Archive for December, 2015

Sankofa

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2015 by kola

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It has been widely spread and has come to stay that the original phrase of “Forward Ever Backwards Never” is attributed to Ghana’s visionary leader Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and this has been our mantra since independence. But come to think of it, does this apply in every context especially in a case where we need the benefit of history in hindsight to make some decisions with regards to where our country is heading.

Recently in one of my high profile Whatsapp discussion platforms the issue of national development came up and it was agreed that one of the key ingredients to national development is education but then that begs the question of what kind of education are we referring to in this case. Lemme just post a transcript ofparts of the discussion here and then I’d continue.

AA: I was born in the house of a ga man who was also a historian and he told us a lot of things at that tender age. Today where are our historians? Even historians of today don’t tell the true story about who we are, where we’ve been and where we may be heading to. They’ve all taken political positions and refuse to tell the exact stories.

AB‬: True, when we are educated and knowledgeable the politician would not  get the privilege to do
What they are doing. It’s better they mess up the education system so we don’t have a say because the knowledge to bring them to book would not be there.

AC‬: With this narrative , it looks like we are walking and running at the same time instead of crawling … Shine in ur little corner

AA: You see what I was talking about. Wholistic approach is not there, but individual approach towards problem solving is what we seeing now. It’s become the phenomenon” shine in ur little corner ” How long are we going to shine in that little corner if we don’t  advocate for a general change?!!!

AB: Yes, in the current confused culture we find ourselves. Historically no. Our forefathers paid attention to everything.

ME:  Am I not educating you on the history of this country? All on this platform know the importance of history but what are we doing to teach the younger generation. Yeah you said it, brighten yo corner.
Yes! That’s the best solution now to make the younger generation aware that this is what was and what could be not what is now.

Had the privilege of talking to 45 youth in Tamale at action Aid Global Center after a night of watching the movie A Long Walk To Freedom (Mandela story) which was apt cos they’re trying to raise young activists and I told them the history of how people fought for the freedoms we’re enjoying now and how it’s  now their turn to also fight for their children.

AB‬: But kola besides those who had the privilege of the old system who else apart from those offering history as an elective subject knows any history of Ghana through our current education system?

ME: Yes! That’s what I’m doing in my corner , youth advocacy whilst I still shout at the policy makers for their ineptitude. What are you doing even in your corner? Is it really any different from those standing among the masses who just scream foul and go back home to sit in the dark?

From the transcript it can be deduced that history is very important to national development. The youth need to be made aware of what existed, politicians and policy makers need to go back into history to see what sort of relationship existed between our forefathers and the whites to serve as a guide to our dealings with them and as individuals we need to learn where we are coming from and better understand the challenges we face as Africans in a fast growing and expanding cosmopolitan world.

Education is the key to making constructive  criticism and wise decisions in our daily life and dealings with our environment and surroundings. There is too much “they say” in the system and we find adults who can’t construct a simple opinion for themselves because they were brought up in a system where you take everything piecemeal once it kind of makes sense.

College students now depend extensively on handouts and without them they cant function as students and some lecturers too wont encourage individual thought and the cycle continues because those who can regurgitate the handouts become the “brilliant” ones who take over the academicians who teach and perpetuate the system.

What are we doing in our corner? For me, I’ve decided to help shape young minds and create the awareness. I won’t be a party to a generation that raises robots and intellectual zombies, but a generation that is thinking for itself, a generation with a firm grasp of the issues at stake and a generation that seeks primarily the development of Africa as a world power making use of all the resources we have on the continent.

As much as possible I’m creating a generation of readers and of writers who will say their mind based on what they know, based on their history, based on extensive research into and awareness of their surroundings. That’s my commitment.

Our traditions and cultures that we’re discarding with impunity is seeped in our history. Our forefathers lived peacefully and didn’t struggle and suffer as much hardship as we are now because systems were in place that worked and they looked after each other not the selfish regime we are in nowadays.

But it shall be well. Once we all have hope in Ghana and think nation first we will definitely make it. We’re already on track and though it be rough, we’ll surely get there.

The journey of a thousand leagues, begins with one step.

It begins with YOU!

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Somewhere To Go

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2015 by kola

Several weeks ago I planned a trip out of my residence in Tamale and intended to spend a quiet weekend with my twin and roommate out of town so she could have a quiet weekend to ourselves out of the familiar settings and also she needed and deserved the rest. Few days to the trip we get news that a young man whom we had met and become acquainted to in church had passed on.

The circumstances are still bizarre as to how he died but suffice it to say it was shocking and very unexpected. Dude was driving in traffic approaching a checkpoint, gets to the checkpoint, is checked, asked to drive on and puts his head on the steering wheel and just passes out. Policeman had to drive him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Cause of death unknown.

Well so now I had to factor attending a funeral into our itinerary of events for the quiet weekend since it will be held in same town we’d be in.

So here I am sitting in a funeral and I see tears in my eyes. True this dry weather is bad for my eyes and it has to lubricate itself but I’m genuinely sad. The youngman left a young wife and a 3 little children, his brothers and sisters are aghast with grief and his mother is beyond livid. She’s been struck dumb, letting out voiceless shreaks but the grief is all over almost everybody here.

The height of grief is when his oldest son barely 5 read the tribute to his daddy so eloquently and in other circumstances it would’ve been worth clapping for because this is an obviously intelligent boy but his tribute rather brought out more grief and set almost half the women at the funeral grounds wailing uncontrollably. Same thing happened during the tribute of the wife who couldn’t even get up to read it but was read for her, by her sister, in the local twi dialect.

Throughout the funeral ceremony one thing kept striking me and as the emcee kept reiterating, that we all have somewhere to go. The emcee kept emphasizing that the deceased was a driver but being Christian his funeral ceremony was quiet and solemn because his loved ones had come to pay their last respects deservedly. In other funerals with deceased of that profession, drunken and rowdy men have usually taken over and done as they pleased disrupting the ceremony.

We all have somewhere to go. The Good Book says that it is appointed onto man once to die and afterwards judgement.

What legacy are we leaving on this earth whilst we are here. It is hardly a matter of religion at times but then a matter more of who we are and what we are contributing to this earth whilst we are here.  As for the religious aspect it is between the individual and his Maker. We need to ask The Creator what His purpose for us is on this earth and PRAY that He gives us the strength to achieve it and when it is time calls us to Himself.

Many of us have a calling to do something for others but we’re holding back because of one reason or the other. You know what it is but I tell you, sitting in at a funeral of a 35 year old man who died in his prime, in bizarre circumstances has a way of putting life in perspective and becoming a wake up prodding iron to put your house in order, for no one knows the time or day..

We all have somewhere to go but like every journey you’ve got to prepare one way or the other. The journey of a million leagues begins with just one step but that step is taken by you.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!