Up Atop My Roof So High: Notch 6 – Sweet and Sour Social Media

I must have signed on to Facebook late 2007. Before Facebook, we had dabbled in hi5 and a few others. The main connecting tool for chatting around this time, and a couple of years before Facebook became mainstream, was Yahoo Messenger, and MSN before then. Gmail introduced a chat window within the email portal itself which collapsed faster than a pile of books on a seat in a car travelling on the Sakumono-Klagon road.
 
Then, in 2008, I published my first book. Of course, I didn’t have money to do any traditional publicity – on TV, radio, and in print. No one knew about my writing, and fewer still knew about my name, aside having a faint recollection of its resemblance to the surname of the learned priest who served on the PNDC. So, right from the beginning, I was constrained by lack of funds and advised by pragmatism to set out on a journey. A journey I believed in. A future I envisaged. To focus on using Facebook, especially, to showcase my writing, and my books. It was more of an experiment, but I felt deep within my bones that social media was going to change the media and how we both consume and disseminate information. And how publicity is rolled out.
 
I always say one of the first persons to appreciate where I was going with it was my colleague and friend Akofa Ata who gave me great encouragement, most of it by his subtle actions and then on a couple of occasions, verbally.
 
In the beginning, especially after Excursions in My Mind was launched in December 2008, I would go into inboxes, introduce myself politely, and say something like “My name is Nana, and I just released a new book which I want to introduce to you.” I made similar outreaches even before the launch. That is how come, at my first ever book launch, I got touched and surprised by some high profile persons who attended. For instance, I didn’t know the current CEO of Databank, Kojo Addae-Mensah, personally. Indeed, I have met him, even up to today, less than five times. Precisely, about three times, if I am right. But, he read me on this platform, and came for the launch. Madam Anna Bossman, currently Ghana’s Ambassador to France, accepted my inbox message and attended that 2008 launch. Two years later, she was the Chairperson for my second book launch. I call her Auntie Anna now, but we were not even acquaintances before Facebook. Frankly, there might have been no other way I could have encountered her. She was even then such a high flyer and one of the famous names in Ghana.
 
Since 2008, and on this platform, I have been able to get acquainted with so many people that I wouldn’t have been even employed to tie their shoes or clean their offices. Through this platform, I have grown and been accepted as a writer and author. For about three years, I was a columnist in B&FT but I can confidently say that Facebook was where many people who recognise my name and my writings encountered me for the first time.
 
And this platform has open doors to me. I got to contribute to two anthologies, one in Ghana and the other in South Africa, just through contacts here on this platform. Our publishing as a company was created right out of here, and the contents of our first book as publishers were gleaned off here – FaceOff With the International ‘MP’. I am currently working on a job I got to work on a book for someone who has never met me, based in Geneva. He only knows me from here.
 
Right from the start, I was clear in my mind that social media is not that virtual. I always said that the dividing line between virtual and real is now very thin, and is made of dew. So, in my mind, there is nothing like online behaviour or persona and real life/offline behaviour. You are what you display and showcase both online and offline. You are better off ensuring alignment between the two.
 
Facebook and other social media offer great opportunities to engage with great minds and the benefits are enormous. Mind what you allow to escape from your mind onto this canvas.
 
One last example. From WhatsApp. I share ads about books from Booknook to my WhatsApp status frequently. So I do get orders and requests from people I might not know personally. I got one such last month. The address was given as the Court Complex. I submitted the package to the courier company I use – Veritas – to deliver. The rider called me to say later that he couldn’t reach the client. I told him that the address indicated the floor number and the actual court so he should go there and ask for the person; perhaps he works there.
 
The next day, I asked the rider how it went. He said he had to sit in the court and wait for about 30 minutes before he could see the client and hand over the package.
 
The client was the Judge in the seat.
 
I later googled his name and was awed. Big man!
 
Social media is a two-edged sword. Social media is both sweet and sour. Social media is how you make it.
 
There are a good number of young people who are using this platform to build amazing businesses. Some are using it to procure lifelong mentors and guardians. Via this platform, you can enter boardrooms and drink deep from the founts of CEO’s minds. Many are making great friends right here, who are affecting their lives positively. The world has become flat and separating curtains have been torn for those who wish and dare and are desirous to step through the split partitions to engage and dine with greatness.
 
