When August Comes

Anytime the calendar hits August 1, a lot of things come into our lives; from the happy new month wishes all over from friends and families, our memories which comes with smiles or tears to breaking news of goodwills and tragedies. But before I tell you what happens when August comes, look through this article to know something special about the month of August. August is the eighth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and the fifth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. August comes from the Latin word augustus, meaning “consecrated” or “venerable,” which in turn is related to the Latin augur, meaning “consecrated by augury or “auspicious.” In 8 B.C. the Roman Senate honored Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, by changing the name of their month “Sextilis” to “Augustus.”

Being the eighth month on the year what is more special about this month is not in the meaning of the name but in the essence of the number 8, its numerology. The meaning of the number 8 is harmony, peace, and balance. It is a symbol that helps you make decisions that are beneficial to you in your life. The number eight in the Bible signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. It is the number of a new beginning. The resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate new beginning. It is said in The Bible that Jesus rose on the first day of the next week from the day he was crucified.

Personally, when August comes, I smile and cry. I smile for it’s my birth month and I cry because it reminds me of my late junior brother who was born of the first of this month and died in this same month few years later. August is the month of great triumphs and large harvests and the symbol of the month is the gladiolus flower, which generally means beauty, strength of character, love, marriage and family.

Now, when August comes, it offers us a good time to pay attention to finer details, particularly if buying or selling a property. One goes over the contract with a magnifying glass to be sure not to skip the fine print. If you have investments, review them during the month of August and if you are considering new investments, be clear about your choices and decisions because this is the month when great financial gains or losses can take place.

The 8 Energy power that comes with August loves prosperity and the appearance of prosperity. The 8th month is the time to take a look at your wardrobe and physical body. If they need some help, August is a perfect time to buy some new clothes and start a new fitness regime. Do what it takes to make yourself more attractive, as this is a time to pamper yourself knowing that August is a time of new beginnings.

When August comes, take a trip – you will feel so much better if you get out of your regular environment.

Try to listen carefully to the advice of others during August. Great truths come from unexpected quarters, as anyone who has spent time with a small child can attest. If you do not listen, you may find, to your surprise and possible dismay, that during this 8 Month you had been warned about a couple of things that went wrong later, and that you were not open enough to heed their warnings.

The 8 Month is also a time to speak up and say what is on your mind—to stand up and be counted. The month of 8 is a time to be proactive and get things done. August is the month to change jobs if that is what you have been wanting to do. Send out your resume now, visit the offices of people you want to work for, accept dinner and conference invitations.

This month you will have a good chance of meeting the people who will help you in your quest.

An 8 month can be the month of the ‘victim’, therefore it is cautionary for people to take extra care during August, especially when driving.  And remember, August is associated with the Karma Spirit- giving and receiving abounds. When August comes, a time of new beginnings come.

Akakpo Elikem Kwabla

[Pt.2] Drug Abuse in Ghana: Causes, Effects & Solutions

Read Part 1 Here

…The instreaming of drug itinerants and quack doctors in our streets and at the doorsteps, has orchestrated to a high incidence of drug abuse. It is worthy to note that, not only in our homes and streets that one catches a glimpse of quacks plying their trade, but also in buses and in “troskis.” Their ability to entertain an audience, their sheer eloquence and the testimonies given by various people about the efficacy of their drugs are enough to sway a sick person or the young person to buy what they sell. Also, worthy to note is the fact that their drugs are inexpensive and so people cannot help but use them without qualified medical doctor’s advice.

 

Another factor responsible for the growing incidence of drugs abuse especially tramadol abuse is peer pressure or peer group influence. In schools especially, students tend to be lured by friends who are into the drug ‘businesses’. A young boy addicted to drugs may convince a colleague to drink alcohol, sniff cocaine, smoke marijuana or misuse tobacco substances in the name of fashion. Some youngsters who are determined not to defile their bodies with drugs are alienated, scolded, and given provocative names like “kolo, john, anti-so”, etc. To escape these cat-calls and mockery, some easily give up into the advice of abusing drugs in the nick of time.

