Category Archives: GH2013

Who Are Going to be the Early Adopters of Kantanka Cars?


With yesterday’s announcement of that his SUVs are now available for commercial sale, Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo joins an elite clique of African automobile manufacturers and designers on the continent. Only a handful of car manufacturing companies sport the “made in Africa” brand on their vehicles:

Kiira Motors Company (Uganda)

Innonson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (Nigeria).

Mobius Motos (Kenya)

Kantanka Automobile Company (Ghana)

The transportation market in Africa is one of many new frontiers waiting to be tapped into by local talent. While fashion and mobile communications have seen large injections of investment and a boost in sales over the past fifteen years, automobile manufacturing has pretty much lagged behind. A number of questions have always gnawed away at both consumers and car manufacturers: Can it be done in Africa? Would Africans be confident enough in the final product to purchase these vehicles? Can it be done in Africa?

Yes, the same question has been asked twice…because doubt. We have been taught to doubt our capabilities until someone else takes the leap and proves that a venture can be successful, at which point the sheepish African will mimic that success… or wait to import low quality good from China. But as I always say, while you are sitting somewhere thinking about it, a Nigerian is busy doing it. (However – and I’m happy to say – in this case Ugandan and Kenya joined the fray fairly early.) This mindset is what I fear may plague the sales of Kantanka Cars in its early days.

Before we get into the gloomy aspects of this story, let’s take a moment to celebrate this achievement. Taking a car from concept to roadworthiness is no small feat. Ghanaian boys are tinkerers because poverty necessitates that they must be. Mommy and Daddy won’t be bringing home the latest Tonka or Hotwheels set for Christmas, and so it is down to the enterprising kubolor to grab a stack of Ideal Milk or Blue Band Butter tins and literally hammer out his own birthday gift. This gives a kid the latitude to dream, conceptualize and execute the car of his dreams. It’s what little boys (and the few girls whose parents gave them the freedom to) have done for over a century and eventually gave rise to the global automotive industry – an industry from which Africa was largely excluded from save to exploit its raw materials. Kwadwo Safo is to be commended for assembling teams of those once young dreamers and giving them the tools to make their boyhood wishes a reality.

If Ghana – and indeed the Continent in general – plays its cards right, this could be the beginning of a much needed automobile/transportation boom. It is the nature of innovation that one must lead to another, and we could be looking at the genesis of conceived/designed/made in Africa light railway, aviation and machinery production. A lot of that will depend on how much present and future governments help or hurt that initiative.

In the auto industry’s  early days, there were over 1800 independent car manufacturers in the country. They operated all over the country and were mainly small scale tinkerers hoping to make it big. Very few of those manufacturers survive today, either becoming defunct due to a total loss in capital, being absorbed into a larger operation, or choosing to innovate in other areas. World Wars I & II also contributed to the decline in the number, as all of the country’s human and natural resources had to be diverted to support the war effort. Nevertheless, the existence of 1800 independent, functioning manufacturers contributed to what we now call the American “Can Do” spirit.

As much as we laud these pioneers of the automotive industry for their efforts, we can’t ignore a major component that made their successes (or failures) possible, i.e. consumers. If no one purchases your product, it is purely ornamental. Innovation is important, but consumer participation is vital for any industry to survive. The question in Kantanka’s case is who is going to take the risk to adopt their cars at this point in the production cycle?


Even established brands like Microsoft and Apple have to grapple with this question. Every time there is a new release, there is a cadre of risk takers who look forward to being part of that early adopter phase. I’ve heard it described as an adrenaline rush. The knowledge and satisfaction of being a pioneer adopter in a particular release comes with its own merits for this fearless lot. Sometimes that risk pays off with huge dividends, sometimes all your files are corrupted and lost by the new software you installed.

Early adopters are essential for any new venture. Without them, Ford would have never been as successful at creating the Model T – or the assembly line method that made it a success – as he has been celebrated for. Someone had to bet on the car, make an investment and report back with their likes and dislikes. The feedback gives creators the opportunity to meet, even anticipate customer demands. It’s why our cars come in a color other than black. Ford, Chrysler and GM listen to their market base and design accordingly. It’s a give and take scenario. Most (if not all) of the cars driven in Africa were created with the American consumer in mind. From the placement of the steering wheel, to the number of cup holders, to the shock absorption in the suspension, all of our vehicles were designed and tested for Western roadworthiness and driver proclivities…not for red clay paths, narrow streets riddled with potholes and crazy okada riders and taxi drivers who dart in and out of traffic.

So who is going to take that first step in joining the Kantanka release cycle in the early phase? The government can certainly help by taking the bold step to scrap all of its imported vehicles and use Kantanka for state functions, car rental companies can add Kantanka to their fleet for consumer choice, and first-time buyers can look forward to the nostalgia of saying a Kantanka was their first car. But are any of these the company’s target market? I don’t think anyone knows.

