My NCCE Apology


I am deeply sorry and ask for forgiveness.

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the National Commission for Civic Education’s Citizenship Week initiative. My intention for the post (which you can read here) was to inform and express my excitement about the initiative.

My post was however misconstrued. In retrospect, my wording was in bad taste.
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NCCE’s Citizenship Week


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[This post was originally written on Thrusday, May 26th 2016]

I have been at my national service post in Tamale for the last nine months. While I haven’t done as much as I would have liked, I’ve done some administrative work and attempted bolstering civic clubs in schools. I have failed miserably at the latter.

Formerly the week marking Ghana’s adoption of the 1992 constitution from April 28 – May 4 as Constitution Week, Citizenship Week was implemented to be all encompassing by the current EC chair, Charlotte Osei. In honor, the National Commission for Civic Education is on a mission in schools to a) sensitize kids on the constitution especially considering it’s election year, and b) bolster civic clubs.

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One Life


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I just watched BTS footage of Worlasi’s process crafting his new song One Life which features songstress Sena Dagadu, has Qube on the boards and Six Strings for additional, well you guessed it, strings.

The track and it’s visuals officially drop tomorrow and all I can say is, anticipate!

Here’s why.

Worlasi is real. His music is a raw expression of his feelings and that IMO, is how music should be. More importantly however, it’s challenging and insightful. It forces you to question your circumstances and leaves you wondering how you didn’t think of it before.

The biggest takeaway for me from the footage is One Life’s message to atheists; make heaven on earth; and theists, if heaven is your ultimate goal, how about a practice run on earth while you can and also leaving a slice of heaven behind for your descendants.

I think most people with heaven as their end goal tend to detach from present realities to the point where they care very little or not at all about the world (think the Crusaders and Jihadists) and Worlasi beautifully conveys this.

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Realer than a Fante Van Damme. 🎨: Bright Ackwerh

There’s also the message about making the best out of our lives, taking risks, making our time alive worth it. We do after all, have just one life to make things happen. Your choice.

I haven’t yet heard the song but I imagine it’s gonna be overflowing with even more wisdom and introspection Worlasi seems to cough out easily each time.

While we’re at it, I’ma go put in some work and jam to his thoughts on DJ Juls’ Man Go Talk. I’ve got just One Life to be Formidable anyway.

Peep the footage below and follow Worlasi, Sena and supremeRights to catch up. Or just follow the conversation on twitter with #OneLife

Peace.

UPDATE: I originally wrote that the song and video would premiere yesterday, April 15. Turns out it will on Monday instead. Friday was just a physical screening

The Humbling Bush


[This was originally written last November. While certain things have changed, many remain the same, the lessons especially.]

Clipart via World Arts Me

Clipart via World Arts Me

Privilege.

Just another word and likely one you don’t care about. That is, until you’re out of [options and] your comfort zone.

Voiding our bowels is nature’s way of recycling what we take from her. If only it wasn’t occasionally a hustle, a hustle mankind has numbed with clever inventions that go lightyears to make it more peaceful and even enjoyable. Shouts to everyone who cherishes their enclosed shrines and go all Socrates on their minds, meditate, relax, spark genius and even have some “me time”.

Privilege.

Living in the north, no matter how short, has been a long-time dream of mine. I’ve been south all my life and have innocently uploaded petabytes of stereotypes into my brain. Coming here was an attempt at debugging them. Taking a dump wasn’t in the code.

A single room with a loo and/or bathroom (single room self-contained depending on whom you’re asking) is an expensive rarity. The norm for single rooms is shared bathrooms and loos, something I wasn’t keen on. The other option is space I don’t need and kudi I don’t have.

Then there’s the ultimate option, repay nature in her domain.

The Humbling Bush.

Your thoughts exactly

Your thoughts exactly…

Eyebrows raised with a look of disgust and disbelief?

Privilege.

I’ve only been a few times but out of necessity and unpleasant relief. My first abode had a consistent supply of running water and a shared bathroom but no loo for tenants while the proprietor and his family have it good. Ours was a public facility that immediately resurrected carefully buried memories of high school. Definitely not, not.

My solutions: a friend’s place occasionally; organizations who either seem to care very little for hygiene or are plagued by indifferent users; and ultimately, the Humbling Bush.

I’ve finally settled in with friends at a hostel whose water supply is unpredictable and far between and has just one loo for the dudes.  Guess what happens when you try to occupy infinitely occupied territory or are down to your last litter?

