Friday, November 28, 2014

The Return

Picture taken at the Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout in Accra, circa 2009
It has been a while since I blogged. Since August, I have managed to learn a lot about myself, what constitutes family and friendship as well as managed to become a PhD holder. The past few months were harrowing at times, exhilarating, frustrating, joyous and sad. In a few days, I will be in Accra, the place I re-fell in love with in the early '00s. Living in Accra I was able to witness many transformations and changes. Back in '08, I started blogging about these. So much has changed in my life and in Ghana since then. I have not been back to Ghana since January 2013. I am therefore very curious to see the changes. Social media, family and friends talk about a Ghana that is frustrating, burdened with rising costs and a government that seems out of its depth.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Death of an Iconic Film Director: Lord Richard Attenborough 1923–2014

Lord Richard Attenborough
Source: The Times UK 
Back in my late teens in Southern Africa, my classmates and I had a rare opportunity. We had the chance to meet and interact with the director Richard Attenborough and his wife Sheila for at least an hour. He was a patron of our school which had a long history of a strong stance against apartheid South Africa. He was visiting the school for a meeting of the school board. In hindsight, we did not use our time well. Here we were given the opportunity to talk with the director of the iconic masterpieces Gandhi and Cry Freedom but all we wanted to talk about were seemingly petty school politics. Lord Attenborough was patient with us. He listened to our concerns and assured us that he would express our concerns to the powers that be. Nearing the end of the interaction he asked humorously "So there are no questions about movies?!!". The whole room erupted with laughter. If I had not been so shy, I might have had the courage to tell him that 'Gandhi' was the very first VHS tape that went into our freshly purchased VCR way back in the early 1980s. Of course I never did have the guts to say that but I did get an autograph from both him and his wife.

Thinking back, this was my first interaction with anything close to Hollywood movie-making glamour. Both Lord Attenborough and his wife did not fit the Hollywood stereotype. They were both warm, kind, down to earth, patient, wonderful people who seemed very much in love after decades of marriage. It was with a heavy heart therefore that I heard of Baron Attenborough's passing this morning. My thoughts are with his wife Sheila and the rest of his family at this difficult time. In the obituaries and chronicles of his life, may he also be remembered for his brave and strong stance against apartheid.  

Lord Attenborough, you touched many more lives than you may have imagined; Rest in Peace. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ghanaian Political Lexicon for the Aspiring Politician: Challenges

'Challenges': The way politicians in power describe the economic meltdown of a country. It is important that if the aspiring politician is part of a ruling party, the economic crisis showed be described only as temporary and just as a series of small challenges. It is also imperative that the people in power take no responsibility for causing any of these challenges. If the aspiring politician is in opposition, it is vital to play up the economic crisis. Words such as 'hopelessness', 'abyss', 'incompetent' and 'clueless' must be emphasized. The aspiring opposition politician should continue to incessantly jab the people in power from the sidelines. For both sides, it is imperative to remember that obtaining political power or remaining in power are key. No need to worry about getting the country out of the economic crisis.