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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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.

 

 

Third Week in da T


Tamale's Artsy Road Signs

Tamale’s Artsy Road Signs

Today marks three weeks in Tamale for me and boy has it been an awkward thirteen days of September.

I start my service tomorrow and I do not look forward to it.

I still don’t have my own place to just hang, yet. I’m still working on that. I’ve got some pretty cool offers compared to Accra but the locals here tell me those are kinda up the tier so I’m still digging around and maybe, just maybe, I’m being cheap.

But hey, things are expensive now, you’ll do about anything to cut costs too I hope.

I’ve made some friends. The newest and possibly the closest or rather, most likable, is an imposing Christian fanatic.

The irony.

Work! Now work, I think I should be fired. I’m constantly being hit with the brutal truth that I can only thrive in a laissez-faire work environment where there isn’t so much pressure and I’m allowed some creative space. Either that or I need a dedicated shrink to pry me outta the overwhelming web of insignificance I keep wandering off into.

My mind is so muddled I can barely think. I can hardly get my thoughts together or get my ass up out of the bare, hot, single-room dwelling I’m currently bunking in. I’m so out of my zone I hardly get online, only managing a few WhatsApp messages at a time to inquire about stuff.

I have been unable to track what’s happening in the world, follow up on stuff that matter to me, heck, I haven’t even been able to push my boy Worlasi’s upcoming tape, do post Chale Wote stuff, check on akolabone, check on ACCRA[dot]ALT nor update Squid Magazine.

I think the lack of mundane stuff like a table and chair is 70% to blame. Like, there is no chair where I am and it really gets to me.

But not anymore.

Furniture or none, my short bout of techno depression is over although I must say, I’ve been on SnapChat a number of times which is interesting considering it is usually the last place I am whether I’m on or off my metaphobe steez and also how airtel treats me here sometimes (I’ve been trying to post since noon).

I can’t wait to get my ass back on IG and FB.

Oh boy.

I resumed work on a story that should have ended sometime in August and I’m positive about myself once again. I believe I’m on track; for what I can’t say exactly. I’m expecting a computer by Tuesday so the pain of my loss at least should be eased.

Tamale from here on should be fun.

Fingers crossed.