All posts by Dela

About Dela

Blogging on what makes Ghana the friendliest country in Africa and on the rhythm of African poetry.

TOMORROW,THE WORLD ENDS!!

So today is the day before the end of the world!! How simple!

People have a knack for making things up paa!! I have been thinking that maybe when today comes, I shall write my last post for the people who have sold their stuff, packed the rest, updated their wills and held their last family meetings in the hope that the stubborn ones who will be left behind when the rapture occurs will not be quarrelling over property. I intend to leave them something to read too, to kill their boredom if they wake up in the morning and realise that the woman who runs the joint at the street corner just suddenly disappeared and her daughters are too lazy to keep the family business running. So much for the boys’ favourite hang-out!

Countdown
Countdown
So this morning, I went for a walk and saw a woman hurrying to someplace only heaven knows. She was dressed covered and looked so much in a haste that you’ll bet she knew something about the whole end-of-the-world conspiracy. I greeted her like every good Ghanaian boy will do. She stopped, blank-faced, and it took forever for her to just notice and respond. I walked past her anyway and went on to minding my own business. If people will only now remember that the many wasted days in the past will be accounted for just tomorrow, they will not have left things to the last minute before getting confused over a simple Good Morning. This morning was nothing god for her and she made me know that.

At work today, peeps will be talking about tomorrow and cursing the board for not quickly approving that long-standing salary increment they mentioned only yesterday. Then boys can blow some fast cash before judgement too, eh? I thought the back-bencher life of boys sitting in the last rows of lectures and passing comments about this or that only ended in the university. Here we were at work yesterday when a certain bank sent two missionaries to come and preach the righteousness of their new credit facility to staff who wanted to probably take loans before the end of the world. One regular guy and another very pretty, high-heel adorning, black and pink attire prettified, Slerch or other designer spectacles displaying, cat-woman of a beauty. Immediately they walked into the conference room, an unusual silence crept over the place. The type that can make a lady short on her supply of confidence just take an overdose of and stumble upon. And we were all guys in there. They were introduced and the guy just took the mike and kept blurting the benefits of the loan away, the poor guy. Nobody heard him. Immediately the young engineers at the back realised that he had finished the presentation (and no one had any questions for him, by the way), they screamed at him to give the mike to the lady to have the last words. By force!! She was stunned!!

So she steps up, takes the platform and sweetly sings in a lullaby of a voice, the extra benefits of the loan. In a third of the time spent by the dude. Come and see boys!! Now, the questions were flowing, with many promising that they will surely take this loan for kingdom come and was there ever any loan with terms and conditions better than this one?? And the woe!! When the moderator finally took the mike and said the meeting was formally over and that the bank people will hang around for all the personal questions people had to ask, wasn’t there immediately a queue to get to the front to ask as many ‘personal’ questions as boys could think up before it got to their turn?? Haha, and judgement day was only two days away, little shameless flirts!!

So, I’ll see those men at the town hang-out playing draught for the last when I get back from work. I guess lunch should taste extra special from the kitchen today and the lady should serve everyone a ladle more than she normally does. After all, it can win her some points to take her to heaven too and probably if she still does not make the cut-off point because of some nocturnal behaviour nobody knows of, the dudes who get to heaven can put in a word or two to the Master in her favour, don’t you see? Some wonderful recommendation that will be, eh? It’s time for work!! Get ready for the end of the world…put on your best apparel and be extra nice today, who knows?? You may be called early to come and usher the rest of us in and probably serve the food at our table in heaven. Please, I will be the guy in the corner with the blue face towel, so serve me well, eh? Thank you very much.

BACK TO GHANA- UNLOCK YOUR MIND – GARAGE48

One Team
One Team
I love stuff like BarCamps and idea-sharing meet-ups and I can’t seem to have enough of them. Guess what’s being launched today??? Garage48!! Yay!

Ok, don’t start giving me that “what is he talking about?” face because I have been away for a very long time. Let me tell you what this one is about and you’ll see. You’ll forgive me quickly.

