Sikaman Awards 2016

Updated 23 October 2016 (still in progress, some key categories – such as the voted for ones – still in development)
*Picture by The Black Narrator
Compiled and Edited by Nana A Damoah
Contributors: Kwame Amoah, Della Russel Ocloo, Kotei Neequaye,‎ Reuelah Bee, Francis Kennedy Ocloo, Theo Osei, Bernard Brown Snr, Enoch Sowah, Manasseh Azure Awuni, Albert Amah Arhin, Eddie Ameh Snr, Indira Mensah-Dapaah, Lambert Coffie Atsivor
1. Sikamanian of the Year: Bright Simons. This guy continues to blaze new trails. More vim, Mantse!
2. Most Popular Sikamanian: Electoral Commissioner, Charlotte Osei.
3. Yɛ-Wɔ-Kromer of the Year: Bozoma Saint John, Head of Marketing for Apple Music. She is Ghanaian, you know.
4. Most Lucrative Job: Proof-checker for Electoral Comission’s Presidential forms.
5. Seetay Waa of the Year: The disqualification of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the PPP by the Electoral Commission for the Presidential elections. It was shocking!
6. “Sɛ Asa” Moment of the year (an event that finally happened after a long time of expectation or postponements): The dismissal by the Human Rights Court in Accra, in August, of the case brought by suspended NPP National Chairman, Paul Afoko, against his party, challenging the legality of his suspension.
7. U-Turn of the Year: We have a tie between the debatable demand for a debate after declining an early debate and non-payment/payment of trainee nurses allowances.
8. Shifting Target of the Year: The number of new Community Senior Secondary Schools to be completed by close of this year. The number changed from 170 to 123…to 70 to 42 to…
9. Masterstroke of the Year: The sacking of a Failed Promiser by a Serial Promiser. When the Power Minister was sacked.
10. Most Misunderstood Phrase: Pro bono
11. Most Hated Word in the Flagstaff House: Incompetent. Especially when used by Opana’s brother.
12. Most Used Talked-about Word of the Year: Brochure. Incompetent trended having made an entry late last year.
13. Prophecy of the Year: “Non-performers will be sacked”. Presido JM, 4 January 2016. It was also the Motive of the Year. Has it come to pass or it has been passed over?
14. Statement of the Year: “Mahama’s government will not accept any form of mediocrity. We need to be truthful to the people so that they can accept challenges and not rush to make promises we cannot fulfil.” ~ Koku Da Bull
15. Apology of the Year: ISD Director’s apology for Brochure errors. In “Beloved Let Us Laugh”, Prof Kwesi Yankah wrote about the fear of an official issuing a denial about an earlier denial. In 2016, we heard an apology given to apologise for the error in the apology issued for an earlier error. According to Ato-Kwamena Dadzie, the one who apologized for the error in the apology issued for the earlier error later apologised for apologising for the error of mis-apologising! Wetin man no see or hear or read before.
16. Book of the Year: The Green Book. It is illustrated too.
17. Most Popular ‘Magazine’: The Independence Day Brochure. This surely deserves a standing Ovation – no cabal things here please.
18. Editor of the Year: The editor of the Independence Day Brochure. He or she is still at large.
19. Public Relations Officer of the Year: Francis Kwarteng Arthur, for his damage control intervention in the Brochuregate Scandal.
20. Phrases of the Year: “I don’t think far” and “I don’t think madness”, both made by actor Kwadwo Nkansah aka Lil Wyn.
21. Appeal of the Year: “Momma me zu baako e!”
22. Conflicting Phrases of the Year: “We don’t think far” and “We think far”.
23. DaySpringer of the Year: Hassan Ayariga. He obtained two PhDs, both fake, but one faker than the other.
24. Pardon of the Year: Montie Three
25. Committee of the Year: Council of State. Their assessment of the need to free the Montie Three was classic and absolutely deep. They helped to unite the nation.
26. Most Anticipated Invite of the Year: The appearance of the Montie Three at the Supreme Court.
27. State Guests of the Year: Montie Three
28. Resurrected Public Institution of the Year: CHRAJ. They finally gave us a ruling on a high-profile case: that of the Ford gift/bribe allegation. But their report confused us more. See why you don’t have to wake up a sleeping institution?
29. Gift of the Year: Ford Expedition
30. Beef of the Year: A tie between Afia Schwarzenegger vs Kennedy Agyapong and Sark vs M.anifest.
31. Beard of the Year: Still no contender – award goes to Uncle Oko Rick Ross who is branching soon into braided beards.
32. Most Serious Politician of the Year: Hassan Ayariga. He is also voted as the Most Generous as he gave the NPP the permission to copy his manifesto with only one caveat: to copy it well.
33. Most Silent Politician: Dr. Nii Armah Josiah-Aryeh. Is he still the Chairman of the NDP?
34. Minister of the Year: Abla Dzifa Gomashie. She brings passion to her role!
35. Political Promise Template of the Year: One Man, One This and That.
36. “You Are Fired!” Judge of the Year: Charlotte Osei
37. Suspension of the Year: The suspension by the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) of its General Secretary, Nii Akomfrah and National Youth Organiser, Ernesto Yeboah after they publicly condemned President John Mahama for accepting a gift. The two officers openly criticised their flagbearer Ivor Greenstreet for suggesting that the president broke no law by accepting the gift.
