Archive for October, 2014

The Penyi Story

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 31, 2014 by kola

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recently I got invited to a festival as a guest and as usual here was I thinking it was going to be like every other festival – either about religion, social or migration to celebrate the people of the town.

But this festival was of a difference.

Maybe by the time I’m done with telling the history of the festival it would make sense to you.

For 26 years since the chief passed on in this small town, the traditional authority has been vested in a Regency which has been preparing the grounds for the next chief to be enstooled. Per the dictates of the constitution, a regency has only limited opportunity in bringing development to a community and this invariably means that the community lags behind in terms of benefiting from the national development agenda.

It is for this reason that some well meaning indigenes of the community recognizing that the youth were the future leaders of every community decided to harness that potential and form the Penyi Youth Organization (PEYO) to spearhead development projects in the community.

Through contributions and soliciting funds from members of the community, a town lighting project was undertaken and put to bed. Furthermore a clinic was brought into the town to cater for the health needs of the community among other projects.

Then came a time to find one event that would solidify the unity in the community once and for all. An event that will embody what the community stood for – One People, One Community.

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This was an event that would bring together all members of the community resident and non-resident, both old and young to unite as one people with a common goal at heart which is the development of the Penyi town.

In many communities in Ghana, there are several festivals that bound the people together. Festivals are occasions to highlight the culture of a people, a time for homecoming for members who belong to that particular community home and abroad, resident and non-resident.

So a festival was to be the vehicle and conduit to bring the people together but what form would it take?

It is in deliberating on this that a planning committee was formed to design a festival for the community. the festival was named Nugoryiza which basically means “Moving Forward”. A logo was then proposed for the community and it’s important to understand the logo. 

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The planning committee chose an anthill to be in the logo because they believed in the story of the social life of ants.  Even though they have no visible leaders ants come together to put up an impermeable structure that’s formidable and recognizable all over the landscape where it is built. If even ants, the smallest of animals can do this, how much more human beings.

It is very evident that this story sunk well with the community because notably during the float /walk as part of the festival’s activities some youth would quickly rush together to any anthills on the road and pose for pictures. Not everybody however seemed to understand the significance of the anthill though they were taking pictures with it.

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The Anthill

The theme for the festival this year was “Promoting Our Local Foods For A Better Ghana”. The theme of the festival was designed towards self sufficiency which has always been the watchword and guiding principle of the Penyi community.

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Festival activities included an awareness walk by the youth all the way to the new free zones customs border with neighbouring Togo, a beauty pageant, who will take up a communal cause (she chose to check the girl-child school drop out rate), a food bazaar to showcase the various foods made from corn (the staple food of the community) and yours truly was there to sample some.

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The story of Penyi in the Volta region is of one community doing what I’ve been preaching all this time since I started this blog. Don’t wait for government to make a positive or developmental changes in your life but take your destiny into your own hands and shape it the way you want.

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It is about time that people realize that the government can not do everything in providing social amenities and the necessary facilities for social and communal development and like the Penyi community has embraced the philosophy of the ants in working together to build an anthill, so too can every human, working together with others create a monument in this life.

Like I always say,
It begins with YOU!!

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Jama group

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Journalists Workshop

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

So I got a letter to attend a workshop for journalists on how to report on genetically modified foods and organisms and it was  enthralling. 

The various interactions with the scientists who have been at the forefront of this movement have been very very educative. Through presentations and cross section focal discussion groups, participants were taken through the rudiments of genetically modified foods and organisms.

We even took a field trip into a sample farm where genetically modified food tests are being made but not before we’d been taken into the lab and taken through the processes of extracting DNA of plants.

One lesson picked up  from this workshop was that it is very easy to always twist facts to suit our cause and it’s up to the individual to rift through and make an informed judgement. The information is there at your fingertips thanks to internet and smartphones. 

The experience was truly worth it.

Educating Latifah: A Teacher’s Concern

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by kola

This is the story of an experience of a young teacher in Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School whilst he interacted with one of his students. Read and let’s see what you think. Enjoy!

Razak Dimbie writes:

A student in my class is repeated and this is making her feel lost, alone, abandoned, and rejected.

