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Showing posts from September, 2008

A day without you (poem)

I wrote this poem around 2004 when I was in MIT. I saw a friend's signature and it went something like "A day without rain, A day without sun, A day without faith, A day without you". I thought it would be good fodder for a poem and so I started writing. The final product is a poem entitled 'A day without you'.

A day without rain
Spells the boredom of dryness
The grass folds its arms
Hungers for the greenness of love
The dam goes a damn
The river has a shiver
The farm blows an alarm
That all is not well

A day without sun
Spells the dangers of darkness
The moon curses its stars
Hungers for light for reflection
The party ends sooner
The slumber ends later
A boom comes from a stark dark room
That all is not well

A day without faith
Spells the comfort of comfort
The hungry crosses his legs
Awaits the next coin on his table
The don never closes his eyes
The pupil gives up on good sight
The pastor’s wife sees in this life
That all is not well

A day without you
Spells the missing person notice
T…

September 21st gives birth again - this time to a renewed CPP

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Another post from my alter ego - Maximus Ojah, a member of the GhanaThink community.

Happy Belated Birthday Osagyefo,

Kwame, some people in this world are old, but as for you, you are grown. What! 99 years! I am struggling with my quarter-life crisis and am dreading the next few years; I can't even imagine a mid-life crisis. Happy belated again sir, and may you find rest and sleep at the same side of the bed you slept on September 20th. Do find that spot again because you smiled at your fans. You must have smiled when you read the news about the national launch of your rejuvenated party's campaign for this year's election. The CPP is back, new, vibrant and attractive.

Nkrumahists like us cherish your birthday like other holidays in the Ghanaian calendar. Were you called the African Showboy due to the flamboyant parties you threw for your birthday? Were you called the African Showboy because of how you lavished cedis (when they were as good as dollars) on your friends and sym…

The story of the Ghanaian movie 'industry'

Many years ago, we used to have movie cinemas in Ghana. When movies were being advertised, they would say - showing at Rex Cinema, Roxy Cinema, among others. These days we don't hear that anymore. When that guy with the loud voice is promoting the new Agya Koo movie and the new Van Vicker flick, you are directed to the same stores that distribute Ghanaian music for you to buy the latest movies. There is everything wrong with this trend, but let's go back to see how we got here in the first place.

When I was in Presec around 2001, Ghanaian movies were up and coming. We had movies like Stab in the Dark, Stab in the Dark part 2, Ripples, Diabolo, You can't laugh, Who killed Nancy, among others. Some of our major actors even joined forces with Danny Glover and Omar Epps in 'Deadly Voyage'. We were encouraged by the productions. We had movie houses like Harry Laud Productions, Miracle Films, Venus Films, among others. Ghanaian movies were lauded, they were interesting an…

18 year old African self-taught electronics genius

Slow blog day :-) But did you hear about the 18 year old African self-taught electronics genius.

Check out the video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_dR-nh5tvg

Every now and then we hear about Africans inventing things, making technological breakthroughs, finding cures, etc. It's great to have the news media pick up these 'good' stories but the excitement dies down and we never really hear about these particular people anymore. They are just replaced by the next African genius or next invention. What can we do to encourage these people who are being ingenuous in finding solutions to our problems? I am interested in starting a project to document these things and find support for these entrepreneurs. If you are interested in helping out, get in touch.

Full story on Morris Mbetsa below
Morris Mbetsa, an 18 year old self-taught inventor with no formal electronics training from the coastal tourist town of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean in Kenya has invented the "Block & Track…

Leading into leadership – the Presec years

My senior secondary (high school) experience in Presec constitutes some of the best years in my life. My leadership journey continued. I didn’t get any ‘would you run for president’ questions there but I got similar questions about leadership. Here, I was in a boy’s school, separate from the ‘distractions’ that girls could be and in an environment where you had to be of your best behavior. Being of your best behavior may help shape your leadership abilities, but it is not the only trait or factor in leadership. I didn’t have all these traits in Presec and though I may have gained some, I may still not be the finished product. Writing the first entry about leading into leadership was nice, so we get to do it twice.

I chose to go to Presec because it is an excellent school and I also wanted to get away from my parents. I wanted to become more independent and get the chance to ‘live a little’. I wouldn’t go to a Cape Coast school because I didn’t know any relatives there and I had to be …

My experience with Nigerian films (story)

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Last night, I was browsing through the few Presec magazines (called Odadee) I had looking for some articles or stories about Presec's beloved Mrs. Akyeampong. I have in my possession, the 1999 yearbook, and the 1999, 2000, and 2004 Odadees. These are part of my prized possessions, I doubt I will ever 'recycle' them. I even add them to my luggage sometimes when I am traveling even though I never ever read them on, during, or after the trips. As a member of the editorial board and the work that goes through to deliver an edition of the Odadee magazine, I cherish these publications like Michael Jordan cherishes championship rings.