You can make it work for you.
 
Shalom and have a great weekend.
 
NAD, 03022018
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Sebiticals Chapter 39: Once Upon A Post So High

Once upon a time, in the land of KwaMan, the natives of the Bibiman forest decided to hold a drinking and thinking bout with their counterparts in the forest across the Talantic river, called Bronikrom . After all, didn’t the elders say that yɛ nom nsa, na yɛ fa adwen? Truly, as we drink, we think at the same time.

Considering that it has been long decided that alternating venues was a good idea, the leaders of both forests decided to hold the drink-think session in Bronikrom. Also, due to the long distance between the two forests, the herdmen of each Bibiman tribe was selected to go on this journey.

However, there arose from the tribe of Bongo a man crying in the wilderness, questioning and lamenting. The Man from Zeh family of the tribe of Bongo wondered whether the food in Bibiman was not enough to feed the herdmen from the two forests, whether the hamlets of Bibiman were not worthy enough to house the Bronikromers and whether enough Bibimanian houses and donkeys could not be marshalled to take the natives of Bronikrom around during the drinking and thinking festival.

“Is this rocket science or common sense? Or something I am missing?” the man from theZeh family of the tribe of Bongo concluded.

All of Bibiman listened and nodded and wondered, not for the first time, where the Zeh man got his wisdom from. Efo Dogbevi was the first to respond: that the love of borborbor precipitated such wisdom from the innermost parts of a man. Teacher Johnson added that it could be the Zeh man’s love for nsempiisms. Obaapanyin Potisaa said it was rather the nectar from the serwaanic well that was making the Zeh man so bold, especially in the year when the entire universe was singing ‘Be Bold!’.

As the Bibiman still reflected in silence, a loud voice, with a high pitch, rose from the heart of the forest. Eyes and heads turned. Few ears could recognise this voice and not many eyes could recollect this face. But his words were to enter the book of legends.

Wofa Kapokyikyi was one of the few who indicated that they knew the owner of the voice and told me that the man was from the Kwa family of the tribe of Meh, from an old family of high priest.

The Kwa man delivered his high words and also wondered why after many years of waiting with serwaanic patience, the Zeh man didn’t hold his return to Bongo to receive the daughter of his father-in-law and swim in the Tonga river of Bongo. The Kwa man wondered whether the kofi brokeman along the banks of River Bongo were not fit for the guests at his nuptial festival and whether the canoes on River Bongo were not deemed worthy to cater to the transport needs of his guests.

“Is this rocket science or common sense? Or something I am missing?” the man from the Kwa family of the tribe of Meh concluded.

Again, all of Bibiman heard and nodded, and wondered whether the men of the Kwa family were related to the Zoom-Zoom.

But as Bibiman reflected in silence, a chemical reaction was slowly taking place. It turned out that according to the laws of manasematics, a punch delivered on social media in the presence of trolls and enabled by the magic of screenshots underwent a chain reaction into a high post.

This was a very high post, which flew high and was shared by many high people who were either high on admiration or on payback vim. My friend Jeffrey Tong put it more sebitically, stating that the post “flew high with the banner of nsempiism across the Talantic oceans and beyond”. Which is true, because when the goat was using its backside to spread semi-solid effluent on the walls of the village’s house, its posterior was also getting painted. In this high post-erio-painting, the nsempiic cover of the nkrataa that Kapokyikyiwofaase penned was an unintended beneficiary.

Many years ago, on the hills of Menya Mewu, a boy who had just arrived in the school that Osagyefo built was asked what his favourite food was. He hadn’t been around too long to know that the delicacies from his village didn’t sound too well in the city and needed some brofolisation when being mentioned. Same reason why Nii Okaitey responded to the same question by saying that his favourite food was corn balls in tweed jacket on a plate of calamari with ogyemma sauce and a guard of honour of sliced shallots. This other boy wasn’t that suave yet. He said his favourite meal was brɔdze dwow (what the Fantis call roasted unripe plantain). His friends started calling him Brɔdze Dwow. But this boy was a fast learner. He decided not to protest the name and fight the teasing. With time, his nickname was upgraded to Brɔdze J and by the time he got to the senior stage of his education, everyone was calling him Senior BJ.

