Wow, it has been a while hasn't it? I guess we have been all wrapped up in Christmas madness. I for one, have been totally unavailable,working all hours God sends down, all the while sending off a million and one applications in search for another job, looking for Christmas presents for loved ones, and being generally exhausted to do anything else.
You have probably been as busy as I have, spinning around in circles and getting yourself all wound up. But while you get sucked in by all the superficial, commercial nonsense that the Christmas holidays have become, make sure you remember the real meaning of Christmas and the reason why you are celebrating it.
The true meaning of Christmas is an issue people like to throw around and debate about, each and every Christmas, merely talking about it to satisfy their conscience(I confess I am ,at times, one of those people) without really exerting much energy to ensure the real reason for the season is honoured.
We talk about it being a time for sharing with family and loved ones, when its very essence is a Saviour being born to the world to save humanity, God Himself coming into the world to live the human experience.
I am well aware of the fact that not everyone is christian, but whether you're an atheist or a Buddhist, if you are going to celebrate Christmas, at least take the time to know what exactly you are celebrating.
John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York likens society's treatment of Christmas to attending a birthday party with no gift for the birthday boy/girl, but instead a million pressies for all the other guests.
Wow! Now I feel like I'm preaching! Well, before I get carried away, I want to sincerely wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year. Thank you for your support this year, and I hope you stick with us in 2010.
God richly bless you all.
Who here is sick and tired of other people's ignorant and misinformed ideas of Africa? Well, you are not the only one.
In the weeks leading up to my holiday in Ghana, I was hit by Ghana-fever and I couldn't stop talking about it. I drove everyone crazy with Ghana this and Ghana that. After ten years since my last holiday in the Land of Gold, a trip back to the motherland was well over due. So you can imagine my excitement once I had actually paid for my ticket. I remember a few weeks before my holiday in Ghana, I was at work when a dress in the stock room, waiting to be marked down and placed on the sale rack, caught my eye.
Mmm, I thought. This dress is not actually that bad. In fact, it will go down nicely in Ghana. It's a good price too, and if you take away the staff discount...by this time I was grinning from ear to ear.
So after my shift, I took the dress to my manager so I could buy it. Needless to say, she wasn't as enthusiastic about my decision to buy the dress. "Why are you buying this god-awful dress?" she asked.
"Cos, I like it", I was determined to stand my ground. "Plus, it will be perfect for clubbing in Ghana". She responded by giving me a puzzled look and saying "are there clubs in Ghana? I thought it was just mud huts and fig leaves".
Now, think about all the times someone has said something to piss you off, all the times someone has treated you like rubbish, and all the times you were enraged by something you saw. How did you feel? Well, that was exactly how I felt at that moment.
I knew there and then that what I really wanted to say to her could cost me my job, so instead, I took a deep breath and said, "why don't you educate yourself, so you don't say something like that again". Then it occurred to me, that all the images had seen and all the stories she had ever heard about Africa were of poverty, corruption, war and death. She had probably never been told that Africa was the richest land in natural resources, or that the world's oldest university is in Egypt. The story she had heard of Africa was the one not told by its own people. But the one that she had been told by the history books and by the media. "Anyway, it's not your fault", I muttered under my breath.
That is the danger of a single story. When somebody tells your story for you, and you have no say in how it is told, the truth becomes distorted. Let me leave you a clip of Chimamanda Adichie , the author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. In it, she explains the danger of a single story in a more elaborate way. It's a bit long, but please click on the title of this post, which will lead you to the clip, and watch it to the end. There is a lot to be learnt.
On the surface, there's nothing special about this. However, I had never been in the company of Christians and Muslims with so little tension. Everywhere I went on Friday, people seemed happy and there was a festive air in general. Now I can probably chalk that up to people being happy at the prospect of a three-day weekend but it was cool nonetheless. I can't possibly imagine this happening in a "multicultural" city like London where we're constantly reminded everyday just how much Christians and Muslims don't get along. My university was in East London, the heart of a predominantly South-Asian Muslim community, and to say tensions ran high would be a gross understatement. I only have to cast my mind back to the all the wahala the Danish cartoons of Mohammed caused. Therefore, since being in Ghana, I've really loved the way people seem to generally live and let live when it comes to religion.
