The son of Accra’s first mayor, Henry Sonny Provencal - who was also a close aide to Ghana’s Pan-Africanist pioneer, independence leader and national hero Kwame Nkrumah, Nii Obodai's career has taken him on a slightly less political path. Using photography as his chosen medium, Obodai's 2010 project explores the post-colonial state of his country not from a political perspective, but from behind a photographic a lens - a Leica lens, to be exact.
These black-and-white, grainy and sparse images are taken from Obodai’s book - created in collaboration with Bruno Boudjelal - dedicated to his father, titled “Who Knows Tomorrow?” (a reference to Nkrumah’s legacy), consisting of a collection of photographs that invokes a unique conversation and exploration between the photographer and his native country, having mostly grown up in England and Nigeria.
On my flight from Ghana last night I sat next to this sweet and cute old African American lady.
She told me, “I like your braids. I wanted to get mine done too.”
"Mmm thanks," I smiled back and replied. I’m not really one to talk on flights, but she was so sweet, I had to be polite.
"I’ve seen a lot of girls on the flight got theirs done too. All looks so nice."
"Yeah, braids are more convenient to keep. Takes so long to get done though."
I was looking for a window of silence where I could close my eyes. No one wants to talk to someone who’s asleep. The silence didn’t come.
She went on to tell me about her hair while I smiled and nodded politely. Then she asked me if I lived in Ghana or America, whether I was in Ghana for holiday and so on. This lady was looking for a conversation so I asked her what she was doing in Ghana as well.
Turns out she was there for a project (I forget the name), but it has to do with teaching Ghanaian women how to make quilts so they can earn a living. Right idea, wrong means? You’re teaching women to be independent and help themselves, great! You’re teaching women in Ghana to do this by making quilts. I’m not too sure about that bit. For the past few weeks we’ve definitely had some colder nights, but have we reached quilt temperatures? Maybe I’m just hating and this could end up helping them, but I just don’t see how far making and selling quilts in a village can take you. Maybe now they know how to do things for themselves or know that they have the ability to take control of their lives. I figure they’ve gathered some sewing skills, if anything that’s sure to help.
If you’re teaching them to make quilts with adinkra symbols or something to sell as souvenirs to people in colder places who actually use quilts, that’s different (although one can say that has it’s own problems of culture appropriation), but they weren’t. They were simply teaching women in one of the countries closest to the equator how to make quilts. I just feel that if you’re going to travel all the way to come help these women, please use your time, money and resources to do something that will be beneficial to them in the long run.
The old lady was so sweet and polite. My window of silence had come. I said “oh that’s nice,” turned and closed my eyes.
Half of a Yellow Sun trailer!
Can NOT wait to see it
The MindMill Summer Program (Ghana) is almost here and we are excited! The workshop for volunteers comes off this Friday (12th July) and believe it or not its not too late to sign up as a volunteer.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in volunteering and we’ll send you further details.
Stay awesome. Stay inspired
Share! Share! Share!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE VOLUNTEER IF YOU’RE AVAILABLE!
Courtesy of (Ms) Nina Oduro, a former educational consultant at the EducationUSA Centre (Ghana) who I had the chance to connect with for only about two weeks, but have kept in touch with ever since.
Check out her amazingly resourceful blog: www.africandevjobs.com
My friend is amazing :)
I’m done with my first book of the summer! :)
I hadn’t read leisurely for a while so it took me some time to really get into it, but once I did I couldn’t stop. Aminatta Forna brings up so many topics: war, power and corruption, immigrants in African countries, the slightest hint of religion and like the title suggests, love. So much love and so many different kinds of love. Love so strong and aggressive that it was almost painful, determined but unrequited love that seemed a bit pathetic, love at first sight, paternal love, brotherly love, everything. Strangely the book didn’t even seem like that much of a love story when I was reading it. lol.
I’ve noticed that there’s a familiarity to modern African literature that makes me love it. When I was young the books I read were fun but now that I think of it, very foreign. What did I know about British boarding schools or babysitting? I loved reading this and having the characters drinking a “Star beer” and playing “ludo” on a board that had celebrities faces in the home boxes. I remember reading “Tail of the Blue Bird” by Nii Ayikwei Parkes somewhere around the end of last year and the main character driving through Labone. It’s good writing that I can relate to. I started reading Americanah this weekend and I’m IN LOVE. I’d appreciate if anyone can suggest some more good books :)
I cannot wait to eat these…
Wae Mi Salone People dem? Ar wan mek ona jealous lol, Tumara mi sef go enjoy..
I wonder where else these fruits go, i never see post about them, maybe they’re called something else were you are.