Garage48 is the ultimate original solution to reversing brain drain and improving local innovation. Think about it. More Ghanaian peeps study abroad, acquire skills and then never return. Some companies also insist on hiring expats who are paid ten times our local salaries (plus work permits, working cars, working accommodation, working everything) and who leave after a short time. And all this while, some brilliant Ghanaian mind that can do the same thing is being wasted. Not anymore!! There is a project that is bringing employers and back-to-Ghana employees together. And this is only one of the projects at the Accra launch today the 15th of May.

The project is called the Back to Ghana project and they have an audacious task ahead which they are bracing quite nicely. Let me put it in my friend Ethel’s own words, who is part of the team.

Back to Ghana brings back home talents from abroad and connects them with Employers and Business opportunities!
There are a lot of companies in Ghana who hire expat because they want somebody who has learned in foreign university and have experience of working in Europe, States, wherever. But there is a lot of Ghanaians out there with same values. So why hire an expat for who you need to get a work permit (which is very expensive) and who most probably will leave after few years working here when you can hire a Ghanaian with same knowledge and who does not need a work permit to be hired in his home country and who would be a much more permanent and more loyal employee.
Or if you have gained your business management degree abroad – very good! But come and start your business back home – it’s easier here!

I totally agree with this project. And why not, it’s about bringing all those wonderful Ghana peeps back home. Anything for Gh. (Guest blogger Abena calls Gh her own modified version ‘jee aych!’ It’s cool, ankasa, anaa?!!)

So Garage48 is supposed to bring creative innovators together. People who have a solution to local problems like matching home-seekers with landlords, an EazyResponse app that helps schools get in touch with parents via constant notification, an Electronic Personal Assistant , Housing Directory, a Unified Public Private System for document sharing, archiving and retrieval by institutions and an online retailer. That’s awesome.

So, drag your lazy, home-sitting behind all the way to the Kofi Annan Center today and witness the Ghana launch and I tell you you’ll be a better person for all you’re worth. And support the Back to Ghana project.

Follow their feed on twitter with the #GARAGE48 hash tag and get more info from their site here. Thanks to my Estonian pal Ethel Köök for drawing my attention. And look out for her group too, launching the Back to Ghana project. Site here

So what are you still waiting for, eh???

11 REASONS WHY GHANA IS THE 11TH FRIENDLIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

Every Ghanaian is a Black Star
Every Ghanaian is a Black Star

Did you read that article on the rating by Forbes? You people don’t read kraaa. Okay, here it is.
But I think there are some cool reasons why Ghanaians are the eleventh friendliest people as a bunch in the whole world. I’ll tell you why.

1. Oh, it’s nothing!!

Herh, Ghanaians can use this phrase papa. Anybody does anything even deserving of a sound slap and he can walk away cheap because the person who will deliver the slap will tell you, Oh it’s nothing!! My foot!! Go to Nigeria and see! They have been delivering hefty slaps since!! Typical Ghanaian: “Your house is on fire.” “Oh it’s nothing!”—–“ Your country is the 11th friendliest in the world!” “Oh, it’s nothing, really.” I mean….ah!!

2. Kelewele

Imagine that you have come from work. Your mind is on some serious fufu. You’ve got one chilled bottle of Alvaro in the fridge to wash all your sins away after that. It’s getting late and the fufu is not ready. Then you smell kelewele….

3. Weekends

Do you know how we spend weekends in this country? No. Nobody knows. We are always making noise: “Weekend, Weekend, Weekend, yaay…” but when it comes, no one knows what to do with it. Then we drag ourselves grumpily with our large heads of complaints out of bed on Monday because work or school has come!! Sankwas nkoaa..

4. Luis Suarez

The day Suarez pushed that ball out of goal, the whole nearly 7 billion of the world was watching. Then we didn’t find even one Ghanaian to punch him in the face…Yeah, right…we are friendly people….

5. Wembley

When Ghana played England last Tuesday, the world rocked to our gyama beats. The whole England turned into Nima for us, no size. We had our fun at the stadium to the extent that a certain Ghanaian boy called Danny Welbeck who had opted to play for England instead of us, started having second thoughts. He wanted burgers instead of aboolo. Now he wants aboolo…

6. Twitter

Some of you are still stuck on facebook. I can’t believe it. There was a certain December afternoon that #EnglishMadeInGhana was trending worldwide on twitter like hot cake. People were saying all sorts of funny, whack things in the name of Ghanaian English. And they were pointing accusing fingers at my blog too for contributing this article! What have I done? What have I done?? Me, I don’t like that oo, yoo!!

