[Pt. 1] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us

What kind of world are we living in where there’re always new motivational speakers, religious leaders, and many more new penitentiaries springing up, yet the number of crimes being committed keep increasing, or at their best, do not decrease? I do not know why this is happening but I know that the presence of this antagonism has been largely due to the inept methods employed in addressing various problems facing our society, especially crimes committed by gangbangers.

Specifically, the primary cause of crimes, especially those involving armed robbery and other brutal ruffianism has not been duly attended to. Motivational speakers talk against these crimes, yet encourage people to be filthy rich in one way or the other, for if this is not the central theme of all such speakers, what then is? Religious leaders keep showering blessings on people who are able to donate significant amounts of money to their respective religious bodies; at the same time encouraging those who can’t do similar to try harder, in one way or the other.

Penitentiaries are being built, or expanded to accommodate the ever increasing number of criminals, but in actuality the function of prison services has not been fully achieved. Do they transform, or reform or they just punish internees? I believe they only punish them, and have no intent to transform or reform them, because you can only transform or reform a person by giving them what they need; and not by depriving them of it. So what do armed robbers, thugs, ruffians and all criminals in general need? They need love.

Visit a secluded part of town that harbors gangs, smokers, and other persons engaged in activities that do not conform to the societal norms or values. You are likely to find people who had no parents to give them that ‘parental love’ or whose parent(s) either died or neglected them along the way. This is not to say that lack of parental care should lead young people to indulge in nonconforming acts, as there have been several people who have flourished in ways that are accepted by the society with little or no parental love whatsoever. I do, by stating the absence of parental love in these places, imply that the cause of the rising tide of ruffianism could be due to the begging for love which is widespread in these areas.

I interacted with four very young adults living in one area in Kumasi noted for breeding all sort of societal nonconformists. One of them, Gabby by name, is addicted to alcohol. According to him, he wants to drink anytime he misses his mum. His mum died when he completed high school, just as he was about to begin his higher education. Due to his mother’s death, he was unable to continue his education because there was no one else to cater for his education. To make matters worse, close relatives that he believed could help him fund his education, disappointed him.

At this point, he lost all hope of possibly achieving his childhood dream that one day he would land a well paying job, and take care of his mother. He has lost his mother, nobody else seems to care about him, and what breaks his heart even more is his inability to continue his education to achieve his childhood dream. The story of the other three is not any different.

The only difference being that, unlike Gabby, their parents are still alive. The parents of one of them are themselves homeless. They hardly eke a living out of the jobs they do, so they left him to fend for himself at a very tender age. He hasn’t seen any of his parents in a long while, at least not after he moved to the ghetto he stays now with his other friends. When I asked them how they survive since they are not engaged in any active job, they couldn’t give any direct answer. However, according to people living around the area, they are engaged in various rotten acts such as bullying passers-by to do away with their belongings…

Read “[Pt. 2] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us” here

‘We Can’ Foundation to be Launched

WE CAN Foundation, a Ghanaian US-based charity organization will on Wednesday, 31st January, 2018 be launched at the Lilies of the Field Academy, Osu-Accra. Founded by Solomon Annin, the young Ghanaian who is a gospel minister, inspirational speaker, songwriter and a US Army personnel, the WE CAN campaign is a course to reach out to people in the rural  areas, peril-urban who are going through hardships. The foundation is focused on helping the less privileged ones in the Ghanaian and African society as a whole.

The donation event will be the first official project to be carried out by the foundation. It is also in a special way to mark the birthday of the founder and CEO, Private Min. Solomon Annin.

The venue of the event will be the Lilies of the Field Academy located at Osu in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The event will be graced by the presence of some young folks making impacts on the lives of the less privileged in Ghana and parts of Africa such as Marcus Anafu “ The Youngest Philanthropist in Africa”, Akakpo Elikem Kwabla, the Public Relations Officer of Love Foundation Club, Juana Boateng, Nana Kofi Appau and other young Ghanaians who are into charity.

The event is to serve as a kick-start for upcoming projects of the ‘We Can’ campaign. Few projects to follow up are the provision of educational materials for some rural area schools in Ghana, distribution of footwear to students living in deprived areas, granting of educational scholarships, among others.