 

Interestingly, advertisement has for the past decades have been one of the powerful tools used to lure men to misuse drugs in this country. On the wings of advertisement, young people get carried away by thoughts of fantasy. They begin to feel that they would in no time, beam with smiles, confidence and appear healthy like the smiling confident looking individuals in the advert who have been provident enough to do the right things at the right time. Elegantly dressed and as men and women of high social standing too, they have almost always, compelled their audience to accept them as role models through the quintessence of eloquence and high sounding catchy phrases and slogans like “Marijuana, the heavenly weed that opens the twin doors of wisdom and prosperity!” “Adonko bitters, bitters of the moment!. Brukutu, Barima nsuo” and etc. Deceptive as their behaviours and speeches are, several thousands of young talented people are influenced into imitating their lifestyles and habits.

 

Curiosity is also one of the factors that accounts for the misuse of drugs. Most young are very curious to find out what is contained in certain types of drugs especially tramadol and other alcoholic substances. They see others happily indulging in drugs. Often times, they find men and women of high social standing smoking and drinking profusely. They irresistibly gross anxious to find out what makes other people indulge in these drugs.

 

Drug abuse has is attendant problems. Most prominent among them is that it usually impairs the health of those who become addicted to the practice. Quite often, habitual users of strong drugs like tramol, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol become emaciated and completely dehumanized. Predictably, this leads to premature deaths. Habitual drug users are noted to be drowsy, lazy and totally unproductive. Though they may eat a lot, they lack the strength and conscience to contribute to the growth of a country’s economy. In most situations, the illegal use of drugs leads to mental illness. A drug addict easily breaks down psychologically. The abuse of drugs such as marijuana, alcohol and tramadol provokes acts of violence. Those who misuse such drugs become fearless, aggressive, reckless and prone to acts of inhumanity. This, no doubt, disturbs social order.

 

To combat the drug menace, the following measures should be put in place. There is the need for a nationwide educational campaign, aimed at exposing every citizen to the dangers inherent in using un-prescribed drugs. As much as education is essential, it is equally important for the government to embark on a health revolution. In this respect, hospitals and well-equipped clinics should be established in all towns and villages in the country to give people access to qualified health professionals. As a matter of urgency, hospital fees must be reviewed to make them affordable to the common man. The National Health Insurance Scheme must be regulated enough to cover most hospital bills especially most medicines and laboratory tests which most patients find it very mind-blowing to afford. The government and the security agencies should not delay in waging a relentless war against users and traders of hard drugs like cocaine, tramadol and marijuana. Whenever they are caught, instant punitive measures should be meted to them. In addition, the government is advised to place a ban on the sale of the most commonly abused drugs in the country. Lastly, quack doctors and drug peddlers should be given proper training to enable them conduct their operations more efficiently and effectively. If not, they should be banned from carrying out their operations.

 

I hope the suggestions presented in this piece would be carefully considered to provide a lasting solution to this abuse of drugs especially tramadol (currently trending) in our country.

MLS Kelly Michael Agbesi

Keywordz19@gmail.com

0243075464

Drug Abuse in Ghana: Causes, Effects & Solutions

Written by MLS Kelly Michael Agbesi

Obviously, one of the ills plaguing Ghana today is the misuse of drugs specifically tramadol, and other forms of substances which are either poorly regulated or banned for use in the country. Like a strike of light to a petrol or a smoker puffing cigarette smoke in the sky, illegal use and abuse of drugs has engulfed our society so much that most of these young men and women are suffocating to death under its intense canker.

It is in the light of this unfortunate situation that I’ll carefully examine the menace, causes and effects of using the unprescribed drugs and suggest ways to ameliorate it.

First and foremost, any substance (with the exception of food and water) which, when taken into the body, alters the body’s function either physically and/or psychologically is referred to as drug. (Wikipedia 2018). Drugs may be legal (e.g. alcohol, caffeine and tobacco) or illegal (e.g. cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin).

For the crux of my discussions, tramadol abuse by the youth in recent times has become very important for national and for that matter international attention.

