Why Live in Tamale

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2019 by kola

so i went online and i found this very interesting article i want to share here.

Why You Should Consider Living In Tamale

hope you find it enlightening…

43 ways to live

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2019 by kola

cake

Another year has passed by and here I am again to report on how it has been this past year. It hasn’t really been easy but then things haven’t been too difficult either. There have been plenty incidents under the bridge and interestingly the Ghana as we know it remains the same. Accra is still flooding when it rains for two minutes, social media has become even worse than it was making celebrities of people day in and day out, making and breaking up relationships and more than ever being the court of popular appeal in any issues even including personal relationships.

The music scene is still full of the ‘beefs’ we know even escalating to the two most popular zongo boys going at each other with one brandishing a gun at the other. Oh and at the make up conference the jester among them lived up to the billing of ‘kiss and make up’ by kissing the opponent whilst in the middle of a statement. This guy really knows how to work the crowd.

As for that Charterhouse, their matter only God.

Same for the politics and religion. If you know me you know I wont touch these subjects with a long pole neither tie it with a long rope. The practitioners should ‘’go their front’’ as we say in transliteration.

That aside I believe in the past one year I have made headway solidifying some friendships and relationships and I haven’t really let go of many people. I think I have availed myself to more projects and taken leaps of faith believing in people and investing in the youth so they can be good future leaders. Volunteering and mentoring both formal and informal have been fulfilling. The philanthropy with children’s literacy has seen great strides in supporting reading clinics and starting some individual libraries for some children who were identified as social linchpins in their communities. The idea was to identify children who when they are away others feel their absence, children who are the center and life of their peer social group. These children are usually the alpha and when you get them to cultivate the habit of reading, then they can draw the other children to read alongside them by drawing reading programs after school instead of for example just playing soccer every day. Involving the parents has been key in this and so far so good.

Family life has been pretty interesting too getting closer to my nuclear family and my parents have been very supportive in every aspect. Hey when you see my mom anywhere give her a hug for me and when you see my dad shake his hand and congratulate him. The dude and his wife have been married for 45 years and still counting. They are role models to marriage and bicker like the old couple they are but at the end of the day still have time to chat and laugh at each other no matter what. In this lifetime, economy and age they have managed to bring up three giants who went to the best schools, can stand on their own feet and will fit in any society anywhere in the world. That is no mean feat. You guys are the ultimate pacesetters in all aspects of our lives physical, spiritual and social. Kudos to you Reverend and Matron Larbi. You guys rock!

So another milestone passed and as usual it was a solemn moment spent off the pressures of social media as I reflected on life in general and what God keeps doing in my life. It was time to count my blessings and oh boy I did. Spent the whole day with a prayer on my lips giving thanks to Almighty God for His Goodness and His Mercy. His Grace abounds and indeed He is Faithful. In all our stubbornness and unfaithfulness, disobedience and unruly nature God still loves us because He is our Creator. Back on social media the morning after the birthday, I realized how overwhelming the love was.

My family in Tamale have been crazy supportive in various ways and I am grateful to God for them. The Family House as we have nicknamed the central point of meetings has been like a safe house for anybody and with the kind of network The SBG Crew has in Tamale, there hasn’t been a dull moment. This is a group of young men inspiring and pushing each other to greater heights and we wish to see that each one gets to their full potential. It was with this family that my wife planned a hangout to celebrate this new year and being a holiday (coinciding with the Eid Fitir celebration of the Muslims) it was a time to get together and have fun as usual.

All of a sudden there were places I couldn’t go to around the family house and especially I couldn’t open the fridge. Well I did and there was a cake box in it. It really didn’t feel like a birthday celebration to me because it is an everyday occurrence where on a holiday we all gather at the family house and just hangout. It was after the meal of banku and pepper and the usual assorted meats, sometimes exotic meats, that the table was set and then the champagnes and the wines started coming out of their hiding places. I just sat there and looked on and wondered what was going on. Apparently this get together had been planned to celebrate my birthday.

The planning at been easy to do because every birthday I have gone off social media and so they didn’t have to hide to plan it. It had all been done in plain sight and when I signed back on to social media I had too many messages to catch up on that I had missed the invitation. It was a pretty good time and also a historic milestone.

