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Dear Wofa Kapokyikyi:

I bring you warm buharattan greetings from Amalaman where the value of cowries here, otherwise known as naiwries, is falling faster than the rate at which Nana Premang Ntow’s teeth fell out. 
Another big story we are all watching from here is what role Oga Kpatakpata will let Amalaman play in sorting how Papa Jammeh, who drank humble sobolo after losing the bid to extend his time on the throne and then spat it all out, saying that he forgot that he hadn’t prepare for his time as an ex-Oga. 
You know, Wofa, that Amalaman exported democracy to Sierra Leone when it (Amalaman) had none at home. Sister Charity was definitely not at home. With democracy now in place in Amalaman, Oga Kpatakpata and Amalamanians will be more than eager to support the move to uproot Papa Jammeh like a yam.
We watch to see how it goes.
This week, my friend Abena Krobea shared a video about a young Malawian inventor called William Kamkwamba. In the video, the young man recounted how famine was ravaging his country in the early 2000s and how he had to drop out of secondary school. Determined to still educate himself, he decided to frequently visit the library of his former school and to read books, especially science books. From one of those books, he learnt about windmills, and decided to build one himself. Not having the requisite materials, he visited scrap yards around his house and salvaged bits and bits including bicycle parts, and PVC pipes, and built his first wind mills that powdered his house with electricity and also pumped water for irrigation. Awesome stuff! Inspirational!
In this TED talk by William, he made a profound statement: “I tried it. And I made it.” He made a move with his ideas, he took a risk on his dreams.
When I watched the video and as I personally tango with the many ideas I have that I haven’t tried, knowing what I to do and yet not doing it, procrastinating, thinking of how to do it perfectly, yet holding back and worrying about the passage of time, giving me a headache, I looked at William and I am provoked to take the pill of action and welcome my relief.
But it is not that easy and that is when I decided to write to you and share my reflections.
At a book reading at Rennie’s Garden, Dr Ruby Goka told us that one of the worse things about being a doctor or a medical student is that when one got ill, he or she only imagines the worse of possible illnesses. 
Same with the educated African. The educated African seems only to be conditioned for steady state conditions, to feel comfortable only when conditions are certain and all risks have been fully analysed and covered.
The educated African is the most afraid to take risks on his dreams.
Not so with many entrepreneurs who need to take a plunge into uncertain waters. Not so with William, who tried it and made it.
I am going to try, Wofa. Many of us are struggling with dreams that are in turbulent state. Unclear about how the dreams will pan out and unsure about whether the dreams are even sensible enough. Like seasoned sailors, like Peter the disciple, we look at the water and the weather and drop anchor, refusing to sail out. 
I will sail, Wofa.
The story is told of the rich man whose only daughter fell into a pond infested with crocodiles, at a game reserve. In desperation, as he looked at one giant crocodile close in on his daughter, the rich man shouted for help and promised that whoever could rescue his precious daughter would be given half of his entire wealth. Out of nowhere, one young man dived into the pond, swam quickly and brought the girl out, just in time to miss the closing jaws of the monster crocodile!
After catching his breath, everyone was eager to know from the young man what gave him such confidence.
“Young man,” they all asked at once, “what do you have to say about such daring? We all want to know what moved you to dive in. Was it the promised money?”
“Thank you all,” he started, “but what I really want to know first is who pushed me!”
Either pushed or not, I am going to learn to dive, Wofa.
“I tried. And I made it. Trust yourself. And believe.” Those are the words of Kamkwamba.
As I reflect some more, the story of a friend of mine, let’s call her Adwoa, come strongly to me. Adwoa was passionate about training and development, and talked continuously about how she would love to set up an outfit for that purpose when she went out of the company on an expected early retirement. We called it “being paid off”. That day never came. One day, Adwoa didn’t return to work. She died with her dream.
I am going to find that vim to dive, Wofa. Because, as I told Aboko my friend, sometimes one needs to know when to move before he is pushed. And I have seen a lot of pushing lately. Your company can decide to push you, to sack you. And then you would find that you can actually swim very well and beat crocodiles.
I tried and I made it. William has really provoked me.
Till I come your way another time with another sebitical letter from Amalaman, I remain:
Sebitically yours,

