Author Archives: Malaka

Mourning the Nameless Adinkra Symbol

A blogging buddy of mine, whom I very much admire, redesigned her website a few months ago with stunning results. She is an essayist, and her posts are heavy on written content. Her redesign changed the way her readers interact with her words, employing color contrasts, a pleasing font and a bright white background that keeps the mind engaged. The human attention span has been shortened to an estimated 8 seconds due to our engagement with digital technology; however though her written posts are lengthy, requiring 5-7 minutes to complete, the reading experience is so pleasant that the time seems to fly by.

Part of that redesign included the creation of a custom logo as part of her branding. She wanted something that incorporated Sankofa, and worked with a graphic designer to create a striking logo around this Adinkra symbol.

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When I saw it – and the explanation behind the design – I confess I had a visceral reaction. It’s not that I was/am unfamiliar with this symbol. It’s on gates and walls all over the country. The apoplectic response I was experiencing was due to nothing more than dissonance. These two ancient symbols cannot  possibly exist with the same meaning at the same time. Or could they?

Many people, myself included, do not associate this Adinkra symbol with Sankofa. The word “Sankofa” (translated as ‘go back and get it’) generally brings to mind a bird looking back at its tail. It’s an admonishment to look back to the past for wisdom and applying it to the present in order to positively affect the future. (Or, at least that’s what they told me in my 6th grade African studies class.) So what is the literal meaning behind this other symbol? Would the men/women responsible for their creation say affirmatively that there is no differentiating between the two (in meaning, translation or inspiration), beside their physical attributes?

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If you had asked me even just a few weeks ago, I’d defer to Google and would have most likely accepted the conventional idea that these are both versions of Sankofa. However, since I’ve been giving so much thought to syntax and the evolution of language, I have my doubts. I recently wrote about the diluting of our local languages, which has resulted in the extinction of some words and the proliferation of others. Anglophiles have influenced and altered much of our language. We’ve seen it not just with conversational language, but with naming as well.

A post I came across a few years ago was written by someone who described how his/her family got their surname. Their ancestor, a man by the name of Dua, went to England as part of a delegation from Ghana. When he was asked about his name, he replied in English that his name was “calling wood” in an attempt to translate the meaning of his name. Dua is the Twi word for “wood”. I’m willing to bet that Mr. Dua translated his response directly from Twi to English, and so instead of saying “It means wood”, he responded “It is calling (misappropriation of ‘called’) wood”. In either event, the English then took to referring to him as Mr. Callingwood and eventually, the family named morphed into a more modern version spelling: ‘Collinwood’. Another friend of mine shared how her Fante family ended up with a very English sounding name, but she’s threatened to kill me if I should ever disclose the evolutionary process of how her very posh English surname. I like life, so I won’t. Just know that every Ghanaian with a British surname does not necessarily derive from British ancestry.

So what about this alternate Adinkra symbol? I believe this symbol has suffered from a similar fate; i.e. it’s origin and appellation has been attenuated. The two symbols – the bird looking back and coiled lines facing inward – are stark in their differences. The budding anthropologist in me cannot reconcile that they mean the exact same thing, and I think it would be culturally slothful of us to insist that it is. Just about every response I’ve received on what this symbol means and its actual designation has been “a variation of sankofa”. But then that’s about as accurate as saying my son is a variation of my daughter because they are both products of my uterus. Stone is Stone, and Aya is Aya. Surely each symbol is in possession of its own distinct, unique name.

I think about words a lot, and I have to wonder what the originators of Adinkra had in mind when they created the bird and the touching coils if indeed they have similar meanings. What necessitated the redundancy? When you consider any word – let’s take “hot”, for instance – does it have the power to completely convey the intensity behind that heat? Does it paint a perfect picture in the mind’s eye? Hardly; which is why the words “smoldering”, “molten”, etc. were invented. What idea do the two “birds” facing inward convey to a deeper level that the crane with an arched neck – or vice versa – fails to? And more importantly, what is its actual designation? Surely its proper name isn’t Variation or Alternative of Sankofa.

