Thursday, December 4, 2014

How To Date A Ghanaian Girl

As an aficionado of socio-philosophical theories, a seemingly more in depth subject would reflect my thought, but this time I can't hide how a cultural reality I have been dealing with has been seemingly unraveled. I call it a cultural reality because, until being opened up, it's been like walking in the dark with a flashlight not turned on.

Alright let's explore this, I may be right or precise or may be way out of line. Finding a good date would be the dream of most young men, who have a sort of stable life. In my search, I came across several people and that has helped me pop up some kind of unfounded theories about Ghanaian girls. When I read how to marry a Nigerian girl, some months ago, It kind of tickled an interest in finding out what it would be for Ghanaian girls. I didn't pay much attention until I started relating with few girls around me and closely observing them.

1. Be Ghanaian
In one of the webisode of the web-series, the African City, it's major character was dumped by her boyfriend for not being Ghanaian enough. Similarly, in Mary Eshun's, Serwaa Akoto's Diary, Serwaa was being skeptical about being accepted by Ghanaian guys who lived in Canada where she was, because she didn't have the Ghanaian body shape [Mind you 90% of the Ghanaian girls have nice butts, and maybe 95% have big breast]. All these references have a way to point out the significance of having a Ghanaian mannerism and lifestyle in order to appeal a Ghanaian man. Most of my colleagues have attested to the fact that such body shape and attitudes are what defined us.

I have a preference for expressing myself in good English and I always like to have a command over it. I have always aligned my likes and dislikes based on a global point of view rather than a Ghanaian. I like the global view because it's my standard. But in engaging with few girls I realized that when they noticed this attitude of mine, they see me to be unreal and quite hyperbolic and would say,
wo kyer3 wo ho.
In my study of a friend and her relationship, I realized that speaking of the twi language was a very important feature of her relationship. Your inability to express all your thoughts in twi makes you distant to a Ghanaian girl. They would like you, and speak all the good grammars with you, but you'll still be distant to them. Being Ghanaian is about being local, accepting things the way they are without really questioning much. A Ghanaian girl will speak twi to you, if you don't respond as such you'll be at distant with her.

This was closely observed as I began to speak more twi of late. My ability to communicate my thoughts in the local parlance makes people feel at home with me and would trust me more. So one key for you. Be Ghanaian.

2. Have control
Growing up in a high school, where emphasis were made on respect for the females, I have grown to be a person who hugely respects women. One girl who topped my class, and kept the boys at work, built in me a fact that women when given the nod would perform far better. I have always respected women, and don't see why I should be a control freak over them, plus their intuitiveness being a huge attraction for me. But in Ghana, women no matter how much being empowered are subjected to the men. That's why it's quite difficult for a woman with very high standards to find a suitor. This idea isn't only in the DNA of the man, but being embedded in the brain of the woman. Naturally, even biblically, women are supposed to be under the man. A Ghanaian girl knows this so well, so when you intend to be with her, and give her all the power, she ends up abusing it and you. Ghanaian girls like a man they can obey, a man they can submit to. She'll do almost everything you ask her to do, but if you don't posses that preponderance over her, sorry. To date a Ghanaian girl you must have control over her. Note that this isn't bullying or being a control freak, but you must have that sense of authority to silent her.

3. Solve it
Ghanaian guys who have their way with the girls, know how to solve the girls issue. The ability to do this comes from your preponderance over her. Remember we talked about it in the previous point. GH girls like guys who can sort out their conundrums and dilemmas. When you always turn to them for help, they can hardly see the man in you. In marriage this is somewhat different. But to date a GH girl, never ask for her help, especially emotionally. The moment you do so, you let her know you can't handle her.

The GH girl likes her man broke or not to be the kind of man that knows how to fix their problem whether they know how to do it or not. I have always wondered why my sister would call her husband who would have travelled out of town, when her car breaks down in the middle of the road. Obviously, he isn't going to come down and fix it, even my sister knows what to do, but she wants to hear from 'the man'. I put this question before my colleagues at work, and those who were married said, "
you don't know how it feels to be called to solve a problem, even if you can't, it simply means she trusts you more than the mechanic
". So when you meet a GH girl, never ask for too much help, especially emotional support.

4. Never think of change.
In Ghana, culture and norms easily trickle down to descendants. Women have always have the power to trap a man and change him. It's seldom to see a man change a woman. So never think of changing a GH girl. If she has an attitude that you don't like, prep yourself to deal with it or take a walk. Attempting to change her may ruin the whole thing. Especially if she's bigger in size. I would attest to girls really changing a whole part of me. It's natural for GH girls to get their guys to be more responsible, focused and respectable. But it isn't an easy job to try to change a GH girl to become somewhat.

