#10 Dear Africans called Americans…

Dear Africans called Americans,
I pen this with great shame and as my first regret.

I watched yet another murder story today (RIP Terence Crutcher) and I am so sorry for keeping silent through your plight.

I am sorry for prioritizing my local struggles when they could be placed at par with your struggles- our struggles, without losing anything. That was selfish of me and is quite a myopic outlook, I must admit.

I am sorry for thinking my voice is not loud enough and my impact, not significant enough.

I am sorry we let you go. I am sorry you were forced to call someplace else home.

I am sorry we are not making this environment welcoming enough for you to come back home. Yes. I said home.

I am sorry I’ve had to watch this mindless genocide on the internet from the comfort of my home.

You may not know Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but my deepest apology is for letting his dreams of uniting Africans all over the world, die. Some say it died when he got into politics, but I say neither the seeds he sowed nor the roots he grew, should have been left to die.

My dear Africans called Americans, I see your struggle. I bleed with my people in Ghana and I bleed with you too. I know America is what you have struggled to build. And with all your investment of time, sweat, blood and tears, you have every right to call it home.

Growing up, I never thought I’d see the day we would have to shout BLACK LIVES MATTER for mankind to acknowledge that we also bleed crimson.

Even in my almost all black university, Nash’s jokes of being punished because she was black, (by black seniors *eye roll*) was just that- jokes.

I never thought I’d see the day that a man killed for being black would be seen as just another day in the land of the free. I sincerely thought I was fortunate to escape that era. But boy, was I wrong!

I am sorry all fifty-four African nations have quietly watched on as you, our people, are being annihilated overseas. The leaders of the African Union have limited the definition of an African to those who fall within the invisible borders of this geographic landmass and I wish their actions could say your plight concerned them.

Even on our land, they sat back while with the help of NATO and United States government, Muamar Gaddafi was brutally assassinated. And unsurprisingly, his country, the once wealthy African nation Libya, has been thrown into disarray ever since- with no outstretched hand of help from Africa.

These leaders sit still with their hands between their thighs while our lands, waters and people are exploited.

They watch on as our people die of absolutely curable diseases and poverty while our corrupt leaders shamelessly beg for aids in exchange for turning a blind eye on the raping and looting of the African continent.

I have zero expectations that they will stand up like the old Pan Africanists and do something about your plight. Pardon me, I digress.

I have a little proposal, in light of the ‘happenings’;

  • Police brutality resulting in deaths;
  • Mass incarceration of the black man for unintelligible reasons;
  • Restriction of your economic growth and financial independence;
  • The general exploitation of our people.
  • This proposal is to resettle you back home.

    Now hear me out please. We have lots of room for refugees and even government sent enemies of the United States dubbed ‘terrorists’, what makes you think there’s no place for you, our own people, here?

    We have a high population of expatriates working here and so many gaps for job creation, so what makes you think there is nothing to do here?

    We have vast lands which when developed can feed the world, what makes you think there is no food here?

    Asset acquisition is relatively easy from the outside and inside, hence the large physical presence of multinational corporations and unscrupulous unions with locals with the primary intention of owning property.

    Of all the resources that were stripped off our continent, you, my dear Africans called Americans, are by far our greatest loss.

    I entreat you to come home with your families, skill set and every useful movable asset you have acquired. Let us create our own resettlement program. I’d rather we not wait on the ‘government’.

    This is not a short term solution and it certainly may not be what you had in mind.

    My plan is far from foolproof and needs a lot of work. So by all means, feel free to pick it apart and restructure it, as it is in no particular order.

    A. Let my people go!
    We need to make a lot of noise so this nonsense ends. Until then, we don’t stop screaming LET MY PEOPLE GO! I’m talking about independents in Africa; bloggers, tweeple, Facebook warriors, artists, photographers, musicians, columnists, EVERYONE! The youth with the power of smartphones need to make noise to start a fire from within. The decision makers should eventually feel the heat and raise this at their ECOWAS and African Union summits for actions to be taken.

    B. Retrace your roots.
    First step is as easy as using a swab for DNA testing. Then, try to trace your ancestral lineage- that’s the hard part. But no worries. If you can’t trace your roots, create some. There are amazing people you can form partnerships with.

    Whether or not you know your background, take time to learn about the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade; the boats that called your ports, the routes they plied, and so on. Read on the slave hubs along the coasts of Africa.

    Visit the popular slave castles (Cape Coast and Elmina, Ghana especially) and forts. Visit Pan African cultural centres. Tour the beautiful African continent. Get to know Mama Africa.

