Friday, May 21, 2010

Tro Tro Tales

I am, really I am, am tired of the shaking, the spitting, the kooko scents, the sweat, the insults in fact am tired of the trotro.

I remember how I used to go to S.U in Jhs just to avoid the driver from picking me up,so I can join my classmates to pick trotro.

We would try to buy plantain chips just as the car was about to move and pretend that we left the coins on the floor. (eh! I no sey I am a bad girl) you would see me grinning from ear to ear like I just won a Grammy, man! Those were some times!

I grew up picking trotro and this has caused my disinterest in learning to drive and now that am fully grown up with curly pubic hair, am forcing to.

Ok so this is my reason for writing this: I cannot afford a newspaper, radio or TV advert to advertise my plea “HELP, I NEED A CAR”

Awurade trotro is killing me! Gone are the days when I was in my konkonte uniform willing to board trotro, now that am a full grown curvaceous woman I feel the trotro harassment ,free me oh tom!

You should see the unorganized queue at the lorry station; we rushed on any incoming trotro like some ants found sugar. I get pushed and shoved and if not lucky I would probably lose a valuable. Most of the times, the guys do the pushing, (they are not gentlemen) do they really care? Look trotro taking takes your gentility out of you. One time I asked a guy who pushed me, “Aden?”, he looked at me and said, “Aden sen?se ye fa trotro, madam yei paa” and walked off. I stood there for a minute looking at myself and said “ Na me kraa aden”?

Oh I hate the spit!, the driver spits, the mates spits, the passenger spits, everybody spits. They spit so bad it reminds me of when I went to korle Bu and sat in the wrong queue of newly pregnant women. Often I get unlucky and sit behind the trotro drivers who mostly have their morning brushes whilst they drive. They brush their teeth with “adua” the local toothbrush and spits continuously as he listens to sports on peace fm.

All kinds of food, once i stared at a woman so hard am sure God added it to my sins for that day. She sat beside me and ate kenkey, fish and pepper. How? ei how? After that she bought sachet water and washed her hand through the window. Trotro offers you a buffet……kooko and koose, rice, fried yam, plantain chips ……. ( let the troski takers union members continue)

The stench, the mates are the worst offenders, even Giorgio Armani deodorants won’t help. They don’t seem to care as they are always in sleeveless t-shirts lifting their hands over your head and rubbing their armpits in your face ( you would always notice a bush of prickly hair)

Trotro is like the salon, konkonsa be wat! People gossip, get angry, laugh and even get their future wives in there.
I remember a lady who was alighting and showed us a sneak peak of what her husband enjoys (stretch marks on bleached skin with a fine buttocks line to go with it) man was she mouth whipped, the women called her ashawo and the men blamed her as one of the reasons why men raped women (idiots I thought).

Passengers would just make sure you get a taste of their morning blast as they wipe they buttocks on your face as they alight.

Oh! God I need a car, listen I aint charity all I need is a rich man with a pot belly to buy me a car as we talk about payment terms later or a skinny boy who earns a monthly pay to take a loan and buy me a car, and I would give him a lift every morning to work.

Just in case you see me in the front seat of a trotro “twaing” seven, please don’t call me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Natural Magician- Anita Quansah

Like the kente weaver goes “ Kro hin kro” so does the designer Anita Quansah put rhythmic tune to her designs. A BA textile design graduate from the Chelsea College of Art and Design London, Anita would set the world on fire ( she won’t burn your house oh)

She has been involved with the fashion industry, collaborating and creating unique embroidered textile pieces for some of the leading textile and fashion design houses such as Christian Lacroix, DKNY, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ischiko, Victoria Secret, Ecko and textiles Weisbrod Zurrer and Sandy Starkman, (the scarier the name the better the designer) just kidding.

In 2004 ,Anita has collaborated with Christian Lacroix, designing and embroidering a jacket featured on the runway for the Haute Couture show. What! wat a list? – (even though I borrowed this from her website)
Her designs are tasty and rich in color; her combination of vintage and modern artistry is amazingly beautiful. In simple words her designs is an eye catcher!
So I tracked her down and sent her a few questions

Q: Anita Quansah that sounds like a Ghanaian name are you?

Yes I am Ghanaian

Q: You seem to be multi tasker and very versatile? Accessories, clothes and interior, how did start?

I love fashion and all things beautiful. I guess this passion for design and creativity stems from my early childhood, watching my grandmother a seamstress teaching and making the most beautiful clothes from very interesting and embroidered textiles. Her Passion for creativity, her energy and her determination is what drove me to start experimenting at a very young age. I guess also being brought up around women and watching their different styles evolve also had an impact on me.
Also after years of selling my Luxury handmade couture fabrics to renowned fashion designers, I wanted to create a fashion line that people could not only learn about the intricate techniques used and see the true value of it, but also fall in love and own a piece of true wearable art. Then in 2004 Anita Quansah London the fashion line was launched. Since then, the line has proven very successful, sold out in the Laden Showroom London which was the first ever boutique that stocked the line, then from then, I went on to sell on Asos online which too was very successful And now I am designing a range of neckpieces to accompany the fashion line.

