Archive for September, 2013

Letters to Kpakpo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 30, 2013 by kola

Dear Friends,

my deepest appreciation to you for your support in this blog and the various articles that are shared here.

with regards to the Tamale Chronicles, i have become aware that Inasmuch as I discuss issues here using my experiences from Tamale, I realize some of the fun is lost in the formal discussion in an effort to draw attention to the marginalization of the north and its recent speedy development.

i have therefore deemed it necessary (with your kind permission of course) to start another blog to deal with the letters. these will be more informal essays on various experiences and issues as and when they have happened, are happening or have happened.

articles will still be published on both blogs.

LettersToKpapko.wordpress.com  seeks to narrate incidents of everyday life in the savannah as relatively compared to city life. so please keep an eye on both blogs.

Nii Kpakpo is an actual person and a cousin to my twin. Most Ghanaians will remember him as GAVET from one of the major Telcos adverts of a certain period in Ghana . He is an open minded social critic himself and these letters are to sensitize various people using him as a conduit.

The fun part is that he has agreed to at a point in time reply to as many letters as possible and i am also looking forward to his replies.

Please let’s enjoy the letters and feel free to make comments.

Thank you very much for coming along on this journey.

After all, this is our contribution to a better Ghana.

Ghana our Motherland!

Like i always say, it begins with YOU!!

Kofi.

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RIP Prof Kofi Awoonor

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2013 by kola

I had never attended lectures on any Friday back in my undergrad days on the University of Ghana, Legon campus until I got to my final year. There were these two very distinguished professors who managed to convince me to attend lectures on Fridays. Fridays after 3pm was reserved for basketball and there was nothing that I would compromise for my three hours at least on the court.

One of the lectures I couldn’t miss by virtue of his having the same set eyes and nose that I had (Professor Kofi Awoonor) and the other, oh! He hated the time of the lectures as much as I did (5.30pm when I should be playing basketball) so didn’t show up often.

Now it’s pretty sad to say that both are of blessed memory one still yet to be put into the ground as at the time of writing this article. Professor K. Fynn was a genius of history and reveled us with tales of the history of Ghana. He not only taught it but he had lived it. The man was so old that he was almost considered a historical artifact himself. His anecdotes of the historical personalities he taught us about left us wanting to have our own life experiences to tell our colleagues and students someday. Oh yes! He made us want to teach the subject.

Then I heard the unthinkable had happened in Kenya. Muslim insurgents had gone into a West Gate Shopping Mall in Kenya and just started shooting. Hey! Honestly I did not give a thought to it until news started trickling in that it was likely that a Ghanaian statesman and his son had been a victim of the shooting at the mall. My first thought was ‘what the frigging fuck was he doing in the Mall? Probably buying some duty free whiskey and trying to while away the time.’

Guess that was just me reacting to my loss!

Prof Kofi Awoonor’s name preceded him in my choosing of the course Creative Writing in my final undergrad year at the University of Ghana. I had read This Earth My Brother when I was not even a teenager and read his political history as a textbook in high school.

I had heard the man was an eccentric and he selected his own students. Loving the oddities in life only few people chose the course especially when they heard that the course time was on Friday at 5.30am.  For those who know me, that is my bed time. How could I be preparing for an early morning lecture just about an hour after my bedtime?

Obviously I would go to his lecture half asleep every Friday morning. Me! who hadn’t done lectures on Fridays for the past three years now had to succumb to an early morning lecture. That will have to be an uphill task indeed. But suffice it to say it was one of the best lectures I have chosen to attend or I was chosen to attend in the University of Ghana campus.

From the very moment he walked into the classroom, it was obvious this is a man who will take no prisoners. It was obvious he was an early riser and he told us creativity was what you used to crankshaft your brain to boost it into the coming day. The first assignment every morning was in the form of an anagram or any word play assignments where he had us forming first paragraphs of sentences based on his one liners.

By the time the course was over, we were writing whole short stories from these one liners.

One time he called me unawares to the front of the class to read my submission on one such assignment and I hesitated when I stood in front of the class. He went further to make me a mocking example of what a lazy student in his class looked like because I was always half sleepy in his class. Imagine his surprise when I told him that I had four different scenarios from the same one liner he had given as an example.

