Have you heard of Kumasamba LaBamba Beach Restaurant in Accra – Ghana


By Paul Ndiho
Having a prime location is a major key to success for any business owner. In this particular case, Gina Grant Dadzie the owner of Kuma samba Labamba Beach restaurant in Accra, Ghana could not have found a better location. This eatery is now the go to place for great food, parties, live music and of course the beautiful scenery.
If you happen to be in the Ghanaian capital — and you’re looking for trendy spot to unwind and hang out with family and friends, the Kuma samba Labamba Beach restaurant – “which means sunset in one of the local directs” in Accra is the place to check out!
“Well I think it’s the way we relate to people. People prefer to come from their homes and come and sit down and enjoy the breeze and have their peace of mind.
Owned by Chef Gina Grant Dadzie, who started it nearly 15 years ago, the Kumasamba LaBamba restaurant has gained popularity over the years, in part, because it serves a wide variety of delicious authentic Ghanaian dishes. She says, they take their food very seriously and the restaurant only uses the highest quality meats, seafood, and produce.


“I make it myself and sometimes, I help in the kitchen when it’s very busy. We have a lot of African food and a little bit of Continental. The best dish that goes very fast is the tilapia. And a local corn dough called Banku
Ghanaian cuisine is quite sophisticated with liberal and adventurous use of exotic spices and textures. Chef Dadzie prides herself as one of the best chefs in town.
“It is in the way that we make it. We season it very well and you see all we’ve made with the tomatoes and the onions on top. We just know how to do the Banku very well. There are no lumps it’s very nice.”
Dadzie’s is looking to expand her business and she is seeking new funding or partners to build a multi-million dollar hotel and restaurant. Construction on a new site has been delayed, but she remains optimistic about the future of her business.
Kumasamba Labamba boasts of an outdoor terrace, a beautiful indoor dining room, and live entertainment every weekend.
Randy Brobbey, a regular at the restaurant says there are benefits to settling on a beach. For example, he says, people often visit to unwind and let loose for a few hours, while enjoying the great scenery, coastal atmosphere — but most importantly the great food.
“It such a unique place, I like the management, the atmosphere and most importantly I like the crowd, It’s a mature crowd. You come in here and you don’t get bothered and I have met a lot of friends here that I haven’t seen in a longtime and I also transact business here.”
For beach goers like Randy Brobbey, dining at Kumasamba Labamba is all about being relaxed and stress free. A beach restaurant needs to have customers who exemplify what positive coastal vibes are all about.

MOBILE PHONE APPS MADE IN GHANA


By Paul Ndiho
Having access to a doctor in most parts of Africa can be a challenge but here in Accra Ghana – it just got easier, thanks to the mobile app “Dokita.” It provides users with first step health advice and recommendations from doctors within minutes. 10269318_900521313304384_1480289035574095682_o
An innovations revolution is unfolding in Africa. Here in the Ghanaian capital Accra two techies have developed a cutting edge mobile APP called “Dokita APP.”
Dokita provides a platform for users who have health related concerned and answers from real doctors. Agana Agana Nsiire is the co-founder of Dokita App
“It works as a regular social network. So, imagine Facebook but it’s not you and your friends, it’s you and doctors. So, basically it’s an online application where users sign up and doctors sign up and then users can ask questions, and then doctors can answer the questions.


Mr. Nsiire says his App helps users to save money on doctor consultation fees and provides instant feedback. Here is how the App works.
“Hello Doctor, I have been experiencing back pains for some time now, especially under my right shoulder. Is there any particular cause? Thank you.”
“Alright, of course a real doctor wouldn’t say this but, “Paracetamol should do the trick,” and send. Alright, so the question has been sent and is displayed now and Steven should receive an SMS.”
I’ve received an SMS from Dokita telling me a doctor has answered my question, “Hi Steven, a doctor has answered your question. To see your answer login at, the link has also been provided for me. So if I were to be using a smartphone, I could just click the link to take me to the login screen where I login to see my answer.
Apps are the rage for a growing number of mobile devices. And young people are taking advantage of this revolution. Daniel Abakah is the founder of Ajumah.com which means “work” is an example. He has developed a mobile APP that helps African freelancers find jobs in other countries over the internet.
“We have tailored this platform just for the African freelancer to be able to go ahead and then do business. So we see it inspiring more African freelancers to even move out and then do most of these jobs. They feel empowered. We target them wherever they are and they still do a good job.
Daniel says that the online platform is generating a lot of traffic and sees potential for growth.
“We have about $ 32,000.00 value of jobs posted on this site.”
Meanwhile, Matrix Designs, Ghana’s leading Integrated Digital Marketing Agency in web design & social media is generating a buzz. The Accra-based tech company also provides a place for young, creative minds TO hone their skills. Bernard Adu-Gyamfi, leads the Social Media team.
“We started off basically as a software company and were developing software but overtime things have changed, so we decided to add web development and social media to it…as part of what we do.
Industry analyst say Matrix design is a highly sought after tech firm. Most their clients love the fact they are a one-stop-shop for all things digitally creative.
“We wanted to create a system where people could put in their information but also take away the area fraud and fake information. So, if you can speak to government systems then it verifies it. Ultimately, it can be translated into a national information or identification system.”
Analysts say this year is already brimming with unique mobile app innovations. Stay tuned to see what developers have to offer next year.

Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/Executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:pndiho@gmail.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho

CUSTOM COFFINS MADE IN GHANA


By Paul Ndiho
Have you ever seen a coffin made to resemble a Lobster? How about a lion, a film projector or a Bible. Well these fantasy coffins are uniquely created to capture the essence of the departed – whether a character trait, an occupation, or a symbol of one’s standing in the community.mercedez-coffin_460_wide

Ghanaians are well known for their elaborate coffins, from stools a symbol for a chief to big pens a symbol for teachers, journalists and lawyers. This family run business, passed on from generation to generation has developed an innovative approach to making custom coffins.
“We have the film projector also for an old film producer or something like that. And then we have the crab, which is a totem of a particular clan, we have the lobster, which is also supposed to be for chief fisherman. We have the van, I mean the old “trotro” for a driver, the cocoa pot for a cocoa farmer and the lion for a chief, the spider supposed to be an old person, an old man.”
Like Father—like son, Eric Adjetey Anang has been running this family business, which was started by his grandfather Kane Kwei more than 50 years ago – Since then it’s been passed generation to generation. He has developed an innovative approach to making custom coffins.
The tradition of adding designs or sculpturing coffins dates back to Egyptian times. In Ghana, for instance, hand-carved coffins are popular and can be seen as a status symbol, or a way of remembering the deceased’s job or personality.
Eric Anang’s imagination runs wild in his carpentry shop. He’s made everything from a tilapia casket for a fisherman, to this cocoa pod for a farmer.
“The family comes with the idea of the profession of the deceased, so let’s assume the deceased is a driver, they come with the idea of the car the deceased was driving, so if it’s something I have done before, I could suggest let’s try to do a modern car or something.”
Eric says that the technology of building of the most popular coffins is perfectly controlled. Building is more or less complex according to the form of the model, the desired level of details.

. Although one of these sculpted coffins may cost an average year’s salary in Ghana, families and communities often band together to make such a purchase possible. This is believed to protect the well-being of the deceased in the after-world.
“Depending on a piece but actually is between two thousand cedes, when is to be use locally, but when we have to export it we have to us e good wood, we have to trade the wood and many other things and for that we give it at two thousand dollars.”
These fantasy coffins continue as a tradition in Ghana today and have been commissioned by people from around the world and also on display at various museums around the world.
“2013 I sent 24 pieces to Denmark and just this morning I just to understand a museum bought all the 24 pieces. I was there also myself, I built 2 pieces which has also been sold, I sent 20 pieces last year to Russia and they ended up in the museum, just a couple of months ago, like in January or February, I sent one to Florida, which is in a form of a Seahawk.”
Pretty much any object or thing you can think of. They are painstakingly painted, meticulously designed, and even in the face of death, strikingly lifelike.

Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/Executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:pndiho@gmail.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho

Teaching Strategic Communication Studies in Ghana


By Paul Ndiho
Declining newspapers sales, the rise of citizen journalism and use of new technologies are causing concern at some university campuses in Africa. The African University College of Communications, in Accra, Ghana is one of those universities that are re-thinking how to effectively teach communications.Ghana Communication School 1
Established in 2001 as the Africa Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), the African University College of Communications (AUCC), has grown into a private, fully accredited institution, that offers carefully designed and uniquely blended programs at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Kojo Yankah is the founder and president of the University.
“We started in the main stream journalism. You know Journalism at the beginning was just reporting, writing and editing. But then I took the broad fields – Communications should be more encompassing. So, I had to spread into public relations, advertising, marketing and then equally more important areas development journalism.
The University has approximately 1700 students from nearly 16 African countries. The AUCC is one of the few institutions offering courses in journalism, communications, business studies and other disciplines — and now the university is branching into radio and television.
“So we are now branching into multimedia studies to give a broad range of skills, at the feet of students, for them to see how they can now apply those skills, technologically and do better than we’re doing before. So, we have our radio station, for all those who are interested…in the past people could finish their journalism school without ever seeing a microphone. You have a radio station to, plus very active, lecturers.”
Industry experts say online publishing and multimedia communications are among the top growing industries — and they are the future of journalism. The university students asked me to explain why multimedia journalists are trending upward.

