Launch and Live Streaming of FaceOff With the International MP by Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng

This link is for the live streaming of today’s launch.

Foreword to FaceOff With the International ‘MP’

“It is often said that we take ourselves too seriously, and do not laugh enough. If this description fits or suits you, then please stay as far away as possible from Rodney and his writings [scratch that!]: read the book in hiding. I introduce to you a reverently irreverent writer who pulls no punches, wears no kids’ gloves, bars no holds and suffers no fools gladly. There is not a topic that Rodney is shy to address, and frontally and bluntly too. Rodney treats, [scratch that!] specialises in the topics that one might want to avoid; but by the time he is done, you absolutely relate to both the matter and his treatment of it. Or you hate him for it. His presentation is rich in language, imagery and humour. He is not shy to take digs at himself and so when he does that to others and the issues that he handles, it is just Rodney being Rodney.
I first ‘met’ this self-described “Honourable MP for Facebook” on (you guessed right) Facebook. Nobody elected him. He does not stand for re-election. He is self-anointed, self-appointed and self-titled. And to top it all off, he has chosen his own “Stool Wives” (three of them!), explaining that the position of an ‘African’ MP on Facebook must come with certain ‘fringe benefits.’ He has carried this make-believe ‘marriages’ so far that once when he had a public ‘tiff’ with one of the ‘Wives’, he received a genuine inbox message from a reader, reprimanding and excoriating him for quarrelling with his spouse in public!
We were students in the University of Ghana at the same time; or so he claims – I have absolutely no memory or recollection of him from those times. And I don’t remember whether he requested my ‘friendship’ on Facebook or I did his. I think that was the time he was about to relocate to Ghana from the UK. But somehow we got connected and hit it off like a house of fire. Once he settled in Ghana, he turned his fire and ire on the things that keep us back from moving forward as a people; and with his finely-honed wit, unrestrained humour and biting sarcasm, he has sought not to throw the fabric of who we are away, but to change some of the weak strands of the fabric, one frustrating strand at a time.
Rodney does not hide his obvious political bias, and freely admits that his political views are deeply influenced and coloured by that bias. Yet when you read him teasing, and ripping and tearing into his own side of the political divide, you are left wondering where that bias is…, until he returns to teasing and ripping and tearing into the opposite side of the divide. When he does that, he invites leading proponent-opponents to read his writing and answer back. He relishes in the exchanges and is full of witty comebacks. He wears his opponents out with sheer energy and vim.
Occasionally, he takes one on the chin. But I have seen him ride the punch and come back even stronger. He is your YING-YANG, at once your light and darkness, softness and hardness (Rodney, no naughty puns intended), in and out (Rodney, be careful!) and giver and receiver (Rodney!!!) This book marks his transition from the soft copies of electronic media to the hard copies of traditional paper books. But it doesn’t change who he is and what he does: an enigma and a riddle, confused and confusing at the same time.
You will find in Rodney, your well-hidden antithesis that is probably your real self, the self whose existence you deny to everyone and even convinced yourself does not exist. Thus in welcoming you to this book, I just welcome you to yourself. ”
— Ace Kojo Anan Ankomah. The 290-page book by Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng, his third book, is published by DAkpabli & Associates, Ghana, and will be launched on 23 June 2017 at the Christ the King Parish Hall, Accra. All are invited.

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(Courtesy: Nana Awere Damoah) 

NIGERIA TRAVELOGUES

I was glad when two gentlemen I knew from the Ghana Association of Writers contacted me and asked me to apply for the Ebedi International Writers Residency. The thought of a cozy place to complete works I deemed difficult,  was very welcome. Then I thought of going through Togo through to Benin to Nigeria. Seeing parts of three countries (no matter how small) and I felt happy. So I shelved all ideas of going by air. In any case,  travelling by road was less expensive.  So after going through with the Autism Help Foundations “Lightasit”, with permission from my workstation, I left the following day, 14th April, 2017, tired but ready to explore. 

My godmother booked me on a Chisco Transport. One that promised air-condition, comfortability, safety and food. My bags were checked right up to my little feminine toiletry bag and tagged before it got a place in the bus’s cargo section.  Then the bus took off around 7am. 

My tired eyes could not close because hardly had the big bus taken off did I begin to sweat. Many people complained about the missing air conditioner and the fact that the bus had a huge gate that separated passengers from the driver, turning us into some upgraded form of cargo. I kept mute,  sitting there like a lost soul,  many eyes roaming what I later got to know as “my little classy frame”. We opened the windows,  risked being blessed or cursed by the rains which decided to bless the land that morning. 

We got down when we reached the Aflao boarder and walked with our passports or ID cards in check, then boarded again only to get down at every boarder for clarification. What thrilled me most was the firing of the Pidgin language and its funny punches in the vehicle.  I had wanted to record some but realised my phone was off. Accustomed to the situation, I dozed off a bit until I heard a lot of noise.  

We were in Lakoge, right in the heart of Benin. Just a peek from our window made us see the spectacle that we were. The driver had been ordered out and the passengers were locked in. But we could hear the scuffle and curses that trailed each other outside the bus. Our driver continually cursed “The person wey do dis tin, ino go be better for am o”. I was still at sea.  I had not uttered a word since I sat in the bus. I turned to the gentleman sitting beside me to ask what was happening and he replied “I think somebody kept Igbo in the car and so we have been arrested”. It was my turn to ask if people from Benin had something against Igbos. This generated a lot of laughter from those close. After that they explained “igbo” was actually  marijuana. I was confused and felt fear for the first time on the journey. 

I had spoken to the one who was to pick me up and he had asked that I found I place to stay for the night for pickup the next day. Since I did not know anywhere and I had not budgeted for it, I called a few people I knew in Nigeria but it was too soon to make those arrangements so I called the one person I knew would not disappoint: Femi Akomolafe. Of course he arranged with one of his friends who was an MD,  to book me a room at Sheraton Hotel. The man also asked his secretary to arrange for a pickup. When I told them I was coming by bus,  they were very afraid for my safety. So telling them it was not a big deal as Nana Awere suggested I got a place around Maza Maza,  the MD contacted Nana who also contacted me and told me he would send his driver to pick me up though he lived far from the station. But there I was, caught in a drug arrest. 

After about an hour of being locked in, the Benin police ordered the driver to bring us out. Over three hundred Beninois stood watching us. Every individual was asked to take his or her bag. After all was done,  three huge “Ghana Must Go” bags sat unclaimed. The driver and his mate begged the owner to own up but none did. Then we realised it had no tag. A woman passenger who loved to talk whispered to me that she saw the one who loaded the cargo taking lots of twenty Ghana cedis notes and afterwards pushing those bags into the vehicle. She added she could make the owners up but they were not in the bus. I pretended I had not heard fearing to be caught in an unqualified “witnesship” and got up from the water-logged gutter in which we were being scrutinized. 

I missed Ghana my motherland. The land which I loved but never appreciated as much as I should. I knew for a fact that no person arrested from another country would be interrogated in a sand filled gutter in an open space watched by all who wanted to watch. To top it up,  there were mosquitoes everywhere even though it was barely 5pm. We spent over four hours in the interrogating gutter before we were transported to a fenced but opened park where heavy duty trucks parked. That place too had potholes everywhere with stagnant water. A royal palace for mosquitoes. I had to find a way to charge my phone in order to contact Nana and the others. I had written some numbers on my ticket but I needed my phone as no one was willing to give out his or her phone. So I went to one of the security men there who asked why I came with Chisco. According to him,  Chisco had these drug troubles three times every week if he was not exaggerating. He added that we were the third to have been brought into the yard that week. He told me he would help but asked that I be careful as thieves came into the yard to steal. He recommended GUO the next time I wished to travel by road. I was grateful. 

One of the male passengers followed me and together, we charged our phones outside the only building in the yard. Again,  I was baffled as to how nationals from other countries could be left with inadequate protection in a dangerous zone after their driver and mate had been handcuffed and sent to their prison or wherever. I knew that Ghanaians would never do a thing like that. 

I decided I would not sleep. I spoke to Nana who at that point was worried and spoke to the administration of Ebedi who were equally worried but I assured them I would contact them the next day. At around 3am,  I could not keep my eyes open even through the chorus of mosquitoes. I decided then to nap for some minutes just beside the gentleman whose phone was also on charge. I woke up abruptly and reached out for my phone,  I think 15 minutes after my nap and my phone was gone. The other gentleman’s phone was also gone. My chips were on the floor. I thought it was a bad joke but it wasn’t. I looked at the gentleman and thought for a moment that he could be the culprit but decided to let him be since he also claimed his had been stolen. Of course I am sure he might have felt the same about me if his phone had really been stolen like mine. I went around asking those who were seated around but they all said the same thing “Be careful around Nigerians” Even the Nigerians said that proudly. I checked into my purse and realized the little money I had on me was also gone. Having left my ATM card at home and stranded penniless in an unfriendly land, I felt my end had come. Even getting to call home was a problem. 

Around 8am,  on the 15th of April, 2017 when there was no sign of another bus to take us to our destination, many passengers left on their own. A gentleman from the Volta Region volunteered to lend me 5000 naira. I used some to call home and the residency. I was told by those who recommended me to come back as they were afraid for my safety. They kept saying Nigeria was worse than Benin where crime is concerned. Of course even my fear could not force me to quit.  I am Amoafowaa after all. 

At around 2pm,  the replacement bus came. Out of the over forty passengers,  only about fifteen remained. The rest of the journey was longer than I thought. We stopped almost in every two minutes to go through one check point or the other in Nigeria,  most of whom wanted their palms to be greased. It was funny how they feared Boko Haram but could accept bribe from those without proper identifications and allowed them into their country. I watched as a woman came in to sell yellow cards for 2000 naira. Cards stamped with no requirement for vaccines or the like. Pathetic, I thought. Ernest,  my saviour bought a registered sim bearing whoever’s name and with that,  I was able to contact a few people. Nana Awere called after getting in touch with the administration of Ebedi,  obviously having had a restless day. We reached the Chisco Station around 1am. Thankfully,  there was a place to rest for a small fee,  and a good bathroom. I put my head on my laptop bag without sleep. I felt someone pulling my bag from beneath my head,  woke up and asked “oga, wetin be your problem?” To which he naturally strolled off.  That ended my lying down.  

Ernest and his friend volunteered to take me to the Ibadan Station in Lagos. Although I protested,   they told me I looked too refined with an aura of wealth so if they did not accompany me, swindlers might harm me thinking I had some valuables. I was lost,  I looked my humble self in a Kente designed simple dress and a comfortable wedge footwear. After getting to know that there was no Ibadan vehicle at the main station, they took me to a private station where they boarded the vehicle with me and sent me straight to Ibadan,  specifically to the Mr.  Biggs Fast Food Joint which was yet to be opened. That was 16th April 2017. There, I sat on a small fence and watched as huge men smoked “igbo” in the open space without a care in the world. At around 9am,  the ride to Iseyin arrived with Bode,  the administrator and Gloria, a resident from Kenya and the affable driver. I thankfully got on thankful for the comfortable ride and the friendly people who laughed their heads off at my dramatic journey from Ghana to Nigeria. 

THE MAJOR MAHAMA LYNCHING, NOT A DENKYIRA-OBUASI THING BUT A GHANAIAN THING

Captain Maxwell Mahama

It is sad to hear that Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama was mistaken for a thief and brutally lynched on May 29, 2017. But I am amazed at the fact that this is just getting the attention of the Ghanaian populace now. I will not say it is a Denkyira-Obuasi (Central Region) thing but it is a Ghanaian thing. I have not lived that long on earth but have witnessed more than four of these crucial murders and heard more than a dozen happen in Ghana. The question is, did it have to happen to someone well placed in society to gain the attention it deserved?

In 2009, while returning from school, I was horrified to see the burning frame of a human being at the Ayigbe Junction, Israel, in Accra. The taxi driver taking me to my destination then, seeing how shaken I was laughed and said:

“Ei! Small madam! This is normal! Any robber who gets you first will kill you so get over this. It is normal! Maybe you have not had your things stolen before or do not know how painful it is to lose someone to robbery.”

There was nothing I could say. When I reached home my mother briefed me, that he was a man of about twenty six and was spotted stealing from a wayside kiosk. As to what he stole, no one could tell, except the owner said he took a chair and left it, picked some of the things she was selling, put them down and continued picking and dumping until she blew the “ewi” alarm.

The next day, his parents came to the spot, obviously after the police had come for his burnt remains, and poured libation amidst curses. They explained that the said man, was on the autism spectrum and had lost his way. Those who witnessed the lynching then claimed he was shouting

“Mama, it is hurting me! Stop it! it is not good to hit people!”

All the time they were beating him. My question then was, couldn’t those brutal murderers know there was something amiss when the said thief was saying all those things? Although I did not witness the beating and eventual killing, eye witness accounts replayed in my mind up till date.

Mob justice has never been fair. It is shocking that we had to travel into 2017 and see the murder of Captain Mahama in order to be serious about it. I believe the Denkyira-Obuasi group are just serving as scapegoats. In a way, it seems to be unfair. What about all those who have murdered innocent souls in the past and gone scot free? Who gets justice for those who have lost their loved ones unfairly? I believe even some of those speaking loudest against it, may have history of mob killing.

No amount of money, no greater crowd of mourners, no words of sympathy, no state burial can fill the void left when innocent souls are squashed between horrid societal flaws and the quest for peace which the security agencies fail to give. The law enforcement agencies should also “up their game” so to speak, because no matter how brutal instant justice is, it is a symptom of loss of trust in the security agencies. Let the rumoured corruption be squashed

I pray that the politicisation of mob justice be quenched so it can be fought with conscience because many things can go wrong when a crime takes place. And a human being is not a toy to be broken and fixed. Amoafowaa writes this poem in honour of the fallen soldier.

BRUTES IN BEINGS

Many things walk the land like beings

Things with no souls on soles

Acting like they deserve what moves

Pretending to think in growth

But May on its 29th leg on 2017 stand has set their stage

II

A handsome father has been plucked

Plucked from the tree of life

One who promised on his honour

To protect his land even with his life

Many speak in opposites even with their sympathies

III

From slaps to slab hitting

Sticks to stone biting

Block breaking to naked strikking

Dragged in bragging like a dead goat

Killed in shaming 

With one in a womb lighting a match

On one like a king on his own soil

On an unfamiliar ground

IV

Hypocrites cry foul

Pretending to care

When all they want is their political share

It did take a gentle soul to knock the pity

How many lives have seen such fate?

Instant justice? I say a brutal pain!

V

Who will warm the bed of his half?

Who will cradle his sons to sleep?

Who will guide his little ones into growth?

Who can quench the pain of his loss?

I hope the noise will create a choice

A choice which will parade conscience in a proper palanquin

And stop the spectacle

Which publicises blackness in demonism

In spells irreversible after activation

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) May 29, 2017

Photo Credit: Google pics

Ghana Elections 2016: Patience; a Virtue

myghanaroots.com
myghanaroots.com

For a country whose hallmark is peace, it is sickening to see the manner in which the two major political parties are conducting themselves barely a day after elections. The impatience, the “taunts in call” which receives immediate response, the declaration of “leads” and “winnings”, the pain of watching as supporters’ temperament rise in tension puts the country in a bad frame.

I believe it is high time the New Patriotic Party (NPP) matures into a party which waits to act after declarations instead of stirring tempers. I also believe the National Democratic Congress (NDC) needs to be more civil in their responses to some of the press conferences by the opposition parties. Patience is a virtue in every outcome we have no control over or any outcome which demands the power of others. The law says the Electoral Commission of Ghana should be the team that organises and announces results. Why is that too difficult for parties to comply? Have we no faith at all in our system? Are we now too suspicious of our own souls to learn to trust in others for even a little while?

