Archive for reflections

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destiny Reflections

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 3, 2014 by kola

It is funny how situations happen and you get to think about your whole life all over again. Here I am sitting behind my computer and wondering what exactly to write.

I have learnt that the best way to write what you feel is let your emotions take over and write the truth even though you will be shy of it but people will relate to it better because that is the truth. Truth always stands.

Recently there has been a worrying phenomenon and this is that I think too much. Becoming a thinker is affecting everything I do and by so doing offsetting the balance of nature. You probably won’t understand but having taken on more responsibility to my readers I have come to realize that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

It is a thankless job to live in the world we live in today and have the mindset that I have. God put us on this earth for a reason and this reason we all ought to find and fulfill our purpose in life which is not only to glorify Him but to do His Will.

Allah hu Akbar!

Like I always say, it begins with YOU!

Get out there and make a change – one person at a time

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!

Naked Thoughts!

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

So inspired by my friend and confidant Akua Asare I also want to write reflections. There is so much going on in my mind that I wonder if I can put it all down this early Saturday morning as I sit naked in my bed.

I have made some interesting friends on my relocation to Tamale and it is interesting how I could not have done the potential of making such friends. These are people who have always been around and I have always known were around but never really took it upon myself to befriend. Oh! I just knew them.

Some of my friends have been in the picture since I started coming to Tamale over a decade ago. Maybe my psyche had relegated them to the kind of people I would only happen to be around so that they cheered me up, were company to make my stay in Tamale bearable and then when I went back to Accra I forgot about them. But contrary to whatever I was thinking (don’t really know what I was thinking) some of these friends have remained loyal.

Let us take for example my sports friends especially my basketball mates. Some of us have been playing basketball for years and I have not even bothered to know their real names, their backgrounds or what family backgrounds they have. Recently, it just hit me that apart from the boys who came down south to Accra that I knew before coming here, I just could not be bothered about the rest of them.

But alas since I took an interest in their lives, profession, relationships, family and even studies, the playing is not just running, jumping and throwing balls into a hoop on a cracked cement court but also a meeting of the minds of friends and professionals. Truth be told, some of these boys are dedicated professionals and very good at what they do and I realized that even together we could not only come to the court and play but share ideas in the different fields of our professions and tap into each other’s wide experiences.

The essence of team work and cooperation in sports as in life now makes more sense and it’s in effect in our playing with each other on the court. It is not just about getting to the court, pounding each other hard for a few minutes (basketball is more physical up here), getting wet and going home. Now the game is also about the camaraderie, the light banter, the stiff competition on and off the court and the talk about women whilst we sit and sip on water.

On some days, when the tiredness has set in beyond measure, boys serve lunch and drinks after a game and the banter goes on. I can hear the laughter still ringing in my ears after the last ‘sitting’.

It is true there is a lot on my mind but this is the first thing that comes to mind this morning because as I sit naked in my bed, I know I am missing out on the boys being together on the basketball court. I am missing on the early morning jokes and teases, missing on the hangover stories of events of yesterday’s Friday night parties and outings, missing on the kenkey and fish with beer that will be going on after the game.

But even though I miss all that I can still revel in the feeling that I am part of this crew and when they are done, they will check on me to see if I’m okay and ask why I was not there.

That is friendship. Go Figure!

 

#BallingIsLife

#Tamale Chronicles