7. Our Daily Bread

Nobody has ever died of hunger in Ghana before. Do you know why?? We beg too much!!

8. Hearts versus Kotoko

People never play fair. The day Kotoko came from Kumasi to Accra and beat Hearts 2:0, the Kumasi people were chanting at the stadium that because Kotoko has won, then Akuffo Addo and the NPP too should be given the 2012 presidency just like that. Hearts people didn’t talk. The last time Kotoko people came to do such foolish things at the stadium, we know who went home with a swollen face….

9. Satellite Dishes

Now, even if you pass by a mud hut, you will see a polished dish smiling into space. Yes, we are happy people…lol

10. Asamoah Gyan.

Ah, this guy is supposed to just play football and score. But since we sent him into the world, he has been dancing saaa, what do you think the world will think about us??

11. Ghanaian Movie

It has to be up to part 11, at least, otherwise nobody will buy it. Herh, we are so happy…

COME AND SEE CRAB-CATCHING TAKORADI-STYLE

Mehn!! That game was something else. Ghana and England. When we finished, some dude said that based on the away goal rule, Ghana had won! Ei people! But, seriously, the atmosphere was something else. I’d love to be in that Wembley of a stadium one day oo. Hmm…one day one day!

Okay, if you’ve been reading this blog paa, then I don’t need to tell you I’m in Takoradi. And many times after work, I like to stroll at the beach, let the waves come and sweep my feet, write poetry as the tide comes and goes and watch the sunset. Mine, the best place to watch the sunset is at the beach, like seriously. All the elements are present. And I get to have a far-off view at those ships docking at the port at Sekondi too. Hey, last time I decided to take a few shots of the sunset. I was dreamily carried away.

The Sunset I witnessed. Pretty.
The Sunset I witnessed. Pretty.
Just before sunset
Just before sunset

Ei, and look at me at the beach watching the sunset again when this man comes with a piece of a barrel that he has cut in two. He walked past me and continued to go. None of my business but I continued to look at him go. No suspicions though but if you see somebody with a barrel on his head at the beach, tell me it’s not weird and let me keep my mouth shut! So I keep looking until he stops in the sand at a safe distance and starts to scoop the sand out where he’s standing, making a hole. Curious me, I hurriedly approached him for a sight of the whole thing. And guess what, he was setting a crab-trap.

Okay, so this is it. He dug a deep enough hole and put the half barrel inside it. I was like, Ah! Any sensible crab will see that! And before I could say Jack, he covered the barrel with a slit rubber sheet and put sand all over the side to hide it. Then he put those husky fibres that we all throw away after the palmnut soup has been made, all around his trap and put a rudimentary flag on it. Trap complete. Tomorrow morning, we will come and find crabs, he told me.

Hiding the barrel
Hiding the barrel
Finished Trap. And husk to dope.
Finished Trap. And husk to dope.

Ah, is that all? Apparently, these crabs will come and eat the husk, try to reach what is in the barrel, fall inside through the slits on the rubber and will never be the same again. Ahaaa, I was now getting it. So I told him to save some of the soup for me when it’s ready and just imagine a broad smile with two missing front teeth. Yes, that’s exactly what he flashed at me, thank you very much.

I want so bad to go into photoblogging huh! I have a feeling there are too many nice sites in Ghana to miss sights on. So, keep your fingers crossed for me, eh? When I do, I’ll keep the biggest shouts for you people who have been reading my blog even when I’m not updating it. What sense do I write anyway?? Some guy met me in town the other day and his friend, my friend as well, told him I was the guy who wrote that funny article they read that day ago, and see this dude just burst into uncontrollable laughter. Ah!! I mean, me too I have feelings oo. Letting the whole town turn their attention to me like that!! What’s my crime??

Too many nice things are happening in Ghana right now, I can’t even keep up with them all. But I’m sure that before I leave Takoradi, I would have set my own trap and caught the crabs some. Maybe koraa I will start a crab farm. And export. And stop getting funny people laughing at me in town. So help me God.

