Thursday, March 31, 2011

Plight of a Hungry Man - Part Two

So I saw John Doe again this morning (calling him that because I don`t know his name and I hear them do that in American movies, hmmmmmm... maybe I should do my Ghanaian version). In that case, I saw Kwaku Doe this morning still looking so sad and again I didn`t see him get any money from the rounds he made. Looking at him today, I`m beginning to think he might have a mental problem. He is well dressed, his hair is not so well kept but he doesn`t have the dreadlocks (don`t know what else to call it - apologies to my natural hair loving people) I`m used to seeing on mentally challenged people on the streets. Well, even if he is mentally challenged, he still has to eat. Which reminds me of this girl I saw a couple of weeks ago at Banana Inn.

For some reason I can`t get the girl`s face out of my mind. I saw this young girl probably in her late teens or early twenties and I believe she is probably past being mentally challenged. Well if her appearance is anything to go by, I`d say I`m right. The girl, [Jane Doe - Ghanaian version Akua Doe (no offense to Wednesday borns - that`s the first name that came to my head)was butt naked and singing and dancing on the street. I`m used to seeing naked mentally challenged people on the streets but this girl really caught my attention first because of her age and then her looks. She is so pretty and of course it got me thinking about her, what got her in her current situation considering her age and all that. Well, this is a topic for another discussion.


So back to Kwaku Doe, even if he is mentally challenged like I`m beginning to suspect, he`s still got to eat and survive. Who`s responsibility is it anyway to get mentally challenged people off the streets and into the mental institutions? Can our mental institutions house all the mentally challenged people on the streets anyway? I remember I once saw a news story about lack of space at the mental institutions in the country since patients that have been treated and discharged were not welcome back in their homes and as such had to remain at the institution.


Is this the situation in other countries? I honestly doubt if I would see naked people walking on the streets of London. I guess we as a country are not there yet. I know some countries have homeless shelters for the homeless so even healthy men and women who have fallen on hard times can get a place to lay their head. I even learnt in some countries it is possible to survive on welfare which is paid by the government. I wish we really could do something like that in Ghana too (I know someone will probably say then we will all stop working and survive on welfare - but then I doubt if it`s enough to live comfortably on). And what about the persons with disabilities also begging on the streets


I seem to have more questions than answers. Maybe some day, we will be able to take care of the less fortunate in our society without them having to resort to begging. Maybe someday it will be possible to drive around the country without seeing a single naked person on the street. Maybe someday persons with disabilities will not have to beg on the streets. Maybe someday people will not have to hawk on the streets in order to make a living. Maybe someday all our children will have a memorable childhood and not have to weave in between cars selling pure water.


But about Akua Doe... I wonder where she is now. Such a young pretty girl, hmmmm...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Plight of a Hungry Man - Part One

There's this man I see every morning not too far from the British Council. He moves from car to car when the traffic light is red and begs for money. The striking thing about this man is unlike most people I see begging on the streets, he is able-bodied and he doesn't appear to be mentally challenged. The very first time this man approached my car, out of fear I rolled up thinking he might have a mental problem but as I watched him every single day, I realised he didn't or if he did, it wasn't so obvious. Then my next instinct was to judge him as a lazy man. My reasoning? "Even some persons with disabilities hawk on the streets and don't even beg how much more this very able-bodied man". My conclusion? "Never give him money, let him find a job to do".
I saw him this morning and it appears just about everyone had come to the same conclusion I had. Come to think of it, I don't believe I have ever seen anyone give him money before. After making his rounds and ending up empty handed, he moved to his position by the traffic light waiting for it to change so the next set of cars could move up and then he could make his rounds again hoping I guess for something better this time. He stood at his position for quite some time and I had the opportunity to look at him closely (actually I was staring) and he looked so so sad. At that instant, my heart went out to him and it got me thinking. What would make someone like him go beg on the streets instead of looking for a job or at least instead of hawking or something. If his level of education isn't high or if he has no education at all he could look for some manual work to do (I see there's some road work going on on the graphic road, he could look into that and there's all this digging going on from Dansoman through Banana Inn to Laterbiokorshie. I believe some cables are being laid and oh, there's the Dansoman high way that's being constructed) or he could get some money, purchase some items and sell in traffic instead of begging. The thing is even with these road works and construction jobs, I believe the workers have some kind of expertise in that field and if he doesn't have this, he probably can't work there besides knowing how things work in Gh it's probably all about who you know even to get a digging job so if he doesn't know people, he's out of luck. About getting money to start something, where's he going to get that from? I doubt if he makes enough to feed himself in a day through the begging he does much more save some up to start a business. Even if by some stroke of good luck he is able to get capital to start hawking, the AMA will probably clamp down on his hawking business and drive him off the street forcing him to look for a stall in a market which mind you, he might not be able to afford.
What's he to do then? I am sure there are others like him. What are they all to do in order to just get food to eat? Despite me going into pensive mode after seeing this man, I still didn't give him money because that I believe is not the solution to his problem. Even if I make it a point to look him up every morning to sort him out (that's if I can afford to) what happens on days I use a different route or on weekends when I don't go anywhere near that area and what about all the others begging on our streets? I can't possibly take care of all of them. 
What can our dear motherland do for people who either through no fault of theirs or even through their own fault find themselves in such a situation? What are other countries doing to ensure their citizenry enjoy a good life?