For one, there is no focused marketing effort, other than to say “Hey! Look what we did!” Secondly, no one knows how much a Kantanka costs. For now, it’s a closely guarded secret. There has been little in the way of demonstration in its advertising for real world applications. Is this a luxury vehicle? Is it for the middle class? How do we rate its performance and according to whose scale? This all circles back to the need for early adopters.

So who’s it gonna be? I for one am looking forward to making Kantanka my vehicle of choice when I visit home. In the meantime, I hope they sell faster than Pattie Pies on an autumn day…or fresh Hausa koko during the rainy season.Warreva makes you happiest.

Welcome to the consumer market, Kantanka!



A Few Words About Incompetence and John Dramani Mahama

I know, I know! I promised in the Spring that I would not discuss Ghana politics, particularly since a sizable chunk of the MOM Squad is not Ghanaian. You guys have to give me a pass on this one. I beg you. This is an issue that has been burning on my heart for the last 48 hours. I can’t let it go, which leads me to believe President Mahama has bewitched me with some sort of incantation resulting in a mental wounding. Only the poultice of talking this thing through will provide me with the relief I need. I’m so glad you guys are here for me!

The faults of John Mahama and his administration are many. The nation is reeling, buckling under the weight of a Mahama led administration’s ineptitude. Education standards and results have seen sharp decline; homelessness is at an all-time high; violent and fatal home invasions have seen an uptick; civil liberties have been trampled on and access to healthcare is in constant jeopardy due to sporadic (yet predictable) strikes from disgruntled healthcare professionals. But we have malls. Yes… Malls filled with items the everyday citizens can’t afford to shop in because wages are low and unemployment is high. In the face of all these harsh realities – realities that the Mahama-led NDC was elected (and promised) to fix – JDM has taken exception with being labelled “incompetent”. Here’s what he said to his supporters at a rally at Trade Fair on Monday:

“Did you hear Bawumia say incompetent Mahama? You’ve never held any responsibility anywhere near the presidency before; you don’t know what it is like to be President. I’ll take that word from Kufuor or from Rawlings because they’ve been there before. All of you guys [NPP critics] have never ever come near the presidency. [Do] you know what it takes to be a President? And you stand and say incompetent Mahama administration!”

What the…what?!?

This is a man with a degree. This is a thinking man; there is no doubt about that. He didn’t get to where he is because he’s unable to think (or manipulate). He’s published, and anyone who has the tenacity and persistence to pen a book earns kudos from me for that feat at least. Plus, he’s no fool. No one can deny that JDM is a master communicator and knows exactly how to touch you in your gut with his inflection. But as all writers and thinkers know, you will ultimately be judged by the tangible impact of your words, thoughts and deeds…just like anyone else in any other profession, particularly if the strength of your job performance directly affects the ability of 26 million other people to do theirs. And in this regard, President Mahama has indeed shown himself to be “incompetent”.

The president is no fool, so why does he persist in saying foolish things? He says members of the opposition are not qualified to label him, since they have never performed duties in the office of the president. Naturally, he was roasted severely on social media for this. One doesn’t need to have worked in a particular field to be able to judge the outcomes of services rendered by a “professional” in that field.

What kind of logic is this? Has he mistaken his post as a democratically elected leader for some bearskin-wearing medieval overlord? Does the president of Ghana think that the people he serves are actually this stupid, that the population is too dumb to assess how he is “changing their lives” for themselves? Yes…that must be it. For instance, when it comes to Ghana’s most pressing issue – the power crisis – John Mahama has on several occasions expressed his contempt for the Ghanaian proletariat, merchant class and the bourgeoisie with utterances like “smart businesses are not laying people off” and the myriad promises to never promise to promise to give a date for the end of dumsor; only that it will end soonish. His recent attempt to cast himself as an artist, a political Michelangelo if you will, speaks volumes about the level of disdain he holds for Ghanaians, our expectations and our right to hold our government accountable. No, really. While on the campaign trail, which has been dubbed the Changing Lives Tour, he said this:

“We are working just like an artist. When artists are working you don’t actually know what they are doing until they finish the work. Those who are saying we are not working are entitled to their opinions, but all Ghanaians would testify to the contrary.”

C’mon dude. I don’t know what artists you’ve been hanging around, but the majority of them have an outline – an outline that allows the viewer to predict an outcome. You can tell from the first few strokes that this will be a pigeon, or a cat, or a cathedral. The NDC has no outline, and that’s why we can predict a mess. Unless the president and his team are finger painting a plan for the country…in which case the result is still a mess.

A pictorial representation of what JDM is doing to Ghana.

A pictorial representation of what JDM is doing to Ghana.

