Archive for November, 2014

College Blues

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 23, 2014 by kola

So recently a young upcoming and very talented blogger has invited me to be a guest blogger on her blog writing on daily life in college, the joys and challenges.
Check her out on
Below is my first article for her blog.

We all look forward to entering the university. Right from the day we start graduating any level of education, we’re filled with grand ideas of how we will one day enter the highest education institution and get a degree.

But interestingly nobody thinks about what it really takes to go through that four years of college before we graduate. The exams, the friendships, the fun, the anguish, the lectures and all the nitty gritty that comes with college life.

Did I mention the prestige of being a college student?

Being in college is a privilege and for some of us it was the ultimate.

My host blogger has an article about remedial exams being a fad nowadays and thus making learning quite substandard in this country. But back then when you went for remedial exams it was painful seeing your classmates get on ahead and leave you behind. Once they were gone, there was hardly any way of catching p.

Imagine you waiting to do remedial and your mates went on to the university.  They came back with a whole new set of vocabulary such as FUE, October Rush, intɛ and extɛ, attending lectures and sleeping in halls (not dormitories), and life on campus.

You felt left out and couldn’t wait to also go to the university. 

Oh! And there were instances when your gal went to college you could just forget about her. No need to even bother if she wanted you back. She moved on.

But I’ve been tasked to compare what college was like back then to what it is like nowadays. Based on my experience on both sides of the spectrum, that is to say being a student and a teacher, college life has morphed into what we see in the western movies and especially the negative aspects of partying, the drugs and loose moral behavior and the social degradation that is  characteristic of western college education.

Too much English.

The education in Ghana now is deficient in many ways because the individual is not allowed to develop individual thought and the teacher shapes the thought of the student. Students have therefore become lazy; handouts and the chew and pour method have not helped out one bit. Maybe it’s the numbers or maybe it’s that too many people only want to be associated with having a degree and not the hardwork that comes with it. 

Students worry too much about their grades and will do anything so their grades are right so they can in turn graduate with a good class.

Now talking about doing anything to get grades, that I’m sure is not new to you.  Students know exactly which lecturers to go to and where they meet up to do sordid deeds.  Back in the day when it was lecturers propositioning students for indecent favors, nowadays it is the students who brazenly walk up to the lecturers and suggest that they will “do anything” to pass a course. It is easier to just get the grades than to go through college.

College education nowadays have lost the main focus of what they are about; which is to get an education and has shifted to the partying, the flash, the Glam, the socialite jet set life as seen in western movies. Every weekend there are posters all over campus of night beach parties, drink ups, some shindig somewhere which gets students thinking about it all week and not focusing on the main reason they are in college in the first place  – studying.

The sad part is that the students who manage to stay focused and have their head screwed on straight are called all sorts of names and labelled antisocial by their colleagues and peers. You become a very unpopular person because you came to college to study and will not indulge in the decadent debauchery that is going on.

It’s been one rant after another on college life and I’m sure you’re asking what’s the point. Well, I think the individual has to decide for himself (or herself) what they want to attain from college.

Oh Yes! College is the one place where you can get high praise for being the worst sinner and ridiculed for being the best saint or vice versa.  It is a ride or die terrain and most young people do not recognize that until it is too late.

One needs to ask yourself whether your lifestyle in college is worth the exhorbitant fees paid by whoever pays the bills – tuition /hostel /provisions and books – and what you’re gonna achieve by the time you graduate from college.

It is important to also know that college is the one place where EVERY adult experiment can be done without dire consequences as would the world outside college.

Don’t get me wrong. For every action there is a consequence but in college there are a whole lot of stuff that one can get away with that one will hardly get away with in the real world with life after college. Maybe later I will give examples or maybe not.

College issues are plentiful and I thank my hostess for this platform as guest blogger to talk about college and youth. Maybe if this is serialized I could take the issues topic by topic and we could have an interactive fun time. Inasmuch as I’d love that it is not in my hands but in your hands as you read this article and give feedback.

Like I always do when I’m ending an article, I’d say that the best way to enjoy your college experience is to know yourself. Yes! Know yourself and what exactly you are in for and that will shape your actions and even inactions as you spend your formative years in college.

Be well!

