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Has it stopped raining in Africa?

No, it hasn't.

Actually raining season is around the corner. However, thanks to the plenty riches of Ghana, I feel like I've outgrown this positive Ghana-centric "Rain in Africa"-blog. Since a little while, I have been working on a new blog and today I am moving to wordpress and to a new blogging concept (or should I say "launching"?).

You will be able to read:
-More personal stories (on Me , myself and I)
-More work related stories (teaching and migration research)
-More critical stories
-More international stories
-More of my favorite reads, links and resources.

To underline that the new blog is more personal, I've decided to "do an AtoKD" and simply give the blog my name plus initials = Kajsa H.A. and the web address

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope to see you soon on!

ps. I have closed the possibility to comment on this blog, but imported all the posts. So if you want to comment come on over to

PhD News

Last Friday I got a phone call. It was late in the afternoon and I was in the Accra Mall stocking up for the weekend with a friend. I had to run into a quiet place because I thought I heard something like:
I was right. It was my first call back from the university. The message was short.
Please bring your birth certificate on Monday.
Here I have been waiting since March last year, or at least since November when I did my presentation, to hear back, and now they are giving me a weekend's notice to produce my birth certificate. BIRTH CERTIFICATE.

Well, thanks to Sweden's excellent governmental ICT services, I was there Monday morning with my certificate. Now it looks like I might be a PhD student very, very soon.

Première: Cinderama, the African Cinderella

Greetings, my people. [..] I have travelled across hills and mountains, crossing streams and rivers, big and small and lakes and forests, thick and thin. [..] I have a good story for you. In facts it is the very reason for my journey...

The National Theatre of Ghana in cooperation with Swedish National Touring Theatre proudly presents:

Cinderama, the African Cinderella

An old tale in a new setting.
A play by Efo Kodjo Mawugbe.
Directed by Fransesca Quartey.

This Saturday the 6 March, 6pm at the National Theatre, Accra (Tickets 20 GHC, minors 10 GHC) you will have a chance to see the play before it goes on tour in Ghana, starting with the Volta region.

The play is a family play with lots of music and I am totally excited about seeing a Swedish-Ghanaian collaboration on Ghanaian soil.

Hope to see you there!

Swedish Coach to Super Eagles

What is with me? I am really no sports fan and now a second post on sports already this week?

Anyways, Swedish coach Lars Lagerbäck has signed with the Nigerian national team the Super Eagles (or Super Chickens as they were called after being defeated by Ghanaian national team Black Stars in the African cup recently). Hopefully, Lagerbäck will make the team come together to perform better in the World Cup in South Africa in June.

This will be interesting to follow.

Pic borrowed here.

Meet the Snow Leopard Kwame Nkrumah Acheampong

I remember the first time I heard of Kwame Nkrumah Acheampong...A Ghanaian man, raised in tropical Africa, who six years ago for the first time stood on a pair of skis...and now is going to compete in the Olympic games in Slalom (or downhill skiing for you who are still not familiar with snow).

Could this be for real? Can a Ghanaian ski professionally? Is it Fool's day?

My my sarcasms quickly went away as I (again) had to realize that life is so much better than fiction. Here are some other facts:

* He shares names with Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah.
* Some marketing team has come up with the brilliant idea of calling him "the snow leopard".
* The problem for Nkrumah Acheampong has been financial rather than physical, see my fellow blogger David Ajao's post here.
*A Ghanaian government official flew to Vancouver to wish him "good luck", source Reuters.
*His goal for the olympics was "not to come last"
*He actually skied better than 7 others...
*...Or at least skied better than one other skier as the other six were disqualified or did not finish the competition. See results here
*He now wants to teach kids how to ski - in Ghana! Reuters got this wonderful quote:
"We've got the site and everything. It's just to get all the equipment, the bulldozers to level out all the rough patches, grow the grass and -- Bingo!, we're there."

What can I say, life is better than fiction, especially the life of Kwame Nkrumah Acheampong!

Pic: From the official Vancouver athlete page here.

Ghanablogging: Citizen Media

This evening the network of bloggers in Ghana, GhanaBlogging, will meet again! Even bloggers with a Ghanaian connection outside of Ghana will probably join in by Skype chat.

Especially exciting for this monthly meeting is that we will be discussing Citizen Media, departing from a project Ghanabloggingmember Nana Kofi Acquah has been involved in.

