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

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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…

View original post 706 more words

Politics President

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2018 by kola

I have intentionally avoided the political landscape in Ghana because of several factors especially the fact that our country is polarized into black and red, NPP and NDC and most of the masses cannot see past that. But isn’t it interesting that the politicians who are on both divides just sit on talk shows and make plenty noise and then go back into their caucuses and hook and think how best to milk the nation?

It is for such profound statements that I don’t veer into the political sphere. I cannot write satire like Nana Awere Damoah or wax lyrical like Hon Rodney Nkrumah or delve into the thin line between satire and slander like Kwame A Plus but will say it as it is and get it off my chest and this is usually bound to get me into trouble especially since I’m an ardent neutral.

In this political landscape, when you seem to be talking for one side the other side tends to give you the eye and the ‘winning side’ seems to hail you. But turn on them and the tables turn again. Well, I know Franklin Cudjoe and his IMANI team know exactly what I’m talking about and I admire how they remain unfazed in their quest to do what they do despite the vitriol thrown at them from everywhere.

Funnily enough I usually preamble my comments with the statement that I’m being neutral and looking at the issues from an apolitical point of view.

Oh! Reminds me of a discussion I had in the office with regards to a satire post on social media about the former president John Mahama winning an award for ‘his incompetence’ in government. I tried to explain to the person who saw the post that it was only satire and what satire meant only to almost be drowned in a deluge of saliva in angry protest and rather called an ignorant sod. That was the last time I attempted to be part of any discussion vaguely bothering on politics in that particular setting.

Unfortunately for me I find myself in a setting where being political will not augur well for me and my livelihood otherwise.

For a long time, especially after relocating up north I have avoided listening to “political breakfasts” all over the country as served by several radio stations particularly Peace FM and a host of others and also until recently I didn’t have a television set so that also kept me away though I am pretty aware of what goes on because there is no way you can avoid hearing about the political landscape in Ghana and anywhere else especially after the ‘three old men’ took over the reins of running their countries.

Donald Trump of USA, Buhari of Nigeria and Nana Addo of Ghana are the three old men and you will agree with me that not a single day goes by without one news item or the other referring to usually two out of the three in the news and we all know who has the constant Trump card especially with his shenanigans with the Koreans and his itchy tweeting fingers. That one is a whole study on politics.

Anyways events in the world come and go and in Ghana for example we all know the lifespan of a news item is maximum 15 days and it will die away and in the words of former president Mahama ‘Ghanaians have a short memory’. Simple.

However I find one thing pretty worrying about African politics in relation to for example the American democracy. Unlike the Yankee system where the political colours come out every four years for a few months and everybody else goes back to work in the interest of the country, African politics lives in us and we rather concentrate on partisan politics and political expediency rather than the greater good of the nation. Political leaders advocate for policies and strategies that will keep them in power as against what is the greater good for the people they were elected to serve.

It is such a shame that this has persisted since time immemorial and the growing sycophancy that partisan supporters seem to attach to defend this is pretty astounding and thus the reason why some of us neutrals just stay away and will remain in our corners and just do what we can in our own way to make the system bearable.

Political expediency rules over the greater good and this is so because the people to demand for the greater good are the very ones blindly supporting this political expediency.
It is also very important that we separate the presidency from the personality of the president. It is not a secret that some Americans don’t like Donald Trump as a person but then he happens to be the President of the USA and the leader of the free world and so these Americans accord him that respect. No American will just go stand anywhere and talk shit about the presidency though they will cast aspersions on the man who is the president. There is a difference. What this fosters is that it allows the president to play his role as the leader of the people and take decisions in their interest especially with appointments. When there is a committee that recommends that the president fires a presidential appointee appointed by a former president, it wouldn’t be the man in the presidency that is doing the firing but the president as an official duty that only him can do.

How difficult is this to understand.

This is different in Africa and since the opposing president made the appointment, I wonder if that ex-president will be the one to do the firing whilst there is a sitting president. Such a situation is going to explode in Ghana in the next few days largely due to the polarization of our political sphere into a bi partisan state and aspersions being cast in the same sycophantic matter that characterises our politics. As usual the ignoramuses are the ones who will be the loudest and well, you debate them at the peril of your own sanity.