“For newspaper journalists right now, it’s not the best time to be a newspaper journalist. You want to be a multimedia journalist because most newspapers are cutting down or closing. The readership has gone down since everybody has a phone. Don’t be caught up, you need to think big and think outside of the box. If you are going to be studying journalism, don’t look at it from one angle; you have to look at it from all angles. If its print, TV, radio you do it –So that even when you are looking for a job, you have more options to choose from.”
Despite those fears, journalism and communication studies are still very relevant and the courses are attracting a lot of international students with varied reasons for selecting their particular paths of study.
“Well several reasons but the basic reason why I chose this school was that it was a communication school and I was pushing mass communication.
“I actually enjoy radio presenting, as a person, I love to write articles, I love to sing, I love to talk to people, so I thought radio presenting would be the best.”
“When it comes to the kind of courses they have, especially the one I’m specializing in, strategic communication, I found out that it was one of the best around.”
The main goal of Musah Larry Prince is to learn and enhance his communication skills.
“As someone who is interested in social issues and media in particular, I had the desire to enroll in a communications school.”
Most exciting, perhaps, is that Kojo Yankah recently added a business school that is also generating a lot of buzz. It’s geared towards teaching students hands on skills. He also has his sights set on Liberia and Sierra Leone where he is already in talks with the relevant ministries to open up satellite AUCC campuses.

Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/Executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:pndiho@gmail.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho

A TASTE OF GHANAIAN LOCAL DISHES


By Paul Ndiho

If you appreciate authentic Ghanaian food then you have something in common with Joseph Konney Mensah, founder and owner of Ultimate bar and Restaurant in Teshi – Accra Ghana. He’s a chef whose passion for making local and continental dishes has earned him the title of “best Chef in Town.” Taste of Ghanaian Local Dishes
Ghana has a rich culture, one that it has managed to hold onto for centuries. This culture is reflected in Ghanaian cuisine. It features traditional dishes from each ethnic group, tribe and clan. Most Ghanaian dishes are comprised of a starchy portion and a sauce or fish, goat meat or beef soup. This trend is evident at the Ultimate bar and restaurant.
“We operate every day, Monday to Sunday. Our main dishes are local, continental, and Chinese. With the local we have our local dishes known as Fufu/Banku, everything local that Ghanaians eat.
Founded nearly 7 year ago by Joseph Konney Mensah, this restaurant is now generating a buzz for its great food and attracting hundreds of people every weekend for live music.
Now Mensah is expanding his brand. He recently acquired a custom made mobile kitchen that caters for outside catering parties and wedding receptions.
“We also have our special which is Ultimate special rice. It’s been blended with chicken, beef, and shrimp…that is what we fry it with to have our special.”
His ambition to own a restaurant started when he was a young man. He mastered his craft in London and the U.S. where he worked in different kitchens before he moved back to his native country to launch Ultimate bar and restaurant.
“I started small. But, as time moved on I leased the land, the place that I was doing, my time got closer so I move into my own house…and I employed a few chefs. That were more experienced than I do so, I started a picking a few things that I didn’t know from them… and here I am today being a chef and an owner of Ultimate.”
Customers are spoiled for choice, sampling everything from a Banku – everything local that Ghanaians eat. Assistant chef Benjamin likes preparing fried rice and pizza.
“If I have my leisure time I move around to work with small, small people to train them for them also to become like me. Because it’s through him that I was able to become like this. So I want always to educate people that they are interested to do it so, I also help them to.”
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Monica Annawi has been working here since the restaurant opened. Her specialty is making traditional foods like Okra stew. She says that she enjoys bringing a smile to people’s faces.
People come and say oh, their food is nice, it’s very tasty…and when they say that about you, you feel good, you feel pride.
Ultimate bar and restaurant employs more than 30 full time workers and has positioned itself as the best place to work in the area. Experts say the eatery has the potential to grow beyond Accra and spread to other cities hungry for a real taste of rich Ghanaian cuisine.

Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/Executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:pndiho@gmail.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho

Turning Shea Butter Into Natural Beauty Products


By Paul  Ndiho
This fascinating story is about a Ghanaian woman who quit her corporate job in the United States and moved back to West Africa to launch a lifestyle brand for natural products. Since returning to her native country, Nana Ama Yankah has turned her passion into a profitable business. Shea Butter Creams GHANA PKG
It has been said that being passionate about your work is the key to success. Nana Ama Yankah is no exception. It was her passion that triggered her to start Naya Naturals lifestyle brand for natural products — and she has literary turned her brother’s garage into a mini factory.
“This is raw Shea butter; we melt, we get it from the northern part of Ghana. I have met some people who actually process it in the north. I call them up and they send me some…
Nana says that using Shea Butter in various products is a business she’s had in mind for the last five years.
“I make two types of products – this is Shea butter that is mixed with oil – this is my orange and mint fusion – so this is Shea butter that has been mixed with coconut oil – Smells good.
“I started playing with Shea Butter products because some of my friends had some interest and they started bringing it around and this natural hair trend had started and Shea Butter was the baby of it.”
Nana says that many commercial creams irritated her sensitive skin, and that’s when she developed the idea to start making her own product line from local and imported materials.
“We have the mango, the banana and the papaya, ginger, lime and coconut and then we have almonds and chocolate.
Regarding her own technical knowledge of the Shea Butter making process, Nana admits, she did not have any formal training or background in chemistry – but she certainly does now.
“I’m not a Chemist by any measure. But through this process of learning and trying to make a good quality product, I’ve been able to learn the chemistry involved to make these creams.”
Like any start-up company, it’s not without its challenges. For example, getting her product line certified citified and approved by the Ghana Standards Authority took a long time. And of course, the constant problems with power blackouts. But despite these hurdles she has a very positive attitude.
“Our goal is to make products that people can identify with, they know what it is, and they’re natural from things that we find around us.”

Naya Naturals products can be found in several local Ghanaian shopping malls, at fairs and exhibitions. They deliver locally and sell and ship internationally.
Although there are many body care products on the market, making Shea Butter creams can be a perfect business opportunity, if you have the right people to market the product like Maame Serwaa.
“These creams nourish your skin, moisturized it, it rejuvenates and also protects the skin from direct sunrises and they have no side effects.”
Cosmetic experts say Shea Butter has qualities that make it a popular ingredient in many cosmetic supplies, lotions, and other skin care products.

Paul Ndiho is a Ugandan – American video journalist/ executive producer, Africa Innovations & Technology based in Washington D.C with interests in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. He is passionate about mentorship and developing the next generation of Africa’s young leaders. Email:pndiho@gmail.com, Facebook: Paul Ndiho and Twitter: @pndiho

Political Satire In Africa


By Paul Ndiho
Comics are all over the entertainment circuit, trying to make us laugh with their political satire. From the likes of Herbert Ssegujja, AKA “Mendo Museveni”, to Adeola Fayehun – Presenter of “Keeping It Real” on Sahara TV — to Kenya and South Africa’s political satire puppet shows.11263031_10153259670892270_6680470281717153029_n
They seem to be omnipresent in our lives, to the extent that not only are they on local African television, but they have gone global via the internet, especially on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Herbert Ssegujja alias “Mendo Museveni”, A secondary school teacher and mimic in chief, is one of Uganda’s top comedians. He has built his career impersonating celebrities and politicians — especially Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Ssegujja imitates President Museveni to near perfection. From the expressions and voice, to the stance and clothing, Ssegujja became well-versed in all things Museveni.
But Ssegujja calls it flattery, not mockery — especially since he’s an avid Museveni supporter.
The president was so amused he had to wipe away tears from laughing so hard.
New York based — Nigerian born Adeola Fayehun – Producer and Presenter of “Keeping It Real” on SaharaTV is also making her mark on the international stage. She now largely aims that talent at the political elite — especially Nigerian politicians.
It’s a passion Fayehun hopes to take far, while finding her own success. Observers say Fayehun’s online TV show “keeping it real” is causing some concern among some Nigerian politicians.
In Kenya, A local TV show featuring life-size puppets in the likeness of various top newsmakers – called XYZ – premiered on Kenyan television more than 5 years ago. The show centers on current affairs and is heavily satirical. Its producers say it is a unique and quirky way to discuss Kenyan and international political — and social issues. Gado is the producer and creator XYZ.
“We wanted to do a political satire show and at times we are mistaken as a comedy show, but it is not a comedy show, we want to do a political satire show. We thought we could have an interesting show using puppets, we can satirize politicians and lampoon them but at the same time, interrogate them and Kenyans as a society to look at ourselves and whether we achieve that, remains to be seen.”
Satirical shows, like” keeping it real”, XYZ and the South African based “Africa Puppet show” created by controversial South African cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, have millions of viewers tuning in to watch on television, and many more watch online. Analysts say political satirists are pushing the boundaries of free speech, in some countries more than others. And comedians Across Africa are now beginning to cash-in — and the sky is the limit.