    C. Choose your home.
    If you can’t find your home country, pick just any on the continent and learn about it. Set up gofundme accounts to give you some money to start life with when you get here. I’ve seen the craziest stories being funded and so asking those racist bastards who shout “go back to Africa” for money to do so should not be a problem. They should put their money where their mouth is. Also, we should be able to raise enough funds to buy lands here, hire real estate developers, and put up housing projects for resettlement.

    D. Re-integration
    My dear Africans called Americans, when you have chosen your countries to resettle, form think tanks accordingly and brainstorm on how you can make the lives of the people in that country better. Also look for potential areas for development and note down these opportunities. If it interests you, look up immigration and citizenship laws and start working towards being assimilated.

    We cannot do this overnight, but we can start somewhere. Africans with homes can start hosting you when you come home for a visit- forget hotels. Integrate, learn about our diverse cultures, check out opportunities. Let’s think as one people. There’s greater strength in unity.

    An old Akan proverb says, “It’s very easy to break a broomstick but difficult to break a broom tied together.”

    Dear Africans called Americans, I hope with time you learn to forgive us. But by all means, please leave behind the injustice and come back home.

    With much love,
    Agyewaa Kɔreɛ

    #10 Dear Africans Called Americans
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    September 21, 2016

    #9 The Woman of My Life

    Women at different stages with different stories become mothers each year. Ultimately, they all have a choice in one way or the other. To use protection or not. To be on the pill or not. To keep the baby, or not. But my mother kept me (well obviously), and for that I am grateful to her.

    She faces scorn and humiliation each day she steps out. Due to her pregnancy, she was not permitted to write the BECE at her centre. Not once the whole time did the Maths teacher stand up for her and a few others in front of the headmaster. Not once. But it was HE who was responsible for this. “Maths extra classes my foot,” she thought to herself. Like many of the teachers on transfer and doing their national service, they lured young students to bed and threatened them not to tell. The teacher blatantly denied it when her parents confronted him. However young, she will be strong, she will the mother this child needs.

    She crouched in the cubicle of her hostel, holding the stick, eyes darting to and from the test line and her watch. “Oh no,” she thought, “I am so screwed.” Well technically, that’s how it happened. She tried unsuccessfully to get herself together amidst the tears. What next with her education- she is just in her second year, her parents will kill her for sure. Will he be forced to marry her? What will people say? Questions that never crossed her mind in her throes of ecstasy. Well, damn. Motherhood.

    Six bloody years of marriage and trying, it seemed the God she recited her vows in front of still had not returned from their honeymoon location, that is if he did go with them. For some reason she could not conceive and seeing how badly her husband longed for a child of his own each time he looked in her eyes, made her situation even more unbearable. Still, she waited on God, still she trusted Him for her miracle. In the seventh year, He blessed her with the fruit of her womb. To date, she takes care of many other children not from her womb. “Motherhood is not a biological thing,” she says.

    And how very right she is! A mother is not just the woman who brings you forth. And not just those who have lost their mothers can attest to this. Many women have contributed to making us the people we are today. To them, we are eternally grateful.

    Her ‘madam’ is a career woman. Madam’s husband, is away on peacekeeping duties most of the time. She takes care of the house and the children when they return from school. She helps them with their homework, baths them, plays with them and feeds them. Occasionally, she disciplines them as well. She is paid at the end of the month, true, but the bond she shares with them goes beyond house-help and little imps. She mothers them and proudly attends all their school programs with them. Who says you have to give birth to be called Mama?

    The lengths at which mothers go each day to put food on the table, manage a home, and keep the family together is amazing. They feign health in sickness. They endure abusive relationships for the sake of their children. They dedicate their entirety to the care of their children only to be scorned and hated by the very same people they toil for at different stages of life.

    She sells hausa koko and koose in the morning. Baby strapped at her back, she carries the benches to the roadside and sets up her stand. Rain or shine, people must eat. When the baby cries, she passes him the nipple to him at her back from under her arm. How she does that, I still have not figured it out. She hurries back home as soon as it is sold out. There is so much to do and just two hands. She drops her husband’s lunch off at his ‘fitting shop’ and carries the bale of ‘Obroni W’ewu’ from street to street till dusk. Once again, the teacher is unhappy with her tardiness in picking up her son from that one man school. These children of hers will go to university. Even if she has to borrow, even if it kills her, they will. She is their mother.