In conclusion, I believe the NPP and any other opposition party that has labelled both the president and his performance as “incompetent” has been rather generous in their choice of adjective. There is a thesaurus FULL of adjectives that I think could do the job better, beginning with, but not limited to:











and shyte


Hei, hei, hei! All you NDC sympathizers who are happy with your 36 hours light off and reliance on gen-power to run your businesses, skyrocketing cost of living and soaring food prices: Stay out of my comments section with your vitriol. We all already know your man is going to win in 2016. I’ve admitted as much in a previous post and given reasons why. He’s your champion and will bring you the political victory your pride so craves. But that is only because John D. Mahama a catfish in a small pool of guppies.

It’s a shame catfish don’t make better decision makers and leaders.



Lessons We Can All Learn From Nana Aba’s Phoenix Firestorm

The entertainment industry is a lot like a gladiator melee: movement at light speed, shouting, blood, gore and backstabbing….and that’s just behind the scenes. The gloss we see on screen is the result of many sleepless nights, coercion and egos bruised and bent to until they fall in line with management’s personal vision. And then there are the happier organizations where everyone sings kumbaya and gets along like the inhabitants of a Smurf village. Either way, the work gets done and if the stakeholders are lucky, ratings will go through the roof, ad revenue will come pouring in and a star or three will be born amidst the carnage.


I don’t know which of these scenarios best describes what it’s like to work at TV3, but I do know its brightest star walked away from the station this week…and did so with such class and grace that it has left many people disoriented. I’m talking about Nana Aba Anamoah’s voluntary exit, announced this morning.

For the MOM Squad who are unfamiliar with Ms. Anamoah and the recent firestorm she was embroiled in, she is a celebrated (and reviled) news anchor, presenter and football fanatic when she’s off duty. She has worked for TV3 for 12 years and was so captivating as an anchor and host that many say she was the only reason they tuned into the station. About a month ago, she posted pictures online she’d received from a friend, suggesting she was at a match in England. The intent was to prank to her followers. The original owner of the image contacted her employer, crying foul. There was a conference to explain intent. There were mutually apologies from Nana Aba and the “offended” party. Her employer decided to suspend her days later, citing a breach of integrity.

“We expect guardians of our brand, particularly employees who we entrust to deliver content on air to our viewers, to ascribe to the company’s values wherever they are.” – TV3

Some who defended that station’s move attempted to draw parallel’s Nana Aba’s faux pas and American journalist Brian Williams’ suspension over his exaggerated retelling of his coverage of an incident in the Iraq war. He was later forced to recant his claim to have been aboard a helicopter that was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in 2003. It’s false equivalence, as Nana Aba was not tweeting in her capacity as a journalist during the prank and as far as anyone can tell, never uses her personal handle to tweet about anything other than football. Still, people drowning in their own ignorance will always grasp at straws to save their argument. In any event, she has walked away from the station, and I couldn’t be more proud of her for this move!

There are a number of valuable takeaways from the cyclone that surrounded Nana Aba, particularly for women work in a field as unsparing the entertainment industry. These are the five I’ve identified:


Never assume your employer has your back

In the early days of Nana Aba’s photo faux pas, a number of pundits (and a strange mix of miffed politicians whom she seems to have bested in the past) suggested that her suspension was divine retribution for her previous sins. What exactly were those sins?

“Her arrogance!” they screamed, eyes blood shot and brows bathed in sweat.

Now as I understand it, Nana Aba has said some pretty funky things about the competition – including calling one a “kontomre station”, yet curiously, I don’t recall TV3 ever getting their integrity knickers in a bunch about in those incidences. Their star anchor’s verbosity about how saccharinely wonderful they were was a feather in their cap, and they enjoyed the show.

Part of Nana Aba’s charm (and repel) is her abrasiveness and propensity to dish, which TV3 used to their advantage…until it did not appear to serve them any longer. The result was the proverbial smashing of a horsefly with a sledgehammer. Which leads to the next point:


Always have something else in the pipeline

Because we live in a capitalist world that forces you to subconsciously hold your employer in suspicion, it is to your detriment to make them the sole provider of your sustenance. When I got my first real job making an actual salary, I worked very and made a show of it. I was the first to open the office and the last to lock up. One day, a co-worker who was ten years my senior (and who later became a good friend) stopped into my office as I was furiously replying customer emails.



“You need to quit working so hard. You’re killing yourself.”

“Naw, girl! I can manage it!”

She leaned in and spoke under her breath. “Look. You know what’s gonna happen if you croak over in that chair one day? This company is going to kick your corpse out find another body to put in it.” Then she stepped away and walked back up the hall without another word.

Sure enough, 8 months later, heads began to roll and I was given a choice: move to Colorado or lose my job. The company dealt in virtual communication, so I didn’t understand WHY I couldn’t work virtually…but that was the point. They needed the vacuum my eliminated salary would create to help put their ledger back in black. They didn’t need me. Oh, but I needed them!

