Panafricaism in Ghana

Check out my article (only in Swedish) in the latest edition of the Swedish Travelling Exhibition/ Riksutställningars Newsletter Spana!.

After visiting the cool national museum in Accra, I wrote about its history, organization and visitors and in do doing managed to combine my two top interests art and politics in one project! Additionally, when interviewing the management of the museum I found that migration/brain-drain is a problem also in the museum sector. As a result this post has the most "tags" I have ever given to a text on the blog.


Picture taken by me of two young museum visitors, and beutifully reddened by Spana!'s editor Mårten Jansson.

Happiness Is Also...

...finding a site with interesting and entertaining materials, wonderful photos and just a layout that talks to you.

I fully and wholeheartedly recommend this daily source of inspiration.

It is an online magazine for "women of culture" (probably meaning black, but hey I'm an African now) and according to the founder of the site Ericka Taylor the name stands for You Make It Beautiful. And it is beautiful! (and a bit Martha Steward-y, but thats fine).

Pic taken from abovementioned America-produced website. Can we do stuff like this in Africa?

Happiness Is...

...a yellow sunflower swaying in the breeze.

In March I planted some sunflower sticklings about one inch high. I have almost forgotten about them since, but it seems the raining season has saved most of my flowers.

It is just so amazing that something can grow a meter and a half in two months. Seing it makes me happy.

Pic taken just outside my doorstep yesterday.

How To Carry A Child On Your Back - Ghana Style

Since my last post I have tried to find a site that explains how to tie a child with a cloth on your back the way EVERYONE does it here. I (and others with me) have searched, but found very little on the simplest of baby carrying systems. The answer was of course YouTube. This is what I've found!

This lady does the tying just like they would here in Ghana. Just a pointer, the tying up top is more a fold, like you would to hold up a towel. Below, it crosses twice and then gets folded in, this way, the baby's weight secures the arrangement. Sometimes the baby's arms are tied into the cloth, that way he or she can't move much and will go to sleep in a jiffy.

I dedicate this post to Clara and Leja in Sweden, now I think you can do it!

Back and Front: How to Carry Your Baby

Yesterday, I share a taxi with a mother my own age. Her chubby three months old is strapped to her in a Baby Bjorn carrier, something becoming increasingly common here in carry-your-baby-with-a-cloth Ghana (more info on that here and here).

I turn to ask her who she is choosing the (western) front-carrying alternative instead of the (African) wrap with the baby on the back. She tells me she uses both types, but when traveling it is more practical to have the baby in front. Here in Ghana it is probably also more "fashionable" to wear a Baby Bjorn to town and the traditional style is reserved for around the house, that is for those who can afford both.

Interestingly, it seems to be almost the opposite in Sweden. Different scarves for carrying babies have become very popular and the Swedish invention Baby Bjorn is not as common anymore.

- Oh, I see, I say to the mother in the taxi, he does look comfortable. With a smile I wave at the adorable little man strapped to her front.

- You love babies, eh? His mother asks with the big question mark.

I do. But that’s a different story.

Picture borrowed from

Ghanaian Internet Community

I have since some time back collected Ghanaian blogs. They are not easy to find, but every now and then I stumble over one. Last week it was Holli's Ramblings with insightful comments on life in Ghana and hilarious comic oneliners. Today I found KOB, Fred and Nana-Kofi's attempt to hype Ghana and Kofi's/Annansi's blog like mine trying to influence the image of Africa and Ghana (only that he in his business lingo calls it "branding").

I have already discussed with another Ghanaian blogger bringing all of these bloggers together IRL. Until I do, if you're blogging in Ghana and is not on my list, contact me!

The pic stolen from Holli.

Out of the Wardrobe

It is like it’s a personal hobby, a favorite pastime, no really, it’s a full-scaled lifestyle. The reinvention of myself and my life. New places, new people, new tasks, new topics. I can’t help myself!

This time it’s a new job involving, not surprisingly, an array of concepts and tasks completely new to me. It is frightening to dive into a world of marketing, revenue, search engine optimization, programming and managerial duties.

But the thing is I love it and I simply thrive. I devour books about my new field (right now fittingly The Search – How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle), schedule meetings with people who know marketing/programming/sales and use my people and meeting skills from my past to glue it all together.

I seem to specialize not in Political Science or any other topic, but in change and along with it adaptation. Judging from recent years’ talks about a globalizing and everchanging world, I guess I am very lucky to swing this way.

Now back to my book.

Me Tiri Ye

The heading means "I feel lucky" in Ghana's biggest local language Twi. And that is just how I felt stumbling across Google Twi Kasa - Google in Twi!

I mean, it isn't strange, its the first language of 40 percent of Ghanaians, which translates into some 10 million people. For some perspective that's more people than the whole Swedish population!

In the official statistics Internet users in Ghana are still few, but on the street in Accra and other bigger cities there are many Internet cafes (most successful is this one), information technology courses are popular and social networking sites for Ghanaians keep springing up. Some hope Ghana will follow in India's footsteps and become an IT-economy. Well, then this is a definite first step.

Pic generated with this site.

Swedish Midsummer in Ghana

Date: 21st of June
Time: 3 PM onwards
Place: My Place in Tema

We meet and cook and drink together while the sun sets. I have a grill and a lot of glasses and plates. The rest is up to you. It will be a "knytis" to create a Swedish feel to the event... Everyone with a Swedish connection is most welcome!

Just drop me an email if you want to come.

Women in Politics

Having followed the American primaries, like everybody else on this planet, I must confess I was disappointed when Senator Rodham Clinton did not make to the democratic nomination. As she pointed out in her speech, held the same night Senator Obama was partying with his followers, not long ago women were not even entitled to vote. Now, that seems distant, but why is it still so difficult for women to reach the top positions?

Just as the United States, my two home countries Sweden and Ghana have yet to hope for a woman prime minister/president. As the elections are coming up in Ghana later this year, some groups have started to advocate for a female vice-president (chance for female head of state already bypassed).

At the same time the world press is arguing about if Senator Obama will ask Senator Rodham Clinton to be his running mate. Will this be the year of women historically breaking in the political inner circle or another term of suits only?

In the pic African heads of state in Accra for last year's AU summit.

Ghana Graduation

Yesterday I met with my sister-in-law. She is a wonderful, easygoing person and very easy to talk to. We sat down and discussed all different kinds of things; Ghanaian versus Swedish food, what to do in the weekend, how our careers are moving along etc. We laughed together and she vowed to soon come visit me. As I was leaving I wanted to give her some of the fresh corn (in Ghana maize) I was carrying in a big, black shopping bag.

- I got too much, all of this I bought for 1 GHC, so please help me out!

And then it happens. As my sister-in-law picks out a couple of corn cobs she, having lived in this town all her life, asks me, the obroni-new-kid-on-the-block, where I've gone to buy so much for so little. Bursting with pride I tell her what corner of the market I went to, feeling like I just graduated with a degree in Ghana Street Smartness.
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