Friday, December 23, 2016

The Christmas Story of "What ifs"

What if?
What if Mary had told Angel Gabriel to get lost?
What did he mean telling her she would get pregnant by the Holy Spirit? That couldn't even be possible. Even if it was, after she'd saved herself and found the perfect man, and was about to get married, what did Angel Gabriel mean, what would her family say, what would the man think of her, what would his family say? She would surely lose him.
What if Mary had said no way, thus ending the Christmas story even before it had begun.

What if?
What if Joseph had said no way!
What if he had said there was no way he was going to marry a woman already pregnant. And how does a person get impregnated by the Holy Spirit? That certainly must be a load of hogwash! What would society think of him and that whole situation?
What if Joseph had said he would do what any man in his position would do, leave Mary, tell everyone what Mary had done, resulting most likely in Mary being stoned to death, thus the death of baby Jesus even before He was born.

What if?
What if King Herod had embraced the idea of another king!
Baby Jesus would have most likely had a totally different upbringing. He would have lived in a palace, had all the finer things in life, lived life to the utmost!
What if baby Jesus had lived like the king He is? How would life be today? Would salvation have come to the world? Would He have been crucified? How would our sins have been atoned for? 

What if?
What if the Magi (wise men) had ignored the dream and returned to give baby Jesus' location to King Herod? He obviously had no intention of going to worship Jesus like he had told the Magi.
What if the Magi had led Herod right to baby Jesus?
Herod would most likely have killed baby Jesus, killing him before His time.

What if?
What if the Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law who obviously knew the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (they did tell Herod about it when he asked), had gone to look for the Messiah. What if they, based on the information they already had, had gone looking for baby Jesus, acknowledging who He is?
Would they have persecuted Jesus as they did? Would they have schemed to have Jesus arrested, and crucified? Would Jesus have died for our sins?

But, salvation has come to the world.
Mary received Angel Gabriel, and with all humility, accepted what God had destined her for.
Joseph took already pregnant Mary as his wife and Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph.
King Herod did not embrace the idea of another king, and did all he could to eliminate Jesus.
The Magi did not ignore the dream. They did not return to Herod.
The Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law did not act on what they knew. They persecuted, schemed, had Jesus arrested and crucified.
All these unfortunate circumstances had to happen, so we could receive the marvelous gift of Jesus.

Going through something not so exciting, and asking where God is?
What can I say? Same place He was when His one and only begotten son, the Messiah, was being born in a stable and laid in a manger.
Sometimes, the not so exciting has to happen to pave way for the marvelous to happen!

Let's remember, Christmas begins what Easter completes!
Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2016


Roverman Productions & Airtel in partnership with Joy FM & National Theatre present:


An Ebo Whyte Play

What do you do when all you've known for 12 years turns out to be a huge lie?
When after all this time, all the sacrifices made, you feel rejected, unwanted, unappreciated, unwelcome?
Where do you start from?
How do you recover?
How do you pick yourself up?

It's all about forgiveness.

It's a lie anyways, why hold on to that baggage and let all the bitterness and anger eat you up inside?
You forgive, you move on.
You hold on, chances are you never will move on, but wallow in self pity.

Take a cheating spouse, a confused spouse, a materialistic man of God, a feisty mother, and a drunk friend who cannot keep his mouth shut, and put them in a mix, and you get Uncle Ebo Whyte's play REJECTED.
A hilarious piece which tells the story of a man whose attempt at getting a better life by all means is foiled by his best friend and his phone passwords.

REJECTED shows at the National Theatre on 26th, 27th November & 3rd, 4th December at 4pm and 8pm each day. Tickets can be purchased for GH¢80.00 at Joy FM; Quick & Fine Supermarket (Madina); Haatso Total; Baatsona Total; Airport Shell; Comm. 11 Shell; Mallam Shell; Sakaman Shell; Dansoman Shell; Frankies; Motorway Supermarket (Tema); 37 Goil and Capital Bank Branches.

Alternatively, tickets can be paid for via Airtel Money
1. Dial *500#
2. Select Buy Goods
3. Select Other
4. Type "ROVERMAN"
5. Enter Amount
6. Enter your name, show date & time as Reference Number (eg. Efua Dentaa, 3rd, 4pm)
7. Confirm payment details with your Airtel Money PIN
8. Present the confirmation text that'll be sent to you at the gate for entry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What Happened to Childhood?