Now I know us Christians can come in the overzealous types, determined to convert anybody and everybody, but I'm liking the way Muslims and Christians seem to get along side-by-side with minimal drama. Don't worry, I'm not living in fairy-land and I know it's not all roses and bunnies but a little tolerance goes a loooong way- on both sides. It'd be cool if I could dash some of that across the Atlantic.
(Also tried tubani for the first time. One word- delish! I think I could definitely give up meat and live the pescatorian life in GH. Lol)
Image translation: The picture is entitled "Eid's Paranoia". White sheep- "What do you think will happen to us this holiday?"Black sheep- "I hope, for God's sake, that we can run away and survive." (Very loose translation)
When I returned two days later in order to finish opening the account, I went into the bank looking for a "personal banker" kiosk or office of some sort. Instead, there was a man and a woman sitting side by side in front of their computers right next to the long line for the telllers. Fortunately for me, there was no queue for the "personal bankers" when I entered so the man immediately summoned me over. Now this was a different man from the one I had seen previously and after searching for my application for fifteen minutes, he told me to start filling out another one whilst he continued to look for the one I had filled out earlier. "Why continue to search for it if you're still going to make me fill out another form?" was the thought that immediately popped into my head, however, I chose not to verbalise that thought and dutifully began to fill in the form.
So while I was filling out the form which asks personal questions like my name, address, telephone number, income, etc. etc., a man and woman sat on either side of me. They were close, like shoulder-to-shoulder close, and the woman happily began to read over my shoulder. I stopped writing and stared at her with a bemused look on my face. She merely grinned at me and continued to peruse my application like she was checking for spelling mistakes. She then asked the banker to check her account balance for her and he did so within plain view of myself.
While the banker was "processing" my new application form, he stopped to deal with at least 6 other customers, with no semblance of privacy, so it took exactly 47 minutes (I checked) for my account to be opened. I was then told that I would get a whopping 10 free cashpoint withdrawals with the opening of my account (!). The process took even longer because the banker insisted on flirting heavily with every woman that approached the desk- myself included.
So it was a great relief when I finally left the bank clutching my brand new ATM card, vowing never to return until absolutely necessary. Fastforward to the next day and I receive a call on my phone from a number I don't recognise. I tentatively answer the call:
Banker: "Good afternoon Sankofa. How are you today?"
Sankofa: "Fine thank you.Um who is this please?"
Banker: "It's me from the bank! Have you forgotten me already?"
Sankofa: "Erm... is there any trouble with my account?"
Banker: "Oh not at all, I just wanted to call and say hello. Since you seemed to be in a rush yesterday, I thought we could talk today."
Banker: "Hello? Are you there?"
Sankofa: "You know what? I'm a little busy at the moment so I'm going to have to talk to you later" (CLICK!)
I could hardly believe my ears. This man essentially steals my telephone number from a "confidential" application form and he expects me to be happy to hear from him? This was compounded by the fact that this was the second time in a week this had happened to me. A worker at MTN also decided it would be okay to "steal" my number whilst apparently "fixing" my phone for me. And to rub salt in the wound, the damn phone still wouldn't connect to the internet! Is telephone number theft the norm nowadays?
I have walked to the ends of the earth
I understand why you may be less than perky. I can't say I blame you. With all the doom and gloom, the ever increasingly short days and crappy weather and all the news on the vast amount of soldiers dying in the war, you may feel justified for feeling a bit miserable.
Shouldn't we be grateful for life? The fact that the cold is enough to make us want to lock ourselves indoors with the heater on full blast not proof that God has preserved our lives up until now?
