LAST ELECTION RANT

 

 

 

My last rant about the elections

I want my fellow black people to understand a few things:

1. We are a minority – 13% to be exact. A good number of that percentage can not vote because of felonies.

2. Even if we all had the ability to vote and we all banded together to support our appointed representative, we could not win on our own.

3. Alliances are important. Compromise is important. Above all, being savvy is extremely important.

4. Sexism is a deadting man! It’s appalling.. It really deprives us all of accessing the best talents among the human race.

Politics is not a pursuit of sainthood, which is a horrible parallel if you think of how immoral those pursuing sainthood have been shown to be. The world is never going to be perfect, where oppression and discrimination disappears because of some movement that we start. It is highly important to align ourselves with those who at minimum publicly say they agree with our struggle. Then our job is to put ourselves in positions where we can influence the positions they take in power. Standing on the sideline and refusing to vote, or supporting a candidate who has no real chance of winning and therefore is powerless, or critiquing our allies for their choices and policies from 15-20yrs ago, regardless of the fact that they have renounced those actions and publicly stated that they want to work to reverse the effects of their bad policies from decades ago will not help our cause. You can’t excuse yourself from the process of choosing our leaders then complain about how society disenfranchises us based on race.

It was a disgrace that Hillary Clinton, outside of her qualifications and expertise in governing, lost this election due to innuendo and unproven accusations made to seem true by the media and people’s lack of appetite for details and research. It is a shame that minorities sat out and let her lose. It is a shame that white women in their majority, voted for someone who as it appears on public account, has shown himself to be misogynistic at best and dangerous to women’s health issues at worst regardless of whatever reasoning these women used.

Lastly, it is a shame that in 2016, a woman still has to deal with overt sexism that blatantly denies all the professional hard work invested in a career over decades and lose a job promotion to the most unqualified novice of an opponent because male privilege and authority apparently trumps a woman’s proven skills, professionalism, know-how and experience. Our world has a long way to go in eliminating not just glass ceilings but the most fundamental aspects of what sexism deprives our collective society of. Women, as much as men, have to let go of the sexism that holds professional women back from their rightful places in our workforce or we would continuously deprive ourselves of using the most qualified and talented members of our society to help us inch closer to the ideal of a much more productive and effective society.

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The Politics of Ethics

There’s an article circulating Ghanaian social media that’s making serious accusations at an individual who has somewhat of a public presence. There are few crimes, maybe only murder that should be considered more heinous than rape. Not just in Ghana, but the world over, rape victims are constantly asked to prove they were victimized whilst the assailants are typically held unaccountable. Rape victims are stigmatized unjustly and we as a society have to become better educated at ridding ourselves of the perceptions that allow us to feel comfortable demanding rape victims to prove their own rape.

That’s what conflicts those people who aim to champion the fight against victim blaming and bring an end to the persecution of those who are victims of rape, the majority being women and girls. It’s tragic. To feel imprisoned by the crime committed against you has to be one of the most challenging traumas any one has to live with and it is our duty to create a safer space for victims to come forward and seek justice against their assailants without fearing any repercussions,  implied or stated.

That is why I am so conflicted in voicing this opinion about seeking justice through the court of public opinion. On one hand, I can appreciate the relief it may bring to some in being able to share their stories as a step in the process of reaching some level of healing. However, it is counter intuitive for us to trample on others right to due process by estimating that, trying such happenings in public serves justice to anyone. If anything at all, it breeds skepticism, doubt and innuendo and gossip. No one wins. it is potentially a dangerous path that can leave an irreparable reputation for the small percentage that may be falsely accused. It sounds like a worthwhile sacrifice in the grand scheme of things if it results in the greater good but the essence of justice is to protect the defenseless. For so long, we have allowed our sense of good morals to be dictated by what the majority believe instead of protecting the ideal of “innocent until proven guilty”. If we had that kind of time, I’d expand on why that principle is the most important tenet in a truly just society but not today.