Yesterday, I happened to be walking in my neighbourhood at about 5:30pm, when I heard the voice of a little girl behind me say in a local language, "Ma, let's go home, I'm tired". Then I heard the voice of an older woman (her mum, I guess) respond somewhat sarcastically, "sure, we'll go home right now, and you'll see what you'll eat" (also in local language). Not to make it look too obvious what I was doing (eavesdropping), I waited till I turned onto my street, then I looked back. I saw a woman with a pan of vegetables on her head, a girl, not more than 10 years old also with a pan of vegetables on her head, and close behind a boy of about 6 years, with a slightly smaller pan of vegetables on his head.

Now, I'm all grown up and all, so I don't remember all the details of my childhood, but I know for sure my eating never depended on me selling vegetables or anything for that matter. Matter of fact, at that age, most conversations with my mum about food went something like,
"Dentaa, food's ready".
"Mum, really? Not again. I'm not having that"!

What happened to childhood?

Yesterday reminded me of something I saw last week with the intention of blogging about it, and then life happened, I forgot, and then yesterday happened, and then I remembered.
So, last week, I was heading home when I saw a girl of not more than 11 years with a baby on her back, crossing the road to buy something.

At that age, the only responsibility I had was remembering the time Cartoon Network showed Power Puff Girls and Courage the Cowardly Dog and of course Dexter's Lab, so I didn't miss them. And when I was the age of the baby, my mum sure never put no 11 year old in charge of me!

What happened to childhood?

And then there are all the children I see weaving in and out of traffic either selling or begging for money to feed themselves and their families.

Whose fault?
What happened to childhood?

Friday, October 14, 2016

My World!

Living in my own world,
Where the colour of my skin is just that; a colour,
Where my religion reflects what I believe in and hold dear,
Where my beliefs and ideologies really are mine; everyone is free to have theirs,
Where my view of the world may be different from that of the next person,
And none of these signify a death sentence for me.

Living in my own world,
Where I don't get made fun of because of my body size,
Where the size of my bank account does not mean anything,
Where progress in life is not dependent on how much skin I can show,
Where I don't need to have connections to move up the success ladder,
And none of these get me disqualified from enjoying the finer things in life.

Living in my own world,
Where no one has to go hungry,
Where everyone has clothes on their back,
Where children get to be what they are, children, not workers,
Where everyone has a roof over their head,
And no one has to feel life is unfair.

Living in my own world,
Where everyone is treated fairly,
Where we all live in an inclusive society,
Where we all have access to inclusive education,
Where we all live in well planned communities,
And none of this is a privilege, but a right.

Living in my own world,
Where grace finds me every day,
Where all the wicked schemes of the enemy are used for my good,
Where the focus is not on the devil, but on God,
Where we understand that God is always good, and He loves us, no matter what,
And the goodness of God overshadows the evilness of the enemy.

Living in my own world,
Where the grass is green,
Where the sky is blue,
Where the air is clean,
Where people are good,
And life is good for everyone.

Monday, October 03, 2016

We are One!

Oh my!
I haven't blogged in like forever (that'd make me forever, forever years old?)
So, I saw something today, that got me thinking, and then I thought and thought and thought, and decided to put this piece together.
It's not like I don't think on a regular basis, it's just what I saw got me thinking enough to want to put this together. And it's not like I don't see things on a regular basis either (trust me, driving in Ghana, you will see things paa).

For example there was this day I was in traffic, when I saw a trotro (bus) come to what appeared to be a stop (what appeared to be because it was still sort of moving but very slowly) and then a stone dropped, then the trotro came to a complete stop. After a few minutes, the stone was lifted up, and then the trotro went on its merry way.
Figuring out what had happened had me in stitches (I actually forgot I was sitting in annoying good ol' Accra traffic and running late for work).
This is what I figured out: The brakes of the trotro do not work, so the driver had a stone in the bus tied to a string. When he wants to stop, he gradually brings the bus to a stop using the gears, and then drops the stone next to the front tyre to bring the bus to a complete stop (ingenious huh?) I so wanted to get a picture of that, but the trotro moved before I could. But really, how is this bus still on the road? Does it have a roadworthy certificate? Is it roadworthy?
That's not what this post is about anyways, so moving on...

This morning, on my way to work, there was this car in front of me, and I couldn't believe what I saw inside.

NPP & NDC together, side by side
Yes, souvenirs of the two leading political parties (yeah, I stand to be corrected by anyone who does not want to accept that Ghana really is a two-party state) in Ghana.
And then the driver turned into the yard of the Ghana National Fire Service, that's when I saw the driver dressed in uniform. He's a fire officer. Then my mind went into overdrive. Working for the Fire Service means he is working for the government. To be on the safer side, he represents both political parties equally in his car. After all, we really do not know who will come out the victor in the upcoming elections, and he wants to keep his job. Yep, that must be it.

