When I was a little girl, I wish they’d told me…

IMG_20170623_163723When I was a little girl
The first television I knew was black and white
While in school, they impressed upon us that black was the opposite of white
Black for mourning
White for rejoicing
Black for darkness
White for brightness
Black for bad deeds
White for the good ones
The devil was black in every single play
Jesus was portrayed in white as I watched in disdain
Engraving in our memories
That our black sins should be washed away
So that our white garments could be on display
Well, as I got wind of colour television
I got to see the rainbow
Tasted variety
Only Physics was generous enough to teach me that
While white isn’t just one colour
Black may not always be a colour
And rainbows don’t always appear in the sky
I wish they’d told me that not everything was black and white

 

When I was a little girl
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
Regarding anatomy, we thought we were so close
Not that we knew what it was anyway
With simple algebra we were blown away
That kind of math paved a way
It was the foundation that brought us all the way
Just so we are clear
It’s the sole reason why we are here
But back then it was just too much for some to bear
I wish they’d told us it wasn’t that simple
That someday we would need to explain more than a skin dimple

When I was a little girl
I thought mum and dad knew everything
So I would ask them anything
Satisfied with most of their responses
I was never really scared
Because they promised to always be there
One day I came home with many questions
Hoping to get some answers
For hours, I sat on the couch
Tired of waiting, I decided to search the house
No indication of Mummy and Daddy
They never returned
Now I wish someone had all the answers
My days became less bright
I guess mum and dad weren’t always right
I wish someone told me that it was okay to be scared
because they wouldn’t always be there

When I was a little girl,
A teacher once told us to take note:
“Majority always carries the vote”
Majority of the movies I watched
Had similar themes
“Good always triumphs over evil” it screams
Well, in theatre majority live for the applause
A few do it for a good cause
Our real lives depict otherwise
The world is full of good and bad
Being unscrupulous appears to be wise
Yet we must learn to accept that no matter how many times we pray
Sometimes the wicked may get away
I wish they’d told me that sometimes the bad get rewarded and poetic justice isn’t always awarded
This hard truth I wished to be told when I was just a little girl.

By : Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane

Too much or just enough?

Up and down he runs on tarred road
In the deep dark night so cold
But stops to wonder what if he grows old?
Would his athletic story still be told?
Or would his memory be in a museum as mere stone?
He starts to wonder
Is it too much or just enough ?

Swamped by a sea of knowledge
Here is the girl who thought she would never make it to college
Those finals are drawing near
Yet the concepts still remain unclear
Her countless efforts only just mere ?
She begins to shed a tear
And wonders
Is it too much or just enough ?

Consulting room it is
Everyday it’s a different kind of disease
Rare or not we’ve got to care
It’s an emergency but what if it is not treated with such urgency ?
Dangerous disease it is
A malignancy with a 5% survival tendency
Treatment of choice is a 50-50 chance
Do we give the drug
Or fold our arms in wait for death’s deadly drag ?
How sure are we that this dose is just enough to cure
Given that the therapeutic window is too narrow to endure?
Is it too much or just enough ?

Does he have the courage to propose marriage?
Or is he like the other guys who hate commitments and ties?
One brawl to the next
Is it a test?
Some say arguments are healthy
Am I in it because it’s true
Or did I stay just because he is wealthy?
Is this love going to last
Will it fade some time past?
Do you think they’ve had enough?
Is it too much or just enough?

Hitting those high notes
Very soon, there would be no voice to recite any quotes
How long would my vocal cords remain patent
Is it a tangible dream or something so latent?
Am I doing too much or just enough ?

So many cooks
Yet they try to keep the broth intact
It doesn’t matter how it looks
If the taste isn’t as good as its cooks
More sugar, more spice
Would it taste as nice?
But who knows?
When the cock crows
And the dish is served
Does it matter how it looks
Or the number of good cooks?
Which one’s the best anyway?
In this sauce of life
We find ourselves in daily strife
Regarding the decision of whether it is too much or just enough.

The month of love…So tell me, is this love? – Xenophobia & Racism

image.jpeg

February is often thought to be the month of love but is it not ironic that it was within this same month that Xenophobic attacks resurfaced in South Africa?
Is the love the world seems to portray only a mirage/facade?

Any person who decides to hate another individual to the extent of wanting to kill him or her either because of skin colour or the fact that he or she is a foreigner has a big problem. As a matter of fact, anyone who would want to kill someone for any reason must be checked. So it surprises me how a person can look into the eyes of another human being and stab him or her with a knife. Sadly, this is not a joke. That was the story of Emmanuel Sithole and many others (in 2015) who were either stabbed or burned to death simply because another person felt threatened by their presence with the flimsy excuse of foreigners taking over their jobs and economy. On the other hand, a 2015 study conducted by the University of Cape Town revealed that foreigners rather make major contributions to the South African economy by paying rent and providing jobs.