It was in Professor Awoonor’s class that I realized that my brain malfunction moments, which usually happen in the wee hours of the early mornings, actually produce genius moments.

The proud man went on to tell me that he recognized that I had the gift and the talent to write beautiful stories that could and would change the world, but then I was too lazy to even realize that I could and would be changing the world. I even remember his thick Ewe accent and guffaw after he said it.

*tears in my eyes

I have never given this much thought until now that I hear he is dead. Sad indeed!

His classes were too insightful and left us each time wanting more. Even though our senses were jarred into serious thinking that early in the morning, most of us didn’t have classes the rest of the day and so could take Professor Awoonor to bed as he jokingly teased the girls in the class.

Oh Yes!

The man was an African man to the core. Loving his Ewe traditions and origins to a fault and loving his women well rounded (read the first page of This Earth My Brother).

There was one time when the Students Representative Council organized a demonstration against ‘indecent dressing’ of the campus girls and he decried the action berating the girls in his class for not dressing ‘indecently’ so he could have a firsthand experience.

Professor Awoonor was always an elder statesman and went as far as being Ghana’s 8th permanent representative to the United Nations. His mission on earth was to promote African Arts and Culture and it was in his quest for this mission that he was attending the Storymoja Hay Festival, a four day celebration of writing, thinking and storytelling.

Yes!

Story telling the African way.

This has been the backbone of transmitting African history through oral traditions.

We are Rediscovering Africa through your legacy, this Night they shed your Blood, The House By The Sea is in mourning, This Earth My Brother is a wicked one, for you’re A Voyager At Last to the land of the ancestors.

May you rest peacefully in The Breast of The Earth as you will be buried in a Ghana which has survived from Pre-European to Modern Times.

Condolences to Prof’s family.

Judgement Day!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2013 by kola

I find myself in a town where random holidays are taken whenever rain clouds form.

The judgment day came and went away like the rapture. As usual journalists in Ghana were all over the place and there was a media blitz for peace to prevail in the round up to the judgment of the highest court of the land with regards to the election petition case.

Many panic buttons were pushed and the inhabitants of some parts of the country had various interpretations into the judgment day. Let me try to get into a few of those interpretations as I came across in Tamale.

At my workplace, some people were called to Accra to do biometric registrations and one of the persons who wasn’t called came to my office in confidence that he wanted to talk to me. The surreptitious manner in which he approached and entered the office got my antennae working at full alert.

He had heard a rumor that those who had been summoned to Accra to do the biometric registration were the legitimate workers of the organization and that after the judgment, the rest of us who weren’t summoned will be laid off.

This is a national organization and thirty six people from the whole of the region had been summoned. Could this 36 people do the work of the whole organization in the whole of the region?

I was dumbfounded how someone could come up with a theory like that. Moreover didn’t he realize that I also hadn’t been summoned to Accra?

Another interpretation is that when the judgment was pronounced, Nana Akufo Addo will become president of Ghana and he was going to put John Mahama in prison for usurping his office.

This meant that all the Mahama supporters in the northern region were going to be thrown into jail alongside their leader. So on the day of the judgment, a circular went round that nobody should wear any government agency tee shirt or paraphernalia with government agencies boldly emblazoned on them.

I found this quite astounding as to whether these organizations were government organizations and even if Akufo Addo took over he will be taking over the national patriotic party or take over the government of Ghana of which these various organizations fell under.

Finally in the most bizarre of incidents, my shoemaker who I have paid in full till the end of the year to produce for me one shoe every month calls me on Wednesday evening, prior to the judgment day on Thursday, to come for all the shoes he’s made for me and take my ‘balance’ on any shoes he hadn’t made if I didn’t and couldn’t choose any of the shoes he had already made in his shop.

The man hardly ever calls me but on this day he was insistent and said he will wait for me even if it was ten pm at night to come see him before he leaves his shop. This is a man who closes shop at 7pm and won’t stay open for anything.

His reason? He didn’t know what will happen after the judgment and he was putting his house in order. After several calls, I had to tell him to just go home and if anything happened, it was my loss.

