The death of Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings only brings me smiles

You may have hurled curses and insults at me before clicking on the article to find out why I made such a seemingly “insensitive” statement, at a time when Ghana and the world is mourning an iconic figure like the late Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings. I will not judge you.

Well, it will interest you to know that, I still stand by my words that his death only brings me smiles. Now here’s why I say so. The Former and first president of Ghana’s Fourth Republic left an indelible mark in the history of Ghana’s political and governance landscape.

Believe it or not, a section of the country may not like him for his brutish past, captured in June 26, 1979 execution of two former military rulers, Lt. Gen. Frederick W. K. Akuffo and Gen A.A Afrifa and others; as well as excesses that came with a subsequent coup d’état.

That is a part of history that deeply wounded some families leaving them with scars that reminds them of the bitter experiences of that era even today. My heart goes out to them.

But through it all, I respect the late President JJ Rawlings for his explanations to those dark eras in recent interviews as former president.

Though quite distasteful for many, he didn’t act like a hypocrite as many great men would do once, they are out of power. He expressed his thoughts and reasons for his ugly past without a quiver.

Clearly aware of the barrage of criticisms that could come from his haters, he still went ahead to state emphatically that the situation at the time called for the coup d’états he staged. – A rather debatable statement.

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In other narratives, he had admitted to being unhappy over the pain he caused some families through the bloodshed, which he at the time deemed necessary to root out corruption. But then again, he was captured in a video, taking full responsibility for the excesses by some unscrupulous soldiers who unleashed unthinkable torture of mothers, wives and fathers of some families. He absolved them of the heated anger of the people and bore the guilt all by himself; a rare gesture only true leaders would exhibit.

 Judging from his toughness in psyche, physique, and speech, who would have thought that he would agree to a reconciliation with the people he hurt many years ago – but he did.

Despite his pride in the brutish June 4, he touted as a move to rid Ghana of corruption, isn’t it shocking that, few months ago, he advised plotters of the Mali coup d’état against their actions; knowing that he in his lifetime stage three coups and succeeded in two? Clearly, he had learned hard lessons from the past.

Where are the masses who chanted after him “JJ let the blood flow!” Well, too late to turn back the hands of time.

The late President did some good things too. At least, apart from infrastructural works under his tenure, between 1992 and 1996, Rawlings eased control over the judiciary and civil society, allowing a more independent Supreme Court and the publication of independent newspapers. Opposition parties operated outside of parliament and held rallies and press conferences without any resistance.

As Hank Green puts it, “They tell you power corrupts. They never tell you how quickly.” Jerry John Rawlings did well for Ghana but he had his flaws due to the power he wielded coming out as a leader at age 33 years.  And for this he deserves credits. That is why the mention of his name only brings smiles to my lips, because he left a mark in history. He may have done terrible things, but he also leant some deep lessons later in life.

There’s no saint on this planet. Though he may have erred severally in his attempt to put Ghana on a good standing, he was no pretender and Ghana will forever remember him for his frankness and perseverance.

May your soul Rest In Peace Ex- President JJ Rawlings! You served Ghana well!

Coronavirus: “Silent” spread of virus looms amid poor sensitization on pandemic

For crying out loud Ghana Health Service, GHS, and other related government agencies are joking with the lives of Ghanaians and patting themselves on the backs for a false sense of efforts in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Here’s my argument to substantiate my claim. Without doubt, health officials are working hard in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but day in day out there are reports in the media about people fighting law enforcers for preventing them from going out to transact business to make a livelihood.

Coronavirus new

Their reason though absolutely valid, clearly exposes the poor sensitization drive by the Ghana Health Services and other agencies like the National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE, Ghana Community-based Health Planning and Services, CHPS, to educate the masses on the deadly virus.

Arguments put forth by some of the victims of brutalities by deployed teams enforcing the lockdown betray their understanding of the highly contagious and brutish nature on this pandemic.

But do you blame them? –  they do not understand what it means to contract the new deadly disease.

Though health workers are working around the clock in the face of danger, the related agencies who are mandated by their very formation to undertake sensitization on various national issues do not appear to be playing their part.