5. But you are the man
There's this category of girls I have always stayed off and I pray God gives me patience to deal with them if they come my way. Well from my personal experience, these girls are easily found in Kumasi. These are the girls that always remind you that you are the man, especially when trouble surfaces, or even at insignificant issues. I had this friend who never called me, and when I asked why, she retorted, "but you are the man", I was quite befuddled, because she knew I wasn't interested in her, I was into her friend, and she was a good friend, why then I'm I supposed to do the calling always. When you date such girls, they'll so depend on you, because YOU RE THE MAN! I am of the firm believe that either friendship or relationship is mutually based. If she likes you as much as you do, she should call you, text you, or do things to/ for you as much as you would. Such girls never solve anything, except you are around. They don't know how to make their own money, they can't fix their own problems, they are the kind of people who end up being frustrated when they are aging and no man is being serious. They think their completeness is in a man. Even if they control their world, they don't mind handing everything to the man because, he's the man.

6. The Frankies
I'm sure we are already familiar with girls who are interested in sucking you up financially, but pretend to be crazy about you. I call them the frankies. I haven't had any serious encounter with such types but I've seen them at display. I recall in school when I was into this girl who usually comes with her friends to study by my lecture hall. I spoke to her, but she never disclosed to me that she was involved, rather she kept asking me to buy her lunch, and the sorts. One day I coincidentally met one of her friends at my hall, she came to look for her brother whose room was opposite mine. She told me to stay of her friend because she sees me as a serious person, and her friend does so to all guys who comes, and she would mock them in their presence. Well I took my cue. Not too long ago I also had this neighbor friend who would ask for fried rice anytime she saw my face, at first I thought, she was being enthusiastic about me and didn't know what to do other than to ask for something, but it persisted, then I knew she wanted to use me to fill her fantasies, meanwhile she doesn't even know how much pizza cost, yet she always want it. Thank God I took my cue. Stay away from such girls, they are time wasters and money suckers.

7. Be a puzzle
A typically intelligent girl is nuanced and won't give you all at once, you would have to work for it. Same way, be a puzzle. If they can easily unwrap you, you'll come across as easy and may not get the chance. Girls like guys they are afraid to loose. I recall few years ago when I was struggling to convince a girl, a senior colleague at office told me, "massa confuse her", I didn't get the whole idea, until I couldn't get her, then I understood what he meant by the confusion he talked about. When a girl has to think twice about loosing you, you've succeeded in confusing her. But if she can clearly see you and knows you can't  really make any difference, she won't give you a chance. Few months after I couldn't get that girl, I was chaffering with her, and I asked her if she had started seeing someone, she told me, yes she was afraid to loose him. This is a very proven key when trying to get a GH girl. Never, I reiterate, never go after a girl when you are in need of a girl. You'll look desperate and hungry, that way she would see the vulnerable you, and can easily play with you. During the chase, it's their time, but never loose your preponderance as a man, because it's a vital key for creating the puzzling you.

*Someone may ask
Someone may ask why didn't I include the "be yourself" point. For me, that's a universal clue, and besides like I said in point 1, being yourself is being Ghanaian. Being at home with your culture and prevalent lifestyle. Obviously for anyone who intends to have a serious date, it isn't a hidden key to be yourself, except you aren't really in for seriousness. Because you don't want to be pretentious and come across like the perfect boyfriend. That has an high explosiveness.

Alright enough said. Note that the writer is single and not dating, so thoughts shared are not proven and may appear deceptive.

Danyl Oppong© 2014

No part of this should be copied or reproduced electronically or used without the writers consent. All content are solely opinions of the writer.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Worth Of A Person

When someone decide to leave our lives, we get worried, at times we feel betrayed, or emotionally torn. Some just let things slide as if nothing happened. Each ever way we decide to react to this departure from our inner world, it's based on who such person was to us.
In Asa's Baby Gone, she takes us on an emotional trail of loosing someone real to our heart. It's been quite a time since I had listened to that song. But as I pulled it out from my library and listened to it, I felt something that I used to feel few months ago, and that was enraptured in the first line of the song. When you reminisce of someone you lost, all that comes to mind, is how much you could have been to this person and for me it's about who the person was and what space they have left.