See you at Smoothies in Osu tonight Thursday 25th February at 6.30 PM!

New Favorite Blog: Silverjuggler

My friend Andreas is trying out life on a old-fashioned farm (well, minus the snow mobile and the website) in mid Sweden 7 km from nearest road and he writes beautifully about his experiences. The blog Silverjonglerier is in Swedish, but even if you can't read it I recommend it for the beautiful, snowy pictures.

The blog posts are about the daily labor at the farm, including awe for the influential older worker - "gammeldrängen", different types of firewood and work hazards - but also about the coffee breaks which we Swedes so affectionately call "fika".

It is also about a modern human being being confronted with a strict schedule, physical work and silence.

Pic: from Andreas' first day at Lillhärjåbygget.

Inventory of Normality Feat. Paulo Coelho

Ok, so normally, I hold a fair share of skepticism against everything signed Paulo Coelho - the bestseller writer who's recipe for happiness is to "seek the truth in the desert" (The Alchemist) - however, when I stumbled across this list on his blog (Thanks, Cris) several of its items spoke to me.

Really, how did these things ever become normal?

3] Spending years at university and then not being able to find a job.

7] Trying to be financially successful instead of seeking happiness.

9] Comparing objects like cars, houses and clothes, and defining life according to these comparisons instead of really trying to find out the true reason for being alive.

24] Using all possible means to show that even though you are a normal person, you are infinitely superior to other human beings.

40] Avoiding depression with massive daily doses of television programs.

However, it is also interesting to see that certain things are just soo tied to geographic places/cultures - eg. would this happen in Ghana?:

5] Retiring only to discover that we have no more energy to enjoy life, and then dying of boredom after a few years.
H3! In Ghana, live after 70 is sweet-o.
25] In any kind of public transport, never looking straight into the eyes of the other passengers, as this may be taken for attempting to seduce them.
Haha, seduction is a constant part of public life including transport in Ghana! Why avoid starting it?
26] When in an elevator, looking straight at the door and pretending you are the only person inside, however crowded it may be.
In Ghana, in the few elevators I've been, you'll politely say "Good morning/afternoon/evening" and then maybe chat the person up, see above!
27] Never laughing out loud in a restaurant, no matter how funny the story is.
Oh, every story is funny in a restaurant in Ghana! "Chale, serious? hahaHAHAHA!"

Anyways, this time I can still recommend Paulo Coelho.

Pic: A serious trotro where people do look each other in the eye.

Ex-President Rawlings' House on Fire: Was It Electrical?

The shocking news reached us yesterday morning, the former president J.J. Rawlings' residence in Ridge was on fire.

Today, facts are a bit more clear:
- Nobody was hurt
- Only Mrs. Konadu Rawlings and one of their daughters were at home
- The ex-president was not at home, but came to the sight early in the morning
- The fire started at 4 am
- By 9.30 am the house was completely burned down
- Three months ago, an electrical fire almost broke out in the residence
- The house was a colonial style bungalow, in much constructed in wood
(Sources: GNA here and Joy FM here and here).

Immediately a debate broke out on electrical fires caused by the common fluctuations of power in Ghana. The night before the fire, it was raining heavily and a substation broke down in Tema. However, GRIDCO, the distribution company found that such a discussion was premature before a proper investigation had been carried out, see here.

However, even if it was an electrical fire, what will we take from it? Has anything changed at all since Ghana's Foreign Ministry burned down in October caused by an electrical fault?

As I heard the rain coming down heavily that night, I woke up and as I anticipated power to fluctuate I anxiously went to pull the plug on all computer equipment (beacuse yes, I am a computer nerd). Then I went back to sleep.

Next time, I'm not so sure I'll be able to go back to sleep.

Pictures borrowed from

Valentine's Day in Ghana - All You Need To Know

Valentine's day became a day to celebrate in Ghana first after the airwaves were deregulated and private radio channels like Radio Gold and Joy FM entered the stage around 1995.

But if Valentine's Day celebrations got to a late start, it sped up quickly and the celebration of romantic love is today widespread in Ghana!

Fellow blogger Nana Yaw writes a funny post including five stories of what high-school sweethearts go through around this time of year, like this one
Sometimes, you just didn't have the money to compete, but couldn't get her to understand. So, 1 week before the Day, you kicked up a baseless fight, and broke up. No need for presents. You waited for 5 days, and went back to you were sorry.
I hope you never had to do this artificial breakup maneuvre! Read all of Nana Yaw's Valentine stories here.