But seriously, it had me thinking. That's how it should be. It's not a do or die affair. We should all just chill. We are Ghanaians, aren't we? Side by side, working together, we can make Ghana a better place, transform Ghana and change lives for all of us regardless of what our political affiliation is.

Let's remember to put Ghana first before any political party.
We are one!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Roverman Productions & Airtel in partnership with Joy FM & National Theatre present:

An Uncle Ebo Whyte Play.

How many have sat in a Ghanaian university and been lectured by a Ghanaian lecturer, and found the lecture to be more of a "bless the minions with my immense knowledge session"?
How many have sat in a Western university and been lectured by a foreign lecturer, and found the lecture to be more of a "knowledge sharing, exchange of ideas session"?

What accounts for the difference?
Interestingly, most of the Ghanaian lecturers had their higher education in the West, and did experience these knowledge sharing and exchange of ideas sessions, so what happens when they become lecturers and they enter Ghanaian lecture halls? I say Ghanaian lecture halls, because trust me, lectures in the West by Ghanaian lecturers are nothing like lectures in Ghana by Ghanaian lecturers.

Can the Ghanaian remain in Ghana and achieve his/her full potential?
Sankofa tells the story of two distinguished Ghanaian professors, one of whom could have been credited for mentoring a Nobel prize laureate, but threw this opportunity away when he chose rather to frustrate this Nobel laureate. Many years later, this professor finds himself kowtowing to his former student in Australia. Serves him right? Well, as if that's not enough, he literally threw his own daughter away. A decision he has come to regret terribly.
Is it just me or do a lot of Ghanaian professors think they are all the way up there, and the rest of us are all the way down there? And this attitude exhibits itself in all aspects of their lives, from professional to personal, from work life to family life.
And what's this with parents deciding what their children should study in school and what profession they should be engaged in?

Sankofa, Uncle Ebo's 3rd quarter production will give us an insight into all of this, while making us laugh our heads off.
Venue: National Theatre
Date: 27th, 28th August and 3rd, 4th September
Time: 1st show 4pm, 2nd show 8pm
Rate: GH¢80.00

Tickets are available at all Airtel Shops; Shell Shops at Tema Community 11, Sakaman, Mallam, Dansoman, Achimota & East Legon; Joy FM; Frankies in Osu; Jane-Ann Supermarket and Motorway Supermarket, Tema.

Alternatively, tickets can be paid for via Airtel Money.
1. Dial *500#
2. Select Buy Goods
3. Select Other
4. Type "ROVERMAN"
5. Enter Amount
6. Enter your name, show date & time as Reference Number (e.g Efua Dentaa, 28th, 4pm)
7. Confirm payment details with your Airtel Money PIN
8. Present the confirmation text that'll be sent to you at the gate for entry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Celebrating a Legend!

"When Uncle Ebo opens up his imagination, gold pours forth" - Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show on Joy 99.7 FM.

20 years ago, Uncle Ebo Whyte opened up his imagination, and he has presented motivational messages dubbed 'Food for Thought' every week on Joy FM.
In 2004, Uncle Ebo Whyte opened up his imagination, and he has written and published a monthly magazine, 'Rover Report.
In 2008, Uncle Ebo Whyte opened up his imagination, and he has thrilled theatre lovers every quarter, every year, with a play.

I'm pretty sure one would presume after hitting 60, there really could be nothing new coming out of Uncle Ebo. Sorry to disappoint, but exactly a month ago, James Ebo Whyte the novelist was unveiled.
Uncle Ebo once again opened up his imagination and out came The Deal: The Case of the Professional Lady, the first in a 7 part book series. I would say every author's dream; to write one book and know the next 6 books are done.

On this day, July 20, 2016, I celebrate James Ebo Whyte, Motivational Speaker, Writer, Playwright, Novelist; and I know there is more to come.
That imagination of yours is just something else, and I cannot wait to scoop up the gold next you open it up.

Uncle Ebo Whyte
Happy Birthday Uncle Ebo!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Dear God Comma

Sometime this week, I went on Facebook and saw a comment a Facebook user had put up in response to a friend's post. The comment read, "...We are our parents' spiritual responsibility until we marry and then it goes to our spouse..." I almost felt as though this person had watched "Dear God Comma" (not possible since the play hadn't been staged), but how the comment so ties into the latest play by Uncle Ebo Whyte.

Roverman Productions & Airtel in partnership with Joy FM & National Theatre present:
Dear God Comma

An Uncle Ebo Whyte Play.

