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Dakar Biennale: From red swimmers to floating teapots

One of the largest events in the African modern art world, the Dakar Biennale, has returned for its 14th edition – after a four-year gap because of the coronavirus pandemic – featuring hundreds of pieces from artists from around the world.

Exhibits have popped up throughout Senegal’s capital, including in galleries, fine art centres, restaurants and hotels.

The theme for this year is Ndaffa, which means “to forge out of the fire” in the Serer language.

One of the artists, British-Nigerian painter Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, said his time in Senegal had inspired his work.

His pieces, including the blue and red one pictured below, centre on dance and movement.

Dakar Biennale: From red swimmers to floating teapots

“I absorbed everything in my surroundings and that manifested in some paintings that were a bit more fluid and expressive,” he said. “There was more spirit in the work.”

Another Nigerian artist, Tyna Adebowale, said she was touched by how welcomed she felt in Senegal. She was particularly inspired after spending several days with an elderly woman who would go on to become the voice behind her paintings.

Her work, she said, is an exploration of feminism through the lens of that Senegalese matriarch.

“Senegal is this very beautiful spirit,” she said. “Inserting yourself in a space where you don’t understand the language but you still feel at home – it’s beautiful.”

Two painted portraits of a women smoking a pipe.

The main exhibit is being held at the Ancien Palais de Justice in Dakar and is composed of 59 artists from nearly 30 countries.

The month-long event is expected to attract 250,000 visitors, as it did when it was last held in 2018, when around 50,000 travelled to the Senegalese capital from abroad for the festival.

One work, by Nigerian artist Ngozi Ezema, features hundreds of strings beaded with bits of clay suspended in mid-air.

From the front angle it takes the shape of a teapot being tipped into a teacup.

A viewer looking at the artwork of Ngozi Ezema, which looks like a teapot suspended in mid-air.

The piece represents the effort Ezema pours into her various endeavours: her work, her children and her marriage. Often the teacup is cracked and unable to be filled – she rarely has a chance to enjoy the tea.

Another striking piece of artwork is found on Dakar’s coastal walkway – a red swimmer by Senegalese artist Diadji Diop.

Diadji Diop's sculpture of a red swimmer.

The sculpture symbolises the emergence from the pandemic and a moment to catch one’s breath.

During the biennale outdoor spaces have transformed into walkable exhibits and performance halls.

Performers dance along the coastal walkway on May 21, 2022 as part of the Dakar Biennale.

Some of the other artists being features at the festival are from the United States, Mali, Rwanda and France.

Moses Hamborg’s work, pictured on the right hand side in the photo below, was on display at the opening of the Black Rock gallery on 20 May.

The work of Moses Hamborg (on the right) which is a painting of two black women.

He has been in Dakar for the last two months and is impressed by how integrated art and culture are in everyday life.

“I feel like the biennale’s been going on for a while. It’s on the streets of Dakar everyday,” he said. “Senegal is such a welcoming place and I feel so lucky to have been able to access that.”

Meanwhile, back at the Ancien Palais de Justice, the work of Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté was on display on 21 May:

Viewers walk past work by Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté at the Ancien Palais de Justice on May 21, 2022 as part of the Dakar Biennale. The artwork features varying shades of blue and contains what looks like the moon.

At the same event on the same day, paintings by Rwandan artist Gilles Dusabe were on display:

Photographs of black bodies by Rwandan artist Gilles Dusabe hang.

As was the work of French artist Louisa Marajo:

An installation by French artist Louisa Marajo is displayed at the Ancien Palais de Justice

Senegalese artists are also front and centre at the Biennale, including works of Aissa Dione:

Viewers admire a piece by Senegalese artist Aissa Dione at the opening of the Black Rock gallery. The artwork looks like a hammock-like structure.

And these sculptures by Abdou Fary Faye:

Sculptures by Abdou Fary Faye

Alioune Diagne, who uses a combination of figurative and abstract styles, is known for his paintings inspired by daily life in Senegal:

Woman looking at a paining by Alioune Diagne

The biennale, which started on 19 May, will run until 21 June.

One of the attendees, from New York City, said he admired how the art he had seen around Dakar acted as a mirror.

“It responds to what’s around, it doesn’t add fluff. It doesn’t overcomplicate things,” Devin B Johnson commented.

News

Dakar Biennale: From red swimmers to floating teapots

One of the largest events in the African modern art world, the Dakar Biennale, has returned for its 14th edition – after a four-year gap because of the coronavirus pandemic – featuring hundreds of pieces from artists from around the world.

Exhibits have popped up throughout Senegal’s capital, including in galleries, fine art centres, restaurants and hotels.

The theme for this year is Ndaffa, which means “to forge out of the fire” in the Serer language.

One of the artists, British-Nigerian painter Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, said his time in Senegal had inspired his work.

His pieces, including the blue and red one pictured below, centre on dance and movement.

Dakar Biennale: From red swimmers to floating teapots

“I absorbed everything in my surroundings and that manifested in some paintings that were a bit more fluid and expressive,” he said. “There was more spirit in the work.”

Another Nigerian artist, Tyna Adebowale, said she was touched by how welcomed she felt in Senegal. She was particularly inspired after spending several days with an elderly woman who would go on to become the voice behind her paintings.

Her work, she said, is an exploration of feminism through the lens of that Senegalese matriarch.

“Senegal is this very beautiful spirit,” she said. “Inserting yourself in a space where you don’t understand the language but you still feel at home – it’s beautiful.”

Two painted portraits of a women smoking a pipe.

The main exhibit is being held at the Ancien Palais de Justice in Dakar and is composed of 59 artists from nearly 30 countries.

The month-long event is expected to attract 250,000 visitors, as it did when it was last held in 2018, when around 50,000 travelled to the Senegalese capital from abroad for the festival.

One work, by Nigerian artist Ngozi Ezema, features hundreds of strings beaded with bits of clay suspended in mid-air.

From the front angle it takes the shape of a teapot being tipped into a teacup.

A viewer looking at the artwork of Ngozi Ezema, which looks like a teapot suspended in mid-air.

The piece represents the effort Ezema pours into her various endeavours: her work, her children and her marriage. Often the teacup is cracked and unable to be filled – she rarely has a chance to enjoy the tea.

Another striking piece of artwork is found on Dakar’s coastal walkway – a red swimmer by Senegalese artist Diadji Diop.

Diadji Diop's sculpture of a red swimmer.

The sculpture symbolises the emergence from the pandemic and a moment to catch one’s breath.

During the biennale outdoor spaces have transformed into walkable exhibits and performance halls.

Performers dance along the coastal walkway on May 21, 2022 as part of the Dakar Biennale.

Some of the other artists being features at the festival are from the United States, Mali, Rwanda and France.

Moses Hamborg’s work, pictured on the right hand side in the photo below, was on display at the opening of the Black Rock gallery on 20 May.

The work of Moses Hamborg (on the right) which is a painting of two black women.

He has been in Dakar for the last two months and is impressed by how integrated art and culture are in everyday life.

“I feel like the biennale’s been going on for a while. It’s on the streets of Dakar everyday,” he said. “Senegal is such a welcoming place and I feel so lucky to have been able to access that.”

Meanwhile, back at the Ancien Palais de Justice, the work of Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté was on display on 21 May:

Viewers walk past work by Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté at the Ancien Palais de Justice on May 21, 2022 as part of the Dakar Biennale. The artwork features varying shades of blue and contains what looks like the moon.

At the same event on the same day, paintings by Rwandan artist Gilles Dusabe were on display:

Photographs of black bodies by Rwandan artist Gilles Dusabe hang.

As was the work of French artist Louisa Marajo:

An installation by French artist Louisa Marajo is displayed at the Ancien Palais de Justice

Senegalese artists are also front and centre at the Biennale, including works of Aissa Dione:

Viewers admire a piece by Senegalese artist Aissa Dione at the opening of the Black Rock gallery. The artwork looks like a hammock-like structure.

And these sculptures by Abdou Fary Faye:

Sculptures by Abdou Fary Faye

Alioune Diagne, who uses a combination of figurative and abstract styles, is known for his paintings inspired by daily life in Senegal:

Woman looking at a paining by Alioune Diagne

The biennale, which started on 19 May, will run until 21 June.

One of the attendees, from New York City, said he admired how the art he had seen around Dakar acted as a mirror.

“It responds to what’s around, it doesn’t add fluff. It doesn’t overcomplicate things,” Devin B Johnson commented.

News

Dakar Biennale: From red swimmers to floating teapots

One of the largest events in the African modern art world, the Dakar Biennale, has returned for its 14th edition – after a four-year gap because of the coronavirus pandemic – featuring hundreds of pieces from artists from around the world.

Exhibits have popped up throughout Senegal’s capital, including in galleries, fine art centres, restaurants and hotels.

The theme for this year is Ndaffa, which means “to forge out of the fire” in the Serer language.

