If a man in the street were to pursue his self, what kind of guiding thought would he come up with about changing his existence? He would perhaps discover that his brain is not yet dead, that his body is not dried up, and that no matter where he is right now, he is still the creator of his own destiny. He can change this destiny by taking his one decision to change seriously, by fighting his petty resistance against change and fear, by learning more about his mind, by trying out behavior which fills his real need, by carrying out concrete acts rather than conceptualizing about them, by practicing to see and hear and touch and feel as he has never before used these senses, by creating something with his own hands without demanding perfection, by thinking out ways in which he behaves in a self-defeating manner, by listening to the words and looking into the eyes of those who speak to him, by learning to respect the process of his own creative encounters and by having faith that they will get him somewhere soon.
We must remind ourselves, however, that no change takes place without working hard and without getting your hands dirty. There are no formulae and no books to memorize on becoming, I only know this: I exist, I am, I am here, I am becoming, I make my life and no one else makes it for me, I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, and transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live again. And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming YOU or LIFE or GOD.
[Source: A paper delivered by Zinker for the Gestall Institute in Cleveland]
Everyday, the Krobo tribe, like a lamb, is sent to the slaughter house for its cultural practices. This is intensified every April, as April ushers in the annual Dipo festival. This practice is an initiation of girls into womanhood.
Kroboland was one of the communities that had a missionary station in the mid 1800. After the missions left Osu to Abokobi, they then expanded their evangelism to the forest areas of the then Gold Coast. They first moved to Akropong-Akuapem and then to Kroboland.
Krobo was chosen for various reasons. One of such been that the people were heathen and needed to be “rescued from the shackles of the devil” who had enslaved their forefathers for centuries. The leading cause of this bondage by the devil, according to the missionaries, is the Dipo custom that is performed for Virgins. Intriguing, isn’t it???
To the understanding of the Missionaries, this custom dedicates girls to a deity who has sexual intercourse with the virgins before they are married to Mortal men. Funny, isn’t it??? This of course, they found out much later to be a complete and blatant lie – the white priests could not believe and understand that strong abled men could withstand semi-naked girls without their sexual fantasies being aroused.
Hundred years down the line, this same argument is being made by non-natives and therefore, they question why the girls are not covered. Even though initiates are covered in recent times, same questions continue to linger and echo each time.
The white priests were using their corrupted minds to judge the men of the Krobo Society – Men, who hardly live on the mountain settlement because they were on their ‘valley’ palm plantations and beyond the Akuapem-Togo ridge tendering to the plantations. The White priests were using their ‘ Similar to Me Perception’ to prejudice the whole ‘Nation’ – Kroboland.
Because the Basel mission wanted to ‘save’ lost souls of the Krobo, they garnered all their strengths and ammunitions and vehemently fought the Krobo. In implementing their plan of action, they moved to establish their mission station at Odumase-Krobo, the capital of Manya Krobo.
They then established a girls’ school that offers home science and vocational training – yes, the current Krobo Girls was interestingly established to kill off the Traditional Home Science and Vocational training institute of the Krobo.
The mission also acquired lands and offered them to anyone who would not let their daughters undergo the Dipo custom. These communities are Salem in Odumase and Manya-Kpongonor and, Labour in Somanya – capital of Yilo Krobo.
The last nail to the coffin was when the mission made the colonial government pass an Ordinance to outlaw all Krobo customs and traditions. Yes, all Krobo customs were outlawed in 1892. Even dressing like a dipoyo was against the laws and attracted punishment.
But in all these, the custom thrived under the cover of darkness. The Krobo people as well as their neighbours – the Shai and Osudoku, have carried the torch of their Traditions high and kept it burning with lots of palm oil to this day.
At the end, the Basel mission found wisdom and embraced the Dipo custom. They found out that, Dipo do not only make the girls keep their virginity, but also gives them the necessary training to be very useful to the society.
Today, the Presbyterian Church is not against the Performance and observation of Dipo.
Are the latter day Charismatic Churches and the new born again Christians oblivious of this history? Do they just want to sing the same chorus of lost souls and burning in hell? The church had fought Dipo and lost, still losing and will lose till Kroboland is no more.
Even the influential Missionaries with the aid of the all powerful Colonial government could not stop the People of Krobo from practicing their custom. Will the ‘New Church succeed where the old failed? One thing is very Clear, it only takes a people to stop their tradition. And as far as I know, there is a recent resurgence of the practice even among young ones who vowed never to observe the Dipo practice of their ancestors.
There are a few things that are difficult to understand. One being Estate Companies trying to take over every space on earth to create ‘beautiful’ concrete jungles and the other being small (and medium) scale mining, better known in the local parlance as ‘Galamsey’.