How many of us are aware, not only aware, but also willing to accept that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood? The Bible in Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms".

How many of us are so enamoured by science that until something we hear or see can be backed by empirical evidence we do not believe it? How many of us are aware that once married, the spiritual responsibility of our spouse falls on us?

What's a scientist to do when the very existence of her husband is threatened by forces she cannot comprehend and goes against everything she has been taught in the classroom? Find out how she resolves this conflict.
Where: National Theatre
When: 4th, 5th, 25th & 26th June, 2nd & 3rd July
Time: 1st show 4pm, 2nd show 8pm
Cost: GH¢80.00

Tickets are available at All Airtel Shops; Shell Shops at Tema, Community 11, Sakaman, Mallam, Dansoman, Achimota & East Legon; Joy FM; 37 Goil; Baatsona & Haatso Total Shops; Frankies, Osu; Motorway Supermarket, Tema; Jane-Ann Supermarket and Capital Bank Branches.

Alternatively, tickets can be paid for via Airtel Money.
1. Dial *500#
2. Select Buy Goods
3. Select Other
4. Type "ROVERMAN"
5. Enter Amount
6. Enter your name, show date & time as Reference Number (Efua Dentaa, 5th, 4pm)
7. Confirm payment details with your Airtel Money PIN
8. Present the confirmation text that'll be sent to you at the gate for entry

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Accountable Policing in Ghana!

January 4, 2011
Stephen Arthur, a 19 year old orphan walked out of his house and hopped into a commercial vehicle, and that was the last time he ever walked. He is paralysed from the waist down. Has no control over his bowel movements or urine. Has erectile dysfunction and will never father a child.

The vehicle Stephen Arthur got onto that fateful day was stopped by a police officer asking for his Christmas gift. The driver obliged and gave the officer some money, only for another officer standing nearby, Constable Stephen Frimpong to approach the driver asking why his colleague officer was given money. An argument ensued between the constable and the driver, so the first officer (the one who collected the money) asked the driver to park well. In parking well, the driver had to move the vehicle. That was when Constable Frimpong opened fire into the back of the vehicle (I guess thinking the driver was running away). A bullet hit the spine of Stephen Arthur, and to say life has never been the same, would be grossly understating how life has been since.

The Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPS) in their investigation of this incident came out with the findings that Constable Frimpong's conduct was criminal. The constable was arrested and granted bail, but during a police service enquiry into this incident, he run away and has not been found since. Has he been looked for? If he has and has not been found, how safe are we in Ghana? How safe are we if one man has been able to escape police grips after all these years? How safe are we with all these terror alerts going on around us?

A benevolent law firm sued on behalf of Stephen Arthur and after much wrangling, the Attorney General decided to settle out of court 2 years ago. How is one compensated for all that this young man has lost? It has been 2 years since this decision was reached, and still nothing. How long did it take for Alfred Agbesi Woyome to be given his judgement debt by the Attorney General for doing nothing and for no damage to his person? Imagine how Stephen Arthur's life would have been with 1/10th of the settlement Alfred Woyome received.

Stephen Arthur has no one to take care of him. His brother who was caring for him started abusing him and Stephen has tried to take his own life once. He is 24 years old now, and to say his future looks bleak would be an understatement. He is in critical condition now at the Police Hospital, and has grown so lean he cannot wear adult diapers, but has to wear baby diapers.

March 8, 2014
Corporal Bernard Frimpong walked into a Cal Bank banking hall and opened fire right there in the banking hall because of an argument he had with one of the customers.

What next?
Superintendent Frimpong will walk into a mall and open fire on shoppers because he feels cheated by one shop owner?

One thing I kept repeating after Corporal Frimpong opened fire in the bank is, "it could happen to any one of us". Who in the bank that day thought they would walk into the bank and be fired at? Who on that commercial vehicle thought they would get onto a vehicle and be fired at, by none other than a Ghana Police officer?

It is all well and good fighting for accountable governance and fighting against corruption, but isn't this something worth fighting for? Our civil society organisations, in addition to finding the truth behind the bus branding saga, SADA, Subah and the rest, how about we fight for human rights too?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation

When adversity hits, how do you respond?
Cower in a corner waiting for the worse, or do you stand up, chest out, determined to fight against the odds?
How about when you get past it, when you successfully overcome? Do you fold your arms, sit in a corner hoping that is the end, hoping that you never hear about it ever again?

When diagnosed with lupus, though it interrupted her life, though she did not understand why what was happening was happening to her, determined to make it and to live life as normally as she could, Mrs. Emma Wilhelmina Halm Danso, decided to fight it. She decided she would not let lupus determine the pace of her life.