MEMORIES OF GHANA – AND INTRODUCING THE ISHEST GUEST BLOGGER ABENA

Okay oo. I have been chatting up Gifty Abena Otiwaa Arhin!! Wow, stupendous name for a marvellous lady, ha! She’s turned out to be the greatest fan of this blog and she keeps telling me the oohhs and aaahhhs. So I was like, Ok, why don’t you just guest-blog for me once? And people, I have been laughing saaa. She’s going to be our resident guest blogger from outside GH. I thought Ghana-lovers were few!! So, from the Ghanaian Diaspora, Abena says:

Ghana At heart
Ghana At heart

I have waayy too many memories of Ghana o, but I’ll try and write about the ones that are particularly vivid in my mind. First let’s start with the asoma asoma.
Asoma Asoma.. ooo charley, this was an exercise on its own o. No wonder I had such great metabolism. After school, you get a cup and make some quick gari soakings, and then right after that, the asoma asoma begins. The errand-running! Go buy me some tomatoes from the woman at the pipe, Go ask the neighbors for some “egya” to light the coal pot.
Were you one of those kids who forgot about the things you were supposed to buy the minute you arrive at the store? Well, I was one of those kids, and I remember when I was about six years old, and my Twi wasn’t all that great, and my aunt asked me to buy “kawu” ( that grey-ish thing that is added to okro soup to make it extra slimy, at least I think that’s its purpose). So I went to the woman at the store near our house, and the minute I arrived at the store, I forgot why I was sent to the store in the first place. But I refused to turn around and ask my aunt again, so I proceeded anyway and I said to the woman at the store:
–“ Maame meretɔ adeɛ” ( how I came up with kalikway, I don’t know)
– “Wotɔ deɛn??”
–“Meretɔ kalikway”
–“Wose wotɔ deɛn?”
–“Meretɔ kalikway”
–“eii.. na deɛn so ne kalikway”
** by this time the woman is just laughing at me and asking the people around if they know a thing called “kalikway”. So the woman decides to actually ask my aunt what she asked me to buy. She takes a couple of steps forward and yells my aunt’s name, and my aunt opens her bedroom’s back window and answers. (can you say close-knit neighborhood?)
–“Sister Akos, deɛn na wosoma akora yi sɛ ɔnbɛtɔ?”
–“Ɔtɔ kawu”
–“Ooohh kawu. *laughs again** ɔbaayɛ ɔse ɔtɔ kalikway”
And that was how I got my very first nickname.. kalikway. From then on, my aunt made me pronounce every item before leaving the house to buy them.

Food
Oohh sweet, amazing, tasty Ghanaian food. I haven’t had some Ghanaian dishes before like tuo zaafi, but the ones that I’ve had are pretty delicious like fufuo. Ok, now I know there are some rare Ghanaian species out there who don’t like fufuo, and I always say to them, what soup did u eat the fufuo with for you to not like it? Because the awesomeness of fufuo depends mostly on the tastiness of the soup. If the soup is bland, then the whole meal will be bland, but if the soup is chicken soup (GH style not these Campell chicken soup in a can) or nkatekwan or nkate konto with angwa (tr:snails) then I don’t see how anybody cannot like fufuo. (yes it’s fufuo.. fufu is the brofolized version). Then you have ampesie and nkontomire stew, yɔɔ kɛ gari ( noo oo all you asante and akyem people it’s yɔɔ kɛ gari not yɔɔ kɔ gari, hehe don’t worry I always thought it was the latter too), jollof rice, waakye, hausa koko, koose, tea-bread, tom brown ( why is it called tom brown?), nyaadowa stew, mpihu aka mpotompoto, omotuo, palm-nut soup, yɔɔyi, etc, the list goes on. By the way, am I the only one who thinks that okro stew/soup tastes much better when it’s a day old? On the first day I always prefer to eat banku with pepper instead of okro stew.

Games
Aww games. I think girls had more variety in games than boys. We had ampe, those hand games like Robert Mansa goalkeeper number one, we also had those bam bam bambaleeya games, skipping rope, oh and of course “nkuro” where we practiced our cooking skills with empty cans of tinned tomatoes, sand, and anything. The songs we sang along with these games were the best! For example “bam bam bambaleeya” what exactly does that mean? Aha nobody really knows. Check out this post by Esi Cleland on Ghanaian childhood songs. The post and the comments say it all.