I was out of work for 3 months and depressed. I should have had something in the pipeline to fall back on and so should you, no matter what industry you’re in. Which leads to the next point:


Diversify your skill set and income streams

A pipeline is only as strong as the alloy that forms it. It is imperative to possess and develop a mix of skill sets that will serve the needs of those targeted opportunities you’ve stored in your pipeline. They don’t all have to be related, even though they can touch.

The person I think who has most exemplified this characteristic (as far as Ghana’s entertainment industry is concerned) is Delay. She is a money-making mastermind.

Remember when Walov was a guest on her show and lifted his skirt in order to graciously share a view of his brown twig and berries? (Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like.) The moment earned her a suspension from television as well. As young as Delay was, she had enough sense to have developed a number of revenue streams based on her brand. She has her own mackerel. She has a radio show. I think I heard she owns a retail shop. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.) And so although the TV station was her largest platform, it wasn’t – and still isn’t – the only one that feeds her.

If you’re a web developer that can simultaneously manage projects, or the baker who can drive his own delivery truck if needed, you create more value and increase your potential for revenue in the long term, as long as you understand what you’re good at. Which leads to the next point:


Understand your stock

Delay and women who look like her are never going to be on Ghana’s “Most Beautiful” list. Our anti-Blackness won’t let them. We live in a world that sums people up – and women in particular – by their looks. An elderly man can be forgiven, even admired, for appearing on camera with grey hair and a few wrinkles. Women cannot. Women on camera can never be anything but slim, clear skinned, perfectly coifed, young and sexable. Oh, and although sexable, you can’t be pregnant.

The examples of this abound. Nana Ama Agyemang Asante was recently trolled by someone’s lost boy-child for the way her hair looked. A Kenyan TV host was savaged on Twirra for being pregnant as she did her job.

One user tweeted “No one wants to see her ugly, pregnant body on TV!” It got dozens of re-tweets.

Ghana’s golden girl, Anita Erskine, was also very open during an interview on the KSM show about how she got to the lowest point in her career and nearly lost it all because she had started a family and was no longer fit and tight. She spoke candidly about how the calls to host and present were nearly non-existent in those days.

As a woman in the entertainment industry, you have to be twice as conscious about your stock. In some cases, that stock is solely based on appearance. In others, it’s a particular skill. If you have not been hired for your looks, then you HAVE to keep your craft sharp. Delay was hired because she’s a bull dog who can get answers. The moment she becomes meek, we’ll lose interest. Nana Ama Asante’s is her levelheaded doggedness, her understanding of socio-political issues and the eloquence with which she presents arguments. The day she stops analyzing trends and fails to present them in a relatable will be the end of her career. She can’t bounce around on YouTube like Deborah Vanessa – who is a delight to watch – and get paid. Know your stock!


Never be afraid to walk away

This morning, several news outlets announced that Nana Aba was walking away from TV3 in the wake of her suspension and she is handling it masterfully. In the interim another Ghanaian star is awkwardly parting was with his management team and it’s quickly becoming a FUBAR. I’m looking at you, Shatta.

Nana Aba has been effusive in her appreciation for the opportunity the company gave her. She’s gone full Whitney in her decree that she will always love TV3. BUT, she is walking away from a company that did her dirty…head held high and heels on, fresh from a jaunt in England with pictures of her attendance at a Man U match in attired in full slayage. It was a triumphant exit.



She knows TV3 was wrong. TV3 knows they were out of order. All of us know that this 12 year relationship did not have to end this way. There was NO way she could stay. But like any divorce, its best to handle it amicably if you can. You know, for the kids! Besides, you never know when you’ll have to cross that bridge again. Even Ahmed the Clock Kid walked away from the Land of Opportunity, because keeping his dignity intact is far more important than any enticements America could offer. Like Ahmed, this is not the last we will see of Nana Aba, who has already risen like a phoenix!


Therein lies the final lesson.


Have you ever been unfairly dismissed or suspended from your job or school? How did you handle it? Have you ever had to apply any of these lessons in other areas of your life? Discuss!

Profiting off of Agbogbloshie, Ghana’s Slum Safari

*Please forgive the delivery and language in this post. The reality of what’s going on on the ground deserves more eloquence than I possess. What I have discovered is truly disgusting, and it’s a new low…even for a country with dubious scruples like Ghana.

I have been doing so reading about Agbobgloshie lately to find out how the residents there have been faring since the government wiped out their homes and businesses with bulldozers flanked by armed personnel earlier this year. For those who do not know, Agbobgloshie is the second largest and most toxic e-waste dump on the planet. Not just in Africa…on the entire globe.

Most of the waste is illegally shipped in from Europe and America.

