The Afro'Lick Trick

I was at a thing for professionals in Ghana last week. It was a network meeting including the beautiful people of Accra and the businesses who want to brand themselves to this group.

Among other things a magazine called Canoe was distributed. The background to the name is according to the editorial:
Canoe is simply Canoe; one of Ghana's main modes of transport some golden years back. The carted everything; luxury items, alcohol, grocery, livestock, waxprint, tradestock, weapons and ferried people across seas and villages linked with rivers.

And fair enough, the mag Canoe brings to us articles on luxury items like cars and technology, imagery containing alcohol and fashion and ads for expensive hotels and boutiques. But also, and more interestingly, the magazine uses a positive language when speaking of African things. When I flipped though the glossy pages these words really popped out, probably because "African-ness" is rarely spoken about in such a way. Some examples:
InnoNative Housing (on environmentally friendly Ghanaian architecture), Afro'Lick (about latest trends), Afroluxe (about latest gadgets), African Values (in an ad also stating "proudly Ghanaian") and Afrosexual (in a fashion reportage to describe the black models sexual orientation as preferring African partners? Usage not entirely clear).

So will a publication showing that Africans also like to indulge in champagne and fast cars change the image of Africa? Surely not, the focus on consuming luxury items to display success isn't new, constructive or even interesting (yawn!)at all. But I find that the use of Afri-positive language gives a juicy Afro'Lick on InnoNative Afrique-futures.

In the pic some beautiful people at the launch of above described magazine borrowed from, Ghanas only model agency - seemingly highly involved in the CanoeQuarterly.


Anonymous said...

Hi There, I just read your note. I was at the networking reception as well - just one correction. Exopa is NOT the only Modelling agency in Ghana. Just not to confuse your audience. Canoe also positively captured the growing trend of the middle class in ghana. Something that has only grown to be over the last few years. And this is pertinent information for people who were interested in the Life of the Middle Class Ghana. Some tourist come for the benefit of the lower class and may not be interested in such information AND THATS OK. But for the once who are interested - Canoe creates a wonderful picture of the growing ghanaian middle class. My tuppence

Anonymous said...

CANOE MAGAZINE is great and innovative. It's about time that Ghana begun to publish such quality and i think we as Ghanaians shout support them. There are little things that they can improve on such as their content, but with that said i still feel that they are true to their brand and should not compromise.

Anonymous said...

Talking about quality products in Ghana? That is a can of worms. Ghanaians usually have very good ideas and products BUT what we lack is good packaging, finishing and presentation. Canoe magazine has elevated the status to rank with the publications of the Americas and Europe. The other day I stumbled across a social network website just like youtube and myspace with African content (music, videos, books etc). I was so impressed with it and more happier when I found out it is a website being run and managed in Ghana by Ghanaians. Go check it out Ghanaians should make sure our finished products are up to international levels because thats what we are. INTERNATIONAL

Charles P said...

I came across your site while I was looking for the Canoe Magazine website. I went to university in London (LSE) with one of the founders, Sefa gohoho, and I'll tell you this. Sefa does what she does out if a love for the continent. She was one of those diplomatic kids, went to an international school, and has met and visited her African friends all over the continent. I would say that she is definately a stickler for things being done properly. She is annoying in that way. I'm not surprised Canoe is the Quality it is. I'm sure she found a team who share the same sentiments. I'll be going to Ghana for the first time in December, and I look forward to meeting and congratulatin the Canoe team on a job well done. Canoe makes Ghana look like one of the places in Africa that should be visited, and the Ghanaians I have met in Europe certainly show the warmth and spirit that we in Europe are losing. Ghhana should be proud.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin