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. …
This piece was updated at 15:00 on 5 December 2016 to include the response from the John Lewis press office (see final paragraph). The blog was originally published at 00:36 on 5 December 2016.
There was a
time – not too long ago - when the airing of the Coca Cola advert in the UK
heralded the start of the Christmas season. But in my opinion, UK high street supermarket
adverts are slowly but surely stealing Coke’s thunder. Anticipating what our
retail chains are going to come out with annually has become a big talking point that
even deserves column inches in our top newspapers.
year, the supermarkets did not disappoint. They provided us with liberal helpings
of the stock Christmas ad ingredients: snow; Father Christmas; Turkey with all
the trimmings, presents, the Christmas tree and animals – in recognition of the UK’s pet-loving
culture. So when UK retailer John Lewis unveiled its 2016 contribution on 10 November, I
was pleasantly surprised and pleased to see an all-Black cast. …
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…
Star 100 - a Ghana-focused diaspora network based in London - invited me to share my thoughts on the role of traditional beliefs in Ghanaian culture. The discussion, on 30 September 2016, was entitled Traditional Beliefs and Customary Law, at the Museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, London. The topic is something I have been exploring for some time, particularly during my time living in Ghana. I wanted to share with you my short presentation and invite you to share your views..... Here is an abridged version of a story I wanted to share with you: In the beginning, the universe consisted only of the sky, the water, and
the wild marshlands. God (Obatala) believed
that the world needed more and asked the ruler of the sky and creator of the
sun – the supreme God - (Olorun) for permission to create solid land on Earth.
This lesser God made clay figures in the likeness of himself but grew tired and
became drunk on palm wine, which he passed on to these clay figures – deforming