Agbobgloshie goes by many names. Some refer to it as Old Fadama. It has also been nicknamed Sodom and Gomorrah – everyone agrees it is hell on earth. Children who have spent every moment since birth breathing in the toxic fumes that burn round the clock routinely die of cancer in that area. Every step you take on the oozing, sludgy ground is perilous. The earth is pocked with broken glass from busted up television sets, exposed industrial wiring and sharp edges of the remains of freezers, vehicles, discarded things that the West no longer wanted. Once a wetland with crystal blue waters that you could see straight through to the sandy bottom, this now poisonous environment is home to thousands of people – some 40,000 by some estimates. They come from all over the country in search of employment in the capital city. Employment opportunities are already scarce for educated residents with roots in the capital that go back at least two generations. Nepotism is the order of the day and class-ism ensures that big breaks that lead to real opportunities remain in the ranks of a particular few.

It is in this hostile environment that economic migrants/refugees find themselves once they move with the hope of supporting themselves and their families outside of the Greater Accra region. Where the government is concerned -whether NDC or the opposition –  they are the recipients of very little beyond failed policies, broken promises and political rip offs. Still, these residents of Earth’s second most toxic dump nestled firmly in the seventh filthiest country on the planet are resourceful and have managed to eke out a living for themselves. And as if the insult of all that they have endured thus far has not been enough, they have been and are being taken advantage of in the most degrading way. Their poverty and suffering is being exploited as fodder for voyeurs who view their suffering as nothing more than a curiosity  or “a destination for travelers looking to experience another walk of life.

Ad selling tours to the slum

Ad selling tours to the slum

Just moments ago, I stumbled upon which bills itself as a TripAdvisor (R) company. Thinking that I had found what must surely be a hoax site, I called the toll-free number to speak with a customer service rep to get further information. The unidentified rep gave me as much information as she could (which means be read from the posted information from the website) and asked me if I would like to book through their company for a slum tour. It would only cost me a mere $34. Tours required a minimum of 12 participants for a 3 hour trek through the slum that would begin at 9 am. Quick math informed me that the amount generated for this tour would amount to a little over $400. According to, the average Ghanaian makes $154 a month. Viator is a broker for the local company who organizes the tours. The rep would not tell me who that was until I booked and confirmed a trip. However, she assured me that this person or entity would ensure my safety and even offer translation services, should I need it when “interacting with the resourceful locals who have managed to make a new life for themselves in such harsh conditions”.

I find it difficult to conjure the vocabulary needed to express how disgusting this venture is.

You may recall the Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa near Bloemfontein, South Africa which offers a shanty town experience for those who want to “experience poverty” without the inconvenience of actually experiencing poverty. Imaginatively named Shanty Town, the rooms replicate the experience of living in one room corrugated metal and wood homes, similar to those that many impoverished South Africans call home. The difference is, these campsites come with hot water, electricity and wifi. The venture shocked much of the civilized world for its insensitivity. Nevertheless, it thrives. Why? Because something about Black suffering is only strong enough to illicit shock, but never enough indignation to demand cessation of the offense …particularly if there is a profit to be made off of it.


The idea that there are Ghanaians involved in a scheme to show off the injury, suffering and distress of fellow Ghanaians for their portion of $34 a head is reprehensible. How much of that money makes its way back into the community? If the slum tours that take place in South Africa and the Caribbean are anything to judge by, it’s very little. The least these unscrupulous operators could do is re-invest in the community to help meet some of it’s needs, or as an old lady whom I recently had the pleasure of dining with said recently: “If you’re going to f*ck me over, at least kiss me first.”

There is so much wrong with Ghanaian society. We’ve absolutely failed this generation, and quite possibly four more generations to come with the sort of depravity we’ve permitted. From corruption, to protecting perpetrators of child rape, to confining the mentally incapacitated to prison without trial or representation, the veritable erasure of what it means to be a Ghanaian and the pride that calling yourself by this name once held…the list is endless and frankly, exhausting.

I know for a fact that this Old Fadama tour will not only continue after today, but thrive. There is not enough outrage left in the country to spare for the invisible poor. People have to worry about the shocks and spasms of the cedi and whether or not there will be petrol for the generator and A/C this evening. So what if a few white people want to gawk and the beggarly, Black proletariat like apes in their natural habitat?


I wish it wasn’t that way. It hurts me that it is.

The Night I was Assaulted – by Christabel Steel-Dadzie

Every day, Ghanaian women and men suffer the indignities of physical assault and verbal abuse by those who feel empowered and at liberty to do so. And while these follies are not uniquely Ghanaian in nature, they must be addressed head-on because they affect us as Ghanaians.  We only compound our inability to better ourselves and our society when we ignore the ills taking place in our midst – or worse – point to the ills of other societies for vindication, hoping to absolve ourselves from wrongdoing.

No one is immune from the rot that festers in the bowels and minds of the power hungry civil “servant”, security guard, mayor or police officer. The sludge they discharge with every mean act threatens to drown us all. I am grateful that Christabel Steel-Dadzie has had the courage to speak up about her assault. Please read her story till the end and share. It’s past time we begin to hold those who continue to abuse their posts accountable.