Kofi Larbi
aka Kola Nut


This is Ghana

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

What’s happening in this country of ours? Where are we really headed as a nation? Is it intentional that a few people are deliberately making the country hard for the rest of the populace – by their actions or rather inactions??

These are the thoughts that run through my mind as I sit in the dark room with only the lights from the tablet I’m typing on providing the sole source of light.  Earlier this evening a friend of mine asked me a question that has provided the impetus to this brooding mood. With all the professionals we have in Ghana and all these resources why are we suffering as a nation?

If we were to take topical issues I’m sure I won’t be able to exhaust even two of the issues so I’ll lump it all in bulk and try not to generalize.

Ghana is blessed with so much resource especially in human resource but what happens to the use of this most important resource and what hinders it’s application. We find politicking, cronyism, favoritism in every facet of the government machinery. We end up putting square pegs in round holes. 

Did I talk about the kickbacks expected for favors granted?

Politicians in this country are the only ones not feeling the pinch because their salaries and kickbacks come on a regular and failure to keep up with payments means you’re getting into their bad books at your own peril. They are the current demigods in Africa.

Is it so surprising that they got supporters who’d defend anything they do for some crumbs from their tables. Oh! The serial callers are now not hiding anymore. They have now become celebrities who are proud of what they do.

Have you forgotten the loading boys at the lorry stations. How is that even a profession that a grown man will shout for passengers to fill a car with passengers and expect a payment, not a token fee anymore. I’ve seen instances where the “loading boys” were not even around but when car fills up appear from nowhere and demand the token fee which has ensued in a scuffle usually between the driver’s mate and the said “loader”.

Almost everybody in Ghana now is feeling the pinch of a better Ghana as the ruling political party said it will be. I’ve heard a joke in circulation that the political leadership of Ghana should just give us back our default Ghana and keep their better Ghana that they so touted they were going to serve the people with. 

But I’m not laughing.  Am I?

The people in the urban centres are complaining about cost of living and how basic amenities are even not available yet they LSD taxed for them. Electricity and water tariffs are high when the services are not even available. What a country.

Meanwhile the astute politician is canvassing for votes in the hinterland where he knows his real votes lie. The people in the city can complain all they want but the real backers to keep him in the new seats of Parliament house for longer are in the hinterland. That’s is why he will provide their needs once in a while and when its election season pull out all the stops for them.

The urban dweller can sit on radio and talk all he wants, he can rave and rant when he calls radio and television stations he can go on as many demonstrations as he wants, let him comment on his drains not being effective hence flooding, the filth in town and many other things in Ghana. Let him complain about high school bills, exhorbitant mortgages, lack of transport, high fuel prices but at the end of the day these same politicians are exempt from all this since by virtue of their position as “servants of the people” they enjoy some perks.

All from the money you pay as tax. Wow!

Well, it’s been said that the shortest cut to being rich and comfortable in life in Africa is to be a politician. But at least our politicians should think of future generations too when they are signing contracts and making legislature.

Recently it looks like they only make decisions based on what they are getting at the moment.  There seems to be a growing trend that our people lack reading and this goes all the way to the top. Our leaders are not reading the fine print of documents and as such listening to what others are saying especially the lobbyists, instead of reading for themselves and finding viability.

It’s a shame really.

At the end of the day I personally think the government can not do everything for us as a nation and as individuals we should find ways to grow as a person. Development is not about seeing skyscrapers, good first class roads, living in a glass house but rather development is in.building the individual self.

To those Ghanaians doing their bit to make Ghana proud and raising the flag high (not like some people we represent us and they only take our money and mock us) I say kudos to you.

This is Ghana my motherland.

I love this country.

It’s important that even though times are hard we do our best to develop ourselves as individuals and it’s only that way that it will be better for us all.

Like I always say
It begins with YOU!!

The Nutty Family

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by kola

Family is a people who come together to bond as one unit related by a common cause and not necessarily by blood.  In Africa there are two types of family:

Nuclear family: usually very popular with the returnees who’ve lived in Europe and The West coming back home to settle down in plush areas such as high market estate houses and apartments. For them it’s the man, his wife and their children. The men have high end jobs, women very corporate and children go to private schools.