38. Manifesto Protectors of the Year: The NPP. They also complained that everyone wanted to, or had succeeded in, copying aspects of their manifesto.
39. Dadabee Factory of the Year: Komenda Sugar Factory. It works for a month and sleeps for three months. It is still in coma, awaiting a change in hospital administration.
40. Hashtag of the Year: ‪#‎KalyppoChallenge. #HardGuyBut gets an honourable mention.‬‬‬‬
41. Occupiers of the Quarter: ISD Workers. They caused their former Acting Director to correct the error in the apology he issued for an error. They also demanded for his sack, which came to pass.
42. NGO of the Year: People’s National Convention (PNC)
43. Promise of the Year: “The economy will be better next year.” We hear you, Le Presido. We have been hearing you for the past few years – we only pray next year is not on wheels.
44. Most Popular Corporate Entity of the Year: Electoral Commission. They started the year with logo vim and are cruising with disqualification speed. We are all praying they drive us safely through the coming elections.
45. The Most Consistent Company: Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). You can still rely on their ability to show you your real size.
46. Brand Statement of the Year: “We like it, we picked it, it makes us happy.” ~ The Electoral Commissioner responding to complaints that the EC’s new logo had an uncanny resemblance to an existing logo available online.
47. Preferred Presidential Autobrand of the Year: Toyota.
48. Truck of the Year: The tipper truck that carried the journalists around to take pictures on Independence Day.
49. Currency of the Year: Mahama Paper.
50. Drink of the Year: Kalyppo.
51. Facebook Polygamist of the Year: Hon Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng. No challenger.
52. Artiste of the Year: Shatta Wale. His songs are powering the campaigns of the leading parties.
53. Most Dangerous Vehicle to Photograph: Branded Mahindra. Someone was arrested for taking such pictures and circulating them. What happened to that case? A good example of Sikamanian issues that start with gidigidious vim of boiling beans and end fuushially with the dignity of a fart.
54. State-sponsored Free Publicity: The arrest by the BNI at the Kotoka International Airport of an author that not many knew, for writing an article that few had read. I am surprised the dude hasn’t used the hype to re-launch his book.‪‬‬
55. Near-Fatal Political Loss of the Year: The loss on the “Ballot Box” of the slot reserved for Akua Donkor and Hassan Ayariga. But we are comforted by the fact that Madam Donkor has been leased to the NDC and so we won’t miss the fun she brings. We wish Hassan well as he fights the EC in court and are encouraged by his choice of lawyer.
56. Mystery of the Year: The identity of the person who edited the Independence Day brochure.
57. Team of the Year: #TeamOA. Eddie Ameh commented “Charlie, a few days prior to their nuptials, they were more popular than “me and you, our Kotoko and Chelsea.” I agree! Vim o, KOA and AOA!
58. Manimal of the Year: Bishop Obinim
59. Obroni of the Year: Bukom Banku
60. Conversion of the Year: Leaflets to Cash
61. On-loan Politician of the Year: Akua Donkor. She is on free loan from her GFP to the NDC.
62. Resurrection of the Year: That of Egya Ward-Brew; just in time to submit his forms to contest the Presidential elections. And to get disqualified. See you in four years’ time, Egya. As usual.
63. Blog/Website of the Year: https://kenikodjo.com. Maukeni Padiki Kodjo is also the Blogging Ghana’s Blogger of the Year and in 2016, she really came into her own with her series of stories on her blog which received rave reviews and great following.
64. Most scarce product: Political common sense.
65. Boys Abrɛ Coach of the Year (Foreign Category): After landing the job he has been chasing for years, Sam Allardyce was sacked as coach of England’s soccer team after just 67 days, following an undercover sting by a British newspaper. Reminded me of John Garang.
66. Boys Abrɛ Metropolitan Chief Executive of the Year: Kojo Bonsu
67. Boys Abrɛ Politician of the Year: Nii Armah Ashitey, incumbent member of Parliament for Korle Klottey. Paddyman try saaah, he couldn’t stop Dr Zanetor Rawlings. Better luck next time, sah!
68. Parliamentary Debate of the Year: It turned out to be a non-debate, actually. The recall of Parliament from recess to tackle the motion to investigate the President for the Ford gift saga. The speaker dismissed the motion in 15 minutes.
69. Immigrants of the Year: Gitmo 2
70. Disease Discovery of the Year: Kpokpogbligbli
71. HEADmaster of the Year: Comedian David Aglah
72. Clergyman of the Year: Rev Prof Martey, former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
73. Mansotwenian Process of the Year: The election of the Presiding Member of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.
74. Twuminator of the Year: Koku Da Headmaster
75. Throw-Backer of the Year: Edward Sena Dey
76. Soundbite of the Year: “I don’t think far, I don’t think madness, ɛno na mentsi asiɛ…”