So tell me, is it okay to have a day/month  set aside for love yet the world is still full of hate, racism and xenophobia? Do we but kid ourselves when we decide to turn a blind eye to such issues as the world continues to move on as though the black race or the rights of foreigners are irrelevant? Are we comfortable going to church (or our various places of worship) in one moment and then turn to literally stab our neighbor in the back while walking across the street?

It is often said that the first solution to a problem is understanding the root of the problem. I have tried so hard to see through these racist and xenophobic attacks but no matter how I look at it, it just does not make any sense.

In as much as it is so hard to solve a deeply rooted problem such as this, I think it is very necessary to speak, do whatever we can to stop it and not just fold our arms because the situation may seem hopeless.

When I read about the abolishment of slavery, I thanked my stars that such a barbaric act was put to an end. Just when I thought it was all over, equally terrible crimes against humanity came along – racism and xenophobia.

By : Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane
naabd61@yahoo.com
Twitter : @Adzeley

 

“Who wants to be President?” – the sword of Damocles and the presidency

Date: 26th-january-2017 Time:  10:15:54 am

 

Back in Junior High School, I stood for the position of Girls’ prefect and won. The journey of becoming a prefect ; through the campaign and tenure of office was not an easy task but I thrived nonetheless.

This experience brings me to the realization of how difficult it must be to be President because even within my small school, the task was not so simple.

The President’s seat is a very hot one.

Every decision taken in that seat may become policy so whoever has the opportunity to be in that position must play his or her cards very well. Despite the difficulties faced in decision-making, there are also security issues that he/she would face once that position is attained.

Therefore, there is an automatic need for the president to be protected from all forms of danger in order to ensure a successful term of office.

That said, it would not be out of place to juxtapose the presidency with the Sword of Damocles story given the number of similarities between these two. Let the story begin.

The Sword of Damocles is a Greek story that brings to light the constant danger that faces people in positions of power. The character Damocles (which means fame of the people) worked as a courtier during the reign of Dionysius II of Syracuse, Sicily.

So Damocles always told Dionysius II (the king at the time) about how privileged he was to be in such a high and commanding position while being surrounded by magnificence.

Eventually, The king decided to switch places with Damocles (the courtier) so that Damocles could have a feel of the magnificence he was always referring to. Damocles accepted the proposal without hesitation but little did he know that he was not only in for a surprise but a lesson of a lifetime.

Before Damocles sat on the throne, the king had ordered that a huge sword should hang above the throne. The hanging sword would be suspended at the pommel by just a single hair of a horse’s tail. Hearing this, Damocles quickly pleaded with the king to withdraw his decision to allow him to sit on the throne indicating that he no longer wanted to be as fortunate as the King.

Damocles finally came to the realization that positions of power come with great danger and responsibility.

It is the same way with the Presidency; from a distance, we see the pomp and pageantry with everybody hale and hearty but the task is an arduous one which requires a lot of calculated risks.

Most of the time, people tend to give derogatory remarks or in simple terms hail insults on presidents (both past and present). I think this is a negative practice that must be brought to a halt. Regardless of who is in power and what they have done, it is not right to insult anyone.

Rather, it is more effective to take an objective stance on issues which we feel haven’t been addressed and even go further to suggest ways of how we can improve them. I think that way, everyone wins and no one gets offended.

In as much as the duty of the opposition is to keep the incumbent government on its toes, it is also important that praise is given where praise is due. Yes, I mean that regardless of whichever political party is in opposition, I look forward to a time in Ghana where there would be constructive criticism only and praise for the good work done (if any).

If a government can take a decision for the benefit of the country despite the fact that it may not benefit their individual party, I call that – political will. This is very much needed.

There were a few reports of ballot boxes being destroyed during the 2016 elections. To address this issue, I do not think that any disagreement is worth a fist fight. The factions involved could have had an effective dialogue in the presence of a mediator so that all skirmishes would be ironed out.

There is really no need to fight to prove you are right.

Lastly, I would like to touch on the issue of defending the indefensible.  This refers to a situation whereby one party is wrong but tries to justify the wrong-doing at all costs. Wrong is wrong and right is right, if you decide to prove otherwise, it doesn’t make you smart, it just makes you a puppet.

By:Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane

Riddle Riddle : Can you guess the answer before it ends? (Cc)

image

 

 

Not all riddles are mind-boggling but I bet most of them are interesting because of the suspense they build. Without further ado, let’s press play –

I have no cutting edge but I could make you bleed.

Don’t confuse me with FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) because we both make sex a traumatic experience.

To those who hit the gym every new year, look no further ; I could make you lose weight drastically but remember not every weight loss is good.

Remember all those junk food you were cautioned not to eat? I mean the pizza, fried rice etc? I could prevent you from eating those by making you lose appetite but that does not guarantee good health.

In your diagnosis, don’t just label me as pedal oedema, I can do more than just excess fluid in your legs.

I can’t promise you motherhood but one thing I can make you experience is pelvic pain that is synonymous with childbirth.

Don’t think you know who I am yet by calling me osteoporosis because I break just a few bones. You would be so wrong.

When I advance, I engage in something that is called metastasis. That is when I spread out my wings because my environment is too small for me. Here, I behave like the colonial master or mistress (since I affect mostly females) ; I want to rule your body and conquer as many territories that are available. I could go to your abdomen, your lungs or anywhere I please.The longer you take to visit the hospital, the more time you give me to travel and explore.

My initials are CC (as in Carbon Copy). That was even in the title.

Still haven’t figured out who I am? Let me just save you the time so that you can have the chance to get tested after reading this. People gave me the name – “Cervical Cancer” because I am an autonomous overgrowth of cells at the cervical region of a woman’s body. In most of my adventures, I usually travel with a virus – it could be HIV or HSV. However, HPV is my closest alibi in most cases.

The following activities are termed low risk but it doesn’t mean I can’t use these as a medium to get to you – multiple pregnancies and the use of oral contraceptives.

Lest I forget, this is to the chain smokers : “I am coming for you, it won’t be long so turn off that lighter before I hang on you like a leech.” To the passive smokers, make sure you are safe before it is too late because I could increase your risk of coming into contact with me.

Call me ubiquitous; about 70% of me is found in developing countries.

Want to know how you can escape my icy hands? Well, it’s simple! Just draw closer to that Pap smear.
Don’t wait till we get to the surgical, radiotherapy or chemotherapy stage. By then, a Pap smear can’t help you.

By : Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane

naabd61@yahoo.com
Twitter – @Adzeley

When celebrities step into political quicksand

‘No condition is permanent.’ This statement applies to almost all aspects of life including politics. ‘Politics’ the subject most people fear to indulge in or even discuss for fear of being ridiculed or insulted. But why must this be the case?
Growing up, I have listened to all kinds of political discussions and sometimes the argument gets so heated up that panelists insult each other resulting in the issue at hand not being addressed at all.
In the end, you have angry panelists and an apologetic journalist (for such uncouth outbursts on air).The truth about insults is that they lower the status (in terms of objectivity) of whoever performs the action and they do not make one articulate.
At first, the performer feels good but later it may lead to regrets given that nothing is permanent. Remember, political positions are not thrones ; they are avenues to serve ones country.

The 2016 Elections have been full of drama from the Onaapo to Nana Kalyppo songs. However, there are a few events I would like to highlight concerning this particular issue.
Mr. Kennedy Agyapong who is popularly known for some of his derogatory remarks (some of which I cannot mention here) during discussions but one that struck me was his attack on Madam Charlotte Osei.He told party supporters at a rally in Kumasi that Madam Osei landed her job by giving sexual favours.
Not much was done about this allegation aside the protests from fellow women who found it derogatory. Some people even cracked jokes about the fact that there was nothing new about what he did because that is his nature. So much for gender equality, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, Mr. George Andah (former member of the Occupy Ghana group) was reported to have asked Hon. Hannah Tetteh where her husband was (in an offensive manner) while displaying members of his family during a rally. He claimed that he did not find it derogatory so he was not obliged to apologise.
Most of the time, I find it difficult to maintain respect for people who are involved in the ‘politics of insults game’. That is what I am struggling with here. I cannot simply understand why men who have had the opportunity of obtaining higher education from some of the best schools in the country choose to slip their degrees and laurels under the rug only to muddy the waters that are supposed to reflect their true character.
There are many other people who are guilty of this within the two major political parties but these two are just examples I choose to dwell on because their attacks affect several people especially women. I hope these two and any other person indulged in such shameful activities put a halt to it by learning how to speak honorably so that they can be worthy of being called ‘honorable’ which is going to be adjacent to their names in a matter of days.