Kapokyikyiwofaase

It was my senior Moshie Dayan who famously declared when someone tripped him in a fierce fight for a loaf of bread during scattey at the dining hall that “the gbedement of the nueɛ is not the end of his life”. The English have a different translation for this, that the downfall of a man does not signify the end of his life. Indeed, this holds true for any venture in which success eludes at any instance. The critical thing is what one does with, and after, such a blip, and whether or not one keeps going. It was Winston Churchill who said that “success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm”. I call that vim.


Sikaman just entered a new era. There has just been a change in the Ahenfie. The people, subjects no more but citizens, as christened by the new Odekuro, decided to give Odekuro Okasafo Yohani Mahani Nikaboka rest. Behold, we have a new Odekuro!


Odekuro Odieasem Nana Tutubrofo Dankwawura, Wofa Kapokyikyi welcomes you. Wofa says that w’aba a, ti na si. 


This was Wofa Kappkyikyi’s prayer for you as he poured libation at Liberty Fan Club yesterday: “May your reign be peaceful and prosperous. May your reign bring us fruits so big that we will check the size of our posterior orifice before we attempt any swallowing. May the ancestors be with you and grant you wisdom.”


I could only nod and say wiɛ!


As the change of Odekuro took place, so did the change of Yaanomship. As my friend Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng succinctly captured it, there exists in Sikaman an ancient club called the Yaanomites. They are an old and proud fraternity, fiercely dedicated to the Odekuroship. 


Their role and passion is to serve the Odekuro, and they do it best when blindfolded. You wonder how they know who to target when they cover their eyes? Simple. They first group all people into two camps: pro-Yaanom and anti-Yaanom. When a message is received, they first check out the messenger: is he for us or against us? When the citizens, not subjects, are in camps, it is easy to volley verbal cannons into the enemy camp. “Are you on the Lord’s side?”


The Yaanomites have been mentioned in many of the discussions under trees, especially those that take place when we gather to play dami. It has been said that the Yaanomites were staunch adherents to the Baba-Jamalian principle, also known as Goat-to-Cow, and that their stuffing of their ears with mmɛfi (the dry fibre from palm nut fruits after the extraction of palm oil and soup, used in the past to deodorise the water pot or cooler), making them hard of hearing, contributed to the gbedement of the old Odekuro. 


But that is in the past now. The good thing about the Yaanomites is that their ranks are refreshed with the entrance of a new Odekuro. The old Yaanomites then move to a place of purgatory, where one is cleansed of yaanomidity, awaiting whether to become anti-Yaanom or to be yaaneutral.


So, change has happened and so has the change in Yaanomship. Hail the new Yaanom. Again, Wofa says mo aba a, mo ntina si. 


The new Yaanomites didn’t have to wait long to get to work. Odekuro’s first speech after his enstoolment provided the first shooting practice. It was a good speech, and clearly no one needed elevation to appreciate that fact.


Odekuro Tutubrofo kasa yɛ! The speech was full of both vim and akeshaa, with the right doses of arish-rish. No kontomire. And we hailed and clapped and said “Wiɛ! Tutu bra!”


After the reggae, we play the blues. And it was in the playing of the blues that citizens, not subjects, of Sikaman found that some of the reggae of Odekuro’s brofo should have been sang with the voice of Bush the Texan who himself had sang the same song done years ago by Woodrow the Wailer. Not our own Ankry the Wailer, who we will discuss one day soon. Such wailing skills cannot be allowed to wallow or wane.


Come and see plenty posts and opinions on plagiarism and copyrights and thems thems. Soon, the Yaanomites had to take charge and then we began to see one key evidence of the classic Yaanomated strike: a text being shared on all platforms. The best way to identify such Y-texts is the inscription at the end: “Forwarded as received”. It usually tells you the sender doesn’t understand the text, hasn’t critically analysed it or doesn’t really believe it.