I watched with utter admiration, the press conference by the head of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Charlotte Osei, and her calm appearance, her composure, her even tone, her reassurance spoke volumes of her competency and told the world she was on top of things. So what warranted the chaos that followed?

Supporters of both NPP and NDC must be careful in their jubilation. I believe the attitude of supporters are influencing their parties to act the way they do. No matter what happens, Ghana is the ultimate source of protection. If we break that, what will we have left? Are we ready to run through bushes to seek cover? Are we ready to be face violence, butchering, suffering and watch as our country tears apart? Are we ready to lose our credibility as one of the firm upholders of democracy? Who must die for who to lead in this era when our forefather’s blood still weep for development ad growth from their aggrieved graves? What will you say to them when you force yourself to die for a cause called chaos?

We need to learn from all the countries which held elections this year; from the United States of America’s famous elections to that of the Gambians. Reasoning is what makes us humans above all creatures. If Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared for us freedom, we should learn to retain it by showing through our actions and inactions that we deserve it.

Please let us all be calm. Patience is a virtue. Whether NDC or NPP, we are all a nation with a body called Ghana. We are brothers and sisters in our motherland. We are one people with minds capable of talking through our differences and winning in the face of difficulties. Please let us pledge peace and maintain it. A win for one should be a win for all.

WOMEN AND POLITICS IN GHANA; PLEASE VOTE FOR ALL COMPETENT WOMEN!

Image result for images of women voting in Ghana

Humans are known to be political animals. The saying did not exclude women from this saying but in Africa, reality speaks volumes of backing the notion that “men are the real political animals”, talking about men, not the Biblical ‘men’ where women are included, just the men in the gender state. It is sad to strike a percentage of women to men in the political system in Africa. Liberia’s Johnson is a rare find in what seems to be the ‘gravels to hold the mud’; the gravels- few educated women, mud; the many semi-literate and uneducated women. Felicitations to Uganda efforts in this matter but is it enough? For a continent whose women suffer in all aspects than men, it is a big shame.

Men have many choices which women do not have. The less said about derogatory utterances by some prominent people of the land, the better. Need I mention Nigeria’s leading man’s famous statement of his wife’s foremost responsibilities being to take care of all his rooms with the exception of a board room? A man can have as many wives as he wants, thanks to polygamy. When men take on more wives, they are at liberty to shed their responsibilities; they could care less about what the children will eat, their school fees, shelter, to mention but a few. It would be up to the woman to fend for the children. For such beings who everything affect, from educational policies to inflation to increment in utility bills to legislative laws, it does not make sense that only few are involved in governance. Now let me narrow down to my country Ghana.

It is on record that, of the 275 parliamentarians, only 29 are women, that is, 21.8% representation of women, who constitute 49.1% of the country’s population according to http://countrymeters.info/en/Ghana, as of the time of this writing. Remember, women might be more considering many are born without proper documentation and censuses always have their flaws. As of January 2016, http://www.ghananewsagency.org/features/election-2016-is-ghana-missing-the-gender-equity-boat–99943 reported that out of the 18,938 slots for the District Assembly seats, 17, 783 men contested as against 1,155 and less than half of the 1,155 women were elected.

What are the problems hindering the participation of women in the political system? Surely it is not a matter of competence. I believe the first factor is lack of confidence. Many women are bred on the proverb that “if a woman buys a gun, it lies on the chest of a man” and “no matter how high a woman rises, her place is in the kitchen of man”. Most women grow to accept these proverbs and live by them, making sure they kill their ambitions before they acquire the necessary qualifications to aspire higher. I will say, if a woman buys a gun which automatically becomes the property of a man, there are so many interpretations to it, the man can either be a guard to protect her from harm as she lives to bless him with prestige or the man can use it to kill her ambitions. It is sad to know that most men choose the latter on this African Continent. For the second proverb, I admire the bravery of men, men who know those who hold their stomachs and still enslave them! Can’t food be medicine and at the same time poison? Will it not be better, if better informed heads and hands grace your kitchen to prepare you the best foods there are? Why do men always seek the difficult ways out?

There is also the matter of ego in political parties and electorate. Most political parties believe women are only good for the position of “Women’s Organisers”. How sad! A woman cannot dare to compete with men even through the primaries, let alone get through to stand to be elected. I believe affirmative action helped women to get to the 21.8% mark but is it not embarrassing? When there are competent women who can go against men, matching them in debates and all that are needed to call for votes of electorate? Funny enough, Hillary Clinton’s loss might even destroy the little hope we have of women getting equal representation in politics in Ghana. The many tongues wagging “if even the United States of America failed to vote for Hillary, knowing fully well that she was a better option, partly based on the fact that she is female, why will a Ghanaian man, who is a man, vote for a woman?” What is more painful is the addition “stop deceiving yourselves, women can never and will never be at par with men where politics and for that matter, important decisions of the world is concerned”. Personally, I have heard so many of these statements from my peers, educated as they are, that I feel it is fast becoming a “men anthem”

Can corruption be left out? It is a fact that women, when given the chance to govern, do so with little or no corruption, but politics even at the grass root needs a corrupt person. A person who has political ambition needs to win the trust of foot soldiers, chiefs, party members and finally the electorate. All these people need favours ranging from financial (paying upfront) to contractual (future payment mostly through MOUs), rumours have it. So only the rich can afford to venture into politics, and let us face facts, how many women in Ghana have the wealth to challenge? Let us not forget that for most, the fact that your husband is rich does not make you rich, he might choose to buy anything you need to make you the trophy he needs as a decoration but will not help you grow higher than he is (chance mostly taught of as grounds for disrespect). What is a woman to do?

Is the media helping? Little mistakes by women in power are made ‘gargantuan’ for lack of a better word, working further to destroy the little thoughts which support women in power. Statements like “leave them, you know how women are, they become unbearable immediately they are pushed into high positions” also do not help. Six months ago, I had the opportunity of joining a friend in a gathering in one of the small villages in the Upper West. They called it a community meeting. Apart from three facilitators, including myself, who were ladies, all the people who were supposedly the representation of the village were men. The complaints of their failing educational system were blamed mostly on women who they claimed “left their positions because of pregnancies and births, are lazy and could not teach properly and are gossips so leave their jobs for the activity during classes hours” I specifically asked them if only women were the teacher of the village school and they were able to tell me less than 20% of the teachers were women. Asked to whether they have tried cautioning and querying them, silence was the answer. I could see most of the eyes of the men moving round and round as I spoke without fear and intimidation. My advice was clear, stop blaming women for the problems of this community, childbirth is natural and there are measures for them in the Ghana Education Service. If community leaders do not give women the vote of confidence and go on to always pour their negative thoughts on them, which woman will have the confidence to aspire for political power?

Believe it or not, there are women in Ghana who believe women are not fit to be in power, talk less of they aspiring. Some women do not know their rights let alone fight for them. As a woman who was told by some men in my current station (Northern Region) when I first came here to teach six years ago, that “a woman’s voice must not be heard by men except her husband” and was advised to transfer to a girl’s school so as to “stop causing some big boys in some classes to sin”, I believe I need not say more. If these men have women, and yes they do, of course, will they not have the same opinion or be made to believe it considering the fact that a quotation from a holy book backed the claim?

I could go on and on and on, the bottom line is, I call on the world to see women as the powerful beings they are, that is not to say that men are powerless. I call on women to learn to support their fellow women; “single brooms break easily”. I call on fellow educated women to educate their uneducated peers on their rights and low representation of women in key positions and its effects, I call on Ghanaians to vote for their competent women candidates. A journey of a billion miles, even a ‘zillion’ miles, still starts with a step.

(Photo Credit: Zaa Radio 99.3 FM)

A MESSAGE TO THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS AND THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY

Image result for IMAGES OF NDC AND NPP TOGETHER

Ghana is almost sixty years old and any human being at sixty is almost close to his grave. All expectations and achievements have been realised. Only (excuse my language) a fool will bank all his hopes on lottery at sixty. If life is important, our country Ghana is more important because it is the property of generations and generations yet to come. No parent with many children will want to see them maiming and killing each other just for superiority or to a selfish end. Will it not be a cliche if I quote the “single broom and many strapped brooms” proverb? Ghana is one country, citizens are all children of the land. We are obviously far from the goals and aspirations of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and fall back on Lee Kwan Yew’s tactics to help us see the light of development. We are almost at our wit’s end where electricity is concerned, people are crying “poverty”. Corruption is pushing us to the edge of doom but politicians who are supposed to be the servants of the nation are building mansions, sharing monies meant for development and acquiring properties gargantuan for themselves and as gifts. There are still farming areas in Ghana with unmotorable roads, who has time for power struggle?

It saddens me to see supporters of both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) fighting among themselves like enemies on a deadly battlefield. Ghana is not a battlefield and neither NDC nor NPP are soldiers at war.

What is most difficult to watch is the fact that dirty tactics are used for campaigning. Would it not be fair for a candidate to use fair language, visions through their manifestos; believable and workable, to win the trust and mandate of the electorate?

To the NDC, why use infrastructural developments as campaign tools when the monies used did not came from tax payers and loans payable with huge interests? Adverts that show NPP as a poor party is below the belt. Where is the source of your campaign funds? If your manifesto for 2012 is reviewed, will we see all the promises fulfilled? Claims of being witch hunted by the judiciary is not good enough where the Woyome case is concerned. Innocent people do not cry foul when criminals are being searched for. In any case, you did no wrong when the Anas case came out. It was an act of corruption revealed to help rid the nation of “murderous traits”. I do not see why rumours must fly around that you were to blame for it.

To the NPP, why not concentrate on winning the hearts of the electorate through your visions? Only one who has nothing better to offer uses faults of others to get ahead. The complains can be substituted by efforts laudable. Revelling in the possible scandals of the NDC is not the ticket to give you the mandate to rule.

Clashes of the two political parties are being reported by many media outlets, painting pictures of ignoramuses and idiocy to the world. Some laugh as others curse, but for certain, none sympathises. We call Donald Trump names when he ridicules us with the obvious and taunts our brothers and sisters in the diaspora. When will we see that one Ghana is all we have, and work to make it better, ‘livable’, lovable, encouraging each other to bring out the best in us in order to achieve our development goals?

If all you want is to make Ghana a better place, why fight when you can join forces to? Why should the winner matter? Why incite others to kill each other in our bid to select? Ghana is bigger than any political party. Ghana is no property for the violent! Ghana’s bedrock is peace. No matter how hateful Donald Trump proved, the US elections were free and fair and the drama was less as compared to ours.

I leave you two with this, do Ghana a favour by sitting in thinking “Will I be able to face my ancestors with a clear conscience when I join them? Will I represent my people without malice, discrimination and harm? Will my conscience stay intact after my struggle to be in power? Is this position to serve or to rule? Will I be able to build the ladder of development to pave way for my children and their children to build on? What will I gain if I make my home an international laughing stock?”

A word to the wise…

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 17th November, 2016.

(Photo: Google pics)

GHANAIAN POETS HOST POETRY FESTIVAL

  • The Ghana Poetry Festival is set to take place from the 10th – 12th November, 2016. The festival whose first and second editions have nurtured young poets into successes will take place once again; bringing together poets from all regions of Ghana and its suburbs unto one stage. ‘Values for Life’ and the W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Center for Pan-Africanism presents the 3rd Edition of the Ghana Poetry Festival. The local organizing team promises to host a well-structured, educational and entertaining festival like no other in the history of literary festivals in Ghana. With the theme of “Discovering the Value of Poetry: The Role of Stakeholders”, Ghana Poetry Festival promises a series of exciting literary arts, creative arts and entertaining events among many others over a span of three days at the W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Center for Pan-Africanism, Cantonments; in Accra, Ghana. With the awesome Hon. Abla Dzifa Gomashie –deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts – as patron, Ghana Poetry Festival will also serve as an avenue to promote African culture and arts, through its series of round table discussions and workshops.
    The festival will feature several local and international guests and artists like Hon. Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Prof. Lade Wosornu, Prof. Ama Ataa Aidoo, Prof. Anyidoho, Dr. Mawuli Adjei, Naki from the USA, Oswald Okaitei, Nana Asaase, Chief Moomen, Apiorkor, Ozion, Rhymesonny, Kofi Dzogbewu and Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia among several others. These guests and artists will perform and coordinate the various events and programs in the festival like the seminar and performances, masterclasses, roundtable discussions and video screening among several others.
    This year’s festival presents a special session where poetically versatile poets will have the opportunity to perform poems in their native tongues. Also watch out for the Inter-schools’ poetry competition, Open Mic sessions, exhibitions and paintings, Generational Poetry performances and the ‘Journey to Ourselves’ – a fusion of poetry, music, dance and drama conceptualized and directed by Oswald Okaitei.
    The climax of the festival will be the “All Stars and Legends Night” which will feature all poetic legends and stars in Ghana and other invited artists on one stage; doing what they do best. The amazing part of it all is that the festival is free and open to anybody at all. All roads lead to the W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Center for Pan Africanism, Cantonments, near the American Embassy from the 10th-12th November, 2016. The minds of directions; the eyes of criticisms; the tongues of peace will pick diverse themes to set the country and the world right through satire, creativity and raw forms. There will be lots to entertain, lots of humour, lots of moral lessons and an impact to last a lifetime.