    He’s gone. It’s been a year already, and he is still not back. Taking care of three children is not easy. She has to hold multiple jobs, have practically no sleep, sacrifice wearing the good shoes and clothes she so dearly loves so that her children can eat well and look good. He’s still not back, it’s been five years already. The boys are out of hand. Her daughter hates her. Well, she doesn’t allow her to go to those parties or buy her those skimpy clothes in fashion. The previous night, her daughter angrily blurted that she wished she was with her father. “Well, that makes two of us. He’s not coming back though. I hear he is married in the States now.” She yelled in her head telepathically. She still breaks her back to serve these ingrates though. In her eyes, they are just children. And she is their mother.

    I choose to post this today because I believe mothers deserve more than just a day to be celebrated every year. To be honest, I may not particularly love my mother everyday. We have our ups and downs and Solange – Jigga moments, but this woman Proverbs 31 talks about sacrificed more than just fresh boobies gone saggy for me and for that, I am forever indebted to her.

    #9 The Woman of My Life
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    May 13, 2014

    #8 Dark Girl Gone Light

    I was a Dark Girl Gone Light. Or am I?

    The thing is, I used to be lighter. But then again, I used to be dark before I went light. There has always been this struggle to find my natural skin tone to stick to it.

    The excessive exposure to the sun from my years of walking to and from the East in Achimota School certainly did not help. Neither did the daily exposure to chlorine for months when I was learning to swim.
    At that point, I was a Light Girl Gone Dark.
    The acne on my face made me insecure about my looks. I found some topical creams did clear the bumps, but along with a layer of my rich Nubian tone. I looked in the mirror one day and was startled by my reflection. I was a Dark Girl Gone Light.

    In my battle with a skin and image, a certain shallow someone ridiculed me saying that I wanted to be white. I asked myself, “Why are people so judgmental when all they see is skin deep?” Ironically, the ‘skin deep’ was what I was concerned about myself.

    A subset of our Dark Girls Gone Light started by simply treating skin issues, which may have just gone away if they let them be or went on a water and fruit therapy. True, it is a phase, often influenced by hormones, stress, what we eat, blah blah blah. But if only we listen! There is also another subset that literally think orange is the new black. #TeamLightSkin is the order of the day and a woman is defined as hot when she is an unnatural tinge of orange.

    Now, before you jump to #BringBackOurGirls with their before and after pictures, you might want to check if you were born with your weave sewed on. Or before you self-righteously ridicule them saying they want to be white, tell me which African woman was born with straight silky hair? You point out their ignorance in the erosion of their skin which exposes them to cancer but you forget the cancer you are exposed to with chemicals constantly seeping down your hair follicles in the name of perming.

    Let us tackle the real issue of dark women adulterating their pigmented epidermis shall we?

    Maybe they do not know how beautiful they are in their natural tone. Refer them to photos of Hamamat Montia, Lupita Nyong’o, Oluchi Onweagba. Maybe they refuse to be called ebony queens because the word ‘ebony’ has been so abused by the porn industry. Maybe, just maybe, they do not know that unadulterated dark skin is less prone to the skin cancer caused by the harsh UV rays we are heavily exposed to in the tropics. Maybe they do not see the celebrities they so adore spray tanning or sun baking in a desperate attempt to get a complexion close to theirs.

    Our rich coffee beauties are going and all we do is mock their ignorance and misled ideals of an appreciated woman.

    We ought to take them back to the roots. Maybe they need to be reminded that Queen Cleopatra, the embodiment of beauty herself, was of Nubian descent. Maybe we need to teach them that ordinary milk heals scars better than the harsh so-called healing chemical serums, and that lime rubbed in darkened armpits and on the knees restores their tone with time. Maybe she needs to keep Bruno Mars on replay until she believes it when he says “You’re amazing just the way you are”. Or perhaps she needs to hear it from her idols who spend unthinkable sums to maintain the acquired complexion – because they can never get back their original tone, even if they stop whitening or toning or whatever fancy mind-settling bleach- replacing word is in vogue.

    One of our Dark Girls Gone Light said she felt prettier when she got lighter; that “people even said so.” Honey of course ‘people’, your men, would say so. You look exotic, different from what they see every day. But where will they be when you have to thickly paste on foundation like mortar on your hyper pigmented cheekbones (aka oponkor specs)? Where will they be when your surgeon is in despair because the ultra-thinness of your bleached epidermis makes it difficult to near impossible for stitches to hold during a surgical procedure? Will they keep admiring you when your knuckles, elbows and knees match your dark hair colour? Or will they still see the sexy in you, when at mere sight, you are a walking science lesson for the circulatory system; green veins highlighting the blood path?