And soon enough, there followed the next stage of yaanomstition: they are against us; they want to pour sand into our gari, they didn’t see this in the past.


Change has come. Tables have turned. And the change of Yaanomship is completed.


But there is hope yet. The principles of Yaanomidity are not cast in stone. The Yaanomites don’t need to operate blindfolded. Citizens, not subjects, don’t need to be placed in camps. And the old ranking members of the Y-Club don’t have to be seen as rabble-rousers.  


We have one Sikaman to build. Yaanomites have to quickly hone the skills of separating the palm oil and soup from the mmɛfi, of separating message from messenger and harnessing the collective wisdom of all Sikamanians. It is said that even a faulty wall clock is right twice in a day. 


And, oh, when Yaanomites find themselves in a slippery hole, Wofa says they should please stop digging.


Change has come. And so some of your old friends will start calling and chatting with you again. Some will start sharing your posts. Some will start hailing you and saying how great your thoughts are.


Don’t worry that your posts and viewpoints haven’t changed much and wonder why your views suddenly make sense.


Change goes various ways.


Till I come your way again with another sebitical, I remain:


Sebitically yours,

Kapokyikyiwofaase

​**My friend Billy Hanyabui asked me to share this for the New Year. Enjoy this excerpt from Sebitically Speaking. Happy New Year!**

I have had a long debate with my friends on what exactly should be the right expression in Twi used to wish one another a happy new year. Literally, in Sikaman, we exchange greetings to express our appreciation for seeing another year, in experiencing the full cycle of another year. So in Twi, we say that afe akɔ asani abɛto yɛn, meaning ‘the year has gone (round) and met us again’ (in good health). Therefore, afe ɛkyia yɛn nhyia pa. So is the right expression Afe-nhyia-pa or Afe-hyia-pa?

Whichever one it is, Happy New Year. May another afe (year) go and come and meet us again, in good health, for us all and our loved ones.
The beginning of the year is always a special one for my family and I. Our dad Bombay focused more on celebrating the first of January than Christmas and would strive to have us in our hometown, Wasa Akropong, for annual reunions. 

Incidentally, it was on his way back from the town centre after buying biscuits for a children’s party he was organising in Wasa Akropong that he was knocked down by a hit-and-run driver whose overtaking went wrong. He was declared dead on arrival at the district hospital in Akropong on 31 December, 2005. So at the end of each year and the beginning of the next, we remember Bombay and the influence he had on us, his children. I am sure he is sitting with his brother, Wofa Kapokyikyi, reading this right now. Bombay, nnipa nsɛ hwee . Da yie . We remember you.

In my book Through the Gates of Thought, I reflected on the unit of time; and how it appears that time itself was getting shorter, leading to the question which became the subject of one discussion: Are the days and years getting shorter? I mused over the fact that time “comes to pass” whether we are stressed, relaxed or doing nothing, whether we are overworked or underworked. 
I recall one Monday in August 2005 during my postgraduate studies in Nottingham, UK, when I was contemplating the sheer amount of work I needed to do before the end of that week. I had three major assignments to submit and I had absolutely no idea where and how to start almost all of them! I felt really stressed. Our course Director and lecturer for our Desalination class, Professor Nidal Hilal, asked me in a casual conversation as we waited in the corridor before the start of class, how things were going, and I remarked to him that there was just too much to do before the end of week. His response was deep – that we always underestimate the capacity of the human body to withstand stress and the capability of the human brain. He assured me that I will certainly survive that week, and I did! I am here, to tell my story! Of course, that week passed. 
The lesson from Professor Hilal has always challenged me to look at how I can fully utilise my days. The late motivational speaker, Myles Munroe, famously asked his listeners to ensure that they go to the grave empty, emptied of all the potentials they can possibly explore on earth. Our days can always take an extra bit of initiative and activity and, as we start this new year 2015, I wish to challenge you on some kpa-kpa-kpa-solutions (resolutions to help your ‘hustle’) this year. Kpa-kpa-kpa comes from an interview of a guy who indicated that it represented the hustle to make ends meet on a daily basis in Sikaman. 

