The Chess Drum beats in Ghana!

Ghana Ghana Ghana

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

Ghana’s rich history goes back to the powerful kingdoms to its rise as the first sub-Saharan nation to gain colonial independence. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was a highly-regarded leader in the fight against colonialization. He sought Pan-African unity, a optimistic goal that is relevant even today.

The Chess Drum’s Daaim Shabazz will visit Ghana, West Africa as part of a university delegation strengthening ties with Ghanaian universities and sectoral entities. He hopes to visit with the chess community to help bring more exposure to its vision. The drums will beat in Ghana!

In the female dungeon at Elmina Slave Castle.

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

20 Comments

  1. These are photos I took in Ghana back in 1998. I look forward to seeing the various changes in the infrastructure since then.

    At GHACLAD conference in Accra (1998).

    In front of the Accra International Conference Center (1998).

    1. All the talk about improvement of the infrastructure by the Chinese may have been over-exaggerated… at least where I went. The the Tema area, streets are still very rough.

  2. Returning to Ghana
    17 June 2011

    Daaim heading to Ghana for first time since 1998.

    Daaim Shabazz heading to Ghana for first time since 1998.
    (See photos above)

    Ten hours later... Akwaaba! Welcome to Ghana... Gateway to Africa

    Ten hours later… Akwaaba!

    Beautiful mural greets us.

    Beautiful mural greets us.

    Beautiful mural greets us.

    Waiting area outside the airport…
    a Chinese restaurant (on the left) welcomes us. 😐

    Local fare

    Snack shop selling “beef shawarma”… Middle Eastern cuisine.
    Any Ghanaian food close by?

    Vodaphone, the big Ghanaian cell carrier. It was once government-owned, but they privatized.

    Vodaphone, the big Ghanaian cell carrier. It was once government-owned, but they privatized.

    Ghana's passion for football (soccer) displayed.

    Ghana’s passion for football (soccer) displayed on this billboard.

    Outside of Accra, in a town called Tema... pedestrian traffic is bustling.

    Outside of Accra, in a town called Tema… pedestrian traffic is always bustling.

    Hordes of street vendors provide car-to-car service. You can buy virtually anything. In a place where the roads are not in good shape, this may be the best mode of distribution.

    HORDES of street vendors provide car-to-car service. You can buy virtually anything. In a place where the roads are not in good shape, this may be the best mode of distribution.

    Earth movers leveling the muddy roads which had become impassable. The vehicle in which I was riding got stuck.

    Earth movers leveling the muddy roads which had become impassable. The vehicle in which I was riding got stuck.

    Kowa Naso Hotel (Tema)

    Kowa Naso Hotel (Tema)

    After I checked in, I saw children playing in back of the hotel.

    After I checked in, I saw children playing in back of the hotel

    Discussion at dinnertime. We discussed the Ghanaian educational system and some of the issues we would be exposed to during our visit.

    Discussion at dinnertime. We discussed the Ghanaian educational system and some of the issues we would be exposed to during our visit.

    OK... I was asking about Ghanaian food earlier. At the Kowa Naso Hotel dining area, they had jollof rice, plantains and a number of fish, beef and chicken dishes as well.

    OK… we’re getting close. At the Kowa Naso Hotel dining area, they had jollof rice, plantains and a number of fish, beef and chicken dishes as well.

    I kept it simple with my vegan fare (salad, plantains and jollof rice). There was one other vegan and we ate lots of rice. It became a running joke! The food was good and I went back a couple more times.

    I kept it simple with my vegan fare. There was one other vegan and we ate lots of rice. It became a running joke! The food was good and I went back a couple more times.

  3. Out and About
    18 June 2011

    Early morning errands. The incredible balancing act was a sight to behold.

    Early morning errands. The incredible balancing act was a sight to behold.

    Early morning errands. The incredible balancing act was a sight to behold.