Today, you may have observed the two minute silence, in respect of those who have lost their lives in battle (may their souls rest in perfect peace, and may their loved ones find the strength to carry on), but I also spent the day being thankful for the gift of life.
A beloved church sister lost her battle with cancer yesterday, and she is no longer with us. This has made me realise that no matter the issues I am dealing with, it is important to live each day to the fullest.
Reader, remember this, you may be struggling to find a job, you may have just broken up with your boyfriend/ girlfriend or dealing with a multitude of other problems, but REMEMBER to be thankful for your life!
R.I.P Maame Jones. I know you are in a better place.
Ever since I first stepped foot on English soil, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the whole country falls into a two-minute silence in order to honour the British men and women who have died for their country since the First World War. The build-up to Remembrance day is inescapable and on Remembrance Sunday, chapel services are held all over the country in order to give due to all those who have died in the name of Britain and the Commonwealth.
I remember being barely out of primary school when I discovered that other brown faces, aside from South-Asian ones, were also part of the First and Second World War effort. Imagine my shock when I discovered that West Africans, East Africans, Southern Africans, and men and women from the Caribbean had also joined the allied powers and laid down their lives for the good of the "Great British Empire". Some colonial soldiers voluntary joined the British forces because they genuinely believed they were British and needed to protect their mother country. Others were forced to join via conscription. Whatever their reasons for joining, these men and women fought just as hard as white Brits in the quest to defend Britain and her allies. However, although South-Asian contribution to the wars has been well-documented, with support for Nepalese veterans from famous faces, I feel that African and Caribbean contributions to the two World Wars have been chronically ignored. The number of Africans that were part of the war effort is truly astounding:
The accompanying article from the BBC does a far better job than me in illustrating just how much Africa did for the allied forces and it's definitely worth a read. All I'm asking is that tomorrow, when your hand is below your red poppy in that two-minute silence, spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of Africans whom the British would like to gently erase from the history books.
- They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
- Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
- They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
- They fell with their faces to the foe.
- They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
- Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
- At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
- We will remember them.
Are you in good mood today? I am! So I decided to flashback to this good old fashioned 1990's new jack swing jam. You best be dancing along!
You know, it's one thing to hear about a phenomenon, but nothing beats experiencing the real thing. Friends who had recently returned from Ghana had complained incessantly about the rise and rise of the LAFA. Huh? That was my initial reaction too. It stands for "Locally Acquired Foreign Accent". You see, as part of some Ghanaians' haste to embrace anything and everything foreign, the beautiful Ghanaian accent has fallen victim to tragic butchering. As a linguist (3 years of uni is worth it just to be able to say that. Yay me! Lol), I'm well aware of the fluidity of accents and how easy they adapt and merge. However, there is a patent difference between somebody who has lived in a different culture and has therefore adopted (consciously or unconsciously) the local accent, and a person who has never stepped foot outside the country for any length of time.
I remember when we we in our teens, Friday's Afro and I would call this an "Aferican" accent and it's sad to see the phenomenon has not died out but seems to be under going some kind of revival. Originally the property of the Ashanti "bogas", the LAFA is thriving everywhere. In my experience, most Ghanaians speak excellent English but I can't count the amount of times I've heard people apologising for their English merely because they don't possess some kind of foreign accent. What is so special about a foreign accent? What are the thought processes that lead a person to think it's normal to fake an accent? Can anybody out there enlighten me?
On the flipside, since my arrival in Ghana, I've become a victim of what I call "accent-ism". I've been introduced to people who are perfectly pleasant until I open my mouth. The English accent provokes a total and complete shut down in pleasantries. Often the person will adopt a look suggesting they have just smelled something bad (it's not my armpits, I checked...) and even Stevie Wonder can see the "wo ye too-known" look that passes across the face. I'm by no means suggesting that everybody has been like this but I'm beginning to see that the accent war goes both ways. Now what kind of fuckeries is that?