This was the very first cake I was getting to have alone and all to myself, pardon the tautology, but it serves to show the gravity of the situation.

Let me explain. All the time growing up since I have been celebrating my birthday with my brother we have had to share cakes and whatever was provided. Even at my 40 birthday party we shared the whole party with his friends and my friends, and plenty mutual friends, coming together to enjoy the day. This time for once I had a whole birthday cake to myself and somehow I found myself wishing that he was around to share it with me. Well what are brothers for.

However thanks to all my friends who wished me ‘’age with Grace’’ some of you really had no idea the implication of that blessings because you don’t know that my wife’s name is Grace and since she got me the cake I got the cake by Grace. Ha ha ha..

It has been a spectacular year and I hope that the next year proves better and I get to be a better man and achieve more than I have now. My special wish is to make everyone around me happy and better equipped to face this challenging world. This is from a humble me saying thank you and let’s make this world a better place together.

Like i always say

It begins with YOU!!

Deeper Than Words: The Cursed Room

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2019 by kola

Read this article on social media and it has so many lessons thought I’d share it on my blog so we could on eat this food for thought.

As narrated:

About four (4) years ago, my friend and I wanted to secure an ‘abandoned’ store. Per our investigations the store has been unused for years. And rumours have it that any business that has ever been transacted in the room goes bankrupt. Simply put, they told us the room was under a spell – some ‘okromouths’ added: due to the landlord’s occult practices prior to his demise.

Who would want to lose his investments? That was how we never took the store! To prove the rumourmongers right, a woman took the store few months after and converted it into a provision store. The business collapsed! The number of hours and days the woman and her ‘prayer warriors’ spent in prayer, breaking every curse and loosing every demon in that room prior to commissioning the store would be another topic for discussion some other day. Yet, the business collapsed before it even started! My friend and I concluded: “so the store is under a spell afterall.”

And that was how our guilt of not mastering the courage to secure the place and start our mobile money business was sanctioned, perpetually. We justified our foolishness and fear. Surprisingly, another woman took the same room – the store that was cursed – the store that has demons whose task is to run every business transacted in there into bankruptcy, yes that same room; and guess what. Her business is booming! We never heard her brought any prayer warriors to cast out any demon, yet, people kept trooping there every minute, including my friend and I to buy one item or the other.

So I kept asking myself, what does this woman done differently. My typical African self answered: she’s into a more powerful occult group; perhaps, she’s a witch! Then my polished African self retorted: you shallow thinking fool! And in my head I could hear a legion of voices shouting at me: shaaay…shaaay….shaaaay…….shaaaaame! My face dropped at once. Awwww! Pity me! Well, if you care to know, my shy face always looks sexy. Hahahaa.

I decided to think critically like the engineer that I was trained to be and like the entrepreneur that I’m striving to become. And there and then, booooooom! I had my ‘eureka’ moment! It wasn’t the room or the rumoured curse afterall. It was simply the business. The first woman went bankrupt because she didn’t study the business terrain in the area very well or perhaps, she was hoping against hope that she could beat her competitors. I could count about four provision stores in that enclave but pitifully, that was what our prayer warrior business woman decided to also go into.

Now, let’s talk about the woman whose business is now booming. What is she selling? Do you wish to prepare your favourite soup or stew? Do you wish to cook banku (akple)? Don’t worry. You don’t need to walk a long distance or board a car to the market. Just walk into this store and you’ll have yourself served! For years, we could only buy these items from the market or other store far away. I assumed this woman studied our need and decided to provide a solution to it. Simplicita! This is no rocket science!

And oh, did I tell you someone has started about a year and half ago the mobile money business my friend and I had wanted to start? And guess what? Business is booming for that person also. And every time I stand behind my window and peeped, or go there to receive or send money or buy airtime, I am always being reminded of the fact that the voice of the people is not always the voice of God or reason. Anytime I see people trooping into that yellow container for business, I am reminded of how fear has sentenced us into prisons of mediocrity and lack.

Anytime I go into this foodstuffs store to buy some eggs in order to fry and put on top of my oil-rice, I am reminded that prayer alone does not solve everything. When I see people trooping in there, I am reminded of the fact that mostly, it is not any curse or spell that is responsible for our miserable lives. It’s simply us. We’re our own demons.