Either platonic friends or partners, the value of a person is mostly known by us when they exit our lives either on a positive note or not. As Asa first sentence rolled into my ears, I couldn't think less of how much I could have been to certain people. Asa's song was on a romantic note, giving us the impression of how it is to loose someone and still want the person back. I have come to respect 
people a lot these days, because there's no body you can't learn to love when you know their story.  What draws us in is that incomplete and nuanced pieces that we try to put together.  Of course, the more you know a person's story, especially told or demonstrated by the person towards you, you begin to trust this person and subsequently love the person either platonically or romantically.
The idea of being more for someone and understanding them more, always results from first misunderstanding them. Tao Te Ching says this, "One cannot understand one thing unless he or she understands its opposite" and I suppose my pastor didn't mince words when he said, "to understand faith, or to build your faith, you must have first doubted"
What I'm looking at now is becoming someone that loosing me would be a big loss to who ever decides to let me off their life. That's adding more value to my life. Now this isn't about having more money or degrees, but adding the soft skills that will enhance my relationship with people in my inner world. I'm the type when people I bring in to my inner world makes me doubt doing that, I could fall apart. Moreover, I want to be that person whose worth can be felt mostly when one decides to walk away. 

Everybody is valuable, but they become more valuable to us when we bring them into our inner chambers. We can't please everybody and I'm not asking you to start pleasing everybody but in our uniqueness, we carry this awe or aura that spreads across and fill the room like a perfume. 
Why do we choose to be more to certain people and less to others, and still say we treat people the same? It's simply the value we place in each person. We are all not the same. 

As I wallow in my thought of how I could have been more to certain people who I wish they were still in my world, just take that moment and reflect on that one person whom you've placed value on and think of how you could be more to them. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You Must Set Forth At Dawn: Letter To My Nephew

You Must Set Forth At Dawn is the title of Wole Soyinka's new book. The book is said to have political connotations about the Nigerian political settings. I haven't read the book yet, but the title of the book speaks voluminously to me. Usually, when this sentence comes up in mind, It paints for me the perfect words to say to Africans. But this time, the sentence captured the thoughts I have about my nephew.

Somewhere in 1995 or so, when I could barely understand what was happening around me, my eldest brother had an affair with the house help of a neighbour who was also a church member. The house help became pregnant and that brought about a lot of ruffles and misunderstanding between this neighbours and my parents. This was because at that time, my dad was a leader at the church, and he was respected as such, so when this happened, it brought a lot of contempt to my dad. In an agreement to which my dad signed before the church council, which I was privileged to see few years ago, my dad agreed to accept responsibility for the pregnancy and would take care of the girl in question. Meanwhile my brother had disappeared from the surface of the earth. The girl went to her village, somewhere in the southeastern part of Nigeria, around the Niger-delta and nothing was heard from her and her family again.

In 2006, my mum woke up one morning in a prayerful mood, and suggested we go to look for the child. Apparently, my mum had met the girl's uncle together with my other brother. This uncle of hers was amazed at how my mum had brought up her children. He was sorry for causing any misunderstanding years ago, and suggested to my mum to come for the child, so he could grow up like my brother. My father on hearing this news, prayed about it and sent for the necessary requirements to be done to get the child. My parents were asked to pay some money and few days later the child was delivered to us.

That evening as he walked in, I was stunned and saddened. The boy looked exactly like those children from Sudan and Somalia, in hunger and war zones. His clothes were thatched with patches and I noticed he couldn't walk well which I later discovered that he had suffered from polio. With all sympathy, we took him in.
 The next morning, I asked of his name, he replied, "Monday", I laughed disgustingly and told my mum, that name isn't going to last around here, besides his father's baptismal name is Michael, though he has never accepted it, I instantly conferred on him, that angelic name, and has since been called Michael, with his father's name, Owusu.  Michael could barely speak English and had a very bad temper. He told us of how he was rejected by his step father, and how he had to fend for himself by trapping bush meats in the forest. He couldn't really give any account of his education. In Fact, he was lost behind. Michael became a regular addition to the family. 

In 2007, when we brought him to Ghana, and he met his father for the first time, though I wasn't there, I was told he wept. But his father noticing how bush and primitive he was, and he not being able to walk well, told my mum, it's her responsibility to care of the boy. His father wasn't expecting something like this.
 As the years flew by, when I went on vacation last year, I couldn't recognise him anymore. He had grown has tall as me, his face radiating so fairly, and his height seem to have made his polio unnoticed. He has become a carbon copy of his father. I starred at him for a while, then I asked my mum, "have you noticed how Michael has changed?", my mum smiled and replied, "all the people who saw him, when I brought him, are all saying the same thing". A more surprising thing that happened, was that his father brought his friends to come and see "his son" which he had in Nigeria. The son whom the father rejected, now has transformed into a glow. Michael's story is so inspiring. 

