored/unhappy/unfulfilled (man)

I don’t know why. Plus I don’t really cheat so I really wouldn’t know ? (man – I know he has cheated although in the text he (jokingly?) denies it) Because they know they won’t be caught and there is a certain allure to the naughtiness of the act. Plus and more importantly a relationship is not the natural state of things, all the things it promises, a sense of security, joy, constant sex…what you end up getting is boredom and all the insecurities the other party brings to the table, none of the romance or excitement you were hoping for ( man) They’re weak? They can’t be bothered to try and stay committed? Can’t let a skirt get away? I think it’s mainly the idea they can get away with it and so why not? (man)

• •

One of my friends said her response was too long to send via text so she sent an email. I am reproduing the relevant bits in their entirety below: “Firstly, I’m assuming we’re talking about sex because personally I believe you can cheat by kissing or fooling around with someone who isn’t your partner or even by getting emotionally closer to another person. But, we both know how ‘extra’ I am.
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Once you separate the act of lovemaking from the notion of love, the reasons for cheating become clearer. For some people I think a lot of the thrill is in the chase of pursuing someone and in the discovery of sexual pleasure with someone new. As much as you try to maintain spontaneity and creativity in a long term relationship you grow to anticipate your partner’s likes and responses. For some this is a turn on, for others it’s the beginning of sexual death and is boring. Cheating happens at a point in time you find someone else more sexually attractive or they can give you something or perform sexual acts in a way that your partner can’t or isn’t willing to try. Some people cheat because they are in denial. They think they are fooling themselves, their peers and wider society by maintaining the facade of being heterosexual and being in a conventional relationship when really they’re bi-sexual or gay (not that I like those labels) and need to explore or fulfil that side of themselves with someone of the same sex. They may also be scared of reproach if they come out. The only thing I can tell you with any certainty is why I personally cheated, which is not something I’m proud of or thought I was capable of: I guess we never really know what we’re capable of until we’re tested in a given situation. I felt emotionally neglected and distant from my partner. That chasm allowed me to become very emotionally close to someone else and once you feel that bond it’s easy for attraction to develop and not too big a leap for you to act on it. The reason why I continued cheating? Because I fell in love and I guess I wanted to explore that side of myself. The crux is, it’s only cheating if your partner doesn’t know about it. So the real question is, why don’t people tell? That’s a whole other debate. I guess because if you’re married or co habiting for example you risk losing a lot. Access to children perhaps, money in a settlement, the trust and closeness of someone whom you may care about and have a shared history, your best friend perhaps. So maybe people don’t tell because they’re scared of losing those things and are cowards, but often I guess because they know their actions will hurt someone they may love, but don’t care enough not do it” What are your thoughts on why people cheat? Have you every cheated? Tell us at www.adventuresfrom.com and don’t forget to indicate whether you’re male or female.

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DEAR NANA
I NEED HELP. I AM AN EMOTIONAL WRECK. MY BOYFRIEND BROKE UP WITH ME A FEW MONTHS AGO FOR NO GOOD REASON. I LATER FOUND OUT THAT HE HAD BEEN CHEATING ON ME. I FEEL EVEN MORE HURT THAN I DID BEFORE. I CAN’T ACCEPT THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP IS OVER AND WANT TO GET BACK WITH HIM. I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH HIM. I HAVE TRIED SO HARD TO GET OVER HIM. I’M A FAIRLY ATTRACTIVE WOMAN AND GET APPROACHED REGULARLY BY OTHER MEN YET NO ONE COMPARES TO HIM. MY OTHER DILEMMA FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS HAS BEEN SEXUAL. I LOVE TO HAVE GOOD SEX BUT NONE OF THE MEN I’VE BEEN INVOLVED WITH SINCE THE BREAKUP HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SATISFY ME IN BED. AT BEST, I HAVE NOT BEEN SATISFIED WITH MY SUBSEQUENT LOVERS AND AT WORST I BURST INTO TEARS BECAUSE I AM STILL THINKING OF MY EX. I’M TEMPTED TO GIVE MY EX A ‘BOOTY CALL’. I REALLY DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. PLEASE HELP. AFUA

SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

Dear Afua, Yes, it can be very hard to get over a relationship especially when the other party is the one who takes the initiative to end the relationship. Rightly or wrongly I have always felt the person who takes the initiative to end the relationship has a slightly easier time because they have mentally and emotionally prepared themselves to move on. There are a myriad of reasons why someone chooses to end a relationship. It could be because they no longer feel you are a right match for them, it could be because they no longer see themselves spending the rest of their lives with you, and it could be because they have fallen out of love with you. All these possibilities are extremely frustrating for the other party, who is is left with questions and no answers. You may never fully know the real reason why your partner chooses to break up with you but that is part of the frustration you have to live with. The reality you have to accept though is that he no longer wishes to be with you and its time for you to move on. So how do you move on when you have been so emotionally involved with someone? 1. Acknowledge that the relationship is well and truly over. Do not deceive yourself into thinking that he will want you back. Do you really want to get back with someone who was cheating on you? Does a leopard ever change its spots? 2. Allow yourself time to heal. I always feel it is helpful to spend some time as a singleton after one relationship has ended. This is important and allows you to mourn the death of one relationship, to assess what was good and bad, and most importantly to determine what you really want from your next relationship. Too many of us are scared of being single and do not take enough time to reflect before jumping into the next relationship. 3. Sex with an ex is always tricky. Especially an ex that you are not yet over. Don’t do it! Sex tends to bond us physically and emotionally to another person and if you do give in to the ‘booty call’ urge you will find it even more difficult to detach yourself from your ex. From the post- break-up sexual experiences you have recounted, it also sounds like you are not ready to have intimate relations with other people. Use this period to rediscover the joys of singledom. Go on dates with as many people as you wish – but remember these dates do not have to end in the bedroom. Take time to discover your sexuality – remember that rediscovering your sexuality does not need to always involve another person. Most importantly rediscover who you are. The real you. The you that doesn’t need another person to feel fulfilled. The you that is happy whether you are single or not. Send your sex & relationship problems to Nana at editor@accradust.com

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THE TUNNEL BOYS

BrOni LuKAS DeLA. BArrY. STAr. hACKMAn. riChArD OSei. AnAni. FrAnK ASieDu. AnAZu.

photo credit. Crystal Svanikier

F

or anyone that lives on the Spintex road or in East Legon, you’ll know exactly who we’re talking about. For many of us, the boys that direct traffic at the tunnel linking densely populated areas have been providing an invaluable service to an ever-increasing community of businessowners, housewives, young professionals and professional hooligans. For those of you that do not know what (or who) I’m talking about, this tunnel is a narrow, one-road thoroughfare that, without guidance, easily turns into a vehicular nightmare. Impatient drivers coming from each side, often being trapped by other impatient drivers behind them, it is not unusual to hear of - what is normally - a

30 second drive becoming a 2-hour congestion. It was for this reason that, in 1994, Richard Osei began directing traffic in the tunnel, and it wasn’t long before he was joined by fellow area boys until they became a group of nine. Dividing the day into four shifts, the guys at the Tunnel maintain the integrity of the road (which can be translated to mean clearing the road of rubbish and filling in pot holes) and direct on-coming traffic from opposite sides through a narrow one lane. With no help or recognition from the government and minimal assistance from the local police, making a living from the tips generous drivers has been

the main source of income for these guys.

“Whatever you make on your shift, you keep; but if someone makes a lot of money during their shift, we tend to share it.”
On a normal day, they make an average of GH¢ 15.00, but they can make up to GH¢ 60 a day. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but its managed to put some of them through technical school and it’s also enough to help support their families. Next time you pass through the tunnel, spare a cedi or two, and help the guys that help you every day.

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ICON

The man who gave the world

AFRIcAN JAZZ

WORDS & IMAGE BY NANA KOFI AcQUAH
I met Ghanaba on a Saturday morning in the village where he hides out for a photo-shoot on the occasion of his son Glenn’s upcoming album. I was excited. I had heard so much about this 84 year old who lives in isolation and yet touches many hearts with his life’s work. The click of the camera and popping of the flash seemed to awaken the star in him. He came alive, opened up to me and started to share his story with me. Ghanaba was born in Accra. As a student, in 1940, he joined the Accra Rhythmic Orchestra as a drummer. After this period, he worked as an undercover for the Office of Strategic Services, a United States Agency dealing with overt and covert operations during the Second World War. He also worked as a DJ, a reporter and he did a series of jazz programmes for the British Broadcasting Service He was a founding member of the Tempos, where he played drums. The Tempos was considered by many the epitome of an African jazz ensemble. In 1955 he moved to Chicago and joined the Gene Esposito band. This ensemble recorded his best known album, Africa Speaks, America Answers in 1956 for Decca Records. In 1957 he moved to New York City where he formed the Zoundz ensemble, and continued developing a musical style which he called African jazz. He performed with such greats as Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Thelonious Monk. Today, the New York University intermittently marches their students to sit at his feet and to learn from him. His message of Sankofa continues. It seems he has been deliberately forgotten for political reasons – he was a mentor of Jerry John Rawlings - but someday soon, Ghana will go back, dig through his work and learn from the living legend.

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This piece was first published online at www.powerofculture.org and is being reprinted here in honour of the legend that is Kofi Ghanaba. uring and after the era of the transatlantic slave-trade, jazz as a music form with deep African roots morphed into the many styles of African- American, Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian and Dominican jazz , generally losing its African-ness, as time passed, in the diaspora. Warren Gamaliel Akwei (Guy Warren, later to be commonly known as Ghanaba) in the mid Fifties became the talking drum that sounded African American jazz musicians and music lovers back to their roots. A move that could possibly be the summary of his life’s work can be summed up by the one Ghanaian proverb he still stands by: ‘Sankofa, wonkyir’ (‘There’s nothing wrong with going back to your roots’.)