    Let us advise ourselves and cleanse our minds of the misled ideals of the definition of beauty. What is hot today may be out tomorrow. Believe it or not, regardless of your complexion; light, dark, in between, you look amazing when you at your natural best. Let us learn to appreciate ourselves, blemishes, flaws and all, because like it or not, the world is a whole lot ‘me-centered’ to sympathize with people who wrongly take out the war on their skin because of self-esteem issues. And trust me, there is always someone who loves you, just the way you are.

    #8 Dark Girl Gone Light
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    June 2, 2014

    #7 Help Me Do Me

    Last Friday, as I walked by the ‘park’ on my way to +233, I saw some kids playing football. It made me reminisce my ‘kuborloic’ escapades in DC.

    Back then, we the ‘area kids’ used to play football in the streets with our makeshift goal posts and the touch line determined by the most intimidating kid. There was the usual annoyance at cars driving through our ‘football field’, slowing our game and the shouts of ‘SUUULIYA!’ when someone kicked a ball through an opponent’s open legs. The match usually ended when the ball owner took his ball, or more often, when the older kids seized the ball.
    The highlight of the match however, was the classic stomping over of a parent to drag a kid by the ears or shorts amid assertions of “You have not done your homework eh?!”, “I have sent for you several times!”, “See how dirty you are!” and the famous “I will whip you eh!” in the local dialects. Funny how this happened every blessed day!

    It was really bad if you happened to be the unfortunate one because at that very moment, playing was all that mattered to you. You could play until the sun went down without feeling drained or exhausted at all because really, doing what you love comes a lot more easily.

    Growing up, I learnt that there are many such moments where you are forced to sacrifice what you love to do in unquestioning obedience; to tread a path someone deems fit for you, only to be enslaved by this horrid, seemingly incorrigible system. Only then, are you regarded a ‘respectable adult’ nonetheless for the class or colour of collar job you hold. So here you are, stuck in a job that drains you and takes a toll on your mental health and love life or lack of.

    If all ‘adults’ were astrophysicists and bankers, which other people would make the news for journalists to report? Who would mix up that awesome cocktail that makes Friday nights in the city so cosmopolitan? Who would lighten heavy hearts with his ‘gyiminastics’ and funny face?
    I simply cannot imagine my world of art without the polo artwork of ingenious creativity by Nanoff or Ian Quhachi‘s graffiti on the tree stumps in Takoradi.
    What about the vibrant world of poetry and spoken word that Dzyadzorm, Yom Nfojoh and a few select let us in?
    While we’re at it, let me awaken your senses with a mix of Osibisa, Makeba, the Kutis and Sade and great sounds engineered by Zapp Mallet. Let me pleasure you with the melodies of Victor Dey‘s chords and reach your innermost spirit with Ken Kafui‘s pieces.
    Let Shirley intrigue you with her scripts and Amegaxi, Nyameye et al, with their witty wordplay and depth of knowledge. The world would absolutely be damned to existence in monochrome without their likes.

    In retrospect, there were little ‘Abedi’s and ‘Toure’s dragged off our dusty unmarked football field, and in life’s context, permanently. But thank God for those who weren’t, because but for them, certain key Black Stars players wouldn’t be on the World Cup squad.

    Today, we are blessed by the works of these masters of their field not just because they choose ‘to do them’, but also because of the help, the support system of the few who choose to break the status quo. This status quo of ‘Y’ making tough life choices for ‘X’ without consulting ‘X’, who by the way, is directly affected by them.

    Why must I work in that ‘respectable’ field before I can be accepted and seen as the pride of the family? Why must I lose my life and colour because someone thinks holding an 8 to 5 job is synonymous with growing up, with being an ‘adult’? Why should anyone be forced to clip his wings at his own expense?
    An eagle without wings is even more vulnerable than the wingless kiwi.
    Do they know the unhappiness you have to live through because of the never-caving pressure to please them? Do they not know how great it feels and how fulfilled you become when you just do you? Let me be a doctor or lawyer because it is my passion; not because that is the course charted for me by people I hold in high esteem.

    I thank God for the mothers and fathers who showed interest in their children’s dreams, supported them and stood by them in their decisions to break away from the system, encouraged them to dare to be different, and helped them be ‘the best them’. I am a better me when I do what I love, and the best me when you help me do me.

