I have been following the exploits of Reggie ‘N’ Bollie in the UK X-Factor competition. The name ‘Reggy Zippie’ rang a bell but I didn’t remember Bollie’s name.

reggie n bollie

I just spent some time checking out their old songs.

Reggie – Virgin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvExb3Ka6lM. It was a popular song.

You remember the song ‘You May Kiss the Bride’? It was a huge hit back then. Bollie sang it.

Both of these songs are about 10 years ago.

Again, the 10,000 hour rule comes to mind. Keeping at it, working at one’s craft, 4 hours a day, taking about 10 years to hit the top.

Malcom Gladwell wrote about it well in ‘Outliers’.

In Sebitically Speaking, I wrote about the power behind the platform performance and stated that “The quality of the performance one has on the big stages of life is usually determined by the quality and quantity of preparation time spent off stage.”

What is it that you are working on that you feel is taking too long to be noticed? Keep at it – many examples abound. When the door of opportunity opens on a big stage, only the preparation you have diligently done will make it possible for you to own that stage and move on from there.

Keep working.

Nsempiisms. My mouth has fallen.

29 August 2015

A friend of mine recently couldn’t accept it when I told him I wasn’t interested in political office. His point was that there was no way I would be doing public advocacy without a political future in mind. He wasn’t convinced that one can be politically-minded without being partisan.

Why? Because that is the modus operandi of many who aim to enter politics. That is a path well-trodden. But that shouldn’t be same for all of us.

We are in the political season and seeing a number of names being put forward to contest. All well and good.

But let’s bear in mind that not all of us can and should enter the partisan arena. Some must stay back as umpires. Some must stay back as critics. Some must stay back as reporters. And some will be spectators.

But, when you go a path that you wish will take you to Brahabebome, don’t think that everyone else is going there. There may be an nkwanta ahead.

I wish all the aspirants all the best.

2 November, 2012

I am watching CNN this evening and seeing the recovery work being undertaken after Superstorm Sandy hit the US. Some areas still don’t have electricity and there are long queues for fuel at gas stations which are rationing the little they have. There are pictures of people with red gallons standing in line for hours to get fuel for heating purposes. Cars roam the cities for gas, running out and being left behind. I saw a picture earlier today on Facebook of residents in some cities waiting to charge their phone from the dynamo of a bicycle. Uncle Ben Dotsei Malor posted a picture of the groundfloor of the UN Building in New York full of those charging phones and iPads.

My heart went out to the people in these cities.

The scenes quickly reminded me of Accra. And Lagos.

But these scenes are as a result of a phenomenal natural disaster.

The similar scenes in Accra and Lagos are with us daily.

Results of our inefficiencies, our ineptitude, our mismanagement and our inability to build on what we inherited at independence. Results of a brighter past that we have supervised to turn into a black present with a bleak future ahead of it.


In the past few months, as I commuted between Lagos and Accra, I have had the opportunity to engage with some young men on the flights, sharing my long-held view that soon my peers will be in positions of authority, running our countries and the change we desire is ours to implement. And imbued with the determination that we don’t turn into the same leaders we berate. But everyone of them has looked at me with mild bemusement mixed with amusement. Thick with disbelief at my idea that we can change the despondency we feel all around us.

I listen to our political campaigns and I hear little or no audacious plans to change the status quo, to transform our country.

We live in the midst of a hurricane each day. But we shouldn’t despair even though the signs on the wall don’t give hope. If we think we can do nothing, what is the use of living in Ghana and working and hoping?

There is hope yet, but we need to take each other’s hand and step out to make our future better.

Here is my hand – will anyone join with me?

My mouth has fallen. Nsempiisms.

6 August 2013

The rot and corruption in our society did not start when people got to national political positions. 

It started from the secondary school when the dining hall prefect could dissolve tables (that is how we described the incidence where the prefect could decide that the students in the dining hall were not enough, combine tables and take the entire food on a vacant table) and use the extra food to feed his own cronies. 

It started when the school prefect decided not to punish an entire class because he had eyes for a pretty lass in that class. It started when in campaigning for positions (as happened in my school where voting was done for prefects), opponents could tear down posters of contestants for the benefit of a bowl of gari and beans. 

It started when that senior boy could bully the poor junior boy and take away his two tins of sardines that his dad had slaved to provide for his son. 

It started in the university when SRC executives used our monies to travel and chill abroad. 

It started when we didn’t speak about the rot within our peers and lambasted our national leaders, watching on as our peers, tadpoles then, grew into mature, corrupt toads. 

It will not cease until we start tackling it now amongst our peers. 

The friend of yours who is shouting with you today against the establishment, will he or she behave differently when it is our time?

My mouth has fallen. Nsempiisms.

30 May 2015

When Peter Ala-Adjetey was appointed as Speaker of the 3rd Parliament under the Fourth Republic in Ghana, the then-NDC Minority in Parliament went to pay him a courtesy call. In their deliberations, they implored him to be as neutral as possible in the discharge of his duties.

He responded by reminding them that his leanings are known and that he used to be NPP Chairman.

“I cannot be neutral,” he admitted. “I can only be impartial.”

This statement by the late Speaker never left my mind and has influenced my conduct and comments on public discourse.

I have voted ever since I qualified to do so.

So I am not non-aligned. I am not neutral.

But I try as much as possible to be objective and impartial.

Thank you, Rt.Hon., for this timeless lesson.

17 Sept 2014

In Ghana National, Forms 2 and 3, we had a Mathematics Teacher called Double Man, shortened as Doboo. He was tall and huge and was not disinclined to lifting students off their feet when they misbehaved. He was a gentle soul, most of the times, and loved his job. He could be driven to tears when his students could not understand what he was teaching, even after his patient tutoring.

One of his favourite questions, when a student was hard of learning, was “Awala, ében adze na éyé buéi wom?” – to wit, what really are you good at?

As I reflect on Ghana and governance this evening, I can’t help asking this government:

Awala, ében adze na éyé buéi wom?

28 June 2014

We have to reflect more about the past, appreciate where we are, so we can better the future. More than a few people are disillusioned about how our current government is performing. And what its priorities are.

I say that the shape and beauty of a building is determined first at the design stage and then when the construction begins, one can ensure it proceeds per the blueprint.

What exactly were you expecting of this government? What did it say it will do? Think back to Campaign 2012. What do you remember as the key promised deliverables, the elements of the contract we signed in December 2012 at the polls? What is the blueprint we accepted?

A nation does not develop on slogans. Hope is not a strategy. Navigating the economic terrain towards sustainable development is not fueled by euphoric fervor alone.

It takes planning.

What is Ghana’s blueprint for development? What economic model are we following? Where are we going from here and how?

2016 will be here before long and the speeches and rallies will resume.

Ask questions. Analyse what you are told. Raise the bar. Vote for ideas and not just slogans. Don’t just twist your mouth or your thumb.

We only get what we tolerate. And if we exhibit a craving for nkatie burger, surely we will be fed peanuts. Or even peanut-flavoured chippings.

Of nothing.

My mouth has fallen. Nsempiisms.


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