“We Can” as the name of the foundation cum the campaign suggests the hope of these young Ghanaians both home and abroad who believe it is we ourselves that can help our motherland come out of her predicaments and afflictions. The ‘We Can’ campaign thus incites in all Ghanaians and Africans our individual roles in making this our world of fragile peace and broken promises, sicknesses, hunger, homelessness and streetism, poverty and death.

The launching will of the We Can Foundation at Lilies of the Field is to as part of the foundation’s mission put smile on the faces of the less privileged and afflicted. There will be donation of items ranging from assorted food items, academic materials, clothes and others. The event is supported greatly by Love Foundation Club. There is a heartfelt call to the general public to support the “We Can Campaign” through donations and volunteerism.

Written by Akakpo Elikem Kwabla

Goals… Adwoa Owusuaa Writes on the Importance of Setting Goals

Life is waking up, going to sleep, going to work or school, visiting friends and other things. We all experience this. What makes a life different from another is setting goals. A life which is directed by goals is different because that life has a purpose and something to pursue which is more that waking up, few activities and going back to bed; It is a life that it building something or leaving a legacy.

Goals are things we reach or achieve that are important in our lives. In order for our lives to move to a particular direction, we should direct it in a particular path. We have to shape how our lives will turn out to be in the future. Our lives is like water or any liquid which has no shape but takes the shape of any container that is poured into. When we pour water in the floor it flows to any direction when it is not directed in a particular direction. That is what our lives will turn out to be when we do not set goals for ourselves.

When we set goals for ourselves, we know the direction our lives are going. A goal seeks to
explain what our lives will turn out to be in the long term. The things we do now in order to
get to what we want to be in the long term are tasks. It is building a mansion; we lay bricks, build structures and then we get the mansion. When we set goals, we know the end product is a mansion and not just laying bricks or building structures.

The goal will help us stay focused on what we expect at the end. There may be few changes or major changes. This is normal when it comes to what we want or the things we want to achieve. The most important to have set goals so we know what our lives are going to be.

Without goals, life is boring. Life becomes waking up going to work and going back to bed.
That is the routine of every person but people who are enthused about life are people who
have goals and have broken them down in parts to achieve them
We have to ask ourselves; what makes us happy or what do we want to do with our lives?
These are some of the questions we should ask ourselves frequently. We should learn to
examine ourselves and our lives by asking where we are; whether we have made progress or not, and make changes where necessary. Life will not be perfect once we have goals rather, it will have a purpose and we will be reenergised whenever we wake up.

Words by Adwoa Owusuaa

During Tough Times…

As humans we go through tough times in life. This is when we think all hope is gone;
people we expect to provide or show some care or compassion toward us may turn
against us. The friends and family members we may turn to for uplifting messages may
not provide what we expect. This is when we might think that our whole world is
collapsing.

Situations like this happen and it is normal to expect some sort of physical or emotional
support from friends or family members. On the other hand, during such difficult times,
our characters are being tested. Our attitudes are shaped and we become stronger and
better during and after such difficult times. When such issues happen, it is easy to focus
on all the negative things or energies that surround such issues.

What we have to do is to look beneath these negative things and look at what that issue is trying to tell or teach us. We do not have to get angry or bitter when people fail to offer help but insult, and ridicule or judge us despite the pain we feel at that moment. We have to bear in mind that; every situation is temporal, we just have to be patient and learn and grow out of that situation.

Sometimes, these situations happen for us to know the real intentions of people who are
very close to us; what is hidden behind their smiles and compliments. Tough times reveal
who they truly are and what they will do when we’re at their mercies.
Again, such issues help us learn valuable lessons like tolerance, forgiveness, patience,
perseverance and others.

In all, issues we see as bad or negative come to teach us lessons in life; valuable lessons that we need to help shape our character or attitude, our thinking
and how well we should live our lives as a whole. Everything in life happens for our good
and as we face tough issues, we get to know what a meaningful life is all about. Mostly, in
those times, we are left alone to reflect and find the hidden things that need discovery.
We should see tough times as the time we are given to open our eyes wide, listen carefully
and close our mouths to get the full understanding of all that is happening around us.