My writer friend, Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng explains that kpa-kpa-kpa “strictly excluded stealing and included legitimate means of ‘hustling’ by piecing this and that together to keep body and soul together”. 
The analysis and reflection of how time passes was the subject of a telephone conversation in the last quarter of 2014, with my good friend, Dr. Moses Ademola, who practises in Ireland. We chatted about general life issues and got to the topic of building houses for our families. I argued that building a house can be a long-term project that needs steady progress once you start, even in a small way, indicating that averagely, it takes about ten years for people to build their own homes. Moses countered that a period of ten years was too long and one should save enough to build quickly in about two years. My counter argument was that in most West African countries, the value of one’s savings are usually wiped out by inflation and so it is almost difficult to save enough to build because the increase in the prices of building materials would render the amount saved inadequate when one is finally ready, so the best way is to start building, phasing the stages out. I ‘killed’ the argument when I reminded Moses that it had been eight years since we both completed our studies at Nottingham University. He was amazed that this was close to the ten years he said was too long!
In 2011, I encountered one of my lowest points, triggered by too much thinking and self-assessment. One of the main points of disappointment with myself was that contrary to the advice of my first boss, Auntie Aba, I still hadn’t started on the project of stopping the payment of rent. What I argued about with Moses was my action plan. A long-term plan based on small steps and actions will always get results. In Unilever, we were taught to have a bias for action and to appreciate the wisdom in the mantra that small actions everyday make a great difference. My personal mantra has been as follows: ‘Think Big, Start Small, Move Fast’. This year, get started on building a house. 
There are a lot of other ideas you have and have been waiting for the right time to start for years. Remember that the first time someone ever did something, s/he did it as an amateur. Start. Brown leaves fall, green leaves fall too. Don’t over-analyse to paralysis. Move. Do it! 
My boys told me in late 2014 that they would be attending Universities in the UK and US. I took a mental note quickly and this year, I want to start a long-term plan for investment for their University fees. Fortunately, I have about a decade to do that. This year, plan for your children a decade or two from now.
In 2012, I realised that working away from my family, I would have some spare time especially in the evenings and could finally make time to study for a professional course in Supply Chain as I have wished to for years. I set myself a target of three years to complete it and made a budget to fund the course over thirty-six months. That led me to an online course with Liverpool University, comprising eight modules plus a dissertation. As I write now, I just started the seventh module and I have nine more monthly payments to do. As explained earlier, the time passed even though I filled the cup that represented my day with gravel, sand and water!
A lot of people are taking courses online and adding to their knowledge. A number of full-time workers are taking evening courses and doing part-time studies. Don’t sit and complain and say no one is appreciating you at work when your worth is not appreciating because you are learning nothing new. Start a course. Time still goes by whether you are too busy or not.
This year, make time to sit with at least two of your mentors and pick their wisdom to guide you. If you don’t have any mentors, get at least two and engage with them. As you do this, get them or other close friends to give you feedback on how you did last year and what you need to do better.
This year, if you promise to return a call, keep your promise especially if you are a businessman or woman. And keep your promises to your friends. A promise kept is the first indication of respect.
This year, plan a trip to one of the regions in Ghana with your family. I suggest the Volta region or the Northern region. You will enjoy it and the children will learn. You will learn too.
Take the children to your hometown. Don’t break the link with your roots.
This year, try and speak your local language with your children. They may not learn enough to speak it fluently but they will learn it well enough to understand it. That would be a good start.

Success in life is not just about the destination, but the journey itself. Make time to smell the roses, make friends, create memories, and enjoy the moments.
A very Happy New Year to you!
Till I come your way with another sebitical, I remain:
Sebitically yours, 