Here’s the point. One can accuse another of anything and blurt it out in public to gain approval and support even if the accusations are wrong. The idea that the writer was conflicted and pondered the ethics of making a public accusation of that magnitude without telling both sides of the story is shallow at worst and grossly irresponsible by any truly ethical estimation. If she’s ethical enough to want to protect the victims’ identities, the same ethics should have applied in protecting the accused’s identity. The fact that this did not happen then suggests a bias that encourages the sort of skepticism that has unjustly plagued rape victims for so long and her article is doing nothing to bring long lasting justice to rape victims who she seems to sincerely want to help. It begs noting that, this article was written in spite of a threat of legal action against her from the accused’s lawyer which implies that the accused is denying the accusations in that capacity. To go ahead and publish said article and lace it with screenshot private conversations which show no evidence of actual rape but insinuations and meanderings of a very needy guy did not achieve any type of justice. The victims are still in hiding and have not used their story to bring healing to themselves or warn others as the article bravely suggests. It reduces such a heinous crime to petty Twitter and groupchat gossip while missing an opportunity to actually galvanize these victims for a greater cause. This could have been a true moment of activism for the writer since she by all personal accounts is fervently supportive of womens rights issues.

Writing was a way to create awareness and learning in our culture where a lot of issues were branded off-topic and taboo. Blogging became an outlet for so many voiceless people and that’s a great turning point for our progress. However, blogging has become our destination for resolving our problems with the status quo. It has given us this false sense of actual activism when in fact we are not doing shit to solve the issues we wail about. This moment could have been used to bring a case against the accused in court. By providing and raising the resources to get a competent lawyer and investigative team to bring the man to trial. That will be justice. That would have been true activism. Here we are, blogging about it and leaving it at that while patting ourselves on the back, meanwhile nothing was solved. For the sake of justice and a a hope for a society that doesn’t victimize our rape victims, we should encourage those accusers to seek their recourse through the courts. And for the accused, anything short of bullishly defending your innocence if you are in fact innocent will be a disservice to yourself and the innocent. If you are in fact guilty, everything that is coming to you will not be enough until you pay for the crimes you are accused of and that will be justice.

Assumptive Narratives Formed from Social Media Activism: Awam Anger

There is a  presumptive way of thinking that we are all guilty of on Social Media. We all have very strong opinions about right or wrong. The power we have now is unprecedented because, everyone has an outlet for their opinions in the public sphere. It’s a great tool that can be used by all to express themselves. This creates room for all of us to feel aggrieved on every single major or minor topic, irrespective of context or intent. There are people who are also willing to only present one side of a story to pillar their narratives.

I was gonna let this go because sometimes silence is good response to false accusations but then I thought of it and realized– if I remain silent while having the ability to express the truth and shed light on an issue that sorta shapes the narrative, I’m doing those involved an injustice. So this is about the Charity event held by BBnZ to feed homeless children on October 3rd which drew cynicism from certain people on Social Media. By the way, I get annoyed when people act like social media isn’t an integral part of our public lives. As if it exists in a different realm. That said, the outspoken Twitter user – Obaa Boni, self appointed defender of the defenseless– presumably, wrote an article intended to tear down the privileges afforded by “The Patriarchy” to one fat guy who she  made sure to point out was not exactly in the position to call others out because he was fat while simultaneously stating she wasn’t trying to fat shame him in the same sentence. I’m fat and Bay is fat, we both need to be working out more than we eat so I don’t need someone to be sensitive to my feelings. That’s a subject for another article but let me say this, just because you tell people to shape up doesn’t make it fat shaming, it’s called love and concern for the person’s health. Anywho, Bay’s crime was; he offended @f_aggrey and the world  of women by being harsh and brash with a Twitter user who cynically and disrespectfully questioned the motives of the Charity while mocking the event with a few incendiary tweets. How this even spiraled into an issue about feminism is confusing but yeah… The lack of objectivity in that article is an example of how overzealous we can become when we have just a bit of power, in this case the power to have an audience.

F. ‏@f_aggrey Oct 3
You give people who can’t afford food cooked rice today so that tomorrow they live off their imagination eh. 

F. ‏@f_aggrey Oct 3
@BBnZLive are you gonna do the food donation event every year or it’s just a one time thing to look cool?

How are the above tweets to be considered objective inquisition by any standard?