I have seen a few posts trying to downplay the effect of the Kalyppo trend and what momentum it brings to the NPP campaign. 
I would be more thoughtful and careful about writing it off if I were strategizing for opponents of the NPP. This, clearly, is an issue that has reached and gone beyond the tipping point. 
The symbol of this “epidemic”, as Malcolm Gladwell would describe it, or the vehicle, is not as important as the rallying it creates and the subsequent messages and discussions that ensue. 
Initially, I read people who had no idea why so many images of Kalyppo were flooding their timelines ask for the reason and, when told, go “Aaaaah, really”. Many of them have since joined just in the mirth and the spread, even if apolitically. The epidemic spreads further. More va va voom ahoy. 
My good friend Kobby Parker contributed to this and sent me this, which is so apt that I reproduce it in toto:
“For the first time in many years I had an iota of hope for Ghana this week. The tsunami of support and solidarity that swept across the country made me realise that it is possible to find a theme or cause through which we can rally an entire nation to action.


“It’s not just the politics of it all that wowed me but the developmental analogies.
“Is there any cause or vision around which we can rally the entire nation and call everyone to action? The kalyppo effect proves it.”
Will this lead to electoral gain and great capital for the NPP? I dunno. Two months is a long time in politics but in a political game where critical gains are counted in old Ghana pesewas, every coin of advantage and awareness counts.
Nsempiisms. My mouth has fallen.
Picture credit: Leticia Tish Addison Facebook Page

Touched by A Mum

​On our way back from #RomancingOseikromSebitically, we stopped at various points to buy foodstuff: cassava, plantain, snails, mushrooms, garden eggs, tomatoes. We bought some fruits too. I didn’t plan to buy any and was mostly acting as the driver/mate and packing the stuff in the boot.

At one stop, we stopped to buy bananas and plantain, and as my friends went to select what to purchase, this lady came to me and asked if I wanted to buy some oranges. I jokingly asked her if she would give me some for free and added that she does look like my mum. Which is true.

What happened next totally took me by surprise. She went to her stall, and packed about 20 oranges into a polybag and brought them to me. For free! She was selling them normally for about GHC5.

I told her there was no way I wouldn’t pay for them. When I saw her packing the bag, I took out GHC10 and held it in my hand. I now handed it over to her. She refused.