Family
I grew up with my aunt, grandmom, and a million cousins in one huge house. ( well not really a million but close to). It gets even worse during the school vacations when other cousins come over to spend the vacations. Sometimes I went over to spend my vacation with my other aunts and uncles and cousins in Accra. Good times there as well…. Going to Nandos, Frankies, etc, and then at the end of the vacation you return with provisions like Kalypo (eii does Kalypo still exist?? ) . Aahha and whenever school re-opened you flex small with your provisions. I remember one time I returned to school with these flower-shaped wrist watch and a fruit-scented eraser, and a soft bendable ruler. Ahaha the way I made new friends eh… nyɛ small.

Oooohh Ghana..good times…good times.. The place where I learned how to ride a bike and fell into a bush while learning it. (yep I have the scar on my right leg to prove it). The place where I had amazing time-managing skills (one of the rare benefits of ECG’s on and off wahala, u learn to finish all of your homework while the sun is shining, and iron all of your school uniforms when the power comes back on). The place that would forever be my home. I miss you like harmattan pawpaw (why do Ghanaians say that eh? I need to try harmattan pawpaw and see how it tastes like)

Follow me on twitter @Delalorm and follow Abena @notasinglestory

OSEIKROM EXPEDITION – AWAY TO AMERICA!

Did I tell you that I love poetry? You people have not been reading my poetry blog here. Shame on you all!

Ei people, I went to Oseikrom last weekend for a Christian gathering of all universities in Ghana. Yes, it’s called Intellecto. And I had to minister a poem too. It was breath-taking. I had spent the weeks before trying the lines out at the beach with the waves sweeping my feet. Mehn! That was something!!

Ahaa so we are in Oseikrom. Kumasi. And on the Monday before I’d leave, I had to take a trotro from town to campus and have lunch with some very good friends I had left since last year. So, see me, an unassuming young man looking for a ride and here comes a huge bus. No way, not your ordinary trotro come calling. Just look at the picture here.

America. AWAY!!
America. AWAY!!

And the mate and driver were shouting all over the neighbourhood – Adum, Kejetia and so on. Only that, they were so excited about the abnormal trotro they had brought into town that, they affected everyone with their exuberance. Come see this driver screaming America, America, America on top of his lungs!! Yɛrekɔ America. And the heat caught on! Women who had market wares, and pleased that they had a big bus to carry all their stuff, literally run over each other just to get their tickets to supposed America. It was a happy scene, I tell you. And to make matters worse, both the mate and his driver were wearing neat white singlets and blinks around their necks, making them look typically Siano and moderately Yanki! No size kraa. So come and see! The market women joined the chorus once the bus set off, screaming their own America, America, America through the windows of this huge bus that turned heads with all the noise that we were now making on the bus, calling other people to come join us on this once-in-a-life-time journey to America. Adum! Grown men and women like that oo. It was not easy.

I mean, that was supposed to be enough, right? Wrong! It got worse when we got into trotro district where other buses came by-passing us to pick passengers along the way when we stopped ourselves. The women left the America calls to the driver and focused on the small buses. Insulting these other drivers they were, accusing them of not having any respect for women who have market wares to carry, with the silly excuse that their buses are too small to put up with such nonsense!! The women heaped thousands of unmentionables on them, saying that they will forever drive small buses all the days of their lives until they learn to respect unsuspecting market women who mean them no harm even. I didn’t have time to hold myself back. I was laughing it all away as we drove on. And did I even hear one woman scream from the back that our driver hurry it up so that our big bus can pick all the passengers on the way before the small buses get there? So that they can drive their small buses home empty and drink water on their hungry arrogance, who cares?? Oh my, Kumasi gave the fun! I was sweating with laughter.

Ok, so I’m back in Takoradi and two days ago, BBC started transmission here in the city on 104.7fm. I love their reportage so I’ll tune in when I’m in town and I’m not on twitter. One lady was granting an interview on yesterday’s transmission and she told the journalist that she walked into Tullow Oil and told them she wanted a job. Plain as that! They said to her, “but you are still in the polytechnic?” and she says, “I want to be sure that when I finish I will have a job so I have come to settle matters!” That’s what I call VIM made in Ghana. So if the oil people have come around thinking they are going to get things cheap cheap and walk away, they’ve got one more thing coming! We are ready to take charge of our oil and make sure it works in our proper interest, who is asking for qualification? In Ghana, everyone is qualified to do every job, tell them.