I have so many emotions as I write about this incident – first because I had such an amazing Saturday celebrating my country – it’s beauty, it’s wealth, heritage, pride, etc…. but like most things in life, not long after your golden moments, you are starkly reminded of the reality of a broken system, a broken country…

My cousin asked me to help her run an errand, as family does, I hopped into the car, picked her and up and we were on for a fun 1-hour+ ride – we spent the whole journey reminiscing about the good old days, family members we had lost and were memorializing…

We arrived at our destination around 7:20pm and the following unfolded:

I got to the gate of a gated community I had been to several times. Surprisingly they opened the gate for me (later on lied that they didn’t open the gate but that they had let a taxi in prior to our getting there and I followed; somehow that taxi vanished…) Because I know how the system works and I have been brought up generally to obey ‘the law’, I stopped of my own volition. The (female) security guard was taken aback and it took her a few seconds before I think she realized she didn’t know me, so asked who I was looking for… I mentioned the name of the person I was going to see, but knowing she (my hostess) wasn’t the house owner, and they have been confused by that before, I begun to dial her number…

Security guard asks, as I dial – do you know the house number, I am talking on the phone and at the same time say, I am not sure, but she’s calling you. We hear the phone ringing in the security office… The security guard (female) says that I am blocking the entrance and therefore if a car is coming behind me they won’t be able to enter. I look in the rear view mirror, no car… The phone has stopped ringing so I know they have talked to my hostess… so I say again, she has responded, so can I simply go? I will move away if a car shows up…

There are 4 other men standing around, some in uniform, others not… Security guard tells me to go and park… I say, she has called, so can I go? Within a matter of seconds, 4 men are yelling at me to park, so I say in a very calm voice – “I am not sure why you are yelling at me, I haven’t done anything wrong and I don’t think you should treat humans this way.” Another man (not in uniform) shows up and pokes his fingers literally in my eyes and bellows “PARK! PARK! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? PARK!” At this point, I get upset and I say again, “you cannot talk to me that way, you need to calm down!”…. Dude then does what is done by most people in power “SHOWS ME WHERE POWER LIES!”… Yells his head off at us and stands in front of our vehicle… “You will not enter this community” “You will have to run over me first!”…. To be very honest with you, for a quick second, I almost moved forward just to prove a point – but thank God for the Cross and home training, I backed off and put off my engine.

My cousin at this point is livid; she says, “Ewuradjoa, since we are decent people and won’t run him over, let’s lock up and walk.” We get out of the car, and within seconds the so called security guard (not in uniform by the way), shoves me hard! I was shocked! Stood still for a quick second – What just happened? Did he just hit me? I wondered?… Found myself saying the words out loud “No, you didn’t just hit me!”… Oh apparently that was uncalled for; how dare me small girl driving (my father, or is it sugar daddy’s) four-wheel drive and I think I know everything – how can I question whether he’s hit me?

Oh then round two – He hits my arm again!

A woman who was entering the complex and saw him hit me – literally in the act (she was in her car with some kids) starts yelling – did you just hit a woman? You should never hit a woman, no matter what! And said a few more things that I didn’t hear and then drove off…

EWURADE! At this point, my cousin went ballistic! “How dare you touch her?” She pulls out her camera to document the issue, and dude-no-uniform-security-guard throws his arm at her – a punch that would have landed straight in her face, had she not moved swiftly backwards…

At this point, I am in so much shock that I go back and sit in the car – so

  1. He hit me!
  2. He hit me again because I questioned him and told him not to touch me

Then to top it all off

3. He attempts to hit my cousin (bo ne ni su style – sorry! I can’t find the English translation for this)

A number of people start gathering at the scene. I hear someone calling the head of security… I call my hostess… The ‘head of security’

(I put in inverted commas because I have no idea who anyone is, coz no one wears ID)… comes with another man to ask me what happened… I narrate the story; head of security walks away; comes back about 10 minutes later and says “He really hit you didn’t he?” I say “he sure did”… dude on the side goes “REALLY???” At this point, I get emotional! Did I not just narrate the entire story to this man a few minutes ago and tell him I was assaulted? Why should he question that I would make that up? Unfortunately, on paper, I can’t quite express this moment – I looked around – all men! I felt dirty; incomplete, I don’t even know what else… Why should I lie about such a thing?

So I said to the man, once I was able to catch a breath in between crying, “I am educated enough to know that it is a grievous issue to accuse a man of hitting me,… so I would never make that up!” Apparently this man only heard the word “educated” so started yelling at me and schooling me about how I didn’t know who he was or how educated he is!… At this point, I just give up!