What is tramadol?

Tramadol (or “Tramol” as called locally) is an oral tablet and a prescription drug that is available as an immediate-release and extended-release tablet. Tramadol is a controlled substance. This means it can only be used with a doctor’s close supervision.

Why is it used?

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This substance can be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

How it works!

Tramadol belongs to a “class of drugs” called ‘opioid agonists’. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. It works by changing how your brain senses pain. Tramadol is similar to substances in your brain called “endorphins”. Endorphins bind to receptors (parts of cells that receive a certain substance). The receptors then decrease the pain messages that your body sends to your brain. Tramadol works in a similar way to decrease the amount of pain your brain thinks you are having. (https:/www.healthline.com/health/tramadol-oral-tablet).

Drug (tramadol) abuse is firmly rooted in the following factors. In other not to “cry the wolf”, the limited and difficult access to healthcare delivery in Ghana contribute to the abuse of the substance of play (Tramadol). Young people, especially, those living in the countryside, have no or little access to the various health facilities across the country.  The little available ones are nothing to boast of, due to the poor regulation of the facilities and inefficient accessibility by the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme (which is to regulate medical health-care for the citizens in Ghana. These occurrences makes it very difficult for them to have the opportunity to consult a qualified health professional in moments of sickness, trauma or injury.

Citizens placed on such happenings would only have to rely on “tramol” or any other substance readily available in their surroundings. After all, if there is no qualified health professional, a quack doctor or a chemist’s shop is nearby. What a pity!

Added to this are hospital bills which tend to be unaffordable. The lay person walking on the street is incapable of receiving quality health services in the country. No seer to predict the increasing cost of medications and all kinds of health services provided in the country’s hospitals.

The most disturbing is the embarrassment caused to the poor sick person. Though I do not have evidences to prove to the fact that sick people have to pay money before they could see the doctor but I believe this is one of the many reasons they stay in the corner and kick the bucket slowly but painfully. Is it any wonder for such poor people to shy from high cost medical care and resort to tramadol or street peddlers or buy from a chemist’s shop at a low cost?

Quite prominent among the use of tramadol by young people is the desire of most of them to enhance their performances in various fields of human behaviour. For instance, these young people use tramol and other unprescribed substances to enable them do physically challenging activities. Most of them who are students erroneously believe that some ‘special’ drugs like tramadol would give them the required fitness, strength and mental alertness to improve their performances in the tracks, academics and ability to ‘last long’ in bed.

MLS Kelly Michael Agbesi

Keywordz19@gmail.com

0243075464

Creating The Wedding Budget

For the average person, the only time one hears the word ‘budget’ is in the news when the government is about to air its annual national budget. In their eyes, it’s a big deal when they have to make their own budgets, considering the complexity figures and percentages may present. Maintain your pulse, and throw away the analgesics, Top Weddings Africa is here to break every piece down to enable you be the ‘Financial Minister of Bridal Affairs’.

Budget is simply an estimate of income and expenditure for your dream wedding. Before putting pen on paper, or inputting a key into your Excel canvas, have an idea about the class and type of wedding you want to have. Coming from the garden city of Ghana, I prefer lavish ceremonies, others like to keep it simple. Would you want to have a huge traditional wedding, or a small set-up? Do you want to keep it indoor, on a healthy-looking garden, or in a state of the art conference building? This informs how many people you invite. It depends on your preference and what you can afford.

After you’ve been able to decide, see this as a monetary affair. So who’s suiting the bill? Your fiancé/fiancée? Your parents, or in-laws? Communication holds the magic wand here. Talking to everyone involved to buy into your vision of your dream wedding is key. Do a simple calculation on how much each is contributing to see the way forward.

The cheat code to making your budget is knowing what you need. A basic breakdown of it involves reception, photography, videography, décor and design, venue, food, attire, music and entertainment, MC, floral arrangement, attire, stationery, wedding rings, the ceremony, transportation, gifts and miscellaneous.

