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

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

…When the so-called non-conformists are not engaged in any act, they like to listen to music, especially those songs which express expletive vulgarity. When asked why they like to listen to such songs, they told me such tracks really depict how they feel. But how do they really feel? They feel that the world has neglected them. They think that nobody cares about them.

When they see their colleagues they were in basic school with, who have been able to climb the ladder to higher heights, mostly because they had some people to love and care for them, they begin to perceive how unlucky they have been, or how unfair the world is. They are not likely to vote or take part in any social obligations. Instead, they would invest their energies in building themselves to take back what the society has taken from them.

They can only do this by finding ways of bullying those who are privileged or affluent and taking part of their belongings or money away because such people would not voluntarily give them what they have worked for or in most cases, inherited. They know that when they get some of the things these people have, the society would show them love, at least that’s what the music they listen to, and the movies they watch inform them. That is not to say the music they listen to, or the movies they watch have corrupted their moral beings. It is the robbing of what they need by the society which has corrupted their conscience- the principal coordinator of the moral being.

When you critically examine the principles that govern man as a moral being, it would be clear that, man as a moral being is made up of three or four very distinct, but closely related components, which when not well regulated, could lead to corruption of the mind. These constituents are the desires and the affections including self-love; the will or volitions; the governing moral principles or what is commonly termed conscience; and lastly, the moral relation of man to his deity, or what has been termed religion.

These three or four constituents are one way or the other contingent on one another. An exercise of the will of an individual could be directed towards, first, an action to be performed to others; second, an object to be obtained; both of which are connected to a previously existing mental condition of the individual.  In regard to objects to be obtained, such a person’s mental condition would be that of desire- and that of actions towards others would be affection.

The conscience coordinates the exercise of volitions or the will of a man and how they are influenced by the affections or desires of such a man. Sometimes, the relation between a man and their Deity could regulate how they exercise their volitions. Clearly, it could be inferred that the desires and affections of an individual are the fundamental principles, upon which all other moral constituents build upon. That is to say, the affections or desires are the moving powers from which our actions proceed.

The affections, particularly, have been demonstrated to be that aspect of the moral being that enables an individual to relate with other men. They have been grouped into two, somehow contrasting groups: Uniting affections, including justice, benevolence, veracity, friendship, love, patriotism and domestic affections. Such affections bind a person to the entire community: an individual is obligated to demonstrate such affections towards others. In addition, there are defensive affections, including jealousy, disapprobation, and anger. How these affections are exercised depend largely on how other men exercise their own moral principles on an individual or how an individual perceive the morals of others to be.

If for instance, a person feels that he is part of a larger community because the community exhibits such uniting affection as love towards them, it is likely that such a person would exhibit one of the uniting moral principles, for example, patriotism in return. In a like manner, a person would employ a more defensive affection in response to the reverse situation-when they perceive other humans do not exercise a uniting affection such as love, justice or veracity towards them.

Such is the case of the four persons I interacted with, who do not feel any love, justice or any of the uniting affections from their immediate community or the society at large, so they employ defensive mechanisms resulting from acting on their defensive affections. The defense mechanisms such as bullying others are what society terms vice. But are these really vice or vengeance, serving only as defensive mechanism for those involved in such acts?

I do not intend to applaud these acts, but if our attentions are not directed towards the fundamental cause of them, regardless of how many churches we established, how many religious leaders we train or how large our prisons are, the number of criminals would keep increasing. So we should extend the uniting affections to everyone, especially those who are deprived of them, not because such acts keeps us closer to our Deity, but also such acts makes others feel a sense of belonging to the society.  As we celebrate this month of love, we should all endeavor to show more of the uniting affections to such people, as this is the most likely way to properly do away with acts of bullying and other ruffianisms.

[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

Review of Paapa’s “Technical Difficulties Vol. 1” EP by AlexRepGH

Paapa has not done any major work after releasing the highly acclaimed ‘Songs for Kukua’. All his fans were more than excited when he announced his new project, “Technical Difficulties” on his Twitter page.  I mean who wouldn’t be? In his new project, he releases them in installment, and the first one is a 5-track EP. Paapa does nothing but classical, soulful music, which touch the soul, reverb and leaves an everlasting impression. And I bet you, his new project is nothing different from his usual.

He starts off with a great love song. It’s very difficult, perhaps a technical difficulty, to find out who really loves you in today’s world, in which the clause ‘I love you’ means nothing anymore. On ‘How will I know’, Paapa tries to address this difficulty; he tries to solve it maybe. Today, love has turned to be mere lip service. This is what Paapa meant in the opening line of ‘How Will I Know’- ‘Oh I heard you say you love me.’ He goes further to warn that, those are very heavy words and that we should be ready to keep your words in difficult times. ‘Would you be ready to carry these heavy words when they start to hurt?’ This rhetorical sum up what real love is supposed to be. ‘How will I know’ addresses one difficulty. This is not the only difficulty Paapa addressed on his new project.

Another very popular one, which could be right in front of you, is also addressed. On ‘Infront Of You’, Paapa talks about how dreamers stay dreamers. Today’s world is made of millennials who keep wake, dreaming big enough to change the world. Some of them are kept busy with their dreams such that ‘their pillows have been kind to them, but their mind won’t let them be.’- They are sleepless, ‘anxiety [about the future] so loud’ that they ‘can’t hear GOD’s symphony’. This act of most millennials is changing the globe for the better, but Paapa warns the millennials, and all dreamers alike, that they should be careful of the dreams they dream. He implies the possibility of never achieving one’s dreams, probably due to lack of focus. The words of a wise man that ‘Don’t let dreams blind you’ ‘Cause you go miss what dey infront of you’, were just the perfect choice of words to get the warning across effectively.

Back in high school, there was a book which could literally solve all mathematics questions. On the third track of Technical Difficulties 1, Paapa wants someone to call Aki Ola to answer certain questions. The questions posed have nothing to do with mathematics however, but everything to do with broken homes resulting from wars. Domestic wars, civil wars have undoubtedly created more broken homes than fictional love has created broken hearts. For this, Paapa calls on Aki Ola, who’s the king that Paapa presumes knows everything to answer all his whys. Aki Ola could also be any father who leaves a mother helpless and a child fatherless. The latter is not uncommon in today’s world, and Paapa could technically be using Aki Ola to address this issue.

Even though ‘Losers’ sounds like the result of all the difficulties addressed by Paapa so far, it has another theme on its own, which likewise addresses another difficulty the globe is facing. In a world where everyone thinks they are right, no human value- respect, honesty, obedience, and others, is left. Everyone is trying to win, in the end we will all be losers. He addresses scorn and pride on this track. You know, I know. We know we both would lose everything if we all try to win, but we try still. We can solve this, definitely by being together.

This brings us to the last track on the EP, ‘Together’. So let’s sing it together. Let’s dance together. ‘Let’s do this life together’, ‘Eat cake and have icing together’. Paapa suggests on the last track of the first instalment of his new project that, unity does the impossible. He admonishes everyone to forgive and forget and break bread together. He believes that if we do everything together, the world would be better- perhaps he would not need to address all the difficulties the world is facing, as he has done in the first four tracks. The best place on this earth is together!!!!

Without any doubt, the first instalment of Technical Difficulties is a masterpiece. Talk of JaySo’s mastering and that Adomaa’s mellifluous voice on ‘Infront Of You’ completes the work as nothing but a classic. Hope you enjoy it too.

Please make it a point to cop it when it drops!

Written by: Alexander Kwakye