52

D

Can you think of anyone no longer alive who is an icon? Tell us: editor@accradust.com

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SPORTS MATCH SCHEDULE 2010 FIFA World Cup South FIFA 2010 WORLD cUP
Group Matches
Wednesday June 16 Wednesday June 23
39 20.30

Thursday June 17

Johannesburg
Soccer City

1 16.00

9 13.30

20 13.30

29 20.30

RSA MEX
v.

NED DEN
v.

ARG KOR
v.

BRA CIV
v.

GHA GER
v.

Johannesburg
Ellis Park

3 16.00

14 20.30

22 16.00

32 20.30

41 16.0

ARG NGA
v.

BRA PRK
v.

SVN USA
v.

ESP HON
v.

Nelspruit
Mbombela

15 13.30

28 16.00

40 20.30

HON CHI
v.

ITA NZL
v.

AUS SRB
v.

Rustenburg
Royal Bafokeng

5 20.30

12 13.30

24 16.00

33 16.00

43 20.3

ENG USA
v.

NZL SVK
v.

GHA AUS
v.

MEX URU
v.

Mangaung/ Bloemfontein
Free State

10 16.00

19 16.00

27 13.30

34 16.00

JPN CMR
v.

GRE NGA
v.

SVK PAR
v.

FRA RSA
v.

Cape Town
Green Point

2 20.30

11 20.30

23 20.30

30 13.30

44 20.3

URU FRA
v.

ITA PAR
v.

ENG ALG
v.

POR PRK
v.

Durban
Durban

7 20.30

16 16.00

25 13.30

35 20.30

GER AUS
v.

ESP SUI
v.

NED JPN
v.

NGA KOR
v.

Polokwane
Peter Mokaba

6 13.30

18 20.30

36 20.30

42 16.0

ALG SVN
v.

FRA MEX
v.

GRE ARG
v.

Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Bay

4 13.30

13 16.00

21 13.30

31 16.00

37 16.00

KOR GRE
v.

CIV POR
v.

GER SRB
v.

CHI SUI
v.

SVN ENG
v.

Tshwane/Pretoria
Loftus Versfeld

8 16.00

17 20.30

26 20.30

38 16.00

SRB GHA
v.

RSA URU
v.

CMR DEN
v.

USA ALG
v.

Group A
South Africa (RSA) Mexico (MEX) Uruguay (URU) France (FRA)

Group B
Argentina (ARG) Nigeria (NGA) Korea Republic (KOR) Greece (GRE)

Group C
England (ENG) USA (USA) Algeria (ALG) Slovenia (SVN)

Group D
Germany (GER) Australia (AUS) Serbia (SRB) Ghana (GHA)

Group E
Netherlands (NED) Denmark (DEN) Japan (JPN) Cameroon (CMR)

Group F
Italy (ITA) Paraguay (PAR) New Zealand (NZL) Slovakia (SVK)

Group G
Brazil (BRA) Korea DPR (PRK) Côte d’’Ivoire (CIV) Portugal (POR)

Group H
Spain (ESP) Switzerland (SUI) Honduras (HON) Chile (CHI)

Thursday June 24
SVK ITA
v.

Saturday June 12

Saturday June 19

Monday June 14

Monday June 21

Tuesday June 15

Tuesday June 22

Friday June 11

Sunday June 13

Friday June 18

Sunday June 20

DEN JPN
v.

CMR NED
v.

PAR NZL
v.

Africa™™

ScHEDULE
Round of 16
Wednesday June 30 Thursday July 1 Saturday June 26 Monday June 28 Tuesday June 29 Sunday June 27

South Africa
Quarter Finals
Saturday July 3 Monday July 5 Sunday July 4

Semi Finals
Wednesday July 7 Thursday July 8 Tuesday July 6

3/4 Place and Final
Saturday July 10 Sunday July 11
64 20.30

Friday June 25

Friday July 2

52 20.30

58 20.30

1B 2A(2)
v.

3 (A)

v.

1

Friday July 9

Winner I Winner II
v.

00

54 20.30

60 20.30

1G 2H (7)
v.

8 (D)

v.

6

46 16.00

PRK CIV
v.

30

50 20.30

1C

Rest Da ys

Rest Da ys

48 20.30

51 16.00

SUI HON
v.

1D 2C (4)
v.

30

56 20.30

59 16.00

61 20.30

1H 2G (8)
v.

4 (B)

v.

2

A C (I)
v.

45 16.00

53 16.00

62 20.30

POR BRA
v.

1E 2F(5)
v.

D (II)

v.

B

00

49 16.00

57 16.00

Rest Da ys
63 20.30

2D (3)

v.

1A 2B (1)
v.

7 (C)

v.

5

Loser I Loser II
v.

47 20.30

55 16.00

CHI ESP
v.

1F 2E (6)
v.

Final Version

dust
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12.04.2010

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