Research isn’t only what you do during the completing stages of grabbing your degree, but finding the best deals in making your budget. Doing a quick check online on your needs will give you a fair idea on the arithmetic mean of it all. Probe from experienced people and friends. Set limits for your maximum expenditure on all necessities mentioned above. Know your priorities… which sections you can cut down cost, and others you can splurge on and do the Birdman hand rub.

The key is efficiency. Some valuables are costly but not nice, others are comparatively affordable but still classy and quality. Planning your budget is fluidity. Don’t stick to the books you wrote yourself. Be open to ideas from professionals. Have fun with it, and don’t forget you’re doing it all for the love of your partner.

The Ideal Wedding: The Preparation

Born in the 90s, weddings I saw during my childhood are quite different from what we see these days. Weddings of today seem to be a great task, and if you’re caught up in the heat of the moment, you may be a habitual procrastinator. I mean, living under the clouds of social media, one would have to create a hashtag, and even provide phone-charging stations at your wedding… and that’s the least of your headaches. But hey, wear a big smile. Top Weddings Africa has got you!

What would we define as the ideal wedding?  A wedding which is well planned and executed to meet your classical desire. As others fancy huge flowers, expensive gowns and drone photography, some people prefer keeping it simple. The choice is yours. The point is to make it enjoyable, and serve memories.

The youth have started catching a new craze; investing a lot into wedding photoshoot. Everyone wants to outdo the gallery he/she glimpsed recently, reason why Aero Shutter always has weekend duties. The average active young man or woman is currently attracted to what he/she sees or watches more than what he/she reads as a text message, poster or invitation card. They’d probably want to be mesmerized by how you twin outfits with your partner, the relief features in the background, or how ‘hippy’ the next couple is. Hence, pre-wedding photoshoot has become a necessity.

It comes with selecting the right clothing, choosing the best sights, hooking with the finest make-up artist, employing an expert photographer to visualize the best of you through his lens, and probably putting up your best of moods.

Not to do away with the traditional invitation cards, which has become a battle of innovation and creativity now. I clearly recall the first time I got mind blown about such cards was when it had the design of the WhatsApp theme. It was so accurate! Music fans can’t wait to click the Play button on a new Kanye West video because he always has something new to feed the hungry eyes. That gives a clue that no one would want to see your usual form of invitation card. Spice it up with a creative theme which will still contain all the necessary details.

The most asked question when weddings are being discussed these days is “Which colours did the couple choose?” Colours represent a lot in our world. The Catholic liturgy indicates that violet represents penance, humility and melancholy, whilst green signifies hope and life eternal. You don’t have to choose a colour because it’s the new wave. There should be reason attached. It should reflect what you as the couple represent, the theme, and fit into the time of the year, etc.

Preparations would have to go into planning and budgeting for one of the most memorable days in your life. A lot! Hold on to this for now as we unravel another chapter of greatness in weddings in our next article.

Making Eyes Gaze With A Top Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

The great philosopher Confucius once said “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember…” Our brains have cravings for bright pictures and creative images. All social media apps wouldn’t be relevant without the addition of images option. People would want to see more than they read. Friends sometimes say the real truth to me that they barely read my articles, but would watch my IG posts or WhatsApp status images.

Images are everything in this our world today. It’s not a wonder that people have bought into the idea of pre-wedding photoshoot. Instagram (IG) is the new wedding announcer. It’s easier to carry a message through pictures than employing a P.A system. As the saying goes, “pictures speak a thousand words.” Pre-wedding photoshoot has become a method of announcing your wedding, and previewing information like date of the wedding, logo, etc. These days ignoring a pre-wedding photoshoot is like the local government starting a demolition exercise without prior warning.

P re-wedding photoshoot basically has to do with finding the right photographer and developing a befitting theme, concept and location for it.

Sometimes people complain and wonder why photographers charge a lot without considering that it takes real creativity to capture captivating moments with a matching concept. As the couple you have to know what you prefer. You have to tell a story with your photoshoot. Do you want to narrate your story in the setting of a telenovela or as a creation story of Adam and Eve? It all depends on what you want. Creatives like me always want to be mind blown with refreshing artistic content. It’s always good take up what Napoleon couldn’t do. You can decide to go traditional, old school, cowboy, romantic or beachy with your photoshoot. Viewers are just daring for something that would keep their jaws dropping. So flex your creative muscles, and keep it as hip as possible.