The Extended Family is the whole family tree of blood related siblings tied by a common ancestor and this is the whole caboodle that can go as far as a people related by kinship.

In recent times however many families have developed and this has been because of one thing or the other. There are social media families, whatsapp families that could be made up of old school mates or just people with a common interest come together to fulfill the human basic need of a sense of belonging. 

This article will talk of 2 of such families that have made an impact in this writer’s life.

The first one is The Dummy Family known to the rest of the world as DGG. When I first discovered this group on Facebook I recognized a few people I had known from school as members of the group and sent in a request to join. Over the years the group has expanded, people have come and gone and the group dynamics have constantly evolved into one that now undertakes social responsibilities as a philanthropic entity.
Case in point is the Apagya Project.

From being an online group, members started meeting each other and social meets became a part of everyday events and gradually a member didn’t have to look far for anything one needed be it professionally, physically or even spiritually. 

With members from all walks of life and in almost every corner of the world, the DGG family has become a family that is alive and breathing and anything that one has to do catches on very fast when the “dummy machinery” is brought into play. It grinds to a paste to achieve results.
Case in point the WearGhana story.

In this group I have met people who became more than family physically and professionally and who would sacrifice their comfort just so you can be more comfortable. Any time you wanted somebody to count on there was no need to look any farther than to look into the members of the group and you found what you wanted. It’s been a singular honor to know and have met physically two thirds of the over 200 members of the group, a fact which I’m sure I keep reiterating to anybody who has ears to listen.

It’s a wonderful family.

Now there is another family which I have found but this family is one that I’m the patriarch of and as such the family bears my name. This family is The Nutty Family.

Over the years I have come into contact with people who I’ve been drawn to one way or the other or who needed my help at a particular point in their lives and I have come to have a kind of older brother relationship or even sometimes a father figure type of relationship.

This relationships started in graduate school when during sports tournaments both local and international colleagues and juniors started coming to me to offer advice and opinion on issues both academic and even personal, mostly with the guys.

Along the years I came to realize that it was a blessing and a privilege or even call it a “calling” to help others and be there for them. Little did I know that my best friend and current partner also had the same spirit of helping other people.

So when we came together we decided to bring together all the people we have “helped” along the line so that the older ones could act as mentors to the junior ones in a teenage mentor program we started. Not only did we just “adopt” teenagers to try to “guide” them through life but also make sure they are provided for in terms of their education and upkeep for those in school.

Education is very important to us in the Nutty Family and especially for the girl child we made sure that our “daughters” in the university completed by providing their needs to the best of our abilities and the “sons” are also well catered for in various ways.

The Nutty Family is closely knit and there is constant communication between members of the family. At the end of every year, there is a family gathering where as many as can be present are around and each member gives a detailed report of what they have been up to in the past year and what they intend to do in the next year and how the members of the family can help each other in various aspects of their lives.

It is a time for sharing dreams and aspirations and for setting goals too. Family members share what they love about their jobs and what they hate too, give advise on what to like and what to avoid, play games, banter and tease each other and generally just talk about everything.

These gatherings are the highlights of being a Nutty family member. This is the time to introduce potential boyfriends and girlfriends and also new members of the family who have joined during the year. The family keeps growing everyday and it is amazing how no matter how crazy we get as a family it is still so much fun to be together.

One time we went to a wedding of a “daughter” which we streamed live online for those who weren’t around and the groom confessed that meeting the Nutty family had kept him on his toes because he’s heard that the head of the family was one crazy dude who took family seriously. He also said having been impressed, he was pledging to start a family of his own with his “Nutty wife”. That attracted loud laughter even though most people didn’t get the true import of what he was saying.

There have been other events where the family has prominently featured such as graduations of family members and there will be more as we celebrate the achievements of members of the Nutty family.

So in essence these two families, with pretty weird names: The Dummy family and The Nutty family are the family I have found aside from my kindred and blood ties and they,.together with the others, shape and dictate who I am as a person lately.

Family helps to fulfill the basic human need of belonging because no man is created to be an island onto himself. Everybody needs family but it takes one to take a step to reach out so others can reach out to you.

Like I always say
It begins with YOU!!

City of Gold

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 13, 2014 by kola

It is not everyday that one gets an invite to spend a weekend somewhere you’ve always wanted to be or to a place you’ve always heard about but never truly been. Such a place for me is Ghana’s and Africa’s foremost gold mining town of Obuasi.

