Just Because They’re Cute❤

Oh my love for architecture, I just love the idea of someone transforming plain bricks, sandcrete blockSELRES_69b94ac3-a067-4381-9b48-7862ef6d407cSELRES_69b94ac3-a067-4381-9b48-7862ef6d407cs, mortar, glass and wood into something so creative, artistic, innovative, catchy and pleasing to the eye. A masterpiece I may say. I always had the passion to become an architect since the age of 6. I said to myself at the age of 21 that I must have visited at least 10 interesting buildings in the world.
Of course the first on my bucket list was Burj-Khalifa in Dubai followed by the Piano House in China, the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, the White House in USA , the Llyods Building situate in London and the list goes on .Talking about the World’s most interesting buildings doesn’t Ghana form part of the world?
Not even one Ghanaian building was on that list. We look to the West for the best, only forgetting that we could be or are the best. Ghana also has interesting buildings I tell you!!!!!! Be it modern or historic.
Ok let’s hit Jamestown. Jamestown is one of the oldest districts in Accra and emerged as a community within the 17th Century on the Gulf of Guinea Coast. Due to the rapid growth of the city during the 20th century, it became an area of dense mixture of commercial and residential use. Currently it remains a fishing community being inhabited by the Ga ethnic group.

In the heart of Jamestown we found a couple of interesting buildings. First, the Jamestown Café.

Jamestown Café
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People say first impression counts and the first thing that caught my attention were the woven baskets which the market women normally use lay horizontally on the roof eaves.

Jamestown Cafe Basket

Floors finished with wooden like panels , tables stacked with asanka bowls , wooden Ghanaian artifacts , books , walls painted bright, stop guessing the colour it was orange. The kitchen area was enclosed with polished wooden panels and with two bamboo finished bicycles placed at the top. The roof was made of asbestos and there was no ceiling but I could just see the wooden rafters laid nicely. Not only did the orange colour illuminate the place but there was a section of the roof with a sky light allowing the sunlight into the place. So many posters of programs pasted on the walls brought life into the building. It’s a café with an area to sit, eat and work. It’s the Jamestown café. This café was designed by Joe Addo a well renowned Architect who is also a chief patron of ArchiAfrika which is an institution that advocates African architecture.

Ussher Fort

Ussher FortNext was the Ussher Fort which formerly known as Fort Crevecoeur built by the Dutch in the year 1649.However, in the year 1862 there was an earthquake which destroyed the structure leaving the foundation and some part the Dutch built. In 1868 the British rebuilt the Fort and named it Ussher Fort. It was formerly used as a factory by the Dutch but the British changed its use to a Male Prison. This prison had two cell sections, offices, an execution area, a chapel and a small workshop where the prisoners learnt a trade like carpentry, tailoring etc. In 1957 after independence till about the year 2000 it was then used as a refugee camp but in 2007, it was no longer used as a camp but a tourist site. Some interesting facts about the building is that it’s made of limestone you may be wondering why, this is because limestone has high strength due its characteristic of high density and it endures weather changing patterns. This property helps the building to stand strong and prevents it from collapsing because forts were normally built near water bodies. The color of walls of the fort was white which signifies conservation and also caught the attention of shipping and a smart appearance which attracted customers. It also houses a museum which contains old artifacts collected from structure the Dutch built like shackles, weapons , pictures of other forts in the Ghana and just to mention a few. Although the Fort isn’t in good condition it just give us an idea of the colonial times in which our forefathers toiled and labored. Ussher Fort is also listed under the World Heritage buildings and is managed by the Ghana Monuments Board. You should pass by Jamestown one of these days.

Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral

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This wonderful piece of artistic architectural work, designed by Architect C.A.A Barnes is one of the most beautiful religious monuments in the country. Located along Ghana’s “Wall Street”, is another very interesting building that caught our eyes, the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral. It is among the oldest religious monuments in the country. The design of the building is typical of church buildings in England at the time. It is not only a beauty to behold on the outside, but has a very fascinating interior design.

