Movie review-Black Panther

Movie review-Black Panther

So I watched Infinity war before I watched Black Panther so when King T’Challa fell over the water fall to certain death I told everyone else he couldn’t be dead yet. Plus, thanks to VLC, we could see that the movie wasn’t over yet.

I now understand what all the hype was about and can really envisage this as a movie I would want to watch over and over again.

Lemme tell you why.

1. I love the way the movie shows “girl power”. From general Okoye and the Dora Milaje(the King’s soldiers) being female to King T’Challa’s sister Shuri being the tech whiz (go girls in STEM) to Nakia being the brain behind ultimately rescuing T’Challa and the incoming ” king maker” being female and of course King T’Challa’s mother being the one who prepares the vibranium mixture that brings him back to life, the movie is rife with bold women who totally rock.

2. Secondly, I love the way it subtly deals with our choices and how they affect us and even other innocent people. King T’Chaka chose his nation (which was expected of him as king) when he killed his brother N’Jobu to save Zuri’s life. But was he justified in choosing to leave his nephew behind? By doing so, he created a monster who threatened his kingdom many years later. As the inner conscious scene showed, Erik was really hurting and needed closure. Could that have been prevented if he had grown up in Wakanda with a loving extended family?

3. Another thing that stood out for me is the theme of love. It was love that made Nakia decide to go and look for T’Challa when she had seen him fall to certain death. It was love that made Okoye and W’Kabi drop their weapons rather than fight each other and thus caused all others to drop their weapons. It was love that made T’Challa take Erik out to see the Wakanda sunset knowing full well that if the tables were turned, Erik would not have done same for him.

4. I loved the various African touches that were added. I saw Kente from Ghana, the lip thing from some other African tribes and some other allusions. Go Africa!

5. When Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross run away, I’m not sure they really had hope of finding T’Challa. Their hope was gone. However, by going to enemy territory they felt the stood a better chance than staying in the kingdom with King Erik who obviously didn’t want them. It reminds me of the story of the four lepers in 2 Kings. Either way, they were dead…so it was better to move than stay put. What’s the worst that can happen? Sometimes, just move and you may be surprised at how much of a difference that makes.

6. Wakanda is depicted as the perfect African utopia, untouched by foreign elements and so far ahead of the curve, the curve might as well be non-existent. However, that disconnect lead to the creation of Erik’s villany. The power they hoarded for themselves could have helped so many others as N’Jobu and Erik expressed. But their desire to stay separate and their fear of the outside world ultimately came back to haunt them. T’Challa’s passionate declaration to the ancestors is one of the greatest character moments in superhero cinema and reflects one of my favorite Marvel quotes; “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Its never enough to just be…not when you can change the lives of others around you.

7. Another saying this film illustrates well; “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” N’Jobu wanted to free African-American communities from oppression and betrayed his country. T’Chaka wanted to protect his country and instead created a villain in his nephew. T’Challa and Erik aspired to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and created a civil war in a peaceful country. It goes to show us all that the end cannot justify the means. Not when the “how” cause so much pain and suffering.

Well, I have to wrap up now before I write a book…lol. I love the almost non existent sex scenes. There’s just one kiss at that and one which wouldn’t make parents cringe while watching with their children. It’s overall a breath of fresh air in showing Africa in a positive light rather than the usual poverty. There are truckloads of lessons  and of course enough shooting to satisfy people like my friend Joy… Lol.
Wakanda forever!

Cheers

My friend Zuviel contributed to this post so he’s listed as a co-author.

(He’s the resident Marvel universe expert :-).)

Angela Azumah Alu and Zuviel Joshua Naazie

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Royal wedding: Harry and Meghan

Royal wedding: Harry and Meghan

As a sucker for love stories, today’s royal wedding represents a lot of things: a reminder about miracles and fairy tales amongst others.

I think of just how different Harry and Meghan are…in terms of background and the experiences they’ve had….even down to their ages; she’s older.

But then I also see just how much richer even their marriage ceremony is because of those differences and just how much they’ve captured our hearts because of the whole fairy tale nature of the story and the marrying of two cultures.

I love how affectionate they are with each other. Honestly, for me it’s been a reminder that love can come in the most innocuous of ways; through a blind date. And that it can be beautiful!

Definitely, it’s not the same thing… but the relatable things: making a decision to love someone and being willing to do everything possible to be with them and to spend the rest of your life with them.

We do not know what tomorrow holds, but we pray they last the journey of marriage and that they continue to inspire young people to dream.

Happy marriage to Harry and Meghan!

Angela Azumah Alu

19/05/2018, Legon

Movie Review of The Avengers: Infinity War and lessons learnt.