I concluded that mostly, it is our own foolishness; our attitude; our character; our belief systems; our mindsets; our fear; our inability to perceive and take advantage of opportunities; our inability to do due diligence; our inability to associate with the right people; our inability to develop ourselves; our inability to talk to the right people; our very selves, are responsible for the majority of the things we blame on some curse and spells we assumed are cast on us by some evil spirits or people.

We substitute prayer for everything. We pray when we should be thinking! We pray when we should be studying! We pray when we should be working on our character! We pray when we should be out there working and hustling. We pray when we should be schooling. We pray when we should be working on building sustainable relationships. We pray when we should be apologizing to the people we’ve wronged. We pray when we should forgive ourselves and let go of the past. We pray when we should heed that voice that keeps telling us: give this a try.

Oh how we love to pray at the expense of everything! We pray when we should learn how to be nice to strangers and smile always while on the phone. We pray when we must learn how to be courageous. We pray when we must speak out. We pray when we should learn from our mistakes and move on. We pray when we should be busy working on our dreams. In fact, all we do is pray – hoping it will solve our problems and take care of our miserable life! There’s a place for prayer and there’s a place for: could it be my attitude or something I’m not doing right? There’s explosion of miracles when prayer collides with the voice of reason and active faith!

You are your own curse! Your attitude and foolishness are what put that spell on you and not any wicked forebears, witch, demon, or evil person somewhere. Of course, I’m not oblivious of the presence of familiar and territorial curses and spells. But what I am saying is mostly, it is our very selves that limit us. We must pray and watch. To most of us we’ll be surprised to learn that the curses and spells are broken years back, but unfortunately, the ‘devil’ keeps making us believe otherwise. Come to think of it: is the name of Jesus that impotent that you’ll be using it to break the same curse for years? Think about it!

There is a Hero in you: unleash it!
©️Elorm Hermann

God’s Grace

Posted in Uncategorized on March 17, 2019 by kola

Dear God,

It is said in your Holy Book that “he who finds a wife finds a good thing..” But indeed my favorite part of that text is the second part, “and obtains favor from God.”

Wow! The Favor of God indeed. I know a lot of folk on earth who spend countless hours in commune with you just so they can achieve a wee bit of favor and here I am all I had to do was find a good wife.

Dear God that is why I left that task for you to do it yourself believing that the plans you have for my life are of good and not for evil and that as your creation you will indeed glorify yourself through me and my life. And I wasn’t disappointed. Like always, You came through for me.

God on the day I came to you crying and I said that the world was going bonkers and I don’t think marriage was for me you assured me that Your Grace was sufficient for me so imagine my awe amd later my confounded admiration when I walked into class and your angel that came to ask me about the novel I was reading was called Grace. I looked up at her and the sun shining behind her was like a halo 😇 and I had to squint my eyes at the brightness that till today I don’t know if it was of the sun or of her smile. So bright!

God you assured me that compassion was the key to life and living and in this Grace I met a compassionate match. You really outdid yourself with this one and as the Gas will say “ogboo ji bo”.

Papa God if I’m to recount all the countless blessings that this journey has been, WordPress would have to shut down and I know you don’t want me to bore the readers with how awesome you are because most of them already know and I’m only here to remind them that you’re the I Am That I Am, The Ancient of Days, unchanging and Magnificent.

God, a dozen years ago Your Grace was manifest in my life when by grace, Grace agreed to go with me to your altar so you could sign off your favor to me not because I’d found a good wife but because you’d given me a good grace and personified it.

That your grace has been sufficient for me is an understatement because together with that grace has come favor that can only be from You.

Truth be told from that day my prayer method changed and instead of asking for favor I just tap into the favor and cash out like a cheque.

God! You Do All!

Inasmuch as it hasn’t been easy, knowing you are by our side is strength enough to have hope that you’re still not done with us and that you’ll glorify yourself with our lives. All we can do is just continue to praise you and acknowledge you in our lives and in your own time you’d make all things beautiful.

Dear God take the glory, all the honor and adoration on this occasion of our Twelfth wedding anniversary. The woman you gave me is indeed God sent and I’m very grateful for her graceful nature.

Dear God, thank you for the Double Grace all these years..

Shalom!

Northern Conflict Sentiments

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2018 by kola

Opinion: Of conflict over guinea fowls and pigs; media should step up their game.