It was on the Menya Mewu Hills that Kapokyikyiwofaase discovered that a tease should expect to be teased. Learning to manage your period under teasing fire was part of the game of learning teasing ropes. To ride the crest and manage the trough and glide the waves.

But this strategy was not employed by the Zeh man who decided to shot from the trough. And the Kwa man countered again.

The KwaMan trajectory then went through block factories, radio studios, Zuckerberg deactivations, back alleys and front alleys. Until the next big thing happened in Sikaman when, as usual, the KwaMan saga was thrown under the conveyor belt that brought the next saga.

Oseeey, Sikaman!

Meanwhile, somewhere in Sikaman, a manager of a celeb is planning to rent a Nana Kwame to deliver a high comment so the celeb can block to follow a KwaMan trajectory. Not a bad idea but this is what Wofa Kapokyikyi says: not all animals can run and not be classified as crazy. Indeed, not all celebs who bring their hands close to their heads are called Abodam.

Wofa Kapokyikyi is also drinking and thinking; after all, he is also a person! As for me, I know no rocket science and I am still searching for common sense.

But the Kwa man’s response to the second epistle of the Zeh man had me muddled. He wrote, thus: “Your response fit (sic) into fundamentalist theories of epistemic justification”.

Eish!

So let me ask a common man’s question o. What is the best way to understand this second response: rocket science or common sense? Or something I am missing?

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

Sebitically yours,

Kapokyikyiwofaase

Detailed Final Report – Apagya School Project

Chiefs, Elders, DGG, Teachers and Pupils
Chiefs, Elders, DGG, Teachers and Pupils

Date of Report: 07 December 2014

Dear Friends,

Please find in link below the detailed report on the Apagya School Project and the full list of contributors and amounts/items donated.

Executive Summary

This final progress report captures completed works on Apagya R/C Primary School led by a group of philanthropists on Facebook – DGG – and their friends who donated from around the world. This is a report as at 14th November 2014.

Apagya R/C Primary school is a six unit classroom block that had the roof of three of its classrooms lifted off following a recent rainstorm (during the first half of 2014) with the other classrooms suffering from leakages when it rains. There were also issues with the foundation of the building that demanded attention. The report details the works that was undertaken to resolve issues.

A total amount of GHc 23,074.71 was raised from three main sources (initiators of the idea – DGG, a group of Facebook friends, some citizens of Apagya in the diaspora, friends and acquaintances on and off Facebook) for the project. The total cost of the completed project was GHc 22,466.00 thus leaving a balance of GHc 608.71 as cash at hand to be used for future project(s). There were also contributions in kind from diverse sources: the Apagya community contributed all timber for the works; 3 buckets of emulsion paints was donated by a paint supplier; 40 bags of cement from the DCE; and 10 bags of cement by some Apagya citizens.

Table 1.1 gives a summary of the total funds received as well as what they were used for on the project. Figure 1.1, on the other hand, gives the expenditure pattern of the various work packages in percentage terms.

The scope of works comprised the following: removal of existing roofing sheets and its carpentry; re-roofing of all six classrooms plus headmaster’s office; installation of fascia board; masonry works to foundation and floor screeding; installation of doors and windows; and painting of walls, windows and doors.

Works was started on 26th of August 2014 and completed on the 4th of November 2014. Labour for the roof works, carpentry works, masonry and painting works was freely provided for by artisans in Apagya, with the Project Planning Team providing them food for the days they worked. A group of volunteers – mainly from the DGG Facebook group – from Accra, Obuasi and Kumasi, on National Volunteers day (21st September 2014) visited Apagya to help paint the exterior of the school.

The rehabilitated school was formally handed over to the authorities at a ceremony on the 8th of November 2014 in Apagya. The Project Team, together with a group from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, donated some books and stationary at the ceremony as well.

We are most grateful to all who contributed to this project in one way or the other. We may or may not have met you or known you but be rest assured your money was used for a good cause to give a salient academic environment leading to the grooming of the leaders of tomorrow.

We say THANK YOU to you all!

Full details report: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B679oh6BTVleNnlsZnQ2bDFnRWM/view?usp=sharing

List of contributors and amount/items donated: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B679oh6BTVleMktCYjFJWjRJRjg/view?usp=sharing

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