Michael didn't start proper school early, he just finished his BECE exams. He didn't do so well. It didn't come as a surprise to me, because I knew his strength academically. Though he had the chance to perform very well. Few months before his exams, I would call him and advice him to concentrate on his studies and do well. My dad doesn't have the time for bringing up children anymore. He's just focused on his Bible, his last son (I'm referring to myself) gave him to many troubles, that he doesn't want to get himself to much attached. My mum too, is occupied with praying for her children's success, that she doesn't also give much attention to Michael. Michael has grown nicely and handsomely, but his values aren't the best. He's has become so cunning. 

Finally he's going to secondary school, and here's my fear. He's almost twenty going to school. At his age, I had already finished high school. He marvelled when I told him that. If he misses this chance, it might be a serious dead end for him. Because at 23, he would revolt and choose to find his own way, which won't end well, and then all the beautiful story would be marred. For days thoughts about him bedevilled me, and all that kept ringing in mind was the title of Wole Soyinka's book. I couldn't think of any else to tell him, than to say, "you must set forth at dawn". 

In Dr. Otabil's book, The Value Of the Dot, he gave an illustration that resonates with this notion. He said to imagine that three individuals are heading for a 9'O clock flight, and the first person is a first class passenger who is privileged to live just about twenty minutes from the airport at cantonments, while the second person is a business class passenger, and stays about an hour drive from the airport, and the third person is an economy class passenger who stays in a village six hours away from the airport. It is logical that the first passenger would set out just two hours twenty minutes earlier, while the second passenger would set out three hours before flight time and hope to avoid the traffic. Whereas, the third passenger would have to begin his journey probably 10 hours earlier, and still frets about whether he will make it to the airport on time. But by the time they all enter the plane, they are levelled.

If Michael would make it at the first chance, then he must set off at dawn. If by twenty two he finishes high school, and passes to go to the university, by twenty six, he'll be done and would have bridged the most gap of his life. But if he fails in the way, I fear, and I doubt that the beautiful story would be marred. This because, his father has two children with his wife to take care of, he rarely supports him financially, besides, if he fails again, my siblings would all think he isn't good academically and would prefer him to learn a vocational skill, and trust me, that is another long way to go. I don't think that's what he needs. Michael needs an education to brighten up, his past and give him a better chance at succeeding. 

Michael, you must set forth at dawn, he nodded his head, after I had told him of Dr. Otabil's illustration. As to whether he understood it, I can't tell. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm Looking For It

I was coming home from work and was pondering over the words of Asa in her songs Bibanke, the way I feel, and subway. I started having flashes of images that describes the scenery of those songs. Everything I saw and heard we're being used to accentuate the song. I began longing for home. I accelerated my pace. I couldn't wait to pour out my thoughts, I wanted to paint what I was seeing. 

My hands began to quirk as I slot in my key into the key hole, I knew I had to calm down. I left the key and took a deep breath, I felt my heart thumping, as if it was going to come out of my mouth. Finally, i opened the door as it squeaks. I turned on my TV, and opted that it reads from my drive, I dashed through the musics and selected to listen to Asa. I was intellectually famished, and Asa was my cuisine that could satisfy my hunger.

As the words began to splat out of the TV's speaker, the flashes began to emanate. I quickly rushed for my iPad, and sat in my couch, ad midst the soothing rhythm and was hoping for the words to flow. Once I get these flashes, I subsequently begin to have an ideation of words and thoughts, but this was not the case. I was getting the flashes but I couldn't coagulate the words together. 

I began to gawk at the cursor blinking with the hope that one sentence from any of Asa's song could resuscitate me. Before I knew it, I had spent almost half of the evening playing songs with no ideation. Where has my inspiration gone to? I asked myself. 

For the next few days I tried to wonder how I had always coordinated that transition from images to words. As much as I tried to work my way around it, i still couldn't write anything. Sincerely, I think I have lost my inspiration and I'm looking for it. I'm suspecting someone but don't want to say it to her face. I hope she realizes the harm she's done to me. 

She used to drive me inadvertently, she was a complete inspiration. Each time I wanted to write, all I needed to do is to convert the images into motion, in which I'm telling her the story, after which translating it into words becomes like writing a story I've heard before, the words so flow uninterruptedly. These days it isn't so. 
She's such a hard worker who loves what she does. Her passion easily exudes and affect those around her, she is the best person I have ever known. But now I can no longer picture her in my mind, and it has been the hardest time for me to write. I'm seriously searching for my inspiration. 