Q: You have an amazing creative sense and seeing your designs remains me of nature and organic materials, how attached are you these?
I love nature and the ever changing beauty that surrounds it the tone, patterns, placement and proportions. So it's not surprising that this is very much depicted in my work.

Q: I remember the first time I saw your clothes, it reminded me of a painting on a wall, artistically which painter motivates you and how does painting affect your choice of materials you collect for your pieces?.
For nature inspired designs I look to great artist such as Monet, Gustav Klimt and Robert John Thornton. I love how these great artist use colour to convey a message of beauty and making nature come alive in their work. I can spend a very long time looking and analysing the techniques used by these artist. Just like they paint on canvas using paint, I myself paint with fabrics creating textures using vintage and recycled textiles which are dissected and meticulously fused together, using hand and machine embroideries.

Q: How has the industry treated you as an African woman and a creator of amazing modern designs? Has it penetrated the market and made its mark as you envisaged some years ago?

The fashion industry is very competitive. And you must have something very different and well received to be able to make it in this industry. Am coming from a textile background and I create my own luxury handmade fabrics and this makes me very different. Also my work can be perceived as a work of art, which is influenced greatly by my culture. As a designer, I am constantly working on making people more aware my work. From when I first started to now, the brand has been well received and has generated a lot of interest and collaborations

Q: How has it been working with so many popular designers and how has it influenced your designs?
Collaborating and selling my work to many fashion designers have enabled me to broadened my design skills and discover who I really was as a designer. It taught me to appreciate my work a lot more. Their expectations and their style of working allowed me to push my creative level to the extreme, to be freer, yet structured in my design style creating a sumptuous piece that is textural with a contemporary edge.

Q: What are your future plans for your label?

Firstly, I want to continue making people more aware of recycling especially in fashion.
Secondly, I hope to have made the brand more successful, and a house hold name, have designs both fashion, interior and jewellery stocked in African Boutiques, and big department stores worldwide. But most importantly, to maintain the value of my craftsmanship and keep my creative spirit alive

Q: Anita thanks for the chat and we hope to see your pieces in Ghana.

Your welcome. Yes I hope to have my brand known and received well in Ghana. Ghana is full of rich cultures, traditions and fashion. Working on having the pieces stocked over there very soon. Shall keep you posted.

Anita would be in Ghana soon and Divas can purchase fantastic jewellery and clothes. Leave ur order on my face book page. Jay abrafi gyebi

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Moni! Moni! Moni!

What would you do for money?

Homosapiens would do anything, beat (quash), lie, steal. I mean anything, there is no better way of understanding me but “ Coz ov moni” sure did hit it right on the head.

The movie was to start at 8.30 pm well according to the ticket I received but I was still late. I could unarguably blame it on my dithering of what to wear, skimpy clothes are so not the in thing rite. now………Jay! Stay focused

I got a good seat, thanks to my……., second line on the middle row, what else would a blind bat asks for?

A short documentary/interview was the first to show, and that was the beginning of the rib cracking night. It spoke about preparations toward the movie, the subject matter and what it means to the writer and the FOKN bois could not have said it better. They took us on a jolly ride, sparking our imagination as we vividly imagine all activities they spoke about with so much passion.

The projection of the entrancing really worked if you don’t know what that is( that is what CH tried to do with the mc at the GMA’s) but this one worked perfect. Mensa seemed a little pensive and Wanlove kept fidgeting with his BB acknowledging sponsors form time to time but Mensa kept thanking the seller of his Midnight waakye.
Acknowledgment were given to Reggie………..nice suit he had on and Samini in his big bang fobby glasses.

FOI (something something inspiration) sorry I don’t seem to recall their names cos they didn’t make an impression on me passed through.
Mutumbo the spoken word guru had his time to shine and he did make use of it. He dropped words with so much ease as he took us through a journey of what people would do for money, it hit the crowd as shouts and whistles did the talking.

Simple storyline, detailed plot, great costume and simple language.
Continuity is good but each scene carries each own theme.
Hitting on current and relevant issues facing the youth in the society, it brought out the good and bad ways money affect the youth including moneys ways of giving you a passports to the big buttocks town.

Language is simple and easy to understand but requires concentration and intelligent. It makes use of puns, similes and metaphors.
Music and dance can’t be escaped as it drives as the main tires of the movie.
The African originality is admirable. Ghetto life is beautified; the movie brings out the life of an African child as he grows through games and real life experiences.

It takes a dramatic turn as the Mensa and Wanlove are beaten and put into a world of fantasy. Their dreaming costumes cannot be overlooked as they hide their sausage and apples in half a calabash with scaring face, I could not help but admire Kubulor’s pelvic lines..............interesting very interesting


"We thank you, Kwame Nkrumah, we thank you, Marcus Garvey we thank you." these were the words of the Fokn bois as they appreciated the pioneers of freedom, expression, music and risk.
i personally found that scene very emotional as i dropped a tear ( u weren't there so i can lie,lol). the accompaniment by the lil boy who chanted akan proverbs in the course of the song was another amazing touch of Africa.

Ending is good but if you don’t concentrate you just might lose it. i mean if u are dumb and u dnt even understand pictures than this is not your movie, go watch some "bushia bushia" ( action packed movie)

“Coz ov moni” what would you do?