SIKAMAN AWARDS 2016

For a few years now, Nana Awere Damoah and some of his friends have been putting together awards for traits worthy and satirical for the Ghanaian populace. This is by far the winners for 2016.
(Updated 23 October 2016 (still in progress, some key categories – such as the voted for ones – still in development)
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1.       Sikamanian of the Year: Bright Simons. This guy continues to blaze new trails. More vim, Mantse!
2.       Most Popular Sikamanian: Electoral Commissioner, Charlotte Osei.
3.       Yɛ-Wɔ-Kromer of the Year: Bozoma Saint John, Head of Marketing for Apple Music. She is Ghanaian, you know.
4.       Most Lucrative Job: Proof-checker for Electoral Comission’s Presidential forms.
  1. Seetay Waa of the Year: The disqualification of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the PPP by the Electoral Commission for the Presidential elections. It was shocking!
6.       “Sɛ Asa” Moment of the year (an event that finally happened after a long time of expectation or postponements): The dismissal by the Human Rights Court in Accra, in August, of the case brought by suspended NPP National Chairman, Paul Afoko, against his party, challenging the legality of his suspension.
7.       U-Turn of the Year: We have a tie between the debatable demand for a debate after declining an early debate and non-payment/payment of trainee nurses allowances.
8.       Shifting Target of the Year: The number of new Community Senior Secondary Schools to be completed by close of this year. The number changed from 170 to 123…to 70 to 42 to…
9.       Masterstroke of the Year: The sacking of a Failed Promiser by a Serial Promiser. When the Power Minister was sacked.
  1. Most Misunderstood Phrase: Pro bono
  2. Most Hated Word in the Flagstaff House: Incompetent. Especially when used by Opana’s brother.
  3. Most Used Talked-about Word of the Year: Brochure. Incompetent trended having made an entry late last year.
  4. Prophecy of the Year: “Non-performers will be sacked”. Presido JM, 4 January 2016. It was also the Motive of the Year. Has it come to pass or it has been passed over?
  5. Statement of the Year: “Mahama’s government will not accept any form of mediocrity. We need to be truthful to the people so that they can accept challenges and not rush to make promises we cannot fulfil.” ~ Koku Da Bull
  6. Apology of the Year: ISD Director’s apology for Brochure errors. In “Beloved Let Us Laugh”, Prof Kwesi Yankah wrote about the fear of an official issuing a denial about an earlier denial. In 2016, we heard an apology given to apologise for the error in the apology issued for an earlier error. According to Ato-Kwamena Dadzie, the one who apologized for the error in the apology issued for the earlier error later apologised for apologising for the error of mis-apologising! Wetin man no see or hear or read before.
  7. Book of the Year: The Green Book. It is illustrated too.
  8. Most Popular ‘Magazine’: The Independence Day Brochure. This surely deserves a standing Ovation – no cabal things here please.
  9. Editor of the Year: The editor of the Independence Day Brochure. He or she is still at large.
  10. Public Relations Officer of the Year: Francis Kwarteng Arthur, for his damage control intervention in the Brochuregate Scandal.
  11. Phrases of the Year: “I don’t think far” and “I don’t think madness”, both made by actor Kwadwo Nkansah aka Lil Wyn.
  12. Appeal of the Year: “Momma me zu baako e!”
  13. Conflicting Phrases of the Year: “We don’t think far” and “We think far”.
  14. DaySpringer of the Year: Hassan Ayariga. He obtained two PhDs, both fake, but one faker than the other.
  15. Pardon of the Year: Montie Three
  16. Committee of the Year: Council of State. Their assessment of the need to free the Montie Three was classic and absolutely deep. They helped to unite the nation.
  17. Most Anticipated Invite of the Year: The appearance of the Montie Three at the Supreme Court.
27.   State Guests of the Year: Montie Three
  1. Resurrected Public Institution of the Year: CHRAJ. They finally gave us a ruling on a high-profile case: that of the Ford gift/bribe allegation. But their report confused us more. See why you don’t have to wake up a sleeping institution?
  2. Gift of the Year: Ford Expedition
  3. Beef of the Year: A tie between Afia Schwarzenegger vs Kennedy Agyapong and Sark vs M.anifest.
31.   Beard of the Year: Still no contender – award goes to Uncle Oko Rick Ross who is branching soon into braided beards.
  1. Most Serious Politician of the Year: Hassan Ayariga. He is also voted as the Most Generous as he gave the NPP the permission to copy his manifesto with only one caveat: to copy it well.
  2. Most Silent Politician: Dr. Nii Armah Josiah-Aryeh. Is he still the Chairman of the NDP?
  3. Minister of the Year: Abla Dzifa Gomashie. She brings passion to her role!
  4. Political Promise Template of the Year: One Man, One This and That.
  5. “You Are Fired!” Judge of the Year: Charlotte Osei
  6. Suspension of the Year: The suspension by the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) of its General Secretary, Nii Akomfrah and National Youth Organiser, Ernesto Yeboah after they publicly condemned President John Mahama for accepting a gift. The two officers openly criticised their flagbearer Ivor Greenstreet for suggesting that the president broke no law by accepting the gift.
  7. Manifesto Protectors of the Year: The NPP. They also complained that everyone wanted to, or had succeeded in, copying aspects of their manifesto.
  8. Dadabee Factory of the Year: Komenda Sugar Factory. It works for a month and sleeps for three months. It is still in coma, awaiting a change in hospital administration.
  9. Hashtag of the Year: ‪#‎KalyppoChallenge. #HardGuyBut gets an honourable mention.
  10. Occupiers of the Quarter: ISD Workers. They caused their former Acting Director to correct the error in the apology he issued for an error. They also demanded for his sack, which came to pass.
  11. NGO of the Year: People’s National Convention (PNC)
  12.  Promise of the Year: “The economy will be better next year.” We hear you, Le Presido. We have been hearing you for the past few years – we only pray next year is not on wheels.
  13. Most Popular Corporate Entity of the Year: Electoral Commission. They started the year with logo vim and are cruising with disqualification speed. We are all praying they drive us safely through the coming elections.
  14. The Most Consistent Company: Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). You can still rely on their ability to show you your real size.
  15. Brand Statement of the Year: “We like it, we picked it, it makes us happy.” ~ The Electoral Commissioner responding to complaints that the EC’s new logo had an uncanny resemblance to an existing logo available online.
47.   Preferred Presidential Autobrand of the Year: Toyota.
48.   Truck of the Year: The tipper truck that carried the journalists around to take pictures on Independence Day.
49.   Currency of the Year: Mahama Paper.
50.   Drink of the Year: Kalyppo.
51.   Facebook Polygamist of the Year: Hon Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng. No challenger.
52.   Artiste of the Year: Shatta Wale. His songs are powering the campaigns of the leading parties.
53.   Most Dangerous Vehicle to Photograph: Branded Mahindra. Someone was arrested for taking such pictures and circulating them. What happened to that case? A good example of Sikamanian issues that start with gidigidious vim of boiling beans and end fuushially with the dignity of a fart.
54.   State-sponsored Free Publicity: The arrest by the BNI at the Kotoka International Airport of an author that not many knew, for writing an article that few had read. I am surprised the dude hasn’t used the hype to re-launch his book.
55.   Near-Fatal Political Loss of the Year: The loss on the “Ballot Box” of the slot reserved for Akua Donkor and Hassan Ayariga. But we are comforted by the fact that Madam Donkor has been leased to the NDC and so we won’t miss the fun she brings. We wish Hassan well as he fights the EC in court and are encouraged by his choice of lawyer.
56.   Mystery of the Year: The identity of the person who edited the Independence Day brochure.
57.   Team of the Year: #TeamOA. Eddie Ameh commented “Charlie, a few days prior to their nuptials, they were more popular than “me and you, our Kotoko and Chelsea.” I agree! Vim o, KOA and AOA!
58.   Manimal of the Year: Bishop Obinim
59.   Obroni of the Year: Bukom Banku
60.   Conversion of the Year: Leaflets to Cash
61.   On-loan Politician of the Year: Akua Donkor. She is on free loan from her GFP to the NDC.
62.   Resurrection of the Year: That of Egya Ward-Brew; just in time to submit his forms to contest the Presidential elections. And to get disqualified. See you in four years’ time, Egya. As usual.
63.   Blog/Website of the Year: https://kenikodjo.com. Maukeni Padiki Kodjo is also the Blogging Ghana’s Blogger of the Year and in 2016, she really came into her own with her series of stories on her blog which received rave reviews and great following.
  1. Most scarce product: Political common sense.
65.   Boys Abrɛ Coach of the Year (Foreign Category): After landing the job he has been chasing for years, Sam Allardyce was sacked as coach of England’s soccer team after just 67 days, following an undercover sting by a British newspaper. Reminded me of John Garang.
66.   Boys Abrɛ Metropolitan Chief Executive of the Year: Kojo Bonsu
67.   Boys Abrɛ Politician of the Year: Nii Armah Ashitey, incumbent member of Parliament for Korle Klottey. Paddyman try saaah, he couldn’t stop Dr Zanetor Rawlings. Better luck next time, sah!
68.   Parliamentary Debate of the Year: It turned out to be a non-debate, actually. The recall of Parliament from recess to tackle the motion to investigate the President for the Ford gift saga. The speaker dismissed the motion in 15 minutes.
69.   Immigrants of the Year: Gitmo 2
70.   Disease Discovery of the Year: Kpokpogbligbli
71.   HEADmaster of the Year: Comedian David Aglah
72.   Clergyman of the Year: Rev Prof Martey, former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
73.   Mansotwenian Process of the Year: The election of the Presiding Member of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
74.   Twuminator of the Year: Koku Da Headmaster
75.   Throw-Backer of the Year: Edward Sena Dey
76.   Soundbite of the Year: “I don’t think far, I don’t think madness, ɛno na mentsi asiɛ…”
77.   Tautology of the year: Akua Donkor declaring her support for NDC after her disqualification.
*Picture by The Black Narrator
Compiled and Edited by Nana A Damoah
Contributors: Kwame Amoah, Della Russel Ocloo, Kotei Neequaye,‎ Reuelah Bee, Francis Kennedy Ocloo, Theo Osei, Bernard Brown Snr, Enoch Sowah, Manasseh Azure Awuni, Albert Amah Arhin, Eddie Ameh Snr, Indira Mensah-Dapaah, Lambert Coffie Atsivor

Inconsiderate Posts of Greedy Americans

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In the wake of politics, many rise to show their true colours. I know it is a battle, politics, we humans made it so, but it shouldn’t be. Choosing a leader for the common goal of development and security should be no battle. We are first of all human beings who can never live forever. Why do we forget this basic fact?

Now treating this topic in the picture above: To the best of my knowledge, trick and treating is begging. If you beg you should be ready to share the excess. Too much sweet for one and toothache sets in, different sicknesses follow, death is near then.

There are people too lazy to go begging, true, but there are some blocked by colour, there are some who are sick and cannot go begging, there are some too young to understand what begging is, there are some who beg but can’t receive.
I think this photo is over the bar and whoever drew it, with all its mischief as the wording suggest, should be ashamed.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

(Photo Credit: Google pic)

Ghanaian Pilgrims to Mecca; Idol Transitionists or Holy Worshippers?

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Hajj is one dream all Muslims have in common; at least,  so Ghanaians have been made believe. A person who goes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hajj, washes away all sins and if that person dies thereafter, after notable rituals (worship), he or she is said to go straight to heaven.

The puzzle of this journey,  for me, lies in the ritual of titles, the fact that Ghanaian Hajj returnees, especially in northern Ghana stay in their various houses like gods and goddesses receiving greetings from loved ones and friends, some for a month and over!

When quizzed about this, a Muslim friend, Abdul Zaapayim Doo said it is believed that those returnees are now holy and exude holiness so all who have not been able to travel for hajj and even those who have travelled but could not go in a particular year seek to tap from their holy spirit.
The returnees must also cook for visitors to enjoy,  some asking for gifts.
To my understanding,  one must sweat to gain finances in order to go to hajj. It’s a pillar of Islam that can be optional because you would need enough resources for your household, your air ticket to and fro and for your upkeep there! Well, so I thought. With many rumoured to be sponsored especially by politicians and people of high standing, I sought the counsel of Sheik Alhaji Illiasu of Sagnerigu, Tamale.
In an interview with Sheik Alhaji Illiasu Imoro of Tamale, he explained that, people can be sponsored according to the holy Quaran to go to Mecca. He also educated that Mecca is a religious requirement in Islam. As to why people from Mecca stay indoors to receive greetings like gods and goddesses in worship, Sheikh Alhaji Imoro said it is not necessary. He further went on to explain that those who stay indoors do so so they can bless their neighbours who couldn’t go. He said the holy Quaran teaches that those who go to Hajj are cleansed from all their sins. So at most,  one week of rest to bless is essential but the women exaggerate and stay at home for sometimes as long as 40 days, cheered on by their friends.

I guess there are extremists in every religion. Hajj will continuously breed self satisfied and feeling-all-important idols. So be on the look out for the next Hajia or Alhaji ( I hear it is a title which means stranger), For who knows, a strange might show you an idol style or might just bless you in holiness.

(Photo Credit: Google pics)

NATIONAL VOLUNTEERS’ DAY

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Have you volunteered today? Let’s #volunteeringh for #NVDay.

September 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, etc.

There are various activities happening in Ghana.

See them @ volunteeringh.org.
You can also find some via the @GhanaThink Foundation’s Ghana Volunteer Program page and the Ghana Volunteer Program group on Facebook.
@volunteeringh on Twitter.
The hashtag is #NVDay16

Have you volunteered today? Let’s #volunteeringh for #NVDay. See more @ volunteeringh.org. #NVDay16

Book Readings by Nana Damoah and Kofi Akpabli

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Amedzofe. In biblical terms that would be our version of the Garden of Eden. In Ewe language, this place name means “the origin of mankind”. In a sense, that makes sense. The town is not only the highest human settlement in West Africa; in this part of the world, it is also the closest place to the heavens.

At Abraerica, the reception is sited on top of one block while the guestrooms are in another storey-block facing Mt Gemi. So we had to descend several steps first, before we climbed up the stairs to my room. As we moved, I could see well-lit towns very far away. It appeared the way one sees places from an airplane in the night.

“Where is that?” I asked.

“Kpandu,” he replied.

“And that?”

“Ho, Hohoe.”

Wao!

I woke up sometime after midnight. Curiosity made me run to the window. I looked hard for the view outside but I couldn’t see a thing. Was it just fog or we were enveloped in a cloud? I went back to sleep hoping to dream about the heavens.

~ Kofi Akpabli, Romancing Ghanaland

** Pictures by Isaac K. Neequaye

*Join Kofi, Alba K Sumprim and Nana Awere Damoah for book readings in Accra and Kumasi in September 2016. 3rd and 24 th respectively.

ELECTIONS, ANTICIPATIONS AND FEAR: THE WAKE UP CALL

Ghana is a country blessed. I say this not because it is beautiful, has many mineral and agricultural assets or living conditions are better, but because we have the crown of peace.
Of late, I foresee chaos as many decisions we are making today are like terrorists of our peace in the near future. Why do I say this?
1. Because we now mark everything with different political logos. From regional affiliations to radio stations. There are regions so passionate about some political parties,  so much so, they can kill an opposition member who dares to challenge. Some stations are known to be for some political parties and allow defamation of all in opposition without fear or favour. (Need I need to cite an example, Kpokpogbligbli should do)
2. Some ethnic groups are static in their support where politics is concerned. They see no evil where evil reign and trust blindly forgetting the country is an asset that needs to be kept safe in all spheres. To these people, their blind love for some political party supersedes the country in itself. Sad, so sad.
3. Foot soldiers abound for all major political parties. They will kick anyone and anything for the right prices and promises. This brings fear and so the strongest in foot-soldering win many fearful votes.
4. Many are poor and politicians in Ghana know this, capitalising on the low level of education to buy their votes for as little as 50 cedis. Because they do not know that the right policies can fetch them more than necessary. There are even rumours gifts are forced and receivers of such gifts are forced to swear oaths to potent gods to honour their bit in voting.
5. Politics of insults is undermining the laws that bind and if the law is affected, where lies those the law protects?
6. The elites who know better sell their minds for contracts citing they cannot allow their youngsters to make policies for them. Very funny. That brings us to the next point.
7. Politics knows no qualifications so the efforts one puts in, determines his profits. Why can’t we set standards? Doctors go through years of training in order to be gainfully employed, teachers go through training to teach, why can’t we outline qualifications in political hierarchy for fairness?
8. I believe Ghanaians believe in everything with the right emotions attached, funny thing though is that they easily forget follies no matter how grievous a problem. The problem is that,  those who believe in everything can easily be incited to war and those who easily forget are easily taken for granted.
War is the most painful thing that can happen to any country. We are one people with different opinions. Democracy is there to guide us to select the best, forget the worst, and retain fairness in the reigns to show potential politicians the right paths. Democracy is not there to aid and abet criminality, fan our passions or support blindly. Democracy is the eyes of power, the mind of choice, the mouth of healthy arguments, the legs of right destinations,  all leading to safety and satisfaction. If Ghanaians continue in this fashion,  we will destroy our golden peace as those we protect fly like eagles to seek refuge. Let us ask ourselves; how many family members you can airlift when the need arises? I will end by using the inspiration of our National Anthem to say:
God bless our homeland Ghana
And make our nation great and strong
Bringing sanity where madness has bitten
Pushing indifference into actions
And forcing the resignation of unscrupulous men
To aid us in the protection of the continuous peace we seek.
May it be so.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

2016 GATE DELEGATES CONFERENCE HELD IN TAMALE

The annual 2016 Ghana Association of Teachers of English has been held in Tamale from Sunday, 7th August to Friday; 12th August 2016. The conference held on the theme: The Falling Standards of Teaching English,  The Role of Teachers of English took place at  The Tamale Polytechnic at Education Ridge, Tamale.


On Monday, 8th August 2016, delegates were tutored on Fun Ways of Teaching Poetry, Prose and Drama. The Head of African and General Studies, University for Development Studies (UDS): Dr. Damascus Tuurosung took delegates through the ‘bitter pill’ to Increasing Students’ Interest in Prose.
Many questions were raised including many teachers complaining about the unsuitable prose selection for Core Literature currently,  specifically,  No Sweetness Here by Ama Atta Aidoo. The lecturer in addressing this, blamed Teachers of English,  saying they are consulted in the selection.