So when the invite was thrown I didn’t hesitate but showed my interest to my potential host and impressed on him the reason why I had to be there.

Furthermore our little Founders Day project was being finally handed over just close by at Apagya and it will be a delight to see the looks on the faces of my friends when I showed up all the way from Tamale to be part of the ceremony.

Getting from Tamale to Obuasi I first had to get to Kumasi before could catch another bus there. The first leg of the journey from Tamale to Kumasi is approximately 6 hours and I won’t describe how torturing it was with the bus sputtering along slowly and threatening to conk out any minute. But thank God finally made it to Kumasi took a taxi to my brother’s residence to rest a bit and charge my gadgets and even before his household would wake up I was already on my way.

The second leg of my journey, Kumasi to Obuasi much to my delight took slightly over an hour and when I called my host to say I was on my way he just said I should let him know after I had crossed the Welcome to Obuasi sign. He just said I wouldn’t miss it. True to his word there was on way I was going to miss this sign.


Obuasi Entrance

The first noticeable thing is the vigilance of the police at this entry. They randomly search cars passing by and it was quite obvious the reason why or maybe here I am thinking that some people will take some gold out of Obuasi. The other striking thing I noticed as we entered the town is it’s striking layout resemblance to that of the dam township of Akosombo. Could that be a coincidence.

I have been to Obuasi before but it was so long ago that I didn’t remember that much of the town.  All I remember is the monster trucks that were used in mining whose tyres were so big some were even bigger that saloon cars. Yes I remember that and I remembered the black cobbled roads of stone from the mine that was all over the town.

This new Obuasi I was seeing,  though not most of it, looked like a well mapped out town with businesses and estate housing either belonging to the mining company AngloGold Ashanti popularly called AGA in Obuasi.

Being and acting like a tourist, I wanted to chronicle my arrival in the town but I realized unlike in other places the Barclays bank and UT bank opposite it, had no branch names on their sign posts by the street. Not even the petrol filling station had so I didn’t get to take a selfie with a sign post tagged location in the background. Only succeeded in getting a few curious people wondering where I was coming from looking all dirty with my bag slung over my shoulder trying to take pictures around with my tablet.

By the time my host came for me I had formed a fair idea of what the town was like – even the little I’d seen in the few short minutes upon arrival. This was later confirmed by my gracious host who gave me a cursory tour of the AGA estates for staff.

The whole town revolves around AGA.

When there is any business venture the target is workers of AGA: when a pub is built the target market is workers of AGA,
when a supermarket starts operation the target is AGA workers,
when a car dealership comes to town, same target,
from the big enterprises to the small, all target workers and staff of AGA, even bakeries and pure water producers. 

What this means is that like we see in parts of the world especially mining towns the company takes care of everything and its effect is that the township is heavily dependent on the mining company for its sustenance. Now feature into it a situation where the company is folding up and has to lay off its workers en masse. What happens to the Gold City.

There are so many empty houses in the company estates. Their occupants have had to move out of these houses due to redundancy. 

This is a town where one could just walk into any commercial entity and get anything you wanted and all you had to do was sign off with your staff number and your credit was good. At the end of the month the businesses knew that your credit was good as long as you were a staff of AGA.

All the townsfolk know is a life centred around the mining company and now that they were being laid off in redundancy they had to find alternate lifestyles. It is true that the compensation package was overly adequate but how are these people going to readjust into a life they have lived for some people as long as they were alive. Honestly I wish them well.

My host and some of his colleagues regaled me with stories of some of the issues they had in operations especially the age old issue of illegal mining operators known as “galamsey” and how they put themselves at risk trying to mine the ore sometimes even in the same pit as company workers. There were interesting stories of how company workers were threatened underground by gun wielding galamsey operators and they had to leave them be.

Sometimes these illegal miners, mostly youth, were successful and they came out as very rich young men who spent money lavishly on girlfriends in town and living opulently for the short duration until the money run out and they had to go back into the pits. It was pretty obvious from these stories why they lived the sort of life they did because they stared death in the face every time they went into the pits.

Every time they went down could be their last. 

