The X Factor UK competition became the major musical breakthrough for Ghanaian-born Pop duo, ‘Reggie n Bollie,’ runners-up in the 2015 edition of the competition. Their energy and enthusiasm, which made them arguable fan favourites, also led to the show’s producer, Simon Cowell, signing the duo to his Syco Music record label after the competition.
It is easy to understand where their energy comes from – Reggie Zippy and Bollie Babeface are true friends, and they are having fun doing what they have always dreamed of – having the chance to travel around and entertain people. In the past few years after X Factor UK, they have released a UK Top 40 single, toured the entire United Kingdom, as well as exotic locations such as Jersey and Malta, and an acclaimed debut album, featuring performances with their own ‘living legend,’ Beenie Man, and Nigerian superstar 2Face Idibia.
The dreams get bigger – Reggie Zippy (he’s the fast one, who has always believed he will make it big in his career) and Bollie, which stands for ‘Best Of Lyrical Lines in Entertainment,’ are hoping to collaborate with American rapper and entrepreneur, Jay-Z, in the future. “It wouldn’t just be the sound, but the stories. Just imagine”
The duo believe that music is a “force that brings people together” and ever since their appointment as official Ghana Tourism Ambassadors for the UK and Europe, have been working hard to promote the country in the best ways they can. British Airways, being the longest-serving airline operating in Ghana (81 continuous years, come October 2018), also knows a few things about promoting the country. The airline currently operates daily flights, transporting close to 5,000 passengers a week to and from Accra (the capital city).
British Airways is investing £4.5bn over the next five years to improve the experience of British Airways customers in whichever cabin of the aircraft they choose to fly. For Ghanaian customers, all new catering and bedding products have already been introduced in the Club World (business class) cabin, and new in-flight entertainment and a general refresh of fixtures and fittings are being installed on the Boeing 747 aircraft over the next few months.
Reggie and Bollie were relaxing in the British Airways’ Galleries Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3 just before heading out on a flight to Accra and their top five recommendations for an exciting Ghanaian experience:
Fun in the sun – Visit the beach. There is something special about a cold beer on a warm Sunday afternoon at Labadi beach!
Head to the hills – The Aburi mountain offers spectacular views of Accra and the official Presidential retreat, Peduase Lodge, and is also the site for one of West Africa’s most popular arboretums. The 6.5km road is also very popular among fitness freaks, who may choose to hike, run or cycle up and down the path.
Meet the President – In 2015, [Presidential Candidate] Akufo-Addo famously sent his wishes to encourage Reggie n Bollie ahead of their final X Factor UK performance, and the duo recently paid him a visit to present him a special Presidential copy of their debut album, Uncommon Favours. While most visitors to Ghana may not be so lucky to meet the sitting president, the Asomdwee Park memorial and Christiansburg Castle museum provide first-hand insights into the lives of former Ghanaian Heads of State.
Go back in time – Bollie always finds the experience of Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, dedicated to the life, ideas and experiences of Ghana’s first president, extremely inspiring. Juxtaposed with the solemn and humbling experience of the Cape Coast and Elmina castles, through which several Ghanaians and Africans were taken from their motherland and sold as slaves, there is a lot to learn in Ghana.
Taste Ghana – Ghana is known for several spicy delicacies, including Waakye (a flavoured rice and beans dish) and Jollof rice; both of which have been regularly served on British Airways’ flights. Reggie recommends Banku (a starchy dish prepared from fermented maize dough) and grilled Tilapia, while Bollie favours Tuo Zaafi (a starchy maize and cassava dough dish) and Ayoyo (a leafy vegetable soup).
The duo also opened up on what it’s like to travel so often together, in a ‘quick-fire’ interview:
Who is the light traveller? Bollie (Reggie packs at least two extra outfits so he always has choices)
Who is more fashionable? Reggie (Bollie protests this, though)
Who is the shopper? Reggie! (Bollie loves grocery shopping, however)
Who is the foodie? Bollie (he loves to cook as well)
Favourite travel destination? Ghana!
Places they will love to visit? Jamaica, Miami, Israel, China, Australia and Santorini (all of which are destinations available on British Airways flights!).