Some of us have stayed away from it all and are not going to start now or ever.

Inasmuch as it is against everything we believe in we will continue to sit in the bleachers and watch it all unfold and predictably as usual we will time it with a shelf life of 15 days.

Ghana belongs to all of us no matter what political divide you belong to. Let us demand accountability from the people we put in place to represent us all and stop giving them the power to manipulate us for their whimsical activities. The real power lies with the plebiscite if only they will recognize it.

The power is yours.

It begins with YOU!

40 Plus

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2018 by kola

Inasmuch as I don’t want this article to be an upgrade of an earlier article I wrote about My Life At 40, I still cant help that writing the article in my head has a lot of similarities but let’s see how this will turn out in the end.

So yeah you guessed right and thankfully its another milestone. Yeah! My birth date is today and as usual I’m on a social media blackout and I wonder if WordPress will count as a social media site. I do this every year so I get to appreciate better the people around me who have helped get me to where I am now. After the blackout I get back to a myriad of messages I have to respond to and a whole lot of well wishes.

Thank God for friends because I always thank God for the amazing crop of friends that are my real wealth and I don’t take even one of them for granted.

Furthermore the blackout also gives me time to be reflective on where my life is headed and also quiet time with God and nature to rekindle the bond and thank God Almighty for His grace and mercy so far.

Oluwa osheey!!!

Last time I wrote about the growing trends amongst my age mates noticeably a bald head, greying beards and a pot belly and swore I won’t join the fray. I’m sorry to disappoint that I haven’t joined the fray though I have almost dabbled in it by growing a slight pot belly, which I’m working on killing, the bald head is a package deal and the grey beard too I’m trying but my beard never seems to grow fast enough before my weekly head shave.

It’s interesting how a lot of people despite complaining about the economy are still growing by the day and still throwing lavish parties to cater for the tastes and whims of party revelers who’d just turn their backs and gossip about you (just some though). Those people will hear their “gwee” in via morning (in Paapaa’s voice)

It’s also sad that good causes are not really encouraged but men will rather put money in asses than invest in assets.

What a pity (in Funny Face voice)

At 40 I was happy with my life mostly but still lacked stuff that made me complete. Don’t ask me what

I was living for others and I was happy just being me.

But at times it hit me that I wasn’t complete and when I compared myself to my colleagues and see how I lagged behind in material things but I was happy. Family had my back and I was on top of my game in almost every aspect.

Not to say I’m not happy now but in pursuit of happiness and to be at par I realized I’ve lost some of the self worth I had. It’s not too visible but yes I’ve become more boring and less friendly ignoring people and being offhandish seemingly to people who I used to care about. What was at first a reconciliatory nature has become a callous attitude to cutting people off. Keep asking myself why it’s so and if its an attribute to growing older.

So when I told a couple of boys I play basketball with my age they screamed and it felt pretty good. It reiterated my maxim that you’re as old as you feel and sometimes I feel like a 30 year old until my knees and ankles, even wrists remind me of the wear and tear they’ve undergone.

Life begins at 40 so I guess I’d still sit at the feet of people like Mr MY and his friends at the Alhasan Hotel and listen to their life experiences and learn pretty quickly via that shortcut than waiting for stuff to happen to me that I don’t understand.

Glory to God for a deep sense of understanding and insight into events and I reply that I continue to teach the Wong ones I mentor what it takes to be a citizen of the world.

We are still learning because learning is infinite and wisdom cannot operate without knowledge.

What do I want for my birthday? What I really want is so steamy and raunchy I cant post it in this article but I know where I wanna be which is to be amongst less privileged children just getting pampered and being one of them. Who will change my diaper for me and if I don’t get anybody I just keep crying until I get a diaper change.

Whoever gave us adulthood should come for their thing and I’m relocating to Never Land. I know a sweet Melody who will follow me there with others.

Well time to catch some sleep and I wont make any crazy wishes lest I wake up and they come true so lemme just stick to my going to bed in my birthday suit and blowing hot air on the applied powder in places where the sun don’t shine.

Take it from someone who’s been there and done plenty, the best gift you can give yourself on any day is to just be yourself..

Like I always keep saying it begins with YOU!!