Policy makers have outlined a number of measures, interventions and programmes to contain the outbreak, but real success can be chalked with attitudinal change on the part of the public. But this can only yield results when the people of this country, especially those in far reaching areas who may not readily get information on the coronavirus pandemic be contacted and educated on how to stay safe.

It is common knowledge that many people flee from a person diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, though this health condition is not transmitted via mere body contact or even air borne.

Again, even though Ghana did not record a single case of Ebola virus disease (EVD), also known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever years back, many still shudder at the mention of it.

The largest Ebola outbreak occurred from December 2013 to January 2016, with 28,646 cases and 11,323 deaths. It was declared no longer an emergency on 29th March 2016.

How is it that people who dreaded the outbreak of Ebola, which never even entered Ghana’s territory, now defiantly approach an equally deadly malaise which aggressively spreads by just being close enough to pick up droplets from an infected person, most of whom exhibit no symptoms.

Clearly, they do not understand how fast coronavirus travels and how deadly it is. It is important that efforts already made through the media to disseminate information in this area be heightened by a more rigorous sensitization in rural communities who may be cut off from the bustling media outlets in major cities like Accra and Kumasi.

Again, there are also false and misleading information circulating on social media about how the African race is supposedly immune to coronavirus.

This is evident by how family members of a 21-year old boy who died in Walewale last week in the North East Region of Ghana vehemently rejected report that the deceased tested positive to coronavirus after his death.

Even more shocking is the fact that family members and neighbours who were actively involved in the burial of the deceased blatantly refused to go into self-quarantine.

This should be a wake up call for the Ghana Health Service, GHS, to swiftly move to rural and far reaching communities to start an aggressive sensitization exercise to educate the masses who ordinarily may not even have devices to follow news circulating in Ghana and beyond on the deadly virus.

Experts in the health sector must come out to demystify these untruths and equip the public with the right information that will help curb spread of the virus.

Sadly, most farmers and foodstuff vendors from distance townships fall within this bracket and resultantly do not understand why they must observe physical distancing and other preventive measures spelt out by health experts when they come to the cities to trade.

This puts everyone else at risk as they unknowing have offered themselves as carrier of this deadly virus and could inadvertently spread the novel coronavirus to all who patronize them in the visibly crowded market places in our cities.

This is why the Ghana Health Service, GHS, NCCE, CHPS and other related agencies must all act swiftly now to help stop the spread of the virus.

We need an all hands on deck approach to conquer coronavirus in Ghana.

The height of the Ghanaian youth’s creativity: The “sharp sharp medics”

Authorities are crying out over some unauthorized individuals “sharp sharp Medics” who are going about checking the vitals of people mostly market women with substandard medical apparatus.

They are known to announce in public places to the hearing of all “check your weight!” “check your high blood pressure” with no certificate to prove their training in the health sector.

But the question is, Do you blame them?

The health system in the country has become somewhat problematic in the sense that most community health centers are under resourced, inaccessible due to poor roads leading to the facilities, not talk of poor customer services of nurses and other health officials.

Then again, the few well-resourced facilities are utterly expensive to the point that people are forced to turn to more flexible and cheaper options even when they know these services are not up to speed with current technologies.

These challenges and more have fueled the proliferation of quack health workers who are parading in public places as health personnel checking high blood pressure sugar levels, and weights with their own medical apparatus at very affordable cost.

A report by EIB’s GHOne’s report on in August revealed to the shock of many that these personnel had zero formal training on what they claim to be experts of.

Interestingly, they have successfully conducted this business for years to the extent that some consider it their sole source of livelihood.

Though the report exposed wrong techniques in their administration of services and have called on health authorities to clamp down on them, one question remains key.

Can you blame these desperate jobless youth for their creative efforts to earn a living from loopholes of the sector at the expense of the safety of Ghanaians?

The way forward

This brings up the debate of joblessness of the youths, the porosity of our health sector and how desperate the youth of the country are to survive.

The government must as a matter of urgency, work to create an enabling environment for doing business so that these passionate youth will channel their energies in the right kind of trade and services.

Health sector should be up and doing in the area of surveillance to save innocent citizens from falling for these unsafe services in public places.

How massage therapy boosts optimal health and wellness

Massage to a lot of people mean a luxurious way to pamper the body after a stressful week or month – but hey! Let’s face facts, who doesn’t want to be pampered?

