Are we truly independent?

Today my country is celebrating its “independence” day with the usual symbolism, diversion and pomp by the leadership. Meanwhile, hungry children will be marching in the sun together with horses. Many will faint. Others will be swearing oaths. At first I wondered why the quaker or bobs red mill will not be fed to the children. Then they said no, they will be: SWEARING OATHS, AS IN MAKING DECLARATIONS. Oh I get it now. I swear some of these children will be marching on an empty stomach today. UNICEF please intervene.

Speaking of “independence”, is Ghana truly independent? If yes, in what regard? If no why?

Is Africa itself free considering that African economies are fully controlled by the Pound or the Dollar or the Euro? What is Africa’s USP in the global market? Do we have bargaining power?

Are we aware at all of our own realities?

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Africa, my Africa

We want to go and
See what’s happening
In the underworld.
Perhaps the gods and
Ancestors know why.
We ran and ran and
When our feet refused to
Go, we saw that we were
Back in whitey’s chains –
In the oppressor’s talons.
Africa cries for a liberator.
How can her children go
Hungry when she has
Fertile land? How can she
Be poor when she has gold?
Nkrumah said revolutionary
Path will bring freedom but
Who will fight for us?
No one wanted to fight.
Whitey’s dollar is working.
Lumumba is gone.
Sankara is gone.
Madiba is gone.
Nyerere is gone.
Kenyatta is also gone.
And so is great Nkrumah.
Heroes die soon and
The clowns live long.
But Africa, my Africa is not
What is shown the world.
My Africa will rise…again.

Cleptocracy, Kakistocracy and Elite Capture in Africa

Although this post is specifically about Ghana, most African nations share same problems associated with governance and economic development. The term elite capture simply describes a situation where resources designated for the benefit of the larger population are usurped by a few individuals of superior status –be it economic, political, educational, ethnic, or otherwise. Typically, individuals or groups take advantage of government programs aimed at distributing resources or funds to the general public by using their elite influence to direct such assistance in such a way that it primarily benefits the elite group. In some cases it benefits their own associates, family members or friends. Cleptocracy on the other hand, is a rule by thieves and Kakistocracy is a rule by the most unqualified or the morally corrupt in society.

Ghana is a country of make-believe. Even little kids acquire this instinct of crafting lies for no apparent reason. The entire society is organised around  speculations, superstitions and farcical ideas. Facts and truths have no grip on the Ghanaian mind. The quickest and most effective way of influencing the Ghanaian is through music, the least effective is through the written word. Books influence only a thin stratum of intellectuals. The politicians know the people so well that during every election all the major political parties compose music that plays countless times on the airwaves. They know that the average man or woman on the street is not really interested in lengthy manifestos. Just give them music and entertainment. Added to this is the problem of ethnocentrism. You can visit a typical Ghanaian organisation and notice that almost everyone in a particular office, unit or department belong to one tribe. And when tribal affiliations set in there is absolutely no room for reason.

The most corrupt people in Ghana and Africa for that matter, also happen to be the elite class, most with doctorates. They form the core of the cleptocrats. Their luxurious lifestyles often cost the state more than necessary but nobody takes any action to stop this lunacy. Let me explain that a PhD in Ghana does not necessarily mean the holder has contributed anything to the field of knowledge. Here, a certificate simply designates a title. The worst mistake one can ever make as a subordinate is to try to report an allegedly corrupt official to one’s overall boss. One will be reporting to the ‘thief executive officer’ and thereby identifying oneself as a traitor in the organisation. This can cost you a promotion or salary increment etc considering that firing a public servant in Ghana is not a straight forward procedure. The thieves, supported by the ignorant masses, continue to rule in Africa.

Dusk At Seaside

….for your viewing pleasure. I love water and also blue is my favourite colour. The golden reflections of sunlight on the water was amazing. Of course the camera didn’t do this place justice.

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After bathing, I sat facing this chair. Sometimes all you need is a little solitude.

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This guy run across the view finder. I don’t know him.

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I met a clown who acted for free.

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That’s all folks!

A Bird

If I was a bird, I will

sing for those in despair.

I will fly high into the heavens and

 

send a petition to the gods.

Perhaps I will build my nest high

up in the midst of twigs and enjoy peace.

 

O, wind of the heavens,

redeem all venomous serpents

who dare the falcon’s flight.

 

And grant wings, I pray thee,

to those poor flightless rats

Who suffer the serpent’s wrath.

 

© 2014. Tawia Tsekumah.

 

Africa Is A Beautiful Place

WillieWaddell_VictoriaCameraClub_AfricanDawn_Birds

Image credit: victoriacameraclub.org

 

The birds, the trees,

The animals and the people –

There is nowhere like Africa.

But of course it depends on

 

How one looks at it.

When you go to the restaurant

And a menu is presented,

You decide what you must eat.

 

It is the same with knowledge,

Especially about Africa.

To me, Africa

Means Abundance…

Kill That Voice

photo credit: ingervandyke.com

 

Many a time

We hear voices.

Voices, telling us what

we can and cannot be.

 

Sadly some of these voices

Live on in us into old age –

Still telling us what we can

And cannot do.

 

But I tell you,

Kill that voice

And listen to you.

‘There is nothing good or bad

 

But thinking makes it so,’ says Shakespeare.

If you think you can, then you can.