We may not get the message or all the answers to the questions we ask ourselves, as fast as we want. But after sometime; when we give time, time, we will realise that; all the things we saw as tearing us apart or pushing us down or putting us in shame may uplift us; if only we are patient enough to go through the lessons and open our eyes and ears wide,
we will know those lessons.

Sometimes, such lessons gained from those times may help us find ourselves, appreciate
our lives more and even know the purpose of our lives. We may also discover things about
ourselves we did not know existed. All that we have to do is to be patient, watch closely
and listen very well. Everything happens for us.

Words by Adwoa Owusuaa

Be The Exception

When we pay a visit to our various work places, schools and places of worship and other
places where people are expected to put in much effort to achieve more; we find
out that, people do not work as hard as they are expected and these same people
are expected to be rewarded for their haphazard behaviour toward work.

People do things anyhow and anyway they want; when people report to school or work
early, their colleagues ask whether the school or job is for their parents.
Working extra hard makes it worse. Students are given all sorts of names and people fail
to associate with them because of their hard working nature. At various work
places, people report late in the morning and are first people to leave when time
is up. What we do not realize is that, there could be someone or people watching
and copying our actions without our knowledge.

People read us like books, watch us like televisions sets or listen to us like music on the radio. Our own siblings, children or anybody at all could be watching and copying our lifestyle. This does not mean we should pretend to be perfect and please people rather, we
should give everything we do our all, not our best, because giving your best is
trying; but giving your all is putting everything you have in what you are doing.

When we fail to learn as students, a question we should ask ourselves is “Would I
be happy if my children do the same thing to me when I toil and provide for their
needs so they wouldn’t worry?” Also, as adults when we fail to give our best at or
places of work we should ask ourselves “Would I be happy if this company was
mine, and my workers behave the way I do?”

We should not follow the masses but be unique in the things we do. People will call you
names and say all sorts of things about us when we go the extra mile because;
they know the only way they can beat us is to pull us down and we will only be
affected if we pay attention to what they say or do. In various competitions we do
not look at the person or the group that is failing rather, our attention is drawn
to the winner or winners because we know they are making the difference. That
is how it is when we go the extra mile and give our all when we do things we are
supposed to do.

Successful people are those who give everything and are committed to whatever they
do especially in schools and work places. They give it their all whether the job is
theirs or not. Such people are able to manage their private companies because
they end up hiring people who are also as hard working as they are. We should
be a yardstick at various institutions we find ourselves, to our colleagues and
everyone around us.

Words by Adwoa Owusuaa.

Dear 2018

Dear 2018

Like an eagle soaring high

My heart is flying high to have an encounter with you

But be not like passed years

Coming and going with the good, the bad and the ugly

Come with all good,

Give me joy

Bring me smiles

And be beautiful to me

 

Dear 2018

2017 gave us a bit of everything good and bad

Doors were opened for people

Some couldn’t even find keys !!

Some did find the keys but didn’t know the doors !!

Loved ones were lost

And loved ones born !!

Lives shattered

And lives repaired

 

You have to do well

You don’t need to please all

Just try!

When we meet,

You gotta be friendly to the end !

You cannot please everyone

But just be good

And be faithful

 

Dear 2018

Sweet scented as you seemed to be

I again say be good

For to your peaceful days my heart cries for

And your lonely days I wish not to meet

Get up to meet me in a way so juicy and simple

Make my face forever shine with a deep dimple

Dear 2018 please be good.

 

Words by Martha Benyinge and Akakpo Elikem.

An Intimate Letter to God by AlexRepGh

Dear God,

It’s your boy once again. I thought we should talk. Ever since we fought, I’ve been going through hell. Nothing has gone too well. I fill my lungs with smokes, and my belly with hard liquor. My heart is full of hatred, covetousness, and anger, and my brain occupied by thoughts I can barely describe. For instance, whenever I walk down the street and I see a beautiful lady, I only think of how she’d be when she’s without clothes. But when I see half-naked celebrities on TV, I censure them, rain insults at them, and wish evil befall them. At the same time, I wish blessings upon myself and the entire circle around me: family, friends among others, even those who dress just like those people I see on TV. LORD, I’ve been such a hypocrite. Forgive me.