This assertion may not be entirely false, but a good massage does more than just de stressing.

Massage improves blood circulation, relaxes tense muscles, improves posture, releases toxins locked up in muscles, improves sleep, improves flexibility, and releases fatigue, among other things.

Though people are well aware of the myriad benefits of this routine, many shy away from it because they feel they have to indulge barely covered.

Massage therapists are professionals and are not in to spy on your curves but to help you relish the best experience geared at improving your overall wellness.

Remember, throughout the session, your entire body would be covered under a clean sheet; only the area being worked on is exposed at the time of the massage.

Also, you don’t have to go entirely nude under the sheets; you don’t have to remove your undies.

More importantly, holistic massage therapy has a phenomenal range of benefits including physical, psychological and emotional benefits.

So if you’re looking to unleash the full potential of your mind, body and soul, call +233 244 050 675 for massage therapy at super good rates right in the comfort of your home or office.

Massage therapy

 

Submission to a man not a synonym of “dumb ass”

Before you start judging, let me first establish that I believe in the rhetoric that man was created first in the person of Adam, and charged to care for all other creations of God.

So men you have my respect, but you must earn it!

I also believe that he (Adam) needed help to make his efforts complete hence the introduction of woman in the person of Eve as a help-mate.

Now, unless help-mate is the other word for Adam’s slave, I find it absurd that men continue to lord over women even when women have gone out of their way to sacrifice so much for these men.

It is even more heartbreaking to note that, in this day and age, when men have benefitted from the dexterity of womenfolk in workplaces, social settings and homes, some men continue to degrade women claiming that it’s their God-given right to rule over woman.

As the Good News Translation bible puts it in Proverbs 29:2 “Show me a righteous ruler and I will show you a happy people. Show me a wicked ruler and I will show you a miserable people”; a person in authority is not expected to suppress the people they rule.

So guys if this is your trump card, think again; being entrusted with power does not mean use it to inflict pain on others – it will come back to bite!

Men continue to whine over women’ fight for equality but are quick to forget that it is their unfair and harsh treatment that has forced women to retaliate.

Frankly, if with all the enlightenment in our society, men continue to fight for a place on the scale of superiority, it comes across as “shallow” as no warring factions of a team have succeeded in building anything great.

The world is a mix of males and females and it takes the collaborative efforts of both to drive change and development.

Men have their strengths, women have theirs. It is only collaborative efforts of both (Men and Women) that can foster progress in the home, workplace, social situations, and even relationships.

To the men who think women who submit to them are “dumb” you just traded your success for failure; know that women can make or unmake you – it all depends on how you treat them.Strong woman

Queen Nanny – Another Ashanti woman warrior besides Yaa Asantewaa

Obaahemaa Yaa Asantewaa, Queen mother of Ejisu of the Ashanti Kingdom is widely known for her bravery in the history of Ghana.

It is even more refreshing to learn of another strong female warrior, Queen Nanny, who faced the British squarely in historical times, defeating them on many counts with her highly skilled team of warriors in Jamaica.

Obaahemaa Yaa Asantewaa, challenged the Britons to war when even men are afraid to face the armed colonial masters around the 1900s.

She led the Ashanti war known as the War of the Golden Stool, also known as the Yaa Asantewaa war, against British colonialism.

Nanny, on the other hand, is also known to have escaped from a plantation where she and her family worked as slaves from her captors during the trans-Saharan slave trade era.

She is known to later ruled a community known as “the Maroons” in Jamaica.

According to records, Nanny and her brother Quao around 1720 established and controlled a location in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica.

The place evolved to later be named Nanny Town.

Nanny Town is said to have been strategically situated in a way that it overlooked Stony River via a 900-foot (270 m) ridge, making it almost impossible for the British to launch a surprise attack on them.

The Maroons at Nanny Town were known to be highly organized and thus on the look-out for impending attacks.

Once they spotted their assailants they would summon warriors by the sound of a horn called an “abeng”. This was how Nanny became a heroine away from her homeland Ghana.

Though the British captured Nanny Town on more than one occasion, they were unable to hold on to it, in the wake of numerous guerrilla attacks from the Maroons trained under the Ashanti woman warrior.