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On Tuesday, 9th August 2016, the opening ceremony was held with representative of the regional minister in attendance. The representative of the regional minister promised his support for teachers of English language and promised to work towards scholarships for teachers. Blessed by a cultural group with the disabled, the opening ceremony was a success. Presentations for the first lecture followed through and ended the day early for rest.

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On Wednesday 10th August, 2016, delegates were taken through How to Teach Oral English, Comprehension and Grammar. After that, delegates voted to select their national leaders.
Joseph Kwame Dzasimatu retained the presidency along almost all of his leaders.

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Thursday 11th of August saw delegates through the much anticipated trip to the Mole National Park, the return trip ending with each delegate receiving certification.
Friday morning was departure. All is well that ends well.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

INTRODUCING GIGI: WEARGHANA’S LATEST MASTERPIECE

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What do you call an oufit that you can share with your brother or sister, wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend?
What do you call an outfit that looks equally great on males and females alike?
Unisex?
Dressshirt?
Genderless?
Androgynous?
How about GIGI?

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That’s what the folks at WEARGhana call their latest creation: the world’s first truly super-cool unisex outift with a touch of African. And before you say unisex ain’t your thing, remember two words: polo shirt.
A truly creative fashion label, WEARGhana has always sought to expand the frontiers of Ghanaian fashion. And this is another mighty leap forward, and in the right direction

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According to Co-founder Awura Abena, this is what led to the creation of GIGI, “At WEARGhana, our aim has always been to help Ghanaians look great at all events, wearing made-in-Ghana outfits. We noticed that while a lot of progress had been made in the formal and semi-formal categories, we really didn’t have worthy alternatives for casual foreign outfits like the polo shirt. And we realized that was a huge market.”
So what did they do?
“We went to work to produce an outfit, that was easy to wear and maintain, fun, great looking and truly casual. And affordable. And we ended up with the beauty we have christened GIGI”

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Angorkor, the other half of the WEARGhana duo added, “GIGI is a t-shirt with unique statement print details. It’s both dressy and casual. Initially we were torn between presenting it as gents or ladies wear, and then ended up thinking, “why can’t it be both”? A ‘dress shirt’. So we tested the concept for a while and the response was overwhelming.”
Now here’s what you need to know about GIGI: 
It’s available in countless exciting colours (navy, white, yellow, turquoise blue, purple, fuchsia, green…) and comes in 2 designs: the flap and the diagonal.

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Ladies can wear it really short for those hot events or knee/ midi length. And guys can rock it like they would a polo shirt or t-shirt.

And it’s moderately priced. At GHS 70, you can afford to stock your wardrobe with enough GIGIs to make unforgettable fashion statements wherever you go.
So now we can’t wait to go to parties, the club, and see the GIGIs driving the polo shirt crazy.
Go on, call/ whatsapp us on +233243766202 or +233244827003 to place your orders. Or simply send us a message on our Facebook/ Instagram (@WEARGhana) page or website: http://www.wearghana.com.
PHOTO AND INFO: Wear Ghana

CHILD AND FAMILY WELFARE POLICY WORKSHOP IN TAMALE BY MINISTRY OF GENDER CHILDREN AND SOCIAL PROTECTION IN COLLABORATION WITH UNICEF

A workshop on Child and Family Welfare Policy was held in Tamale yesterday by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection at the Tamale Sports Stadium on May 24, 2016. The workshop which was supposed to start at 9am started around 10: 30am. The workshop  was chaired by Naa Bukari Andani.  Presentations  were made by Sylvester Kyei-Gyamfi and Chris Lartey on the policy, Child Protection Baseline \research Summary Report and Operational Plan 2016-2020 for the Implementation of the Child and Family Welfare Policy. Chris Lartey made mention of the fact that the policy was made solely for the Ghanaian and will not be implementable in other countries because they studied the Ghanaian culture and made the policy purposely for Ghana.

Speaking on the policy, the representative of UNICEF stressed that marrying the formal and informal to work on prevention instead of cure is the better option in all policies. Naa Andani advised all to make child upbringing a shared responsibility so as not to neglect our culture. He added that neglect can be attributed to poverty, ignorance and indifference and hoped the policy will be implementable to help all concerned.

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Representative pf UNICEF giving her speech.DSC00425 DSC00426 DSC00427 DSC00428 DSC00429 DSC00430 DSC00431 DSC00432 DSC00433 DSC00434 DSC00435 DSC00436 DSC00437 DSC00438 DSC00439 DSC00440 DSC00441 DSC00442 DSC00444 DSC00445 DSC00446 DSC00447 DSC00448 DSC00449 DSC00450 DSC00451 DSC00452 DSC00453 DSC00454 DSC00455 DSC00456 DSC00457 DSC00458

Cross section of participants during the presentations.DSC00459 DSC00460 DSC00461 DSC00462 DSC00463 DSC00464

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The Child and Family Welfare Policy Booklet in pictures.

The workshop was okay in my opinion considering the fact that persons with disabilities were not giving any form of representation. The organisers claim they invited them but none turned up. I think they could have done more to see to it that they represented to make the dissemination of the policy easy in that sector. Even the students who represented were from just two institutions; Tamale Senior High School and Ghana Senior High School all in Tamale. No other students represented. To top it, every student was giving fifty Ghana Cedis which I think was not necessary. These students were brought by their institutions and so that money for the transportation could have been given to their institutions to help organise workshops to educate their institutions since those who represented were just few.

One would have thought that participants will be varied but the turn up was just too low in my opinion. All in all, the food was good, snack was okay and the day one of the three day workshop closed in normal success.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

Why Mothers are Golden while Fathers Struggle for Bronze

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A mother is someone who can never be forgotten in life. She is the first point of contact, one who agrees to make her body a home for the vulnerable to grow through nausea, fever, weakness and all the pain associated with pregnancy. She is prepared to go through the most painful ordeal to see to one’s birth. There is nothing that beats this gesture. It is a worldwide thing. I would now zoom into my comfort zone and talk about mothers in Africa, specifically Ghana.

Most people celebrate their mothers in Ghana because of many reasons. Even mothers who are housewives are preferred to bread winning fathers simply because the mothers suffer to get most of the things the children need. It is a customary law that women thank the fathers of their children no matter how small they contribute for their upkeep.

So no matter how much a woman invests in her children, the little the man brings supersedes hers and she is expected to thank the man profoundly for it. According to elders, that is to show respect and sustain the interest of the man in his children. Imagine a woman who feels the pain of neglect and the horror of going through all the hurdles to take care of her children having to bow or kneel to a man who does absolutely next to nothing for the children. The humiliation and bitterness that must be swallowed is nothing that needs to be taken lightly. So their children see, sympathise with their mothers and acknowledge their sacrifices. It is very common to hear the sentence “Go to your mother” when a request is made by children to their fathers.

Again, most men abandon sickly and disabled children blaming their mothers for their state. Men are free to accuse their women of witchcraft or bad behaviour and making sure the women suffer to see the children through. And society does nothing to help such women. So such women fight their internal battles, the societal taunts, and work to keep their children well and alive. Why won’t they get the most part of the love?

Also, children depend on their mothers for almost everything; from their meals, to their clothes, fees and emotional healing. The father, if he is so at post, just comes from work; if he has any, and sits with his legs crossed waiting to be fed and pampered until his bed calls. After toiling the whole day to get the house to work well, the woman readily helps her husband without complaints. Why won’t mothers be gold while fathers struggle for bronze?

The modern Africa even makes the suffering of mothers more obvious. Women who have their own vocations are left to take care of the financial, educational, social welfare of the children, while men go around planting their seeds like reckless farmers. So a child will only be told of the existence of his uncaring father or see him in passing. Why will such a child feel anything more than a passing gratitude for such a father?

Also, most men, because of their greed, seek more wives with the aid of traditions and religious quotations which they interpret to suit themselves. In a polygamous relationship, it behoves on the mother to ensure the safety and security of her children. The man, with divided attention, cannot attend to most needs of the children. Most times, some men get more wives with limited financial resources. In such cases, the men flee in times of trouble leaving all the burdens on their women. Children are future adults and see all these things and come to understand who loves enough and who is there for being there sake. They hold the former like their egg and give the latter taste of their own medicine. Who can blame them?

It is mostly men who are capable of disappointing most families big time; running away, becoming alcoholics, asking for divorce, maltreating their women, etc. I am not saying that women do not do these things but those women are few. Need I add that statements like “Have you seen chicks following a cock before?” makes it justifiable for a mother to be pampered.

A mother does it all, feels the pain of her children, prays always for their welfare, will let go of her dignity and pride just to make sure her children are alright. Many are those who sell their valuables just to make sure their children are safe and well, in school or well settled. Their endurance and faith know no bounds. In short, children are the heartbeats of their mothers, and they are ready to die for them at any time. I know there are few bad nuts, but mothers in Africa will rule in the kingdom of their children for as long as things remain the way they are. Mothers all over the world will rule no matter how bad they are because nothing beats the pain of childbirth.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

Photo Credit: Samuel Owusu Sefa

THE 2016 WA WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS WALK IN GHANA

Headed by the indefatigable and hardworking Randy Sedem Agbodo and supported by Charity Batuure; the Autism Help Foundation got the full backing of the Wa School for the Deaf’s section of neuro disorders and the walk came off in the morning at exactly 9am.
Some members of the community joined to lend their support to the children as they celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, 2016.

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The Wa walk was also a huge success. Thanks to all stakeholders concerned.

2016 WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS WALK IN YENDI BY AUTISM HELP FOUNDATION IN GHANA

April 2 of every year is World Autism Awareness Day and to commemorate this day, Autism Help Foundation organised walks in two regions, Northern and Upper West and partnered the Autism Ambassadors of Ghana to walk in Accra. The Yendi walk, with the pupils of Yumba Special School and Portia Dery’s African Youth Writers Organisation members, started around 11:00am as the rains made travelling from Tamale to Yendi a hurdle. Thankfully, the Yendi Police Commander made sure our escorts were ready by the time we reached there.

Protected by five strong escorts, we started off at the palace of Kampakuya Naa Yakubu Abdulai, the Regent of Yendi who gave his blessings days before the walk. We spoke to many people, enlightened many whose idea of people with neuro disorders ranged from evil to spirits to witches in rivalry. We were thankful most of them confessed they had learnt to keep them alive.

Enjoy some of the pictures.

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AHF WALK 2016
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AHF YENDI WALK 2016

 

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Great thanks goes to Autism Society of Ghana who supported this project, Nana Awere Damoah, Alexer, Mash Cudjoe, Portia Dery, Ruka Yaro, teachers of the Yumba Special School, and all the volunteers. And to the AHF team and its chairship, I say Ayekooo!!!

AUTISM AWARENESS WALKS BY THE AUTISM HELP FOUNDATION

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April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day and for 2016, Autism Help Foundation is celebrating in style. It will start with us partnering the Autism Ambassadors of Ghana and other schools and associations in Accra on Saturday April 2, 2016
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Then the Autism Help Foundation will move Yendi with Kampakuya Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani to raise awareness of autism on the same April 2, 2016.
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We move in Wa the same day raising awareness with the Wa School for the Deaf.

SADA’S 20th Ghana International Trade Fair in Tamale

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) arranged with the Ghana Trade Fair Authority to host the 20th edition of the fair in Tamale at the Tamale Sports Stadium. The fair is on the theme “Two Decades of International Trade Fairs in Ghana: Exploring Business Opportunities in the SADA Zone of Ghana”, seek to harness the vast investment potentials in the Savannah Ecological Zone. The fair started from February 25, 2016 and will end on March 7, 2016. Amoafowaa passed by on March 29, 2016 and with the help of Wofa Kojo Kwarteng captured sheds which caught her attention and asked those available about their businesses.

IMG_0807 This is Vision Farms started by Mr. Alhassan Bafara Ibrahim. They own over 20,000 birds and train communities for poverty reduction through rearing. So they register, train those interested in basic handling of the birds. They then supply them with 10 birds. As they grow, they take 30% of the proceeds. They can be contacted on +233205356509.
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IMG_0816 This is the Baaru and Sons Xylophone Learning Centre which is located in Laura led by Samuel Saaku Baaru. They teach how to play and manufacture xylophones. They also sell and export mostly to Argentina. You can call them on +233208917027.

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The B-diet Tom Brown started on large scale in November but prior to that, it was just just produced for home consumption and sharing to the needy. The interest of people inspired the large scale production. The CEO, Mr. Charles Atia said he had thought of a way of earning income, creating job opportunities for the youth and helping in the reduction of high incidence of malnutrition in the north. As part of the third objective, he tried to make it affordable so that people with low income can afford it as they have the high risk of having malnourished children. To be able to reach these people, they go round to meet the people to talk to them and encourage them to buy some for their household as a substitute for porridge which is mainly carbohydrate. B-Diet Tom Brown has Fonio, soya beans, ground nuts and yellow maize which are nutritious cereals and legumes. Currently, there are young people who come for the product to sell for income and are saving to be able to pay their school fees. Their contact +233201658401.IMG_0825

This is the Jamilullah Farms is owned by the pretty Ruka Yaro. She owns close to a thousand birds. Her farms is in Tamale. Her contact is +233244128734.

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Many smock sheds abound at the fair.IMG_0689

Little Beginnings is a Trust Foundation whose president is Ms. Priscilla Akoto Bamfo. She started by visiting orphanages, that is, the Osu Children’s Home in Accra, Nhyonni Children’s Home in Tamale to play with them and teach them the fun ways of learning. Nowit is opened as a reading centre for children from Kindergarten to class six on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm . Their main objective is to inculcate values in children using books and stories as a tool with the hope that they will practice in growth.

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Local jewellery on displayIMG_0741Bafafa Foods represents

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Agape Moringa Products produces herbal soaps, hair and skin pomades. Their main ingredient is the Moringa Leaves.
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Might fm, 90.5 Mhz also has a shed at the fair. According to the Accounts Manager, it is to showcase their ability as a renowned broadcasting house. It is also an assemblage of potential media partners and also it is the opportunity to meet and profile themselves to see the possibility of coming together to work. Their contact is +233208222060
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All these products are made in Ghana. The clothes, sandals, beads. Craft is something that Ghanaians are blessed with.

Trade Fair Ghana 2016

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Vek Jah Enterprise’s products include pure honey from Damongo, and Pure Groundnut Paste and Jomi (she explained that Jomi is derived from fire- “ejo” and oil- “emi” in effect, Jomi means oil from fire). They can be found in Northern Ghana, Tamale. Their contact is +233208293782IMG_0768
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Blessed Elinam Enterprise makes clothes, bags, tie and dye, Madam Elinam says she does all these by herself and is looking for investors to produce on large scale. Her contact is +233244592018.IMG_0771

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Students of Tamale Polytechnic represents showcasing various crafts which are such delight to watch. This particular one is a water fountain made by a student called Shiraz Abdul Razak. What is in the earthenware is a pump which pumps the water up and down. He is looking to produce on large scale when he gets an investor. He can be contacted on +233240399926.

 

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These were made by two female students; Ahmed Zainab and Asantewaa Appiah Irene who graduated on 2015 from the Tamale Polytechnic.

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IMG_0777 This is an electrical solar amplifier made by Alhassan Abdul Jalilu who needs investors to perfect it. I must say it was very clear and its loudness is in tune with international standards. He can be contacted on +233245735715
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This is a bamboo bicycle made by a student of Tamale Polytechnic

IMG_0790 The photographer for the day Wofa Kofi Kwarteng took a ride to test it, and it worked perfectly.
IMG_0793 Auxano makes pomade from shea butter.
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Some noticeable art
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Cool locally made soya milk. Was very tasty.
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This is Awontiirim Calabash and Wood Art. According to the sales woman, it is a family business which was started by their grandfather but perfected by their uncle. Now everyone in the family does it. Their contact is +233242068626.

There were many sheds which amoafowaa could not cover because of time.

