Archive for Africa

Homophobia

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 30, 2015 by kola

“The next time you attempt to do that again, I’m gonna whip out your dick and slam it into a car door and if you know me well enough I don’t make idle threats …”
With these words I put him in a taxi and sent him home.

You’re wondering what this is about. That’s me coming face to face with a homosexual guy who claims he was in love with me and wanted to sleep with me at all costs.

By the time I finish this particular article most people who know me will look at me differently and I’m sure I might lose a few religious friends but then so be it if this is how I feel and you’re not open minded enough to tag along. This is not about being religious but more about being social.

I have had several encounters with homosexuals ever since I was in high school. A friend of mine found a way of getting extra cash for school by posting fantasy stories in European gay magazines and when we got responses we wrote stories that could fetch us money from our benefactors abroad. In a week we could make not less than €50 and sometimes it went as high as €300 depending on the mark.

Yeah right! This was in the late 90s and as students that was a lot of money.

Seeing those gay magazines and the pictures opened my eyes to a whole new world and initially it was disgusting but curiousity made me find out what will make one man go in for another man.

Interestingly, being curious I now became a target for a relationship with several offers of wealth and grandiose. Somebody even promised me a house and a car, another a vacation holiday anywhere in the world of my choice and boy there were offers. I now understood how pretty gals must feel inundated with all these promises just to get a piece of you.

It didn’t occur to me though that personally I hated it so much until I was invited to a house warming party in a plush suburb in Accra. Unknown to me it was a gay party. The host’s boyfriend /sugardaddy from the Netherlands had bought him the house and he had just come in from abroad to celebrate with his boo who also invited his friends over to meet him. With over 200 guests there were only 4 women and an hour or so into the party two of them felt as lost as I was at the party so we sort of gravitated to each other. 

We decided it was a party and we were already there so we should have fun anyways.

It was when I was dancing with one of these gals that I felt somebody grind against me from behind and the person was very soft so I conveniently assumed it was the other gal sitting with us.  I was in heaven being sandwiched between two pretty women at a gay party. What a blessing.

My relaxing apparently emboldened the person behind me who started fondling me and it was when I felt the hairy arms and the hardened dick on my butt that I realized it was a man and truth be told I instantly had murderous intentions. I just held on to the tip of the erect penis in his pants and just wanted to strangle the worm.  His cry of pain and the lady I was dancing with saved the day and I left the party immediately after.

By now you would think I have a problem with homosexuals. No I don’t. I honestly think some are the most intelligent people I have met and it’s a pity that they have to live a double life and be afraid of coming out of the closet because of how people will react to them. I believe that it is a personal choice and that they are human beings first and should be treated as such.

But it is only when you try to rope me in on your choices that I have a problem with. Yeah I’ve heard it being said that I have a double standard with that but I think it’s clear cut for me.  It has nothing to do with my Christian faith and it’s just to do with my social nature.

Friend of mine said that as for me I’ll love everybody. And Yes it is True.

Imagine bearing the same name with a listed homosexual who is a world traveler and people just Google the name and my number comes up. Yes I take his calls and I redirect his hookups to his current number cos he keeps changing numbers and that’s how come I know a lot about homosexual activities round the world.

Well, now that single sex marriage has been legalized in the USA I can assume it will be easier for them to live their lives in the open and not in the shadows. As for here in Africa, we’d always frown on the practice but we can’t stop it. Driving it underground will even make it more popular and widespread.

I’ve always been an advocate of being who you are and being comfortable but if you have to hide to be you is it worth it?

As for me, it’s a choice they make and they have to live with it but please I’ve also made my choices, don’t drag me into yours.

Based on my experience let’s just be friends and I won’t be forced to tell you I’ll put your dick in a vise or send you to Bangkok, with a mallet.

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Insomnia

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 27, 2014 by kola

I N S O M N I A

Indebted to the spirits of this land

Nonchalant to the rest of the world

Some of us would want to make the world a better place

Oblivious to the challenges that we will face

Men women and children

Neophytes to this African existence

Inducted into western cultural systems

All for one or all for none…

My Ghana, Our Africa

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2013 by kola

20131220-205746.jpg

This photo has profound implications for me as a person interested in education in this country. Please look at the photo again and tell me what you make of it.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but how will you hear the picture if you have no idea what language the picture is talking to you in.

First and foremost, this picture is not from a rural area. Yes! From the way the date is written it is obvious that it is from an urban or peri urban school, the teacher wrote the date for the pupil since it is the same handwriting used for the correction.

Furthermore, it is obvious that the cultural shocks and influence change with the different generations. During my time for example in the 80s when were attending basic school, we had not heard of China. The only popular countries we knew were Russia, the USA and Britain. France didn’t even come in the picture.