Kapokyikyiwofaase

In the fourth year after the old Odekuro Asomdwehene Obenefo Yohani Atta Nikanika died, there arose three men from the land of Montie who came shouting in the wilderness: “Make way for the Son of Drahama, Odekuro Okasafo Yohani Mahani Nikaboka, he who has been anointed to rule in the affairs of the land with yentie-obianic vim!” 
And all the men and women and animals of the air, sea and land asked, “From whence cometh these folks who speaketh forth with vitriolic fervour?”
When the cries of the people reached the ears of Odekuro, he nodded and said the people needed elevation to see the source of the fervour that had taken hold of the Men of Montie.  
When the Men of Montie did the ultimate biegya and took the judges of the Supreme Council of the Ahenfie Court to the laundry behind Obaapanyin Potisaa’s house, washing them clean and hanging them out to dry, and when summoned to the Council and asked to go sleep some time in the stool room to reflect on their utterances, Odekuro went to the room under the cover of darkness and opened the door, releasing them to go, with the admonishment, “Go and biegya no more on the Council, but toaso on all others”.
As they stepped out of the stool room, Amakye the town crier followed them with his afekyirewaa, singing Yentie Obiaa. 
Imbued with such royal encouragement, the Men of Montie proceeded to biegya, with all buccal cavities at full blast.
But trust Wofa Kapokyikyi, the life patron of Liberty Fan Club, whose motto toasonically remains yɛ bu didi and whose bitters is fortified with the choicest roots of Sikaman, to get to the root of the matter. He told me that the source of the montienic fervour was political akpeteshie.
From my elementary chemistry as taught by Teacher Johnson, the fuse from political akpeteshie exhibits both diffusive and osmotic tendencies, flowing from an area of high concentration to that of low concentration and also permeating all spheres of the society.
Soon, this fervour found its way to royal rooms and, in a weird chain reaction that managed to defy the Vander Waals theorem, this fervour reacted with the gbeshinic catalyst and found not a few royal victims.
Come and see biegya paa from high places.
And so it came to pass that the custodians of our tradition decided to indulge in binge drinking of this political apio. One chief, who speaks with a similar tongue as we do in Wasa, used bɛn kɔdi bɛn tɔn to express his wish to become a serial caller just to show how Odekuro has so transform Sikaman that his lineage should rule forever. And the people of the Dorma said “Omanhene, kasa!” With such loud encomiums, this chief proceeded to say that if he lost that argument as a serial caller, Nananom should have a say about his stool. But Nana was sly, he spoke in sebi-pothetical terms. 
Many more chiefs spoke for and against Odekuro. It was a free-for-all royal biegyanisation. Political akpeteshie flowed on the land, and across it, ubiquitous like the Pra and the Volta in its reach.
But the biegyaest of all was the Omanhene of Gbese who got overtaken by all the seven spirits of gbeshie and proclaimed that ɛbaa yi shie if Naa Toshie’s friend ever gets a stool! Come and see clapping! “Twaa! Twaa! Omanye aba!” the people cried.
It has been said that when Nii saw the word “biegya” which means “open fire” in Twi, the Ga word for fire, which is “la”, ekikied him and made him to “la lala” (sing a song).
Odekuro heard the song and was pleased. 
So it came to pass when it had all passed that Naa Toshie’s friend took the real commanding lead and cruised to victory.
The constitution of the Sikaman enjoins the chiefs to stay out of drinking political akpeteshie but, this year, they decided that the cup that was used to serve Takyi should deservedly be extended to Baah. Afterall, man resembles nothing. They decided that being called fathers of their states amounted to little if they couldn’t sip small for the stomach’s sake. They decided that the tradition of a chief not eating in public was antediluvian.
Kɛhini is a big ant with a super-foul smell. When your name is Kɛhini, you don’t enter the fray when there is a search for the person who just broke wind.
It turned out that Nii Ayi is of the Kɛhinic order. His stool is a stool under stress – being pulled in two directions. With his promise to step down, the other party found its voice. And now as well, Wofa Kapokyikyi has polished up his little Ga Mashie vocabulary and is telling Nii Ayi, “Nii, tɛɛshie”.
A few days ago, Nii Ayi’s supporters came out of the Ahenfie to tell us that we don’t understand royal speak. And that Nii spoke in proverbs. I used to think that it was only the politicians that thought citizens of Sikaman have apeprensa in place of grey matter. I have been educated. I was wrong.
The attempted proverbilisation of this plain mayishinated statement by Nii reminded me of the Baba-Jamalian prescription. According to the world-famous Baba-Jamalian principle, when in a position of power, when you see a sheep, it is most appropriate to call it a cow. Afterall, all paintey be paintey. 
Meanwhile, we continue to wait for what next adesa would ensue from Adesa We. Ta wɔ adesa, Mensah, ta wɔ adesa. 
Wofa Kapokyikyi once told me that when an elder loses respect, even his public fart elicits no response. I still hope to not to be fart-neutral where some of our chiefs are concerned. 
I hope the Nii Ayi Bonte issue teaches our venerable chiefs to desist from binge-boozing on political akpeteshie. We want to still respect them.
May we never again reach that low montie point. It was the ultimate Yentie Obiaa moment and that is the enduring legacy in my mind with respect to Odekuro.
Till I come your way again with another sebitical, I remain:
Sebitically yours,