Photo Credit: Wofa Kojo Kwarteng.

Health Screening for People with Neuro Disorders in Four Regions of Ghana slated for March 7, 2016

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The Autism help foundation has among its objectives the need to create awareness of people living with neuro disorders not only in Accra but in every corner of the country. That is why it is organising a health screening for these special people with the the aim of getting their numerical data. The screening comes off on March 7, 2016. The screening,  backed by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts will be held in Greater Accra (at the Art Centre), Ashanti (Art Centre and Baffowaa Spot),  Northern (Art Centre) and Upper West Regions (Wa School for the Deaf). It will be the first of the series of screening which aims at total nationwide coverage for numerical data.
For sponsorship please contact the President Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia or the National Secretary Sylvanus Bedzrah on Facebook or call +233-502-097-571.
Be bold enough to care for people with neuro disabilities in cash or kind.

FURTHER UPDATE ON BUS BRANDING CASE 22ND FEBRUARY, 2016

 On Monday 22nd February, 2016, the case involving the seven citizens and the Ministry of Transport and the Attorney General was called for the first time in court. Court proceedings took place at the Human Rights Court 2, Accra. The Respondents (that is the Minister of Transport and the Attorney General) had failed to file an affidavit in opposition to the substantive application for enforcement of human rights within the stipulated time provided by the rules of court. Thus the Applicant filed for the matter to be set down for hearing today.
In court, the judge informed counsel for the Applicants that the Respondents had just filed an affidavit in opposition dated 19th February, 2016. Further that in the affidavit in opposition, the Respondents had raised a preliminary legal objection as to the procedure for the commencement of the action. Consequently the learned judge directed that both counsel address the court on the preliminary legal objection by filing legal arguments. The case was adjourned to 9th March, 2016 for continuation.

For those at sea, on 22 December, 2015, a group of civic minded citizens in collaboration with the legal team of the CitizenGhana Movement sued the Minister of Transport and the Attorney General on the GHC3.6million Smartys Bus Branding Scandal. The suit, numbered HR/0037/2015 was commenced at the Human Rights Court essentially for an enforcement of the fundamental right to information under Article 21(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

An official search conducted at the registry of the honourable court revealed that although the processes were served on both the Ministry of Transport and the Attorney General on 23 December 2015, as at 28th January, 2016, neither of them had filed any reaction to the application by these citizens.

Photo Credit myjoyonline.com

Information by Francis Kennedy Ocloo

ONE OF THE BEST PROGRAMMES GHANA HAS SEEN YET: CELEBRITY FANZONE GH

 

Programmes on television networks are supposed to be fun, educating, entertaining and lively and I am glad to say that Celebrity Fanzone GH hosted by Jessica Opare Saforo and two positively opinionated ladies; Chantelle Asante and Akosua Hanson, is one such programme. I was so glad watching it last weekend because it is difficult to come by such a lovely and decent programme on air these days. Celebrity Fanzone focuses on a panel of three female co-hosts, tasked with discussing a variety of current, lifestyle and entertainment issues with one other guest host. The programme airs on Viasat 1 at 9:00pm every Saturday and repeated again on Wednesday at midday. Last week, they touched on three important current events. They touched on the death of Hon. J. B. Danquah, the National Media Commission’s press statement against the tasteless feud between Valentina and Hon. Kennedy Agyapong  and the tragic killing of two brothers; Francis Gbeneh, 33 and Timothy Gbeney, 28 by the police.

I loved the fresh perspective on the Valentine-Agyapong feud where the honourable minister was made aware of his “dishonourable” conduct and Valentina (Afia Schwarzenegger) was described as she really is; the sharp tongued journalist that almost all media networks seek.I also applauded Akosua when she brought in the fact that most men try to step on women using their sexuality during misunderstandings. As I always say, all men are born of women so must respect women as such and Hon. Agyapong’s threat of exposing nude pictures of her was totally uncalled for. I think there was no need for Hon. Agyapong to even respond to Valentina’s taunts. The woman is an acclaimed comical figure and no one would have given it a second thought if he had brushed it off. On this note, I ask that Hon. Agyapong gets a PRO to speak for him in all cases. He should not take up the task of defending himself when pushed to the wall.

I loved the fact that Jessica questioned why Valentina was not sanctioned after an error like that and the question as to whether it is okay for the National Media Commission (NMC) to JUST speak against the act. I could hear the unasked question “Can’t the NMC do more?” I call on The Chairman for the NMC, Mr. Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng to do more to bring decorum into the media spectrum.

I must also commend the love mood to evoked for the Pre-Valentine Celebration. Seeing Chantelle Hyper for love was very refreshing. Seeing Jessica excited was also very refreshing. The way they carry themselves on stage, their flawless eloquency, their beautiful dressing really make the programme one to watch. In all, Celebrity Fanzone Gh is a programme which gets my vote when it comes to all the positivity that television must bring. Follow them on Facebook on Celebrity Fanzone Gh.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

Pictures from Celebrity Fanzone Timeline on Facebook.

No Sweetness Here by Ama Ata Aidoo NOT Fit for Study as Core Literature Textbook

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The book No Sweetness Here and Other Stories by Ama Atta Aidoo is an anthology of short stories heavily embedded in transliterations with varied thematic concerns. It is a book that needs higher minds to read, understand and appreciate. I was baffled when it was approved by the Ghana Education Service as a core text for the study of literature in senior high schools in Ghana; a core text! Not an elective text!

At first I thought I was paranoid until my colleague teachers and other English teachers I came into contact with complained about the fact that the text was not a readable text for core study and the students themselves brought their sad opinions. In their own words “The book’s title is an exact reflection of its content Madam” Students of core Literature are mostly students who need exciting books, straightforward books with searchable thematic concerns in order to understand the ways of literature and get familiar with the use of the literary terms.

From Everything Counts to The Message right through to Other Versions are punishment for these beginners. Many are those who suspect foul in the selection. This is no Grief Child or Ancestral Sacrifice?

I call for those who approved this text to read the content and come up with another book. They can make it an elective text as those students study deep into literature and can understand. As a core text, it is not only a punishment to students but to teachers as well as we have to find ways of getting weak readers interested in such a text. We are in Ghana where a teacher teaches over 250 students in a term. What can we do if we have to chase most of these students to read? Let’s put into consideration the fact that the prose text is just a little fraction of the things to be taught.

The Ghana Education Service must look seriously into this and rectify the error if it is. If it is not, then they should come out with the criteria they used in selecting this book in particular, that is, if it is not to give purchase to the known writer or a battle of publishers and bids. Let us consider the students who will be affected by the study of such a text. Let us also consider the fact that we do not have a reading generation and the many people trying to inculcate the habit of reading in today’s youth. At least, let the children read stories that will lead them to uncover the gateway to life’s beauties not stories which they will be coaxed or punished to read. Textbooks are read by sizes of the mind. God bless our homeland Ghana.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

 

New Toys: Time to Face Reality

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Often times, when people fall in and out of love, they tend to appreciate the theory that the beginning of every love relationship is beautiful but fail to appreciate that notion in all the things we have and do. Except in few cases, I believe that every beginning has a beautiful twist.

Remember the first time you bought your phone or were given a phone? If it really was the phone you wished for, how was the feeling? Were you able to leave it out of sight for long hours, no, even minutes? What about your car? (For those who own them) What about your house? Rented or built, even petty things like plates and bowls for eating, clothes and shoes? All new things attract and gain attention, unless of course, they have better competitors but you find them with the scrap dealers once they have outlived their trends.

I believe the human is born to be enthused about new beginnings and unless its discipline is highly activated, discard whatever when time grows on them. Even new plants are pampered and protected only to be left to fend for itself when it gains strong roots. That is why visitors are mostly treated with love, served, pampered in the beginning only to be ignored and or abhorred in the end.

If we really understand this theory, I believe we will limit our expectations of each other and save ourselves much hurts. As you peel oranges, suck their juices and throw out their seeds and their backs without caring where they end up, so must you see that some humans will treat you the same way, some humans will be treated that same way by you, and the cycle will continue until time stops.

I believe everything is a teacher in life, everything we do and so we must learn from them to maintain our sanities.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

 

Bedbugs in Boarding Schools

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When I first heard of the Ghana government’s initiative to give free mattresses to boarders in senior high schools, my first reaction was that of shock. I asked myself why a government which could barely pay for the feeding grants for the Northern Scholarship Initiative could be so extravagant as to bother to duplicate mattresses for students. I was preparing to write an article to air my views when bedbug infestation plagued our school.

We saw it on our girls; their skins showed bites and others had scratches and sores on their bodies. Then the boys started complaining too as some teachers felt the pinches of their presence. The management of the school acted as fast as they could and brought in a fumigator for fumigation. Even the fumigation, which was very costly, did no good. Then I saw the sense in the giving of the new students mattresses but it held a flaw, because then, beds must be changed, chop boxes and trunks must also be changed right up to the boxer shorts and panties of students for complete clearance.

What I find difficult to understand is why these insects breakout in almost all schools each term. Some claim it is always from the girls’ dormitories because the girls eat like fowls, and the crumbs from their foods breed these insects. Well, I know they do but I also do know boys also hide foods to eat at night.

Also, it is clearly evident that these bed bugs are mostly seen during inter zonal sporting activities where most schools come together to compete. So obviously, schools who are affected spread it to the other host schools and other visiting schools who in turn send them to their schools. Even day students risk sending them to their homes because they sit with the boarders in their classes.

It is a fact that these insects breed in corners and places difficult to reach. It is also true that they are difficult to kill. Wherever humans are, they multiply in great fold. Reading on bedbugs, I came across this site http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bedbugs/page2_em.htm

Causes of Bedbug Infestations

Bedbugs are found in temperate and tropical climates worldwide. They are most commonly found in living quarters where their host resides. Bedbugs generally hide in the seams and crevices of mattresses and box springs, bed frames, headboards, old furniture, and in spaces underneath baseboards or behind loose wallpaper. Clutter and disarray also provide additional hiding places for bedbugs. Bedbugs may be transported from one location to another via luggage, furniture, clothing, and used mattresses. Although they are often associated with unsanitary living conditions, bedbug infestations also occur in clean, well-maintained living quarters, including five-star hotels and resorts. Bedbug infestations have been increasingly reported in hotels, dormitories, homes, apartments, nursing homes, jails, and hospitals. There have been several cases in the U.S. involving litigation because of bedbug infestations.

Prior to World War II, bedbug infestations were common; however, after the widespread introduction of the use of the insecticide DDT in the mid-20th century, bedbug infestations became much less common. The recent resurgence in bedbug infestations worldwide is thought to be related to several different factors, including the increase in international travel, dense urban living conditions, insecticide resistance, and new, ineffective pest-control measures.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of a bedbug bite are usually mild when present, and often individuals will not experience any symptoms at all. Bedbug bites can occur on any exposed part of the body, with the face, neck, arms, and hands being areas commonly affected. The signs and symptoms can appear from minutes to days after the initial bite. Affected individuals will usually complain of localized itching and reddish-colored skin lesions, which may look like a flat welt or a raised bump. Sometimes, the lesions can be found in clusters or in a linear pattern. Typically, these skin lesions will go away after one to two weeks.

Individuals who experience repeated bites over time may have more pronounced symptoms. Some people may also develop scarring or a skin infection from intense scratching of the skin. Rarely, a more severe systemic allergic reaction to a bedbug bite may develop. Some individuals may develop insomnia andanxiety from serious or repeated bedbug infestations.

When to Seek Medical Care

The vast majority of the time, bedbug bites can be managed at home. However, if someone begins to experience any of the following symptoms, consult a health-care professional or go to the nearest emergency department:

This was a very enlightening read so I thought to share. I hope the education sector finds a way to battle this so students will be safe in their rooms instead of fleeing to sleep outside to be bitten by snakes and other harmful animals.

(Photo Credit: http://www.bedbugs.org/pictures/)

 

ROMANCING CHRISTMAS, SEBITICALLY

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This is one programme you can’t afford to miss. “We’d be thrilled if you would join an intimate convergence of Accra’s tastemakers in an encounter of sizzling literature, GH humour & yuletide cheer as the kitchen at PaJohn’s titillate your palate with gastronomic delights decadently drenched in spirits and local spices… all for just ghC90 per person & ghC160 per couple.

5pm . Monday, December 28, 2015

PaJohn’s …the capital’s secluded destination for avant-garde lounging & dining
No. 1, 2nd Kade Close, Kanda Estates, Accra.

RSVP
0244704250 . 0264339066
0244697046 . 0266203828”
It is a night full of “sebitical promises”

THE LAUNCH OF THE AUTISM SOCIETY OF GHANA (ASOG)

Today, December 22, 2015, at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra, there will be a launch of the Autism Society of Ghana (ASOG). It will start at 10am and it is aimed at creating awareness,  sharing knowledge and support for persons affected by autism.
The guest speaker will be the Honourable Dzifa Gomashie (Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts) and guest of honour will be Prof. Gladys Amponsah who is the Past President of West Africa College of surgeons. Please be there to lend your support. All are invited.

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MAGNETIC ATTRACTION

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You seem like my negative
When I am draped in postive
And you are like my positive
When I am immersed in negation
What is this force pulling us like strings on puppets?
What at all is this electrification so magnified?
At this rate, none dares to touch
Who will dare?
Breathes are too potent aphrodisiacs
Words are too surrealistic  dripping in combustion
Legs are too heavy like sticks carrying mountains
Oh God!
This is a mind fraud!
Even silly chewings are magnetified
Mere moments are mythically mystical
Darkness hoards some expectations of freedom and boldness to wear naught
What is this?
Stuck in the air like fairies unknown by sin
We’ve lost our minds
We’ve forgotten fear
Forgotten the hardness of the earth ignored
We are aliens under cupid’s extreme spell
A spell so dense
Hope the fisherman who feeds us in this sea net
Won’t starve us to death at the shore
Hoping to swallow us as his conquests
Won’t we be too pitiful then?
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

Lectures on the Use of the Mother Tongue as Medium of Instruction in Lower Primary by the Bureau of Ghana Languages

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It is a fact that culture is heavily dependent on language. If we lose our language which is a core part of our identity, then we lose our culture. Language must not be taken for granted neither must it be heavily adulterated. Some countries like Korea, China, Russia but to mention a few, have been able to break to maintain their languages nationally and internationally. A developing country like ours need to take steps in ensuring that we get there one day. It is in view of this that the Bureau of Ghana Languages, Tamale, is organising a public lecture on Friday, November 20, 2015 on the following topics

 

  1. The use of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction in our lower primary schools; merits and demerits.

BY; Prof. Apusigah Atia. Dean , Faculty of Education – University for Development Studies Tamale.

  1. The importance of the mother tongue in Education

By; Alhaji Iddrisu Adam. A retired educationist and former                                               Mayor of Tamale Metro

  1. The Essence of the mother tongue in a middle income Ghana.

By; Mr. Issahaku Alhassan , Lecturer University of Education, Winneba.

Again it is happening on

 FRIDAY,   NOVEMBER 20, 2015

VENUE :   ASSEMBLY HALL – TAMALE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL (TAMASCO)

TIME : 3:00 PM PROMPT – 5:00 PM

Come, listen, contribute and help make a gateway to help in national development.

The First Outreach of the Autism Help Foundation: A Date with Pupils of the Yumba Special School

It started as a fantasy, to help create awareness of people with neuro disorders across the lengths and breath of Ghana, starting from the northern region. Now it is a reality, one that has gotten the attention of many including the Northern Regional Minister, Directors of Education, Lecturers and the general public. It took place at the Yumba Special School on October 8, 2015 with the abled Tamale team: Mr. Charles Atia; Co-founder, Mrs. Afia Larbi; Member of the Executive board, Zubaida Isma-eel; Northern Regional PRO for the project and Programmes Coordinator, Miss Adeline Zin-yen Nyabu; Workshop Coordinator, Abdul Swalihu Zaapayim; Member of the Organizing Team, Member of the Organizing Team.