Mrs. Halm Danso, Launch of Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation
I remember in school we took a class trip to FESPACO in Ouagadougou. It was such a fun trip especially since it was a road trip from Accra all the way up north into Burkina Faso. Mrs. Halm Danso couldn't join us on the road because of her condition. She flew in to Ouagadougou to join us. Though she missed out on all the fun we had on the road, she joined in to have fun with us in Ouagadougou.

Mrs. Halm Danso with yours truly and our classmates at FESPACO 2009
I didn't know her condition at the time, but I know most of us did not understand what she was going through just to show up. For the rest of us, all we needed to do involved waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed and just joining in. For Mina, it took so much more than that. Did she let her condition stop her from joining in the fun? No! The class was aware there was something going on with her, but what exactly it was, we did not know.

Mina, now much better, knowing what she has been through, is determined to give hope to others suffering from autoimmune disorders. Mina might not have made it without the support system she has, without the support she has had from others. One of the major problems about autoimmune disorders is lack of awareness. No one should be left to deal with this condition alone, and Mrs. Halm Danso, together with her husband, Mr. Kwasi Danso have resolved to inspire hope for persons suffering from autoimmune disorders to live on.

Autoimmune disorders for some reason affect women more than men. Getting correctly diagnosed is difficult because the symptoms are often misleading. Chances are an affected person might be treated for 100 other conditions before being accurately diagnosed. Medication for the condition are astronomically priced (NHIS does not cover treatment), which is sad (very) because access to treatment improves chances of survival. It is not easy, but there is opportunity in adversity and Mina is using this opportunity to help others.

Dentaa at the launch of Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation
I also, will do my bit to support Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Launch - Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation

Autoimmune disorders.
What is an autoimmune disorder?

Our immune system protects is supposed to protect us. Our immune system is supposed to protect us from disease and infection. When our immune system, rather than protect us from disease and infection, attacks healthy body tissue by mistake, then there is a disorder. An autoimmune disorder.

There are over 80 types of autoimmune disorders. The exact cause is unknown and there is no known cure. Majority of those affected are women of African descent.

Imagine waking up one day and your hair's falling out. Or your joints are swollen. Or you have severe inexplicable headaches. Or a rash on your body for no reason. Or inflammation of your skin. Or skin lesions. Or loss of memory. Or shortness of breath. Or chest pain. Well, you could be suffering from a number of diseases, or your immune system could be the cause. Your immune system could be attacking your healthy tissue. How do you deal with this? What is meant to protect you is now harming you. Unfortunately, that is the reality some have to live with.

How many of us know about autoimmune disorders? For those who know, how much do we know? How are those affected coping?
Creating awareness, advocating, fundraising and education on autoimmune disorders is what Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation has set out to do.

Join us on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 9:30 am at the British Council, Accra for the official launch of this foundation.
Autoimmunity: Inspiring Hope to Live on.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Betrayal of an African Leader - One Million Pounds!

Ghana my happy home, land of rich resources, land of mighty talents, racial tolerance, justice and freedom...

Why then do we find ourselves where we are now? How can we have so much and still be saddled with economic crisis, power crisis, etc. Should Ghanaians not be living large with the abundance in resources Ghana has been blessed with?

Are our leaders really looking out for us, or do they go out there and sell us out for their personal gain? Are all the decisions our leaders take in our best interest, or do they go out there looking out only for themselves, and how much they can make off us, and try to convince us whatever decision they took is for the best?

What about our international partners? Are we getting honest help from them? Do they honestly want to see us get out of this quagmire we find ourselves in (through no fault of ours), or are they interested only in helping us so far, but not all the way?

One Million Pounds, the latest play by James Ebo Whyte, tells the story of 4 talented Ghanaians who take a shot at the maiden edition of an international competition. Much to everyone's surprise, they make it so far. It would have been novel for an African group to win, but the system was willing to let them get only so far, but definitely not all the way. Much to the exasperation of the system, the African group appears to be going further than the system ever intended for them to go. What to do? How to deal with this situation? Well, the group is from Africa, they have a leader, and African leaders and free money, well, enough said about that.

How these 4 handle their manager selling them out, and almost clipping their wings before they even had a chance to take off, takes a lot of determination and realisation that they may be down, but they were definitely not out.

The tale is told of love, insecurity, greed, corruption, hope, betrayal and foolishness, laced with the humour characteristic of every Uncle Ebo Whyte play.