Kapokyikyiwofaase

**This is the second of the unpublished Sebiticals. Enjoy this, written in May 2015, after the Dumsor Must Stop Vigil.*
Today, I start my Sebiticals from a proverb the obroni, Amy Engel, told in her nkrataa . She said: “I’m not sure how we got to this place, where a girl’s only value is in what kind of marriage she has, how capable she is of keeping a man happy.”
Last year, on 1 July 2014, a group of those people who prefer wearing tapoli around their necks and wearing siketi instead of ntama decided to join a motley band of young folks who wanted to do a walk to the Ahenfie . They said they had some words that they wanted Odikro to hear. A good number of our beautiful and strong ladies joined the march. After the event, some of the leading newspapers sympathetic to the running government decided to defame at least three of the ladies. One was mocked because she was not married.
Sikaman has been reeling under the effect of what has been known as dumsor. Some say there is so little sor that we should call it dumkoraa . Odikro has been promising as usual, and giving assurances he is not sure about. In March 2014, he said the crisis was temporary and asked for patience. Just last week, on May 1 2015, he again said the situation was only temporary, and will be surmounted in the “not too distant future”. This has led not a few people to enquire from the catechist whether the meaning of temporary has changed since the cedi has been depreciating so much. Wofa Kapokyikyi, who was on his way back from the Liberty Fan Club and was infused with the spirit with the accompanying fuse, interjected by saying that the word ‘temporary’ should be appreciated in the spirit of the word ‘provisional’ which lasted for eleven years.
A number of the big men and women whose films we watch at Sadisco Hotel have been speaking about this dumkoraa situation. John Dum said his mind. And Yvonne the Nelson too. And then John Dum came back to clarify what he said earlier.
There have been various reactions, of course, as always happens in Sikaman. Don’t we even speak back to Amakye the town crier when he gives us a message from Odikro , though we know he is only a messenger?
However, one of the responses that really got me tongue-tied was from a man who is said to do some walatu-walasa near the Ahenfie. He said because Yvonne had no man on whose wall she could lean her gun against, she had no right to wield a gun.
When I first heard this, I thought to myself that when a woman speaks and all you have to say in return is based on whether she is married or not, then my comments for you are best retained in my head.
But my Wofa Kapokyikyi said I was a fool if I didn’t unload the many thoughts in my mind about this. He is right because those thoughts were giving me headaches.
So I will speak.
As I said earlier, this misogynistic posturing was exhibited clearly last July after the OccupyFlagStaff House protest by some publications in Ghana. I said once that the beautiful thing about patience and the bosom of time is that words used to put someone in his/her place today will be the same words that embarrass or implicate the speaker tomorrow. In the matter of the current misogynistic utterances, however, the time lap is microscopic. It is, in this case interestingly, embedded in the proverb that says when you point the index finger at a person, three fingers are pointing back at you.
By the definition and categorisation applied at unmarried, above-thirty, ladies, the speaker paints a lot of his own colleagues and comrades.
The beauty of words.
The blessedness of time.
This is a country where in the early 1900s, a woman took up her gun and led men into battle.
This is a country where the selection of our chiefs and Kings cannot happen unless the queenmother decides.
This is a country where when there is a dilemma and a difficult knot to be untied, we go to see Abrewa .
A century later, there arises a man who is so close to the Ahenfie telling us that because of the rope between his legs, he has more sense than his mother who created and nurtured that rope.
This is how far we have come. We are where we are.
A few days after the May Day celebrations, I had a chat with a man who inspired me greatly. We discussed my new book, Sebitically Speaking, and he indicated thus: “Reading Sebiticals has been both fun and inspiring. We’ve got work to do. A lot.”
I sought his permission to share some of the responses I gave to him in the conversation. I wrote thus: “Indeed we have. Moreso, on the minds of our people. The level of mental appreciation is so low and it is complicated by the unwillingness to get enlightened.”
Then, he said: “Absolutely. And it’s getting worse on so many levels. We seem to be dumbing down, from top to bottom. I am so happy I am on social media. It’s the one place where I encounter a community of compatriots, a small yet critical mass, that give me hope that a revival is possible.”
I continued: “Yes, I set out to use social media to change one mind at a time too. But it is also where one sees the magnitude of the problem.”
I added that as a nation, social media has given us the privilege to see the thinking process of some of our political leaders; thoughts written not by speechwriters. Some of what is written is frightening.
We do need a renewal of our minds and very urgently. This misogyny at the highest and lowest levels of our society is a reflection of something deeper: our deficiency in having intellectual discussions devoid of insults and personality attacks.
In my book, I Speak of Ghana, page 111, I wrote: “People would resort to insults rather than keep focus on the argument; and they do so when they have lost the capacity to debate intellectually.”
We are where we are.
I have a little girl, who I am training to be assertive, intelligent, inquisitive, questioning and strong. I wish for her to be respected for her views as a human being. This is why this posturing must be condemned in no uncertain terms.
Which is why Wofa Kapokyikyi was right that I spoke my thoughts.
Which is why we should continue to empower our women to speak and to express themselves. To be confident. Not to be defined by what a man says they are by a ring. Or lack of it. We must cure this. If it is due to ignorance, we must preach enlightenment and banish it.
For as Joanna Russ said, “Ignorance is not bad faith. But persistence in ignorance is.”
Finally, those who persist in this ignominy must be told that this is Sikaman. We crossed that pre-historic line when Yaa Asantewaa marched.
Till I come your way again with another sebitical, I remain:
Sebitically yours,
Kapokyikyiwofaase
Endnotes
Nkrataa: Book
Tapoli: Dumb-bell shaped wooden tool used for grinding in an earthware bowl (apotoyiwa)
Siketi: Adulteration of the word ‘skirt’
Ahenfie: Chief’s palace
Dumsor: Power outage/load-shedding
Dumkoraa (Twi): Dum means ‘put off the lights’, koraa means completely or permanently
Odikro: Chief of a town
Abrewa: Old woman; wise woman