I found too many interesting, hilarious, and great literary pieces that I want to share. The first in this series is one called 'My experience with Nigerian films'. It is credited to one 2001 graduate of Presec. Basically, the writer uses 'chao' (plenty) Nigerian movie titles to write a story. All of these movies came out before the …

Leading into leadership – the early years (Tech)

Many people have asked me about my interest in one day running for president. “When are you filing your nomination for the presidency”, they ask jokingly. I don’t have any ambition to be a president or participate in politics in the future but the encouragement I receive has me thinking hard about it. Aside from being the patriot I try so hard to be, I have to be seen as a leader to receive such encouragement. I am hopelessly in love with Ghana and the potential of the nation, I am very optimistic about it and sometimes foolishly idealistic. However, I have not always been this way. In this series of blog posts, I will write about my journey to this point and if I am even worth being mentioned in the same breadth with leadership.

We can paraphrase a famous Shakespeare quote to introduce leadership. Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership and some others have leadership thrust upon them. Increasingly, I feel I fall into the third category. I don’t even know what it means to be bo…

Technocreate

I wrote this article for KNUST's TECHNOCRAT magazine a couple of years ago at the request of one of my Odadee mates there. I don't know if it was ever published but the contents of the article are still relevant a few years on. I hardly write articles for magazines/newspapers because I find it hard to write technical pieces without my usual sarcasm, question asking and flexibility. I tried with this one :-)

Science, technology and entrepreneurship in Ghana

It was a breath of fresh Ghanaian air to lay my hands on my first issue of KNUST’s Technocrat. I saw it a conscious effort to promote the ability and the potential of our Ghanaian intellectuals, mind and hand. People close to Ghanaian inventors know their capabilities but the word never reaches the masses and many a time the investor. It is about time it did. I spent a few minutes thinking what ‘bridging the gap between industry and academia’ meant. This was my conclusion – applying innovation and inventiveness in academia int…

Supa chompia - in search of African (super) heroes (GhanaThink)

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I just blogged on GhanaThink (as abocco) about super heroes and the challenge to develop Ghana as part of my Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins. Basically, I take a Ghanaian song and based on its lyrics, discuss some issue pertaining to our beloved country.

The other day some friends (Ghanaian and Nigerian) and I were having a regular conversation that followed after watching a regular Nollywood movie. The conversation turned to discussing other things; African music, high school boarding house experiences, education systems, studying for PhDs and hurrying up Masters degrees, gold diggers, wastemen, etc. Eventually, we ended up talking about African leaders, politics and what we needed to do us Africans to develop. The latter issues have been on my mind a lot lately. The emergence of Obama has caused me to think even more about the issue of leadership. It has me dreaming of Kwame Nkrumah. At this point in Africa's lives, it needs visionary leaders, inspirational figures, …

Smile, please, smile. I mean you no harm.

TGIF. When my boss (she is black) walked up to me this morning to give me a bouquet of flowers, I thought it was for a job well done. It turned out to be for someone else; she wanted me to deliver the gift to one of Stanford’s University Staff in another department. On the way to deliver the bouquet, I thought to myself – it will be nice to deliver one of these myself or have one of these delivered to someone I wanted to deliver them to one of these days. The day may not be far away. ☺

Anyway, so I arrive at my destination and I locate the office of the recipient. There are two ladies in the office – one Black and one Asian. They both stare at me wondering who is the object of this affection. I am sure like Sure deodorant that the recipient is the Black lady but I decide to ask for “Blah Blah” to be identified. My guess was right and a minute later, I am being showered with thanks and stories of how these flowers just brightened her morning. I haven’t stopped smiling since this episo…

I don't know how to name this blog entry, but it's about Obama

Whew! I almost missed my flight back to the Bay after a jolly good weekend in the surrounding areas of LA. Well, I didn't go to Universal Studios like I always wanted to, to try and get a cameo in the next big movie, but I went partying in Hollywood. The other big pieces of news other than my trip to Tinseltown is news of Hurricane Gustav (I thought all hurricanes had female names?), transfer deadlines in Europe, and the national political party conventions in the US. Needless to say, Obama has been on my mind lately.

I really like Barack Obama. He's a breath of fresh air, he's the kind of leader I adore. He is inspirational, he gives great speeches (would be nice if he threw in a couple of Latin quotes once in awhile), he is young and ambitious, he is a writer, he craves change for the better and he seems concerned about the average Joe and Joana. When I grow up, I want to be like Obama. Totally. We all know he's black (like me) but he also has an African father. As if…