#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?”

🤷🏿‍♀️ 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. 🤷🏿‍♀️

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?🤷🏿‍♀️

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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The Purpose of The Christian Blog Ghana

The Christian Blog Ghana has gone through a number of phases in its development and the platform turned five years in May (2020).

Initially when I was creating this blog, the larger vision was to provide Christians an avenue to add their voices to the blogosphere. I thought of a platform that was going to motivate Christians to share their opinions on subjects concerning them. In other words, we were going to be a community of Christian bloggers but that has not happened yet.

As the days went by, I realised I was not getting as much content from my fellow Christian brothers and sisters as much as I had envisioned, thus, I had to carry my own blog on my shoulders 🤣🤣

Perhaps, I did not market the blog properly or the people I contacted were not prepared to create free posts or they were not real bloggers. A big shoutout to those who heeded to the call and still provide me with guest posts.

The good news, however, is that I possess some level of creative abilities and I’m able write my own content. So currently, I have modified the posts I put up here. Even though, I mostly write from a Christian perspective, I have decided to give my creative voice exposure here as well.

I haven’t given up the hope of creating that community of Christian bloggers, though. Send me a message if you are interested in joining this community.

The lesson: Don’t create a blog with the aim of using other people’s content to grow your audience. You must be ready to take up the challenge of creating your own posts.

***This is 2/22 of the #WinterABC2020. The prompt is to state the main goal of your site.***

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The #WinterABC – Why I’m Late to the Party

I know I am three days late. I planned to take part in the Winter Blogging Challenge but when it was getting to the time, I developed cold feet.

I felt I wouldn’t have the time to produce content each day because of the deadlines I needed to meet with regards to other aspects my life.

But this is a once-in-a-year opportunity to create content and socialize with other bloggers from Africa, thus, I have decided to take up the challenge.

I am playing catch up today and pledge my commitment to go through the entire #WinterABC.

I am taking part in this challenge because it is going to give me the opportunity to create content each day (for the next couple of weeks), read the works of other awesome bloggers and to learn a thing or two about blogging.

Even though I’m late, I’m happy about my decision to take part in the challenge so let the party begin.🎉🎊🎉🎊

For those who may be interested 👆🏾

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Books Review: Francine Rivers’ Her Mother’s Hope & Her Daughter’s Dream

There could not have been a much better time (Mothers’ Day) to read these two books – Her Mother’s Hope and Her Daughter’s Dream authored by Francine Rivers. The books’ theme centred on strained relationships between mothers and daughters that span about five generations. It began with Marta and Hildemara in Her Mother’s Hope, running through Her Daughter’s Dream with Hildemara, Carolyn and then, Dawn.

Marta, a stern woman, largely shaped by her childhood especially by her not-so-good relationship with her dad, who hit her at the least provocation including when she excelled in her exam. She was pulled out of school, sent to an institution that taught house-keeping and after acquiring those skills, had to work for her father in exchange for the cost of tuition. She finally left home and that began her adventure of meeting people and acquiring new skills especially in catering. Her entrepreneurial skills, drive and the money she acquired allowed her to set up her own boarding house which she later sold. She got married and moved from one point to the other with her husband and their four children. Marta was particularly stern with her first daughter (Hildie) who she saw as feeble and very much like her own sister who died at a young age.

In her Daughter’s Dream, Hildemara becomes a nurse, gets married and has two children – Charlie and Carolyn. You may think that the strained relationship between her and her mother would make her a better nurturer. Instead, circumstances kept her pushing her daughter, Carolyn away and straight into the arms of a child molester. There was a lot of misunderstanding between the two, stretching their relationship further till Carolyn goes to the University where she meets Chel, indulges in a lot of vices and vanishes for about two years. Carolyn comes home finally and her family discovers she is pregnant and the father of that child, unknown.

Carolyn also begins another strained relationship with her daughter, Dawn, because of obligations she needed to meet. Her daughter, Dawn grows quite beautifully (even though she also makes some mistakes) and becomes the one who helps to reconcile her mother Caroline, and grandmother, Hildemara.

The book is about these wonderful women, their relationships with each other and their husbands and children (both strong and strained). There were lessons of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, reconciliation, romance and, how Christians and pastors treat people who may have sinned. Both books take readers through a number of remarkable world history including the World Wars, America’s war with Vietnam, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in the 2000s among others.