The Maroons waged a successful war against the British colonial forces over the course of a decade.

When the attacks subsided, the Windward Maroons of Nanny Town under the leadership of Nanny moved to New Nanny Town, which consisted of 500 acres (2.4 km²) of land granted by the government to the refugee slaves under a 1740 treaty to end the First Maroon War.

Queen Nanny is celebrated in Jamaica as a national heroine and has her image on the 500 Dollar Note,  second largest currency note of Jamaica.

Watch the story of Queen Nanny retold in video below.

Ghana at 62: Why I shed tears for Dr. Nkrumah

If Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah were to be watching the pomp and pageantry in Ghana towards the commemoration of Independence Day today, he would be shedding tears instead; and he would have a million reasons to do so.

62 years after he fought for the independence of this country, what have we done with it?

A few powerful people have hijacked and plundered it of its riches.

Politicians! You have failed Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah; you have failed citizens of this country, and you have failed me!

All you have done over the years is rob Mother Ghana of her peace, riches, and joy.

Though they say, politicians are a reflection of the people – (to wit the regular Ghanaian is just as corrupt as the politician) – Remember that it is not for nothing that millions queue every four years to elect a leader to take charge of the helm of affairs.

A leader must have integrity, and must see beyond the regular person… Sadly, what they saw, they kept for themselves and their family.

Politicians have failed us and for this singular reason, and more, Dr. Nkrumah must be weeping today.

For the same reason, my hope in this country has slumped. That is why I have just one reason to call this land my homeland.

After I have traveled the world over; after I have explored nations across the oceans; after I have sought to enrich my experiences from lands far away – When I have to point back to my roots, I can only point back to Ghana as my place of origin.

It is for this reason and the only reason why I say today – Ghana my Motherland.

Until politicians change and fix the rotten systems in this country, my stance remains the same.

Is femininity campaign a mere cheap talk?

Lately, women have been given the opportunity to rise up to the level of presidents, CEOs, or gainfully employed staff in diverse fields of specialization.

But has it changed the way men look at females of this generation in Africa?

Indeed, there has been an awaking to the limitless influence of women in society, once oriented well in both formal and informal sectors.

Again the notion that the influence of a female could not go beyond the kitchen and bedroom has also been thrashed out.

Yet, can this generation frankly look a woman in the eye and say, “I totally trust you to fully handle affairs unaided for as long as I’m away?” – This has been the ongoing debate about the emancipation of womenfolk in Africa.

The promotion of femininity has chalked big strides, as the masses have evolved from their pitiful state of 100% dependency on a man, to key contributors (including financial) to the maintenance of the household.

Now, the trend which used to give absolute power to men to control women at every turn has drastically reduced.

Men currently deem it crucial to solicit views of women in their bid to arrive at a holistic solution to the problems of society.

Domestic violence has seen considerable decrease in communities across the globe because of the campaign against abuse of women.

However, this generation has not reached the point where they have embraced the totality of the concept of femininity.

People have thus constantly questioned whether the concept of femininity has really achieved the purpose for which it was “birthed” or whether it is a grand scheme of illusion used to pitch women against men.

Despite the rigorous campaigns on femininity the world over, women continue to carry out the basic roles as the female at home apart from their paid jobs outside the household.

Men’s view of women as ultimate source of desirous object to satisfy their sexual desires has not changed.

Women continually attract lower wages for the same kind of jobs as men and the physiological makeup of women during (menstruation breaks and conception periods) continue to “rob” them of time which otherwise would have been channeled into productive work time.

And even worst of all when a snake rares it’s head in the public place, women cry out aloud, “where are the men – come and rescue us from this poisonous live rope” .

On these grounds, the main argument which still remains states – will women ever reach the point where they can fully compete head to head with men for the limited opportunities available?

What’s your view?

ICGC’s rantings worsening matters for Pastor Mensa Otabil

Once upon a time, Pastor Mensa Otabil’s words were cherished and upheld by church members and the public by extension as views of a man of integrity until the details of defunct Capital bank revealed shocking developments.

In the wake of collapse of bank in Ghana, the Central Bank detailed what auditors term “willful deceit” on the part of shareholders and directors in the case of defunct UT and Capital Banks.

