KƆNTUA

A twisted tale stales history
Fuelling the dreadful victory
…of a storyless country

II
A passionate need for relevance
…fruits no reverence
…even eloquence can smoothen not that arrogance

III
For hard earned glories
…bubble into no sorries
…no matter the lorries
…of lies driven on the stories

IV
In competitions
…the first is named in repetitions
Even in foul play renditions
…of submissions

V
Let us be not like hawks
…catching success chicks
…of hens whose struggles still provide
…for a whole household

VI
We’re not kɔntua
For ropes of deceit to lift us
…from the success story of a martyr
…to the lies in a mirroring satire

VII
Honour is the birthright of the accomplished
…not strugglers who perished in a race
Those who have ears
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 5, 2019

Edited by Koku Dotse.

THE CHAMBER DANGER (To our abled politicians)

None gives gold to a poor handler of silver
…just as none gifts a house
…to a poor handler of a hut so treasured
Are we over-blooded
…to have our little red rivers
…sucked from our pride and hope?
Definitely not!
This chamber will pose a danger
…which will call for a rememberance
…only worth anger!

II
We know your ears close
…when your mandate mate
…in a date
…promising high rate
…of your working state

II(b)
But acknowledge the many living in gutters
… Note the many living in ‘lavender’ that dignity shatters
… Know the many whose nights are spent
…in air spaces reserved for mosquitoes
… Don’t close your eyes to the many struggling
…under hot suns and murderous rains
Forget not those unfortunate thumbs
…lighted the fire of the power
…which makes you tower
…ferociously threatening in aim of our cowering

III
The voice of the people must push your choices
…and not a reverse
Servants serve their masters
…even if a nation makes them stars
…in revered skies

III(b)
The voices for elephants
…stand by voices for umbrellas
…with voices of coconuts
…with its significantly struggling others
In a NO you know should glow
So what is this deviance in your swear-in allegiance?

IV
Clear your mess
…or face a curse
We’re not twine you can roll
…around your fingers anytime your comforts
…itch for scratches
Don’t act kokuram
…germinating on noses
…thinking we’re too shy or too timid
…to battle with asaawa
Ears were made together with eyes
…and a working mind
…for the wise to use in productivity
…where caution and dicey issues wake
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 6, 2019

MENZGOLD OR MENZZERO? (Crazy Stanzas)

There has been a huge rain of evidence
Spelling FACT in bold
Of the rot that pilolo as myth in this nation
What does it take to buy the land?
Stamps of high stools bought by currencies without solid roots!
Pictures of first personalities whose camera is set
By fundings whose stem dazzle to blind at the sight of rotten roots!
And you call this a nation?

II
There is no way tree tops won’t know the plans of naughty birds!
There is no way the grounds of the wicked
Will know not his steps even through a tiptoe!
There is no way a danceable sound can come from Fontomfrom
Without skilled hands or well shaped sticks!
If you hear a moooo, know it comes from a cow!
Oh so praises bought with rot eventually stales to stink?
Nana o! Nana nieee! Ɔkronfoɔ no wɔ he?
These two are separated by just a thin line!
It is funny, how money bought appellations of handsomeness for a normal name
Which now stands naked with a dumpster hole
Receiving curses with tears
Over-stored urine of anger
Fecal rots of insults
Painful reactions of suicides
As security eyes of millions look through even needle holes for his body!
Tweakai! Agyawaadwo!

III
How did this Jesus example pull through this modern time?
Hailers turning jail callers? Oh Judas and the cocks! Chai!
This time, look out not for an awakening of redemption!
Just ask the right questions of the how
How did this come to be?
I will say greed used as bait on mousetraps of bought validations!
From Dumas to Buari!
Vicker to Dumelo!
Stars have brightened a stinking deal to milk many dry!
Shame on you!
Shame on us!
Shame on he whose bigger plan made fools of more nations than two!
Shame on money!
Shame on fame!
Shame on intelligence whose biggest formula
Flaws many an elites in revered seats!
See how many wear masks of shame like badges of honour!

IV
We now know how easy highest beings
Can fit into pockets of the ordinary!
Nyantakyi! Bɛgye wo boɔ ɛ!
We now know all twinkles brighten not in fair shine!
Seeing as apopobibire has been mistaken for a well maintained lawn!
We see how one man has bought skirt of disgrace for our nation’s grace
Yet we sit as though we know not the stench of corrupt farthing!
Aniwuo nie!

V
I clap for the genius
Who can get another face
And live in our midst like one without blemish!
I clap for his deeds which have made a statement
Of how wealth ignores even shouting facts!
Now let us all use our little fingers
To touch our rears
After staying without bathing for a whole week and over
And smell it
For we made it possible!
Possible for NAM to make us ɛnam on his ridiculing meal!
So our canes must go for those in our mirrors
Looking deeply into our eyes!
Look not just for him in far and near
Look for him from within
Within you who are tickets for every corruption
Through trains of bribery in your deep pockets!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 11, 2019

​GHANA SUCKLEMENTS

When the same breast nurses many mouths 
From stomachs of greed and or promises

Milk evaporates and calls for the blood of the mother

Showcasing paleness of her body

Awo Yaa!

May this portion of yours change for the better!


II

This building which has seen the palms of many masons

And still suffers from foundational weakness

Due to stolen cement

Unbought stones

Unpurchased water

Which are all buried in the belly of pockets

Housing blood of the land

Is to be pitied

Awo Yaa!

May this portion of yours change for the better!


III

This vehicle whose driver and mate

Dwell on the monies of passengers

But do no servicing

Even as it creaks in painful destruction by the day

Rebelling here in concerns

There in embarrassment

Needs a different story

Before it breaks what it protects

Awo Yaa!

May this portion of yours change for the better!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © November 16, 2017

KAWOLA? UBEISON!

​Everything atop seems supreme

Many pant to climb to mountain tops

And jubilate as winners in the end

Many eyes look up to the sky in reverence or solicitation

Even though legs mate the earth

So why do you sleep naked on this Ghanaian floor

Regarded as the pauper of the nation?


II

From Yaa Naa to Yagbon Wura

Bolga Naaba to Paga pio

Naayiri to all the sub chiefs

Wake ye wise heads! 

To wake your young out of the sleep of under-development

Inculcating into their will the power of the north

Powers which will act as catalyst to open wide their eyes

To spot opportunities in hurdles gargantuan

For you are the path clearers


III 

Oh warriors built in height and braveness!

Ye crafted with skills of the almighty!

Move from victimization of all kinds:

From witch camps to ingenious camps

From the Gbolu Defense Wall to building walls of togetherness

Remind yourselves of the pain of foreign reign

Through the Salaga Slave Market

And let that beautiful scar lead you to seek victory of more freedom

Freedom to love

Freedom to own

Freedom from war

Freedom from poverty

Freedom from attitudinal negativity

For you are blessed in nature


IV

You are blessed with nature fit for a kingdom

Look at the miraculous Laribanga with it’s mystic stone

Built by mythical hands and spiritual hearts

To serve as a perfect ladder to God!

The Mole National Park which is like the historical Garden of Eden!

Housing creatures big and small

From Elephants to warthogs to ants!

Need I mention the ponds which house the fiery but tame crocodiles

Who lead and protect you?


V

See the beauty of nature from the Wichau Hippo Sanctuary

And feel the landlordship of owning the Wa Airstrip

Oh the Tamale International Airport!

Ah! The Nandom and Navrongo Basilicas made like the cross of Jesus

Should I add the Tongo Hill?

I could go on and on and on


VI

You are beings blessed with crafty hands

See the Bolga Baskets

To beautiful leather sandals to the angelic craft and sounds of xylophones

Which pacify God and all ears

See the product from the blessed fingers of Sirigu Potters!


VII

Follow in the footsteps of former president John Mahama and Dr. Mahamoud Bawumia!

Tow the line of Dr. Isahaku Nashiru!

Inculcate into your hearts the pure heart of Dr. David Abdulai

Get the ambition of Alhassan Gbazanba

Get some wings of success like Alhassan Andani

Sing your way into hearts like Fancy Gadam and Sherifa Gunu

Work with your brain into a breakthrough like Siita the Investor

Giving you the magical box in the form of North Television

And join your wires of success to light up your realm

So you can move from unfortunate exemplary tags

Liberating your women into angels of success like Hikmat Baba Dua

For you are built to excel and have the capacity to do so!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia ©August 8, 2017

​STRAY HANDS

I know the throat can nag

And force a king to lie on a rag

When its demands for water through its pipe is not met


II

I know the stomach can thunder

When its bond with food is put asunder

Giving in to any bet


III

I know eyes close not

When their vessels are tied in a weakened knot

As the body, like a drug addict, frets


IV

I know every pore feels its sweat

And every soul in a body is a set

That is why hands take all they can get


V

But this is not it

We are children of warriors who oneness fitted

And through the axe of togetherness slit 

The throat of oppression

To give us this free mansion of supremacy

We are a set known in the Ubuntu

So why do some hands stray

To dupe themselves of the crown of development

Befitting our precious heads?

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2, 2017

​NKONTOMIRE VRS SARDINE


The clock of change ticks

Transforming in shockaholics 

Yet many feed after thorny pricks

In places whose geography elude mapachronics

Living healthily by the green waters of kontomire

As others blinkardly gobble dead fishes in oily rivers


II

Gone are the days when elderly buttocks

Filled seats before their young

Gone are the days when older mouths talked

Into younger ears without boxing words 

Wearing fiercer gloves to houses into boxing ring of words

Gone are the days when skins lived in nature 

And returned to their maker without peels

Gone are those days when monies had no hands

In the preparation of peace meals

Gone are those days when chiefs were politics

And politricks hid in darkest places without celebrations

Gone are many things including nightfall

As night light battles that of day


III

Now one living in “Werewerekodi” struggles 

Without knowing the knots tied on his head

On an international market

One at “Frefrekobo” feels the heat of need

Without knowing his debts incurred for him

By names he will never be able to transcribe in life

Many unfortunate things have bodies

Parading like the ishes 

And becoming many’s wishes


IV

If time could turn back to reverse some things

Setting rules before eye openings

Making hugs physical and not imoginal 

Squaring lives instead of half elevations

Life would have been better

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) June 28, 2017

PITY OUR LAND

Image result for images of beautiful ghana

Pity our land

A land arrested and tamed

Into a free wild horse on its very habitat

Sat on and dragged with so many heavy things

Fed crumbs from our own pots

Oh cry! Cry for our land!

II

Pity our land

A land with so much yet thinks so little

And was confined by the mere sight of a gun

A land which fought their greatest enemy’s soldiers

Into a slight wake

A wake that stuck at freedom of body

And not of mind

Oh pity! Slap this land into Wakefulness!

III

Pity our land

Cry for this land of loam

Whose knees love the taste of sea sands

Oh Pity! Pity this land!

A land whose thoughts love to steal from itself

Digging its seeds before they germinate

Soiling its rivers before they join their seas

Oh pity! Pity our land!

IV

Pity our land

Pity our land so full yet so empty

A land so beautiful but stuffed with self-hatred

A land so wealthy with brainwashing of poverty

A land ridden by shadows

Shadows which blend with our darkness

Darkness with no distinction

Oh pity! Pity our land

V

Pity our land

The land which knows no greatness unless its sunset

And knows no morning unless neighboring cock crows are heard

No matter how hard theirs drum in crowing

A land whose day lovers suck its blood at night

And pretend to water and till in the day

A land bedeviled by its own thoughts

Haunted by fake nightmares

And flogged by manipulations

Oh pity! Pity my land!

VI

Pity our land

 Pity the land bleaching away its melanin

In hopes of seeing protected blood

Thinking vulnerability is ability

When its suns spew wrinkles and wilting

Pity o pity!

The land which lives in begging dreams

Begging which begs for its own destruction!

A land of scribes filled with filth 

Pity! Oh pity my land!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 7th June 2017

Photo Credit: Google pics

MELANCHOLY IN PATRIOTIC ALCOHOLISM

We live in the sought after gold
Clothed by a land fertile enough to banish the barren
We live on a land so expensive
Blood so precious protect
Only to make us free
We live on a land so wondrous
Black star lights to guide us through
When did a blessed turn cursed?
We are the chosen on the best ship
Whose captains never fail in their traitorhoods
But hope leads our choir

II
Let’s shed the sea analogy
And work with land
Shepherds have led
And shepherds are still leading
Yet hyenas and foxes
Break our boxes
Causing us losses
Many claim our shepherds have claws like our monsters
Making heavy our crosses
As age adds to our aging
And eyes afar look back in mock horror
Why do we make cats guide our abattoir?

