Tag Archive | Ghana

The interview

I sat across the room
Staring nervously
A deep voice echoed
“Tell us about yourself”
It was that simple but
It hit me like a ton of bricks
“Who am I?”
Did I need a panel to ask me this?
I have asked myself this question
Yes more than once
And to say that I knew
The answer is a big deception
So I replied honestly
I hope I get the answer
At the ends of life’s journey
When there is no breath left
And all seem to agree on
Who I was

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To the teacher who made me hate mathematics

Dear Sir,

I was just a child who wanted to learn and who enjoyed school because my curious mind was being fed. I wake up early with the excitement of going to school to learn and play with my peers, until there is a quick and painful awakening of what awaits me early in the morning during your lessons.
I was not very fascinated by numbers but I wanted to find out what I could accomplish with them nonetheless but the sound of your cane descending on our backs early in the morning put fear in the center of my brain and I could not think of any other thing apart from the pain that was synonymous with your subject. I remember all the meanness as if it was yesterday and I don’t know if you just derived pleasure from inflicting
pain or it was just a teaching method gone badly.
As I write this I am struggling to remember your name that is how much I fear you sir, so much so that I dread to even remember your name. Every morning in school was torture for me as there was what is known as early morning “mental” (any Ghanaian student knows the caning that goes with that word). It was supposed to be a morning brain teaser before the main lessons but it soon turn into a caning bazaar.
The pain you inflicted was supposed to make force us to take the learning of mathematics more seriously but it ended up filling my whole being with dread and hatred for all things numbers and for years I struggle to deal with numbers. The choices of courses later in life were determined by the absence of numbers because I did not feel worthy of numbers.
My friend and I who constantly got canned every morning came up with ways to cheat (something I was not proud of) so we would not have a sour back to take home. As you would instruct us to exchange our exercise books with the person next to us and mark each other’s work, the two of us would quickly exchange our blank exercise books and write out the correct answers for each other as you wrote them out on the board. This was our only chance of escaping the consistent forced relationship we had with your cane.
I am not totally blaming you for my natural weakness with numbers but you did little to encourage me to find some fascination with numbers.
Today, I have come to terms with the fact that I am just not good with the formulas and rules that go with numbers and I will rather read books and analysis characters or write poetry, but I do wonder what my relationship with numbers would have been had you not forcefully broken us up.

I am my blog

When I decided to start a blog, it was a battle between sticking to poetry which is my niche or mix different genre of writing. I realized there is so much to write about and I might not always want to express myself in poetry so I decided to mix things up. I didn’t want to concern myself too much on what basically to stick to because I was excited I am finally going to be able to share my poetry and different perspective with others.
Some people would like us to believe or are able to separate their “SELF” from their writing but I am a firm believer that you can’t be a good writer without giving at least a little of yourself away. Most of the time and by that I mean all the time, my writing (especially my poetry) is provoked my very own emotions and experiences and therefore it is hard for me to write without giving a piece of myself away to my readers. My poetry is full of little “hidden” life stories of myself.
All I am trying to say is that I am what I write basically and I am happy to be able to share part of me with others near me and across the globe.
When I say I am my blog these are the reasons why:

1. Not very consistent: those who have visited or who follow my blog would realize it has undergone series of changes from its name to the general appearance and that is me right there, I find it difficult to stick to a particular pattern and therefore I am constantly trying to put a new feel or appearance to either my house, appearance, writing etc. I always belief things can be improved upon. This has its short falls because it makes me appear as someone who can’t make up her mind or decide on what she wants.

2. My emotions are on a roller costa: my poetry is especially an indicator of how constantly my emotions change. One moment I am writing a very sad poem at other times I am trying to capture the magic of life or my experiences. Click on any of my writings and you will know immediately how I was feeling at the time.

3. Some post have no likes: we all have posts we have invested so much time to write and yet no body “likes” them and so there are days when I am not a very likeable person. It could be because I come across as cheeky or too brutal with my utterances. Whatever the reasons maybe my blog and I have those days when we are just not likeable period!

4. Love for pictures: I believe that where words have failed pictures have triumphed because a picture can speak louder much more than words. I love to take pictures and thanks to selfies it is now cool to self-indulge in pictures. On my blog I try to add pictures to most of my writings so that the visuals can help communicate what I am trying to say as well as give people the freedom to interpret my work the way they understand it.

5. Love for culture: I am from Ghana and as much as my country has a lot of challenges I still love my country and the diverse culture. My blog brings part of my culture to people who know little or have no idea about it at all. I share my culture through my writing. My blog has a feel of the Ghanaian culture to it.
So there you have it, anytime you visit my blog feel at home and know that I am sharing a piece of me with you.