One of the artists, British-Nigerian painter Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, said his time in Senegal had inspired his work.

His pieces, including the blue and red one pictured below, centre on dance and movement.

Dakar Biennale: From red swimmers to floating teapots

“I absorbed everything in my surroundings and that manifested in some paintings that were a bit more fluid and expressive,” he said. “There was more spirit in the work.”

Another Nigerian artist, Tyna Adebowale, said she was touched by how welcomed she felt in Senegal. She was particularly inspired after spending several days with an elderly woman who would go on to become the voice behind her paintings.

Her work, she said, is an exploration of feminism through the lens of that Senegalese matriarch.

“Senegal is this very beautiful spirit,” she said. “Inserting yourself in a space where you don’t understand the language but you still feel at home – it’s beautiful.”

Two painted portraits of a women smoking a pipe.

The main exhibit is being held at the Ancien Palais de Justice in Dakar and is composed of 59 artists from nearly 30 countries.

The month-long event is expected to attract 250,000 visitors, as it did when it was last held in 2018, when around 50,000 travelled to the Senegalese capital from abroad for the festival.

One work, by Nigerian artist Ngozi Ezema, features hundreds of strings beaded with bits of clay suspended in mid-air.

From the front angle it takes the shape of a teapot being tipped into a teacup.

A viewer looking at the artwork of Ngozi Ezema, which looks like a teapot suspended in mid-air.

The piece represents the effort Ezema pours into her various endeavours: her work, her children and her marriage. Often the teacup is cracked and unable to be filled – she rarely has a chance to enjoy the tea.

Another striking piece of artwork is found on Dakar’s coastal walkway – a red swimmer by Senegalese artist Diadji Diop.

Diadji Diop's sculpture of a red swimmer.

The sculpture symbolises the emergence from the pandemic and a moment to catch one’s breath.

During the biennale outdoor spaces have transformed into walkable exhibits and performance halls.

Performers dance along the coastal walkway on May 21, 2022 as part of the Dakar Biennale.

Some of the other artists being features at the festival are from the United States, Mali, Rwanda and France.

Moses Hamborg’s work, pictured on the right hand side in the photo below, was on display at the opening of the Black Rock gallery on 20 May.

The work of Moses Hamborg (on the right) which is a painting of two black women.

He has been in Dakar for the last two months and is impressed by how integrated art and culture are in everyday life.

“I feel like the biennale’s been going on for a while. It’s on the streets of Dakar everyday,” he said. “Senegal is such a welcoming place and I feel so lucky to have been able to access that.”

Meanwhile, back at the Ancien Palais de Justice, the work of Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté was on display on 21 May:

Viewers walk past work by Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté at the Ancien Palais de Justice on May 21, 2022 as part of the Dakar Biennale. The artwork features varying shades of blue and contains what looks like the moon.

At the same event on the same day, paintings by Rwandan artist Gilles Dusabe were on display:

Photographs of black bodies by Rwandan artist Gilles Dusabe hang.

As was the work of French artist Louisa Marajo:

An installation by French artist Louisa Marajo is displayed at the Ancien Palais de Justice

Senegalese artists are also front and centre at the Biennale, including works of Aissa Dione:

Viewers admire a piece by Senegalese artist Aissa Dione at the opening of the Black Rock gallery. The artwork looks like a hammock-like structure.

And these sculptures by Abdou Fary Faye:

Sculptures by Abdou Fary Faye

Alioune Diagne, who uses a combination of figurative and abstract styles, is known for his paintings inspired by daily life in Senegal:

Woman looking at a paining by Alioune Diagne

The biennale, which started on 19 May, will run until 21 June.

One of the attendees, from New York City, said he admired how the art he had seen around Dakar acted as a mirror.

“It responds to what’s around, it doesn’t add fluff. It doesn’t overcomplicate things,” Devin B Johnson commented.

News

Will Smith had a vision of losing his career before the Oscars

Will Smith saw a vision of himself losing his Hollywood career prior to the uproar he caused at the 2022 Oscars.

The “King Richard” star, 53, in April was banned from attending any Academy Awards events for 10 years after slapping presenter Chris Rock during this year’s ceremony.

Prior to the event Will Smith opened up to David Letterman about the vision he had after drinking the psychoactive brew ayahuasca, which he called “the individual most hellish psychological experience of my life.”

Smith discussed the experience during an episode of Letterman’s Netflix series “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” which was taped before the Oscars fiasco.

In the nearly hour-long pre-recorded interview, which featured Smith and Letterman both walking around the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles and chatting onstage at The Comedy Store in front of an audience, Smith opened up about how he had long used comedy as a coping mechanism — in part because he always saw himself as a “coward” after experiencing a childhood trauma.

“I think the drive I had in my career to succeed with the life-or-death energy behind winning, I think it was fueled largely by a certain insecurity,” he said. “And the trauma of the insecurity, I think, made me have to win. Period.”

Smith explained that following his 2007 film “I Am Legend” he realized his commitment to success was unhealthy.

He went 14 days without talking to “see the madness of what was going on inside (his) head.”

“I had been to the top of all material mountains,” he said. “I wanted to be the best but I correlated being the best with having the love in my life that would make me feel safe.”

“I think it’s the natural journey of humanity, when we realize that the material world is completely, utterly and totally incapable of sustaining our happiness.”

He said that his worldview is now that “anything can be gone in one second.”

“So with that worldview, how can you be here? And how can you be joyful and be here?”

He took two years off from work and went on a spiritual journey, he said.

During that time, Smith said he did ayahuasca, a psychedelic drug known for its spiritual and therapeutic qualities, 14 times — including the aforementioned trip that he characterized as the “individual most hellish psychological experience of my life.”

“All of a sudden, it’s like I start seeing all of my money flying away,” he recalled.

“And my house is flying away. And my career is going away,” he continued. “And I’m trying to, like, grab for my money and my career. My whole life is getting destroyed.”

When Letterman asked Smith if losing his career and money was something he feared in real life, the actor responded, “It’s my fear.”

The vision grew even more menacing when an angry voice began telling Smith, “This is what the f— it is. This is what the f— life is.”

Panting in terror, Smith said he then heard the voice of his 21-year-old daughter, Willow, screaming to him, “Daddy, help me! How come you won’t help me?”

When the shaman overseeing the ceremony stepped in to force Smith to relax, Smith’s vision morphed.

“Then slowly, I stopped caring about my money. I just wanted to get to Willow,” he recalled. “I stopped caring about my house, about my career.”

After he’d “settled down,” Smith continued hearing Willow calling to him for help.

“I still hear Willow screaming,” he said, adding that the money was still flying away but he’s was taking slow, meditative breaths.

“And I’m totally calm, even though there’s hell going on in my mind.”

The experience taught Smith that he can endure hardships in his life, he said.

“When I came out of it, I realized that anything that happens in my life, I can handle it,” he said. “I can handle any person that I lose, I can handle anything that goes wrong in my life, I can handle anything in my marriage. I can handle anything that this life has to offer me.”

Smith, who has apologized publicly for his behavior at the Oscars, also told Letterman that he believed many of his worst fears weren’t based in reality.

“First of all, ninety-nine percent of the s— you worry about never happens,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of your pain and misery is all self-generated. It’s not real.”

Season 4 of David Letterman’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” is streaming now on Netflix.

News

Security agents know location of unknown gunmen terrorizing South-East – Adeyanju

The Federal Government and security agents have been accused of knowing the whereabouts of unknown gunmen terrorizing the South-East.

Abuja-based activist lawyer, Deji Adeyanju, said the government and security agents know the unknown gunmen just like they know those who kidnapped the passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna train.

In a chat with newsmen, Adeyanju lamented that the government enjoys linking the activities of the criminals to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

According to Adeyanju: “The security agencies know the unknown gunmen killing innocent people in the South-East and they also know where they are, just like they know those that kidnapped people on Abuja-Kaduna train.

“Insecurity has become a business to them. The more insecure the country becomes, the more money they make. They enjoy linking IPOB to the unknown gunmen because it suits their narrative.

“You want to tell me the government cannot stop some criminals moving up and down causing destruction in the country? They are even negotiating with people that abducted innocent Nigerians on a train. We are not fools!”

Lately, the activities of unknown gunmen in the South-East have been on the rise.

A few weeks ago, unknown gunmen killed military officers heading for their marriage rites in Imo State.

Last week, a member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Okechukwu Okoye was also beheaded by unknown gunmen.

News

What really happened the year I cheated on my husband

“Congratulations on your engagement,” the text flashed across my phone. It was the first I had heard from him in years, besides the countless scenarios in my head where he’d speak to me and beg me to come back.

I wish it was an exaggeration to tell you that I thought about him every day. I wish it weren’t true that the moment my fiancé, *Paul, slipped that diamond on my finger, I immediately started mourning the loss of the only true love I’d known: *Bryce.

