#WBC2020 – Dear Mansa, Ghana is Free

7th March 1957

Dear Mansa,

You won’t believe what the Show Boy has done this time. Did you monitor the news yesterday? We are free from our colonial masters. It’s been a long and difficult battle and we have suffered very much but I want to believe this is the finale.

I actually wanted to see things for myself so I went to the Polo Grounds where Showboy Kwame Nkrumah delivered his speech. Can you believe there were no vehicles to transport me but I made the journey on foot. The over 7-mile trip was nothing compared to my yearning to witness this momentous occasion.

I was sweaty when I got to the grounds but the place was packed. I could not move without coming into contact with other people. When I finally found a spot that provided a good view, Showboy had started his speech.

Mansa, we have really suffered – not just from interferences from the British but from the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) who wanted self-government within the shortest possible time to the current Convention Peoples Party (CPP) who sought to govern immediately. If I tell you the number of lives that have been lost in this struggle, you will understand my joy.

Anyway, freedom smells good. I was not the only one who listened to the speech with great hope. I could feel the pride emanate from me when Nkrumah delivered his speech. My heart started beating and for no reason, tears began to fall down my cheek, especially, when Nkrumah uttered these words:

We have won the battle and we again re-dedicate ourselves … Our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa. Let us now, fellow Ghanaians, let us now ask for God’s blessing…

It’s been a long road and we are finally free from oppression, unnecessary imprisonment of our political leaders, hardships and suffering.

We are finally going to manage our own affairs and resources. I know the world is watching from afar. I can sense Nkrumah is bent on aiding other African countries to achieve independence. Not only that, he also envisions an African union. Do you think that is possible? These are still early times, though. Let me not jump ahead of myself. I’ll provide you with regular updates and I hope to read your reply soon.

Your most optimistic Ghanaian,

Yaa

***This is 12/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is choose an African event and write about it as if you were there.***

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#WBC2020 – 5 Akan Proverbs and their Meanings

This post has got me scratching my head real hard because I am not fluent in my own local language known as Ewe (pronounced ‘Eh-ve’), reminding me of Steve Harvey’s attempt at pronouncing it on Family Feud. Ewe is the language spoken by the people from the Volta Region, which is on the eastern coast of Ghana, sharing a border with Togo. Ghana has 16 of these regions.

I am, therefore, going to list five Akan/Twi (pronounced T-wiii) which is the most widely spoken language in Ghana.

1. Obi nkyere akwadaa Nyame. Literal translation: Nobody teaches the child who God is. Which means: Innately, we (including a child) know the existence of a Creator/God.

2. Aboa a onni dua no, Nyame na opra ne ho. Literal translation: For the tail-less animal, God cleans/sweeps his body. Meaning: Vulnerable people have a special place in God’s heart. He takes care of them.

3. Praye se wo yi bako a na ebu: wokabomu a emmu. Literal translation: It is easier to break a broomstick than the whole bunch. Meaning: In unity lies strength/there is strength in togetherness.

4. Anoma aantu a, obua da. Literal translation: If a bird doesn’t fly, it goes hungry. Meaning: One needs to work or they’ll go hungry.

5. Kwatereakwa se obema wo ntoma a tie ne ding. Literal translation: If a naked man/woman promises to give you a cloth, just listen to his name. πŸ˜‚ Meaning: You cannot give what you do not have. If the naked man had any clothes, he would have worn it himself πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

On this note, do you have any proverbs in your language you’d like to share? Please do so.

***This is 11/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is share 5 proverbs in your vernacular and what they mean.***

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#WBC2020: University of Ghana – A Brand I Would Like to Represent

An educational institution like the University of Ghana (UG) has a mind of its own. Unlike other public institutions that mostly dance to the tune of the government in power (whether good or bad), from what I’ve witnessed at UG, so far, it is a little autonomous.

