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It is a season of goodwill and promises and good behaviour in Amalaman from the Ogas who usually don’t exhibit much of the last attribute. Just yesterday, near the yard where I do walatu-walasa, I saw a billboard, sponsored by one of those groups that spring up only during the period of exercising our franchise or thumb-chise, to be precise, and which have a lifespan of a few mosquitoes combined. The billboard stated: “We shall defeat Boko Haram!” and it says this on behalf of the Amalaman Ahenfie Police. 

 

When I recounted this sighting to Wofa Kapokyikyi, he said tweea! If only hope can cook yam. And he added that no matter how long you boil water, it will not turn into light soup unless you add pepper, tomatoes, salt and smoked herrings. Wofa greets you all.

 

It was Uncle Ebo Whyte who wondered whether the angel now running the days of the year uses a four-wheel drive. We are already in the second month of the year. It seems like just yesterday when we entered a brand new year! May we learn to number our days o, and apply our hearts to wisdom in redeeming them and making them count.

 

As is customary, at the beginning of a new year, the Odikro spoke directly to Sikamaniansand not through Amakye the town crier, who is a club member with Wofa Kapokyikyi at the Liberty Club, whose members have successfully proved why water is the first member of the –OH family. You have forgotten the chemistry you learnt in P6, eh? Teacher Johnson taught us that when the ‘n’ in the generic formula for alcohol is substituted with a given number, a particular chemical can ensue. For years, no one had understood why drinking of water the morning after can charge a man having hangover, until zero was applied to the ‘n’ in that formula. It made sense then, and that proof should be in the name of the Liberty Fan Club, whose motto is Ye Bu Di Di!

 

In his speech to us at the community grounds, Odikro was worried about the level of cynicism in Sikaman and admonished all citizens to face the New Year with hope. These were his exact words:

 

“The new year holds a wide expanse of possibilities. Let us not enter 2015 with any cynicism or sense of limitation. Let us choose to fill the days ahead of us with hope and not despair. When we look ahead let us see all that we can achieve and let us work individually and collectively in the interest of progress.”

 

Wofa Kapokyikyi returned home that day and waited for Odikro. He reminded Odikro that hope, though a very good boost, does not cook yam.

 

See, I learnt many market days ago from the chief who used to sit astride the Unicorn in the Big City that hope is not a strategy. Cynicism is not cured by preaching and admonishment but by a demonstration that the causative forces that engender said cynicism are being tackled. You don’t speak to a sore to heal, you apply herbs to it.

 

It was Obaapanyin Potisaah who intimated that w’ani tua kuro a, wommisa ne nkwantiathat is, if your eyes see the town, you don’t ask the way to it. And if you continue asking the way when obviously you know it, one would begin to wonder whether you really want to enter the town.

 

Our elders say if you want to say something to Odomankoma, you say it to the wind; and when you go to Ahenfie and you wish Odikro to hear you, you tell the Okyeame

 

So let this reach Odikro:

 

Tell Odikro that the citizens say they checked the meaning of cynicism from the Catechist and learnt that it means “an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest.” Catechist also gave them synonyms like scepticismdoubtdistrustmistrust, doubtfulness, suspicion, disbelief, incredulity, unbelief, pessimism, negative thinking, negativity, world-weariness, disillusion and disenchantment.

 

Tell Odikro that he is right. Cynicism has engulfed the village like an Obo Kwahu fog at dawn.

 

Let it reach the ears of Odikro that the citizens of Sikaman say that there is a cure to the cynicism and it doesn’t lie in proverbs and the cracking of them as if they were palm kernel. Odikro and his sub-chiefs know the way already and it is only the talkative who says that obroni has many clothes. Let Odikro know that we know he can shoot so he should shoot; that the hunter who only speaks with his intended prey loses his title and sleeps hungry.

 

The market women say when they go to Kumasi on the w’ato nkyene to purchase goods, the weight of the cowries seem to change drastically during the journey and they don’t understand. 

 

Let Odikro hear. 

 

The inhabitants of the land say when they sleep at night, their lanterns go off and mosquitoes sing in their ears. They say that even in the day, the sun doesn’t shine as bright as it used to in the past. 

 

Let Odikro hear.

 

They say even during Bible reading last Sunday, when the Catechist was reading the Creation story, he forgot himself and said that after Onyankopon had separated the light from the darkness, there was dum and there was sor, the first day. Let Odikro hear that the matters of the land have affected even our thoughts.

 

They say let him hear that we are cynical because they don’t see the Ahenfie Police bring to book those who borrowed cowries from the chest of the State. 