“Who’s that, babe?” Paul asked as he cut into his steak.

We were out to dinner to celebrate something. It may have even been to acknowledge the fact that in less than a year, we’d be bound together by marriage. We would take an oath in front my father, a pastor, and before God to never abandon one another or forsake our vows until death would part us forever.

I looked across the table at the face I promised to love for the rest of my days and immediately regretted giving up on our no-phone policy at dinner.

“It’s just an old friend who must have heard about our engagement and wants to wish us well,” I managed to muffle through a voice so shaken with shock, I could barely make out the words.

Why was Bryce contacting me? Why now? Was he seriously happy for the life I had chosen with Paul that would forever keep me out of his?

As confused about the motive as I was, inside I was beaming. As long as there was contact being made, I didn’t care about anything but the fact that if he was making the effort, I was in his thoughts at least some of the time.

This is where everything started to spiral. Up or down? I’m still not sure. All I know is, from the moment that text hit my phone, I made the worst decisions that led to some of the best moments of my life.

I met Paul at my friend Melissa’s wedding. He was conveniently assigned to the chair next to mine. I found out later that “we” were planned all along. Conversation flowed, and so did the wine. Before we knew it, we were involved in a kind of sliding that could easily be considered electric.

A year and a half passed. He was everything my parents wanted for me with his clean-cut looks and dedicated nature. Paul’s the exact opposite of everything I am, which is the exact reason I married him. He gave my life the security I was in desperate need of.

It was the 13th of March and all the unlucky omens associated with that number seemed to conspire against me making me second-guess my disbelief in superstitions. Paul looked so handsome and happy despite the one-hour drive in the downpour he traveled in to get to me. I was the love of his life and it showed.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered through the air as I walked down the aisle toward him and married the greatest man I’d never love.

Six months later, I became the liar and cheater, and everything in between that I loathed in a person. I cheated on my husband.

It became hard to look in the mirror. All the lies consumed me. I cringed at the globs of hair I’d comb out of my scalp every day in the shower.

“Stress can do a lot to you,” my primary care physician noted as she prescribed my first anti-anxiety pills.

The first time I cheated was in early September. I was at my friend Stephanie’s wedding that happened to be at the same place Paul and I said our I do’s less than a year prior. She even had her guests reserve rooms at the same hotel we chose, which placed me within a couple of short miles of Bryce.

“I’m in your neck of the woods,” I sent in a text. “Come meet me.”

I even told Paul that an ex-coworker was coming to see me and he would be here soon. He left as he knew. It was like my infidelity was hiding in plain sight. Neither of us wanted to confront the elephant in the room.

“Wow, you guys must have some kind of trust,” a new friend acquired by alcohol and dancing said through inebriated words. “I’d never allow that.”

Not even 20 minutes had passed when Bryce drove up.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked.

I lifted my dress in acceptance and consummated the long-lost love I had thought was gone forever, while my husband traveled up to our hotel room alone.

Bryce left almost as soon as he came and I fell asleep in the hallway sick with too much wine or too much truth, I wasn’t sure. I told Paul the next morning when he found me on the floor outside our door that I couldn’t find my key and I didn’t want to wake him. I hated myself. But I kept going.

It became an obsession to see Bryce. We had “our motel” where we’d meet halfway in between our homes. I would dress in the best lingerie and make myself up as I’d never done for my husband. Bryce made me feel so beautiful and so ugly all at the same time. I was addicted and in love. Blinded by lust, it seemed clear what I had to do.

One night after work, I walked into my and Paul’s brand-new three-bedroom townhouse in suburban Pennsylvania and mumbled the words that fell out of my mouth and broke his heart.

“I don’t love you. I want a divorce. Sorry.”

The look on his face when I closed the door on our marriage and our home for the last time will stay with me forever. He thought I was coming back. I knew I wasn’t.

For the first time in my life, I was alone and supporting myself. I leased an apartment in Philly and bought a second pillow for Bryce. He never even showed up.

“Why did you do this to me? I gave up everything,” I texted.

He didn’t reply.

For the next two days, I sobbed alone on my bathroom floor. Every teardrop represented a lie my body needed to purge in order to move on from the monster I had become.

Then, just like that, it was over. I woke up, looked in the mirror and applied cover up to the puffy, red lumps that occupied my eye sockets, and promised myself to never be so dumb again. I called my landlord and told her I wouldn’t be renewing my lease, sold everything I owned, and moved to New York City, my first love that wasn’t Bryce, with nothing but four bags of belongings to my name. To many, I had nothing. To me, I finally had it all.

Bryce contacted me one more time after my move. I looked down at my phone at his cowardly attempt to hook me yet again and ignored him. He was back, but he didn’t get to get me back.

Paul has since moved on. It’s quite evident by the pictures I see plastered in my Facebook newsfeed. He and his girlfriend in her slinky black dress are happily posed beside the front door of our first home. I’ve seen every bouquet of flowers he’s surprised her with since I’ve moved on and she moved in.

I remember when he used to do that for me. I wonder if he writes the same messages on sticky notes telling her to have a good day and that no matter what would happen, she will always have his love.

The night before I moved to New York, Paul took me out to dinner and cried. That was over a year ago and the last time I saw his face. I wish I could say I’m sorry for breaking his heart. I wish I could tell him I’m sure I’ll never find anyone that will treat me as well as he did because history proves I’ve never loved the nice ones.

But what history also tries to prove is that I’m more likely to cheat in the future because of my past. But in my case, all of the betrayals that gave life to the monster inside me are dead and gone. I’ll never do it again.

News

Joy FM listeners differ on whether a woman should adopt her husband’s surname

Friday’s edition of the Super Morning Show, centered on whether it is right for men to insist on their wives taking on their surnames.

Ardent listeners who phoned in to the show expressed divergent views about the issue. However, the majority of them did not think it is a big deal.

It started with Yeboah who called from Lapaz and said no woman should be compelled to adopt the name of their husband after marriage since it is an imported culture.  

He noted, however, that the onus lies on the particular couple to decide what to do.

“When it comes to the adoption of the man’s name by the wife, the question we need to ask is where is this culture coming from? Is it our culture? No! It is foreign. I’m not condemning the practice, but I’m only saying it is not something we find in our culture so it’s up to the couple to decide,” he maintained.

He mentioned that when it comes to naming a child, however, it’s always prudent for the child to adopt the name of the father.

“It’s the man that provides the seed and not the woman and you identify the fruits by their seeds.”

Agyemang Joseph who called from Community 9 shared a similar view. He believes it’s a big deal if a child doesn’t adopt the name of the father, but it isn’t in the case of a wife.

“I will give my name to my child for people to know he is coming from my family, but I think it’s not relevant for my wife to take my name.  If she wants it, it’s fine, but I don’t think it should be imposed on her,” he maintained.

Abu Mohammed from Juapong also noted that changing a woman’s name after marriage causes the person to lose their identity.

“I always disagree with the changing of names, especially when people [Christians] marry into Muslims and they convert their names and adopt an Arabic name.”

He argued that names are “a gateway to one’s identity, therefore, when a person changes their name and adopt another after marriage, they totally have changed their identity so everyone should maintain their identity.”   

Samuel from Adentan, on the other hand, disagreed with the above assertions.

He contended that if it is not mandatory for wives to take on the surnames of their husbands, marriage certificates should not have the title Mr. and Mrs. on them.

Charles also stated that it depends on the people involved.

“It depends on what the couple thinks would work for them but on the issue of the man naming the children, I think the kids should take the man’s name.

Citing the biblical analogy as seen in Genesis 2: 19 where God tasked Adam (the man) to name all that things, he concluded that naming the child is a special mandate God gave to the man.

News

Joy FM listeners differ on whether a woman should adopt her husband’s surname

Friday’s edition of the Super Morning Show, centered on whether it is right for men to insist on their wives taking on their surnames.

Ardent listeners who phoned in to the show expressed divergent views about the issue. However, the majority of them did not think it is a big deal.

It started with Yeboah who called from Lapaz and said no woman should be compelled to adopt the name of their husband after marriage since it is an imported culture.  

He noted, however, that the onus lies on the particular couple to decide what to do.

“When it comes to the adoption of the man’s name by the wife, the question we need to ask is where is this culture coming from? Is it our culture? No! It is foreign. I’m not condemning the practice, but I’m only saying it is not something we find in our culture so it’s up to the couple to decide,” he maintained.

He mentioned that when it comes to naming a child, however, it’s always prudent for the child to adopt the name of the father.

“It’s the man that provides the seed and not the woman and you identify the fruits by their seeds.”

Agyemang Joseph who called from Community 9 shared a similar view. He believes it’s a big deal if a child doesn’t adopt the name of the father, but it isn’t in the case of a wife.