This is where the articles obvious bias and lack of objectivity blows me. A company ran by young Ghanaians, who have a vision and for the better part of their existence sort to be trailblazers in the hopeless economic challenges faced by Ghanaian youth decided to take on a charitable endeavor to feed homeless children and all non-doers are worried about is the motive? First of, are they collecting the childrens’ intestines after they feed them for instrumentals or selling their skin for leather? How is feeding a hungry child received with cynicism on any level? If by virtue of this charitable deed, BBnZ gains more business, fucking awesome! We should all be happy for that. But noooo, let the intellectuals, those who are great at making theoretical arguments about every human endeavor put their lenses on  and microscopes out to scrutinize every grain of rice served to these hungry kids. The tweeter @f_aggrey lacked decorum in the context of her questioning and tweets pertaining to the charity event. She was brash and disrespectful, trying to antagonize and belittle good work for her own personal attention drawing self. It was for the damn retweets or else she would have been better mannered in her questioning. How do I know this? Read her timeline, she’s actually a decent person with the ability to tweet with positive inquisition.And any deduction from this to suggest that asking her to be well mannered is patriarchal or sexist is pure fuckery, yes preemptive strike cos I’m tired of the BS labeling on demand. This idea that you can say whatever you like however you like for the cause you believe in but expect respect from those you offend is just wishful bratty behavior.

Honestly, I should go on about how wrong Obaa Boni is in her assertions because she neither bothered to contact BBnZ for clarification on their intent or position regarding this supposed concern for their intents but why bother, it feels like she is most interested in stirring things up rather than resolving issues. For people on either side of this argument, I’d suggest that being abrasive towards each other is never a solution for progress. BBnZ is under no obligation to explain themselves to anyone. Charity is not a requirement. The concerned tweeter, wondering which air the children would eat the next day, did not even ask or offer to volunteer to be a part of the event when she found out about it, she rather took to twitter to sarcastically disparage the organizers in the name of being cool too.  So yes, Deezy came for her neck, not exactly a great approach, no matter how witty, but he met force with force and that’s typically how the world works. Those of us who write on blogs, should never confuse what we do to be the equivalent of actual work done i.e. activism. Doers like BBnZ should be applauded, especially in our part of the world where wicked men and women are our leaders, Not to be melodramatic but our president was proud to supply 2,ooo kids with made in China sandals and got media coverage. Private citizens feeding homeless children is welcome any day of the week in my book, regardless of their intentions or motives. Applaud them.

As for the quotes for or against Charity, we can all have our pick of the litter.. Here’s one I like:

We leave you a tradition with a future.
The tender loving care of human beings will never become obsolete.
People even more than things have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed and redeemed and redeemed.
Never throw out anybody.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. ~Sam Levenson~

NINJA GAIDEN

A tuna sandwich. Damn Good Advice. Granite kitchen countertop. Zeppelin Air and NINJA GAIDEN. This is the setting where I paint my thoughts about KiddBlack’s first official body of work.

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I’m on my 17th full listen, in 3-months. I’m trying to finger this record’s place in my rotation. Music has a wider reach than when I first fell in love with HipHop.. In ’92, Benzino mattered; Elliot Wilson mattered, in the hiphop fan landscape even more so for kids in Ghana lusting after hiphop. Their opinion was the benchmark of dopeness. Custodians and curators of the culture so to say. It mattered what they thought and how many mics an MC got. No more.

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The music landscape has grown and become instantly accessible just as it is disposable. All year I’ve only had IYRTITL in constant rotation, then I added Treasurechest’s Heaven and Ojuelegba(surprisingly) — I’m a snob of sorts..When NG  landed in my email, I was ready to listen with a critical ear. Kiddbkack likes a lotta weed and fellatio as an ongoing theme of NINJA GAIDEN and he doesn’t hesitate to tell you in so many stylistic ways. I first heard Kidd’s work 2-years ago and I was stunned. 17yr old from Tema, rapping his ass off and sounding like a New Yorker. It was thrilling even in the hypocrisy of my excitement. There was this conundrum. I love my hiphop authentic, down to the accent. I often cringe at the manufactured accents of some of Kidd’s predecessors and it takes away from the music, even godfather Reggie’s accent was screechy to me. This isn’t an indictment on any of those artists but for me, it was wonderfully thrilling to hear a kid sound this dope, be from Ghana and be on par with the authentic New York HipHop I enjoy.