III
We are the richest but the poorest
The strongest but the weakest
The bosses turned crosses
We grovel when we hold the power to give
Now our white hairs put us in the boxes of self questioning

IV
Six decades
Many horicades
But our strong nation stands like a great mountain
Six decades with many scandycades
Yet we sing hospitality and cast out animosity
Six decades and many barrings
Yet we rise through every fall
We are the wondrous team
Great
House
Amazing nests
Nurturing feats
A royal team
Who can beat the expensive beads
Which talk with a lot to stock?
We will get to the dock of satisfaction one day
And our mockers will give us a standing ovation
For we are who we are
The wealthy struggling to breach the gap
That robbers left on our shores
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) March 6, 2017

A NEW SUN (CRAZY STANZAS)

Image result for pictures of akufo addo

Dawn is clearing the path of the new sun
After filling the hole of the old
Its tears are of hope and despair
Could the new be a replica of the old?

II
The old sun died with time
The earth pulling on it the cover of darkness
Pushing it to set prematurely
Aided by some clouds who cushioned it
What are palms concealing in a fist
Concerning the future of the new?

III
Dust say the old sun insulted it
Calling it mud even in its dryness
Heating when rain arrested it
Helping not after its stir into mud
So helped to pull on it doomed curtains

IV
Water says the old sun stole its coolness
Turning it into floating air with no known space
The little left of her becoming homes for insects
As its citizens were haunted and hunted to feed monsters
Others murdered to sink into rot
All through, the old sun shone brightest
To give its enemies visibility

V
Some clouds claimed they were footmats
They lived in the sky but were threatened with pushes
What was their trouble to hobble while gobbling curses?
What was their crime to be treated less than silver lining?
So they too helped to pull down the curtains of the old sun

VI
There are expectations churned into over-jubilation
The new sun in its dawn is overwhelmed
Most of the earth stay by its side
Other worlds watch in anticipation
Looking for the duration when its popularity will fall
Looking for times when its light will soar
Looking for the time when all elements will gather to pour their displeasure
But for now, a new moon rises
And many hope for a vitamin D favour
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) January 7, 2017

(PHOTO CREDIT: GhanaPoliticsOnline)

WHERE SHED BLOOD WEEPS

There are walls around a nation
A nation fought for with priceless blood
A nation whose beauty, like mud fish in muddy water,
Hides in walls too high in ugliness
Walls of corruption
Walls of deception
Walls of greed
Walls of power-drunkenness
Walls of ridiculous stunts
Walls of begging
Walls of tribalism
Walls of labeling
Culminating in walls of poverty pictures
Plastered from social media to foreign watch boxes
Yet many live in eyeless villages
With no ears
Not that they care
Living peacefully in walls of ignorance
Through a greater wall of illiteracy
Their pair of glasses too busy in high class comfortable cinemas

II
It is funny how birds cry for this nation
It is funny how the sky frowns through the sun
In the mirror of their eyes
It is funny how hills and rivers wait patiently for a climb
To show them the passions their sweats have bought
It is even funnier how the fields grow
Under the matchetes of hands uncountable
Few flowers weep for their land
While the weeds murder ones with loud cries
Four annual steps
Mostly turning into eight in laying more bricks on
Has been a painful fate
Who will break his feet by breaking these walls?
Who will break her fake nails
In breaking these walls?
I fear for the curses of tears from ghosts with closed eyes
Ghosts who lost their souls in the nation’s purchase
Time travels
And so does this nation
My nation
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) Dec. 21, 2016

ALL TOGETHER ONE

Togetherness

After angst and jubilation have gone to roost

In an opposing clash which selections boost

What is there but a sea with no boat

Calling all eyes; with hurt and gloat

To look past emotions and rise to a challenge

II

All in laughter show their teeth

All in outcries show their teeth

What is the difference between these?

Countenance for happiness and that of defeat

It is one land with many varying a seat

III

Some will stand

Some will on their buttocks comfort land

Some will walk

Some will stalk

Wouldn’t the importance be on space?

IV

Work like a bull

Reason like an ant

All great buttocks can sit to cool

Devoid of hatred, being no procrastinator

Reason to work, work to gain

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) Dec. 11, 2016

(Photo credit: Google pics)

THIS WELCOME PARTY (FOR NANA ADDO)

Same winds can blow north, south, east and west

As the food
Coveted by many embark on a journey to build us all
Through your able self
Build with the protein of togetherness
Fill with the carbohydrate of wisdom
Heal with the vitamin C of hard work
Through the watchful eyes of vitamin A
Never forgetting vitamin D
For too much shade in the dark
Surely will cause illnesses
Remember how hard you fought to pluck the fruit of succession

II
Never play with the woven webs
By your very hands in the corners of mind rooms
For in each lies your home of throne
Its fragile nature makes even a broom dangerous
One sweep and you are out

III
Respect all thumbs and uproot corruptible weeds
Which grow in the midst of this general farm
We are heads with mouths which talk non-stop
But with thumbs which act fiercely once in months leading to yearly fours
Sift the best and massage the rest
Acting deaf to tongues which call
For your naked dancing in the middle of well patronised stages

IV
Many a man have fallen through self overfeeding
Many a man have fallen through neglect
Many a man have fallen through insensitivity
Many a man have fallen through pride
Many a man have fallen into gutters of history
Through incompetence in this field of leadership
But men like Nelson Mandela still sit on stools revered
Even with their gaseous souls

V
Eyes will be watching
By all means beg to help us stand
But don’t grovel
Ask to let us build but no stooging
These same hands can reject in place of this embrace
We love comforting warmth
But not when it generates into uncomfortable heat

VI
We love our light so find a way
We love to sing so find great tunes
We love to dance so hit on the drums of perfect change
One hurting flaw is your marital breakdown from hearts
Too much sugar and wealth for yours
And all pens write your jail of failure
Too much pampering and elevations for favourites
And ears store notes from eyes
Notes worthy to cut down your tree of terms
We love to eat evenly
Or at least well if the best can’t be reached
Your head swells at your own peril
“W’aba a tena ase”
Start clearing the land to build
We all have our parts
But navigate this ship to swerve all tsunamis
We are who we are
The children of our mother
Mother for all
A mother called Ghana
Your eloquence will only attract through proof of progress
Nothing more
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) Dec. 9, 2016

(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.

THE BIG FALL (For Ohemaa Afia Serwaa Kobi Ampem)

As many leaves fall to pave way for new
So do humans fall for space for new
Many leaves have fallen in this harmattan
Which winds uprooted the strong root
Of a great palm
Shaking the grounds of the unshakeable Ashanti Kingdom?

II
Hunger has no bluetooth
But the elders say
Only a mother feels the hunger of her children
Why did you drop your loving and protective umbrella
From the head of Nana Osei Tutu II
In this pelting stones and arbitration adding rains of sadness?
Nana Hemaa, where is thy face
When mansions seek to be blessed with your vision?

III
Kind heart in regal bones!
Fine art in perfect body!
Perfect model of rightness of culture!
Ohemaa’s feet in ahenema!
Ohemaa’s body in sika ntama!
Ohema’s shiny smooth black skin!
Tuntum brane!
Ohemaa’s tongue stirring the proper Akan language with anwinsem made from the chambers of wisdom!
You truly will be missed!
Nana Hemaa!
One whose womb begets kings even suns bow to look
Matriarch turned legend!
Although time’s cutlass ruthlessly cuts lives
It dared not until the gods made your path!
You did live to command death!
Even so, we mourn
For who can smile when their honeypot breaks?

IV
We cry rivers for our loss
Mourn ourselves for our heartbreak
But celebrate your life and blessed journey
You were born to stand first in all
Even your death marking first in a triple
Age of blessedness
Nana Ampem!
First daughter of Asante Kingdom!
Loving daughter of Yaa Asantewaa’s lineage!
Firm, strong, brave
Fearful to all enemies!
Angel to all friends!
Nana nanti yie o!
Rest not until you have told all our hardships to the ruling ancestors
Sit only to watch Asanteman and Ghana prosper
Sleep only when your people know the best of peace
You sacrificial soul
Talking peace even in death!

V
Nana Serwaa!
Serwaa Brakatu!
Kotoko Hemaa nnimpong!
One who porcuppines will kill themselves to protect if death had abducted!
Lucky death! Its gates stood in bow for your entrance
Nana Kobi Ampem eeei!
Nana!
Damirifa due!!
Due due ne amanehunu!!!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) Nov. 24, 2016

THIS LIBATION

I pour this libation
From my free but poor calabash
Which knows hunger as a happy sport
And not an opposing wrestler
To let dreams fall into sleep of all
To see fierce and hunting war
In chase of ones whose preferences
Became their bait of horrid fate

II
I pour this libation from my fearful calabash
Which loves to retain every drop it hosts
To wet the lips of mouths of thirsty gods
To help them consult oracles of miracles
To invoke the slap of reality
To wake us from slumber of sluggishness
Exporting us to the heaven gates of hard work

III
We pour our all on peace preaching
When others seek to inject the sun
To see its veins
I pour
Nananom nsa!

IV
Nananom nsa!
To chase hard in hells of war
All “tintintinintis” who plan to be all the war
In loses they abhor

V
Nananom ei nsa!
To let money hunters in national-cake- chase
Lose interest, race or lives
To rid our world of failures unborn

VI
Any “takrawogyamu”must be burnt by hell’s hell fires
Fuelled by Odomankoma’s “faango”
All brown snakes in dust must be poisoned by the heat
Which hides their dubious frames!
All water snakes acting like water lilies
Must be chopped on boards of “we thought before you”
Nananom nsa for safety!
Nsa for discernment!
Nsa for all right choices!
Nsa to entrench our lasting peace!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) Nov. 20, 2016

I VOTE GHANA

I have a voice
But no matter the loudness of the noise
I vote Ghana!

II
I have a choice
But no matter the decision
I will rejoice
And vote Ghana!

III
Never will my blood boil
To break the pot
That hosts my waters of life
I vote
I vote Ghana

IV
Never will I pierce the saucepan
That cooks my meals
What will taste the fires and burn
To keep me, mine and ours
Overflowing with generations?
I vote
I vote Ghana

V
Only one with a disturbed pillow
Seeks to wallow in the fires of insomnia
To hit the drums of disaster
Forgetting his soul in a circle
I vote Ghana
Above all earthly else
A temporary tenant can’t make me break down my house
In exchange for solidarity
Turning me into a rejected vulture
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

AMIDU vrs WOYOME

There is a cloud forming on clouds

The sky of red, gold, black star and green

Has arms wide opened to mean

It can take all the dance on court floor, even the mean

And awaits personalities who will fall into shrouds

II

Amidu holds the reins

And just got Woyome as the horse

Hoping to ride him into remorse

Entrenching himself as discipline’s boss

Giving hope where hopelessness reigns

III

What is to be expected?

Ghana will bake and shake

The world will seek and rake

Stories will build and wake

Accepted will flog the unaccepted

IV

Will this rain

Fall to muddy the ground

Where corruptions hound?

Will sanity in Ghana be found?

I pray for all to be sane

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) November 16, 2016

IN LOVE’S NEST

The beginning of love
Is like the beginning of creation
I am sure God’s heart raced
As he created it all
His joy sat in a celebratory palanquin
Developed wings and danced like an all powerful ruler
Hailed by satisfaction as a look upon jubilant
When all was done

Chorus:
My ears can imagine his symphony in orchestration
‘Pa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na naaaa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na na na na na na
Pa pa na na na na
Pa na na na aa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na pa na na na na’

II
I am sure he thought he found a friend
So pampered Adam like a baby
Cuddled,  held hands
Laughed and felt his smile even without him
Such fire of purity can only make one hear

Chorus
‘Pa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na naaaa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na na na na na na
Pa pa na na na na
Pa na na na aa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na pa na na na na’

III
The thoughtfulness of curbing loneliness
Must have forced God to make another
A more powerful breed
Who unfortunately was a channel of deceit
Breaking the heart of God
Like a shattered fresh egg
I can hear the sorrow in his groan

Chorus
‘Pa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na naaaa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na na na na na na
Pa pa na na na na
Pa na na na aa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na pa na na na na’

IV
That might have forced the curses
That might have caused the pain
That might have deepened the animosity
And man turned into the labourer
Could man be Africa, God be God and Eve be the intruders?
Wait, let me guess this sad tune
Chorus
‘Pa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na naaaa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na na na na na na
Pa pa na na na na
Pa na na na aa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na pa na na na na’

V
Our flutters are over
Our loving friction so over
If animosity now reigns
As God in anger flees
What is our prayer to fix the broken?
Can we see hands held high to reach out?
Can we see hearts cry out to reach out?
Can we see minds working bodies to mend?
Sorrowful tunes cased for a once happy tune sucks
It goes like the steps of a game of death
Chorus
‘Pa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na naaaa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na na na na na na
Pa pa na na na na
Pa na na na aa
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Pa na na na na
Na pa na na na na’
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) November 1, 2016

ELECTORAL COMEDY

Serious basket sent to the stream of ambitions
To fetch heads which sync with hands
In hardwork to weave the nation
Suddenly developed comedic holes
Posing pictures of ridicule
In a nation whose teeth can’t afford a smile
Talk less of laughter

II
Fishes flawed and thrown out
Have majestically managed to catwalk
Into the basket eyed by all
Did the basket fall?
Did its call for flaws flaw?
Is it about to topple
To break the hard earned weave of many hands?