Professor Jo Ellen Fair (who I met last year) have researched the topic of Valentine's Day in Ghana and in summary says that celebrating "Val Day" is something the middle class in Ghana does to feel modern and cosmopolitan. This quote is from the conclusion of the paper "Me Do Wo: The Creation of Valentine's Day in Accra, Ghana". Find the whole paper here (pdf). or read a summary here.
Many say that the Valentine's theme of love "clicks"
in Ghana. "Because love is universal, anyone in any culture can be a part of Val Day," said one young woman (interview, Feb. 10, 2002). Valentine's Day sanctions gestures and words of affection in a culture otherwise characterized by public and private reserve. Valentine's Day is "the one chance you get to tell people how you feel," said one female secondary student (interview, Feb. 5, 2002). "Valentine is wonderful. I can hold my boyfriend's hand and walk down the street," said another secondary student(interview, Feb. 5, 2002). Advocates of Val Day are insurgents for romance in aculture uncertain of the future of more practical approaches to relationships.

This morning, these inputs paved the way for an interesting discussion over breakfast with my sweetheart.

Pic: Walking together on a beach early in the morning - my idea of romance! Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Busy Everyday Life

This week was also not a good blogging week - what is happening to me?
Well, let me tell you and at least that gives me a few days respite!

These days I teach Monday through Wednesday. It is a lot of preparation work, since I am teaching two classes that are new to me. It means all lectures, assignments, readings and handouts have to be prepared from scratch. I knew this semester was going to be heavy and truly, even though I love my work I have been very busy.

As you all know, I am also hoping to soon start my PhD at University of Ghana. The update is that my department in January arranged for supervisors and now it is up to the School of Research and Graduate Studies to officially admit me to the program. Yesterday, I was tired of waiting and wrote a letter of inquiry into the application process to involved parties. And I think that was a good thing to do, because all the three recipients were not in their offices when I came around.

Outside of work and study, I am engaging in civil society. I am a part of the Fabulous Feminists (FabFem), the Accra Book Club (ABC), the Accragio choir (but that's a different blog post, Sppp) and the Ghanaian bloggers' group

The FabFem met yesterday, a fun meeting as usual with young, female, fabulous, professionals with one or two things to say about feminism. Especially interesting for this meeting was that we talked about what we as a group can do for our community. I'll keep you posted. (also, a new member of the group recognized me from my blog! celebrity life, here I come!)

The ABC last month read Swedish (!) writer Stieg Larsson's book from the Millenium triology. I missed that meeting, so I look forward to saying a thing or two on Lisbeth Salander's impact on Swedish society at the ABC meeting next week. This month we are reading Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes (and hey, there's another blog post).
is meeting the week after that, but as I am the anchor of the group, every week there are things to take into consideration. People who want to join our network, have meetings with us etc. Last week my colleague Edward and I spoke about blogging at Radio Universe, University of Ghana's student run radio. At this point in time we want to spread the blogging habit or citizen media to others and are planning an event around that.

Tonight there is a performance with a female flamenco group with the scariest and best name, Mala Sangre, at the Alliance Francaise. 8.30 pm!

And that is my busy everyday life!

Involuntary Absense

So some of you might think I decided to check out completely just because I turned 29 on Sunday.

But that is not the case. I mean, Yes, I was a bit shocked ("29, already? Wow, that means I am soon to be 30, iiiiaaaah"). Yes, I went to the beach to unwind. Yes, I had a glass of good, red wine (or two).

But my absence here has nothing to do with that and all to do with an Internet Service Provider that has painted the town red.


Update: And I'm not the only one noticing, see Nyani's very similar post here!

Did I Dance with Kojo Antwi? Part III or Photo Evidence

Finally, courtesy of pro-photographer Nyani Quarmyne there is photographic evidence of that

This is for you my loyal readers! :-)

Read Part I and Part II of this story here and here.

*a legend according to Esi, see for yourselves here.

Work Blog

Just to let you know I have incorporated my favorite pasttime, blogging, into my work. *drumroll* I p r o u d l y p r e s e n t

Social Theory Blog

a classblog for Social Theory, one of the courses I teach at Ashesi University this semester. Follow it if you want to (re)discover social and political philosophy.

Or just know what I do for a living.

In the picture Socrates is emptying his cup of poison with some ironic words about that citizenship entails following state decrees, even if those decisions kills you.

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