I call my cousin and hostess; I announce to them – I am going to the police and I would love to see this man go to jail just to set an example of him to many! Of course, they all scoff… and apparently rightfully so, because I didn’t know what was just about to happen…

Fortunately, there is a police station around the corner (we find out later that the apartment complex built the station)… We get there – “Good evening (there were 2 officers I could see) I would like to file a complaint. I have just been assaulted.”… Out of nowhere I hear a male voice yelling “what did you do to him before he touched you?”… I almost fainted! WOW!!! (I later realize that there is another officer behind the counter lying on a bench as he yells at me)…

source: GhanatoGhana

source: GhanatoGhana

At this point, I give up! I can’t even find the words… So my cousin narrates the story… One of the cops writes my name and contact information on a tattered piece of paper … My cousin asks, “we would like to file a complaint; can we get the form?”… The officer responds in a very stand-offish voice, “there is no form… you have to go to a government hospital and get a doctor to endorse that you were assaulted, then you come back and then we will document the issue further and then find an investigator to go with you to find the person…” My cousin says, you realize we are way outside Accra and more than likely can’t get to a government hospital tonight? She retorts “that’s the system and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Oh and by the way, this is the only police station that I can continue the case with… so pretty much would have to go sit at a government hospital for say 5 hours; after a 2 hour drive, then do another 1-2 hour drive back to tell them that the doctor says they can’t physically see any bruises so it’s cool! Just WOWWWW!!!

At this point, I am confused, still shocked by what just happened, and I find myself walking back to the car… I am simply speechless! We drive back to the complex to drop off my hostess who has been apologizing the entire time for this embarrassing and uncalled for event… We get to the gate and the ‘head of security’ comes to me to tell me that since his CCTV camera is not working, there is nothing he can do about the situation; moreover all the other staff who witnessed the event have just told him that the guy never touched me… He continues to say that it is my prerogative to pursue the police case, but on his end, it’s pretty much a done deal… I respond “Sir, wait until he kills someone before you do something about it! Since that’s the order of the day in our country.”

We drive off…

Am I physically hurt? – my arm hurts only slightly, but I am absolutely fine… I contemplated the entire night if I wanted to pursue the case… but I realized the sad truth – we have a broken system, and it’s as simple as that! A system that frustrates the ‘victim’ to the point that more often than not, you’ll just let the matter go… which is where I am. For the first time ever, I really wish I knew some commandoes who would go and ‘rough’ them up! I swear, that’s my innate feeling! But again, Thank God for the Cross, so I know what is right and won’t advocate for that – but I can really relate to instant justice within our system…

Ok… Let’s just say I was completely wrong; even then, he had absolutely no right to hit me – TWICE! And then no one would believe it; then those who saw it just blatantly lied! Then I go to the cops and they yell at me with an accusing tone of being responsible for why I was hit??!!! And I bet you my last cedi that I will meet them all at church on Sunday, or at the mosque on Friday… There’s so much wrong with all of this right here!…

I am writing this, not because I have been hospitalized, but because I want to tell my story, even if you think it’s not substantial enough, an assault is an assault, and should simply not be allowed! I am still meditating and trying to figure out why this happened to me, as I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason”… I think maybe God allowed me to go through this to help me relate to someone else who is going through the same thing and – possibly doesn’t know her right; or believes that she should let it go”… People, assault is not about physical bruises but more about the emotional and psychological implications of the assault…. And we should all stand up to our broken system, in any little way shape or form, to make changes…  



I’m Absolutely Furious With Shirley, Leila And Nicole

I would have written a 1600 word post about my angst, but I have to run out and meet Akuba Sheen(!) for pancakes in 10 minutes.

Ghana will celebrate 60 years of independence in 2017. In 60 years, no one has dramatized the struggle that our people have gone through. Sure, there are loads of documentaries, but none that tell the personal stories of the selfless men and women who sacrificed life, limb and wealth to give us our freedom.

The time is now. I’m asking women in film to fix this before it’s too late. Lets gather these stories while those who lived to witness the events are still among us! Like I said, I have already volunteered to be the casting director. I must also contribute my quota, anaa?

Do you agree with me? Shouldn’t Ghana have a biopic about its birth done by now? And wouldn’t ANY of these ladies do a fabulous job at it? Look at the mastery Ava brought to ‘Selma’. Shirley is capable of that and more. We are waiting, y’all. Tick-tock, tick-tock!


Misogyny Retards the Growth of Our Nation



Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.


On April 23rd, Mark Ashong confidently strode into the offices of one of Ghana’s top cellular and data services providers for an interview with the executives that would be deciding his fate. Had had applied for a position as a network engineer in December, and the hiring process had been a long and arduous one. Still, the rewards that came with gainful employment with such a globally recognized brand would outweigh any inconveniences he had suffered over the last few months. Today, he would be meeting with a panel to gauge how he performed under pressure.

A demure secretary with a pixie hair cut showed him into the boardroom where the VP, CTO and his (eventual) team lead were seated. Mark rushed over to shake each of their hands firmly, and thanked them again for the opportunity to meet with them. The team lead was the first to speak.

“I see here that you graduated with a degree in microbiology in 2002?”