“I will give my name to my child for people to know he is coming from my family, but I think it’s not relevant for my wife to take my name.  If she wants it, it’s fine, but I don’t think it should be imposed on her,” he maintained.

Abu Mohammed from Juapong also noted that changing a woman’s name after marriage causes the person to lose their identity.

“I always disagree with the changing of names, especially when people [Christians] marry into Muslims and they convert their names and adopt an Arabic name.”

He argued that names are “a gateway to one’s identity, therefore, when a person changes their name and adopt another after marriage, they totally have changed their identity so everyone should maintain their identity.”   

Samuel from Adentan, on the other hand, disagreed with the above assertions.

He contended that if it is not mandatory for wives to take on the surnames of their husbands, marriage certificates should not have the title Mr. and Mrs. on them.

Charles also stated that it depends on the people involved.

“It depends on what the couple thinks would work for them but on the issue of the man naming the children, I think the kids should take the man’s name.

Citing the biblical analogy as seen in Genesis 2: 19 where God tasked Adam (the man) to name all that things, he concluded that naming the child is a special mandate God gave to the man.

News

Joy FM listeners differ on whether a woman should adopt her husband’s surname

Friday’s edition of the Super Morning Show, centered on whether it is right for men to insist on their wives taking on their surnames.

Ardent listeners who phoned in to the show expressed divergent views about the issue. However, the majority of them did not think it is a big deal.

It started with Yeboah who called from Lapaz and said no woman should be compelled to adopt the name of their husband after marriage since it is an imported culture.  

He noted, however, that the onus lies on the particular couple to decide what to do.

“When it comes to the adoption of the man’s name by the wife, the question we need to ask is where is this culture coming from? Is it our culture? No! It is foreign. I’m not condemning the practice, but I’m only saying it is not something we find in our culture so it’s up to the couple to decide,” he maintained.

He mentioned that when it comes to naming a child, however, it’s always prudent for the child to adopt the name of the father.

“It’s the man that provides the seed and not the woman and you identify the fruits by their seeds.”

Agyemang Joseph who called from Community 9 shared a similar view. He believes it’s a big deal if a child doesn’t adopt the name of the father, but it isn’t in the case of a wife.

“I will give my name to my child for people to know he is coming from my family, but I think it’s not relevant for my wife to take my name.  If she wants it, it’s fine, but I don’t think it should be imposed on her,” he maintained.

Abu Mohammed from Juapong also noted that changing a woman’s name after marriage causes the person to lose their identity.

“I always disagree with the changing of names, especially when people [Christians] marry into Muslims and they convert their names and adopt an Arabic name.”

He argued that names are “a gateway to one’s identity, therefore, when a person changes their name and adopt another after marriage, they totally have changed their identity so everyone should maintain their identity.”   

Samuel from Adentan, on the other hand, disagreed with the above assertions.

He contended that if it is not mandatory for wives to take on the surnames of their husbands, marriage certificates should not have the title Mr. and Mrs. on them.

Charles also stated that it depends on the people involved.

“It depends on what the couple thinks would work for them but on the issue of the man naming the children, I think the kids should take the man’s name.

Citing the biblical analogy as seen in Genesis 2: 19 where God tasked Adam (the man) to name all that things, he concluded that naming the child is a special mandate God gave to the man.

News

My last birthday gift to my husband was sex

I was tired of being drunk. I felt like I’d been drunk for a solid four months. 

Truthfully, I had been drunk for the majority of that time because the only way to keep our reconciliation fun-train fueled was with alcohol. Vodka, specifically.

It was my husband’s birthday weekend. As I continued to try to show him how valuable I was, my body got thinner and my personal credit card balance got larger. I’d planned a weekend in a posh, historic town about 45 minutes from where we live.

Far enough away that we wouldn’t run into anyone we knew — God, that would be mortifying — but close enough that if there were a kid or dog emergency I could get home quickly. Another reminder that I was a single mother desperately trying to undo this unwanted label.

I got us a room in a cushy, name-brand hotel, reserved a table at a swanky steakhouse, and gifted him an hour-long massage at the hotel spa to drive home the you’re-so-important-to-me message.

The drinking started immediately after we arrived in the hotel room.

Even though we’d been performing this reconnection dance for nearly four months, I was still on edge, every move carefully considered. Would this be the thing that showed him I was worthy — of him, his investment in me? Would this be enough to earn back my title?

As I prepared for this prove-your-worth weekend, I proudly packed his favorite rum. It would show off a combination of my planning skills and my undying devotion to him. It also ensured we wouldn’t have to waste time being sober.

With too much enthusiasm and pride for my forward-thinking, I told him about the new fizzy water I brought for our carefully packed individual beverage needs. I poured a 3:1 ratio of vodka/water into my cup with a squeeze of lemon — I heard it’s good for the liver — and then prepared his glass of rum, watching his face to make sure he approved of my technique.

We clinked to him and got right to the business of getting drunk. By the time we left for dinner, we were at least two very large drinks in, with to-go cups for our three-minute Uber ride.

My memory of the dinner is fuzzy, filled mostly with regret and embarrassment.

I really wish I would’ve been sober for the steak. A cow gave its life for my dinner. A chef trained for years to make sure that steak was cooked to perfection. The least I could’ve done was truly appreciate the pile of meat on my plate.

I wish I would’ve been my best self for the waiter. An older man who took his job very seriously — a true professional with an aura of kindness. All I offered him were slurred, incomplete sentences with too much laughing. He probably lost his job within the next two weeks because of the shutdown. I hope I tipped him well because he endured us for hours.

I remember the bite I took of my husband’s birthday dessert, a decadent peanut butter ice cream combo. And how it was ruined by watching him drunkenly slurp up every last bite. He performed a borderline-obscene tongue action with the spoon while looking at me and rapidly raising his eyebrows up and down. I became more repulsed with each flick of his tongue.

Between the time spent fawning over him and our drinks in the hotel room to the last spoonful of dessert, everything had changed.

I left that dinner very drunk and crystal clear — I don’t have feelings for this man anymore. I do not find him attractive. He will never be what I want in a partner. And, honestly, I didn’t want to be naked with him anymore.

It had become a chore to have sex with him. I had to perform. He told me what he wanted and how he wanted it and that was the way it was to be done. At the beginning of our reconnection, I was able to justify it as a means to an end. Our life together had been me finding ways to please him. Giving him what he wanted was what I wanted.

In his absence, I could no longer fill my time making his needs my own.

Discovering what I wanted was like the process of becoming un-numb after getting a cavity filled. As the Novocain wears off, this unfeeling blob of flesh goes back to feeling without being able to pinpoint when it happened. It just did, one lessened prickly sensation at a time. These prickles were the beginning of self-worth and now being naked for him was no longer one of my needs.

As we sat in the backseat of the Uber, I dreaded what was next. Sex was inevitable. It was his birthday weekend after all.

To stall, I suggested going out for a couple more drinks and music. He was always down for more alcohol and, if luck were on my side, maybe he’d get so drunk he’d pass out when we got back to the room.

I changed into something too revealing. For him because he wanted to flaunt that he had something other people wanted. And for me, because I wanted to feel what it was like to be wanted by other people.

We headed out to a club within walking distance from the hotel. The drinking continued while I danced with no one and made friends with a flamboyant man named Bernard who told me about his world travels.

I wondered what it would be like to travel the world with stylish, sophisticated Bernard who would ask me which wine I’d like to drink without concern that he would grope me.

My husband sat on a stool in the corner and watched me, watched other people watching me, and when enough eyes were on me, he grabbed me, forcefully pulled me into him, and kissed me. But it wasn’t a kiss, it was a display of dominance. He was saying to everyone looking, you want this thing but I’m the one who has it.

I looked to Bernard for help or, at least, a unified look of “eww.” Bernard did not have time to involve himself in a weird domestic power struggle.

Eventually, the last drinks were served. There was nothing left to help me stall. We put on our coats, and literally stumbled back to the hotel.

He said the words he always said when he wanted to have sex — “Get naked.” I hated those words. They weren’t cute or endearing. They were an order. They were control.

I did get naked. I let him use my body, which is what he really wanted. To use me.

The weekend ended — he went to his place and I returned to our family. Alone, I entered the house we had once called ours and the feeling of relief coated me. There was no epiphany. I didn’t hear a still small voice or see a sign that things would be OK. But the burden of him was loosening.

Fear remained a squatter in my brain — and I would continue to make plenty of decisions from that place of worry and anxiety.

But I no longer would let the fear guide me into trying to earn back my marriage, my husband, and my title.

That was the last time I would let my body be used by him.

It was the beginning of my long goodbye.

News

Amber Heard testifies her role in ‘Aquaman 2’ was reduced after Johnny Depp’s attorney called her abuse claims a ‘hoax’

Amber Heard finished testifying on direct examination in the $50 million defamation case with ex-husband Johnny Depp on Monday, following a week-long break in proceedings.