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The sampling and production on the opener, Baby— is synths and soul, a welcoming sound of plowing down in a couch to catch a classic karate flick. Popcorns out. The flow is lethargic good. Kidd flirts with introspective lines that seem to conceal a desire to maintain the toughness of a street dude but shows streaks of sentiment in flashes. 3months is a long time to digest an album or piece of art. Now that the record has simmered down in my mental hard drive, the feeling is Ninja Gaiden is a showcase of an artist trying to merge authentic rap with his own roots and doing a damn fucking awesome job at it. Best Guys is another standout track that presents Kidd holding more than his own in trading verses with one of the seminal artists of this generation  in E.L and it’s anybody’s 10-count on the canvas. By the time the track is over, you can see the shadows of two artists who are aware of their footwork under the microscope of scrutiny and doing what is needed to show flair and spark.

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Ninja Gaiden is an aspirational testament to where Kidd wants to go. Literally sleep with your girlfriends, amass a lot of money and take care of his family,– typical rapper tale. However, on the title track and Vibrations, he reveals what makes him potentially the most intricate and sophisticated writer from the African HipHop scene the way he weaves couplets and thoughts to express the emotions of the complexities of what modern youthful love entails.

“This here for a couple niggas love a couple bitches, This here for a couple bitches love a couple niggas. Bitches get they heart broke, fuck a couple niggas. Niggas get they heart broke role a couple swishas.”

This couplet is brash, vulgar and raw but introduces the listener into the heart and minds of two young people in love and wondering what the future is bringing their way. The use of the actual phone conversation  is as personal as any moment for anywho who’s been in a relationship. My personal favorite and it treats HipHop’s glaring chauvinism in the context of art where it’s still safe to be balls in your hand differentiating between ho and wife material. I think it’s important to separate the art from real life advances about respect for the sexes but sometimes I just wanna enjoy the bad ole raw dirty hiphop and that’s as honest as it may be wrong. The record is laced with heavy doses of desire, materialistic and of the big booty variety. It sometimes becomes innundating but the production does well to distract from the monotony in the subject matter.

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My takeaway from this record is Kidd is the future of rap from Ghana and Africa. The internet as stated before has made music very accessible and he shows a lot of potential to connect with kids from any corner HipHop that want a fresh sound. My standout tracks are Euphoria Forever, Fun & Games, Best Guys, Ninja Gaiden, Vibrations and Kyushojustsu Flow in no exact order. The future of Gh rap is exciting. On any stage in boardinghouse secondary school, Variety or Entertainment Night was an outlet for us creatives and we tried to put on and showcase our talents as best as we could. They’re but memories that we can only recite and to think that the youth get to nurture their talent and make careers off them more  freely is a welcome dynamic. Mensa was a pioneer, trended off to other forms of artistic expression but in retrospect, Kidd represents what Mensa was to my generation growing up. The nicest MC, spitting like we shouldn’t question his authenticity and that’s trill. Get Ninja Gaiden.

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Short and Not So Sweet

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The real reasons men don’t want their wives “out there”.

  1. Insecurity
  2. Trust
  3. Competition
  4. Peace
  5. Control

Some men know what they’re capable of and what they’ve done, what they’re doing in secret and how easy it is to cheat. They fear if their wives are social and outgoing, she’s susceptible to cheating. The insecurity is a reflection of self. Some may also be insecure because they have truly married up. It doesn’t make women innocent or incapable of cheating or prevent it but these are men’s reasons.  It really is that simple. Don’t overthink it. Argue on Twitter or @ me.

A man can be very sensitive to being exposed to the world. Matters of the home, he doesn’t want Nicquey, Malota and Charles knowing his business, his plans, his deals etc. They don’t want their intimate matters; financial, long term plans, health issues or whatever you can think of that can file under “private” out there. They worry that an “out there” woman may slip and tell others, therefore exposing holes in their armor. That’s probably the most important aspect of a relationship–> Trustworthiness, and for what it’s worth most men, are usually trying to preserve the trust.

I don’t wanna hear about the vacation Kasen planned for his wife. I don’t wanna hear about the new kitchen Brian just installed for his wife on a random Wednesday afternoon. I don’t want you questioning my manhood because you heard how Bay’s kids are living. Or that Alvin buys a new car for wifey every 2-years, fuuck thaat! Stay in this house and enjoy our mediocrity. Caroline is now telling your wife how Sheek has been eating the booty like groceries lately. Nah b, I don’t wanna compete with these men.