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My father’s last surviving ‘grandmother’ (she was actually a great aunt) just died at 105 years old. Perhaps she or one of her few remaining peers could give some insight into the depth of the matter…but you know how we treat our old folk. We venerate them in word only. There is something that a woman who’s lived to the age of 105 can teach us about health and lifestyle, but we’d rather ignore her and confine her to a seat in the family courtyard than invite her on TV or radio. Such a woman can hardly be considered relevant (or interesting) to audiences between the ages of 18-45, could she? As a result, Anglophiles, elites and cultural hijackers continue to set the agenda and another piece of our history is lost to memory and antiquity. And you know what? I’m pretty emotional about what we’re losing in this steady cultural erosion. How reliable is what we know?

 

Do you have any clues about the name and meaning behind this symbol? Do you think my doubts are justified? I’d love to hear what you think before the comments close in 24 hours!

Les Carpede, Walking in Worship

A chance encounter on a street corner

“Who are you?”

“Who are you?” I retorted with a slight roll of the neck.

What a strange question from a total stranger! I looked at the man who’d paused as he was tying his shoes to address me so abruptly. We stood on the sidewalk on Plett’s Main Street, regarding each other.

“What?”

“What?” I countered, visibly annoyed.

“No…no. I said, ‘HOW are you?” he clarified.

Ugh! The South African accent had led me to misinterpret what someone had said to me yet again. This was not the first time. I was quickly sorry for my rudeness to this stranger, so I let my guard down – only slightly – and replied that I was fine.

“You were at Sao Gançalo for dinner with your family the other night, right? You were with your family? American?”

Now I was beginning to panic. Who was this guy? Was he stalking me?

“I eat there fairly often, so it’s very possible that I was…”

“I was there with my son and he pointed you guys out. I’m Leslie, by the way.” He extended his hand and shook mine congenially. “It’s nice to meet you.”

And that’s how I met Leslie Carpede, a Johannesburg transplant to Plett and worship leader who has performed for audiences in America and all over Southern Africa.

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What got off to a bumpy start extended into an amiable twenty-five minute conversation about God, family, the arts and personal choices. I am often asked what led me to leave America to live in South Africa, a question I confess I often have some difficulty answering. I’ve written about it extensively. Upon meeting Les, I found myself asking the very same question while experiencing the same sense of disbelief that my own inquisitors no doubt felt. What could have possibly persuaded him to leave Johannesburg in favor of a small town like Plettenberg Bay? His answer was simple and honest.

“You know, in life you experience so many things. And after a while when you’re in a certain environment, you can almost predict what’s going to happen based on certain events. I love Johannesburg. It’s my home. But I’ve been there and done that. It was just time for something new for myself and for my family.”

I understood his motivations completely. His was the true heart of the adventurer and the artist.

In speaking the Mr. Carpede, it’s difficult not to be infected by his enthusiasm for music, the arts and the Lord. He effuses such a spirit of joy that one passerby – an elderly backpacker – was compelled to interrupt our conversation in order to comment, “It’s so good to hear people laugh!”

Soon our conversation turned to perception, race and identity. He looked at me with hopeful eyes and asked if I could sing.

“What?” I laughed. “Because I’m a Black American?”

Clearly, he was talent scouting. He grinned sheepishly.

“I think it’s a general (mis)conception we all probably have about each other,” I continued. “I assume all South Africans can sing, because so much wonderful music comes from this country. But I know it’s statistically impossible for every South African to be blessed with the gift of blow.”

“You’re right,” he agreed, and proceeded to tell me a story about an African American woman in a church he was performing in who had exasperated the choir director to no end. She refused to admit that she just couldn’t sing!

Fortunately, I hold no delusions about my abilities and spared him the waste of studio time and money by declining to lend my voice to his project. It was the holy thing to do.

What lies ahead for this artist?

Les is currently working on a live studio recording for a worship album to be released at a future date. Amid the bustle of downtown, I took a shot and disclosed that I was inspired to feature individuals who are exploring new passions and/or projects, I asked if I could feature him on MOM. I admitted that this was more to my benefit than his.

“You would really be helping me bring a vision to life if you would,” I added.

“Why not?” he smiled. “It’s all good if it’s for a good vision.”

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If his music is any reflection of his personality, this is one album I will personally looking forward to purchasing. You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy music that makes you feel happy.