For us nerds, we were aware of the Cold War and the ongoing battle between the capitalist and communist superpowers vis-a-vis the spy wars between the western powers of Britain and USA and the eastern bloc of Russia and Germany. Oh how I loved reading those counterespionage novels.

Recently, China has become a world super power with it’s population about one third of the total world population. The Chinese have grown their traditions and harnessed their culture into a global force to reckon with. With basic raw material production and manufacturing industries, it is evident that China will continue to be a global hub for a long time to come.

Thus the Chinese produce cheaper durable goods for all, which do not necessarily meet European and western standards and sometimes Chinese goods are referred to as fakes.

This accounts for the basic school child’s answer to what is the opposite of original. To the child, original is authentic, as produced in the west, and China is fake.

The child’s mentality in this case is evident of the social fabric and global structure as mentioned earlier.

The Chinese have taken over every aspect of retail trading with their consumer products that are substandard. Heck! There is even a joke that a couple of Jehovah witnesses asked a Chinese man if he knew Jesus. His reply was that they should give him a picture and he will reproduce Him. The Chinese can reproduce just about ANYTHING.

Delving deeper into the child’s answers also reveals the standards of education that exists in Africa now. This picture is obviously set in Ghana but then it is a global phenomenon.

Education is one important tool for liberation but then what sort of education are we getting. It is invariable that the sort of education we are getting will determine the sort of liberation we get. Our children are being taught in expensive schools that look good on paper but nothing really to write home about if you should spend a day at the school.

The opposite of good is bad, the opposite of black, truly is white and the opposite of original is fake. The teacher’s correction of artificial is rather suited to the word ‘natural’ and I wonder what was running through the teacher’s mind with such a correction.

Sadly, it most likely that the parents of this pupil may not even see it because they have been caught in the rat race in the quest for money to pay the very fees that is giving their ward this most important atrocious education. How ironic!

If I’m right, when we were children, we had so much belief in what the school teacher said and were even ready to hold our ground with our parents over what some particular teacher had said. Imagine this child being like we were back then and having now learnt that the opposite of original is not China but ‘artificial’, I can’t even fathom the harm that had been done to this child.

We need to back up with our education not only in the visual arts and science but also in our history and culture. It is important that our younger generations know the history of Africa as having prospered long before the European set foot on the continent.

The stories of Mansa Musah, Sundiata, the Pharaohs of Egypt and civilisations along the Tigris, Nile and Euphrates should be taught.

How about the university and scholarly life in the Moroccos, the trade of the Fezzan and the ingenuity of the desert Tuaregs who are now in history as desert rogues. Imagine that!

Let our children learn about the battle formations of Chaka the Zulu that ensured that he was never conquered, his scorch earth policy which same was adopted by the Russians to defeat Napoleon after he crossed the Rubicon.

How about the Asante battle formation (designed by Osei Tutu and Komfo Anokye) that even determined their political system in the king’s court as even exists today.

Yes! I’m sure some of you readers are dumbfounded but this is no Martian tale. This is the story of Africa. An Africa that we can all recapture if we set out policies right.

But alas! The culture of western capitalism and selfishness has deeply penetrated our social fabric and we need more than education to wean it out. Our policy makers make policies to suit western whims because we go begging for aid for development. The citizens too have been caught in an ironic web of chasing money which we never seem to catch up with. All we have is our hope and our religion.

As for the religion, I won’t even tackle it.

Let us arise as an Africa to reclaim what it used to be. The other cultures have been able to do it. Heck! Even the Chinese have done it and see where they are now. What are we waiting for. Will we as Africans forever be in the bondage of slavery, one way or the other?

One simple picture, and see where I have gone to. Maybe that is me. I look at the global picture. I am not really a thinker but then I’m a pointer, trying to point out what is wrong with our system.

Our ancestors have said that ‘sankofa, yen tsi’ to wit going back for your past is not a taboo.

Our solutions to our problems lie in our traditions and culture and we can only get to that if we know our history – not the one the European wrote for us. The one in our songs and drum language and our oral traditions. The one handed down by our forefathers through the generations.

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!

Africa Arise!

Oral History

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2013 by kola

 

“Oral histories are a dying art, which is sad indeed, for they show the appropriate respect for the lives and experiences of those who have come before. And, just as important, they document those remembrances, for once those lives are over, that personal knowledge is lost forever. Unfortunately we live in a time now where everyone seems to be solely looking ahead, as though we deem nothing in the past worthy of our attention.”

–          Bestselling Author David Baldacci in his Author’s Note as prelude to his book Wish You Well ©2000

 

Is it a coincidence that this Virginia born author will relate to the importance of oral history in his novels? Did you know that there is a Jamestown in the state of Virginia that was created around the same time that Jamestown was created in Accra? Both have a parallel history.