In this covid19 period, for example, UG shut down before our President ordered all educational institutions to do so. This was immediately it recorded its first case of the virus. Currently, it has partially reopened for final year students to complete their courses. UG has made it flexible for these students to still work from home without necessarily being on campus and jeopardizing their lives. This was after the President called for the re-opening of schools and educational institutions for final year students (in particular).

Most African countries give too much a lot of power to their governments. The government of the day appoints Chief Executive Officers and bosses of organisations and most of them obey every command from the presidency (good or bad). For an institution to operate flexibly and creatively without a lot of interferences from government is difficult and for UG to take these bold initiatives is laudable.

Cumulatively, I have been at UG for about eight years (both studying and working on projects) and I love how the systems work even though there is always room for improvement. Individuals respect protocols and are not unnecessarily rude to others. For instance, an accountant may be frustrated by your actions but is still forced to be nice because he knows trouble looms when he does not treat you well.

I may not be privy to all that goes on in this institution but I can say it has space for dialogue and intellectual discussions. New systems are always being developed to improve teaching and learning and I wouldn’t mind being their brand ambassador and working there till I retire.

***This is 10/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is which institution would you love to represent and work with.***

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#WBC2020 – 4 Social Media Accounts I Follow & Why

Limiting the number of social media accounts I follow to only 4, in this post, is almost tortuous but here we go:

1. Heather Lindsey is a preacher, fashionista, vegan, mother of three and a wife. You can get a sense of her life through her posts. She is truly an inspiration to young women and I admire how she confidently posts everything (almost) about herself, family, husband and children on social media. She has a huge following and most of her posts go viral. I follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

2. Dromobaby is a page I discovered not too long ago but have succeeded in watching almost every video on their page. They feature women and husbands (sometimes) who share stories about their pregnancy journey. Some of the guests they feature are hilarious and others share sad stories. One that I wouldn’t forget in while is a woman who lost her twins after she delivered them. πŸ˜₯πŸ˜₯ They feature Ghanaians (mostly) and I follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

3. BabiesbyBazal, Coos_n_Clicks, ElomAyayee, Twinkle_toes_inc (they are four different pages πŸ˜„)- these are businesses that take maternity shoots and family photos as well as photos of babies when they are as young as a week old till when they are about eight or nine or so. I love the creativity behind those shoots. The end product of the shoots are pretty and surreal that they will make you feel like having babies. πŸ™ƒThey are all Ghanaian brands and I follow these pages on Instagram and Facebook.

4. Liezer-legacy productions – I love comedy and this page shares skits of some hilarious individuals/comedians that we have in Ghana. The recent satirical quiz they produce is so funny that it trends on YouTube. I follow them on Facebook and I’ve subscribed to their YouTube channel as well.

**Can I add my Church’s social media accounts or you are tired? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Which social media accounts do you follow and why? Do share.

***This is 9/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is 4 Social Media accounts and why you follow them.***

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#WBC2020 – How I wish Content Creators wouldn’t…

1. Trick us? We are aware the numbers matter so much to you – especially when you have to market your page to possible clients for adverts or for you to start earning (on YouTube). You have to gain a certain number of followers and clicks to posts but please consider your loyal consumers too. The click baits are too much. Will it be too much if we asked you to create a catchy headline/title that is still related to the post? We are tired of clicking to only see the headlines/titles have no implication whatsoever to the story/post. Are you tricking us or what?

2. Hang around Twitter and make news out of the most mundane issues? The fact that they are celebrities and pastors and presidents and known figures does not make everything they tweet newsworthy. We are now making celebrities out of undeserving people. This has resulted in people doing all sort of crazy things in order to trend. Really? Content creators. Really?

3. Take content from sites without properly citing the source? Academically, that would be called plagiarism and possibly leading you to lose your degree but in the content creation world, it seemed to be overlooked and it’s gradually gaining acceptance. For instance, bloggers take stories from other pages and slap it to theirs as if the one who created it does not even exist. It’s someone’s work, for crying out loud, please cite them.