As I write this letter, it’s Sunday but I didn’t go to church. The last time I went to church, I had a nice time. I enjoyed how people danced around, shaking their bum-bums, the youth exhibiting their exuberance, similar to the way people danced when I visited the night club last Saturday. But this time, it’s not at the night club, so it’s fine. And I also witnessed the appeal for funds that went on.

I wish I could describe how I enjoyed it as much as how I didn’t enjoy it. For those who were able to give very large amounts of money, I believe they enjoyed it. Special prayers were said for them, and those who couldn’t give anything were encouraged to do so the next time. But the encouragement was indirectly telling them that it’s very wrong to not give something when you attend church.

The same way that the ‘preacher’ in a public transport would expect you to pay him for telling you to repent from your evil ways. They even expect the ‘trotro mate’ not to charge them for boarding their vehicle. When I want to take something from another person, I would firstly talk about an unrelated issue which would stir the person’s moral feelings. Then being aware of the state of their moral feelings, I would then ask them to give what I really want to ask. Lord guide and guard your children from guilefulness.

Many people pretend to be the lights, but their hearts are filled with darkness. When my heart was filled with darkness, it was your seven stars that shone upon my paths. When I thought I had lost my soul, your word held it, and I found it again. But when I tell the world, they don’t believe it because I do not go to church. Or I do not update my social media pages with words that praise you, words that thank You for saving my life.

But I know YOU know how grateful I’ve been for all the blessings you bestowed upon me, especially throughout the year 2017.
2017 was an amazing year. It started with committing myself to paths I never knew where they’d lead me, but that’s when you told me to have faith. When the road got rough, and everything fell apart, you put my pieces together and made me whole again. In 2018, I don’t wish for a better year, I wish for a year as good as all the other years I’ve lived on this earth. I pray that your wishes come through in the rest of the years of my life.

I will write again.

Yours forever,
AlexRepGh

The True Christmas Spirit

Christmas is a time of merry making and its closeness to the New Year celebration has made it not only a season for Christians to celebrate the birth of their Saviour but a time to show love by and to all. The spirit of the yuletide is giving without the thought of receiving back. It is a time of happiness because we see joy in people.

In addition to the season being a time of reflections and appreciation to God for the graces and blessings received in the year, we also use the time to reflect on the coming year.

Certainly, Christmas is a time of giving and sharing with those around us, but that sharing is not limited to those that we know, we love and care for. It is also for that person you have never met, that poor family who lives in your community.

From its very essence, we can see this giving nature of the yuletide in the birth of Christ himself. God freely gave out his Son to be born a man who will save us from sin and bring us back to God. So what is Christmas without giving? It is the giving act of God that we celebrate on Christmas thus we must reflect this very act.

More significantly, we share the moment with our families and friends which to us makes it joyous to some of us. Buying new clothes and giving presents to our children are the Christmas traditions that we have always chosen to observe and we always look forward to this treasured tradition every Christmas.

Although we all know of this spirit of giving in the Christmas season, our focus for much of the times has been on our families and friends. With a few celebrities, NGOs like my very own Love Foundation Club and other individual philanthropists always carrying the sharing of this seasonal love outside the family and friend zone, we must all emulate them. The true nature of Christmas is to give to the poor and the needy.

One of the other main reasons we have to carry out this custom of giving at Christmas is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus the baby king who was born in a manger (a symbol of him being born in poverty) by the Wise Men: Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. Christmas is a time of forgetting ourselves and finding time for others as the Wise Men did.

Let us extend the Christmas spirit of giving to the poor, the needy, the street kids, the sick and aged in our communities. This is the true spirit of Christmas; God giving his begotten Son not to a world of saints, a world of the rich but a world of those who have been cut off from him by sin.

Show love to someone who is poor outside your family and friend zone and with this, you are imitating Christmas in its true nature. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Words by Elikem Akakpo

My Ultimate Friend “Has To Be Someone Who Won’t Judge Me” – Joselyn Dumas

How does one choose a best friend? It’s not a question you would normally sit down and think about but it’s a very interesting mind game if you do decide to try.