Galamsey does not only destroy the land and our forest but also water bodies and their inhabitants. Many sources of water available for citizens are destroyed and Ghana Water Company as it is, spends a lot of money to treat water to make it consumable for its consumers. Soon, water would be scares and the most expensive commodity in the country (if it isn’t already). Our forest covers are vanishing and Our Water Bodies are also polluted.
In our haste to create habitats, we destroy all the available arable land. Human in his insatiable greed for wealth, foolishly destroys Nature. Human has become this big monster that devours everything in his path – floral and fauna, plants and water resources. These, ironically, are the very resources that human needs for his very survival. Hunan is going on a foray to destroy all that nature bestowed on him to protect.
Even though concrete jungles are beautiful, their beauty cannot be compared to that of nature. What becomes of beauty when the stomach is empty. When food, which is said to be the basic need of the Human being is not available. Humankind, would of course, go extinct.
The chemicals that are used in the mining processes, has a dire effect on humankind. These chemicals are not biodegradable and therefore would have future generations would suffer the consequences of our current actions and/or inactions.
Unfortunately, state institutions seems to either be sleeping or in bed with the culprits. The Politician is either also in cahoots with the perpetrators or is directly involved in the destruction of the environment. There is just not the Political will to curb this menace. Only lip service so far.
Wealth is good, but wait till the last Animal dies, the last fish vanishes and the last plant dies. There, we would all understand that, it is worthless to hold cash or any valuable metal as a store of value or legal tender. It is then we would all realize that, money is valueless without commodities.
The Kasoa ‘Ritual’ Murder by some teenagers has rekindled the discussion on what our TV sets have become over the few past few years.
The introduction of digital satellite broadcasting has brought about the proliferation of television stations, with its attendant “junk” content. Many a people thought this would enhance the viewer’s television experience. The viewer would be spoilt with choice and would bring about better programming.
But what do we see? This revolution has rather been about a revolution on money charming Fetish Priests, occult groups promising quick money, Pastors offering quick fixes to all problems in this world, scammers promising to double the viewer’s money. And how could we forget how the many “lotto doctors” ply their trade with impunity on our screens?
If a Child learns through imitation, then the easiest way to teach a nation is by having a dedicated TV channel that would portray the lifestyles that the child should imitate.
Definitely, children and adults alike, will imitate what we see on our screens – kissing Telenovelas, comic releasing Indian soaps, affluent living Nigerian and Ghanaian movies, violent American movies, money charming and all problem solving Priests and Priestesses, and all illness curing Prophets and Prophetesses.
For years, there has been nothing on Tree Planting, Environmental Protection, Animal and Pet care, Farming and farm products, construction and all the other lessons a child needs to form his imagination. Not even TV stations that are branded in one profession or the other, are specialized in what they claim to be their motto.
Our children are definitely living in a dark world. Why won’t they engage in ‘Sakawa’, drug abuse and sexual Indiscipline? The youth definitely has not seen hard work on TV. All they do see are the lavish lifestyles of people, profligacy and of course, there are the twerking naked women on TV. Our youths are living the TV ‘stage’ life.
Ironically, our leaders and their children do not watch the same channels. Let’s not kid ourselves, they do not watch Ghana Television. Others would rather watch animals than watch Ghana television. They have pay-per-view television that shows a variety of Science, Technology and programmes that suit their children. They watch the real world whiles ours watch the fanciful studio created utopian world.
You are what you watch, see and hear. We are reaping what we sowed and continue to sow.
The end of Slavery ushered in colonialism. Colonialism was to end forced labour in the Americas but use same in the African colonies to produce goods that would be needed in the European Countries which depended on Free Slave Labour.
Both Slavery and Colonialism were perpetrated in conjunction with ‘Stronger African Tribes'(The Strength being the Power of the white man’s gun), Mullatos and the African Elite(Western Educated and Christianised Blacks).
The Mullatos and the Elite became the Political class. At the dawn of independence, their masters only handed over the baton to their servants so that the wheel of slavery and forced labour will continue to grind. Any African Leader who therefore wanted to change the status quo is quickly eliminated and a puppet placed in his stead.
And so it was and been since the Portuguese placed foot on our shores.
It is time the history of Ghana includes the stories of the minority tribes. Groupings that have to run atop mountains, valleys and on water to survive.
Groups that run from major tribes that were fully involved in the slaving of their fellow Africans – tribes that took payment in Guns, schnapps and mirrors so that they can invade smaller and weaker communities. These smaller communities were not armed with the white man’s gun but had to defend themselves with sticks and stones. These communities have no army but men tilling the lands to feed their societies. These were the societies that were run over by our so-called stronger tribes.
Our history should talk about how these tribes were attacked and ransacked by tribes that our present history said fought off the white man even though it was these very tribes that aided and advanced the white man’s slave trade. For the white man barely moved out of the coastal areas of Ghana.