Friday, March 25, 2011

GRENADE

I love Bruno Mars. I love his songs, his lyrics, his looks, the dude can siiiiiiiing....
But, "Grenade"? I actually do love the song but there are problems, quite a number of problems.
"shoulda known you was trouble from the first kiss had your eyes wide open why were they open". Now, unless he had a video camera recording the first kiss I really don't see how he could tell the other person's eyes were open unless his were too. So then really, if both eyes were open what's the problem?
He goes on to talk about giving all he had to this woman and she tossed it in the trash and all but really why would you want to catch a grenade for someone that just don't give a s*** about you? Well, of course I do know how hard it is when you love someone and will do just about anything for them but they don't reciprocate and you just can't help still doing stuff for them which brings me to why I'm even writing this.
Came across a friend's status on facebook asking if it was okay to let a guy know how you feel about him or to just hold it back (this was to the ladies that's why I said guy). I couldn't help but comment on it. I really do think that it is so not cool and quite foolish to be with someone and pretend you don't love them or you could do without them when in reality you actually can't. It doesn't make sense to act like you really don't care if you lose the person you with when you actually do. Why do people do this? Because they believe they are saving themselves from potential drama, hurt and pain. True, but then what if the person you with also decides to or just finds someone else willing to treat them like a gem and unafraid to show them how they feel?
I'm not saying y'all should go out there and catch grenades for anybody (mind you, that is just plain crazy and borders on being obsessed) but really don't be afraid to show how you feel in a very sensible way. If you are goo-goo, gaa-gaa about somebody well, you don't exactly have to tell them that because human as we all are, the person would probably take advantage of that knowledge (at least I know I would). I mean if I was with somebody that would throw his hand on a blade, jump in front of a train for me and all that and made it a point to let me know about it, I'd either run as far away as I can from him (because the only way he'd be able to do all those things is if he created those situations and then what if he chickened out? my unrecognisable flattened corpse would be found under a train) or I'll just stay and totally take advantage of him.
So, my point, let the person you are with know how you feel about them. I'm sure they are not psychic or mind readers so if you don't say it, they won't know. However, if you feel like catching grenades for them, do them a favour and keep it to yourself. Any which ways, wouldn't it make more sense to push them out of the way so you can both live and enjoy life together rather than catch the grenade, blow up in front of the person you love and traumatize them for life? Besides if the person doesn't care about you, who says they won't find someone else and forget about you when you blow yourself up?

Nice song though, nice track...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mobile Phone Companies and their Promotions

Recently, I saw this ad from a telecommunications company advertising a new promotion. And what's the grand prize? A house! Okay, it's wonderful and all that these companies find it prudent to try and set up their customers in life but really a house? What's next? They've given out airtime on their network, money, cars and now a house! Seriously, throw in a husband or wife and you just might have set someone up for life. And oh, in a couple of years add a kid or two maybe you can just make it twins (a boy and a girl) and that will really set someone up for the rest of their lives but don't forget to keep the money promotions coming in so I can win and take care of my new found family, my newly acquired house and service the car you so generously gave to me.

I learnt a taxi driver (I stand to be corrected but I got this information from another taxi driver whose car I boarded) won a brand new car one of these companies gave out not too long ago and apparently he spent about GHs600 on airtime just so he could text and win the car. Yippee! Good for him, he got a brand new car for only GHs600. Two problems however come to mind.