Coming up with this post, a friend told me if he’ll ever do a pre-wedding photoshoot, it’ll be at where he met the love of his life. So what about you? Where do you want to have yours?

Not closing up on the range of ingenuity the photoshoot is better done at a serene atmosphere, which captures the intimacy and enjoyment the couple share. It can be by the roadside, on the mountains, in the valleys, forest areas, studio, or even in the room.

I’ve seen a glut of pre-wedding photos… I’d want to see yours soon. I’d want to have may pupils dilate and goosebumps spread all over me. And I know you’d love to give the world a top pre-wedding photo album.

Promise Again!

He stood quietly, staring right at me with a tear-filled eye and shaking lips. I knew he wanted to say something but just couldn’t figure out what. Now thoughts start running through my mind…

The people we trust always betray us

The people we love always deceive us

The people we stand for, always let us down

But should that be the way?

You told me I was the only one when I was actually not yet numbered…

You said yes when the obvious was no. You promised hope that I never saw in daylight. You promised joy that I never saw in life…above all, you promised love that I never dreamt of.

Why promise me all these and turn your back at me?

My heart is broken but not dead

My feelings are hurt but not gone

My mind is blank but waiting for you

I’m hurt but I still love you

Why does something so wrong seem so right?

 

Sometimes all we need is just a word of assurance. I know all your wrongs and I still loved you. I knew how crazy you can be and I still loved you. I try forgetting about you and I realize I’m instead forgetting about myself and happiness.

You’ve wronged me but I still love you so say something.

I’m not calling or texting but I spend almost every single second waiting for yours…

I may be smiling and laughing out with my friends outside but that is just how best I can escape your vacuum alone. Please say something, just say it. I’m frowning now with a straight face but I’m just waiting to smile. Please say something.

“C’mon, say it” were the thoughts in my mind.”

But before I could raise another thought he kissed me so hard and intense that I couldn’t even catch a breath. He drew back a little and still with shaking lips he said “I love you, I promise this will never happen again.” Then my heart skipped a beat, for a reason I’m yet to decipher.

He just promised again

Didn’t he do the first time?

But why do I seem to want it when I knew he lied the first time?

I know it’s a lie but I need it. Then I realized..

What we don’t want is actually what we need!

Go ahead and promise again

Give yourself a chance

Yvonne Okoro & Other Female ‘Celebs’ Come Down Hard on KOD

Popular media personality Kofi Okyere Darko known in the showbiz industry as KOD took to his Facebook wall to congratulate John Dumelo and also accepting his invitation to come for his wedding over the weekend. He also made some comments which did not go well with some female celebrities

He said “just got off the phone with my friend and brother John Dumelo… my brother’s actually getting married and I’m invited! Unbelievably true oo! Beautiful woman too. Got me wondering why most men in the public eye settle for quiet/unknown women and not the ones all over. That could be a lesson for some of our sisters ooo. Men want women who can make a home and not be all over. I wish them well and can’t wait to see them on Saturday”

This got to actress and producer Yvonne Okoro and she took to her Instagram page to address the issue and this got other female celebrities supporting her view…

 

Kofi, @nineteen57bykod you could have congratulated the couple without needlessly denigrating other women. Who a man chooses to be with is a matter of personal preference and vice versa for women too. As you clearly believe that women should make all their life choices with marriage always being at the forefront of their minds, you should preach the same to men. I pray that young women would be raised to believe that they can achieve their dreams(working hard,and being KNOWN)and being also the perfect bride for some man one day,this goes for the man too. PS-A quiet and unknown woman does not equate a happy and successful marriage.I know many KNOWN women that are working hard and are all over the place yet great wives and mothers too!! Happy marriage @johndumelo1.See you soon!