The Pocahontas story comes from the Jamestown, Virginia when the British sailors met with the native Indians and the Indian princess had the desire to learn of the culture of the foreigner and ended up marrying one of them.

Jamestown in Accra was the main colonial harbor of the Gold Coast and a fishing community developed around it. It was a busting industrial town during the colonial days.

Now compare what has become of both Jamestowns. One is a very well developed tourist attraction whilst the other is still an overpopulated fishing community, almost a slum. Your guess is as good as mine which is which.

Fast forward years on and what has happened to Africa. We who used to solely depend on oral traditions to pass down lessons and history down the generations, to the extent that Trevor Roper contends that Africa had no history prior to the coming of the Europeans because Europeans brought reading and writing to Africa.

What happened to our rites of passage where youth learnt to be adults, what happened to apprenticeship, what happened to drum language, what happened to our tradition and culture?

What happened to our traditional folklore, taboos and myths, our songs that we sing, the tunes we even used to whistle and all that late night under the moonlight By The Fireside tales?

Did we give them all up for ‘modern technology’?

Have we chosen the ‘whiteman’s education over ours?

What happened to sitting at the feet of the elderly to learn words of wisdom?

Oh Africa! What happened to our traditional griots and praise singers, who sang the history of our societies and kingdoms? They sang of great men in our societies worth emulating. They sang of sacrifices made so we the descendants can live the life that we do today.

Now it is all left to just a week in the year, when we ‘celebrate’ our festivals. Festivals are the last vestiges of our identity and culture. And now gradually we are losing that too because these occasions have become occasions not only of grandeur but political platforms to lure people for the ultimate sacrifice of the thumb in the name of democracy.

I won’t belabor this point. Let us do our own bit in learning from the elderly. Their experiences matter. There is an African proverb that says that what an old man sees sitting, a younger person will not see sitting atop the tallest of trees.

Our aged folk have been neglected because we don’t see the essence in learning from them and deferring to them the necessary respect. They are living encyclopedias on the African condition and when they pass on, those libraries are lost if not tapped into.

Unfortunately, we are culprits of the second part of the quote. We live on like we have no past. But Bob Marley (reggae icon) reminds us that ‘in this great future you can’t forget your past’ (if you do not know your past how do you know where you are going (your future).

History is needed so we can learn from the past and correct the mistakes our forefathers made. In every aspect of our lives, there has been a precedent. Why do you think the Old Testament in the Bible is still relevant in The Book even with a new covenant in Christ?

Everybody else is looking into their history apart from those whose future lies in their history – Africans.

 Nana Awere Damoah asks in his new book I Speak of Ghana:  “why is our history looking and sounding more glorious than our future?”

There must be something wrong somewhere. Let us find it together. Sankofa! Let us go back to our history, embedded in our oral traditions and find solutions to our African problems and move on.

The Chinese have done it, the Jews have done it, Europe has done it, the rest of the world has done it, what are Africans waiting for?

Ask the next older person you meet about the past and let’s shape our future.

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!

 

Revolving Doors

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2013 by kola

As I sat in the banking hall in Unibank Kumasi, I observed clients come in through their revolving doors and it was interesting to relate the different ways people approached and came into the banking hall through those doors, to life.

We all have different approaches to life and that tells on how we live life. Our hopes, dreams, mannerisms and behaviors are all tied to the way we see life. Life can be heaven or hell or a mixture of both, a pleasure or pain, a mixture of both again, but one thing I know is that we all as human beings want to live life to the fullest.

Our various experiences shape our reactions to other experiences that might not be necessarily hinged on a particular experience but then there is the need to recognize that the various aspects of our life and the lives of other human beings in so interwoven to each other. This brings to mind the philosophical saying by Descartes and his humanitarian contemporaries that ‘man is not an island unto himself’.

In walking through those revolving doors, people were going in one at a time. This made me realize that no matter what situation and how rich or poor you are, you are responsible for your own actions. A person has to choose when to walk into the revolving doors to get to the other side and this you do alone. Whatever and however you do that is up to you.

When I tried entering the revolving doors with another person, I came to the realization that inasmuch as there were two people, it was quite uncomfortable since the other person kept clipping at the heels of the other in the partitioning.

Furthermore, whatever goes on in that short time that the door revolves from outside to inside the banking hall is entirely an individual thing. Well, I didn’t fart to test this assertion but then it was imperative that one had to get into the doors to get inside the banking hall.

This applies in life that it needed an action to move from one phase to another. To move from outside in the sun, to the cool air-conditioned interiors of the bank for a transaction, there needed to be an action and that was to step into the revolving doors to take one to the other side.

Whenever we pray to God to change our situation and then sit back and fold our arms, how then do we expect the prayers to be answered? There is the need for an action to be taken and then the prayer can be achieved.

Some people were afraid to even walk through the revolving doors whilst others just did not know how to stop when it got to the banking hall and just kept going on and ended up outside again. There was this one guy who only ended up in the bank after a third attempt. No! He wasn’t dumb. He just did not understand how revolving doors worked.

And that is life. Perseverance and faith will get you through a lot of revolving doors but you need to take the first step.

Like I always say it begins with YOU.

God be with you.

 

 

Arise African Youth!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2013 by kola

Image   About a year ago a friend of mine Dr. Naa Sunkwa Mills was asked  upon invitation by the Ghana Think Foundation (a vibrant and youthful group, she says) to speak on the theme “Making an Enterprising Environment For An Emerging Market”.

This set me thinking aloud. 

Throughout history Africa has not only been a source of raw materials but also a place to market European goods. The premise that Africa is an emerging market is skewed because we are made to think so. 

Africa as a continent produces over 60% of the world’s raw materials yet we are poor because we do not process these raw materials ourselves but then we consume them when they are turned into finished goods and then sold back to us. We are the markets. Colonialism and imperialism has had a deep impact in these deep seated feelings that we can not do it.

In order to create an enterprising environment for an emerging market, we as African youth first need to understand the power we have to determine what a market is and to take control of the market. He who controls the market stands to gain from the interactions in the market be it trade or anything whatsoever. 

To control the trade means to understand the environment in which we are trading and this understanding can only be done when we understand the market trends and what our trade partners expect. This can only be done by education.

Invariably, Africa has lagged behind in the development of the rest of the world because we haven’t had the courage to wrestle and come to terms with the power that we have on the rest of the world as the largest producers of the raw materials needed for the industries of the world.

The youth have neglected their education or policy makers have not put in education policies that benefit these skills. If these skills are taught in our educational systems at a very tender age, African youth will be well equipped to understand the vagaries and vicissitudes that come with market trends and businesses all over the world.

It is important that youth take education seriously especially comparative education where they are aware of impacting events such as slavery and colonialism on the African continent and how this has affected mentality and perceptions of Africans both home, abroad and in the Diaspora.

Africans have to delve back into African traditional modes of personal relationships which are not selfish and then we understand that our traditions mapped out a simple life with rules and regulations that guide all relationships no matter what the link, be it business or personal. 

Customer service comes to note in this. In trade, the customer is paramount because he is the client and the consumer. This consumer has his own taste and preferences and has the right to make a choice. With different options available, it becomes important to woo this consumer to your product. But what do we see in Africa. The producer acts as if he is doing the consumer a favor and customer service has been thrown to the dogs. I am sure that every reader of this piece has his/her own experience of customer dis-service and probably not just one. I have had the occasion of blacklisting a couple of Ghanaian establishments online for poor customer service and general neglect.

It is imperative therefore that African youth rise up and take the reins of our destiny for ourselves. Africa will depend on its youth for development but till the youth educate themselves to be able to bear the mantle, Africa will remain in the doldrums of obscurity and oppression not only to the rest of the world but to its own self.

Like i always say, it begins with you!

#ThinkingAloud

National Anthem!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by kola

God bless our homeland Ghana

Think about it closely and one comes to the sharp realization that God has already blessed this country beyond measure. In terms of natural resources I do not have to provide a list of what we have been endowed with but will mention a few; there are natural minerals like gold, precious stones like diamonds, timber from our forest and even non-traditional export products.
Talk about our human resource and Ghanaians are the most hospitable people on the surface of the whole planet. Furthermore, Ghanaians are the best at what they do the world over (except in their home country of course)

And make our nation great and strong

The geographical location of Ghana makes it difficult for outside influences without notice. A nation landlocked by three French speaking nations and the sea still thrives by whichever means it does.
With reference to greatness, most of Ghana’s statesmen throughout history have gone down as world statement – from Kwame Nkrumah (renown Pan Africanist advocating for African Unity) to Kofi Annan (past Secretary General to the United Nations)

Bold to defend for ever
The cause of freedom and of rights

The history of the country is a bane of strength in defense of what our forefathers have done for the country notable among them is the Aborigines Right Protection Society that fought against the British crown annexing all lands in its proposed Lands Bill

Fill our hearts with true humility

It is the Ghanaians fervent prayer that the pride of place in Africa will not make us proud but be humbled in our existence because pride comes before a fall

Make us cherish fearless honesty

Being honest is the bane of every human and social relationship. The ability to be honest in freedom is very important to the Ghanaian existence

And help us to resist oppressors’ rule
With all our will and might forever more

It is important that every person deals with their demons and in the same way the nation also as a collective deal with its demons. In this case we don’t only mean foreign oppressors but also the minority social few who lord it over the others. Resisting them can take various forms and this we have to do as a collective with everything we’ve got.

Long Live Ghana!

#GhanaAnthem
#Nationhood
#GhanaMyMotherland