I'm also trying to avoid the dissuasion that, it might be within me, as Asa will say it in her song 360. Something could be within you, but a little drive could trigger it, and ho la la, here it springs up, like water from a dead spring. It's within me, but it needs to be triggered. Thank God we live in a world of varieties of preconceptions and persuasions, so everyone can see this from a totally different dimension. Here is it for me now.

I won't give up on it, even if the skies get rough, I'm giving it my all and still holding on. I don't want to be someone who walks away so easily, I'm here to find my drive and make the difference that I can make. In the end I know, even if I don't find it, I'll learn how to bend without the world caving in, and to learn what I'm not, what I've got and who I am.

Waiting For A Sign !!!

I woke up very early to do my chores so I could avoid the morning traffic that could keep one in it for hours. I had spent hours praying, and was sure filled with the Holy Spirit. I couldn't wait to get out of the house, it's was the day I was going to get registered for my national service at the service secretariat. I pressed my white shirt, and my faded jeans, I wanted something I could move in easily. I checked my time as I dash out of the house, it was 6am. I plugged my ear piece into my ears, and splatting into my ears were contemporary Christian music, that kept my spirit alive.

It took me about two hours to finally find the secretariat,somewhere in Tema community two. apparently I was arriving almost at the deadline for the service registration, and there were a lot of young people who were there. There was a long queue that I had to join and as you would expect from young graduates, there was this long conservation as to why we still have long processes and systems in this modern age. I couldn't spare myself from participating in such an exchange of ideas. Explaining with facts, how all these long processes could be cut short with simple applications that can be designed by national service computer science students. Moreover, I still kept my cool, as I often reflected on the prayer and the scripture I read in the morning. I intermittently looked through my Nokia E66, either reading an article or going through something I had written.

As I was engrossed with the activity of the day, moving along with the queue, a young sleekly dressed lady came to sit few meters away from where I was with her friends, in the same queue I was in. What caught my attention about her was when she brought out her phone, and it was the same as mine. I had hardly seen anyone use my kind of phone, and was quite fascinated about it. As the day progressed on, I kept stealing glances at her, of which she noticed, and from a mere glance, I often caught my self starring.  Since I was ahead in the queue, I had to leave into a room for another process. Whilst in the room, I stood by the window so I could keep close eye on her. She had notice my apparent disappearance, as I saw her turning left and right to find where I had vanished to. It then dawned on me that I was actually admiring the young girl and if I had no serious intention about her, then I better quit starring.

This became the war of the day, as my mind struggled to avoid being in the flesh and being consumed by the spirit. My morning prayers were very intense that I felt it even hours later. I found myself attracted to this girl, and believe that she also  felt the same. Should I go say something to her, or should I wait for a sign ?
This was the question that tried to put my piety to test. On one hand I felt so much in the spirit and didn't want to grieve the Holy Spirit, conversely, I was thinking a chemistry  had already started forming, each time we had an eye contact.
After four hours, I had still not made any choice, and she deliberately flaunting her self in a discreetly nuanced manner so I could notice. There I was unable to move, stock in my seat, and trying to discern from the Holy Spirit. I remember telling myself, If God is in this He'll surely give me a sign.

I had finished my registration and it was time for me to leave, but my instincts won't let me, so I sat on a bench close to the entrance, hoping to have an obscure view of her. Apparently, she had finished her's and was about leaving. She deliberately allowed her friends to leave and few minutes later, about half an hour, she began to walk to the gate. It was like a slow motion, and the slowest I have ever seen. She walked bit by bit hoping I would be loosed from my bondage and jump in front of her to say 'hello, how are you'. She must have imagined me being so shy, and the best way to help me was to delay the time for love at first sight. She spent quarter of an hour standing at the gate resting her shoulders on the pillar that held the gate, optimistically expecting that at least it would be so obvious for me, and the heavy POP over my mouth would be let loose. Whilst I was seriously contending in the spirit like Jacob had with the angel, saying unless you give me a sign I would not let you go.

She finally took a long gaze at me and began to go, my legs became so heavy, and my heart thumping as fast as possible, I began to inadvertently mumble tongues hoping that the holy spirit would show up quick before she vanishes into thin air. Right before my eyes, I saw her vanish, never to see her again, neither did I receive any sign from the Holy Spirit. All I told myself was, if she is mine, we'll meet again. It's been three and half years now and I'm yet to come across her shadow.