The Humbling Bush.

Just about everyone seems to embrace it. Old women in long dresses with wads of tissue or desiccated corn cobs, yes, peeps still use those and no, I have no idea how they manage, boys and girls in all sizes and ages, some armed with machetes to afford the Humbling Bush a little decency, and most without a care, at any and every hour of the day are served. Who said death was the only non-respecter of persons?

If you must, I advise you pay a visit at dawn, it’s more peaceful and way cheerier than having a zillion winged monsters trying your patience hovering around your balls or threatening to climb up your wormhole.

“You never know what you got till it’s gone” has never been truer for me. I’ve read a bunch of articles (here, here and here) that note this is a national wahala with long winded promises and expenses at resolution spanning decades. A bunch of bylaws have been passed but sound like flattering poetry and eh, can only do so much.

I’ve no solution in mind just an appreciation for the finer things we take for granted and a weird longing for my loo, the one thing I truly miss.

Chale, people have it worse in several ways and this pales in comparison. Laugh at my pain but inconsistent access to the poddy is killing me.

Privilege is all around us, just pause from your speedy life and think about it.

As for me, it’s been a lesson well learnt.

The Humbling Bush.

 

 

One, Two, Three, Four, Bash!


I recently encountered a fun game whose name I’m uncertain about. Bash, is probably what it’s called. It’s a simple counting game that tests recall, concentration and smarts.

People gather in a circle and count after each other. The fun part is, no one is allowed to say five or any of its multiples. You say bash instead and the count continues. Thus, you get something like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, bash, 6, 7, 8, 9, bash up until there’s just one person left. A fairly simple game especially when the count is slow. Pick up the pace however and it becomes competitive sports that commands you to stay on your toes. You can peep a video here.

I came across the game two days ago at a meeting with a writing group I was checking out. The group, the Young Writers Club seeks to push development in Tamale by educating children to read and write, knowledge is power is the mantra after all. I was at the meet for three reasons:

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I Could Have Died


I am scared. So scared in fact, I might’ve just developed me some hodophobia, the fear of travelling. I currently live in Tamale and could have easily been involved in the horrifying Kintampo accident where 71 people have been reported dead. I’ve had plans since last year to attend a concert in Accra today last Saturday by all means. A pinch in my finances might have saved me? I can’t tell. I am absolutely positive I wouldn’t have used the Metro Mass transit and I wouldn’t have been travelling that day. That however doesn’t take away from the possibilities of such mishaps occurring regardless.

Hodoophobia.

In hindsight, that’s not quite it. The accident doesn’t bother me as much but rather, an unfolding story on Manasseh Azure’s Facebook about a lack of basic hospital facilities like beds, oxygen and ambulances to wheel victims to and from the carnage.

The said hospital has just one ambulance with the capacity of two victims at a time. Two! How would they prioritize victims? What criteria could they possibly use? I can’t imagine how many of the deceased missed a fighting chance just ‘cause they didn’t make it to the hospital in time.

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Back On My Feet


Self medication, I wonder if that’s ever gonna be a thing for me after an unpleasant four days of oscillating body temperatures, lethargy, lack of appetite and plain feeling sick.

Fours day on Ibuprofen and a supper’s bowl of fufu later had me puking, a bitter, phlegmy and sickly yellow expulsion all the while gagging. It doesn’t help that I experienced my gross imagination first hand, simultaneous puking and diarrhea.

Unpleasant.

It’s excellent to surround yourself with great friends. I can’t imagine reaching and footing the hospital bills otherwise.

Great friends.

Hospital information systems in this country are flawed. It takes too damn long to make it to the nurses’ pre-diagnosis and in my case, the coming of Jesus to the consulting room. Don’t get me started on making payments and the back and forth between the pharmacy and the cash collection point.

Urgh.

Institutions tend to forget that at their core is human beings, those who oil its gears and those whom they serve. I am grateful for the show of humanity from the staff. My case (severe malaria) was one for admission but I got detained instead in a staff room in the accident and emergency ward due to a lack of beds in the main wards.

Because, humanity.

I was given four intravenous infusions that lasted hours, especially the last one. I drifted in and out of sleep either sitting or lying and everything between.

A walk back from the hospital, some coconut, a miraculous completion of my medication and lots of rest later, I am back on my feet like nobody’s business.