On Being a “Big Man” in Ghana

On Being a Big Man in Ghana

As a “Big Man” in Ghanaian society, the trick is to marry early. Give your wife at least two children sharp. After the firstborn, and certainly by age thirty or so, on a diet of oily, starchy foods and sweet cakes with no exercise, she should have already turned into “Big Mama.” You know, grossly overweight with everything hanging out. You may have already seen the American caricature on screen; huge sagging breasts, big belly, giant thighs and an

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Mister Blues: Poland’s Bartek Przytuła

Mister Blues: Bartek Przytuła

Better known in Poland as one half of the duo, Przytuła & Kruk, Bartek Przytuła is worthy of attention in his own right as a blues vocalist, rebellious rascal, undisputed blues fan, and interpreter of all types of music that might make you shiver.

With the accompaniment of a guitar and harmonica, he very quickly gains your attention, and although the blues may be considered a monotonous and even boring genre by some folks, his performances are always original,

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Tommie Smith and John Carlos on Higher Ground

black power sporting salute

It remains one of the most iconic photographs in sporting history. Heads bowed, black-gloved fists raised aloft, on a sweltering hot night in Mexico City, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos propelled themselves into the history books.

The image still resonates with quiet dignity and a palpable rage that is almost shocking to behold, especially in these politically neutered times. We live in an age of bland sporting automata, steeped in the language of PR, super-aware of their

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Big Man / Small Boy in Ghana

On Being a Big Man in Ghana

So here I am in Ghana in the middle of the night with no one to meet me because the London Heathrow to Accra flight is twelve hours late.

“Irie, Rasta man!”, says the tallest of the taxi drivers trying to handle my luggage outside the gates of Katoka International Airport.

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Herman Leonard in The Age of Jazz

Jazz Photographer Herman Leonard

Friend and photographer to the immortals of jazz, Herman Leonard is the daddy of jazz photography. Paul Boakye caught up with a living legend still in pursuit of pleasure.

Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, March 6th 1923, Herman Leonard was eight years old when he walked into a darkroom and saw naked pictures of his brother’s wife developing in a tray. It was 1931 with no Playboy magazine or anything like that around and the nudity shocked him. Then he

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The Fall of Minister Pierre

Minister Pierre

The Saint Lucian government had been pushing for increased tourism on the island, and so as editor of Drum magazine, I went to have a look.

I met up with the Right Honourable Phillip J. Pierre – Minister for Tourism, Commerce, Investment and Consumer Affairs – to discover his philosophy on sustainable tourism and economic development in the

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Nick Drake Through the Eyes of The Other

It can’t be much fun sharing your name with a famous dead rock star, but Nick Drake came to Goldsmiths’ College and he did not disappoint.

The poet, playwright and novelist turned up at short notice to replace author Jackie Kay who was sick with back trouble. You can generally tell within a minute or two if you’ll like a speaker or not and when our eyes met briefly and he smiled and nodded, I thought, I like

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