To see a fantastic LAFA at work, check out the link below. You have been warned...
Now what experiences of the LAFA or accent-ism have you experienced?
I did a French with Linguistics degree at King's College, London and this was one of the books on the reading list for a course on Maghrebi (French North African) writing.
This tale of memory and searching is written by Assia Djebar, a veritable G in francophone African literature from Algeria. Djebar, real name Fatima-Zohra Imalayen, writes mostly about the struggles of women especially in relation to Islam, the effects of war on the woman's mind and artfully deals with the clashes and harmonies between old and new, tradition and progress.
Assia Djebar was born in Cherchell, a small coastal town near Algiers, the capital of Algeria. Her father was a french teacher and the culmination of this and her study of classic arabic gave her the linguistic flexibilty to manipulate the french language giving it Arabic sounds and rhythms.
Her feminist stance, use of French and often dissident voice has led to much international praise, but also to hostility from nationalistic critics in Algeria.
In this novel Djebar portrays herself as a journalist and returning daughter to Cherchell, once called Césarée, home to research the story and find the bones of a legendary female Mujahddin (fighter/warrior) Zoulikha Oudai who helped the nationalistic rebels resist the French during the Algerian civil war in 1976.
As is commonplace in the work of Djebar, she portrays herself as an outsider, named only l'invitee, la visiteuse or l'etrangere*, and she delves, rather like a anthropological archaeologist into the past of the whole region through the recollections of the daughters, friends and acquaintances of Zoulikha.
For those who know Djebar's work this novel finds itself a stepping-stone in a path of writing begun with 'Women of Algiers in their apartments' (1980) and 'So Vast the Prison' (1995) and thus continues in the literary traditions of these two novels, this is perhaps the reason why Djebar installs an aura of déjà vu in the prelude to the book.
Djebar manages to interweave reality and fiction in this work, using her real conversations with the 'women of Césarée' with her own imagined scenes from that heated time in the 70s when Zoulikha was alive and the war raged. Through the visiting of the ruins of the ancient town, the whole war as experienced by the little towns of Algeria is portrayed and revisited.
The title of the book means The Woman without a Grave and this talks of Zoulikha's unknown final resting place, a result of her assumed murder by the french military and the consequent eradication of her name in history.
This book is laden with imagery and has an intensity which is thick almost to the point of viscosity, drawing the reader fully into the stories within the story and into the humid, heady atmosphere of post and pre-independence Algeria.
I must admit that this book is rather heavy-going but can be read quickly if focused on, I could not really write a synopsis, evaluation book review on this one because there are many intertwining synopses and undercurrents of history and feminism.
Djebar does not find the real bones of Zoulikha, and to my mind there is the suggestion that she will never be laid to rest in even a metaphorical grave. The stories surrounding her are often fantastical, but sometimes mundane, embittered (such as the tale of one daughter who felt abandoned) but also laudatory (as shown in another daughter's heroine-view of her mother) and therefore the many contradictions ensure that her story is always being 'exhumed'.
All in all this is a powerful testament to the ongoing strength of storytelling and especially of female remembrance even in the most paternalistic societies. Although Djebar writes pessimistically about the ability of women to shine in an overbearing patriarchy, here she fairly paints Zoulikha as a real heroine, even if she does not have a day to remember her. the honesty of the accompanying portrayals of this normal abnormal woman illustrate the human side to the ghostly figure of the grave-less heroine.
*the invited, the visitor, the stranger (All translations my own )
2. Sweet Lady- Tyrese
3. Westside- TQ
4. Boy You Knock Me Out- Tatyana Ali
Awww, when Ashley from Fresh Prince decided to have a music career, this is what resulted. Here's her biggest song to date, and I'm only aware of one more godawful song after this one. But hey, you never know, bad music is in at the moment so she might make a comeback. And BTW, the dance moves in this vid are SPECTACULAR!!! Wowzers.