“You said you didn’t have money so this is a gift from me to you,” she insisted.

It took about 5 minutes of arguing with her before she collected my money.

“This woman gave out of her poverty,” I remarked to Kobby Blay who took the picture.

I was with Clara Fianu, Kofi Akpabli and Alba K Sumprim as well and they indicated that perhaps saying she looked like my mum also might have touched a nerve, and that they could be a backstory. 

One of them made an observation that, because she was intending it as a gift, she didn’t just put in a few poor quality oranges. She actually packed more than was in the usual pack for GHC5. She gave me some of her best oranges and lots of them too.

Indeed, our mothers usually have this philosophy that others call karma: that if you are good to someone else’s child, someone will be good to yours too. It is like throwing chunks of good deeds on the waters; one day, you shall receive dividends thereof.

To wo abodoo gu nsu n’ani…

Picture by Kobby Blay.

18 September 2016

Two events happened this weekend that brought me immense joy and satisfaction. Over the past couple of years, my friend Kofi Akpabli and I have been contributing our bits to the rejuvenation of a reading culture in Ghana, augmenting the efforts of organizations such as the Writers Project of Ghana (WPG holds a book reading at the Goethe Institute on the last Wednesday of every month) and Ghana Association of Writers who hold a fortnightly GAW Sunday event of book reading and poetry plus events on special days such as the upcoming GAWBOFEST which will be holding on 21st September, a holiday. In recent times, I have heard about other initiatives such as the one by Read Ghana, which is focused on providing Community Lead Read Literacy Services for Children in under-served areas in public primary schools, with other children in the community benefit as well. This effort is spearheaded by two amazing ladies – Klenam and Mary – and they have their next reading clinic slated for 21 September at Madina and Kwabenya. As I love to say, more vim to all the persons involved in these initiatives, which require our support.

Maukeni Padiki Kodjo is a blogger, writer and law student. She is the reigning Blogger of the Year, as awarded by Blogging Ghana, which is the key platform that organizes and provides an avenue for bloggers and persons who use social media to disseminate contents to connect and improve. Keni, as her admirers and followers call her, has been sharing her short stories in series on her popular blog kenikodjo.com. Some of the titles that she has churned out recently include Know Thy Man and Capital High. These stories are engaging and have huge following, who interact with the writer and offer creative suggestions for how the stories should unfold! What more can a writer wish for, eh? I see these stories quickly transiting onto screen soon, but we will discuss that some day.

This intense engagement should be part of the reasons why, after wrapping up on the latest series Know Thy Man, Keni decided to organize what, to me, is a first in Ghana: a meet-up for the fans of a blog to interact with the writer, her stories and characters, and to generally fraternize. According to Keni, the agenda included:

* Ask me anything’, an interactive Q and A

* Trivia quizzes

* ‘What would you have done?’ based on the #KnowThyMan series

* Photo shoots with some of the Kenikodjo characters

* Lots of networking and nibbles

* FUN!

And fun it was! I was unable to attend due to flight difficulties which meant I was able to get to Accra on the morning of 18th September, instead of the afternoon of the previous day as I had intended. However, again a mark of ingenuity on the part of Keni and her team, the meet-up was telecast live on Facebook, so I could follow live for a brief period but spent my evening watching the close to three hours video. In the words of Keni, “it was lit”! Young people gathering to discuss stories, characters, plots and literature. I was particularly impressed with the knowledge of the characters in the stories and quotes from the various series that the audience displayed during the trivia quiz session. Kudos to Keni! This column will be bringing you an interview with this amazing writer some time soon.

I have been part of a couples fellowship for about 14 years. This is a group of about ten couples who meet regularly to pray, study scriptures, discuss our marriages, relationships, children and other related concerns. And also to create a platform as friends to share our challenges for mutual support. And we do have fun too!

A couple of months ago, one of our members suggested that I should also make time to read to our children during one of our meetings. A bit like learning to bring charity home, since she is supposed to begin at home! After one postponement, we planned and held it on 18 September. 

