Archive for December, 2014

Giant Reconnect

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2014 by kola

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In these times when connections are everything and people are bound by the sort of ties they make throughout their lives it has become important that all ties that are made are taken serious.

Not to sound too cliche it is said that the people you meet when going up are the same ones you meet when coming down. But in real life this cliche is skewed in the sense that life is a steep slope and some of these people fall off the side before we get to the top or even we could fall on the sides ourselves.

Invariably it is true of human nature that we’d relate better with people we are familiar with. I’m not a shrink or anything but this is true, I believe, of human nature. We tend to better relate to people we think we know and who better usually than people we either grew up with or we attended school with.

It is this vein and with this current global trends in mind that I embraced the call to announce to me that there was a group of my old school mates on the new social messaging platform Telegram. Hitherto I hadn’t shown interest in the platform because I didn’t see it’s need when I was already using whatsapp and Facebook messenger.  Difference with Telegram is that it sends large files and other large format media (I’m no tech whiz).

But when I heard these mates of mine were available from all over the world at a touch of a button, I quickly had to get a compatible phone and get access to it. Some of these friends/mates I haven’t seen in 21years since we left school in 1993. For me this is an opportunity not to miss. No way!

Most folk, like me, even within the group, find telegram a platform too cumbersome to navigate and so with the expansion of the cap on number of participants on whatsapp the migration is just  what the group needed at the time.

The benefits of being in the group are myriad. Human beings have a special need or craving for a place to belong. That sense of belonging has led very wealthy people to die prematurely because they had an emptiness in them. With al their riches they had no friends. All acquaintances were business ones and none personal.

With comrades from the same high school who shared 5 or more years of our lives together reliving the old days of bullying, fun days of working hard and capturing experiences within those few shared years.that shaped and invariably made us who we are today  – wow!

Nostalgic!

But the days of sitting together are still fun and the support system for each other all works just fine. 

So the group of old mates came together to raise money to support a fallen giant’s widow and children and set up an endowment fund for them.

This same group organized a meeting during the holidays for members and their families to meet and interact with each other.
This particular one was a glorious meet because the boys hadn’t seen each other in over two decades and the wives realized what kinda men they got married to, when they are comfy around good/goofy friends.

As for the various characters and personalities the less said the better – a hilarious motley crew.

The bully became a Reverend minister (a man of the collar), the smallest boys in the year group are now the most muscular thickset guys wit’h bulging arms  -one of them went into the army whilst the other became a financial consultant. Academics, businessmen, sexy bankers (no sex in the bank), marine engineers, big framed pilots, and a whole range of professionals both local and international.

It must be noted that in this era where information is key hugs important that one gets connected both immediately and remotely in order to strategically place oneself to navigate through life.
It is in this vein that a database for the group with detailed description of what everybody is doing or has been up to has been proposed.

Connectivity is paramount in our existence and when it comes with a portable sense of belonging “who is me” to question this glorious blessing.

The light and lively banter on social and general issues, the idiosyncratic tendencies of each member tested to it’s limits, the “exportations” from the pastorpreneur, the felonies committed in the comforts of the home smoking joints to ease the joints, the occasional meet ups at the now official hangout @ Holiday Inn piano bar, the sleepless nights just shooting the breeze globally,  and a whole lot more makes this group worthwhile.

For a couple of boys who all met when some were barely teenagers, one would say it is always fun to reconnect and the preservation of the camaraderie is of utmost importance.

Long live my school mates!!
Long live our Alma mata! Ghana Secondary Technical School!
Long live Mother Tesco!
Long live Giants!!

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A Stitch in Time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2014 by kola

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This sign post is on the bridge of the White Volta, the main entry point into the northern part of Ghana at Yapei.

In a country where we have a nonexistent maintenance culture we let things deteriorate to a deplorable state before we take action. What’s pretty wrong with this country?

Ghana my motherland has become a nation where every time we have to hold our heads in shame because of the decisions of our leaders? But do we really blame our leaders when we are the causes of most of our problems as individuals?

What haven’t we heard of people dumping refuse in gutters even human excreta and then these same people turning round and saying that the metropolitan organizations are defunct in not cleaning the waste and filth in the system? This is very prevalent in the fast growing urban centres but that’s not my focus for today.

After my relocation to the savanna every time I traveled by road I noticed the deterioration on the bridge on the white Volta at Yapei and how potholes on the bridge could be seen from Mars (as a traveling colleague described it one time). Meanwhile it happens to be the one major entry point to the whole of the north and tolls are being collected everyday on the bridge and I wonder what that money is used for. 

The government has done well in doing the roads from the south to the north and to let that small portion go this bad is an indictment on development in the nation especially as we want to connect the heavily hitherto marginalized north to the south and also accelerate development to the north.

Yet the one piece of infrastructure that connects all the dots and makes this possible has been neglected.

Unfortunately we all have to bear the consequences of that action of closing the bridge. Lemme give a typical example of one such major inconvenience as happened to my friend and brother over the weekend.

So since it was a holiday David Aglah decided to spend time with me and my family in Tamale so excitedly got his tickets for Friday morning. Bus was scheduled to leave at 7.30am but they inadvertently left at 9.30am.  With 2 hours delay already it meant that the bus had less than 5 hours to make it to the bridge before I closed down for repairs till the next morning (as per the sign post).

Unfortunately the bus was very slow and it got to the bridge at almost 4pm by which time the bridge had been closed for the past 2 hours meaning that the bus had to wait in line with the other cars and buses till 6am to get across the bridge and continue into Tamale.

What this means is that David having left home in Kumasi at 6am will take over 24 hours to get to Tamale for what could just have been a simple 6 hour journey. Which serious minded person will want to do that, especially when it’s only for a short visit and you have to be at your desk at work on Monday morning?

Let’s not forget it also means you get to sleep in your seat on the bus. Wow!

This is the same savanna we’re claiming we want accelerated development for and how do we develop the north when we can’t even go there or it’s pretty inconvenient to go there? This happenstance gives loads on food for thought especially when it comes to why we let the road deteriorate to this state. But I know this will not come as a surprise to some people in this country who are so used to such stuff by now.

After all this is Ghana our motherland.

It always depends on us as individuals not to wait for the government to take action on our inaction and therefore not waiting for a situation to get so bad before we move in to try to solve it. This is one of those moments when a cliche such as “a stitch in time saves nine” becomes very poignant.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!