5. Teardrops- Lovestation
6. Are You That Somebody- Aaliyah
7. Who Am I- Beenie Man
8. (Doo Wop) That Thing- Lauryn Hill
9. Cheers To You- Playa
10. They Don't Know- Jon B
This is pure beautiful 1990's R&B. The white boy of R'n'B. Why can't they make them like this anymore? *sigh*
1998 honourable mentions for the following songs:
3. The Boy Is Mine - Monica ft. Brandy
4. How Deep Is Your Love - Dru Hill
5. Love Like This- Faith Evans
7. Make It Hot- Nicole Wray ft. Missy Elliott & Mocha
In the relative boredom of my life at the moment I've been scouring through my mate Afrocentric's extensive book shelves...after all what are friends for? Anyhoo, knowing me she recommended Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo since I've never read it, so here's my review....
1. If there are empty seats available anywhere on the bus/ tube/ train, DO NOT SIT NEXT TO ME! You have just given your thanks to God above when you get on a half-empty tube/ train carriage or bus when a leering man decides to park himself right next to you. Never mind the 15 other empty seats available. It's Boris Johnson's law that somebody must sit uncomfortably close to you, stinking of stale cigarettes, whilst trying to rub himself against you. With that goes your 27 minutes of thinking up what excuse you're going to give work about why you're late (again), instead, begins the game of how far away you can edge away from the person whilst they're trying to physically sit on your lap....
2. It is not proper transport etiquette to stare at your fellow passengers during the daily rush hour. Yes we're a city of people watchers but one must be subtle with it. So when the 6"3 man wearing a tartan dress, bovver boots, and sporting acid pink hair steps onto the Northern line at Camden, feel free to stare at him all you like but only via the reflection of the windows! I can't vouch for your safety once the words that strike fear into every Londoner's heart are uttered: "What you looking at?!"
3. One must remember that the South Londoner is a different breed of Londoner, in particular those that hail from the South Eastern region. Eye contact is seen in one of two ways: a declaration of war, or an indication of willingness to marry a person. A personal music player and an engrossing book are your only friends in this part of town.
4. There's no point running for the bus. Really. Most bus drivers take malicious pleasure in watching you frantically waving at them to stop via their side mirrors. 171 bus drivers in particular take great enjoyment in waiting until you're a a mere metre away from the stop and then zooming away into traffic with enough skills to rival Jenson Button. If you're lucky and a driver takes pity on you, by the time you pant and heave your way onto the bus winded by the whole 20 metres you had to run, the hostile stares of your fellow passengers will be enough to ruin your morning. They'll have to wait a whole 36 seconds as you simultaneously hunt for your Oyster card (you probably left it on the kitchen table) whilst trying not to display just how unfit you really are.
These are just some of the few recurring travel observations we made. How's travel different where you live?
This blog post is mainly an extension of Sankofa's post on her own blog, Altius Tendo, entitled 'You have such a pretty face...'. In her post, Sankofa describes the awkward manner in which people approach the issue of her weight and certain individuals' failed attempts to compliment her in spite of her size.
Unfortunately, Sankofa is not the only FAT girl who has had to deal with back handed compliments and snide remarks with regards to her weight. As a child, I grew up with my cousin. (For the purpose of this blog, we'll call her Amina). Amina is only five days older than me and our mothers are very close. We were therefore treated like sisters and often compared to one another. Me and Amina spent the majority playing (and fighting) with each other. We had the same interests, wore the same clothes (sometimes against our will!) and the same dislikes. In fact, there were a lot of similarities between us except:
1. Amina was (and still is) slimmer than me.
2. Amina is shades lighter than me.
3.Amina's hair was longer and not as tough as mine.
Now, in a Ghanaian family, you know exactly what that means. Amina was considered the beautiful one and we often heard comments like this: Amina is soooooo pretty and Oh! Amina is a nice girl. (You know what is intended by the word 'nice'). Whoever was making the comments at the time, would look at Amina with so much adoration in their eyes, then would turn to me with a pitiful look and /or a half smile. (Sometimes, I wouldn't even get a glance!) Now, I may not have been "beautiful", but I was certainly more smart academically. Thus Amina and I neatly fitted the stereotyped 'beauty and the brain'.