Depp’s attorneys began cross-examination of Heard on Monday afternoon.

Depp has accused Heard of defaming him in a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post. In the piece, which published roughly two years after they divorced, Heard described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

Though Depp was not named in the article, he claims it cost him lucrative acting roles.

Heard has filed a counterclaim for $100 million.

‘Every word of it was true’

On Monday, Heard testified about the op-ed at the center of the case. She said she did not want Depp’s name in piece, originally drafted by the ACLU, but agreed to have it published in her name because she believed in raising awareness for the issues addressed in the op-ed.”Every word of it is true,” Heard said.

Amber Heard talks to her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse on Monday.
Amber Heard talks to her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse on Monday.

Heard testified she had no role in writing the headlines that ultimately ran with the piece online and in the print edition but was proud of the version that appeared in the paper.

The end of their marriage

Heard testified that Depp’s drug use and alleged physical abuse led her to file for divorce from him in 2016, after a little over a year of marriage.

“I knew if I didn’t, I’d likely not literally survive. I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me, and I really didn’t want to leave him. I loved him, so much,” Heard said. “The violence was now normal and not the exception.”

Heard also testified about why she did not cooperate with police when they came to the couple’s Los Angeles home shortly after an altercation between them in May 2016.

“Why didn’t you want to cooperate with the police?” Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft asked.”Because I wanted to protect Johnny. I didn’t want him to be arrested. I didn’t want this to come out. I didn’t want him to be in trouble,” Heard testified.

‘I want to move on’

Heard also testified about her counterclaim, which revolves around three statements that Depp’s attorney made, the first in 2019, in reference to Heard’s claims of abuse, each time calling her claims a “hoax.”

“Unfortunately, all of this is real,” Heard testified. “Johnny and I lived this. We lived through this. I lived through this and I narrowly survived it but I survived it.”

Heard testified that her scenes in the upcoming sequel to “Aquaman,” titled “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” were reduced since those statements were made.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in court on Monday
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in court on Monday

“I fought really hard to stay in the film,” Heard testified. “I was given a script and was given new versions of the script. They basically took a bunch out of my role.”

Heard testified that she didn’t want to be part of the trial that has forced her to relive painful, personal experiences she had tried to keep private.

“I have a baby; I want to move on. I want Johnny to move on, too,” Heard said. “I just want him to leave me alone.”

Cross-examination begins

During the beginning of the cross-examination, Camille Vasquez, an attorney for Depp began questioning Heard about her abuse allegations, at times zooming in on photos taken of the actress during public appearances after different alleged incidents of physical abuse and pointing out that Heard did not have visible injuries.

Heard has accused Depp of physically and sexually abusing her throughout their relationship. Depp denied ever striking heard during his testimony. Depp’s legal team has accused Heard of being the abuser in the relationship.

“Mr. Depp is your victim, isn’t he?” Vasquez asked Heard.

“No, ma’am,” Heard replied.

Vasquez recalled multiple incidents where Heard accused Depp of hitting her, at times in the face while he wore heavy rings. Heard testified that while the couple was in Russia in June 2013 that Depp allegedly hit her in the face so hard that she thought she’d broken her nose and that there was blood “everywhere.”

Vasquez pulled up photos taken of Heard during the trip and after the alleged incident and questioned the actress about it.

“You don’t have any visible injuries to your face, do you?” Vasquez asked.

“None that you can see,” Heard replied.

“Even though Mr. Depp whacked you in the face so hard that your nose bled?” Vasquez said.

“He did,” Heard replied.

Before court concluded for the day, Vasquez questioned Heard about the charitable donations she pledged to make with her $7 million divorce settlement with Depp, which has been paid to Heard in full.

Heard testified earlier that she has not fulfilled the monetary pledges she made to the ACLU and to a children’s hospital in Los Angeles, because Depp sued her.

“Sitting here today, Ms. Heard you still haven’t donated the $7 million divorce settlement to charity, isn’t that right?” Vasquez asked.

Heard began to reply: “Incorrect. I pledged the entirety, $7 million to charity and I intend to fulfill….”

Vasquez sharply interrupted Heard. “Ms. Heard that wasn’t my question. Please try to answer my question.”

“As of today, you have not paid $3.5 million dollars of your own money to the ACLU?” Vasquez asked Heard.

“I have not,” Heard replied.

Vasquez continued, “And as of today you have not paid $3.5 million dollars of your own money to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles?”

“I have not yet; Johnny sued me,” Heard replied.

Cross-examination is expected to continue Tuesday at 9 a.m ET.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected to begin around May 27, followed by jury deliberations.

News

From a diplomat’s wife to a ‘koko’ seller and back to ‘grace’ – The story of Ghana’s first female aircraft marshaller

For a woman who rose to the heights of being the wife of a diplomat, she never expected to return to the streets to sell ‘koko’ (porridge).

But life, as unpredictable as it could be, took a different turn and things began to crumble.

Felicia Edem Attipoe, Ghana’s first female aircraft marshaller on Wednesday, May 11, shared an emotional story of how she fell from “grace to grass” on the first edition of the “My Story series” on the Strong and Sassy show.

She broke down in tears as she recounted how she tasted “Heaven on Earth” in her marriage to an Ambassador but her life changed completely after the marriage hit the rocks.

Detailing the events, she indicated that it all began at the age of 28 after she had secured a job at the Kotoka International Airport.

Life before the divorce

“I met this man who gave me Heaven on Earth. He was a politician and we got married when I was 28 years old and that was the best thing that ever happened. He became an ambassador and he exposed me to riches. I didn’t know which car I would use. Today you see me in a car the next day I’m in another one.

“I had a seamstress who sew for me alone, all it took me was a phone call, and then she would give me something to wear. I had a wardrobe full of jewellery, cloth – you can’t look me in the eyes twice,” she recounted.

In fact, Felicia was drowned in riches and royalty.

“I visited countries. I don’t know which country I haven’t been to apart from hell. I met with queens and kings and dined with them. I sat in a car with a flag and that was me coming because I was a big man’s wife. I received dignitaries – that was my grace.

“I have a diplomatic passport. I come to work today, the next three days, I’m in the US. The next week I’m in the UK. I traveled with the First lady. I’m a madam. I had a cook and a butler. I wear a wig once and I don’t wear it again. When you see my wardrobe it’s full of Kente, different colours, different kinds my gold jewellery to go with it. I had someone who does the gold jewellery for me, brings them and I buy them. People rushed to me with their items for me to purchase and that was the kind of life I lived,” she recalled.

Then about eight years later, Felicia lost her marriage. She lost the honour and the life of privilege and things became tough.

Life after the divorce

“The marriage didn’t work. I enjoyed it [the luxurious life] but I wasn’t happy. I walked out of the marriage because the emotional abuse was too much and I needed to be alive for my son,” she said.

“My husband was my world I didn’t plan for the future. Then everything crashed down just like that, within a twinkle of an eye, I lost everything – my home, the cars – I walked away with nothing. I was on the street. I lost the cars and I had to now take ‘trotro.’ When I sit in trotro I bow down as if someone knew me and would be able to recognize me,” she recalled.

She was hungry, because, she walked away with nothing. She was also no longer working at the airport. Left with nothing and no choice since she didn’t prepare [saved] for a rainy day, she went to live with her cousin with her son.

“I had to come to Ghana because my marriage had broken down so we moved in with my cousin. She had a two-bedroom apartment – she slept in one room and her kids in the other so I had to sleep in the hall with my son.”

Restoration

Later, Felicia gathered some money and rented an apartment. Then the next thing on her mind was to get a job to be able to raise some money to cater for her needs and that of her son.

“I managed to get a two-bedroom apartment at Tema and that is where I started life again. Life there wasn’t easy. I didn’t have my job then so I was trying to plead with them to take me back, but I had to wait for a while. Along the line, I was very hungry [because] I didn’t plan for a rainy day when I got married and that was a mistake I made. I decided to do business and I decided to sell ‘koko’ [porridge].”

She went back to her former workplace. This time, not as an aviation worker but, a koko seller.

“I didn’t have my job. So I was trying to plead with them to take me back but I had to wait for a while. Then I was hungry. I didn’t plan. All the money I had I never saved. I was married to a big man and he was giving me everything so I never saved. It was my brother who gave me ₵ 200 then I started the business and I was selling it to my colleagues at the airport.”

Going back to her colleagues seemed like a nightmare. Fears of being mocked by her colleagues began to torment her “what would I tell them, that I lost my marriage? Ei!” However, this would not deter her from pursuing her new trade, after all, she needed to survive. So she faced her fears and decided to start the business.