Old folks used to say in some variation that a peaceful home is a wife’s mandate. For what it’s worth, there is some truth to this based on how society is set up. The women usually sitting around being  housewives and making their boring days go by faster need to find something occupying. It’s only so long before they’re bored with being madam and ordering maids and houseboys to do their bidding. If you don’t want drama, you stay out of peoples business. This isn’t so bad a philosophy except we are not admitting that some of the most terrible gossips are men themselves. Double standard like a dog.

To be in control. That need is the most masculine of masculinity or so it’s been taught. The “putting of the foot down” – Alpha Gbemi.. No one enjoys putting their foot down more than the stereotypical African man. You’d think investments crawled out of the ground as a result as much as they love this pounding of their feet. A dictatorship– ensures a “my way or the highway” life and the economics usually permit this stupid need to control. You want that much control, get a pet. Preferably one that wears a collar you can yank on.

The Afropolitan Intelligentsia

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There is a school of thought,  shared by a group of intellectuals that are of African descent that posits Democracy as an enemy of progress to the African peoples. This is offensive on many levels, but lets not get into hyperbole and dramatics. One of the most fundamental aspects of progress is the ability to comprehend. In order to not come off as harsh or derogatory towards their thinking faculties, let’s put the disclaimer that there is no intent to cast them as such. Do we understand the meaning and purpose of Democracy? Again, no intention of being patronizing but clearly,   http://www.dictionary.com is needed here.

de·moc·ra·cy
dəˈmäkrəsē/
noun
  1. a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
    “capitalism and democracy are ascendant in the third world”
    synonyms: representative government, elective government;

    self-government,government by the people;
    “freedom of speech is essential to democracy”
    • a state governed by a democracy.
      plural noun: democracies
      “a multiparty democracy”
    • control of an organization or group by the majority of its members.
      “the intended extension of industrial democracy”
Some clarity on which parts of these definitions are not good for Africans or any people for that matter would be awesome. The fact that our educational and cultural systems haven’t evolved enough to have democracy operate smoothly doesn’t mean we aren’t suited for a fair system of government. Conversation over to you lot.

Feminism and eroding the patriarchy; An opinion.

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Those who enjoy the privileges of the status quo casually ask others who don’t have the same privileges to keep calm“.. Paraphrasing my own quote for the sake of brevity is no indication of egoism. Really…Maybe.  Today’s agenda; I want to write about Feminism contextually outside the pedestrian 140. One can easily misunderstand another person’s POV on that forum. Debating or disagreeing for the sake of doing so is just lame and tired. So for once, I am truly hoping for a captive audience because it is important to the conversation about equality in our society, especially one as culturally and traditionally entrenched in the Patriarchy as ours in Ghana is. I believe in the fundamental tenets of feminism. In fact, I advocate it and short of having female organs, I am as truecore a feminist as there is. That said, I am happy to be a man, not because of any implied, inferred or defaulted privilege that comes with the part but the fact that I’m content with how the universe chose to present me into existence.

Twitter is certainly not monotonous or boring for a lack of opinions. They hang everywhere like a passive aggressive girlfriend’s weave strands in her boyfriend’s apartment. Or like a controlling and insecure boyfriend constantly policing his girlfriends whereabouts or actions. We all witness it, we disagree on it, we write each other off for it and violently jump into each other’s @s for it. Some have even become infamous for the passion they have for their beliefs. The vitriol towards certain people is actually alarming to me. I don’t think an opinion should ever get one to the point of being hated and a target for rampant and unwarranted vilification. Adults disagree– should in fact. The discourse and the dialogue is healthy to change some of our indelible chauvinistic ideas and behaviors. However, it is discouraging that we can be so gung-ho about our ideas that, we fail to connect with people on a level for them to appreciate a POV we are passionate about. The point is, no matter how passionate you are about your beliefs, no matter how right you feel and believe your ideas and convictions to be, no matter how well educated you are– you need to connect with people in order for it to change culture. You can be as smart and intelligent as you think but your passions and views won’t be worth a moment of dumsor if you cannot translate it into moving the conversation forward and changing attitudes and perceptions. People need to understand your perspective without feeling like they’re in a war zone in order for it to matter.