Can the story of Jama, the talented 4, be likened to the story of Ghana and its leadership? Why not judge for yourselves this weekend, Easter Monday and next weekend at the National Theatre. I should add that there are a myriad of lessons to be picked up from One Million Pounds.

Monday, March 21, 2016


When fame and fortune beckons at your door, you could almost feel it,
Just when you are about to grab it, it is snatched away from you,
The system really was designed only to let you get that far, but not all the way,
What were you thinking trying to go any further?

Meet Jama, whose quest to showcase their talent and make a name for themselves, turned out bringing hope to the African continent. But just when they are ready to soar, their wings were clipped, by none other than one of their own.

Roverman Productions & Airtel in partnership with Joy FM & National Theatre present:

"One Million Pounds"

An Uncle Ebo Whyte Play.

The themes of love, greed, corruption, insecurity, hope and plain foolishness are intertwined bringing out an amazing play loaded with lessons to be learnt, laced with the humour characteristic of every Uncle Ebo play.

Find out how Jama make it in a foreign competition, which wanted them in so long, but not long enough to win the ultimate.
Find out how Jama make it when their manager, sells them out, after they make it so far against all odds.
Venue: National Theatre
Date: 26th, 27th & 28th March, 2nd & 3rd April
Time: 1st show 4pm, 2nd show 8pm

Tickets are available at all Airtel Shops; Shell Shops at Tema Community 11, Sakaman, Mallam, Dansoman, Achimota & East Legon; Joy FM; 37 Goil; Baatsona & Haatso Total Shops; Frankies, Osu; Jane-Anne Supermarket and Motorway Supermarket, Tema.

Alternatively, tickets can be paid for via Airtel Money.
1. Dial *500#
2. Select Buy Goods
3. Select Other
4. Type "ROVERMAN"
5. Enter Amount
6. Enter your name, show date & time as Reference Number (eg. Efua Dentaa, 28th, 4pm)
7. Confirm payment details with your Airtel Money PIN
8. Present the confirmation text that'll be sent to you at the gate for entry

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Terms and Conditions

How many of us go through the hustle of reading that very verbose document detailing conditions for a service before clicking accept?
Well, I know I don't bother. All I want to do is download and use an application or subscribe to a service and I'm expected to read some 100 page (no kidding, those documents are so lengthy) document about the conditions for use of an application or service?

I've always known I should bother, but I never got round to bothering. Now, I know I should really definitely bother.

Last week, I decided to subscribe to an internet bundle on my cellular phone. I enter the short code, and I see there are unlimited bundles. These bundles are valid only at night (middle of the night). So I'm thinking, why not subscribe to the unlimited bundles, use my cellular phone as a hotspot and download all the stuff I want to download on my laptop. All I have to do is not sleep. Great idea, or so I thought. I knew something was wrong when I was asked to confirm, and the message read, "confirm purchase... terms and conditions apply". Warning bells should have been ringing because none of the bundles ever added that clause, "terms and conditions apply". The daily bundles didn't have it, neither did the weekly or monthly bundles. Only the unlimited bundles had that clause.

I subscribe, and I start downloading. Somewhere inside me though, I felt it was too good to be true. I kept checking my account balance, only to realise I wasn't being charged from the internet bundle I had subscribed to, but was being charged from my main account.
I am angry. I disconnect and decide to call customer service in the morning. But then I remember the clause (terms and conditions apply), so I reconnect and go online to read the terms and conditions.

What did the t's and c's say? Well, the unlimited bundle is worth 3GB (how 3GB can be described as unlimited beats me) and it was designed for those living in remote areas with limited (2G mostly) cellular network coverage. To use the unlimited bundle in the city, the network mode selected on the cellular phone should be 2G (Edge). I had been browsing with high speed (3G) all that time. I went back to sleep, and did not bother calling customer service when I woke up (what's the point).

Now, I have resolved to bother to read all terms and conditions before I accept. If it's too lengthy and I feel I can't read, I won't accept or subscribe.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

International Women's Day - What is Lupus?

This day marks the International Women's Day and I take this opportunity to wish all women all around the world, a Happy #IWD2016

I also wish to use this day to answer a question not many people ask.
What is lupus?

The first time I heard about lupus was on a reality show. One of the contestants had it and curiosity had me reading up on it. I thought I knew so much about it until two weeks ago when I found out a friend of mine had the condition. From what she told me, I realised I did not know as much as I thought I did.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks normal healthy tissue. Basically, the body attacks itself. This results in symptoms like inflammation, swelling and damage to organs of the body. Any part of the body can be affected by lupus such as the skin, joints, brain, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and other internal organs. Needless to say quite a number of the known cases result in death.