Growing up in Kotobabi, one of the worst tragedies that could befall anyone was to be catch red-handed, stealing. Especially at dawn. Most of us lived in compound houses which were not walled, so when a cry for help went out in the silence of dawn, neighbours could rally in minutes. Those were the days under the revolution when vigilante groups were recognised. Many of these groups were members of the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR). When a thief was caught, it was customary for him to be beaten mercilessly and escorted towards the big Alajo Gutter, which was more of a river than a gutter. It was that big. It had a distinctive smell too; years after, I can still smell it in my nostrils.
At the gutter, fortunate thieves got rescued by the police, who had to risk their lives to save these thieves. The unfortunate thieves got their home addresses changed to aquatic burial grounds. The treatment before the coup de grace varied in their gruesome creativity. Once, one guy got an enema of coal tar before being dispatched into glory. Or hell, to be more precise.
So, Akwesi Burger, a well-known criminal near the Maxwell Hotel area, considered himself lucky when he was rescued and sent to court, before being sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labour. One of those who really beat him up was Egya Nsiah, a painter. Akwesi never forgot him.
Ten years came quickly, and Akwesi was released from prison. On his way home, he came across Egya Nsiah painting the sides of a four-storey building. He looked up the ladder the painter was on and called out, loudly:
“Egya, I greet you!”
“Yaaaa nua!” Egya responded.
“Do you remember some years ago, a thief was caught near Nkansah Djan, and you were involved in getting him to the police?”
“Oh yes! I remember it like yesterday! I really beat him up to my heart’s desire! He should have even been killed, such people don’t deserve to like!”
Calmly, Akwesi held on the ladder and called out, “Well, I am that thief, and I never forgot how you thrashed me. Please find somewhere to stand, because I am taking this ladder away!”
In the name of Wofa Kapokyikyi who has the memory of an elephant and who says he can forgive, but never will forget, the man who says it as it is, I greet you.
It was Wofa who said that even though the bird flies and lives on a tree, when it dies its body comes back to earth.