Movie Review of The Avengers: Infinity War and lessons learnt.

Infinity War is the latest movie from Marvel Studios about the Avengers. It is absolutely amazing although I didn’t really like the ending. I’m looking forward to the promised sequel. You can read more about the movie if you haven’t watched it yet:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avengers:_Infinity_War.

I watched it with my sister and given that it’s our first Avengers movie, we were a little lost but we enjoyed it nevertheless. The graphics were amazing and the movie itself was very emotionally charged.

At the end of the movie, some lessons stood out….from a Christian perspective. Enjoy!

1. When the movie ended, it seemed like the evil Thanos had won. But guess what, in these movies, it’s always the good guys who win. So we can rest assured that there will be a sequel where the good guys will win…and as always, the odds will be against the good guys but they will win. Reminds me of our lives as Christians. We have already won the war because Christ has won it for us. So sometimes, when the devil seems to be winning, thou shalt not fear or be afraid. The Lord is in control.

2. Thanos got some of the infinity stones because other people decided to save lives. So he got the space stone when Loki had to trade it for Thor’s life and the time stone because Dr. Strange traded it for Tony Stark’s life. Even Gamora shared the location of the soul stone to save her sister Nebula’s life. Love and loyalty make you seemingly weak but that is strength. 

3. Sacrifice. Apart from the above sacrifices, even Thanos himself had to sacrifice a loved one…in this case Gamora…before he could get the soul stone. That was a really big sacrifice and it was moving to see his tears. Question 1 for you and I: Christ sacrificed his life for us…what are we doing about that? Are we living lives worthy of that sacrifice? Question 2…what are you willing to sacrifice for your dreams/aspirations and other things you want?

4.Commitment Even though his goal was horrific, Thanos was willing to see it through to the bitter end. He endured many trials and stayed true to his course no matter what came his way. As Christians, how committed are we to the path Christ walked for us? How often do we stray due to the littlest inconvenience? The path is never easy, its never simple. It just needs to be walked.

5.What do you do when you have done all you can and everything still goes wrong? As Christians, that is time to go back to God, ask Him why and trust Him anew. May God help us all!

6.Final lesson is from Matthew 24:40-42
Jesus talks about the need to be watchful since we do not know the day or the hour of the Son of man. He warns that on that day two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
Just as it happened with Thanos. Half the world was taken away and half was left. Question is: which half will you be part of? Does Jesus know you?

These are some lessons that stood out from Infinity War. What about you? What stood out for you? Cheers!

My friend Zuviel contributed some amazing insights to this post so he’s listed as a co-author. Do check out his blog:
https://zuvielnaazie.wordpress.com/author/zuvielnaazie/

Angela Azumah Alu and Zuviel Joshua Naazie
2/5/28

 

Book review of “A Silent Heritage” by Letitia E. Obeng

Book review of “A Silent Heritage” by Letitia E. Obeng

Book review of “A Silent Heritage” by Letitia E. Obeng

I love biographies and autobiographies! For me, they represent an opportunity to see another’s life in technicolour/3D view or whatever you want to call it. And I love “girl power”! So when I came across Letitia E. Obeng’s autobiography in Legon bookshop, it was attractive for three main reasons: autobiography (check), about a woman (check) and it was affordable (double check). So I grabbed it! Yay!

The book was absolutely amazing! It chronicles the life of Letitia E. Obeng who was the first Ghanaian woman to obtain both a Bachelor’s degree and a PhD in Science! Talk about impressive….even more impressive was the fact that she did this while raising three children as a single parent. (Ikr).

One of the things I loved most about the book was the fact that she put her story within a context. So she started from the origins of her ethnic group, talked about her parents and siblings and even gave biographies of her children. As a book lover, this was a gourmet buffet for me. She comes from a very large and illustrious Ghanaian family with her father being a former Presbyterian Moderator and her sister Theodosia Okoh, the designer of Ghana’s national flag. One of her sons, Ernest Kwasi Obeng, was a world famous athlete. It was impressive how all of her children went to achieve great academic and professional laurels.

In addition, I appreciated the detail she put into the book about her upbringing in a large family, her education, her marriage and the death of her husband, her professional life and the various experiences she had. This book was really an eye opener in terms of teaching about times past. (Bear in mind this woman is 93 years old now). I loved the pictures and the way they showed how fashions have changed. I particularly fell in love with her description of her love for African prints and how she actively promoted them. As a lover of African prints, I’m very appreciative of her efforts.

I also loved the conversational style she used for the novel. It’s almost as if she’s your favourite grandmother telling you a story. I felt the love, warmth, pride and humour in the book. Even in the parts where she had to recount instances of disappointment or unfair treatment, you could tell it was more about setting the record straight rather than out of malice. I was teary when she described how her husband died. It all happened too suddenly.