I must say, it didn't really bother me while we were really young, but at the age of 12/13, when a girl starts becoming more aware of her physical appearance and her physique, this started to become a problem. I won't comment on the hair and skin tone issue because these were things I eventually learnt to accept, and even love. But as for the weight, well, that is still very much an issue I am still dealing with.
When I started secondary school, I was most definitely the biggest girl in the class. No questions asked. It did not help that my bra size was a 32B. It may not seem like much, but trust me, in 1998, that was big for an 11 year old. (I am well aware that 11 year olds these days look like full grown women). I won't pretend that I spent my all of my secondary school years self loathing, but I was bothered about my size. However, I was very good at covering up my insecurities and acting like the insensitive comments didn't bother me one bit. Covering up my insecurities did somehow turn into fake confidence, and although I don't know exactly when it happened, by the time I started sixth form, I was beginning to feel beautiful. Don't get me wrong, there were knock backs on the way. Let me give you an example: I remember at the age of around 14, I was at my cousin's house one night. My other cousins were there. Altogether there was about seven of us (including Amina). We were in my cousin's room, watching T.V. There were three boys and four of us girls. I can't remember what I did to upset one of my cousins, but all of a sudden he, (let's call him J) started laying into me, verbally. The things spewing out of his mouth were venom. "You need to lay off the donuts you fat bitch" and all sorts were coming out of his mouth like word vomit. I mean, I have never hated any of my cousins, including J, but I was hurt for ages, especially since none of my other cousins stood up for me, but found J's abuse hilarious. I must confess that Amina was the only one mature enough to apologise afterwards.
Anyway let's fastforward eight years, I (sort of) don't have the same beef I have with my weight. Don't get me wrong, I do believe I am attractive, and not ugly by any stretch of the imagination. however, let's not pretend that I am a size zero. Also, I am still having to deal with people's annoying comments. Let me give you an example. Earlier this year, I was with an...acquaintance, (let's hold back from calling her a friend), we had just finished a night of rehearsing a church performance, and by the end of the night, we were all famished, so I started going on about what I wanted to eat. Hear my girl: that is why you are so fat! I was knocked back by those words because it had been ages since I had heard those words. Also, I didn't think grown-ass women made digs at each other like that. Plus, I thought it was below the belt since we had had a discussion earlier where I told her that my weight was the cause of frustration for me because it is one of the only areas in my life that I find hard to control. (That's "friends" for you *sigh*).
I have come to the conclusion that I can't afford to rely on other people to make me feel good about myself. That is something I will have to do by myself. I mean, I do have issues with my weight, but loving myself is something I am learning to do everyday.After going on a countless amount of diets (and gym memberships!), I have come to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, God, in His infinite wisdom, created me to be fat. It seems with everyone there is always something about themselves they have an issue with. Which is why like Sankofa, I don't have time for people that go on and on about how much they hate their belly, their big nose, their small boobs etc etc.
Oh yeah, back to Amina - it's funny how a bit of maturity will allow you to see things totally differently. Please don't get me wrong, Amina and I have BOTH grown up to be beautiful women, but I don't feel, AT ALL, that she is the more beautiful one. I look at us, and think wow! I may be a few kilos heavier, but Amina and I are EQUALLY beautiful in our DIFFERENT ways.
Let me leave by telling you this: everyone has body issues, but it is up to YOU to deal with yours. Do not rely on ANYBODY to help you get over them. Also, ranting about what you don't like about yourself is BORING for those who have to listen to you. The chances are your so called 'listener' does not really care about your complaints. Also by ranting, you are only drawing attention to what people would not have noticed in the first place. Most importantly, God must feel so insulted everytime you open your mouth to say you hate something about yourself that He created.
