Archive for July, 2016

Growing Up in Africa

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2016 by kola

There is plenty that can happen in an African context when growing up that shapes a person into who they become later in life. There are several influences and all this come together to contribute to the general well being of the person and thus affect their personality.

Growing up as an African your parents were super heroes whose words were bond and the law, they seldom admitted to making mistakes and only the grannies could put them to order which was very rare and such a delight to see, albeit secretly. No matter how old you are the saying “once you’re under my roof you’d do as I say” became cliche.

Most children in the Africans context are brought up the old fashioned way with the underlying tenets of spare the rod spoil the child and none of the current cosmopolitan cacophony of child rights and abuse etc. Children were brought up by the whole community not only by biological parents and that kept you on your toes.

Communal living meant that respect is a big deal especially to anybody older than you. your ldren went about greeting any older person they met in the streets because you didn’t know who was family and who was not so just greeted everybody.

Being in school was so important that there was no way you could fail in school because your parents had expectations for the fees they were paying and these expectations had to be met.

Against this background and more this anthology presents a series of stories with these traits underlying the African upbringing and how these traits affect various individuals in their journey though life.

Growing up and responsibility in the African context is not just ascribed but it is a hard acquired process that begins from childhood into adulthood. A child is introduced into responsibility when older children are tasked to care of younger ones as a system of baby sitting whilst parents go about their duties. Anything goes wrong and these older children take the blame for whatever it is.

These children grow into responsible adults with management skills already acquired from home and the formal education just strengthens what they know. In the same vein such relationships serve as foundations to adult inter personal relationships between same sex and the opposite sex, founding the basis for official, informal or even marriage relationships.

As you go through these shared experiences it is most likely you will identify with the stories and we sure hope you will do and be encouraged to share your stories too.

Tell you story too.

It begins with YOU!

* this was written as a foreword for the book Growing Up In Africa.  For a copy please go to


A Lion or A Dog

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

This article is inspired by a father and a son’s conversation they have in a car whilst the father drives to work and would drop the son off at school.

So the father asks the child “if you could have one animal as a pet would you have a lion or a dog?”
The child thinks for just two seconds and responds “a lion and the dog.” His father thinks his son hadn’t heard the question pretty well and was only reiteration the question whilst voicing it out loud so asks again to which he gets the same response.

“No no no! You can have only one, which one?” But the child maintains his choice and reiterates to dad that thats his choice.

Well I wouldn’t claim to know what is in the child’s mind and how modern children in these computer and data age process things but I have come to the profound realization that most of us find ourselves in such a situation. We are confronted by choices in everything that we do and usually it is either one or the other.

Personally I think that is a bit limiting. We were brought up in a situation and circumstances where choices made had to be in a box. Don’t look far. We spent most of our growing up and lives in the classrooms learning one thing or the other and how are our curricular designed. It is even worse at the tertiary level where you either tow the line of the lecturer or you risk failing whatever course.

Where is the room for innovation?
What choices do we have that are open ended?

Parenting has become equally challenging because of what Kiyosaki calls The Rat Race. Parents are chasing after money in a bid to giveĀ  a better life to their children that they have left the parenting in the hands of caregivers or teachers whom the children spend most of their time with. Imagine the influence these people have on shaping who these future leaders become.

Now back to the choices. As human beings we all have choices and the choices we make each have consequences that could go for us or against us. Whatever choice we make however it behoves on us to bear the consequences of these choices.

However it is important that we look critically at all the options available to make a choice. For the child once the father has asked that if can choose between a lion and a dog what stops him from having both. Either one that he chooses he believes his father can get it for him so why not have both.

For adults what a choice like that means is that you just have to work harder to cover for all the choices (options) in order to live comfortably. Hard work they say breaks no bones.

Life is full of choices and it is up to you to make the right ones.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!

Make the right choices.

Thank you Alexander Adu-Lartey and darling son Aj for inspiring this.
Bless you!