    The beautiful flag of Ghana. The black star symbolizes the black people and was taken from a Marcus Garvey theme of his Pan-Africanist

    The beautiful flag of Ghana. The black star symbolizes the black people and was taken from a Marcus Garvey theme of his Pan-Africanist “Black Star Shipping Line”. What a tribute!

    In Ghana, they still have gas attendants.

    In Ghana, they still have gas attendants.

    Drummers

    Accra Mall

    Teacher Store

    Teacher Store

    This is the closest I got to chess in Ghana.

    This chess set in a store window was the closest I got to chess in Ghana.

    Ghana Parliament

    Ghana Parliament

    Hustle and Bustle of Ghana

    Hustle and Bustle of Ghana

    Stopped for some roasted plantains... tasty!

    Stopped for some roasted plantains… tasty!

    A father who urged us to take this photo... very nice!

    A father who urged us to take this photo… very nice!

    Snails being sold at the bazaar... illegally.

    Snails being sold at the bazaar… illegally.

    Atlanta Ocean

    Atlantic Ocean

    Waves rising up and…

    ... they got me! I was told that this was a blessing.

    … they got me! I was told that this was a blessing.

    Independence Park is where the 50th-year anniversary celebrations took place.

    Independence Park is where the 50th-year anniversary celebrations took place.

    1. Thank you for these photos of Accra, Ghana. You look well. I hope you post more photos during your next visit and do have success in meeting up with the chess community, during your stay there.

  4. Birthday!
    19 June 2011

    Posing on my birthday!

    Posing on my birthday! 🙂

    Ceremonial Dancing

    Ceremonial Dancing

    Ceremonial Dancing

    Chiefs

    Drummers

    Drummers… of course we know where ‘The Chess Drum’ got its concept. 😉

    Drummers

    Locals presented me with an authentic smock.

    Locals presented me with an authentic smock.

    Birthday Dessert

    Birthday Dessert… they had delicious fruits for me!

    Finally I'm able to get to an Internet Cafe.

    Finally I’m able to get on the Internet. Good day!

  5. Visiting the Giants
    20 June 2011

    Ghana has such wonderful billboards... always full of happiness and with family themes.

    Ghana has such wonderful billboards… always full of happiness and with family themes.

    port

    Ghana’s Star Beer

    port

    Ghana Port Authority

    New hotel being constructed... very nice!

    New hotel being constructed… very nice!

    President urging unity!

    President urging unity!

    Kwame Nkrumah Memorial

    Kwame Nkrumah Memorial

    Tour Guide of the Nkrumah Memorial

    Tour Guide of the Nkrumah Memorial… below is a video.

    Nkrumah Statue

    Peace!

    Final resting place of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

    Peacock in its resplendent feathers!

    Peacock in its resplendent feathers!

    Daaim at Nkrumah Memorial.

    Daaim at Memorial

    Billboard for Ghana Film,

    Billboard for Ghana Film, “Adams Apples”. Looks like some influence from the U.S.

    W.E.B. DuBois Memorial

    DuBois' alma mater showing respects. It is also where I received my MBA and Ph.D.

    DuBois’ alma mater showing respects.
    It is also where I received my MBA and Ph.D.

    Of course, Coca-Cola is everywhere.

    Of course, Coca-Cola is everywhere.

    Mosque

    Mosque

    Flags displayed at on of the Middle Schools.

    Ofari and Lilian

    Ofari and Lilian

    Very alert boy. :-)

    Very alert boy. 🙂

    A student counting for us... great job!!

    A student counting for us… great job!!

    School lets out for the day.

    School lets out for the day.

    Schoolgirl perhaps relieved after a long day.

    Schoolgirl perhaps relieved after a long day.

    Men playing checkers. Still no sign of chess in Ghana.

    Men playing checkers. Still no sign of chess in Ghana

    Chicken Inn. Didn't eat here. I was taken for a drive and I found...

    Chicken Inn. Didn’t eat here. I was taken for a drive and I found…

    ... Ethiopian food!!