Life in the Gold City could be monotonous and boring because it’s a daily routine of work and home and very few recreational activities especially for senior staff of AGA as my host. It is rather unfortunate that I noticed that even though they were colleagues they hardly been to each other’s residences or spent time together apart from being at work and sharing a few drinks after office hours and then they all drove home to their various residences.

That’s the life of living in Obuasi he said to me.  Friends and colleagues only meet outside or at work or talk to each other on phone. Every one can be independent and and self dependent. There is virtually no social cohesion and it’s a life suitable for a recluse.

The issues with the Gold City are many and varied but like everywhere else one has to be circumspect about how one lives in a society. Whether it will be fun for an inhabitant depends on one’s self.

However it was fun being in the Gold City over the weekend and our host left no holds barred in making sure we were comfortable. Thank you Kofi Hayford for the hospitality.

And lest I forget, that Founders Day project at Apagya which we handed over at the weekend is all over the newspapers and trending on radio. Check out the Daily Graphic November 12 2014.  Proud to be in the thick of it from the beginning to the end.

Well, the Graphic editorial pointed out something I’ve been preaching since I started blogging. It pointed out that “it is time we, as a people, stopped looking up to government to provide all our needs, even when we have the power to mobilize forces and resources to provide them.”

BAM! The editor couldn’t have put it better.

Weekend at the Gold City was a blast and this post is dedicated to my host for a lovely time shared. Sometimes we have to get out of our known areas of interest and travel around the country to get a perspective of what life is like in other areas. Imagine spending time in a town where almost everybody is considerably “rich”. This will definitely help shape our perceptions of life and living it elsewhere.

It still begins with YOU!!

Children’s Library

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 12, 2014 by kola


When I took this picture it was on the eve of the national political elections to elect a leader of government and his able lawmakers parliamentarians. They were supposed to make policies for this country in various regards. I captioned the photo vote wisely to get her a library to study in.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then this picture is saying a thousand and one.words especially four years down the line after all the promises made to us as citizens, our children have to sit opposite a public toilet with one leg inside a gutter to be able to read after school hours when they want to.

This article is not about getting political but rather it is about us as individuals realizing that the time has come to get up and make a difference wherever we find ourselves.

The savanna accelerated development plan (whatever that was) landed flat on its face. How can we have an accelerated development without recourse to prioritizing education. Well, I’m no politician and that’s really none of my business.

Education is so important in the modern scheme of globalization that it seems the only people not taking it that serious is Africans. I might be making a lot of conjecture here but looking at the relative focus in education on other continents we seem to be lagging behind and we still have a lot to learn and catch up on.

It is for this reason that some friends of mine have taken it up upon ourselves to do our bit in raising the education standards in the northern region.  We don’t know if we can but at least we can try.

To this effect we are targeting children between the ages of 5 to 15 years to inculcate the habit of reading into them.


We believe that a child who reads will be an adult who thinks and moreover reading opens a whole new world of opportunity and possibilities to children.

We have therefore declared November as #BookCollectionMonth with the target of collecting 1000 children’s books to be donated to the Tamale Children’s library.

Yes! The time to act is NOW! and we are not waiting for any government to come help us out with this. We can do this on our own as concerned citizens to raise awareness that reading is important to children and education is important to national development.

We are not encouraging stealing of books from the library but we want to fill the shelves of the library so that when children even take books from the library we know it’s because they want to read them.

There is a bigger project which would involve providing children in Tamale and Tema not only with reading material but general studying tools so children can study on their own. Program also involves periodic reading sessions to the children at various locations in various communities using the regional library mobile van. This will ensure that the programs we have set into motion are sustained over a period of time.


Inculcating reading habits into children is serious objective for us and we want to see it through. We are counting on you to support us see this through.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!

Let’s do this!

Mentally Green

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2014 by kola

Ghana landscape

Recently it has become kind of fashionable for people in high society to be associated with green issues. Interestingly some people haven’t even grabbed the green concept and this is especially true of Africa.

Various organizations have sprung up to deal with the fast paced global environmental degradation and global warming which is precipitated by human actions. Our environment is at peril and yet people turn a blind eye at it.

So I took a road trip from Tamale all the way to the border town of Paga and the lush greenery on the side of the road is one just for the eyes. Later took another trip to the Volta region border town of Aflao to the same effect.