Frankly, even though Akpabli and I had been reading to audiences over the past three years, this was the first time I would be reading to such a young audience. However, as my friend Jonathan Agyeman mentioned to a mutual friend who asked whether she could bring 13-year olds to our upcoming book reading in Kumasi on 24 September, I have been taking my children to most of my book readings; my eldest is only 10 years. And my kids love the book readings and will usually repeat to me their favourite portions heard. So I appreciated the fact that the children within our fellowship would enjoy the readings. My main challenge was the selections to read to them and how to space out the readings.

I worried for nothing! This was one of my most enjoyable sessions ever! I started with a reading of Akpabli’s fufu and soup articles, and then moved on to a reading from “How to Be a Nigerian” by Peter Enahoro. The kids giggled throughout. After the first two readings, I invited them to ask questions. Questions ranged from the differences between soups in Ghana and Nigeria to how to drink soup. When I took my book I Speak of Ghana to read for the second round, Kwaku Ofori-Atta, one of the kids, exclaimed that he loved the book and can he read his favourite chapter, please?

I handed over the book to him and he read the chapter “You know you are in Ghana when…”. We asked him questions after his reading which he fielded remarkably. From then on, the kids took over the reading! Each child wanted to read their portions of the various books! 
We had readings from Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (which was done by Papa Yaw), The Imported Ghanaian by Alba K Sumprim (my son NK read the chapter “You Are Invited”, which is his favourite chapter after hearing Alba read it at the JamRock event), Excursions in my Mind (my son NY read the chapter “Books and Knowledge”), Ladybird Favourite Stories for Boys (my 6-year old daughter and Papa Yaw read two stories from this book) and the Wimpy Kid collection (reading done by Papa Roberts). Each of the readers answered questions. The children asked for the meanings of the new words, with David Mankattah the most active, for which he won a prize: I vowed (he asked us to explain what the word “vowed” meant) to get him an favourite book of his choice from anywhere in the world. They also asked me about how they can also write books. Little Papa Yaw asked me if I can help him write his own book! Another vow was made!

The parents discussed the various, practical ways we can encourage reading amongst our children. My son NK contributed to this aspect of the discussion by encouraging the parents to get their kids adventure books. He showed one such book he had borrowed from the community library. 

Feedback after the reading event was really positive. Some of the parents confessed that this was their first such event, experiencing book reading in such a manner. Ato said he had listened to book discussions on BBC a number of times which usually focused on one book and the author’s experiences and views; but the format we used, where we just read from multiple books and enjoyed the sound of the written word, was unique and refreshing. The children indicated that they enjoyed it too, learnt new words and expressions. The parents remarked on the confidence exhibited by our children in stepping up voluntarily to read, for which we were proud. Some of the children answered, when asked if they had reading sessions in their schools and time set apart for library sessions, that these were not mainstream.

A good literary weekend it was for me, both from afar and near. In the words of the hymn writer, we thank God for such and humbly ask for more.