  • One, where does a taxi driver get off spending GHs600 on airtime? Well, I'm told it wasn't all at once but it was throughout the duration of the promotion (maybe I should think of a change in profession because honestly, I do not see myself spending GHs600 from what I earn right now on airtime just so I can use it to text to win a car). That's actually money he could have saved and used for something else but hey, he did win a car which is worth far more than the GHs600 he spent to win it. Which brings me to my second problem...
  • Two, what about all those who spent equally as much or even more than that to win the car but did not win? Do they just dust themselves up and wait for the next promotion or file for bankruptcy? I actually wouldn't be surprised if people actually borrow money in order to take part in these promos because I believe the more you text, the better your chances are.
I was watching this other promotion run by another telecom company on television and the presenter introduced one of the selected participants as a house help (Ei! I should really change my profession). This lady walked away that day with GHs5000. I just wish I could ask her how much she spent on airtime just to be selected. If really the more you text or the more airtime you spend on the network increases your chances of winning then honestly I'd be expecting bank managers and extremely wealthy people to walk away with the prizes (but of course they probably are not interested since they have all that and more).

What I would really like to know is what really is the essence of these promotions? Is it for the companies to enrich themselves because more people will spend more money buying airtime in order to text or are the companies really interested in bettering the lives of Ghanaians? Do you really increase your chances by the number of times you text because if that's the case then it is only rich people who can afford to do that and their lives are better already so really what are these companies going to do for them? If you asked me I'd say wouldn't it make more sense to encourage Ghanaians to work hard, save money and guaranty themselves a better life instead of throwing whatever little money they have away by taking part in these promotions. The fact of the matter is you do not even know what your chances of winning are anyways.

Well, it is after all by choice and no company ever put a gun to anyone's head forcing them to text.

Now, to let the cat out of the bag, I have tried myself like once or twice but looks like I don't have a single lucky bone in my body (mind you, this blog was not written out of skin-pain). What was I thinking anyway? My one text was not going to get me that car when someone was willing to spend GHs600. I guess that is his investment and it worked out.

I will let you know if I take part in subsequent promotions and hopefully, I'll be showing off my new husband or is it my new set of twins if I win...

About Me

I'm pretty new at this, so I thought I'll post something I already had on facebook. I hope it helps in telling you a little about me... Mind you, it's kinda old but most of the stuff still applies to me.


1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Uh huh. My aunt. Maame Dentaa

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? This morning. Don't ask why cos I don't even know myself. Well... actually I do but it was something real silly so I'll jst keep it to myself.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Like duh!

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LUNCH MEAT? Goat or beef maybe chicken. Really don't care as long as it satisfies my hunger.

5. DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS? Not yet. Maybe soon. Who knows?

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Why not? I spend more time talking to me in front of the mirror than with anyone else. I hope that's normal. Doubt if I'm crazy.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? I thrive on it.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Donno. What's dat? I think I do. Don't remember no doc taking it out so I guess they got to be there.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE? Is it that thing where some real smart people jump out of a moving plane or something? All I know is there is some jumping. Now, why would I want to do that?

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CEREAL? Definitely Coco pops. I love anything with chocolate.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Don't remember the last time I wore shoes that needed shoe laces.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Do you have to ask? CHOCOLATE!

13. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Teeth. For some reason I got this weird teeth fetish thing going on kinda like Raheema. 

14. RED OR PINK? Reddish pink.

15. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That'll be my nose cos I think it's too large and my eyebrows cos I don't have enough. Got to paint them on all the time. and oh, how could I forget, my height. I'm kinda vertically inadequate and .... wat else?...

16. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Myself 5 years ago. That might not make sense but I used to be this really independent, "I don't care" kinda person who just lived each day as it came without a care in the world but now things get to me too much... way too much.

17. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Bust your windows - Jasmine Sullivan.

18. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU BE? Blue! My favourite colour.

19. FAVOURITE SCENTS? Smell of petrol. Smells hmmm good.

20. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Don't remember the last time my phone rang.

21. FAVOURITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Basketball. Like to admire all those tall muscular...

22. HAIR COLOUR? Blackish brown or is it brownish black.

23. EYE COLOUR? Blue but that wouldn't look good with my skin colour so brown.

24. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No, but I have to wear glasses though cos I'm short sighted but I hate wearing them and I hardly wear them cos I got pretty eyes.

25. FAVOURITE FOOD? Fried plantain and beans.

26. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Scary movies with a bit of humour.

27. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Penelope.

28. SUMMER OR WINTER? Harmattan. Love the dryness... lol

29. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses I could kiss a whole week without taking a break... lol

30. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Media Law in Ghana (BORING)!

31. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don't use a mousepad. Don't need it.

32. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Does my TV even work? Don't remember the last time I turned it on. Ei! I better check oo!

I Am Because We Are - Ubuntu

The story is told of an anthropologist who proposed a game to some South African tribal children. He placed a basket of sweets near a tree...