loving Ghana, You Need a Good Heart

My love for my country has no limit and I hope to continue loving her. But, you will all agree with me that if you don’t have a good heart, you can easily give up on Ghana. In this post I will tell you why you need a good heart before you love Ghana with all your heart.
Sometimes you wonder why we still elect our leaders every four years. These leaders always have good policies whiles they are moving around canvassing for the votes of the citizens. They entice the citizens with sugar coated words and honey sweetened promises, but once they are elected and assume the mantle of authority, they start developing cold feet and that’s where they show their true colors. Whenever they are reminded of their campaign promises, they deny making those promises. Don’t be heartbroken after reading this post. The following issues should motivate you to do more for your country and not break your heart.
It should not come to you as a surprise when you see our contractors still constructing open drains in this country. Whoever gives out the contract should have insisted on covered drains. It seems due diligence has eluded us in the award of contracts. We still construct school buildings with poor ventilation in this modern era. Also most of these schools are constructed without toilet facilities.
Why do we also wait for several infrastructure to deteriorate before we take action? Our stadia, hospitals, tourist centers, roads etc etc are all crying for maintenance but it seems no one cares. Our police service is corrupt and most of our security services’ recruitment leaves much to be desired. They sell more than a hundred thousand forms to potential recruits who are eager to be employed by these agencies, but they end up picking just a minute number of the applicants. This process is even fraught with corruption and the so called protocol list. It will shock you to know that before the forms are sold for recruitment, they have already selected their recruits. Some of these applicants have to part with various sums of money through middlemen with the promise of being assured of getting picked.
Why do we always pile rubbish on our roads, streets, market centers and wait for the government to mobilize people to clear them? You walk through most of our market centers and you realize that vehicles can’t go through them. Most of the vehicle lanes in our markets have been taken over by the traders. Its always annoying and heartbreaking to listen to these same traders lamenting about the inability of the Ghana National Fire and Rescue Service to quench market fires when they arrive at the scene. These same market women forget that they are the same people who have encroached on the vehicle lanes in the markets thereby blocking access to the market by the fire tenders. With this attitude, more market fires will happen unless we change for the better.
We live in a country where everything is given a political color. Someone commits a crime and once the person is about to be punished he is given a political color. What even annoys me is that, anytime a politician embezzles state funds and he is found guilty, the person is dealt with leniently but when a normal citizen commits a crime, he is punished severely. Every government that comes will always abandon the projects of the previous government. With this attitude, how will we develop as a nation? When will we support each other in terms of innovations? Enough of my rantings. I have a good heart so I will not be heartbroken by what I see in this country. If you have a good heart, you can love Ghana to the max. Yen ara ya asase ni (This is our land).

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Our Christmas Past

Many years gone past, Christmas in Ghana was a festive occasion where we had a feeling of belongingness, good neighborliness, spirit of sharing and giving to the extent that we saw each other as one people irrespective of tribe, creed, race or gender. Can we go back and talk about how we celebrated the festive occasion? Several of these local stories will just fascinate and amaze you. Below are some of the stories shared with me by friends who have nostalgic feelings about how they celebrated Christmas some years ago.

Children in the localities will build Christmas houses using palm fronds, which are well decorated with flowers and these huts are well built with a chamber and a hall. We also had bamboo with explosives in them and we blasted till midnight, we light bonfires, children visit their friends in their numbers. The children sleep in these huts till the New Year and the huts are then destroyed. They enjoy having their meals in these huts.

“Also children walk through the communities with some “Bronya” (Christmas) tunes, they sing around the neighborhoods beating some “konkos” (empty tins, Milo or Milk tins etc) and stop by homes and get some foods and drinks as well. Anything goes.”-Naomi Kokuro

“I travel to my hometown and all the towns in that area have picnics with brass band. All the youth from these towns dance through all the other surrounding towns till New year. Each day a different town’s youth will pass through all the other towns singing and dancing. My gradma cooks chicken light soup with fufu and after we’re done eating she gives us soft drinks and bronya biscuits.”-Marian Clara Adeaba

”During Christmas, we will buy firecrackers and engage our friends across the street in a firecracker battle to find out who has the most powerful firecrackers.”-Yao Kumadoh

“We called ours Knockout, every child will cry to their parents to give them coins to buy firecrackers aka knockout so they can light them. It was fun.” “My dad will sew three different dresses for us every Bronya, one each for 24th night, Christmas and New Year. With my new “three sisters socks.”- Marian Clara Adeaba

“Every 24th night we will go to church and sing Christmas songs and pray to welcome Christmas and the birth of Christ.”-Naomi Kokuro

“Every Christmas we will start cooking the special food in the morning and eat it as supper.”-Marian Clara Adeaba

“Our parents prepare food and share with our neighbours. My grandma always buy biscuits, drinks and goat meat and share with the tenants in our house, and ever since it has become the norm.”

