Opinion: Lovers in Courtship Who Will Birth Sickle Cell Children Shouldn’t Marry

From our previous article on sickle cell anemia, it’s quite clear that giving birth to children with this disorder can be easily prevented by having a sickling test pre-marriage or pre-birth. Continue reading Opinion: Lovers in Courtship Who Will Birth Sickle Cell Children Shouldn’t Marry

An Intimate Letter to God by AlexRepGh

Dear God,

It’s your boy once again. I thought we should talk. Ever since we fought, I’ve been going through hell. Nothing has gone too well. I fill my lungs with smokes, and my belly with hard liquor. My heart is full of hatred, covetousness, and anger, and my brain occupied by thoughts I can barely describe. For instance, whenever I walk down the street and I see a beautiful lady, I only think of how she’d be when she’s without clothes. But when I see half-naked celebrities on TV, I censure them, rain insults at them, and wish evil befall them. At the same time, I wish blessings upon myself and the entire circle around me: family, friends among others, even those who dress just like those people I see on TV. LORD, I’ve been such a hypocrite. Forgive me.

As I write this letter, it’s Sunday but I didn’t go to church. The last time I went to church, I had a nice time. I enjoyed how people danced around, shaking their bum-bums, the youth exhibiting their exuberance, similar to the way people danced when I visited the night club last Saturday. But this time, it’s not at the night club, so it’s fine. And I also witnessed the appeal for funds that went on.

I wish I could describe how I enjoyed it as much as how I didn’t enjoy it. For those who were able to give very large amounts of money, I believe they enjoyed it. Special prayers were said for them, and those who couldn’t give anything were encouraged to do so the next time. But the encouragement was indirectly telling them that it’s very wrong to not give something when you attend church.

The same way that the ‘preacher’ in a public transport would expect you to pay him for telling you to repent from your evil ways. They even expect the ‘trotro mate’ not to charge them for boarding their vehicle. When I want to take something from another person, I would firstly talk about an unrelated issue which would stir the person’s moral feelings. Then being aware of the state of their moral feelings, I would then ask them to give what I really want to ask. Lord guide and guard your children from guilefulness.

Many people pretend to be the lights, but their hearts are filled with darkness. When my heart was filled with darkness, it was your seven stars that shone upon my paths. When I thought I had lost my soul, your word held it, and I found it again. But when I tell the world, they don’t believe it because I do not go to church. Or I do not update my social media pages with words that praise you, words that thank You for saving my life.

But I know YOU know how grateful I’ve been for all the blessings you bestowed upon me, especially throughout the year 2017.
2017 was an amazing year. It started with committing myself to paths I never knew where they’d lead me, but that’s when you told me to have faith. When the road got rough, and everything fell apart, you put my pieces together and made me whole again. In 2018, I don’t wish for a better year, I wish for a year as good as all the other years I’ve lived on this earth. I pray that your wishes come through in the rest of the years of my life.

I will write again.

Yours forever,
AlexRepGh

Why Sarkodie May Never Win a Grammy

Undoubtedly Ghana’s most decorated musician, BET and MTV award winner, and one of the most influential personalities of our time, Sarkodie has hinted several times about his desire to win a Grammy— on “Original” and other songs. Upon being the African rapper with the most awards, Sarkodie believes the highest he can go is to kiss a Grammy trophy. But I always wonder if that’s possible.

I thought Michael Owusu-Addo (real name) had given up on those dreams till quite recently, in a freestyle with Strongman, he made that statement again. Has Sarkodie really taken time to think about the possibility of him walking up that stage to grab the award?

Angelique Kidjo

It’s quite sad to face the fact that there are only 7 Africans who have won Grammys since the awards show started in 1959. GRAMMYs happens to be the most enviable and topmost awards scheme in the world presented by The Recording Academy. That’s to say if a musician wins a Grammy he/she is considered to have reached the peak of his/her career. It’s noticeable that the only categories that African performers are able to occupy and win are Best World Music Album and Best Contemporary World Music Album categories. The history-making musicians who have won Grammys as Africans are: Ali Farka Toure (Mali), Lady Smith Black Mambazo (South Africa), Tinariwen (Mali), Youssou N’Dour (Senegal), Wouter Kellerman (South Africa), Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa), and Angelique Kidjo (Benin).

In 2016, Stonebwoy’s “Livingstone EP” was considered by The Recording Academy but couldn’t make the final nominations cut. Same happened to Blakk Rasta this year. This year, the closest Stonebwoy can get to a Grammy win is if Morgan Heritage wins the Reggae Album of the Year. Rocky Dawuni happens to be the first Ghanaian to be have a full nomination, in 2016, but he lost out. And Killbeatz? His alleged Grammy nomination is debatable.

Considering Sarkodie, a rapper (and once-in-a-while singer) who does the genres Hiplife and Hip-Hop, he stands almost no chance of winning a Grammy. Looking at the list mentioned above, they do mostly traditional and folk music filled with indigenous cultural sounds and rhythm. The closest Sarkodie has been to that is his 3rd studio album, “Mary.” In my review of “Mary”, I made mention that I thought Sarkodie would use the live recorded Highlife/Hiplife album to reach the Grammy heights he has always been talking about. But the body of work didn’t make a huge impact even in Ghana.

Hip-Hop is an untouchable genre as the United States rappers themselves compete very keenly even to gain nominations. I mean, a legendary rapper like Nas, and the current generation’s favourite, J. Cole have no Grammys to their names. So who is Sarkodie to go near that spot? To hit the nail right on its head, Sarkodie’s music does not suit any category in the Grammys as it stands. The only way he can get close to winning a Grammy is if he does pure cultural music which makes an impact in the whole of Africa (which I doubt is going to happen), or if The Recording Academy creates another category that will favour him. Another chance is to get featured on an album nominated (and won) in a category which is awarded to all featured artistes. Till then, Sarkodie’s Grammy dream may forever remain a dream.

Words by Joseph Aqweci Ofori