Archive for May, 2014

RIP Grandma Maya

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2014 by kola

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just give me a cool drink of water

I shall not be moved

A brave and startling truth

Poems

On the pulse of the morning

Mom and me and Mom

My painted house, my friend and me

Then we complete collected poems

Great food, all day long. Eat joyfully not healthy

Life doesn’t frighten me

Then we collect the autobiographies

Singing and swinging and getting merry like Christmas

A song flung up to Heaven

We gather together in My name

 

Mother a cradle to mold

Phenomenal woman

Mrs Flowers

Renee Marie of France

It is the heart of a woman

Maya’s world: Mikale of Hawaii

Maya’s World: Angelina of Italy

Maya world: Izal of Lapland

Now sheba sings the song

 

I know why the caged bird sings

Poems by Maya Angelou

Conversations with writers

Letter to my daughter

Even the stars look lonesome

But all God’s children need travelling shoes

Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now

 

And still I rise

Hallelujah the welcome table

Amazing Peace: a Christmas poem

Celebrations, rituals of peace and prayer

Oh pray my wings are gonna fit me well

Love’s Exquisite freedom

Kofi and his magic

 

you lived a life that blazed a path to creativity and inner soul searching not for the woman of African descent but also for the black race.

you taught us all not only to be women of substance but a race of substance.

you lived a life led with dignity, strength and a pride in who you are. 

a phenomenal woman

Rest in Peace!

 

RIP Dr Maya Angelou

 

 

 

 

 

The Global Management Challenge

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by kola

globalIt was a curious time when the Global Management Challenge rolled into Tamale this week. The challenge, sponsored by the US Embassy  is a management simulator that seeks to project how companies fare in a market given similar conditions and similar markets in which to operate.

Six teams come together and then enter into a competition given similar company histories and they are to operate in the same market and under the same conditions.

The companies are run by a management board which decides on every aspect of running the various facets of the company. There is a CEO, The Financial Director, The Human Resource and Marketing Managers and finally a Production Manager.

This implies that a team comprises of 5 people and there are groups of 6 in a competition. These individuals come together to exhibit talents that they each bring to the table to move a company forward.

There are important lessons learnt from this exercise. The first one is teamwork. For a company to move on all the sector heads, in essence, the five persons at the table need to put their heads together to take critical decisions that affect the company. Before a decision is inputted into the decision form, the members all agree on the decision that has been made.

Another importance of the global simulator is that it grants a hands-on experience on how to run a real life company without the internship hustle that usually applies to working on a daily basis in a real live company. It is also based on the premise that the simulator is an actual representation of what happens in the real world and this can be translated via the company reports, etc that are generated by the simulator from the decisions made.

The global simulator is a very important exercise in the sense that it can be used in institutions for management training and to give hands-on experience to management trainees and practitioners to take decisions in a firm in a simulated environment.

Well, found myself in the  Tamale edition with a couple of my friends and it was worth the experience.

It is my suggestion that folk read more about the management challenge and if it’s available try their hands on it. The experience is worth it.

As Africans we are already lagging behind The West when it comes to technologies like this and it is important that in a bid to catch up we train ourselves to keep abreast with the technologies of the times. It is not usually a collective effort but an individual effort that spreads out into the collective.

I have done mine and I’d keep following up on such technology around the world. It is up to you reader to do yours.

Like i always say, it begins with YOU!

Ghana Musings

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2014 by kola

So what is this I hear of scandals and fraudulent activities that have fraught our nation like we have stirred some hornets’ nest. In a country where we believed we could handle our own affairs after independence, I think we have done pretty woefully in comparison to countries in Asia for example that were in ‘our league’.

There is the argument that these countries find themselves in a different environment than ours and it is these surrounding factors that helped their development. But would they have developed if they didn’t have or hadn’t set policies in place coupled with some national sacrifice and dedication that has paid off over the years.

I always make an example of the Chinese under Chairman Mao or Cuba under Castro when these strong leaders carried their nations and left lasting legacies now. These countries are now world leaders in trade, industry and commerce among other activities.
Now come to African and why are we different.

African policy makers do not even study the terrain before they set policies. Politicians in Africa are largely egomaniac and selfish interests pervade their every thought and action.

Now case in point is in Ghana with the Mahama government and the initiatives that were put in motion for the acceleration of development of the country.

On paper, these programs such as GYEEDA, SADA, etc are logically sound. But what happens?

Scandals have rocked these programs with the misappropriation of funds. You should hear how the people of Tamale berate the authorities of SADA.

On a radio program one caller was furious and shouting that the program handlers were in cohorts with each other and had shared the money that was to be used to develop their own communities for themselves.

Indeed enough has been said of the SADA fiasco on social media that I won’t beat a flailing horse any farther. Sad issue indeed!

It baffles me how an infosystems company which is tasked to find info solutions to a monolithic office cabinet system ends up becoming a motorbike procuring company. What is happening in this country?

This is just one of the questions I keep asking myself with events that are occurring in this country. Interestingly there are more people questioning than me and I think that is probably the reason why I have stopped listening to the news and the radio.

Why wouldn’t I when the media has also become very unreliable in the sort of information they disseminate.

How did a whole television station, the purported ‘pulse of the nation’ (the nation would have been dead a long time ago since the pulse has been weak) grant an interview to a Nobel prize winning fraudster based on a few photoshopped pictures.