III
I had a vision
The feminine flag fell at the feet of its poll
Shot by many mouths with stones of her over criticism
In her catapult of ‘frenchimness’
Lo and behold, signs like a pen
Sign evidence in days in her prideful fingers
What is man to think of it all?

IV
Serious comedy!
Comic parody!
Haunting ridicule!
Daunting spectacle!
When will serious matters fly high
On eye boxes as against the follies?
Oh Ghana my motherland!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) Nov. 4, 2016.

DUST IN OUR EYES

We are our illnesses
We, golden children
Conceived painfully and graciously
By Asaase Yaa, the goddess of nature
How can we heal?

II
Our legs flirt with fine dust of deceit
Enthroning it to build mansions
In our priced noses
Distributing coughs of fear
Digging pain of panic
Blinding us and
Developing weaknesses which deepen our sores
Helping flies to travel to feast fat
On our blessed bodies
Who is our saviour
If we are our own devils?

III
Yesi yesi
Has a palace with shrines
Worshipped by many
Including skilled minds
Anything dished on plates of our minds
Are consumed gratefully
Without a thought to its ingredients
What kind of minds eat
But do not weed let alone grow to process?

IV
Vanishing genitals
Human hunters
Defaming saints
Promoting angels of Satan
Which action fiction scripts can’t we write
With our mouths and thoughts?

V
Gift of discernment
Heaps of choices
Apt analysis
N ever ending options
Appropriate conclusions
Can we not be refined through this order?
Rhetorics are best left hanging
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) November 2, October, 2016

COMEDY OF ERRORS (NDUOM VRS EC)

 
It was at the gate of fate
That one Osei Tutu’s grand daughter
Who is chief security
Barred some legs from stepping onto
The stage of prestige
To look for thumbs whose power
Could push their buttocks Onto the highest seat
Of the coveted once upon a time Gold Coast
II
Political Methuselah
Aka Agya Mfinfim
The ‘I know my right’ business icon
Tasted the bitter fate
So wore his litigation mmeri ntama
And drove straight to legal complaints hall
Flanked by many Including his beautifully built
Eloquently brilliant
Young and vibrant
Daughter of Eve whose support concretes his foundation
Amidst the jeers and cheers of many fingers and mouths
Many who believed a centipede sought to battle a rhinoceros
III
Lawyers boxed lawyers
With big words in gloves
Eyes watched keenly
The denouement, exact replica of David conquering Goliath
Agya mfinfim broke into the gate of fate With the hammer of the law
Slapping the security team with incompetence
Their dizziness is seen in their circling of confusion
Oh serious comedy of errors!
Will all booted take advantage to follow?
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) October 29, 2016
 

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)
black-narrator-beard
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

WHY GHANA WILL NOT GO TO WAR

Possibility is an accomodation in impossibility
So I will not take an absolute ruler
To evict it from its rightful place
But none accommodated
Is given more than a room
No matter how many there are
Unless blood binds or money massages palms of ownership
War is no friend to us
War has no money to give
War has no charm
That is why Ghana will not go to war

II
Will a Fanti man leave his ‘mfantimfanti’ and ‘etiw’ along the coast
To turn savage
Running the bushes to feed on rats as a luxury?
Tell me a believable story!

III
Will an Akan proper exchange his fufu
With ‘mpunam’, snails, poku, roasted mashrooms
All scented by prekese in palm and nuts exchange-waters
Or light soup rivers
Drinkable in the belly of earthenware
To be a thirsty smoked ‘kusiee’
In a hell hole of war?
Not when ‘apio brantan’ fangs evoke sweat from willing pores
In hope of satisfaction,  then sleep
Think again!
Even a day without it is his fasting day

IV
‘Komi ke kena’
How many love songs
Have these lover edibles inspired
From the hearts of Ga fans?
No matter where he sleeps now
A Ga man won’t think of the nightmare
Of leaving his kenkey for even a morning
To run a marathon of fitness no ei sports
Let alone flee like an alligator
Chased by tongues which find it appetizing
“Mini? Kaalu”
Never happening

V
When akple dances on slippery tongues
Clothed in fetiri dekye
Which paraschutes it down the road-throat of an Ewe man
Make no mistake to interrupt
Especially when palm wine sits at the hallway of stomach
Expecting more to fill its cup
In this fantasy of delicacy
Don’t forget abolo and one-man-thousand as side attractions
Tell me of an Ewe man
Who would want to turn ‘koklo’
And be chased by ammunition of war?
Come again please
You have missed a step

VI
Found as charming lice
On the head of mother Ghana
Strength blends braveness
Sometimes forcing enthusiasm to test warriorship
On stages of chieftaincy
But just as mountains can’t be trees
So is the obvious fact that a politician is not a chief
Which standing mind will leave his tuo and aleefu
Or tuo and bra
Or even tuo and ayoyo to
Draw blood for a travelling fart
No matter how stinking?
‘Wassawassa’ will not leave those consciences to slaughter without an alter
‘Gable’ will curse throats
If war holds a gun to force pito lovers
Into desserts of fear on account of negligence
Oh dear
The tongue is a powerful tool!

VII
‘Akyeke na paya’ won’t leave westners to think war
Hands fanning the speck of fire
In the middle of our comfortable pillows
Save your strength and rest your hands
We have too many lovables of tongues
To play balls of politics
And end in holes of war
Haunted by regrets and uncertainties
And turned flies hovering for crumbs
Mouths of thoughts with fear,
Abena yours included,
Gyai ka na me nngyai tie
Ghana prides in her Peace
Because she is a a born sage
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) October 14, 2016

FUEL THE FIGHT

Fight o fight
Fight like soldier ants at war
With bullets of minds
Firing ignorance of thumbs
Thumbs which vote for ethnic clothes
Devoid of bodies therein

II
Fight o fight
Fight Ghanaman fight
Fight like bombs to burn to extinction
The exchange of thumbs for gifts
To see the dawn of change

III
Fight o fight
Fight with the bat of enlightenment
Shaking weak fences
Which house onlookers
Like bats on comfortable trees
To fall into the chain of action
In battle for the greener heaven we seek

IV
Fight o fight
Fight like lions and lionesses
Guarding the last bit of manna meat
In their palace jungle
From hyenas unveiled in wool,
Chameleons stealing colours of attraction to charm
And scorpions acting friendly crabs to pinch
For even the heavens tire in giving

V
Fight o fight
For rolling blood turned soil in turning
Blood which oozed like water from broken main pipelines
Unwilling yet necessitated by patriotism
With visions of planted seedlings
Growing in the warmth of the land
Fight fiercely for
That expensive watering to cushion freedom and ease

VI
Fight o fight
Fight like the warriors who birthed to shadow
Fight like the sages who gave their all
For our all
Fight to heat that sorry pattern
To take the shape of smiles and pride
Filling gutters of corruption
Manholes of greed
Erosions of connections
To open the cuffs on hands of Ghanaian growth
Ushering our knees from aches of stooging
Restoring our confidence pots
In the good books of peeved ancestors
Who watch well our performances
On this stage of Ghana
With defeated tears as the only cloudy and bloody rains
From their beautiful eyelids
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

THE NEEDED LIBATION

I call on Onyankopon Twereduampong
The craftsman with no challenger
One who seived darkness from light
And gave them realms to rule
One who moulded common clay like a masterpiece
And gave it thoughts of superiority
One who created a universe that even great minds can’t its steps of creation fathom
To come for his drink!
Omnipotent myth!
Maker of all the bluffing and meek!
Come for your drink

Wie!

II
I next call on all figures known as passage ways to Twereduampong
From Kramo-Kandifo to Papa Yesu
Not forgetting the uncountable gods
Whether in famine or abundance
Those who have given such signs to many,
Confused most
Taken much blood for their glory in quietude
I say
Come, drink with Ghanaman!

Wie!

III
Every hand which work the land
In positivity with visions
Visions of brighter tomorrow
Visions of happy faces taking batons of custodianship
Visions of flying flags for fierce forces
Visions of being the kowtowed and not the kowtowing
I serve your hard earned drinks in the calabashes from the belly of your land!
Here, come for them!

Wei!

IV
Now to all hawkers of dirty linens
Clothing the ‘adagya’ of mother Ghana
The ‘aban-nnye-abusua’ clan
Who set fires in the cushions of the nation
Generating smoke for neighbours
Calling flies from alien lands
Onto sores of their heritage
I say ayekoo!
Otwereduampong knows best his art
That is why history of birth can never be erased
Bleaching changes skin colour
But all good eyes see the freckles which mark the soul
I say continue burning yours and yours
Call for aid and flies on your sores
Know your consciences never die
And if ancestors watch our path
I pray for you to join their watch
Seeing your ills shaking our grounds
Seeing your holes breaking our defences
Seeing your fire-scars which easily sore
But for now,
No sage feeds only good children leaving the stubborn
Come for the drink fetched from drought!

Wie!

V
Minds without hands
Who seek to kill the drivers of our land
And hop into their seats to negotiate dangerous curves
Flies hovering,  always looking for sores to dig deep for fresh flesh
To lay bare our bones
Vampires of blood different from their lands
Vultures who stand on tall trees from deep forests
We are hospitable fellows
Fellows who give even to demons
Forget of the choking on drinks from the magnanimous
Forget of the pure hearts you wish murder upon
Forget of the ills we wish upon your breed
Forget of the traps we ask the gods to lay
We believe even the condemned must be fed on his journey
Boldly come for some drink from our crying pots

Wie!

VI
Now I call on all whose hands host powers
And have mouths close to the Creator of creators
To come for a convention of intervention!
Uproot all evil trees
Whose roots poison our lands to flourish!

Wie!

Destroy all evil seeds who dream of comfortable soils to soil this land!

Wie!

Continue to tend to our wounds
Placing hunters where horrid hunters hunt
In our beautiful sphere
And shoot into embarrassment
Spies throwing them into dens of their hungry dogs
Dogs cannibalistic and daring
To make scapegoats out of over ambitious trained eyes

Wie!

Guide and guard to glide
Stepping into grass to find its ladder
Let us not have the fate of riding through Genesis to end in Revelations!
We read it all but hell must burn in the pages only

Wie!

VII
We are on harmful grounds
Clear the slippery mould and burn the fog
Opening eyes to see far
To plan ahead
The land needs the glowing peace in hardwork
To brighten the hunt for success
Heal our minds to clear our ‘pesemenkomenya’!

Wie!

Take the cuffs of inferiority off our brains and free our bondage

Wie!

We are your mortal livers
Posted in marked times
Hear us here and now
Into undecipherable glory

Wie!

Listen to your fragile vessel
And hold hands to help build Ghana
Wie wie wie!

Wie!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) October 3, 2016

SANKOFA

There was a time
When stories, like scary whips
Ruled the consciences of growing heads
Declawing the roaring
Un-canining monsters
Lighting dark hearts
Strengthening the weak
Shaping faults into saintly vaults
Spirits in story clothes!
Did we leave them for myths undecipherable?

II
Our ancestors were wise
So wise in most
That we could actually boast
But the boastables turned roastables
As civilisation enticed stealing of habits so alien to our realms
Now very green leaves
Have demystified curiosities of new marital bliss
Weakening the bones of beds
Long before fours are handcuffed into them
Where did sanity leave us for banalities?

III
No buttocks of the young
Graced the pates of chairs while the old stood
No ears of the growing
Were found close to places where mouths of the grown played
No sound of the young crashed adult discipline, anger or complain
No elderly head
Entertained loads at the sight of a youngster
All elders parented
All children consented
Westernizing Ghananiasms into Africanisms?
How good are the servings on modern plates?