About Leslie Carpede

Les is a South African born Pianist/Vocalist/Songwriter. He is an accomplished musician, and well-noted psalmist by leaders in ministry, with remarkable people skills, leading praise and worship from the piano. He is a reasonably well-travelled musician, whose ministry spans South Africa, Lesotho, Nigeria, Namibia and the United States. He regards himself as a “no barrier” musician with distinct versatility, and frequently spends time, composing & producing. He coaches emerging musicians and facilitates performance practical sessions with middle and high school groups.

He holds a Diploma in Creative Ministry from the Rhema Bible Church, Johannesburg South Africa.He currently lives in Plettenburg Bay, Western Cape, with his wife Cecily and their 13-year-old son, Jordan.

For media and music related enquiries contact (+27) 83 249 0064 or Email:songbreeders1@gmail.com

 

 

This represents the third feature in a week of MOMvertising. Are you familiar with Les Carpede’s music? Who are some of your favorite South African worship teams or ministries? Has anyone ever asked you if you can sing (or play basketball) because you’re Black? It’s safe to be honest here.🙂

Let Your Feet Do the Talking with Daavi’s Connexions

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Any footwear enthusiast is sure to agree with this statement, both because of its hilarity and for its inherent truth. The apparel we purchase for our feet has the power to provide the sort of gratification that extends long past the exchange at the check out counter. For an uncountable number of men and women all over the world, shoes serve as a medium of self-expression. Shoes have a peculiar way of telling you more about a person than any soliloquy ever could. Shoes have the power to give you access… or doom you to exclusion.

There’s just something about shoes…

As someone who’s spent nine years working retail in the footwear industry, I’ve seen the transformative power and affect that shoes can have on a person. A tired mom puts on a pair of sparkly heels and for a moment, she connects with the coy vixen she’s hidden under sweats and sneakers for years. I’ve seen college grads come in and try on pairs of classic Kenneth Coles, then outlandish Stacy Adams, before making the “sensible” decision to purchase a pair of black Nunn Bush loafers that will offer more mileage. They stand a little straighter – visibly more confident while picturing themselves tackling that new job or internship.

It’s therefore no wonder that Daavi’s Connexions has adopted the phrase “let your feet do the talking” to describe the mission of the company’s brand. Someone once famously said, “The eyes may be the windows to your soul, but your shoes tell us everything else!”

Seyram Atukpa, founder of Daavi's Connexions

Seyram Atukpa, founder of Daavi’s Connexions

Seyram Atukpa is the brain behind the brand that is synonymous with comfort and style. The 28-year-old entrepreneur credits her mother with the inspiration to go into business for herself. Although her mother worked full time in a traditional work environment, she also designed, sewed and sold her creations on the side. After graduating from university, it would take a year before Seyram found work as an account manager in a corporate environment. However, she didn’t rest on her laurels during her unemployment. An avid footwear devotee, she worked with a local craftsman to make custom sandals and handbags that she sold to friends and colleagues. It was in that time that she underwent a personal transformation as well. She cut off all her hair and went natural in a style popularly known as ‘Daavi’. With her new look and distinctive accessories for sale, her co-workers would playfully ask what she had come into work to ‘connect’ them with for the day.

It was in then that the name – and brand – Daavi’s Connexions was born.

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Today, Seyram works fulltime as an Account Manager at Storefoundry.com, where she also uses the platform to sell well-recognized brands. For now, Daavi’s Connexions exclusively sells casual menswear featuring brands like Chucks, Toms Espadrille, Sebago Docksides and Loafers. Although her roots are in selling women’s footwear and accessories, she recognized an underserved market and seized on the opportunity.

“We believe everyone needs to make a statement with their footwear, be it a formal or a casual wear so Daavi’s Connexions is all about helping people make a statement with their footwear hence our slogan, ‘Let Your Feet Do The Talking.’”

Eventually, Daavi’s Connexions will expand its offering to include shoes for women, youth and toddlers. Seyram’s vision is to get to the point that when you hear the name Daavi’s Connexions, what comes to mind is quality, affordable footwear for everyone.

So, what’s next for the future?

“Plans are underway to collaborate with Chucks for our own co-branded and customized shoes. When people want Chucks, I want them to think of us first. In terms of reach, we are acting locally and thinking globally. Storefoundry offers worldwide delivery. If you have a mailing address, we can get your shoes to you anywhere in the world!”

