Archive for Andani. TamaleChronicles.

Count Your Blessings

Posted in General Blogs, Tamale chronicles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2022 by kola

The songwriter says count your blessings, name them one by one, see what glorious mercies the lord has done.

More often than not we look outward and count the bigger blessings like having a house, a car, and the material things in life. Have we ever stopped to think that the most important blessings are the little ones?

First and foremost, we have life. How many funerals were there this past weekend alone? Yet we are alive and kicking. The greatest gift God has given us is the gift of another day and we need to be grateful.

Now you saw today huh. Yes the gift of sight. That’s another blessing on its own. It is part of the gift of all the senses. I remember during the pandemic how people were eager just to smell the things that hitherto they considered pungent like the smell at that korle area or Odawna in Accra or the forest in front of Modern City Hotel during the heat season or the various open defecation places in Tamale, and I remember how it gave me the freedom to fart freely at seminars and workshops and if you could smell it through your nose mask it was considered albeit jokingly that you were covid free. 😂😂

Heh! This world. Something that was socially inappropriate now becomes accepted because it becomes a marker for something serious.

If you want to understand the magnitude of the gift of life and the many blessings one enjoys daily just spend a few hours at any hospital emergency or OPD. One time I was in the hospital and the orderlies sent to collect the oxygen tank ended up engaging in an auction for the tank since there was only one tank and three people wanted it. It became a haggle for who could pay more for the tank right there and then. The haggling went on for a while and then the highest bidder paid 80 cedis an hour for the oxygen.

I felt water tricking down the front of my shirt and apparently whilst the haggling was going on it had dawned on me the implication of what was happening right in front of me. Somebody was going to pay 80 cedis an hour to live for the air that I could breathe freely and if I didn’t want it could just fart it out freely too.

Now let me do a little Bawumiaconomics here..  If I am 40 years old plus, and for every hour that I have been on this earth I was paying even one Ghana per hour on the oxygen that I was breathing, how much will that be? That will be One Ghana multiplied by 24, multiplied by 7 days a week, multiplied by 30 days a month, multiplied by 365 days a year and finally multiplied by my age. That’s how much gratefulness I owed to God.

Indeed when the songwriter said count your blessings, I truly didn’t consider this as much of a blessing but more like an entitlement as a human, since I was living. Until this haggling /auction incident.

Today as I write this, I have gone to play soccer, yeah, my first soccer game after my knee accident, and again I have pulled a hamstring. I really need to consider my age when doing some things and not overdo it since I’m no spring chicken anymore as most of my friends will be quick to point out to me.  But the thing is that, that little muscle that I have pulled hurts like hmm and when I walk it is like I am walking on pines and needles. It is a little muscle just under my butt cheek but with the pain it makes sitting pretty difficult and walking is as awkward as can be.

What I take from all this is to give glory to God because in His perfect wisdom He created the human body and every sinew, muscle or bone is important in its place in the body structure. It shows the magnificence of God. If you don’t believe it just stick your thumb in your palm and try to pick anything up. See if you can.

Another thing is that small part of the ear that controls the whole balance in your body. That explains why when one is slapped so hard the person just falls flat.

In essence all I am saying is let us just appreciate the little things in life. I do appreciate a lot, even the fact that you are the one reading this. If it wasn’t for you, who would I be expressing my thoughts to.

Appreciate the everyday things around you and the everyday people too. The little things that you see around are the same things that come together to constitute the big thing you call life.

The more appreciative we are in life, the easier life gets for us and God Himself inhabits the praise of His creation. Let’s be grateful to God and give glory for his blessings in our life.

Thank God for a new day each day.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!


Savannah Thoughts!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2013 by kola

Life in the savannah can be so frustrating especially being from outside it and knowing that it could be better but the indigenous callous to making it better. Journalists, among other professions in the Tamale metropolis are so biased towards sensationalism and other affiliations political and ethnic that it’s frustrating to observe what disunity can do to people.