“New dresses were sewn for us to be worn on Christmas Sunday. This time, from now till Christmas day, children who are stubborn become obedient. If you like send them to the moon, they will go because they fear you will not buy  bronya atade3 (Christmas dresses) for them.”-Naomi Kokuro

You can also share your stories with me. Tell me how you celebrated Christmas some years ago in your localities.

 

The Great Shapers From Koforidua 3: Edmund Duodu Atweri of the Divine Mother and Child Foundation (DMAC Foundation)

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About Edmund Duodu Atweri (DMAC Foundation): Edmund Duodu Atweri is a 29 year old, born at Teacher Mante, a town in the Ayensuano District, the Eastern region of Ghana and a Registered nurse. Edmund is the founder of Divine Mother and Child Foundation, a maternal and child health non governmental organization based in Koforidua. Maternal health issues has been his passion from childhood when  he saw mothers dying during child birth,  and also seeing single mother’s and widows suffering to cater for their children. His mum lost her mother during child birth which made life difficult for them forcing his mum to marry at a tender age without any formal education. Such stories inspired and encouraged him to be an advocate for maternal health issues.

At nursing college and during practice, he also experienced and saw mothers especially pregnant women in rural areas walk far distances to access health care which included ultrasounds and laboratory services.

Activities of the Divine Mother and Child Foundation (DMAC Foundation)

Ultrasound scan and laboratory investigations are a necessity during pregnancy but it is sad to note that such services are found only in a few health facilities across the country and also not affordable due to the pricing. Most women are disadvantaged hence his dream of establishing an NGO came as a reality. Edmund’s free ultrasound scan services has benefited over 4000 pregnant women who can’t afford in over 40 communities and still counting. This ultrasound scan service is a mobile one where the DMAC Foundation team visit women in their own communities.

DMAC Foundation also offer free laboratory examinations and free health screening which has benefited thousands of women. Through the DMAC Foundation, Edmund has facilitated and sponsored about 15 women to undergo free surgery and other medical conditions.

Through the poverty alleviation project, 50 women have been sponsored to have skills training and capital to start an investment in Koforidua. Edmund is married to Linda Serwaa Tuffour with one kid. You can support this noble cause by getting in touch with Edmund through the details below:

Edmund Duodu Atweri
Executive Director
Divine Mother and Child Foundation
www.dmacfoundation.org
+233506494514

Common Sense

The year is October 2017 and once again another disaster rocked the nation when a gas tanker exploded at one of the gas stations at Atomic Junction, a suburb of Accra. As tragic as the incident was, methinks it could have been prevented if people responsible had applied common sense and performed their respective duties with due diligence. Seven lives were lost with hundreds of people injured, some very critical and life threatening. As we express our condolences and sympathies to the bereaved and the injured, we have to start a serious common sense awareness in this country. Because it seems common sense has eluded us in this country. One will ask why I am ranting and wasting my time to write this? Let me give you my reasons.

Common sense should tell us that we have to rethink our safety standards. Institutions tasked with ensuring safety standards should not just issue directives, but follow up with action. It seems in Ghana, it is more talk, less action when it comes to the enforcement of laws.

Common sense should also tell us that, we should not wait for disasters to happen for people to lose their lives so that our leaders turn the disaster zones into tourist centers and wax lyrically expressing fake sympathies and condolences to the families of the bereaved and injured. I hate to see politicians visiting disaster zones behaving as if their visits would assuage the pains of those affected.

Common sense should tell us that, the government should resource our rescue agencies, and also train them properly for them to be ready to respond to any disaster that might occur. Those at the helm of affairs should also recruit the right people into these rescue agencies and not because of political affiliation to the party in power.

Common sense should tell us that most of the disasters that happen in Ghana are purely man-made and could be avoided if we adhere to rules and regulations governing the siting of fuel stations, gas stations, markets, recreational centers, schools etc etc.

Our journalists or media houses should also apply some common sense when reporting on disasters. They should not conclude when even the relevant investigative agencies have not yet started their investigations. They should also be decorous in their reportage of such issues and contact experts for clarifications concerning the disasters.

Common sense should also tell us that disaster zones are disaster zones and not tourist sites. Anytime crowds of people gather at disaster zones they prevent the rescue and investigative agencies from doing their work well.