Why do I choose to talk about lupus today? Because chances of developing lupus are higher in women. Other risk factors include age and ethnicity. Persons of African or Asian descent between the ages of 15 and 45 years are more at risk of developing the condition. Sadly, few people know about this condition. If known cases result in death, what about the unknown cases? What about those who do not know they have it?

Let us spread the word. Let us get the information out there, and hopefully save a life. Let us love our women. Let us create the awareness of this condition. Awareness which is not quite out there yet.

Kudos, to Wilhemina Halm Danso and the Oyemam Autoimmune Foundation.
You are a fighter Mina, and on this day, I celebrate you, your fight against lupus and your fight to create awareness.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Adventures in a Foreign Land - It Always Seems Impossible Until it is Done!

So said Nelson Mandela, and how true the statement has turned out to be for me in more ways than one.

I am on a fun packed trip, and as part of the fun, me plus 16 others visit a park, Lion Park. It is a park filled with lions and other interesting animals I am quite content watching on the discovery channel. Now, I get to see them up close and in person. Well, it wasn't that scary seeing the cheetahs and the lions and the wild dogs and the hyenas and all the other animals no human (almost) would want to be up close to because, I was in a very protected vehicle with guides who knew what to do, should a scary moment occur (I'm sure they'd still know what to do should that scary moment turn extremely scary). And then I hear there's a lion walk. Of course half the group I was with decided to sit that one out. The other half decided to give it a shot. Me, I decided I'd be smart about it.

So, I'm to take a walk with these fine creatures. There's a guide, but, really? They seem just fine being in the cage. Do they have to walk?
But, I wasn't getting what I wanted, so on second thought, I too decided to give it a shot. What's the worse that could happen, aside the lion making a meal out of me (I'm sure there are more pressing things to worry about like what the sardine companies do with the heads of the millions of sardines that are packed in cans).

My big plan was to quickly get a selfie in front of the lions while they were safely in their cage. But, I wasn't getting the shot I wanted
Apprehensive, but I gave it a shot, and boy did I love walking with and touching the king of the jungle. Imagine if I'd let my apprehension hold me back. I would so not have this story to tell.

Don't we just look adorable :D
Moral: Scared about trying something out? Well, when you actually do try it, you'll realise its difficulty only lay in your mind. The mind has a way of holding us back. Let go, free your mind, what's the worse that could happen?

Monday, January 25, 2016

God is Nice, and He Likes Me

I was a terrible student in secondary school. I'm not sure if it was my choice of course (I'd wanted to be a medical doctor, specifically, a paediatric surgeon) or my laziness or a combination of both. Bottom line, when I wrote my final exam, I failed in some subjects and just passed (the last pass grade before a fail) others. Technically, I qualified for entry into any university in Ghana by the entry requirements at the time, but getting in would be tough. Right now, with the revision of entry requirements into universities in Ghana, I don't qualify for entry into any university in Ghana with those grades.

I applied to the University of Ghana. As per advice I received, I chose one of the not so popular courses to guarantee my selection, and then I waited. The admissions list was out, admission letters were distributed, and nothing for me. I understood that when you get dumb grades like mine, you don't get to enter university, but I couldn't understand why I couldn't make it into the university with my mates.

I gave up waiting and enrolled into a remedial school to rewrite the WAEC papers I'd performed that bad in. I started classes, I hid it from just about everyone (it was mighty embarrassing), and then a letter came in the mail addressed to me. It was my admission letter. I doubt I have jumped that high or been that excited in my life.

Turns out I was on the late admissions list. I was one of the few who were admitted after the admission process had been completed. I later (not illegally) found a copy of the original admissions list for my department. Majority of the names had been typed, mine was one of 4 names which had been handwritten.

A remedial student made it into the university without rewriting the WAEC exam, and then went on to be a very good student, after which she went on to be an exceptional student in a Masters programme. So, when I say God is nice, and He likes me, I know what I'm talking about. How I even transitioned from that terrible student to a very good student to an exceptional student is testimony of just how much God likes me.

Friday, January 22, 2016

When One Door Closes...

...another one opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.

After my first degree, I was just glad to be done with school, and for me, "why would I go back and do more school?" And then I see an advertisement for an educational reality show, prize package includes a postgraduate scholarship in the UK. Suddenly, I'm thinking about a second degree, and I'm thinking I could do this (enter the competition and win). I enter, I do not win, I am crushed.

I'm wondering why I feel so crushed. I wasn't really interested in a second degree, but then, the programme I wanted to study in the UK is offered right here in Ghana, and since I couldn't afford school in the UK, I figured I might as well enroll into the same programme right here in Ghana. You see, taking part in the reality show, I'd psyched myself up to do my Master's and now that's all I wanted to do.