And yeah, I enjoyed her practicality in having people assist with child care and house chores so she could focus on other equally important things. This always seems to come up with some people acting as if a woman has to be superwoman and do everything by herself to be considered a complete woman.

So in sum, thank you Madam Letitia Obeng for sharing your life with us!

Cheers!
Angela Azumah Alu

Book review of “Six strings and a note”

Book review of “Six strings and a note”

“Six Strings and a Note” by E. Obeng-Amoako Edwards

So my first book review finally decides to be written on a day when I need to review a report for my boss and I have to prepare for class. Shaking my head at such capriciousness. But here goes.
This morning, my friend Esther passed a comment about how important it is to focus on one thing. That when we try to focus on too many things we end up mediocre at everything. Well, I was still trying to think of a response for that when Agya Koo Nimo came to mind.
So honestly, I’d heard of him but had never really listened to his music…but I’m a reader who likes to browse in bookshops. And thanks to my dad, this year we’ve been buying a lot of books to read. So every time I walked into Legon bookshop to buy a book this year, I saw Agya Koo Nimo’s biography. However, it just looked too expensive (that’s a blog post for another day). Finally, I told my dad about it and he agreed that we get it. I’d read a few pages and I liked what I read. So I was up for it.

I enjoyed the book! So I loved how he traced life from his village, to the palace, through to senior high school, how he learnt to play the guitar, his working life and the various performances, to his time as president of MUSIGA, to the international trips and his family life. I was impressed at how he profiled some of his friends and at the various shenanigans he got up to. I really laughed hard when he talked about the time he played the guitar to some monkeys and the effect of that. I also loved the style the book was written in. Though biographical, it is written in the first person which makes it unique and somewhat autobiographical.

Agya Koo Nimo comes off as very traditional, dedicated, a man of faith and a very disciplined person. I also really admire his humility and the way he acknowledged the various people who made a difference in his life. Even though guitar doesn’t seem to be a “traditional Ghanaian musical instrument”, he made it a great fit. As a lover of proverbs, ballads, songs which teach lessons and traditional Ghanaian culture, I fell in love over and over again. I also loved the fact that he is actively impacting the next generation in music.

I was very impressed by the fact that without ever studying music formally, he became a teacher of music and was even a visiting professor in several universities in Ghana and in the USA. A google search even showed that a PhD thesis has been written on his music at the University of Columbia! And he did all of this while serving as a scientist of all things!

There comes my major criticism of the book. While I admired the philosophical ramblings, at a point I got lost because I never got a clear cut idea of his professional life and when it ended. That is a flaw especially for those of us who didn’t know much about him before reading the book.

However, I thank him for the reminder that it is possible to excel in two professions, be a family man and generally make a difference in your country as evidenced by the many awards he’s received both in Ghana and other countries.

Cheers!

 

Unibank takeover details

Unibank takeover details

So this is my little attempt to share about what happened with Unibank in Ghana today. The bank of Ghana has appointed KPMG as the official administrator for Unibank.

I’ll kindly direct you to some relevant sources.

1. Links to news items on the story:

http://citifmonline.com/2018/03/20/bog-takes-over-management-of-unibank/

https://www.myjoyonline.com/business/2018/March-21st/unibank-takeover-7-more-banks-to-be-knocked-off-expert.php

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/KPMG-takes-over-management-of-uniBank-636281

http://citifmonline.com/2018/03/21/10-things-know-unibank-takeover-infographic/

2. Here are two articles from the website of the Bank of Ghana.

State of the Banking System

Bank of Ghana appoints official administrator for UNIBANK GH LTD

3. Here’s a definition of Capital Adequacy ratio from Investopedia:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capitaladequacyratio.asp

Interesting times in the banking sector in Ghana.

Ciao!

Angela Azumah Alu, 21/03/2018

*featured image from: http://citifmonline.com/2018/03/21/10-things-know-unibank-takeover-infographic/

 

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

I loved this book! Enjoy the review written by Awo Laryea!

Awolaryea

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My first book read in 2018. Although I am neither a twin nor have a sister I share a close bond with, I enjoyed Curtis’s book. I however, think that the story could have been told in fewer pages. At a point, the book seemed  like a movie with too many characters and too many sub-plots. Despite their challenges, I liked the way the sisters  looked out for each other. Style wise, i enjoy a book better when its picturesque. Although very voluminous, I could not clearly find my way around St Louis in my head and most of the time, it was dark and dull- i thought the imagery could have been better. Nevertheless, I read every single page and in record time too. I decided last year not to write out the entire summary in my reviews but this was a 521 page book and I have no…

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