Step your footwear game up this season and see what’s new at daavisconnexions.com. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for discounts and sales. The only thing better than new shoes is getting new kicks on a deal!

Daavi’s Connexxions is on WhatsApp (+233 246514924), Facebook, Twitter (@daavisconnexion) and Instagram (@daavisconnexions).

 

Were you inspired by Daavi’s Connexions story? Don’t hold this good feeling to yourself. Share it with your loved ones, frenemies and friends!

 

Can We All Talk About Charlotte Osei For A Minute?

The world has been focused on the lunacy that has become the US presidential race circa 2016 that it may have overlooked that Ghana – the land of my birth – is also going through a period of election madness. You may not think so, but the West African nation of 27 million citizens provides vital services that make life so comfy in the west. Every time you bite into a Snickers bar or purchase a new piece of furniture, chances are you’re eating a bit of cocoa from Ghana’s plantations or resting your tush on timber from our forests.

You’re welcome.

We have not gathered here to talk about the raw materials and agricultural bounty that feeds voracious American and European factories and industry. You and I are going to have a seat at this table and sip some hot tea on this auspicious Day of the Girl to discuss woman, the legend, the maverick, Charlotte Osei.

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If you’ve been repelled and appalled by Donald Trump’s utterances about women, you will find yourself in familiar territory where Ghana’s presidential race is concerned. It has been a cesspool of misogyny, underachievement, callousness, feeblemindedness, insolence and male chauvinism, all wrapped in an inflated sense of self-importance by many of those running with a sprinkling of patriarchy on top. NOTHING gets done in Ghana without a dash of good ol’ patriarchy. You would do well to remember that.

It is amid this backdrop that Charlotte Osei, Chairperson for the Electoral Commission, had the unenviable job of weeding out the unfit, incompetent and undesirable from the running for the very important job of leading Ghana and its citizenry in the function of the highest position of the land. In all, 16 political parties filed paperwork to participate in the general election. Of that number, only 4 (NDC, the incumbent; NPP, the main opposition; CPP, the party of Nkrumah and some dude running independently) qualified to participate in the general elections.

It’s like watching the always-dismal WEAC exam results being broadcast, only this time it’s our political leadership on critical display. Likening this ragtag bunch of political hacks to a secondary school, only 25% of the class took the time to read, study and properly fill in the answers correctly. Honestly: If you can’t even properly fill out the paperwork to contest for the election, why should you have a shot on the ballot at all?

Some of the errors boggle the mind. For instance, Akua Donkor is said to have listed 1998 as the year of birth on her submitted nomination form. Now I know Madam Donkor has famously rebuffed the use of English as her mode of communication, but 1998 is the same in Twi, English, French or Zulu, and it ain’t the year when her momma dropped that enormous head into this physical realm.

You're only as old as you feel. Heeyyy!

You’re only as old as you feel. I feel like a 90’s baby. Heeyyy!

Other errors and inconsistencies in applications included fraudulent signatures from surrogates signing for more than one party (read fraud) and a whole host of things that will come to light in the coming days.

Over the past few months, Charlotte Osei has weathered wuthering personal attacks from petulant men who are unaccustomed to women in such firm control of their collective destinies. In June of this year, Ken Agyapong, MP and NPP financier alleged that she had risen to her position only as a result of providing sexual favors to influential men. He says he’ll never apologize for his outlandish words. Prophet Isaac Owusu Bempah prophesied doom for the Chairwoman, saying she would ‘die’ if she calluded to rig the election in favor of the NDC. Following his disqualification to contest for the presidency on December 7th, Hassan Ayariga, standard-bearer for All People’s Congress (APC) called the EC boss “stupid”, “foolish” and wondered aloud who the f— she thought she was. Akane Adams, PNC National Treasurer attempted to trash Ms. Osei’s competence in her job for failing to instruct her subordinates to point out the errors on the submitted forms and giving the contestants the opportunity fix them. Presidential hopeful Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has threatened to “spill the beans” about Ms. Osei if she doesn’t reverse the disqualification decision.

"Look. What I'm trying to say is...Ion even care. Until you do right by yourself, everything you even think about is gonna fail."