Turns out, getting into this programme in Ghana was even more difficult than getting to be a part of the reality show (and that one was worse than difficult). Well, I make it into the programme, and I emerge the overall best student. Yay! And as the best student, I'm offered a scholarship to study in Canada as part of the Master's programme. I could not believe it. I made it through the rigorous selection process, all I wanted was to do my 1 year Master's and be gone, but here I was, the best student. Instead of 1 year, I get to do 2 years. The second year is fully paid for, and although I didn't get to do school in the UK, I got to do school in Canada. Wow!

Imagine if when I'd got evicted from the reality show, I'd let my being devastated hold me back from doing all I could to upgrade myself? The UK door got closed, but the Canada door was opened for me. A door I hadn't anticipated being opened for me.
So I ask, what are you letting hold you back? Which closed door are you staring so hard at wishing it would open? Wishing so hard you can't see the other door that has been opened?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thoughts are Things

What a man thinketh, so shall he be.
Think nothing good can come out of you, well, you will be nothing more than a failure.
Think you can't be anything but successful, trust me, nothing can hold you down.

It wasn't easy being a chubby kid and then the fat girl growing up. I hated it. What did I do? I tried all the unconventional ways of losing the weight, and then the conventional, and when I saw nothing was happening in less than a week, I told myself, "this won't work". I told myself "let me just pretend all the teasing doesn't bother me and live my life". So I did. It wasn't until 8 years ago when I checked my Body Mass Index (BMI) and it showed I was obese (I honestly always thought I was just overweight or fat) that I knew I had to do something. So, I decided, even it takes years, I am going to do this (the conventional way) and I am not going to quit until I like what I see when I look in the mirror. And then I did do it. It's been 7 plus years of me looking fabulous, and I haven't felt better.

After my first degree, I entered an educational reality TV show. I did get that it was for very smart people, and I didn't particularly think I was overly smart, but I decided to try it out. I told myself, "what do you have to lose, but you do have a whole lot to gain should you win". From the thousands that first entered the competition, I was there when we were cut to a little over a hundred. I was still there when we were cut to 25, and then when we were cut to the final 12, I was there. "Yes, I may not be as smart as some of the other contestants, but me too I am smart". That's what I told myself. Week 1 eviction, I stayed. Week 2 eviction, I stayed. Week 3 eviction, I stayed. Ei! I kept staying eviction after eviction. And then we were down to 7 contestants. Then one of the other contestants came up to me and said, "Dentaa, you are the one to watch. A friend called me and said no one is paying attention to you because you don't seem like the one, but you really are. You will catch all of us unaware and win this competition." That was when I started really thinking about what I was doing. That was when I started questioning myself and asking what I was thinking competing with some of the smartest brains in Ghana. That was when I told myself there's no way I can win this. That was when I asked myself what I was thinking entering this competition. That was the week I got evicted.

Thoughts are things. Things don't seem to be going well for you, check your thoughts.
Things are going well for you, keep thinking positive.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Praying and then Solving

How does that even work?
How does one pray for a solution to a problem, and then at the same time work towards solving that same problem? You don't believe your prayer will be answered?

At the tail end of last year (which really translates to last week) I was driving behind this car with a bumper sticker that had me in stitches.

I should probably add, ...and then have an accident
Chances are, you are running late for an appointment (hopefully, through no fault of yours), you pray asking God to get you there on time, and then you step on it, and drive beyond the highest speed limit in the whole country. How won't you leave your guardian angel behind? And if you end up in an accident, who caused it?

Time and time again we face one challenge or another, we pray about it committing whatever challenge we are facing into the hands of the Lord, and then we still spend countless hours worrying about  this very same situation. Why then commit the situation into God's hands if we have a better solution we intend to arrive at by worrying about it?

Let's not forget Abraham and Sarah. They had a problem, no children and they were getting old. They commit the problem to God's hands, and they must have run out of patience waiting for the answer. Why? Because they took matters into their own hands and chose to solve the problem on their own, even after God had promised to them what seemed impossible. End result? Their solution seemed to work out at first, but it turned out not to be such a hot plan in the end. And then, God delivers. He solves the problem, but they had already created another problem with their solution.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?
When we commit a situation to the Lord, may we truly commit it to Him and refuse to worry about it.
Happy New Year!

Kwaku Doe - The Comeback

It's been a little over 7 years since I started writing about Kwaku Doe. From first talking about him in my  Plight of a Hungry Man  ser...