And so we are here. Let’s keep loving Ghana. And happy belated 54th Independence Day to everyone. Ghana Rocks.

EI PEOPLE, CHECK OUT THIS PRESS RELEASE

20 February 2011, London, UK

Helios Towers a leading wireless infrastructure company in Africa has confirmed its participation as a platinum sponsor of the upcoming Mobile World Ghana ICT & Telecom Summit at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre Accra, come 28-29 April, 2011.

Ghana is host to some of the biggest names in the ICT & Telecoms Industry. These include, Hon. Haruna Iddrissu, Minister of Communications, Ghana, Dr Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Chief Executive Officer Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization, Mr. Paarock Asuman Van Percy, Director General, National Communications Authority, Dorothy K. Gordon, Director-General, Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT Ghana, Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Innovations, UK, Charles Green, CEO, Helios Tower Group, Mr. Kofi Attor, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), Alhassan Umar, CEO, Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) Ghana, Edwin Alfred Provencal , Managing Director, National Communications Backbone Company, Bright Simons, President, mPedigree Network, Tony Pretorius, Chief Technical Officer, Helios Tower Africa.

The summit will bring together over 200 decision-makers from Ghanaian operators and international stakeholders with an interest in the market to share experiences, knowledge and ideas with a view to overcoming the industry challenges. The 2 day summit agenda will address all aspects of Ghanaian ICT & telecoms strategies for attracting investment, broadband connectivity for all, solutions to boost operator ROI, Regulatory challenges & opportunities, infrastructure development, VAS and local content for Ghanaians, subscriber acquisition and retention strategies, mobile banking, customer loyalty, future trends and more.

This is a must-attend for anyone working in or looking to do business in Ghana’s ICT & telecoms sector.
For more information on Ghana ICT & Telecom Summit please contact:

Tony Burkson, Conference Director, Tburkson@mobileworldmag.com Tel: 0044 (0)7976435658;
Mac-Jordan Degadjor, Media Liaison, Macjordan.Degadjor@gmail.com : Tel: 00233(0)243329841.

www.GhanaTelecomSummit.com

HAVE YOU GOT ANY CREATIVE IDEAS? WE ARE SCOUTING!!

Okay, listen up! You people all talk too much!!

Initiative
Credit: MSNBC photoblog
I saw this cute pretty picture of an Egyptian woman affectionately blessing a policeman on the cheek in horrid broad daylight last week, when they were stressing their country’s president to get the hell out of the Pharaoh’s own country. The thing is this: if you are a Muslim woman in a Muslim country, you have not even a teaspoonful of a right to go kissing anybody in public, no way!! So the woman had what I call I N I T I A T I V E; you all sitting there and letting pretty loves walk away from you for the lack of it. It’s two days after Vals day and people have already scrubbed that old joke dry by which guys pick a fat beef with their girls just days to Valentine, giving them the right to keep off conversation for the whole period, with the intentional intention to save money on not buying anybody any horrendous gifts. Hehe..it works, I say. Right after Vals day, the beef is automatically settled. You ask me and I say that’s nansince!!

Yes, I was talking about initiative. People, I found some interesting group online doing marvellous things with that word. If you remember those boys scout days and how they polish you up like a tin soldier ready to march away your troubles, just transplant that idea to how serious they are about finding out new ideas in West Africa and making the world know about it, and you got it right…hehe. Ah haa…what’s their name kraa again? Erm…um..oh, how can I forget? Shoot!!
Maybe when I say more about what they do, it will help me remember, yes? Thank you, thank you. A little patience, okay? Ahaa!!

Ei, this is serious oo. I still can’t remember their name! I remember that every week, they bring out two new ideas or ventures as well as analysis from relevant leading innovators and entrepreneurs. Plus, every month they host a week-long online debate, discussing innovation in Ghana and surrounding countries. I know that it is something something Scout but the first word is like…innovation, initiative, genius, mehhn!! I think they got it all and they look for it all too. Maybe that’s why one word doesn’t describe them well yet. Oh, but we will find it.