    … Ethiopian food!!

    Very, Very High Speed Internet Cafe

    Very, Very High Speed Internet Cafe 8)

    Clock Tower at University of Ghana Legon

    Clock Tower at University of Ghana Legon

    Business School at University of Ghana

    Business School at University of Ghana

    Business School at University of Ghana

    Business School at University of Ghana

    Chief met with our FAMU contingent. They presented us with the kente stoles.

    Chief met with our FAMU contingent. They presented us with the kente stoles.

  6. More Schools and Ghana Life
    21 June 2011

    Ghana woman on a mission.

    Ghana woman on a mission.

    I wonder what the boy is thinking.

    Schoolgirls

    Dean Genniver Bell and Dr. Senyo Adjibolosoo

    Dean Genniver Bell and Dr. Senyo Adjibolosoo

    Students singing a song for the guests.

    Students singing a song for the guests.

    Jennifer Seke

    Very bright girl named Jennifer.

    Pensive Schoolgirl

    Happy schoolkids

    Goodbye!

    Daaim and Jennifer

    Goodbye!

    Goodbye!

    Down the road we visitBooks at a training school.

    Books at a training school.

    Always get a front row seat in class.

    Always get a front row seat in class.

    Sister and Brother

    Mangoes!

    Friendly Kitten

    Badly-needed road construction. My host said that if the Ghanaian government only focused on building roads, it would take the country a long way.

    Badly-needed road construction. My host said that if the Ghanaian government only focused on building roads, it would take the country a long way.

    .

    A car being mobbed by street vendors.

    A car being mobbed by street vendors.

    Schoolboy walking home after school.

  7. More Schools
    22 June 2011

    Vendor selling bananas. I was intrigued by these women who not only balance heavy load on their heads, but they were adept and dismantling their wares and serving quickly.

    Vendor selling bananas. I was intrigued by these women who not only balance heavy load on their heads, but they were adept and dismantling their wares and serving quickly.

    Woman selling the Ghanaian version of fried dough or

    Woman selling the Ghanaian version of fried dough or “donuts” as they are called in the U.S. They are called ‘bofrot’ in Ghana.

    Elderly Muslim Man

    Termite mound and Ghanaian police... both can pester you. Coming back from Cape Coast and heading to Tema, we were stopped several times. We had to give

    Termite mound and Ghanaian police… both can pester you. Coming back from Cape Coast and heading to Tema, we were stopped several times. We had to give “dash” to go through.

    St. Mary's Intermediate School

    St. Mary’s Intermediate School

    Shoe vendor

    Shoe vendor

    Students at Primary School in Cape Coast. They assembled to sing and give recitations.

    Students at Primary School in Cape Coast. They assembled to sing and give recitations.

    Straw for weaving baskets.

    Straw for weaving baskets.

    .

    Elmina Castle

    Elmina Castle, a place of infamy for people of African descent as the Portuguese, Dutch and the British used these castles as a trading post for slaves. They conspired with the locals (militarily defeated) to create one of the largest crimes known to humanity as 10,000,000 (low estimate) to 100,000,000 million (high estimate) Africans were taken captive. The photos speak for themselves.

    Elmina Castle, a place of infamy for people of African descent as the Portuguese, Dutch and the British used these castles as a trading post for slaves. They conspired with the locals (militarily defeated) to create one of the largest crimes known to humanity as 10,000,000 (low estimate) to 100,000,000 million (high estimate) Africans were taken captive. The photos speak for themselves.

    Holding room for the slaves before they were to be shipped across the Atlantic. The had to suffer inhumane conditions and only one-third survived the slave castle ordeal only to have to endure the trip across the Ocean. Those who survived ended up in the West Indies and the Americas.

    Holding room for the slaves before they were to be shipped across the Atlantic. The had to suffer inhumane conditions and only one-third survived the slave castle ordeal only to have to endure the trip across the Ocean. Those who survived ended up in the West Indies and the Americas.

