Misdiagnosis delayed one London-born teenager’s treatment for Asperger
Syndrome by 17 years until a chance visit to a doctor in Ghana changed her life
for the better.
"Ann-Marie was born in 1998 and she was always
an active and alert baby. I remember my aunty commenting on it,” her mother
Jayne said. “But I thought that was positive.” At six weeks old, Ann-Marie stopped sleeping in
the afternoon and it was increasingly difficult to keep her still. As she grew
older, her behaviour became more unusual.
“I remember on her first day at nursery, her
teacher asked me if she had sight or co-ordination problems. My husband and I
had her assessed but she didn't. "By the time she was four years old, her
cousin, who was also her best friend, left the nursery. That was the first time
that I saw that she struggled. She wasn’t sleeping well at night and would wake
up and stand at the foot of the bed and ask: ‘did I do something wrong, why
can’t I play with my cousin?'"
Should I be jubilating to learn that a total of three films made by
Ghanaians and those from the diaspora will feature at the Film Africa festival
in 2016? Last year there was just one, while in years 2014 and 2013, there were
two films. Even though the number of films showing this year is higher for a third
consecutive year, I will refrain from popping the champagne just yet.
The reason is two-fold. Ghanaian film representation at Film Africa has
never been as good (if you can call that good) as in 2011 when the festival was
first launched and a total of five flicks were showcased. It fell to four in
2012, and has never managed to hit five digits ever since.
Secondly, in the grand scheme of things, the Ghanaian contribution to
films in this festival is meagre when compared to movie heavyweights such as
South Africa. In 2015, the festival showcased 67 narrative features, documentaries,
and short films from across 26 different African countries. Over 20% of those
came from South Africa. …
Traditionally, eating meat has long
been viewed as a sign of affluence in many African cultures and the omission of
meat from the diet - a sign of poverty. So when Ghana-born Ben Asamani chose to
cut out meat, dairy and all meat products, the reaction was predictable.
Initially people thought that at 16 years old, it was a phase he would grow out
of but decades later and Asamani has made a business out of veganism, and is
keen to spread this way of life to others. Vegans do not eat any meat-based
products and animal by-products such as eggs, diary, honey. This also extends
to using leather, silk, wool and cosmetics derived from animals.
Plant-based foods tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and
rich in antioxidants, which can combat against such health risks as obesity,
heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Other reasons for becoming vegan include a desire to lower exposure to
antibiotics in meat and dairy. There are also the environmental
considerations that growing feed for…
If you think you've exhausted all options when progressing your career, there is always
something else you can try. That's what I took away from the Star 100's 'In
Conversation' session with TV and KissFM radio presenter Melvin Odoom and SkyTV
newsreader Claudia-Liza Armah on 25 February.
You couldn't pick more wildly different personalities if you tried. Melvin, who has Ga and Fante roots,
had me gripped even before the session started. He mixed easily with the
audience, renewed my faith that some celebrities are down to earth, and
effortlessly had us 'catchin joke' throughout his talk. Claudia-Liza exposed her nerdy side and had me enthralled at how years
of parent-enforced incarceration (the story of my life as the daughter of
immigrant Ghanaian parents) had resulted in her becoming somewhat of a TV expert.
At one stage during her talk I swear she didn't take a breath between listing
all the programmes she watched as a teenager, and reeling off c…
start this blog on the premise that most of us accept today that Africa is the
cradle of mankind and that despite the geographical and political demarcations
that separate North and Sub-Saharan Africa, all its inhabitants were
originally one. But how many of us know of the Senegalese academician,
scientist, philosopher and politician who popularised these concepts in the
early 1950s and was widely criticised for doing so?
His name was Séex (Cheikh) Anta Diop and his research, publications and discussions made him an important figure in elevating Africans, our histories, cultures and identities on the continent and across the Diaspora. Thanks
to Birkbeck University’s free airing of the Ouseman Mbaye film ‘Kemtiyu’ in
London on 3 February 2017, I got to learn more about Dr Diop and understand why his
arguments were so fiercely criticised by the academic elite. The film (the name of which is
fittingly derived from the word Kemet – meaning land of the black people) chronicles
Diop – a ch…