I'm literally laughing at myself now, what!, I mean what on earth could have overshadowed my mind to think like that. Seriously, did I really need a sign ?, what sign was more than all that she displayed. I wonder how I had become such a half or slow-witted person. This was one of those times I had come close to finding love, that I find myself contemplating between making the crowning move and the indecision of waiting for a sign. I'm sure the Holy Spirit was somewhere laughing out His head out, shaking his head, saying, I have given you... a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. I just can't believe myself, that I needed a sign, hmm, this incident opens up my mind to other opportunities I have had in my life where I sat overtime trying to conjure some kind of sign that will give me the approval to take that leap.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Ghana Story

I WAS WATCHING the evening news, being saturated with reports from business forums, educational symposium, with a highlight of an everyday ghanaian who is challenging the status quo. This was sometime in 2009. Each time I turned on the tv, there was something going on that had positivity etched in it.  My mind was triggered and aroused to the growing amplitude of positivity and change that was hovering through the media, into our country. Quite frankly, I was ecstatic and felt enraptured. I was optimistic that my country, will soon become like the world leading ones with suzerainty.

Coupled with the advent of the internet boom; technology, business, education and socialization were all readjusting to suit the transformation that was soon to spread like a wild fire. Every where I went there was a conversation on what to alter and what to bring in. My mind was stirred to the full. I reminisce those days when, I would spend hours on my laptop over night, fishing for information about new technology, new paradigms, new education, just about everything new. I had a lot of facts, to talk with. My classmates would secretly come to me, and tell me how they admire my vast knowledge in various themes.

Most churches were also involved in sensitizing their members to embrace the new culture of change. The old Ghanaian culture was on the verge of being crucified. Though a lot of people were embracing this paradigm, yet quite a huge number of people still wanted things to remain the same way they were. Such people gave me a run for my ideas.

As the days went by and gradually translating into years, everybody went on doing what they knew best, hoping that tomorrow, the change will happen. I can say for a fact that, most Ghanaians thought the change thing, was something that we would wake up one morning to realize.

Two years down the line, it seemed the so called change and positivity was phasing out...everybody was getting on as usual, but for the generation X and Y, they began to explore opportunities. I saw colleagues and friends develop sophisticated softwares and applications. Some were pioneering and venturing into business development, training, full time motivational speaking, authoring, and a whole lot. It was one of the times I was really happy to be a Ghanaian.

I participated in online forums, that discussed transformation, I joined teams to help create and develop solutions, I was a hot cake for technology ideas and development updates. Few thought I might become Africa's Zukerberg. ~If only my balls could hold it.

Somewhere in the middle of 2011, one morning, listening to the super morning show, on joy 99,7fm, with Kojo Oppong Nkrumah hosting the show. And as usual, on a Thursday morning, at 8:45Uncle Ebow Whyte would come on with his inspiring food for thought article. On this Thursday, I'm sure something denigrating had happen in the social circles that required the response of government officials. Uncle Ebow before reading his article, made this assertion that I would say gave me a different perception about Ghana. Uncle Ebow retorted to Kojo, 'you see, I'm tired of this Ghana story', he continued, but I couldn't pay anymore attention, my mind felt the resounding effect of those words.

Well for me, life carved a new path for me, and I decided to give heed to it, though it wasn't something I really wanted to do, it was a different alternative, which I have been trained to work in, but I might seem to be foolish and a flibbertigibbet to walk away from an opportunity of a life time. That was to take a job in the engineering industry, quite different from what I wanted to do.
But for the whole of Ghana, I never heard anything again, as the whole country sunk into polarisation of the elections. This time it was becoming obvious that we aren't really going anywhere, as structures were not well maintained and government officials looted funds to engender their political interests.

Just after the elections,on the 26th of Januarythe only Ghanaian statesman I have respect for and hold in high repute, Dr. Otabil also confirmed this assertion in one of his speeches. He spoke as he was building a point, "Quite frankly, I'm tired of this Ghana story" this point, I could reconcile this recurring assertion with all his classic sermons that highlighted significant roadmap and cultural realities that spoke to our pertinent situations. Sermons like 'Go Borrow Vessels', 'Do you understand what you are reading ?', 'Dominion Mandate' and the likes, though with biblical connotations.

Along the year, I saw a drift, Ghana was indeed rising,but the government wasn't responsible. Few citizens had decided to take the responsibility of changing their world. Again, my hope sprang up like water from a dead spring. I knew there was going to be a change.