    #8 Dark Girl Gone Light
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    16 May 2014

    #6 We’re All Mad Here

    Today, I used the Shangri-La lane towards the Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout, but I did not see her. Not her, and not her daughter who usually sits by her. That was strange, but not too strange for a mad woman, I suppose.

    The first time I saw the two, my heart went out to them. Clearly she had been in this state longer than her little girl had been on Earth. I do not know, but that thought infuriated me somehow. You had to be evil to sleep with a mad woman in her ‘state’ and impregnate her. Maybe on that, she would beg to differ. After all, she is a human being with needs also.

    Anyway, I took a liking to her daughter from the first day. I wanted to go pick her up when I saw her. I do not know how that would have played out though. Yes, her mum was asleep, but you know motherly instincts. She would have been up in a blink and given me the butt kicking of my life! That I am sure of. Or maybe I am being a little melodramatic about it all.

    She is not the first I have seen on our streets, nor will she be the last, but it does not make me any less uncomfortable to know that. I spent my Holy Saturday (Easter) at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital. I know, many of my friends knew this day would come. It would please you to know though, that it was not to seek medical attention myself.

    My church paid a visit to the patients and donated some things to the hospital. I had the chance to do a little digging around before they arrived. In that period, I met a senior psychiatrist who educated me on the topic more than school ever did.

    From him, I learnt that not everyone at the ‘nuthouse’, is nuts. A lot of people have various psychiatric issues like bipolar disorder, dissociative identity disorders (multiple/ split personality), mania, schizophrenia and even delirium. Some find their way to the psych hospital; voluntarily, by court order, or as a matter of urgency. Well, for the others, I believe you can spot us when traffic gets really out of order. 🙂 We’re all mad here, believe it or not.

    Well, I was more interested in the mad men and women and their children on the streets, so I inquired more in that regard. Vagrants, they are called. The psychiatrist informed me that in times past, government would task the psych hospital, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Police to ‘catch’ these vagrants and put them in the hospital’s care. The children were then sent to Children’s Homes.

    How very thoughtful and noble of the State, I thought. But rather unfortunately, as I was told, this activity carried out was merely a clean up exercise to “hide our disgrace” in preparation for any major summit or conference held in the city. Even so, this has not been done in a long while. Apparently ‘government’ has explicitly told them that there are no more funds available for the operation. That explains the vast populace of mad men and women even in the vicinity of the psychiatric hospital.

    These vagrants are left unattended to and sadly, their basic needs as human beings are also neglected (something Abraham Maslow would be disappointed to know if he was still alive). The hospital itself runs mainly on the support of charitable societies and donations from religious organizations.

    According to my teacher for the day, the hospital is presently limiting the admission of patients because of its financial constraints. As at the time of my visit, they had run out of stock at the dispensary and did not even have ‘common’ paracetamol, as he put it. Sad, isn’t it?

    I visited the wards; the children’s ward, special ward and female ward. At the children’s ward I fell in love with one of the patients. Gifty, they had named her. The little darling could not speak. She just giggled a lot, especially when I lifted her up in my embrace. She was a very cheerful girl, that Gifty, and quite a hugger. It was very difficult letting go. I did not want to leave her, and she did not want to let go of me either, drool and all.

    Nobody deserves to be alone! The nurses are angels to them and all, but these kids at the psych hospital are alone. It broke my heart to let her go more than it did her, trust me. I felt that, like me, many others have visited them and just gone away. I mentally scolded myself, for I believe these short bonds formed are just not fair to them. Like Gifty, many of them need someone to love and care for them, someone to protect them in their frailty, someone to just deal with their passive aggressive mood swings, someone to pay for them to be progressively treated and not just looked after. They need someone they can have a bond with, someone to look at them with love and not pity. They need someone, anyone willing to give them a shot at a normal life.

    I have decided that I am going to write a letter each week to the Ministry of Health to rehabilitate all the major psych hospitals.
    I am going to write a letter addressed to the Office of the President, to run their ‘clean up’ exercise again and sustain it.
    I am going to write a letter to the pharmaceutical companies and NGOs to support them with drugs and materials they can give.
    I am going to write to the children’s homes and plead on behalf of the mad woman at the roundabout to care for her child and many others.

    If you can help me flood their inboxes with mails and letters, that would be awesome! It may take years, but I believe, like the Shawshank Redemption library, someone will respond one day. It could be a one time letter on behalf of these vagrants if you do not have the time to persist.

    You can also help us by contacting people who call the shots. In your own way, kindly promote this action, if you can, of course. I also plead with you all to give a portion of your tithes, alms and other forms of support to bodies like the Children’s Hospitals and Wards as well as Psychiatric Hospitals, for they really need it.

