The 4th Barcamp Tamale kicked off with breakfast at 9am on August 23 2014 at the Tamale Sport Stadium. There was an introduction of Barcamp Ghana and how it came into being by Ato Ulzen Appiah who is the director and founder. Here, we got to know that Barcamps are organized in many regions in Ghana. There are also others who organize Barcamps in other African countries. Mentors were asked to introduce themselves to the audience. Highly motivational youth were on stage. Rashida Aduni Ganiyu, DeLiman Yaro Ruka, Kofi Larbi @NuttyKola, Josh Wuntimah Salifu, Mr Shani Mahama, Masahoud Codjoe, Abdul Washeed my humble self and many others. Every mentor had a motivation story, a failure story, and an uplifting story. Being a mentor myself, I was inspired hearing the things even mentees had to share, how they drew their questions in, their fears, their passions which made me see myself in most of them. Even accomplished people came to be mentored. One could clearly see that Barcamp is what it is, mentoring, networking, learning, inspiration, and developing new ideas. And from writing to governance, blogging to entrepreneurship, broadcasting to the usage of social media, everything was on point. Here are some of the mentoring sessions in pictures.
After this, there was a lunch break where sumptuous meals were served. Then the breakout sessions on writing and blogging, governance, entrepreneurship, Wikimedia and many others were formed. Participants were enthusiastic and wanted to know so much. The tips which were given satisfied them. They testified after the sessions. There were many sponsors; Google, Afrilead institute, Justice 98.5fm, HOPin Academy, GhanaThink Foundation, Spyghana, SaaZaa Shoes, NandiMobile, Northern Scope, MPedigree and Cert Ghana.
The organisers of Barcamp Tamale were Jessica Kwahing, Peter Awin, Nashiru Mohammed Muntasir, Maccarthy Lomotey and Ibn Shiraz with the help of the director. I must commend them for the meticulousness with which they worked. The food was good and promoting made in Ghana goods made them opt for my favourite ‘soobolo’ (ginger, herbal leaves with minimum sugar and water) as the soft drink for the occasion and people loved it.
What touched me was the zeal, passion and thoughts of doing good for our nation by the youth. I personally realised that, many people have brilliant ideas but they did not know about the world of networking via the internet where many connections can be acquired. Some people had their own ideas of what the internet holds which did not include networking for a good cause, say business. We closed around 5pm after passionately singing Ghana’s National Anthem and also the Ghanaian motivational song “This is our Homeland” in Dagbani and from the looks of things, everybody who came left with a passion to move on even after some failures. Barcamp Tamale; Harnessing the Development Potentials of Northern Ghana through Entrepreneurship and Innovation, achieved. Lots of youths out there have potentials, no matter who you are, I respectfully ask, what are you doing for yourself and your nation?
If you don’t have a ready answer, please look for one.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.