From where I sit now, March 2014, all I can see is complacency. Ghanaians have really disappointed me. I have my personal resolution and determination right. But all of a sudden I have been awakened by a cultural reality. This is not the Ghana I was envisaging. The culture is beginning to stifle me. Over the years, my mind was focused and fixed on the new Ghana. My thinking and lifestyle had began taking shape of what I perceived to be the new Ghana. But like a beggars wish, I can only ride the horse of the new Ghana, in my dreams.
You'll go all out, oh Ghana is rising, Ghana is changing, we are going somewhere, all the positive believe and blah blah blah...for me my dream of the Ghana I thought I would see by now has been shattered merely by the cultural reality that has dawned on me.

Few years ago, I dared to dream that one day, my culture would have gone through a massive transformation, and our complacent attitudes of 3ny3 hw3, 3be ye yie, and fa me Nyame would have been replaced with probing questions and refuse to "take things as they're".

Government officials have proven the more, that they can never make this new Ghana a reality. My peeve has nothing to do with taking my dream and future in my hands, rather the cultural disposition of everyday Ghanaian.

Ghanaian Christian music just don't amuse me, with lots of shouting and few words to ponder on. Only few of them do really aim at transforming lives. When I listen to my favourite singers, and watch their documentaries, i see effort at transforming lives, other than just making money out of their talent. That's the purpose in the first place. I wonder if any of these singers ever stopped to listen to the likes of Kari Jobe, Audrey Assad, Darlene zchech, Matt Maher, Mattew west, Benjamin Dube, or the countless others whose beautiful voices could entice the most hardened of eyes to shed a tear ?

I'm just so exasperated when Ghanaians who know well that our country is etched with different dialects, cry out for one of them to be used as an official language. We in the first place are in the dim, hoping to find light, now we want a dialect to be our language, for the French and British to learn, before doing business here, we had long lost in oblivion. It hurts me when the substandard media, become the leading voice of the nation.

I'm not tired with the Ghana story per se, but I feel being choked by our cultural perspective. The moment you begin to rattle the English language for more than a minute, you are considered as "too known", Haa...I feel as if suffocated when my colleagues at work think I have a problem, just for speaking English oh...

The little said about the mafia spirit the better. The "me ba aha ky3 faction", always wanting things to look like the way it has always been, yet they lack the courage to face it, given into chopping peoples back, while smiling at their faces.

I just need a cultural change, a place where we are not judged as a book by its cover. Where we pay attention to life transformation, impact and really affecting people's life. Sarcasm is so much on the rise, everything has to be ridiculously put. And should you avoid sarcasm, you'll be considered immature. The truth is that this culture is choking me.

I met a young lady, at an event last year, I was recounting my experience with a friend, who couldn't wait for me to land, but cut me abruptly, with the usual Ghanaian tone, 'eeei be careful oh, these kind of ladies ehh, hmm'. Apparently, I was fascinated by her disposition to the activity she was engrossed with. I couldn't stop watching her sync her note pad, with her laptop placed on her laps, referring to each one as she explains something to those who were with her. Her English articulation and her indepth flair in literature. This is what my friend has a problem with. Besides, I have watched him loose a relationship of 4years, ask me who was to be blamed, oh the lady of course, but to me he was the major cause. On his account to how they broke up, the girl was simply complaining about his stinginess and lack of progress on life.

He would rather pile his money wherever suits him, than to give a pin to her, the only thing he does is to take her out, that's all. Meanwhile, I saw the girl sacrificed her time, and few resources to helping him. So I'm to take caution for his mistake ?...of late I have been seeing him around with some local girl, who can't wait to be all over him, with that 'yes me wura' look. I have better moved him from friend to acquaintance.

To be exasperated is little to mention, of my mood, when after offering to give to the church, which to me is giving to God, two friends walk up to me at different times, saying, "eeei you have money oh", a sarcastic way of saying, you don't have anything to do with your money enh. I boiled up inside, though putting up a facading smile. All I would have expected was, oh Dan, God really bless you for that bold step you took, may God richly reward you and give us the courage to do so too. Instead, I'm seen through barbed lens, as if being deceived by the pastor, which for some time threw a doubt on my faith.

Seriously, I'm often befuddled, at these idiosyncrasies. I work with a guy, whom we got employed together. He being more stingy, -as I can best describe- thinks it's quite ostentatious for me to rent more than a single room. That's just by the way oh. He lives in his single room, wears the same clothes everyday, buys cheap shoes, and lament for even spending a dime on food. Yet, has a problem with me, as to why I have too much money. Let's juxtapose this. I just paid, GhC 4,800 cedis for the two bedroom self contain I live in, I live far away from work as opposed to him, who lives in the range of the work bus, and of late, gets a colleague to drop him off after work. He doesn't pay tithe, and I will dread to see him give more than Ghc10, to his church. Who is supposed to be more loaded? Yet he accuses me of being stingy and not buying a car. Just look at this. It took a divine revelation for me to understand why he sees me that way.