IV
Who opened the colonial gate?
There are hot coals on our pates!
Who made this horror bait?
How many can stand the chaotic dates?
Who changed our beautiful fate into slave crates?
Isn’t there too much to hate?
When did all age become mates?
At this rate, isn’t it getting late?
I can hardly stand the revolutionary wait
State the traits on the reality slate

V
Exhume the ancestral torches of rightness
To help find the paths long deserted
Water the dead plants of cool history
To get us into the right chemistry
Sound the bells our nature knew
To get sanity in our crew
We were not blind followers of white robes
We were Afris who could
Who says we still can’t?
I say we can, Can and CAN!!!
Who says sankofa is a path un-treadable?
Sankofa!
Realization is all it takes!!!
Sankofa!
It is not a meal with allergies!!!
Sankofa
Dead firewood needs just a little flame to light!!!
Sankofa!
No abomination hovers its estate!!!
So let’s be sankofied
To uproot the hydra that modernity plants
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) September 9, 2016

GHANAIAN DELICACIES

My tongue is pampered
Like a mushroom on an anthill
Crowned by the fertile farms of mother nature
Ghana, my motherland!

II
So much do they give
Plants and trees
Leaves and all
Yam boils to accommodate many
My favourite; “potogum hwiegum”
Led by the great garden eggs
With koobi as angels at post
Add an egg with palm oil
And all is set in pepper-field
What heavens lie in the land!

III
Need I mention banku and its many suitors?
Ah! That feeling when it meets okra soup
With momoni as its unseen lavender
Wele, its unshakable soldiers
Crabs, its lion-delicio- accompaniment
Add “ademe”
Nutrition complete
Am I not a pampered tongue?

IV
I so love tuo zaafi
Its green-green
Coupled with “stomach things” of cows and goats
Add dawadawa
And even Satan will lie low to enjoy
My teeth are just too happy
To be blessed with their passing
Ghana Ghana my motherland!

V
Oh fufu fufu fufuo!
Like breast milk mixed with honey for a new born
Casava meets plantain; my favourite
Palm nut soup graced
Add mpu-nam
Snails on guard
Some accompanying mud fish
A salmon or two
Kai! You dare not talk
When the men visit “wala-beley” temples
And sit to dine
Eating in fixed postures as hands work wonders
Says it all
Ghana Ghana Ghana!!!

VI
“Brode a asunson”
Palava sauce
Akple and “abobi-tadi”
Abenkatenkonto and face the wall
Mpotonmpoto; yams and cocoyams
Akyeke and pear
Abolo or
Awiasu
Asante banana
Kube in all its vitamins
Oranges sweet and sour
Watermelons from Nalerigu
Pawpaw blessed with brightness
Mangoes, all in their seasons
Shea nuts and black berries
Pineapples and sugar cane
Can I mention them all?

VII
I am a queen in a royal country
Everything is deli-fantastic
And healthy
Ghana my motherland
Delicasweetbliss galore!!!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) September 2, 2016

INDUCED HELL

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Skies of the throne of Freejustice
Rain to ruins
Like ships draining their seas while at sea
At high fees
The waves that keep them afloat
Are divided into three

II
The blind waves
Which push like donkeys even in drought
The on-fence waves
Which would give their lives
Than lift fingers to right any wrong
And the opposing waves
With thoughts of ‘all ships are the same’
Which see all flaws
Rebel in stagnancy
Caring not when  tsunamis would strike

III
I had a dream
Not like that of Martin Luther King
A dream that the red broke into the gold
The gold lost its balance
And fell with its black star into the green
The green helplessly fell apart
Into the latrines of war

IV
I had a dream
Not like that of Barack Obama
Soldiering warriors stood still
Like robots on display
In pretence of obedience to their regulations
As the fires of corruption
Sped their ways through them
With their human fear giving the horrors
In their eyes away
In that same dream
The flood of division
Begged at the feet of destroying tsunamis
Pain was busy frying beings in their sorrow pans
As death’s plates overflew with meats
Of grasses who loved their divisional teams
Funny,  how the chaos discriminated not
Funny how the cries were in symphony

V
I had a dream
Not like Joseph’s
Because he was the redemption
I felt the hellish heat of regrets
Saw consciences holding powerful canes
And whipping heads which housed them
Feeling the fear of last days
Confessions falling into gutters of
“What is done is done, we are already in hell”

VI
Books laid on seas with arms wide open
Calling on eyes to see the hidden truths
Read the success paths left far behind
But even the fishermen fled the seas
As they drowned silently in floods of neglect

VII
I woke toasted by fear
With sweats of a thin escape
But what is a tiny voice among multitudes of voices
When all mouths talk at once
Deafening ears
Confusing eyes
As legs walk into traps of destruction
Even blessings of God need planning
To fit in
Making a nation strong can’t just be the words of prophecies
Boldness to defend calls for pain of ridicules
Who is ready to start the defense?
Even the anthem lies on the executioner’s table
All together in support of its murder
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) August 15, 2016.
Inspired by Mike Amon Kwafo’s painting;  Upheaval Africa
Painting by Mike Amon Kwafo

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

PIECING PEACE

Heed peace’s call
And stand tall
Or fall
Look what just fell in your court
The option ball
So don’t be dull
Gather all
In the thinking hall
And strengthen peace’s wall

II
From the days the cock crowed
On the Ghana throne
To these times of the umbrella
We have kept it strong
No matter how long
The elephants battle the umbrellas
No matter how strong
The coconuts taunt the doves
No matter how severe
The cocks assault the eagles
Hands mould our peace
To wall us into protection

III
What do we have but peace?
Pull its plug
And fall into death’s dug
Like a smelly bug
Slapped from a priced jug
None will in there hug
Crave for peace
Save for peace
Vote for peace
And let peace, like the greatest warrior
Fend for us
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) August 4, 2016

SCANDALOUS

Chaos boils like hot water
In the highest place of the land
Can it melt its saucepan
To help create another in good shape?
I think not
Given the fact that
Here is here
And choas boils to cool
Never to ever rise in heat
Ah! Kwa kwa kwa kwa, beaky chirps

II
This fire which fans this heat
Under the coalpot of foul play
With the charcoal of corruption
And the match of disappointment
Being fanned by the fan of opposition
Will it die too soon?
Will it burn to ashes together with its heat?
Or be killed by its heating water?
I am curious
Like a passing wind
I know this is an issue in travel
By a fast plane
A Ford
A taxi
Or a trotro
Whatever the means
Eyes of mine watch
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

A PLEA TO THE QUEEN

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I need to dine
With the queen of England
And if we wine
I will be in Powerland
To find the soul
Of the sea of English
Which gave enlightening bowl
From the rivers of British
And made some clowns in wish for crowns

II
I need to dine
With the queen of England
And if we wine
I will be in Blessland
Who else can show
The heart of decorum
And empowerment sow
In a land ruled by scrotums?

III
I need to dine
With the queen of England
And if we wine
I will be in Graceland
Who else can blow
Candles of inferiority
And act to grow
Her former Adams in Eden?

IV
I need to dine
With the queen of England
And if we dine
I will be in Justland
Whose knife best cuts
Weeds of corruption
Than the head who saw
The plough in motion?

V
I need to dine
With the queen of England
And if we wine
I will be in Successland
Only a mother knows best
How to right her young
And show her chest
To give a pillow
Like a rooster’s nest
After its steppings
So give me a dine
With the queen of England
And if we dine,
If we dine
I will see all lands
Which grew our land
And made our stand
By lending a hand
A hand of command
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016
Photo Credit: Google pics

HOPE NOT FOR STILLNESS

Hope not for stillness
There will come a time
When tables will have more attention than you
They will be moved
Made to carry
Turned to rest
While the earth keeps still
With you in its belly

II
Hope not for stillness
As your ears hear the cocks crow
Hear the sounds of happy birds
Who are thankful to be in the wake
And your eyes see
Your legs move
Your hands touch
Be grateful for the move

III
I am like a flying eagle
No matter my hurdles
I am like the dancing breezes
No matter the troubles
I am like a smiling sky
No matter the clouds
For I am grateful
Grateful for the wake
As I have one more day
To step on my eternal bedroom
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

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!!!

RHYTHMS OF INDEPENDENCE

imageWith one mind

All sought to find

Freedom which in bondage hid to blind

But none triumphed but one in a kind

Kwame Nkrumah! Stopper of the colonial grind!

II

We have travelled a long way

Graduated to adulthood so can have our say

Way past our childish play

Not so easy a stay

But we have many a day

III

We are “aman mma”

We are Ghana “mma”

We are “agudie mma”

Of the royal kind

Ghana is the black star

With the most lighting light

We see so clear

Although some seem to blind

We stand through it all

IV

We uphold the blood

Which fought and flooded

We cherish the breaths

Which ceased for the land to breathe

We know the mothers who wept in sufferance

Their fertile lands being grazed to barrenness

Knowing the intimidation that walked the minds

Of the powerful fathers who were with ignorance tamed

V

Seeing so much

Not all happiness as such

Mother Ghana needs a party

For staying alive and shielding our lives

We will sing and dance to Agbadza

Sing and dance to Kpanlogo

Sing and dance to Adowa

Sing and dance to it all

Dances created in her fertile belly of ingenuity

VI

I hope the rhythms clear our minds

Do us bind

And clear our blinds

I pray the rhythms wear us clothes of patriotism

And clear all lies

Which promises to see her die

And keep our feet on their soles

So our knees work instead of kneel

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016

Image: Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng

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

THRONE OF KINGS

No matter how tight
A rope ties a tree
In order to see the face of the sky
In ambitions to tie the sky
To see the heavens
It coils back to hug
The head of the tree
After realizing the sky gives no ladder

II
We of the “dumsor”clan
Danced to the disco rhythms
Of electrical phantography
Until we realised the disk jockey
Was a cute self slaughtered but very kicking dead goat
On the throne of kings

III
Did we not see?
Did we not see male legs kicking caked balloons
Digging gold blocks in the midst of dust
As that of female legs yawn in digging
Until sympathising mouths call for their compensation?

IV
Did we not watch as goats carried yams
And walked into chambers of gargantuan courtal gods
To trash cases which call for heads of their carriers
As innocent hearts are whipped into public guilt?

V
Blood of the innocent
Have cried in their wrongness
A Gyan rapeness
Turned wrong in silliness
The Nelson Vigil
Showered its host with victimization
Even a Wisa dangled his accursed cucumber
For tongues to wag on its dreary secret

VI
The dumsor king
Promised his throne
But found a way to keep it
In the dying minute of his timed promise
We of the golden belt
Ghana “mma” have seen it all
Waiting to be dazzled by the screens of 2016
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

TRIBAL HULLABALOO (CRAZY STANZAS)

When I ‘broke my hand’
And sought a band
Nana and Maame met in a band
To sing tribal tunes

II
They started by singing of Ewes
And how they are named after an animal
And raised their vocals like daunting pianists
To sing tales of the wickedness of the animal tribe
Their love for blood
In revenge
Their yearning for stealing rather than being given
Their love for spells
“Tukwei” Killing in just seven days
And their trait of marrying their own
Even after marrying from another tribe
Nothing was good about them in mama and grandma’s duet

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

LECTURE BY THE BUREAU OF GHANA LANGUAGES, TAMALE

The Bureau of Ghana Languages, Tamale, held a lecture on the importance of the use of the local language in Tamale at the Tamale Senior High School Auditorium. The lecture which was scheduled from 3pm to 5pm took off around 3:55pm on November 20, 2015 and was a huge success.

The MC was th District Director of Education
The MC was th District Director of Education

The speakers for the occasion, Alhaji Iddrisu Adam (Retired Educationist), Mr. Issahaku Alhassan (Lecturer, University of Education, Winneba) and the representative for Prof. Apusigah Atia, Dr. Agatha Inkoom (Head of Department, Faculty of Education- University for Development Studies)  spoke on ‘The Importance of the Mother Tongue in Education’, ‘The Essence of the Mother Tongue in a Middle Income Ghana’ and ‘The Use of the Mother Tongue as the Medium of Instruction in our Lower Primary Schools’ respectively.

Alhaji Abdul Adam
Alhaji Iddrisu Adam

“THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MOTHER TONGUE/GHANAIAN LANGUAGE TEACHING IN THE EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF GHANA BY ALHAJI IDDRISU ADAM

INTRODUCTION

In an overall discussion of the mother tongue literacy in the education system of Ghana, one would need to consider the subject under the following:

  1. The Ministry of Education’s policy on Ghanaian Languages
  2. The use of the Mother tongue in socio-cultural activities
  3. Ghanaian Language in politics
  4. Problems of Mother tongue literacy
  5. National language
  6. Policy on the Teaching of Ghanaian Languages

There has always been the need for specific and comprehensive policy on the teaching of Ghanaian languages. Though various views have been expressed, the policy on the teaching of Ghanaian Languages as outlined in the 1951 Accelerated Development plan for Education is still valid.