Let me illustrate this with a story. Some time ago one of the largest and most popular eating places in Accra, Aunty Muni waakye in Labone, had two of her cooking girls ‘beefing’ over whatever  (no pun intended) and one decided to teach the other one a lesson so she put purgative in the food the other girl had cooked. Imagine the reaction of the hordes of customers who ate Aunty Muni waakye that weekend. It was only a small story in one of the sensational tabloids in Accra and a radio station. This story even came out because she had to render a public apology to her customers and assure  patrons it will not happen again.

Now let us examine this same issue and compare it to what happened in Tamale recently when medical students went to a colleague’s party and got food poisoning. The Ghanaian media jumped on the story and some even gave it front page prominence. Radio stations made it their main discussion story and television also picked it up. Why does it always have to be so? These students only happen to be medical students and their party was a private party that had nothing to do with the hospital only that they were admitted in the hospital. Does anything that happens at the Korle Bu medical school hostel end up in the print media and television too?

Southerners tend to assume that ‘the north’ is one small town when it actually comprises three of the largest regions (Northern, Upper East and Upper West) in Ghana. I find the need therefore to educate in lay man terms here in this article the size of just the Northern Region in relation to its districts. I believe this will shed more light on the size of the northern region and also make readers aware that when there is a conflict or whatever on one side of the region it doesn’t affect the whole region as if it was a small town where everybody will be affected.

In the Northern region there are 24 districts and these are pretty large districts set far apart. The two most prominent I am familiar with is Tamale metropolis itself and Tolon district which houses one of the campuses of the University of Development Studies in Nyankpala which is a 40 minute drive from the metropolis on a traffic free road. Travelling from the Tamale metropolis to the Tamale airport is also almost an hour’s drive and the airport is in Savelugu, a suburb of Tamale. Having lived in Accra my whole life I can only compare distances by time of driving so readers living in Accra or having been to Accra can understand. And when I say traffic free roads what I mean is that if there was traffic it would take longer.

It is therefore aberrant to say that Tamale is a small town such that when southerners hear that there is a trouble in any suburb of Tamale to just assume that the whole of Tamale is involved.

Just a couple of years ago the Ya-Na Andani case was a case in point that had residents of Tamale and its environs placed on tenterhooks because the region is very ethnic centered. But residents have put this behind them and the past and gone. The city has healed itself and now there are more southerners moving up north than before. Social amenities have improved tremendously and the city is now gradually feeling the effects of a metropolitan life with banks, supermarkets, improved health centres, education facilities, etc but which also means waste and dirt everywhere that should be taken care of and sometimes even traffic in the main centre after work hours for a few minutes.

If only the journalists and non-governmental organizations will stop peddling money stories and just write the unskewed stories that suit the perceptions of southerners, then maybe the savannah accelerated development project can work out. Development starts with the people and not structures and some of us sincerely wish the indigenous people of the north will realize that. Let us just leave the savannah region to try to develop on its own and stop peddling stories that are not really news worthy in other areas. The north has been marginalized enough in the colonial era and it is part of the nation Ghana and has to be developed to catch up with development in other areas of the country as well.

Furthermore, northern dwellers should push to demand for social amenities and act like the government is not doing them a favor with whatever is put in place for them. The leaders who can demand for these things won’t demand because they will be branded opposition to the many factions either ethnic or political. It is high time development in the north took a radical turn but only the indigenous people can lead this movement.

A few days ago Rick Ross tweeted that he’s landed in the beautiful country of Africa and I remember a friend of mind’s comment that ignorance is no excuse. If we chastise foreigners for making a mistake like that or we talking to white people online and they say ‘oh I have a friend in Uganda, since you are in Ghana  you might know him’ and we are amazed at their ignorance, then let’s not make the same mistake in Ghana in thinking that the north is just one small town called Tamale. It starts from you my dear reader..