I don't know why God just place me in a world where I have to deal with these arrant nonsense. My pastor, will best describe this as, God makes all things work together for good to those who love Him.

I have been so silent about this place...all I do is watch in silence, while I burn inside, and my dream being shattered. Few weeks ago, I don't know what came upon me as if like the baptism of the holy spirt all over again, I just don't take it lightly with anyone who decides to urinate, or defecate, or sell fake products. That's just the least.

Ghana is rising, but our culture like a hook held on to our progress is pulling us back. When I listen to people reminisce about the good 'Ol days, I can't find any difference. We just haven't gone anywhere. I cry, bleed and suffocate inside. I don't feel as a Ghanaian.

Church to some extent these days is also joining the local bands of 'we are Ghanaians', and have decided to deprive me of my joy in The Lord. The local songs sang everyday at church just don't get to me...the only thing for me the song does to its audience is give them opportunity to shake their bodies. I need the words. The words break me, and transport me out of my mortal milieu, not to mention that I can't even sing most of the songs, I had to learn a few so as to sing along.

Enough of the ranting, I will do what I can do best, but in the meanwhile - no, in reality time, I'll stick to my world. I might loose friends, but I'll better be alone than with another person who will infect me with his cultural deficiency

I'm not complaining, but I'm recounting my shattered dream of the Ghana I once hoped for. I wonder what I can do to fix this dream as I continue in my war against the cultural reality that is dawning on me.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

That's Life

'That's life'...this is fast becoming my mantra, as I say it to myself, each time I come face to face with reality. When I can't afford something, or I can't have someone, I quickly pass it with, that's life. When I say it, I don't feel consoled neither do I get pacified, but it makes me more aware of my life and it's opportunities and challenges. That's life

 How many times I have fallen in love and it being thrown back in my face leaving me empty and soul searching. At times, I would make myself believe that I've got a problem...later on I'll realize nothing is wrong with me, and that's life

I recently offered to give to my church, and whilst I was praying and preparing my heart, so that I could get my blessings in return, I heard a voice (it was the Holy Spirit) deep and loud inside of me, telling me that God is not a money doubler. Honestly, this wasn't easy for me. I kept praying and hoping to hear the voice clearer. But for days, the voice reverberated in my ears and head severally. I though learnt a lesson in dealing with God, yet in reality it was hard to come to terms with. All I could assure my self was...that's life

I was listening to an article being read on radio, the article talked about the fact that in this life, we may never see what we ever wish for, and they might forever be locked in our fantasies. We may never hear what we want from the people we wish they had said it. This is nothing about life being unfair, but how life is probably supposed to all ends up in my head as...that's life

Early 2013, I learnt to say the serenity prayer. It's one of which everyone should recite every morning. I have often times heard Fiifi Banson of peace FM, reciting it each time, he begins his show. I like the line that says..." Oh lord teach me to know what is right and give me the courage to do it, help me to know what I can change and what I cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference". I believe that the wisdom of life lies in our ability to discern the distinction and variation in the things we can boldly do and that which our strength and courage can't suffice. 

Life is full of incongruities and vicissitudes. Like the tidal waves, the fluctuations in life can drain us of our passion and peace. Life till climax, will never be able to answer certain questions. Questions like why do bad things happen to good people? No sooner have we plunge in to the faith, do we come out choking, asking questions, as to why we were almost drowning. 

For me, this very moment of my life, happens to be a time I have just regained my faith after being shafted by doubt. Doubt that softly permeated in, in my quest to understand sacrifice. 
I think my whole life, has revolved around understanding sacrifice. In a chaffer with few colleagues, I was awakened with the reality, that sacrifice means, I won't get anything in return. It may happen that I may receive a reward some worth, but the cruel reality is that I might never get any, and might even be paid with evil...that's life.

I like to be loved, when I love. I like to be given back, when I give out. I like to be called back, when I call someone. I like mutual respect and relationship. But life doesn't guarantee that. The better I suss it out, the better it is for me. That's life. 

Though life has it's vicissitudes, yet it also has beautiful moments etched in it... Discovering those moments can at times be dissuading, yet it takes perseverance. Just to have peace, you have to fight for it. Quite ironic. This reminds me of a quote by Tao Te Ching, "One cannot understand one thing unless he or she understands its opposite"... To understand faith, you should understand doubt; to understand love, you should understand not being loved...that's life.

I don't know how you cool off, when the uncertainty of life hits you. I hope you find reflection in this. That's life.