 

Let Odikro hear.

 

The inhabitants of the land say that things are moving slower than the speed of a wounded snail and that Opanyin Meisu’s son who came back from the Big City says that they usually share the national cake from house to house in the City and that the people living there are so many that by the time they get out of the middle of the City, the cake is finished. And the cake is very rich. Let Odikro hear that Sikaman is not the only Big City.

 

Sikamanians know how to talk and complain. Odikro knows that is our weakness. We all need to work on that, and change. Odikro talks too. Just like us. Let Odikro know that we want to change and so should he. And his sub-chiefs.

 

Let Odikro hear.

 

We want to hear more of what have been done instead of what is to be done. We want to hear him and his sub-chiefs use the past tense more often than the future and present-continuous tenses. Let Odikro hear that in Sikaman, it appears that our sub-chiefs are more concerned about the preparations towards launching a project than actually cutting the sod. And that after this ceremony, nothing much is done to implement. Tell Odikro that we wonder if they use all the energy before and during the launch and sod-cutting that there is none left to implement the projects. The pipeline is full of projects jostling for space and the drawing board has no more space. Tell Odikro that if only we can stop promising and focus on completing what we have already promised, Sikaman will such a promising place. 

 

Let Odikro hear.

 

We have been bitten many times by reptiles so we test the potency of even ropes. Cynicism is not a genetic disease, it is acquired. 

 

Please tell Odikro that we are praying to Nana Nyame to heal our cynicism but we implore him (Odikro) to help us put some ingredients into the pot of yam and fire under the pot because hope and words alone will not cook this yam. 

 

An ounce of action is worth a ton of words.

 

Tell Odikro that the despondency in the village is palpable. The ‘vim’ is low.

 

Let Odikro hear.


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


Sebitically yours, 

Kapokyikyiwofaase

 

  

Sebitically Speaking is Nana Awere Damoah’s 5th book and the ebook version was published in March 2015. Sebitically Speaking is available via Kindle (Amazon), Smashwords.com, iBooks Store, Barnes and Noble and other online ebook shops. It is due for launch as paperback in the second quarter of 2015. 


Footnotes

 

Amalaman: Land of Amalaman, affectionate name for Nigeria. Amalaman is a staple food in Nigeria, made from yam flour

Thumb-chiseThumb + franchise

Walatu-walasaLiterally means ‘you dig, you collect yourself’, a term used for construction workers who do manual labour; used here in reference to a day’s job

TweeaExclamation, used in Ghana, an Akan interjection used to express disapproval or contempt for a statement

Yɛ Bu Di Di: Akan expression, literally ‘we drink so we can eat well!’

OdomankomaGod

Okyeame: Linguist in the chief’s palace

W’ato nkyene: Old truck used in the past for long journeys in the rural areas

Onyankopon: God

DumLights off, darkness

SorLights on

Nana Nyame: God

Note: I will be updating this post as the reviews come in. The reviews are also published as standalone posts in more detail.

========

A perfect reader’s guide for a visitor in Ghana, the book is hilarious and a sebitical reflection of how Ghana, after 58 years, is still wobbling on her knees to give meaning to her life. Nana finds the simple and direct local phrases and words to capture the everyday happenings in the country and, by extension, our localities. His storytelling abilities are laced with personal encounters with people from different walks of life, as well as the daily happenings in Ghana. The book addresses the lackadaisical attitude most of us have towards time and yet want to achieve results. On football, Nana wonders how after successfully making Ghana and Africa proud in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, we ended up embarrassing ourselves and the rest of the continent in BRAZIL. It is compelling, spellbinding and a must-READ!

Anny Osabutey, Broadcast Journalist/CNN African Journalist for Radio (2012)

Sebitically Speaking is an uplifting elixir that courses through the hearts and minds of readers and awakens their consciousness regarding how to improve themselves and their country. In confronting the complicated issues that perpetually frustrate Ghanaians, Damoah’s style was not to depress or provoke insanity, but to deftly inspire readers with a view to affecting positive change. For someone who has written four great books, Sebitically Speaking is an incontrovertible confirmation of Damoah’s literary genius. His uncanny ability to transform debilitating and chaotic socio-political topics into an exhilarating literary rollercoaster, using a perfect blend of wit and humour, and inducing a mixture of laughter and tears from readers, is especially evident in this book. Sebitically Speaking is an irresistible literary tiger nut that every lover of Ghana must chew.