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The building which is built of red clay bricks provides a very relaxing environment, typical of clay buildings and is just perfect for its use as a church. Clay is one of the most sustainable and healthy building materials. The church building is about 124 years old and was initially patronized by the colonial expatriates when it was built. Anytime you find yourself around the 28th February road, do pass by the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral and enjoy real beauty in architecture.

James Fort

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A few metres walk from the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Accra, our very own 345 year old James Fort. This building has seen generations upon generations and still exists to tell a story of what happened down the memory lane of our country. Although the building is currently not in a very good state, it reminds Ghanaians about some interesting events that occurred in the country some years back: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is one very common event the fort is noted for. The Fort was purposely located by the sea because it made it easier for the slaves to wash down when they were brought to Accra from the various parts of the country. Initially, the fort was built by the Dutch to be used as a lodge. After the collapse of the building, the British reconstructed it for use as an office. It then became a slave trade centre. It was later used as a Prison over a very long period.
Because of its outstanding universal value, it is among the listed buildings of the UNESCO’s world heritage sites programme. Portions of the James Fort building were constructed with Dutch clay bricks, yellow in colour and plastered with Lime. Because of Lime’s ability to withstand salt, it is a good material for buildings that are close to the sea.

 

The Colour of Your Room Painting Says a Lot About You

When I had my first daughter, Xola, it was not a joy just to me, but a great source of happiness to the entire squad…. my husband, Kofi…. my siblings, Dela and Norkplim…. and my mum, Obaa Yaa. And of course! Nordey Chupey, my mother-in-law who made sure I drunk all the bitter concoctions just to ensure I had a healthy baby.

As happy as we were to have our baby, the entire squad wanted to have little Xola in their homes. Unfortunately, as many welcomed little Xola to their homes, not all were lucky enough to have her feel welcomed in their homes. Our experience at Nordey Chupey’s house still remains fresh on my mind.

Anytime we went to Nordey Chupey’s house, Xola would cry so aggressively. We just couldn’t figure out why she cried so hard anytime we were in Nordey Chupey’s house. It could be very embarrassing to myself and Kofi. Were the flowers not beautiful enough? Was granny not receptive enough, were there not enough dolls in the house? What could be the reason behind this?  We realized she cried even louder as we entered granny’s bedroom. What could be the reason?

Then during the Christmas festivities, Grandma Chupey decided to change her wall painting.

So it’s been Granny’s wall painting all this while! We should have known earlier.

If you think wall paintings have no effects on our minds and emotions, try locking yourself up in a small room with black wall painting for a couple of hours. Try that in the same size of room with a white painting.

Wall paintings have effects on our minds and our emotions.

What Your Wall Painting Says About You…….

Today we’d want to educate ourselves on certain primary colours and their effects on our minds and our emotions:

Red:

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Red is known to be a colour that arouses emotions. It arouses passion and romance. Red can increase excitement and alert the mind of danger. It could even increase a person’s appetite when used as wall painting in the kitchen

Yellow:

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Research has shown that the colour, yellow makes babies cry. This is because the colour can be irritable in its darker shade. When a lighter shade of Yellow is used for wall painting, it arouses happiness, makes the mind perceive sunshine as brighter and arouses optimism.

Green:

IMG_7768Source: Google Images

Green is the most restful colour. Think of nature. Think of the vegetation, fertility, wealth. And they’re all summarized in the colour, green. It creates a feeling of calmness in our rooms and is best suited for the bedroom environment and home offices.

Blue:

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The colour, blue is said to stimulate creativity. Too much blue would make a person moody.

Blue in the dining room stimulates appetite.

Violet:

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The colour creates a feeling of Royalty. To give your room that Queenly or Kingly feel, the colour performs the function excellently.

Remember that every colour in its darker shade would make a room look smaller, whilst a colour in its lighter shade would make a room look bigger.

