A MAG is a Modern African Girl, so no subject is taboo. My purpose is to share things which may interest a MAG.

The Weekly Lifestyle Blog by Lydia, every Friday 1700 hrs. Nr 85 2nd February 2024

Lydia's Weekly Lifestyle blog is for today's African girl, so no subject is taboo. My purpose is to share things which may interest today's African girl.

This week's contributors: Lydia, Pépé Pepinière, this week's subjects: African Fashion: Celebrating Love and Culture, Chemicals or plastics, Shareholders, 233 Jazz Club and Grill.

African Fashion: Celebrating Love and Culture.

Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate love, and what better way to do that than by embracing African fashion? African fashion is rich in culture and history, and it offers a unique and beautiful way to express yourself.
Here are some ideas for incorporating African fashion into your Valentine's Day outfit:

  1. Bold prints: African prints are known for their bold and vibrant colors and patterns. Consider wearing a dress or skirt in a colorful African print to make a statement.

  2. Kente cloth: Kente cloth is a traditional Ghanaian fabric that is often worn on special occasions. Consider incorporating Kente cloth into your outfit by wearing a Kente scarf or shawl.

  3. Accessories: African accessories can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any outfit. Consider wearing a beaded necklace or bracelet, or carrying a woven basket purse.

  4. Ankara: Ankara is a popular African fabric that is often used to make dresses, skirts, and other clothing items. Consider wearing an Ankara dress or skirt for a chic and stylish look.
    By incorporating African fashion into your Valentine's Day outfit, you can celebrate love and culture in a unique and beautiful way. Remember, fashion is all about expressing yourself and having fun, so don't be afraid to get creative and try new things!

Chemicals or plastics, or is it the same? I've been warning about unwanted side effects of chemicals in cosmetics and medicines and some of the things they can do to you and your offspring. There is also chemical residues in food, from insecticides and other pesticides, so some try to buy organic. Though in Ghana what is organic is anybody's guess. Luckily enough there is still a lot of food produced “in the villages”, without anything added, if you are lucky enough to have the connection to get them. 99% of all these chemicals are produced from oil, the same thing which gives us petrol. Call this unnatural chemical, and our body does not really know how to neutralize these unnatural chemicals, hence the adverse bodily reactions to them. “Plastic”, is a general word for any material which comes from the same oil, be it nylon, polyester, acrylic, or spandex.

But we have now realized there is a little problem with plastics. It was already known that water in plastic bottles contains little particles of plastic, most likely from the plastic cover when you open the bottle. They are called micro plastics, they are about the same size as dust that you can sometimes see in a beam of sunlight through the curtain in your room. When you wash your nylon clothes small particles are worn off and get into the water you drain, into the sea, into the water which evaporates, into the rain, into the rivers, and so forth. These small particles are called nanoparticles, they are about one thousand's of the size of the dust I mentioned earlier. If you drink water which has these nanoparticles in it these particles are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream and thus find their way into, for example, your liver and whatnot. So someone recently analyzed water in plastic bottles and found that on average there were 250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) nanoparticles of plastic in them. Maybe I'll stick to wine?

Shareholders. You want to invest some of your savings in other things than Dollars under your mattress or an investment mix through a bank, or treasury bills. So you think of buying shares. A few explanations here. A company needs money to operate. They can go to the bank to borrow that money, and pay interest to the bank, or they can try to sell shares in the company, to you, thus in fact borrowing from you, at no interest. You now expect to share in the profit of that company. If you are a minority shareholder, meaning you don't owe a substantial percentage of the shares of that company, then you may own shares all right, but you have no say in how the company is run, or what they do with the profit they (hopefully) generated. They can decide to leave that profit in the company so they don’t have to borrow, or they can (part) pay it to the shareholders. So if you buy shares in say Goil you may get a dividend (part of the profit) or you may not. Typically the behaviour of companies listed at the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE, where you can buy and sell shares in GSE-listed companies) is a bit predictable, or people would not want to buy these shares. We talk of GSE “listed” companies, you can just tell your bankers or broker to buy shares in a listed company or tell your bankers to sell them. The value of a share is an open market issue, if everybody thinks Goil will find more oil, then the shares will be in hot demand and the price is up, or it can go the other way and no one wants them, so they are a bit useless and you dont get your money back. So stock markets are risky. This may sound contrary to what you are told or have heard, “the stock market has hit another record high” and so forth. What they do is, they ask companies which are performing badly (maybe with your money) to de-list, so they only keep the winners. Of course, the thing only goes up and up. This is like playing Lotto and only mentioning when you actually won. Now you could play it a bit safe, Shell and Toyota will, most likely not go out of business soon, but other companies, especially those who need the favour of the Government are highly risky. Think of all the banks they closed. Now you may meet someone who has a profitable business, say they are in real estate, and they offer you to buy shares in them. You buy, become a minority shareholder, and are now 100% dependent on their decisions. Which may be to draw fat director's salaries, but not to pay dividends. And there is very little you can do about that. At least with the GSE-listed companies, there is some sort of oversight, and if they play it too wild the minority shareholders could take the company to court. But if you are a lonely minority shareholder in a non-GSE listed company you'd probably spend more on lawyers than what you invested.

233 Jazz Club and Grill at North Ridge Accra on the Ring Road. I enjoy their Thursday evenings to relax with Chris and his Zoom band on the guitar, and Tijani Amartey with his silky voice running his evergreen repertoire. Food wise 233 is not too much to write about, but they have nice (and expensive) kebabs and a Greek salad with plenty of Feta cheese,

though I have decided to next time bring my own salad dressing.


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