Author: Rambling Roommates

Return of the Mac: An African City is BACK!

IT’S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy-Dance-GIF

Last week, I got the privilege of moderating the panel following the screening of one of the episode of An African City Season 2. This was quite exciting for me as I had already written a post about what I hoped to see in the next season. We have all been counting down and waiting patiently, wondering if we were going to get snubbed like how Frank Ocean did us with that follow up album (…still waiting…). Thankfully, the hour has come and we can all live vicariously through the lives of our favorite returnee ladies in An African City.


At the Screening that took place, hosted by the phenomenal organization She Leads Africa, I was able to ask some interesting questions of Nicole Amarteifio (Creator), Maame Adjei (Actress/ Co- Producer) and Esther Armah (Writing Consultant). My favorite was understanding the evolution of the show in terms of financing, character development and growth, and some of the thinking that went into the story lines. But I think what stuck with me the most was the ‘start-up’ nature of it all. This idea that people, many of whom were not actresses or writers or creatives in their professional lives, had evolved and come together behind this vision. The idea that everyone was sort of feeling their way in the dark, and along the way, gaining some light and growing and reflecting that in the product that we were seeing. Following the event, I just had to ensure I ordered my season because, well, I believe in being a foundation builder. I also believe, in a world where #oscarssowhite can trend for weeks on end, there is something to be said about African women writing their own stories and seeing the entire production undergo this creative metamorphosis in the public eye. All of this under the umbrella of the work being done by She Leads Africa to empower women to be entrepreneurs in their own right, whether that’s being innovative on the job or branching out and being better for yourself.

After all of this woman power, hear me roar-ness… I, being the support-and-uplift type of sister that I am (yup… bragging on myself… get like me), purchased my season and watched the first episode with my friends. I have to say, I was not disappointed. I laughed. I side eyed. I related. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It is evident that there will be a lot of character development because we are getting a chance to see their lives outside of hanging with each other. We are seeing them at work, at church… in the bedroom, and we are watching them interact with co-workers, drivers, and family.

 

Had to screen shot this fine, FINE brotha.. God bless his Mama.

What I’m also excited about is the social commentary on returnee living beyond just narrating their lives. This includes a line that I fully appreciate:

In America, one drop of black makes you black. But in Ghana, one western experience makes people question your Ghanaianess.

This is the realist thing I never wrote and I appreciate the direction of that discussion. Anyone could be a returnee depending on who you are talking to, how you are talking and what you are talking about. I also think this is a theme that comes up in various ways… this negotiation of one’s identity in various circumstances living on the continent. I could write a whole thesis on the subject but I’m pretty sure the world would rather watch a 20 minute episode instead, #YouTubeGenerationtinz.

In any case, I can’t wait to see where the season goes. Have you purchased your season’s pass? C’mon… Support and uplift ya’ll!

Tell us your thoughts on the first episode of Season 2? Did it live up to expectations?  #soundoff in the comments!

Single and Ready to Mingle: Lakeside Edition

DATING IN ACCRA

So Accra is one of those places where the idea of speed dating or hosting singles mixers can be such a turnoff for many guys people. Folks don’t like the idea of seeking love with any intentionality because it makes them feel desperate thirsty obsessed. But if there is anything we have learned from all the “Thirty Ways to Find Love” or “How to Meet The Perfect Guy in 8 days” or  “Six Memes that Perfectly Explain How You Can Get On Kim Kardashians Level and Marry Every Type of Black Celebrity Possible” lists that you get from your single/dating/married friends/Pastors wife/Concerned Parents/Divorced Aunty, then it’s the idea of being purposeful and availing yourself to opportunities to meet great people. And yet people find themselves— men and women mind you— complaining about the poor quality of options, or the seemingly small nature of the Accra social circles or the limited number of events available to really meet new, fun, worldly, exposed, chocolatey, tall people.

Enter: The Lakeside Affair 2015

Lakeside Affair Picture

This event promises to be a low key, casual fun- filled getaway by Lake Bosomtwe in Kumasi at the beautiful Wildwin Resort. If you you have never visited the Lake or Kumasi for that matter, this is the perfect opportunity to get to know a new setting, a new set of practices and cultures— and a new set of people.

There are a number of really interesting activities to choose from like horseback riding adinkra stamping— and of course: play cards and chill (my personal favorite). I like the idea of being able to see a new place with new people entering a new year. There’s definitely something refreshing about this, and I appreciate the effort that went into making this event convey that glimmer of hope in a see of Waldos.