Samuel K Obour, Journalist, Daily Graphic

 

Nana has an interesting way of drawing our attention to the important issues that face our society. By weaving a good dose of humor into his satirical pieces, he allows us the rare opportunity to laugh and reflect on the issues. Unlike the prevalent ‘give-it-to-God-it-will-be-well attitude’, he brings to fore the serious issues and asks the hard questions. His use of metaphors which reflect our culture and unique national situation makes this, a book every Ghanaian would identify with.

Petra Aba Asamoah, General Manager Delta Air Lines GSA – Ghana

 

Nana Awere Damoah has a way with words. His writing is deep and creative, which paints a vivid picture of what he is addressing, and, of course, makes the reader yearn to know what happens next. In this book, Nana Awere Damoah writes about everyday issues of life with regards to governance, citizenship, finance, religion, power crisis among others in such a critical but humorous manner which makes the reader reflect on the happenings around. His use of proverbs and wise sayings gives me a nostalgic feeling of reading Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Sebitically Speaking makes pleasurable reading, a motivational and reflective piece for people who want a change in attitude to negativities. Recommended for anyone who wants to de-stress in a critical yet humorous manner!

Mary Ayim-Segbefia, Assistant Lecturer, NAFTI

Nana Awere Damoah takes us on another cerebration which could linger in your memory for a long time. Nana can best be described as an apotheosis when it comes to ingenuity at coining ‘Ghanamanic’ lexicons to describe events and tell his stories. Sebitically Speaking is a riveting compilation, which reveals his staunch patriotism for ‘Sikaman’ (Ghana) and his desire to shape it better for the next generation. It captures vividly a reflective state of our present society from family, politics, education, health, complex gullibility and personal development. What makes this book a standout is Nana’s justness to immaculately engage your thoughts on the sordid social issues happening in Ghana and Africa. Instead of evoking your rage, Sebitically Speaking is intertwined with humor and satire enough to calm your nerves about these issues. For anyone who lives outside the African continent, this book is not just a pepper-upper but a complete recommended dose to garnish your thoughts and keep you updated on what you might be missing from home. Sebitically Speaking is certainly an epic piece of writing that will transform your thoughts about life and society.

Williams Kyei, Postgraduate Student in Sport Management, South Korea

 

Sebitically Speaking is beautifully woven with threads of humour and common sense. Throughout the pages of this book, Nana Damoah displays an uncommon degree of common sense as he muses over the myriad of challenges that continue to retard Ghana’s forward march. His concise storytelling approach cuts through the fluff, highlighting our everyday challenges with a series of engaging anecdotes. Thought-provoking; a great read for anyone who genuinely believes Ghana can and should do better.

YesiYesi Ghana, Ghana’s No. 1 Satire News Source

Having read Nana Awere Damoah’s well received book I Speak of Ghana, I was not surprised at how Nana has seamlessly turned his hand to write another amazing book which, in my opinion, re-echoes Nana’s place as one of the finest writers on the continent of Africa today. What sustains the narrative is the glimmer of hope and intelligent submission Nana proffers.

Kwaku Frimpong, Graduate Student in Environmental Biology, Canada

Sebitically Speaking cover_preferredEbook version of Sebitically Speaking can be obtained via the links below:

Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Sebitically-Speaking-Nana-Awere-Damoah-ebook/dp/B00VI8XJCE

Amazon.co.uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sebitically-Speaking-Nana-Awere-Damoah-ebook/dp/B00VI8XJCE

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/524775

Having read Nana Awere Damoah’s well received book I Speak of Ghana, I was not surprised at how Nana has seamlessly turned his hand to write another amazing book Sebitically Speaking, which, in my opinion, re-echoes Nana’s place as one of the finest writers on the Continent of Africa today.

Sebitically Speaking is an impassioned insider portrayal of present day Ghana as Nana draws our attention to some of the pressing political and socio-economic issues facing Ghana today in a skillful manner that evokes a sense of urgency in the mind of reader. What sustains the narrative is the glimmer of hope and intelligent submission Nana proffers concerning the varied topics such as education, roads and management of the economy. In this book, the Ghanaian is reminded that it is not enough to carry around empty slogans – “Ghana is rising”, “Africa Rising”, et cetera – without recourse to what we need to make these slogans meaningful; whether as leaders or ordinary citizens.

Once again, thank you Nana for the reminder as you register all the finest details about Ghana kpakpakpa style in Sebitically Speaking.

Whether as living beings or mythological figures, Nana’s contribution to Ghanaian literature will always be remembered.

Grab your copy!