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Some students of University for Development Studies represented with their lecturer who has an interest in inclusive education
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Inspecting the new bungalows being put up for the teachers thanks to the Regional Minister.DSC00220  DSC00221 DSC00222  DSC00223DSC00123 - Copy - Copy - Copy (2)   DSC00131 - Copy  DSC00131  DSC00158 - Copy - Copy (2)

There are mostly those times we faced some tormenting moments of seizures, but we sailed through quietly withing a few minutes.DSC00158DSC00159 - Copy  DSC00160 - Copy  DSC00160  DSC00161 - Copy      DSC00162  DSC00163 - Copy   DSC00163  DSC00164DSC00165 - Copy  DSC00165DSC00166 - Copy  DSC00167  DSC00168  DSC00169  DSC00170  DSC00171    DSC00173   DSC00174  DSC00175  DSC00176  DSC00177  DSC00178  DSC00179   DSC00180

There were dancers among them who really entertained us. DSC00186  DSC00189    DSC00190  DSC00191  DSC00192  DSC00193  DSC00194  DSC00195  DSC00196  DSC00198  DSC00199  DSC00200

The Northern Regional Minister on their exhibitionDSC00204  DSC00206

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The talented children weaving their foot-matsDSC00209DSC00221        DSC00222DSC00223

DSC00224      DSC00225Some dancing time.DSCF7091  DSCF7092 Puzzle time as I tried to make meaning from the priceless conversation.DSCF7093  DSCF7094DSCF7095 DSCF7096DSCF7097 DSCF7098DSCF7100 DSCF7101

Their beautiful crafts were exhibited and were well patronisedDSCF7102DSCF7103 DSCF7104DSCF7105DSCF7107DSCF7109  DSCF7110DSCF7111 DSCF7120 DSCF7121 DSCF7122DSCF7140 DSCF7141 DSCF7142 DSCF7143DSCF7153  DSCF7152

The great team who worked so hard to see to the organisation of this outreach in the north.

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The main purpose for this outreach was to create awareness in the northern region and to spend quality time with the children to make them feel as special as they are. Here i the north, most of these children are silently murdered only to be heard of as rumours later. Althout it is done in most parts of the country, up here in the north, it seems worse as even children with cleft palate are rumoured to be called tilapia and are silently eliminated. Our hope is to make every one aware of the very fact that they are humans with dreams and aspirations as all of us. We were able to achieve this thanks to our team and our bigger team among whom are Hon. Dzifa Gomashie, Mr. Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, who was part of the sponsors, Mr. Alfred Kpodo, Kwabena Gyamfi, Yaa Asabea Asihene, Juvian Osei Bonsu, Shirley Banafoe, Patrick Kofi Marfo, Charity Batuure, Joshua Alhassan Gariba, Philip Sarpong, Sylvanus Bedzrah and Sandra Sefa. A donation was made by the Regional Minister to the headmistress for school materials for the children.

Ghanaian Judges are Corrupt: So You Turn Judge?

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Since the scandal of judges in Ghana broke out, I have been quiet, following the public outcry of unfairness, following the mocks of many people around the world and reading most of the things people write. I have watched the ridiculous moves of some lawyers to help free their colleagues from the scandal. Well, who can blame them? Isn’t there a proverb that “When you see your neighbour’s beard catch fire, make sure water is close to yours?” Well maybe they have added conniving benevolence in order to eliminate the threat of being next in the cameras to avoid being sold in the criminal light.

Yes, judges were caught on tape receiving bribes, and tampering with judgments, setting free the guilty and shaming or jailing those who have been wronged, big deal? In some way it is a big deal. For the “Justice” part to be shown in this very flawed realm in a country whose motto reads “Freedom and Justice”, many tongues will begin to wag on the authenticity of our claim that we revere and practice justice, and freedom automatically falls, because we know freedom goes hand in hand with justice. Suddenly we see the many stains on the previously presented white cloth of justice presented to be untainted. It is problematic. It means we no more have a valid motto because the few who passed the test will still not make it right.

It is a big deal when lawyers rise because judges are involved while they hailed this same Anas for uncovering children being molested in children’s homes, for uncovering corrupt customs officials among others. I will give them a route; none prepares food and goes hungry, so because they interpret the laws, they must find ways of interpreting their ways out. A doctor who gets wounded will try to clean his or her wounds and maybe inject himself to heal. Yes, Anas tempted the judges, both parties are wrong, but here he had a cause to give the bribe; to see if Ghanaians are being treated fairly. I believe good morals are inherent and no matter how temptations rain, if you are good, you are good, nothing can dissuade you. That explains why some of the judges came out clean.

That said, I turn my attention to we the un-certificated judges of the judges turned criminals. Who has the right to judge these fallen judges? If you drink water, and throw its sachet anywhere, you are not worthy to judge anyone. If you are a policeman who takes bribes, you are not worthy to judge anyone. If you are a teacher who do not honour his or her lessons, you are not fit to judge anyone. If you are a driver who do not obey traffic rules and regulations, drinks, you are not eligible to judge anyone. If you go to work any time you feel like because government lacks the necessary supervision for public and civil workers, you are not worthy to judge anyone. If you are a journalist who receive bribe for propaganda, you have no rights at all to judge anyone, if you take tolls and pocket some, trust me; you are in no position to judge anyone.  If you are one who ease himself by the shores of any water body, you have no rights to judge. If you look on indifferently as others err, you have no rights to judge. The list goes on.

Whatever wrong you do, no matter how small it is, no matter how properly concealed it is, trust me, judge yourself before judging others. Instead of crying foul, work in contributing your quota to national development. Yes, it is bad, it is really unfair, it is really scary for judges to act this way, but some are still on their feet working without bending any laws, what are you doing to help your nation instead of blabbering? Let all consciences turn Anas, wearing scary masks and pricking at every wrong thing we do. Only the discipline to heed to this call for change will help us raise our flag high.

God bless us all!

God bless mother Ghana!!!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

 

Portia Dery’s Funky Read-Write Clinic

Portia Dery is a young writer making waves in Ghana. She won the Golden Baobab Award for Children’s Literature and she is the main brain behind this writing clinic which will start on Saturday, 20th June 2015 from 9am to 10:30am at the Children’s Library, Tamale.

 

 

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The funky ReadWrite clinic is an intensive incubator grooming clinic that lures children to read and write through play activities/games, AYWO’s curriculum and technology.  The aim of this clinic is to groom children to pick up pleasure reading and creative writing as quality leisure activities hence in the long run making them avid readers and prolific writers.

The Funky ReadWrite Clinic has two key distinctive features;

  • A funky reading clinic where children are exposed to a wide variety of books. Children are taken through an exciting journey of reading via play activities/games and technology.
  • A mentoring creative writing clinic which systematically stimulate the imagination of children. Here, creative writing is used as a therapeutic tool to help children open up, be confident and become more vocal about their emotions. Children are taken through intensive writing courses and also mentored by top African writers around the world via online programs.

 

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Why the need for this?

Ghana’s educational system has undervalued the importance of pleasure reading and creative writing for children in schools. Over the years emphasis has been on ‘text book’ education and story books have been subtly pushed to the back.

 Children are constantly reminded, “you must read to pass your exams!” as a stern warning making most children view reading and writing as ‘ a dreaded monster.’ Thus, reading and writing is often promoted as a means to an end, which is for exams only. Hence children miss the opportunity to explore and stimulate their creative minds.

The above worsens the already high illiteracy among children. UNESCO clearly says that more children are illiterate in world’s poorest countries than believed.

Although a national problem in Ghana the situation is worse in the northern region of Ghana. For instance, whiles the rate of illiteracy in the Greater Accra Region  is 21% Ashanti  40%, 54% in the Brong Ahafo Region, it rises to an alarming  76% in the three Northern regions(http://tadmi.org/)  

 

 

 

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Why are beneficiaries  children from deprived communities?
   Children in deprived communities have no access to good schools with good educational facilities. These children are usually very timid, less vocal, their reading and writing abilities are low and therefore find it extremely difficult to understand their lessons in the classroom.

 Their parents earn below the minimum wage hence would never be able to afford extra reading & writing lessons or buy enhanced reading materials.

 

SELECTION process

 17 school children are selected from 4 schools within 4 deprived communities; they would be groomed in this intensive clinic for 4-5months.   After which the second batch will be enrolled.

These children would become reading ambassadors and change agents for their schools and communities

 There is a local proverb which is best transliterated “he who climbs a good tree deserves to be pushed”. Let’s show our support in sponsorships and show up in our numbers to help train some children to love reading so as to impact positively their peers.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

STILL ON THE YUMBA MISSION

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We are still on the mission to fence the Yumba Special School to keep the students safe. All donations are welcome. I can’t imagine my child lost in some thorny forest, hungry and afraid. Special kids at Yumba knows no boundaries and so we must create a boundary for them to be safe. We have had some donations so far and are still waiting for more to move on.
Donations so far:
Anonymous: 500 cedis
Williams Nana Kyei: 200 cedis
Nana Awere Damoah: 700 cedis
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia: 200 cedis
Anonymous: 500 cedis
Mr. Charles Nornoo: 200
Ayisha Quagraine: 200
And Mr. Gyan- Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng has pledged 200 cedis.
Let’s go, you can donate even one cedi on the mtn mobile number 0249127326 or into the UT account 0041303252019, Tamale branch, account name: Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia and Abdul Muumin. We are waiting to start, join the responsible team. Please if you are abroad and needs to use international means like Paypal, please contact me; Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia on Facebook or Nana Awere Damoah and make sure your donations are published for accountability and transparency sake. Thank you and God bless you.

10 THINGS THAT MAKE ME A GHANAIAN

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Yesterday, a very good friend of mine; Sylvanus Bedzrah, nominated me to tell the world what makes me a Ghanaian. Well, I’ve thought it through and these are the things.
1. My name is Abena Amoafowaa Tawia Mansah Sefa Cecilia; Abena, a name I gained after touching the Ghanaian ground on a day ordained by God in birth. Amoafowaa, my box cum part of my surname, a name my late grandmother used to stand on three legs to mention with its appellations: Nana Amoafowaa Jemremedua! Princess of Nana Yaw Adjare of Ekona Clan. No knife must touch you lest it breaks bones of the holder, no harm must come to you, lest the harmer risk his or her family’s extinction. You are the old wise one reincarnated! You will live long!!! (Smiling at this point). Tawia, a name I earned by the sole reason that I was born after twins, Sefa; the other part of my surname. Mansah, another name earned because I am the third of females born continuously without a male. I make the “Cecilia” my last name because it was borrowed. I could legally remove it but I loved and still love the one who added that name to my list of names, plus, she is late so it is more like a deed of hers I want to live with. Legally, I am known as Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia. This is one thing that makes me a Ghanaian.

2. My palate knows grasses and weeds and alien vegetables and also knows indigenous foods like tuo zaafi, banku and okro, ampesi and “potogum hwei gum” but to mention a few. The lands produce good food and I love eating them in style, it is easy to find others calling me names like “a villager” and the rest, what sort of tag is that? Every body comes from a village, please the good food and demonstration of me eating it always, makes me a Ghanaian.

3. We can bicker like old maids, insult politicians who are accomplished as though they are slaves, hail stars and bring them down (not proud of), but many extend their hands when someone is genuinely in need. Family are sacred entities. By the end of the month, money attracts dead relatives who spring up from nowhere, but when help is needed, all hands (sometimes a few anomalies) are on deck, they are always there to show their support and love. Me giving most and receiving no cash but much love; pure or otherwise, makes me a true Ghanaian.

4. I can watch a local parody of Lil Wayne on Ghanaian screens and laugh at the laughing stock that is associated with the original. No tattoos on this one but the face, mannerisms and gestures tell tales of freedom and humour which gladdens my world. The laughter of life which echoes from me and can travel to others in an infectious manner, makes me a Ghanaian. The elephants can battle the umbrellas on the field of politics all they want, but never see the shoes of wars. Even comedians are among political aspirants allowing electorates some comic relief, my pride in most things we do making life interesting makes me a Ghanaian.

5. Whatever you teach me, I can do it to an extreme (on the good side though). So teach me to fly with wings of a hen and I will make sure I get that of an eagle. Hard work earns me the name “witch”, typical Ghanaian show of successful African women.
Kwaku Atta can date 6 women together, he can only be called Kwaku Attah the he-goat. Let me defend one of his women who has two men, and I get to be called defender of prostitutes; melody to my ears. A woman from another planet may choose to go to court for this, as for me, I know this makes me me and shows I am doing well because I am a typical Ghanaian.

6. I know no snow because the sun mostly dances in my Ghanaian sky, sometimes goes overboard, but what do I care? I get to live, feeling its massages on light clothes. I don’t need to live in hundred clothes a day. Snow can never restrict my movement. Just sponsor a trip with me inclusive abroad and you will know by my shrivelled cries that I am a true Ghanaian.

7. Celebration of excellence is the Ghanaian way. Fail and no one knows you. Be around me where writing is concerned and you will hear, “oh her? I know that girl, she is a very close friend of mine”, go abroad and let someone mention my name and you will hear one who has never seen me say; “Oh! That is my sister” That is just by the way. Everyone we respect and love has a “brother” or “sister” attached to his or her name.  Yes, sisterhood and brotherhood, that makes me a Ghanaian, so if I call you Sister Sylvia or Brother Maxwell, know it is a Ghanaian thing of love and respect..

8. So I love taking “trotro” because talking about love, life, politics makes life worthy of living. It is easier to get the biography of an unknown person or know all about the antagonist of another’s life without asking questions. People talk to people freely, known and unknown. So see me talking to someone I just met on “trotro” or in a taxi and laughing my heart out, there is no doubt that I am a Ghanaian.

9. I am a manager by default. The cost of my food alone can be 1000 cedis, school fees, hospital bills, transport cost etc not inclusive while my take home is less than 1000 cedis. Trust me, I can live through the month in perfect stride, don’t mind my “sign dan ho”, my managerial skills makes me a true Ghanaian.

10. I love the natural sights of the Kwahu Mountain, the beautiful Damongo Game Reserves, the intriguing Monkey Sanctuary, the many beautiful waterfalls, the legendary temples but to mention a few. The beauty of nature in Ghana reflects my being, ask me about the realisation of most of these serene places and I will tell you about the many hunters or farmers who chanced upon them. Trust me, that makes me a true Ghanaian.

There are many more I may share in future life if God permits. For now, I choose Nana Awere Damoah and Namerl Tagoe to tell the world ten things which make them Ghanaians.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

 

High Fees at University for Development Studies, Whose fault?

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Higher education is being sought for in Ghana and although I know that is commendable, I must say some institutions are losing focus where fees are concerned. Given that they are autonomous bodies, one would think that some institutions will look at their surroundings before billing students to encourage them to pursue their dreams but no, they inflate the fees and scare many form pursuing further studies.

University for Development Studies (UDS) has very nice objectives for its existence:

General Objectives:

This community-technical interface is aimed at:

  • Promoting active and constructive interactions of both students and staff with the local communities to facilitate socio-economic transformation;
  • Exposing both students and lecturers, practically, to the nexus of development problems of deprived communities in Ghana and particularly in Northern Ghana;
  • Fostering favorable attitudes in students towards working in Deprived communities;
  • Supporting the District Assemblies, Local communities and other development actors to implement and sustain the government’s decentralization and other pro-poor programmes;
  • Placing the University in a better position to provide useful services through the exchange of knowledge and its application to address the intractable development needs and aspirations of these communities;
  • Informing the ongoing research, teaching and learning activities of the University, which are designed to meet the development needs of local communities.