I remember reading an article from their site on Innovation and ..ahaa, I remember the name!! But if you think I’ll tell you right now, you got one thing coming for you. That article was on Inspiring A Generation of African Children’s Authors and I thought it was a lot cool because those old Ananse stories we have been telling ourselves are now so over-recited, we can even say them off our head in our sleep. And, Ghanaian children are tired of hearing them, we all know. So, scouting an idea like that is most welcome, see? We should hear more interesting stories coming up not too long coming. Oh, I wish I were a kid afresh!!

Okay, so the thing is this: if you have any interesting innovation or idea you want to share with the rest of the world, and you are in West Africa, and you have been winking in the dark at that lady, meaning that nobody sees what you are doing, please, get in touch with The IDEA SCOUT right now and…oops, I let the name slip!! It’s your fault, letting me talk so much…

The Idea Scout
The Idea Scout
Yes, The Idea Scout will find you out and spread the word about your work like the Gospel, even political campaigns will look silly in comparison. I think it all works out well. So the idea is to get you connected to the coolest investors and also to get the coolest investors know where to invest their money.

My friend works in an office where, when somebody mistakenly dozes off mouth-open, the rest of the squad set on to making the silliest jokes about why you can’t find a fly when you need one!! To fly straight into that mouth and wake you up till kingdom come. They are joking!! But seriously, I think everybody’s got to go sleep and wake up with big dreams for the Idea Scout. Be you a budding entrepreneur, start up executive, management consultant, marketing director, trend watcher, journalist, private investor, business development officer, venture capitalist, NGO director, social activist, part of the diaspora, or just discontent with the normal way of doing stuff, theideascout.com can provide you with the widest-smile of an inspiration.

Let’s get to work and make this happen for us all, have you heard?? Start right now and click here. There you go…you have opened a door to seamless opportunity. No, that door is like the door to the world for your innovation and The Idea Scout has been keeping the key for like forever, where the heck have they been all this time even?

Yoo, let’s keep the black star shining wherever we go and let’s get serious about it, eh? And when you start something pretty creative, just be sure that you know where to go to make it advertised for you. As for me, (singing) “I’ve got my mind made up..and I won’t turn back…”

HANNAH UNTO WHOM HANNAH IS DUE

Herh!! You think I typed the title wrong, eh? Be there and be wasting your own time. If you haven’t been to Ghana and heard us speak, shut up and suffer!! Too Known!! Honour roll.

Ahaa, as I was saying, I’m a two-week old Takoradi-born, thank you very much for the applause. And as you know, me dierr I won’t be there and hear people say crap in Ghanaian language and leave them scot-free, no way!! So the first thing I hear when I get here is some guy emceeing a show and goes like, “Yes, so let’s give Hannah to whom Hannah is due”. Please read that again and make sure that this time, the H is very heavy. Hhannah!! Ahaa, that’s right. I clapped the loudest for him in that place, eaven (for Heaven) knows best!! Oops, there the guy goes again. After the programme, someone screamed his name out and I realized that ahh, he was Ga. That settled it for me!!!

Ok so we hall know that some Gas ave a beef with their H. It goes beyond words, mehn! They miss the H where it should be and use it when they don’t need it! So we were in church the other day when, just before offertory, I had taken my wallet and taken out a crisp note as my offering to the Lord, after all, He has been faithful. So, in the pious midst of holy brethren, all faces lit up like sanctimonious angels, imagine my utter shame when I got up and loudly dropped a 5pesewa coin..it just rolled out of my pocket…. I was like “Shoot!!, that was not me, I promise. That’s not what I was going to give. I never…” But who will hear?? The coin had done its business, lying there on the floor right next to me, accusing me loudly of ingratitude!!! Certainly, I could give more than that…and God was worth more, you see! It robbed me of the confidence to pick it up, even. After church, I looked in the place where it had fallen and lo and behold, it was gone. Mysteries.

That reminds me…some pretty little girl came to give her testimony and said hasn’t the Good Lord done so much for her? Hey lady, He has done for us all, okay? And she went on about how just a week ago, she had a headache, and hadn’t it been the devil and his co-workers who had come to take her head away? “They were pulling my head while my body was sitting there!” Hey, no laughing!! This is serious business! So she made frantic calls to her Christian friends and they all came to pull against the devil, a mighty tug of war it was until her head was finally let free. Halleluyah! Amen. One dude was so excited about this apparent victory that he said from now on, no one should listen to the devil when he speaks because lying is his mother tongue and that we all will be missing the truth if we go playing with the devil. Acknowledged very much!