Kwaku Frimpong, Graduate Student in Environmental Biology, Canada

Sebitically Speaking cover_preferred

When I thought his last authored book, I Speak of Ghana, was a compelling replete of the Ghanaian narrative, Nana Awere Damoah takes us on another cerebration which could linger in your memory for a long time. Nana can best be described as an apotheosis when it comes to ingenuity at coining ‘Ghanamanic’ lexicons to describe events and tell his stories.

Sebitically Speaking is a riveting compilation, which reveals his staunch patriotism for ‘Sikaman’ (Ghana) and his desire to shape it better for the next generation. It captures vividly a reflective state of our present society from family, politics, education, health, complex gullibility and personal development.

In this book, Nana speaks through his figurative Uncle Kapokyikyi whose lead proverbs alone are just appetizing to motivate you to read every Chapter repetitively. On personal development and motivation, Nana also presents you sincere expressive personal anecdotes and of others in ‘The Power Behind the Platform Performance’, ‘Dancing With An Arrow’ and ‘New Year Kpa-Kpa-Kpa-solutions’. These chapters are perfect prescriptions for anyone who requires an edge, to effectively plan their future and act on them.

What makes this book a standout is Nana’s justness to immaculately engage your thoughts on the sordid social issues happening in Ghana and Africa; especially with the erratic power supply tormenting citizens and the Ebola epidemic. Instead of evoking your rage, Sebitically Speaking is intertwined with humor and satire enough to calm your nerves about these issues.

For anyone who lives outside the African continent, this book is not just a pepper-upper but a complete recommended dose to garnish your thoughts and keep you updated on what you might be missing from home. Sebitically Speaking is certainly an epic piece of writing that will transform your thoughts about life and society.

Williams Kyei, Postgraduate Student in Sport Management, South Korea

Sebitically Speaking cover_preferred

Sebitically Speaking is an uplifting elixir that courses through the hearts and minds of readers and awakens their consciousness regarding how to improve themselves and their country. In confronting the complicated issues that perpetually frustrate Ghanaians, Damoah’s style was not to depress or provoke insanity, but to deftly inspire readers with a view to affecting positive change.

For someone who has written four great books, Sebitically Speaking is an incontrovertible confirmation of Damoah’s literary genius. His uncanny ability to transform debilitating and chaotic socio-political topics into an exhilarating literary rollercoaster, using a perfect blend of wit and humour, and inducing a mixture of laughter and tears from readers, is especially evident in this book.

Sebitically Speaking is an irresistible literary tiger nut that every lover of Ghana must chew.

I’m your fan, Damoah.

Samuel K. Obour, Journalist, Daily Graphic

Sebitically Speaking cover_preferred

Nana Awere Damoah has a way with words. His writing is deep and creative, which paints a vivid picture of what he is addressing, and, of course, makes the reader yearn to know what happens next. In his book Sebitically Speaking, Nana Awere Damoah writes about everyday issues of life with regards to governance, citizenship, finance, religion, power crisis, among others, in such a critical but humorous manner which makes the reader reflect on the happenings around. His use of proverbs and wise sayings gives me a nostalgic feeling of reading Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

I am particularly amused about his experiences with Okada in Amalaman, the Ghanaian Attitude to time, and the Promise and Fail syndrome. I was also tickled by Deadlines on Wheels, Creating a new family brand and The power behind the platform performance.

This book makes reading pleasurable. Sebitically Speaking is a source of motivation and a reflective piece for people who want a change in attitude to negativities. It will help people struggling with procrastination and inability to meet deadlines and targets; it will also help journalists follow up on stories and promises made by politicians and other service providers. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to de-stress in a critical yet humorous manner.

Mary Ayim Segbefia, Assistant Lecturer, NAFTI

Sebitically Speaking cover_preferred

A perfect reader’s guide for a visitor in Ghana, the book is hilarious and a sebitical reflection of how Ghana, after 58 years, is still wobbling on the knees to give meaning to her life.

Nana finds the simple and direct local phrases and words to capture the everyday happenings in the country and, by extension, our localities. His storytelling abilities are laced with personal encounters with people from different works of life, as well as the daily happenings in the Ghana.

The book addresses the lackadaisical attitude most of us towards time and yet want to achieve results. Especially on football, how after successfully making Ghana and Africa proud in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, we ended up embarrassing ourselves and the rest of the continent in BRAZIL? It is compelling, spellbinding and a must-READ!

Anny Osabutey, Broadcast Journalist/CNN African Journalist for Radio (2012)

Sebitically Speaking cover_preferred

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