My personal takeaway from the two books is to be deliberate in the relationship I build with my child(ren). Unconsciously, it is possible to transmit negative traits I may have acquired from my childhood into the family I’m trying to raise and there is that possibility of my child carrying that into her family as well.

I always fall in love with the male characters Francine Rivers’ develops but my favourite in this series is Carolyn’s husband, Mitch. He was given the difficult task of loving a very battered wife and a stepchild whom he loved nonetheless.

There were definitely aspects of the story that I could not relate with, particularly, when Dawn drove through one part of America to another, admiring geomorphological features and getting sad she could not stop to visit those places. I felt that aspect of the story dragged. I could also not relate with a pregnant woman, in her last trimester who had been diagnosed with another life-threatening condition, managing to drive for several days to another location with a terrible weather condition and no hospital close by to patch the relationship between her mum and grandma. That was a little to the extreme and a lot could have happened to Dawn.

Nonetheless, Martha’s Legacy are definitely must-reads. I loved the various characters, my heart skipped, there were portions in the book that saddened me too. I was disappointed and other aspects had me closing the book to imagine the scenes before continuing. This only goes to confirm my earlier assertion that Francine Rivers is an awesome writer, probably, the best when it comes to Christian novels.

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A Mum’s Pledge

I vow to be a good mum.

I intend to make you my friend even when you’re too young to understand me.

I’ll do my best to protect you.

I’ll teach you the love of Christ.

I’ll show you the power of prayer.

We shall enjoy each other’s company no matter what.

We’ll have genuine conversations to know each others thoughts and feelings, especially when you’re growing.

No one will hurt you because I’ll be praying for you.

In my capacity, I’ll provide for you but I’ll allow you to explore.

When you disappoint me, I’ll let you know but I’ll forgive. Learn to do likewise.

I’ll use my experiences as a beacon to teach you about life.

I’ll make time to know you and all that concerns you.

I’ll teach you to love people.

I’ll not downplay your purpose, talent and personality.

I’ll not mar your dreams, instead I’ll help you to fulfill them.

When it’s time to fly out, I won’t stop you.

You’ll excel in all that you do because I’ll continually pray for you with all my heart.

So help me God.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging

Seven years ago, I fell in love with the act of blogging. I thought the most essential skill needed for blogging was to be a good writer and writing was something I enjoyed so, cool beans.

Instead of feeling proud for blogging consistently (well almost) on different platforms, here I am in 2020, sitting behind my laptop and reflecting on some of the stuff I have discovered for myself on this journey.

In 2013, when I started, I wish someone had told me that:

  1. Blogging was not just putting words in electronic format but it was a deliberate act that required a lot of dedication and consistency. One needed basic blogging, marketing as well as some graphic designing skills.
  2. Using WordPress (the one I am most familiar with) is like managing any other social media platform. It requires constant engagement with your readers and other bloggers.
  3. Knowing the purpose for starting a blog is key since that would guide you to select a suitable name, design and topics for the blog.
  4. It’s your space, don’t limit yourself. If a particular niche is restricting your creative abilities, you can gradually make changes to the blog by including other similar subjects. That should provide you with topics to blog about.
  5. As much as you’d say your blog is not a personal one, it would be great to fold up your sleeves a little bit. Write a few things about you so readers get to know the face behind the blog.
  6. If you are concerned about getting a lot of followers, keep being consistent and engage with other bloggers as well. Read their posts and leave fair comments. They MAY notice and follow you (stressing on ‘MAY‘).
  7. What is the ultimate purpose for the blog you are creating? Is it for monetary gains, to market your writing and editing skills or for socialising purposes? That must dictate your tone, your choice of words and the style of writing you’d employ.
  8. Don’t get intimidated by other good bloggers instead, engage with them and let their works inspire you.
  9. You do not need to be present on all the social media platforms to promote your blog. That may even be counterproductive. Being present on one or two additional platforms should be enough (especially if you are the only one managing content on all of them).
  10. The WordPress app on your phone doesn’t bite. On the other hand, it allows you to blog easily. Use it!

How long have you been blogging and what lessons have you picked up? Do share 🙂

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