10 September 2016

I haven’t felt this insulted and angry in a long while.
I am on my way to Athens via Paris on Air France. At the pre-check in counter, where verification of documents is done at Murtala Mohammed Airport, the Nigerian lady indicates that the Schengen visa from the Greek embassy is not allowed on the airlines (KLM/Air France) if the holder hasn’t travelled to a Schengen country before. She flips through my two passports that I handed over to her. She suggested that they would have to “off-load” me, and proceeded to start filling the appropriate form for that purpose. She told me she just finished off-loading one such passenger.
I said “Oh wow!”
She asked where I work and I tell her, and provide all the supporting documents including company ID and letter of invitation from our sister company in Greece which stated my designation. I then showed her my UK student visa which is in my first passport (in another pack of two older passports), asking her if a travel to the UK mattered. She took pictures of all these and send to their chat forum on WhatsApp, awaiting further directions. At this point, it was all civil as I expected her to trigger their standard procedures and seek approval for my boarding.
Then she looked at my bag (1 piece, 24kg) whilst the allowance is 2 pieces. She let out what got me annoyed:
“Your bag is too big for someone going for only 10 days. It looks like a bag for someone who is not coming back.”
I blew my top!
“I consider it an insult,” I told her calmly, surprising myself. I was boiling inside, the heat of my anger could have easily cooked beans.
She said that is how they “profile” and that they were there to profile.
Profile? I thought that was a term used by people we called racists,  on blacks. I thought that was a word peculiar to the US, especially lately with all the news we have been hearing. I asked her whether she knew what I was carrying and why one bag was too big for ten days when the allowance was for two anyway? 
“If you are going for a vacation, yes, but not for a business meeting.”
She wasn’t making sense anymore. I know when to stop when an argument is going nowhere.
She left to go upstairs to process passengers for the final boarding and told me her other colleague will attend to me. Eventually, I was called, and I completed the check-in procedures. I also called the company airport passages guy who I like to swerve when I travel, not seeking to worry him as I travel through the Lagos airport often so quite at home. He was livid!
We don’t respect ourselves. 
After I submitted and, thus finished my Master’s in the UK, on the 15 September 2006, I stayed in the UK for just two more weeks because I opted to serve as a Student Assistant for Nottingham University’s International Welcome Week, where the University helps freshers to settle in and go through induction. I was back in Ghana on 2nd October, and resumed work in November. I returned to the UK in December to graduate and came back right after graduation, to continue working in Ghana and on the continent (with a month to spare on my student visa). This is in line with my cardinal belief that I don’t have to sweat elsewhere, as I wrote in my book I Speak of Ghana, where I stated “Why sweat my youthful years away building someone’s village and not mine? Why put my shoulders to a wheel that turns another economy whilst the one that has my umbilical cord tied to it travels south? And in returning to Ghana, I was returning toAfrica, to the continent that needs the resources to grow. How can Africa improve if we don’t want to stay, sweat and swim against the tide of under-development and turn our economies around? Why sweat elsewhere when I can sweat on the continent, and stay in a better Ghana, a better Nigeria, a better Africa?”
I haven’t travelled back to UK since then, mainly because work hasn’t sent me there. And many of my friends know I hardly do non-business travel, especially outside Africa, because I absolutely hate the notion that a visa officer would think I wish to be an illegal immigrant and thus ask questions we as Africans wouldn’t ask when his kin and kind wish to visit the continent.
So for a fellow African to think that a professional, an engineer, an expatriate for a multinational in another African country would want to travel to Europe only to escape Africa was a painful insult. 
Even a low grade airport official who may not have travelled before (sorry if I am profiling her too) thinks that a professional engineer has nothing to do with his life but to run away to Europe via Athens and live as an illegal immigrant.
At the pre-departure check point she tried to be nice and smiled and wished me a safe trip. I didn’t mind her. 
“You didn’t respond to my wish,” she whispered.
I gazed at her and didn’t even blink.
I don’t forget those who insult me.
I may take condescension from someone different and put it down to ignorance and bigotry but not from a fellow black.
This experience, aside the annoyance, caused me to think deeply on the flight. How do I contribute to build my country and continent such that no one, not even our own selves, would think or want to flee at the least opportunity? How do I help to change the narrative?
It took less than 5 minutes for the immigration guy to stamp my passport at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to go to the boarding gate to Athens. 
No profiling. 
Seems some can be more French than Jacques Chirac.