“Look. What I’m trying to say is…Ion even care. Until you do right by yourself, everything you even think about is gonna fail.”

These people are all jokers. Again, if you can’t fill out a simple form, how can we expect your team to negotiate and read complex documents, trade deals and documents that affect the lives and livelihood of millions of Ghanaians? The answer is, we can’t. As usual, a fairly large swathe of Ghanaians have expressed their displeasure at the EC’s decision to hold these people accountable for this failure to perform this basic task. There is something about Ghanaians that is allergic to excellence where the powerful are concerned. We expect students to get top marks. We expect waakye sellers to get their recipe right every day, day after day. But expecting political leaders to fill out a simple form or following simple instructions? (The instructions from the EC were to pay the filing fees by bank deposit, and one political party actually showed up with a vinyl bag full of money!) No, no. We must show leniency and give them a do over. There are no do overs at this level! You think this is a game?

But let’s talk about Charlotte Osei. She has emerged as the real heroine in all this. Who the f— does she think she is? I’m so glad Ayariga asked! She has a Master’s of Law from Queen’s University. She has an MBL from the University of South Africa. She has served as the Chairperson for National Commission for Civic Education and NOW she is the Chairperson for the Electoral Commission and DAT CHICK who told you that your submitted application is bumbaclot. In short, she has treated you with the contempt that you deserve. No one cares if Afari Gyan – Ms. Osei’s predecessor – expended the energy to accommodate your mediocrity. How do you think the Company of Nine would feel if Frodo had asked for a do destroy the Ring of Power? Are you mad? It’s a new day, and Miss Charlotte is having none of it. You hear? NONE! Come correct or you will be sent home!

There is a new sheriff in town, and her name is Charlotte Teflon Osei. She’s above your petty reproach. She’s Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes. She’s Morgan Freeman as God. She’s Jean Grey as Phoenix. Your tantrums are mere noise and foolishness!

Will you SHUT UP and pay attention to what you are writing on this form?!?

Will you SHUT UP and pay attention to what you are writing on this form?!?

All of this (and future) embarrassment could have been avoided if everyone would just take a page from Ama One-T Ata Aidoo’s page and hold themselves and others to a higher standard. It’s time political aspirants (and the ruling political elite, for that matter) to start paying attention to the details. Minutia is important. You are not butchering meat outchea. You’re supposed to be trying to run a country.

Charlotte Osei, ayekoo. You’ve done well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tia Boone’s Marketing Oil Well

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As an RN trained in Western medicine, Tia Boone’s championing of essential oils as an alternative to drug therapy may seem strange. However, to listen to Tia speak on the topic in depth, her fascination and support of essential oils makes total sense.

“I have had this big question on my mind for a while now. How can I serve others? As someone who is passionate about the health of the whole person, what can I learn, share and more importantly – do – that can help others?”

The answer came with NYR Organic whose products benefit mind, body, and well-being, using potent herbs, oils, and extracts, and meet our own incredibly high standards of efficacy. NYR offers a range of products from cosmetics to literature, all with the aim of equipping the consumer with knowledge about what he/she is putting into and on their body. As consumer advocates fight across the world to get companies to disclose ingredients on their labeling, the commitment to transparency and honesty from companies like NYR Organics provide a certain ease of mind to the consumer.

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But what really made Tia a believer in effectiveness of essential oils is witnessing the success in their application first hand.

“I have watched essential oils grow back hair, shrink tumors, and even smooth mosquito bites,” she said.

Drugs and essential oils work in opposite ways. Dr. David Stewart, Ph.D. says this about the contrary mechanics of the substances:

“Drugs toxify. Oils detoxify. Drugs clog and confuse receptor sites. Oils clean receptor sites.

Drugs depress the immune system. Oils strengthen the immune system. Antibiotics attack bacteria indiscriminately, killing both the good and the bad. Oils attack only the harmful bacteria, allowing our body’s friendly flora to flourish.

Drugs are one-dimensional, programmed like robots to carry out certain actions in the body, whether the body can benefit from them or not. When body conditions change, drugs keep on doing what they were doing, even when their actions are no longer beneficial.