What do content creators do that you wish they would stop? It’s a learning experience so share yours.😊

***This is 8/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is 3 things you wish African content creators could avoid***

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#WBC2020 – 5 Committed Bloggers in Ghana

There are several bloggers in Ghana but the very popular ones are those who create content on entertainment/celebrity/lifestyle and current affairs. You are more likely to get the names of such websites when you ask the ordinary Ghanaian for an example of a blog.

There are awesome ones in other niches but the five I have selected for this post are those I discovered recently and are quite committed to the cause:

1. Joseyphina blogs consistently. She writes Christian, short stories mixed with some series and a little bit of everything. She is one of the people I take motivation from and she writes very well.

2. Omtsdigest blogs on business and finance, parenting, Christian and lifestyle. She says she is a lady of few words and her blog portrays that quite well.

3. Floodlightdaily is relatively new in the blogosphere but has been writing consistently in the short period that I’ve known her. Her niche is Christian.

4. GoldinWords was one of my motivations for sticking to this niche. He writes plainly and is candid in his posts. When he wrote about his addiction to pornography and how he broke free, I was stunned. Anyway, he’s not afraid to share his personal struggles and I guess that is what blogging should be about.

5. Nesta Erskine is an awesome storyteller and very witty. He shares shortstories on his Facebook page. You are likely to remained glued when you start reading his content.

Do you know any Ghanaian bloggers I should be checking out? Kindly leave their links in the comment section 😊

***This is 7/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is 5 bloggers in your country***

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#WinterABC – Social Media, 4 Lessons

The day I started assessing profiles before accepting friend requests on Facebook was when I knew I had been liberated.

No mutual friends meant I wouldn’t accept your request. The numbers no longer mattered. I started using security features, approving posts before they appeared on my timeline.

Social media is whole world out there, it dawned on me and more lessons were picked afterwards.

Social Media, a ‘pressure’ tool

Before I had my wedding, I made a request to the photographer not to share any of my photos online. I didn’t share any of them on my page either. My wedding was not the most luxurious but I felt it had the potential of putting pressure on the unmarried, those seeking relationships etc. I thought of that follower and currently, I ask myself several questions before I share posts.

Social Media, the big brother

The fact that people are watching your every move without speaking to you is one thing that scares me about social media. I liken Facebook (and other platforms) to that compound house with a lot of tenants shouting. Some followers may never comment/like your posts and they see you offline and say,

“Are you going to post that as well?”

πŸ€·πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ I didn’t know we were friends on social media. I make the mental note to be more cautious about what I post.

Social Media, a tool that distracts

Looking for a way to be unproductive, watch that video on YouTube or Tik Tok or Facebook and similar videos start appearing in your feed. Keep clicking on them and that is how you waste your day. It is good to use apps to monitor how you spend your time on social media. Take a break if you need to.

Social Media, an avenue for inspiration

It’s not all gloomy on these platforms but social media provide creatives with inspiration at an affordable cost. Through blogs, Facebook and YouTube videos, one can feed on ideas of others.

What lessons have you picked from social media? Do share.

***This is 6/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is 4 things I’ve learned from social media.***

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Welcome to My Class – How to remain sane

I don’t want to sound boring but I’m glad you made it to my class today.

Perhaps you may be wondering. What this is all about. It’s a simple class on how to remain sane.

But I’m not insane? You may be saying to yourself. Nope. This is why you need to read this. It is purposefully for those who think they aren’t insane.

Crazy thoughts pop up in everyone’s head once in while. Imagining scenarios that haven’t happened yet. Attributing situations to individuals who may not be having you in mind. Making you flare up for no reason.

Oh yes. Those are a few of the symptoms. Or you don’t think that is insane?

Seeing someone’s photo with his cute family on your status and you experience palpitations.

A friend excelling makes you feel you inadequate. Insecurity.

Your heart skips several beats and you mean to tell me that is not ‘crazy?’