I actually got the chance to interview Rita Kusi, founder of Three Sixty GH, on the Mpwrshow and she gave us all the details on what went into developing such a trip. We also got to talk about some of the challenges of getting folks to sign up and joked about the imbalance of these kinds of events with women being more open to patronage than men. While neither Afua nor I will be able to attend, we look forward to hearing about what went down. Of course they say, what happens at Lakeside… stays at Lakeside— but there’s no such thing as a secret between two people (at least not in this here Accra). <insert evil laughter here>

Be sure to watch this space to hear more about the event, and visit Three Sixty GH if you are interested in signing up. There may be a couple of spaces left, though things always fill up toward the tail end.

So have any of you ever attended a ‘Lakeside Affair’- esque event before? What were your thoughts? Do you think these kind of ‘intentional’ gatherings are any good or do they seem contrived? What kind of event would you go to if you were single and ready to meet some great people in Ghana? 

Sound off in the comments! We want to hear from you…

September [Take a man on a date month] was an utter fail – Afua’s Version

Read Amma’s experience HERE.


I didn’t even want to recount the failures of the last month, but they were so triumphant and true that I couldn’t let y’all miss out on the goodies.

. . .

Am: ‘We have to do it.’

Af: ‘Do what?’

Am: ‘September, take a man on a date month.’

Af: ‘Is that a thing? …Like movember when men don’t shave their faces?’

Am: ‘I dunno. But we have to do it. It’ll be a fun challenge, and we have a ton of events this month so there will be plenty of opportunities to meet people. And then we can blog about it. Write about what it feels like to be on the other side- the anxieties/ fears of doing the asking.’

Af: ‘Ok… Do it for the blog fun challenge.’

. . .

Alrighty so context is set. And by the title you already know how things ended. So let’s get into the meat- the deets.

Welllllll, Amma didn’t do anything. And by anything, I mean not one ask and I don’t believe even one attempt at finding someone to ask, but please Amma chime in if I dey lie bad. Ahem.

For me, I dunno whether to laugh or cry. I did go on a …thing. I dunno what to call it, because it occurred in the strangest of circumstances. I was asked by a friend to take him on a date. However, the date ended with him inquiring who and who would be a good fit for me, and why I wasn’t dating them. #confused? Ya, so was I. But I don’t want to discuss the colossal fail that was that date thing. What I’m here to discuss is the utter fail that was every other attempt to go on a date in September.

I met 4 new guys over the last month who I got along with upon first meet. See definition of got along with: good/interesting conversation with just the right amount of flirtation. You’d think four is a hefty number, and you would be right. It can be is already difficult to find people interesting in these parts, so 4 in a month is a HEFTY number. But watch the bait and switch played on me: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WAS MARRIED! Whether they mentioned wifey or not in the conversation (3 did), whether wifey lived in Ghana or not (2 did not), whether they wore a ring or not (2 did not), whether they were overtly availing themselves to an affair or just having an overly friendly conversation which I just couldn’t pick up on (2 definitely definitely were the former), it didn’t matter because at the end of the day THEY WERE ALL MARRIED. And for the simple fact that being married is a non starter for me, we can confidently say that September was indeed a fail.

Aside from the fact that I’m more about trying to be the right person versus actively looking for the right person these days, this was still kind of a useful exercise. At the very least, it taught me I need to work on my married man-(ra)dar lol… And more importantly, it taught me that if you don’t go out, you won’t meet people. And that’s some biblical Rhema right there, huh? But seriously, in the last month I’ve gone out to more house parties, weddings, birthday parties and other get togethers than I have in a while, and I”ve realized ‘hey, guess what? I don’t know every newly landed or been-here-for-a-minute Ghanaian in Accra’.

If you’re just in your house expecting to meet new people, that’s not a winning strategy, my dears. I mean I do believe oldladyin miracles, but if the Spirit hasn’t led you to stay at home and knit scarfs, welt then it’s time to get off the couch and get out more. And I’m not talking about clubbing… I’m talking about events where you can actually speak with people in a chill (sober) manner. So I guess not all was lost for this experiment, y’all can take this small piece of advice from the failures of last month.

So cheers to the freakn’ month of September!
September

September [Take a Man on a Date Month] Was an Utter Fail- Amma’s Version

For Afua’s version, click here!

September

September is a month, chock full of commemorations : Alopecia Awareness Month (USA), National Guide Dog Month (USA), National Honey Month, and National Life Insurance Awareness Month (USA) to name just a few (no really, google it, you’ll be surprised!). As important as these causes are, Afua and I chose to commemorate September with the lesser known internationally- acclaimed and UN approved: Take a Man on a Date Month.