Feminism is not an affront to manhood. It is not a virus that is here to destroy our way of life. It is simply the voice of many women, tired of the continuing double standards that disenfranchise them from being equal stakeholders in our society. It is perfectly logical what feminism is fighting for. It deserves to be acknowledged and accepted by default because, freedom of choice — to be whatever one wants to be — shouldn’t be tied to gender in the social, political and economic context. There are women who still have to fight for their right to their own bodies. That is quite crazy to me and I blame Religion and tradition for that. There are women who have to fight to keep their clitorises, fight to not  have to be guilty for their rape, fight for their right to any career considered “non-nurturing”, fight for their right to have an opinion and speak up, fight for many rights that come to men by default. The debate needs to shift. Why we are even so adamant about keeping any woman in any box she does not want for herself is astonishing to me. How is this still a thing? Seriously, get rid of that smug approach to life. The one that says; only women deserving of your respect are your mothers and sisters. It is the most pretentious bullshit in the discussion of gender equality. Respect isn’t a biological attribute. Respecting your fellow humans is really a requirement in my opinion, regardless of how vehemently you disagree with a person’s choices, you have to respect it. I feel like a broken record by reiterating how important respect is in the equality-fight glossary. Just respect people.

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Now to the real reason why I want equality. There is always a selfish reason or motive – LMAO. I have never liked the way sex culture is posited in our society, much like how I’ve detested the culture of man of the house getting the best portion of the cooked meal. I want to tear down all those walls and barriers that make sex a bargaining tool for most women, that defines their dignity or worth. That keeps it as a way of guilting you for “wasting” their time if a relationship doesn’t pan out. I want them to be responsible for their decisions and not blame men for deceiving them into sexual relationships etc. I want an even playing field, where love is a choice not an obligation, where loyalty and faithfulness are personal decisions not a patriarchal mandate for determining value and worth. Can we fast forward to 2050 and reincarnate me as a young 17 year old stud? Can I blow these backs out freely with zero conscience because these backs wanna be blown out with zero obligation and or responsibility? Can I then evolve into the person I am now but just wealthier? Okay, wishful thoughts.

The fight of feminists is warranted. I know a lot of us men are often reluctant to acknowledge the struggle women face because we have actively been screwed over by three women or more, through manipulative games, lies and the like but their social, economic and political equality should not be a function of their interpersonal relationships with men. So holla at a feminist, understand the whys of her anger with a patriarchal society and then make the effort to view the world through their lenses. Feminists, the kind I know are some freaks too by the way so if you make that physical connection — praise Jesus, Muhammad, Budha and the belief in the non-belief of a God for such an opportunity and savor it. Take it from me.

The feminists outtchere who juuust wanna argue for the sake of it… Save it and suck it. I think your cause, whichever it is, ranging from benevolent sexism to rape culture and genital mutilation, to equal pay and holding on to your last name or being the one to propose marriage– understand that people still have traditional views until most become educated on the prejudicial nature of how our society truly views femininity. Womanhood is equal to manhood. There are trade offs and variations between genders but more people will learn if the approach is not constantly combative.  So take your time to dialogue and educate, instead of frantically hurling insults to score points from people who already share your beliefs or the nonchalants… Peace, love and hair grease.

Excellence. Passion

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I’ve always been drawn to the the best. In any endeavor, be it sport, art or music, design, writing, you name it. I’m of the mindset that, if one decides to engage in any field, their primary goal should be to produce the best work they are capable of or refrain from engaging at all. This is illogical from an entrepreneurial perspective because it can hold up revenue and one could miss their place in the market and all the logical reasons that business studies show. I’m still not moved to the contrary. My passion is design. Fashion and design are the two areas that I am absolutely passionate about and confident in my natural ability. I wanted to go to Parsons for the prestige and the recognition, not because I thought my vision was any less excellent. I love the craft and don’t see any reason why I can’t be excellent at it if I had the right capital so I can work with the right manufacturers to bring my vision to life.