Ghanaian actress and on air personality Joselyn Dumas has listed her requirements for choosing her girlfriends and its a simple list of only two attributes.

The friend has to be as non-judgemental as Dumas herself is and has to have ‘a crazy mind’, to make every day an adventure full of endless possibilities.

Dumas revealed this over the weekend on her reality talk show ‘Keeping it Real’.

Dizfa Gray and Jane Awoonor were the guests on the weekly show to discuss friendship among women and all its attendant complications.

As the discussion turned to what to look out for in a best friend, the former host of ‘The One Show’ chimed in with her ‘two cents’ on the issue.

“For me it has to be somebody who won’t judge me. I don’t like to be judged because I don’t judge – I mean my mum always says the fact you don’t do something doesn’t mean somebody would not do it to you — but if you don’t judge me you’re my home girl forever and ever.” Dumas said.

“We have a lot of people who are very judgemental, both male and female, these days. So for me, the ultimate thing is somebody who’s not going to judge me.”

She added that the second most crucial attribute she looks out for, is somebody who has a crazy mind and helps make life interesting day in and day out.

“The person has to have a crazy mind, it’s very important. I think when you have a crazy mind the possibilities are endless, it’s like an onion, you keep peeling and you keep peeling and you’re revealing something new every day. And I’m still trying to find myself so when you have a very crazy mind we can do that together.”

Her guests Dzifa and Jane listed similar attributes, with the latter prioritizing a positive personality above everything else and the former looking for an honest and fun loving friend.

‘Keeping it Real with Joselyn Dumas’ is a reality chat show created by the actress and aired on GhOne TV every Saturday at 8:30pm. It is produced by Dumas and Shirley Frimpong Manso, and features the actress and two female panellists discussing the tough questions about being a lady in a man’s world.

Follow Joselyn Dumas on social media:

Twitter: @Joselyn_Dumas

Instagram: @Joselyn_Dumas

Facebook: Joselyn Dumas(Official)

Adwoa Owusuaa Writes On Choices

The little decisions and choices we make daily affect our lives. Positive choices and decisions will yield positive results; while negative choices and decisions lead to negative results. There is no middle ground when it comes to choices. Choices can be little as our emotions. How we feel is a choice we make every second whether positive or negative.

When we feel positive; we tend to make positive choices and meet people who feel positive. On the other hand, when we feel negative or when we say: “Oh this is going to be a bad day.” We tend to have a terrible day, anybody we meet makes our day very tough and very difficult to put up with.

When we feel positive about ourselves and feel we are in control of our lives, we feel we can do anything and correct the mistakes we make. On the other hand, if we feel negative and think other things control us other than being in control of our lives, we feel weak and
powerless. We tend to think other people and things determine how we feel and how our
lives turn out to be. For instance, when a person is rude to us; we can decide to ignore them or pay them back by being rude. How a person treats us has got little to do with us but it has got more to do with them and how they feel about themselves.

In schools or work places we find out that bullies are people who have low self‐esteem or are insecure. These people will want others to feel the same so, they try to intimidate or pass sarcastic comments to make others feel bad about themselves so that they can feel good about themselves. Again, people who are confident about themselves inspire or motivate others.  How a person treats us has little to do with what we do or do not do to them or for them.

Most of the time, it is how the person feels that manifests itself on the outside through
their word and actions toward us. When we allow people to determine how we feel or react all the time, we tend to live shallow lives. We have to make a decision to be happy and live positively no matter how we are treated or what comes our way. We have to note that people are different; some are kind other are not. Their attitude will not change the value we place on ourselves rather, it is how we see ourselves that matter.

We should learn to accept that, how people treat or do not treat us has got little to do with
us but has got a lot to do with them and live life happy. The more we learn to accept this, the better our lives will be. When we feel positive about ourselves we will see the positive in situations that will help us make positive decisions and give us positive results. These little things we see as insignificant have major effects on our lives. When we are in a good mood, we tend to make positive decisions and have positive results. Again, when we allow these little things affect us negatively, we tend to make bad decisions and get negative results. Our emotions have a tremendous effect on our lives.

By Adwoa Owusuaa