A mug of memories

The whole house is filled with memories of us

except for a small corner in the bathroom

where sits a mug full of memories of her

This mug holds our tooth brushes but to me

it is the last of the memories they shared

He said it is a gift which no longer holds any value

But to me it is a mug full of memories

Maybe I am out of my mind but I am jealous of

what memory that mug holds for him

So this morning I stood before this mug with an evil smirk

Suddenly both of our tooth brushes are in hand while

shattered mug pieces sprawled across the bathroom floor

He asked if I was ok and hope I didn’t sustain a cut but

it was no accident for the mug had overstayed its welcome

I have finally put a piece of her memory to rest in the trash bin

****Note from a jealous lover

Why I fear the words strong woman

Image

There is never been a day where I felt like I should be a man (oh only during moments when being a woman does not favor me). Growing up in a culture where being a woman is limiting and yet having a grandmother who commanded so much respect and fought the odds to achieve everything she has ever wanted for both her children and grandchildren, I was aware of the strength of a woman from an early age. My grandmother mirrored it all and was known as “De Gaulle” (a nickname she was given because she was thought to be strong, firm and strict like General De Gaulle of France) because of the power she exudes.

I must have unconsciously picked certain characteristics from her because I always want to work hard to achieve all that I ever wanted. I wanted to earn my own money so I could spoil myself and buy what I wanted. She taught me the value of hard work, honesty and independence (but she did spoil me rotten too). I remember my first day in the boarding house, I was merely a child (in Junior High School) but I was so aware of myself and my surroundings (unlike many who looked lost and in tears) that the then headmistress said to me “you don’t need a school mother” (So I gladly never got one).

I therefore grew up depending more on myself and I have realized since finishing school and working that most people I have encountered turn to tell me I am a strong woman. That is a compliment or should be a compliment but for some funny reason I become a bit uncomfortable and turn to ask the giver of such compliment to further explain what they mean by “strong woman”. This might stem from the fact that I have come to believe (I say this because it might not be a widely accepted belief) that statement has some negative undertones. When people say you are a strong woman in this part of the world I think they mean one or the following;

  1. That the woman is somehow difficult to deal with
  2. She is ruthless in speech and in dealing with others
  3. domineering in her dealings with others
  4. The “I know my right” kind of woman
  5. The “odindin” (woman of steel) type of woman

Don’t get me wrong I am proud of being called a strong woman and I wear that compliment around most of the time but I can’t help but think of the negative connotations and undertones that might sometimes accompany that phrase “STRONG WOMAN”.

How to piss off a Ghanaian

For the benefit of those who do not know where Ghana is, it is a West African state with neighboring countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso etc. we have often been referred to as a peaceful nation.  This has made the country a tourist destination and as a Ghanaian I am very proud of my country. Here are 10 ways to piss off a Ghanaian:

1.     Assume that Twi is the national language

In a diverse nation made up of a lot of tribes, the country is a sensitive place when it comes to tribal issues, so even though TWI is the most widely spoken language,  most people don’t want anyone thinking it is our national language( I am not even about to start this debate today)

2.     Suggest or assume that Nigerians are better than us in anything

Nigerians are our neighbors and we stick together sometimes. A lot of Nigerians are resident in Ghana and so are some Ghanaians. There are even a lot of marriages between these two nations. Both nations are unique but there is this rivalry that will just not go away. I think it has been in existence even before I was born. This rivalry ranges from music, football, movies and dance. I personally think that comparing two uniquely countries is not worth it but it is fun sometimes but let be caution NEVER SUGGEST THAT NIGERIA IS BETTER THAN GHANA OR THE OTHER WAY ROUND. PERIOD!!!!!

3.     Say that we are not the originators of AZONTO  

Hehehehe this is a big one too. The Azonto dance is a unique dance that caught on with the youth in Ghana and has been recognized worldwide. The youth in the country take pride in the fact that we have created a dance that is OURS. So please just don’t go there!!!!

4.     Suggesting that we are not a hospitable nation

This is an attribute that is widespread especially by tourist and foreigners and we simply hold on to it like the way a lonely woman holds on to her pillow on a rainy night. Don’t try to take that away from us. I will personally fight you.

5.     Suggest that politicians deserve their huge salaries and other incentives

Let me say this is the bigger one and suggesting this anywhere near a Ghanaian can be deadly to your health and life.  We simply know that the masses are suffering and the only people who seem to be oblivious to this fact is our politicians and for a good reason, they take home fat pay and other incentives. Telling us otherwise would anger us.

6.     Complain about the man preaching on board the trotro(public transport)

Ghana is a Christian dominated nation and it is therefore a common sight to see people preaching on public transport especially buses going on long distance journeys. This practice can sometimes be a nuisance but you dare not complain or you will be seen as the devil’s incarnate. No personal comment hehehehe.

7.     Supporting another football team apart from the national team (black stars) when Ghana is playing(especially if you are Ghanaian)

This is self-explanatory, as a Ghanaian you have no business supporting an opposing team. GO BLACKSTARS.

8.     Suggesting our footballers deserve huge bonuses

Don’t get it wrong we love our national team BUT at the same time we still can’t stand being told they have been paid bonuses for qualifying us to one tournament or the other. That is just Ghanaians for you.

9.     Tell a Ghanaian his take home pay is reasonable

No matter our position or take home salaries it is never enough. Need I say more?  I guess not

10.  Suggest anything close to a civil war in Ghana

I mean war is never a good thing and as a country surrounded by war torn countries we know the conquences of war. Never suggest something close to a civil war happening in Ghana. The whole nation will descend on you and rightly so.