Archive for January, 2016

Homecoming

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2016 by kola

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Let me start this article with one of the poems by a young budding writer Efo Courage:

HOME

Home is where the heart is, where my thirst is met with a cool glass of love to quench the flames engulfing my being.
A weary traveller in a foreign land, I find no solace any where,but where my treasure is and my soul longs for is home.
For me home is more than a place but a state of mind, home is more than geography but a choice to make, home is more than family, for there are friends who are closer to you than even your own blood and kin.
There is no place like home, for home can be a plush masion in the estates or that scanty little  hut in the backside of a tiny village. It doesn’t really matter where home is for home is where you choose it to be.
For Home is where the heart is.
Welcome Home.http:// poeticgrace360.wordpress.com

Several Ghanaians find themselves abroad and want to come back home. There are those who went to seek greener pastures and are tired of living in obimanso and just want to pack bag and baggage and be home but are waiting for the right conditions to happen before finally leaving. That final pin never falls on the record and most of them end up not coming back with several excuses every time they even manage a visit.

But the group I’m interested in is the group that were carried abroad by their parents when they were young and carved identities for themselves there whether as Ghanaian or as denizens of whatever country they found themselves in. They are often the identity crisis basis who most at times can’t make up their minds whether they want to be from their homeland, the roots, or from their new homelands of domicile.

Having lived abroad most of their lives, they maintain a connection to the home soil so their roots are not totally severed because to carve a new identity means to create one that is truly not a pure one but a hybrid of homelands. The difficulty usually is facing the consequences of choosing either one or both identities because the society doesn’t provide a chance for a middle way. Mostly if they had their way they’d choose both but oftentimes it is like eating you cake and having it. The systems of the west as against the simplicity of the African can never be put at par.

However when this group gets a chance to connect with their roots and come home that excitement is infectious and radiates off them. Being accepted as “one of us” is very important and there several factors that go into this which I will not delve into but I daresay that attitude and language is primary to their feeling at home.

The homecoming is a time to physically and literally get in touch with family and friends. I remember the government of Ghana one time had The Joseph Project that sought to unite people from the diaspora to their ancestral homes based on information provided. Thankfully in these days of social media and technology, the homecoming needs not be a formal process but a meeting directly with family online and when ready travel plans are shared and kaboom! One can actually sleep in the bed your grandma slept in before she journeyed to the west to seek greener pastures.

The homecoming is a time when most people in the diaspora use for soul searching and depending on their interests seek to experience first hand the stories they have been told about. Or it could even be culinary and learning the origins of foods that they have eaten since childhood because their parents introduced it to them but since parents passed have never found it necessary to continue the tradition id it is. Sometimes it is even a time to gather African print fabrics and African beads that identify them as to where they are from.

This is truly a time for reconnecting and rejuvenation.

Oh! And in my time I have seen some homecomings. Having been an assistant at the Historical Society, homecoming have always been touching moments and some have been capable of driving the whole team to tears.

I remember one in Cape Coast when the 60 something year old man gets down from the bus and walks up to another man in a reclining chair at the entrance of the family house and greets him by his name. The look on the older man’s face as he adjusts himself to see who greeted him since the person is silhouetted in the diminishing sunset overlooking the old castle in the background. He doesn’t recognize him so he responds politely and asks what he can do for him at this hour and who he is looking for. The visitor responds that he is looking for Eno Serwaa (their mother’s name) and this brings tears to the older man’s eyes since she had died a couple of years ago. They both burst into tears and its only through the teary eyes that the older man in the reclining chair mentions the visitor’s name. He jumps out of the chair to hug him amidst tears and laughter. His long lost brother who has left this same home 49 years ago has just appeared at the doorstep. They put their arms around each other and walk through the doorway into the house the older man shouting out names of other family members still around.

Imagine the amount of catching up to do.

Recently a couple of friends I met on social media came home to literally tie the knot of the umbilical cords so to speak. A vibrant Ghanaian doctor-writer  and a young Ghanaian mother and poet both found themselves at home to savor what it takes to be Ghanaian and to live in the Ghanaian society. Suffice it to say that one was just crazy about experiencing the local dishes and her favorite bofloat and the poet finally discovered herself in her ancestral krobo hometown when she ended up being overwhelmed in the bead market in Somanya. Their excitement just being on home soil is infectious.