The policy is as follows:- Gbedemah F. F. K. (1975) pp.46

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  1. Classes 1-3: the vernacular should be the medium of instruction
  2. Class 4: Introduce English as a medium of Instruction
  3. Class 6 all lessons in English.

It is obvious from the above policy that English would be taught from the first grade to the third year in the primary school as a subject. Using the Ghanaian Language as the medium of instruction means it is to be used to teach other subjects including English.

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Earlier in 1920, the Educationist Committee under the chairmanship of Mr. D. J. Oman then Director of Education recommended that in order not to denationalize the country’s children, English should be introduced as early as possible as a subject of instruction but that the vernacular should be the medium of instruction.

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Under  this recommendation, Guggisberg minuted, “this is probably the most important of all the committee’s recommendations. How can these infants really learn a subject in a foreign language; an adult might”. This recommendation was made the 12th of Guggisberg’s sixteen principle of Education. “Whilst an English Education must be given, it must be based solidly on the vernacular”- Mc William H. O. A. et al (1975) pp.54-58.DSC09750

There are so many reasons to support the positions taken by Guggisberg with regard to mother tongue literacy. Some of these may include;

  1. The psychological as well as the mental development of the child should be considered when teaching him/her any discipline especially language. The mother tongue has such a strong hold on the individual to such an extent that among many Ghanaian Language groups, the pronunciation of some words in a second language are influenced by the intonation of the first language ( an example is the “M” for “N” and “R” for “L”) etc.
  2. The child’s ideas and thoughts are in his own language and will be long with him after he is speaking quite good English. If the child is therefore to be encouraged to think for himself as stated in our aims of education, he must first be helped to think in his own language.DSC09742
  3. The use English may impose some limitations on the child’s thinking, especially at the early stage since thinking takes place in the mother tongue.
  4. The vernacular is also the child’s contact with his home, family and village and education should give him better understanding and contact with the home and village.

The efforts that were put into the study and development of our indigenous language in the school during the pre-colonial period were far more substantial than those we have put in since our independence. Our Colonial Masters seemed to have appreciated the necessity for us to know and use our linguistic heritage far more than we ourselves do. There seem to be more neglect of our responsibilities for our local languages now. Many people seem to be miseducated against the vernacular and for that matter mother tongue literacy.DSC09738

The time has come for us to free our minds of such negative attitude against the local languages. For whilst one needs the English Language to reach the international communities and government business, we equally need the local languages at the intr-societal levels. There is no need for linguistic imperialism now. The school has a responsibility to make the child literate in both English and the mother tongue.

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  1. The use of the Mother-tongue in Socio-Cultural Activities

The preservation of the people’s pride lies in their own culture. This pride may be undermined when pupils find that little use is made of their mother tongue, which is the best vehicle for cultural transmission and expression.

The culture of the people is found in the child’s own language. The child’s own language should therefore be taught at its purest and best forms so that the child can appreciate the literature, stories, songs and poems of his country perhaps add his own contribution to them when he grows older.

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The non-inclusion or lack of attention of the mother tongue in the school curriculum will not only undermine the culture of Ghanaians but will create academic giants and social dwarfs. A good working knowledge of the Ghanaian Language is very essential to the understanding of the Ghanaian culture. We use the mother tongue to express our emotions to either joy or sorrow. At the society level a person’s standard or qualification is based on the quality of his/her use of the local language and conformity of his/her behaviour with the norm. To the society person who fails in his behaviour and use of the local language is not well educated by their local standards.

Mother tongue literacy therefore helps the individual to acquire the necessary language skills well enough to function in the society.

  1. Ghana Language in Politics

Briefly, one can observe that though English is the official language of Ghana, the local languages are becoming more effective weapons politically and will continue on this role for a long time to come because the bulk of Ghana’s population is still illiterate in the requirements of the English language.DSC09748

Our recent political campaigns ans party activities have shown that almost all the political parties found slogans in the Ghanaian languages more effective than the English slogans (eg. Asieɛ hↄ! ɛsoro hↄ! And not the top or under and oh lɛm! And not oh umbrella).

Though politicians use the local languages to canvass for votes, once they win, they have to use to English which is the official language for government business. The implication is that the bulk of Ghanaians who do not speak English do  not understand how their representatives are articulating the use of the electorate. It will therefore be good if reports on proceedings in parliament could be made in the local languages (some MPs may just keep quiet in parliament for fear of making grammatical mistakes on the floor of parliament. Such MPs may be very effective at the committee level but how can their constituents know?)

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  1. Problems of Mother-tongue Literacy

Many people are still miseducated against the mother tongue to the extent that they blame the child’s failure in some subjects on the mother tongue. Not until it is proven, it will be wrong for people to take this stand against the local language.

 

One of the problems of mother tongue literacy is tDSC09759hat many teachers are not literates in their own mother tongue. Teachers who have themselves received their education and professional training in the English language have real difficulty in learning to teach in the mother tongue. A teacher is not adequately qualified to teach a language merely because it is his mother tongue. There is also inadequate number of textbooks in the Ghanaian languages. The greatest number of publications in the Ghanaian languages until recently fell under the classification of Christian Religion.

There seems to be no stable language policy for education. Whilst teachers are trained in the Ghanaian Languages in the university level, the Ghanaian languages are not core subjects in the senior high school level. This has left the Ghanaian language at the mercy of headmasters. No wonder some schools do not offer Ghanaian languages and students are punished for speaking their mother tongue.

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It is true that the child needs to be taught English in order to feel at home in the language in which the affairs of his government are carried on and in order to have access to the world history, new arts, science and technology. This should not be done to the total neglect of the Ghanaian language which is the contact line between the home and the school.

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NATIONAL LANGUAGE

After 58 years of independence, the English language continues to be the national language and is used for government business and administration. This means we are only politically independent but still in the bondage of linguistic imperialism. Though the use of one Ghanaian language as a national language maybe desirable, for the nation’s cohesion and unity, it will be a difficult political decision if not impossible.

As stated earlier, language is a vehicle for the transmission of the people’s heritage and culture generally. To replace the English language with one Ghanaian language will therefore pose the same problem for other Ghanaians whose languages may not be chosen. The best way forward will be to give all Ghanaian languages equal opportunities to develop so that one of them will eventually come out above the others. When this happens, Ghanaians will adopt such a Ghanaian language without anybody imposing it on the country like the politicians do with regard to slogans (Ehejo! Eeeshie Rado Rado Rado! etc)

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CONCLUSION

Ghanaian languages in the school have suffered in the past and even now from a certain lack of appreciation of the importance of mother tongue literacy. It is hoped that with the launching of the national Literacy Acceleration Programme (NALAP) in 2009, the situation will change positively. As stated earlier, Mr. D. J. Oman, Director of Education in 1920 recommended the inclusion of the mother tongue in the school curriculum to Governor Guggisberg. The question now is, what is the position of the Director General of Education of independent Ghana in 2015? It must be noted that if literacy is the ability to read and write without specifying the language of the material, those of us who cannot read and write our own languages are therefore illiterates as far as those languages are concerned.

Thank you.”

 

Alhaji Issahaku Al-Hassan
Alhaji Issahaku Al-Hassan

 

“THE RELEVANCE OF THE MOTHER TONGUE IN A MIDDLE IN INCOME GHANA

ISSAHAKU AL-HASSAN (LECTURER)

UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION WINNEBA

COLLEGE OF LANGUAGES AJUMAKO CAMPUS.

ABSTRACT

This paper intends to discuss the relevance of the mother tongue in a middle income Ghana. The definitions of what mother tongue is will be explained and then go further to explain what a middle income country is and then see the status of Ghana in the middle income bracket. The relevance of the mother tongue will be discussed in general and then focus on Ghana as a country. The effects of the usage of the mother tongue on the people’s cultural development, trade, governance and briefly on education. It will be concluded by indicating how Ghana tends to benefit if we develop positive attitudes towards the usage of the mother tongue or tends to lose as a nation if we are passive about it.

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In looking at the topic under discussion, the first question to be asked is, what is mother tongue? According to Webster’s International Dictionary 3rd Edition, mother tongue is defined as “the language of one’s mother; the language that is naturally acquired in infancy and childhood: one’s first language.” This definition would have been adequate if the whole of humanity were living in isolated areas without people of different languages interacting or if people were staying on different islands.

UNESCO 1953 and 1968 committee of experts report on language of education, defined mother tongue as “the language which a person acquires in the early years and which normally becomes his natural instrument of thought and communication.” It further explains that the mother tongue need not be the language of one’s parents use the language one first learnt to speak since circumstances may cause one to abandon this language more or less completely at an early age.

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According to Pattanayak (1986), mother tongue is “the expression of one’s own identify of being. It is the language through which a person perceives the surrounding world and through which initial concept formation takes place. It is also the medium through which the child establishes kinship relationships with other children and adults around. The mother tongue is that language, the loss of which results in the loss of footedness in traditions and mythology of the speech community and leads to intellectual impoverishment and emotional sterility” Pattanayak explains that when a child is denied his childhood language, his childhood has been stolen from him. Intellectually you are making him bankrupt and emotionally useless. He tends not to fit well in the society.

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The second question to be asked is what is a middle income country? In the words of the World Bank, middle income countries are countries having per capita gross national income of US$1,026 to $12,475, they are a diverse group by size, population and income level. Middle income countries are a home to five of the world’s seven billion people and 73% of the world’s poor people. At the same time, middle income countries represent about one third of the global GDP and are major engines of global growth. The World Bank classifies the middle income category into two; the high/upper middle and the lower middle incomes.  Countries like Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, India, Iraq, Pakistan and others are in the lower middle income, while countries like Angola, Gabon, Algeria, Iran, Jamaica, Argentina, South Africa and others are in the upper middle income. Ghana entered this category when oil was discovered and extracted in commercial quantities. We are in the category but we are still to find our feet to be stable.

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Ghana being a middle income country will now need its manpower base to be able to cope with its new status, especially those to fit into the new oil industries. One will be tempted to ask, what place the mother tongue has in this new industry. Countries are made up human beings who come from different ethnic groups and speak different languages. In looking at the number of languages in Ghana, different scholars have put the number from 45 to 85 languages. These languages serve as the mother tongue languages to so many people in the country. Language is the key component of culture, it is the vehicle that carries culture about and so people are very passionate about their culture and pride themselves in their languages.

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Ghana has an official language which is English, it is the language used tin all official and non-official and non-official functions. The nation also recognizes some indigenous language as national languages these are Dagaare, Dagbani, Dangme, Ewe, Ga, Gonja, Kasem, Nzema, Twi and Fante. These languages tend to serve as regional languages and are also taught in the school system of the country.

Mother tongue languages are an irreplaceable cultural knowledge and a cornerstone of indigenous community and family values. Our languages are a store of several generations of world’s knowledge and wisdom. The loss of the mother tongue will be a threat to the existence of mankind. The knowledge of our environment is not only embedded in the languages but our intellectual and linguistic diversity constitute a system crucial for survival (Reyhner 1996, Krauss 1996).

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Indeed if we are to get our economic and political bondage then we must look towards the mother tongue (our languages) as a major tool to recreate a personality that has confidence in and respect for himself. The mother tongue (MT) and cultures should enable us to reject further colonization of the mid which makes the MT look inferior and that we are not capable of sustaining our existence.DSC09797

Social cost is MT loss. It is well documented in literature that when MT languages are being lost, there is a corresponding cost including alcoholism, drug abuse, dysfunctional families, child abuse etc. This is the result of the disintegration of family values that hitherto served as a check to these negative activities (Lily Wong Fillmore 1991, Russel 1995).

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The legal dimension is another factor that should urge us not to just use MT only as a subject of study but as a medium of instruction. The 1992 constitution guarantees freedom of expression. It will therefore be unconstitutional to make English or any foreign language the medium of instruction when most people actually only speak and properly understand many issues in the MT is to deny them the freedom to express themselves in the appropriate language. The Linguistic Rights of every citizen is very important and its violation has serious legal implications.