“Yes,” replied Mark. He got this question a lot. How does biology support your work in technology? He already had an answer with the phrases “attention to detail” and “creative thinking” prepared.

“So that would make you…what? 35 years old?” the VP asked, her eyes askance.

Mark was taken aback by this query about his age, but thought it best to show respect to these ranking members of the company he hoped to work for and said, “I’m 36…yes.”

“Are you married?”

Mark Ashong grunted his reply. Yes; he had just gotten married in December.

The CTO clicked her tongued and rested her chin in her hands. Finally, she leaned in and looked Mark square in the eye, asking, “Don’t you think this position would be a little too demanding for you? What would your wife think of the long hours you’d have to put in here? Wouldn’t you be better off with less responsibility so that you could better attend the needs of your home?”

By now, Mark was completely aghast. What did any of these questions have to do with his 8 years’ experience as a network engineer? Trying to draw the conversation away from his personal life, he fished out 3 copies of his CV and handed them over to the directors saying,

“As you can see from my work history and references, I am no stranger to hard work and am willing to put in the time needed to get the job done. I would be a great asset to your company.”

“Mark…can you fry an egg?”
“No,” Mark said brusquely, “but I can architect a Cisco enterprise infrastructure for a Fortune 500 company in two days.”

The three executives glanced at one another before thanking Mark for coming in. He would have their decision by the next day. Stunned, Mark Ashong gathered his belongings and went home to wait for the call. The next day, he recognized the voice of the petite officer manager. She was delighted to inform him that the execs had offered Mark the position of Administrative Assistant to the Team Lead. Would he be willing to come in and sign his office letter?

“How could this be? I applied for the position of Network Engineer!” he gasped.

The secretary lowered her voice, telling Mark in confidence that the decision was made to give him a less demanding position out of concern for his home life. It was never good for a man to be too far away from his wife. Surely he understood that? Mark nodded silently on the other end and shut off his cell phone. What choice did he have? He wanted to work for this company. It could possibly lead to future growth, right? He signed the offer letter and spent the next 2 years sharpening pencils and ordering office supplies. Mark Ashong had been passed up for one promotion after another because he refused to sleep with the President of the cellular and data company. It was standard practice if a man wanted to get ahead in this business, but he couldn’t degrade himself in this way. And that is how one of the brightest and best network engineers fell through Ghana’s development cracks.


You’re probably reading this and scratching your chin. How on earth could anyone allow this to happen, you may be asking yourself? The fact is scenarios just like this happen every day in cities and towns all over Ghana… and women – not men like Mark – are primary targets of such discriminatory treatment. Women in Ghana are discouraged from reaching their full potential for a myriad of reasons we are yet to make any true sense of. So far, the only justification for holding women back in the spheres of politics, education, spiritual leadership roles and finance is because it is the “natural order” of things…according to misogynists. And make no mistake: Ghana is overrun with misogynist philosophies, doctrines and policies.

I consider Nana Yaw Asiedu to be one of the most thoughtful and inquisitive minds on social media. He is one of the few people I have encountered who has invested the time to ask questions with a true desire to understand a point of view, and to do it with the utmost probity. It was he who asked:

Why is it taking Africans so long to realize the inseparable link between misogyny and underdevelopment?

Why indeed, when the evidence is so clear? Women comprise of 51% of the population and yet are subject to false cultural barriers to their development. There is a dearth of (wo)man power in many sectors that would bring wealth and development to the nation; but where we should be training girls to tinker and build automobiles and aircraft, we rather encourage them to sew and braid hair. There is nothing wrong with pursuing a profession in hair dressing if that’s your passion, but as any woman who has been on the receiving end of burned edges or 3 inches of hair chopped off by a bitter hairdresser will tell you, it would be much better if the coiffeuse had never set for in a salon! It’s devastating for all involved. Women must be encouraged to explore as many avenues as possible and not just acceptable/anticipated gender specific roles.

A student at work

Photo source: Black Youth Project

If we are truly serious about Ghana’s development, we must do away completely with misogynist attitudes, particularly in the realms of social justice and activism. We must begin to address the issues and causes that women champion by their merits, and not judge them by the workings of her vagina. It’s as if Ghana, the lips of a vagina have more power to communicate than the lips a woman speaks with. Whether she has given birth, the number of sexual partners (or lack thereof), or her presumed barrenness are indicators of her worth or whether she’s worthy to lead. Men have never suffered these confines – confines that do not even speak to character.

Ghana is losing yet another valuable and precious resource to the scourge of misogyny. The country is hemorrhaging talent via brain drain – and shockingly – within its own borders. We are killing talent and potential because men are too frightened to admit that a woman might be a valuable ally and too many women view themselves as merit-less. Let’s change this, before it’s too hard and too late to reverse the retarded course we’re on.

“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” – Brigham Young

A nation can’t truly function unless ALL of its citizens have their rights respected and their potential maximized.