Continue reading “The Colour of Your Room Painting Says a Lot About You”

Some Good Good Goodies. Keep them in your wallet

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Special dedication to Abrafi, Ellworth, Nick, Laurentine and Billey.
Your curious minds inspired this write up
How do I negotiate with buyers as a young Realtor?
A Realtor is basically a real estate agent, affiliated to a professional body like the National Association of Realtors.
To be able to negotiate with buyers efficiently, knowledge of the property you are dealing with as a Realtor is of key importance. Prior knowledge of the market guides the price you put up for negotiations and puts you on top of your game during negotiations. It is very important that you dedicate much time to studying the property market and trends as a young realtor
As a foreigner, what does it take to secure a land in Ghana in my name?
To acquire (the purchase process) a land in Ghana as a foreigner is no different from a Ghanaian. You may want to read our previous post on the steps to land acquisition in Ghana for more enlightenment.
The difference comes when it comes to registering the land. Before the land document of a foreigner is accepted for registration, the Lands Commission does a little verification to be sure if the owner is a Ghanaian or a foreigner. Once it is verified that the owner is a foreigner, only a maximum of 50 years of ownership would be allowed for registration.
Before the registration process begins, it is required that stamp duty (an acquisition tax payable to the Ghana Revenue Authority) is paid.
These are a few requirements to be satisfied before land will be accepted for the payment of stamp duty:
• Original copies of land document or certified true copies
• The document type of must be clearly stated (Whether it is a lease, assignment, conveyance, sub-lease or a gift)
• Date of agreement.
• Names, signature, contact and addresses of parties.
• Names, signature, contact and addresses of witnesses/deponents.
• Site plan showing the precise location. This should be approved by a licensed Surveyor and approved or signed by the Regional Surveyor of the region in which land is situated.
• It must bear a Solicitor’s seal, have the Oath-of-Proof executed, and the deponent column completed and signed by the grantor’s principal witness.
• Commencement date and term of transaction
• Consideration
• Narration/Schedule, vividly describing the location of the land
Why do people abroad pay mortgages? Why should I lose my house if I can’t pay for it? Will it start in Ghana soon?
A mortgage is an agreement that allows you to borrow money from a bank or a similar organization in order to buy a house, or to use one’s house to secure a loan. The way and manner in which mortgages are regulated vary from country to country, depending on the law that regulates mortgages in that country. A mortgage may be acquired to build, to complete a building that has started or to purchase land. In mortgages, the lender is known as the Mortgagee, whilst the borrower is known as the Mortgagor.
People abroad pay mortgages because they borrow money from lenders or lending institutions to acquire building, and have agreed to pay.
Mortgages in Ghana are regulated by the Mortgages Decree, 1972 (NRCD 96). In Ghana, mortgages are only an encumbrance on whatever property is used for mortgage. They do not give the mortgagor the right to possession. Even when the mortgagor has defaulted in an act specified by the mortgage agreement, he is not outrightly entitled to possession till a Court has given the mortgagee the authority to do so.
In this case, if the mortgagor is unable to pay for the loan within the period specified in the mortgage agreement, the mortgagee does not have the outright right to take possession of the mortgaged property or to sell it unless a Court has directed it to do so. In moments when the Court deems it fit to sell the property to defray the cost, the sale is done under the direction of the Court, in what is termed a judicial sale.
Why can’t land be owned forever? What is the basis of this law?
This law is to safeguard Ghanaians from being landless in the future. If no limit is placed on the number of years land can be owned, a time will come where there would no longer be lands for the future generation. Foreigners may probably become owners of our lands here in Ghana, as most of the possession of lands would be perpetual.
Are the databases of Lands Commission detailed and up to date enough to help me know who the true owner of land is, How many people have paid or bought the land previously?
The answer is yes, as far as Lands Commission is involved. Meaning that, the Lands Commission only has details of landed transactions that have passed through the Lands Commission. The Lands Commission, therefore has records of transactions at any point at which the Lands Commission is involved. However, there may be other transactions concerning that land which may not have passed through the Lands Commission. That is why it is not enough to solely rely on the records of Lands Commission.
How can I know who is genuine and who is not at Lands Commission?
To be sure if one is a true worker of Lands Commission, you may have to do a little scout in the Commission to ensure that whoever you are dealing with is a true worker at the Lands Commission.
I don’t understand how land owners can sell one land to 5 people and each having documents to that land?
There may be different documents pertaining to land and the fact that a person has a document to land may not necessarily be a proof of the person’s title to land. Similarly, a person may have a legal document pertaining to a piece of land (for e.g. an indenture) but may not have begun the land title registration process. The process begins upon the payment of stamp duty. The land certificate is a true proof of title to land.