So with all these fine outlinings, why will a course that cost about four thousand cedis in insttutions that tasted salt fifty years before UDS saw the light, cost six thousand cedis there? Now it cost almost 6000 cedis to offer two semesters of post graduate programme in UDS. My question is; where will the average Ghanaian with many dependants find money to offer this course? We all know education is expensive but should it be a means where many feel the pains of extortion? Again: Why will a university scattered in deprived regions cost so much? Did they really build the institution for the people to benefit?

I met many people in the interview room and was appalled to see many leaving when they received the bill. I approached one of them who said he had 1500 cedis which he thought could help pay at least half of the fees to give him enough time to find the rest. He stressed he could not pay the fees so saw no need to proceed with the interview and left.

This is pathetic and mother Ghana continues to weep. Now money gets certificate not competence because no matter how competent one is, if the person can’t raise the money for the study and qualification, then definitely, the person can run as fast as he or she can but will still be at one place.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

 

A Quest to Build a Fence Wall for the Yumba Special School; Please Support

 

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Giving is more pleasurable than receiving. The Northern Region of Ghana has only one school which caters for children with neuro-problems. Most people did not know about the school, with the help of some few others and the media here, we were able to raise the awareness. What worried me most was what the headmistress told me. She said an autistic child strayed into the bush because there was no fenced wall and it took the school authorities and the community members a whole day in looking for the poor child.

Upon the advise of Nana Awere Damoah, a father and friend, I have decided to embark on a journey to raise funds for the building of a wire fence around the school to protect the children. I estimate roughly seven thousand cedis (7000) for this erection. Nana Awere has pledged 500 cedis.

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Support to make the school a safe place for these angels. Those who wish to help can contribute into the mobile accounts 0546137073 or 0272238840.

It is my dream to leave the world I am in a better place for those I leave behind, what about you?

Those with arms of mummies

Those with shelters

Have boundaries of protection

Those with children termed sane

Sleep well even in death

Think of the fears of the unfortunate

Of the fears of those like angels

Of the fears of those who stray

Without a thought to any future way

And open your heart

Open your palms

Open to seal the protection of some

Open for peace

Open for love

Open to free the minds of fear

For humans never choose their defects

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

The World Autism Awareness Walk and Appeal in the Northern Region of Ghana 2015, a Success

It started like a dream and came to reality being crowned with success on April 25, 2015. In Ghana, many people think of children with special needs as evil, bad spirited and snakes. If the children are autistic or suffer from cerebral palsy, they are mostly sent to spiritualists who claim they send them to the spirit world, in other words, kill them. It is in this wise that Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia decided to create the awareness in partnership with the only special school in the Northern Region; the Yumba Special School, during the World Autism Awareness month in the Northern Region. Portia Mwinbeter-ib Dery and Naana Nihad Kareem really helped both financially and with the arrangement. Ibrahim Mustapher also helped tremendously. Many media partners helped, Savannah Radio, Kesmi Radio, Bishara Radio, Tawasul Community Radio and Fiila fm.

The walk took place on the 25th April 2015 and the awareness was created. Watch the walk in pictures.

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The capable police team dispatched by the police commander himself, Mr. Lovae. They really worked hard
The capable police team dispatched by the police commander himself, Mr. Lovae. They really worked hard

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It was touching when a teacher shouted “Stop killing them, they are no snakes, and this singing autistic girl asked, “Aren’t we entertaining you?” And she was, she was entertaining to just watch. SAM_4360 - Copy - Copy (4) - Copy SAM_4360 - Copy - Copy - Copy (3)


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They know no evil. SAM_4435 SAM_4434 SAM_4433 SAM_4432 SAM_4431 SAM_4428 SAM_4427

Refreshment after the walk. Even the policemen noted that the children had more stamina than the the “normal” ones. They walked ahead and enjoyed themselves as they sang and told people how human they were.SAM_4426 SAM_4425 SAM_4424 SAM_4423 SAM_4422 SAM_4421 SAM_4420 SAM_4419 SAM_4418 SAM_4417 SAM_4416 SAM_4415 SAM_4414

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At the end of the walk, the organisers realised that the Yumba Special School has been sold to the people. People were aware of its existence, as to if they understood, more work need to be put into it. It was realised that the meaning of autism and how those on the spectrum must be treated must be given orally through microphones to reach more people. In all, the World Autism Awareness Walk in the Northern Region of Ghana was a huge success being the first of its kind.

(Pictures by Amin)

THE GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE CODE OF CONDUCT, SATISFACTORY OR CONFUSING?

The school system in Ghana, to me, is flawed in many ways. So much that many teachers find themselves in weird situations which make no sense and it leaves me wondering. The code of conduct of the Ghana Education Service (GES) is, to me, not clear and does not cover many areas which wake to bite eventually. We talk of the use of mobile phones and GES does not permit its usage but children have smart phones they use crude methods in charging and it is now something no teacher can have control over.

The issue of girls barbering their hair in senior high schools, to me, does not make sense. I know there are reasons like; they needing to study, making them disrespectful, making them attract men etc. I know that many girls in private senior high schools with plaited hair are doing fine. Why must they be made to be conscious of their hair to a point of creating chaos?

As a teacher, I marvel at the trouble surrounding the hair of female students. A girl who plaited her hair and covered it with a scarf saw the senior housemistress and decided to faint for fear of being penalized. So she feigned collapse, was sent to the hospital and later told her friends she did that for fear of being punished. All that drama is not worth it.

I could say students should be “deponked” as some say but that option is not advisable in some schools. Here in northern Ghana, there is a spiritual sickness called “genes”. When they get attacked by these spirits, they go as far as threatening to kill others, harming themselves, physically assaulting others, running around like the mentally challenged etc.  This spiritual sickness is known to be sparked by the touch of their hair by others. They believe these spirits must be appeased; some rituals need to be performed before one touches their hair so imagine what will happen if you touch their hair? And don’t say it is preposterous, even very respectable men pay attention to the girls “possessed by genes”.

I think it is time the Ghana Education Service allow girls to plait their hair instead of making them cut. It does not make sense that the hair of students cause so much attention and makes a national headlines.

With the case of a teacher barring students from writing their final exams because of their bushy hair, we have to think about it in many ways. Many are those who will jump into conclusion and condemn the teacher but there is more to this than meets the eye. I must say that some teachers are paranoid, they are humans and are fallible, some are simply too passionate and become emotional thinking in immaturity that their goal is to discipline so go overboard. These teachers need time to learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. The children who were quick to run to the media house just wanted to breed trouble. They could have reported to the administration, and there is the evidence that the teacher involved wanted to just scare them, those who remained were allowed to write their examination. That brings us to the question, is the media fuelling disrespect among children?

I think we have come far, too far that children now see themselves as adults with rights, well rights they have and rights they don’t have. The earlier we think of ways of eliminating issues which can grow to bite, the better for us. I call on GES to revise its code of conduct and clearly state what to do and what not to do to prevent teachers from making fools out of themselves. The elders say “advise the cat but advise the stinking meat too” I wish teachers will know that teaching is patience, we need patience in order to take care of our own children, so of course we need more patience to handle children of others. Whatever we do, we must think of the issue broadly before acting. Anyone who succeeds in life needs to thank one teacher or the other but teachers who victimize eventually become the villains.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

 

 

 

What South African Brutalities May Spark

With this current news of the xenophobic attacks is hidden chaos that the rioters fail to notice and I’ll go straight to the point.
South Africans are also in other African countries working and owning properties, the message being sent to them is to burn them alive, kill or sack them from their countries, won’t that be war?
Ghana is a very peaceful and friendly country but news got round that David Oscar, one of our comedians, entreated all Ghanaians to stop purchasing goods from South Africans. Hasn’t it already started?
Most of the people creating the chaos in South Africa have no knowledge in any field neither do they have vocations. Supposing other Africans decide to leave with their expertise, what that means is that the country’s human resource will dwindle, leaving the country in loss, can they handle it?
Again, this chaos can destroy the friendly relations between African States and South Africa. That means importations from African countries and help will seize. Can they handle that too?
If this continues, the African Union and United Nations might have to come in eventually, washing our dirty linen in public, must we always be the spectacles of horror?
This will also affect tourism and creation of jobs by foreigners. If up to now you have no ideas let alone a Job and you blame someone trying to employ or help, what can you do when the person’s services are no longer there and you have no ideas as to how to go about creating a livelihood?
There are many more if we think about this issue. It is only a child in diapers who makes a fuss when he soils himself in hopes of someone cleaning his mess.
We have been travelling this independent road for too long and need to clean the mess we create for others to see the maturity. The government is not the president and his cabinet only. The government is not the political parties only, the government is the people, and the people at most. For producing a man who hated aggression and was known as a martyr of peace, South Africans involved should know that Nelson Mandela is tossing in his grave at this very instant. Before anyone chews the hands of a baboon, he or she must watch his own. A word to the wise is enough.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c)2015

COMMENDING CELEBRITIES WHO STAND OUT

www.spyghana.com
http://www.spyghana.com

I have never been one who tries to worship celebrities. To me, they are humans like myself whose works have made them known. So whereas people cry as they see celebrities, I am calm, if I develop eye contact, I smile, greet, move on. For me to be touched by something someone has done, that must be very special. I consider the word celebrity relative, to me, my celebrity must have a heart of gold, a heart of a human being, a heart which feels and does good above all else.

It is common knowledge that some writers love to write about negative things because that boosts their statistics. I love to proudly talk about the good. I have to commend Joselyn Dumas, Becca, Majid Michel, Martha Ankomah, Hon. Dzifa Gomashie and all the celebrities in Ghana who have shown care by raising awareness and showing care where autism and other related sufferings are concerned.

I know for a fact that Martha Ankomah visits the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre often, I know for a fact that Joselyn Dumas celebrated her birthday with the children at the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre, I know Hon. Dzifa Gomashie and Becca joined in the Autism Awareness Walk just last week, and these are traits to be commended.  In other disciplines, I know Juliet Ibrahim champions the good cause of liver protection and Yvonne Nelson advocates for care for our eyes.

People who lead with light, lead those behind to golden places not places of doom. May God Richly bless you and may you continue to keep those hearts of gold. You are TRUE CELEBRITIES.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

AUTISM, A FRIEND I MET.

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Makafui

I’ve walked a good walk with a good faith. On the streets of Accra, I move about with a whole group of individuals from different walks of life. It was interesting with the drumming from the bandsmen who thrilled us and passers-by with versus music made from vocal folds?The sole of my old-fashioned shoe wanted to give up on me after walking a long distance and destination not yet reached.

What a day to remember! Getting a head-start from a starting pointed located on the streets of Kokomlemle, a remote place of the several communities one would locate himself in Accra. Getting individuals from various places in Accra we commenced our walk at a few minutes past nine in the morning. Three different schools had joined the walk to mark this day celebrated all over the world. Energetic youth as well did not exclude themselves from this memorable day.

Beside all my busy schedules, I placed it upon myself to have a feel of it. I had never gone for any walk in recognition of a celebrated. With that away, while in primary and junior high school I never partook in the various floats organized by the school because I saw it as a waste of precious time. I always gave excuses of not feeling well and won’t be around that day. The Children’s Park which is located in the heart of Accra, close to the National Theatre was a place I had passed by uncountable times but I had never seen myself in the premises even as a child to have fun there.

Seeing the media all around to take videos and pictures of this memorable day honoured in Ghana, I was delighted. I had already located myself in the “heavens”. The way the police directed traffic enabled us to ply various routes to get us to our destinations was breathtaking.

What was more fun than having interactions with the “different ability” persons. They are indeed special. An inscription on the dress of a woman who was just ahead of me got me over the moon. I was curious. I wanted to hear, feel and see as they did. Enoch, one of the “special ability” persons approached me and took my phone without saying anything. For one moment, I was confused, afraid he would throw my phone away. I had not come across anyone with autism before and this being my first time, you can imagine how my heart was at that moment. He was one of a kind, touched the phone, realized it was complicated and placed it back on my bag.

“Autism is not a disease, don’t try to cure me. Try to understand me.” I learnt a lot from this walk. From afar, I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything with these persons but getting to know them, I loved them more than I loved myself. Curious as people are, they will question what autism is.

Autism, a complex developmental disability is a result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on the normal brain function, affecting the development of the person’s communication and social interaction skills. This group of people have issues with non-verbal communication, a wide range of social interactions, and activities that include an element of play and/or banter.

However autistic individuals are gifted with different jaw-dropping  abilities! Unfortunately they are often isolated to reduce discrimination and prejudice from those who would mock them or treat them unfairly!

Loving them already? Why don’t you pay them a visit at Autism Care Centre in Kokomlemle. You can help support these persons as well. When you feel all is lost, these persons don’t feel the same. From the outside, you may feel hopeless about their futures but they don’t.

They are living full lives and all they need is your understanding. All they need is your understanding. Let’s accept them into the society as one of our own. “One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value-Jim Rohn. I’m in love with somebody having autism already,not necessarily a female. What about you?

One personnel I can direct you to from the centre is Auntie Serwaa Quanyor. You can contact her on +233244325919. She has been a blessing to people living with autism.
Autism: We are caring for those affected.
Autism: Awareness, Care and Training.

Adjei Gerald.
+233543518489/+233209047962. lwonder93@yahoo.com. http://www.lhytylwonder.wordpress.com. University of Ghana.
Writers Code.

COMMENDING THE WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATION COUNCIL

anapuafm.com
anapuafm.com

The West African Senior High School Examinations for 2015 started on March 30 with integrated science as the opening subject for sitting. I must say WAEC is really on top of exam malpractices. As I advised my students to learn and forget about cheating; “ap)” as it is popularly called, I couldn’t help but notice others hiding many things when they saw me.

They being uncomfortable told me of their mischiefs but they soon learnt their lessons when they got to the examination hall and realised whatever they were fed with were no ingredient in the pots of their papers.

Today, I heard from a junior brother that some questions were circulating on social media and they were believed to be authentic. I laughed wondering if some of the students have not learnt their lessons at the same time wondering if yesterday’s victory was a sham but WAEC again delivered to perfection. None of the questions in anticipation surfaced.

I would like to commend the exam council on the measures they are putting in place to ensure authenticity in the grading of students on the West African Continent. I hope this continues to help realise the true results of candidates who pass through the system.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

 

SADA REBRANDING: THE HIGHS AND THE LOW

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During the SADA rebranding, SADA Business and Investment Forum (SABIF) was born. Stakeholders and representatives from all regions converged at the Tamale Sports Stadium from the March 24 to March 28, 2015. The first day saw many youth mentors together to mentor many youths who came in their numbers. Many of the mentors came from the Barcamp Organisers in Tamale. Issues discussed were from education to challenges of the youth to opportunities for exploration in the Savannah among others.

Hon. Koh, a global development expert from Singapore, addressing the audience on the March 25, 2015 said, Singapore will buy anything Ghanaians have to sell provided it is of good quality, because they cannot afford to grow or make many things in Singapore, making them even import sand and will be glad to import from Ghana. He also mentioned that heavy duty cars tear up roads no matter how well constructed. He called on SADA to construct rails to help the goods get on the market cheaply. He also said skills need to be trained in order to help the system. Mr. Koh emphasized that SADA needs to identify their market before they start working. He added that there should be a look at integration; so the government should send some experts to places to study fishes which can adapt to the Ghanaian weather. He added that from grains, one can produce animal feeds, milk, powder etc. so Ghanaians should explore.