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I was watching Dede Ayew literally weep off the field in the devastating loss Ghana endured in the African Cup of Nations final in Equatorial Guinea. As an avid patriot, one who has loved and been heartbroken so many times watching the Black Stars take one narrow loss after the other, I can certainly appreciate his pain. Those tears were a manifestation of the young man’s passion. He couldn’t help the weight of the sense of loss and failure. In 1992, Abedi Pele was the greatest soccer player in my eyes. He was a god to me as he was to many football fans from where I’m from. The ponytail, the nimble left foot with which he devastated opposing defenders, shredding them apart with a skill that is only describable as magical. That number ten on his back, the name Pele attached to his, he made me feel like as a Ghanaian, our ability to achieve was real and doable. So imagine how Dede feels. He probably took to the pitch on Sunday with the weight of that loss on his back ten fold. We had to right that wrong because to us Ghanaians, no way would we lose to the Ivorians if Abedi was in the ’92 finals. He had incurred a questionable yellow card in the Semi-Finals against Nigeria. A game in which he scored arguably one of the most skillful and perplexing goals in the history of the sport with that back head-flipper to secure Ghana a spot in the Finals. On that day, we lost because our superman was on the sidelines, reduced to a spectator. Then we lost. I wept so much, my granddad threatened to make me weed the compound if I didn’t stop my hysteria. He was not amused. I did the same tear-shedding when Maradona lost the 1990 World Cup to Germany , only this time my crying was audible and irritating. Everyone in the house looked at me as though I was weak and crazy. Why was I crying over a football loss? I can’t explain it. It is just how my passion is set up I guess.

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The respect for excellence in craftsmanship is  only validated when we are able to achieve at the highest level of performance. That is when we feel some sort of sanity and sense of accomplishment because our best work won. I draw inspiration from that. As much as I could easily be putting out average looking products on the market and feel happy to have some goods to sell, I refuse to. I have stalled so much that, often times. I start to think that I will never get my shot at showing the world the vision of design we harbor. It is draining. However, this is what I have resolved; If our products are not world-class and competitively just as good as any world-renowned brand and have a realistic chance to compete and best the premier brands of the world, then I’d rather not have any products at all. We want to introduce a brand that is of the highest quality, that gives value and emotional attachment to the consumer but most importantly a sense of pride to Ghanaians and Africans, that a product made by one of their own is just as good if not better than any other brand from the world of fashion that they patronize. The best or nothing.

This is the message: We have the ability and know-how. To be passionate about our crafts and excel at it is what I saw in the tears of Ayew yesterday. It inspired me to see someone care that much about what they do. I hope that same passion drives you in whatever field you are in as a Ghanaian. The passion to excel. Go Stars!

God’s Bias

Is God biased? I wonder if this question ever crosses the minds of T.B Joshua, Bishop David Oyedepo, Bishop Agyeman and Bishop Duncan Williams etc. These men, for all intents and purposes, are very successful men. They have improbable stories, the nothing-out-of-something narrative. Yet, their success is equally as visible for all to see. It would seem abnormal for them to question God, given their personal success. However, the flock they lead are facing dire challenges. Ghana and Nigeria, are facing some very challenging social  and economic issues at the moment. These men of God, they pray all the time. I think they genuinely believe that they are the chosen men of God who have direct access to Him.

We won’t get nuanced with the idea of whether or not God chooses specific men over others to lead His flock, or the counter-idea that suggests a serious level of egoism required to believe one’s self that important and special to have been chosen by God. This is not a mental exercise of that sort. The inquiry here is more about the bias of God, if there is such a thing. For as long as we’ve been praying in Ghana and Nigeria, casting out devils, demons and a variety of spirits that will give any liquor store in ghetto, USA a challenge, it makes one wonder when God will have some mercy.

The westerners who introduced faith to the continent, long ago stopped using magical faith as a foundation for building tangible, verifiable and impactful progress. To lay hands over the Akosombo Dam is more asinine than going to solicit a witch-doctor’s help to conceive a child. We prayed for the Cedi. We are praying for the Dam. We’ve been praying for a decent leader, one who has a plan for progress and the people’s interest at heart. A selfless one. Are the men of God, praying for the people to remain ignorant of the resources God has already blessed them with so the leaders can keep charging the masses for more prayers or  they genuinely believe that God’s blessing is delayed for a purpose? These are questions I’d like answers to and you should want answers to as well. Better still, we should be protesting against incompetence in every public sector institution and demand better. Maybe God is biased in how He doled out courage.  Maybe..

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