 

In Form One in the school Osagyefo first built, the closest relative to The Wailers was a tall, fearsome senior of ours called Vandyke. For sure, his favourite expression was ‘Legalise it’! He who is in tune with the spirit of psychedelic delights will understand this.
One of the competencies that every junior needed to hone was the ability to run down the stairs from the top floor of the houses and exit the common room at the ground floor, hiding under the windows in front of the house to run across to the Academic areas without being spotted by the sharp eyes of those seniors who didn’t go out of their dormitories except when there was fun fair or scattey in the dining hall.
One day, one small boy ran down the stairs in Kwesi Plange House and didn’t turn back when Senior Vandyke bellowed his name. It was mid-terms and the boy wasn’t going to back into the dormitory for all the sopi in the dining hall! He knew if he did, he would end up being sent on errands the entire weekend.
As he ran off, Senior Vandyke chuckled and muttered to him, “Make you go! No bi mid-terms? Long vacation sef, they go a, they dey come back!”
The blessedness of time. Ah, the bosom of time disbosoms a tonne.
So it is that when people get into higher positions, they forget that the higher you are, the heavier you fall. But, time flies and even eight years come to pass, eventually.
Soon, both words and actions come full cycle. And the loss of power declutters the mind and descales the eyes.
Watch your words and actions, for soon, words and actions past answer the present. In other cases, words and actions present soon answer and judge the past.
I said once that the beautiful thing about patience and the bosom of time is that words used to put someone in his or her place today will be the same words that embarrasses or implicates the speaker tomorrow. Especially in this fast-paced world, time lap appears most microscopic.  
Power has just changed in Sikaman and realignments are in progress. As the engine of the train exchanges places with the caboose, let the engine reflect and let the caboose-turned-engine learn that even long vac sef, they go a, they dey come.
Till I come your way again with another sebitical, I remain:
Sebitically yours,

Kapokyikyiwofaase

A Dawn Chat on Writing

​I am having a good conversation with my friend Jeremiah Buabeng on Facebook.
He commented on my article, titled “Donkorantumi: The Chalky Road to Rome”, thus: 
“Wow! This is beautiful writing. The flow is perfect. Choice of words on point. Truly engaging piece. I don’t even know what literary device best describes your use of Odikro, Kontihene etc in place of the original titles. Is there such a device, Nana?”
Below was my response:
One of the reasons why many of our contemporary writers are from the non-literature fields and mainly from the sciences and engineering fields is that we are not encumbered by the strict techniques of writing and not constrained thereby. So it frees us to experiment. Long way to say “I don’t know!” Hehehe. Wo na wo bu device! 😛
When asked which genre I write in, etc, I usually struggle.
Poor Engineer. I just write. I leave the classification to others.
Having said that, in Sebiticals, what I tried to do was to tightly weld together the techniques of traditional story telling, creative non-fiction and oral tradition.
I experimented with general creative writing in my first two books and in the 4th book, honed storytelling in Tales, especially in the short story “Truth Floats” but all these came together nicely in Sebiticals. Listening to the audiobook of Sebiticals, I was myself amazed at some of the expressions I had penned. Taking over the voice of Kapokyikyi also helped to release me. So it was a bit like a throwback to my acting days as Opanyin Brebuor.

For me, art and its forms should be like a river, flowing in various directions and finding its variegated levels.