Anyway reader, whtaever your issues are, learn to appreciate what you have.
So, President Obama has won this year's Nobel prize for peace. I must admit that when I saw the headline I thought 'huh?' I couldn't think of any ongoing war he had stopped or any impending war he had avoided, or really anything that showed that he was working towards world peace. You see there's a reason that some people are on the Nobel committee and some (me) are not.
The committee explained his winning is a sign that they want to support what he is aiming for; his efforts in ridding the world of nuclear weapons, the immediate closure of Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay and his push for peace in the Middle East to mention a few of his peaceful pursuits. Now although all these things are true and do represent a goal of 'world peace', critics might well say, "but he hasn't actually done all of it", I mean in winning the prize President Obama is in the company of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, German scientist Albert Schweitzer, Dr. Martin Luther King and Mohamed ElBeradai all of whom were awarded for tireless efforts or lifetime work in the 'field' of peace. Are 10 months as US president and 'good ideas' enough to deserve a place in the often controversial list of Peace Prize Laureates?
I don't know, as I continued to read I agreed with the reasons behind his success, it is very important to encourage and support those who strive for the good, there are too many people giving props to drug dealers - Curtis Warren listed included in the Times Rich List as if he's making an honest living , paedophiles - the furore over Roman Polanski's arrest for drugging and raping a 13 year old, cheats, warmongers and other such unsavoury characters.
Well done Barack, let's just hope that your speeches, good intentions, and awards are not your only legacy.
When we talk about our motherland, we tend to talk about her in the same way we talk about our family. In other words, I love her but she can be so annoying! And, oh yeah...if you're not one of Mother Ghana's children, don't even think about uttering a word against her! I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. In my last post entitled "Welcome to Ghana", I went on a rant on how erm...strange my experience was at Kotoka International. But trust me, now that I'm back, I am missing Ghana like crazy! So here is a list of ten really annoying things I had to endure in Ghana, but (not so secretly) wish I could enjoy in London.
Last night, Afrocentric and I attended our very first Ghanaian Londoners event at the Dust Bar in Farringdon, organised by the lovely Adwoa Agyemang and we had a blast. We were late (gotta work on that GMT) but we still managed to catch some great speakers including Bex Mortty of Quality Network Solutions and the London representative of the NPP whose name unfortunately I didn't manage to catch. There was immeasurable Ghanaian talent in one little room and that included a fellow Ghana blogger Kwabena of Ghana Hype. Kwabena is also the creator of the wonderful Kayobi clothing line and if you haven't checked out his stuff, I suggest you do so asap.
Anyway, when the actual "networking" session began, let's just say that Afrocentric and I took a little while to get into the swing of things. Alright, we were down right wusses! I find networking really hard people! Tell me I'm not alone in this. It feels like the first day of school all over again. We eventually manned up and met a myriad of creative (and analytical) minds. Still I sometimes wonder at the usefulness of these networking beyond meeting new people. How many people really utilise these new contacts when all is said and done? We would still do it all over again a heartbeat because new people are new people, no long. So, what are the thoughts of people out there on "networking"?
You know, I think learning to forgive is one of the hardest things we can do but what tops it a ga-zillion times over is just getting over it. Maaaan, that really is one of the things I struggle with and it's really sad because whatever it is you are refusing to get over is only blocking YOU!
This is a question I'm starting to ask myself, I'm a mother, a graduate, a masters student and..... BROKE! Trust me, I was living the dream, "popping" into Topshop here, H&M there, until about two weeks ago, when I realised that all those £1.50 potted flowers I was buying from Lewisham market (amongst a myriad of other things) were NOT actually going to be any help in trying to pay for the three-to-eight years of education I was considering (masters x2, phD then world domination, oh and somewhere in there marriage and more children). So the next few days will see me writing to numerous charities who might help if I fulfil the requirements which range from living in Lewisham borough to aiming to study in Turkey, and other such randomness.