Essential oils are multi-dimensional, filled with homeostatic intelligence to restore the body to a state of healthy balance. When body conditions change, oils adapt, raising or lowering blood pressure as needed, stimulating or repressing enzyme activity as needed, energizing or relaxing as needed. Oils are smart. Drugs are dumb.”

If you’ve ever watched someone go through cancer treatment – or even suffered and treated a headache with drugs yourself– you’ve been privy to the sort of side effects that allopathic drugs often have on the human body. Drugs are “dumb” because they are not specific in their attack of the internal ailment.

Tia’s desire to educate people about the benefits of homeopathy is inspired by her relationship with God, an insatiable curiosity and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. On a personal level, the discussions we’ve had have been illuminating. I find myself pondering over them for days. And with the oil diffuser going, walking into her house is always like walking into a dream!

If you want to learn more about essential oils, NYR Organics or Tia’s marketing oil well, you can visit her site here.

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This represents the first of five days of MOMvertising. Have you ever tried essential oils or homeopathic products? If so, what’s your favorite? Did you know that essential oils are not actually oils, because they do not contain the fatty acids which is considered as the main thing of an oil. No you didn’t. Don’t lie.

Reflections on Language

Damon Young, editor in chief over at VSB, has curated a list of things Bougie Black People (BBPs) love. Among the litany are unnecessary hashtags, Solange and full beards and Jesse Williams. (I think it’s fair to say that ALL Black people love Jesse, bougie and otherwise.)

If there were a published list of things loved by progressive (read: dadabee) Ghanaian women, Nana Ama Agyemang’s podcast ‘Unfiltered’ would certainly be chief among them. It will be a while before the industry catches up and begins to reward this canon of work with awards and recognition, so let me be one of the first to say that ‘Unfiltered’ is award-winning, way before it has won any awards. The show is consistently well produced, is delivered on time and features some of the brightest female minds in Ghana today. Oh, and my cousin Poetra Asantewa is the voice behind No Panties, the podcast’s musical score.

Nana Ama closes each episode of Unfiltered with a question for her co-hosts for the day.

“What have you been reflecting on?” she asks.

The responses have been humorous and sobering, with women confessing to reflecting on anything from grief to Ghana’s wrecked economy/individual buying power measured in procured balls of kenkey. I often ask myself what my response would be if I ever had the opportunity to appear on the show. I generally come up blank, since I spend most of my days mulling over the backlog of writing I have yet to attack or ways to keep my kids away from the TV and focused on their books. None of this is particularly interesting to anyone but me and the people who take school fees from us. However this week, I found myself in a discussion that has refused to release me from its grip. It was about language, and I’ve found myself reflecting on it deeply.

A friend of mine was looking for a name for a new venture she’s undertaking. She wanted a Twi word for something avant garde, svelte, funky…You know? I told her that I was not the person from whom to seek advice, since my Twi is dismal and getting worse by the year. I can barely ask for water, let alone conjure up an adjective that would excite the imagination. She assured me that I could not be that far gone, and I assured her that I most certainly could.

“In fact, I think that you will find that many Twi speakers are unable to convey their thoughts in pure, poetic Twi. We speak so much Twi-glish in Ghana these days that we’ve almost ‘un-interpreted’ our language for ourselves. Our language is so diluted now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same could be said for Ga, Fante and the dozens of other languages spoken throughout the country.”

For instance, I told her about a Twitter friend of mine whose Akuapem name translates as “a glow”. When she wrote about her name – her early disdain for it and eventual struggle to embrace it – I connected with that. As Ghanaians, we’re all indoctrinated to understand that our Ghanaian names have meaning…however Western/Anglo names give you access, a certain privilege that meaning can’t. I believe the same can be said for language.

Anyone who’s spent anytime in an academic environment will tell you how speaking English, and the more fluently the better, provides a certain distinction among your peers. Perhaps you may be called upon to read in front of the class more often, perhaps you’ll be given a seat in government and eventually become president because you communicate well; in English. The same deference is not afforded to the pupil or professional who has mastered a local language – any local language – to the same degree. Indeed, there are some who have written entire theses about the impossibility of expressing oneself completely in a Ghanaian language, because they do not provide the “breadth and depth of thought” in order to do so. And yet a word for ‘glow’ exists. Someone had to be looking up at and studying the properties of the moon in order to create a word for the halo around it. Naturally, other words would be created to describe the modern societies we lived in, prior to the invasion of the European.

