Reviewing your inspiring 2018 stories

This post is a tribute to everyone who has contributed to MisBeee Writes by telling their stories and allowing me to share them with the world. It is because of you that the stories I was able to share over 2018 were so engaging and inspiring.

Below is a selection of entries representing each of the months and a snapshot of the topics that caught my interest. This year, the months of the year are listed in Ga – the language spoken by the original residents of Accra, Ghana. I thought as I am sitting in the city bashing this post out to you, it was fitting to list in this language! Hope you enjoy…

Aharabataa (January)

I was so overwhelmed by the stories I had gathered over 2017, my review spilled into January. Check out this review for the highlights here.

Oflɔ (February)

Seun Oboite

Young Black and Brilliant was inspired by a conversation I had with young Nigerian entrepreneur Seun Oboite. Although this 21-year-old kept me waiting for AGES in London Bridge station, when we finally met, the conversation was explosive. This computer science and aerospace engineering graduate created his own events platform company Checkmate Concevoir after seeing a gap in the market. He also wants to become legendary! He certainly has by becoming the first company to share a MisBeee Writes post on his company website. Watch this space for more on his developments, and special thanks to Black British Bloggers for suggesting the collaboration.

Otosorikri (March)

TV personalities and authors June Sarpong and Afua Hirsch were the reason for my post Being Black in Britain. The ladies, who both have Ghanaian heritage, have impressive CVs working in media and served as inspiration for us Black Brits who work in a similar arena. What I found fascinating about their interaction was the women’s attitudes to the racism they have suffered in Britain. My expectation was that June would have experienced more because of her darker skin tone but it seems I was very wrong. Check out why…..

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I invited my mum to guest blog on MisBeee Writes, which she did with gusto. In this post, she shares some of her penned poetry. Please show some love for Guest blogger Joana Nyantakyiwaa – an inspirational mum

Mama channelling Ghana’s Next Top Model, and doing it well!

Abɛibe (April)

As some of you know, there is a swathe of interesting events that kick off in the summer and I wanted you – the readers – to get a head start in preparing. The April post showcases one of them called Africa Writes. You can check my thoughts about previous Africa Writes here.

Agbɛinaa (May)

I wanted to showcase The Bald and the Beautiful (I apologise for the pun) with this post because, particularly in the Black community, hair and long hair – at that – are considered to be a sign of beauty. These kinds of reductive statements exclude so many women who could be living with hair loss and baldness for so many reasons. The aim with this post – Living positively with hair loss – was to celebrate women in their natural state and highlight that it is ok to be bald and it does not take away from your beauty.

Otukwajaŋ (June)

I first broke this story in August 2017 (six months before the BBC) after meeting the curator at international music festival Afropunk and I couldn’t get enough of it. In short, The Adamah Papers was an exhibition staged at the Black Cultural Archives that showcased old letters, documents, newspapers and images that had been collected by an Ewe Fia (king) called Togbui Adamah II. These documents give us a unique snapshot into what life was like in the Gold Coast (Ghana’s former name under colonial rule) during his reign between the late 1890s and into the 1940s. Click An archive of Ghana’s past on paper – The Adamah Papers for more.

Ernest Abbeyquaye receiving his award from GUBA Awards MC Claire Clottey

Maawɛ (July)

I got to meet a legend in the film sector called Ernest Abbeyquaye and got to record a podcast and short vlog with him, which was a true honour. Mr Abbeyquaye most recently acted in the film A Beast of No Nation, starring Idris Elba, but has an illustrious career as a film-maker and told me about how his early childhood shaped his career. Check

out In conversation with film-maker legend Ernest Abbeyquaye.

I started bouldering in April 2017. It was actually meant for my friend to get into but within subsequent months, I was hooked. Bouldering and rock climbing are due to become inducted as Olympic sports in 2020, so there is still time for me (and you) to perfect our techniques! Check out:Why bouldering is my therapy.

In other news, one of my older blogs entitled Gold Coast: A Lucid look into Denmark’s Colonial Past was referenced in a Routledge publication called Gold Coast (2015) and Danish Economies of Guilt by Lil-Ann Korber. Make sure you have a read.

MisBeee with JoyNews AM Show presenter Mr Yamkson and Reverend Thomas of the Ghana Association of Science Teachers promoting the JUNEOS Challenge

Manyawale (August)

I was surprised to learn that in Ghana you are not legally allowed to take a photo of buildings where the designer is still alive and hasn’t given explicit permission. This is known as Freedom of Panorama (FoP) and is allowed in countries such as the UK and Nigeria. The reason why we do not have FoP is one that Creative Commons in Ghana is working to lobby government about. No change to this rule means that technically the only images of Ghanaian infrastructure that can be shared and edited are ones that celebrate the past and not contemporary life. The article What image is Ghana’s copyright law project? was written to explore this and published in the Creative Commons Ghana newsletter and Economy Times – a weekly Ghanaian newspaper.

I also backed a national science competition called the JUNEOS Challenge that swept across Ghana in August. The initiative calls on students in Junior High School (JHS) to come up with their most innovative and fun science experiment. The winners are judged by experts and there are prizes to be won.  Check out Ghana – vote for your favourite experiment!

Africa puzzle pieces
Adrianne McKenzie | AMC Media

Gbo (September)

MisBeee Writes is all about sharing knowledge and hopefully enriching people’s lives just a little bit more. In September, I wrote about Patrick Adom’s Africa jigsaw puzzle, which was inspired by his young daughter. The puzzle has become a hit ever since Patrick launched it at the end of 2017. The Very Puzzled set was such a hit, we offer a free gift to a new MisBeee Writes subscriber and the lovely Jennifer Amankwa won the new set! Learn more about the jigsaw set at Puzzle-maker proves learning can be fun.

MisBeee with Ayesha Harruna Attah – author of 100 Wells of Salaga

Antɔŋ (October)

Lucky me! I got to co-lead a workshop on my passion…blogging at Pa Gya – A Literary Festival. The experience was a writer’s dream for me because not only did I get to impart some of my experience and knowledge, I had three days of immersive networking and learning.

I attended as many other workshops as I could and collected names and numbers from some really inspiring and interesting writers. And oh I got a signed copy of Ayesha Harruna Attah’s novel The 100 Wells of Salaga and an image with her.

Co-facilitating the blogging workshop at Pa Gya 2018 with colleague Naa Dzamah. Image © Pelu Awofeso
Brave Africans who attempted to escape were starved of oxygen, light and food in this cell.

Alemle (November)

Visiting Elmina and Cape Coast Castles was something I was secretly dreading. The unimaginable suffering. But when my friend came to visit me – I couldn’t refuse her request to go because it may be an emotional experience but it is also really educative. The experience has changed so much since the first time I went there over 20 years ago. Check out what I made from my revisit here.

And in other news, I upgraded my logo and enlisted the help of designer Menzy to create a digital logo for MisBeee Writes. You can see it on the following YouTube link below.

Afuabe (December)

From one entrepreneur to another – Mark Boadi – the founder wants to give visitors to Accra an alternative tourism experience with his Accra Cycle Share and Tour. I thought the concept was so novel, particularly for Accra where there is so many gridlocked roads, pollution and not really a culture for cycling. Check out how he is managing to change all this:  Accra’s alternative tourism experience.

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