There are Ghanaians who are right here and wont even visit their hometown. Home is the place where your roots lie therefore like a tree draws strength from its roots it is important that one visits home as often as possible. Oh yes! I know what they say about the supernatural forces etc but it is important that people connect to their homeland. Man was created from soil and I believe just as our forefathers built mud houses and used the same mud to renovate the houses once a while so also do we need to rejuvenate our heritage.

To reiterate Efo Courage, Home is where the heart lies. You’re lucky you even have a hometown to go to, what about those from some parts of Ghana who don’t because the their homelands lie under the sea.

Get up now and go reconnect with your hometown. The journey to rejuvenation starts with a single resolve.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!

The Photographer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 26, 2016 by kola

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We all take pictures but some people take pictures and you wonder what is it they see that you don’t see when they capture the images so close to whats on your mind’s eye. These days with the availability of high resolution camera lenses and photo editing it has become how abundantly clear that God is wonderful in creating the human being and how we process our sensory functions.

But yes that aside, photography has taken a new trend especially in Ghana where several people have taken up photography not only as a hobby but also a profession. There are several names I can mention here and these are my friends. Percy Osei aka Mutombo and his Fotombo, Kobe Subraiman, Theo Ofoli-Kwei, Nii Kwei, Yooku Ata-Bedu, Yaw Pare, Qwarme Erzuah, Kwame Genesiz, Nii Kpakpo Thompson, Sena Mr Two, and several others. These people are taking Ghana places with the photos they take of several locations in this country.

It is not usually about location but then even though some of the photographers have a specialization, based on their interests, the social collectivity of what they do explores what it feels like to be Ghanaian.

Now with all these people doing what they do and with the proliferation and availability of high resolution camera phones so anybody can take a photo, you’d ask yourself what would one more photographer change or what impact would one more make?

But immediately I saw her taking a photograph and I could easily recognize the passion for photography and set me wondering how she framed the photos in her mind and tried to get it just as it was in her mind. I must confess this was the first time I was seeing a photographer carrying her own torch for added light so she can get a scene right when it was just a normal photo and not a photo shoot in a studio. I had to meet this photographer by all means and then we were introduced.

Usually when people shift from foot to foot it is because they were nervous but here was this calm young woman, yes she’s a pretty young woman who could pass for a model herself. But this pretty long legged young woman is a photographer.

When she heard that I lived in Tamale she screamed in excitement and started bombarding me with questions. What is the place like, what is there to see, any things of interest, all in rapid succession. Then she said she had a gig in Bolga but was thinking of stopping over in Mole Game Reserve before she headed out.

Wow! The excitement. I was smitten!

Oh indeed I was smitten indeed and done everything possible to make that dream come true. One thing that kept coming to mind in all this is that the turn of the new year we all prayed that God help us meet our destiny changers but do we even think that we could be somebody’s destiny changer.

So now Kafui Praise if you’re reading this you now know my motivation for doing what I do. Seeing her passion for photos is unlike any I have seen in all my photographer friends that I mentioned earlier and something just drives me to try to help out with that dream and like being a part of something big doesn’t really count.

So now that we know let’s all keep an eye on @kafui praise (Facebook and instagram) and feel free to drop any comments on any of her social media pages. She’s also available for booking for events. Let her capture your fondest moments and memories in photos that will match your mental images.

Passion will definitely take you far and with God as your helper, you know you will make it.

Identifying that passion like I always say begins wit YOU!

Random kindness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 14, 2016 by kola

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I was awed by an action by a certain man I’ve come to consider an acquaintance since I’ve come to stay in Tamale. This man owns a phone shop across the street from where I live and when I discovered he was a money transfer agent I went to him for a transaction. I’ve been his customer for quite some time now thus we exchanging  pleasantries.

There was this one time load shedding or dumsorr had me pinned down when I had some reports to finish and deadlines were creeping on me. Even though my lights were off, there was lights across the street where he had his shop and even though I was skeptic at first, I gathered courage to approach him and ask if I could charge my gadgets with his electricity.

Anybody who knows me knows I  carry a whole horde of gadgets on me at any particular time and when he said yes I could, I was excited only for the excitement to last just a few seconds when he said but he had to go out. My face was fallen. Seeing how disappointed I was then offered me an out. It was possible he would be coming back so if I could put my gadgets on charge, they’d have been charged by the time id got back.