Sometimes I just can’t understand these people and the way their mind works. These are a people who when you are driving will not heed to the car horns when they walk in the middle of the street.

But Oh! Let there be rain clouds and the whole town goes into panic stations. People run helter-skelter in a panic to get to their homes.

It is not even a case of finding shelter; they want to get to their own homes. Hitherto where taxis take five people, when there are rain clouds there are no taxis at the station and people will allow themselves to cram in groups of seven – two in front, five at the back. And nobody complains.

There are usually no taxis in the station because the taxis are not even allowed to get to the station as passengers waylay the cars even before they get there.

Cloudy days are the only days that people struggle for commercial cars in Tamale and others also stand by the roadside begging for lifts in the general direction of their homes.

The total chaos is pretty evident in the rush of motorbikes and bicycles and any form of transport rushing to get home. It is just amazing that accidents hardly happen at times like these.

The whole idea is to get indoors before the rains start. So you can imagine what it is like when it is raining. The whole metropolis comes to a standstill. Not much movement and activity anywhere. Even in the market most of the stalls are closed, shops closed and the banking halls are virtually empty.

So against this background imagine that the Friday after judgement day it rained from 5am in the morning. Already the judgment day had become an adhoc holiday where even in the major cities life had ground to a halt. My shoemaker amongst all the residents of Tamale and as pertained to the whole Ghana did not come to work on judgement day.

In Accra, there were signs of how the city could look like a weekend on a week day and most people have not seen the city like that in many years because of the overcrowding and traffic.

Rains on Friday in Tamale especially since it started in the wee hours of the morning meant that it was not worth getting out of bed to even think about work. The whole town was at a standstill for two days. A friend of mine at the Tamale branch of a busy bank relays that only 5 people came into the banking hall the whole day Friday and on Thursday only 6 people.

What it invariably means is that even on judgment day, the number of people in the bank exceeded the day of the rain by one person.

Tamale people just do not go out in the rain and especially on a Friday where officially the town thrives on half day because of Muslim prayers in the afternoon.

Living in a community like this is sometimes fun and sometimes difficult. It takes understanding the mindset of the people and the cultural systems that form this mindset.

The community is quickly developing especially with the fast influx of more southerners, like me, coming to settle and doing business in Tamale.

This I believe will also speed up the development of the savannah region as it is part of the government policy in the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) program.

Ghana my Motherland!
Long live Ghana!

#TamaleChronicles

Bored! Amidst Activity!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2013 by kola

With so many programs to attend in Accra here I am sitting in a hotel bar in Sunyani on the auspices of the wife and bored out of my wits. I keep playing in my head what I would have been doing in Accra at this time if I was there. There is the twin (male and female) wedding of the Abbans, one maintains the Abban name, the other gives it up for her husband’s name. There is also the matter of the Chale Wote Street Art Festival that will go on for two days only this year. Then there is the crazy rave Roll Call at the Aviation Social Centre where most of my Party Crew will be representing. What about the Homowo festival today of the people of Teshie?  Oh! Lest I forget, there is also the Spoken word at Sistris Bookshop in Osu. Eish! Me alone ad3n! But that’s the life of a crazy social being – Me.

For the first time in seven years, I am also missing the Cape Coast Fetu Afahye festival which has always been a working trip for me helping orientate students from California into the system as they study abroad in Ghana. I have also always managed to have fun alongside and keep my Saturdays open for the sports festival especially basketball that happens the whole day at the University of Cape Coast sports arena.

Well it’s a good thing I am bored because otherwise I will be confused. There is a wedding party going on in the premises and I’m sitting here all alone having planned to gatecrash it. But what is the motivation? There are not enough fine girls at the wedding reception to warrant me wearing my ironed clothes and sitting among the crowd. The girls walk up the flight of stairs and by the time they get to the second floor of the reception they have lost their heels in favor of slippers. This will not happen in Accra.

As I told a friend of mine on another social media platform the wedding is full of old ladies, wannabe high school swag boys and loads of broilers. Being sapiosexual, finding a girl I can talk to will be like finding a nail in a barn in a motley crowd like this. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are some but it will take too much effort to find them especially since most people are keeping to themselves.