    Let’s give this a shot! Now who’s with me?!

    #6 We’re All Mad Here
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    25 April 2014

    #5 The Symphony of Goodness

    I saw love today.
    Not in the eyes of the various representations or misrepresentations of our Christ as he lay bleeding, dying, on the cross of Calvary for the transgressions the ungrateful nations to come. Nay, such love is indescribable.
    I saw love in the eyes of a mother as she leaned, baby strapped at her back, to plant a kiss on the cheek of her daughter who had picked up her phone which had fallen, and quickly wiped off the dust on her clean pretty clothes. Such a seemingly little gesture, but such love, as reflected by the little girl’s shy smile in reception.

    I saw kindness today. Not in the giving of alms to the very able-bodied beggar who found his ‘profession’ more lucrative than one which he could use his fully functional brain and God-given strength. No.
    I saw kindness as the lady with the baby strapped at her back seated at the back window seat of the trotro yelled, “keep the change” to the hawker after she had chased after the moving bus in the hot midday sun to sell a single packet of plantain chips. I saw compassion in that seemingly small gesture, regardless of the value of the change. The look of surprise reflected appreciation, sheer gratitude for the kindness I saw.

    I saw friendship today. I saw it in the ‘bush’ kid some of us once were, the kid who kept knocking the thick skull of the other boy who struggled amidst the pain and confusion to stutter a ‘zanzama’! Oh the mixed look of Gethsemanic agony and bemusement as he rubbed his sore head, for he knew, as always his idiotic brother and friend would forget to say ‘no kyemp3’ when he got anything edible as doth go the rule. And even so, it was he who always came to his rescue when he got into trouble with Auntie Bea who sold the plantain chips he loved so. So in steadfast hope, the friendship lived on.

    I saw joy today, pure joy in its untouched fruity essence. Daddy was back after a long hard day of saving lives and while he was still halfway out of the car, the kids rushed to give him a big hug. In their embrace, I saw joy. And even greater joy when Daddy handed them each a packet of plantain chips he had bought in the dreadful traffic. This was the epic moment our little boy had been waiting for. He yelled ‘no kyemp3’ over his and ‘kyemp3’ over his brother’s. In his mind, the theme song for the Champions League echoed and fireworks flew. Oh the joy!

    I saw passion today. Not the kind trapped in boxes of three lubricated latex shields which promise extended pleasure or hot sensations, whose packages bear the images of par naked women and bare bodied men with sweat glistening on their sculptured bodies angled for thrust in a world that sex sells. No, not that lustful passion.
    I saw passion in the eyes of a present day sage. I saw his zeal to impart the wisdom the world frankly lacks because generations have turned their backs to the simple truth of God’s existence at the centre of it all. That wisdom, which is life to a people who have rushed to swallow ‘facts’ fabricated by man through acquired knowledge, sparked by curiosity, which was imparted by the creator in the minds made of cells, neurons and the engineered intertwining of the different systems in the human body. The passion of a doctor to save lives by opening the eyes of a blind nation to simple and proactive measures against diseases like cancer. The passion to draw a people back to Yah, the I Am That I Am. I saw that passion today and I felt it.

    I saw beauty today. Beauty like none other. I saw beauty in the structure and prose of her melodious words. Beauty in the way she let me see what she saw, beauty in how she let me into her world of perfect imperfections. She let us into the abyss of her deep dark emotions, and we could totally relate to them as if they were ours too, for in truth, they were. A snap of the fingers brought me out of that world of spoken word and poetry by a new breed, the world dominated by the creme de la creme of Ghanaian writers and poets. In that world, I saw unadulterated beauty.

    In all, I heard a symphony of goodness today. One of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against which there is no law. Orchestrated by such purity and innocence I thought the world could no longer boast of. Truth be told, even in such a world as ours, good still conquers evil, and love triumphs over hatred. All is not lost afterall, no, for there is still hope for the future.

    #5 The Symphony of Goodness
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    18 April 2014

    #4 The Whats, The Whos, The Hows

    As much as I want to dodge this area, it keeps finding ways to creep in. How do I talk to people about keeping a clean environment for their health sake, or sharing their dinner with the less fortunate or taking care of another’s education, when it is unmistakable the plight they are enduring each day?

    What is healthcare to a thirsty person, humanity to a person burdened by insecurities, or free education to one whose family can barely boast of a square meal a day?

