Christmas Greetings!

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.

The Danger of a Single Story

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 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.

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