There is a pool table and everybody keeps coming to the pool table. The cue balls are intact but the cue stick itself and the table leaves much to be desired. I have been in this hotel for how many hours and one look at the table and I have steered clear of it. Boys and girls who think playing pool is the in thing just gravitate to the pool table. And the way some girls are holding the cue stick *wink wink (nutty thoughts)

I can see the difference between those who came from Accra to attend the wedding and the local inhabitants. The folk from Accra have this swag that even though it is misplaced and misguided they carry themselves above the rest of the people. It is so obvious. The girls are the ones who will wear the heels the whole flight of four stairs and not flinch. The guys carry their iPads and have their heads buried in whatsapp messages until somebody tries to draw their attention. It’s obvious they would rather be somewhere else. Makes me ask the question if this was a wedding reception in Accra, would the attitudes be the same? Nobody will alert you that the girls want to get your attention with the kinda clothes they are wearing.

Well the wedding party is almost over (the married couple just left) and now the guy at the bar slots in his latest hottest music and is playing. Let me get back to soaking it in and dancing behind my computer in my chair.

No Long Tin!

 

Eish! people are carrying banku (local dish) wrapped in polythene bags take-away oh!

LOL!!

 

#NuttyAdventures in Sunyani

LEIBSTER AWARD

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 5, 2013 by kola

i have been recently nominated for the Leibster Award by a fellow blogger and literary soul sister @Mizzpeh. in that small frame of hers lies an amazingly talented writer that says her mind freely in her articles and brings to the fore some personal issues that we usually take for granted. she makes the phrase ‘it’s the little things that count’ take on a new meaning.

iImage  i am truly honored for the nomination and i thank all my readers especially you and anyone who reads my posts.

now to answer Mizzpeh’s 10 Questions:

1. What inspires you to write?

the thought of my brain as a muscle becoming defunct and weak inspires me to write.

2. Summarise yourself in a sentence.

crazy fun with a warped sense of humor

3. What legacy do you want to leave behind?

a legacy of the knowledge that life is simple and you don’t have to complicate it any more than it is

4. Your favourite place to write?

obviously behind the pc but it’s actually the loo

5. What do you want your blog to be remembered for?

a blog full of articles that will be food for thought

6. What is your best and worst quality?

best quality is my intelligence and worst quality is my compassion

7. What is the most memorable day in your life and why?

the day there was no food in the house and an auntie we haven’t heard from in years just dropped by with a van load of food.

in a matter of hours we were distributing foodstuffs in the neighborhood. miracles do happen!

8. What are you most passionate about?

my life and my wife

9. What do you cherish the most?

life and love. once we have life, you know you gotta have love.

10. Your advice to others?

the resources are there and if you can make somebody’s life better with your articles why hold back. keep writing!

My Nominees:

1.      @Nana Awere Damoah accomplished writer and blogger who with witty satires easily brings to the fore the state of the Ghanaian nation

2.      Soulbase: this guy is so creative his forte, i think, is suspense. He keeps you getting  on the edge of your seat with imagery that will even make a chameleon just wanna stay where it is and not merge into the shrub.

3.      Kwame Gyan: a sharp wit that goes with sharp fingers. If only tongues could write, i am pretty sure his would have been branded a double edged sword. Journalist by training and communication expert by profession, he puts his skill to pointing out what evils plague our society. His articles on entertainment are classic pieces to always refer to.

4.      Mynah: the self professed thinker. His pledge is to leave a legacy of food for thought and his random posts will irritate you and force you to read.

5.      Bernach Buachi’s daily posts have come to be a ritual for me. Wake up and check my mail for his posts because he always have an interesting perspective on all subjects from various topics

6.      Efo Dela;Sars Poetica is a blog post that makes you lick your lips and tickle yourself for the puns and imagery in the poetry. Creativity at its best.

7.      Mutombo da Poet writes in free flowing prose no embellishments and it is like he is talking to you when he meets you in the street. A constant street walker i love reading about his experiences and views on society.

8.      Akua Asare’s Reflections give an insight into love and life of a person carving an identity for herself. When i want to feel human, this is the blog to read. It is very humbling to see and read such talents.