    People are suffering all around me and as much as I fight within me for solutions to alleviate poverty and ameliorate the living conditions of many without turning my eyes to the governance or lack of it, the powers that be are also actively working to keep the suffering of the bigger fraction of the people in a state of incessancy.

    I was greatly overcome by unspeakable emotions today. I found out when the bus I sat in moved, that once again, the transport tariff had been raised. I sat still as the woman behind me complained bitterly about the deterioration of the system and how the increase in crime rate is nothing unexpected. “It does not take a genius to figure out that we need to attack the situations that persist, that is, the hardship people endure, for that is what is driving social vices up. Police visibility cannot solve this crime issue.” Many people in the bus concurred and shared their displeasure. “And stupidly, these criminals just target the wrong people,” she added. I stifled an evil laugh, because the mere thought of that was- and is wrong. They are people too, regardless of their nonchalance towards the plight of the people they should serve, they are people.

    I felt a deep pain overwhelm me. I suddenly saw the predicament of many and the anguish they were enduring with each additional back breaking “financial policy” shoved down their throat. For a period, I felt their pain, with almost the same intensity as they did. I forced back the tears that had welled up in my eyes. It was an inexplicable feeling, even to myself.

    I thought to myself then, who am I going to inspire to be their brother’s keeper when they don’t even feel the presence of a brother?

    Who do I convince that we need to look away from the errors of the leaders of our motherland, (for collectively, they are but the Adam of our labours) and fight WITHOUT VIOLENCE for our survival in our home, where adaptation does not seem feasible?

    How do I rally the support and the ‘passion to do something’ of the people who share my views but through no fault of theirs simply look on?

    What assurance do I give them that things are going to get better when we try what we can to make a difference in the lives of many?

    For once in a very long time, I had no clue what to do. The feeling still lingers, but forgive me, I simply have no solution in mind…

    #4 The Whats, The Whos, The Hows
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    11 April, 2014

    #3 Bring Nana Back Home!

    Call me emotional if you want but it just hurts terribly to see things happening that are just so wrong!

    I have passed by the Kwame Nkrumah Circle countless times and used the Kaneshie walkover several times. But last Friday’s trip was different. I felt this pain in my heart that would just not loosen grip.

    Where are the families of the elderly and disabled who are strewn, yes, strewn all over the streets of our city? I know times are hard but do we have to allow them to resort to begging??

    I pray attention is NOT turned to the government to offer assistance because that would take me to an entirely different emotional level. I am talking about what WE can do to help ourselves.

    Whose mother is it, dressed so shabbily, so early in the morning, with a dish in front of her, begging for coins on the sidewalks of the Millennium City close to the traffic light?
    Whose father is it in that hand driven wheelchair in Labone?? My heart melted and tears stung my eyes when what I made out to be a “thank you, God bless you” hit my eardrums through his impaired speech. He had a neurological disorder, for sure, but had been left unattended to. And I am ashamed to say it only crossed my mind after I had left him pedaling off, that he also needed someone to pick the food from his backpack and spoon-feed him. What I thought I had done, had only given him more work, for yet still he required assistance. But where on earth is his family?? Why do we not take care of our own, as a people?

    I know that there are criminals among the sheep; who lost an arm or a leg as punishment for their crimes. I also know there are people seeking political asylum who are stuck with “short sleeves” or “long sleeves” (terms to symbolize the length of their arms cut off) as evidence of power driven craze and violent madness in their home countries. I know that there are evil people, opportunists amongst the lot, who pretend to be disabled and prey on the sympathies of kind hearts.

    Times are hard, I know. It’s more lucrative to have a young able-bodied lad lead a blind person from car to car at the traffic lights around Fiesta Royal all day than to let him use ‘takashi’ to wipe the windscreens of cars with dirty abrasives for a mere 50 pesewa coin or even 1 Ghana cedi per car at the traffic light close to Airport Junction or Silver Star.

    For the mathematicians: How many cars does Abu have to wipe a day to get himself a decent meal, drinking water (15 pesewas per sachet), his accoutrements for his venture, transportation to and from home, a little something to leave his blind aunt for the next day’s meals, rent, utility bills, the cost of dear Emefa’s little trips to his place every now and then, money for church offering on Sunday?

    What I am saying is, I know the system does not make it easy to take care of the handicapped and the elderly. Heck, it’s tough enough to take care of oneself here at the moment. But undeniably, they are ours! He’s someone’s father and she’s also someone’s mother.