If you think you cannot, then you cannot

And for that matter, you should not.

 

 

A New Beginning

New beginning...

Photo credit: alexkess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doctors and Scientists do not know everything,

They condemn that which they do not understand,

And fix meaning where there is none,

Many times, doctors give people death sentences,

When in fact there is a new life ahead,

They say it’s the age of reason,

But the more rational we become,

The more problems we create,

I do not know what your worry is,

Maybe you have a health condition,

Or maybe you have lost a loved one,

Or you are simply on the wrong side of life,

Whatever it is,

Take a look, deep down into the depths of your soul,

And perhaps, just when you understand ”Why me?”,

You will be healed and that will be a new beginning.

Freedom Farm

Ladies and gentlemen, in my previous posts I was occupied with, as it were, some problems of life, my life. They were issues of the past and of the present but now I will take a step forward to critically examine the life that has been presented to us writers, poets, designers, artists and activists alike. We are born into some purported inadequacy, a certain social defect, so to speak, and the world has rejected us. Coupled with that, thousands are imprisoned, some tortured, others denied employment and all forms of social benefits and still others simply abused, just because of our nature which we have no control over – we are the victims. This nature, to be more precise is called simplicity of mind or in a more familiar word, truth.

Three days ago, I meditated and denied myself food, water and all forms of ‘enjoyment’ of the modern world so as to request a solution for our problems. And oh my! Just last night I had a dream. In this dream, I was lifted by the ancestors into the realm of the spirit hovering above a waterfall very much like the Victoria in Africa. There, behold, there were many different kinds of birds – flamingoes, pelicans, weaverbirds, magpies, hummingbirds, parrots, robins and geese flying around. There were also many different kinds of fishes in the river and as I stood, the ancestors instructed a farm to be built for the good people of this world. This farm is to be called Freedom Farm.

As I woke up from my sleep, I worked out the details of this farm in compliance with instructions given me in the dream. The farm will cover a thousand and two hundred plot land near the Victoria Falls and shall be walled. It shall have different kinds of food crops and tubers such as yams, cocoyam, corn, cassava, plantain, sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, chilli pepper and in fact all the vegetables needed by mankind. There shall also be fruits such as oranges, pineapples, apples, bananas, pears, cashew, water melons, sugarcane and all other nutritious fruits. This, according to the ancestors is the path to our freedom from wage slavery.

In this freedom farm there is no American or Chinese. Neither is there a European or Arab or African. We are all one big happy family united in peace, love and liberty. This Farm will be the only place on earth where no one will have to work to live. The universe provided man and other animals with an abundance of everything they need for free, hence freedom farm and there will be no lawyers, no judges, no crime, no punishment, no police, no slanderers, no critics, no bosses, no preachers, no religion and definitely no politics. All applicants to the freedom farm will be critically examined physically and psychologically to establish the fact that they are a people, naturally good but struggling with a wicked world. No ‘highly civilized man’, who is joyously aligned to the outside world, brutalizing his fellow-man for personal gain, will ever enter the gates of freedom farm as I myself will be the gate-keeper. Life in the farm will be an endless session of fishing, farming, cooking, baking or sewing and all those who love fishing do the fishing. All who love farming do the farming. Those who love all activities do all and if there is anything no one likes, we all do it. ‘No’ is simply a forbidden word in the freedom farm. No one is the exclusive partner or friend to the other. In fact there is nothing like ownership as they have in the wicked world where people sometimes keep things they don’t really need while those who need them are starved of them. Anyone who is found to have misconducted him or herself in the farm is simply caught, bound and thrown back to the wicked world from which he or she came. The police and judges will then decide what to do with him. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the ancestors have said.

Our current life is made of twists and turns. There are those who work so hard, where I live, yet retire and fade into nothingness. Nothing, so far, in life works for its purpose. The strong constantly oppress the weak and there is no mercy for the poor. Unlike heaven which we have waited for, for over two thousand years and still waiting, freedom farm will be established in only three years if you yourselves support it. You may even give suggestions or even help establish a trusteeship to handle donor funds meant to build the farm in Africa. I am completely convinced that the supreme creator will be happy at such effort when he finally comes to redeem us in the end.

I believe that as you have been listening to me, a lot of questions may have gone through your mind. Questions like: how will people of different races, cultural backgrounds, climate and language be able to live under one roof or one place in nowhere than the tropics of Africa? And will there be television, radio, internet and other sources of entertainment?

My answer is very simple – one who has joy like a river flowing through his soul has very little need for electronic entertainment? And like I said earlier, the location of this farm, being near a waterfall will ensure that the inhabitants live in a microclimate which is suitable for people coming from up north or down south. The whole farm will be cold and quiet except for the singing and chirping of birds and the occasional voices of excitement and laughter. In the outside world you need to listen to radio or watch television or stay online to learn and avoid dangerous people or circumstances but in this farm there is no such a word as danger. The joy in our souls is enough to shut down all forms of apprehension and I bet you, you will not even remember your alarm clock or dairy.

Ladies and gentlemen, freedom farm will provide for us a world free from anxiety and full of artistic expression. As long as you have fully subscribed to the outside world and its madness, be prepared for frustration. I hope by now you have heard the song:

Joy like a river,

Joy like a river,

Joy like a river, in my soul.

I have no more to say to you.