What are the Twi words for luminescent, philosopher, glabrous or entrepreneur? Is ‘kpakpakpa’ now the official vernacular for entrepreneurship, or will the original word (which I’m certain existed) be lost forever? Do we even care?

Former palace of the Asantehene before it was ransacked and burnt by the British in 1874

Former palace of the Asantehene before it was ransacked and burnt by the British in 1874

Long before English infiltrated our linguistics, we had architects, blacksmiths, mathematicians and apothecaries. Much of the knowledge about to build, maintain and advance our society has been lost, along with the language to define it. Perhaps this is why Ghana finds itself constantly in a position to beg for development loans and favors from other nations who’ve done a better job at preserving their traditions, like the Indians and the Chinese. We’ve lost the ability to define ourselves, which is why a statue of Ghandi is sitting up at on a university campus and not one of the many heroes who resisted colonial oppression and subjugation, Yaa Asantewaa aside.

Image credit: mg.co.za

Image credit: mg.co.za

I understand that language changes with time and events. The English spoken in the 15th century is not the same language spoken today. It is only natural that African languages would follow the same trend. But since we’ve failed to preserve the old, I do worry that we are not creating new words to express ourselves fully and uniquely in this modern age. We are increasingly becoming reliant on English to define our thoughts, to our own detriment. We give more honor foreign languages with our mouths and minds, and there is no denying. Who will honor ours?

That’s what I’ve been reflecting on. What has captivated your thoughts and imagination recently?

 

*You can listen to Unfiltered on Soundcloud every week when you click HERE.

 

 

Announcing a Week of ‘MOMvertising’ Here on M.O.M!

On early Monday morning, a member of the Plett health and wellness community published a request for bloggers to bid on a writing position he had available for his organization. The opportunity to write for a genre I’d never focused on before – drug rehabilitation – intrigued me. Unfortunately, I was thinking (and quoting) in terms of dollars and summarily out priced myself from the running. But that’s okay. I think my loss was to someone else’s gain…specifically to the gain of the five companies I’ll be featuring on Mind of Malaka in the coming days.

In submitting my bid, I did a quick Google search for my name and up popped several links to articles I’ve written for various media outlets and blogs. I have fixtures on plots of e-real estate all over the place! I believe this somewhat pervasive (and positive, for the most part) online presence is what piqued the seeker’s interest in my skill set. I was able to point to numerous examples of my work and demonstrate value. There can be no denying that in this digital age, online penetration is its own form currency. I didn’t get the job, but what if I could use my blog – my OWN e-real estate – to give other people the kind of boost I’ve worked to procure over the years? So that’s what I did.

I woke in the early hours of the morning the next day and tweeted to my followers, asking them to send me a synopsis of their projects, passions and/or products. I would promote them here on the site. Mind of Malaka has a strong and loyal reading, and I know that this community doesn’t exist to boost my ego alone. I truly believe God and Google have allowed this space to grow for the purposes of giving back in some way. I try to use my blog to do social good whenever the opportunity presents itself, and now WE – as a community – have the chance to use it to provide an economic edge for entrepreneurs coming off the starting block.

Advertising is expensive. Exposure doesn’t come cheap. And in this age of aggressive capitalism and quid pro quo, it appears that everyone is looking for what they can get out of the most mundane interaction…some sort of return on investment. While M.O.M. isn’t Marie Claire or Humans of New York (Brandon has singlehandedly driven record sales for dozens of small business owners via his blog), I would humbly like to offer this space in a broader effort to provide publicity for these passionate men and women you will see starting next week.

Image Credit: aimadverstising.com

Image Credit: aimadverstising.com

I wanted to give the venture a catchy name… like Pimp Your Product™ …but then that brought to mind all sorts of unsavory images. MOMverstising was the next, safest thing. It’s okay. You can laugh.🙂

Are you excited? I am too! As these entrepreneurs and creative are featured, I’d beg you to share their profiles on your personal social media platforms. You never know if someone is looking for just the thing they have to offer. Plus, with the holidays and Libra season upon us, you may be the conduit for a fabulous the gift idea or your new favorite brand. We’ll all find out together come Monday!