    What happened to a community helping raise a child and taking care of their own? Whatever happened to cooking and dishing some for your neighbour? What happened to the early churches that spent more on the needy, disabled, orphaned and widowed as opposed to robbing the poor in the name of giving to God? What happened to humanity; to having a heart?

    I wish we could have a home for the elderly and save them from the streets and the perils of the day and night. I wish we could provide free healthcare and dedicated attention for the physically and mentally challenged among them.

    I wish we could bring our old men and women back home. Let them sit on stools once more, for the ground is too hard and uncomfortable for their weary bones. Let us give them a feel of the love they shared sometime in their lives, let us allow them a taste of the home made corn dough porridge with enough sugar and milk. Let us serve them with our spicy light soup, with fish of course- not meat because it’s less tiresome to chew and a healthier choice for them. Let us introduce their grandchildren to them, the ‘nanas’ who will poke fun at them from time to time. And when they finally pass away, let us give them a befitting burial as a person should na mortuary men abr3!

    I wish this message touches your heart so you can help take care of them with me because trust me, nobody will, not the people you expect to, and definitely not the government.

    Help. Somebody. Please.

    #3 Bring Nana Back Home
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    6 April, 2014

    #2 Save the Innocents!

    I am very heartbroken and hurt when I hear of newborn babies being abandoned or killed by the very women that brought them forth.

    More so deeply saddened when i hear that the babies, these innocents, are killed or abandoned because of their physical or mental disability.

    I know, believe me, I know, that the road is not easy. Yes, it is true that we do not have many facilities or organizations that cater for these little blessings here. I also know that some men would outright reject the baby. People will definitely talk behind you and in your face. You will be mocked by people you love and trust. You may not even get the support you need or someone to beg to hold “it”.

    But remember, the baby never asked to be here. “It” never asked you to do shots and drugs while “it” was still unborn. “It” never asked you to skip the hospital appointments or attempt an abortion when “it” already had a heartbeat. Not once did “it” have the chance to choose a parent that could take care of and nurture “it”. “It” could not tell you that although you cannot afford diapers now, you definitely could have afforded condoms that very special moment “it” was crafted by the hands of the Creator.

    Well this admonition is not entirely fair is it? Some people do everything right during pregnancy and still come out with babies with rare disorders or common disabilities. To them I say it is not your fault, but I beseech you by the mercies of God, don’t let go of that baby!

    People spend lots of zeros on fertility centres with the hopes of being parents someday!
    People give themselves to so called men of God who promise them this gift of life if they would only strip off their garments and take a bow!
    People arrange with hospitals to steal other women’s precious babies!
    People do the unthinkable to make their families feel complete and keep their neighbours awake at night with the cry of a baby!
    Oh and Suwaiba’s baby has still not been found!

    So why would you abandon or kill what would become the very first honest political figure or the one who will discover the vaccine and cure for the Ebola virus?

    I wish I had a centre where people who do not want their babies can dump them on me. I wish I had the funds to cater to their needs and I wish I had families that would love to take responsibility of these little blessings;
    to love and to cater for their needs,
    to behold them in the awesome wonder of their conception,
    to hold with such care considering their fragility which can be likened to that of a rose’s petal.

    How I wish we would stop with the murder of the innocents already!

    #SaveTheInnocents
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    29 March, 2014

    #1 We All Bleed Crimson

    rose

    Just my thoughts

    We all bleed crimson.
    Regardless of gender.
    Regardless of race.
    Regardless of sexual orientation or your faith.
    Regardless of the number of people that actually know your name or recognise your face.
    Regardless of your physical appearance or beauty hidden within.
    Regardless of which rung on the ladder of success you are and how many zeros you have to your name.
    Regardless of which numbered world in this same world you are from.
    We all bleed crimson.

    Think about that next time you raise a hand to point a finger at someone, or open your mouth or by your actions judge, hate or discriminate. We only have two kinds of people, good and bad.

    Lessons Learnt

    I have learnt that no religion promotes evil doing, and no human culture embraces evil doing to humanity. I learnt men hurt as bad as women do. And we are all refugees in a foreign land. I learnt that faith keeps us alive- call yours hope if you want. I learnt that we waste our time fighting and arguing about silly things we picked up while growing up. We were all born a blank sheet but see how dirty we have made our sheets. I have learnt that people can build a tower to the heavens when they speak one language.

    Let’s speak love, shall we. And stop with this nonsense. We will ALL die someday, the colourful lot of us. You go on and cut two different people and see if they both do not bleed crimson!

    #WeAllBleedCrimson
    Ama Agyewaa Agyei
    27 March, 2014