    'Door of No Return', but...

    “Door of No Return”, but…

    ... five hundred years later, I returned.

    … five hundred years later, the spirit of my ancestors returned.

    The Death Room where they starved rebellious slaves.

    Elmina is still a large fishing village. Amazing that the locals are able to see reminders of their slave history everyday.

  8. Various Scenes of Ghana
    23 June 2011

    As one would expect, President Obama's likeness can be seen around Ghana. Here he is pictured with Ghanaian President John Atta-Mills.

    As one would expect, President Obama’s likeness can be seen around Ghana. Here he is pictured with Ghanaian President John Atta-Mills.

    Kenkey and yams are being sold on the roadside. Kenkey is a Ghanaian staple an is made of fermented maize (corn) or cassava.

    Kenkey and yams are being sold on the roadside. Kenkey is a Ghanaian staple an is made of fermented maize (corn) or cassava.

    The ubiquitous vendors demonstrating their perfect posture.

    The ubiquitous vendors demonstrating their perfect posture.

    Christian Store

    As we left drove down the street, I noticed a shop and we stopped by. I bought several pieces here. A great find!

    As we left drove down the street, I noticed a shop and we stopped by.
    I bought several pieces here. A great find!

    Yussif wearing his new shirt... looking smart!

    Yussif wearing his new shirt… looking smart! By the way, he is a prince.

    The shopkeeper. I asked to take a picture of her hair. Of course, I have seen this style before in the U.S., but I find it beautiful.

    The shopkeeper. I asked to take a picture of her hair. Of course, I have seen this style before in the U.S., but I find it beautiful.

    Ghana TV still displaying memories of a magical World Cup that ended in heartbreak when Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty kick.

    Ghana TV still displaying memories of a magical World Cup that ended in heartbreak when Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty kick.

    These vendors caught my eye... particularly the one of the lovely outfit. I let her know of my appreciation of her colorful outfit and...

    These vendors caught my eye… particularly the one of the lovely outfit. I let her know of my appreciation of her colorful outfit and…

    ... she turned away bashfully before giving me a wonderful smile! :-)

    … she turned away bashfully before giving me a wonderful smile! 🙂

    Lunch at Accra Mall

    Lunch at Accra Mall

    Symbolic stools were displayed as adornments in the restaurant.

    Symbolic stools were displayed as adornments in the restaurant.

    NuStyle fabrics

    Atlanta Ocean

    Cleanest dog I’ve ever seen!

    This is what Ghanaians have to deal with when it rains.

    This is what Ghanaians have to deal with when it rains.

    This was a custom-made outfit from a Ghanaian seamstress. Do you like it?

  9. Interesting Shots
    24 June 2011

    I have become an expert at taking photos in moving vehicles! I learned this craft in my travels. :-)

    I have become an expert at taking photos in moving vehicles! Sometimes I stick my arm out the window and fire in the general direction with a wide angle. I learned this craft in my travels. 😉

    Don’t urinate here… nor should you write graffitti!

    Lady trudging along on the muddy road with her wares.

    Lady trudging along on the muddy road with her wares.

    A new mosque being constructed close to the Kowa Naso Hotel.

    A new mosque being constructed close to the Kowa Naso Hotel.

    More muddiness!

    Jummah at Mosque

    Jummah at Mosque

    Daaim with Chief Nene Okukrubuour Teye Kwesi Agyemang V

    Daaim with Chief Nene Okukrubuour Teye Kwesi Agyemang V

  10. Wow, what a deeply moving travelogue. Thank you for these outstanding pictures, Daaim. I absolutely love it – the people, the children in school, the ocean, the food, the attire, the history and the commentary! I have seen Ghana through your eyes. Superb.

    1. It differs quite a bit from my Kenya/Tanzanian travelogue. In that one, the emphasis was animals and nature. Interesting how you get something different in diverse countries.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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