9.      ReboundGh; what is all this intellectual activity without a bit of recreation. This blog provides me with the latest on my favourite sport basketball in Ghana and how to make it better. Serious articles on how to blend sports and life and its importance to a person’s personal growth and development.

10.  Adventures from: this blog is profound for the liberalization of African women and their thoughts right from the bowels of women’s bedrooms. Women telling the story of women in this modern day African society where sex is not discussed. Trend setting if you ask me.

Questions

1.       1 What is your most memorable or favorite blog piece you have written? Why?

2.       2  Who inspires you?

3.       3 Summarize yourself in a sentence.

4.       4 What is your best and worst quality?

5.        5  Where is your favorite place to write?

6.       6 What do you want your blog to be remembered for?

7.       7 What are you most passionate about?

8.       8 If you could meet any blogger, who would it be?
9 what do you think of Ghana and Africa? Can we make it?
10 what is the one thing you will not live without?

Thanks again to @Mizzpeh for the nomination.

Now, in order to formally accept this award you must:

  1. Link back the person who nominated you (me!)
  2. Answer the 10 questions which were given to you by the nominator (above)
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers
  4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Why Africans Respect Chiefs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2013 by kola

Image   The institution of chieftaincy has in both modern and pre-colonial times have been dominant in steering the affairs of statedoms. This dominance has been transferred to post-colonial states in Africa.

Prior to colonial rule, chiefs were the sole socio-political heads of states in various parts of Africa. In cases where chiefs did not exist especially in acephalous societies, there was some form of hierarchy that governed the people. Such societies were ruled or governed by their belief in the spirit forces and therefore by the agents of the spirit forces.

In Vol 8 of UNESCO’s General History of Africa series, Catholic Bishop Tshishiku Tshibangu writes: “The African is profoundly, incurably a believer, a religious person. To him, religion is not just a set of beliefs but a way of life, the basis of culture, identity and moral values. Religion is an essential part of the tradition that helps to promote both social stability and creative innovation.” This means that religion is deeply embedded in the African psyche.

This also means religion affects the everyday life of the African and there is no way the African can do away with his religious beliefs – whether traditional or Christian or whatever religion there is. John Mbiti, another prominent Kenyan writer on religion, also shares the same view.

During colonial times in Gold Coast, the British used the chiefs as intermediaries and their representatives to the people in their application of the Indirect Rule system of governance as dictated by Lord Lugard’s The Dual Mandate. The British recognized that there was an elaborate already existent system of governance thus no need to bring in whole battalions as they did in other areas to promote British colonial interests in the Gold Coast. The chief was therefore used as government agents of colonial rule.

Chiefs that were created by the colonial master in some areas where there were no ‘recognized’ chiefs were called ‘warrant chiefs’ because they were individuals given warrants to represent the British among the natives. In recent times, in the colonial legacy of the Westminster system of government, chiefs have to be gazetted before they are recognized by the government as chiefs. They must have gone through the due process of installation by the traditional custom and authority.

Colonial rule it might seem concentrated power and authority into the hands of the chiefs. But it also had its disadvantages. Having recognized the power of the chief as the sole social and political head of the local community, the British put the traditional laws under the authority of the British laws. It was the traditional laws that gave the chief his power and ceding this power under British laws ensured that the chief’s authority was curtailed. Furthermore, colonial government functionaries took over most of the roles of the chief within the community and this somewhat reduced the chief to a ceremonial head more or less.

Even at the time when Governor Guggisberg in the 1920s decided to give Africans a hand in the administration of the Gold Coast via the African representatives on the Legislative Council (chiefs), the then educated elite thought they were the ones who deserved that slot because they had seen how the British system worked. Most of the elite had been educated in the metropolis and were coming back to their homelands to help in the struggle for independence.

In the Legislative Council debates, we find the elite going head to head with the chiefs over who held the right to represent the people. The main proponents in this struggle were Dr J. B. Danquah representing the elite and Nana Sir Ofori Atta representing the chiefs. By a twist, these two great men were cousins. This struggle has continued prior to independence and even after independence.

Independence shot the educated elite into the limelight and the post independent leaders like Kwame Nkrumah further pushed the chiefs into the periphery. This is what led to the famous statement Nkrumah is purported to have said that ‘chiefs who do not support the CPP will flee leaving their sandals behind’.