It is disheartening that all Africans accused of aiding in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade even though my Ancestors have to seek refuge atop the Krobo Mountains jus to preserve my lineage.
The Okada (Commercial Motor Cycle) has become a mainstay in heavy traffic jammed cities and unmotorable roads in the most remote areas of West Africa and has seen its emergence in similar fashion in Ghana. They have also become a source of employment for teeming youths who have taken advantage of the numerous transportation challenges across the country.
Many a people in the cities have been faced with the problem of commuting to and from work each and every day with the successive governments seemingly clueless as to solutions to the transportation problems. People were also faced with problem of choosing the best and faster way of transportation to avoid the heavy traffic jams. The heavy traffic jam causes lateness to work and exhaustion of commuters. Commuters also make it late home after work. This makes it very difficult to recuperate lost energy and energized for the next day’s work. It is estimated that the country loses millions of Ghana Cedis due to traffic jams. The Okada came to solve this problems.
People in the remotest areas of Ghana have to walk many miles to be able to access the basics of life. Meanwhile, No vehicle is willing to ply the roads or paths to these communities – The trotros refuses to go and the taxis refuse to move. Then the saviour came in the form of the Okada. The Okada indeed has brought joy to the many who have patronised its services.
But is the Okada part of Ghana’s long term Transportation plan? The answer is a definite no. The obvious solutions would be an efficient Bus Rapid Transit system – Ayalolo, a Tram system, an underground Rail system and a SkyTrain. But all these ‘fancy’ Transportation solutions are found in first world countries. Ghana is not close to becoming a first world country and per what I see, it will take almost eternity to get there.
The Okada solution just like most Solutions in this part of the world, is a temporal one. It will only solve the problem on the short to meduim term.
The Okada also serves as a business for the many unemployed youth. And even a year can make a lot of difference to an unemployed person and has clientele as well. The operation of Okada albeit for a short term will solve West Africa’s employment problem for a while.
Do we need Okada now? The answer is yes and as much as the problems that Okada came to solve exist, it will be a viable means of Transport and Business.
Somanya is just a few Kilometres from the Volta River. This River can be drank even without treatment but the taps hardly flow in Somanya.
The problem is definitely not the water because there is so much of it at the Kpong intake point. It probably the problem of treatment or the distribution of the water.
Weekends are for Weddings, Baby Christenings, Graduations, Parties and Funerals. This time when Residents need water most is when Ghana Water Company’s pipes sleep most. Residents mostly do the cooking and laundry in the weekend as well but there would not be even a drop of water in taps making these tasks possible to do.
The taps neither flow during the Dry Season nor the Rainy Season, weekdays or weekends. The water only flows and stops on unannounced days at wee hours of the night when everyone is sleeping.
It is prosperity that attracts visitors. It is beauty that attracts suitors. Once Africa was very beautiful. Beautiful with flora and fauna.
And endowed with the most precious and strong minerals. Very pregnant with people and, crafts, arts and the best of music.
Then came the numerous suitors. First Came the Arabs who hard their way with her but were a bit gentle. Even after they had their way, she still was beautiful and still endowed.
After the Arabs came the Europeans. The European, the ugliest and backward of all, didn’t treat her kindly at all. They raped her severally and painfully. Disfigured her body and beauty. After several bouts of rapes, they decided to leave her to die. After all, we have had her drenched of all her beauty.
But alas! they were never satisfied. They didn’t have their fill. If we leave her, who would breastfeed our children and quench our thirst. Why don’t we divide her and have a peace of her. Thus the rape continued. Then they decided to give her a bit of respite. They call it independence.
The once beauty of beauties that have been whored for hundreds of years now can breath. Can have some rest.
This would never be because the Chinese after regaining their strength after being beaten and Opiumed by the European have come to taste her nectar.. They have heard that African is regaining her beauty. Unfortunately, the children of Africa are ready to sell her for Peanuts.
Muslims lived with Christians, Jews and Africans when they were ruling Spain but never discriminated thus Islam, Christianity and Judaism coexisted peacefully.
Mughal Moslems invaded and ruled Indian for years but Hindu and Hinduism persisted.
Chinese traveled the world. They travelled to the horn of Africa with ships and to other parts via the silk road. They never conquered nor converted.
Then came the European – the Christian led by the Church – By the Holy seer. The Christ on Earth. This which he inherited through the Apostle Peter who Christ himself choose to represent him after his Ascension. Just like God gave his begotten son to the earth, so he gave the European to rule over all. The moment Spain was in their control, they run anyone else out of the country. The rest they put under the knife. They fought, amassed wealth, converted and killed for their God – the only God. That God that created all in his own image.
But thinks to Christian propaganda we blame Moslems for killing for Allah and only lips are filled with the word Holy Jihad.