I’m not only here to diagnose your condition but to show you the cure

First, understand yourself. Too simple eh? Make time to know who you are and what your purpose is.

Self-discovery makes you comfortable in your skin. You get to appreciate yourself better. Your confidence level shoots up even when you are in the most tattered clothes.

You get to know that you do not need all the “beautiful things” in the world to make you comfortable.

And your heart doesn’t skip unnecessarily. Over unimportant situations.

You’ll begin to enjoy you in your little corner. When others start seeing you as weird, that is a sign you’ve finally been cured of your insanity. 😊

***This is 5/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is we are sitting in your class, what can you teach us.***

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#WinterABC – Becoming Delali

Living with mum’s relatives, at the age of six, taught me to avoid trouble by all means. When I was told to sit, I sat. I woke up to mop the floors and do the dishes without complaining. When I was once beaten because I returned home late from playing with my friends, I stopped playing entirely. What is the point of playing anyway? I was told a girl’s place was in the kitchen and she needed to be out of bed by 6am. Who was I to argue? I stopped turning the TV on when I returned from school but headed straight to the kitchen. Jonny Quest, Scooby Doo and Dexter’s Lab held no meaning to my childhood any longer.

Most of the kids in my neighbourhood lived with their parents. They attended the best schools, were dropped off in the mornings and picked up by their parents from school. They wore very nice dresses and their parents also bought storybooks for them. They were generous and shared their books with me. I was introduced to the Wakefield Twins in Sweet Valley (from kids to University), Goosebumps and the Babysitters Club. These books took my imaginations to several places and I loved that. At least, I was not beaten by mum’s relatives for reading.

Ironically, one of my most vivid memories from Senior High School was receiving lashes because I was engrossed in a romantic novel while sitting in an Agric. Science class. Novels still do that me. They help me forget all that is happening around me.

I was once very certain I wanted to be an author. That passion changed to journalism but after working for my University’s radio station for three years, I concluded that gathering stories and the crazy work schedules of broadcasters were not things I enjoyed. πŸ€·πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ

I’m glad I was introduced to God at a very early stage. I enjoyed going to church and I still enjoy it. I’m certain God has a purpose that He’s fulfilling in my life. I never have clear plans of what I want or where I want to be but making time to listen to Him daily keeps the two of us on the same page.

I have made tons of mistakes and failed at some many things but the survivor instincts I possess push me to get things right the second time.

What is your story? Share with us!

***This is 4/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is Becoming (your name) a biographical piece.***

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#WinterABC2020 – Kenkey Tales

Ghana is blessed with some amazing cuisines. I’m not much of an explorer when it comes to food and I only realised how weird our food may to other nationals when a Zambian friend commented,

“In Ghana you guys mix everything. How can you add fish and meat to one soup? And your rice has all those vegetables. How do you call that slimy thing with fish and meat?”

“Okro?” I answered.

I was culturally shocked at the unavailability of spice in most of the Zambian meals I tasted too.

“Where did all the pepper go?”

Implying hot spice may be a West African thing?πŸ€·πŸΏβ€β™€οΈ

Anyway, my favourite Ghanaian meal is kenkey (made from a combination of fermented and unfermented corn wrapped in corn husk). It has this ‘biting’ taste after it has been boiled for several hours. It’s commonly eaten by the people on the coast.

I see how it is prepared but I haven’t and do not intend to make at home. I prefer to buy it and it’s a common ‘street food.’

Kenkey goes very well with spicy ground pepper which could be green, red or yellow (any colour you want) and black pepper (known locally as shito). For the proteins, it is normally eaten with fried fish and shrimps or omelettes, or tinned sardines and corned beef.

How our ancestors discovered such a meal baffles me and when you have kenkey for breakfast, you may not have to worry about lunch.

Kenkey can also be eaten with soup and that slimy thing – yes, okro.

**Cover image: pinterest

***This is 3/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is to write about your favourite local food.***

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