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All over the world, especially in the developed world, e.g. USA, there are growing efforts to revive extinct languages, those in danger of extinction (endangered) or at least encourage many indigenous people to maintain their MT. In the USA, these have been backed by legislation (the Native American Languages Act 1992. Bilingual Education Act etc)Every human being reasons in his MT, and we turn to view things in our culture and not in the second language that has been learnt. The MT is an efficient tool for thought. It also contributes in the building self esteem and self-consciousness. It is said that we dream in our MT and not in other languages. The mother tongue plays a central role in life of a person because he grows by what his culture has taught him from infancy.DSC09798

The mother tongue will help us develop very fast in technology, trade, and in governance. Nations have developed and are great because they use their MT which help them. Nations like Japan, China, Israel, and most of the Asian tiger nations. Libya’s Gaddaffi used the MT of his nation to keep his people together when he launched his green book ideology. The MT is capable of transforming nations for their development.

In trade, people understand better in their mother tongue, that is why adverts are being done in the local languages. Ghana has a very high rate of English illiterates and so adverts in English will not be understood. Trading is done in the local languages when our markets are visited. The MT should be developed so that their usage would be beneficial to all.

It is no wonder that the first CPP government of Dr. Nkrumah established the mass education programme in 1951  and the PNDC also established the non-formal education division to help adults learn to read and write in their mother tongue. It was also in 1951 that Bureau of Vernacular literature (Bureau of Ghana Languages) was established to provide reading materials for the new learners of the vernacular.

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In governance, it is not only in English that people can think and come out with solutions to problems. The chieftaincy system has always been with us and most of the chiefs have been illiterates in English but that has not prevented them from performing their duties as chiefs. During the PNDC era, when the district assembly concept was established, assembly members were allowed to use the local languages the participants could express themselves in. The idea of using the MT during debates in the assemblies tried to disabuse the notion that only literates in English languages had solutions and knowledge to debate during sittings. The number of languages being used at such forums should be increased to cover all languages in the locality. It should not be restricted to only assembly sittings but parliamentary sittings too, where members are allowed to express themselves in their mother tongues.

In the case of technological development, the MT languages can fit in very well without problems. Scientific words and names are not the preserves of any language group. A lot of borrowing and translations is done names and words. This tells us that our MT languages can cope with the volume of new ideas that enter our system. Our constant usage will help our people understand what is going on in the new world as a whole.DSC09789

We are who we are. All we need to do is to understand ourselves and to add other people’s knowledge to ours so that we can develop better. When a child is able to establish the basic concepts of life in the mother tongue, when he encounters new ideas on his way, he is able to understand them very fast and to move forward in life. The child has little problems learning new things in life only if he was well grounded in the basic concepts formed in the MT language as Pattanayak said in the MT “ The loss of which results in the loss of footedness in traditions and mythology of the speech community and leads to intellectual impoverishment and emotional sterility” When a person loses the MT he loses a firm grip on his traditions and the myths of his people. He tends to look at things in the light of other people’s culture. If a person is not cultured, how can he contribute to the development of the nation? Our cultures make us who we are as Ghanaians; we pride ourselves as having a Ghanaian culture which is admired all over the world.DSC09791

Culturally, the history of most of the ethnic grouped is in the minds of people, especially with the Dagbamba, the Luaa (tomtom beater) he is able to recite the history of thee people and chiefs with perfection in the MT. his store of knowledge and wisdom is in the minds of people who are growing very old by the day. When such people do not transmit it to the young ones, then something great will be lost. These should be preserved in the MT; they will be as they are always, being recited. They should not be translated into English for keeping. Translations usually omit some parts of the message due to redundancy and repetitions, so that it will fit into the structure and norms of the receptor language.

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The philosophies of the ethnic groups are found in their proverbs, idioms, songs and folktales. These are all rendered in the MT to make them interesting and meaningful. These should be studied, collected and compiled in the MT so as to preserve them. Translations of these will render them not interesting again and the moral lessons they intend to teach will be lost.

The benefits of the MT languages to Ghana are so numerous but a few will be mentioned here. People tend to see themselves as important because their language is given its rightful place in the society. Productivity improves as workers understand instructions given to them in their language. Both adults and children benefit as they develop their cognitive competences. The nation will be able to transmit its culture to its young ones and also teach societal morals and values which will in the end socialize the individual.

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In conclusion, the discussion has given us the definitions of what mother tongue is and also explained what a middle income country is. We have looked at the status of Ghana in the middle income bracket. The relevance of the mother tongue has been discussed in general and we have focused on Ghana as a country. The effects of the usage of the mother tongue on the people’s cultural development trade, technology, governance and briefly on education were discussed. We also tried to give a few benefits on the usage of MT.

Thank you for staying with me throughout the discourse. May God help us understand and make use of this knowledge.”

 

 

Dr. Agatha Inkoom
Agatha Inkoom PhD

THE USE OF THE MOTHER TONGUE AS THE MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN OUR LOWER PRIMARY SCHOOLS, MERITS AND DEMERITS

Agatha Inkoom, PhD

University for Development Studies, Ghana

Paper delivered at the Bureau of Ghana Languages Tamale, Lecture series in conjunction with the centre for National Culture. Friday 20, November, 2015

Tamale Senior High School Assembly Hall

Introduction

The relevance of mother tongue in teaching and learning

The UNESCO 1953 observed that the best medium for teaching the child is his mother tongue. Psychologically, it is the system of meaningful signs that the child’s mind works automatically for understanding and expression. Sociologically, it is a means of identifying with the members of the community to which the child belongs. Educationally, the child learns more quickly through the mother- tongue than through any unfamiliar linguistic medium.

 

The UNESCO again commends the use of mother tongue to be extended to cover the entire primary school. Indeed, people should begin their schooling through the mother tongue because they understand it best and because the mother tongue will bridge the break between home and school.DSC09795

Other reasons underscore the necessity for Ghanaian Language learning by the school going child.

  1. The child should learn to love and respect the mental heritage of his people.
  2. When neglected, or haphazardly taught, there is the danger of crippling and destroying the productive and creative powers of the child and the genius of the race.

In line with UNESCO recommendations, the” Operational Guidelines” on Ghana’s basic education reforms confirm government’s policy that:

“The local Ghanaian Language should be the medium of instruction for the first three years of primary schools. English shall be learnt as a subject from first year at school and shall gradually become the medium of instruction from primary 4” (MOE Policy Guideline on School Education, 1988, p6). Based upon this, the Education Reforms Review Committee (1994) endorsed the policy and recommended:

…the intensification of training of Ghanaian Language teachers, and that posting of newly trained teachers should as far as possible consider their ability to use and teach the Ghanaian Language where they are posted to (Education Reform Review Committee Report, 1994:17).

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Various relevant implications derive from these policies. Fobih (1988) observes that at the start of school, the Ghanaian child:

  1. Has mastered the language
  2. Has become somewhat competent in the skills of listening and understanding in the language
  3. Has acquired the vocabulary
  4. Can use the sentence structures correctly
  5. Is able to begin reading the printed symbols of the language and writing it.

It is therefore not logically sound practice to leave the child’s linguistic development maturity in the mother tongue and start him all over again in a new language. The teachers task thus, is to help the child develop these skills further and teach him the visual appearance of the language that he already understands. The second policy implementations is that the Ghanaian child is to develop as a bilingual learner.

Fobih (1988) again observed that there is a big leap in the child’s thought process at the time he enters primary one by age 6. Cognitive chance changes like the child’s ability to reverse, conserve and transform, classify or serialise enable the child to easily assimilate or acquire the printed symbols of his language. Consequently, at primary 4, the child’s  cognitive maturity plus the teacher’s conscious effort to foster transfer in learning help the child to use his earlier skills in the mother tongue to aid the reading activity in the new second language.DSC09788

Research evidence exists in the literature on bilingual children that positively supports native language education and instruction. Loysp and Flood (1978) concluded in their study on bilingual education that the most logical sequence of learning to read and write by bilinguals is to start from their mother tongue. They cited evidence from other studies to show that students who first learn to read in vernacular made better progress even in the second language reading programme than did those students who had spent the same length of time working only on second language reading.

STUDIES ON TEACHING IN THE MOTHER-TONGUE

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The Nigerian Experience

One of the most convincing studies on teaching in the mother-tongue was carried out in the Ife Region of Nigeria in 1970 (Akinoso, 1993, Bamgbose, 1991). The purpose of the project was to test the use of languages in education during the first six years of primary school. Despite doubts, the evaluation of pilot schools and comparisons between them and other Nigerian schools were positive. The students in the project scored higher than their counterparts in the regular schools – both academically and cognitively. Moreover, pupils taught in Yoruba for the first six years of primary school were no less skilled in English than those taught in English throughout the last three years of primary school. The study concluded that, the advantages of teaching children in their mother-tongue go beyond academic success to include cultural, emotional, cognitive and socio-psychological benefits.

The Malian Experience

A similar evaluation of cognitive benefits in mother-tongue education was carried out in 1985 in Mali. About 150 pupils from experimental schools and 340 from French speaking schools starting at the same level were observed from primary one through primary six.

Results showed that 48% of the experimental school pupils finished their studies without repeating a single year as compared to only 7% of pupils from the French speaking schools.

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This study proves that, the use of mother- tongue in education is an important factor for academic success (Hutchinson, 1995).

The South African Experience

In 1990, a sub-lingual transition programme “Threshold Project”, was studied in South Africa (Luckett, 1994; Klein, 199; Cummins, 1979) in which the pupils’ mother-tongue was replaced with English in primary three.

The main conclusion of the study is that bilingual programmes in which a language different from the student’s mother tongue is used before a certain age, or before a certain “Cognitive Level” is achieved are not likely to be successful.

The Tanzanian Experience

A Tanzanian research in secondary schools demonstrated that, teaching Swahili (mother-tongue) is superior to teaching in English for the development of the mind (Mlama and Materu, 1978)

It was observed that, when pupils were asked a question in English, the answers were often incoherent and irrelevant, showing lack of understanding of the question and, or inability to reply in English.  However, when the same question was asked in the mother-tongue, pupils gave relevant and articulate answers.

The British Experience

The issue of which language to teach is not specific to Africa Only. Useful lessens can be obtained from the experiences of advanced countries- even though the context differs.

Between 1978 and 1981, the University of Bradford in Great Britain observed the effects of yearly bilingual programmes on five year old native Punjabi (an Indian Language) speakers.

A controlled group using only English scored much lower than children who were taught partly in English.

In sum, all these experiences lend overwhelming evidence in support of mother-tongue education for bilingual children during the first three to six years of schooling. It is underscored that mother tongue education has a facilitating effect on second language learning, academic achievement of pupils and development of the mind. Consequently, the classroom use of a language, that is not already spoken by the child results in cognitive and pedagogical difficulties.

But what do we mean by the term” Language”?

What is language?

Language is a system of human vocal behaviour culturally acquired for the purpose of transmitting information. Language is considerably influenced by the culture in which it is rooted.

A Ghanaian Dagomba child orders and organizes his thinking in Dagbani. His brain thinks with words in that language- with its inherent overtones and special connotation, thus, the Ga language is the tool or instrument which gives order and organization to the Ga people’s thinking. In a sense then, the Ghanaian language: Dabgani, Asante Twi, Akuapem Twi, Ga, Fante, Dangme, Ewe, Nzema, etc, are the languages which belong to ethnic groups in Ghana. It is the universal exclusive mark of the ethnic group in Ghana.

Language, as a system, demands knowledge of linguistics to understand the underlying principles of the mother-tongue. For the fact that language is culturally acquired means that the teacher needs to know something about culture, anthropology, or the civilization in which the language has roots and grows.

To teach a Ghanaian language in the primary school is thus, simply put, a two-part case. Firstly, the nature of the primary school child must be known and secondly the teacher must be academically and professional competent.

Objectives of Teaching Ghanaian Language

The teacher of Ghanaian Language in the basic school has broad and diverse responsibilities. His workload in teaching the mother tongue includes helping pupils with:

  • Developing language skills (Listening, speaking, reading and writing)
  • The study of literature, and
  • Exploring the nature of the language

The teaching syllabus for Ghanaian languages and culture (2012) spells out the general aims which include helping pupils to:

  • Develop cultural and linguistic awareness
  • Attain competency in speaking, reading and writing their language
  • Appreciate the historical and cultural heritage of their linguistic community, and
  • Acquire the socio-cultural values in the literature of the languageDSC09782

Objectives that may be derived from these broad aims include the teacher helping pupils to:

  1. Appreciate the vernacular

Appreciation is what may lead to change in teacher attitude to influence pupil’s learning.

  1. Appreciate the literature of the mother-tongue

We must be motivated to understand our own culture and make efforts to preserve our oral literature, which abounds in the various traditional communities.

  1. Understand traditional Ghanaian culture

The principle underlying traditional beliefs, matrilineal and patrilineal family systems, patterns of child’s upbringing, social concepts, traditional  architecture, etc must be taught and learnt. The significance of these must be estimated in the light of modern knowledge and development to weed off the retrogressive aspect and retain what is valuable.