 

Digital Land Title Registration; “Yay or Nay”

Is the Digital Land Title Registration Proposal Likely to Fix Our Land Administration Setbacks Considering the Failure of Numerous Attempts Made Under the National Land Policy, Purposely Enacted for Effective Land Management and Administration Carried Out Under the Framework of LAP or Is It Going to Be Yet Another Platform for People to Waste/Make Money

This write-up is inspired by a question from Mubarak Abubakari, one of our cherished readers. This is dedicated to you, Muba😊

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The digital land registration has become of National concern, following the Vice-President’s recent promise to ensure the digitization of land title registration process (land records) by 2018 as part of the digital Ghana Agenda. This, he said is expected to speed up service delivery and block opportunities for corruption in the land administration process. He mentioned the risk of being defrauded as a major problem faced by landowners.

Since the year 1994, a number of attempts had been put in place to improve land registration system. The first is the National Land Policy which was introduced in the year 1994 with the aim of making judicious use of the nation’s land and its natural resources by all sections of the Ghanaian society in support of various socio-economic activities undertaken in accordance with sustainable resource management principles and in maintaining a viable ecosystem. This, however could not stand the test of time due to certain loopholes in the policy. To address these problems, the Land Administration Policy (LAP) was introduced in 2003 to develop a sustainable and well-functioning land administration system that is fair, efficient and effective, decentralized and that which ensures land tenure security, to reduce poverty and enhance economic/social growth in the country.

The Digital Title Registration System is therefore set out as a means of solving some of the problems such as the multiple sale of land, lack of effective documentation leading to litigation and indeterminate customary land boundaries leading to litigation identified in land administration.

The question is, is the proposed Digital Title Registration System going to fix the above mentioned setbacks?

The answer is a BIG YES, only if the correct measures are put in place for it to work

The first is to ensure that an adequate land information system is provided. Land Information Systems are at the core of an effective Land Administration.

As it stands now, the Customer Service Access Unit ( CSAU)  which is a LAP initiative has provided a one-stop shop (front desk) for submissions, payments and collection in the process of land title registration. Although there is a front desk, clients keep doing follow ups from the back offices during their title registration process, and hence, bringing in human interference in the process. This in turn, causes delays in title registration. Therefore, the human interference which the CSAU sought to eliminate has not fully been eliminated. Human Interference is the number one cause of challenges in attempts to digitize the system. This is chiefly due to the absence of an effective Land Information System.

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The 1st come, 1st serve principle should be highly observed with kin supervision, once the digitization kickstarts. With an effective records system, documents should be worked on with regards to who came first without the need for clients to keep paying their way through the process.

Adequate Land Information Systems should be put in place such that, personnel from the Lands Commission can go about stamp duty inspections, among other similar processes required for the acquisition of a land title certificate at ease without the need to be guided by the landowner. Government should be ready to pay workers of the Lands Commission well to eliminate deliberate attempts by Land Officers to slow down the system.

It is however not enough to put measures in place. It must work, and for it to work, each and every one of us has a part to play in its effectiveness to ensure its success!