Let me just say, I have never (purposely) asked a man out on a date.

It is one of those burdens of gender inequality that I am an active proponent of just very content with.

So September was ‘Take-a-man-on-a-date’ month (stop asking questions about whether this is an official, internationally recognized designation and focus! Yes— I stole this from instagram. Leave me!)…and I was forced to try. I was forced to consider what it would take to get a total stranger to agree to spend money on me (cuz yeah I’ll ask but I aint payin bruh… *all the side eyes*). At first, this seemed like a great idea. In my mind, September would unfold like this:

A whirlwind of chance events—weddings, get- together’s, day parties— would create the

perfect opportunities to lock eyes with the only

tall, dark, Ashanti, Christian, masters level educated man with impressive hip hop knowledge

that I had not already met in the

very teenie tiny Accra social circles that I was used to

This was clearly going to be this great story to tell on the Wedding day

About how I never expected it at all

But then somehow

I waltzed into love, one random Saturday afternoon in September

(I love love… remember?)

That, my friend, is not how it went at all.

I mean.

Not. Even. A. Little. Bit.

First of all, the rules were that:

  1. We could not ask someone with whom we already had a situationshippy thing happening
  2. We had to be explicit about asking them on a date, and not try to make a chance meeting seem like something we planned
  3. We had to do it by 30th of September

Secondly, I failed.

Not only did I not find anyone that I wanted to ask out on a date, but I also frightened myself in the process. I started getting really nervous about how exactly I would be able to ask in a way that didn’t make me seem like the greatest thirst bucket of life. And between not meeting anyone (initially) and being scared of the idea of meeting someone, I gained a completely new respect for men.

I am leaving this with a completely new appreciation for men having to do a lot of the asking. First off, you need to think about how you make the encounter seem smooth and non- creepsicle. If you see a girl somewhere in the room, how do you make your way over to her and speak to her without it clearly just being about the fact that you find her attractive. Does that even matter? Maybe the fact of the matter is, you just should walk over to her and let her know you find her attractive, and while you know nothing about her, you hope that this initial observation will open the door to reveal further details about her that is attractive. And then there are a number of very real, very petrifying logistical issues that must be hashed out as well:

But what if she is standing with friends?

What if she is in a mixed crowd?

What if she is the center of attention in this crowd and taking that initial step will draw attention to the fact that you are trying to get in her pants hit and quit have a meaningful relationship that could lead to marriage?

And the last bit of the final question is also, ultimately, what made it difficult for me to ask someone. I definitely placed a lot of emphasis on making a meaningful connection, and I just didn’t feel like I met someone with whom that could be possible. This seems absurd (in retrospect), because really what were the metrics I was using to make this decision? Looks. Not just attractiveness but also perceived personality traits, ie ‘OMG he uses Siri. Who uses Siri on purpose?! He is clearly a serial killer that logs his kills in some audio recorded format and then turns them into subliminal messages that get laced into popular rap songs. Ew.’ You can clearly see how the weight of the ask and the factors that go into deciding on the ask are clearly misaligned. This also contributed to my big, fat zero asks.

To be fair…  I did not meet anyone for most of September but in the last week, I attended an event that required a lot of dressing up and showing out. I met a number of people and there was someone that I considered asking out. Then I chickened out… because the person was TOO embedded in my social networks for me to be all adventurous. Basically, I was not trying to put pride aside to look dumb in front of all my friends.

So to sum it up: I didn’t meet anyone until the final days of the challenge and I was too image conscious to ask someone I may have been interested in because— sisters over misters social networks pride.

Image result for asking a guy out

My aspirational self… of course!

Even though I failed, there is still hope for others. I recently went on an outing with a number of women, a few of whom were single. Over the course of the conversation this challenge came up, and I explained my experience. After the usual barrage of ‘is this a real holiday’, ‘where’s the federal license for this holiday’, ‘you celebrate instagram holidays?!’ (YES!)… the women seemed to take interest in joining in and have since accepted the challenge. Hopefully we will hear some juicy stories from them. *crosses fingers*. Maybe they will be bosses at asking guys out, and I will look on with utter jealousy as they walk into their happily ever after. Maybe not. Time will tell.

All I know is, September was a fail… but November— who can tell?

So tell me, have you ever asked a guy out? What was the experience? Would you do it again? 

Afua had quite an interesting experience— I would say more of a failure on the part of married men not wearing wedding rings. But you can read more here.

***This blog post will also be featured on the website Obaasema.com, a life-style e-zine for the fashion forward, go-getter woman of African and her diaspora. Check out the website and get connected. Stay up-to-date on everything African- inspired!