Common sense should also tell us that we should not have sympathy for people who flout the laws and we should allow the laws of the land to deal with them to the letter to serve as a deterrent to others. Common sense should also be applied by the relevant authorities when granting permits for the siting of buildings. Due diligence and complete risk assessments should be done before permits are granted.

Our pavements in our towns and cities have been taken over by traders, everyone is trying to sell one thing or the other to eke out a living but the relevant authorities must apply the laws with precision and with no favour. Any time you walk around you should know that a disaster can happen anytime and the rippling effect can be very devastating. When lives are lost during disasters, the visits by politicians, government officials and those who could have prevented those disasters cannot bring the dead back to life.

Ghana is sitting on a time bomb and if we don’t change our attitudes and applied common sense in our daily activities, there will be more gas/fuel station explosions, floods, fire outbreaks etc.

The Great Shapers From Koforidua 2: Samuel Yeboah’s Sequels Ghana Company Limited

 

 

IMG_5402-30About Samuel Yeboah

Samuel is a dynamic and results oriented person who has attained a high level of professional competence to provide a multiplicity of excellent services to individuals and organizations. He has developed an extensive career in customer service, strategic management, entrepreneurship, marketing and compliance activities. He holds a B/A degree in Geography & Resource Development and Sociology from the University of Ghana and he is currently a law student at the GIMPA Law School. He hails from New Juaben, Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

Sequels Ghana Company Limited

Samuel is the co-founder and CEO of Sequels Ghana Company Limited. Sequels was founded in January 2014 as a Corporate, Consultancy and Events Organization. If you are in and around Koforidua and you need cleaning and fumigation services, Sequels Ghana Company Limited will take care of it for you, just contact them.

MISSION: Showcasing creativity and positivity via a blue print of Strategic Business Plans dedicated in rendering the best services and products to Ghanaians and the rest of the world.

 

VISION: To develop Sequels into a world class corporate, consultancy and event organization via a blue print of Strategic Agenda Programs.

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CORE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES:

  • Production of local goods. (beads, accessories, shoes, bags, soap and detergents)
  • Cleaning and Fumigation Services
  • Events Organization
  • Website Development
  • Publication of Tales Magazine
  • Research and Consultancy Services

Nominated for the Startup of the Year award for 2017 in the Social Enterprise Categories organized by TANOE. Samuel Yeboah also runs a YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SERIES (YES) for the SHS: through the YES program, Sequels has been able to empower a couple of 100s of youth where they learn how to make bead making, liquid soap and bleach making, sewing of bags, shoes, etc.)

Products made by Sequels Ghana Company Limited

 

Facebook: Sequels Ghana Company Limited

Twitter: @sequelsGH

Email: sequels.gh@gmail.com

Website: http://www.sequelsgh.com

 

A Father’s Revenge

Emefa was a very hardworking girl and very respectful too. She always greeted any person she met on her way back from school. She was just approaching her 18th birthday. That was supposed to be in two weeks. Her father promised to organize a party for her. She could not wait for that day. Emefa always imagined how that day will be. She told most of her friends about her impending birthday party and they also assured her of their support on that day. Her father was very jovial and welcomed everyone to his house. Thus he was very popular in the community for his acts of generosity.  He never thought that due to his kindness and generosity in the community no one will plan any evil against his family. He had three girls with Emefa being the eldest. Unfortunately things were about to change for the family.

It was a hot Tuesday afternoon and Emefa was returning from school. As usual, she smiled and greeted everyone she met. Two men who looked like strangers were standing by the roadside. No one knew what they were doing there or who they were waiting for. Emefa’s sensed danger just at the sight of the men, but her instincts told her that they meant no harm. She was still not sure so she kept her distance from them. These two men were planning something evil but Emefa was not aware. They called her but she waved at them and told them she was in a hurry to get home. They then ran in front of her and held her hands. They made sure no one was watching them and carried the helpless girl into an uncompleted building nearby. They put a handkerchief in her mouth so as to muffle her screams. That was when Emefa realized what was going to happen to her. They then took turns to rape her. After this heinous crime they left her crying and bolted from the scene.

Emefa crawled to the roadside and met his uncle going home. At that very moment, his uncle nearly collapsed upon seeing his niece in that condition. He quickly stopped a taxi and told the driver to move to the nearest police station for them to make a report. On their way, her uncle informed her father on phone. The police promised to investigate and apprehend the culprits.  Her father quickly informed the family and drove at breakneck speed to the police station and they all proceeded to a hospital nearby. Emefa was treated and counseled because she was in a trauma. They then left for the house. Her father was very furious. He called a meeting of the community members and informed them of what has just happened to his daughter. The community members vowed to be on the lookout for the two men who committed the crime.