This was a way out but here is a case I have to use about 3 gadgets whilst they were charging so I opted to leave the power banks in his shop and still try to find somewhere else I could be charging and using the laptop and tablets at the same time. Moreover if he didn’t come back I could come for my power banks in the morning glutted with the charge.

So he left for his appointment, locking up his shop whilst I went further down the street to talk to the kebab sellers who let me use their extended socket to charge my laptop which in turn charged my tablet and allowed me to do my research and polish up some reports.

It was way after midnight and I kept an eye on the shop hoping it will open so I get my gadgets and go home to attempt to sleep. But alas it was a No show. I was tired and set off for home. Just as I was about to put my key into the lock I had a phone call. I picked up only for the shop owner to tell me he was back in the shop and I could come for my gadgets. Truth be told if he had stayed on the line for ten seconds more I would’ve told him I’d see him the next day because I was too tired.

But I’m glad I headed back because when I got to the shop I realized that everything indicated that he had really had the same debate with himself too having worked the whole day and tired, whether to come back to the shop and he indeed had come back just because he understood my situation and wanted me to have my gadgets for the night to do my work.

Wow! I was so impressed when I collected my gadgets and even as I headed out he walked with me and padlocked his shop, getting on his motorcycle and retiring for the night.

I’ve been thinking of this act of kindness no his part and even though he doesn’t realize it, it is acts like this that restore our faith in the country and its people. It is not all about being selfish but there are people who do selfless sacrifices just for the comfort of others and by so doing making Ghana a better nation one person at a time.

You can also do it. Do a random act of kindness to a random person. It doesn’t matter whether they are grateful or not but it will matter to you knowing that it will definitely come back to you.

Make the world a better place one act of kindness at a time.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!

New Years Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 12, 2016 by kola

The year 2015 has been such a blessed year for me that when I was asked in church to give a testimony I declined not because I had nothing to say but more because honestly I don’t know where to start from cos God has been good to me beyond measure. To give the testimony would mean to hold the whole church back for another hour just listening to the handiwork of God.

Inasmuch as 2015 was a trying year it was also a year of myriad blessings especially in the area of philanthropy. This was a year when thankfully volunteerism got to its epoch by virtue of social media. More people have avenues for helping out and doing philanthropy in areas where it is needed for the betterment of society.

It is a year that more people who want to help out with social causes have found opportunity to help. We realized that people had always wanted to help out both materially and physically but just didn’t have any avenues to. Hence social media and several organizations like GhanaThink Foundation and Ghana Voluntary Program have created a platform for such people.

There are several people who are disadvantaged in society and these people need our love too and it is for such people that we do philanthropy. Yeah! Even though we are disadvantaged doesn’t mean they are not human and shouldnt at least enjoy the benefits of their being human.

It is in this regard that yours truly supported a charitable organization,  iDomateGh to spend time at the children’s ward of the Accra Psychiatric  Hospital just so the children could be part of the Christmas celebrations and not left out.  Just dancing  with them, feeding them and generally being around them has the effect of putting the world in perspective for whoever.

We take a lot for granted. God has blessed us with so much and yet we keep grumbling that it’s never enough. 

Let me shock you with some statistics that will put you dear reader into hyper drive.  Out of the 24 children of various ages in the ward, only 2 do not wear diapers.  Their whole bodily functions clock is shot and basically useless so the nurses and attendants take care of this twice a day. Commenting, one young nurse said “here you can only be a mother and a nurse..”

My new year’s day was well spent. Spent my day thanking God for my life and the life of the children and people I got to spend the fan day with.

It is high time some of us realized that this life is not always about you but what you can do for others. Support a cause now and be committed to it whether financial or participatory. Let us at least try to make this world a better place one person at a time.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!

The African TALK!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2016 by kola

The G-Spot

I was watching an episode of “blackish” (for y’all who don’t have any idea what it is, it’s a sitcom on ABC) one boring afternoon and it got me thinking. That episode was on the father giving his son the “talk” after he caught him masturbating. Man!!! It was hard and funny as hell. But yeah! It had to be done. It’s a ritual parents at the other side of the world must go through. Whichever way, it has to be done.
And oh! It’s in two parts.

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