Talk about Yin and Yang. Here is Black Panther movie, a positive view of the Continent that we often don’t see and then Christian Amanpour’s version of Ghana. Or at least what she choose to emphasis. Here’s Ghansah, the Ghanaian physician, photographer and self-taught poet’s, take on Amanpour’s “Sex & Love Around the World” documentary that’s currently airing on CNN. It appeared in the local Ghanaian press. It’s a long piece, but worth the reading. Enjoy this piece and decide for yourself.
It is Time
By Nana Dadzie Ghansah
May I rant?
“Sex & Love Around the World” is a documentary on love and sex by the award-winning journalist, Christine Amanpour. It premieres this coming Saturday on CNN. Like she said in an interview:
“From Berlin to Beirut, Tokyo to New Delhi, Accra to Shanghai, everywhere I looked I found people seeking — and craving — love, intimacy and sexual fulfillment. My quest took me to women and girls, who we so often dismiss as only victims of our patriarchal, misogynistic, hypersexualized culture, who were boldly seizing every opportunity for satisfaction and personal pleasure. I also found their evil downside: sexless marriages, industrial-scale infidelity, and loneliness.”
Go to the page on the CNN website that has been created for the documentary. One sees the thumbnails and can watch clips of the different episodes she shot around the world. Now compare the themes she addressed in Ghana versus other places outside the African continent.
It is rather evident that in Ghana, she chose to address negative themes like polygamy and infidelity.
In Lebanon she addresses divorce, she looks at love and intimacy among Arab refugees, she tackles transgender issues in India, in Japan she touches on the meaning of phrases like “Thank You” and “I love you”…but in Ghana, she grabs onto infidelity.
Now, why would she do that?
It is not like Ghana is the only place in the world afflicted with the scourge of infidelity or we have the most polygamous relationships. I can think of three countries in Asia and two in Africa that are way ahead of us in that category.
I have an inkling as to why.
It is the reason “National Geographic” apologized to people of color people a few weeks ago. It is the reason why we Africans are always depicted as irrational buffoons without an iota of character wallowing in the pits of our shitholes.
It is because, in her eyes, we Africans do not know love and sex for us is just a barbaric affair of taking the opposite sex. So why would she waste her time discussing things like “The rising and confident African feminists” or “Juggling sex, family and work in Ghana”.
No! That would be too human for us apes! What do we know about love anyway? So in Ghana, she looked for the “…evil downside: sexless marriages, industrial-scale infidelity, and loneliness.” I do not blame her though. I blame a continent that cannot tell its own story and has the myths and traditions of other places foisted on it. Yet, we have such a rich story to tell – of pain, glory, defeat, perseverance, betrayal, yes, love, sex, polygamy, and death. We have it all.
Come this weekend, Ms. Amanpour is going to show the world a young Ghanaian lady telling everyone how she sleeps with married men for money. Or the older woman talking about sharing her husband. Or the man worried about keeping his wife if he goes broke. Ms. Amanpour will paint Ghana with the colors of infidelity, polygamy, and deceit. And the world will gasp and have their misgivings about those shitholers confirmed. She may even win awards. Through all that, no one will hear of the three young ladies who recently made it to Ivy League schools from Ghana, the young women building their own businesses, those fighting for equality for women, those dying from childbirth, those working hard to take kids through school. No one will hear those stories. Of their love and sex lives. Then, you see, that will make us human, give us character and defeat the narrative. Now, who wants that?
Well, we do! We Ghanaians do! We Africans do!
Yet I do not despair. Such lopsided reportages will only help harden our resolve on this dark continent that, IT IS TIME. Time to make and tell our story with the nuances only a life nourished by a spirit birthed from pain, joy, hope and resolve allows. Nuances that are baked in the sun that burns brightly over the Equator.
IT IS TIME!
MansaWear was the 3 insider tip given to Fashion Week goers in this article that appeared in the October 2014 edition of Rochester Magazine. Below is an excerpt of that the article in which MansaWear was mentioned.
Enjoy an excerpt of the Democrat and Chronicle’s Mary Chao review of Fashion Underground Finale. Here’s to MansaWear: “Just as Red Barn took the opportunity to introduce a different look on the runway, MansaWear in Rochester introduced its new menswear line with shirts in its signature African fabric. The female models donned custom fitted dresses with peplum tops and pencil skirts. The Ghanaian style is form fitting, showing the curves of the body, says designer Nita Brown.”
MansaWear was the 3rd insider tip given to Fashion Week goers in this article that appeared in the October 2014 edition of Rochester Magazine. Below is an excerpt of that the article in which MansaWear was mentioned.
City officials to attend MansaWear grand opening By KERRY FELTNER – 2/27/2014 4:27:36 PM
The grand opening of MansaWear, a women’s clothing store at 367 Park Ave., is at 11 a.m. Friday.
Commissioner Delmonize Smith and City Councilmember Elaine Spaull will join business owner Nita Brown at a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Friday.
“MansaWear is a wonderful addition to the Park Avenue shopping scene that will further enhance this area’s reputation as the destination of choice for those looking for eclectic items and original designs,” Smith said in a statement. “I want to thank Ms. Brown for making this investment in the city and helping us grow Rochester’s economy.”
MansaWear was founded in 2004 and combines the fashions of Ghana and the United States. The women’s clothing and accessories store ships Ghana-made garments to the United States.
The business officially launched in 2010 and owner Brown began doing trunk shows. (c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Leaders Join Grand Opening Celebration of MansaWear Clothing on Park Avenue (Friday, February 28, 2014) – Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner Delmonize ‘Del’ Smith, New York State Senator Joe Robach and City Councilmember Elaine Spaull joined business owner Nita Brown today at a ceremonial ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of MansaWear clothing store at 367 Park Ave.
“MansaWear is a wonderful addition to the Park Avenue shopping scene that will further enhance this area’s reputation as the destination of choice for those looking for eclectic items and original designs,” said Commissioner Smith. “I want to thank Ms. Brown for making this investment in the city and helping us grow Rochester’s economy.”
MansaWear, founded in 2004 and officially launched in 2010, offers women’s clothing and accessories that blend the fashions of Ghana and the United States. Every outfit is made to measure in Ghana and shipped back to the customer in the United States. The designs feature enigmatic stripes, waves and dots and geometric patterns.
Ms. Brown started the business by organizing trunk shows and is excited to open her own storefront on Park Avenue. The store employs three people.
“MansaWear is a show place for our clients to see and touch our beautiful fabrics and well-made outfits,” she said.
“I want to introduce women to the elegant designs made from high quality, beautiful fabrics from Ghana.”
Store hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
News Media: For more information, contact Communications Director Christine Christopher at 428-7135.