“My friends used to send me to buy porridge for them each time I visited to check on my letter to return to work, then I thought: ‘why not prepare the porridge and come and sell to them instead?’ So I made koko, tom brown, and other breakfast meals to sell to them. They were astonished to see me. Everyone was wondering where my car was. I always told them it was at the workshop. Others teased: ‘a diplomat’s wife selling porridge,” but I just carried on.”

Felicia was finding her feet once again with her new trade at the airport but one day, hell broke loose. She broke down in tears as she recounted this moment.

“You know at the airport, you can’t be selling at the premises, so I sometimes gave the men [task force] at post some of the porridge so they would permit me to continue with my trade. And one day, I went to sell there and the task force person in charge seized everything. So I went to my former boss who suggested I take it to the terminal.

“Then another day I got there and our HR Manager who was a Reverend came in. Right in front of everyone, he humiliated me. He embarrassed me, yelling at me to the point where I broke down and cried. To date, I haven’t been able to forget about it. I just broke down and cried. I was screaming,” she said.

“So I decided to go back to the Head of the HR and narrated all that had happened and that was when I was given an assurance of getting my job back.”

The suicide moments

Eventually, she got back her job but that was not the end of her woes. Felicia still had to deal with many challenges till she contemplated suicide “because there was no window. There was no hope for me so I wanted to end it all,” but her son was just in time to save her.

“I got my job back, but I was going through a divorce and going to school at the same time. I had to shuffle between my job, schooling, and taking care of my son. Early in the morning, I prepared the porridge, tom brown, etc. and sold it before I sent my son to school. After that, I came to work from then to school. At a point the classroom was my bedroom. That’s where I slept. I couldn’t learn. Then one day, all of a sudden I broke down. I was depressed. I just got to the balcony and stripped naked and I was just about to jump because I had had enough of the struggle.

“Then I heard my son calling “mummy where are you?” he approached me and asked why I wasn’t in anything then I told him I was just taking fresh air. Then he asked me to come inside and sleep. It was terrible,” she said.

“There were days I stayed deep in the night at the beach because I was hoping that ‘maame water [the sea goddess/a mermaid]’ would just come and disappear with me and end it all but that never happened.”

The confrontation that changed her life completely

“I was depressed, I had suicidal thoughts but what gave me the strength to go on was my kids and I felt that I could do something for myself.

“One day my son confronted me angrily and started blaming me for everything and saying all sorts of things to me. So I sat him down and said ‘Nana, two things: do you prefer that you go to school one day and your friends laugh at you that your mother is mad, or do you prefer you be in this state and I work so hard for us to be comfortable? Tell me which one you prefer and I would gladly give it to you. You know, he chose the latter and that was what gave me the strength that from now on, we are going to make it.

“I changed my mind and then things started changing. We started life again. We started making ourselves happy. Sometimes when I get money, we would go and buy chicken and enjoy ourselves. We take a walk to the beach and go and swim then I started having a life.

This was followed by a desire to venture into politics.

“Then I decided to venture into politics, after all, I was married to a politician. Then it started and we were happy. My 40th birthday I bought myself a rickety car. I went for a loan and bought chairs, and a TV set just to make sure my son was happy. I realised that I had to make myself, my son, and everyone around me happy. Life got better. At a point, I got the chance to travel and shop for my kids and life started getting better. So I realised it was me and not the problems. Now I have an NGO, I’m doing politics, I’m empowering women and you know I’m the first female aircraft marshaller.

“I’m back stronger and better,” she said.

News

From a diplomat’s wife to a ‘koko’ seller and back to ‘grace’ – The story of Ghana’s first female aircraft marshaller

For a woman who rose to the heights of being the wife of a diplomat, she never expected to return to the streets to sell ‘koko’ (porridge).

But life, as unpredictable as it could be, took a different turn and things began to crumble.

Felicia Edem Attipoe, Ghana’s first female aircraft marshaller on Wednesday, May 11, shared an emotional story of how she fell from “grace to grass” on the first edition of the “My Story series” on the Strong and Sassy show.

She broke down in tears as she recounted how she tasted “Heaven on Earth” in her marriage to an Ambassador but her life changed completely after the marriage hit the rocks.

Detailing the events, she indicated that it all began at the age of 28 after she had secured a job at the Kotoka International Airport.

Life before the divorce

“I met this man who gave me Heaven on Earth. He was a politician and we got married when I was 28 years old and that was the best thing that ever happened. He became an ambassador and he exposed me to riches. I didn’t know which car I would use. Today you see me in a car the next day I’m in another one.

“I had a seamstress who sew for me alone, all it took me was a phone call, and then she would give me something to wear. I had a wardrobe full of jewellery, cloth – you can’t look me in the eyes twice,” she recounted.

In fact, Felicia was drowned in riches and royalty.

“I visited countries. I don’t know which country I haven’t been to apart from hell. I met with queens and kings and dined with them. I sat in a car with a flag and that was me coming because I was a big man’s wife. I received dignitaries – that was my grace.

“I have a diplomatic passport. I come to work today, the next three days, I’m in the US. The next week I’m in the UK. I traveled with the First lady. I’m a madam. I had a cook and a butler. I wear a wig once and I don’t wear it again. When you see my wardrobe it’s full of Kente, different colours, different kinds my gold jewellery to go with it. I had someone who does the gold jewellery for me, brings them and I buy them. People rushed to me with their items for me to purchase and that was the kind of life I lived,” she recalled.

Then about eight years later, Felicia lost her marriage. She lost the honour and the life of privilege and things became tough.

Life after the divorce

“The marriage didn’t work. I enjoyed it [the luxurious life] but I wasn’t happy. I walked out of the marriage because the emotional abuse was too much and I needed to be alive for my son,” she said.

“My husband was my world I didn’t plan for the future. Then everything crashed down just like that, within a twinkle of an eye, I lost everything – my home, the cars – I walked away with nothing. I was on the street. I lost the cars and I had to now take ‘trotro.’ When I sit in trotro I bow down as if someone knew me and would be able to recognize me,” she recalled.

She was hungry, because, she walked away with nothing. She was also no longer working at the airport. Left with nothing and no choice since she didn’t prepare [saved] for a rainy day, she went to live with her cousin with her son.

“I had to come to Ghana because my marriage had broken down so we moved in with my cousin. She had a two-bedroom apartment – she slept in one room and her kids in the other so I had to sleep in the hall with my son.”

Restoration

Later, Felicia gathered some money and rented an apartment. Then the next thing on her mind was to get a job to be able to raise some money to cater for her needs and that of her son.

“I managed to get a two-bedroom apartment at Tema and that is where I started life again. Life there wasn’t easy. I didn’t have my job then so I was trying to plead with them to take me back, but I had to wait for a while. Along the line, I was very hungry [because] I didn’t plan for a rainy day when I got married and that was a mistake I made. I decided to do business and I decided to sell ‘koko’ [porridge].”

She went back to her former workplace this time, not as an aviation worker but this time, a koko seller.

“I didn’t have my job. So I was trying to plead with them to take me back but I had to wait for a while. Then I was hungry. I didn’t plan. All the money I had I never saved. I was married to a big man and he was giving me everything so I never saved. So it was my brother who gave me 200 cedis then I started the business and I was selling it to my colleagues at the airport.

Going back to her colleagues seemed like a nightmare. Fears of being mocked by her colleagues began to torment her “what would I tell them, that I lost my marriage? Ei!” However, this would not deter her from pursuing her new trade, after all, she needed to survive. So she faced her fears and decided to start the business.

“My friends used to send me to buy porridge for them each time I visited to check on my letter to return to work, so I thought ‘why not prepare the porridge and come and sell to them instead. So I made koko, tom brown, and other breakfast meals to sell to them. They were astonished to see me. Everyone was wondering where my car was. I always told them it was at the workshop. Others teased ‘a diplomat’s wife selling porridge,” but I just carried on.

Felicia was finding her feet once again with her new trade at the airport but one day, hell broke loose. She broke down in tears as she recounted this moment.

“You know at the airport, you can’t be selling at the premises, so I sometimes gave the men [task force] at post some of the porridge so they would permit me to continue with my trade. And one day, I went to sell there and the task force person in charge seized everything. So I went to my former boss who suggested I take it to the terminal.

“Then one day I got there and our HR Manager who was a Reverend came in, right in front of everyone he humiliated me. He embarrassed me to the point where I broke down and cried. To date, I haven’t been able to forget about it. I just broke down and cried. I was screaming,” she said.

“So I decided to go back to the Head of HR and narrated all that had happened and that was when I was given an assurance.

The suicide moments

Eventually, she got back her job but that was not the end of her woes. Felicia still had to deal with many challenges till she contemplated suicide “because there was no window. There was no hope for me so I wanted to end it all,” but her son was just in time to save her.

“I got my job back, but I was going through a divorce and going to school at the same time. I had to shuffle between my job, schooling, and taking care of my son. The classroom was my bedroom. That’s where I slept. I couldn’t learn. Then one day, all of a sudden I broke down. I was depressed. I just got to the balcony and stripped naked and I was just about to jump because I had had enough of the struggle.