After all, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (incoming Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi) and Dr.Zanetor Rawlings are proof that one can do politics without any insults. I have never heard any of them use any derogatory remarks on any platform(at least not yet). Rather they focused on their message for the people instead of dwelling on their opponents with an air of ridicule.
I believe these two need to be applauded especially in an era where such great minds are able to win the hearts of people without indulging in the usual path of ridicule.

Popular actress and television personality, Madam Grace Omaboe (also known as Maame Dokono) entered the political arena during the 2012 campaign and became unpopular with the people because of the way she decided to go about her campaign for the New Patriotic Party.

On the brighter side, Mr. Dele Momodu promoted Ghana through featuring photographs of our new infrastructure in his Ovation Magazine. I think that is laudable.

Recently, Mzbel is currently ‘under fire’ concerning her comments on President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo. She could have just sung like Daddy Lumba did during NPP’s rallies. Instead, she is reported to have said that ‘Nana Akufo-Addo is not presidential material’ while she was campaigning for the National Democratic Congress.
The backlash after these comments was great and it resulted in her deleting most of her pictures and videos from her Instagram account (particularly those that had campaign messages).In my opinion, she could have campaigned for the NDC without focusing on the NPP candidate in a negative way to the extent of saying Ghana would come to a standstill if Nana Akufo-Addo wins.

The Gbese Mantse may not be your regular celebrity but for the sake of this article, he is a respected traditional figure. He lost the admiration of some when he vehemently stated that if the NDC does not win the election, he would abdicate his throne. He is being called upon to honor his word while some people await his destooling ceremony.

Well, when people decide to throw caution to the wind (disregarding objectivity) and make derogatory comments concerning people that is when I say that they have stepped in Political Quicksand. You can guess what happens next.

By:Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane

While a student at Wey Gey Hey, I wrote to John Mahama. And he replied

 Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane

It was a normal afternoon at Wesley Girls’ Senior High School when I received a parcel from the General Office.

It was during the period of the WASSCE therefore my parcel had already been scanned (which I was not too happy about but it was for the good of the school).

Well, I was not really expecting any gifts from anyone because my mother had already visited me two weeks earlier hence my ‘chop-box’ was running over with provisions. So I opened the parcel and to my surprise the gift was from the Office of the President!

It contained an autographed copy of his book ‘My first coup d’etat’ (which I started reading as soon as I laid hands on it) along with a letter. Then I remembered that I had written a letter to H.E President John Mahama some weeks back.

In the letter, I gave suggestions on various topics – education, infrastructure, tourism, interaction with citizens and even went ahead to talk about the nature of the roads to most of our tourist sites which need to be improved. Even though I wrote the letter, I doubted that I would get a reply but I wrote and posted it anyway.

So it was quite surprising and humbling to know that my voice was heard.  This experience along with current occurrences has taught me a lot concerning the President (some of which I would share soon).

Though I may not agree with some of the decisions and actions he took during his term of office, I would like to focus on the positives in this article.

First of all, I would say that his letter to me taught me a lot of things:

1. My voice was important. He could have ignored whatever I wrote in my letter (after all I was just a second year General Science student who had little experience about matters involving governance at the time) but he chose to respond. This made me realize the power of communication especially through letters.

2. His reply was encouraging. In the letter, he was very appreciative of the fact that I took initiative to express my thoughts and he expressed keen interest in my progress at school. He went ahead to give me some encouraging words as well.

3. His book was informative, intriguing and entertaining. I learnt a lot about leadership and decision-making through his book. From what I watch on television, I think President John Mahama has a great sense of humor and an entertaining personality therefore I wasn’t surprised that I kept flipping each page with some form of excitement wishing the stories never came to an end. I also got the chance to have a peek into his youthful years of life.

These last two points are not based on my direct interaction with him but on certain events.

4. Respect for the rule of law. The Election Petition revealed a lot about the President and our country at large. However, one of the lessons I will never forget is to respect the rule of law irrespective of one’s position. Even though President John Mahama was in power at the time, he went through court proceedings and allowed the systems to work as they should hence corroborating his respect for the rule of law in this situation.

5. A patriot, lover of peace and democracy. Today, I use these words to describe the President because of his courage to accept defeat and respect the will of the people despite his wishes.

This is not to imply that he is perfect. However, I believe that Ghana is blessed to have had such a president.In the same spirit of happiness and patriotism I say congratulations to President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo. I have not had the opportunity to interact with President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo but from a distance, I admire his courage,persistence and resilience.

Lastly, I am not a member of any political party; I wrote this because I believe in acknowledging good values. I want to assume he replied to many others like me, which would really be a good thing.