By: Suraya Iddrisu Kpabia

This is no time to say “I don’t even know where to begin from”. No. I sure do know where to begin. And I do so by letting everyone know that very soon, if care is not taken, some half-baked, self-seeking media practitioners are going to turn this country upside down with their inconsiderate and insubordinate reportage of disdain targeted at certain groups for whatever biases.

“One dead in Dagomba-Konkonba clash over pig”.

Really? I could bet with all the rice in China that the caption would have read differently if the incident had happened in the South. What happened to a better caption that would still have communicated the message without reducing Northerners to people who fight over anything including pigs?

“N/R: Chief Imam confirmed dead in a bloody clash in Yendi over a pig”.

Wow! ‘What business has a Chief Imam with a pig, this is a must read’! This and others would be people’s reaction when they sight the news item, and then what?

Were we all not in this country when Fulanis were castigated because of their cattle in Agogo? Why did we not see news headlines such as “Ashantis and Fulanis in turmoil over cow”?

We were still here when there were ‘nice, nice’ reports on disagreements between the Asantehene and Okyehene.

Still, we were here in Ghana when there was a Chieftaincy feud among some Ga chiefs. There was also the Nkonya-Alavanyo conflict which persisted for decades, and yet people from these areas were not victimized or dehumanized for it. The list could go on and on. So why is our own always different?
Dear Ghanaian Journalists, it is not cool to paint any picture about anybody or their ethnic group and walk away with it. Northerners are just like any other person. If we mean to tag ethnic groups who have been warsome , it is definitely not Dagombas or Northerners exclusively as is always pictured, but we would probably talk about it some other time.

Let me state here unequivocally that almost every community or ethnic group in Ghana has suffered violent conflicts relating to ethnic disputes, political tension and conflicts that have occurred between/among supporters of different political parties, religious clashes between different groups and violence resulting from industrial disputes, etc. but the reportage has always differed depending on which ethnic group is involved or what religion etc. Is it the proverbial “four legs good and two legs bad” scenario that is working here? It better not be.

Media practitioners, shall we talk about the root causes of conflicts and suggest ways of solving them rather than the determination to paint others black because they belong to the supposed minority and so have no voices, so anything could be put out there about them?

Just in case we have forgotten, the genocide in Rwanda which happened in the early 90s and claimed many lives through mass manslaughter was sparked by “elites”, reportedly triggered through a provocation on radio.

However, further reading suggests that there is more to it than just the radio provocation. If the supposed provocation on radio is anything to go by, I think the Ghanaian media is towing along the same lane.

Need I remind us of what seeds the genocide bore? Here we go; the Rwandan genocide had lasting and profound effects on the country and its neighbors. The persuasive use of rape as a weapon of war caused a spike in HIV infections, widowed mothers and orphaned children, destruction of infrastructure and severe depopulation, which crippled the Rwanda, as people fled for their precious lives. We do not want this in Ghana, do we?

It is high time Ghanaian media got redefined and journos retrained on captioning, taking into consideration the sentiments of us “the minority” who are always at the receiving end.

Hello! Not everyone reads details from news portals. For a lot of people, the caption is enough for a comment.

A word to the wise…
Now, to the substantive matter, Konkonba-Nanumba/Dagomba war did not come about merely because of a guinea fowl, it couldn’t have been because of a pig either. Though there are traces of a guinea fowl in the matter, it was basically a trade dispute which could have been reported as such.

But no, people from the north are too hungry and so they will fight over food; pigs.

I am not about to defend whether Dagombas eat pork or not. In fact, I do not have that energy but reading comments under the captions of news items I have seen regarding this matter made me so emotional and disappointed at the same time.

I shed a tear reading comments like “these people too, they will never change, first it was a guinea fowl, and now a pig, how do they even think?”

Another read: I know Dr. Kwame Nkrumah brought Voltarians to Ghana, but who at all brought Northerners too? Well, I did not weep merely because of the retarded thinking of the people who made these comments, I wept because of the stigma I bear every day when I introduce myself as a Dagomba and people go like “you don’t look like one”.