“Then a heard my son calling “mummy where are you?” he approached me and asked why I wasn’t in anything then I told him I was just taking fresh air. Then he asked me to come inside and sleep. It was terrible,” she said.

The confrontation that changed her life completely

“I was depressed, I had suicidal thoughts but what gave me the strength to go on was my kids and I felt that I could do something for myself.

“One day my son confronted me angrily and started blaming me for everything and saying all sorts of things. So I sat him down and said ‘Nana, two things: do you prefer that you go to school one day and your friends laugh at you that your mother is mad, or do you prefer you be in this state and I work so hard for us to be comfortable? Tell me which one you prefer and that was what gave me the strength that from now on, we are going to make it. I changed my mind and then things started changing. We started life again.

“We started making ourselves happy. Sometimes when I get money, we would go and buy chicken and enjoy ourselves. We take a walk to the beach and go and swim then I started having a life. Then I decided to venture into politics, after all, I was married to a politician. Then it started and we were happy.

“My 40th birthday I bought myself a rickety car. I went for a loan and bought chairs, and a TV set just to make sure my son was happy. I realised that I had to make myself, my son, and everyone around me happy. Life got better. At a point, I got the chance to travel and shop for my kids and life started getting better. So I realised it was me and not the problems. Now I have an NGO, I’m doing politics, I’m empowering women and you know I’m the first female aircraft marshaller.

“I’m back stronger and better,” she said.

News

Bride and groom set themselves on fire at their wedding 

This is not what Alicia Keys meant when she sang “This Girl Is On Fire.”
Jam Press Vid/@djrusspowell

No rice-throwing for this couple: Pyromaniac newlyweds literally went out in a blaze of glory after setting themselves on fire to end their wedding ceremony.

A video of the nuptial pyrotechnics currently boasts more than 15.2 million viral views online as of Friday afternoon.

“Their wedding exit makes sparklers look boring,” reads the caption to the absolutely lit clip, which was posted Monday by wedding DJ Russ Powell.

The lovebirds are Gabe Jessop and Ambyr Mishelle, 42-year-old stunt doubles who work on TV and film sets such as “Yellowstone” and “Hereditary,” so they decided to pay homage to their shared careers during their wedding.

However, very little could prepare most viewers for the stunt, which features flames that practically evoked a gender-reveal party gone awry, Jam Press reported.

The video of the knot-frying ceremony — captioned “when stunt people marry” — starts off traditionally enough, with the bride and groom standing side by side.

However, the event takes a smoldering turn after a man ignites Mishelle’s bouquet with a large incendiary device, whereupon they go up in blazes a la Nic Cage and Sam Elliott in “Ghost Rider.”

The twin flames then jog down the aisle holding hands while guests cheer in the background, seemingly unbothered by the fact they’re both on fire.

The fiery footage ends with Jessop and Mishelle kneeling as a wedding attendant douses the hot action with a fire extinguisher.

The display of burning passion set the comment section alight with one impressed TikToker exclaiming, “Damn! A full burn to tie the knot.”

Others compared the scene to Jennifer Lawrence's flame-festooned dress from "Hunger Games: Catching Fire."
Wedding guests kept a safe distance from the twin flames.
Jam Press Vid/@djrusspowell

“NGL… your wedding is gonna be top 10 for life,” seconded DJ Russ Powell in the comments.

“If my marriage is not going to be this lit I’m leaving him at the alter,” added another awestruck commenter.

“I know that photographer was stressed,” joked one viewer, while another joked about a scenario where the cameraman didn’t capture the moment, typing: “Photographer: ‘Can we have a rerun? I forgot to take off the lens[cap].’ “

“Please tell me the hair was protected,” one commenter said, to which DJ Russ Powell replied: “They both had anti-burn gel in their hair and face, then she had a wig on top.”

Others compared the scene to Jennifer Lawrence’s flame-festooned dress from “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

However, some concerned commenters wondered if the couple was OK following the fireworks.

“So many things could’ve killed them in this video,” said one social media schoolmarm.

“Please tell me the hair was protected,” said another, to which DJ Russ Powell replied: “They both had anti-burn gel in their hair and face, then she had a wig on top.” They were also reportedly wearing fireproof clothing, Newsweek reported.

News

Bride and groom set themselves on fire at their wedding 

This is not what Alicia Keys meant when she sang “This Girl Is On Fire.”
Jam Press Vid/@djrusspowell

No rice-throwing for this couple: Pyromaniac newlyweds literally went out in a blaze of glory after setting themselves on fire to end their wedding ceremony.

A video of the nuptial pyrotechnics currently boasts more than 15.2 million viral views online as of Friday afternoon.

“Their wedding exit makes sparklers look boring,” reads the caption to the absolutely lit clip, which was posted Monday by wedding DJ Russ Powell.

The lovebirds are Gabe Jessop and Ambyr Mishelle, 42-year-old stunt doubles who work on TV and film sets such as “Yellowstone” and “Hereditary,” so they decided to pay homage to their shared careers during their wedding.

However, very little could prepare most viewers for the stunt, which features flames that practically evoked a gender-reveal party gone awry, Jam Press reported.

The video of the knot-frying ceremony — captioned “when stunt people marry” — starts off traditionally enough, with the bride and groom standing side by side.

However, the event takes a smoldering turn after a man ignites Mishelle’s bouquet with a large incendiary device, whereupon they go up in blazes a la Nic Cage and Sam Elliott in “Ghost Rider.”

The twin flames then jog down the aisle holding hands while guests cheer in the background, seemingly unbothered by the fact they’re both on fire.

The fiery footage ends with Jessop and Mishelle kneeling as a wedding attendant douses the hot action with a fire extinguisher.

The display of burning passion set the comment section alight with one impressed TikToker exclaiming, “Damn! A full burn to tie the knot.”

Others compared the scene to Jennifer Lawrence's flame-festooned dress from "Hunger Games: Catching Fire."
Wedding guests kept a safe distance from the twin flames.
Jam Press Vid/@djrusspowell

“NGL… your wedding is gonna be top 10 for life,” seconded DJ Russ Powell in the comments.

“If my marriage is not going to be this lit I’m leaving him at the alter,” added another awestruck commenter.

“I know that photographer was stressed,” joked one viewer, while another joked about a scenario where the cameraman didn’t capture the moment, typing: “Photographer: ‘Can we have a rerun? I forgot to take off the lens[cap].’ “

“Please tell me the hair was protected,” one commenter said, to which DJ Russ Powell replied: “They both had anti-burn gel in their hair and face, then she had a wig on top.”

Others compared the scene to Jennifer Lawrence’s flame-festooned dress from “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

However, some concerned commenters wondered if the couple was OK following the fireworks.

“So many things could’ve killed them in this video,” said one social media schoolmarm.

“Please tell me the hair was protected,” said another, to which DJ Russ Powell replied: “They both had anti-burn gel in their hair and face, then she had a wig on top.” They were also reportedly wearing fireproof clothing, Newsweek reported.

News

Surviving five decades of living with sickle cell anemia – The story of 49-year-old Ama Nyarko Attafuah Quainoo

Imagine being in excruciating pain, constantly worn out and exhausted. That’s what it feels like living with sickle cell anaemia, an inherited blood disease.

Ama Nyarko Attafuah Quainoo, 49, has had the disease for nearly five decades and says life has never been the same since she was a young child.

However, the mother of two says she has no regrets about having sickle cell illness because it has given her the opportunity to help others.

Living with sickle cell disease for 49 years and marrying for seventeen years is a testament to how the disease fosters unity and love among patients’ partners.

“It has never been easy growing up. But I have much to be grateful for,” she said

Mrs. Attafuah-Quainoo works at Kumasi Senior High Technical School as a teacher.

For the past 24 years, she has taught a variety of disciplines.

Even though she struggles to keep in shape, she also ensures that the lives of others, such as her students, are properly molded for a better society tomorrow.

Mrs. Attafuah-Quianoo has had to use creative methods to modify kids’ conduct for the better in the past.

She gave the example of a student who bullied both teachers and students. Mrs. Attafuah-Quianoo said their Business Management teacher at the time, had to hire the student as a bodyguard to keep him in class.

“I got to know it early in life and have been managing it.”

Despite the diligent management of her illness and nutrition, difficulties occur.

People with sickle cell illness have vivid descriptions of pain crises, but Attafuah-Quainoo refuses to let the affliction limit her.

She is thankful for many things in her life, including her loving family and supportive colleagues at work.

She has found an enduring love and stays hopeful that what she is made of will not shatter her into pieces despite the uncertainties surrounding cultivating relationships, including marriage.

Mrs Attafuah-Quianoo expressed her sorrow at the death of a sickle cell patient friend during the 2020 lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He had the most severe sickle cell illness, according to her, with skin cancer strewn across both legs.