Old School Nsempiisms

(Contributions by Kweku Opare-Djan, Prosper Afuti, AR Zakari)
Why waste time fighting on social media when you can meet at the school park and settle it?
Why waste airtime and data when you can stand behind her window and whistle or throw a pebble at the window?
Why take her to a pizza spot when you can buy kelewele and groundnuts and spend hours walking and throwing groundnuts into your mouth to tackle the kelewele?
Why waste money on clothing and footwear from boutiques when you can do first selection at Kanta?
Why dispose of your old notebooks and wrong work sheets when you can give them to the aburo ni nkatiɛ seller in exchange for some local popcorn?
Why hide behind shyness and fail to approach that lady you fancy when you can use a betweener?
Why buy pizza when it is practically tea bread and some stew – mushroom, meat etc?
Why bother to iron your school uniform after an exciting Captain Planet viewing session on Sunday night when you can fold it neatly and place it under your pillow for the generous ironing gods to do their straightening magic on the creases whilst you doze off and snore loudly like a gelded boar?
Why send her a WhatsApp message when you can write her a letter on scented paper and deliver it to her via your kid brother?
Why get a menthos to freshen your breath when you can easily do that with aburo ni nkatiɛ?
Why bother with super expensive designer mouth spray/wash when you can derive same fresh breath by chewing sand-fried aburo ni nkatiɛ?
Why waste money on fried rice and shito when you can cook angwa mo fortified with tolo beef, accompanied by pepper with Titus providing backing vocals?
Why buy her dinner at Novotel when you could get her yummy meat pie at Ebony?
Why drive all the way to Silverbird when you could go watch cine at Orion?
Why import car batteries when you can get some at the Ganiva Battery Centre?
Why get another prophet when you can consult Apraku, God’s own daughter?
Why fear kakai when you have even survived Lady High Heels in boarding house?
Why fear anything when you have survived eaten gari and beans without water nearby and miscalculated the swallowing process?
Why worry about horse meat when you have eaten PAMSCAD luncheon meat?
Why fear heartburn when you have survived eating gas oil soup in secondary school?
Why fear farting when you have survived the eating of dinat powdered milk in secondary school?
Why worry about time wasted at the clinic for weighing when you can get tom brown and dinat powdered milk for free after the weighing, to balance your food supplies?
Why complain about the softness of your laundry soap when you even used Don’t Touch Me with skill?
Why call it Chibom when the Gey Hey ladies allegedly call it Eggies Brodos?
Why waste money on tilapia when you could get Ewurefua for cheaper?
Why ride in OSA when you can take King of Kings Auntie Dede bus aka manko ta manko nɔ?
Why listen to me when I am just an old duade reminiscing about years gone by?
**Join Kofi Akpabli, Alba Sumprim and I in Kumasi on 24th Sept at the Kumapley Auditorium, College of Engineering, for the book reading dubbed Romancing Oseikrom Sebitically. Come, and do bring a friend!

Luncheon meat

There are a number of people who are quietly and steadily blazing new trails and when such people make time to touch you in a serious way by action, and not words, they deserve to be highlighted and given vim!

One of such persons is Mawn Van Boven. I had been following her exploits in various ventures and notably the Spelling Bee. Then some weeks ago, she contacted me and said she wanted to purchase 100 copies of my books and could I also link her to other Ghanaian writers because she wanted to purchase books and distribute to kids at this year’s launch of The Spelling Bee. Now, if you know anything about the terrain wrt book publishing and sales in Ghana, you would know that’s a big deal! From my engagement with her team since then, I can easily estimate that they have purchased not less than 400 books, from GH authors like Kofi Akpabli, Alba Kunadu Sumprim, Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, Ayesha Harruna Attah, Ruby Goka, Mary Ashun and Abyna Ansaa Adjei and yours sebitically.

And these books are going directly to children to provoke them unto good (reading) works, something I am passionate about!

This gesture  touched me in no small way so I asked Mawn what her motivation was and what led her to choose local authors.

Her response is as below:

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Young Educators Foundation, organisers of The Spelling Bee, promotes literacy and education in Ghana & Nigeria. The Spelling Bee is in its 10th year:  it is the local version of Scripps Spelling Bee of the USA.

Ghana is the only African country that continues to participate in this global competition.

In May of 2016, Afua Ansah, who represented Ghana at the 89th Scripps Spelling Bee in the US, did Ghana and African proud by becoming the first Ghanaian & African to qualify as a finalist in the Scripps Bee….in its 89-year history!

So this year, we are celebrating our own….Afua Ansah…and Ghanaian authors.

Many are those who say ‘we don’t have good Ghanaian authors’. So we chose to showcase them, to prove that we do have quality authors with quality books, both in content and presentation.

The concept for the launch is a library setting. We want to evoke the memories of our libraries amongst ourselves, whilst introducing our young ones to it. (There will be about 100 students)

Our high profile guests include the 2nd lady Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, the indefatigable Dep Min of Tourism Abla Dzifa Gomashie and the US Ambassador, Amb. Robert Jackson.

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Thanks so much, Mawn and your team. This action of yours to honour GH writers is a big boost. We give you back a vimful dose of that boost as you launch this year’s Spelling Bee on Friday 9th September.