The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister said his area is the best place in the savannah because they have a lot of untapped resources. Even those who say they are broke have rocks and are in zones where shea nut picking abounds. He said the SADA project failed at first because young people were pushed there and getting money, driving huge cars and attending conferences were their main motives. He said they could revive the Burkina Tomato Factory but for the challenges they face. He also mentioned that they only have only one motorable road which is from Tamale to Paga. He mentioned that the bad roads affect business because all the cattle, onions, groundnuts etc. come from the Bawku road but it is so bad that it impedes on the growth of businesses. There is no free zone enclave so no one would bother to come and do business there because it would be more costly and there are no incentives but there are lots of tourists’ attractions

The representative of the Upper West Region said the Upper West Region was the last region created in 1983 and has a population of 700,000 people with 70% engaging in agriculture. Nine out of ten people in the upper west region, he noted,  are poor. It also has health and educational challenges. They engage in millet, maize, sorghum etc. production, irrigation is their main problem because only four months out of the whole year give them rains. The representative also stated that, the Upper West Region has an advantage in international trade because they share a border with Burkina Faso. He also reiterated the fact that they need good roads because they are the least in terms of tarred roads in the country. He also said that there is the potential of producing a lot of cotton but there are challenges that need to be addressed. He mentioned the challenges of education and health; there are no doctors present so he appealed for help. He mentioned the need to promote environmental protection because most people are burning charcoal by cutting trees. He also added that there are many tourists attractions that need to be worked on to attract the tourists.

The representative of the Volta region said they have three take off points where paragliding is concerned whereas the Eastern region has only one but nothing is being done to generate income. She said that the Voltarians are vulnerable because the lands are fertile but water is a problem because the pipe borne projects have been abandoned. She also mentioned that Krachi is surrounded by water and so they should be able to have irrigation but because of poverty, they cannot do this adding Krachi is a fishing zone so they can also help in aqua culture. She mentioned that the new SADA is asking regions to tell them what needs to be done, this involvement she thanked the new SADA for. She appealed to SADA to get to the Volta Region to establish a stone quarry adding they are hardworking but they lack the basic resources.

Justice Agyei, representing the Brong Ahafo Region, said they are described as the food basket of the country, their lands are fertile and they produce about 30% of the foods in the country. He explained that they produce yam, cocoyam, cocoa etc. They have a lot of tourists sites, the only challenge is that they have not been able to develop them. The people, he noted,  are very poor and they have not been able to raise resources to finance those projects. He stressed that many regions are able to produce a lot of cashew nuts but the people cannot afford to process them because of finances. He said he believes they can produced more than the 30% if they are given the needed boost. He appealed to investors to come in and help with instrumentations and help to process what need to be processed. He also mentioned the challenge of roads and that many are not able to transport their yams, cassava, etc. If they are able to beat the challenge of getting the machinery of processing etc., they can move forward in the right direction.

 

The northern regional minister said the northern region is the largest region in the country with 70 kilometres of the landmarks of this country. He mentioned that the congregants should have moved round to see the things for themselves instead of meeting to talk about them. He stated that his portion is to facilitate whatever it is anyone wants to do in the Savannah. He stressed on internal tourism and said many people in Ghana have not set foot in the Mole National Park. He added that the role of the engineer is very important and so are looking for engineers who would come in and help in building good and affordable houses to support the housing scheme here and it would cost 20, 000 cedis to put up a two bedroom apartment. Institute of engineers should whip up the engineering zone to help recruit many engineers to help grow the regions. He went on to state that some farmers do not have monies to buy tractors but others even have the monies and can’t get the tractors to buy. He appealed to Ghanaians to not let the white man’s view that if you want to hide something from a black man, put it in a book, be the case.

The Deputy minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Honourable Abla Dzifa Gomashie corrected that the ministry is not only about tourism but also about creative arts and culture  . She said that shea butter on the market lacks the ingredients to improve upon it and the packaging is not the best. She said that every opportunity we get is an opportunity to sell what we have. She mentioned that even the music of the north was not incorporated into the programme and that is bad in its own right. She said the ministry under the leadership of Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare is ready to support in any way possible, perhaps not in monetary terms because government has been decentralized but in any other way possible.

Deputy Minister for Science, Environment, Science and Innovation, Honourable Bernice Adiku Heloo, was disappointed in the fact that the ways the baskets were woven twenty years ago have not seen any improved changes. She stressed that there is the need for us to innovate to attract investors emphasizing if we destroy the environment, we cannot get it back so we should make sure that the lands used are sustainable. She ended her speech by saying “Preserve the environment”.

Mr. Saani, a lecturer at UDS said that it saddens him that 60years down the line of independence, Ghanaians still need foreigners in order to develop. When the Koreans wanted to build trains, they sent their delegates to other countries to learn and when they came back, they built 36 trains, he said sadly. He noted that the basis of our development is to rely on technology, advising Ghanaians shouldn’t be looking at economic development in isolation. He suspected that the scientific community could be challenged to produce sustainable energy but we still have problems with energy. There was an exhibition of assorted products to crown the occasion.

Tamalee1

Authorial note: Some entrepreneurs got sponsorship from the investors who were there at the end of the day. The decoration was simple beside the fact that too much food that even the stakeholders could not consume went waste leaving one wondering why rebrandings should come at high cost, all the drink ups and cocktails in evenings at fanciful places with kelewele and other chewables were unnecessary. If things continue the way they have started, maybe, just maybe, the birds who consumed our feed in huge monies and flew to Burkina Faso, might reconsider to come back and roost on Ghanaian trees until they produce our moneys with interest.

 

Music And Me.

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Credit: chchsjsandersonmediastudiesa2.blogspot.com

I decided to take a break from my laptop to see what my proud country’s  television stations had for me.

I tuned in to METRO TV to catch a glimpse of the great match between our own Accra lads,Olympics, which now has ‘Olele’ (our forgotten goalkeeper) in goal post against the herdsmen from the North who are striving for a place in the league. It was an eyesore.

I’ve glued myself to foreign soccer that just watching them play I remembered those days when I used to play football behind that old woman’s house who used to chase after my friends and I. They played the same way just like us, no professionalism. I wondered if it was really future National team players who were at play.

Getting frustrated, I tuned to Adom TV to watch a local movie which will take the pains and sorrows away. After all, rumor has it that our local movies keep the dead alive through laughter. But to my surprise,after  ten minutes of watching, my sorrows got to another higher level. Everything about the movie was disgusting.

TvAfrica had this preacher on and I am not a fan of media preaching so I skipped. Tv3, my favourite station had the  repeat of the audition of Ghana’s Strongest which took place in Tamale. I wasn’t interested so i skipped for my muscles cant even lift a half filled gallon of water.

Gtv,the station of the nation had one of it’s irregular programs on display.

For the three Crystals, their programmes are always predictable even without the programme lineups, local movies on one, preaching, more like for money on another, and talk shows on the other.

KTV and TopTv which I don’t get clearly got me angrier and wondered what is happening in my country.

UTV the station of the people, the station almost everyone likes didn’t have anything better to offer. Just another documentary which wasn’t interesting one bit.

Indeed,frustration built inside gradually. I thought my country could be my line sort of happiness but i was wrong. It worsened the woes and I don’t think I’ll forget it.

Just then I remembered I had a phone with a whole different genre of music. I took that option and to my uttermost surprise music was doing me good.

I had betrayed the friend which had been with me all these years. I also remembered for sometime now,”music has been my only escape from all the bullshit in life.” What a bad friend I had been.

Aside everything, music helped me to be where I am now. The bond between music and me is stronger than the covalent bond. If you feel neglected and all is lost I’ll be up counting my demons,I’ll be singing out loud to keep myself alive.
Music has been my only friend through my rise and fall. Music, I thank you for being there for me.

Gerald Adjei  ©2015

Reasons most High School Students Fail in the English Language Course in Ghana

Even this tour guide maimed the English Language in his history of the place and continued till the end of the tour. One would think a national tourist site like this would have  good communicators.
Even this tour guide maimed the English Language when educating the students on the history of the Buabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary and continued till the end of the tour. One would think a national tourist site like this would have good communicators who have good command of the English Language.

It is a known fact that most students in the second cycle fail the English Language course in Ghana. I marvelled at the high percentages of  failure in the course when I was a student. Now, I am a teacher of the language and I have noticed some reasons students fail in English.

First or all, most students think a language which is more like a mother tongue is not worthy of study. I have had instances where some students have told me point blank that,

“Madam, as for English de333, no matter what we can get some to write and pass o.”

yet they fail their terminals and as a teacher, the students’ failure in the final exams stare even with years or months ahead. One would say a teacher must find ways of making the students learn his or her subject but it is not that easy. Now students do not fear teachers, because they are not allowed to use canes. A teacher who beats a student may get worse punishment and punishing students too, is attracting huge attention, thanks to some extremities on the part of some teachers and the patronage of black media.

Secondly, the teachers who teach other subjects do not make it easy for the teachers of English. They use bad concords, mispronounce words and use horrible expressions and when an English teacher complains, he or she is likely to get this,

“Don’t you ever try correcting me again. The calculations I can do, you cannot work even a fraction, so don’t ever bother me with those things.”

What they do not know is the fact that some students pick on their flaws in all seriousness, and in cases where the students love that teacher, it become difficult to change that flaw. If such things continue, then we have minds made up being taught the English Language, every right rule is noise to those students.

Thirdly, the English teachers themselves have flaws, and I will not exclude myself. When I was in the senior high school, no English teacher corrected how I wrote my addresses in my essays. I completed the university knowing not my fault. Won’t blame anyone but the teachers and their teachers (to no end) of these teachers. Since the internet and huge libraries were not at my disposal, I tended to carry that bag of filth until a very good teacher enlightened me. I would have polluted my students too. I have noticed that most English teachers do no research. All they do is study some scheme of work for teaching and that is all. Since most students have no motivation to learn by themselves, they fail to put those teachers on their toes.

The fourth point has to do with the employment of unqualified teachers in the basic schools. To me, teachers are born, few are taught and so a good teacher is not necessarily one who has been to the teacher training school, but one who learns hard to give students the best tuition. When I was posted to the northern region to offer my national service, I was sent to a village school where almost all the teachers were unqualified. Some could not even speak English but taught the English Language. Since I could not speak their language, I found it difficult to communicate with the students. Even students in class six did not understand simple instructions like “stand up”. All they understood was “class staaaand”. So I was made to teach English in all classes and my lessons were very funny. I needed other teachers to translate my words, I did not know if they translated them well, but some of the students started picking up when I picked few of their words and alternated them with the English Language. I cannot tell the end of the story because I was sent to a senior high school two months into my service. I only saw one of those students at the Central Market in Tamale, she had turned into a porter; carrying things for money. She called me, stood by me and just mentioned the name of the school. My sadness knew no end.

I must add that some parents also contribute to this problem. They cannot speak the English Language well but will certainly speak it with their children knowing not that in order for children to speak other languages well, they must speak their first languages very well. So you hear a student saying something so wrong, when probed he or she tells you “that is how we say it at home.”

Also, most students find the lessons in the oral language preposterous. So if a teacher mentions forehead as “f⊃:rid”, they laugh as though the world is about to end and regard the teacher as an alien. So of course, they will fail.

Need I mention the contribution of the so called celebrities and writers? Of course, when they are seen on television murdering the rules of grammar, the students also take those words as bonds. So good teachers of the English Language become those who know nothing.

These are my few observations. Well, I throw these to the winds hoping those in charge find it useful.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

Motor Bike Murders; Help Save Lives in Tamale

politics.myjoyonline.com
politics.myjoyonline.com

Tamale is no doubt a motor bike zone but the motor bikes have now turned into the murderers of the young. Three years ago, my mother who went to the Tamale Teaching Hospital told me about a motor accident which crushed a young man’s head leaving his body jerking for minutes on a stretcher, obviously being left to die because there was nothing any one could do to save him. A former colleague at Bishara Radio; Eric kwewu, died last year  through motor bike accident. He was riding to one of the villages in Tamale without a crash helmet, reports say he fell, hit his head on a stone and died instantly leaving his wife and family and rushing to the land of the unknown. Whenever there is a rally, a funeral or celebrations of any sort in Tamale, many are those who end up maimed or lose their lives because of motor bikes.

Yesterday, I had a health issue and was rushed to the emergency ward of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, when I woke up, I saw a young man of about 24 years bleeding profusely with many bruises on his body. As they spoke while tending to him, I got to know it was through a motor accident. He was riding without a crash helmet and crashed into someone. My pressure started going up and the doctors complained that I had to be detained. I knew my problem, and knowing an important person there, I told her to get me out of there by all means.

During my infusions, another young man of about 25 years, entered with head injuries and bruises all over his body. He wanted the workers to help him because according to him, there was another patient who was in a crucial state than he was and needed care. When the old man was brought in, I begged to go to the bathroom and vomited for minutes. The man who was sitting behind the hurt rider had half of his body butchered like that of a cow. A brother who was with me also brought out all that was in his stomach and refused to eat because of what he saw.

So in a matter of five hours spent at the hospital, I witnessed two gruesome accidents caused by motor bikes at the Tamale Teaching Hospital and I asked myself why nobody is doing anything to erase this canker. I can say for a fact that most of the deaths that occur in Tamale are caused by motor accidents.

Riders do not care about wearing helmets, they complain there is heat in helmets. When they ride, most of them do not care about the traffic regulations. It is easy to see a motor rider insulting a pedestrian after refusing to blow his horn when he came from behind. I have realised to most, the speed tells of the skills of the riders and so they bask in how people perceive them.  And oh, it is easy to see these overloadings anywhere.

flickrhivemind.net
flickrhivemind.net

I know many are teaching safety on our roads on radio and televisions. It is time to stop talking on radio stations and concentrate on the happenings on our roads. I will not mention names but I will say that the youth are being made to go waste because of lack of checks on our roads. The indiscipline is causing us lives. I know when some are arrested, their families mobilise themselves to attack the police but if we know they fear the soldiers, why don’t we bring them in to help? Please help! Help save lives in Tamale if you know you have the authority to do so. What is a tree with only brown leaves on top and many greens beneath? Ask yourself and wake up, for Tamale can be that tree.

     Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

What is the Delay Show Turning Into?

Phot Credit: www.nigeriashowbiz.com
Phot Credit: http://www.nigeriashowbiz.com

Television hosts in Ghana hardly impress me especially when they host interview programmes but The Delay Show blew me away the first time I watched it. I felt the host had depth, could push, could intimidate, and knew how to get the answers she needed (And she still does) and so hardly a session pass me by. Now I feel the show is turning into a prostitute parade show, a show which fuels the whims of bad girls or better put, a show which is a bad influence on girls who need motivation to soar high.

Being a teacher whose aim is to motivate student girls to aspire for greater things other than being housewives to big bosses, I feel very wronged whenever I see platforms meant to motivate and inspire promote women who use their bodies as baits and men as wallet to move ahead. Many women have proven and are still proving that girls inspired can aim and achieve anything they set their minds to. There are now many voices chasing that freedom of mindset for the girls and women hitherto forced into submissiveness but Deloris Frempong Manso, who is actually a woman who has made it and is still making it by working hard in this African zone, coming forward to offer her platform to high class prostitutes and women who use their bodies to get what they want, so they can teach girls how to go about the art of prostitution and luring men actually drops jaws. This is a shame! Seeing Mandy Afriyie Acquah or whatever she is called, telling tales of how her boyfriend bought her a Range Rover at 18 is despicable.

People who aspire for greater things abound in Africa. Women who have studied and succeeded are here, women who have toiled to the top are also here, so why must a platform like that be given to gold diggers and high class prostitutes?

As a female teacher who seeks equity for women, I am working hard and of course, I know many who are also working hard for girls and women to rise. Only God knows how difficult it is to put boys on the sweeping roaster up here in the North, only God knows how difficult it is to make the girls understand that their place is not in the kitchen and that they were not brought to school to do domestic chores for their male colleagues, only God knows how difficult it is for some of us to live in areas like this where self proclaimed superiors in the form of men think they are gods to be worshipped and speak anyhow to any woman they come across.

I am entreating Delay to rethink about the goals of her show and if possible rate it. If Delay cannot help motivate young ones to work hard, she must not break the walls of “can do” being built around them and for her own sake, she must listen to this voice before people begin to rubbish her show.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia