Archive for office

Invincible or Invisible

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 8, 2017 by kola

in recent times some of us have complained about the politicizing of everything in this country. i have said time and again to anybody who can read or hear that in this land of our birth even as natural an act as sneezing could betray your supposed political affiliation. you know how we sneeze and then instead of ‘bless you’ we say a few words? somebody might say ‘bless nana’ or another might say ‘i told you so’ and these sayings might be interpreted depending on who’s standing by to be political insinuations with reference to the occupant of the flagstaff house or the economic hardships still prevailing.

anyways that is the Ghana we have come to love with its nuance and all its unconventional methods and red tape only when it suits some people. but who am i to say.

so we all say change has come and then right off the bat we start hearing of the winning party supporters attacking supporters of the losing party. reports in the media indicate that known NDC supporters were attacked at home and beaten up.

further reports also indicate that some armed and rioting forces have started and it is still an ongoing process, are seizing public toilets, toll booths, government offices and all in the name of a popular slogan in akan ‘ma aban na aba so‘ to wit ‘my government is in power.

the group that has claimed responsibility for perpetrating these acts calls themselves INVINCIBLE (or is it INVISIBLE) FORCES.

back in school studying traditional religion and a host of other subjects, we always were asked ‘what is in a name?” this has always made me associate names with occurrences and try to delve into how a group chooses a name. there have been several political associations and just hear their names and you know what they are about even if they dont spell it out explicitly to you the name should give you a clue to their objective.

but here is one group perpetrating acts bothering on vandalism of state property and abusing the rights of people and nobody seems to do anything about it except that the ruling party now came out with a press statement to effect that the group was not a part of its machinery and that they were acting on their own. really?? so if they were acting on their own why hasn’t the law taken action against them and have them arrested thus setting a few culprits as examples to deter the others.

in Tamale i had my former office locked up when this group numbering about forty on motorbikes just stormed the district office of National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and Youth Employment Program (YEP) and asked the workers out only to produce locks they had brought themselves to lock up these offices.

the regional National Health Insurance office suffered the same fate and people who were  trying to register and do transactions who tried to protest were whipped physically leading to a stampede for everybody to rush out of the offices. i hear the same thing happened at the metro office of NADMO and before the police could get there to intervene these people are gone. sometimes they brazenly wait for the police and exchange words with them until the police drag them off the premises.

a typical Ghanaian will ask, what is all this? can we just not tolerate each other and live peacefully. the fact that your government is in power doesn’t give you the right to vandalize government offices and attack government institutions asking for the resignation of executive officers to be replaced by party loyalists.

this is where the issue is. if really we were thinking Ghana first, then the civil service will not have to be politicized and its machinery can run effectively devoid of political affiliation. but in the system where the winner takes all, it has become imperative to use Machiavellian principles in a democracy thus ensuring that all the heads of the civil service are loyalists of the ruling government so as to secure an agenda not contrary to the principles of the ruling party. in some jurisdictions, when government policy does not tie in with the civil service then you know there is a standoff.

all the ducks have to be in tow for a ruling government as we see happening in parliament but that is another story for another day.

so back to the invincible forces. i really dont want to speculate here but the question still stands as to what is in a name? what is the law doing about them and are they as invincible as they seem to be because people in civil service office are feeling their actions visibly.

what i can do as admonished in the ‘plagiarized speech’ is to be a citizen not a participant and do my duty to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana as per our anthem. to be a Ghanaian is a mindset that involves every individual that it is this individual mindset that will evolve into the collective.

mine is to raise the issues and set you thinking but then what to do is up to you.

so like i always say IT BEGINS WITH YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tamale Morning Ride

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

Being in a new environment means I have to get used to the work ethic here in Tamale. When I first arrived I was the habitual Accra worker who wakes up early to do my morning devotion with my Maker then my morning chores then see the wife off to work with me in tow. We go our separate ways at the junction. She picks a car to work and I do my morning 15minutes lazy walk to the taxi station and take a car to my posting. It’s a 25 to 30minute drive on a traffic free road and the last stop is 20m from the gate to my office compound.

There are no trotros in Tamale and I realized that the only minivans that remotely look like the trotros in the city are all bound for the outskirts of town and the villages. These minivans cart good and market women to the market in tamale to sell their produce and then head back. Produce range of hard items to mostly food stuffs. I will never understand how second hand goods get into tamale especially during the Sunday market day and they are half cheaper than same goods and products in Accra. But that is a topic for another day.

The taxis fare for my destination is usually 80p and the taxis take a maximum of 5 passengers. Sometimes when there are no passengers to fill in for the rest, the wait is what really kills me. City dwellers usually have a habit of not being able to wait and it has been a part of me since I have lived in the city of accra my whole life. Instead of waiting and considering that it is relatively cheap as compared to accra, I just sit in and instead of waiting just ask the driver to drive off and I pay for the rest of the passenger ‘ghosts’. This is relative to Accra even less expensive than taking a ‘dropping’ fare. So imagine me paying for a 30 or 45mins journey for less than GH5. Not on your life in Accra.

However because the out roads are not too good, taxis to my office location (not all taxis) are rickety and not road worthy by Ghanaian standards. I remember the first day I reported to work the taxi I was sitting in could not veer out of the way of a tipper truck and we went under it but were saved only because the truck driver stopped in time. The taxi’s breaks virtually didn’t work and interestingly there are policemen on the way who take their usual compensation every morning for each trip by the drivers.

There is this particular taxi that when you sit in the windows automatically come down when the car starts to move and won’t go back up. One time it was raining and by the time I got to work I was soaked. Window won’t just come back up. Oh and lest I forget, almost all the cars have to be opened from outside because there are no internal door handles. We always get to work with brown hair because the dusty roads give out dust that gets into the taxis from the weak leaking underside and the smell of fuel is always overpowering in the car.

At the office, being a Disaster Officer in a new office that has not been set up means that our job is predicated on disasters. It’s not that we pray for disaster but then we try to provide relief items to assuage the victims’ loss. The residents of the savannah don’t really protect themselves against obvious disasters especially rainfall flooding because they build with no foundation and buildings are usually week and made from weak clay bricks. In the swamp areas such as suburbs like Kobrimago (a reclaimed rice paddy) it is even impossible to have access to your own house if you are not home during a heavy rain. Oh okay I’m digressing again.

There are all sorts of people on the morning ride because my office is located in a village that has just been cut out as part of a new district. Old women who are heading back home after selling in the market would be eating in the car whilst waiting for other passengers. They have no way of washing their hands and coupled with the dust and overpowering smell of fuel in a cramped taxi you have to deal with the lingering scent of food whilst they chatter away in a language I don’t understand.

This is for a direct day to the office or I can go the double taxi route which means I take a taxi halfway and then I wait for one of my office colleagues to pass by and pick me up on their motorbike to the office. I usually do this when I want to get breakfast of waakye in the village before my office. There is usually a long line of clients waiting to buy food and it is tasty and relatively cheap to the well publicized waakye at the Goil Filling Station in Tamale. Otherwise I can also get koko and koose along the same route and that is breakfast on the morning ride.

Gradually the Accra city ethic is wearing off with the realization that life is not as fast paced in Tamale as it is in Accra. There is no need to wake up early to get to work because there is no traffic to avoid to get to work early and moreover the office is now being set up so when it starts, it will still not be as hectic and rushed as working in Accra. We all doing our little bit to move Ghana forward.

Long live Ghana our motherland!

further reading;

http://www.modernghana.com/news/145109/1/rickety-taxis-in-vogue-in-tamale.html

#TamaleChronicles

The Loo Chronicles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by kola

Toilet Clipart Invention of Toilets

 

When toilet is mentioned most people think of only one thing. Our usually one track minds are focused on what goes on in the loo and this will elicit an ‘ewww’ or ‘yuck’ from most people, more often than not in mock disgust. Yes! mock disgust because you just cannot imagine anybody else doing what you go in there to do but it is pretty easy to picture what you do yourself in there.

Some folks are so disgusted by there that they do a quick entry and exit like they were performing an ablution of some sort. But come to think about it for a minute, with an action like that who wouldn’t do a quick run in and out especially in when you ate something that has upset your tummy and you need to download faster than any of those fast cars in any of the fast and furious movies.

Interestingly I have had the most epiphany and my most intellectual moments and insights in this same place of yuckiness and ewww-ness. I don’t really know whether it is just me or that I take time when I go to the loo in order to make sure that I download all the waste in my system. Apparently it runs with the men in my family. The men in my house read every article in very newspaper before they get out of the loo. Recently, the toughest of exam scripts that gave headaches felt better when marked in the loo.

Personally I used to read magazines in the loo or even journals that I found lazy to read. This is because during the act of ‘shitting’ I have had time on my hands and I had no other choice than to read the material that I sent there. It is in the loo that I read the articles that I have no time for hitherto when I am out in the real world.

Most of my graduate thesis research was analyzed whilst in the loo, I have read journals in the loo to expand my knowledge on certain issues I would never have bothered to read, I have gotten ideas that have transcended into action to change several lives in the loo, I have made countless deals in the loo when in recent times I always take my android smartphone into the loo.

I have had lectures and been given lectures whilst sitting in the loo, the most profound being the two hour lecture and expose on race relations in America given by my good friend Akua Asare. Several others have followed in her wake from my former Californian students Nicole Ramsey, Saron Sey Ephraim, Toni Marie, Shashay Abrahms, Zane Ambler and a host of other students who became friends.

Wow! Does that mean this world is not real? What it means is that the act is one of the acts that remind any living person that they are alive and I have never felt more alive than when I am in the toilet. It is an act that has been least considered in all our human activity especially in this capitalistic cosmopolitan world where the money chasing is the order of the day. We are in too much of a hurry to get out of there and get to the business of the day forgetting that when you don’t take care of that business in the day, it will definitely take care of you when you least expect thus disrupting something else you deemed more important.

But take a minute to think about it. Without letting out the waste in your body, the body itself goes to waste. It is important that just as you clean your house of dirt and dust, you clean your system of waste. Purging all that waste out leaves the body very pristine and what better way to do that than also get to renew and improve your mental faculties at the same time.

 

further reading: http://www.inventors-trunk.com/toilet-history-timeline.html

Office Blues

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2013 by kola

Image

The office can be such a stressful environment depending on the people you work with or it can be a very conducive environment for sharing ideas and learning. Offices are set up to be places where work is done and done effectively.

Setting up an office can rely on a lot of things but paramount to these is the personnel that are going to work in the office. These are individuals from different walks of life and of different experience all going to be put together in a melting pot of an office environment to a desired result. Usually it is one person’s responsibility to coordinate all the people and such a person must be a person with an iron will and a heart of gold usually.

My office currently is still under personnel construction and so far I love the cameradie that is spreading among the staff. In an organization that has a bad reputation especially for staff not working according to par, this office is going to be a challenging one. Tasks are going to be attacked like no other and the level of commitment, dedication, teamwork and the willingness to learn is something to look up to.

I hope to enjoy being in this office and learn as much as I can from my colleagues.