A 2014 Bank of Ghana (BoG) Examination and Inspection Report by Boulders and Advisors Limited also found that there was a significant amount of inter-group lending within the two banks.

This was after a review of two forms of related party transactions; first was loans granted to individuals and companies related to the bank and loans granted to companies connected to one another by ownership and directorship but unrelated to the bank group.

The Central Bank revoked the license of two commercial banks – UT Bank and Capital Bank in August last year.

The action was triggered by the inability of the two banks to turn around their negative capital adequacy position which has lingered on for some time now.

This has become topical following the closure of five struggling banks on August 1, 2018, with BoG announcing it has merged all five banks into the Consolidated Bank Gh. Ltd.
Sovereign Bank, Royal Bank, The Beige Bank, Construction Bank and Unibank are the five financial institutions that have run into liquidity challenges.

Detailing their findings on UT and Capital Banks, the Report said, “Capital Bank was a web of transactions involving insider parties, that is, directors, shareholders and their related companies.”

How Capital Bank officials wasted the tax payers’ money

The board after receiving the cash dished out ¢27.5m to a Board member to hype the business. The word in the report was “business promotion”. While still under distress but having received the bail-out, the board approved an expenditure of ¢2.6M and $50,000 on “re-branding.”

The board also “ratified” a proposal to increase the fees and benefits of directors, including two first and business class air tickets for all members of the board.

Not done, some ¢130m was transferred to Alltime Capital, a transfer that needed some explanation from the CEO Ato Essien who said the transfers were “strategic,” and “highly classified information.”

The transfers were expected back into the bank by March 2016 – in five months, he said with additional assurance from the chairman, Dr. Mensa Otabil.

Alltime Capital, all this time, was however acting as an arranger for the transfer of the ¢130m to two other companies.

MC Management Services Ltd owned by one Dr. Tetteh Nettey and Abdul Rahman Abukari got ¢100m cedis and Pronto Construction and Supplies Ltd owned by one Paanii Tackie who got ¢20m.

While Alltime Capital got 130m, Nordea Capital also got ¢65m of this Bank of Ghana aid money to Capital Bank.

Capital Bank sat back to watch their money working itself up and working itself back into their hands.

The GCB in 2017, took over Capital Bank and UT Bank under a purchase agreement approved by the Bank of Ghana.

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, speaking at the time, blamed the lack of good corporate governance for the collapse of the two banks.

He added, “the revocation of banking licenses of UT and Capital bank due to significant capital deficiencies, also partly reflected poor corporate governance practices within these institutions”.

Dr. Addison stressed that good corporate governance is not only essential to minimizing risk but it is also fundamental to improving economic performance.

GCB Bank has since absorbed about four hundred workers.

After the all these details, why would members of the ICGC who are also well meaning citizens of Ghana, and not spectators go on rampage campaigning under the harshtag #WeStandwithyouDrMensaOtabil?

Which is better? To rally behind waste of hard earned monies of Ghanaian citizens or uphold the rule of law to safeguard against corruption to secure a better future for generations unborn?

5 Ways to keep hair, braids healthy and glam!

Braids are becoming the new fabulous hairdo for both the young and old.

It has become the preferred option for countless reasons; the most prominent being the manageability of this hair style.

braids are mostly done to protect the natural hair from damage which may arise from poor handling and harsh weather conditions.

While the emphasis is on the protection of the natural hair; it is equally important to keep the extensions (braids) neat and beautiful until you decide to remove them.

Thanks to innovations in the fashion world, braids can be made into twists, box braids, or even dreadlocks.

Beyond keeping braids loosely on the back, it can also be woven in many different styles for  various occasions.

Now, the main hustle people go through with braids is how to maintain it for the number of weeks they decide to keep it.

Here are some quick tips on how to keep your braids looking neat and shiny for weeks.

  • Wear a scarf on the braids before running off to bed, to protect the hair.
  • Apply leave-in conditioner on the scalp to keep hair moist and healthy .
  • Wash hair when you realize it’s dirty. This removes grease from scalp to promote growth.
  • Extend your style time by redoing your edges.
  • It’s important not to keep braids on for too long. Some hair types can withstand long months but others will get roots of your hair coming out if you leave braids on for too long.

Photo credit: Beautiful_Ghanaians Instagram

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