Peter Attafuah-Quainoo, her 53-year-old husband, admires her strength, endurance, and promise.

Surviving five decades of living with sickle cell anemia - The story of 49-year-old Ama Nyarko Attafuah Quainoo
Peter Attafuah-Quainoo is the husband of Ama Nyarko Attafuah Quainoo

He claims that he has no regrets about marrying her because it is a privilege to marry such a lovely woman.

Sickle carriers include her 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter.
They have no regrets about their situation.

“My husband is AA so both of them are carriers. Sometimes, my son complains of pain around his wrist and feet.”

According to statistics, 300 million people worldwide have sickle cell traits. Sickle cell disease affects 6,400,000 people worldwide, with 300,000 children diagnosed each year.

With over 200,000 newborns born each year, sickle cell disease is a major public health concern in Africa. According to statistics from 2018, roughly 15,000 (2%) Ghanaian babies are diagnosed with SCD each year.

The number of children born with sickle cell disease is anticipated to increase by 30% globally between 2010 and 2050.

Surviving five decades of living with sickle cell anemia - The story of 49-year-old Ama Nyarko Attafuah Quainoo
Mrs Quainoo and her children.

As a result, a multidisciplinary approach to SCD patient care is critical.

The sickle cell gene was first discovered thousands of years ago in locations where malaria was and is now prevalent. Sickle cell anemia is primarily found among African people.

Due to its origin in Africa, sickle cell anemia mainly affects people of African origin. The sickle cell gene was discovered to have the ability to protect people from malaria.

One normal haemoglobin gene and one sickle cell gene are present in people with sickle cell traits.

People with sickle cell anemia carry two sickle cell genes and are prone to experience sickle cell symptoms.

It is the most common blood gene disorder on the planet and is a hereditary condition.

Dr. Cosmos Bimpong, a clinical nutritionist and medical scientist at the Sermons Herbal Clinic, has raised awareness of sickle cell disease among the general public.

According to Dr. Bimpong, the condition is both lethal and harmful to several essential organs, such as the heart and kidneys.

According to the medical scientist, when a child has sickle cell, the red blood cells divide and the sickle cell blood becomes trapped and unable to flow freely, causing pneumonia, rheumatism, and joint problems, as well as retarding growth.

Most people with sickle cell illness hide it because of the stigma attached to it. Mrs. Attafuah-Quainoo, on the other hand, believes that rather than negativity, people need to comprehend the sickness.

She noticed that most sickle sufferers are unaware of the disease during her regular visits to health facilities. “Their parents have no idea about the disease. All that they know is, that their children frequently get sick and they send them to the hospital.

She encourages sickle cell patients to advocate for themselves and to let their strength inspire others.

Mrs. Attafuah-Quainoo founded the Anaq Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that educates people about sickle cell illness in schools, neighborhoods, and worship places.

So far, the foundation has reached over 10,000 people in schools, communities, and churches.

“We have been to many schools including Prempeh College, Simms SHS, KSHTS, Aduman SHS etc.”
Since 2014, the foundation has spent over $50,000 on advocacy and supplied thousands of people with free health screenings.

“So far we have been to Ahafo and Ashanti regions we hope to capture the whole country.”

Mrs. Attafuah- Quainoo’s resources and the generosity of others are their main sources of funding.

Overcrowding, healthcare workers’ lack of expertise with recommendations for treating the condition, poor communication among healthcare providers, and the stigma and medical bias associated with sickle cell all contribute to people with sickle cell not obtaining consistent care in emergency rooms.

Sickle cell disease can have a significant impact on quality of life, from hospital expenditures and lost time to medical bias issues. As individuals and as a culture, we must begin to think differently about sickle cell and its underlying cause.

Music News

Don Jazzy reunites with ex-wife in Lagos

Music producer Don Jazzy recently reunited with his ex-wife, Michelle Jackson, in Lagos, Nigeria.

The two are reuniting 19 years after they divorced and sought after other life opportunities.

Miss Jackson has been based in the United Kingdom and she is also a model.

Don Jazzy shared a video of their reunion on his Instagram stories.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by kemifilaniblog (@kemifilaniblog)

The Mavin Records patriarch in April 2021 shocked fans when he revealed that he got married 18 years ago, at the age of 20, to an American model and writer, Michelle.

In an Instagram post, he stated that because he was young and solely focused on his music and as a result the marriage failed two years later.

Don Jazzy reunites with ex-wife in Lagos

The Mavin Records boss who posted some pictures from the wedding said that although he likes to keep his private life out of the public eye, he wanted to open up on this “big” side of his life after skipping it during an interview.

Don Jazzy said that he still holds so much love for his music and work thus he would not want to marry another person and mess up the relationship again.

“So, I’m taking my time.”

Meanwhile, he revealed that Michelle Jackson remarried after they split and has a son.

Entertainment News

Don Jazzy reunites with ex-wife in Lagos

Ace Nigerian music producer, Michael Ajereh, popularly known as Don Jazzy has linked up with his ex-wife, Michelle Jackson, in Lagos.

 

The Mavin Records boss shared a video of their meeting on his Instagram story late Thursday, where he hailed Michelle as a “Naija girl.”

 

Michelle, who is a United Kingdom-based model, returned to Nigeria in late April, 2022.

 

In Don Jazzy’s video, the duo was smiling at the camera with another lady, as the producer went on to hail his former wife.

 

He jokingly asked her what she had learnt since she came to Nigeria and the duo laughed about the question.

 

Don Jazzy shocked his fans in April last year when he revealed that he had once been married to Michelle and that their marriage only lasted for two years.

 

He had said, “Well, the truth is almost 18 years ago, I was 20 and I got married to my best friend Michelle @yarnstaswitch and it was beautiful.

 

“I loved love and I loved marriage. Michelle is so beautiful inside and outside with such a soft heart. But then, me being so young and full of dreams, I went and messed it up because I was giving all my time to my music. Music became a priority instead of my family.

 

“We got divorced when I was 22 and it hurts. I am still very much in love with my music and I wouldn’t want to marry another and mess it up again.”

 

He later revealed that Michelle had remarried and also had a son. 

News

Parents sue son for over £500k for not giving them a grandchild

An Indian couple is suing their son and his wife for “mental harassment” for not giving them a grandchild after six years of marriage.

Sanjeev, 61, and Sadhana Prasad, 57, told The Times of India (TOI) that they used their savings to raise their son, paying for a luxury wedding and his pilot training.

The couple is demanding Shrey Sagar, 35, and his wife Shubhangi Sinha, 31, pay compensation worth nearly £525,000 if no grandchild is born within a year.

Their son and his wife do not appear to have commented.

Mr Prasad told the paper he spent all his savings on his only son, who lost his job in 2007 and was supported financially by his parents.

The parents said they hoped the couple’s arranged marriage in 2016 would give them a grandchild to play with, TOI reports.

Mr Prasad added that he paid for his son’s pilot training in the US which cost $65,000, his wedding at a five-star hotel and a car worth £63,000.

He said his son got a job at a private airline as a pilot and after six years of marriage with no child, the parents are facing “immense mental harassment”.

Mr Sagar told the paper: “We are hardly left with any money because we spent everything on our son”.

He added that his son and his wife live in separate cities due to their jobs.

The parents’ lawyer Arvind Kumar Srivastava claimed the case was the “first-of-its-kind in Uttarakhand and probably the country”.

He added that the parents’ demand is “justified” and that their expectations are “not wrong”.

The petition by the parents admitted by a local court in Haridwar is set to be heard by a court Sunday.

Entertainment News

My wife best thing that happened to me, says actor Stan Nze

 

Actor Stan Nze on Thursday noted that his actress wife, Blessing Obasi, was the best thing that has ever happened to him.

 

This was as he celebrated his wife as she clocked 43 on Thursday.

 

On his Instagram page, the 32-year-old actor stated that his wife has brought so much joy and happiness to his life.

 

In his emotional message to the celebrant, the Rattle Snake star praised his wife using their indigenous language, Igbo.

 

Sharing a short video of their moments together, Stan wrote, “To my Ori aku, Lolo Nze 1 of the Nzerians kingdom, my beautiful baby, my confidant, the wife of my youth, my lover, my best friend. Tomato Jos m, apu na anwu, ugogbe ezinuno m. I love you, my queen.

 

“You are legit the best thing that has happened to me and as you have brought so much joy into my life, may joy and happiness be your experience now and forever more. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MRS NZE.”

 

In an interview early this year, Stan had revealed that celebrity breakups once made him question his readiness for marriage.

 

The couple got married in September 2021, a period that witnessed breakups and marriage crises involving celebrities like Tonto Dikeh, 2Baba, etc.

 

According to the actor, he had planned to keep his marriage under wraps till his honeymoon.