There is an old school Twi praise song that translates that If the devil worries me I’ll give him canes, hiding behind the Lord, I’ll give him canes. Crrrrap!! After the testimony time, come see young people on fire for the Lord, giving the devil his worse beating with careless abandon, uncaring what the circumstances be. Oh, I love these young people.
So, I’m settling into Takoradi very well and happy that far away on this coast we can still find Ga kenkey straddled along the best boutiques in town. We are enjoying Ghana here with the best Ga accent you can find…somebody say a mighty aalleluyah…uh erm…cough..cough.

WELCOME TO CHURCH AND WELCOME TO TAKORADI

It’s two minutes to February 2011. I am in Takoradi.

And so what??

Oh!! I came here for national service and please, Takoradi is the place to be. But heck, who wants to know anyway? A certain girl called Afua Mary. You wait and see!!

I went to church the day after I arrived here, thanks to my wonderful host family, the Akwetteys and I loved it. It wasn’t the sermon ooh. You know, inside Ghanaian churches, right in the middle of the service, some handsome guy behind the pulpit could just tell the whole congregation to get up and welcome ourselves, shaking whichever kind hands are thrust at you. Here go people shaking hands like nobody’s business, amidst singing songs like “We are together agaaaaaaiiiinn” and something something something. Young men who came to church for extra-curricular activities leap at the chance to walk straight up to that fair lady in the corner and give her a long-plotted hug, signed in the name of the church. After all, we are putting up our innocent polished faces and welcoming each other, no bi so??

Ahaa!! This is what I was saying. I drove straight into Takoradi late on Wednesday feeling tired and stressed. Accra spat me out like a 21st Century Jonah, me naa my life was never the same again. So when I got here, I was looking for adventure and something to cheer me up. Straight to church after work on Thursday!!
So in the middle of all the “Shake my hand”, “pat me on the back”, “give me a hug”, “welcome me to church”, I was looking for somebody to steal my affection and tell me I am in the right place. The right city and the right church. You know how finding a new church you can trust can be a task!!

I shook a couple of hands, fake-smiled at a couple of people and said a few hellos here and there. I was returning to my seat in the second row in front when someone tugged at my hand. I turned eye-level and saw nobody. And who is this adorable little girl I see when I look down?? She came all the way from the back to shake my hand and wasn’t she shy?? Immediately my eyes met hers, she squeaked her face with the back of one hand and turned embarrassingly away, smiling to herself. She was even too young to be running here on her own and I was glad that if there was any genuine hand I shook, it was hers. And she’s hardly five years old. Ohhh, she made my day!! So I’ll be at Covenant Family Charismatic Church for the next six months, ok? Just in case the witches are looking for me. I will drop my address later.

Ahaa, so this is the city of Fantes. When I was growing up, I had this strong affection for Fantes and their way of doing things, not least how they speak. So being here is a dream come true, really. (herh, this one don’t tell anyone oo!! I even told a few people that I thought I was going to marry a Fante one day…hey it’s okay!! Your ears itch you too much, ahba!) Every Fante sentence is closed by an English word or two, you see. And I jumped straight into the pot to find out that even their names are like that.

So this is me passing by a large house where a woman keeps yelling on top of her voice, “Afua Merlly, Afua Merlly, Afua Merlly yeeh”. Yes, you got that right. It was Mary she wanted to say. And some bubbly little girl came skipping out of the house, amused at the sweet smell of her name all over the neighbourhood. For me, this is the perfect: WELCOME TO TAKORADI!!

So I’ll be blogging from Ghana, yes. But I am now in the oil city and I’ll be giving you Fante kenkey, sea fish fried, octopus and news from the Western Region. Hopefully, by the time I have to leave this place, if I ever do, I will get a few more converts to love this T’di. Ahaa, that’s the shorthand which we like to spoil ourselves pronouncing as Taadi. And people, I should get a camera soon, don’t you see? So that I can serve you original Ghana pictures too. I didn’t hear an Amen to that!!

I love Ghana, Lawd!!