  1. Create awareness that the vernacular is an important tool for learning. In a situation where the school going child moves from home to the new school environment – Calling for new emotional and social adjustment the vernacular becomes the avenue that bridges the gap between pre-school experiences and formal schooling. The vernacular becomes the model for the child’s free expression, enabling him to respond and participate in the formal school’s activities.
  2. To develop Ghanaian mentality

A nation’s mentality is measured by the citizen’s mentality. For Ghana to over-rely on the use of English as the lingua-franca, and French etc. instead of developing and using her own various languages show that Ghana is still under the colonial mentality despite the hullabaloo it makes about gaining her independence.

  1. To develop democratic ideals

For democracy to grow nation-wide Ghanaians should be able to read and understand government policies and the manner in which it affects them- in the various Ghana languages.

Scope of the Ghanaian Language Curriculum

In Ghana, the scope of the primary school language curriculum covers all the study of the culture. It is thus a Ghanaian language and culture curriculum. Teacher preparation is geared towards helping the children to first learn the language and its literary content and to acquire the language skills of the people. To the young child, emphasis is on the communicative functions of the language.

Curriculum content consists of facts, terms, conventions, structures, etc which make up the subject matter. The broad body of knowledge that constitutes the language, literature or culture. It is the content that provides the base, the foundation for teaching the language skills.

Skills refer to those inter-related processes of listening, speaking, reading and writing – design to increase pupil’s control over all aspects of communication. The teacher’s preparation should enable him help pupils apply the content as they engage in the transmission and reception of communication through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Content and skill are thus inseparable in the primary school vernacular curriculum.

The culture hold the values that determines:

  1. The child’s opportunity for learning in the school
  2. The interest and experiences of the school child
  3. What the child reads, speaks and writes about

The language content is thus, the culture which should enhance the child’s self-image, equip him with skills and make him prove of his heritage.

Teaching Learning Materials

To the Ghanaian Language teacher, the main purpose of the materials is to enable him teach more effectively for the learner to learn more easily and learn more rapidly.

The materials selected should be a genuine representation of the people’s culture: It should be clear such that pupils have no doubts as to its meaning. The materials should be intrinsically valuable in its own rights as an effective teaching instrument. It must have practical use, robust, easy to use and store and be readily accessible. To motivate and sustain enthusiasm, it must be appropriate to the age, interest and ability of pupils and purposes to which it is to be used.

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Depending on pupil’s age and learning stage, material may include a selection of:

  1. Pupils’ books, workbooks, grades, reading materials, word cards, sentence cards, reader, etc.
  2. Visual materials: Figures, flashcards, wall charts, posters ( story illustration) Pictures, photographs.
  3. Audio materials: Tape recorders, cassettes
  4. Audio-visuals: Television, video films
  5. Activities, puppets, songs, games (tongue twisters)
  6. Documentary materials: Project material, reproduced drawings, the alphabet documents etc. those may be used to develop group works and activity methods.DSC09792

Lesson preparation

      The Ghanaian language teacher should first  define in the scheme of work what is

Intended to be accomplished for the term and then plan each lesson. The lesson plan shows the step to follow. The plan includes the statement of the objectives to be realized and the means to attain them resulting from activities pupil engage in.

Lesson Objectives:

The behaviour to be manifested to indicate learning are what should be stated as instructional objectives. Relevant questions to ask are:

  1. What is to be learned?
  2. What changes are expected to take place in pupils?DSC09785

The Ghanaian language teacher could make these decisions to enable him determine:

  1. What materials to use
  2. Which teaching procedure to adopt
  3. What instructional strategy or strategies to employ
  4. And what evaluation techniques to use

Writing instructional objectives: Mager (1962) stresses three necessary elements:

  1. A description of the type of observable behaviour the pupil will be asked to employ in demonstrating mastery of objective (e.g to write; to identify, to orally describe). Terms such as to know, “to understand” and “to appreciate” must be avoided since they do not refer to observable behaviour.
  2. Description of the important condition the pupil will be expected to demonstrate achievement of the objective (e.g time limit, materials or equipments available or specific instructions)
  3. The criterion which will be used to evaluate the success of the pupils’ performance.

Example 1

In a 30 minute grammar lesson on four prepositions in the primary one class, objectives stated were:

By the end of the lesson, the pupil should be able to:

  1. Locate by pointing to three towns in Ghana from a wall map where fishing is done
  2. Mention three fishing implements and tell their uses
  3. Describe orally two ways by which fishes are caught and brought ashore. Besides meeting Mager’s (1962) essential elements, these are clear measurable, specific and achievable instructional objectives capable of identifying levels of mastery. The lesson plan should be related to pupils previous knowledge to link new learning. Reference books must be indicated and easily available to people when needed.

Lesson content and skill should be well organized under significant points.

Stage by stage information to be provided should be relevant, accurate and up-to dates adapted to

Pupils level and presented sequentially and have adequate coverage. The type of learning activities and situations should be clearly indicated.  In example 1 above for example, pupils

Would show objects, positions, say them, read from cards and match card with

Corresponding pictures .Thus, plan should indicate also tools and techniques the teacher will

Use to present and develop the lesson.

The evaluation procedure must   also be indicated .This will concern knowledge of specific term, facts convention, classification and categories, criteria, comprehension, analysis (of element, relationship, organizational principles), application, evaluation in the cognitive domain; and attitudes  (of acceptance, appreciation), reception (of awareness, attention) and participation (willingly or for enjoyment) in the affective domain.

The remarks section should end the lesson plan. It provides the Ghanaian language teacher opportunity for self-criticism about the lesson success or failure or improvement to make. Remedial teaching or  change in presentation technique may be necessary.

 

The nature of primary school child

Human beings learn all their lives. A child of 6 years, a pre –adolescent of 12, and a young adult of 20 learn different things. Their learning   capacities and their learning method also differ. Change in ability with age demands the use of suitable method in teaching language to the child. The Ghanaian   e method to use, and be guided by educational implications which he, the teacher, should derive to guide his educational practice

The lower child: Learning method and characteristics.

  1. Learning: the 6 old who starts school has more or less mastered the maternal

Language   or mother tongue though he may miss one or two sounds. He has mastered   the grammar though   he may make mistakes in some irregular verbs. The child is capable   or will   be capable of using complex sentences though may not be able to more than   one   or two subordinate clauses. Nevertheless, the principle of subordination will be there.

  1. Acquisition of information: From age 6, the child learning needs involve vocabulary, and skills in reading and  The child learns in generalizations and not just rote, learning separate bits. The children cannot talk about categories. For   example, they use the present tense or the past tense but cannot label them as such.
  2. Memory span; their memory span is short. Their memory span for digits is said to be usually only for.
  3. Muscular and motor skills: Children of this age are receptive to new muscular and motor skills. They are, after all, about to read and write –which requires a great deal of hand – eye co-ordination. They should be able to imitate good speech models in their parents and teachers.
  4. Activity: the young child acquires most of his information about the world by DOING, ACTING. The children should feel  and handle objects.
  5. Personal and emotional the adjustment: children at this stage accept the authority of adults. They may be naughty at times but they  soon realize their behavior as a deviation from the standards laid down for them.  The children at this age feel affectionate towards anybody who does not maltreat them.

These characteristics   hold important educational implications for the Ghanaian language teacher .The should remember that;

  1. a) The 6 year old is capable of learning languages, for he has already acquired one.
  2. b) He acquires his information by ACTING, DOING, BEHAVING. Speech, for example, is accompanied by acts .The language must be related directly to activities.
  3. c) His memory is short. Learning materials must therefore be graded, with any amount of repetition. This also implies that reading and writing should be postponed as long as possible, until the child consolidates the use of the mother tongue.
  4. d) Teaching by audio-visual aids is strongly recommended .the more concrete they are the better, for example, an actual piece of sugar cane chewed and an actual piece of string for plating the hair is better than a picture of girl whose hair is being plated. Their make belief play is very strong at this time. Again, making a thing is better than using ready-made object. Tape recorders and discs, television set and videos recorders may be used to teach children how to operate the machine.DSC09728

Summary

The mother tongue is the tool with which the child thinks. By the time he begins school, the child know its mother tongue ; he can listen to it and speak it .It is at school that he will learn and to read and  write  in addition to skills he has already acquired .To fail to teach the child its mother tongue results in crippling the genius of the race.

Current researches (LAPP&FLOOD,1978; Akinoso,1993 ,bangbose,1991;Hutchinson,1995;  Mlama &Materu,1978) indicate that teaching the child its mother tongue has far reaching advantages:  the child is made capable of succeeding in his academic work; and understands better. The government must put in place favourable Ghanaian language policies to motivate teaching and learning of mother tongue. The teacher must be well versed in the vernacular to be capable of helping the pupil in all the four language modes: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The mother tongue must be taught using teaching and learning resources carefully selected and, or prepared to have to have value to the lesson and be appropriate to the different functions to which they will be put.DSC09723

The Ghanaian teacher should prepare well before going to teach: lesson notes must be well-planned, lesson objectives well –thought out and clearly well stated time limit. Such will guide the teacher concerning which skill to focus on, how to present the lesson, what types of exercises to give, what to evaluate, how to reveal the previous lesson and which decisions to make to reteach the lesson, vary the teaching technique or whether to continue with other lessons. Ghanaian language teaching thus involves decision making as to what to do and how to do and how to do it, with the goal of forming habits in the use of the mother tongue in pupils.  Method thus involves the use of strategy (plans) and tactics (the way to use to achieve the objectives).DSC09727

Any type of teaching method must include selection, and presentation. Selection because we cannot teach the whole field of mother tongue knowledge all at once, grading; because some particular lessons must be learnt before others can follow, and presentation, because one cannot teach unless one communities something to somebody.   The effective application of these three basic teaching modes should result in habit formation of the child thinking in and using the mother tongue as a native does.

To achieve such a challenging feat, the Ghanaian language teacher should be knowledgeable and well trained to possess both the academic and pedagogical competence and skills. Only such teachers calibre, well-motivated to work his heart  out, can help the pupil acquire the necessary skills to live in the society and exhibits his creative genius, first as a human being, and secondly, as a Ghanaian wielding a unique mother tongue that marks him out and identifies him with his culture.    

 

 

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  • Jonathan Kansoh – Acting Director, Bureau of Ghanaian Languages, Tamale

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  • Alhaji Abdulai Fuseini Bila- Former Lecturer- University of Education Winneba

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  • Dr. Salifu Nagtomah- Lecturer- IDS, UDS

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  • Alhaji Roland M. Yahaya- Former Director, Ghanaian Danish Comm. Programme

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  • Hajia Habiba Saaka- District Director- GES, Sagnerigu District

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  • Dr. Sulemana Iddrisu- Rector- Tamale College of Education

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  • Alhaji Lawyer Ibrahim Mahama- Legal Practitioner and Lead- Malgu Chambers

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  • Dr. Agatha Inkoom- head- Basic Education Department, UDS

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  • Issahaku Alhassan- Lecturer, Language Department- UEW

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Mr. Muniru Alhassan (Econs), Director of Finance, addressing the crowd about the visions of Bureau of Ghana Languages, Tamale Branch. He said the branch wants to reconstitute the

Local Language Development Committee that used to exist and has died off because most members have also passed on and those left are either old or very weak. He also informed the audience that the institute is preparing a proposal to be considered by government or corporate organisation and or NGOs to put up a multi-functional library at the Tamale Branch. The library will  house books written in the local language and also serve as a resource centre for researchers.DSC09738

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Members of the high table

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RUNNING STORIES, SLEEPING DEEDS

I know mouths of my land are like machine guns
Digging bullets of the past
Putting them in golden throat guns
Soiling voices meant for firing monsters
And firing through
Gunning for hardworkers
And yelling into international microphones
Their unfortunate past
Seeking sucking sympathies
While real works stare our faces
Like infants needing their parents’ embrace
Why lions are now dogs
And eagles are now flies
As owls turn hidden frogs
Abena, I know not
Mother Ghana has been made a whore
A whore by the very people she accomodates
And gives life
Legs moulded in such great effort
Now bow in front of the supposedly rich
Looking for crumbs of their bread
When we hoard the flours in purity
Why?
Fie on you
Fie on me
Fie on the fragments that fail to merge
Fie on greed
Fie on seeds
Fie on us seeds who fail the creed
Bow thy heads in red
Covering in black
And mourn your dead zeals for the top
Wronged?
Don’t be
You have all the power to wake the dead
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

THE PIKWORO SLAVE CAMP TOUR

 

THE STORY OF THE PIKWORO SLAVE CAMP

A man went to Navorongo looking for a place to stay. The people gave him a vast piece of land. Little did they know that he was a slave trader. The people named him Nania Pikworo  meaning, “a bush man” in the local language. Pikworo established the trade in 1704. He started it by himself but was later joined by Samori and Babatu.