There is a large expanse of land on the sides of the road throughout the drive and I found myself not only praising the Maker of the Universe but also being fortunate that this is the savanna and there are not visible trees to pick by loggers.

This year I have traveled extensively all over the country and I can attest that green is beautiful. It’s very important that the way we see the greens physically is what we strive for to keep it that way. Now it’s hardly a sight to see any green when in the urban areas especially in the capital. Have stood on some high rise buildings and all you see for miles around is corrugated roofs and glass.

Where are the green parks and gardens that are supposed to be part of the landscape of the capital city?


Dawn on Sogakope bridge

Well, it’s all up to us as individuals to just have the mental attitude to keep the environment green. This we can all do by keeping abreast with whatever schemes exist to protect the environment.  A clean environment means a healthy people.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!

Letter to my DCE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 10, 2014 by kola

Dear Sir,

I know you’ve seen me around but we haven’t really interacted as to even saying hello civilly to each other. We walk by each other as if we both recognize that saying hello could result in some unpleasant body language.

I was glad you were appointed to the post after a long protracted selection of who was the best man for the job I hear but well what can I say about it. Think I was surprised when you didn’t have any opposition to your appointment? Oh Blimey! Who are you kidding. In these here parts in the savanna when you get appointed people start calculating what your appointment means in terms of what they’re going to get from you in that seat and won’t care a hoot whether you succeed at your job or not.

Dear Sir, the funny thing is that you know this to be so true yet when those same people don’t understand that your job is one of sacrifice you almost shed tears to complain and heartily apologize to them.

I’ve always wondered what you were apologizing for.

For not being able to give them the money that they want (money earmarked for development projects) or for your seeming incompetence (due to government constraints and red tape)

Sir I know how frustrating and lonely it must be for you in that seat. Everybody thinks it’s good to be in that seat but nobody, not even one person, understands the heat that emanates from the seat even without your nauseous farts. 

Often times I understand you might to do some things some way, the way you think is best to do but with your position being by political appointment there is the need to follow party unwritten regulations and you have to be astute enough to know what is right and what is wrong in the political spectrum of events as they occur or soon enough you’d be out of a job.

Nobody should envy you that but the perks are myriad. I don’t think you really want me to list some of the perks in this letter because you’re in it and you know them.

Sir please our roads have become very deplorable and taken too long to be tarred.  The road to your office itself is so dusty that I jokingly told my female friends on social media not to dye their hair brown but just take a drive down our stretch of main road to achieve that brown tint of hair. No need going to the salon to spend their money on fixing their hair as most of the women who work in our assembly offices have come to find out.

Since you drive in an air-conditioned four wheel car with your windows constantly rolled up you seem not to see the urgency in fixing the untarred dusty road which plagues us who ride in the defunct taxis to work. No well conditioned taxi wants to come to the offices because of the roads so we only get the rickety ones and the drivers are always so bad tempered and mannered.

Imagine once I sat in a car which reminded me of Hitler’s gulags during the second world war because the car exhaust fumes were coming back into the car, mixed with the dust from the road through the underside and to make it worse we couldn’t roll down the back windows. Only way to get air in the backseat of that particular car was to open the door and when I did the driver was more interested in a cyclist banging into his door than the health implications of me being in the backseat of that car.

For a district that we want to generate money you don’t seem to have a clue as to what to do and you leave me thinking you think you owe too many people to go rattling them a bit for some extra cash for the collective development of the district.

You’re the boss. Make wild.

Dear Sir, I must commend you on your leadership skills albeit there’s always more to learn and to do. Sometimes it’s not about what you want but also your inter-personal relationships and charisma. But I’m sure you’d get there. At least you haven’t done any short fuse stunts like screaming “tweaa” at news reporters haven’t cut down any trees in any of our reserves to build a district assembly. So thus far you’re cleared.

Dear Sir, I really wish you the best in your tenure of office and we all pray those dreams and projects you say you have for the district get to materialize.

You said we should feel free to tell you any issues that we have and this is my way of telling you what’s on my mind.

Thank you very much for taking time off your busy schedule to read this whole thing.

A Concerned Ghanaian
Sagnarigu District