A post shared by Yvonne Okoro (@yvonneokoro) on

Now the question is, was KKD being real, or did he go too harsh? What do you make of Okoro’s assertion?

 

Confidence; a Lost Factor in Ghanaians

Confidence breeds confidence. Confidence breeds success. Confidence can make you do the unthinkable. With confidence, you can climb the highest ladder. Confidence, although a good habit, is barely discussed in this part of the world. We don’t raise our children with confidence. When a child is very confident in Ghana, we automatically think he/she might’ve probably being raised abroad. It’s almost impossible to grow up with such a trait here.

Ghanaian adults don’t respect children. It has even gotten better now. As a kid, any adult at all could whip another’s child freely. I thank my parents for not allowing that. Think about the names we call children here… “herh”, “small boy/girl”, “eyi”, etc. You may be thinking that’s not a big deal, but it has a subconscious effect on these kids. We forget they are young kings and queens.

When a child goes wrong, we publicly insult them and treat them as foolish idiots. The number of times they hear abusive words are multiple times more than they hear praises. In primary school, the mechanism of control is putting fear in pupils. Teachers shout at them anyhow they want, to earn their respect. Actually, nobody praises them at all. Well, unless it’s a seduction to send them to buy us something. I’m not saying children shouldn’t be disciplined, but the same way we find no problem in looking down on them, we shouldn’t also find a problem with installing a dint of confidence in them.

Due to all these, we grow up timid and with small dreams or none at all. Cast your mind back into school. Do you remember the number of people who were always hiding from that teacher who liked to ask a lot of questions, all because they lacked confidence of getting it wrong? How many people were able to ask questions in your class? Yes, you’re struggling to come up with a high number, because most of us contemplated if it’s a sensible question, due to negative experiences.

I was victim of lack of confidence. Naturally, I’m a quiet person. I was very timid. Every time I tried to be active a bit, my teachers furiously told me “Ofori, you’re becoming unbecoming”, then I’d run back into my shelf. During my senior high school days, I was able to change that. I wanted to have a balance in life, so I surrounded myself with people who lived a happy and carefree life, people who entertained themselves. I learnt a lot from a friend nicknamed 2 PM and another called Alan (in uni). With them, I was able to carry out successful activities and voice my opinion out. The fear started wearing off to the point that I was able to contest for positions, organize events, MC at programmes, talk on radio and publicly, and a lot more. Accomplishments that takes confidence to undertake. However, I lose a percentage of this confidence when I go to a new environment, till I’m able to remind myself that I’m it!

Boost your confidence today. Infect your friends and family with it. Put it in your kids. Confidence will make you win.

Precious Pearls

The people we choose to spend our time with, will go a long way to determine what we will turn out to be. If we want to reach a certain level in life; we should be mindful of the company we keep. Some people are timewasters; that is, they spend most of their time talking about things that are not beneficial in anyway. While others will encourage and push us toward excellence.

As we interact with people, we should ask ourselves; where will I be if I continue to keep this person very close to me for five years? After asking this question, we should learn to pause for few seconds and picture ourselves. If the results are positive; this will mean that friend or relationship has a positive impact on us.  But after a careful analysis, and we find out that relation will drain our energy and will not make any significant impact on us then, we should learn to discontinue that relationship.

Let us think of that relationship as a pearl. Pearls are beautiful and expensive but its beauty will also be determined by who puts on. If a pearl is given to a princess or a queen; she will wear it with so much pride and dignity. This is because, the princess or the queen has been nurtured to be a lady. So, she will cherish precious things like a pearl. On the other hand, if the same pearl is given to a pig, it will just make it dirty. Over here, the fault is not that of the pearl but the person who possesses it.

Every person can be compared to this pearl and the people we choose to keep company with will determine our outcome either accomplished or destroyed. One of the most important things is the company we choose. We will eventually copy what they say or do. If their actions are negative; we destroy ourselves but if their actions are positive we will be better than who we were before we met them.

We should therefore be mindful of the people we invite into our lives if we value the life we are living. People who want achieve good things and make a difference choose their company wisely.