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This was the source of water for the slaves. It is believed that no matter the draught, this particular water remains active to satisfy the thirst of the slaves and help them do their chores.

 

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We were led to their grinding mill where DSC09552they used stones to grind their meals.

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Fascinated children looked on

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This was their entertainment hall. Four people were selected from one tribe to play here as the others sang and danced beneath the rocks. For them to play well, they were well fed and the feeding songs attracted others to come and watch, the feeding also attracted others to come and join the slaves. Those who realised they would be sold later and tried to run away were sent to the punishment rock to be dealt with. According to the history, some rebelled and were sent there severally in order to die. They preferred death to being sold.

 

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Their dinning hall. They dug into the stones to create their own bowls. Bowls they ate in. So foods will be put into these bowls and more than five people will share a meal in one bowl.

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It is a very big land

 

 

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And many stones abound. It was noted that the slaves were tied on the trees when they are brought in.

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This is the watch tower. A trusted slave is ordered to stand here and watch out for strangers and rebels who wanted to fight the slave lords for their captured people. These people never succeeded because the slave traders were more powerful and were armed with guns. So they were mostly gunned down before they reached the place.

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Head of Department of English at Tamale Senior High posing to honour his ancestors.

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Graves of dead slaves. According to the history, the dead slaves were given mass burials in a grave meant for one. So graves were never covered until they were filled up.

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A filled grave looked like this, some stones were placed on it to mark its “fulfilment”

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We were sad but as Kofi Awoonor will say, death shall die, and sincee slavery is dead now and Pikworo, Babatu, and samori are gone, we posed in honour of the “wronged” dead people

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Just close to the cemetery is the Punishment Rock which faces directly the sun. So slaves who defied the rules were made to sit on this rock, tied firmly and made to look at the heated sun (those who know the Upper East of Ghana know the sun’s rays can kill if one does not take cover) so many went blind, others became weak and sickly and died. Immediately they died from the sun and the burns from the heated rocks, they were tossed into the ready grave.
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So this is the punishment rock in all its threats even way after its meals of punishments have been abolished.

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Tired from the heat of the sun and the dense thought of souls sold on this terrain coupled with the pain of death of many whose lives were never allowed to blossom let alone whither.
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These men volunteer to play sounds with the stones to entertain us. All we needed to do was give them something to buy water out of the goodness of our hearts.
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This is where the slaves were brought and paraded to be sold. They were sold based on their strengths and it was a barter trade. They were traded for mirrors, guns, gun powder and alcoholic drinks.DSC09575

After being sold, they were fed a little before taken through the journey. Thise who became weak in the course of the journey were thrown into bushes that wild animals were. So the animals could feed on them.DSC09576

Trees which has probably tasted more than millions of blood

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The reception of the Pikworo Slave Camp.

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You know it will not be us if we do not do something fun

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On our way we realized that there were lots of baobab trees in Navorongo. They call it the evil tree but use its leaves for soup and seeds for drinks. According to the inhabitants, the baobab tree in houses are sometimes tied with bandages to prevent to prevent them from crying at night. When they grow to a point they cry at night like human beings. So they are not touched with knives. Their barks are smooth. They grow to their own capacity and die. But when they die, no body knows. Because they still look fresh. So they are considered dangerous because they can kill when they fall and they fall without notice.

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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.

FOR THE GALLANT GHANAIAN FOUNDERS

myghanaroots.com
myghanaroots.com

When the cage of colonialism caught Africa

And the whips of inferiorism caught black minds

Some wrestled with their fists

Others bickered like rivals of foolishness

Some hid like lions with their tails in between their legs

Oh some worshipped hoping to break free

You stood like mountains with minds they sold

And developed muscles to battle oppression

You knew there will be aggression

You knew there will be suppression

You knew there will be times to smell the stench of prisons

But you braved all fearful reasons

Like gallants of the land of Africa

And held the clothes of colonialism

Tearing parts from Gold Coast 

Ebenezer Ako Adjei

Edward Akuffo Addo

Joseph Boakye Danquah

William Ofori Atta

Emmanuel Obetsebi Lamptey

Kwame Nkrumah

Yes, we saw the nakedness of colonial minds through you

Yes, you rose and tore some chains that bounded minds

Giving hope to soldiers of Ghana used and discarded like rags

We are breathing the breath of freedom

Because of your wisdom to free with tact

We are here today because of your inclusion of a mind so apt

Nkrumah Kwame

Kwame Nkrumah

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

In your struggle to break free from the cage

Which had become so small for our ancestral eagles

We fly today even through all abhorrence

We can cry today 

For you gave us our voices

We rest today as you gave our honour

We fend, although partly in lend, for our minds and mouths

Thanks to your gallantry

Your fearlessness

Your courage

Your patriotism

Your love

Your thoughtfulness

So a day like this goes for all of you

We feed your spirits with gratefulness

We thank your restfuls with our hold on the reins of  freedom

We bless your souls with our hearts so relieved

And bless our maker for sending you

To save our land which was turned loo

And help plough and harvest

Generations to tend and fend

May your spirits rest and continiously pray

For our total liberation

Until we stand unmatched on our feet in development

Long live the founders!

Long live the big six!!

Long live Ghana!!!

Long live Africa!!!!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

KEJETIA GHANA

Sounds for customers rise and rise
Instrumented by adverts of medicines
Which supposedly cure all ailments
Mixed with microphones of preachers
Who preach about endtimes, the gift of giving
Compulsory tights and offering
As some sing in voices of frogs and nightingales

II
Humans, like ants, line haphazardly
Many drenched in sweats heading in different directions
With murderous and flowery scents
Holding eachother to form a middleway
While countenances make obvious some intents
Others, like leopards in wool, hide theirs very well
As scratchy fingers work their ways into bags and pockets

III
Many bump into others
As curses fly with insults
And near blows are put out like weak fires
While strong fists punch faces of peacemakers
And gossip judges look on
Some cheering, others indifferent

IV
Cars follow in diverse shapes
Rickety trotros, rickety taxis
Beautiful and really used vehicles
As slightly used taxis with owner drivers shout for care
While watching out for customers with expensive wallets and purses

V
Humans dare cars for crossing
As traffic lights mostly turn decorative tools
Even the pores of the middle pavements in the roads
Have no breathing space
As food, bowls, provisions, used wears lay naked in auction
Many struggle for seats in trotro
In the middle of the road
As road instructors charge fees of cover

VI
Posters of local movies, job advertisement and medicines
Hug fences abd surfaces with the aid of shadowed glues
Stores hoard different wares as hawkers try to take their frontal space
Table top phone dealers are not left out
As sack tops gun for perfect “bend down boutiques”

VII
Market show by road sides
Beautifully coloured vegetables
Yams among others lie on top of eachother
Meat battle for view with flies
As buyers scan through with their memorized slips

VIII
It is Kejetia
Humans mixed with ghosts
Like thick porridge  mixed with water on fire
Faces move on complexions toned and natural
Skins burnt green with yellow and red parts parade
Some with serious rashes
Kejetia is awake in full light
Although it never sleeps
Night workers seek cover from light
This one little ant walks through
Eyes transfixed everywhere
Hoping not to be crashed
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

TAMALE TAXIS (CRAZY STANZAS)

They sit like wrinkled elders
Staring into their coffins
Mouths whose hands steer shout
“Sagnerigu! Dungu! Kpalsi!”

II
A look at their bodies
And hearts feel their failing heartbeats
Bodies need to beware
Lest their bones cut for revenge
For their peeled skins
On their tired chairs
Show their shy nakedness
But backs care not
Why will buttocks?

III
They grow shorter
When they are filled
Like midgets who can’t carry their loads
Their cries moan of their tired selves
Calling for death
Calling for scrap dealers to have their meats
Mostly exhalling poisonous fumes
Calling for its botherers’ lungs

IV
If only Tamale beings will hear
And grant them freedom
To exit this world
I’m sure minds will be spared
Of their sympathy
And they will have their peaceful sleep
In foreverness
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

YES WE CAN

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I
Amidst the tiresome run
And the freedom ban
Amidst the horrid fan
And the dirty empty national pan
I know we can
Yes, we certainly can

II
Though there be trails
Though there be pains
Though the future may look
Dull and bleak
I believe we can
Yes we certainly can

III
Over the past years
Though it hasn’t been without fears
We pray for more Grace
We shall struggle mostly in tears
But as a nation,we will face our troubles
Yes,we certainly can

IV
Even through the valleys of our corrupt leaders’ bellies
And the low standard of our future leaders studies
In hope and faith we will tarry
For I believe we can
Certainly we can

V
And we will stand
Against those who are against
Be it those with seats
Even if we be the minority,those with no authority
No say and under legal age,
We still will because we can

VI
Is the nation corrupt
Or the people in it make it so?
Every tree can become a forest
It takes one change in an act by one
And the nation would be what we desire
Yes we can
I believe we can

VII
For we are the solutions we seek
To the conundrums we speak
Of, charred dreams and hopes
Together, can we ignite beneath the smoke
Of eternally burning embers found within
The quiet of our souls, away from the chaotic din
We know we can
Yes we certainly can

VIII
We have a duty
To ourselves, to posterity
Leaving the past behind,
Keeping the future in sight,
Working as one people to make this a netter nation
Because we can,
Certainly because we can

IX
We are the blessed mountains
Flowing in overflowing fountains
We are gold with many coasts
We are beings with hearts which can hatred toast
Melting it into love’s coast
We stand to conquer
We are Ghana
Yes! We certainly can.!

X
Breathe breathe breathe
For the resource we need is to breathe
It is the ink with which we can write gold and cocoa right

– I am saying all need is to breathe. When we have life, we can achieve anything

Let us take flight without err ways

-Let us do what we have to do without difference to get in the way

Our hearts should not cry just critics
Let us cry our actions

– Let us not just breed critics,
But our actions should be the critics

Smile firecrackers
We will cheer, our tears of joy will compensate

-We will celebrate out success to the extent that it will be shown in tears

Let us evoke the adrenaline lost.
Sweat blood and tears we are ready to spend
Arise Ghana

-we should rise with the strength we never used.
We are ready to put in our all

XI
yes we can
we will stand on our toes
as like our old foes
with all arms unfold
to make meaning to our name foretold
long live ghana
God bless Its people

XII
Yes we can
Even find creative use for broken dreams
The way empty cans are transforned into cars
In the hands of innovative toddlers
Even if this change be small
We’ll not despair or discard it all
After all
Little faiths move mountains tall
Yes we can

#1st July,2015 ©WRITERS’ CODE®

REPUBLICAN CAGE

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We wail

Cursing those we hailed

We hunger

Blaming our thought-heroes for death danger

Maybe we are like a breed of animals

Who stash weeds on thrones, neglecting the propers,

Only to climb with their little strength

To bring them down as foot-mats

II

We are here in the republican cave

One the fearless Nkrumah did weave

Thinking it would be the sword to save

Knowing not it’d be a curse no prayer could peeve

It is now a Goliath without a Dave

Many are leaving, leaving untrained in the sieve

Preferring to surrender to shame than be royal paupers

Throny eyes see them not

III

It will be a cliché if I put down “dum”

It will be a cliché if I put down corruption

It will be a cliché if I put down utilities flying with eagle wings,

Flapping and scattering salaries into injuries and death

What did we do so wrong

To be locked in this humiliating republican cave?

Our only consolations; Blind dances, hospitality and peace?

IV

We live in beauties

But we dine in rots

We know our duties

But we curse our lots

We cry for crumbs

But we live in lots

Agya Nkrumah! I know your grave is burst

Your turnings giving way to your tears of “watch and turn”

V

Republican shame turned public

Scrambling to chase the moving world turned tragic

Heads throw away hardwork thinking magic

When at all will we get the logic?

Hmmmmmmmmm!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2015

A DAY WHICH SAT IN TUR

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A weird thing, in Accra,  sat
Sputtering and mumbling “tar”
Until it said it was called day

II
Day which was new
But had many problems dew
The first after a terror flood

III
It is going to be used
It won’t get the privilege

Of seeing the lazy in action

IV
It would die
Without anyone acknowledging it
Its Wednesday cursed it before its conception

V
So found in sat mood
Saying “tur” in musing
It is a day so unfortunate
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 6th May 2015