In this era of Google and internet where even ‘kayayei’ have a website, did it not occur to anybody to check that a prestigious institution and body such as the Nobel prize giving authority will have a list of winners?

Back when I lived in the capital, I used to listen to the world news channels such as BBC and Aljazeera early in the morning and I physically had bags of Annapurna salt sitting in basket on the side of the television where I was sitting. I practically and literally take all news with a bag of salt.

On those mornings it was nice tweeting with my comrade in arms at the 2BN in Apremdo in Takoradi who was up at the same time to keep up with the news from around the world and we had fun.

But who is to blame the African press when even some western media take what is a hoax from Africa and publish it as worthy news because of the image they have of Africa. If sometimes they don’t verify their stories even with their rigid systems of verification then what happens to us?

Now another thing that baffles me is whether it is mediocrity or gullibility or both.

It is true in all cases that Ghanaians are very gullible and I won’t waste time providing evidence of the gullibility. Fauster’s issue is not an isolated case but it reminds me of a stool regent who flashed a few doctorate degrees and evidence of higher education which upon a closer look were only a screen and not wholly true. The man bent the truth a little and then we made him a rector of an academic university.

Oh Ghana!

But let us not go too far. Let us examine the sort of people we choose to make out laws and also the appointees to facilitate government policy and programs to the masses.

Mediocrity is the order of the day. Cases in point are the Twea DCE, MPs and ministers who can’t even prove they attended school because floods have swept away certificates, some can’t even recite the national anthem, poor English articulation hence how do we not expect a government functionary to attribute the depreciating cedi against the dollar to superstitious dwarfs whilst another in economic brilliance attributes it to the increase of high rise buildings in the capital.

Now another political appointee is cutting down trees in a natural forest reserve that has been there for years because it is his absolute belief that it is the only spot he can build the district assembly. For all we know this district assembly will be a white elephant like most government projects we have seen in the past.

But really, what is this country coming to? Now there is another charlatan on social media claiming to be a British prince and heir to a monarchy, Justice Pastor Reuben Sackey, Grand Duke of Atuakofiland in Ghana (check him out on Facebook).

Have Ghanaians become that gullible that anybody takes us for granted?

It is high time we started questioning the kind of things we see and hear because the resources are available to check. Internet resource is available and data is relatively cheap in comparison to the level of gullibility and egg yolk on your face when you are seen to have been taken for a ride.

As for me, I have said my piece and I rest my case.

We have to blame ourselves and like I always say it begins with YOU!

Job Interviews

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by kola

Several years ago I was attending interviews for jobs almost everywhere because I needed a job. I was completing school and needed to make all that education pay off.

Oh! I won’t talk about the applications I sent but suffice it to say that I took the then Ghana Telecom phone book and covered almost every organization in Accra.

However this is a story about my first experience on the other side of the interview table and some of the observations I made.

My partner is into HR outsourcing and recruitment and her company organized a job fair.  Whilst dropping her off at the venue, her boss said they were understaffed and asked if I could help with the interviews. That’s how I ended up conducting interviews for a marketing firm.

This day remains one of the best days of my life and I met some really interesting people, some of whom are still my friends till date.
It was also my first time seeing what really the interview panel looks out for when I was handed the interview report sheet for the candidates. On the form there were assessment spaces for composure, appearance, temperament, talents, etc.

I decided to practically test all these things based on talking to the person without even looking at the sheet. After a while I got the hang of it.

So this very pretty young gal comes to take the seat right in front of me and I’m overwhelmed. She’s wearing too much perfume and she’s dressed like she had obviously come straight to the job fair from last night’s party, had only brushed her teeth and straightened kinks in her hair.

So I ask her straight off the cuff “last night’s party was a bomb.  Where did you go to? ”

She forgot I was interviewing her for a job and we talked about partying in Accra for the next 5 minutes.

My observations: pretty body, air head, no focus, dwells on her body to take her places and hardly any skills and steeped in what she believes to be true and never willing or eager to learn. She wasn’t very open-minded too because on some subjects she thought I was being too vain.

I guess there is a moral there for you.

The next interesting candidate was a young brilliant final year student in the university who had a calling to be a priest so was doing a pastoral school on the side so that by the time he completes university he has his theological certificate too. Pretty smart move and I was impressed.

I was impressed too that he loved nature and art – a passion I share too – and that he spoke eloquently and articulately with a good choice of diction. 

I decide to test his temperament so I made a statement that I believed Christians are cannibalistic considering that the symbolism of the last supper.

If you didn’t know I’m telling you right now I’m the son of a Baptist Reverend minister and a practicing Christian so don’t draw your Crusader daggers just yet.

This brilliant young trainee pastor went berserk. He flipped, rained insults on me for being the anti Christ and a host of other strong words I can’t even type here.

This is in a situation whereas a more open minded person would’ve calmly said these things were a matter of religious faith and that I shouldn’t take it literally, might even try to make me a convert, we laugh about it and  let it go.

Obviously his religious intolerance cost him a job.

Lesson learnt: don’t let religious or personal sensibilities cloud your judgement when doing your job or seeking one.

We all have idiosyncrasies based on different things but if you do have principles stick to it and never waiver. 

Most importantly always keep an open mind about everything. It pays to have your head screwed on straight. Deep breaths always calm you down when you don’t like or disagree with anything the other person says and you can take your time to respond appropriately.

These principles are life principles and not only apply to interviews. We’re all individuals but a lot of individuals form a collective that drives a nation.

So like I always say
It begins with YOU!!