She has become very shy and coiled into a world of pain and hurt.

I had a simple chat with her and it goes like this:

Latifa, when we see you in the near future to be a successful person, what should we see?

At this stage, she was surprised with my line of questions.
I believe she expected me to behave like almost everyone who insulted her for failing her exams.

She looks at me quietly and says, “I want to start my own business”

Even though she tries to answer my questions, she tried hard to avoid eye contact.

I ask again “how long have you had this desire” and she says “since childhood”

Then I continued by asking her to describe how she would start to make her achieve this desire

She says, “I have been thinking of how to raise money first”

At this stage, I understand why she used the word “thinking”

I asked when she does her thinking and she says mostly when she is walking home or in class.

Latifa is a day student, and it is usually when she is walking home that she gets time to think and reflect on her plans. She has a clear picture of what she wants but unfortunately, students like Latifa are not protected by the schooling system.

Scientifically, any developing child has up to grade seven to develop all the nerve connection in the brain for holistic and critical thinking. Secret modules can be deliberately placed in any schooling system to cause people to think less critically by not making them have all the right nerve connections. With this module, the more schools you build, the more problems you develop. This same module makes a student graduate and is waiting for help or instruction in Ghana while an apprentice completes apprentice program and wants to start his own business in Ghana.

Education has become just like taxes in Ghana and most African countries now. People go to school because they have to, not because they want to understand how things are done.

Students are not given the opportunity to dream in school.

They are not permitted to think independently anymore and we reward those who are ready to spend time “chewing” what other people have done or are doing.

You are either a consumer or a creator.

The British gave Ghanaians a system with a secret ingredient in it aimed at training consumer and people who have no WILL to push for their own dreams.

This same ingredient is making us remove people who want to create from the schooling system and Latifa including millions more are just victims.

The few who want to consume and “chew” are mostly those we depend on now for critical thinking.

Reading difficult concepts and solving complex equations is not the same as critical thinking. In this schooling system, collecting more certificates is just waste of time and a deliberate misdirection.    

Most Ghanaian students do not want to be forced into “chewing” what other people have done or are doing. Students want to expand and create and this is evident in the ways the use social media. In this world (social media plateform), they have all the time and space to create wonderful and interesting dreams.

What most people do not know is that people who are on social media are risk takers and most risk takers are societal transformers.

Latifa’s elder brother is a roadside mechanic (fitter) who  drew my attention to Latifa when he reported her to me saying his sister has refused coming back to school because she is repeated, that was how our paths crossed.

My conversation with Latifa went on and on and on.

However, after it, I told her she has no other option than to be a great person.

If you do not understand education, you will remove all the people who have the ability to do holistic and critical thinking from national development.

You must fall in line or you are quickly removed from it (according to the British system introduced in the then Gold Coast).

Have you asked yourselves why it is mostly creative or talented students who have difficulty in the Ghanaian educational system?

Have you asked yourselves why most students who do very well in class are mostly easily angered students who also easily jealous other peoples performance in class?

Have you asked yourself why many people completed universities and have no idea of what to do, are dependent on government for jobs, become corrupt and greedy?

Well, Latifa is just one of the million Ghanaians who have been targeted by the schooling system the British gave Ghanaians.
The time has come for people to understand the true meaning of education.

You cannot have ‘educated’ people and still be classified as developing people or middle income.

You cannot have ‘educated’ people and still do not know how to manage your resources.

You cannot have ‘educated’ people who turn out to be very self centered and greedy only looking out for no one else other themselves.

You cannot have educated people who “think” of solutions and the solutions brings more problems.

Latifa now understands why she is refusing this useless system of education.

She now looks into the future with hope and determination.
Eventually, she will understand that her future and success does not solely dependent on a system that breeds less critical people.
There is a new way of thinking.

We have all the recourses to create any reality we want.
No one will be left behind.

Dimbie Abdul-Razak
Resonance Cube Project
A single consciousness
The Revolution

This is story of one teacher making a difference in people’s lives helping them understand the systems as they exist.

You can also do it with what you know.

Like I always say
It begins with YOU!!