Furthermore, this struggle between the chiefs and the elite is what has culminated in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana barring traditional chiefs from active partisan politics even though in recent times, chiefs are very highly educated.

With chiefs virtually becoming ceremonial heads against this background, why then is it that we still defer to chiefs in our African communities and also more people want to be chiefs thus resulting in more chieftaincy disputes than ever in the history of the country. Chiefs can now only be seen during traditional ceremonies like funerals and festivals or at state ceremonial functions.

Chiefs are recognizable by their traditional dressing of gold ornaments, beads, sandals, regalia and entourage. Even without the regalia, Africans respect chiefs even if they do not have any jurisdiction over these people.

We all defer to them and wonder if anybody has bothered why we defer to chiefs once we hear they are chiefs. We consider them traditional authority and as an embodiment of customs and traditions.

The African cosmology (belief system) accounts for the way we as Africans go about our daily routine. No matter our level of education our religious affiliations, traditional African systems are still instilled deep within us. They are innate.

The African traditional belief system comprises of the belief in a Supreme Being. He is the Maker of the universe called Nyankopon, Mawu, Yehowa, etc in various languages by various societies.

Next to the belief in the Supreme Being is the belief in spirit forces. These spirit forces are said to dwell in inanimate objects such as rivers, mountains, rocks, trees etc. These spirit forces have different names in different communities and examples are Nogokpo in Volta region, Akonnedi of the Lartehs, Kpeshie Naa of the Gas, etc. These spirit forces are the gods who the Africans believe are very powerful to affect the lives of the living person.  With the advent of Christianity, these gods have been demonized and as such even with Christianity the African still believes in demon and spirit possession.

Next to the belief in the spirit forces or gods is the belief in the dead. The dead were once living beings like us who have gone on into the afterlife and it is believed still take care of the living by interceding on our behalf in the sprit realm. The belief in the dead ancestors is what accounts for the elaborate funeral ceremonies we see nowadays and the saying that we do not speak ill of the dead. 

The African believes in the living being. This is why we have systems such as the extended family system where everybody is each other’s keeper. There is also a belief of self which relates each person to the other either by blood or spirit. This accounts for the systems of inheritance, matrilineal or patrilineal, the clan relations, etc.

The final link in the African belief system is the belief in the yet unborn. Africans already make provision for children and generations yet unborn. This accounts for why folk struggle to work hard in life and their simple reason being that they want their children to have it better than they had it when growing up. This is another reason why African land is held in trust for the family and not sold outright.

With this background, am sure you are wondering where the chief fits in in all this or you might have found it already because I am sure you are African reading this. Chiefs are usually, in most cases, the descendants of the founder of the society. In some societies, the chiefs are considered as gods. Those who are not considered gods are linked directly by bloodline or ancestry to the founder of the community.

The chief of a community is therefore the representative of the not only the spirit forces but also the representative of the ancestors within the community. Since we venerate the ancestors, it is imperative that we give the same reverence to the chief of the community. It is for this simple reason that Africans defer to chiefs throughout the continent even if the chief has no jurisdiction over you.

Once he is a chief of some community, one does not even ask what sort of chief is or his designation and one accords him the necessary reverence.

In recent times however, the chieftaincy institution has been dragged in the mud by some unscrupulous people some posing as chiefs. There are many chieftaincy disputes more than ever in Ghana. This is because people have begun to flout the laid down traditional ways of choosing the chief as existed in the generations past.

With the capital economy and more candidates eligible for the position, it is imperative that some people are using their influence and wealth to covet chieftaincy titles they do not deserve. They are also using political clout to influence who becomes the chief of a community because of the government gazette that is required to recognize a chief of a community.

In an institution where the criteria handed down generations is stringent and makes sure the best candidate gets the position, lobbying for the position and using monetary influence has led to some bad nuts becoming chiefs in their areas.

Some of these people flout the customary and traditional laws of the community and only do as they please. These chiefs think that the community is subject to their whims and caprices and as such they only perform the functions that they see fit, not what is expected of them by the community. Mostly they are highly educated and very rich and flaunt their wealth to the community as ‘untouchables’.