Seriously? How does a Dagomba look? I personally take serious exception to such statements. It is absolutely no praise. It is an insult to my clan. For anybody to think that I am “too refined” to be Dagomba is demeaning, and I look forward to punching a face in the near future for such derogatory remarks.
Fellow Dagombas/Northerners, have we not learned enough lessons to want to turn the other cheek to be slapped twice when someone even slaps us? It is my mantra that “if I know your problem, then you have no problem”. It is quite clear that we are going to be in the news for the wrong reasons for a long time. No. Not for entirely being violent over trivial matters like guinea fowls and pigs, but for the bad captioning some media reportage has sworn to give us.

If this issue of captioning is not deliberate, why did we not see headlines like “Ashantis and Fulanis clash over cattle?” Of course, the answer is clear, they are not a “minority” ethnic group, and, stuff cannot just be said about them.
Media, for the umpteenth time, it is high time you stepped up your game. News reportage is not about the caption but about the content and the truth. Na caption we go chop?

Until most of you stop going by the status-quo of putting up those silly and misleading captions in order to get your stories patronized…

Soya yi bi gong, tini nya tab’kpaya.

My name is Suraya Iddrisu Kpabia and I am a dignified Dagomba lady who believes that Northerners have been subjected to enough stigma through being put in the news for the wrong reasons. Enough is enough.

susukpabia68@gmail.com

If you’re reading this, it is beholding on you to study about the north and its people so that you form your own opinions about it.

Like I always say It begins with YOU!

Child Education

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2018 by kola

Education is a key component of growth in children and just when I thought I knew a lot on what kind of education children needed, attending a training program organized by the Savanna International Academy this week has made me realize that I didn’t even know a hundredth of how to teach children and how children are supposed to learn in this global world.

Wow! I’m blown away by the wealth of learning available from child educators all over the world running various systems of education depending on the environments that they are in. We always hear of various educational systems that exist in different parts of the world and now I don’t wonder why some of our elected leaders prefer that their children go into the systems that exist outside of the country and not the traditional learning systems as we have on the ground.

The Ghana Education systems have been put in place to educate Ghanaian children and even with that, this training has made me realize the lapses and several loopholes in the system that we went through and have become who we are today. I realize that the people doing well who have gone through the old systems have had to learn ‘the hard way’ and take more lessons than usual and to be where we are today.

However new learning methods are coming up every day that are more skills and problem based at the primary level instead of what most of us learnt at the tertiary level. Most of my generation are now complaining of the lack of very essential skills such as analytical and research skills that the system only allowed us to pick up at the tertiary and post tertiary level and are making sure that their children pick them up at an early stage so they can compete effectively with global children everywhere.

This is the problem with Africa. Our traditional educational system needs a hard reboot.

There are several challenges even in the disparity of learning in different areas. Per my experience traveling around Ghana , sometimes I wonder if all government schools in the different regions in the country write the same exam and it’s both fascinating and interesting how some students excel from more deprived districts.

We all know the problem but what are we doing about it? Waiting for the government to enact policies to revamp the educational system or just switching to the more globalized educational systems of the international schools that are more expensive but worth it? Or in our own small way we contribute to children learning by educating not only relatives but every child we meet in our daily lives because we should know that learning is not only limited to the classroom and children learn more even by doing than by reading, though reading creates the awareness and opens up the world to them.

Support a reading clinic or a children’s cause near or around you and get involved in childhood development of every child you meet. We always say children are the future and that means that they are not only your future but the future of the nation and that of Africa and the world.

Contact me and let’s do this together.

Supporting a child is investing in your own future.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!

I FEEL LIKE KILLING MYSELF

Posted in Uncategorized on July 3, 2018 by kola

Mental health is so important and we need to take charge of our own mental health.

Through my periscope

​I tried not to comment about the trending story of the young girl who committed suicide on her university campus, but i must.

In 2013, i started having difficulty in breathing. I was always gasping for air and for almost a month, my mum thought i was under a spiritual attack (i thought so too). I had gone through a terrible broken heart (silly right). I became conscious of my breathing and i felt the moment i lost count of my breadth I’ll die.

Help!!! Am dying

I even wished for death at the time and i remember I could hear whispers in my ear saying “If you die now, you’ll go to heaven so just die (creepy right)???.

I went to the hospital several times and i did everything from ECG test to heart Xrays etc… At a point I was even said to have an abnormal heart (Whatever…

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