Two weeks passed without any news from the police about their investigations into Emefa’s rape case. Her 18th birthday party did not come on as she told her father that until those two men are apprehended and dealt with, she will never be happy no matter how her father tried to make her happy. The following week, on a Tuesday, Emefa’s father was informed that two men had been arrested in the nearby community after they attempted to rape a teenage girl. He went to the police station with Emefa to identify the two men. She confirmed that they were the men who raped her. The men were to be arraigned before the local court the next day. They hired a lawyer and he was able to convince the trial judge that his clients were innocent of the charges leveled against them. This baffled the entire community. They suspected some underhand deals going on between the officers of the court and the defence lawyer. Emefa’s father had no option than to serve justice his own way. He managed to locate the residence of the two men. He asked his brother and two other boys in the community to accompany him on a secret mission.

He informed them of his plan whiles they were in his car going to the residence of the two men. They wore masks and were wielding machetes and clubs. This was in the middle of the night. They got there and scaled the wall into the compound, broke into the house and went straight to where the men were sleeping. They woke them up and gave them a beating of their lives. In fact, they beat them to pulp and made sure that they will never dream of making another attempt to rape any girl in the their lives again. Emefa’s father and his men left the house quietly and drove back to the house. The next morning people got to know of what had happened during the night, but could not point out who exactly was behind this act. The two men under the cover of darkness packed their things and left the community to an unknown location. Thus, if he cannot get justice from the law court, Emefa’s father served justice his own way. Never underestimate a father’s revenge, for it will be served cold and hot at the same time.

The Great Shapers From Koforidua 1 :Joshua Kumi and The Tech Leads program

About Joshua Kumi?

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Joshua Kumi is in his early twenties. He comes from a family of three; A proud African with Ghanaian blood from Okyerekrom, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana but reside in Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He had his basic education at the Universal School, Senior High School at Pope John Senior High and Minor Seminary (all in Koforidua) where he studied General Science and now a Computer Science student, and the current Computer Science Student Association Vice President of the Koforidua Technical University and also an entrepreneur.

He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Pokua Group which includes Tech Leads, Wanderlust Ghana Travel & Tour, iWiNDE IT Solutions and The Pokua-Anderson Foundation. Also his passion and love for volunteering and serving humanity has led motivated him to give back to his community and country as a whole by creating wealth for the people to reduce unemployment and eradicate poverty in Africa through innovation and entrepreneurship.

TECH LEADS

Tech Leads is a nonprofit and non-governmental organization that promotes S.T.E.M education in Ghana by teaching Information Technology, Electronics, Robotics and Internet of Things for FREE in tertiary institutions. Tech Leads was founded by Joshua Kumi in September, 2016 in Koforidua.

This wonderful initiative is 11 months old with about 132 registered students in the mother chapter on the Koforidua Technical University campus where students are taught  how to build, design and host a website. TechLeads is yet to expand to other universities in Ghana and hopefully this will happen by the end of this year.

The Tech Leads Summer Program, which ended recently, which was organized by Tech Leads in partnership with IoT in Africa which is made up of a team of software engineers from the United Kingdom. Tech Leads Summer Program started on the 10th of July, 2017 to 28th July, 2017, where about 18 students were taught Linux, Python Programming, Raspberry Pi, MQTT, Electronics and Internet of Things for free. The students were taken on a field trip to Rancard Solutions and Hubtel in Accra, Ghana to learn more about professional software engineering like to give them a practical feel of what they were being taught in the classroom and were also given free raspberry pi kits after the program.

During this program, students built awesome projects like a traffic light which is controlled by sensors and cameras to aid pedestrians crossing and prevent any accidental occurrences. Three students in a group also built a Home Automation System which secures your home with security sensors and sends you an email with the visitor’s photo to signal you when someone visits your home in your absence but lights up an LED signal when you’re home. Others also built a Woman in Labor Device for pregnant women to use in their ninth month especially when they are about to deliver so that it can send an alert to the hospital for immediate attention. Among these are some of the projects students built at the Tech Leads Summer Program in July, 2017.

Tech Leads mission is to transform ideas into reality through creativity and innovation. They also believe that a lot of Ghanaian students are very talented and creative but lack the practical skills to allow them to bring their ideas into reality so this gives Tech Leads the opportunity to educate and nurture them to bring their creative ideas out to build solutions to Ghana’s problems and also overcome the theoretical learning in Ghana. For more information about the Tech Leads Program, Get in touch with Joshua Kumi via

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/joshua.kumi.71

Twitter: @joshua_kumi

Email: techleadsgh@gmail.com

LinkedIn: JOSHUA KUMI