In Ghana, even though the Article 276 (1) of the 1992 Constitution forbids the active participation of chiefs in partisan politics because of issues we have discussed from the background of chiefs, we find chiefs taking sides with political parties and sometimes mounting political platforms to raise funds for and openly support political parties. Why then will our democracy not be marred by violence and intolerance if some political parties cannot organize rallies and even campaigns in these areas.

Some astute chiefs however have managed to set up development funds and projects within their communities to better the lives of their people. It is imperative that as Africans we use what we know from our culture as a yardstick to measure which of the chiefs are good and development minded and which of them are not. It is only in this way and with one voice that we can curtail the activities of these bad nuts within the institution not to drag chieftaincy into disrepute.

African chiefs embody the culture and represent our core values as Africans. If we do not protect our culture, like the Chinese have done, we will lose it to all these western influences cropping into our culture and very soon we will not have any identity at all.

A people with no identity are a lost people.

Long live Ghana, long live Africa!!

 

Social Media Meet ups!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2013 by kola

Image  In these modern times when communication is more electronic via technological systems, face to face communication is becoming a thing of the past. It is gradually becoming obsolete and with it the traditional values and social etiquette that were attached to it.

You wonder why I mention traditional values. Well, we are Africans finding ourselves in a cosmopolitan world. Africans have an innate value sensibility such as respect for elders, care for a larger family, selflessness, etc because of our belief systems.

 But we are gradually losing all this because of the cosmopolitan world we find ourselves in with the rest of the world, of which advanced technology is a major part.

Some theorists have even posited that educated Africans who want to be abreast with the times have to be Afropolitan – a perfect blend of African nature within the cosmopolitan concept. But that is discussion for another platform and another day.

Every user of social media is assumed to be educated or discerning enough to at least know what it involves and have the ability and means to use it. Social media has its ups and downs. People use social media for all sorts of reasons especially since it’s easy to relate and check up on friends and acquaintances they hitherto did not know their whereabouts. Some people find it easier to create events on social media and get to estimate and plan for them knowing how many people will be making it to the event or function.

 Human beings have always needed close contact for various reasons if even to compete with each other among other things. Men will always excel at what they do one way or the other because they always have another man as a yardstick, and women will always want to meet up to see latest trends, who’s driving what and sleeping with whom.

This is not to say that competition is bad, don’t get me wrong. I am not setting the stage for conflicts but setting the stage for the need and importance for group meet – ups especially within social media and its ability to foster stronger friendships not only in the e-community but also in real life.

Meeting in the real world, I consider important because it is when folks in the e-community metamorphose into real life people that can relate to each other.

 There have been countless instances when the person behind the keyboard have had an entirely different personality than in real life and here I can make reference to my dearest internet nemesis and arch-teaser and friend Dzamesi Selorm who I affectionately call The Hercules. Dude is a quietest shyest person in person but online he’ll take on anybody when he’s behind a PC.

But I have come to love these guys and respect them a lot for who they are. They are fun loving people who will be in the middle of the fray with everybody else sharing ideas and joining in the fun.

There have been countless cases of internet fraudsters who hide behind computer persona to defraud unsuspecting folks male or female by picking on their victims’ particular interests.

Knowing who is on the other end of the keyboard always makes for mutual respect. It’s not the internet profile of the person you have in mind, but the real person, his sensibilities and this fosters the kind of friendship you share with the person and invariably minimizes the conflict within the society.

 You know you are talking to a real person and since you have met the person, you understand how best to relate to the person’s sensibilities and how far you can go with such a person.

Group meet-ups are therefore important to foster peace and unity thus reducing conflicts in an e-community.

They further help foster wonderful relationships with real people and not abstracts as shown by the personality profile provided by the person.

There is no way i can adequately deal with a topic like this but i know that this article serves as a foundation for starting the debate and pointing out the relevance of meet ups and more personal contact among members of social media groups to ferment relationships and minimize conflict.

Let us keep talking more and have fun in whatever e-community, media or social platform we find ourselves in.

Like i always say, it begins with you !

 

*Thinking Aloud

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http://social-media.meetup.com/